Are We Done?

That seems to be the Golden question.

Admit it. You’re wondering, too. Because I’m pretty sure it can’t just be “in person” people who want to know.

Will there be an 8 Clown Circus? Or maybe even a 9 or 10 Clown one?

Nope, Nada, Nein.

Emphatic No.

I’m pretty sure not.

Not because I don’t love kids, especially my own, but because we made the decision that our family was complete while I was pregnant with the twins. I should really say that I pushed the decision, and Jeff supported me in it, which will always mean the world to me.

He wanted more children, and frankly still does, I think. But I don’t. And he respects that.

I feel like my hands are full and my heart is happy with our little 5.

But that’s not all. While I was going through my last pregnancy it was so emotionally taxing that I felt strongly that I couldn’t do it again. Even if someone could have given me a crystal ball and told me that I would have a easy pregnancy with absolutely zero complications, I couldn’t do it, and I still feel that way today, almost 3 years later.

From the time I was 17 weeks pregnant until my babies were born 16 weeks later, I was a nervous wreck. (To read about why, visit here.) I felt emotions that are impossible to describe. I felt blessed beyond measure to be carrying TWO babies, yet I felt like my pregnancy was a ticking time bomb. I just didn’t know if the bomb was active or a dud. I knew that if I lost the babies life would go on and I would be comforted. At the same time, I could barely bear the thought of not having my babies. At any given second my babies could have been wreaking havoc on each other in utero, and I was powerless to stop them. I felt utterly and totally helpless. And very few people understood. It was a very isolating time.

That pregnancy came after pregnancy #2 where baby was born with a virus I passed on to her and an induced labor where her heartrate was abnormally high for too long. And pregnancy #3 where baby had an irregular unbilical cord (2 vessels instead of 3) that caused many days of stress and fear, a CF scare and hospitalization as an infant.

Back to the the last pregnancy though. I made the decision to have aggressive inpatient monitoring for my babies. It was the best thing for them, but whether it was the best thing for our family I didn’t know. I had no idea how my children and husband would deal with having me gone for more than 2 months.

I exercised a lot of faith that my family would be taken care of. I prayed constantly for the peace of mind that would tell me everything would work out well. That if it didn’t I would be able to go on. I trusted that if I did everything in my power to ensure my babies made it until their scheduled premature birthday, I would get through anything. Or that if they didn’t, that I did all that I could and that I would still have the strength to get through all the other things life threw my way.

Except another pregnancy. The thought of ever being pregnant again made me, um…. more than anxious.

And that sort of puts the cap on 5.

My hands are full, but my heart is fuller. And I feel content. So that’s why our family isn’t growing by 10 new toes.

Besides, we are already being eaten out of house and home.

So there.

The Golden Question has been answered. Now you can sleep better at night. You’re welcome.

To read more answers to this question, visit one of my absolute favorite bloggers and mommy to 8, Octamom.

Oh yes. I almost forgot. The answer to the other Golden Question. We have a winner for the Twisted Silver Necklace. She must have stored up some luck because out of 166 entries, she won. Congratulations, Tiffany. Of R Family Diaries. Any chance we can share? You know, I’m thinking every other month, maybe? 🙂

Comments

  1. 1

    DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM says

    I blogged a little while back about our decision to be done. It’s not easy but sometimes it’s what you have to do!

  2. 2

    Robin says

    We’ve been waffling for years whether to go for a third or not (for completely different but also fairly stressful reasons) so I really envy your certainty.

  3. 3

    mannequin says

    What a nice post to read over coffee this morning Angie. I have often regretted not having a full house but then I stop and realize how could I have ANY regrets being blessed to have the boys I DID have.

    “My hands are full, but my heart is fuller” pretty much describes the way I perceive your life to be.

    Thanks Angie!

  4. 4

    Melanie says

    I had to go through many trials with pregnancies and wish to have had more. I knew after my last child it needed to be done permenantly..so a full hysto and 3 years later am still grateful to have done that. I don’t know if the other pregnancies I had are waiting for me…only the Lord knows..and so I am truly blessed and grateful for my fuller heart as well…Thanks for the post!

  5. 5

    Melissa says

    We’re done, too. I can’t even begin to imagine what you went through during your last pregnancy…

    I’m glad the outcome was your two beautiful boys.

