We've been thinking about having another baby

  1. We've been thinking about having another baby.
  2. We've been thinking about the prospect of adoption.
  3. We've been thinking about the prospect of being "done."

We've been praying about all three.

The topic weighs heavy on my mind throughout the day and as I drift off to sleep at night.

There is much to consider.

On the one hand, I think about how refreshing and exciting and powerful it would feel to be physically done having babies. It would be wonderful to never have to be pregnant again, to never have to go through morning sickness again. I know some women enjoy pregnancy - the burgeoning belly and the opportunity to be pampered.

But I don't. For starters, I get terribly sick, "all-day-and-throwing-up-and-I-can't-take-care-of-my-family" sick (this is a HUGE deterrent - it really was miserable for me and my whole family). Secondarily, I like to be strong and fit...I like to be able to bend over, to have energy, and to do things myself.

It would be invigorating to move on to a new stage and say farewell to the baby gear. We could start to travel, to pursue other ambitions, to change the world. I might actually go for that PhD and I could focus my efforts on all of the big dreams that are stored up in my heart.

But then...I have these fleeting moments when I look at my two sweet girls and I am overwhelmed by the wonder of it all, by the magic and the miracle of creating life. There really is nothing like it. I gaze into their precious faces and think, "This is what love has wrought. Out of our love, we created this beauty and magnificence and splendor."

There's nothing quite like that terrifying and inexplicable moment of childbirth - the intense pain, the glorious triumph, the wholehearted trust in a God who is much bigger than me. And then to experience "love at first sight," to revel in the baby's countenance, to sustain life through my body. And then to watch that little life grow up, to have a personality of her own. That is beyond amazing.

From there...my mind wonders to adoption - to the orphaned, the neglected, all of the children who would give anything for somebody to love. I'm strangely drawn to that. How inspiring and beautiful to welcome a child into your life. Of course, the thought also terrifies me. How scary to bring a new member into the family - one that I did not carry in my body or nurture from the very beginning. All kinds of worries cross my mind - What if the mother drank or did drugs or cursed her pregnancy? What if the baby was forsaken and left alone for many months at the beginning of his life? How will that affect his future...our future?

Fortunately, we don't have to make the decision today.

I'm still young. Although I am in my late twenties, I feel somehow old and ancient. I have an urgency about me. There are so many things I want to do, so many places I want to go, so many people I want to help.

I'm sure I am forgetting a million other considerations, other thoughts that roll through my mind and tug at my heart.

I hope that you will forgive my generalizations and my ramblings. I almost didn't write this post because I thought: "It's so personal. So subjective. Such a difficult decision. I'll forget to mention a hundred different points."

Finally, I feel a bit selfish, knowing that I can get pregnant, knowing that I have this choice...when many women are faced with infertility and miscarriage.

But I am deciding to hit "publish" because this is a huge part of who I am; these thoughts are continuously on my mind.

So, for now, we're undecided.

For now, I am just grateful. I am wholeheartedly content with the two incredibly smart, beautiful, and world-changing girls in my life:

july-2009-1 july-2009-2

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28 comments on “We've been thinking about having another baby”

  1. I haven't commented yet because I was trying to think of what I wanted to say...We've thought a lot about whether or not this is our second and last baby. It's really difficult to imagine not doing this again...and in the same thought it's difficult to imagine doing this (and I'm not even half way through yet). I'm not one that enjoys being pregnant either...but the miracle that results in worth every second of it. My husband and I feel very strongly that God has called us to adopt. We don't know yet how that will actually evolve (when, how, from what country, etc.) and your concerns really caused me to think about issues I don't think we really considered. But we're not afraid...we trust that if God calls us to adopt, he'll provide the perfect situation (even if it isn't "perfect")

    Pregnancy is humbling...it showed (and shows me) how little control I really have (when I often like to feel like I'm in perfect control...of my body...my health...etc.) Pregnancy and birth have taught me to appreciate life....how special and miraculous it is. It's taught me to trust beyond what I ever thought I was capable of. And ultimately to "let go and let God" not to be cliche but because we truly are not in control.

    I trust completely that HE will reveal to you and your husband what that perfect plan is...in his perfect timing....

    Your post (as always) was beautiful...

  2. I've always had the same fears about adopting. Its one thing if I screw up my kid but I don't want a prescrewed one. I think this is one of the reasons that adoptive parents put me in such awe. They really love and want those children.

