Friday, May 07, 2010

On the top of the list of "things I don't want to hear"

Yesterday afforded me several bizarre situations, and brought back some pretty strange feelings.

For reasons I won't go into here, I called my OBGYN yesterday with a question. And I chatted with the nurse about a few things and we came to the conclusion that I need to take some medication.

That's when it happened. She said THE THING that is top of my list of things I never want to hear on a sunny Thursday afternoon. She said:

"I need you to take a pregnancy test."

Now, logically I know this is because the meds she would be prescribing for me would not be good for a pregnancy so she had to make sure I wasn't pregnant. But for a few seconds, my life flashed before my eyes and my chest tightened.

What a telling few seconds that was. My good friend told me later that at least now I knew FOR SURE that I didn't want any more kids. Which made me sad. Not sad enough that I want more kids one day, but sad that after all we've been through, after all we've been blessed with, and after the pure joy of experiencing motherhood with my two precious heart told me I was done.

It's been SUCH a strange journey, getting to this point. I remember very clearly how it felt just a few years ago to hear women complain about surprise pregnancies or talk about how they didn't want more children than they already have. And how, as an infertile woman, that stung. Because at that point I would take any and as many children as I could. I couldn't fathom NOT wanting kids.

Then we had Colt and my heart was so content. Content with the blessing God had given us, never even thinking of asking for more. And yet, God had a plan to make sure Colt was a big brother. And even though it wasn't my plan, and I struggled with a long time coming to terms with it, He knew SO MUCH BETTER than me. And then my sweet Owen was born.

Most of you know how I feel about the Duggar family on the show 18 Kids and Counting. And part of me really admires their faith in God and his plan, but a bigger part of me feels like God expects us to be responsible for the future of our families. I have to believe that trusting God also means honoring him with forethought and planning and not getting in over our heads. To understand that we could never see the future to know what's coming so we must make plans to take care of who we've got. And that is why I believe in family planning, in birth control. I believe and have faith that if I'm supposed to have another child, NOTHING I do will stop me. But in the mean time, it would be irresponsible to plan for another child when I know it's not the best thing for our family.

And so there I was, stinging after she told me to take a pregnancy test. I quickly laughed it off and assured her I would be calling her back with a negative result. I took the test, it was negative as I suspected. And I feel 100% fine about it. It makes me sad that I'm 100% fine with it, but it also makes me grateful that my life as a mom is in such a place. I've come so far from those deep, dark days of infertility and I have two sons more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

Last night after all this, John and I attended our nephew's band concert. It was his final one ever (he's not playing next year). We enjoyed the music and as we headed out shortly after it was over a woman stopped me. She looked vaguely familiar and over the crowd I heard her say our adoption agency's name. I looked at her son and at her, and the crowd noise washed away and we began talking.

She has an adorable 9-month-old son that came to them through our agency. She asked about Colt, and I told her about Owen. And while we were talking she mentioned they'd just found out her son's birthmother was pregnant again and due in July. I mentioned what a coincidence that was, and told her about N having her little girl about two weeks after Owen was born. I asked how she felt about his birthmother being pregnant, and what a strange feeling it is.

She asked me what it was like having two kids 14 months apart. I laughed and said it's gone much smoother than I imagined, and I was actually enjoying it but that I have A LOT of help. Then I asked if she thought they'd be adopting again. She looked at me confusingly and slowly said "well, we got the call last week about his we'll be adopting again in July".

OH!! Ok, that's why you even brought it up, I said. She wants you to adopt her new baby. Her eyes smiled and looked fearful at the same time...yes, she said, we certainly weren't expecting it but the baby will be a full sibling, how could we say no?! The birthmother and birthfather already have three kids, and don't feel they can parent another. The birthmother wanted this baby with it's brother if possible. They'll be right at 1 year apart.

My words about my experience parenting two at 14 months apart became all the more important. I assured her she could do it, I assured her it would be better than she could imagine. And growing up together, they would be SO close. She clearly has a lot of help (her son was being passed from cousin-to-cousin while we were talking), and I told her how important it would be in the early months.

