Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Trouble with Three

We're in a nice little sweet spot right now with Carter.  He's past a lot of the newborn difficulties, he's super smiley and sweet, and he can't run off or talk back yet.  While I can't even fathom having another baby anytime soon (or ever), Carter's been a sweet enough baby that if I could be convinced, he'd probably be able do it. 

But of course I know that not every baby is as sweet as him, and he's a prime example of how babies can bring about the unexpected (hello, $2,500 for formula!), so when I'm thinking logically, there is no way we're doing this again.  I'm not sure my body can take it, for one.  Jacob was 10 days early and Carter was three weeks early, so where would that leave another baby?  Yeah, probably two weeks late!  I was so uncomfortable last time, and so miserable that I didn't feel well enough to take care of Jacob the way I would have liked.  And if we were doing this again, we'd have to do it soon because of my age...but doing it with a challenging big kid AND a toddler?  UGH.  I don't want to go through labor again, because now we know these kids come out sunny side up and it hurts.  We don't have the money for more daycare, and I don't want to have to get another new vehicle to fit three kids after I just bought a new one (though Craig is lobbying for a minivan when he finally gets rid of his car).  I don't want to feel like we need a new house.  And while I love my boys, three of them might be more than I can handle.  I don't have enough time for the kids I have now, and I can't even imagine adding a third to the list.  Having another baby is just not logical.

But there's a tiny part of me that still wants a daughter, and if I could guarantee that next time we'd get a girl, I'd really have to think long and hard about it.  Of course we can't do that, so it's not an issue, but the mere fact I'd consider it says something.  I've really enjoyed watching Carter grow this time around.  I think the knowledge that this needy baby turns into someone (someone difficult, perhaps, but a real person) makes the entire ride that much more interesting the second time around. Part of me is simply curious to see what a third would be like, especially if it's a girl.  Also, there's just something about three kids that sounds pretty great.  It's just enough to make holidays and get-togethers that much more fun, without it being overwhelming.  I've heard things about how having three makes sure that one kid always has someone else to turn to when the other sibling isn't cutting it.  Of course, I've also heard that three is the hardest number since you have to transition to zone defense instead of man-to-man, and you no longer fit in a world made for families of four--restaurant booths, kitchen tables, cars, amusement park rides, etc.  But once in a while, it still sounds pretty cool if we could pull it off.

If it were to happen, it would probably have to happen in one of two ways--it would either have to be planned out to the day (like Carter), or it would have to be a miracle of epic proportions to overcome both the fact that I'm on birth control and my fertility issues.  So, unless something changes drastically, it's not happening unless God emphatically decides it's happening.  And sometimes I can't help but wonder how I'd react if that happened.  Fear?  Excitement?  Dread?  All of the above?

Well, the other day I read a couple really depressing blog posts by a husband and wife who have found themselves in a similar situation.  Read them here and here.  Their situation is a little different in that they already had one and went through fertility treatments for another, only to find themselves pregnant with twins.  They are completely overwhelmed and depressed about how their decision to up their chances of a pregnancy by implanting two embryos turned into something they are sure will ruin their family.  On one hand, their attitudes are pretty appalling.  They speak like the babies aren't real people, that they're merely a burden.  But on the other hand, I understand where they're coming from.  Heck, if we were surprised with an unexpected pregnancy, I think I might have some of those same feelings...though I'd hope I'd feel guiltier about my frustrations than they sound. 

I was on antibiotics for a few days following my hedge trimmer incident, and antibiotics can make birth control ineffective.  We took precautions, but it definitely got me thinking about how I'd feel if I accidentally got pregnant right now.  I would be absolutely terrified.  I'd worry about paying for more daycare and managing two kids so close together.  I can't imagine having Carter's birthday party while massively pregnant, or figuring out how to move kids into different rooms.  I can't handle all I have to do every evening right now as it is, let alone with another baby.  It would bring in so many extra expenses, probably make Jacob's behavior even worse, and in the words of those bloggers, possibly ruin our family.  I'd like to think we're stronger than that, but it would be scary, no doubt.  Still, if it happened, I'd have to keep in mind that God did it for a reason.  It wouldn't be easy, but I'd just have to remember that there's a purpose for it and hope that gets us through. 

I feel for those bloggers and pray for those kids--they're going to need it.  But as for us, as long as logic continues to dictate and modern medicine works the way it's supposed to, two is it for us.  That tiny part of me will always wish circumstances would have been different, but I think we'll be a happier family as a foursome. 

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