Slider

Thoughts on Three: How We Decided to Have Another Child

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Today's post is especially close to my heart, not only because it's about the most important thing in my life -- my children -- but also because I know it delves into questions that a lot of parents ask themselves (myself included): how many kids do I want? How will we know when we're done having babies?

When we talked about having kids, Steve and I always said we thought "2-3" sounded good. A lot of parents have a definitive number of children they hope for, and others say "we'll see what feels right." We were sort of in the latter camp. We knew we wanted more than one child, but we weren't sure how our family would feel after two were in the picture. 

About 18 months after our first child, Carrington, was born, we started to feel like we were ready to give her a sibling. Many of you know that we suffered a miscarriage before conceiving our sweet second daughter, Hadley, which made her arrival all the more precious. We truly savored both of our girls and their growing relationship -- but it wasn't as if after Hadley was born I thought "Yep, that's it!" (Well, maybe for the first few months I did as she went through colic and I went through sleep deprivation, haha). As Hadley approached the 18 month mark, I expected to feel completely ready to start trying for another child just as I had timing-wise with her older sister. Yet, it just didn't feel like it was time as it had before. Does that make sense? 

I started to wonder if that meant that we were done; that we were complete with two children. When people would inevitably ask whether we wanted any more kids, I would be honest and say we weren't sure. I think, because I was thoroughly wrapped up in my two tiny daughters and just so grateful for them both, I didn't feel like anybody was necessarily missing. And, yet, I knew I wasn't ready to say we were done either. There was still a sense of possibility -- of a bigger family and another sibling for the girls -- hanging in the air at all times.

Looking back now, I realize what I was so carefully weighing was a third pregnancy and birth, and not a third child. I had two c-sections and the last one had a couple of complications -- nothing that would prevent me from having more children, but the third delivery would definitely have to be another c-section and I needed to weigh risks. 

It wasn't until Hadley turned two that I started to feel kind of obsessed, for lack of a better word, about what to do. What began as a laid-back attitude about it all ended up to be all I thought about... until one day I felt so overwhelmed weighing it all that I decided to steal some quiet time away in our bedroom and put it out there to God, to the universe: What should we do? I think I want a third child, if I'm being honest with myself, if I'm truly listening to my heart and picturing our best future... but I'm scared.

This sounds crazy, but from that moment forward, I felt at peace. 

I'm not sure if it was just saying it out loud, having that quiet time to truly reflect, or an answered prayer, but I felt clarity in that moment and afterward. I talked to Steve and after agreeing that we were both on the same page, we decided to try for our third baby at the beginning of the New Year.

As you all know, the rest is history. We are 18 weeks along now, and I think about this sweet little girl (!) growing inside of me every day, imagine our lives with her, see how much her sisters already adore her, and I can't picture anything else.

If you are in a similar boat right now, wondering how many kids you want or if you should have another, just know that it is normal to question -- it's the most life altering decision you can make! What ended up helping me was 1. Taking the time I needed, even if it didn't "match" my expectations or the time I took before, 2. Asking other women about their experiences, 3. Talking it out with your partner and the people closest to you, and 4. Taking some quiet, uninterrupted time to put it all out there there to the universe, to say a prayer, to ask for guidance if you need it. And, most importantly, to listen when the answer comes.


via

I feel that it's so important to acknowledge, especially on the tail of Infertility Awareness Week, that I know that there are so many women (and their partners) out there who don't go through this, or won't go through this, process of asking themselves how many children they should have because they're hoping so much for one. There are women I love very much in that group. I recognize how completely fortunate we are to have this decision to make. Steve and I have experienced our own baby-related loss, and the subsequent fear and wondering: will this happen for us again? That was painful. And yet, I have dear friends that have been trying for years to have a baby. If that is you, too, I just want you to know I see you and, even if our journeys to parenthood haven't looked the same, I am always here to listen. I could cry thinking about one of my closest girlfriends, who, after quietly and cautiously telling her about this pregnancy before we announced it said, "For some reason, when it's someone I love, it really doesn't bother me. So in other words, I am over the moon for you!" Wow. No words. She has checked in repeatedly since then, sharing our joy, and just as she does that I hope she (and others going through this) know I am here to also share in their struggling. That is what true friendship is all about: sharing the joy and the sorrow.

If you'd like to share your thoughts or a part of your journey below, I'd love to hear. 



4 comments:

  1. A great post! I love your blog < 3
    I am following you and invite you to me
    https://milentry-blog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your growing family and am so happy you guys came to this decision - even though it wasn’t easy. XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are the best - thank you, my friend! <3 So lucky to have your love and support.

      Delete

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan