The Great Baby Debate
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To have another baby or to wait. To have three of four or to not have anymore. These are the questions of life. The questions I have been debating ever since Adam was born. All around me people are getting pregnant. Almost every day seems to bring a new pregnancy announcement, a reminder to me that a decision needs to be made in my heart and in our family. People who tease or ask when we are going to get busy and have another baby don’t seem to understand. There is a lot more to this decision then just having a another baby. For me there is still healing to be done and that is part of the reason why I am writing this.
To most, it’s just a careful decision of when to have more. How far you want space them, etc. But for us it’s totally different. Adam’s birth and the after-effects were very rough. I was on bed rest for several weeks afterward, and I had a ton of medical problems that went on for months without answers. Honestly, it was the scariest thing of my life. So scary that a lot of times I have not been sure I wanted another baby. I go back and forth all the time, and I have prayed and prayed for God to show us the way. I knew God was going to have to open both of our hearts back up if this was his plan for us.
The question is not simply, “Should we have another baby?” The question is also, “CAN we have another baby?” I have a lot of health problems and am on a lot of medications. There would have to be a lot of decisions made before we just tried for a baby. Obviously my husband is deployed right now, so not much is going to happen until he gets back, but that is exactly why I feel a decision needs to be made. This is the time to pray about it, to think about what we want to do, and to talk to my doctors and see what they think and if this can be done.
I also have a lot of fears about having another baby. I am physically afraid. When I think about everything I went through after Adam’s birth it brings tears to my eyes. Not because I am trying to be dramatic, but because just thinking about everything I went through makes me upset. I know not all of you were reading my blog during the time of Adam’s birth and afterward, so here are the posts to catch you up on everything that happened.
Adam’s Birth Story
Recovering From Birth
I know I can’t be the only one to have some of these fears. And per suggestion of my counselor I am going to list the things I am afraid of and the questions I am considering when it comes to a second birth.
What if I miscarry again?
Before Adam, I was pregnant for a very short time and then lost the baby. We figured out that most likely the baby was lost due to an error by the doctor who never told me I had thyroid disease. Once I got on the medicine, I was able to keep the second pregnancy- Adam. I am scared that I might miscarry again. Sure I am on medicine now, but what if I miscarry for other reasons? I have to just tell myself God is in control. And if that happens, then God will get us through like he did last time. Click on the links to read about my miscarriage and thyroid problems.
Can we afford another baby?
I will be honest, now that Adam is older and things have settled down a bit, it has been nice to have just enough money for what we need. I know another baby would cost more, and even though we are close to paying off a lot of our debt, I want to keep that money for us and know that we are doing ok. Sometimes it’s hard to always be living paycheck to paycheck. It wears on you. And having a second baby would probably be doable, but harder. The good thing is, that Jon will probably be ranking up sometime after he gets back which means a good pay raise. Not going to hold out for that, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
What about C-Section?
If you read my previous posts on what happened at Adam’s birth then you know that I tore to the fourth degree. It took them two hours to stitch me up and I was on bed rest with very strict orders. I was told that if I tore back open there was a good chance I wouldn’t be able to hold myself from going to the bathroom on myself. Everything ended up ok, but it was scary. It is not something I am willing to chance again, and per the doctor’s order I cannot have a vaginal birth again, only a c-section. A lot of people don’t agree with me on that, and I have gone over a lot of it in my mind. I am positive this is the only decision to be made. C-section is necessary here. I am not willing to risk taring again, nor am I willing to give myself more problems to worry about as sometimes I still have problems in that area. I also agree with the doctor, and trust her decision. She knows how bad it was and if it is something that is doable or not.
My fear is, I am scared to have a c-section. I know people do it every day, but it will be new and different. Do I really want to cut myself open? What if that just causes more problems in and of itself?
What if he is deployed during the birth or right after?
