To Have or Not to Have? The 3rd Baby Dilemma.

Mama Mama

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Javin and I knew we would have kids together long before we were even married, we talked about it like it was destined to happen. Maybe it was. We could agree that sooner or later, we would bring into the world some pretty amazing, tiny, human beings. Where we disagreed was he wanted to have four kids, and I wanted to have two.

Fast-forward to after we had our first born, Parker, and even though his birth was a bit rocky, we knew we couldn’t quit with just one. Having one preemie wasn’t reason enough to keep us from fulfilling our want of having a complete family.

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We took the correct precautions apparently with my second pregnancy and our daughter, Avaley, was born right on time, in a tub, with absolutely no medical intervention. It was a beautiful birth. The kind of birth you can sit back and say, “That was it, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

The last year and a half has been challenging to say the least. We have been in constant transition, and it’s taken a toll on the whole family. Going from one baby, to a toddler and a baby was huge. But to step it up a notch, we weren’t in our own home, we didn’t have our own belongings, and “adjusting” basically meant being thrown into utter chaos. We were so blessed to have such great family that supported us, as we were able to save money while living with my father-in-law for a year while house hunting. Adjusting to new schedules, and everyone sharing one bathroom, and finding a bedtime routine that didn’t keep the whole house up, was without a doubt a struggle some days. There were days the kids and I could hardly keep it together.

There were days I lost it.

There were days I opened a wine bottle a little earlier than usual.

There were days I knew I was done having kids.

My husband and I had been talking about what we should do about babies, and our prevention of baby making since I stopped breastfeeding and my cycle began again. I never got back on birth control after getting off it to get pregnant with my son. We decided together that we didn’t want to use any unnatural form of anything since my body felt so pure, and clean. Between babies, we used condoms and were extra careful until we were ready to try again. At this point, we both had been questioning whether or not he should get a vasectomy… but there was this tiny little flicker of doubt in me that was enough for me to not hurry that decision.

Heaven forbid, what if something happened to one of our children after we shut off the baby  making machine?

What if we up and decided we do want another?

Even on those days I KNEW I was done, we weren’t having any more children, I knew I couldn’t handle it… I couldn’t find it in me to feel comfortable with making that decision for my husband to get fixed quite yet.

Months passed, and stressful days came and went. That’s motherhood right? Geez, actually, that’s just life!

After we had a combined birthday party for Parker’s 3rd birthday and Ava’s 1st, we revisited the topic, and the maternal, emotional side of me actually came right out and said “I think I want to have another baby.” And I think my husband thought I was joking. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t joking, but it’s how I felt at that time.

After opening up to those emotions, I haven’t been able to turn off the curiosity of the matter.

The truth is, I was also going through an identity crisis during this time. Motherhood changed who I was, at least who I thought I was. I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be moving forward. I felt as though being a mom was the ONLY thing I ever KNEW I wanted to be when I “grew up”. Nothing else ever stuck, I always seemed to change my mind with what I wanted as far as a career went, but being mommy was always on the list. Maybe I was meant to be mommy, and nothing more. That still didn’t feel right, because I felt I needed to do my part to provide for our family, and I wasn’t sure I was doing enough. And being mommy, my kids come first, and I’ve always planned to homeschool and raise our children so working full time didn’t feel right either. I was being torn in two directions:

  • Do I consider another baby and focus my attention and time on homeschooling and being the best damn mom I can be?
  • Do I drop this craziness and continue to work when I can to help financially with what I can?

I probably made 3 or 4 pros and cons lists and it didn’t matter, nothing helped calm my ever-busy mind.

So I began to pray about it.

I asked for guidance.

I asked God to point me in the right direction.

Now, two months ago, we were all enjoying a lunch together on one of Daddy’s days off, and I could not get enough jalapeno hot sauce on my quesadilla. Javin piped up with “Are you pregnant!?” Being as the one thing I craved during both my pregnancies was spicy, it seemed a legit question. “No way, I’ll be starting my period here soon.” I replied.

The days that followed I started thinking:

I had been overly emotional the week prior. More so than usual. I had been craving spicy foods on more than just that occasion. Was I pregnant?!

I checked the calendar and sure enough, I was supposed to start my period. So I got a pregnancy test, and guess what, it was positive. Literally the biggest cloud of emotions came over me. I became nervous, scared shitless, excited, overwhelmed, and confused all at once. How did this happen? We were always so careful!

