When Hubs and I got married, we attended premarital counseling. The first thing we had to do, really before the counseling sessions even stated, was to take a test. I'll admit, I am a HORRIBLE test taker, so even though this scantron was all about us, I was still a little angst-y. Most of the questions, I breezed through, but I did pause when I got a few questions into it.
How many children do you want to have?
Crap! I knew MY answer (4-6). I come from a family of 2 kids and always wished I had more siblings. Hubs (fiance at the time) and I had talked about kids, and while I knew he didn't aspire to be a Duggar, I knew he wanted more than 1. But what if I put 6 and he puts 2? Or what if I put 2, because I think that's what he wants, and he puts 6, because it's what I want, and our numbers are WAY off and we have to spend half of our sessions discussing children we may not even be able to have anyway AND explaining that I lied on our test because YES I want more than 2?!
So I split the difference and just put down three (which would have never worked. I like even numbers).
And Hubs? He was having the same dilemma. So what did he pick? 3 as well.
We were lucky to have Strip and extremely lucky to have Nugget. After many shed tears and many chats with all doctors concerned (including a last minute, 12 hours before surgery emergency call to my nephrologist), we made the decision to end our biological family at 2 kids. Any more, and we'd be facing earlier preemies and possibly permanent damage/death for me.
Seems like a pretty slam dunk decision? Looking at the options of 2 more kids or 2 failed kidneys, you'd think closure would be the least of your worries. But I grieved the loss of 2-4 kids I never had for about 3 years. The solo Disney trip did wonders for me. Being a mom of 2 was very manageable. Taking vacations are easier and more enjoyable and we look forward to doing more fun things now that the kids are older (snow skiing, big city fun, cruise, etc).
But there was still that empty little hole. That "what if" spot.
Since moving, it seems we've stumbled on MANY friends who are either about to have a baby or just have had one. And that little what if spot started to turn into a gaping hole.
I'd already checked and our insurance covers nothing for adoption. ZERO. We can grow a baby in a petri dish, implant it into a friend or stranger and they'd cover a good chunk of it, but help us get a baby that's already cookin'? Forget about it! (NOTE: Anyone struggling with IF, please do not read this as a knock. I'm glad our insurance, and others out there, covers and assists couples struggling with this! It's an extremely costly and emotionally exhausting journey. But, it's not something we would pursue seeing as how I can get and stay pregnant, it's the whole carry them to term and not have failing body parts I struggle with).
So when a co-worker of mine needed someone to watch their baby baby today, I jumped at the chance. Hubs had taken our two kiddos to visit his dad and family, so it was just me and Zoe. Their sweet girl is a little over 2 months old, and she is sooooooooo cute.
I prepared myself for baby fever. Heck I was ready for baby malaria. For the mom and dad's sake, I'd hoped the afternoon would go well (nothing more stressful than leaving your first born with someone you've only known for a few months!), but for my sake, I hoped she would scream hysterically, puked on me, poop all over herself, me and whatever we were sitting on and leave me frazzled.
She didn't go my route. I told mom and dad to enjoy an early movie and grab a bite to eat if they wanted. Enjoy this fun day date! Sweet Pea and I settled into watching ceiling fans, looking at ourselves in the mirror, bottles, tummy time, cleaning bottles, changing diaper and basically getting nothing done. She was hanging with me for about 4 hours, and I was able to fold a half of a load of laundry and drink 2/3 of my cup of coffee. That was it!
I could see myself spending the rest of the afternoon mocking up blueprints on how to expand the house, contacting lawyers and greeting Hubs with my wild plans of how to expand our family. But when she left? I was ok. I played with the pup (who would go to the door every time she made a noise as if to say, "I think it's barking? Should we put it outside?!)", made dinner and did a little work to prepare for the week. I thought about my kiddos and thought about our future as a family of four (plus a dog) and was ok with it.
And while I think that "what-if" spot will always be there, I don't think it's going to rule the rest of my life. I'm not going to
keep start aggressively pursuing adoption or be tempted to ask strangers for their kids. Would I turn away a baby or four left on my doorstep? Absolutely not! But I'm not going to let my family suffer because of something I can't control and will never be.
So thanks, little friend, for being a sweet baby, but also for reassuring me that our family of four is perfectly complete!