11 March 2014

Opposition in Heart & Mind

I used to be pretty vocal on my blog, about the personal stuff. But somewhere along the way, I started shutting that off a little. But.... I'm going to try to open up a little bit more and let you all have a peek inside my head & heart. Hopefully you don't mind if I just use you all as a sounding board.

I've talked a little before on my thoughts on our family size, and I go through phases where I think about it a lot. And then months will go by when it never crosses my mind. Lately, though, I've been up at night, thinking. Trying to discern how I'm really feeling about the idea of adding another child to our family.




If you would have asked me a year ago if we were planning on having another baby, my answer would have been "Yes" I definitely think we'll have another baby. Plus, I feel like I've always known that we were going to have 3 children, it's just sort of always been the number we've talked about.

Lately though,....lately I haven't been so sure about it. I mean I'm to a point where I feel like I've got this Mother-of-2 thing under control (most of the time). And I'm feeling great about where we're at as a family, we all sort of blend really nicely together and have a good rhythm going. But I think that's all in my head. The practical side of me is telling me that we should stop while we're ahead. It's weighing the pros and cons, and coming up with a longer list of why our family of 4 is just right. Don't mess with a good thing, ya know?

My heart is another story, though. Although I'm happy with my beautiful family, and I know how very blessed we are -- my heart still feels like there's something missing. Like there is another child that fits into this puzzle somehow.


If I'm being totally honest with you, I absolutely hate the way I'm feeling about this. I hate that my head is telling me one thing, and my heart is the complete opposite.

I'm a faithful person, and am a strong believer in the power of prayer. And because I've felt so conflicted about this -- I've prayed about it a lot. And I feel like the answer to that prayer has been revealed to me in many different ways, on many different occasions. It's always been a resounding YES. Mandy, you're family is not complete yet. 

But I'm fighting against it because selfishly, I DON'T WANT TO BE PREGNANT AGAIN. I really really don't. That's the annoying part of this whole thing...and why I've been sort of ashamed to admit this. Because come on, I know how absolutely fulfilling it is to be a Mother, and I know how important family is. And I also know how extremely blessed I am with the ability to have my own children. But still... the thought of being pregnant and going through those long months of being so sick I can hardly move or function, and then caring for a newborn with 2 other kids. It's all too much for me to even process right now.
 

I know what people are going to tell me, because I tell me self this same thing all of the time.

"Don't worry, you are young and don't have to decide anything right now!"

While that's true -- I'm feeling a sense of urgency. I don't know if it's because Easton turns 2 in a few weeks and by this point with Bennett, I was 8 months pregnant? So maybe I'm feeling like if we do have another child, they are going to miss out on the close-in-age kind of sibling relationship that Bennett & Easton have? Or maybe it's because so many of my friends are pregnant or have a newborn, so this is all being brought to the forefront of my mind?

Whatever the case, I can't stop wondering: Am I ignoring a prompting? Am I just too cozy in my current lifestyle that I don't want to change it?



I guess I'm just frustrated with myself because I know deep down in my heart that we're meant to have another little person join our family. I know it. But right now? I don't want to listen to my heart. I'm thinking about ME and the things I don't want to go through. I'm thinking about how I don't wanna give up what we have going on right now. How horrible is that?

So I guess that what I need to do is to take the time that without a doubt, people will suggest to me, and sit on it for a little bit and pray more about it. But this time, I won't be praying about whether or not we should have another baby. I think I already know the answer to that. But rather, I need to be be praying about the timing. When is a right time for me? For our family?

32 comments:

Jess Beer said...

Don't beat yourself up. Pregnancy can be really hard, and though I KNOW we want another, I also know that I can't do it yet. You'll get there eventually, and I'll be crossing my fingers it's easier on you the next time around!

Tara said...

one of the best advice ive ever heard about this is, if you are leaning towards having one "you will never regret having another baby, but you will regret never having one"!

Ida Arias said...

I can totally relate with you. I really want another child but then I think, "Ugh, I have to be pregnant again!" My hubby asks me all the time what I want to do and I'm not sure. It changes daily. I think it is an extremely hard decision to make, especially for me because my son is already 7, to think I would have to start over is hard.

Brandi said...

I can so relate to this. My head tells me to stop with the two that I have but my heart feels incomplete without one or two more. My head keeps winning right now - can we afford more? Can my time management skills handle more? Could I be a stay at home mom? My heart hurts but my head is winning!

Molly said...

Mandy, I can relate to SO MUCH of what you talk about here. In fact, I wrote a blog post about growing our family when Brigham was 15 months old. I just wasn't sure. But I honestly didn't feel complete. I really didn't. And that feeling nagged at me for years. I cried and cried to my husband (who only wanted two) and he never agreed. We sold all our baby stuff and he was getting to make an appointment for the vasectomy. I finally accepted it. We would only have two. Well, I think you know that now we have three! HAHA. I feel very strongly that this big surprise was NEVER a surprise to God. He knew all along that we would be a family of five :) I think intuituion is a big deal. I always felt that we weren't complete and now that Sawyer is here I just know. I KNOW. I can feel it. Just keep praying, my friend.

