Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Gift of Children

We have four kids. Yes, it can get crazy some times. Yes, sometimes I miss having any privacy. Yes, sometimes I miss having a moment of time for myself. Yes, I miss being able to hold a conversation with my husband without the constant interruption of little ones. Yes, I miss cleaning a room and having it stay clean longer than five minutes.

Do I love stinky baby feet? Absolutely. How about slobbery kisses? Bring them on! Holding hands with my kids? Love it! The hours we spend making crafts? Wouldn't trade it. Watching them grow up? Priceless.

I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They are my life, my joy and my purpose. I always knew I wanted kids but didn’t know how many. After 4 years of marriage and dodging questions of when we were going to have kids, my husband and I had our first child, a little girl. I said right away in the hospital that I wanted another. He said, let’s wait a little while.

Two years later, after dodging the question of “when are we having a second?” we had our second child, another baby girl. We had discussed and agreed on two. I knew right away again that I wanted a third. I did not feel complete.

Yet another 2 years after that, we were pregnant with our third. That time, we got the “wow, you guys are brave” and “hoping for a boy huh?” People weren’t as happy for us this time around. Not sure why, 2 was great, wouldn’t three be even better?

Well, we had our third, you guessed it, another girl and right away, we agreed to a fourth. And then that one became mobile and I thought, there is no way I can do a 4th. So we got rid of everything.

Fast forward a couple of years and I thought I was pregnant. When I found out I wasn’t, I was disappointed. I didn’t expect that at all. I spoke with my husband about it and he was so wonderful. He said, if you want a fourth, lets do it now, I don’t want you to regret it years down the road.

So that is what we did, we went for it. I was super excited to be pregnant with our fourth. We told everyone right away and we were not greeted with anything but the look of “you guys are crazy” or my favorite question of “was it planned?” Funny how the more kids you have the more people stop being excited for you and start to feel sorry for you or are just plain dumbstruck?

Right from the beginning that pregnancy was not right, I just never “felt” pregnant and had problems from the start. But I kept having sonogram after sonogram and everything looked normal and we kept hearing a heart beat. But in my heart I knew something was not right.

At 13 weeks I had a miscarriage. And while it was not a surprise to me, it was still very hard to take. I struggled with whether I should just be happy with the three I had. I had three beautiful, healthy kids and wondered it I simply was not meant to have any more. I had many people tell me that it was Gods way of preventing heart ache in the long run and that everything happens for a reason. That did not make it any easier.

Well, once we were given the go ahead from the doctor, we got pregnant right away again. Clearly, getting pregnant is not a problem for us. My friends joke that my husband has to just wink at me over the paper and I am pregnant.

Again, from the beginning I knew something was wrong again. At only 7 weeks I had a rough weekend and thought that I had miscarried again. Only to find out that I had an ectopic pregnancy, where it is stuck in your fallopian tubes.

Again, I was shocked, how could two things happen back to back? After having 3 normal pregnancies with no problems?

After having being pregnant twice in a couple of months I was unsure of what do to. I was in turmoil wondering why all of a sudden I was having problems. My heart goes out to the women who have struggled with this and not been able to bear any children.

It was through this that I started to pray with abandon. I am not one to go around shouting about my religion, I feel it is a personal choice and am not comfortable with talking about it. I grew up going to church every Sunday, taught Sunday school and volunteered when I could at the church. But I did it because you were supposed to, I don't think I ever really got "it."

I didn't pray for another child as most of you probably thought I would. I prayed for peace. I prayed that no matter what He had in store for me, that I would be okay with that. I prayed for the family that I did have, for the blessings that I did have. I prayed every night, mostly for other people. People I knew who were sick, or having a hard time. I prayed for everything but what I really wanted.

Sounds wierd I know but I really felt that I was already blessed enough. I needed to pray for those that needed it. I even found myself jotting down notes throughout the day if I heard of someone in need or going through a rough time, so that I wouldn't forget them in my prayers.

I spoke with my husband and even after all the poking, prodding, shots and havoc on my body, I still wanted to try one more time for another little one. He knew that, saying he knew all along that as I was going through all the medical stuff, that I would do it all over again, just to have another baby.

And so, we tried just one more time, and got pregnant right away. Right from the beginning I knew this one was different as well. But different in a good way. I was sick as a dog. I was sick morning, noon and night. I was so sick that every week that I went to the doctor I would lose another 3-4 pounds. They were watching me very closely, to make sure that I didn’t have a repeat of before.

Again, I prayed that I would be at peace with whatever the outcome. I declined testing. Being over 35, they wanted additional testing due to my age. I declined those as well. It didn’t matter to me or to my husband, all we wanted was a healthy baby. Everyone asked if we wanted a boy and we both said that we would like a healthy baby, it didn’t matter if he or she was green.

They offered prescription medication to help with the nausea, I even went as far as to have the prescription filled. But I could not bring myself to take it. I was so afraid of doing anything that could jeopardize the baby. I was put on a restrictedions. No heavy lifting, no vaccuming, resting as much as possible, you get the picture. I wasn’t even supposed to lift a gallon of milk at the grocery store.

But they kept telling me that being so sick was a good sign. That it meant that it was a very healthy pregnancy. So even though I was so sick, I was also thankful that I was so sick. Every day I woke up in the morning and was sick, I was ecstatic. At around 15 weeks, the sickness went away, but I had passed when I had miscarried before.

I just wanted to make it to 27 weeks. That was my cutoff, in my mind that was when I could finally breathe easy. Because I knew that at 27 weeks, if the baby came, there would be a fighting chance, that all could still go okay. Well 27 weeks came and went and I was getting bigger by the day.

Well, I can say that in March of this year, we finally had our fourth child. A boy. He has been such a gift and a joy. I am loving every minute of it and cherishing it, as I know this is our last. And this time I did pray for myself and my family and thanked Him for all of it. And I finally got "it." And yes, I am at peace.

How many children you have is definitely a personal decision. I can honestly say, I am happy that we had four. Four is definitely our number.

This post is linked to Gratituesday, Finer Things Friday.


  1. We have three boys and get the you are crazy look when we tell people we'd like to have 3 more kids. I am so happy you were able to complete your family! I am crossing my fingers everyday we'll be able to do that too! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. I have 6 children and because my brother is unable to raise his children we have added 2 more I think there is always room for more family

  3. Great post. We have five blessings here three in heaven. I am currently learning to be content in all things and am praying for peace to come as I long for another baby to fill my arms but my health just won't take another pregnancy. God bless you and great great post!