Monday, November 15, 2010

A Question Goes Unanswered..For Now!!

People ask Pete and I all the time, "Did you guys come from a large family?"  Our answer is always.."No.  We wish we did."  Both of us have parents who are 1 of 4 and we grew up watching them have each other.  Pete and I each have 1 brother.  We love them dearly but we saw how cool it was to belong to a larger group. 

When we first got married Pete was open to having 2 kids. That was pretty much a given.  I thought I could sweet talk him into 3 and just hoped for 4.  I have always wanted a bigger family.  Sometimes the feeling was stronger than others, but in my heart I wanted to have more than less. 

After having Molly and moving to Alaska I thought I was DONE!!  We tossed all the baby stuff and found ourselves in a family of 4.  I thought that was all I could handle.  And then God came into my life in a big way.  I met some AMAZING Catholic women who really led me to understand the church's teachings on openness to life.

I started reading and reading and praying and praying.  And as you can imagine I decided I could no longer exist with just 2 children.  I loved GOD so much I wanted to have another child..for Him!!  To show my love for Him and His church I needed another baby.  Pete was not exactly in the same place of passion as I was.  But he was open to what the church had to say and he read along with me.  After one late night discussion I ended with, "Pete ..what if we were having the next Pope John Paul?  How can we say no to that?"  And that's all it took that night.  Oh the fun of whispering sweet nothings...

A couple of weeks later we got pregnant with #3.  We were pregnant for 20 weeks when I went into early labor and lost out 1st son.  That was hard, heart breaking and unthinkable.  But God is good and He blessed us again 1 month after our loss.  I got pregnant RIGHT away!!  And just as a side note..I was pregnant for about 60 weeks...mmmm!!

I was thrilled.  I had my baby #3 after being pregnant for 1.5 years..and then got pregnant again when Jack was 3 months old.  Still feeling like a soldier for Christ I was ready..maybe not then instant the stick turned pink..but I knew this was God's plan and I was up for the job...right?

Enter Lucy.  EXPLOSION!! LIFE!!!  ENERGY!!!  Me..pretty overwhelmed!  Still thinking I was up for this whole large family dream Pete and I remained pretty open to life. Right after Lucy was born there was not a lot of time or energy to be that open to life often, but we did maintain a  fairly open mindset.  When Lucy was almost 1 we got pregnant with Priscilla.  They are 18 months apart ,and that is plenty close for those 2. 

So, that leads me to today.  Right now.  Where are we?  People ask us all the time, "Do you guys want more kids?" or sometimes it's "How many kids do you want?" Up until recently I was unable to answer either of these questions. I could not have a cleat thought as to the future because I was trying to survive that moment..or that day, that was about all I could handle.

But the truth is I do want more kids. In my heart of hearts I want to be one of those moms who have 8, 9 or 10 kids and love every minute of it.  I want to be her.  Sometimes I think I can be her. 

Other times I am not sure what I think.  Sometimes these 5 are so hard for me to handle I can't imagine adding more shoes to the closet.  I also have to admit that it is really NOT my decision alone.  I am not the one with the magic number.  God is really in charge.  And that is hard for me, I have to admit.  I would like to think that I am TOTALLY ready to be open to life again. But then I have to consider, I mean WE have to consider all that is going on right now.  In a perfect world I would love to be pregnant RIGHT NOW!!!  But I have this little appointment with a moving van in 6-8 months.  I have to transition a family of 7 into a whole new life.  So the question remains, is this the right time  to be looking to add a new member to the family?

These are the things I think about A LOT.  I also wonder how other couples make these decisions.  Am I being selfish for wanting another baby?  Or am I being selfish if I don't have another baby right now? 

This may be a heavy topic for Monday morning..but this is on my heart in a big way.  I drive Pete CRAZY with my non-stop chatter about this topic (and many other ones).  I think I know where I need to be...but it is hard for me to stay there.

I need to be..In God's Will.  I need to not think in such small time frames.  I need to be content with where God has me RIGHT NOW..THIS MINUTE...THESE CHILDREN!!

So who knows what is in our future.  More children?  Forever a family of 7? 

And as a side note.  Here I FINALLY have a nice camera so I could take some GREAT new baby fun...and I becoming a knitter.  Can you imagine the baby stuff I cold knit???  My girls laugh and say I only want a new baby so I can blog about it.  Not exactly in my final decision making process..but I have thought about it!!

What I do know is there are 3 hungry toddlers waiting for breakfast and life keeps moving forward....


  1. You are a very brave mama! My four are what I can handle (my youngest is a Lucy :) I think if you live intentionally with the 5 that you have, you won't need to make a decision, whatever is supposed to happen, will happen. Blessings, Lisa!

  2. Lisa, I'm a new reader to you blog. This post reminded me of one Jen recently posted @ Conversion Diary
    Anyway, I really have enjoyed reading (I think I found you through a homeschool guest post) and I love seeing how God is working through you and your family.

  3. Good post and I remember these thought processes very well. I was in WA state and a new Catholic convert with 2 little ones when a mother handed my Humanae Vitae, it changed my life, my husbands life..our family. I have a tendency to over think things and with each baby the question of 'will I have more' ate at me, even though I was completely open to the teachings of the church and believed the whole heartedly to be truth. I have quite the testimony about this because when my 6th was born I allowed a Dr. to tie my tubes. My option was that or lose my uteras and thats what I comforted myself with at the time. Really, I could have said no to both but I let fear dictate my reality. If there is one thing I've learned as a parent(and child of God), never let fear be the reason you decide anything. I had a reversal 3 years after my tubal and now 3 reversal babies later, God is good. Just rest in him, he is the author of our lives and when we let is a beautiful thing!

