How Did You Know When to Start a Family? And How Did You Know You Were Done?
links + small things
This is a question I’ve seen come through on a handful of Monday Morning Q&A boxes.
How did we know when to start a family? Did we have a feeling? Was there a certain thing that had to happen in order for us to know? And when did you know your family was complete?
While we were dating, we discussed that we both had a desire to have kids. This was important to each of us, and it was a non-negotiable that we had to agree on before getting married.
He kind of always mentioned wanting two, and I always imagined having three children. I think that is primarily due to the family size we were both raised in.
He grew up with one older sister, and I grew up with an older brother and younger sister.
When we got married, he was still finishing up his undergrad degree (he started college later than usual due to his time in the USAF) so we knew we wouldn’t start a family until after that was complete. We also wanted to enjoy being married for a while, just the two of us.
After he finished his degree and started working, he also began to toss around the idea of grad school. At the same time, we were also discussing a timeline of when to start trying for a baby. Our plan was for me to stay home with the future children, and for Justin to work in Engineering.
We decided to start trying in early 2012. And to make a long story short, it took 14 months to get pregnant with David. I wrote about it here.
Given our experience in how long it took to get pregnant with David, and the desire to have siblings fairly close together, we started to chat about when we would like to try again when David was a few months old. Again, to keep this post from turning into a 100-page novel, we started trying and BAM — we got pregnant with Luke after 1 month of trying. Justin was *stunned* to hear the news.
I remember looking at 6-month-old David, laying in his crib, and touching my pregnant belly that was holding his sibling.
The boys were 14 months apart in age, so the few years following Luke’s birth are a bit of a blur. It felt a little crazy, but their bond, even to this day, is very, very deep.
When Luke was becoming a toddler, I started the conversation up again about having a third. I always imagined a third baby, and I also longed to be pregnant again. I loved being pregnant and genuinely looked forward to that happening again.
Justin took a bit of time to process the notion of adding another baby to our family. In fact, it took a full year of each of us praying and taking time to think and consider the other persons’ feelings about what our capacity was at that time, and how we would handle the day to day (at this point I was working on my growing business online and he was weighing the idea of quitting his job to start his own business).
We ultimately came to the decision to start trying again and BAM — I got pregnant with Emily in 1 month.
After I had her, I can honestly say that I felt done. Some of you may wonder if it was because she was a girl, and it truly wasn’t that. I was thrilled to have a girl, of course, but it was more a complete idea of 3 kids.
When she was just a few weeks old, during the sleepless nights and never-ending days of caring for a newborn and two little boys, Justin and I both knew that this was it.
This was our family.
And I can tell you now, with an 8, 7, and 3.5 year old — those tiny years, raising little babies and getting pregnant, and trying to figure it all out while also being sleep deprived? They were hard. But man, when you’re through it, there is nothing quite like the love you feel when you get a front row seat to watching your three children grow up and become individual people.
I’m so thankful for them and thankful for so many other things around my pregnancies and birth experiences. I’m so thankful for Justin, and the help I had from my family when we had a 14-month-old and a newborn at home.