We are all made up of a heart and a mind. Often, these two are in conflict. Sometimes you choose with your heart, because you can't live with yourself if you don't take a chance. Other times you know you have to go with your head and make the wise, responsible choice. And sometimes, you have to figure out how to combine the two.
My mind knows that making a conscious effort to end our babymaking days is right. Making babies is something we seem to be good at. I'm not interested in being on a contraceptive pill for years on end. And with our current insurance that's the only affordable birth control for me. Although we are using another form of birth control, it’s open to operator error. I’m tired of wondering each month if I got pregnant “on accident.”
Why do I want a fourth baby? I have these visions of the “perfect” new baby scenario. A wonderful pregnancy in which I take the professional maternity photos I never did with my three. A scenario in which I am a homemaker and have the time to prepare a special, personalized nursery for the little one. Everything is checked off on the “to do before baby list” before the baby comes. I don’t have to worry about pumping or storing milk. I spend my days wearing my baby and nurturing my four children and making a lovely home for my husband.
Fantasy my friends, pure fantasy. I do realize this. I’ve read too many books and seen too many romantic movies! My little scenario doesn’t often happen in real life because, well, life happens. I do love each story that surrounds the birth of my three children. Because it was real life. Yet still…my mind wanders.
I get baby envy and belly envy. I think pregnant bellies and newborn babies have been stalking me lately! I sometimes have stay-at-home mom envy. I don’t expect that to go away quickly or easily. I am in awe of those who easily add fourth, fifth and even sixth children to their families and it isn’t a financial strain to them. Secretly, I wish we had that faith and freedom. I wonder why, when I would be so thrilled with one more child, God didn’t orchestrate that, like he orchestrated Lily. But each one can only make the decision that is right for their family, and trust God for his direction of their family.
Part of the issue of my heart is that I love this stage of life I'm in right now. It’s what I waited my whole life for, being surrounded by little ones that love me and need me. I expect that as my children grow and we move out of the "baby phase" I will not long for it so much and will get excited about the new phases we move into.
However, there are many benefits to being done having babies. I can actually get my body back, and keep it! I haven't had a decent wardrobe in about 4 years because I've either been pregnant or losing pregnancy weight. Perhaps Bean and I will get to go away together for a night, come our anniversary in October.
The reality is, I feel that it would be selfish of me to push for a fourth child. I know how much Bean loves me, and when I actually ask for something, he has a very difficult time refusing me. I know, that I could probably wear him down. But that would be taking advantage of his love for me.
Bean loves his family with a vengeance, but the last several years have been devoted to my dreams and goals of family and children. Bean is a wonderful partner in life and he is extremely active and involved in the day-to-day managing of the house and children. I can't complain that he doesn't help or contribute, like some wives do because he goes non-stop most days.
But I want him to get to focus on his goals and dreams next. Another baby would just prolong those things. He's given me the fulfillment of my dream of being a mom with at least three kids, and now I want to help him fulfill his dreams.
Why not focus on what God’s given me? Why not lavish all my love on these three, without pining for this non-existent fourth? Why not concentrate on all we will be able to give these three? It’s something I’m working on.
No matter what the fleshly desires of my heart, I strongly believe that this moment, this life, is what God intended for me. I abide by Psalm 16:6 that says, "the boundary lines for me have fallen in pleasant places." Meaning the life I have, is the life God intended for me, and I need to focus on the pleasantness of what he has blessed me with. It is sinful for me to always look at everyone else and pick what part of their life I would like to have. God didn’t intend that life for me, he intended this life for me. And it’s a good one.
Being a working mom is a financial necessity and also a fulfillment of God’s call on my life. I may not always fulfill my call in that way, but for the foreseeable future, that’s what I’m called to. I barely make it most weeks with three children and my job. It would be selfish of me to add another child, just because I want one, and take a part of me away from my husband, my three girls and my job.
I trust God infinitely with my life; with our family's life. This is something we've sought God on, and feel peace about. My emotions are attached to not having more children, not the vasectomy. And I don’t see us having more children, vasectomy or not. Just because you determine something is the right decision, doesn't necessarily make it easy to make or accept.
I know that God's ways are higher than ours and if we live seeking Him and submitting to His will, he will direct our paths. And, if for some reason God does desire us to have more children, he will orchestrate it in his way. Vasectomies have been known to "fail" and there are many babies and children already in the world who need families.
My heart is full with my husband and my three beautiful children. I am complete. However, I can’t help but wonder what God’s purpose is, for this desire of my heart. I know we made the right decision, but I still feel like the story isn’t over.
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