When I was little I wanted 8 kids. Then, in high school, after I started babysitting a lot more, that number dropped to 6. After I had Ethan, another 2 future kids got bumped from the list, bringing my total to 4. And after Aiden, my husband and I agreed that 3 would be the right number for our family.
I became pregnant very easily both times and besides the regular gripes, I enjoyed being pregnant. Although the number of children we desire has shifted in part because Aiden was born with Apert Syndrome, that certainly isn't the only reason. Several things have been a factor in that decision. For starters, the fact that I've barely been able to carry a child to term (Ethan was 3.5 weeks early and Aiden was 5.5 weeks early) has me a little nervous to go through it again. And of course there is always the financial aspect - with or without a child with special medical needs, kids are expensive! However, lately we've been faced with the very real possibility that perhaps 2 children is all we will have. This has taken some getting used to.
We have been trying to get pregnant for right at a year now. Tomorrow, my husband and I will be seeing a fertility specialist for the first time to discuss how we would like to proceed. I've known several friends and family who have experienced infertility, and yet it is often something that nobody talks about. It has been an emotional roller-coaster for me and I hope you don't mind me sharing.
I can't seem to grasp how after successfully having two children, my body seems to have forgotten how to do so. I keep wondering if perhaps the big man upstairs is trying to tell me "you've got all you can handle, move on". But the desire is there, so I feel like I'm supposed to at least try to figure it out.
Throughout this process, I have second guessed every decision, every thought along the way. What if we do have another child and the relationship between Ethan and Aiden suffers because Ethan and the youngest can relate more to each other? If we don't have another baby, will Aiden always wonder if he was the reason why? And if we do, will he wonder if it was so we could have another child without a syndrome? How much more difficult will it be to care for two kids rather than just one when Aiden is in the midst of surgeries or unforeseen medical circumstances? And what would happen if we had another child with special medical needs? Perhaps I would be too worried about that possibility to even enjoy the experience of being pregnant again.
Some small part of me wants to call it unfair that things can't just happen easily for us. That we somehow "deserve" to have an easy road from here on out with all we've had to endure. And yes, I know that is rather selfish. All of these questions weigh heavily on my heart, and yet I know there is no way of knowing or preparing for the future. Being a "planner" by nature, it has been difficult to feel so off course. I am anxious to see where the next few months lead us - and plan to just take one day at a time. Even though I feel that deep down we are supposed to be a family of five, I just have to remember:
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9