We know the rotation my husband is on. I can’t talk about it on here, but basically we would have about a year before he could possibly deploy again. That is not much time to try for a baby, and go through pregnancy and birth. He would probably miss some part of it. Or he would miss the newborn stage. I know I can’t base decisions on that, but I want to. It’s a hard decision. Of course there is always the chance he won’t deploy during that time, but I would rather plan for it than not.
What about our marriage?
If you have kids then you know just as well as I do, that things change after you have a baby. It takes time to figure everything out, and get settled again. Now that Adam is older things are going great! I love where we are as a family and in our marriage and I am scared to change all that. Right now we can still go on occasional date nights. One child is easy to pay for for a sitter, but two? That’s a little bit harder. I am afraid to have things change.
What if I have too many health problems? What about all my medications?
During my last pregnancy with Adam, I had to see a specialist on the side for my thyroid. They monitored my levels during the pregnancy and took blood to make sure everything was ok. And it was! But after Adam’s birth a lot of problems showed up. I had and still have a ton of skin problems that were severe. From rashes, cystic acne, and yeast infections on my skin to seborrheic dermatitis, which is another type of skin problem. These were all caused by the hormone changes after pregnancy.
I also was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia (see link for more info) which causes very bad acid reflux. The cause was probably a combination of carrying a baby and gaining weight from the pregnancy. I am scared of what would happen if I had another, would it make it worse? I can’t just stop taking the medications I am on. And I am on a lot. What about my skin issues? What if they all come back once I get off the medicines?
There are just so many decisions to be made in this area. I still have to be seen by several doctors every couple of months to monitor all my problems and to monitor me on all the medications I’m on. In January, I will be seeing both of my doctors and will be able talk to them about these issues and what they think I should do and if I can have another baby. Until then, I will be in prayer for God’s will.
What if I can’t handle having two? What if it’s too much stress?
I used to pride myself on how many kids I could handle when I was a nanny and babysitter. I was a great babysitter and loved to watch little children. It’s totally different when you have your own. You can’t just hand them back to the parents at the end of the day – you are the parent! Sure one is easy enough, but two? I’m sure I could do it, but when I think about doing it during a deployment and doing it all by myself I am scared. Some days I feel like super mom and I am so proud of how I have gotten through everything during this deployment, but other days I am so tired and wonder how I could ever have two.
What about my dreams?
I have so many dreams. Dreams for my blog, of using it as a ministry and/or taking it further then what it is now and dreams of going back to school and getting a degree in writing. I know that when you are a mom you are giving those things up for a time in order to give of yourself to your children and I am fine with that, but part of me wonders if there is still a place for these dreams. Should I give up on them and continue being a mother or should I keep them safe in my heart and wait for the day that I can make them happen?
I love this blog, but I don’t know if I can continue blogging all the time with a second baby. I may be able to do it occasionally but not all the time. I feel pulled in two different directions and I am sure God will show me what he has for me in His time.
Even if I knew all this would happen before Adam was born, I would still choose to do it again. I love him so much and am so thankful for him every day. But sometimes I am so jealous of how easy it was for others. Those who pop out babies like it is nothing. I know that some people are not able to have children, and I know I am so blessed and I am so thankful we have Adam. If we end up with just one then I will be grateful. Our family will still be complete.
What about YOU? What are some fears you had when it came to having a second baby?
We are also in a similar debate. We’re thinking about baby number two and also have a possible second deployment on the way. I could go into all of our details but it wouldn’t matter. What’s right for us probably won’t be right for you. I understand many of your fears as I also had a difficult recovery. If you’re interested in my whole story feel free to message me.
I know God has you wrapped tight and the right decision will be reached.
Thank you Danie, and I am sorry it had been hard for you too. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one this happened to, but sometimes it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I hope God guides you both as well in your decision making. I appreciate the comment!
These are fears that I can relate to as well. I think our biggest is the possibility of having another set of twins. For my husband, it’s the possibility of that set being two more girls. What would we do? How could we afford them? It all runs through our minds and challenges our hearts to fully trust in the one and only true answer.
