When I became pregnant with my first child I was constantly being offered comments of congratulations and well wishes from everyone I encountered. I was given multiple baby showers, words of encouragement, and plenty of advice.
When I told everyone of the expectation of my second child I was offered congrats again, but perhaps on a lower level of excitement. I received a surprising number of “maybe this time it will be a boy” comments, and plenty of “bless your heart” condolences when people saw me pregnant with a toddler in tow. I was given an obligatory baby shower, for which I was grateful, but there certainly, and understandably wasn’t the fanfare I received with my first baby.
With the recent announcement of my third pregnancy I have received a large number of well wishes sure, but I’ve also received a surprising number of folks in shock. There’s been a lot of wide-eyed “wows” as if I have made the decision to do something very exceptional with my reproductive freedoms. Of note, aside from the speechless faces and mouths agape, I’ve heard a particular phrase way more than I expected.
“You do know what causes that, right?”
While I’m extremely easy going and always in favor of a good-humored jab I suppose this specific question hasn’t settled well in my mind. I’ve never wanted to be that overly sensitive person, but some forethought before speaking is something we all could practice. The question of whether I understand how babies are created seems to imply that my decision to make one wasn’t the most appropriate, or perhaps that it was even a mistake.
The decision to have your first child is easily celebrated, and a second is understood as the desire to create the perfect nuclear family, but after that folks start getting nervous. Counting my stepchild we have three girls, and the idea of adding a fourth makes the masses heads spin. Or so it seems from questions asking me if I really meant to conceive another.
In fact some people assume we’re just giving it a last ditch effort to get a boy, when in all reality we would jump with joy over another daughter.
I even heard a rumor that we took our house off the market because we were getting a divorce, so perhaps some might infer this pregnancy as a desperate scheme to save an apparent, failing marriage. (I almost couldn’t write that part for laughing out loud at the absurdity).
Perhaps the reality is so hard to swallow, but here it is for all to know.
We chose to have a fourth child. It wasn’t an accident, and we’re actually really excited. In fact we’re not even sure if this will be our last.
We enjoy our children, and we believe they’re a blessing to our life. We like a big family, and we don’t mind making the sacrifices required to give each one the emotional and physical necessities they need to be happy and healthy kids. A big family is crazy, but we embrace the chaos and we adore the hectic lifestyle it includes. There’s nothing wrong with deciding to have a small family, just like there’s nothing wrong with deciding to not have children at all. It all comes down to what you personally desire, and that should be the end of it.
As far as our growing family goes we promise we won’t ask you to babysit, pay hospital bills, or contribute to their college fund. So unless you’re really torn up about the carbon footprint we’re making a simple congrats will suffice.
The fact remains that as long as we feel we can provide financially, emotionally, and physically for our kids we’ll keep going until my uterus or God tells us to stop.
The bottom line is we like the way things are going in our growing family, and what we think is all that really matters in the end. It just so happens that we do know what causes it. But thanks for asking.
My true, heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has supported our crazy journey. Thanks for joining us in this celebration of life.