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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Children

Kids, and family sizes. I've been thinking about this lately. Then I read the wonderful post by Kate at Savy Little Women and knew I had to blog about it. (MckMama also did a post about family sizes.) How do you know when you have "enough" kids?!
Anyway, you know I couldn't do a post that without lots of pictures so here we go on a whirlwind photo tour of my babies!
Daniel and I got married way too young. We got engaged on my seventeenth birthday. What was I thinking?!! I was SO in love, and didn't know that I didn't much about what real life would be like. Two months after we were married the pregnancy test showed up positive and we welcomed {beth} into our lives. I was 18 and Daniel was just 22. Happy parents for sure! But clueless.

After Beth we knew we wanted more children, to keep her company and to share attention from grandparents. My second pregnancy was a CRAZY time in our lives but we survived it and little {emma} was born 18 months after Beth. I had the most WONDERFUL birth ever and her sweet cuddles kept me sane and helped bring me out of my depression.

with my little sister before (or after, I can't remember) the birth.

click on the photo to see more baby photos
After Emma was born I was really happy, though sometimes a little bored and sometimes completely overwhelmed. I knew we wanted more children but my prayer was please God, just not yet but then Emma nursed a good long while and as my hormones did crazy things I thought I was pregnant several times and each time as relief gave way to disappointment my prayer changed to okay God, I'm ready.
Beth & Emma with our dog Lucy, a rescue and a wonderful pet!
Daniel was starting to get overwhelmed with the noise and the toys everywhere and the tired all the time wife that came along with being the parents of two. But then we were thrilled to welcome into our lives our little surprise {katie-abigail} 26 months after Emma.

While I was pregnant with K-A I started thinking about if this would be our last child. I was terrified at the prospect of being completely outnumbered and seriously wondered if I'd be able to handle the added pressure of taking care of three little ones. The first day Daniel went back to work I was seriously worried. Of course, it all worked out and the months after she was born were some of the happiest months of my life.
Beth, Emma & K-A - they look so little!
My big helper. This photo was taken after she held Katie-A while I quickly ate dinner, which is a big deal when your baby is this little! I knitted the afghan for her. It's a shredded mess now :)
Three...
and then there were four!
click on the photo for lots more photos on my Flickr site
A little while after Katie-Abigail turned one I started praying that God would give me a son and in September 2007 {josiah} was born! During that pregnancy Daniel started talking about getting a vasectomy, I wasn't for it, but after I pushed Josiah out my first though was "I think that could be the last time I do that." While I was pregnant it seemed like everyone even total strangers would ask me "are all these kids yours?!" "are you going to have more?!" I would say "yes" and "I don't know." It got really old. I mean, what is up with complete strangers asking questions like that?
So here we are a happy "big" family.
Life has been hard. I've learned so much about myself in this journey called motherhood. I've learned that I'm a lot stronger then I ever thought I'd be. I have also learned that I'm a lot meaner and selfish then I ever realized I am.
Sometimes I wonder, if I could do it over again, would I change anything? I mean, come on, life can be SO overwhelming!! Would it have been better if we'd stopped at just two? Would it have been easier for Beth and Emma to not have the "big sister" shoes to fill? Would it have been better if we'd spaced them out more? But then I think about the special friendships that each of the kids have with each other. Would Emma and Katie-Abigail still pretend to be "twins" if they were four or five years apart?
Sometimes I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew, but I can not imagine life without each of my amazing children. The joy that they have brought to our family cannot be measured. Sometimes I wonder too if we are really and forever done having kids. I know that Daniel doesn't want more, so I say we're "done, for now."
But as I put away baby clothes I think of our maybe future babies and they almost feel real. I don't know what do with those feelings. I just think "I wonder if we'll ever have a Jane who will wear this dress one day" and "I wonder if Josiah will ever get to experience what it's like to have a brother." Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get to nurse a baby again. Sometimes I feel gas and digestion rumbles and it reminds me of what it was like when my babies were very small inside me and I feel a little twinge of sadness that I might not ever experience that again. It's such a weird feeling.
I have so much to be grateful for. I am so thankful for the children that I have and I am confident that now is really not time to even think about getting pregnant again.
But I still wonder...

6 comments:

Kel said...

Thanks for the note friend. LOVE love LOVE this blog post. I have the SAME feeling sometimes of gas bubbles and remember the kids moving soo much. :) hahahaha. the things we remember. We (my husband Josh and I) think often those same thoughts of...are we done? We only have 3, but I feel like we are not finished. Like our family isn't really complete. My aunt said that when she had her 4th...they both just felt completed as a family. I wonder if I will get that feeling too if we ever decide to have another. I just had my third 6 months ago and could totally see us having another. We REALLY want another boy for our little guy to have a brother, but another girl??? oh my. The drama!!! :) hahahaha.
Are you told that you have a familiar face? Cuz you look SOOO familiar to me for some reason. You didn't by chance grow up in either Delaware or Virginia did you? :) hahaha, highly unlikely, but...you just look THAT familiar. Anyway, beautiful family friend.

Yellow House said...

Love your post and all the wonderful photos. The one with your rescue dog is precious! You have a beautiful family!

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Oh friend, you know how I feel! LOVE this post - thanks for sharing!

Megan said...

Wow...I really loved reading this. So great getting to know you more! Thank you so much for sharing your story and being so honest...your thoughts about motherhood and how you realized you were stronger, but also meaner and more selfish. I have said those exact words before. God has taught me so much through being a mom...not only are the kids blessings, but the way are bringing about change in me is a blessing too...not always pretty, but a blessing nonetheless.

Jessica said...

You have the most adorable family!! I love your honesty in this post...I think a lot of women wonder if and when they are "done" having sweet babes. I am so happy to find your blog!!

Anonymous said...

I just had Jillian only 6 months ago... but I totally have wondered this too in the past few weeks. I LOVE being a mom to Jillie, and she makes me want to have so many more!... but how many more?
SO...we're just starting, and maybe you're just finishing... but I realized that this really is a SEASON.... it comes with all it's beautiful sights, sounds, and smells (sometimes stinky ones)... and then it passes. I'm just entering this season... and I'm really enjoying it... and maybe your at end of child bearing and in the prime of childhood.
God leads us... and ultimately... He does have the final say!

AMY MOLINA