This is a post I've been thinking about for quite a while. I want to first say that I know that my title question is a question that not everyone gets to answer on their own. I know so many who have struggled with infertilty and miscarriage. And, I want to apologize outright to anyone who has experienced that kind of heartbreak. It's not my intention to be insensitive to you.
My husband and I have been blessed with four wonderful sons. Sometimes when I sit back and look at my family, I am amazed at where God has brought me. I have always wanted children. From the time I can remember, I wanted to be a mommy. It was never a question of IF I'd have children. It was a question of when and how many.
There was a time in my life where I wondered if I'd ever have the opportunity to have children. It broke my heart to imagine my life childless. At some point, I would also like to share my testimony. But for now, I'll just say that I lived the majority of my 20's in rebellion towards God. It wasn't until my late 20's that a godly man (my husband) came into my life and I changed the path of my life.
I was 30 when my husband and I married. Since I was 'older' and unsure of my fertility I wanted to try for a family almost immediately. My husband was also eager for a family so he agreed. Our first son was conceived probably somewhere around our 1st anniversary of marriage and was born when I was 32.
We knew we wanted several children. We weren't sure how many. But again, because I was an 'older' mom, I didn't feel like I had the luxury of large age gaps between our children. Plus, I liked the idea of having siblings close in age so they had each other as they grew up.
Our second son was born 20 months after our first when I was 34. And, our 3rd son was born about 2 1/2 years after that when I was 37 (his birthday is 2 days after my birthday!).
At this point, we had our hands pretty full. I had some pretty bad postpartum depression after our second son was born (there's another topic I could write a whole book on) and even though the postpartum stuff wasn't as bad after Boy #3 it was still there to some extent.
My husband was happy with his 3 sons. My family felt like we were busy enough with 3 little boys and we shouldn't have any more. Some of my friends already thought I was a little wacky to want THREE children.
But, in my heart, I didn't feel like we were done. I felt very strongly like there was another child who belonged in our family. Some people have asked if we kept 'trying for a girl'. And while having a girl certainly would have been lovely, it wasn't our goal in continuing to have children.
My husband was a bit reluctant at first, but he was starting to consider the idea of a fourth child when we discovered we would indeed be having a fourth child. Our fourth son was born almost 7 months ago when I was 39 (I turn 40 later this year).
So, are we done? It's so hard to know. But, I think we are.
1. My husband is done. He says he's ready to have his wife back. He doesn't enjoy the baby/ diaper stage. And, he looks forward to the ages where are boys are more independent and able to boy stuff with their daddy.
2. My body is tired after 7 years of being either pregnant or breastfeeding. It's just plain worn out.
3. I'm getting old. Ok - 40 really isn't old. But, I'm not sure how I feel about having children after I'm 40. I just don't seem to have the same energy, enthusiasm, patience, creativity, etc. I had in my younger years.
4. I really DO have my hands full. I know there are lots of families out there with 6, 7, 8 or more children. Maybe if I had started having children earlier in life I'd be one of them. But, my four boys keep me hoppin'. And, I want to be the best momma I can be to them. I don't want to be a continuously stressed out momma.
I do keep thinking that someday maybe we would court the idea of foster care or adoption. Not now. But, maybe someday. Maybe a little girl? Maybe.
God knows what our family is supposed to look like. I suppose our purpose is to welcome the children he brings to it, however he brings them.
For now, I will enjoy my children and rejoice in how blessed we are.
If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.