Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Long Time...

Wow, I cannot even believe it's been 3 months since I posted last. Needless to say, I have not had the time or brain capacity to sit down and really get something good out on my blog or at all, really. A friend asked me the other day what my aspirations for writing were and before I could even answer, he took the words out of my head and said "or do you not even dare dream right now?.." "No time for dreamin' " was my reply.

On January 20th my daughter, Isabella was born. It was a long labor, same as the last two. It was harder somehow. Emotionally, I just had a really hard time with it, I'm not sure why. And for the first day or so, I really had a hard time even wanting to be her mother. When she cried, I just looked at her and only after a long time did I feel a small pain over hearing her cry and it was only then that I picked her up. I might have just been really tired or at least that's what people kept telling me. But I knew it was something deeper and I knew I had to force myself out of it. After the first 2 days, I slowly got back to the mommy I know I am and loved her and took care of her with every ounce of my being. She is a fussy baby, fussier than either one of my others ever were. But somehow, just like everyone else, I'll get through these days, weeks and months of early life for a newborn and it will all just be a distant memory how tired I am, how crazy I feel.

This leads me to an issue I've been battling with since basically the night I was in labor. I don't know if I can do this again. Part of me knows I'm just worried about what my in-laws would say if I did get pregnant with our 4th. But also, for myself, emotionally, I really don't know if I can do this again. Aside from the thought of going through yet another really long labor, I have been struggling for the past 5 weeks with the idea that there could even be more children. I love my children and I am always wanting to do whatever God wants me to do but at the same time, I struggle with being emotionally strong enough to raise my children how I feel He wants me to. And I ask, does God actually interfere with procreation in such a way that I would know with out a doubt if He has plans for more children for me? This is a very confusing subject.

I remember a while back, I posted something about only certain very extreme situations being okay to put a stop to having children. And I remember a practically close-minded view I had about the extremity of the situations. One of my sisters and I had several back and forths about this issue and her words led me to a place of being at least on the fence about how I feel rather than being totally convicted of there being hardly any reasons for a Christian couple to decide not to have more children, from a general point of view.

But now, as I've had more discussions with more people and have gotten to a place where I am having a hard time with this issue personally, I just don't know anymore how I feel about my own situation. My sister said that it was a personal issue between the couple and God and that each couple has different issues that might or might not justify their actions if they chose to stop having children.

As I've said before, I definitely do not believe that wanting to have more "things" or more money or more time on my own is a good reason to stop having children. I feel like that would be very selfish of me. But at the same time, I don't want to be on a crusade to totally populate the world on my own!! This is a heart issue, one that really didn't show itself to me too strongly before I gave birth to my third baby. My mom told me that I am the "earth mother" in the family, the one that was made to have babies, the one that is going to have the most babies out of her 7 children. This alarmed me.. I really feel like it takes a very special person to have a large family and be able to provide physically, spiritually and emotionally for them the way they should. I feel like it takes a very special person to really mean it when they say 'I want as many babies as God will give me' and be able to meet the needs at every angle of what that conviction entails.

I don't feel like I'm this special person.

I have always been a very sensitive girl. I have always had screwed up emotions, dealing with life's issues on a very different level than an emotionally stable person would. Having the duty of bearing and raising children is probably the most difficult thing in the entire world. However, it is the most rewarding. But the point is that for me, it involves so much emotional strength and it is hard for me to understand how I can stretch myself even more than I already have for my three for even just one more. Because at this point, my strength is being tried and tested and jumped on and pulled apart and I feel almost like it would be unhealthy for me to have any more and it would also be unfair to them.

Then we have my husband who is totally dead-set against having any more children. But I think that he just feels like that right now because he is worried as I am about what his parents will say and because of the craziness in the house with the 2 older ones being the age they are and trying to get used to the new baby. And maybe I feel kind of scared about having more because of this reason, too. Perhaps if there was more of a gap between my third and the next, it wouldn't be so bad. I don't know.

I know I need to really figure out how I feel about this and talk to God about it and all of that. But there just doesn't seem to be any time for that.....