Friday, April 22, 2011

Completing Our Family?

Next week, my youngest child will be the same age as my second was when she was born. I find it hard to believe, because she still seems like such a baby. This milestone has brought to light an important decision that my husband and I need to make soon: whether or not to have another child.

Always before, the decision was easy. We knew we wanted at least three kids, and we would go from there. Now we have them--two boys and a girl. Each one is a blessing who adds another dimension to our family. To call our family incomplete would seem ungrateful. Still, I do not know if we are all here yet. Is it possible that I have not yet met one of the most important people in my life?

There are plenty of logical reasons for stopping now. All of our current children were born within just over three years. As they grow older, they will be able to enjoy many of the same activities. I would have more time to focus on each of my current children. We do not have an incredible amount of family support, neither for our parenting choices, nor for our decision to have more children. Frankly, I am not sure I feel like fighting through another birth for my child's and my best interest. (A homebirth could solve a lot of these problems, but there is no guarantee that I wouldn't be transferred--and the closest hospital is my worst nightmare).

Despite the logic of not having another child, my heart is pulling me in the opposite direction. As I lay here snuggling with my precious three, the love I feel for them makes me want another. It fascinates me to watch them develop, to learn more and more about the people they are. Best of all is when they interact and show their love for each other. How can I turn down the chance to experience this just one last time?

What if we decide not to have another baby? Will we look around the dining room table 20 years from now and feel like someone is missing? Or will we simply enjoy each other's company and celebrate the full life that we have lived together?

Readers, what do you think? Any insights about knowing when your family is complete?

2 comments:

Imogen said... [Reply to comment]

This is something I've been thinking about a lot recently. I have two boys and definitely want more. I get horrendous SPD when pregnant (i'm 7 months post partum now and still suffering) but there's no question that we'll be trying again in a year or so.

A good friend of mine has said that she *knew* in her heart when she was done having kids. She says that her family feels complete and she has zero urge for any more children. I think that if you don't have that feeling, it's not time to stop baby-making ;)

Nadine said... [Reply to comment]

I always wanted two. My son is 5 1/2 months and the thought of being pregnant and bouncing back again scares me!! We'll see where we are a year from now. I just know that kids are expensive! I'd rather have one or two and give them lots of experiences.

If you truly feel like you should have one more, then go for it. Everything will work out. I had to be transported to the hospital as well from the birth center. It all worked out. If you have to go somewhere else to have your baby, it will all work out! :-)

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