Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Having Babies

I must start this post, 
Just to clarify, so no one gets too excited here,
I am not pregnant.
(at this time)

 This is an issue I've been wanting to write about for quite some time.
Tom and I are, and always have been,
open to life.

 What that really means
is we are open to accepting Gods gift of life
We use no artificial means to prevent God's will.
 NFP, or Natural Family Planning, is used
to somewhat prevent in times of struggle, or recovery from C-sections,
of course, from  years of experience, 
I know my body very well.
I know when I'm ovulating, 
I know the baby days

 And I know the non-baby days.
That's really what NFP is, 
getting to know your body
the way God made it.
Like God made the woman's body to want to
make babies during the baby days.
(NFP is also used to achieve pregnancy-in knowing those baby days)
 When we were first married, we struggled with infertility.
For the first 3 years, we were childless.
(except for my daycare children)
(We also had a failed adoption attempt)

 I, still, to this day have no idea why that happened, 
except for us to be able to empathize with other childless couples
to some extent. 
Maybe it was not for us, 
maybe it was for others, for the priest who blessed our womb, 
for the couple that had their womb blessed after hearing about us.
Or the couples that heard about the womb blessing and conceived after that.
 Gods will is a mystery most often
and maybe it should stay that way, we do not need to know the "why's"
Being open to Gods will 
takes complete trust.

Complete trust.

That's not easy to do in today's world.

I mean who are we to say
 "no way God, we do not want children, we do not 
want the gifts You have for us, we know better for our lives."?

Complete trust means not worrying about what we want, 
or what we think is best for us.
 (working the pro life booth at the county fair this summer)

I am at an age now,
(almost 44)
where I've had 6 beautiful children,
plus one in heaven.
We are constantly in progress
with our faith, our marriage and our family

I'm torn right now.
There's a sadness in the possibility of Simeon being our last baby.
a sadness of the loss of future babies not conceived.
Because we already love that baby.
We love God's will for our lives.
I love children and love each new personality God gives us.
I have those baby feelings, or baby wantings, or baby fever.

God puts those feelings there for a reason.
I know it is a gift. 

Every time I count my kids, when going places or whatever
I think, "Someone is missing..."
6 doesn't seem that many

Like, is this it?

 On Sunday, during Mass, Simeon
crawled up on the pew and was standing to get something out of  the 
church bag, when I caught out of the corner of my eye, 
the woman behind us, probably in her 50's,
(I'm guessing her kids are grown now,
and she is in between her own kids and grandchildren),
and ever so slyly,
 rub Simeon's soft arm.

It was such a touching moment.  
My baby was a gift to her, even for just a moment.

A gift from God to me, 
and a gift from God to others.

My babies are a gift to us, always.  
As in I cannot even fathom to imagine life without any one of them.

I am torn, because, although, I have that baby fever,
I am also getting older.  (like how I added the "er")

I catch myself thinking about life without babies.
No more high chair taking up so much room in the kitchen,
No more baby toys and baby car thingy's all over the living room.
No more changing table.

And it's expensive, having kids, 
not necessarily babies, but kids?
We spend a small fortune on yogurt alone.
Money is tight. 
God always provides, He really does,
there might not be extra, but there is enough.

 And then there is my body
After 6 C-sections, that tummy...and
If we have another baby, 
there goes 2 years of my life
2 more years of giving my body
(I'm realistic here, folks, my body goes to pot)
Carrying a baby, nursing a baby, 
hard things, yes.

Really, what's 2 more years?
The years go so quickly (once they are gone)

And it is ever so rewarding and filled with blessings at the same time.

And where is the trust?
Complete Trust.

 Psalm 12- Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.

 So I am in the middle, 
not knowing if we will ever conceive again, 
and the fears that go along with that.
kind of looking forward to the next stage of aging.

 I think that is being open.
Open to whatever God wants of us.

So if God wishes to give us another precious little soul
to love, we would be ever so Thankful.
And if that is not God's plan for us, 
then, well, 
we are ever so Thankful for that too.

 Genesis 1:28 - And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


  1. It's interesting. I am not a huge fan of the baby phase. I keep thinking how it will be so much better in 5-10 years, when we are out of it and I feel like I can breathe a bit again. That being said, recently, I have started thinking about how sad it will be to have my 'last' baby (whenever God decides it's time for that). And how much I am looking forward to the newborn stage with this one almost done cooking. Someone said, with each new baby, you appreciate it more. I think they maybe right.

    1. Oh, Mary, I probably could not have written this with a baby in my womb...pregnancies are so hard (at least for me) Having more at that time is just a "I'll think about that later" thought!!

