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Monday, January 19, 2015

On a more serious note

In place of the normal weekend recap, I'm here to bring you some deep thoughts to start off the week. This topic/question has randomly been coming up a lot lately, and I'm sure some of you are in the same boat, so I thought I'd share my thoughts...

I don't think I want to have any more kids. I know that probably sounds terrible coming from someone who would have given all of her appendages to obtain children a few short years ago, but it's true.

I didn't spend all of my pre-child days dreaming of having one boy and one girl- in fact, I always said I wanted three (saying I wanted two just felt like I was aiming to be average, ha!). And it still annoys me when people tell me how lucky we were to "be finished in just one shot" by having one of each at the same time (especially if they knew how many "shots" IVF actually entailed ;), as if any other number or combination was less than perfect.

But I would also be lying if I didn't say that having one of each allows us to experience the best of both worlds. And with two, we aren't outnumbered. Life, though chaotic and very full, still feels manageable... and if you know me, you know that I like manageable!

The interesting thing about having two at one time (and no more) is this: it's sad to think of all of the things that you only get to do once- the cuteness of the newborn days, the excitement of new milestones, eventually the first day of school, etc. But at the same time, it's also a relief to think of all of the things that you only have to do once- the exhaustion of the newborn days, the stress of transitioning from one life stage to the next, and heck, even eventually the awkwardness of middle school!

And the latter sentiment is really where my mind is stuck these days. I feel like I spent the first year of the twins' lives in a fog, and in their second year of life, I finally feel like we have the hang of this life-as-a-family-of-four thing and it seems like only a crazy person would mess that up. But considering people have more than one child (or in our case, more than two at one time) ALL THE TIME, it can't be all that crazy.

I would dare to say, however, that moms of multiples are slightly more shell-shocked and that perhaps the PTSD that results from ensuring the survival of more than one infant at a time lingers a little longer. Which might explain why, every time I hear about someone with a child around the twins' age being pregnant with another, I am baffled. How is anyone ready to do this all over again?!

But of course, deciding if/when we're "done" is not as cut and dry as it is for most couples because if you'll recall (or in case you never caught it in the excitement of finding out our first round of IVF was successful), we still have 4 frozen embryos in the bank! So if we really and truly think Colby and Clara are "it," then we still have some tricky decisions to make.

Thankfully, we don't have to decide anything any time soon. So unless/until we sense some clear direction from God on the topic, we can keep putting off the decision (to the tune of several hundred dollars a year- thank you, freezer fees!) for years and years to come. And while I dislike nothing more than procrastination, I'm awfully thankful for the option right now!

So that's where we stand. For those of you in a similar boat, feel free to share your thoughts or experiences! In the meantime, I'll be enjoying our "average" life as a family of four...


17 comments:

Aubrey said...

I love this post and your honesty!! While the news of baby #3 came as a complete surprise to us- ultimately being the best of surprises(!!) - I actually knew, even from the boys' NICU days, that we weren't finished growing our family. And that's coming from a middle child who swore she would never have three! I wonder if it's because I have twin boys and deep down wanted to see if there was a girl in our bank of frozen embryos? I don't really know what the reason is.... Anyway- family planning and building is so personal, and so many people have lots of opinions on it. Doing what's best for YOU and YOUR family is the only way to go ;)

Emily said...

Love your honesty! I never truly understood the "to each his own" about family planning until becoming a parent. There's so many reasons people choose to have one, two, etc and I love when individuals have the courage to tell society: "You know what? I think I'm done!" Bravo!

Brittany Sciba said...

Thank you for sharing! I love this post. You are right, it's such a personal decision that also comes with so many different factors for different people. I am glad to see that you are confident and content with your situation! Love your beautiful family of four! :)

Katy said...

This has been a big topic at our house lately....and it's a tough one! At times I want another, at times I am so happy to have my two boys and be done. For me, if I decide to have one more, I am almost guaranteed to go on bed rest and possibly fight pre-term labor again. It means a 3rd c-section. It means disrupting my entire family. I'm not sure I want/can do that again. But.....am I truly done? Have a really said goodbye to all things baby? We just don't know the answer yet. Thankfully, we serve a God whose plans are better than mine and much more thought out :)

Beth said...

I get asked this a lot, too. Umm... Max is only 4 mos old! Give me a break. I understand feeling like you've got a groove going and not wanting to throw a wrench in that - that was the most difficult thing to let go of when we found out we were pregnant with Max, since Mateo was 8ish mos old at the time. We definitely knew we wanted at least 2 kids, though. Now when I think about a third, I think how fun it would be to add another munchkin and maybe get to experience having a daughter.... But then I think about being pregnant with 2 toddlers, doing the newborn sleep deprivation again with 2 toddlers, how would I do car seats, would I ever be able to go anywhere without a child attached to me? And then I think about what a luxury it is for me to be mulling this over when so many women would give an appendage for just one.

Kristin said...

We had 4 frozen as well, and actually none of them worked out, unlike our first 2. We have agreed on on one more, but honestly I would have 2 more without a thought. So we are in a different space, but in our situation, the waiting with 4 in the freezer was adding anxiety and stress. We now feel like we have options. We will head back into the fertility treatment world, since this is a very strong desire. However we will do anything we can to avoid IVF to not be in the same mutliple frozen embyros. With all of that said, I was the pyscho with 6 week old twins telling everyone...no I am not done...I really want more.

Amanda said...

