Friday, August 7, 2009

Interview with: A mom who wants more children

Today's interview is with my friend Kelly, from What God has Blessed Me With. I asked Kelly to share a little of her story today because I felt like it would really resonate with so many of us. Kelly wants more children, and for reasons she doesn't always understand, her husband feels like they are done.

I know for me, during every pregnancy, Jeff tells me we are done. While I totally accept his authority in this area, it does hurt. I wonder what I'm doing wrong and what I could do better. I think we can relate to Kelly's feelings...maybe not in this specific area but certainly in others.


I guess I'll start by introducing me and my family. My name is Kelly, and I have been married to Shane for eight years. I had my oldest son when I was 15 years old, then I lost custody of him when he was two. DJ goes back and forth between his dad and great grandparents, 80 miles away. I get to see him every other weekend and for a couple weeks in the summer. My husband Shane and I have two boys together. Grifyn is almost eight and JonStevin is almost two.

My husband and I did talk about children before getting married. He had met DJ before he had even met me. Shane didn't want any more children. Raising DJ with me was good enough for him. I made my wishes known, that I wanted more, but I guess we never took each other seriously. So I married him anyway.

Shortly after getting married we had Grifyn. I went on birth control after that, because I listened to people telling me that I didn't need to have any more children. That what I had was enough for me. God worked through that anyway, and while I still had an IUD, I got pregnant with JonStevin. I no longer use any birth control, for several reasons, but that's not what I'm writing about today.

I always knew that I wanted a lot of children. I feel like it’s my reason to be here. Being a mother means so much to me. I feel like God made it easy for me to have babies because I should have lots of them. I love having babies, raising my children, and our daily experiences. I have a passion for children.

My husband is very careful to make sure that I don't get pregnant because he doesn't want any more. It is depressing. I always imagined my house full of children. When I look at pictures of my children, when they were newborns, I become nostalgic. I wonder if I will ever feel a baby inside me again. My heart aches and my arms feel empty. I feel a tug at my heart every time I see a baby, or even a woman expecting.

I’ve cried a lot lately. I know so many women getting pregnant and having babies. There are baby pictures all over the place. I can hardly stop from welling up every time I see one. I should be one of them right now, and I’m not. It’s because he doesn’t want me to. I have absolutely no problems with getting pregnant (to the point I sometimes feel like I need to apologize for being able to have children, when so many can't).

I have several good friends that struggle with being able to have children. I feel awful knowing that I could so easily have one, but my husband doesn’t want any. Okay, to be completely honest, I feel jealous of these women. It’s just not fair. These wonderful women are married to men that have to put a lot of effort into having a child with their wives. (Doctor appointments, shots, in-vitro. Please don't roast me for not knowing what all goes into it, but I know that it is extremely hard, time consuming, and expensive.) I could give that to my husband if he only wanted it, without all the work or money.

I feel like the one thing that I have to offer to him, one thing that I could give him so effortlessly and easily, is rejected. He doesn’t want what I want the most to give him. Isn’t giving him children one of my wifely duties?

Now I must say that my husband doesn't just come out and say, "No we are not going to have any more children ever". That would be heartbreaking.

The other night we were eating dinner on the couch and he made a joking comment about if we ever have another child we are definitely never going to feed them off our plates so they will never learn to do it. Comments like that spark hope in me and make me hope that maybe there is another child in our future.

But then I'm just let down again when he says:

Why are you even thinking of baby names? (Yes, I have the name of our next son or daughter already picked out.)

We don't need any more children. (Need? What is a need for children? I need children to give me a reason to be a mother.)

We can't afford anymore right now. (I’m not doing a good enough job with our money? My money management skills aren’t good enough? I’m not being frugal enough? How much more money do we really need for more children?)

Who will take care of the children if you get hurt or sick? (ME! The very few times that I have gotten sick I still got up and took care of everyone. Does he think that I have neglected the family to take care of myself? )

I have also never neglected to give him the attention he needs and deserves. I always have time for him, and his wants and needs. What about my wants and needs? Does he not care that I want more? His reasons break my heart, because I don’t believe in any of them. To be honest, his reasons change frequently.

