I wasn’t sure whether to share this, but I did do a small series of postings while we were in the process of deciding the future of our little family. In some ways I feel like blogging about it makes it seem like I think it’s remarkable, when I know the decision to expand ones family is made quietly and privately all the time. But this blog is here to share our stories, and this has been a big decision and blessing and challenge for us through this last year, so ultimately I have decided to share at least some of it.
This particular post was written at the beginning of January 2013
Well, this is entry one of our “we want another little Sodeman” journey. I want to fully journal/blog through this entire process, but I’m a little nervous about sharing it just yet. Right now I feel like I don’t mind if anyone knows, and some of our friends do. I am nervous though that at some point I will catch someone sizing up my little/big belly or asking unwanted questions. I share a lot, and pretty freely, but “are you pregnant?” is a completely impertinent question that should NEVER be asked. If you are in the habit of asking this question: STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!! So for now anyway, I will just store away these posts and perhaps one day they will see the light of the internet.
First, the background…
Before we got married, when we were married and right up until recently, both Jon and I have always been completely sure that we should have 2 children. Two children means each has a sibling, but also that I still have one hand for each child. I thought 2 children sounded manageable and orderly and meant everyone having a partner for roller coasters and being able to get the “family deal” wherever they happen to have family deals. Two children (preferably boy then girl- thank you Lord for your cooperation-haha) was my idea of the traditional (therefore perfect) family and we wanted that. I don’t want to be too flippant here, we have been greatly HUGELY blessed by our two children. We lost our first little surprise baby through miscarriage shortly after we got married and while that wound has healed quite clean, I still remember that life cannot be taken for granted. The day I discovered I was pregnant with Justus I fell to the floor and thanked God through my weeping. We gave him the middle name Ian, which means “gift of God”, and Juno the middle name Eden because it means “delight”. God has given us so very much and saying we are blessed doesn’t begin to express it.
Shortly after Juno arrived safely Jon went in for a vasectomy. Our pregnancies happened quickly, and I use FAM (natural family planning) as birth control, which is SO GOOD- but difficult to know while breastfeeding when your cycle will return and we wanted to prevent an “accident”. Plus we were completely sure that our family was complete. I know I felt 100% at peace with our decision for Jon to have a vasectomy. Even now I don’t disagree with our choice at all.
But this monday (early January), Jon has an appointment to get a referral for a reversal.
It all began more than a year ago. Maybe even two years ago! I remember my first twinge of baby longing the night I held Knox Greydanus in my arms for the first time. Babies are delicious, wonderous little creatures. And over the last 2 years Jon and I began to miss having little littles. It would just be a wish here, a touch of baby fever there. I would hold a newborn and feel my heart hurt just a smidge. Jon would express envy at friends pregnancy announcements. As the hazy chaos of 2 in diapers began fading, the glorious privilege of raising these tender souls shone clearer. This season I had wanted to pass quicker had passed quicker. Too quick. I don’t exactly worship my kids… but I do worship God more because of my kids. All the wonderful, exciting, beautiful places I have visited cannot rival the miracle of a newborn’s wrinkles and dimples and eyelashes, sweet sighs and first smile. The awareness in my heart just kept growing- I want to be a mother again- I want to add to my life MORE of everything children bring. More work, of course but also more wonder.
So we talked about it. And we talked and talked some more. Sometimes we talked ourselves right out of wanting more. We reminded each other about pregnancy, colic, ear infections, purple crying, poop explosions, transitions, being stuck at home for nap times, car seats and strollers, chasing a crawler and little hands that transfer everything to little mouths. We looked at the steep stairs of our new house and shuddered, thankful that ours were already trained on stairs. We thought of costs, every baby item we had we gave away long ago!
Then we’d look at our kids and know it was worth it ALL, and we’d want more all over again.
This fall I started really praying. I felt like I was at a cross roads and to be frank, was quite miserable. My job didn’t feel complete, but I didn’t know where it was supposed to go. I was praying for direction, all the while my heart was (mostly) quietly longing for that direction to be a new Sodeman. Adoption was definitely one thought, probably the one that I honestly felt was more likely. But then… we had a financial setback in having to replace our van. And then we started accepting that Juno is spirited (ADHD) and will need extra support to thrive in her school work and in social situations. I took this as the answer to my prayers, that my time/energy needs to be focused on the kids I have already and that I needed to set the other desire aside. I had one particular day where I threw quite a fit about it. I don’t lay aside what I want too easily! Thankfully, after that contentedness came quickly. Within 2 weeks I didn’t even register with the former discontent or desire. SO much so that when my husband came home one night and told me that 3 days before he had been to the doctors to inquire about the cost of vasectomy reversal I laughed at him. I was amazed that he had booked the appointment, gone, and 3 days had passed and he had not breathed a word about it to me!! When he said the cost was over 5000.00 I laughed again. “Nope, no way, out of the question”. He didn’t argue, and we went to bed.
2 days later I sent him a text and said that actually, I do want another baby, as impossible as it sounds. He said he did too and we committed to pray about it. In the month that followed I prayed, and I know he has too, and the desire to add to our family has only grown.
Somedays fears creep in. What if our baby is born with medical needs? Our whole family dynamics could change in the blink of an eye (I’ve seen it happen). What if we lose the great thing we currently have going as a family? The kids are getting easier each year, and a whole world is beginning to open up of big kid stuff. They get more self-sufficient every day. Would we regret it? Would we wish we had been content with how things were?
I don’t have a sure answer to those fears. But I hold onto what I believe- that it would be wrong to let fear hold us back from something that God says is good. Fear isn’t from Him. We continue to pray for wisdom, but I am confident that our desire for another child is a good thing.
This has gotten long… so more in another post another day!