It’s hard isn’t it? Like really, really hard?
My husband and I got married in August and I found out I was pregnant in October with our first baby. I was super excited and super clueless as to what that really meant.
Scott and I began our marriage with the conviction to let God lead in our family planning but little did we know that I would be super sick with a condition called hyperemesis which basically means you throw up throughout your entire pregnancy. I was hospitalized with the first ones and given IV fluids. Even though it was really tough we continued to let God lead in family planning and I found out I was pregnant with our second child when our first was nine months old.
I was terribly sick again but continued to meditate and focus on verses about laying my life down for those that I love. And the one about how unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it does not produce life. Unfortunately for me pregnancy does feel like dying but it also brings forth beautiful life.
I remember throwing up in my bathroom with my 10-month-old baby, Rhea, sitting next to me crying and me looking at her in the eyes in between puking sessions telling her I loved her and trying to keep a smile on my face.
I got pregnant again when my second child was nine months old. I was obviously terrified. I got through those next nine months lying on the couch and delivered our wonderful third child, Johnny, on June 17th 2010, seven days after my mother’s death.
I had three children three and under and I was dealing with the grief of my mother dying from a heart attack. Not an easy time. The minute that I pushed Johnny out I looked at the doctor and asked him where he would recommend that my husband get a vasectomy. Everyone in the room laughed… Little did I know how much sorrow that question would eventually lead to.
My husband went in a couple months later and had a vasectomy. He called me on the way there and said “are you sure you want to do this?” I said: “why in the world are you calling me? Don’t call me! Yes, just go.” I knew that I was feeling convicted but I just couldn’t imagine having more children and being so sick. And we had been counseled against having more children with people telling us to use common sense, so I felt extra justified.
My husband actually called a church the day that he had the surgery that was looking for a senior pastor. I remember looking at the church online and telling Scott that I never wanted to go there because there were big families and I was “afraid they would make us have more children.” Scott looked at me and said: “They know that we are done.”
Long story short, Scott got the position as the senior pastor at that church in Southwest Washington and it’s the same job he still has today. We love it here and feel so blessed. There were and are a lot of big families here. But not one time did anyone say anything mean to me about having a smaller family. No one ever tried to talk us into having more. What changed our minds was just watching these families live life together and wondering who we might be missing from our family photo.
My husband and I went to a concert one night that had a family band playing and they had 10 children. He looked over at me in the middle of them singing and said “I want to have more kids.” I was like: “No way!” God slowly but surely worked on my heart as well and I remember waking up one day at 5 AM and feeling excited at the idea of having more children. We immediately started looking into doctors and scheduled an appointment for a reversal in December 2011.
We got pregnant with our first reversal baby in May 2012. She was born in February 2013 and we named her Charis, which is the Greek word for Grace, and she really is a picture of God’s grace in our life.
I was sick again the entire pregnancy but I learned how much eating around the clock would help with my hyperemesis. I still took about half of the Zofran pill, which is a chemo patient pill, every day.
But this pregnancy was light years different than all my other ones… mostly just severe nausea for nine months instead of constant nausea and throwing up.
I should also mention that I suffer with postpartum depression and anxiety. This makes it difficult to look forward to having the baby. For my last three pregnancies I have hid out in a bedroom and that helps if I can get extra rest, especially in the morning.
When Charis was 13 months old I got pregnant with Chloe. As a sidenote, this was our first and last baby that we didn’t find out what we were having. Personally I thought it was overrated and prefer to find out 🙂 I cried when I found out I was pregnant.
At around six weeks I started getting my extreme nausea and it continued for the rest of my pregnancy. The most severe part is really in those first four months. But again, this pregnancy was so much better than it was with the first three. I am so thankful for that.
Pictured above is my sweet Chloebug who was born on December 6, 2014. She was also my second homebirth.
I remember in October thinking that I would get pregnant again any minute 🙂 I surprised my husband by telling our associate pastor to make an announcement behind the pulpit before church on a Sunday morning in November that we were pregnant with our sixth child.
At six weeks on the dot I started feeling very sick. I remember sobbing in my bed the morning that I started feeling the nausea again. It always hits me like a freight train.
Our sweet little Noah was born July 25, 2016. He looks a lot like our son Johnny and even weighed the exact same amount at birth! 9 lbs. 11 oz. 🙂
Now I feel like we are waiting again. Surprised we aren’t pregnant yet but trusting that God has the perfect family size for us whether that be 6 children or 10 or whatever He deems just right.
I remember those days when I had three children 3 and under. Honestly it was like survival mode from one day to the next. I suppose motherhood can be like that in general at different points. But now I have a ten-year-old, eight-year-old and a seven-year-old that are particularly helpful. My four-year-old is in charge of unloading the dishwasher and even though that is a little job it is still helpful. I am now able to take a shower while my 10-year-old and eight-year-old watch the little kids. I can do 20 minutes of cardio while everyone’s awake and my big kids are getting breakfast ready. Life changes and you will change as well. It is true that the more children you have the more you learn to relax 🙂
I can’t imagine our lives without the pitter-patter of these six other feet. The giggles from these three other mouths. The cuddles from these three sets of arms. Watching our older three play with our younger three is almost surreal… what we might have missed out on…
So many people decide to not have more than three because they feel overwhelmed. Believe me, I get it. I would love to give you a bigger perspective and help you think about blessing your children with more siblings and allowing the Lord to bring more children into your life. It really is the biggest decision you’ll ever make. Bigger than who you choose to marry since marriage is only for this life but choosing whether or not to bring a child into this world is an eternal decision since they exist for eternity.
Having children is hard. But so are most good things in life.