Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sanity and Health

Welcome to the first Family Size Blog Carnival!
This post was written for inclusion in the Family Size Blog Carnival hosted by Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling and Patti at Jazzy Mama. Today our participants share their decisions on family size and whether or not to grow their families. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

We have three children {or kiddos, as I like to call them}. Life is hectic, busy, exhausting, exasperating but also wonderful. I love being a mama and everything that comes with it. I love being pregnant and I even love labour and giving birth {though I have had a lot of emotional healing to do after giving birth to my second and third babies}. If it were up to me, I would have many children.'s not just up to me. I value my husband's opinion and I need him and his involvement and support with parenting. So we can only have as many kiddos as we can handle together. For us, there are two main factors in deciding how many children to add to our family: our sanity as parents and my physical health and well-being.

You have to admit, that there's only so much one person can handle. When it comes to parenting, there are so many things that need "handling" drop offs and pickups, homework, extracurricular activities, laundry, cooking, cleaning, playing, bath time, dealing with sleep issues {while being sleep deprived}, one-on-one time, answering a million and one questions, driving around...the list goes on and on and on...multiply this by the number of kiddos you have and it adds up. I couldn't do it alone! Well, I could, but I would be a mess and I certainly wouldn't be able to do a lot of the things I can currently do because of the support of my husband. So, when it comes to deciding how big our family will be I have to consider my husband's sanity too. If we both lose our sanity, well, there won't be much left and it all goes down the crap shute. I think my husband has reached his max {he is so close to his breaking point already!}...I could manage and handle having one more baby, but I think that would put him over the edge..and I need him, so I won' shoot myself in the foot! Granted, we have an infant right now, so things are extra-demanding and it doesn't help when you're sleep deprived. So who knows, maybe in a year he'll feel better and be willing to the idea of having one more...maybe!?

But, and this is a big but, he hasn't really done anything to ensure we don't have more kiddos! He had an appointment with the specialist to schedule his vasectomy...and he canceled it! His reason was that he didn't want me to end up resenting him in the {near} future if I decided I really wanted another baby and we couldn't. My response was that if it were up to me, I could keep breeding indefintiely {well, not really, but I don't think I'll ever get that "I'm so done!" feeling}, so he has to kind of decide for us when enough is enough.

Which brings me to my next point....

My physical health and well-being
My last 2 pregnancies have resulted in urgent cesareans. Which totally sucks. But it had to happen because apparently my pelvis is uncooperative and my babies {with their big heads--thanks to their father} get stuck. Add to that the fact that my platelets plummeted during my most recent pregnancy and we don't have an ideal situation. If I get pregnant again, the platelet issue is likely to reoccur and probably they will begin dropping earlier in the pregnancy. So I may need to take steroids, which is not ideal when growing a baby! As much as I'd like to try for another VBAC--the odds are against me...and so are the doctors. So far all the doctors I have spoken with have said they would strongly suggest a repeat cesarean. So unless I go all anti-establishment and have an unattended homebirth--I'm pretty much guaranteed to have another cesarean. And this has its risks, albeit the chances of something bad happening are low, but still. Do I want to risk my health? My uterus? My life? My {future} baby's life? Definitely not. But at the same time, there's no way to know for sure what would happen if I did get pregnant again. Who knows, maybe I could have a VBAC!? I'm taking it as a good sign that my OB did not tell me to NOT get pregnant, and I know she would have if there were definite contraindications. We even talked about a potential future pregnancy and what precautions to take should we decide to try to conceive again {e.g. wait at least a year, get platelets checked before trying and throughout the pregnancy...}. So for now we are not planning to actively try to get pregnant in the near or far future, but we also are not doing anything permanent to not get pregnant.