  3. i think u are very brave to have published it. you did what you felt right..and i like that about your blog. your thoughts are sincere..nothing artificial about it. if u dont like something in your reviews..u say it..in the nicest way! :)

    about more kids..u have a lot of time..so dont worry. enjoy the time of being healthy. i feel like u do. hate the pregnancy stuff(although never personally experienced it) but cant wait to have a kid! :) pray to god to guide you. you will be just fine. you are a wonderful person!

  4. Thanks for sharing a bit of your heart and mind. These are wonderful things to think about. Parenthood is a special job - exhilarating, tiring, joyful, mysterious, rewarding...the list goes on. I am the youngest of 6 kids in my immediate family and in the past two years we have added another sibling. In the 60's my mom gave a baby up for adoption and we have recently been reunited with her. It has been a special time for all of us. You still have plenty of time for God to reveal what the next step to take will be. Thanks again for this post.

  5. It's a big decision and one that should never be taken lightly. Just like you we always pray, even over the littlest of things. Both of us want to add another child to our family, we just don't feel it's quite the right time yet.

  6. Sometimes I think if I ever found a good husband I'd have babies until I couldn't have them anymore. I loved being pregnant (except the second and third month and last few weeks). At the same time, I wonder if after number two I'd change my mind. There are days when one is overwhelming. I know I'd love to have another one someday. But, I think the number of children to have is something that a lot of couples struggle with. There are so many elements to consider and those elements change depending on the couple and the time.
    Like you though, I feel pressed for time to do things. I realize that 28 isn't old, but I feel like time is flying by. It will all be over with before I can blink, and there's so much to do.
    As it is with all things, prayer really is the only sure way to get an answer. So, I keep praying and God keeps guiding. His faithfulness is pretty awesome.

  7. Hi Stephanie. This post resonated with me. I am totally there with you on the not liking pregnancy thing. I endured 32 weeks of heartburn (many times it induced vomiting throughout pregnancy and labor...ugh). Also, I struggle with the logistics of how I could take care of another baby and take time off from running my practice without another doctor on board for coverage. As for adoption, my husband and I have been praying about that since we were engaged almost 10 years ago. That's still a strong desire on our hearts, yet I know I carry many of the fears that you voiced in your post. Of course, there are many hurdles to adoption...financial being the most considerable. I don't want my son to grow up without a sibling...but I don't know exactly when we'll have another child in our home. I pray. Wait. And I don't forget to enjoy the loveliness of today.

  8. Thank you for posting this! We're starting to kind of sort of try for our next baby. My husband has three kids from a prior marriage, but his ex took them away from him and has brainwashed them to hate him. We have my/our first, who is 14 months. I so love being a mommy. I also despised the whole being pregnant part. The waddling. The feeling fat. Not being able to move fast. Not being allowed to do so many things. Not being able to drink. I didn't have a whole bunch of sickness, but I was so freaking tired the whole time. But even with all of that, at this moment, I feel like I would have twenty if my husband would agree to it! LOL. I know I would change my mind with each one. And I even had a horrible labor with my little guy. He was five weeks early, and got stuck on my pelvic bone, keeping me in hard labor for ten hours. We were two pushes away from needing a c-section.

    But even with all of the difficulties, there is just so much wonder. When Dawson gets defiant about trying to crawl into tight spaces and starts bumping his head against things to get there, I tell him to stop because I worked hard to make that cute little head and he doesn't need to be messing it up. Then I just look at him in complete awe to think that my body created a person.

    I also have to think about how much I've changed by becoming a mommy. In my prior marriage, it was just me and my ex. We were two separate people living separate lives. Even when things had been good between us, we weren't a real family. Having a baby changes everything. I'm still me, but I'm so much stronger. I stand up for my convictions. I make life decisions based on my family and not based on my job or what would be easiest, or most fun. I was "laid off" from my job last December because of post partum issues, combined with the fact that I was just flat out unwilling to please my boss at the expense of my family.

    Having a baby has also made the rest of my family closer. My dad passed away when I was 19. After that, my mom withdrew quite a bit and didn't do holiday things anymore, and it was hard for her to do family stuff. My brother moved across the country. Mom was distant throughout my pregnancy, but the second Dawson was born, she did a total 180. She's been celebrating holidays again, initiating more family stuff, coming over just because, and all sorts of stuff. She told me that she wasn't going to have baby stuff all over her house, that it was going to stay a grown up house. Yeah. She has a play pen, a baby bed, a high chair, a walker, lots of toys, and her own stash of clothes, diapers, wipes, etc.

