It’s Tuesday morning.

I’m sitting here forcing myself to eat something because I know I need food on my belly.  It’s churning with bile.  I’ve been sick for the past two days with a fever, chills, aches and my least favorite symptom – nausea.

Sometimes I think I’m in control of my thoughts and my feelings and then something triggers me and I almost have a panic attack.  Control is gone.  Lost.  For me, that’s the worst feeling in the world.  This little bug that I’ve caught will surely go away.  I’ll feel better soon.  I already DO feel better than yesterday.  But the nausea and the memories of those nine months leave me in a panicked state.

Those nine months.

Do you remember, reader?  I was sick for all of Porter’s pregnancy.  So sick.  So nauseous.  From the time my feet hit the floor in the morning until my head hit the pillow (at 8pm because I just needed it to stop), I was sick.  Every day was a trial and a test of my strength and I honestly can’t say that I passed most days.  The depression.  The weeping.  I remember crying into Travis’ chest, begging him to take it away.  I remember praying to God, begging him to heal me.  Maybe I’m being overdramatic here but those nine months were the most challenging of my life – THE hardest thing I’ve gone through so far.  You’ll understand that the last few days of nausea have given me flashbacks to that challenging time.  Questions, big life questions bounce around my brain.

What if I’m pregnant?!? 

Don’t I want that?!?  Haven’t I been fighting for that?!?  Another sweet babe.

Can I do it again??  Can I be sick again?  What would that look like? 

Maybe you won’t be sick like last time.  Maybe you’ll have a few weeks of nausea and then it’ll be over.  Is it worth the risk??

Am I strong enough?  How could I possibly manage life with that heavy depression?

Could we be done having children??  Is three a good stopping place??

What’s the right number for our family?

What do you WANT, Lindsay??

I honestly don’t know.

I honestly do not know.

044

What I DO know is that I love children and being a mama is my calling.

What I DO know is that I’m blessed to even be able to carry children.  To conceive them.  To birth them.

What I DO know is that if we’re going to keep having children, I’d like to have them close together.  I’d like for Porter to have someone his age to grow up with, a playmate.  I also know that we’d like to move out of this “baby” stage and into “Disney trip”-stage.  So that means we need to start trying NOW.  A time crunch of sorts.  A life deadline.

And who says I’m in control here.  After two miscarriages, I know better.  What if we got pregnant and then miscarried?  Would we try again after that?  I have many friends who would KILL for the chance of being pregnant…they’d kill to be sick.  Is it petty and selfish of me to not be up for the task??

And ultimately, I think that’s what I’m most afraid of –> feeling weak either way.  Weak in the sickness or weak and selfish for choosing my own mental/physical health over adding another child.

SO MANY QUESTIONS.

And I’m not sure why I’m even publishing this…it’s more of a diary entry…but I guess I wanted to share my heart and where I’m at.  Maybe someone else is dealing with these questions too.

I have a question for YOU, parent –> How do you know when you’re done having children??  What makes (made) you say, “Yep.  Our family is complete.”  I’m all ears.

splendid…lindsay

  1. Krysten says:

    You have 3 beautiful babies and everything happens the way it supposed to. Or at least that is what I am telling myself these days after my own miscarriage. The is always something greater. And the journey we experience, although we can’t always see it, leads us right where we need to be.

  2. Annette@FitnessPerks says:

    I love how honest you are! I believe that God has a plan for us all, if we will but try to listen & do what we feel is best <3 I know you & Travis, with God, will feel/do what is best.

    I just had a 2nd, so there are no thoughts as to how many more because right now I'm so sleep deprived it's insane, but I feel like we could go either way. I just have to trust that we'll know when that time is right or not. xoxo

  3. Susanna says:

    I have had three children and lost my middle to leukemia. I am now divorced and while I miss the covenant of marriage that was once made, I miss the potential for more children more deeply than I was prepared for.