  4. What a beautiful post (I'm new here). You are leaning on the right person for the decision though about your family and deciding to be content with where you are now. You have a beautiful family.

  5. What a lovely blog entry :) I'm a new reader to your blog to :) We currently have 3 children and I remember after having my first son I thought that was it. I was completely happy with one and for 4 years he was my whole world but then I felt the urge to have more *grin*. I would love to have a larger family as well and am leaving it open to the Lord to see how large our family will grow :)

  6. I love this post. It is something I ponder on a regular basis. I know that I must strive to stay in the moment and be the mother God wants me to be to the children God has given me so far. That discernment is something we undergo almost constantly at our house, though. Just trying to understand what open-ness really is at this moment in time.

  7. You have a beautiful family!! I have surrendered this area of my life to my Lord and allow Him to be in control of this. There is beautiful freedom and peace knowing truly that every baby is a gift from Him, and they are all born at His perfect timing. So, I would say to give this completely over to Him and allow Him to determine the number of children you have and rest in that. We are so blessed with six right now and are praising God for more. He is so good!!

  8. Great post! Being open to life is such a gift. I wish I had felt this way in my 30's. My husband converted to catholicism 2 years ago, and our biggest regret is not being more open to life when we were younger. I feel blessed to have my 3. I think your right in just enjoying where you are right now. God will answer the rest!

  9. We were content with 2 kids, a boy and a girl, until we joined the Church 8 years ago. We respected the Church's teaching on openness to life. I love thinking about each child as love made visible, both God's love for us and our love for each other. Here we are with 3 more boys and I think I'm a calmer, more peaceful mother than I was with just two. Either I'm learning to accept my vocation as mother or I've gotten better at ignoring the noise.

  10. You are not alone! I just had #7 in August and there are so many times that I think, one more? My heart skips a happy beat, I love babies, but can we afford it? Can my body handle it? But it is true that we must put our faith in God.
    I remember once in confession telling the priest I was afraid I would get pregnant. He told me to trust in God's will... I told him I would name the baby after him. I got some strange looks when I left the confessional and the kids wanted to know what I said to make the priest laugh that hard...
    But he was right.

  11. You are so right about it being up to God. When we were first married and told we couldn't have children, I told our priest that we told God we'd have as many children as He would give us, having no idea the answer would be zero. We were heartbroken. Then, God, in His mercy, changed things for us and has given us seven since then, one returned to Heaven and the six pack here with us. We would have never planned it the way it happened, especially the triplet part, so it is hard to let God lead us in our family plan. The same priest once said "you think you know better than God?". Sometimes I wish I could have another baby, then I remember that we weren't supposed to have the six we have here and I get very thankful for my house that was supposed to be not so full!

  12. I love this post! I just had dinner with a group of girlfriends last night and we were discussing family sizes. Most of us have two children right now and I really thought two was it for us. I had convinced myself that my body couldn't handle more than 2 c-sections (and one miscarriage that required surgery in between). I've learned a lot about myself since I was hit by a car in September and one is that my body is much more capable than I give it credit for! To your point, I need to be content with those who God has blessed us with at this moment. Maybe we'll have more or maybe that isn't His will - the awesome part is that He already has it planned so I will just wait and see!

  13. I am essentially an only child (I have half siblings that I didn't grow up with) and I hated being alone. I grew up always knowing that I would have a big family. Luckily I married a man who came from a big family and is right there with me in wanting a big family. We now have 8 blessings and one in Heaven. I don't think you ever stop asking should we have more? What is God asking of me? Maybe yes. Maybe no. But I think being open to life is being always open to God's will.

    Great blog, btw. I'm so glad I found you! :)
    Oh, and I'm just learning to knit, too.

  14. I don't think it's selfish to want another one. I also don't think it's selfish to wait until after you move. That seems like a good reason. Moving when you're about to pop doesn't sound like a good idea!

    We know we'll probably have more. Number Four just arrived a few weeks ago and at this point I'm freaking out a little bit just because I'm worried that we'll get pregnant our first time. This is our first time trying to use NFP and the first time I'm breastfeeding and having 5 kids under 5 could be the death of me! I guess celibacy is the only answer! Time to start a new blog: The Celibate Marriage. Haha!

  15. I really like this post! With Molly turning 1 I've been thinking a lot lately about when we're going to have #2. The more and more she's turning into a toddler, the more I want a tiny baby around again :) Oh, and I think our hubbies look alike! Where are y'all moving? We just finished the whole transition phase...good luck with everything!!!

  16. love your blog... your photographs... your knitting... and your post!

    I'm one of those "moms of eight." Never, ever thought I would be, but we wanted to be open to life, and God has blessed us greatly!

    I'm not sure there is ever a time that is the "perfect" time to have a baby. The times I thought were the worst, or when I was at my wit's end and desperate for a break, were the times that God gave us another one and an unspoken "trust Me."

    God bless you and your family as you continue to trust Him!

  17. Really enjoyed finding your blog as I take a few moments surfing around from Jen's 7 Quick takes.

    Thanks for sharing your domestic Communion of Saints.

  18. Wow, just found your post as I did a google search on school room ideas and ended up at your blog!!

    I remember feeling all of the feelings that you have mentioned every time I realized I was pregnant again. I have been blessed with 8 children ages 21-6, many early miscarriages and 1 sweet little 20 week baby that we were at least able to hold before he went to heaven before us just 2 years ago. My baby days are over I am sadly afraid and my heart aches for those days to be back, they disappear too quickly! But like you said, God has His plans and I never imagined that I would be where I am today. I don't recall ever planning on having any children!!! God works in mysterious ways. But again, He is the author of life.....

    Thanks for all of your sharing. It is so good to feel not alone.