Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Great Baby Race

After finding out that we are gaining noteriety through the comments section on CareBear's blog I thought that perhaps I needed to say something about the family planning issue.

Much like Firestarter and Carebear we had a long journey to get to the point we are now. We started out with that dreaded hormonal soup called The Pill. That didn't last very long since we read that Mary Pride book Camille was talking about. However, after that, nothing happened for another 3 years! No babies, but lots of praying. Kelly had to have surgery to correct an issue that seemed to be blocking the baby train. That surgery worked and we were expecting very soon after.

It was another 4 years until blessing #2 arrived.

#3 is now in position #2 and came as a result of our foster care years. He slid nicely into place between our biological children at a 2 year interval.

#4 came along 2 years after that and #5 17 months later. Those two years were extremely stressful and traumatic for us due to the health challenges of #4 and then having another baby so soon afterwards. I went into a post-partum depression and didn't want to have any more babies. We started exploring ways to stop the train.

Instead God stopped us from stopping the train. Three times we made appointments and three times He shut us down. It just wasn't the right thing to do for us at that time. There was a time when I felt very judgemental towards people who glibly cut things off. However, God began to teach me how each family is different, each one has their load limit. He has designed each of us differently and has different purposes for each family.

While we grappled with NOT cutting things off I lived in fear that I'd get pregnant again, not really good for the romantic side of married life. We finally wrestled through with God and realized that we needed to get back to a place of trusting God with our fertility and the possibility that He might want us to embrace more children. As my heart changed I got excited about the possibility of another one and then suddenly I was pregnant again, though I had an overwhelming sense of doom right from the beginning.

12 weeks later I miscarried our little Channah. I had no idea that losing a child could be so devastating. There's plenty of people who say that you couldn't really be so attached to someone you have never met, but my heart said differently. That baby (we think of her as a girl) is no less my daughter than the precious gift that God gave us after her home-going. We now have baby #7 in our midst and we felt very strongly that she was the end of our natural born children.

We very cautiously talked with our doctor and prayed and prayed and prayed. We are convinced that ending our fertile years with another bit of surgery was what the path held for us. There are many reasons for that, mostly physical ones, NOT financial ones. We are at peace about that decision. HOWEVER, it doesn't mean we won't welcome children into our home by other means. We frequently have 2-6 children in our backyard. They are part of our family. We have many nieces and nephews who are part of our family. We have friends kids who are part of our family. We may adopt, it's a dream of ours to have an international household.

So be prepared people. Just because you won't see me with a pregnant belly again doesn't mean we won't have more children...the race is still on!!!


Janelle said...

i've always admired your large family from afar, but never heard your story! thanks for letting me in on the history of your beautiful family!
i appreciate how you say that you understand that each family has their load limit. we only have one babe at the moment - thinking about number two - and for me, 2 is enough. i would love to bring more into the world, but i think for my body and my sanity, 2 will be the limit. though i want to be open to God telling me otherwise.
i admire those who can have more than 2-3 children...i think it takes so much love, committment, sacrifice...not that i am not willing to give that, but maybe i'm just too stuck in my comfort zone...
hmmmm...lots for me to think about hey?

Lyn said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it and appreciate your journey in listening to Him.