Friday, January 27, 2012

How We Went from 0-5 children in Five Years


“You must have always known you wanted to have a big family!” Whenever I go out with my children, this is a statement I often hear. The answer does seem to be self-evident. Otherwise, why would someone choose to have 5 children in just 5 years? I will tell you my answer.

It was 15 years ago when my boyfriend (now husband) and I had “the” discussion? You know, the one where each states that they had always wanted to have 2 boys, or a singleton, or a group of 3 giggling girls. That discussion.

My husband–an only child—went first. He stated that he would like to have 2 children one day. I was mortified. What I was going to say would surely break us apart and end our relationship. Can you guess what I was going to tell him? I bet you cannot!

I went on to tell my boyfriend that I planned on remaining childless, and if he wished to have any children, that he should find another woman – as that woman would never be me! At first my boyfriend was speechless. His expression was one of surprise, but then he became thoughtful and tried to compromise.

He then told me that he would also be happy having only one child. As an only child himself, he had wished to have a sibling, but he could be satisfied with only one. He nodded at me, hoping I would agree.

I did not agree and had the unpleasant task of telling my boyfriend that I did not want any children, not even one. There was a long silence on his part. But love was young and we stayed together, him agreeing that he would find peace with having no kids whatsoever.

Many years passed. Our careers were successful. We bought a house. We bought a large Newfoundland Dog. Many more years passed. We got engaged, then married. I was considering buying a second dog.

Then one day at work I received a simple e-mail from my husband. It had a photo of twin infants. The message read: “Which one do you like better?” 3 years passed and I received half a dozen similar messages. My husband never pushed, but always coaxed me gently in the direction of having “just one” child.

“Oh, come on!”, he said one day out of the blue, “You would make a great mother!”

So, not having changed my mind, I agreed to have “just one” child. I still did not want to have any children, but did not wish to deny my husband of having the child he so yearned for. I wanted to make him happy and decided to make a leap of faith.

I was pregnant within 3 months. As I was labouring the birth of our first child, I thought I had made a terrible mistake. I still did not want to have a child—why had I agreed?

My son arrived without my agreement. The whole family thought he was cute and were thrilled for his arrival. I am not sure exactly when it happened, but I started loving having our son too.

I loved having a child so much, that 5 months later I was pregnant with our only daughter. I told my husband that I even wanted to have a third child, and with surprise he agreed. 20 months after our daughter’s birth, our second son was born.

I had to really convince my husband to have a fourth child – he thought I was crazy, but finally agreed. Our third son arrived exactly 12 months later.

However, my husband absolutely refused to have a fifth child. How could the one who pursued me for so long to have a child, deny me of having another? It was a very difficult time in our relationship, as I felt like someone in our family was missing.

Finally, my husband agreed to have a fifth child. However, he made me agree that if we were to have a fifth child, that there would never be a sixth one. He just wanted each child to have individual attention, and felt like he was being spread too thin. I readily agreed and our fourth son was born 15 months later.

So, that is our story of how we went from 0 to 5 kids in five years. It really was about taking that first leap of faith, in order to open my heart to having children.

21 comments:

  1. WOW! I love this story. I can't believe it went from him trying to convince you and you resisting, to you trying to convince him to have MORE LOL. That's awesome and you have a beautiful family :)

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    1. Thanks! Joined your blog--going to have fun checking it out too!

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    2. Thanks for joining mine too! You're off to a great start on this blog :)

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  2. I loved your story! Looking forward to reading more!

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    1. Thanks so much, Brenda! Let me know if you have a blog that I can check out too!

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  3. 5 in 6 years, I am 4 in 5 years, LOL
    But I don't think there will be a 5th, LOL

    So happy to be reading with U! @inRdream

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    1. Thanks for reading along, Tammy! I am now following you "officially", since I have Google +.