  6. 7

    Shannon says

    I hear you loud and clear, lol. My first son was born via emergency c-section after a picture perfect pregnancy. Everything that could go wrong did. But we still tried again two years later, and after another perfect pregnancy, had another emergency section. I said, no more, because it was too stressful, but changed my mind when my second born was 4. Tried one last time for a girl and got twin boys, I know… it’s funny. This time the hubs and I agreed that this would be it, not that he wouldn’t be happy with more, but he respected the decision. We scheduled the section that time and it went wonderfully. It was the first time I was awake for the moment of them being pulled out. I got an IUD and plan on getting another one when it is time, unless the hubs decides to get “snipped”, lol. Four boys (plus the hubs and my father-in-law) is about all I can handle.

  7. 8

    Mekhismom says

    I can completely understand where you are coming from. I only have one and actually hope to have another – we will see. The stress of pregnancy is something – I am glad to hear that you are happy with your decision.

    Oh and congrats to Tiffany!

  8. 9

    sassy stephanie says

    Wow, I don’t know if I could handle five. I am full of content and responsibilities with three!

    Congrats Tiffany!

  9. 30

    Jen says

    I know what you mean about stressful pregnancy. And since I only wanted 2 kids and got 4, we are DONE! Like yours, my hands are very full.

    Congrats to Tiffany!

  10. 31

    Mandy says

    Well, I am still undecided as I always saw 4 kiddo’s in our family but we may be done and it might not be my choice and I am okay with that! I too feel blessed with what has been given to me so like you just count my blessings.

  11. 32

    Octamom says

    Great post! LOVE the line ‘my hands are full but my heart is fuller’–beautiful. While my twin pregnancy did not have the incredible trials and difficulties that yours did, a twin pregnancy for me was a much more taxing experience physically. That’s probably one of the reasons I’m more okay than before if we are ‘done’.

    So glad to read your heart on this–and thanks for the awesome kudos on the link!
    Blessings!

  12. 33

    Yes, my name is Arizona says

    I still get all mushy and flushed when I see a newborn, so I’d be happy to *accidently* get pregnant again. But if I don’t its ok too, because I’m so so busy with the 3 kids I’ve got. I can’t imagine the chaos 4 or 5 kids would bring. And the fighting. Oh. My. Word. I dont’ think I could take more screaming and fighting. I’m hoping my SIL will get pregnant soon so I can snuggle and squeeze her baby. I think that’d do me just fine!

  13. 45

    Elizabeth says

    I bet you get tired of the question. Glad you are at peace with your decision. I think no matter what, I’ll always want more.

  14. 61

    the schirano triplets says

    what a wonderful post angie, really well said!

    people don’t usually ask, they just assume we are done since we have 4. but, in all honesty, we haven’t actually decided. what i usually say is that we have no immediate plans to have more, but we aren’t ready to rule it out just yet!

  15. 74

    Tiffany says

    This is such a great post. As a person who only has one, due to severe hyperemesis, people are very critical of my decision not to put my body through that again to give my son a sibling.

    Perfect strangers say really awful things.

    My thought? An only child was good enough for God, right? I mean Jesus seemed to turnout pretty great!

  16. 76

    Melissa says

    I always presumed you were done. I think 5 is a great number and I’d be happy with that as well.
    You’re kids are all beautiful and healthy so no need to keep going if you don’t want to.
    I can’t believe people are asking you this question!
    You’d think they’d think 5 was enough.

  17. 90

    Rhea says

    Congrats to Tiffany! How nice she won, because she’s always giving away such awesome stuff at SITS and can’t ever win! yAY Tiffany!!

    I want one more…but my pregnancies were all high risk, and I don’t think it’s fair to put my family through it again.

    I get pregnant very easily though, so we have to be careful…

  18. 91

    Scary Mommy says

    I really can’t imagine my life with twins added to the mix. Oy!!! You make it all seem so easy. What a scary pregnancy– I wouldn’t want to go throw it again either. And I don’t!

  19. 92

    Live.Love.Eat says

    Thank you for sharing your personal story!!! No matter the number, when your hands are full and your heart is fuller then hey, nothing else needs to be said!! I feel that way at 1! Hah.

  20. 93

    mommaof4wife2r says

    shew! i was NOT thinking at all about that, but i’m glad to know that, again, you and i are just too alike. i loved being pregnant both times. my first pregnancy was without issue…second…not good. i, too, had in patient monitoring and had my preemie at 34 weeks to the day. and i felt like i barely would make it physically and emotionally from the pregnancy. enough about me…but we need to do cyber coffee sometime!

    ok…on another note, same thing, but diff. after 10 years of being “infertile” when Sofie suddenly came along, we wanted to make sure we were done. and, hubby go tthe all clear from his big v surgery. whooo hoooo!

