I have been praying about having more children for probably six months. It's not that I'm exactly ready to have more children right now nor are we "trying", but it's on my heart to pray.
It's hard not to think about these things when you are surrounded with them. I'm sure many women can agree with me.
It has been this way since I found out I was pregnant with Owen almost seven years ago... I started seeing chubby, bright eyed babies everywhere. Stretched baby bumps, beautiful pregnant mamas. Toddlers holding their parents' hands jumping, bouncing, barely contained balls of energy.
When Owen died, the mere sight of any of these things would send me into a full blown panic attack. It was over a year before someone (my doctor) told me I has PTSD. And that those were my triggers. What a messed up, terrible fortune - to have something so angelic, so beautiful turn me into a shaking, tearful, hyperventilating mess.
It has taken time, counseling and so much grace but I no longer get panicky around babies or pregnant women. The hyperventilating and the shaking have turned into a deep and personal sadness. Honestly, sometimes I do still need space from conversations centered around pregnancy, birth and babies. In the world of bereavement, it is what we call being gentle with ourselves. You don't always have to put on a brave front and you don't have to stay in a situation that is causing stress or triggering feelings from your loss.
It has nothing to do with anyone else and the joy and excitement I feel for friends and family who are having babies. I want to celebrate with you and love your children. Truly.
I've heard women talk about the feeling of being "done". Maybe it's hard for them to explain what it feels like to know they don't want any more children. Maybe it's an easy choice, or a choice made for them or an agonizing decision based on a lot of variables.
I don't know. I don't know because I'm not there.
I don't feel done.
And I often wonder if I ever will. Will the missing ones make our family feel forever incomplete? I think so. But then, will it be clear to us when there will be no more babies?
I've been aching lately... in a different way than I've become accustomed to feeling.
I want to raise a son. And The Lord knows, as I've been praying this for the past six months, I don't want to want something (so badly) that The Lord has not ordained for us.