Instantly I began thinking up baby names and ways to convert the kid’s bedroom to fit three littles. I called and made an appointment to see my midwife. Javin and I were looking at options for bigger cars. Though unplanned, this pregnancy was going to be a blessing.

We didn’t want to tell anyone because it was so early still, and good thing, because a few days later I began spotting, and something told me it wasn’t going to stop there. I started my period, the pregnancy didn’t hold.

I cried.

A lot.

For at one point thinking I KNEW I didn’t want any more babies, this sure was hard on me.

I decided to start training again to keep busy, and to help with bringing in a little more money. Only a couple days a week for a couple hours each day. It’s doable with the kids right now.

So here we were again, wondering what we should do about this baby situation. More like here I am again, wondering about this whole baby situation.

If we decide to ever have another we would like it to be fairly soon because we want our kids all close in age. Also, the sooner we are done having babies, the sooner Javin and I get to enjoy our time as a young, married couple. If we decide to not have another baby we should most definitely so something more permanent as far as “birth control” goes because we don’t want an unplanned pregnancy years from now and have a newborn right when Parker is starting to become more involved and active in community events and sports. That’s just the way we see it.

So how do we decide?!

I have done a number of google and Pinterest searches on “2 vs. 3 kids”, or “Should we have another baby?” and most posts whether for or against having more children both make good points. I connect with both to some level. I have asked fellow moms of three children if it’s that much more of a challenge, or if it’s a scary transition. They’ve given good, honest feedback.

My Pros:

  • There’s an emotional connection to why I want to have another baby. Something was triggered along our way of getting to this point that I can’t seem to turn off. It’s purely a feeling that says I’m not sure I’m done yet.
  • Parker keeps asking for a baby brother. It’s a daily thing.
  • Though I stress now, and RIGHT NOW things are challenging, I can see our family with three kids in the future. I can see us all around a big dining room table, and I can see us all outside doing what we love most.

My Cons:

  • Financially, I’m not sure we could afford the pregnancy/birth. With my second babe, my midwife recommended I take 17 weekly progesterone shots because it was believed to help hold the pregnancy to term. We have no way of telling why my first child was premature, or if the shots helped with the second. All we know is I took the shots, and my second was fully cooked. We were double covered with insurance while taking those shots, so we didn’t have to pay for them. Now, we are on different insurance and Javin makes more, so we are not eligible for supplemental insurance which means there’s a good chance those shots (all $20,400 of them) would be on us to pay. TWENTY THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. Just for the shots. Which by the way, were a huge pain in the ass, literally. They hurt.
  • Finances continued: We are in the middle of a huge construction process with our house which is continually adding up.
  • We have so many projects going on.
  • There would be a lot of adjusting. The kids would all share a bedroom for a long time. We would need a bigger car at some point. My “work” schedule would become basically non-existent for at least another couple years.
  • Hands to help. I would have to find someone other than family that could potentially be baby-sitter/childcare in case I do need to work part time, or even if Javin and I just want time for ourselves. We live within a five minute drive to my mother-in-law’s, and she takes the kids often, whether it’s just to play or because I am with a client. But she also works, and still has two of her own in school.
  • I finally feel like I’ve gotten my body back, and I love being able to work on fitness goals. Though I worked out during both pregnancies, there’s nothing quite like being able to challenge yourself without hesitation or concern for someone other than yourself.
  • We are almost done potty training the most stubborn boy in the world. We will begin working with his sister soon. We have one needy, mama’s girl who is teething, and a big brother who fights her for attention. We ruined Parker’s good sleep habits when we all had to start sharing one bedroom and/or the camp trailer, so we will be starting that over, along with Ava once we move into our house. THESE MILESTONES are what scares me most. Doing all this again, with one more.
  • I don’t think my husband is even questioning it. He would have been very excited had we ended up being pregnant again, but I also think there was a little weight lifted off his shoulders when it didn’t hold.

Balancing the scale, or potentially complicating things even more:

Will I regret not having another baby?

We have two healthy children. A boy and a girl. Most people would stop there.

Everything is made for a family of four.

When will we ever NOT have projects? Never. The lifestyle we want will always require work, building, adapting, growing, learning.

We need a new car anyway, so might as well consider a slightly larger version while we are at it. (Our dogs go everywhere with us just about, so 3 kids, 2 dogs means we need a bit more room)

I will continue to challenge myself physically, even through another pregnancy, as well as after. I would get my body back again. That’s just who I am.

The milestones go by so fast. The needy, clingy, dependent years fly by. And they are a fraction of time compared to what follows.