  21. 95

    Jaime says

    I actually already knew the answer to this from another forum. I get this question all. the. time. I think it is especially weird when it comes from complete strangers at the grocery store. I, like everyone else, love how you described “My hands are full and my heart is happy..”:)

  22. 96

    Laurie says

    Although your hands are full with more than mine, I too am at peace with our decision. Jeff already had the V-cut. Of course there are times when we have questioned if we did the right thing, but I think everyone goes through that.

  23. 97

    Heather says

    Congrats, Mrs. R!!! I agree completely. Not that we want any more children (our hearts are happy), but I told PB I just didn’t think I could do it again physically.

  24. 98

    Cecily R says

    Well said, as always my friend.

    For me its an emotional struggle that I don’t think I can manage again. I worry and stress about pregnancy. Borderline obsessively. It scares me. And the older I get the more it scares me.

    I’m happy with our three squirrelies. I feel like our house is full.

  25. 100

    Laura says

    I am done but nothing is permanent. I think I am the opposite of you (despite three pregnancy each worst the last) I could have another baby and be happy. My husband feels done (more than done). So I never entertain serious thoughts. Congrats to Tiffany.

  26. 102

    Quirky says

    Angie… I would NEVER EVEN THINK to ask you if you were planning on having more. Because to be completely honest… I simply don’t know how you do it with 5!!

    The pics of your family show just how much love is filling your home.

  27. 103

    Stephanie says

    Done. Mission Completion! Three keep me crazy busy and my heart is full. I’ll always love newborns, and probably want another everytime I hold one. BUT… As you described the feelings with a momo pregnancy…..I knew while in the hospital that I wouldn’t want to go through that again.

  28. 104

    Dana says

    I get asked this question ALL THE TIME! But, there’s the extra added twist, “aren’t you going to try just once more? Maybe you’ll get a girl this time!” Because NO family is complete without the much sought after girl! People can be so thoughtless. I go back and forth. I would LOVE to have another but Jared is not so sure. The lil guy is such a gem too that makes me want another. THe bigger guys sort of make me wish I had stopped at one! (kidding….sort of) I would adore a daughter, I’m fairly sure. It seems like such a foreign concept though. I wish I could be guaranteed a girl (for sanity sake) but would be perfectly happy with another beautiful boy. Doubtful though that we’ll ever have more……

  29. 127

    Debateur says

    Must have been a very hard decision. Sorry to hear that your last pregnancy was tough. Dealing with what you dealt with must have been very difficult.

  30. 128

    Good N Crazy says

    Whoa. You sound almost sure? And watching my new neigbor here do it with number 6 on the way…has me floored.

    We fixed the dad after number 3, no more pregnancies for me either.

    We are working on foster care…

    I’d like to see your Costco shopping cart…

  31. 129

    Molly says

    Oh my gosh, your husband wants another one and you have 5 already?! Seriously, that would be crazy. I only have Ned and sometimes I barely cope!!!

  32. 160

    Veggie Mom says

    Just to be clear…So, you’ll never have to say “Eight is enough”? Congrats to Tiffany–I really coveted that necklace!

  33. 161

    Kathleen says

    I really enjoyed your post, and it’s the first time I read your monoamniotic story (still just getting to know you!). My goodness, what you went through! I had what I’d call a perfect pregnancy and I still worried that something might go wrong, but to have that level of stress and to have to leave your family for months! I can only imagine what you went through.

    I am one of 5 (no twins) and I loved growing up in a big family. Of course it would have been nice not to be outnumbered by 4 boys, but all in all, I wish I had more kids. Maybe some day, after all, I just had my first this March.

  34. 162

    Tiaras & Tantrums says

    wow – that was really heartfelt!! You poor thing – I can’t believe you had a #4 pregnancy! Your poor heart!! You are awesome though.
    I SO WANT another baby – My heart is not yet full. But hubbie is so not with it AND my age and I had complications with last baby and . . . who knows. Lord will let us know!

  35. 163

    Migraine Mom says

    I’ve been waffling with having more children and after writing today’s post on my blog I know it’s the fear of being pregnant again or even the question of do I want to go through the stress of worrying about getting pregnant again? Somehow I feel like our family isn’t complete yet..who knows? Maybe we just need to get a dog!