His actions speak louder than words though, and they are the loudest after we have "had relations" and all hope is gone. During the time that I should feel the absolute closest to my husband, I feel the most empty. Knowing that once again he has asserted his control over whether I have another life growing inside of me. There have been times that I have avoided relations, because I didn’t want to go through the pain afterward, knowing that we were both doing it for different reasons.

I often think about what in the world I'm going to do when my boys grow up and don't need me as much or as often. Sometimes I really question what my husband expects out of me. It is clear that he wants me home. But if I’m not home to raise our children, why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing? Taking care of the house only takes so long. I put everything I have into raising the children that I do have, but then what? I'm only 27 years old. When I look at my future, I see a lot of emptiness, lots of lonely nights at home alone. (He works night shift, always has and doesn’t plan to go to days.) Why shouldn’t I have more children to raise?

My sister recently had a baby girl. My feelings of jealousy were only overpowered by my guilt. I had no desire to see my niece for the longest time. All I could feel was pain. Why can’t my husband see how much I want more children? Why can’t he see how much they mean to me?

I pray to God to take this desire away from me. If I'm not meant to have any more children, than I have prayed that God take away my desire to have more children. He hasn't yet, but I do know that my Lord is faithful.

I feel like I'm alone in this. Is there anyone else out there who longs for more children and dreams of a large family, but their husband doesn’t? I know lots of families that have two or three children and don't want anymore. I get tired of hearing that I should be happy with what I have. That I should be grateful that I was able to have the ones I already have. I am grateful. I know how blessed I am. I just feel there is a space in my heart that only a child could fill, unless the Lord himself fills it for me.


I can feel Kelly's pain. Usually she's a really fun and upbeat person. (And she's a great mom.) Can you relate to Kelly on this level?

I want to open the floor for questions or comments. I truly hope we can encourage Kelly today. Also, if you have the opposite experience, please share that. Perhaps there is someone reading whose husband wants more but they do not. Please share because that might help Kelly, and others, struggling in this area understand it all better.

I wanted to thank everyone for last weeks lively discussion on being (or not being) quiverful. It's still going strong, so feel free to continue commenting. Let's just keep it nice.


christyzee said...

just stopped by from sits...Happy friday!

Yara said...

Oh Kelly... can I just give you a big hug?
I can't imagine the pain you feel. I would not dare to tell you that you have enough. How mean & rude of anyone to say that to you.
I KNOW you are so grateful for the 3 wonderful boys you have.
I pray for you.
And I am not saying or suggesting you should feel this way, but just saying, for me...
I feel excited for what God has planned for me when my days are no longer to be spent caring for 3 little ones. I do not know WHAT plans He has, but I know it will be good! Beyond that, I try to focus on today, and not spend my time worrying about tomorrow.
But then, I feel we are complete at a family of 5.
That's just me.
Just know I wish I could understand you (and I mean, I think I can, but I honestly do not know the pain you actually feel, so that's why I say I don't actually understand it. I've never lived it, so can I really undrstand it? But I do feel for you) and I pray for you. I know God is in control of you, your family size, your husband.
Please don't be offended, because I don't mean to offend.
You said 'There have been times that I have avoided relations, because I didn’t want to go through the pain afterward, knowing that we were both doing it for different reasons.'
First of all, GOD is in control. Not you, not Shane.
Second, can you please explain what your reason is, and what you think his reason is?
I don't want to just assume... (I mean, I think I have an idea, but I'm not sure) but if it's what I think, I have something I'd like to say....
Hugs Kelly <3

Stacey said...

That's hard. I don't really have any advice other than praying for your husband. Pray that God will open his heart to your needs. And just keep being an awesome wife!

Unknown said...

Oh Kelly... BIG hugs and TEARS for you sweetheart!!!

I cannot relate to the heartache you have with hubby and it tears my heart out to even think of it.

I can relate however to the feeling of guilt that I can become pregnant SO easily and have as many kids as I want and have relatively easy pregnancies when so many friends of ours cannot. :-(((

I TOTALLY know what you are saying when you say there is a hole there only a child can fill unless the Lord does!

For me I personally think so many times, teh wife is led to something (in this case more children) and the husband is not listening to God out of fear or whatever reason... that is why the urge is undeniably strong in you and other women like you because the husband is not trusting in God.