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

I don't think kids *have* to be close in age. My boys are almost 3 years apart and Braden has always gotten along really well with the age gap. Also? You might have a girl and the might not bond in the same way as brothers do...or maybe the bond will be stronger? What you wrote just now, I couldn't have written something very similar. Right now, ?selfishly? I am so happy with 2. We got this: 1:1 parent:child ratio, as Ethan gets older the easier it is to do things as a family....if we have another we'll have to start all over again. We are on the same page that RIGHT NOW we do not want a third. If we do have another baby it will be a late 2015/early 2016 baby; we're fine with the age gap. It's something we pray about often.

Amanda M. said...

My husband and I have a blended family. I had a son, he had a son and now we have a daughter and a son together. That's 4 kids!! Crazy, right? I thought so, so after my little guy was born ( baby #4 ) my husband had "the procedure". It's what we both wanted. I mean, four kids!! Now, however..... My oldest son is out on his own. My step son is living in Valifornia with his mom, so we only have 2 little ones running around at home. I can't count the number of times both myself, AND MY HUSBAND (!!!) have said we would love to have another one. Maybe.... I mean, 2 kids is pretty easy now! :)

Who knows? There are other options available, and I've learned to never say never.

Sabra said...

There is always the chance that God is pulling you towards making a decision that doesn't involve pregnancy. There are hundreds of children in this world without a home of their own. If pregnancy isn't what you feel a pull towards, but having another child soon is, then maybe you are being pulled towards and alternate way to extend your family. I know that it is something that my fiance and I talk about for the future. That having our own children will be great, but we expect to try to adopt as well. :D

Discovery Street said...

Girlfriend, anyone who goes through hellish pregnancies has every right to have these feelings. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I could never go through another pregnancy like this again. I'm 100% positive if we want to add to our family, (which i think we will), we will go the adoption route...I can't put my family through what they went through again. If adoption isn't an option, perhaps you will be blessed with a healthy pregnancy next time around?

Karri said...

I also don't think kids have to be close in age. While you 2 may be close, being close in age doesn't guarantee that bond. My twins are anything but close :( And my boys aren't exactly close, either (and they are 20mos apart). I actually have a lot of local friends who recently had or are having their final baby who is spaced out quite a bit from the first...like 7-10 years difference. And they love it. Wouldn't change a thing (and my friend who is pg right now is 40. bless her heart!)

I also dont think its selfish to be complacent. While I didn't think I wanted to be done, I knew I couldn't do another pregnancy. I knew my family couldn't handle me on bedrest again. I knew I couldn't do PPD again. I think that there's a lot you have to take into the equation when you make a decision...its not always black + white/ yes + no.

Jennifer-Mommy Life After Ph.D. said...

Love the honestly of this post. I've known that feeling of heart and head conflict too! I agree, just keep praying about the timing and it will be perfect, because it is His. We have four kids five and under and life gets messy and crazy and there are days when I wish we'd spread them out a little more. But I wouldn't give up any of this for anything. Do what you prayerfully feel is right and it will all be perfect!

Kiara Buechler said...

I totally get it. That is all.

Kiara Buechler said...

Okay, I have more to say after reading the comments. Something I always hear is that adding a third is so much easier than adding the second. So go for it. Make that baby. Then let me snuggle it to pieces.

Rj and Jessie said...

I feel the same exact way.

Jodi said...

Sounds to me like you want another kid! So here is the deal. Go out and do a few things you won't be able to do when pregnant - like girl's night out and have (several) drinks, do something w/ your hubby just the 2 of you and maybe do something as a family of 4 that will be easier to do now then when pregnant. Then once that is all out of your system go for it! This coming from the single girl w/ no kids. hahahaha!

Erika said...

I so relate to this. I only have one child (he's 2 and a half), and I honestly am not sure that I want more. Like you, I was not one of those women who love being pregnant. Delivery was easy compared to the being pregnant part for me! Lol. :) People ask ALL THE TIME, when we're going to have another and I have no idea. Of course, it never occurs to ANYONE that it's possible to only have (or want) one child. Chances are good we'll have at least one more, but probably not until Robbie is at least 4. I hate being asked that dreaded question....I also feel it's a little on the personal side. I have never asked anyone when they're going to have more kids. Lol!

Laura @ The Everyday Joys said...

I'm sort of the same and sort of different.

Some days, I think I am out of my mind to even consider another child...in my head. My heart says, "Yes! Yes! You HAVE to do it again!" So, we're the same there.

