Why We Are Only "Probably" Done Having Babies



“So are you done?”

I was a bit taken aback, not by her question, but by the tone.  We have been asked many times since having Clarice if we think we will have any more.  I know people are curious, because it is unusual to have four kids these days (even though really, it’s not that many, people!).  But this seemed more in-your-face than the normal questioning.

I gave my standard answer.  “Yeah, probably.”

I knew as soon as I uttered that second word that it was a mistake this time.

Probably?

Yes.  Derek and I are very happy with four kids, and that’s all we ever really talked about having.  We are done.

Probably. 

I guess when you already have four kids people expect you to know 100% whether you are having any more.  But lately, every time I am asked, I can’t quite make myself drop the “probably” from my answer.

Let me shift gears for a minute.  

When we were first married, we decided to wait 2 or 3 years to have kids.  I went on the pill, but about a year later I learned some information and my birth control plan was de-railed.  I'm not going to lie, I was scared.  We had only been married a year, still newlyweds, and babies were not in our immediate plans.  This was not how it was supposed to go.  I did what the Lord was calling me to do by stopping my birth control, but I was still white-knuckling for control on the timing of our kids.  

When I was deciding on a career, and deciding on marriage, I spent hours in prayer about what the Lord's will was for my life, but somehow there was a disconnect once I got married.  It seemed like babies were my domain.  I got to decide this.  And even when I could feel Him nudging me, I fought for my own way.

In the Christian community, there is an emphasis on God's will.  We ask Him where we should go to college, what we should do for a career, who we should marry, where we should live - and rightly so.  But in my personal experience, there is less emphasis on asking Him about His will for our families.  We have our own ideas about when we will have kids, and how many we will have.  Until it becomes painfully obvious that we are not in control, we don’t seek His will much at all.

I made that mistake once.  I went off the pill and came up with an alternate plan, perfectly convinced that I still had everything under control and could still have babies precisely when I wanted.  It never even entered my mind that my body wouldn’t cooperate.  When it didn’t and I waited for months for a cycle that never came, it finally hit me that I'm not really in control here.  I finally realized that maybe I should have asked God’s opinion about the timing and size of my family instead of arrogantly thinking that I got to decide by myself.

Thankfully God is gracious, and even with my stupid pride He blessed us with four beautiful children.  At one time I wondered if I would be able have any at all.




So when people ask me now if we are going to have more kids, I can’t make myself say a flat no for that reason.  I don’t want to make the same mistake again of thinking that we are the only ones who get a say in this.  

When I say “probably”, I am leaving room for God to move in our lives and hearts in the way He wants.  

Maybe He will surprise us with another biological baby.  Maybe we will be called to adoption someday.  Maybe He is on the same wavelength as us, and four will be our number.  I don’t know right now, and I am not going to pretend that I do.  I am just going to pray and take action as best I can according to what I think His will is for our family, and then wait and see what He does.  He has surprised me before, and I guarantee you this, if He surprises us again, it will be the best thing that could happen to us.

So we think we are done having babies.

Probably.

--

Note: The conversation at the beginning of this post didn't happen with anyone who someone reading my blog would know.  How's that for a sentence?  So don't think it was you or any of our mutual acquaintances!









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21 comments

  1. People asked me that question after two and I was always like, really? And I always just said 'I don't know' because I really didn't know. I still don't Maybe this will be our last baby, maybe not. Ashlyn wants a sister so badly so maybe she will have one some day. We shouldn't have to explain ourselves!

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  2. Such a great post. I get asked this question a lot too and I think it's a personal decision that no one should judge you on.

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  3. This is a really thoughtful response to those inquiries. My husband and I don't have any children yet and we have been married for 11 1/2 years. We stopped hormonal birth control very early on, for the reasons you mentioned, but we have some other factors affecting our waiting time as well. We would love to have kiddos, but we clearly aren't super fertile or it would have happened already because we absolutely are not super careful. I am on the opposite side of this with people asking rude questions about our fertility, etc. when it is none of their business at all. I have even been asked 'are you one of those people who thinks they are too good to have children?' which is so flabbergasting I don't even know how to respond to it. I just really thought this was a thoughtful post, and I wanted you to know that. Sometimes posts like this are hard to read and hurtful as someone who doesn't have kids, and this was a really honest reflection on how God is in control.

