Friday, July 11, 2014

Are you going to have more?

The most seemingly simple questions aren't always so simple.

"Are you going to try for some more kids?"  or "Ya'll are trying?"
"Aww! Don't you want another baby?"
"I bet you want a girl this time, right?"
"You don't want Silas to be alone do you?"
"Oh, so are you happy just to have the one?"
"How are you feeling about having more kids?"

Now that Silas is 2, I get one question probably more than any other, "are you going to have more?" It seems like such an easy question with a simple response. Really, its not. For many moms who have infertility or who lose babies, the answer can be quite complicated and emotional. I do not really mind the questions if your motivation for asking is based out of love. I love that people are invested in my life and the life of my family. I love that people love us  and our children. I am so blessed that I have family and friends who want to see us grow our family, knowing that no child can replace Gideon, but wanting to see us happy. I love that they want to celebrate our joys with us and grieve our losses with us. I am so grateful that most of the people around me have sensitive hearts, kind words and heartfelt prayers to speak over us.

I just need you to understand that when you do ask, sometimes it causes a stinging pain into my heart. And sometimes, it hard to give an answer. When you ask, it brings forth all these feelings that I try to keep at bay. Because its not simple. The thought of adding another person to our family is confusing and complicated.

"Are you going to have more?"
On the surface, this seems like an innocent enough question. But, I cannot answer it. I can do everything right, I can track my cycle, take drugs, take supplements, we could even do fertility treatment again, but ultimately God decides that. I wish it was easy for me, and for many couples answering this is easy: yes or no. Couples who haven't had infertility or lost a baby/babies can usually give an answer with no hesitation. I, however, cannot. Honestly, you dont know, the person you are asking might have gotten a diagnosis and cannot ever have children again. So asking this might hurt. For me, I dont know if I will ever be fertile again, so asking his hurts because I want more, but it may never happen. Do I believe God can do a miracle?  Absolutely, I just look at my 2 boys and I know He can and does.

"Are yall trying?" 
I don't think people realize what an intimate question this is. Think of it this way, this is what you are asking: are you timing your sexual intercourse for the days before and when you are ovulating? This is an extremely personal question. So unless we have a close enough relationship to discuss sexual intimacy, please consider what you are asking.

"Don't you want a baby?" 
Yes, I do. I would love to have a house filled with children! However, my ovaries don't work right so I may never have another biological child. The idea of adding another child to our family makes me a little anxious. Because if I get my hopes up, it may never happen and that will add to the disappointment. What if it is another 5 years before we bring home another living child after years of loss and struggle?
I don't ovulate on my own. I did fertility treatment for months after we finally got pregnant the first time, only to have a miscarriage. I took Vitex (which is an herbal supplement, derived from the Chasteberry plant,  that helps women with PCOS to ovulate) and that helped me to get pregnant with both Gideon and with Silas. But will God use the same method again? I don't know.  So you see, there is no simple answer.
What if you asked this question to someone you didn't know very well, just out of curiosity and little did you know that she was completely infertile. What if they had been told she had to have a hysterectomy? Or that she would never ovulate again or her husband had a zero sperm count? What if that morning she had gotten another negative pregnancy test? What if at that exact moment, she was miscarrying a baby you didn't know about?

"I bet you want a girl this time, right?"
 A girl would be great, so would a 3rd boy. Mostly I'd just like a living child in my arms. I don't care if I get to dress them up in pink and bows or blue and trucks, I just want them breathing.

"You dont want Silas to be alone, do you?"
 I'd like for him to have a sibling on this earth with him who he can play with, who can be there with him his entire life. But there are no guarantees. If I did get pregnant, I could lose another child. Or 2 more. What's to say that we do everything right, but our kids still die? Not everyone's babies die, I know that, but 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss, right now I am 2 for 3. Also, again, I have poor functioning ovaries and I could never get pregnant again, and God hasn't opened up a door for us to adopt yet. So for now, Silas will just have to deal with being loved and doted on by his mommy and daddy and playing with his cousins and friends. Its a tough life for him, I tell ya. ;)

"Oh, so are you happy just to have the one?"
I don't have "just the one." I have a son who died and I have a living son. It hurts me when people are dismissive of the fact that I have carried and given birth to 2 children. Am I happy to have Silas in my life? YES! But he is not just the only one I am happy to have. I am happy and blessed to have Gideon too, even if he isn't here anymore.

And last, but certainly not least:

"How are you feeling about having more kids?"
Now this is the best way to ask this question. It doesn't assume we can have more kids. It respects the sensitive feelings I may be having. This question puts the ball in my court. It opens up for me to say, "I dont want to talk about it," or "I am feeling anxious/excited/scared." It makes the ask-er sounds like they care. It allows me to share my heart with you, or to not share it if I don't want to. It acknowledges that we may be struggling. It acknowledges that babies, birth and pregnancy are sometimes sensitive subjects. It says to me that you are not discounting my pain of losing Gideon or the pain of infertility.

I have heard some form of these questions pretty often lately. I understand where people are coming from, I understand they want to know. Its human nature. Sometimes it comes from simple curiosity. Sometimes they ask because its just small talk. Sometimes it is nosiness. Sometimes it is that they think they know best for our family. Sometimes, and most of the times, it is out of love. It comes from knowing my heart about wanting to have more children and to be pregnant again.

My entire point of this is to think before you ask. You never know what kind of pain you might be causing someone by asking them a question that you see as a simple question. Things aren't always as they seem.

I used to ask some form of these questions, mostly from plain curiosity. Now I am much more careful how I ask and what I say to someone, because you just never know. If I do ask, it is because I care. It is because I want to pray for you. It is because I love you.

So right now, if I was to be asked "how are you feeling about having another baby?" my response would be: I am, once again, to the point where I realize that God will give us the children He wants us to have. If that is through my body, then great! If that is through adoption, then wonderful! (I really do want to adopt at some point! I am praying God opens that door for us!!) But please know that whatever happens, I am on my way to being ok with it. I am getting the the point where I am ok to have only Silas as the child I get to raise on this earth. I am completely happy to have him here and yet, I'd like to have more. I am getting to the point where I am at peace if we only have one child at home.

I have to remember that God will keep writing our story and because He writes it, it is beautiful.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:8

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