We're different when it come to the pregnancy thing, and sometimes I wonder if that's heavier than actually having the other child around...which, gosh, typed out, sounds awful! I LOVE being pregnant (until the very last couple of weeks), and I can't imagine NOT being pregnant at least one more time. I look forward to all of that again.

We talk about a 3rd baby like it's happening for sure...and I *think* it is (I think for sure? haha.), but when is a totally different story. Who knows how I'll feel a year from now...

Whitney H said...

I'm obviously not a mom yet, but I have to tell you something that I think kind of goes along with this: I so want to be a mom. If I could, I'd be a mom right now. But... being pregnant terrifies me. I'm terrible with pain, I hate getting sick, and there are so many other things that terrify me to the point of scaring me to the point of almost not wanting to have kids at all. I know it's weird, but just know you're not the only one struggling with the idea of being pregnant, even if it's for the third time!

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

Umm... I pretty much could have written this post! Except I would be adding how my husband seems so hell bent on no to a third, but then I see it... the hesitation before he says no when we talk about it. The way that the time we thought I was pregnant with baby #3 and we were wrong, his face fell and he actually looked upset. For myself, I can't shake it. I can't shake the feeling that we are missing a member of our family somehow and yet that sounds so bizarre, but I completely understand you. I think about being pregnant again and while there are wonderful things about being pregnant, I cringe and when I think about adding a newborn when my youngest is already 4, I just don't know. This conflict inside of me drives me insane and it is seriously refreshing to see someone else struggling in the same way with this. {as odd as that sounds}

Lauren said...

I have always wanted 3 or 4 kids. I am unexpectedly (but wonderfully excited!) pregnant with Baby #3 and due in 12 days....I say unexpectedly because we found out I was pregnant when my little boy was 7 months old - was exclusively nursing, no cycle, etc! That said, my pregnancies have been tough. I lost almost 25 lbs with my first, had a major bleed during delivery, etc. My second, I lost almost 35 lbs, was on a pump, hospitalized and then a textbook (thank you lord) delivery. When we found out I was pregnant, we all panicked. I didnt know if I could physically do it again. Day by day, I just told myself that I could do anything for 9 months and just to take it one day at a time....some days its been one hour or one minute. But by the grace of God and one foot in front of the other, I have made it a 3rd time. When and IF the timing is right, you will know and just know that you can do anything for a season! Should the Lord change your heart, thats OKAY too!!! You will know and we will all be here to cheer you on! ...as for us and number 4, we will probably either adopt or wait til the other 3 are older (3.5 year old, 16 month old and almost a newborn)! My hubby says 3 are good, but I want to wait and pray! I am 32 so we will decide within the next 3-4 years for sure! I have a hard time even thinking that "this is my last pregnancy and that this is it for me" but reading your post and comments make me know I am not alone in these thoughts!

Tania T said...

Nobody can tell you what is right or wrong for you and your family.Not everybody has the same ideals.When I have serious issues and I don't know what to decide,cause my mind says different things from my heart, I choose mind.It's safest.And tough.But sometimes with heart, you might hurt someone...

ADSchill said...

I can completely understand your hesitation. And you are in no way selfish or complacent in being happy with the way things are. You still have two young boys and they are a handful. You are just needing the time to figure out when this next child should come. I think when Easton is B's age and potty trained, perhaps you will be in a more confident place.
I honestly go back and forth about a second baby all the time. This baby is anything but guaranteed but I consider just not even making the attempt because we are so happy with our family dynamic. I know I can give more of myself to one than two, there would be more sacrifices, and there is something to be said for contentment. I totally get why sticking with your two is appealing, especially given your difficult pregnancies. Like you said, you need more time to figure out when the best timing is for you. Just be glad you (most likely) are able to time spacing at all.

changeismyonlyconstant said...

Oh my dear friend, I completely understand. My man and I have had that talk quite a bit recently. We are both ready emotionally to start our family, I'm pretty well ready physically, financially will always just be there - so that leaves us to timing. I pray and pray about it. That's my only suggestion to you. God will let you know when it's time.

~Katy

Angie said...

Thank you for you honesty! I can relate. Our plan is to starting trying in a few months. I'm 99% on board, but there's this little part of me that's not wanting to be pregnant again right now. I'm not sure I'll ever be 100% ready though. We want one more, possibly two, and don't want them too far apart in age, so we're sticking to the plan.

http://babycsheart.blogspot.com/

Liz said...

I struggled with this same question until a fateful night in October when I saw two very distinct pink lines. Now, at 6 months pregnant I am still having feelings of "what did we do???" But, I know when I see that little one I will be so blessed and fulfilled.

Amanda Jillian B said...