So true Kristen. Thank you for your encouraging words. Trust is something I am working on this year, and it’s something I am definitely going to need in this situation. I will pray the Lord guides you both in your decision as well, as I’m sorry it’s not an easy one.
I was VERY fearful about having another after our third baby. I had pre-eclampsia with my first three. I knew the risk and knew what could happen if we had another baby. While Chris was deployed in 2009 we used that time to pray about it and see what we felt the Lord was leading us to. In the fall of 2010, Jakob arrived after a 3 hour easy- peasy, pre-eclampsia free, GRACE filled pregnancy and delivery!! The Lord provided!! Trust him and like you said, use this time to PRAY PRAY PRAY. I’ll be praying the the Lord calms your fears! Blessings to you!
Thank you so much for sharing your story Miranda, I appreciate it! I am so glad you were able to step out in faith and God provided. Thanks for commenting, and for the encouragement!
I don’t think your fears are uncommon. It is natural to worry about something like this. I have three and I feel like my life is 10 times crazier than it was with just 1 kid…but it has been worth it. Just to see all three of my boys together makes me smile. So yes thing do get a little harder with each baby but I do think it is worth it. However I think we are done at three. I know if I had a forth I could probably handle it but I kinda feel like it would be a little too much for me. Three feels good. Just keep praying about it. I keep praying about our choice too. It is a hard one to make.
Thank your for sharing! There are so many options to weight, I’m so glad that we can go to God in prayer though. Thank you for your comment and input. 🙂
I want another baby so very much- I think about it every single day, several times a day. I don’t know how we would afford it (now or down the road), and it breaks my heart thinking about only having Millie because we can’t afford any more. If we won the lottery today, we’d be trying for a baby tomorrow. It’s such a struggle to not be selfish, because I want nothing more.
Those are a lot of fears, but I know God will take care of you either way!
I’m so sorry girl. I didn’t realize so many other people carried a similar burden to mine. I will be praying God gives you both wisdom on what to do, and a way when there seems to be no way.
I think your fears are shared by many women at this stage in life. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty or ashamed for having these concerns. Continue to weigh out your options and take those concerns to God in prayer. He’ll answer your prayer!
Thanks Tonya. There have been so many times where I felt like I was the only one in this situation. I guess this post was good because now I see I’m not alone as far as my thoughts on this issue. Thanks for the encouragement and for commenting I appreciate it!
I found your blog today from a post on pinterest, and I am really enjoying reading! And I can understand a lot of what you are talking about here. I lost a baby very early as well (back in May), and I am pregnant now. My husband will be deploying 2 months before this baby (our second) comes. It is all so hard, I know. Also, our first baby (she’ll be 2 in January) had lots of feeding issues as well and required PT, OT, and speech therapy (with a therapist that works in the NICU with premature babies helping them with feeding issues). It has been a long road, and as this pregnancy continues and as we get closer to him leaving, it is all becoming real…..startlingly, terrifyingly real. I have no answers, and no advice to give other than saying what I have to say to myself every day: God will give grace for tomorrow, tomorrow…..not today. He will give grace to have this baby without my husband when that day comes, and not a day before. Both deployments and pregnancies bring you to a much more intense place as far as having to trust God. I’ll be praying for you!
I am So glad you you found me – especially that is was through Pinterest! 🙂 I am so sorry to hear your story and how rough it is has been for you. I pray that this deployment goes fast and that God gives you the grace to get through this trial in your life. Thank you for the encouraging words, I feel as though I should be encouraging YOU! Will be praying for this time in your life.
First of all, let me just thank you for being so open & candid & sharing all of this. I can’t imagine how many times daily these thoughts rush through you head & overwhelm you… thank you for sharing & letting us know a way to pray for you better!
I have so many thoughts, but I’m going to try to not write a novel on here 😉
I think the most important thing, that you go back to over & over & over, is that ultimately, GOD is in control! He has a good & perfect plan, and even though it doesn’t always follow ours plans as we hope, HE is sovereign & has your best at heart! He has already decided how many children y’all will have and what will complete your family. Continue to go to HIM, begging Him for peace & guidance with your family decisions (as well as all the health decisions that are consuming right now!).