    As in, I find myself sobbing to be done with a season of my life that I wasn’t ready to end. It was decided for me and that is painful…I think on my own volition I would have had another one or two children…four or five feels right.

    But in this moment I will raise my two in the deep fear and admonition of the Lord because THAT is what He has called me to do. Choosing joy and thankful that God is sovereign in grief and mothering.

  4. Sarah says:

    I don’t think I will ever be pregnant again. I know that it’s the best thing for my family, but I still grieve that a little. Although Chris and I both think that there are more children in our future, but probably through foster care and adoption.

  5. jenny says:

    My heart is not done but my body, brain and husband are! I would love a basketball team but after being on bed rest for the last 2 pregnancies, we can’t do it. I had an unknown high risk pregnancy with my last that was so horrifying that I can’t and won’t go through that again. I won’t put my husband and kiddos through that. I love our family of four and as much as I would love to have more, I just can’t. I just have to accept that right now, my body is for exercise and not for carrying another babe.
    Plus, since we have 2 boys (which is what we wanted), my husband chances are we would have a girl and that scares the crap out of us :)

  6. katie says:

    Oh Lindsay… All the feelings on this post <3 You most def. are made to be a mama!!! I hope you're feeling better :) & I always wonder when were "done" as well. I can't imagine having 3 or 4…however the thought of never being pregnant again (even though I complain half the time) or having a newborn makes my heart ache.

  7. Brooke says:

    When I read this, the first thing that came to mind was “But if not, He is still good.” I couldn’t remember where I had read that, so I googled it and found that it was from a She Reads Truth study of Daniel, specifically Daniel 3:18. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tell the king that they trust God is able to save them, but even if He doesn’t, they will still worship Him. It’s so hard (SO HARD) to trust in God’s goodness when we beg for deliverance and we don’t seem to get it! Yet He is still.good. So whether you decide against having a fourth (SO not selfish, btw), or you decide to and are sick the whole time or worse…He is still good and still on His throne. (Preaching to myself here!) Love you, lady!

  8. Amanda says:

    I need help with this one too. I do not have that DONE feeling even when my brain tells me we are done. I’m just not sure I still have that gut feeling that I’m suppose to give Boston a little sister that she is dying to have. Would if it’s another boy and then she has 3 brothers. I also thought about adopting a little girl. I don’t know. I’m so back and forth which means no one is getting fixed until WE know for sure. Lindsay I’ve talked to you several times about this whole pregnancy journey and I know you will have another. You have fought hard to have 3 I know your a fighter to have 4. Also 4 is great I’m SO happy we did it. Good luck

  9. Sarah says:

    12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    2 Corinthians

  10. Katie Ledford says:

    A major contributing factor to how I decided no more children after my 3rd, was the health issues I endured to get to where I was pregnant. I had 3 miscarriages between my 2nd and 3rd child. Then, because of bleeding, I spent the last month of my pregnancy with Bella in the hospital. Away from my other babies. Hardest thing I have ever done. I asked myself, what if a 4th child would be the same way? Or what if some awful health problem occurred. I had to think of my children. I cannot think of sacrificing my health, them without a mother just to see if I could carry another one. Another huge factor is finances. I want my children to have everything they need and MOST things they want. Also, I’d prefer to live in a home, not the street. Adding another child is no small finance. I dunno…there are days where I maybe regret a little having my tubes tied…however, my heart told me I was done. I can’t lie, when I see pictures of newborns, I get a little nostalgic and wanting another, but more of me says to myself..”I’m glad my kids are past that. I want to have an exciting fun life after they are off to college. Not to say someone who has children til they’re 40 can’t, I’ve just not had the long relationship or even marriage without kids in the picture..and I long for it..a lot. I look forward to just us, but at the same time cry thinking about it. If that makes sense. So many thoughts jumbled into some run-on sentences. Sorry :)

