It is no secret to those who know me that marrying and having kids wasn’t exactly part of my life plan. I thought someday I might want to, but up to my 24th year of age – which is when I got pregnant with our first child – the feeling hadn’t come up. My husband, on the other hand, wanted to marry and have a bunch of kids from the time he was a teenager!
After a lot of inner work and, above all, after seeing our son’s face for the first time, I fell in love with motherhood. The issue then became: how many children would we actually have? What exactly would be the average between my hesitance and my husband’s “as-many-as-I-can-convince-her-to”?
The answer was part instinct, part serendipity. As a wedding gift, one of my husband’s college professors had a painting made especially for us. The painter did not know us, so (as the story goes) the professor described us as two young, nature-loving, alternative creatures. The piece that resulted – which now hangs right here behind me – portrays a solemn-looking, round-faced couple that is so close they could be Siamese twins. The left hand of each rests on the other’s heart. The girl wears a flower printed dress, has flowers in her hair and a single flower in her hand. The guy wears a suit of sorts. On the side of each of their shoulders is a green, succulent plant, and above each plant is an angel resting on what seems like a marble pillar, one blue, one yellow. Above the couple is a yellow, flying fish.
I was five months pregnant then and had just found out the baby was a boy. The name we chose means “he who tills the earth”. I don’t know who said it first, but we started joking that the blue angel was our boy, the yellow angel was our future second child (a daughter whose name would mean “lady of the waters” in an Indigenous language) and the flying fish would be our youngest (a little boy whose name – a reference to a famous Greek character – would mean “he who balances himself in the air”).
Coincidence or not, here we are almost nine years later with the three of them, born in that order and aged nearly nine, two and a half, and five months. And with the added bonus that both our lady of the waters and our little “flying fish” were born in our tub, to the sign of Pisces!
Having gone through a particularly difficult pregnancy this last time, I constantly tried to convince my husband to undergo a vasectomy. He, however, did not even want to hear about it (like many men I know, he has a huge needle phobia!).
Later, while I was in labor, he said he would do it (talk about good timing!). At that moment I was ecstatic, yet after the baby was born I began to question myself about our decision. I look at that cute little baby (it doesn’t help that he is so calm and sleeps so well!!) and think wistfully, “Oh my, this is the last baby in the house until we have grandkids!” Or now, as the time approaches to start introducing food in addition to nursing, “This is the last time I will be able to smell this pure breast milk breath all the time!” And so on…
My husband of course took advantage of all this and decided to postpone the vasectomy for another two years until I am absolutely sure.
When I stop to really ponder, three seems like a perfect number considering our life style and the way we raise our kids. For instance, we enjoy working from home as much as possible and choose to rely on as little outer help as possible; all of this gets harder with more kids.
Of course, if we “accidentally” did have more children we would find a way. On the other hand, if my husband did undergo a vasectomy and then we later changed our mind, we could adopt (which was a possibility we had considered before having our third child).
Do I really want more kids or am I just attached to this cute baby phase? The truth is, I don’t really know the answer right now! Let’s see what the future has in store…
And you, how many kids do you have? Was it a planned number or did it just happen? How did you decide? Please share your story!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our enviro-mama and mother of three in Brazil, EcoZiva.
The photograph used in this post is of the referenced painting commissioned for the author and her husband. It was submitted by the author.
I had a “reading” before I got married and was told I’d have a son and 2 daughters. However, I was also told that the future is NOT “cast in stone” and choices I made along the way could change things. After I got engaged, I went for a gynae check up and got told I wouldn’t be able to have children at all!!
Luckily my husband decided to marry me anyway and said we’d look into adoption at a later stage. Imagine our surprise when I fell pregnant (quite naturally and without actually trying to!) a year after the wedding!!
From the beginning of my pregnancy I was quite sure that I was carrying a boy named Kyle … and so it was! 🙂
Since I no longer trusted the “you can’t fall pregnant” edict, I started using contraception and only stopped taking it after my son turned 2. Again, I was told that it would be unlikely that I’d get a second “miracle” conception. Six months later I was pregnant again!
This time I was quite sure that I was carrying a little girl called Megan. However, just after my first trimester, I woke up one morning and told my husband “This isn’t Megan, it’s Victoria!” … and so it was! 🙂
Unfortunately, circumstances prevented me from conceiving again. Sometimes I wonder about the “little girl that wasn’t “… my Megan.
To answer your question – My husband wanted 2 kids (preferably a boy and a girl) which is what we got. I would have liked another daughter, but am super grateful for the 2 “miracle” children I’ve been blessed with.
My son is now 20 and my daughter is 17. He is dating a young lady who already has a little girl from another relationship … and this Xmas they’ll be coming to Cape Town to spend it with us … so I get to play “grandma” sooner than anticipated! 🙂
Mamma Simona, what a wonderful story, thanks for sharing!
Love your story! We have two, a boy 8 and girl 5. While I am thrilled and it’s just the number I always thought I’d have, as I approach 40 I think: ok you are really sure right? With our traveling lifestyle, two is just right. But babies are just the cutest things!!
You never know, Eco Ziva!! lol
I am totally cool with having two kids. I know this because I’ve been donating and giving away baby stuff. Things can always change, but I feel certain in this moment!
Thanks for sharing your story!!
That “you never know” is a bit scary Jen! 🙂
I’d always thought I’ll end up with 3 kids.
Then after 2 very rough pregnancies I’ve decided that two is plenty and we made sure no more kids will be conceived !
Yes, my last pregnancy was very rough too and that is another thing that scares me out of having more!
I love your story EcoZiva – and that painting with all the symbolism – amazing!
I have two kiddos. I used to dream about having a boy and girl, but am ecstatic with two girls and couldn’t imagine life any other way. I am two and through. Like Jen, we are comfortable with that decision and have started giving away all the stuff my youngest has outgrown.
I really enjoyed hearing how the painting and the family’s growth coincided!
Our family has 2 boys and we are happy with this number. My husband and I both love our boys, they are happy and healthy, and we feel like we all get what we need individually and as a family, and everything is manageable and affordable. It feels right. But we thoroughly enjoy our friends’ newborns, and we are considering a dog. I just wanted to have my youngest potty trained before bringing an animal into the house 😉