Then there is a flip side that the wife is not trusting the husband as the head authority to make the right decision... and both can happen at the same time only escalating the hurt and pain.

All I can say is I will pray for you BOTH... for your whole family and if I could hug you dear friend I would!

Kelly said...

Yara, my husband has relations with me for every reason except making a baby. And I do it for every reason plus making a baby. We love each other deeply, and love the closeness, but because he is trying to be so careful, our relations are not as "fun" as I think they could be.
Thank you Stacy and Jerry

I do trust my husband as head authority, even to the extent that I make sure we don't have relations certain times of the month just to be careful. I have also prayed to my Lord to take this feeling away from me, so that I'm not feeling rebellious against my husband in my heart.

Yara said...

would it be possible for you to have relations WITHOUT thinking of a baby?
I mean, I know I've heard some ladies say that every time they think/wonder if they will get pregnant or something to that extent....
but, I'm not saying for you to try to stop wanting a baby.
Just wondering if, you can try to just NOT think of a baby when you are with your husband?
Maybe that would take away some of the pain & emptiness away. Does Shane know you feel this way?
I can guess that, though he says/thinks he does not want another baby, he would never want to hurt you. but even if you don't talk about it with him (again?) would you be able to just not think of getting pregnant & just enjoy the time with your husband?
I think there was something else I wanted to say, but I can't remember now... if I remember I'll let you know.
I can't remember if I 'knew' you right before I got pregnant last year; but it was the one month I even said "no way I'll get pregnant this month" because B had just been in a car accident & was recovering...

Mama of Litlles said...

I found you through sits and just had to follow! What a fun blog! Have a wonderful friday! I'm offering blog makeovers if your interested check out my blog for details!


Twisted Cinderella said...

My heart goes out to you. I completely understand your feelings. Dh and I had this issue in years gone by. We came to an understanding but it took years and much heartache

Nickimum said...

Kelly I feel you pain, you know that I am one of the ladies that has a husband that would allow me to have 20 children but we have fertility issues so our hearts desires aren't in tune with Gods plan and I hear your pain and I do understand it in many ways.
I guess after reading your post and crying for you my friend my thoughts would be have you shown your husband this post? sometimes I think our husbands forget we are heart lead beings...God puts in our hearts very often what he would like our husbands to also do but men in my experince aren't as open to God callings.....maybe he just needs to see your heart poured out in black and white.I am praying for you Kelly, I love your spirit, your beautiful soul and the friendship we have on an amazing lady and your husband is blessed with a diamond.
Hugs Nickimum

The Thompsons said...

Oh my goodness..I can so relate..I am glad I came across your blog..can't even remember where I clicked on it from now. My husband absolutely 100% does not want me..I DO! He's scared it would be twins again...I would LOVE for it to be twins again! Anyhow..loved reading your post..will come back soon.

Rhonda :)

Jackie said...

Hello. I read Kelly's blog, but this is the first time I have visited here.

Kelly, I first want to say that I am sorry for all that you are going through. I am sure this is very hard on you. I do wonder if your husband knows exactly how you are feeling. It can be so hard to share with our husbands the kinds of feelings you have just shared, but it might be that he doesn't understand.

I know full well how wanting a baby can almost make you miserable. I have 4 wonderful children, but I have also had 4 miscarriages. I have been through some dark times obsessing about having more children. I always knew that I wanted a large family, but many times was afraid I would not be able to have more. My last miscarriage was almost 3 years ago and it was so bad I had to go the ER. Long story, but I really was sad that I might not be able to have more children.

About 6 months later God told me that we would have another child. He truly blessed us when we had our youngest 19 months ago.

My husband always says it is up to me if we have more children (Opposite problem you have. I would rather not have it be up to me.). We are using NFP right now because, while I think that I am quiverful, I am not sure that God's plan is for us to have more. You see, after I have a child (or a loss) I always think about the next pregnancy and baby. I guess I never feel done. Except this time that desire isn't really there. Yes, I still think about having another baby, but that obsession is gone.

I had a dream several years ago and I saw 3 boys and a girl who were in their late teens and early 20's. They were so handsome and pretty and I was with them on a porch. I knew that they were my children, but at the time I only had 2 sons and a daughter. We didn't even have a front porch.