  36. 164

    Kacey Randolph says

    What a great post. Thanks for sharing. I think it is rather liberating to know exactly WHO your family is and to be excited about all of the things you can plan and all of the things you are finished with. When will I sleep through the night? :o) I’m thinking about my WordFUL Wednesday tomorrow…hmmmm….

  37. 165

    Casey's trio says

    We get “the” question all the time too. I’m done but Steve would like to try for a boy. Not happening. I think it is funny that you still get the question with 5!

    And congrats to Tiffany. I will go wipe my tears.

  38. 166

    armyfamilyok says

    I only have one blessing. I’m happy with that. I had a hard time getting preggo. Then I had complications during pregnancy, which I didn’t notice….I was too happy. Labor was long and hard. I was already 30. Doctor told me if I wanted more, it had better be soon because as I got older, my complications would get worse. Hubby is in the Army and he had to leave for a year in Korea. By the time he got back, he’d already missed a year of our blessings life and I’d had (gall bladder) surgery. We talked to the doc and he said it was up to us. We made the choice not to have more and I haven’t looked back. I think God wants me here for the blessing he gave me than to keep trying and possibly not be here.

    WOW!! I probably revealed too much. Anyway, I can so understand your choice and you are blessed with a beautiful family.

  39. 167

    Helene says

    Wow, Angie, I checked out the link to your story and I could completely understand why you’d be so scared to do it all over again. I could not imagine finding out at 17 wks that I was having twins, and mono-mono twins at that!! I learned very early each time that we were having twins.

    Your boys really are true miracles, aren’t they? And such precious little smiles on their faces!!

    I get the same question all the time too, even from complete strangers, as if I’ve overpopulated the world with my 4 kids. I sometimes tell them “haven’t you heard? Big families are all the rave now”.

  40. 168

    Supercool Hotmama says

    I hear ya! My last little girlie was a really close call and the thought of losing a baby is just more than I can bear. Plus, I’m just really old ;D

  41. 170

    Insta-mom says

    I have this debate with myself pretty regularly. I know I don’t want to be pregnant again (my last pregnancy was also twins and complicated). But I haven’t ruled out adoption. It’s so hard because we feel so completely. But then we don’t.

  42. 171

    Jessica says

    I too think it’s funny you still get the question with 5…It sounds like you are happy, and your heart and home are full! The main thing is feeling at peace with your decision. I always try to let peace be my guide. I wish I felt that peace…not yet!

  43. 172

    McAngie says

    Wow, another large family! I don’t know where I’ve been in the blog world. All of a sudden I’ve found all these wonderful blogs about large families. I’m expecting baby #8 (my 5th pregnancy). So I’m totally there with you on the being done or not stuff! I’m sure you get the looks and stares?!

  44. 173

    Taya says

    I don’t think it matters how big (or small) your family is. There are people out there that just have to ask. I get it all the time but it goes more like “You ONLY have TWO kids?” like it is a bad thing! Psshh! Don’t get me started girl! 🙂

  45. 191

    Mrs. S says

    I think it’s hard to make that decision of whether to have more or not. For us, it’s a “do we trust God” or “are we going to be financially responsible.” It’s hard. I really want 3 or more children…really more, but who knows. But I also want to stay home so we’d have to have enough income to have that be possible. It’s a decision and frankly, you could always add more pets to make it a real circus…I’m thinking 2 St. Bernards and a few cats?? Right?

  46. 192

    greedygrace says

    First of all, you are pretty, smart, generous and funny.

    I so admire people with large families! I can barely handle my ONE! We’re trying for two and I have no idea how I’m going to handle it!

  47. 193

    Tulsi says

    Our Mikele wanted to be born at 4 months gestation. She was a month early, but weighed 8lb 3 oz. So I thank her!! But the bedrest for so long was hard on my family. I was afraid that we would loose her for months. I said no more. I don’t feel like anyone is missing.

  48. 194

    Jill says

    I get the question about having #3 all the time…

    It gets annoying – and intrusive. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if people were asking for a #6.

  49. 196

    MoziEsmé says

    You’ve done good! Knowing how stressed out I was during pregnancy over every little thing, even though I had a classic textbook pregnancy and delivery with no complications, I can understand your feelings.

  50. 198

    says

    – Capturing special monemts like these in raw beauty is truly a gift. We had a lot of fun throughout the shoot & look forward to our newborn session. Thank you so much for capturing this moment in our lives with such grace and talent!

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