31 March 2010

to three or not to three

(A few years ago, before the, uh, conception of Baby J, I wanted to title a post this way, so I finally found another chance.)

When I had my first baby, I knew that at some point, he needed a sibling. I did not want an only child. But that was all I knew. If someone asked "how many" kids I wanted, all I could say was "more than one." And with the craziness of John in school while working and Little B being a bit high maintenance, I waited about a year longer than I'd originally wanted to before having Miss C.

And then when Miss C showed up, I had all the trauma with her birth that I've talked about before, therefore had no reply to the questions about wanting more, yet never liked the "Well, you have one of each now..." remarks. Gender has never been the issue for me. I'd have gladly taken a house full of boys if that's what God had chosen for me. Or girls.

It was during the week after her birth, when I was not allowed to get up from bed except to use the bathroom, that Little B told me he wanted a brother . . .

"I thought you wanted a sister!" (As though I'd arranged it per his wishes)

"I do! But I want a brother next..."


"And then another sister."

Yeah, so not a good week to have that chat.

And then came the day when we decided that two was not enough (around the time I didn't blog on whether 'to three or not to three' way back when). While Miss C's birth was extremely difficult, Baby J's pregnancy was hard on my body. I was clearly in a new age of my life (called being in my thirties, I believe). I was more sick, I was more tired, I was chasing more kids...it was very different the third time around. And I assumed that would probably be it, though I've always maintained that decisions on babies should be made one at a time. I never really expected to have three, much less contemplate a fourth.

But the moment I laid eyes on this precious wisp of life, held him close to my body, gazed into his deep blue eyes and fell in love with him . . . my heart stuttered at the thought of never having such a moment again. Literally, I ached with the need for one more. (After adequate time to soak this one in, of course.)

I was in the grocery store last summer, traipsing around the food aisles with all three of my kiddos as usual. I frequently get stopped with questions about whether Baby J is always so happy (unless he is unhappy, in which case no one asks me that question. . . ). This time, it was a mom of four, whose kids were a good deal older than mine. As we chatted for a moment, I admitted to thinking that four sounded nice. She grinned. And cheered for me to have another. Then she told me about the time before her fourth came along: she said she was always looking over her shoulder, feeling like someone was missing. I thought that was so lovely. And I, too, have had that same feeling for so long.

I set a deadline for myself a while back: "When I hit 35, if there's nothing baking in the oven, then I'm done." (That's less than a year away now.) And with so much going on this past year, the very thought of adding another person has felt irresponsible. And so the decision is not made, over and over. Added to that are the safety issues that rise up with any discussion of my giving birth - I clearly do not have have typical birth experiences; this fact makes me sad and it concerns my husband greatly. I would have to give strong consideration to a c-section if I have another (which would be astronomically expensive on our current insurance plan). Plus, the very thought of that is difficult for me. Perhaps there would be a time later for us to adopt, something we gave thought to when we thought there might not be biological children. But adoption is not a decision to make right now, either.

And so, to three or not to three, that is the question. I believe that question does not have an answer yet. Only God knows. In the meantime, I suppose I will just continue to wait on the Lord's timing, either direction.


Mrs Lemon said...

Finance and my sanity have definitely been factors in our decision to stop with the two babies. I know I'm always going to want another baby, but there are plenty of other babies in our church to fill that cuddly desire.

Here's hoping you get what you want! ::clink::

Hannah said...

Ah, C. I feel your pain -- for lack of a better word. I wrote a long post very similar to this one about a year and a half ago. I'm not sure if I've ever been that public with my private life since then. But getting into writing and off my proverbial chest was a big help. Right now, I am waiting on my husband to have a different leading than he currently has, and the Lord has given me peace for that. After all, he has to deal with the pregnancy hormones, the PPD, the walking of fussy babies, etc.
O Lord, so many opportunities to know You!