This is a very hard decision for us...and, as you can tell, something we haven't finalized yet. We are still so young, it feels weird to say we're done having kiddos {I still have so many good eggs left!!!}. But we are also so very grateful and blessed to have three beautiful and healthy kiddos! When we first got married we always said we would have 4 kiddos, but we didn't really take into account life and the reality of what 4 kiddos would mean for us. It would be nice to see that come true, but not at the expense of our sanity and health. So for now we will keep enjoying our beautiful family and if the Universe has it in it's plan to bless us with one more baby, we will be thrilled!


Visit City Kids Homeschooling and Jazzy Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Family Size Blog Carnival!
Please take some time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants below:
  • The Perfect Family The family at Living Peacefully With Children isn't perfect, but the size is just right for least for now.
  • Family Size Carnival Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses how she loves the extremes of being happily child-free for life to being a mom of several. And on knowing when her family is just the right size.
  • Is Adoption for Me? Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares why she would consider adoption as the socially responsible way to have a large family.
  • Getting Used to Having Kids Lauren at Hobo Mama went from "probably one, maybe two" to wanting a handful, but not without some major struggles and soul searching along the way.
  • Magic Number For a while, Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales has wondered what the magic number will be for their family, but now thinks she's finally settled on an answer.
  • How Did You Get That Size Jorje explains how she "chose" her family size and why they aren't planning to grow again on Momma
  • Family Size On A Per Kid Basis Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares how plans change as families grow.
  • More Babies: How, When, Why Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about when, how, and why she might get a sibling.
  • Family Size Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she has no idea what size her family will end up being; though she used to be sure, a few factors have recently come up to change everything.
  • Thy Will Be Done CatholicMommy hasn't decided how many children she'll have. And she never will. Because, you know, she's Catholic.
  • Sanity and Health Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment talks about sanity and health considerations when deciding on her family's size.
  • Love Comes In All Sizes Melissa at White Noise and Mothers of Change shares her family's journey to becoming a family of six!
  • Family Size Liz at Homeschooling in Buffalo discusses how this carnival occurs less than two weeks after "closing up shop" by way of vasectomy.
  • Family Size Blog Carnival Billy, a single mother by choice, writes about the size of her family at My Pathway to Motherhood.
  • Creating Your Perfect Family Size Dr. Alan Singer shares insights from his new book, Creating Your Perfect Family Size.
  • Our Family Size You might not be surprised to learn that Patti at Jazzy Mama can't find any reasons NOT to have more babies.
  • Economics of Family Size Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling uses an economic cost-benefit analysis to determine her family's optimal size.


  1. Kat, thank you so much for participating in today's blog carnival! Your post really reflects the ongoing and complex thought process involved in many family size decisions. I also wonder, like you, if I'll really have that "i'm done" feeling. Family size decisions are so interesting and I am so glad we could all write on this topic and what it means to us.

    Thanks again for sharing!
    Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  2. "I still have so many good eggs left!!!" made me laugh. Great post, and I definitely agree that a decision like family size needs to be made with complete agreement of your significant other if possible!

  3. I look forward to find out what your final decision is :)
    I feel the same, I could have babies forever!

  4. You're right — I don't know that I'll ever want to hang up the "Uterus Closed" sign on my own. I'm definitely waiting till after the baby stage to discuss future kiddos with my partner. :) This phase does stress him out.

    I'm sorry you've had such complications. I wonder if you could talk to a conservative-minded midwife (not the buck-the-system sort but a direct-entry one with a good working relationship with an OB), just to get a second (or third) opinion from someone outside the medical establishment. If that's not a helpful suggestion to you, you can ignore me. :) I just thought a reasonable midwife might either be able to confirm your risks and say an OB's care (and likely, repeat C-sections) would be best, or offer alternative suggestions as to what you might be able to do in a subsequent pregnancy/birth to care for yourself and have a VBAC if that's what you want. You can interview midwives for free, so you shouldn't be out anything if you just wanted to talk. You might also seek out some support and information at ICAN ( if you're interested.

    FWIW, some people I know who've been able to plan a needed C-section ahead of time have gone on to have peaceful, empowering C-sections, so that's possible, too!


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