I don't think you're alone in this at all, Amanda. Getting one out of the first round of IVF is one thing, but twins is completely different. I think you're feelings are valid and understandable. Thankful that there are options and thankful that (for a price) the embryos can wait until you're sure.

the blogivers said...

Good post, sis! While I'm happy with my little family of 4, sometimes I feel like we should have another one just to spite the people who say our family is "perfect" since we have 1 boy and 1 girl, ha! Obviously a great reason to bring another life into the world...

PS said...

Same boat here, 21-months old boy and girl twin. Fortunately/unfortunately, no more frozen babies left, so the decision made for me from that aspect. Would I love to have a surprise baby naturally? YES!! Am I thrilled to repeat the sleepless nights and the heavy car seat? NO!!
Sorry.. no help here :) But one thing I know.. you know the answer when you are ready to make the decision.

Erika said...

I'm so glad you shared this; I'd been wondering if you were still feeling this way. I don't think you should feel guilty at all for being happy with the family you have (not that I think you DO feel guilty; just the way you said "I know that probably sounds terrible coming from someone who would have given all of her appendages to obtain children a few short years ago, but it's true.") You wanted to be a mother, and now you are- desperately wanting to be a mother doesn't mean you necessarily want to be Michelle Duggar! ;) Although I always wanted 4 kids...I'm shocked by how incredibly happy and content I am now with one. I NEVER would have thought I'd be happy with 'only' one child, but now I can totally see myself being completely satisfied and done...so who knows? At any rate, I know the 4 on ice adds an additional layer of complication, so I will pray for wisdom with that!!

Allena said...

I'm in the 'one of each' boat (not twins though), and it does frustrate me when people say I'm lucky that I got 1 of each. I have 1 sister, so were my parents not lucky since I was a repeat girl?? In my heart I don't think our family is complete, but my husband is about 90% sure we are, so we have that fun complication to deal with. But then when I think about newborn days (and I had post-partum anxiety both times so that's a fun little bonus I get to likely experience again) I start to break out in a sweat too - NOT fun times. And the money! Our kids go to private school right now (for Drew it's still just daycare but for Trent it's kinder), and to add a 3rd...eek! I have a very good friend who did IVF twice - they got a boy the first time and G/G twins the second. I think they have something like 8 embryos still and are in the same boat-well sorta-they are DONE but haven't decided what to do with the embryos either. That would really be a complicated decision, but I agree with all the other comments that God will provide the answer and peace you need when it's time...

Alisa said...

I could have written this myself. I have b/g twins also who my husband and I had via a 2nd round of ivf (1st one failed). I have often felt the same way when I hear of a pregnancy of someone who has kids the same age as ours (they'll be 2 in Feb). How on earth can they do this again already? It is so hard for me to fathom the thought. I love my babies (can't bear to call them toddlers yet) and while I love it and it is incredibly rewarding, amazing and a blessing it is also terribly exhausting, time consuming and stressful at times. I just wonder how I would possibly be able to throw another child into the mix and afford it. I often times think some moms who have 3 or more kids are super heroes! Anyway I'm glad to see I'm not alone, thanks for sharing and being so candid. Love your blog just found it recently!

Bren said...

I love that you wrote this post because it's a fresh and honest perspective. People (well meaning or not) are always asking if I want more kids or how many we'll have and when as if I can just put in an order and pick them up at my convenience! I have to hold back eye rolls because we went through so much to even get pregnant. I would love more children, but the thought of going through infertility treatments all over again still feels overwhelming. Right now I'm grateful for one. You have a beautiful family of four and you're totally rocking it!

Brittnie said...

Love this perspective.

I will admit I get rather annoyed when people say "I am really hoping for a BOY this time." I'm sorry, but why are you hoping for a boy? Brandon and I are perfectly content with our girls. And another girl would just add to that contentment. Boy or girl, it will be tons of fun. I'm pretty sure either would be a blessing so maybe don't tell me "I'm hoping for a boy but would be ok with a girl too." - said certain family members.

The cool thing is God made us all different and has a different plan for each of our families, whether that be one, two, three, etc kids. No one should feel guilty for what feels right, and when they feel like their family is complete. :)

Courtney Squillante said...

I love that you wrote this. I'm so glad you feel confident in your thoughts and decisions, because it just doesn't matter what anyone else has to say or think. Good for you for being content in the now- it's such a hard thing for people to do. Plus, the more you put it out there the more people will stop asking such personal questions!!!!

Jenn said...

I love this post, and the discussion it's created. Only you know what's right for your family. There's nothing wrong with not using your frosties, and as you said, you don't have to be in a rush to decide what to do with them. We knew, even before we found out we were having b/g twins, that we would want more than two. We had three frosties, so it was never a questions for us. When we lost all three of our embies during the thaw, we had to think really hard about going through another fresh round. If we have extra embryos this round, I have no idea what we'll do with them, but we'll have the time to decide.

What options are available where you live? I know it varies in some states?

Natasha said...

First of all, I don't think this sounds at all terrible. You wanted a baby. You have children. Like Erika said, just because you wanted a baby didn't mean you wanted to be Michelle Duggar.

I've known for a very long time, I only wanted two. And Dave, originally wanted four. (Guess who came from a family of two and who came from a family of four?!?!)

Both of us were adamant we didn't want three. Why? I can't even explain it.

But we agreed on two, and when we got pregnant with our second, we were both completely ready to be done.

Family planning is so personal. And I also think it can change as you go along, as long as you don't want fewer children than you have, that is :)

The decision will be clear to you when it is. You will just know.