      That thing someone said, is so true, with each child, we have been more and more amazed that God would entrust us with another soul.

      Blessings to you and that sweet little baby in your womb!

  2. You hit the nail on the head...thankful either way. Its up to God and you're his willing participants. Love it!

    1. Easy for you to say, you are pregnant--haha!! No, I know you've written things similar, I write in good company!

      It's that trust thing, right?

  3. What a beautiful post! We have never had an issue conceiving. (We did however, give two babies back to God, for reasons unknown.)In fact for us, it was the opposite. So here we are with baby #8 on the way. You asked why I say this little blessing will be our last....because my body is giving out. My bladder is "falling out" to be blunt. I may not even be able to carry this little angel to term. So I will have to undergo a hysterectomy if we get through this pregnancy. I guess God has other plans for me as well. Good luck with your "baby adventures"...heeheehee!

    1. Oh, Arley, you are so young. I'm sorry for the sadness you have right now, and I pray you will be at peace and be able to fully enjoy your "last" baby.

  4. Oh Jamie Jo. I totally understand. Somedays, I'm so sad that my baby making years started so late. Mary Catherine has it in her mind that she wants 5 or 6 and I've told her countless times that if that is God's will and she is open to life than it will happen. No one knows though, right?! While having another baby is always a possibility...it's such a remote one for me. I'm down to one fallopian tube...I'm 44...and my body always develops gestational diabetes. It's like God knows me better than I know myself! LOL Anyway, my great-grandmother had her last baby at 48 so... :)


    1. SO, it's not that impossible, right? The trust comes in that not knowing. I didn't say it was easy!!

      48, WOW. How many babies did she have?

  5. Prayers for all of you ladies! I feel that baby longing so strongly almost all of the time now as I'm getting older - almost 43. It is so intense, it hurts. We have eight wonderful children, and I agree it gets better and better. with each one. But our finances are bad right now....please pray for me that I can accept whatever God has in store for us, and see it all as a gift.

    1. I always think it's not really that expensive, OK, diapers, but cheap Walmart ones, and nursing, but it's with each older child, it gets spendy. God will provide if it is His will. Prayers for you Robin.

  6. I think you took the words right out of my heart! I'm 47 soon and thankful for whatever God brings. Amen. God bless you and your grateful heart:)

    1. Tiffany, see Val's comment--her great Grandma was 48 with her last!!

  7. Jaime, thank you for writing this! Ed and I have been married six years, tried to concieve, but it never happened (maybe due to my age - I got married at age 41. Or maybe it was due to endometriosis stage four diagnosed eight months after getting married.). I think I tried everything - pleading with God, novenas, rosaries, creighton charting, napro doctors, two surgeries, medication, vitamins, losing weight, asking several priests for a womb blessing, losing weight, gaining it back again when I still didnt concieve, ect. Nothing worked. There was nothing I could do about it. I cried myself to sleep for the first several years of marriage (I would cry my little heart out while praying my rosary and cried so much to a kind Franciscan Friar I think I might have been one of the reasons he left New Bedford and moved sonewhere else - okay, probaly not but I miss him! He was so kind to me and comforted me.). But there was nothing we could do about it. So over the past year I have more or less accepted it. I love children though and have been a daycare teacher for twenty six years. I now call myself a mothers helper and love helping Moms with their children. I love it when a child gives me a hug or calls me their best friend. I also love visiting other Catholic families and seeing their beautiful children like Marijuanas and Shaun 's. Praying for you Jaime and your family! Much love and hugs to you! xo

    1. Maria Therese, I am so happy you are feeling some peace with all the struggles you've had. I think of you often. You are forever in my prayers. Your school children are so blessed to have you!

  8. So much beauty in this post. Today is the anniversary of finding out we lost our daughter Mary at 12 weeks gestation. She was our third miscarriage. We went on to lose another daughter this past April who we named Anne. I give thanks every single day for the 1 child we do have here on earth with us, Elizabeth and I would love to be blessed with another child here on earth so much it physically hurts sometimes. So I get all of what you are saying and your family is such an inspiration to so many of us.

    It is amazing to me how I can love someone so much that I may never have the chance to me and really they are only now just a prayer. (Meaning the children I hope to conceive someday). I love and cherish each of my 4 in heaven (Peter, Rose, Mary, and Anne) and hope to be reunited with them in Heaven.

    God Bless you Jamie and your family! May you be blessed with another baby to have and to cherish.

