When anyone asked me and my husband if we planned on having another baby, our answer was always, without hesitation, “No. We are happy to be a family of three.” Friends and relatives often teased us by hinting, “Time for another one!” But Randy and I always remained convinced that Evan would be our only child.
Here are some of the reasons we wanted to only have one child:
- Taking care of an infant is so difficult! Especially the first three months, the sleep deprivation is just brutal! I have no desire to go through those foggy and zombie times again.
- We finally feel like we could manage our lives now. We currently have a good setup in how we share our parenting responsibilities.
- I now have my pre-pregnancy body back : ) Thanks to yoga and my healthier eating habits, I feel even more confident with my body after having a baby.
- Although we have a tight budget, we feel financially stable. We don’t feel like we’re rich, but at least we have a good handle on our bills and savings.
- As part of our sacrifice and downsizing in order for me to be a stay at home mom, we live in a studio. How are we going to fit a family of four in a studio?!?
- In addition to working 50 hours a week, Randy is back in school getting his second Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. What time do we have to take care of another baby?
- We could give Evan more resources and more one on one attention as an only child. Saving for two college funds?!? Yikes!
- I read this very convincing article which highlighted the benefits of having only one child. See, even experts agree that one child families may be beneficial.
After reading this list, it seems evident that physically, spatially, logistically, financially, and regarding timing, the “wiser” decision is for us to have only one child. Totally makes sense, yes? It would definitely be more prudent for us to “quit while we’re ahead.” We’re doing great now, why change our family dynamics? It’s not like we feel as if our one son is “not enough.” Evan has already given us more joy we could ever imagine! We couldn’t possibly be any happier than this. Right?!?
So why in the world did we change our minds?
Well, about a month ago, on the morning of March 19 to be exact, Randy and I woke up and revealed to one another that we both just had a dream that I had given birth to a baby girl. But that wasn’t the first time I ever had a dream about having a second baby though. So what’s the big deal? I mean usually, we would scoff at such dreams, they were just silly fantasies, “Hah, what a funny dream” we would often say.
Then I realized, March 19 was St. Joseph’s Day! St. Joseph is the patron saint of families. Randy and I have always had an affinity and adoration for St. Joseph. We realized that it couldn’t be just a coincidence that he and I both had the same dream, on the same night, and to top it off, it happened on the Feast Day of St. Joseph.
Those signs were too powerful to ignore. We were then summoned to discuss the possibility and so we asked each other, although jokingly at first, “So what do you think now, do you want another baby?” When normally, we would say, “Haha, very funny! What a wild idea. Of course we’re not having another one!” This time, Randy and I similarly said, “Well, actually…Yes.” We mutually agreed that we would love to have another child and that we now wanted to expand our family! It was an unexpected shift, and although it felt scary and overwhelming, it felt right.
Just to be sure that we were making a thoughtful decision and not just an emotional decision, Randy and I referred to our one-child-only-list above, highlighting all the “smart and obvious” reasons why it was better that we have only one child. And after reviewing the list over (and over and over and over again), we still ultimately decided that we were definitely going to try to have a second baby.
LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
“The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand.”
– Robert Valett
“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”
– Blaise Pascal
Although all the reasons didn’t completely make sense to us, God somehow led us to the decision to have another baby. God placed the desire in our hearts to expand our family, rightfully and perfectly aligned with St. Joseph’s Day, the patron saint of our family, to whom we always offer our prayers and intentions. We had to respond to this calling, and although this sudden decision didn’t match up with our previous plans, we concluded that we would be even happier to have an addition to our family. We had a sudden change of mind, but more important, we had a compelling change of heart.
The most striking part of our comprehensive conversation was when Randy said, “It’s like our future baby is knocking on our hearts.” That profound sentence quickly ended our discussion. We looked at each other with tears welling up in our eyes, and held each other reassuringly. We knew at that very moment, our family is meant to grow.
Our baby was knocking on our hearts, how could we walk away? Randy and I wanted to open the door, answer our next baby’s call and together, take that leap of faith. We decided that no matter what happens, we were going to find ways to make it work as a family.
The following evening after dinner, we announced to Evan that Mommy and Daddy wanted to give him another sibling. Evan smiled widely, not really understanding what our statement implied, but he was still happy (probably because Mommy and Daddy looked so happy telling him!) We then asked Evan to help us finalize our family decision. I handed him the plastic compact case containing my pills, he willingly took it, and ceremoniously he placed it in the trash bin. The three of us cheered and clapped jubilantly. It was such a touching moment for our family!
Evan rejoiced with me and Randy, again, not fully comprehending the implications of what just happened, but nonetheless he cheered along with us. Evan knew that something great, a joyous moment, just took place for the three of us.
Now I don’t want to create an itemized list of all the benefits of having a second baby. The benefits of having adding another beautiful soul into our family are truly endless and intangible anyway. So instead, here is a proactive list that I compiled to help me prepare my body for a possible pregnancy:
- Referring regularly to my wellness list
- Finding ways to de-stress and unwind everyday
- Refraining from watching violent and disturbing shows on TV
- Listening to easygoing songs that make me feel relaxed
- Refining our space and minimizing our possessions to make more room
- Enjoying every single moment with Evan even more
- Reciting the following prayer to St. Gerard, the patron saint of expectant mothers
- Having fun trying to conceive again : ) (No obsessing over fertility calendars and ovulation kits this time!) We want our second pregnancy to take place naturally
Randy and I know that the power of conception is not up to us. We can only prepare our minds, create space for another baby and make the decision to try again. In the end, whether or not we are blessed with another pregnancy, we just thank God everyday that He has already granted us with a healthy and happy family.
- How did you and your partner decide on the size of your family?
- How do you prepare your life (mind, body and surroundings) for conception?
Share your story, your story matters.
Note: Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like a copy of my collection of prayers for conception.