Choosing to be Open to Life: On Having more Kids

  1. Julie says:

    I am in a place of not quite knowing when. I know I want more kids. But I am exhausted now. I am tandem nursing my 34 month old and my 11 month old. I also have a five year old. I cosleep with baby and naptime is held and nursed time, and am hoping to let my middle child wean when he is ready not based off me so I can’t imagine having another just yet. My cycle hasn’t returned yet and I hope it stays away a little longer. But I do yearn to have another. It feels funny to say i yarn for another yet I’d like a larger gap this time. I started in my early twenties and will have a lot of kids if we keep on at our current rate! I always feel and say I want a houseful, but am not sure how full is full… so I toggle back and forth several times a day on when.

  2. Kristina says:

    Thank you for sharing, this was just what I was meant to read. I feel like you just described me and my life my thoughts exactly! Glad to know I’m not alone! I love love love children and am so thankful to God for entrusting me with these beautiful miracles of life!

  3. Michelle - mom of 9 on earth, 6 with God says:

    Good to know about UMary! I am pushing hard… We did a webinar, HomeschoolConnections, with them last fall and the college sounds amazing, really getting it’s Catholic identify back.

    And, FWIW, I didn’t have my first baby until I was 29, God blessed me with two in my 40’s – really, they were the best because I was such a seasoned mom, and had so much help and knew they were an over the top blessing. These last set of babies are so cherished by their older siblings. Really a gift!

    • really!?! you started when you were 29? Oh, that is so fun! I can’t wait to see what our family looks like in a few years. It’s like watching a miracle unfold in slow-motion. So blessed!

  4. Michelle - mom of 9 on earth, 6 with God says:

    I’m at the end of my days of fertility – and – I do miss having these visible signs of love from God blessing our lives. Sweetest memory, bringing home my 9th baby, a little girl, and having my 15 year old son fall madly in love wither – 5 years later, he still just dotes on her. How cool is that? And, I miss being soaked in that overflowing love. Now I have 5 teens… and they love me, I know it, but it’s so different. I can’t fix their problems, they just want a sympathetic ear to listen to them.

    And, BTW, Nancy, I’m trying to talk my rising 11th grader into applying at University of Mary – they have a full music program unlike most Catholic colleges. He plays cello, sax, trombone, bass, and a bunch of other things. He’s accomplished but just put of by how far away it is… and how cold! We’re living in Atlanta – one small snow storm a year 🙂

    • That story about your son and your new baby is so beautiful! Since I didn’t start having kids until I was 30 I’m not sure that is in my future, but who knows? And, tell him to apply to UMary. It is REALLY cold, but the people there are so good! They have a great Rome program now and the President, Fr. Shay, is amazing. I used to go to daily mass with him when he was just a young priest and I would be CONVICTED all day. They guy will change the world.

  5. Carolyn says:

    This is so lovely! I’m not Catholic (Lutheran Brethren), but I think when you value life–and the miracle it always is–this is an easy perspective to share. I don’t know that I can ever say, “We are done having babies,” because really, who are we to determine that? Yes, life is crazy. Yes, some days make me feel like we’re in over our heads. But these lives, these tiny, wondrous spirits, are God’s love personified. How humbling to be entrusted as earthly caretakers to such miracles! Thanks for sharing (from your neighbor in North Dakota!).

    • Yay! I went to college in North Dakota (University of Mary) and I have a rule that I like EVERYONE I have ever met from that state–without exception. So, I like you very much already.

      And, what you said is so right on the money. The things I wrote about are not “Catholic”. They are simply truth–truth that we all get to experience when we are mothers. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Kelly says:

    Yes yes yes! We have been married 8 years and have 4 kids with our 5th due in February. So many people think we are crazy, but the miracle thing… Babies are incredible! And the sibling thing… I love who my kids are because they have each other. And I am exactly the same way with getting stuff done. I totally could’ve written point 2! Thanks for the sweet reminder of why I am enduring morning sickness all over again.

    Your last line is my absolute favorite. So many people see Church teaching (in many areas) as a burden without really looking at the heart and the blessing that is to be found in it.

    • That is so wonderful that your family will be welcoming #5 in February! Congrats! And really, couldn’t any mother have written this post? We all are in the same boat–same struggles but same amazing miracles we get to see so closely.

      Blessings on your pregnancy!

  7. Abigail says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing! We have 8 children here on earth, 4 in Heaven, and one more growing! Being open to life is such a beautiful part of God’s plan!

  8. I often wished I had started living my Catholic faith younger I often wonder if I’d have more than 3 children – though the 2 preemies, 1 miscarriage and 1 Ectopic pregnancy would not have been any different and therefore our choices not have been different either. Our 3rd child is adopted from China (she was nearly 4 – and it wasn’t a fertility issue as much as a call from God) but I digress. I loved your line about chasing other things that WE think will bring us happiness is probably where we’d be least likely to find it! I am really going to enjoy this series.

    • Allison–thanks for sharing this. We all have different stories and paths when we choose life–full of suffering and joy. How amazing that you adopted! I hope you enjoy the series and let me know if you’d like to share your story as part of this!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this. I am living your story almost exactly. My husband and I got married in our late twenties, and we hit the ground running too. We have three children: 4, 2, and 8 months: all 20 months apart. Right now, I just feel completely overwhelmed. The days are long, and I really want to be open to more children, but I feel so worn out, I can’t imagine having more. I do have fleeting moments of wanting another baby, but I really just feel done. I felt the same way with my last two though. Trying to be a good Catholic in this society is hard; there are so many moments I’ve had lately just wishing I could be on birth control and stop worrying about being pregnant again. I’m still nursing, and NFP is so hard when nursing. I am trying to have faith that God knows better than I do, but I’m just like you, so many times I find myself imagining life without a toddler or a baby. I’m so tired of dragging around a heavy baby, or dealing with a screaming two year old. It’s so hard!! I just can’t imagine it with four children. I feel like God led me to read your post today as a reminder that my ideas of what my life should be are infinitely worse than the plans God has for my life. As an act of faith, I’m not going to clean or organize or do anything on my to do list the rest of the day; I’m just going to enjoy the three little joyful souls I am blessed to care for every day!! Thank you!!!

    • Yes, yes and yes. It am right there with you on all of these points. That nursing-getting fertility back time is the worst. It is so hard to just trust. I love my babies, but carrying them around gets old. Hang in there. Everyone I’ve talked to says that it gets easier after 3…that 3 is the hardest. I hope they are right!!

  10. Love this! Agreed on all three points! I think this all the time when I look at each new baby we have been blessed to welcome – I can’t imagine this one being the last. I can feel how God widens my heart with each one (which isn’t to say it’s not a painful stretching sometimes!) and I am so grateful for this conversion. Thank you for this series!

    • Laura, every time I read your blog, and even here, I am struck by how beautifully you put things. it is a widening (or a stretch) of the heart each time a baby comes. So well put.

  11. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for sharing Nancy! We are obviously in the same boat… and I feel the same way you do. Some days I think I’m ready to be done, but then I think how wonderful it would be to have more children. It’s definitely something we pray about and think about already, even just after have given birth. 🙂

    • Nancy says:

      If you are already thinking about it them we really are in the same boat! I hope your recovery is going well and that I get to meet that gorgeous boy sometimes soon!

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