  11. Kelly says:

    I’m struggling with this right now. To have been pregnant 4 times and only have 1 child I’m SCARED. We are meeting with our fertility specialist for a consultation in October. I’m just not sure what to do. :(

  12. Tori says:

    Only having one child, I feel inadequate to contribute to this post but I must, for my one child has the personality, stubbornness and love of 3 children within himself alone. I would NEVER bash my child, he is uniquely himself and I love everything about him but he can be so difficult that Gabe and I would often question having another child at all. We poured our hearts and prayers over this decision and realized that God would bless us with what we NEED and what we could handle. We did not make the decision for ourselves though, we made it for Ty. He deserves siblings. This pregnancy came with little to no effort (praise God!) and I knew on the day I learned I was carrying a life that it was God’s plan all along. Some days I still lose my sanity and wonder what in the world I will do when this new baby comes and I can’t handle being a part-time single parent with Gabe working out of town but I have already been given peace knowing God’s will shall be done. Gabe and I discussed this being “it” and today, I just know (and pray) in my heart that we will try for another after this little guy is born. I hope you do feel the pull to having another baby. You have such a mother’s heart and I enjoy seeing you parent them so much. Love you, Linds.

  13. Jessie says:

    We have two girls (4 and almost 2) and we decided that we are done. Our house is the perfect size for 2 children, as is our vehicle(s). Plus, I was so sick both times. I can totally relate to you there, it’s truly awful. My husband decided to get a vasectomy in June but at the 6 week checkup we found out it wasn’t successful! So now we are in a strange place. Not sure what steps to take, wondering if this was a “sign” we are meant to have more…idk. My husband always said he would have a 3rd, IF he was guaranteed a boy. So, for that reason I think if we want another, adoption will be our best bet.

  14. Brittany Robertson says:

    Oh, Lindsay. You spoke to my heart back in my old blogging days, you still speak to my heart on Instagram, and your speaking to me know! I know we were pregnant with our littlest ones around the same time. I just knew that I was going to be done after 2. I, too, had a wretched pregnancy, and still deal with the after-effects of some heart issues that arose after it. But part of me just doesn’t feel like our little family is complete. Strange (and awesome) as God is, He’s been pounding my heart lately with adoption. I would have NEVER thought that about myself, but God knows our needs and He prepares our hearts. Whatever is right for your family, God will prepare your heart for that and give you the peace about what He gives you. Sometimes the thought of bringing another child from another mother into my home takes my breathe away. But on the same token, the thought that 2 humans passed through my vagina takes my breathe away, too ;) But He prepared my heart, and made me at peace to deliver babies and He’ll prepare my heart and make me at peace to do whatever else He’s got in store for me (and you, friend!) Hugs to you today :)

  15. Amanda says:

    Well…I can say I am done! I would say I was done before, but I really mean done now…. to the point I will be having my tubes tied or fried…whatever they can do :). With this pregnancy I have also been so sick because of GERD. I can eat some days but then if I eat something that triggers my GERD its all down hill. I have had nothing sweet for the past 19 weeks because sweets make me sick. I have not gained any weight and I keep losing…for me…health wise…I just feel like I should not have anymore and I am not sad about it like I thought I would be. Not that I regret this pregnancy at all, I know every pregnancy is a blessing from God, but I feel a peace knowing this will be our last.

  16. Heathers Looking Glass says:

    We only have one but we are done. For us, it’s just right. I always thought I would love having 2-3 kids and staying home with them all day but I have learned a lot about myself this year and as much as a love sweet Emma Kate I just don’t do well as stay at home mom 7 days a week. Of course if God wants us to have another so be it, but we aren’t “trying” for another. We both knew pretty early on after having Ek that we would be a one kid family. Not looking forward to obnoxious comments in the coming years (won’t she be lonely? don’t you want another sweet baby? how can you do that to her? wont she be socially awkward? UUGG) so fielding those will be fun, but it’s just our decision. ANYWAY i’m rambling. I know you are already doing this but stay on your knees, I know God will lead yall to the best decision for your family.

