Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Trying to Whatever

Now that the babe is 10 months old, Andrew and I have officially reached the point post-child where our friends, families and coworkers have come to expect a pregnancy announcement.  For some reason, when you have four kiddos that are approximately 2 years apart each, you've set a pattern and you're kind of expected to uphold it.  So the questions amd hunches start rolling in.

The questions usually begin with Andrew's coworkers.  "Isn't it about time for another one?" Or "Kristi isn't pregnancy again is she?!"  One coworker recently told him that we should stop making children and start fostering or adopting instead.  I don't know why she felt like that was her suggestion to make... But she put it out there nevertheless.  It seems everyone has an opinion on our procreative ways.  But I digress.

A few months ago I ran across a question on a Facebook page that said, "In an ideal world, I would have _______ number of children."  Neither Andrew or I knew how to respond.  We never had a plan for how many kids we wanted... I guess we still don't.  In the Natural Family Planning world, you're either considered "Trying to Conceive" or "Trying to Avoid."  But other than a few months after William was born when we needed to wait for health reasons, we've always just been "Trying to Whatever."  Which for us meant, if we get pregnant, awesome... If we don't... awesome.  It was all in His hands.

But that brings me to today. I'm not sure how I feel about TTW these days.  I actually might not quite be ready to add to our family just yet.  If I found myself pregnant today, I wouldn't be sad by any means, but I would definitely be overwhelmed.  For some reason, four children has seemed like a whole lot more than three children.  And while I think I would like to meet another little U kid one day, I'm not sure I'm mentally ready to tackle pregnancy and postpartum all over again just yet.  Not to mention trying to figure out how to haul 5 kids around or find a babysitter every other month for 5 kids. Or how to trek 5 children across country on all our random road trips.  Or feed them. Discipline them. Teach them. Parent them. Yipes.

A question I like to ask mommas who are a bit older than me is "How did you know when you were done?"  Most of them tell me that they just had peace knowing said child was the last.  And some say they just consider said child the last "for now," always leaving that door open just a bit in case God has other plans.

But right now I don't know where I stand.  And Andrew is uber understanding about that. If U4 was the last, he's okay.  If we're called to have and blessed with some more... That's okay too.  The whole idea that she might be our last is very foreign to me because I've never felt the need before to step back and go, "Woah... I'm not feeling mentally, physically, psychologically or spiritually ready to plug down this road again right now."  So I'm sitting with that.  I'm trying to discern... with Andrew... The whens and ifs of another baby.

Being "done" seems so final to me and I'm pretty sure I'm not ready to say that just yet, but I'd love to hear other parent's thoughts on this.  How do you know when you've produced the number of people you were intended to produce? Do you ever know for sure?