Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tempting fate.

She's my oldest friend. We should be able to talk about anything, but somehow there's this THING between us that makes some of the more intimate things uncomfortable -- and some that really aren't that intimate seem to be.

So we sat, at dinner, staring mostly at our food. To say we'd grown apart would not be true...we just never were that close in some ways.

We have both been struggling lately with our own dilemmas, both of which are par for the course for our own lives...more of the same all over again. We purged our hearts to each other, cautiously, over enchiladas and tequila-laced drinks, shedding tears and offering support. Neither of us knew the right thing to say to the other.

I admitted to her that the news of a friend finding she was pregnant was like a punch to the gut. I was really going out on a limb to admit this to her.

We had an argument once, in the car on the way home from work. Years ago, we'd spent a few months carpooling when we worked together, heading home in the dark of the early evening in the dead cold of winter. It wasn't an intentional fight...she had admitted to me that she may want to have a child some day, but only one. I pushed her, asking if she didn't value the relationship, the lessons, the comraderie she learned from her sister. What seemed to me such a "given" (why wouldn't you WANT to have two?) was obviously a feeling she didn't share, and I was treading on what I didn't realize to be thin ice. She was very sensitive about the topic entirely.

I'm an oaf that way sometimes.

So we don't talk about kids and families all that much. I have one and she doesn't, and while I think she likes mine more than OK, we have never much discussed it after that afternoon in the car.

I mean, it came up. But we would mention it quickly and then push it aside.

I don't really know why.

But anyway, I told her I was bummed because after months of trying, this other friend was pregnant and I wasn't.

Then she said something to me that was so perfect in its simplicity, here I am writing about it all these weeks later.

"Why do you want to have another baby now? I mean, you're obviously as far stretched as possible. A new baby is not going to fix things, you know."

She was right. Having another baby won't make me any less stressed, won't put us in our new house any sooner, won't magically change my husband's salary to make it easier for me to stay home.

I sort of stammered in response, paused, and admitted, "I know it won't, but I just DO."

And that was that...we sort of moved on, circled back delicately, and then the conversation moved on entirely.

But the fact that I was so moved by the question that I've thought it over for days on end tells me something.

I still want that baby.

I don't think I could put the reason into words...watching my boys giggle together on a mini-roller coaster at the fair was all it took for me to know, in my gut, that I have that family I've always wanted. And at the same time, I know that my family isn't yet complete.

I've asked myself if I'm tempting fate to so desperately want something that some days seems so far out of reach...especially when my current family is so GOOD. I've come to the conclusion that there has never been anything else in my life that I've really wanted with this conviction, and therefore I will continue to fight for it.

But why not now? As much as I shouldn't use another baby as an excuse to change my life or make decisions that are otherwise hard for me to make, I also shouldn't let my fear of the unknown stop me from adding to our family, either.

I mean, if everyone waited to have children until the time was absolutely perfectly right, well, there probably wouldn't be ANY babies, would there?


Anne Alagna said...

Very true. There probably wouldnt be any babies. That was the argument my husband and I had... me wanting more and him saying we should wait until we were on better footing. Well, if we had waited, more than a decade later, we would still be waiting. So when he said he would only go to marriage counceling when all the bills were paid off, I told him to just divorce me and get it over with because it would never happen like that.

But I digress. My youngest is 6. My oldest is turning 19. We have four total. I want a few more. At least 2, maybe 4. I dont know why. I went so far as to research vasectomy reversal.

A friend of mine told me to get a puppy. That I was crazy for thinking that just because I wanted it, didnt mean that it was good for the baby to be brought into a family that is up and down like ours. But I want one or two or more.

And it has become more than just a PMS thing. I think about it through out the month. Everyday something comes up that makes me think how much I want to continue our family.

Even if we argue a bit too much. Even if it is tight financially. Even if he would have to have surgery. Even if I would be high risk because of my age. Even if that possibly meant I couldnt home birth like I did with the others. Even if that meant going back to sleepless nights and spit up.

It is a deep seated desire in my heart and I dont see it going away.

And it isnt like I dont love the four children I am already blessed with. They are fantastic kids.

