A Modern Day Fairy Tale: On The Decision To Grow Our Family {+9 Week Baby Update}

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On The Decision To Grow Our Family {+9 Week Baby Update}

When we first announced the last pregnancy, I had said then that I would post later on the decision to add onto our family. With the whirlwind that came after with the miscarriage and new pregnancy, I never actually got to that...until now!

For most that know us personally, that announcement came as a bit of a shock. Even more so when they discovered that we had in fact been trying. For a long while, I wasn't sure about adding onto our family. As mothers, I think it's just our nature to worry...as a mommy with anxiety, I think I tend to worry more than average, and in my head, there seemed to be more reasons NOT to bring another baby into the family...


  • Could we handle another child? Shaun is a great kiddo, but he also requires a LOT of attention. He's hyper, loves to climb and often finds himself in places where he shouldn't be (like flooding bathroom, opening upstairs windows and climbing them, on top of refrigerators ..you name it!). He also has no sense of danger, so I feel the constant need to keep a watchful eye on him. Would I be able to do that and take care of another child?
  • Would our next child not get enough attention because of this? Aside from the above mentioned, Shaun also requires therapies and special school classes, etc. I worried that this attention that he required would mean we'd have less attention for the new baby, and that the child might resent Shaun for that.
  • Could we handle having another child with Autism? Already having one child on the spectrum (and believing that it was in his case genetic, as I had a brother with Autism as well), we know that we are at an increased risk of having another. This is still a big concern, and a pretty legitimate one, I think! Of course, we love our Shaun and would not change him for anything, and if Finley does end up having Autism, we will love and accept him/her as well, but we have no illusions that it could be very difficult raising multiple children on the spectrum.
  • How would adding onto the family affect Shaun? Autism and change don't play well. With our move last year, we saw a lot of behavior issues and regression. Even small things can throw him for a loop. (Last week, we had an incident on the bus where they changed his seat with no notice...for two days he kicked and screamed the entire ride home from school...just from changing seats!) A baby is a HUGE change, and we have absolutely no idea how he may react to that. At this point I am hopeful that in his enthusiasm he will do well and might perhaps even help him, but the reality is, we really have no idea!
  • How would Shaun treat the baby? Along with his tendencies of aggression, Shaun is also very...affectionate perhaps? He loves hugging, he loves kisses, he loves tickling. To him, it's all in good fun, but he also doesn't understand the concept of personal space and being gentle. This is something we are working strongly on with him, and a primary focus before Finley arrives!
  • Could I handle pregnancy while taking care of Shaun? Pregnancy with Shaun was not easy! (Is pregnancy EVER easy?) For nearly the entire second half of my pregnancy, I was on and off bed rest for issues with preterm labor. Being on bed rest with your first child, while no fun, is still pretty easy...being on bed rest with a 5 year old who requires lots of Mommy attention? Now, that's a completely different story altogether...and one that I truly hope we do not have to deal with! 
  • Could we afford another child? As a one income family, while we do okay, we are obviously on a budget. Would we be able to make that budget work if we had another mouth to feed and many other expenses that babies bring?
The list goes on...to me, it just did not seem logical to have another child. About a year ago however, a few things started weighing on my mind...

First of all, I am always talking about God's plan, and leaving things up to God. And yet, weren't we taking it out of God's control? If we were truly leaving things up to God, shouldn't we also be letting Him decide if and when our family should grow. This is something I really struggled with. It's hard for a control freak like myself to entirely hand it over to God, when the outcome is so uncertain.

We also worried about Shaun being on his own in the future. We have always said that we believe that Shaun will do well, and live and work on his own, and I truly believe that with his incredible mind, he will. But again, the reality is we really do not know what the future holds, except that Matt and I won't always be here. The idea of him being left completely alone is scary. Of course he has cousins whom he loves, but it's certainly not the same as a sibling. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2011, this really hit home. My mom is absolutely fine, as I've mentioned before, but it was still a scary time, and it meant so much to have my sisters during that time, going through that together. I could not stand the thought of Shaun going through something like that without having someone to turn to, who understood those feelings.

As you can see, the decision was not an easy one to make, and not something we took lightly at all. But aside from all the what-ifs, there were also many positive factors that played into our decision. Shaun would be 6 when Finley is born, and we didn't want a larger age gap than that. We are 3-3.5 hours from our family for another few years. Matt won't be deploying for at least 2 years... and perhaps the real kick in the butt, the Mirena I'd had since after Shaun was born was expiring and needed to either be replaced, or removed. So, after much talk, we finally decided that if ever there was going to be a right time, this was it. Though the worries and questions do still remain, I am confident that we made the right decision (and was made more confident in that decision after our miscarriage), and know that while we don't know what our future holds, we truly are leaving it up to God now, and he will take care of the rest!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.- Jeremiah 29:11

And now, on a lighter note...a quick 9 week baby update:


Mommy: At nine weeks, Mommy is already showing more and outgrowing all of her jeans. (Stinkin' skinny jeans!). Nausea is still coming and going, and exhaustion is still constant. Not much change in that since week 8!

Baby Finley: Baby Finley is growing! He/She is now the size of an olive! Next appointment is next Wednesday, so we'll have a bigger update then hopefully! Our next ultrasound is also scheduled for February 15th. We have to do some additional prenatal screening due to genetic issues in both of our families which means another look at baby! (Mommy is slightly nervous about this appointment, but trying to leave it up to God and trusting him to help us through whatever comes our way!)

Big Brother Shaun: Shaun is still convinced that every time we leave the house it's time to go to the hospital. He's so impatient! He's excited to see that his baby is growing, and checks mommy's tummy every morning for growth. He's convinced mommy's tummy is already huge!! He loves his baby brother/sister...and still insists that it MUST be a girl.

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I know you will be blessed beyond your thoughts.

    God bless and keep you,
    Sonia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats! Wishing you a healthy, no bedrest kind of pregnancy and I know that this sweet baby will be a blessing!
    -Michele

    ReplyDelete

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