Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Revelation

At some point during the ordeal of last week while Michael was having all these tests run and we were waiting for results and fearing the very worst, I had a revelation.

People wonder why I have as many kids as I do. It's true that in this day and age, six kids is unusual. The truth is, I never set out to have so many children. I never dreamed I would have a large family. I knew I wanted to be a mother . . . I yearned for it for many years, but there was a time after Kevin was born, due to the circumstances of my life at that time, that I forced myself to accept the fact that I would probably never have another baby after Kevin.

But things change. I met and married Michael and we knew we wanted to have children together, and soon, as neither of us were getting any younger. We talked about having maybe two children together to make it a total of three with Kevin. So we had Joey less than a year after we got married. Two years later, we had the twins. Wow - that surpassed what we had originally planned! Suddenly we had four kids. But even after that, neither of us felt "done." So two year later, we had Lilah. After Lilah, Michael was ready to be done having babies, although he's said that if we were younger and wealthy, he'd love to have ten children (he's a really, really good dad, seriously). I still didn't feel done though, and tried to talk him into one more. Fate (or carelessness, depending on how you look at it) took the decision out of our hands, and a little less than two years after Lilah was born, we had Finn.

So now we have six kids, and you know what? If I had my druthers, I'd have another. What's this all about? I've tried to figure it out for the longest time. Why is it that my friends all have 1, 2, or 3 children and they know they're done, and they feel completely at peace with it? And how come I can't seem to get to that point?

And here was the revelation: it's all about the hope that comes with having babies. The new beginnings. There is something incredibly hopeful about being pregnant and giving birth and having a new baby . . . and I think that is what I can't seem to let go of. I've had enough unhappiness and, yes, even tragedy, in my life, that the hopefulness of having children has been this huge influence in my adult life.

Sadly, chances are we won't be having any more children. Even if I could talk Michael into "one more," the radiation treatments he will be undergoing will most likely take care of what a vasectomy would have. I can't deny that I feel a great sadness to close that chapter of our life together - the chapter of bearing children.

But I've decided that there is an incredible amount of hopefulness tied up with what Michael and our family will be undergoing over the coming months. And coming through it on the other side will be like a birth, a new beginning.


sakun said...

so very proud to know you! People always gawk @ the number of kids we have in total..... : )...i love it.! thinking of you sending you guys lots of strength & love...my 3 plus your 6 equals 9 I'll babysit...piece of cake!! : )

grammyof13 said...

From a grandmother of 13 to you, I applaud you for enjoying your family. I found you through Women Bloggers, and will be back again.

I had four children from Jan, '62 to Dec. '67. I felt I should have had one more - didn't think of calling it "not done" but I was urged to have my tubes tied. I did, but found myself looking around for the one missing. It was a feeling I couldn't explain other than "there are four, but where is the other one?"

Keep smiling, and enjoying them for the years pass so swiftly. Believe me they pass too fast!

Nicole O'Dell said...

I totally get what you're saying. I can't believe I'm sad to be "done" but I am. Guess it's just how we're wired.


Larry said...

I completely understand your feelings about he hopefulness and joy of being pregnant and having a new baby - and hey, maybe you aren't done - the difference between men and women is our eggs are there and radiation and chemo affect them but men make new sperm every day so Michael could have fresh swimmers in the future to do the job if you wanted to, so don't count yourself out yet :)

Anonymous said...

Wise decision!I can see how what Michael, you and your family are going through, is a path to a new beginning. All of you will be transformed by this healing journey in so many levels.

Tricia said...

you are an amazing woman.