IF is the big word here. I'm totally hypothetically speaking, just so you are aware! As far as I know, I'm not pregnant. So that rumor is officially nipped before budding.
I have several friends who are pregnant. Like 10. And people ask me ALL the time if we're having more children. My typical response as of late has been something like, "We're pretty happy with just our son and daughter, so we're not planning to have any more, but if the Lord gives us another one, we will consider it a blessing."
Here's the thing: I think about it all. the. time. I'm not sure why. I even blogged a while back about not wanting another child. Raising a child is time-consuming. BUT children are a blessing from the Lord. Raising a child is expensive. BUT children are a blessing from the Lord. Raising a child can be inconvenient at times. BUT children are a blessing from the Lord. Let's face it, parenting is just plain HARD.
But, CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING FROM THE LORD.
I can't get it out of my head. It might be because of this article I read recently. And I'm full of mixed emotions. Like, "It would be so great for Julia and Josiah to have another brother and sister." ... "It would be so great if we could do more with them when they get a little older without there being a baby making certain activities near impossible" ... "The more the merrier" ... "Am I crazy? I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the two I've already got!" ... "If I had another baby, I'd do [x] differently. I really want to have another baby so I can do [x] like this or that way." ... "We'd have to get a minivan." ... "It might be nice to have a minivan anyway." ... "It would be that much longer before Riley and I could have some freedom to travel and more time to ourselves with each other." ... "We've always been blessed with family and friends to take care of the kids when we need time away" ... "I've got to get some more sleep" ... "The Lord gives me rest, why just last night I got almost 8 hours!" ... "When I'm 60 I want to have more than two kids." ... "Am I willing to make the investment to see that happen?" ... "It would be so much harder" ... "There would be so much more love going around." ... "Having another baby would be expensive" ... "God pays for what he orders."
And on and on. I love big families. I always thought I'd have one. And I love the one I've got. My kids are absolutely precious and I am so thankful to have them, despite the challenging times. I'm reminded of a massage, you know the kind where they're working on a knot and you just get the feeling that "it hurts so good" ? That's like parenting. It hurts but it's also so rewarding and enjoyable. Sometimes I think my reasons for wanting to be done are selfish. Sometimes I think my reasons for wanting more are only to give my kids more siblings and to do things differently with the hypothetical next child(ren). Riley leans more towards not having any more. And I can totally respect that. After all, I feel that way half the time. But I can't get rid of the feeling that we just might not be done. And the fact that I keep having that feeling makes me think all the more that it's a sign that we should have more. I'm just being honest here.
So, just for the heck of it, here's some of "[x]" or, What I Would Want To Do Differently.
1. See a midwife instead and give birth drug-free at a birthing center or *gasp* maybe even at home. (Yes, I'd go all the way for #3 despite good experiences with two medicated births).
2. Space them more than Julia and Josiah were (26 mos). Like maybe, wait till Josiah's 3 or 4.
3. Not pay someone to amputate his foreskin (if it were a boy).
4. Not find out the sex before he/she is born.
5. Take a vacation just Riley and I in the 2nd trimester.
6. In lieu of a traditional baby shower, have a meet-the-baby party when he/she is 6-8 weeks old.
7. Consider trying to get him/her to take a bottle of pumped milk earlier (we missed that window of opportunity with josiah, although one good thing that has caused is i've bonded more with him).
8. Hire a birth photographer (like this one whose pictures i am in awe of).
9. Not change homes when I'm 8 months pregnant, like the last two times! (shouldn't be a problem, we're pretty settled here).
Ok I know there's more than that but for some reason I'm drawing a blank. I just want to be open to having more, if that's what the Lord wants. Then I think, who am I kidding, of course he wants people to have more kids. But it's sooooo hard, as all you parents know, it's infinitely more difficult than you ever imagined it could be before you were in the throes of taking care of a child. And then I'm reminded, "You're going to spend your life on something, why not children?" (quoting Kathy W.) I mean, of course it's harder with two than with one. But do I wish I would've stopped at one? Of course not! If I had three or four, would I wish I had only had two? No way! So what's stopping me? Fear? Insecurity? Everyday challenges of motherhood? Lack of sleep and spare time? Are those honestly good reasons?
Now I ask you, what made you decide to have more kids when you thought you were done? What made you stop when you thought you'd have more?