Let me start by saying that this is a very personal topic for me, as it is for everyone. In this article, I’m simply stating my truth and feelings as I know that everyone feels differently about their family planning.
I always thought I wanted to have a big family. I like the idea of big families. Both my husband and myself come from families with three kids, and we just always wanted to have our own big family. Today, my husband and I are blessed with spunky, 4-year-old twins and I think because the girls are 4, we get asked routinely if we are going to have any more children. My response is always the same, “I don’t know”. My response is not me just trying to avoid the subject, I just really don’t know. I wish I did… it would be easier.
I think most human beings like to plan. We like to know what’s coming and try to control our situations as much as we can. I know I definitely do. However, when it comes to most of our plans, we are never guaranteed what we plan for. Just because someone wants to have 4 children, two girls and two boys, doesn’t mean that it will happen that way. Just because I might want more children, doesn’t mean that I will be able to have more children. After four years, I have not yet come a point where I’m ready to say that I’d like to have more children or that I definitely don’t want any more children. And that’s OK.
I’m in a place now where I am content with the blessings that I have been given. Sure, I’ve thought about the fact that if we have another child, there will be an age gap between them and the girls and sure, I’ve thought about the fact that I’m not getting any younger. I just don’t feel ready to move forward or say that I’m completely done. Although I sometimes get the itch to have another baby, I think about what we’ve gone through and I just don’t know if I can do it again. Honestly, I’m still exhausted.
Let’s rewind back to 2011. I was 25 years old and pregnant with twins. At 20 weeks pregnant, my girls were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, given little to no chance of survival, I underwent surgery, went into preterm labor, developed cholestasis (the worst itching I’ve ever experienced), and was put on bedrest. After 8 long weeks of bedrest at home, I was put in the hospital at 28 weeks after my water broke and was hospitalized until they were born via C-section at almost 32 weeks. They were in the hospital for 6 weeks, came home and both developed colic. While the colic went away, and my scars (emotionally and physically) have healed, I get flashes of what it was and honestly, it scares me. I just don’t know if I could do it again and while I’m sure most of those things wouldn’t happen again, it’s just not that easy.
Parenting is a lot of work. It’s mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. To top it off, I have strong-willed children, which makes everything a battle. I have a marriage, friendships, a career, a small business, and my own needs that I also need to think about. The decision to have more children is not simple for me, and when I’m asked, my “I don’t know” is all I can muster up, but under the surface is my story. Under the surface is the fear, exhaustion and questions I really do have about having more children. Would I like more children in the future? Maybe, but for right now, I still just don’t know. I’m blessed with my family of four and that’s OK.