Monday, April 17, 2006

Am I nuts?

Ok, don't answer that too quickly.

Whitney just turned 1 in March. Amazing what a brain can do in just a year. Yes, she's had tons of changes, but this is about ME!! How can I forget how awful it is for me to be pregnant? I am nauseous, throwing up, laying on the bed for at least the first 17-18 weeks. I do pretty well for the rest of the pregnancy but that first 18 weeks dims out the rest. Whitney's delivery was my hardest and longest labor/delivery. She was a sunny-side up baby and refused to turn until the very last second, then turned herself back around at a not-so-great moment (crowning anyone??) She was a nightmare (I love you to pieces, Whitney but it's true) for about the first 3 months. We finally figured out she was intolerant to Milk and Soy. Read more on that fun time HERE. My other kiddos were basically neglected because I was so exhausted and worn through from dealing with Whitney. Thank goodness they are very independent and very understanding. So why, oh, why do I wonder if we need to have another baby?

How do you know when you're done? Anyone out there done? How'd you know? Somedays I feel like we're definitely done, other days I wonder if there's room for another one? two?

Here's my thoughts. . .Madison and Molly were just 2 years, 1 day apart. It was great. I think that has to do with their temperments. Madison is a fairly obedient, mature kid. She would do what I asked and usually obey if I said not to do something. (She would sit right by all the buttons on the stereo and point to them and say, "No, No, Mommy.") Molly was a more difficult toddler (that's a nice way to put it). That's why we waited 4 years for Whitney. I'm not sure how Whitney is as a toddler yet. She's pretty independent but a good babe.

I'd like to move out of the baby stage. It was hard to go back to that after having a 6 and 4 year old. Why not just have them close right? At some point I'd like to be done with diapers and on to the bikes without training wheels, soccer games, school concerts, etc. I love my kids like crazy but I would also, someday, like to be able to go on vacation with just Matt and I. I know I'll miss the craziness but I also look forward to the time when it's just Matt and I again. Is that totally selfish of me? I think it's ok to miss that time you have with just you and your spouse. And I don't want that to START when we're 60. So, I've kind of set 35 for when I want to be done having kids (that also being the age that you're officially "advanced maternal age"). So, if we got pregnant (assuming it will be as quickly as the past) this summer, Whitney will be just two when the baby arrives. We usually try for summer as the time to get pregant since that's the time of year when I have the most "free time" to be sick (the only work I have during the summer is my Friday morning office). If I'm going to get sick, that's an ok time to let the hurling begin.

I've spent some time thinking about it (not to that prayer/fasting place yet), but I really have no push either direction. I feel great where we are at, but I wonder how it would be with another one. Sometimes I can't get over how nasty that first part of pregnancy is. Ok, I know that's kind of awful to say since many, many women want to get pregnant and can't. Matt says it's up to me since I'm the one that takes the brunt of it (pregnancy, childbirth, most of the initial baby stuff). He's fine with three, he'd be fine with another one.

Sometimes I think I'm crazy thinking that I can handle another one. Somedays I can hardly handle the ones I have but as my friend Julie said the other night, I don't want to get to heaven and have 2 or 3 more kids sitting there fuming mad because I decided not to have anymore, and they ended up in the crack house.


Ritergal said...

Hi there, WendySue.

I love your blog. It's so personal and sends me back to my own early motherhood days. Take it from me as I head for the airport to visit a couple of my half-grown grandchildren -- the next couple of decades are going to fly by faster than you imagined, and you are going to be so glad to have this record of the times. Wish I'd done the same thing you are doing!

wendysue said...

Hi ritergal...yeah, a new commenter. . .do I know you or are you just passing through?

lisa v. clark said...

SUCH familiar thoughts. . . good luck!~ (what, you think I"D give advice?!?!) One thought: your girls are SO GORGEOUS! My baby is also past the one-year, and he's been so demanding--yeah, lemme know what you figure out!!

~j. said...

"but I really have no push either direction"

Sounds like you might.

I don't think it's selfish to want to move on. I remember a friend last summer who said, after having her #5 (and 1st girl), "I'm finished!" and I was envious that she could: 1. know that, and 2. be there. It seemed such a relief to her.

And that got me thinking...but when they're hanging around you, reminding you that they belong in your home, that's another story.

wendysue said...

