All parents know the feeling of watching their children grow up too fast. Last night my husband and I sat on the couch while the kids slept, looking at photo streams of Kiddo when he was a baby. I was so overcome with pride and sorrow that I was sobbing and laughing. I love him so, and he truly is growing up too fast. Even though he went bald and looked like a little wrinkly baby monk!
I feel a tightening in my heart when I think that I may never be pregnant again. It’s too early to tell, of course; Tiny is only six months old today (OMG wait what? Oh nooo), so we wouldn’t really be actively trying for another year or so. Still, to think that my days of being pregnant are over, makes my heart ache and brings tears to my eyes.
This is a topic very dear to my heart; I’d always wanted a house full of kids, ever since I first read “Little Women” as a girl and saw Jo with her home for boys. I prayed daily for the souls of my future children. Then with my infertility scare I thought my dream was ripped from me before it even started.
Thanks be to God that I now have two beautiful, healthy, brilliant children. Please don’t think I’m belittling that fact – I’ll be grateful for them until the day I die. But I always wanted more kids. Like six or eight. And while I am ok knowing that’ll probably never happen, I never wanted only two.
Both my husband and I come from families of just two children (although my mom had two miscarriages). And I know lots of parents who feel satisfied with two kids, saying “we’ve done our jobs, we’ve replaced ourselves.” But I never saw having a family as a job or a duty to make replacements. Each of us are irreplaceable, and our children are their own unique person, just like my husband and I. No one should have children for the sake of the population; I don’t think that the human race is running out of offspring.
I never wanted only two.
My pregnancies weren’t that fun to be honest – I lost over 20 pounds with each one due to severe morning sickness which plagued me through all three trimesters. Previous spinal injuries flared back up, and my chiropractor did all she could to ease migraines and sciatic pain. But I was still so in love with being pregnant! I journaled to my babies. I took photos and videos of me and my bump, the baby kicking caught forever on film as I laughed; I was so proud of my unborn child and I couldn’t wait to meet them. I daydreamed of who they would be, and prayed for them unceasingly.
I’ve read that “being pregnant is the best reason to feel like crap.” I personify that with my pregnancies!
Will I ever have that feeling again?
And then I wonder if I will ever feel a baby kick again. If I will ever have that “holy shit yes!!!” moment when I get a positive on a test, and race to joyfully show my husband. If I will ever have a feeling that they’re a boy or a girl… and be right.
Part of me wonders if it’s better to not know when a pregnancy is my last. Maybe it would be too hard on me to be constantly thinking “this will be the last time I…” So maybe it’s better this way; I have my two darlings, a boy and a girl, and I got to enjoy my second pregnancy without that sadness and dread looming over me.
Maybe it’s better this way.
But then… did I take my second pregnancy for granted, not knowing that it would be my last? Would I have done anything differently? My heart aches to think about this. I don’t know. Maybe.
And I know that it’s not just up to me; it’s only fair to add that my husband gets an equal vote in all this. I would never trick him or pressure him. I haven’t really asked him about Baby Number Three because it’s too early, and I know he’s not ready… yet. And that’s ok. He provides for us, protects us, and loves us. Could we even maybe adopt, or foster kids? Another possibility.
Maybe we could foster, or adopt, instead.
I think a lot of my husband’s feelings on the topic revolve around money: as the breadwinner, that makes sense. It’s a hard truth but one we need to face. All children deserve love and support – it wouldn’t be fair to bring a baby into this world if we couldn’t care for them properly. And so I add that to my prayers: please don’t let me have more children if we couldn’t afford to provide for them. It hurts my selfish heart a little, but I know I am showing love for a child I may never meet.
I cherish and adore my two children. They’re so similar and so different, and each precious and special. And I will never let them know that they aren’t enough, because that isn’t true. Any parent of more than one child knows that your love doesn’t split, it grows.
So for now I will enjoy the kids who are here with me, my two blessings. And maybe, just maybe, it’s in God’s will for me to be pregnant again someday. And if not, all the more reason for me to hug my two children closer to my heart.
“And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them…And His mother kept all these words in her heart.” (Luke 2:50-1, Douay Rheims Bible)