Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the unborn, Pray for us. This image is associated with the unborn, especially those in danger of abortion. I thought fitting for this post about children and being open to life always. This is my "Something About Mary" for today.
A friend asked me a few weeks ago how I could be excited for another baby. At first, I was kind of taken aback and shocked she was asking this, but then, she explained she meant nothing negative, she was just trying to understand. Her two children are grown now, and she wishes now that she'd had more children, but at the time, she had her hands full and could not imagine having more.
She asked me if I was worried about being able to handle all of them, as my time is filled now. She has babysat for us a few times and knows how constant it is. I thought maybe there are some readers who think the same thing, so thought I'd address it here too. Yes, I am almost 40 (just a week or so after this baby's birth) and I have type 1 diabetes, and yes, they are long, hard pregnancies.
I explained, first, trust. Trust in God. He is the One who gave us this life (of another child) and He knows what we can handle. I'm not saying it is going to be easy. I know it will be hard and challenging at times, but I'm not afraid of that. Babies and children go through different stages every 3 months, so whatever is hard will only be hard for so long and then life will move onto the next stage, whatever that will be.
I have to admit, that after having the 4th baby, the hardest thing for me was that any time I had with 3 children, like exercising time, walking, gardening, etc...was now gone. That time was filled with the 4th baby. That was hard to get used to. (she was born June 1, so that summer was a wash!) But by the next summer, things had changed and those things could be a part of my life again.
Now, I probably make things harder on myself, as I don't pump, I feed on demand and so that baby is glued to me until I wean them around 1 1/2 years. I love my babies (we all do) and cherish that time when they are young, as it goes sooo fast, before you know it, it's gone. I actually loved getting up in the night, especially with my last baby, I am happy I nurse and my hubby cannot do anything, as I am kind of selfish that way, I love that time with my little one, that one on one time, quiet time, between her and I. It's weird, I feel very close to God at that time.
I'm not saying I don't get tired, because I do, and if that baby gets up an extra time, like say 4 times, well, that kind of breaks the "perfect" amount of sleep to be able to exist the next day without being crabby.
I also so look forward to the brand new personality. I catch myself wondering while at the hospital with my newest baby, what the next one will look like. Being so amazed at how different they all are. I love their different personalities. It amazes me. I fall in love with my husband all over again seeing him with our new little one. And seeing him with the older ones.
So, basically my answer to her was:
I don't worry. I trust. How I'm going to handle it is not even a thought until it has to be. I think people today are afraid to trust. Afraid to let go. I think when people see mothers of larger families, they are in awe. They are deep down jealous or maybe disappointed that they could not do it. At least they think they couldn't. People are afraid of letting go of their bodies, giving complete control to God, the maker of that body. Some people don't like the "baby" years. They are hard years. I would just say that time goes so fast and is so worth it.
I personally, after struggling with infertility the first few years of our marriage, believe each baby is a gift from God and cannot say "NO" to God. He knows best.
A doctor, while I was in the hospital with my broken leg, asked me, with her nose wrinkled up in disgust, as she was leaving my room, "Uh, are you planning on having any more children?" As if it were any of her business anyway, as if because I have a broken leg, that is a reason to not have anymore. I said "I hope so, we leave it up to God" knowing she has one adopted child and was unable to conceive, I went on to say, that "many people struggle with infertility and who am I to say "no thank you God" to His gifts." Her last words to me were "Well, we each have our own opinions."
Yes, doctor, we do, and I will pray for you.