This morning, I read the following article: “Are You Done Yet?” In Defense of our 5th Child by Kathleen Berchelmann, M.D. This is a succinct and well-written article on a topic close to my heart.
I have not, thus far, encountered many comments like this for my current pregnancy, mostly because I never leave the house (too sick) and I am barely showing (I’m at that thick-around-the-waist stage still). However, I did get this many times with my third and fourth pregnancies. Everyone assumed that since we had a boy and a girl, we were done. And having a fourth child is crazy, right?
Ironically, by the time our youngest reached his first birthday, the questions began. People assumed another baby would join our family soon after our fourth. Time passed, and we were ok with that. I was finally losing weight, after our youngest stopped nursing at 20 months, and I was content with my four children.
Well… all I can say is that God had other plans for our family. According to doctors, we should not have been able to get pregnant when we did. But now we are preparing to greet another precious child this year. Yes, this was an incredible shock. I will admit that I was unprepared for this pregnancy. It was probably more shocking to me than basically everyone else we know. They were all expecting it. I was not. My children embraced this baby wholeheartedly. It took me a little bit longer than they. There is much joy to be found among the little ones in our home. Our three year old loves to talk to the baby… through my belly button. The simple beauty of a child’s love is overpowering.
So, when people question and judge us because we are going to ruin the planet or, simply, because they think we are crazy to have so many kids, I just have to remember the beautiful moments I am privileged to witness every day: the children pushing each other on the swings, reading together at bedtime, a gentle touch on a feverish child from an older sibling, the loving kisses bestowed upon my enlarging belly, and all the many, many ways my children brighten my days.
Yes, the days are long and full. Yes, the days can sometimes feel like more than I can handle. But… my children are worth every dirty diaper, stained carpet, sleepless night because they are a gift. And they give me back more than I can ever give to them. Rather than spreading me thin, they bring fullness to my life. Without a doubt, even on the most difficult days, children are a blessing.