I cant explain it. I just know what I want.

HUGS, love and understanding.

Marni's Organized Mess said...

I could have written much of this post. Just did actually. No, yours was much more nicely written. I have a lot of the same issues. I don't know where to begin, but it's so hard seeing your "best" friend not wanting or understand the same things... :-(

Tara R. said...

When hubs and I were first starting out, I always thought three would be a nice number. Then I had my daughter and I was so in love with her, I thought only one would be perfect, Then we got preggers with our son, totally planned, and I knew that three would be too much of a stretch - financially, emotionally, physically. There are still times I wonder about what our lives would have been like with a 3rd child. Now, with our daughter turning 20 and grandparenthood not such a distance possibility, I might get that third (grand) baby in a few years after all.

Kim H. said...

Wow! That was an incredible post, Colleen. That's like totally big girl stuff you put out there.

You know, it sounds so cliche, but there's never seems to be the perfect or right time to expand your family.

I look at each of our kids and when they arrived and where we were in our lives and I think, although they drive me nuts most days, I wouldn't trade a one of them. Sure, there's always going to be a time where it's less complicated or you have more extra money in the bank. I believe you know in your heart the answer.

And not to be all holy rollerish, but just keep TRUSTING the big man. He never fails us -- and sometimes HIS timing isn't OUR timing, but that's part of the plan. :)

Denise said...

I could have written this same post 3 years ago. I had 2 beautiful children, yet wasn't really sure I was done with that phase of my life. In my experience, if you're not sure if you're done, then you're not done ... now that I have my 3rd, I KNOW I'm done : )

Each of my 3 babies was born while a houe was for sale, or we were starting a business, or we were moving out of state, or my husband was starting a new job, or our business was failing ... all 3 of my pregnancies had the stress of everyday life included. But life is going to keep on happening, and if you wait for a perfect time, I don't think you'll ever really find one.

Finally, ditto to what Kim H said above me in her last paragraph. A friend's mom once told me that God has 3 answers to prayer: yes, no, or not yet.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I think moms know when they're done. And most of us know that there's no perfect time. Even when we think it's perfect timing, then half the time our bodies don't cooperate with our calendar. So we learn we don't truly control this part of life anyway.

Bobbi Janay said...

If we would have waited we wouldn't have our wonderful mothers day surprise (i found out on mothers day 2008).

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as the "right" time to have kids. Sometimes the decision (either way) is made for us. For me, two was more than enough. I don't judge others for making the decisions they need to about the size of their family, whether it's to have no kids or a busload...well, as long as they can provide for them responsibly (but that's a conversation for another day).

I certainly feel for your awkward feelings with your friend. I also grew distant from an old friend who decided to wait until all of life's planets and stars aligned. Life only got more complicated with age - career demands, the failing health of her mother, her hubby's change in jobs, etc. In the end, though, I think she'd agree that it's all turned out the way it's meant to be. I applaud you for staying close despite your differing paths. When you're a parent (especially in those early years) so much of your life is absorbed into parenting that relating to a non-parent can be challenging and the distance creeps in all too easily.


Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Great post. I agree if we waited till things were perfect we would never have kids. Good luck and ((hugs)).

Roger said...

We have always felt that God wouldn't give us any more than we could handle... seven children later, I still believe that. Is our family complete now? Maybe, but I think I'm ready for some grandbabies next - not soon, mind you, just next. :)

Magpie said...

And if you do wait until the time is right, you may have waited too long and end up having to do IVF to the tune of a lot of money...

Anonymous said...

I keep asking Justin when we can try to have our last baby and he keeps pointing at Cooper saying "he's right there." So then I try asking him why doesn't he want to have any more babies with me and he responds "I don't want to have any more babies with ANYone." Then I told him that he could get a motorcycle as soon as I could get that third baby...he actually gave that one a LOT of thought before shaking his head and walking away.
I'm with Green Girl-we seem to know when we're done. I really and truly believe that there is one more baby waiting in heaven to join our family. And while I would be tickled pink and ridiculously ecstatic if it was a girl (because my gosh, the bows! the lacy dresses! the barbie dolls!), I would still be thrilled to have another little boy.