I wrote this post a few months ago, but wasn’t ready to share it until now. I think this partly because when I wrote it I believed what I was saying whole-heartedly. And then a little while later I didn’t.
Re-reading this periodically became a gage for me to see where I stood on the issue at hand. I have circled back (confidently at that) and even discussed with a therapist. I decided this was more than important enough to address with a professional after all that we have been through in the ten years since we started trying to build our family.
That said, here is what I wrote (sometime in November last year), though I could have just as easily written it today.
Recently Bob and I have revisited our “soft decision” to not try to have anymore children. We tabled our discussion about this for awhile after Abby was born and again after we met with the pediatric geneticist.
Over the past few months, for various reasons, I have thought a lot about if and when we will make our choice to be done a “hard decision.”
We even flirted with trying for another or at least not avoiding, being open to new life and seeing what happens (within a time frame and a set end date).
But in the end, we keep coming back to our choice to be done. Rationally speaking, I understand why it makes sense for us to end our family building journey sooner, rather than later. We have given so much of our time and energy in our marriage and family to this pursuit and we feel ready to move on (for the most part).
However, we all know that there are so many layers and emotions wrapped up in trying to build and expand our families, that these decisions are not ones we take lightly or come to easily.
During a recent conversation about this topic, Bob said if you don’t feel ready to make this final or if you have any doubts we should wait until we are absolutely sure. I appreciated where he was coming from, but explained that I don’t think I will ever feel completely ready or sure that the time is right to put this stage of our lives behind us and move on.
No matter when we make this hard decision about being done with family building, I know that I will have mixed feelings that I need to work through and make peace with. However, that isn’t a reason to try to have more kids, just to avoid the inevitable.
We love children and though parenting isn’t always easy, we feel blessed and grateful for the two living children in our life. There was a time when we hoped for and dreamed about having a big family. But our family building/expanding efforts didn’t go as we planned (which is an understatement) and we realize now that it is okay to let our hopes, dreams and plans for our future, especially our family, evolve.
We want to give our time, love and attention to the two healthy and adorable living children that we already have, rather then dividing that time and attention with trying to expand our family.
After all we have been through to get where we are today, we think that the risk of another loss and everything that goes along with a Subsequent Pregnancy After Loss (SPAL) is not worth it to us anymore.
Though we know we could and would be able to survive another pregnancy like we experienced with Molly, if something like that we’re to happen, we are not willing to put ourselves, our family and especially our living children at risk of going through that again.
Will I always wonder how things might have been different had our family building efforts gone as we imagined they would? Yes! I do think some small part of me will hold on to such fantasies of an alternate reality of our life and family.
But the bottom line is that after years of trying and so desperately wanting more, I feel truly content (and really happy) with the way our family is right now.
Bob, Sean and Abby (with Molly and Babies Benson always in our hearts) is more than enough for me to feel that our family is complete.
Though I will likely never get that “Full House” that I wanted and dreamed of, Four of Kind (with Babies Benson and our Queen of Hearts in Heaven) works for me and I feel so very blessed and grateful.