I remember where I was when I said I was done.
“That’s it. No more babies.”
I had always dreamed of a big family. I wasn’t sure what big meant, but I knew that God knew how many children we should have. My husband, one of three boys, agreed wholeheartedly. “More than three!” he said when we got married.
And we had a girl. Then 2 years later, a boy.
A boy with a rare lung defect–congenital lobar emphysema. And after removing half of his little lung to save his life, I felt so much fear, so much anxiety about illnesses and babies. I recall taking their temperatures constantly. I had always been a diligent mommy, but I never really worried about a small cold. Until the night in the ER when I learned that a small cold made my baby’s lung expand so much that everything in his chest, including his little newborn heart, was shoved over to the side. Even though he seemed to be OK after recovering from surgery, I had learned that small things can be big things, and instead of being diligent, I became fearful of every illness that came our way.
And I felt like I was done having babies. I was too scared to have another little one, but it hurt to think that I would never have a newborn again. And it felt like the death of my big family dream.
I cried to a friend one night, saying the same thing I had told my husband and my mom.
No more babies.
Babies are terrifying for me now, and if this is what it is to have a baby, I just don’t think I can do it again. Babies are too scary.
Like the good friend that Debbie is, after being very sympathetic to the trauma we had gone through, she completely called me out for fear-based thinking. I was responding on emotions and not on truth. And I wasn’t trusting God with my fears. She also said many kind words that fed my insecure mama heart. She knows how to speak the truth in love.
My dear friend, Jo,wisely encouraged me to take life one baby at a time. There’s no need to worry about future pregnancies when I’m still reeling from this trauma.
And so I did. I put those concerns on a shelf for a time, all while working through my fears, anxiety, and even depression. I focused on caring for the two children I did have instead of worrying about the future. I learned how to read stories, clean house, and take every thought captive, all with two little children in tow. I found joy in homemaking again. God pulled me out of that rough patch, but even in the middle of it, He would surround me with peace and trust for our family’s future.
I recall tiptoeing out of the nursery one night after rocking my baby boy and putting him in his crib. I closed the door and turned to my husband and began explaining to him what had been on my mind while I rocked the baby.
I’ve got it figured out now. If the next baby is a boy, we can move the chair here and there will be room for another bed on that side of the room.
He smiled over his book. He knew what I knew, that it would all be OK.
That was nearly 3 years and one baby ago.
If we really had decided to be done with babies, then this little sweetheart would never have been born.
I’m so glad I wasn’t done.
Have you ever been done, but not really done, having babies?