This is an extremely personal post, and, as these thoughts have been going on for months now, it's taken me awhile to actually decide to share them with anyone. I emailed a friend about it, and I finally sat Adam down and told him how seriously this all was bothering me, and just allowing myself the chance to talk it out has helped. Now I'm ready to be open about it.
Around Axton's 9 month mark I started to get that tiny little inkling of a thought.....I've got to do this all over again. That is also when Axton started sleeping through the night consistently and I think I was still paranoid about my sleep and didn't want to think about the fact that I'd have to give it up again one day. Adam also brought up the subject of baby number two around this time. All of his siblings are 2-3 years apart and are very close, and he wants that for our family as well. I do, too, but I'm struggling so much with this.
After that I went through a phase where I would ask every mother - whether I knew them or not - if they liked the age gap between their kids. How hard it was, what they enjoyed about it.....now that I think about it, that's a silly thing to do because it's so personal and is different with every child/sibling/parent combination, but I just was aching to find answers. I've prayed about it, I've searched the scriptures, I've pondered it, and still I am changing my mind every single day. Do it this month, do it in 6 months, do it never (so he'll be an only child! Is that such a bad thing?). I even got up my courage one night and told Adam, "Okay, let's do this!" and last minute backed out and said, "Actually, nope. Not yet."
There are so many emotions and fears and questions I have, and all of them lead to another and they all intertwine and affect each other and me and him and God and who is right and will I be punished or blessings withheld?
I have a hard time because being pregnant is hard. It's tiring and sore and it goes on forever. And then I have to go through labor again, and I swear I must have a bit of PTSD on that or something because I have anxiety just thinking about it. And I have to push that baby out of me again and it's going to be hard - especially because I will go natural again. Maybe you're thinking, "Oh please. Just get the drugs and shut up. It's not that bad." But, I know me and I know I will have guilt if I do things that way, and I don't want to deal with guilt, either - it's no better. Plus, it's just not a route that I want to take. I don't feel good about it, so I have to deal with another route. And, drugs or not, at the end of the day I will still have a brand new baby to take care of, raging hormones and feelings of loneliness and inadequacies. I will still have leaking boobs and chapped nipples, I will have tired, saggy eyes and a tired, saggy body. And on top of it all, I will have also have Axton to take care of - something I did not have the last time around.
I have a hard time wanting to get pregnant again because I want to do other things, like pursue photography and writing, without having to plan around 3 months of sickness, the last 8 weeks of watermelon mode, and then 3 months postpartum trying to figure it all out again. Sure, these are all selfish reasons but is it so wrong to be selfish? You have to think of yourself sometimes, don't you?
I have a hard time because I'm legitimately afraid of the love. I see how much and how deeply I love my one child and I fear what double that love will feel like - because to love is to risk losing. And I don't know how I would survive if ever I lost this love.
Thinking all these things has gotten me into a major pity mode, and I've started to question why God made things the way He did. Why do women have the 'harder' lot? Why do we have to go through this in order for the population to continue? Why does it have to be so difficult? And once you get me thinking on that, then my brain runs wild - Why is sex designed the way it is? Why does it have to be so intrusive on women? [Sidenote: Adam and I have a very mutually-beneficial and respectful sex life; this is not a commentary on the way he treats me in bed, but just a general feminist running list of questions]. Why are women not granted the respect they so honestly deserve in this world?
.......And I search and I search and my mind keeps returning to Her. A Heavenly Mother. If families on Earth are patterned after families in Heaven, then I know She is there, I know she exists. But why is she never spoken of? Why am I not encouraged to have a relationship with Her? I casually brought this up with Adam one night, not letting on how much it was bothering me, and his reply was : "Seek Her out."
So I did. In the scriptures, hymns, and conference talks. Yes, yes, I know that one hymn that mentions it. But really? Is that all? LDS.org brought up ONE talk from President Hinckley that says the words "Heavenly Mother." And do you know what he says in that talk?
However, in light of the instruction we have received from the Lord Himself, I regard it as inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven.
He goes on to explain that in the scriptures we have always been taught to pray unto the Father, as Christ taught us how. And that "the fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her."
I guess I understand what he's trying to say. But it doesn't bring peace to my mind or answers to my questions. I'm not trying to shake anyone's faith or to condemn the words of a prophet - I don't want to be angry about this or towards God. But occasionally I am. This topic is really hard for me to share, and the reason I hesitated so much to even blog about this. Probably mostly because I feel guilty for questioning something my gospel teaches. But that's not fair, either! God gave us brains to ask and question so why do I feel bad? It's not often that I have these kinds of feelings and I don't like the confusion I feel and the fact that my heart does not line up with what my gospel teaches. I've always felt that our relationship with God is extremely personal, and that you can receive personal revelation from Him so that your life choices line up with you, the church, and His will for you.
....But right now I'm not feeling any of that. I continue to struggle with not having a desire to get pregnant again. I want Axton to have siblings because I have hopes that this would bring him happiness. I want Axton and his siblings to be close in age because my brother and I are four years apart and we hardly ever talk. And I question if this is because of lifestyle differences or is it really the four years?
I feel like there is this stigma in our Church that the more kids you have the happier you will be, because they bring blessings with them. But will I, personally, be happier if I have four kids or than if I only had two? And if that is true, where is the line? Will we become exponentially happier with each child we bear? I don't believe that to be true, there has to be a line somewhere. But if it is true, how is that fair? And how can we know where that line is to begin with?
I'm struggling to reconcile what I want with the guilt of feelings of selfishness, with trying to know and understand "God's will" for me. When we pray we often say, If it be thy will. But isn't that why we are given free agency? Will I not be blessed if I somehow, perhaps even accidentally, go forward without it lining up with God's will for me? Again I ask, how is that fair?
Some people have said, "You will know when the time is right." I don't believe you. Because right now I don't know - so does that mean it's not the right time?
The bottom line on when to have kids I think will end up being this: I will never again feel prepared, just as I did not feel prepared for the first one. However, it's worse this time around because I do know what it all will be like. I have not forgotten the pain and I never will. I hope, in my heart, that one day a desire will return. But I fear it will just be one of those things that the guilt will become too much, and then I will shrug my shoulders and say, What the hell, let's get this over with. And that kind of makes me sad but I don't know what else to do about it.
Guilt, guilt, guilt. So much guilt. These can't be feelings from my loving Heavenly Father, can they?
Anyone else ever have similar thoughts and fears? On any topic or question I've asked? Getting pregnant again when you know how hard it is? Searching for a Heavenly Mother only to be discouraged from doing so? Any insights would be great - or even just knowing I'm not alone.
2 years ago