Unfortunately with motherhood comes this “Well since this worked for me, it WILL work for everyone else” mentality. I was warned about it, and it seems like you’ve encountered it too. Everyone (esp other mothers) have their opinions, but you & Jon (with God’s direction!) have to decide what is BEST for your family. If doctors advise you to have a C-section, then I would probably go that route! Good doctors really do have your best interest at heart, and while it may be possible to deliver vaginally, if more problems could arise that way, why risk it??
One of my favorite pastors one time said, “You’ll never be “rich” enough to have that baby…” – and it’s kind of true! You can always think of reasons to wait (and some may be VERY worth waiting!!), but I don’t feel that a second (or 3rd or 4th…) would add that much right away – except diapers! We already have all the big stuff (Praise the LORD!), so really, a few clothes which I’ve found friends who graciously share & lots of diapers (and I use cloth in the beginning – they’re SOOO easy & def a money saver!).
And for your dreams, you should absolutely continue to pursue them 🙂 Your blog is a great jumping off point, and it will be great experience, as well as a wonderful resource, if you do go back to school! Being a mother doesn’t mean everything should just stop… we just have to get better at juggling 😉 I like to HOPE that Lucy & our new baby will be quick friends. Eventually they’ll LOVE to play together & entertain each other, and I pray that God will form a very special bond between all our children (if He sees it fit to add to our family).
As for the deployment schedules & crazy military life, the miscarriage, the medical issues… I would just encourage you to continue going to HIM. I pray that He’ll give you & Jon a peace that passes understanding & great guidance as to what He has planned for your family. He is good, and He knows your heart! Don’t let the world get you down & tell you that you HAVE to have 2.3 children & a dog & drive a Tahoe (or whatever)… you & Jon do what you know God is calling for your family 🙂
First, I want to say so sorry I haven’t been able to reply until now. You have no idea what this did for my heart. You have so much good advice, and I know that I need to trust in God, and pray like I have never prayed before. Since writing this, I have talked with my doctors, and with my husband. I know more things, but I still have not reached a complete decision. I feel as though I still have plenty of time to decide and I’m not going to rush. Even though there are people having babies all around me, I am going to remember that God’s timing is everything, and right now the timing is not right – it may never be right, but God will show us one way or the other, no need to rush and make a decision now. I still have a lot of questions, but my word for this year is “trust” and I am going to have to TRUST that God has a plan. And that even if we decide to only have one then I have to remember we still have a wonderful and a beautiful family. Thank you so much for your encouragement and for taking the time to care and to comment, it is really appreciated. 🙂
I know this is an old post, but I couldn’t help but reply. I just want to extend prayers and hugs to you and your family. I pray that you and Jon can find peace with whatever decision God leads you to… friends have always said to me “Leave it at the cross, walk away, and don’t look back”. Hard to do, yes, but I feel God will speak to your heart when His timing is right – and He will bring you peace and rest over this decision.
I am having my own great baby debate as well – although very different from yours, but still stemming from anxiety. Originally after our second baby was born I was done done done and ready to take permanent action — but God has changed my heart, and opened it up to more children. When? I don’t know.
But just know that God has plans for you and your family, and He will make them known to you in His time — it’s good to prepare and to discuss these things, but ultimately it comes down to prayer.
Hugs and love to you!!!
Sorry I wrote so much!!!
I understand the fear and pain that goes with pregnancy & medical conditions. If you are truly terrified, or feel God leading you in a different direction, have you considered adoption? There are millions of little ones dreaming of a mommy & daddy!
Either way, I encourage you to hand your fears to Jesus & let Him carry you through it. Believe me, I know that is SO much easier said than done!
I’ll be praying for you!
I would love to adopt. But sometimes even though adoption seems like the only answer it is not as easy as it sounds.
