So, the thought of a larger family was not something that really crossed my mind. I knew I wanted children, likely 2, and that was that. After the birth of my first two children life felt like it was rolling along well, but, then there was something missing. We decided another child was needed. We lost a desired baby before becoming pregnant with our third, but then we were blessed with our third child. Well then after that one we had a long gap as my husband went back to school and life got hectic. I distinctly remember stating that 3 was ENOUGH. I was working full time and hubby was in school, I had 3 children ages 5 and under. I was a busy mama.
A year or two went by and hubby and I talked about making our decision to have just 3 children permanent. We thought our lives were full and we should make it more final. I distinctly remember planning to make it more permanent but when it got to the point of actually surgically planning that permanence, my heart was broken. It was then that I knew I didn't want the option of more children completely gone. Hubby and I decided not to make things surgically permanent. About a year later we discussed having another child. When we began trying to have that one we suffered two more losses so the fourth pregnancy was a HUGE blessing. It was around this time that we made the change from a two income family to a one income family as we decided our children needed mom at home. Baby # 4 was such an amazing addition to our family, his siblings adored him and he was so sweet. Even as he has grown into a precocious toddler his antics are still endearing to us all. I often look at him and think,what if we had stopped at 3 children? We would never know the amazing little boy who brings so much laughter to us all.
We then discussed having another baby, what is one more when you already have 4?People already think we are crazy...so what's one more? Actually, I often thought of how much fuller our lives were and how we almost missed out on the blessings that little boy brings to us daily. We were ecstatic to become pregnant with our 5th, but were devastated to loose that one after 3 months into the pregnancy, that was a very hard time for our whole family. The children also grieved that loss hard as we had announced the pregnancy to all by that point. God is gracious though, and we became pregnant with another child just 4 months after that horrible loss.
Baby number 5 was born just earlier this year. I don't know if it having experienced the loss of several desired pregnancies was what led us to realizing just how precious life is, and how much we would have missed out on had we chosen to not have more children after the first 3.
I have been blessed beyond measure to be the mother to 5 amazing children. I so often hear moms say..."I don't know how you do it, I wouldn't want that many children." I wonder then...which one would they suggest I send back? Each of my children teaches me more than the last and I think it is easier having multiple children than only having one.
We have several friends who also have 5 children and just this last weekend we got to spend time with one of those families. It was amazing to watch the children interact. Both of our families have children similar in age but what was so precious was watching the older children look out for their younger siblings. Off they would go in pairs and looking out for each other and the younger ones. My friend and I both enjoy being mothers and we laughed and shared stories until much past the children's regular bedtimes. The beauty was that it was noisy, a bit chaotic while serving dinner, and wild, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
Big families are a blessing. Some may see children as a chore but through the trials we have endured, I relish in being the mom of what some call "A Big Family". Funny thing that other mama and I discussed...5 doesn't really seem like that many. We both laughed at some of the same things we often hear from people when they hear how many children we both have had...And I assure you when you ask...yes we know what causes that.
So, as I sat on the front porch with all of my children this morning snapping beans, I felt blessed. We were singing some of our favorite songs and they weren't even laughing at how bad mom sounds. We were working together, laughing together, and making memories together. Enjoying the blessings of a BIG family.