  9. Well, I offer no advice. You will find what your heart needs.
    I did wonder though if you have thought of surrogacy while reading your post. That would perhaps be a great gift you can give someone in real need.

  10. Sometimes I think you're reading my mind... I am so conflicted about wanting to be "done" even though I loved being pregnant and it would be so great to see Jasper get to be a big brother. I'm 38 and I can't imagine waiting much longer if we were going to try for another. And I can't imagine getting pregnant anytime soon. So time is kind of running out. I think we're probably going to stay a four-person family unless something unexpected happens.

  11. Sometimes I think you're reading my mind... I am so conflicted about wanting to be "done" even though I loved being pregnant and it would be so great to see Jasper get to be a big brother. I'm 38 and I can't imagine waiting much longer if we were going to try for another. And I can't imagine getting pregnant anytime soon. So time is kind of running out. I think we're probably going to stay a four-person family unless something unexpected happens.

  12. Funny you wrote this today. I've been thinking about a daughter a lot lately. And thinking how wonderful it would be to adopt a baby girl. I want that so badly. And I believe if it's God's plan for us then he'll set that into motion.

    We're both young enough to just enjoy the brood's we have now, and give it some time before big decisions are made :--)

    You enjoy those lovely angels of yours!

    Nell

  13. I agree, thanks for sharing! It's something that I've not yet come to in blogging, sharing something personal like that! It is something always on my mind though, as we have decided to trust the Lord with how many children we have, naturally and even now I'm starting to consider adoption, which I haven't yet talked with my husband about! We've recently watched friends go through the process and it (adoption) seems like such an amazing experience, to give a loving home to a child who has none. There are plenty of times when I think it would nice to be "done" but we are confident that the Lord will make that perfect decision in His perfect timing. Is it frightening, YES!, but does it challenge my faith, YES! Do we want life to be easy, YES!, does He promise that it will be easy, NO! Ugh, I am SO thankful for my children and my hard-working husband, and I truly can't imagine life without them, as challenging and difficult some days may be. The Lord is SO good and I can't wait until I'm old and can look back at our lives, crazy to think about! Thanks for letting me share this and put some thoughts in print! It helps me to think as well!

  14. i pray every day for God's peace in this area...i don't care either way or ways....i just want a peace about it....still no peace so i continue to wait.

  15. Sometimes when I publish my inner-most thoughts on my blog, it lifts a thousand pounds off my shoulders. I hope this did the same for you.

    I actually feel as if I have the opposite problem. I feel like I'm always going to want to have one more. I enjoy being pregnant and I love the newborn/infant stage. But the choice to keep having more children can be selfish too if I don't take everything into account.

    Someone one told me: "If you feel like you might want to have another baby you should. You'll never regret having another baby but you just may regret NOT having another one once it's too late."

    I try to keep that in mind. Just keep praying and your heart will tell you what to do.

  16. "For now, I'm just grateful"--a beautiful place to be, Stephanie. You've got lots of time. Keep praying about it; it will become clear, I'm sure.

    Have a great weekend!

  17. Hi Stephanie,
    My husband and I were also lucky enough to be able to have children easily, and my pregnancies were easy. So by the time we were around 30 we had two beautiful, healthy children - a girl and a boy. When we started thinking about having another child, most of our friends and family would say something like, you already have a perfect family with a boy and a girl, why would you want to have more. I didn't know why I felt that we needed another child, but I actully dreammed about her. I knew we'd have a little girl. We thought about her name before she was even conceived. That little girl, the baby in the family, will be 16 years old in a couple weeks. I have never thought it wasn't a good idea to add her to our famuly, in fact, sometimes I wish we'd thought about having one more.
    In the end, as we go through all the stages of life, all we really have is family. My children are close, enjoy each other's company, and count on each other's advice. As long as you can physically, financially and emotionally care for another child, and your heart tells you that your family isn't complete yet, then I would consider having another child. I'm so glad we did.

  18. I am a good bit older and having a baby was medically hard on me...so we made the decision we are done with babies. It was such a bittersweet thing. It is nice to have the decision made but so sad to think of never having another little baby again.

    But I'll admit that every now and then one of us throws out the possibility of adopting again some time in the future.

  19. This is something that my hubby and I think and talk about all the time too...and we have 4 kiddos already! We are keeping it in prayer and have an open mind about all decisions whether to be done or not to be.