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  4. Oh I should add, why there won't be a 5th. Much like your DH, mine is saying NO. Me I am not sure, I have the same feeling "Is something missing? How is 5? Can it really be any busier then 4? Attention whats 1 more? Totally lost on the decision, time will tell! Love that I am not the only one who had this feeling! Thanks @inRdream

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    1. Tammy, 5 is manageable...busy and hectic of course. I notice it gets more manageable as my youngest grows up. Now that we have 5, it cured the feeling that someone is missing. Sometimes it even seems like there is one extra, go figure!

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    2. Hey Tammy, you already have to have a mini-van with four, why not five?

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  5. Your story made me smile. Sometimes our plans change without us wanting them to.

    I only have two so far (Third on the way!!!), but I'm one of 12 and the idea that each child wouldn't have enough individual attention was absolutely not an issue in my family growing up. It could have been if my father traveled for work or so, but he didn't. I think it's an idea that seems like a bigger deal than it really is when you're in it.
    Think about it this way; Your children are missing out on the special parts of being an only child, but don't you think that having a bunch of siblings brings many other benefits?

    Anyways the point of all those words was that having a lot of siblings is one of the best things in my life. We're all close, we like each other.

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    1. Nicolthe pickle, congratulations on your upcoming arrival! What great news! Thanks for adding your perspective to the mix of a child coming from a family of 12. I'm glad that individual attention was not an issue with you and that having lots of siblings is one of the best things in your life. It sounds like you have a GREAT family!

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  6. we were in a similar position - I wanted a LARGE family, 5 or 6 kids and hubby said at most he wanted one....but being young, we kept going.....before getting married, we had a long talk and agreed on having one, but leaving the door open for a 2nd.....I still would love a 3rd, but hubby isn't even willing to consider it.... I am content now though, after 1 I was not, and probably would have ended up resenting him down the road - sounds awful, but it was true....that's not the case anymore....I do still hope that a 3rd comes along though! Love seeing pictures of your family

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    1. mamawee, I'm glad that you feel fulfilled now. I understand that you would have wanted a large family, but 2 kids is very nice.

      Jenna

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  7. This story is crazy! Love it. Who-da thunk that your heart would be so open to children after not wanting any?? Amazing story. Thank you so much for linking it up with us :) ~Jenna

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  8. Oh my!! I can't imagine, but you're so right, sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. I only have two kids, but I've thought from time to time how nice it would be to have a third, so I get it. :) Thanks for linking up with us today!

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  9. Such a good post! I'm sad I just found it now. I feel like I'm in a similar place as you were before you started having kids, only it's my husband who is the one that is unsure. Thank you for sharing this, it's really encouraging!

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  10. when hubby and I were having the talk we decided on 3 because I wanted 2 boys and a girl. we only tried for 2 months and I got pregnant with our fist. I wont go into details but the pregnancy was a nightmare followed by a long labor ending in an emergency C-section. We had our first son and was a dream baby 99% of the time. we decided that there would not be anymore kids at all. well after about a year I knew I had to try again hoping for an easier pregnancy and birth experience. after gathering my courage for about another year we decided it was a good time to start trying for another baby. well that pregnancy was in some ways better and some ways worse but honestly it was also a nightmare pregnancy again. it became obvious there would not be anymore kids (and likely wouldn't be safe to try again without risking long term medical problems for me.) so I decided I would be happy with whatever I had (but was still hoping for a 2nd boy.) we also decided with my doctor that I would have a scheduled C-section and have my tubes tied at the same time. I was a lot calmer having my 2nd son. I didn't have a long painful labor first, I didn't have the fear and stress that goes with an emergency C-section, and the recovery was better that the first C-section. he was also a dream baby 99% of the time. I am happy with the 2 I have. I love my boys and maybe someday if i'm super lucky I will have a granddaughter so spoil, go shopping with, and all those other girly activities... then pass her back to her parents (hopefully in about 20 years or so my oldest is only 4.)

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    1. Francine, you're lucky to have two wonderful sons. Thanks for sharing your story with me.

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  11. This is wonderful! I came from a family of five aswell.I feel like my sisters are my best friends! Big families are where its at!

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