    PS- you know who to call when you get into the Disney trip stage :)

    • Emily says:

      Heather!
      I felt compelled to share this article with you: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/case-just-one-child/

      Our family is a “one and done” as well, for a myriad of reasons. That article kind of helped me come to peace with what our family is/will be. I’ve dealt with A LOT of family judgement and backhanded remarks (my little one is 5yo now), so I know what those “obnoxious comments” feel like. Hang in there, mama! <3

  17. Vanessa says:

    A few thoughts….
    1. I am one of those who could not conceive w/o significant medical intervention. I would LOVE to have been one who could “choose” to have a baby. I feel like I would have ALWAYS chosen. But THAT is not your “fault”. Others’ fertility or lack thereof really should have no bearing on what is right for YOUR family. Yes, you should b grateful you can birth babies. But from what I see, you ARE grateful.
    2. I know u know adoption is an option. There are thousands of children out there who could use a Mama as loving & enthusiastic as u r. Not to mention what great siblings & Daddy they’d b getting. U could parent more children w/o the fatigue on your body, plus provide for an orphan no one else wants.
    3. Just a wild thought here but…might it b ok to just leave it up to God? No “trying” or “trying not to”? Just trusting that He’ll make the best decisions for your family & for you?
    Blessings!
    PS people go to Disney w/babies all the time! ;) It just means u have to go back in 5 or 10 yrs bc baby won’t remember.

  18. Kristen says:

    I agree that it’s a feeling! I think back to holding newborn mason and thinking, yep you are the baby of this bunch! It was an acceptance, when we decided on permanent birth control, it too was a calm acceptance. I think it also had a lot to do with my husband being ten years older, he doesn’t want to be an old dad, lol. But, don’t underestimate yourself, you are one of the strongest women I know! I know you trust in God to deliver your answer, many prayers my friend!

  19. LaRessie says:

    I SO REMEMBER those feelings. I had lots of issues with pregnancy (incompetent cervix, surgeries to fix that, nausea, etc.) but I felt AMAZING!! I know crazy. I guess I had a metabolism and my body had energy I NEVER had! And after 6 pregnancies, 4 live births, 1 miscarriage at 20 weeks and one at 9 weeks, I still couldn’t get over the baby need. My dr had a different thought, I physically didn’t need to have anymore he said. So my hubby said he would have a vasectomy. And yet even the day he had it done we were not feeing 100% sure we were doing the right thing! I longed, cried, prayed I didn’t make a mistake. But, one day I had the dr tell me I had to have a hysterectomy. I had many things going wrong with my body and it was time for surgery. And literally at that moment I felt NO DESIRE for another child. The peace from God was UNBELIEVABLE. The true peace that passes all understanding. Wow!! I know that you will know because God gives you the answer. We just have to listen. As I look back I know that God has answered my prayers I just wasn’t listening. :)
    Have a blessed day. And I enjoy reading your blog!

  20. Elizabeth says:

    I just want to say, your honesty is wonderful. We are all aware that God has a path for us and what will happen will happen and that’s perfect. For me I do remember after having our third I thought im good, were good.. Then about a year later I felt like a panic had set in, my family was not complete. We had our fourth and final baby she’s going to be 5 to soon. As soon as she was born and I got to hold her I knew we were done. It was a calming feeling. There are moments I say to my husband oh I want another baby, but I think its brought on only because ours are growing up and I mean 11, 9, 7 and almost 5. I know we are done and that we are beyond blessed. I hope you find that moment of clarity and calmness you’ll only be even a better momma when it happens.

  21. Shayla B. says:

    The second they laid my third baby in my arms at the hospital I turned to my husband and said, “I’d do it all again right now.” I am fortunate to have not previously suffered with nausea all nine months of my pregnancies but I get kidney stones with each one. My last pregnancy resulted in two episodes of renal colic (blockage of the ureter and swelling of the kidney causing the classic severe pain) and I passed a 10 mm stone that should never have been able to pass without surgery.

