Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Crossing the Next Bridge ~ Family

In those quiet moments to yourself do you ever sit back and think about the special moments with your kids?  It could be from the day, the week, the month, from when they were little?  When we had our second son, I remember thinking, this time will be the same and different.  I will do the same things we did the first time around and the things I wish I'd done. 

Yeah, well that didn't really happen.  We did some of the same things and a whole lot of just managing to get through the day with two kiddos.  Looking back, the thing I missed the most the second time around.  Holding.  Just sitting and holding my youngest.  Just sitting and rocking. Just putting him in a carrier and wearing him.

Yes, I did some of that, but I wish I had done it more.  But I was always fighting the guilt and the what ifs.  What if my other son needed me at that moment and I didn't hear him over the sound machine in my youngest's sons room or vice versa.  What if I was in the middle of nursing or just sitting and holding and something else needed my attention.  Oh, and the guilt I would feel over spending more time with one over the other.  The guilt of just sitting and not getting enough done in the day, and more.  I still face some of this now.  It's a balance I don't do well sometimes.

But I still wish I would hold onto them a little longer.  I am very thankful and blessed that I get to rock with each of them before I lay them down to sleep.  My youngest will snuggle into me.  My oldest, all 43" of him, will still climb up and try to be like a frog on me.  In those moments I am in awe of how big they've gotten and how I sometimes miss when I could hold them in just one arm or just resting on my chest.

The holding, it is one of those moment in which I wish I could keep forever.  Could last longer.  While there are some aspects that I am more than willing to pass through as quickly as we can and hopefully as easy as possible.  I know that we have to go through both in every stage.

I can't help but to wonder, what if we had three kids.  Then how would I feel, what would I do different, how would I survive?  We had always said we wanted three kids.  When you look at it, we have three.  One in heaven and two we get to have with us every day.  Three. 

My oldest is 4 and my youngest is 19 months (almost).  I am 35 and my husband will be 36.  Looking at where we are right now we have a decision to make.  Do we want to grow our family more?  Do we want to have three kids with us every day and one up in heaven? Sure, the path we've been on to get where we are at isn't at all what we had expected, thought of, or saw coming.  But where should we take this path?

Start trying again, work through pregnancy (which is tough on me), birth (even tougher as I know it has to be a c-section again and three kids to manage instead of two this time around), the infant stage (which was rough with two, I can only imagine what three would be oldest hated every moment of me breastfeeding for the fourteen months I did it), the postpartum depression and anxiety, and whatever else rolls in with it.

Or do we say we are done.  Or be done for now and adopt later on down the road.

We've always had a girls named picked out.  Sage.  Not sure why that name was placed in our hearts, but it has been there since before we started to grow our family.  When our first pregnancy came around and we found out it was a girl and also that we had miscarried, the name Sage didn't seem to be the right fit.  Partially, because it just didn't feel right in our hearts and paritally because we knew we wanted to have more kids and what if we had another girl, so we saved it for the possibility.

Since then we've had two boys.  And now, here we sit.  With this name in our hearts, a daughter in heaven and two sons by our side with a decision to make. Are we done?

For some, the answer comes easily and quickly.  While it may weigh heavily, it can be a simple yes or no looking at circumstances.  For others, so many factors and emotions roll into it that the decision takes a bit.  We've been asked this question by others from the time my youngest was a month old.  I will tell you then, had I been required to give an answer, it would have been no way.  But when you are sleep deprived and have a newborn and a toddler, your brain and heart are not anywhere on the same page...probably not even in the same book.

As time passes, the question becomes a little clearer to answer.  My answer, we aren't sure.  We will cross that bridge if and when we get there.  Well, we are at that bridge.  Some could say that when I started selling all the stuff that my youngest outgrew or wasn't using anymore it was because we were done.  Well, that was simply not on the mind.  We needed the space.  I was tired of storing all the stuff he had outgrown and all the stuff my oldest outgrew and was holding onto for when the time came for my youngest.  So it just seemed easier and simpler to get rid of what we didn't need.  And if we decided to have another kid, then we'd restock as necessary.

But now it's time to cross that bridge.  For me, it's an easy answer and a hard one.  Because there are some aspects, some things I want to redo, some things I want to have again, and some unknowns still out there that make me want to go down the path of adding to our family.  And yet, I also look at where we are and what we have, and I say enough.  I know what I've been through to get here and what it would take to do it again, and I say enough.

So after crossing the bridge, do we say go for it or do we say all done.  All done.  We are all done. Our family is complete.  Our home and lives are full.  We have the joys and blessing, as well as hardships of this path we are on.  Am I going to miss some of things? Yup.  But there are a lot of things I am not going to miss.  For now, I am going to soak up all the little moments in the day.  Capture them in my heart, mind, and if I can on camera so that down the road I can look back at them fondly, but also savor what is in front of me at that moment.