    Thanks for sharing your heart Stephanie! I appreciated your honesty.

  20. Thanks so much for sharing this, Stephanie. When we first decided to adopt, several people who already had a biological child or two would tell me that they were interested in adopting. At the time, because we had been through years of "unidentified infertility," they did seem very selfish to me.

    But I guess I'm older and wiser now. I've seen my sister struggle over and over to get and then to stay pregnant. I just watched a close friend go through four months of debilitating morning sickness. And I know I can't judge others, their experiences, or their decisions. Each woman (and each family) must follow the path that God has for them.

    Now that we have adopted two infants (now 2 years and 6 months) I also know that choosing adoption is not the "easy way out" for women who just don't want to go through the inconveniences of pregnancy, as I once thought. There is nothing easy about adoption. I have never once regretted that this is my path, and I am grateful every moment of every day that God found a way to make these two children mine. But the process has been a very difficult one, and depending on our ongoing relationships with our kid's birth-families, it may continue to be challenging.

    So what I've learned is that when we keep ourselves open to God's will for us, and then follow the path He has for us, we will find each find joy and fulfillment. Thank you again for sharing the things that are in your heart.

  21. Thanks so much for sharing this, Steph. When we first decided to adopt, several people who already had a biological child or two would tell me that they were interested in adopting. At the time, because we had been through years of "unidentified infertility," they did seem very selfish to me.

    But I guess I'm older and wiser now. I've seen my sister struggle over and over to get and then to stay pregnant. I just watched a close friend go through four months of debilitating morning sickness. And I know I can't judge others, their experiences, or their decisions. Each woman (and each family) must follow the path that God has for them.

    Now that we have adopted two infants (now 2 years and 6 months) I also know that choosing adoption is not the "easy way out" for women who just don't want to go through the inconveniences of pregnancy, as I once thought. There is nothing easy about adoption. I have never once regretted that this is my path, and I am grateful every moment of every day that God found a way to make these two children mine. But the process has been a very difficult one, and depending on our ongoing relationships with our kid's birth-families, it may continue to be challenging.

    So what I've learned is that when we keep ourselves open to God's will for us, and then follow the path He has for us, we will find each find joy and fulfillment. Thank you again for sharing the things that are in your heart.

  22. God will direct your path in His time! I can attest to that in our lives...we adopted brothers, then were able to have two biological sons, and now are adopting again. I can say that adoption is a beautiful way to grow your family, and although the uncertainties seem so much bigger then when you bear your own children, the truth of the matter is, we have no idea how our own children are going to develop, either. But God knows, and it is on Him whom we rely day to day. He will show you in His time...just enjoy today!

  23. My hubby always wanted 2 and no more. I was in the 3 would be nice but now that we have 2 I am done. Lily was a hard baby so it is nice to be past that stage. I still have nightmares how hard that last year was. I am very happy with my 2 girls and so now I just get to tease hubby about having more. We done and ready to move on. But at the same time I miss being pregnant and I miss the small newborn. I just get to enjoy watching others go through it now.

  24. I am a true believer that our choices present themselves with an answer when the time is right. Before you know it they will no longer be decisions you have to make but a path you are already following.
    We are still trying to work out if another baby is a good choice for our family, and while I loved being pregnant, the thought of adoption is always in my head too. And so it the thought of keeping everything the way it is!
    Enjoy your family and one day the answer will be clear!
    Hopefully by hitting publish a small weight was taken off your chest!

  25. I know exactly what you mean. I'm still undecided as to whether I want more kids or not, and my youngest is three! It's a very big decision, not to be entered into lightly, but at the same time, my two children have brought such joy into our family, how could another life be a mistake? I'm still quite wishy-washy on the subject.
    Thanks for this post. At least now I know I'm not the only one who thinks about this subject a lot! :D

  26. It is WONDERFUL to be done. I can't express that enough. If I'd been as sick as you have, I would have been done at two. However. I am so glad #3 surprised us because she adds such a cool dimension to our family. I love being a family of 5.

    Good luck with your decision! I know how tough it is. :-)

  27. I"m amazed that you are even thinking about it when your baby is still so little (although I do remember saying she is a good sleeper - so you aren't going through those sleep deprived months). I have no real advice to you, except to keep praying and know that God will give you an answer in his own time. All three choices would give you amazing new adventures - so be prepared!

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