FYI: The words of this post have the potential to upset someone who is unable to have a child whether it be through infertility, life circumstances, or a difficult adoption. I truly hope that by being honest about my initial pregnancy feelings, I do not unintentionally hurt someone who desperately wants another baby. Also, I realize that determining family size is a very personal choice based on many factors. As I have discussed what I feel is true for my family and circumstances, I hope that no one wrongly interprets that I believe that having no children or only one child is less than ideal.
The first few weeks of my pregnancy were difficult for me. I felt guilt about this 3rd pregnancy being a surprise when we had carefully planned and "wanted" the other two pregnancies. I did not want to be pregnant again. I really didn't want to give birth again. I didn't want to breastfeed again for another year. We were just getting settled into our new life in Alameda and feeling, dare I say it, comfortable! Admittedly, all of my reasons for not wanting to be pregnant again were selfish. So, I felt guilty about being selfish. I feared that I would regret these negative feelings terribly if something were to happen. I knew in my heart that in time, we would love this baby as much as our other two. Still, it has been a lot to grasp and I get worried about how this third child is going to affect how well I can handle our household. I barely keep it together now! I've grown in my acceptance. I'm slowly wrapping my head around the idea of us as a family of five instead of four. I've tried to think of all of the "cool" families I know with three or more kids. I've thought about how much I love my younger brother and his family and how they wouldn't even exist if my parents had stopped at two kids because it was easier or cheaper or more convenient. We slowly have told everyone our news and having family and friends be supportive and excited for us has helped.
One evening our family was hanging out for dessert with our neighbors. We shared our baby news with them and they were happy for us. Aaron is from a very large family. (He has ten siblings.) A family with three children isn't "big" to him at all. Jeremy and I joked a little about this being a bit of a surprise, but that "the good Lord must have known we needed one more child." Aaron quickly and excitedly said, "There's truth to that, you know." I don't remember the exact words he said after that, but it was something to the effect of it being a very good thing for stable, healthy families to have more than the average number of children.
His words rested in my heart over the next few days and have given me a deeper peace that yes, having another child IS a very good thing. We know that we will raise this child in a loving home with a mother AND a father. We know that we will do everything we can to raise him/her to love the LORD with all his/her soul, heart, and mind. God willing, we will have the means to support another child and meet and exceed his/her needs to give the very best start in life that we can. We will discipline him/her to respect authority, but think for him/herself. We will teach and guide and never, ever quit. I wish every child could experience the love of two parents. To know without a doubt that mom and dad love one another and daddy won't leave mama or ever hurt us. To have full confidence that at the next meal time, mom will have something for us to eat and we won't ever be hungry for long. To have a safe, clean, quiet place to rest their sweet heads at night and feel the love of bedtime cuddles and a good book. Dear God, I wish every child could just have these simple things. What would our world be like if every child, even the surprises, were deeply loved and cherished?
So, I have settled in my heart that there's truth in that God wanted Jeremy and I to have another child. He knew we could handle it and he chose us to help guide three precious children of the next generation to adulthood. Awesome Privilege. Thank you, God.