Attempting to tackle the big question.

This post has been in my draft list in various forms for sometime now. I have never quite come up with the "right" words to fully express and actually hit publish. But yesterday my friend Ashley posted something similar so I figured I would give it another go. You'll have to pardon me if I jump around a bit. It's the most bare-bones post I've written in awhile. If you judge, then please do so silently)

The big question that I get asked most often?
(Most often at inappropriate times ---seriously at Subway???)

Are we done?

Having kids that is.

And the honest to goodness truth is - I just plain ole don't know.
Every few weeks Matt and I talk about it. In all honesty, he would like to have a third but he is also content with what we have now. It's me who is the waffler if you will.

Now this is probably where I will skip around. 

I've been very open with our struggles with infertility. Most of you know that we went through months and months of testing and waiting, only to find out our chances of conceiving in traditional methods were less than .5%. Not 5%. Like half a percent. And IUI's were not an option. So we turned to invitro. And once we made the decision and had our peace with that - we steamrolled ahead. When I get my mind wrapped around doing something, there's very little you can do or say to dissuade me. So off we went through the endless procedures, shots, hormones, every other day check ups, etc. And I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the best decision we ever made. We were lucky - first time out, boy/girl twins. And God fulfilled our dreams of being parents.

Here's where it gets tricky. Back then, over 4 1/2 years ago when we started everything, all we had were our jobs and each other. So the constant doctors appointments, the bed rest, the monitoring, the exhaustion, the hormones, the crying from the hormones, and shots - and the crying from the shots...it could be handled. We didn't have two little ones running around demanding our attention.

It's a little different now. 

In my head years ago, I just assumed that we would have 2 pregnancies, 2 kids and wrap it up for the day. But twins was a game changer. It was a difficult pregnancy to say the least - not just carrying 2 but carrying 1 that had such a serious heart problem. 

And sometimes I think I would like to have another to experience a normal pregnancy, a normal birth, a normal first few months at home without carting one baby down to the med center each day to see his sister for almost 2 months.

But there's no guarantees of that, right?

I want to have one baby to rock to sleep and not feel like I'm cheating the other one.

But the problem with that? Now I have 2 toddlers so I will feel like they are being deprived.

I want another baby because I'd love to see R&Q in a big brother/big sister role. 

But they also kinda have that. They take turns being the protectors and the "bigs" with each other.

Logistics mess with my head. I feel like our life is on a "track" right now. The "babies" are more independent. We can go places and I can mostly control them, even in large stores. Life is good. Life is full.
Life feels complete at this moment.

But what if it's not? What if we are supposed to be a family of five? Is it just fear holding me back? Or is it me just being selfish of wanting to experience the above again?   
I know without a single doubt that if God blessed us naturally with a third that I would praise Him and thank Him for his grace and mercy.

But it's not that easy for us. To get pregnant takes super planning. Money. Time. Emotions. A complete and total roller coaster. Again, is it worth it? Does that relatively short span of time really and truly matter in the hopefully long lives we will lead? Probably not.

 But it's still hard for me to think about. I don't want to inject shots in my stomach again. I don't want to be subjected to daily progesterone shots in my backside every night at the exact same time for 9 weeks until there literally are no places to give the shots that aren't filled with painful lumps.*

But I know I would do it in a heartbeat if I was sure.

But my heart isn't sure yet.

Maybe because my brain is taking over where my heart should be.

I'm hoping for that magical answer, that magical confirmation - we are done or we aren't.
 And I just don't have that yet.

There are also a myriad of other issues to consider. It has been recommended that we visit with a genetic counselor given Q's heart condition (parents of children with CHD are more likely to have a subsequent child with a CHD). Her type of defect can be genetics related - and we could hear that the chances of another one could be 50/50, 80/20, or maybe 5/90. Who knows?

Of course if we had done that before Q's birth, I know for a fact it would not have stopped me from getting pregnant with the twins. I would have rolled the dice. 

And as much as I hate to admit it, I think partially I am influenced by my friends who have three and four children. They make it work - and make it work beautifully. But if I am being honest with myself, I think I need to know my limits. I need to know myself well enough of what I can handle...sanely. Could I survive it? I think so. Could I handle it fully with grace having 3 children under 4 or 5 years of age? I don't know. Most days I feel like my head could spin off it's axis. And do my children deserve to have a completely A-type of mom who is going to come unglued? Not exactly a healthy scenario.

A friend once said that if you aren't sure if you are done, then you probably aren't. I agree with this logic mostly.

 But I think even people who say "Ok, we are done at two (three) (four)", they may always wonder the "what if". 

See? It's all very confusing. Many emotions. I wish that I had clear answers. I wish I knew fully in my heart what the right decision for us was. And I just don't know yet. I"m praying for clarity. Until then, I will enjoy our family of four, our precious little family that I prayed so many years for.

*Author's note: I would never trade ANYTHING, ANYTHING for everything we went through to bring the twins here. They are my lovies, my light, my everything. I shall never consider it a burden to go through what we went through for them --- it was the utmost PRIVILEGE.*

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Amy said...

I'm not trying to influence you so please don't take it that way! I think you're an awesome Mom and would be tired but would do a great job with three or even four! Sara and I have a friend who has decided finally that she doesn't want to have kids at all, and Sara has said (to me), here's the thing. You're never going to regret having the baby. Because then it's going to be this little person that you love and couldn't imagine life without. But you definitely could look back and regret NOT having the baby. Here's the good news. You don't have to decide today. You have time to bat it around and check on the heart stuff and pray on it. Sara and I are 4 years apart and have been very close always. Praying for clarity for you! I imagine it must be hard to not be sure!!! The answer will come one way or the other... :-)

Jessica Orlowicz said...

I can relate to some of this post. Although I didn't struggle with infertility, and I can only imagine the strength and prayer that you needed going through that process, I struggled with the idea of another child after my twins. Like you said, it was a question of sanity. Then my twins turned 4 and all of a sudden it became so easy, and it hit me; I needed to experience one baby. No NICU (God willing), holding one, feeding one, etc. And I needed to give my twins the experience of being a sibling. I felt like the twin thing was unique to a regular sibling relationship. It took us a year of trying to get pregnant with #3, and then we had #4, and I still question my ability handle it all sanely ;) I hope above all that God gives you complete peace with whatever decision you make <3 Your family is beautiful.

Alice Robison said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Whatever road life takes you down will be the road intended for you and you have such a healthy outlook on it all! Love reading posts about your sweet family.