Monday, July 7, 2008

The Magic Number

My friends have ranging numbers of children. Some have decided their families are complete, others aren't sure or know they still want to add to their family. I know families of all girls and all boys and mixtures of genders.

With the availability of many different types of birth control, many families "choose" the size of their family. There are always those who get a little "surprise." A few friends have recieved this precious surprise due to hubby's lack speed in getting a particular procedure done, once the family size was decided on. Around me, it seems that many have settled on 2. A few ended up with 3 due to hubby's tardiness in getting a particular procedure done.

I strongly believe that God is in control of reproductive organs! If He so desires, God has a way of getting around all of our prevention. Conversely, I think there are times conception is delayed as a part of God's plan. And then there are those who struggle so greatly against fertility issues---none of which I believe are God's direct doing.

But--here's my question for today. How do you determine that "magic number?" And what if the magic number is different for husband than for wife?

I have this strong desire for another child. Growing up in a family of 4 kids, I always imagined myself with 4 or more kids. I loved having a lot of siblings and even as an adult, I still do. When we've faced various family difficulties, tragedies and challenges--the more shoulders to bear the burden, the better.

Bean would have been happy with just one child. A famous story in our life is that the night before my scheduled c-section with Miss Rose (#1) he mentioned that he had never seen himself as a father or having children. Not a good thing to tell your 39-week, hugely pregnant and highly hormonal wife! We decided to add to our family because we saw value in Miss Rose having a sibling. (I was willing to say anything to get that second baby!!)

I have many friends with two children who have decided their family is complete. There are a lot of pro's to two children. When the whole family is together, there's always a 1:1 ratio. He gets one, I get the other. We fit in basic cars/small SUV's. With two children of the same gender, we could even get by with a two-bedroom house. The list could go on.

But there is this desire deep down inside me for another child. I just can't imagine not having another one. It doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl--at this point, I'd expect a third girl. I just want another baby, someday.

Bean and I have had many discussions about this. He looks at it from the practical, financial standpoint. The addition of another child would divide our ability to help with vehicles, college, weddings, by 3 instead of 2. However, I figured out my own way through 4 years of private college--and although I have student loans, it was well worth it. Bean and I pretty much paid for our own wedding. Neither were the end of the world and it all worked out. I DO want to provide my kid with the best I can, but I have to acknowledge that it's all in God's hands anyways.

A few months back we reached a compromise. My AMAZING hubby recognized the fact that while he will love a third child just as much as the first two, I would always feel an emptiness not having a third child. We both were willing to give up our sides, but I really appreciate his insight, because I think he is right. So, Lord willing, we will have a third child.

There are days though, I try to convince myself that my two are enough, that we are complete. I'm a bit envious of those who have reached this conclusion, because there are a lot of positives about stopping at two. I try to imagine our family, years down the road, with Miss Rose and Gracie. While I know life would be full and lovely, I still have the longing for more.

I guess I just have to trust God and the desire he's placed in my heart. There must be a child that he has predestined to be in this world, with us as his/her parents. My long-time favorite scripture verse is "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." I've always held to the fact that when you are delighting in him, the desires in your heart are his desires for you. So I suppose if I make sure I'm delighting in him, and the desire for another child remains--it's up to him to make it happen.

(and secretly, I'd LOVE for a third pregnancy to result in twins...then I'd get my 4 children and Bean would have to accept it as God's will!)


  1. So, Joe is the oldest of 6, and I'm the oldest of 3. When we talked about having kids 2 wasn't enough for us, 3 there would be an odd man out (not fun if it's you), so 4 was where we landed together. We started our family on our honeymoon, unexpectedly! Then prayed for another , it didn't seem to be happening. . . #2 is 3.5 years younger, after those two pregnancies I thought I would be okay to be done but we kept getting surprised! Now with 4 we are officially done - our family is complete.
    Going places takes lots of preparation, not just the diaper bag sort, loving discipline, and a set plan of action. Here in Utah, 4 is not that big of a deal - but when we were in Arizona last Feb - I got so many complements about how well behaved our kids were, and how brave I was for taking them in public. Oh and hotel rooms are difficult, and a minivan full of carseats is useless, unless the kids are in it!
    I don't think there is a magic number but glad that you have come to an agreement - your ache for more wouldn't just go away.

  2. I agree that that ache in your heart must mean something! And it is great that Roger wants you to have the desire of your heart, too. That is exciting. I grew up in a family of 3, Martin of 6, and we both were "burned out" from being the oldest and taking care of everyone. We both agreed that 2 would be enough (especially after we had the 2nd and they were so close together). BUT, I think there will always be an ache in my heart for a girl. We both don't want to try again for that (he's "snipped" anyway now) :) but we feel we've left room open for adoption in the (way) future. We'll just see what happens! Maybe my future daughter(s) will be my amazing daughters-in-law.... :)

  3. P.S. Most people i know have felt when their family is complete - you can see both Amy & I felt that too, so it seems your family is not complete just yet or you'd know it in your heart!! :)

  4. I knew the moment Ryan was born that I wanted one (actually two) more children. Like Bean, Matt also was content to stop at two. I'm opposite of you in the sense that I only had one brother who lived with my dad from the time I was in 4th grade. I was essentially an only child and I hated it. My bff comes from a family of five children and I love going to her family get-togethers. I want my house to always be filled with the "noise" and laughter of children. My children will always have friends to play with and always have someone there for them. I did get God's blessing of the third pregnancy being twins, and now I know my family is complete with four little monkeys!!! Yes, it does cost more money, we'll never be able to downsize our vehicle or our house, but when those little eyes look at you with unconditional love, they tell you "I love you", the babies smile at you, etc, etc, etc... it makes all of those other things worth it!!
    I agree that the number of children is different for everyone, and I'm happy you've come to the agreement to have a third child!! I'll keep you in my prayers that God blesses you with another beatiful child (... maybe 2!!!)!!!


Thanks for your comment! I always love getting feedback on my posts.