So, in conclusion, is it enough to allow emotions to solely decide whether or not we make such a big life decision? Or do we allow this to be the one and only logical decision we make for our family?

 

 

 

 

 

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Teaching Our Children to Pray

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Our kiddos are now three, and one. Parker, the oldest, has been saying his prayers at bedtime for a year now, and has his bedtime prayer routine memorized. After we finish reading our books, he says his prayers:

“Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord, my soul to take.
Amen.”

I remember praying with him while he was in the NICU, just a tiny thing, so innocent and so very loved. Boy, has our boy sure grown. Both his daddy and I have began adding to our prayers, and asking Parker to thank God for whatever he feels he should. However, when it comes to really teaching our children to pray, it took me sitting down and putting my thoughts to pen and paper…good ol’ brainstorming!

The first and most important lesson seems to be obvious.

#1 Let them see you pray.

Just as anything else we wish to teach our children…they must see their parents involved and doing so in order to follow suit. I workout around my children for the very reason, I wish to get them involved, yes, but I also want them to see Mommy doing something positive and healthy.

This also means I get to better my relationship with God, as I tend to pray in my alone time, which also means not as often as I should.

#2 Give thanks.

I always want to instill a thankful character in my children. The first thing we always do when we pray is give thanks. We tell God thank you for our new home, and a healthy family. We thank God for Parker’s trucks, and for the sunshine outside. Sometimes what we are thankful for gets pretty wacky, because lets face it…toddlers have some crazy ideas!

#3 Find God’s blessings each day. 

I suppose another way to include thanks, and involve God into our daily routine is to look for his beauty every day. Whether we are out for a walk, or going through a new learning experience, every blessing can lead to a prayer.

#4 Create a routine.

Routines work for our family. When it comes to napping and eating especially, we tend to stick to a routine. So why would praying be any different? We have already established a bedtime routine for prayers, now all we need to do is put into place a morning routine when we wake. I don’t think anything else set in stone will be beneficial to our family, mostly because I would like to also teach our children they are able to talk to God spontaneously throughout the day as well.

Growing up, Sunday dinners were always at the table, and we said a prayer. I would like to get to that point with our little family. Sundays may be the only evening we can come together and pray/eat because of work schedules, but that would be a start. Any special occasion meal I think it’s also important to include a prayer.

And last but not least…

#5 Teach why we pray.

For a toddler, there are so many unanswered questions, and all parents know all too well that most kids are going to go through the “why?” phase. Even though Parker hasn’t actually experienced this phase yet, and he may never, he has a very curious mind and asks a multitude of other questions already.

So why do I pray? Why should we pray?

My grandmother recently passed away, and Parker is at that age where he doesn’t quite understand what has happened, all he knows is Gramma Gramma isn’t at her house anymore. We have explained to him that she is with the angels in heaven, and we will see her again. We prayed for her before she passed, and after she passed. I tried my best to use prayer for Gramma as a way of teaching him to open up to God.

We pray to communicate with God.

We pray to fulfill our emotional needs during times of both highs and lows.

We pray because of love.

We pray because of hope.

We may pray because we wish to know our own hearts more fully.

We may pray to humble ourselves before God.

I know those are all reasons why I pray.

And if those answers do not suffice…

We pray because the bible and God’s word says to. We pray because Jesus did. 

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Impatiently Praying for Patience.

Mama Mama

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As long as I can remember, I have been an impatient person. Maybe that’s why I also have issues with control, I figure if I can control the situation I won’t have to worry about my impatience.

Who knows.

However, today, I sit here munching on banana chips and yogurt, with my black coffee, while my babes sleep. Normally right now I would be impatiently praying for patience as I shuffle every to-do through my over-active mind as I grow anxious, wanting to feel more productive with my day.

There are so many projects that need done! Our house still has shag carpet to be pulled, brush to be cleared, and literally months of work.

Normally right now, I would be texting my husband about how stressed I am about everything we have yet to check off our list. I can really be a hot-mess these days, and my impatience is my favorite fault to dangle by.

You see, besides adjusting to trailer living, diy construction, and living in another town, there has been a lot of bad news in our family and hometown lately. I have donated my share of tears, and I have felt what my impatience has brought to my family. It’s not a good feeling when you know you are in the wrong and the only thing I can think to do today is pray.

Today, I pray for patience tomorrow, because today, I am holding my babies a little longer, I am loving them a little harder, and I am okay with that because life is so short and we truly never know what tomorrow will bring.

Besides a never-ending list of chores, I know for certain it will bring that.