I have been hesitant to even try posting what I am about to say as it is a sensitive topic and I am not exactly sure how to approach it, nor can I seem to articulate the emotions I am feeling. But it is something that I have been struggling with for a couple of years now and I am hoping that my sharing might help others who are going through what I am. I know there are quite a few out there, some of them my own dear friends. I just want you to know you are not alone.
So here goes.
I have always envisioned myself having a large family. Five little souls seemed like a good starting point to me. As a teenager I would surround myself with children by volunteering for children's story time every week at the local bookstore near where I lived in California. I absolutely adored each and every one of those kids that would come and see me week after week. After that I had the opportunity to nanny the sweetest three year old boy for many months. I can still see him hanging on to my neck as we hiked up in the mountains, something we did almost daily (unless the beach called us instead). I treasure those memories as they helped me to realize that being a Mama was my calling.
As each one of my own children came into my life, the desire to have a large family became even stronger. My heart would grow bigger with each birth, far beyond what I thought I was ever humanly capable of and I knew it would just continue to grow. And then the gift of watching the siblings interact, quarrel (then learn and grow from the quarreling), and love one another would just expand my heart even more. I truly understood that children are a gift.
But it has been five years now since I was pregnant with Little L. The largest gap we have ever had between children. The hope and despair month after month has begun to really take it's toll on me. What if this is it for me and the path I dreamed of is not to be realized?
I feel horribly guilty about feeling sad. Who am I to be depressed over not having more babies when there are others out there who struggle to have their first and I already have three amazing blessings who fill me with endless joy everyday? I sound selfish and ungrateful, I know I do. Yet my heart still aches.
Emotional triggers seem to be everywhere for me. I am always extremely happy for others when they share the good news that they are expecting but I do admit I also get a small pain in my heart, wishing it was me. I have learned to take breaks from some of my favorite blogs (all of which are about large families) if I am feeling especially down.
My girls are constantly asking when we will have another baby. They both love doting on them so, even stranger's babies. A few weeks back K actually told me that she doesn't think it's going to happen any longer. Her grief seemed to be a reflection of my own that I hide on the inside.
I am still praying and not giving up hope but I am trying to learn to accept that this may just be God's plan for me. I am grateful.
I wanted to end with something my friend Kerrie recently said to me, "Wanting more doesn't make you ungrateful -- it just means you love being a mama."
My heart goes out to those of you hoping for a child at this time (be it your first, second or seventh!). Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you.