Wow ~j. that's scary that you can read me that well. I think that's what I want. I want the child, or some heavenly messagener to tell me I'm done or not, but I know it's not that easy. I think that I'm not willing to completely shut the door (and send hubby for the snip-snip) says something too.

Or maybe I'm just waiting long enough to talk myself in/or out of it.

wendysue said...

Oh I forgot--Oh Judy! I thought for sure YOU'D give advice. . .you know, like "COME ON! Let's have babies again! We're nuts, so why not just add another to the bunch." (I vaguely remember you saying, "just throw another cheeseburger to the back of the van") Love you Lisa!! (are we still on for a girls weekend to Chicago??)

Queen Scarlett said...

I think it's great that those that can handle it...and want to... have a buttload of kids. But I see too many that have that buttload and are miserable and the husband is unhappy and the kids are a ragtag bunch. I know I'm not one that can handle a buttload. And I don't think I should feel guilty for it. Neither should you.

Having kids, raising them - it's joyous, but no picnic. It takes all of the energy, love, patience and then more. I'm with you on looking forward to have the couple-ness again... it's not wrong to want that - that's why we friggin' got married.

So - I look at it this way - if by having more than I can handle diminishes the Mother and time I can offer... it's not good for me, my babies or my husband.

I don't think the Lord would ever pressure us to have more than we can handle. And I think he's grateful when we are know ourselves enough to know when to choose to stop.

Just the other night I caught Rosie's cruise vacation on HBO - this couple adopted 5 kids - 4 of which came from the same mother - the oldest they had to hold constantly because the mother was a crack addict... poor kid went through major withdrawal. Seriously, some people really need to stop procreating.

Healthy Momma... = Happy, Healthy Hubby and kids. Don't let anyone pressure you to do anything.

Plus - I dunno but it seems with such beautiful babies... I think you'll have a fun time with teeanage-dom - fighting off the boys. ;-)

LuckyRedHen said...

Hear, Hear - Queen Scarlett!!! I couldn't have said it better myself.

For me, it was obvious. No sirens or fireworks, just peace. Even when others look down on me for it (some think it's their business how many kids I have) I have no regrets or guilt. Well, sometimes I do when I have those scary thoughts about my children dying before I do; but that's it.

I love my kids but also look forward to the time hubby and I will have together when they're grown and out of the house.

When we recently got our puppy (she's 10mos), I timed it just right that she would die of old age about the time the kids are in high school so I wouldn't have a pet to care for when we're empty nesters. I know it's at least 15 years away but these are the things you have to consider when making such a long committment.

Definitely pray about it if you don't have your own peace of mind already.

Anonymous said...

I think that if you can support and care for ALL of your children, then go until you feel that "peace" with the decision to stop.
This was a hard blog for me to read, hubby and I are struggling to even begin the process. For me this life is not about ME, but about service and sharing the gospel. Hopefully I will get that chance through biological means... but if not I can always be an example/teacher to others children, right?
This year I am teaching seminary, those kids have helped fill my void.
I am rambling. Basicaly, do what the spirit guides you to do.

lisa v. clark said...

I love it when people remind me of things I've said--"cheeseburgers in the van?!" WHAT?! I'm sure I said that, but in what context? What possesses me?

Yeah, it should be pretty telling that I'm not offering up advice. I've been pushed to my limit this year and I'm fine with admitting that. I'm not ready to close the door, because I don't feel at peace about that, but I feel close. It's such a personal thing and I have lots of other things to say, I"m sure, but I'm going to start censoring myself (for obvious reasons! cheeseburgers? Oh, Judy!)

Deb said...

I don't feel that I can even comment on this blog, but I feel the need to. Speaking from, uh-hum, no experience in this area (please don't throw anything at me!), I will not choose to comment on the decision of whether or not to have more kids.

I will however say that no one in anyway should ever pressure someone to have kids or more kids. I am so sick of people bugging me and my hubby to start having children. I feel like I'm still young and have a little bit of time to still enjoy just me and my hubby before we leap into that next chapter of life. Once you start you can't go back, right?

Just because I have been married for 5 years doesn't qualify me for motherhood does it? I do worry about those little ones that are waiting to join my family, but they are patient, I know they are or atleast I would like to think so.