I get the same urgency. Like I should be thinking about having another kid soon. But then I really don't want to have one just yet, plus my doctor told me to wait more than 2 years in between next time lol. But then I feel selfish cause while I always thought I would have 3 or 4 kids I want to stop after 2, why? Cause I feel weird that my kids have 2 different fathers and that if I do have more than will have a different father. But then I go I want a cute little squishy baby again. All this is a moot point unless I start dating someone again.

Rachel said...

My mama told me something interesting once--"Don't make any permanent decisions about how many kids you'll have when you have a couple toddlers." She says that having 3 kids, 3 years old and under was the toughest part of her life...and pregnancy was especially hard on her when none of us were self-sufficient...so maybe at that stage of life when parenting and health didn't seem so easy, it would have been practical to say "Three's enough"...but I know my Mom's glad she kept going. She IS the kind of woman who wanted a lot of babies, although she detested pregnancy...she said it got a lot easier when I and the others were old enough to hold down the fort a little better. :)

Fran said...

Oh man, I wish I had some advice your but I have nothing. Other than I empathize in a way... we don't have kids but my heart is all "BABIES!" but my mind is all "Travel first! Do things!" but I feel like the time is right right now so aaah idk! I don't know Mandy! haha

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Love this post! Love your honesty. I struggled a little bit with this before getting pregnant with #3 as well. I KNEW I was going to have a 3rd child, but timing wise it was tough. I was finally really comfortable in my skin and with my body and I felt like we had that good rhythm down as a family 4. But I just said screw it and we decided to go for it. Yes I'm scared for how our balance will be thrown off. I'm scared to have to get back in shape. I'm scared that somehow this 3rd kid will push me to my breaking point. But I know that if God didn't want me to be a mom of 3 then I wouldn't be a mom of 3. Just follow your heart girl!

jen said...

well, clearly you are not alone ;)

we had our 3rd 8 months ago-when our older ones were 3.5 and 1.5 yrs old. if you would have told me 5 years ago that i would have 3 babies in 3 years i would have not believed you. pregnancy is not my favorite experience and after our 2nd we made the decision we were done with pregnancy and to re-visit foster care. i sold all my baby stuff and maternity clothes as we outgrew them. and then, when our 2nd was 7 months old i started getting crazy ideas about wanting a third through pregnancy. i sat quiet about it for a couple months and just kept praying that God would take that desire away or grow my heart for adoption if it wasn't from Hi. a couple months went by and i couldn't shake it so i finally spilled it to my husband. he thought i was crazy but a week later came back and said he was in. 3 weeks later i had a positive pregnancy test.ha. i knew it was irrational and didn't make practical sense, but i also knew i would always regret not trying/having a 3rd.

now, we are in the same place...but only with when to pursue adoption/foster care. because of health stuff, it's really unsafe for me to get pregnant again but i know we are meant to adopt. it's just a matter of when and how.

jack!e @ The Wife Life said...

It is a hard position to be in, for sure! I understand feeling comfortable where you are in life and not wanting to mess with it! I am so excited for baby #2 to get here.... but I know it's going to be a hard transition for our family. Just when we are getting the hang of this whole parenting thing! ;) I know you feel confused about when to try for #3, but take peace in knowing that Heavenly Father does answers our prayers and he also gives us opportunities in our lives to make our own choices. I feel like, if you decided on a time-frame and Heavenly Father doesn't give you any feelings of opposition (even if you don't get that warm, "burning in your bosom" feeling that it's right, either), then He trusts in your decision and is giving you that opportunity to make it, if you want. Sometimes he is happy either way and leaves it up to you, ya know? Or maybe he is just waiting for you to stop being stubborn and do it already. Haha totally kidding. I know you guys will figure out what is right for your family and it will be perfect.

bohomamasoul said...

YOU CAN WAIT! The difference between Henry and Ezra is going to be over a year larger than between Ezra and Rigby. I feel like our society has become CRAZY with child spacing. If it's two years or less, that's optimal but WHY?! Who decided this?? I've noticed this in the past five years or so and we've become obsessed with this completely false idea that the closer together our kids in age, the better. I have no clue how this occurred, but it has and it permeates family planning in our culture.

You don't have to decide right now, just because Easton is almost two. Don't allow societal norms or the spacing of your boys to dictate getting pregnant again. Wait! It's okay, I'm living proof! Henry at four was MUCH BETTER PREPARED for Ezra than Ezra is for Rigby. Ezra just turned three and is so in the terrible threes it's not even funny. It's going to be harder for all of us, not withstanding the addition of another child to the mix. Be gentle with yourself and just go with the flow. If you feel this conflicted, it's not time. I felt exactly the way you do now between Henry and Ezra: I wasn't sure if I wanted two. But then, it hit me like a freight train when Henry was about three. Now, I want lots more. You never know how things will transpire when you yield to that inner red flag/warning system. You'll know beyond the shadow of a doubt when or if it's ever time again, I promise.