    1. Ugh, forgive my spelling mistakes...*chance to meet

    2. Oh, Joy Beyond Cross, I feel your pain...I hurt for you. You are in my prayers. So much pain. Purgatory on earth. I get that loving someone who is not yet here, I so get that. Isn't that proof alone, how precious life is? And that it is from God? The LOVE?

      So much love.

      Love being sent to you ((((hugs))))

  9. So very, very beautiful Jamie Jo. The words came from your heart to this screen and right into my very own heart. Thank you for sharing this...I feel sad knowing that at almost 44, with 4 C-sections behind me, and trouble conceiving all 4, that Flynn may very well be our last blessing. I savor each and every moment, never losing sight of how blessed we are. At the same time, that ache in my heart each month ( or every few months now thanks to premenopause! ) remains.

    Will I ever feel "Done"? Will that desire for one more ever go away? I don't know. But when you wrote about the woman in Mass, I know that will someday be me, and I am accepting that as well.

    Blessings, dear friend. It is comforting to know so many of us are out there together! : )

    1. Oh, all this has, it just HAS to make us better mamas, right? Oh, saying that word, "done" hurts to say. I won't say it til I'm 50. OK, maybe 49.

      I try to tell myself over and over, that desire is a gift. It's a gift.

      Blessings to you too friend!

  10. I "get it". Completely. I'm on the same page. This "mourning" hit me actually six years ago after the surprise pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage #3. The notion I was physically done because of the two operations per pregnancy I need to bring a child to full term...well, it about wore me out. We even grew our family through adoption. And then I buried the natural desire down deep inside being grateful for what the Lord had already blessed me with . But that miscarriage. It messed with my emotions. It tore the band aid off of so much pain and suffering. The desire to expand our family came back full force. For about three years. And then I conceived and miscarried #4.. It was such a terrible heart ache on my children, my spouse, and myself. Oh the emotions! Horrible. So when I found out I was expecting Miss Clementine, I was actually angry. I refused to go to the doctor until I knew I was in my second trimester, because "mother nature will take her course." And no medicine will prevent the inevitable. God's will be done, and Clementine was born healthy. But while pregnant with her, at 43, I realized my old body couldn't do it anymore. Since I had already mourned the loss of potentially never giving birth again helped me to focus on knowing that she was such a special gift. The refocusing helped me tremendously and I have savored (in some ways, more so than my other babies' stages) this last one. I think the word is "appreciate" her gift of life in a different way. So, now I'm 44 and I know I cannot physically do it anymore. I cannot do it to my family anymore. Bedrest stinks. And I have found peace. All women go through this phase. I have a friend who turned 44 this past May and is expecting her seventh in October. God knows your heart and desires and emotions. He knows what your family can and cannot handle. His will be done. Hang in there, and know that you are not alone.

    1. Oh, Patty, so heartfelt. I hurt for you. And that little Clementine? She's even more special knowing some of this now!! I've known some other women who have had several miscarriages and then all of a sudden, for some reason, a special blessing happens and the baby lives!! One of God's mysteries, that is for sure. I get that angry thing, almost out of fear, it comes. I have goosebumps from reading your comment. So beautiful it is.

      (I sounded a little like Yoda there--honest, I was not trying to)

  11. Good thing you made it clear right in the beginning because I hopped over here with my congrats ready!

    I know exactly what you mean. These words have been going through my mind lately... a lot. We are financially strapped right now, in fact pretty bad. So it would be really hard to have a baby. at the same time I keep thinking I am getting older and it will be all over before I know it.

    I don't want it to be over!

    God bless.

    1. I knew that would happen and everyone would be skimming to the bottom!

      I guess, baby news either way is always 2 weeks away, right?

      I added a little about money being tight after reading your comment, because it is always tight here too, that's where that total trust thing comes into play.

      Our hearts are so full and ready to love another....

  12. Oh Jamie. Too much to say. I was reading it to Shaun (been thinking about babies like crazy lately) and I paused... for a while (when that woman rubbed Simeon's arm) ...and he said, "ARe you Crying???" to which I started laughing and made some smart comment about my hormones and his lack of sensitivity (still laughing). I just love your openness. May God continue to Bless your family in every way he so chooses. Much love to you dear friend.