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  4. I'm also one who leans toward never giving a definite answer on the topic of babies. The truth is--you can really have no idea. Either the coming or the lack of babies can be a surprise, it's an area of life that doesn't work well with planning, so best not to commit yourself to anything, and be open.

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  5. Callie, I hear you! It's something I've thought about too (http://thirsty-soul.blogspot.ca/2015/01/a-third-blessing-and-thoughts-on-family.html) ...at three, I don't think we are done yet, but I'm sure it's an issue we'll be considering in the future again. God's grace to you as you pursue His wisdom! And your kids are just so cute!

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  6. oops, here's the link! http://thirsty-soul.blogspot.ca/2015/01/a-third-blessing-and-thoughts-on-family.html

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  7. Great post!!! People ask us after two and when I say no, they think that's crazy!!!!! We both come from four and it was the greatest thing ever!

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  8. When we got married I always thought I would have babies when *I* wanted. And one day I felt prompted by God to pray about *when* I should have babies. Before then I had never even thought that God would really care about when. It is humbling to not be in control of those major decisions in life.

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  9. How cool that God prompted you to pray about the timing of your babies! He had to be a little more dramatic to get my attention. ;-)

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  10. I love having four! It's a good number. ;-)

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  11. I so enjoyed reading your thoughts on this too - I feel exactly the same way! I still struggle with the whole limiting/not limiting concept, and it's hard because scripture is pretty quiet on the subject except to emphasize that children are a blessing. It's definitely something we have been searching our hearts on, because whatever the final tally is, we want to make sure our hearts about the blessing of kids is in line with God's.

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  12. Alaina, thank you so much for commenting! I can totally see how the comments from the other side could be tricky to handle - and I can't believe that someone would ask you that one question! Sheesh. I definitely want to be sensitive to the other side of this subject as well, to those who don't have kids yet, and I so appreciate your feedback. I'm praying for you and your husband too as you wait on God's plan for your family. <3

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  13. I totally agree! People don't like to hear "I don't know" answers, and I'm not sure why.

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  14. Oh my goodness I think we will feel the exact same way! I have no idea what God's plan is for us and kids and am excited to just be along for the ride and see how he grows our family. This perspective is humble and beautiful, Callie! Thanks for vulnerably sharing it!

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  15. Thank you for the encouragement, Lauren! I can't wait to see how God grows your little family in the years to come! :-)

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  16. I am 39 weeks with my 4th and stumbled on your blog and read your birth stories. They are beautiful! My third wasn't born in an ambulance but at home (supposed to be the birth center) but she came really quick and my other two labors were 11 and 12 hours (natural, no epidurals also) so we weren't expecting a 2hr 45min labor! I am excited to have a planned home birth this time but people ask me that ALL the time, so are you done? I give them the same answer. Probably. We both wanted 4 kids but I'm not going to tell God no ☺️ Thank you for blogging and sharing your stories! Your family is so precious!

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  17. Amanda, congrats on Baby #4! He/she might be here by now I think! Wow, yeah, 2 hrs and 45 minutes is fast! I know, I STILL get asked frequently about whether we will have more, haha! T's either that or "You have your hands full" almost every time we go out. ;-)

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  18. Yes with the hands full also, i got that before I got pregnant, now it's just "are you done" haha!! Would you believe I'm 40+5 days and still haven't had this little guy!😳 Thank you though, any day now...although I feel as though I'll end up going into my "4th" trimester LOL! 😂

    Blessings! Enjoy your day❤️

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  19. I agree. We Christians are entirely too quick to tell God what to do in the reproduction arena of life. I didn't realize this until I met some Messianic Jews, and it caused me to start thinking about it, too. God bless!

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