Thank you for this blog, it is giving me motivation to look into things a little bit deeper. I can't imagine making the decision of whether to "close that door" or not. I hope you can find peace with whichever decision you make.

Christy said...

We have this discussion a lot in our house. Granted, it's a little different since we would have to pay a buttload of money and have people "interview" us to make sure we're worthy to be parents again. With Caleb having special needs I have my hands full. Personally, I can't handle another one. At least not now. No way, Jose.

Carl's still in the phase where he feels selfish that we don't open our home to more children but he's not the one having a nervous breakdown everyday. I finally told him he could have more kids if he didn't mind having a wife doped up on anti depressants and fighting the urge to become an alcoholic.

I know people that have several children and love it and always want more. I just don't feel like that right now and I don't think I ever will. Like I said the other night, it will take a heavenly messenger to convince me to add to our family. So, when #3 comes along at least I'll have an excellent spiritual experience to share, right?

In conclusion, fun blog topic...whatever we say or don't say shouldn't influence your decision...cheeseburgers are cheap...I know someone that makes pretty sweet baby sweaters by hand! ;)

MK said...

I am in the same position as you only I'm pregnant with #3 right now after a four year gap. I almost feel like I have to have another one since my first two are two years apart and I don't want this one to feel left out after such a big space. But, I am sicker than a dog the entire pregnancy. The first 20 weeks are hell and after that I still throw up quite a bit. So, while I would like another one after this, I just don't know what to do. It's been on my mind constantly this pregnancy because I feel like I have to decide right now while I'm going through this nightmare.
I look forward to hearing about your decision and how you came to it. I've heard of other people saying that they felt a peace when they were done, but I worry that I might not get that.

Christy said...

Did you see the article in the JC this morning? It's all about the best spacing for babies for your health. They said to wait 18 months-5 years between pregnancies because any less or any more leads to infant death and preemies/low birth weight.

wendysue said...

Queen--I think you'll be in the same boat with your kiddos. . .Beauties!! Perhaps Gramma (Bramma) would like to take a turn for a few years during the tormenting teenage time huh??

Sew--my sis did the same thing with their pup, actually it's more like a grandma, they adopted an older one so the timing would be right. Very smart!!

anon--absolutely an example to those around you. There are far too many children that have "parents" (I'm using that term lightly) but need real mentors for life.

Oh Judy--PLEASE don't start censoring yourself, I don't think I'd survive!!

Deb--don't let anyone pressure you into it. . .just say, "oh, I hate kids, why would I want to have one of those". . .maybe they'll leave you alone!!

Christy--not only "worthy parents" but don't forget all that work on the profile scrapbook!! Actually, Matt and I have talked about adoption, maybe China, maybe US, maybe. I have issues with that too, I am able to have my own, so should I be adopting, when I know there are so many people that want to be parents and wait and wait. But I also know there are so many children out there that need a good home. . .ugh. I think my decision is getting worse. Oh, and about those baby sweaters, don't forget about the fabulous hats!! (I still need to post my pic of Whit and hers!!)--oh, and I did see that article. Although, for some reason I've heard that before. At least I hope I can figure this out in the next 3 1/2 years!!

mk--no reason to feel guilty about making sure your babe isn't left out, that's what playdates are for right??

Thanks for all the comments, I knew you wise ones would have some good words for me.

I don't know where we're at yet. Maybe that's ok. Maybe that means wait. Maybe that means throw caution (and birth control) to the wind and give it a try.

When I've had time to think about a possible baby this week, I've been thinking more of the future. Pregnancy and the real baby phase lasts a small amount of time. But I do feel pretty insane most of that time so that weighs a lot. I think of the great, fabulous times that I have with my siblings and I hope that for my children in their future with their spouses and their own children.

I think I'm feeling more at peace with any decision I make knowing that I have a Heavenly Father that understands where I'm at, the struggles I've had and what I'm in need of.

I definitely agree it's better to have a mother that is (somewhat) with it mentally, than to just pile on the children, just because I can.

Most of all I am LOVING my kids! Whitney is at a crazy/frustrating age (13 months, almost ready to walk, very independent), but she is so stinkin' cute and she thinks I'm the cats meow. Madison is my little mother and Molly cracks us up!