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May 29, 2012

Revisiting This Whole Wanting More Children Topic...

Almost as soon as I posted this last week, I started questioning my words. No, not questioning where I am emotionally with the idea of "being done" but questioning the use of the word "want" with regards to children.  I received some comments on my Facebook posting of the blog that made me think and continued the conversation via inbox there.  Thank you, to that dear friend of mine, for the thought-provoking commentary, it was well-accepted and needed.  :)

Then, I read Leila's post today and I knew I had to revisit this.  

Because even though I knew what I meant when I wrote my words, I worry that my published words may lead others astray and that's a responsibility that I do not take lightly.

A few years ago, I had another blog, that...in a fit of early pregnancy hormones I deleted (I mused for about 15 months on a blog called, "Musings of a Catholic Lady.")  On that blog, I once displayed my heart with regards to how many children I wanted and that I knew that no matter how many children I was blessed with, I would want them all because God wanted them and wanted me to have them.

Over the past year, #5 - Vincent - has grown, learned much and captured my heart as only a unique little baby boy can.  And...I have wondered if he is the last blessing I receive in my womb.  I don't know if he is, of course.  In wondering that, I have wondered whether Craig and I would actually TRY to conceive in the future and that led to the posts I have had as I try to work out my feelings about continued childbearing and family size discernment. 

There is a difference between accepting new life (whether you are open or not) and actively working to achieve that end.  We know through our use of NFP and our history that we can increase our odds of a blessing behaving in certain ways and "taking a chance" isn't the same thing as active pursuit.  It could be that I should have used the words "active pursuit" instead of "want" somehow as I discussed this discernment.

I don't intend to diminish the sadness I feel about the window of fertility closing.  I am sad.  The thought of never giving birth again and the thought of never cuddling a tiny piece of me close to my heart in the wee hours of the morning during the early weeks (or not-so-early as the case may be) of a newborn's life gives me great pause.  Should the message from God ring loud and true (sometime in the span of the next 8-10 years) that my time is up, I have a feeling I will be sad enough to cry about it.  But I worry that my post last week did diminish this and since that was not my intent, here I am to clarify.

A much wiser woman than I once wrote in a space I cannot remember, but I know it was on the internet that she and her husband are open to more children, but they hope that God has finished.  Perhaps that is more the sentiment I hope to convey.  

In the end, I truly feel as I said then...that should we be blessed with another baby, we'll want the baby, because God wants the baby and wants us to have the baby.  

Should it be the case, that God has not finished with us, I am confident that we will love and cherish her/him and know that our family wasn't complete until he/she came along.  



  1. I really appreciate how you've made your posts on this subject so well-rounded!

    It is challenging for me to read one-sided posts about how no one ever regrets choosing to have more children, because I know that my mother has serious regrets and has said that she would do things differently in a hypothetical situation. God has given you a deep desire to be the best mother you can be, and at some point that can mean serious sacrifice in avoiding more children. Anyway, I love your nuance and I don't see how anyone reasonable could think that there is something wrong with your perspective.

  2. I'm a new reader and don't know you well, but I knew what you meant. :-)

    Active pursuit instead of want is a good way to describe it.

  3. I like the phrase "active pursuit" too, although yes, I think most readers did understand what you meant by "want." There is also a difference between discerning future children and being open and discussing a child who is already conceived... that child will always be wanted by God and hopefully the parents, regardless of circumstances, will find a way to conform their emotions to God's plan.

    As a side note, this issue really isn't a light one as most of us know! I had a friend lose her mother due to a pregnancy-related complication (baby survived, thank God). Many had worried that this last baby would be too much for her body, had advised against it, but the parents wanted to stay open. It was hard to process why God would allow this to happen to this faithful couple, and I know it was/is hard on all the kids. Their youngest is certainly a blessing and yet it's such a bittersweet situation.

  4. Michelle, I think you've written well on this topic. I can't speak for others, but I have always understood your meanings -- and so often, especially for people who share our faith, there is a mix of feelings regarding family size (happy with family size/hoping for more/willing to accept more lovingly). Don't stress yourself out: you've done a great job explaining things. :)


Thank you for reading. I enjoy reading other perspectives, please feel free to share yours. :)