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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Monday, January 5, 2009

How Do You Know If Your Family Is Complete?

I think there must be millions (or more) ways to know. I think, sometimes, that the innate knowledge of our family size is pre-programmed... like, we always pretended to have a certain number of kids when we were kids and that's exactly how many we're supposed to have. Probably, in those instances, it's a memory we're allowed to retain to help us in our life here.

When I was younger, my Mom would tell people (and I heard, of course) that she started to feel someone missing when she had 2 or 3 kiddos. She would count us when preparing to leave the grocery store or something and feel like she was missing a child. She KNEW she had all the children she'd given birth to, but still felt someone missing. I asked her, after Eddie was born, if she still felt anyone missing. She didn't think she did. So, I felt confident that our family was complete. Pretty neat. Right?

Given that I came from a family whose Mama was so secure in knowing that her family was complete, I wished and hoped that I would have such a sense for my own family. As it happens, the sense has come in a different form, but is much the same in its purpose. I'm SO grateful!

Right after I had Ria, I ached to get preggie immediately and have another baby. Kat wasn't born until Ria was 2 years and 7 months old, but I knew I would have (needed) another baby.

When I had Kat I felt a peace in the moment after her birth and thought to myself, "This is wonderful! Two daughters. I can wait this same length of time or longer between this one and the next." To my mind the whisper of the Holy Ghost came (which I could recognize at this time, but would not have known before), "DON'T COUNT ON IT!" It was clear as a bell, firm, and undeniable. So, I rather expected to get preggie really soon after Kat's birth. As it happened, she was just a tiny bit older than 2 years when Tea joined our family. Kat was born Oct. 10th and Tea was born Oct. 25th.

Tea was born and I didn't have either of the previous sorts of feelings, really. I think the lack of feeling came more as a desire to do the Lord's will than to really have my own plan for things... since my own plans seem to be opposing the Lord's will much of the time. (How depressing, righT?!) I suppose it's an exercise in humbling myself to the Lord's Will, eh? So, I started to feel sort of sad, thinking that maybe we wouldn't have any more children. (As a child I always thought I would have AT LEAST 4... probably more like 6 kids. So, 3 felt really incomplete to the way I thought things would be.)

My Mom came to visit, if you recall. While she was here I had "a moment." Tea was about 2 weeks old. The sister missionaries were leaving. Ria was outside, just outside the front door. My Mom was holding Kat and I was holding Tea. In "the moment" I felt scared half to death because I was sure Kat was in the driveway (as the sisters were pulling away). Now, this is taking into account that I could see my Mom with a child (Kat) in her arms, I knew where Ria and Tea were... I thought Kat was Tea, though! Even though I could plainly SEE her, I thought Kat was Tea. I thought I was holding a new baby... not Tea! Immediately after sort of realigning my sense of time and reality, I realized that this was the answer to my concerned queries to the Lord. I WOULD and SHOULD have another child. What a relief... via a REALLY odd-feeling experience!

I haven't had any doubt about that addition to our family. I'm not excited to go through pregnancy OR labor again as yet, but I know there will be another to join us sooner or later. I'm all right with that. Happy to know, for sure. Given that I feel secure in this knowledge, it was rather disconcerting when a couple of weeks ago I had another "moment". I can't help but wonder if our next child is calling to us... or, maybe, tagging along as we live our lives and I only feel her/his presence once in a while!?? It also strikes me that the first time I had "the moment" was when Tea was 2 weeks old and this last time when she was 2 months old! Strange, ne/eh?

How do YOU know? Have you just decided and are sticking stubbornly by your once made decision? Or are you open to the promptings that might suggest that you should increase your family regardless of your circumstance? I certainly wouldn't think that we should increase our family right now, given our financial situation. And, given my history, my breastfeeding amenorhea will enable me to stay barren for the short-term... until Tea moves from our bed, it seems my experience suggests. BUT, if the Lord want that next child to enter our family sooner than I think possible, it will surely happen! Anyway... just my thoughts. :)


Jenny said...

Well I, for one, DON'T know. I finally decided that if/when the time is right for another one, then I hope I am living right and ready for it. Other than that, although I have always wanted more than the two I have, I have also decided that I am going to find joy in the blessings that are already here and focus on them. It took me a lot longer than I had planned/hoped/expected to go from being a parent of one to a parent of two. But I remember finally just accepting it and realizing how much more I enjoyed Ammon without putting the constant pressure/questions in my mind about when he would gain a sibling. I used to obsess over it and I have learned that I just can't do that anymore.

Katy said...

With the girls it was more of an obvious next step in my life. I never felt a strong "NOW is the time", but neither did I feel in either case that I was petitioning the Lord for something contrary to His plan for me.

I did have a feeling for the better part of a year before we adopted Isaiah (adopting NOT being something we were planning or trying for at the time) that we'd be having a son. At the time I was not getting pregnant despite trying, yet I kept having these promptings of a son coming, so I was fairly confused - though actually uncharacteristically calm and easygoing about the whole thing.

Then one day - BAM! - out of the blue we had an adoption opportunity literally fall in our laps, and I knew (before having been told the gender) that this baby was a boy and was the son we'd been waiting for.

Heavenly Father actually had a few more surprises in store for us, and we had been on quite the roller-coaster of emotions by the time Isaiah arrived a few short months later.

I hope when my family is complete I will have a sense of peace about it and just know. At this point I do not have that feeling of peace or completeness, so I do hope there is another (or possibly others) still to come!

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