Thursday, August 14, 2008

Expanding the Family

I used to think I wanted five kids. Then I got pregnant and decided I only wanted one kid. I remember the last weeks of pregnancy feeling like I could only handle being that swollen and uncomfortable once in my life. And in the hospital I told anyone who would listen "Look, I am not kidding about this. I am only going to go through this one time. If I want any more kids I am just going to adopt them."

Then Norah was born and three days later I was ready to go through it all over again. It was that powerful. That fact that I gave birth to this beautiful and silly little girl sometimes seems so surreal. I think back on my experience with labor and just cannot believe that it really happened. I cannot believe that I housed another person in my body for nine months and then brought her into the world. I really can't wrap my mind around that. And sometimes when I think about all the bad things in this mean world I want to take her back and keep her inside me where she is safe and I have more control over what happens to her. The anxiety that comes with being so in love with a tiny baby-I cannot fully express it.

Now that I am a little further removed from how uncomfortable I was the last weeks of pregnancy and how uncomfortable I was in labor, I suppose I can think a little more clearly about the inevitable question: How many kids do we want to have?

I wish it was an easy answer. Rusty, in typical fashion, goes back and forth daily. Some days he only wants Norah, some days he wants more kids, some days he wants to adopt, some days he wants to just get having kids over with.

I go back and forth as well. Sometimes I think I don't want Norah to have to share my love with any other kids. But when I think about that I know that my love will grow exponentially with every baby we have. It's not like I have a set limit of love and will be forced to dole it out among our children. Sometimes I go back to my desire to just adopt any more kids we want to have. And then, to add even more confusion, I start to think how scary pregnancy and childbirth can be. I feel like everything went perfectly with Norah, but what happens if things do not go so perfectly with our next pregnancy? The possibilities, and all the things that could go wrong are things I don't even want to think about.

But when I get down to it and I when I think clearly, I do want another baby. Not right now. Preferably when Norah can feed and dress herself and has the ability to use the toilet, but eventually I want to be pregnant again. As much as I try I cannot express how it feels to support another life, but any woman who has experienced it probably knows what I'm talking about.
I want to experience this at least one more time.


Matt Cleaver said...

I think you and Rusty should try and break the record of that other family in Arkansas for the most children.

Alicia would love it.

Suzie said...

I with you. I thought two would be my limit now I want three sometimes I dont. I dont know. I cant imagine this baby being my last.