They say you will just know.
Your family will feel complete and you will be confident in your decision to not have any more kids.
But what happens if you don’t “just know”?
What happens if this feeling of confidence eludes you? What if you are mostly content in your present circumstances, but you wonder if in five, 10, or 20 years you will regret not adding another member to your family while you still had the chance?
What if the rational side of your brain tells you it makes total sense not to add another child to your family—because most days it feels like you have more than you can handle with the kids you have already been blessed with. Because you don’t have any more room in your already messy house. Because you have already sold all your baby items. Because having a newborn would completely change everything, and quite honestly, maybe you can’t even afford to add another family member. Yet, you still can’t completely let go of the idea.
What if your body reminds you on a daily basis it isn’t up for handling another hard pregnancy—because months upon months of non-stop nausea were really hard on you physically and mentally. Because you aren’t as young as you once were, and you aren’t sure if you can survive another newborn phase of waking up every two to three hours for months on end. Plus, you have other health issues you are trying to work through. Yet, you still don’t feel ready to say never again.
You know how lucky you are to be able to have experienced this miracle at all—watching those two pink lines form after you have prayed so long for their existence. Seeing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. The ultrasound photos of 10 tiny fingers and 10 perfect toes. Hearing the first cry in the delivery room, and having your soul changed forever. Witnessing that first smile and those first baby giggles. Watching a baby learn to roll over, sit-up, crawl, toddle, walk, and then run. So many firsts . . .
What if your heart is not sure if it’s ready to never experience those firsts again?
What if your partner “knows” and adamantly says he doesn’t want to have any more children, but you ache every time you see a baby?
You are left to wonder—do other mamas feel this way?
Do they question their decision because they have never felt a clear sense of just knowing and other mamas seem to have it all figured out?
Do they cry when their partners talk about wanting vasectomies because that feels like slamming a door on what could have been, instead of gently closing it?
Do they ever feel like they are being ungrateful because their hearts are so full already with the children they have and shouldn’t that be enough?
Do they mourn as they say goodbye to this sacred stage of motherhood?
Maybe you are in the midst of not knowing, of questioning, of doubting, of uncertainty, or of mourning.
It’s a hard place to be. I know, because I am there, too.
Maybe you and I were never meant to “just know”. Maybe we were meant to learn to trust.
Trust that whatever our family looks like now, or whatever it might look like in the future is exactly how it was supposed to be.
Trust that even if it feels like we don’t have the answer, God has had it all along.
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