One question I get asked a LOT is, “You’re done having kids, right?” Most of the time I can let the question roll off my back as I understand people just don’t get why I’d want to “subject” myself to such a life. But lately I’ve heard it soooo many times (along with being assured of just how crazy I am!) that I’m struggling a bit with a soft response.
You see, I am not collecting children. I didn’t grow up with a notion to have a posse of kids to cash in on at tax time. I never pictured myself driving a big, white Ford F-250 12 passenger van that I nearly need a step ladder to climb into.
I envisioned a modern home with fine furnishing and a husband whose salary was almost as handsome as he was! But alas, it seems I was dreaming of a life that wasn’t meant for me…our home is a mountain chalet that is far too small (by societal standards) for our growing family and my husband is far better looking than his paycheck…but he loves his job as a firefighter and looks adorable in his turn-out gear!
So no, if anybody was wondering, I didn’t plan out the life I am now living. But it was planned for me! And I would not trade one moment of it for all the unrealized dreams that fill my past. I am insanely happy and intensely fulfilled! So I have some trouble answering the question of if there will be any more children. The answer people expect…and want to hear…is a firm NO. And because I am a people-pleaser by nature, I am tempted to think we can’t or shouldn’t.
I begin to think it would be irresponsible or unfair to have another. But when I go back to the root of my very existence, I find myself face-to-face with a Creator who commissioned us to populate the world. I hear all the time that the world is overpopulated and I honestly can’t help but laugh. We cram ourselves into small spaces leaving wide open land to spot the Earth and somehow end up thinking there are too many of us.
What there aren’t enough of, are God-fearing people who realize their smallness in comparison to an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent Creator. We develop ways to subdue the natural order of life and hand out Nobel Peace Prizes for those efforts that go “viral”. And birth control being among them, is considered to be the responsible way to plan a family.
But I’m going to lay it out for you, being very real and vulnerable. This post is hard for me because there are those who will see it that are close to me and feel strongly that my child-bearing days should be over. And there are those who will be appalled at the lengths that I have gone in the past to prevent new life from forming within my womb. Either way, I lose in somebody’s eyes, but I’m not answerable to “somebody”…I must give an accounting to God only.
I conceived my first child soon after I married at the age of 20. I was boldly told “you must be outta your skull” and informed of just how very expensive a baby was. And that was just the beginning! When that precious boy was 5 months old, I learned I was carrying yet another baby within. You don’t even want to know how “crazy” I was at that point, but I got to hear it constantly. The thing was, I had been on the birth control pill and was just as shocked as everyone else. At around 3 months we learned that I had been carrying twins, but only one was developing. I casually wondered if the pill had anything to do with it, but didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.
Finally, the dust settled as people just assumed life would carry on with our two sons. At that point I had been convinced that I should be done and was on the depo-provera shot. And I got pregnant! I carried that baby for a few weeks after we learned I was expecting and then miscarried. I felt in my heart, whether it is true or not, that having that shot in my system is what kept the pregnancy from sticking. And while I didn’t think I wanted any more children, I certainly didn’t want to be having miscarriages trying to prevent them.
In the process of trying to sort out where we stood on the issue, I conceived another son. Prevention efforts after that were all non-chemical and two more little girls joined the family within the following three years. Thank goodness my stretch marks prevention cream was more effective!
My youngest daughter, and fifth child, was also a twin. But again only one live baby resulted from the pregnancy. Having conceived twins twice at this point and already having five children, my (then)husband scheduled a vasectomy and we figured the story was over. We were wrong!
I conceived again three more times post-vasectomy, though all ended in miscarriage. I truly believe God had a message in all that confusion. I believe He was attempting to remind me that I wasn’t exactly cut out to fill His role and that I could no more prevent a baby, if another baby was in His plan, than I could go out there and speak a universe into existence. Some people struggle for years to conceive, with no logical reason why it isn’t working. Others, like myself, try for all we’re worth to prevent being further blessed, thinking we’re too financially strapped or physically worn. But God is bigger than a bank account and mightier than all the birth control combined!
I have since remarried and have been blessed with twin boys who fill every corner of our small home with delight. In spite of the fact that some have voiced their concern that it isn’t fair to the older kids, every last one of them is completely in love with their baby brothers. They do play with them and love on them and offer me a helping hand to care for them, but they do not raise them. And in my opinion, it is plenty fair to offer the big kids a little something else to love!
So while we have more than the average number of kids and it causes people concern that we may not have sense enough to do the “responsible” thing in the future, we are basking in the blessing of fashioning these little people for Jesus. When the day comes that we must stand before Him with an accounting of our lives, we want nothing more than to hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant! You trusted in ME, not logic, and your offering is acceptable!”.
As for whether any more precious babies will join us, only He knows. But I can assure you that we’ll do the responsible thing and cherish them if they do!