I know what you might be thinking.
How do I know? Because about 1 hour after having the positive pregnancy test I couldn't stop thinking about it.
I couldn't stop thinking about what you might be thinking. Or what you might be saying.
I know that a lot of people will be happy for us and excited that the Starbucks are having another baby! But sadly, I also know some of you won't understand. You'll joke about what goes on in our bedroom and you'll make wise cracks about what type of birth control we use. You might even take some jabs at the Catholic Church and wonder why we are still living in the "dark ages". You'll be dumb-founded as to why people would want kids so close or want more than one or two. You'll wonder how we can afford another baby. You'll say "Don't they want to experience life, take vacations, buy a house, get out of debt before having any more kids?"
Honestly? Most of that is actually none of your business.
However, I am more than willing to clear some things up for you.
Andrew and I use NFP (Natural Family Planning) and it is NOT the rhythm method. The rhythm method does not work and is extremely outdated. Now this post isn't to get into the specifics of NFP (that's for another time). I will include some links at the end of the post for you to do a little research. A lot of people will ask what makes NFP different then contraception. In a nut shell? The Church understands that there are serious reasons for postponing pregnancy (i.e. financial situations, health reasons, etc.) but unlike when using contraception, you are still being open to life with NFP. You know that even if you are trying to postpone pregnancy, there is still always a chance that God will bless you with a child. After James, Andrew and I knew that we needed some time to recover financially and I needed sometime to recover physically, spiritually, and mentally.
Then in April God blessed us. I'll be honest. I was quite shocked when I saw those two little pink lines. I laughed. I laughed one of those like "is this real life?!" laughs. Then I waited for Ashton Kutcher to bust into the bathroom and tell me that I had been punked. Another baby? I just had Irish twins! How am I supposed to do this? But then...I was filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. Would I have liked to have a little more space between James and baby number 3? Sure. But God thinks I can handle 3 kids under 3...so I must be able to. I know that He will give me the grace I need for each new day, just like He does now. Will it be hard? Of course. 1 kid is hard! So is 2, 3, 4 etc! God doesn't give us more than we can handle.
It just makes me sad how our culture embraces, or rather, doesn't embrace a 2nd, or 3rd child (and more after obviously). Why does everyone only get super excited for the first? Why can't we always be super excited over new life. A new little human is being made! That is so cool. This little human will have it's own laugh and smile. This little human will be different than everyone else. Doesn't that deserve a celebration? I heard a mother of seven say that after number three, they just stopped making big announcements because most of the time they were met with nasty comments and negativity. I've already received some rude comments from people. People who don't even know me. People who ask when my husband and I are going to "stop having those things" and then when I say we aren't planning on it, they reply with "Jesus, that's just terrible." Needless to say that comment has haunted me since it left that person's lips.
I should've been able to just rejoice about the new life within me when I saw those two little lines. Instead, I obsessed over what people would think of me or say about myself and my family. But I'm done with that now. While the nasty comments still hurt, I'm moving past them.
Yesterday afternoon I was on the couch with both my boys asleep in my lap and a gentle thunderstorm rolled in. The TV was off and the house was silent. Then I felt the baby move. I was instantly in tears. The love I felt for my children in that moment was indescribable. All I knew that was that in that moment in time life was perfect. Nothing else mattered. I just sat there and breathed in the heavenly scent of my children and focused on the little flutters in my womb.
God is so good! And he has blessed us abundantly. There is no perfect time to have a child. There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to be smart about it! It is good to be a responsible adult when it comes to taking care of little humans. But it's important to understand that there will always be things in life that you'd like to change. This life we are in will never be perfect...and that's ok! So why not fill it with laughter and sticky fingers? Why not fill it with crayon drawings on the walls and messes so big you can't see the floor? Why not fill it with first steps and first days of school?
And I know there are many women who are struggling with infertility and would give just about anything to have a baby (or more babies). When people see a married couple without kids we think "What's wrong with them? Why don't they have kids? Don't they want kids? Isn't that selfish." And that has to stop too! We don't know how long they've been trying or how badly they want a baby. That's why I am so grateful for the children God has given me because I have seen family and friends struggle with infertility.
I once heard a mother say "At the end of my life, I'm not going to regret the children I had, I'm going to regret the ones I didn't have." Doesn't matter if it's your third in just over three years (ahem) or this is the baby you've been trying for for three years...Every baby should be loved, cherished and celebrated.
Loved. Cherished. Celebrated.