1. Can we afford it? I highly doubt we can we could ever afford to adopt on what my husband makes in the Air Force.
2. Adoption is sometimes harder when you are a military family, because you are moving a round a lot, a lot of instability not to mention the deployments and such.
And 3. my husband is not as open to as I am for personal reasons of his own. So unless God opens both of our hearts, and some doors and leads us in that direction, I just don’t think adoption will be an option for us. It is something I am praying about that if it IS God’s will for the future, He will make a way. Thanks for commenting and for the encouragement! 🙂
I can understand your fears of having a c-section. While VBAC’s are possible, it sounds like you and your doctor have made a wise decision together, so don’t worry about what others will say! My first was an c-section (not planned) and the recovery is tough for a couple weeks, but much easier than you would think. I too, did not like the idea of being cut open, but it is surprisingly quick and just as with a vaginal birth, you tend to forget a lot of the pain once you are holding your baby.
Just trust that God will not give you more than you can handle. If we allow God into our family planning the same way we do with every other area of our life, he will always choose what’s best for us. Just continue to pray for direction and he will give you peace about his plans for you 🙂
Thank you so much for your encouraging words and for sharing your experience, I appreciate it more than you know. I definitely have been praying and I know God is leading us in the right direction, even if it is one day at a time. God Bless!
Hi Kathryn. I’m gimino from Korea. I’m visual designer.
I saw a very pretty baby’s picture.
Is this original picture?(Your son? or daughter?) Because I saw this image in other homepage..
I need a baby picture for my work. I like your baby’s picture. It’s very nice.
If this is the original picture, answer the question by email, please…
thank you very much.
Have a nice day~ Kathryn
I just found your blog and I found it very helpful. I had a tough time when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2007 and now she is happy and healthy five year old. I have alot of meds I am taking now and when I was pregnant I was only taking one. I feel the same way about getting pregnant again. So many worries. But God has blessed me with two wonderful children. I have a step-son. Who will be eight in September.
P.S:I would like to be friends. I don’t have a blog. But I have facebook.
Obviously with us currently expecting #6, we have spent our fair share of time debating whether or not to have more. In the end, God’s Word has brought clarity to all of our questions and fears, and we have absolute peace about gratefully accepting the blessing of more children, if that is what He has for us. I cannot relate to the health concerns, and I understand that is a very real issue that needs to be prayerfully considered. I do a lot to prevent health problems and have my opinions on how I would address them if it were to become an issue for me (I would most likely not accept treatment from any conventional doctors, personally.) But as far as provision financially, and “can you handle it”, your marriage, your dreams and even deployments (Adam has deployed right before babies #4 and #5 were born and is deploying just 2 months before #6 is due to arrive, too)…..God is more than faithful and more than enough. His promises and the wisdom he gives His Word are true and will guide you and give you peace through all of those fears. We really thought we were “done” after 1…and for sure after our surprise 2nd child was born. But the Lord completely changed our hearts and taught us to stop planning for ourselves based on all of our reasons…and ASK HIM what His best was for us. And now I could literally sit and weep to think about if our plans had succeeded and we only had our first 1 or even 2 children…and never knew the absolute joy and blessing of the next 3 (almost 4!) that he has blessed us with. Not just a blessing to us as parents, but to our other children. Our children are tremendously blessed by the siblings God has graciously given them. All I am saying is….seek Him above all else. Seek His BEST for your family. Don’t miss out on what He may have for you because of fears. People always ask us if we are “done yet.” It is assumed that because we have exceeded the “normal” number of children in our society…surely we ought to be done by now. We don’t know. We keep seeking His best for our family, and He has been completely faithful to lead us ever since we put down our reasons, fears and plans and fully submitted the issue to him. We will only use NFP in order to best steward my health and that of our potential future children. And we will rest in his faithfulness and the blessings that follow. Just my 2 cents. 🙂
Thanks for sharing April and for telling me your story. I appreciate your encouragement 🙂