    I spent many nights and days during that time pacing my bedroom, crying, begging for it to be over… But that’s okay. It is just a season. A hard, very difficult one… But just a season. And I can do it again.

    I’m elated to be pregnant with our #4 and experiencing more nausea than in any other pregnancy. I have no reason to believe the kidney stones won’t return in a few months. But it’s okay. I can do this for a season.

    I don’t know you personally, Lindsay, but I feel in my heart that you could also do it again. You are someone I look up to as a woman of strength, especially in your dark hours. But, if not, I believe our loving God would understand your choice.

    Go forward with faith and an open heart to the will of God. He will never abandon you.

  22. Joanna @Makingmine says:

    I’ve been pondering the same question since the day (yes, the very day) my second was born. I can’t imagine never being pregnant again, never going through labor again, and never cradling a new baby again, but I also know that the freedom of moving beyond “babyhood” would be a joy for our family too. My youngest is only 4 months old, so we have some time – but like you, I want my kids to be close. If you figure out the secret, let me know!

  23. Jocelyn says:

    I understand dear friend. After Declan’s pregnancy I was ready to be “done”. The constant pain was overwhelming. And I didn’t even have the nausea with him like I did with Fiona and Chandler. I am still content with our decision. With the other children by the time they were 18 months I started yearning for another little baby. Declan is almost 14 months and I am completely ready to be moving past the baby stage. I have 4 beautiful, amazing children and I am ready to focus on all of them instead of being overwhelmed and distracted by pregnancy and a delicious, squishy newborn.

    For you? You and Travis make beautiful babies! I know that debate to be done or not – but in my experience you know when you are done. It’s no longer a debate in your head – you know the answer.

  24. amelia@i_heart_kale says:

    Have you read Caitlins recent posts (healthy tipping point) on this very same topic? So interesting you both post in the same week.
    I love being a mama, but im done. With everything we went through for just 1, I can’t imagine doing it again. It’s all Gods will anyway. At least that’s my belief.
    ❤ you and your diary/brain dump. I think one more would complete your clan, but who knows? It’s not up to me anyhow.

  25. Regina says:

    I completely understand what you’re going through. I suffer from severe hyperemesis with my pregnancies. I’m currently 21+ weeks pregnant with our 3rd babe (our 2nd is 12 days older than porter!) I actually had a stomach bug with nausea and vomitting the weekend we conceived (Mothers Day) and with 2 kids 2 and under i remember wondering “can I do this again?” But we knew we had our chance and I’ve always known i wanted a bigger family. Being adopted, fighting with 2 years of infertility to conceive number 1, I’ll take all the “bad”, challenging parts. When we got the positive test, I was apprehensively over the moon, terrified of losing this precious miracle. And then 5 weeks hit and I was puking my guys out while two rambunctous boys ran all around me, over me, on me. I took Zofran with my 2nd babe and unfortunately he had some complications that could have been caused by Zofran (did you know it’s NOT FDA approved for morning sickness though it’s marketed as such?!) After 3 visits to the ER for severe dehydration i finally found Diclegis. The only FDA approved pill for morning sickness. And I’ve taken it religiously since 8 weeks. Still, at over 21 weeks if I miss a dose I’m vomiting. Even with it, I get nauseous still but not nearly to the severity as without it. And I can say with 100% confidence that I’d be extremely sad if this was our last pregnancy. I’m not ready to move on from this season of life. In my heart, I know that 4 is our number. But financially, this may very well be our last. And that’s such a sad thing to say. That money could end up making that decision for us. And even if we decide to try to financially make the leap, we never know if we’d be blessed enough to get pregnant with another little one. Ultimately, I’ve come to learn that so much is out of our hands and the bottom line is being grateful for everything we are blessed with. Each and every moment of this chaotic life.

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