Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Having More Children After Twins (& Singletons)

I always knew I wanted children...always. I have two siblings and I couldn't imagine my life without them. I have four wonderful (beautiful... yes, I am a little biased) daughters Kendal- 11, Madison - 9, and twins Olivia & Charlotte (21 months). Many people ask us if we are "done" or "do you want more?" While this is somewhat of a personal question it made us think... are we really "done"? We have an answer but first here is how we got there.

In 2004 we welcomed our first daughter - Kendal.  Becoming a parent was unlike anything I ever imagined or dreamed of. Everywhere we went she was loved on and told she looked exactly like her daddy. I knew pretty much right away I wanted another baby. I remember being out with Kendal and texting my husband telling him I wanted ten kids!! Something struck me that day and I felt like I wanted a big family.  We waited about a year before we started the conversation on adding baby number two. We discussed that we wanted them about two years apart, we thought this was a good age gap. With it taking six months to become pregnant with Kendal we decided we would start "trying" around Kendal's first birthday. We didn't have to try for long (first try :) and I was pregnant making baby one and baby two twenty months apart. When we found out we were having another girl we were so excited for Kendal to have a sister! In 2006 Madison was born and we had a sense of completeness to us, at that point we both "thought" we were done, we would have two children and that was that.

When Madison was about two my husband and I were having one of those conversations where you talk about everything and you just talk for hours (kind of like when you are dating) and at the same moment we both said maybe we should have another baby. I couldn't believe we were even thinking this let alone on the same page...but that night the decision was made we were trying for baby three. I struggled a bit with how I would love another... of course I had these same feelings while pregnant with Madison but three just seemed so different. I kept looking at a photo I had of Kendal and Madison on my wall and tried to picture a baby with them, every time I did my heart swelled and I knew it was the right choice. We started trying (it was 2008) and almost immediately I was pregnant and we were so excited to be expecting and the future seemed so full of excitement. A few days later the pregnancy ended and we were devastated, but knew it was all in God's hands. A few months later we were pregnant again and sadly that pregnancy ended as well. Around this time my husband was asked to deploy overseas, we talked and decided maybe two children did complete our family. My husband deployed and was away on and off for three years.

In late 2011 the deployment was over and we never really discussed a third child again.... Until we had a pregnancy "scare" in August 2012.  Turns out I wasn't pregnant and this little "scare" made us realize we really did want more children... well at least one more. We started "trying" and again I was pregnant almost right away and again that pregnancy ended. A month later I was pregnant and we were cautiously optimistic taking the pregnancy one day at time. We made it to 6 weeks where we had our first ultrasound and received a big surprise: we were having twins!! We went from trying for number three to adding three and four. We were excited and scared of how our lives would change going from two children to four, but we knew it was what God wanted for us so we moved forward and in 2013 Olivia and Charlotte were born.

Life with four children was/is certainly hectic at times. There are times I just want to turn my mom card in at the end of the day... I mean lets be real being a parent is not easy and sometimes we just need a break. After the twins were born I quit my job to stay home with them, this was the best decision I have ever made. Being in public with four kids or even just the twins we get a lot of questions or the famous comment "You have you hands full."  When I hear these things I wonder do I really have my hand full?? My response... I don't have my hands full, I have two amazing older daughters that are just like little mommies to the twins.  They help me in more ways than I can count and my husband supports me on every level. My sister-in-law and her family live close. So no I do not have my hands full.

We have been ask more times than I can count... are you done, will you have more, are you going to try for that boy and so much more. Each time we are asked these questions we just smile and say we don't know. Until we really took the time to think about these we want more or are we really done? I have a lot mom friends and probably even more twin mom friends (thanks to social media) - I see parents struggle with this questions all the time, whether they are going from one to two, twins to one (or maybe another set of twins), or even four to five - it's not an easy decision for everyone. It sometimes feels like there is a stigma that is attached to big families and when my husband and I really started to discuss "are we going to have another?" I was scared of the comments we would get, I was afraid of the looks, would we need a new car, would I have to work more (I have an at home business), and just how would we make it work. But then when my husband asked me to put all those fears aside and when he said "do you want another child?" my answer wasn't no (and for the record neither was his).  I knew it was ok and if we wanted another baby we would be ok. We even discussed it with our older daughters... because yes, adding another child to the family can equal less time with the ones you already have. It was so important to me to involve them in this conversation and they are totally on board with adding another sibling... the excitement they have makes me know even more we are making the right chose. No matter how many children you already have the decision to add more is personal and not always easy. I see the fear that comes from many parents of multiples on making this choice, there are many factors that come into play if you have multiples and we have weighed those factors into our decision. Having two "singletons" and then the twins, we thought we were done, a family of six, but our hearts led us in a different direction and I can't wait to see what is in store for us and our growing family.

You can follow along with Kristy and her family by visiting her blog: Living this Perfectly Imperfect Life

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