I felt SO close to her in that moment for so many reasons. We shared the experience of infertility and being blessed by adoption. We shared the experience of open adoption and our children's birthmother's being pregnant so soon after their birth. We shared the experience of utter fear and wonderment at the thought of parenting two kids so close together. And it made me realize that you never know. You never know what God has in store for your family. You could be "done" having children, or "not ready" to have more but it's not always what you plan. This was her crazy version of a surprise pregnancy, and what a blessing it will be.

God was speaking to me through her, I know. After all the thoughts that had gone through my head earlier that day...this was His way of reminding me that He's in control. "Don't go off announcing you are done, Jessica, because YOU don't know. Only I know."

So at the end of the day, I am set on being content (overjoyed) with my TWO precious boys. I don't want to have more children, we don't NEED to have more children. Our family is complete. But somewhere, deep down, I know that God's plans for OUR family have always turned out far greater than we could plan for. So I'll keep my heart open. I'll plan as a family of four, but my heart will always be open to whatever life may have in store.


KLTTX said...

I thought I was done too until God had other plans. I never in my wildest dreams thought we'd be adopting again (especially internationally) but what do I know.

Anonymous said...

Jess, your post struck me. What a blessing you are to women in all stages of child bearing. Although we don't have any children yet, I often have the fear that I, too, will be infertile. You have shown such peace with you life's journey. I hope to have the same faith that God's plan is going to be the best. Thank you for this post. God bless you and your beautiful family.

Leah said...

I loved this post. It must be a strange feeling to want children so badly, and then to be at this point in your life where you are completely done with them. I feel like that is how I feel after my two children arrive in the next couple of months. And I think I have similar feelings as you on the Duggars.

How wonderful that you met someone with so much in common with you. I'm sure you will be a wonderful resource to this woman as she goes into parenting children 1 year apart.

Anonymous said...

I always wanted 3 kids (my sister and I are the only ones, and we're 5 years apart...) but something happened while I was pregnant with B and I realized I just wanted to do that once more. My pregnancy was perfectly lovely so it wasn't from trauma or anything, it was just like my heart became full with the thought of a family of four. But like you said, I have no idea, really, what God has in store for us, I just know it will be good. :)

Michele said...

I love this! You know I couldn't be happier for you, and hearing you gush about how wonderful life has turned out for you makes me feel so blessed. It's so refreshing to see God work miracles through others. :) xoxo.

momof2monsters said...

Jess- we were done too. Had two beautiful girls and had even planned the Mirena procedure for January. In December certain things did not happen and a missed visit from an aunt, I took a test and low and behold, I was pregnant. I think you were the first person I told. I was so sure we were complete with our family that everything had been donated to a local thrift store. God had a bigger more amazing plan for our family. Everything works out. We are blessed with 2 girls and a sweet little boy ( who by the way is very chatty). We are complete now. I would not have it any other way.

Christy said...

Hi, I just found your blog and I want to thank you for your awesome post! God's plans are His own and they are perfect and awesome. Peace to you and your family!

Melrose said...

I found your blog through one of my family member's blogs and I guess I'm surprised of your opinion of the Duggar family being that they have provided for their 19 kids better than most families provide for their 3 kids. They have enough land that any of their kids can build a house right there, and the know how since they built their own house. So far all of their kids have had their own business by the time they're 16 and have the education to back up their dreams. I saw their very first documentary when I was engaged to be married and it caused me to not fill my prescription for birth control for the wedding day. 5 1/2 years later I have 3 kids and every step of the way God has increased our means of providing, and it helps that we adopted the Duggar way of not buying things unless we have the cash. We just bought a van in cash!!! I never dreamt this would be possible on one salary, but it is and it is amazing. (my husband is a pastor too, so not the best paying job :) I guess my point is, how can trusting God be considered irresponsible? Especially in something that He has specifically said is HIS. Scripture says he BOTH opens and closes and that he alone is the creator of life. So we say, Lord you know when to open and when to close and we will accept any blessing you give us and in the mean time will be extremely responsible for each one that gives me goosebumps how God has provided each step of the way when we start to doubt.