    1. BTw... I think that moment in the post touched me the most because I see this SO OFTEN in the eyes and reactions of those who meet my girls. SO often. We belong to a parish that is mostly older parishioners and although I appreciate the parishes that are full to the brim with children, I love that ours has such a love for our girls. They are cherished by everyone there. They remind me of my gift and make me ever more grateful and aware of how fleeting it is. I may have to write a post. I love you! xo

    2. Oh, I know. We belong to a parish that has a lot of older people, but also like 5 larger homeschooling families and some larger non homeschooling families, but those older people, they love seeing our kids! There are a few older couples that come up all the time and smile at us and I see that longing in their eyes, to be back where we are. To enjoy it. I'm reminded of that, to just love where we are right now and not wish it away.

      Oh, I do not doubt for one second what a gift your babies are to those in your parish!! Can't wait to read your post! xo back at you!

  13. Very well said, my friend. Babies, children, are one of God's best gifts to us, a sacred gift, and your family is a beautiful example of that.

    1. Thank you so much Shelly. It's one of those reasons to always be thankful, that's for sure.

  14. What would I do without my Maggie? Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I know...those last babies, they are so very special.

  15. Well...you and Tom make pretty dern sweet cute sweet and very adorable children. Them babies in the family have a special place in my heart. Kids grow fast. Time goes by fast. You never know if you missed that window of another baby because we are getting older..you not me. ha.

    Every single baby that come into a family is so loved. love this post, Jamie! Especially all the love between siblings.

    1. Hey, ol' lady, you will always be older than me!! haha! (no, seriously, you will.)

  16. Hey, we talked about that feeling like you're missing a child and are constantly counting/recounting/looking for another one. I think that comes with openness...it doesn't mean that there will be more, but that your hear desires more. And that, my dear friend, is a good thing!

  17. Love this post! I'm the same way I'm always counting my kids saying someone's missing. I always think there should be one more than the amount we have and it's like that with each child. Maybe that's God way of letting me know more blessings are to come.

  18. I feel like I could have written this post, so thanks for putting your heart out there! Going on 43, I feel like I am at the end of childbearing years too. In need of space, I purged baby equipment, all the time worrying that I will need it all again, so I kept the essentials: swaddling blankets, nursing cover and pillow, the Ergo, the cutest outfits. I ovulated weeks late, and when it finally happened it felt seriously pinchy, my back went out, and I had zits in weird places. Still no period, and negative pregnancy tests, so it looks like my 40's will be unpredictable. Like you, I feel that God provides - just enough, rarely more than enough to keep homeschooling and keep kids in lessons and cheap clothes! I trust He would send the means (physical, spiritual, mental, financial) to care for another, but sometimes trust and presumption seems like a fine line to walk.

    1. Oh, Tracy, I can feel your heart in your writing. I have been blessed with very regular cycles still. My doctor yesterday (diabetes) asked if I was cycling,(not biking) and I said every month, and he looked at me like, "you're gonna get pregnant" (he's a wonderful Catholic doctor, I see at Mass every week with his wife and we talk religion almost the whole appt!)

      I guess I have no idea how all that menopausal stuff works. My heart aches for you...you are still young, and if you ovulating even sometimes...well?

      Blessings on our mama hearts!

  19. Thank you for your tip on womb blessing. Haven't had a baby since miscarriage and though I've had a priest pray over me I need to ask for womb blessing. Can't thank you enough for the inspiration this gives me jamie

  20. Oh, Annabelle, I'm so happy. God bless you!

  21. Jamie, I must admit that this post has come to mind daily since I first read it. I am just now finally commenting as your post has sat in my to-read pile at Bloglovin as a reminder to come back. I've read it over and hashed it over in my mind numerous times.

    It's a timing thing, really. This post came up right when my brain keeps going back and forth with the wrestling of another child. 'Not yet' is how I feel, but 'possibly maybe' in a few more months my heart would be more open. It's not that we'll say 'we're done' or be closed to what God asks of us, but my human brain wrestles with all the what-ifs, possibilities and reasons that would make another pregnancy difficult. All this, while combining the thought of who knows IF we could have another one. The rollercoaster of the last couple years that followed those infertility years have been tough, but such a blessing.
    So we keep praying and I keep hoping that a lightning bolt will send my answer. ha. No, really I just pray that God will direct us to know how to move forward. Yes, I'm still only 34 so who knows what God has in store, but the 8 1/2 yr age difference with hubby gets me concerned sometimes. I suppose it's more the 'worldly' side of me that starts doing the math and gets worried. I always struggle to turn off the 'what-ifs' and negatives to leave room for God and the graces He'd provide.

    I'm babbling. Any way, I wanted you to know that I appreciated your heartfelt and inspired post and that it still had me thinking. You are a blessing and your family is such a beautiful witness of faithfulness to Christ and His plan. Thank you for sharing them with all of us.


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