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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Green Eyed Monster

I am jealous. It is hard to explain of what but I will try.

I am jealous of anyone who is certain of their choices in the number of children they have, whether it is none, 1, 19 or anything in between.

I am jealous because it is a decision I am struggling with.

I say I because Jon has made his opinion clear- he would love to have a fourth but he is completely happy with our three if I am set with three.

And that is where the problem lies-I am in charge of the ultimate decision. And I don't know what to do. I know what I want but I don't know what I can handle.

It might seem like a funny time to be thinking about babies. My youngest is only 8 months old. But this is when the baby fever starts to bite. It then takes me about 6 to 8 months to work up the courage to jump in with both feet.

I have never felt this undecided before. After Madeline it was a case of when, not if. After Owen I paused a little more, was a little scared because things with two were going so well. But then I knew and along came Ben.

Jon has always been more certain before I am, but I think the fact that he works during the day might factor in a little. That and he doesn't need to be pregnant for nine months. And he is MUCH more laid back than I am. He is a wonderful father but he and I have different personalities.

This time I am scared. Downright scared of my ability to have four children. I love my three babies. And they make me so happy. I cannot imagine not having another baby. But I cannot imagine having enough patience to mother four kids. As I tell Jon, I don't know if there is enough Melinda to meet the needs of everyone in the house as it is, never mind adding another (very needy at first) human being to the mix.

Then of course we come to the financial aspect. For me having either Jon or I at home while the kids are young is important. If we have a fourth I don't know if this is something we can afford. And Jon and I don't want to have a fourth just to find out I now need to work full time. Add in the fact that I am thinking heavily about homeschooling and you take away my possible full time income. How does a fourth child factor in?

There is the health issue as well. I have dealt with gestational diabetes three times. All three babies were healthy and I was fine as well. But it is a factor in having a fourth. What effect will having gd four times have on my body? I lost an additional 15 pounds after Ben, will that help me NOT to develop it this time? And there is also the postpartum depression factor. I am doing okay, but I get overwhelmed very easily these days. How would a fourth baby effect that? How would I be as a mother?

Jon and I have discussed the possibilities. We have weighted the pros and the cons. And what it boils down to is wait and see. We have the age factor on our side. I just turned 31 and Jon will be 32 this summer. Yes our other children are spaced 2 years apart each time, but there is no reason we can't wait an extra 6 months or a year this time and have a larger space between Ben and the next child. It would make me 33 when the next child is born rather than 32, not a huge difference in the scheme of things.

It is a lot to think about. And I think a lot. Too much sometimes. I am trying to be more about the now and less about planning (not too much less mind you). But sometimes getting it out helps. And it did. I didn't resolve anything through this post. But I organized my thoughts a little. And I am giving myself permission to just take time. And enjoy my baby now and worry about possible future babies tomorrow, or the next day.

Anyone who has thoughts, advice or experience please share with me!

1 comment:

CLewis said...

I was just discussing this very thing with a friend of mine (who is expecting her fifth child any day now!). She said that when discussing it with her midwife she gave her the advice that you will know when it's time. If you aren't certain, wait. That is what we have done so far in our family planning. We too have 3, our youngest is a few days shy of 9 months. #4 is still up in the air but I am almost positive that because we don't feel strongly like we DON'T want more, there will come a time that we are certain we do. Does that make sense?
I think the best thing is that you and your husband are communicating about it. I would continue to think, pray, discuss and when the time is right, either way, you will know.