Now I have 3 sons and a daughter and a front deck/porch. I keep wondering if that dream was a glimpse at my family in the future.

Anyway, I am not sure that there will be more children or not for us. I pray that God will let me know whether we are to have more or not. I don't like having control over those decisions.

I will also pray for you Kelly that God makes it clear to you and your husband what His plan is for your family size. {{HUGS}}

(Sorry for the book.)

Anonymous said...

I ache for what you're going through. I was in a similar situation. When I got married, I thought the plan was to wait 5 years and then begin trying for a baby (We were married at 19). I wanted one almost right away, but I could wait 5 years. Well, year 5 came and then year 6 and so on. Finally, after 9 years of marriage, and with the help of a therapist, my husband agreed to begin a family. I got pregnant almost immediately (Praise God) and we had our first child. Two years later, I delivered our second child. Then he was done. Problem was, I wasn't. I experienced the feelings that you've described and I was angry that my choice was completely taken from me. It hurt so much! Well, eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that I could resent my husband for the rest of my life, or I could pray for change. It didn't appear to be coming from him, so I needed to pray that God would change me. Please give me peace with where I'm at, Lord. Help me to be content in every situation. I know that I cannot get there by myself, it has to be you Lord. If you aren't going to change my husband, then please change me. I don't understand this. I certainly don't like it, but you alone can transform my heart. And you know what? He did. He changed my heart. He didn't cause me to "not want children" but he did allow me to accept (with peace) that for whatever reason, that I may never have more children. As my children have gotten older- our oldest will be 13 this year, I have to say that I have the occasional feeling of sadness that my babies are growing up and I don't have another little one to raise. I have had to grieve the loss of each stage that they've passed through, knowing that I won't be able to experience that again....either with them, or with another child. God has graciously allowed that process to pass quickly enough. For this time in my life I am called to be the best wife and mom that I can be. We don't always get what we want. We don't always get what we deserve. It's just plain not fair. That's the truth. However, God loves us and He promises in Jer. 29:11 that He knows what He's planning for us. He has good plans for us, not plans to harm us. He will give us hope and a good future. I pray that this gives you some rest.

P.S. I commend you for sharing your struggle. I was always too hurt and embarassed to reach out to others. However, those in similar situations need to know that they're not the only one going through this. There are others who understand.


Anonymous said...

P.S.S. I forgot to mention...while I've struggled with this, my husband's brother and his wife have been busy having 13 children of their own. Go figure!

Anonymous said...

Sisters, while I do understand and empathize with this situation, I am concerned that this post comes very close to husband bashing, and I am not sure it is appropriate. I concerned about whether this this honors your husband or honors God.

I always ask myself, how would I feel if my husband had a blog and wrote this same post about me? I for one would not want him to put something out so personal about me.

Just a gentle, loving admonition to both bloggers from another sister in Christ.

Michelle said...

I hope not. I hope this isnt misconstrued as husband bashing. I believe that Kelly was just pouring out her heart...she revealed a lot in her story...that must have been difficult. But it also leads to healing and support.

I agree that as women in Christ we need to be ever so careful to never bash our husbands. To show them respect.

I believe this was just someone sharing their feelings. It just so happens that her husbands figures into those feelings.

thank you for the wonderfully gentle reminder.

Kelly said...

My husband knows what I want and how I feel. I mean absolutely NO disrespect towards my husband. I just wanted to share how I feel. And I have prayed that the Lord change my heart, so that there is no misfeelings in my heart at all towards my husband. This is only one aspect of our life, and I realize that most reading this know nothing else at all about me. If I were to write a post on how much and haow many different ways I love my husband, it would be close to never ending :o)

Kate said...

Oh how I can relate to this ache in your heart. I am sure that you know that God cares about the deepest desires of your heart.

My husband and I had just had our second child, a beautiful daughter to join our beautiful son. I felt as though I had the family I dreamed of.

A year later I started to feel a tugging at my heart for another one. My husband was adamantly opposed to it - we had one of each, we could afford the two we had, etc, etc. I am sure you are familiar with all of those sentiments.

I wanted to honour my husband in this area, but the ache was so great. I spent 6 years alternating between begging, deal making, aching, praying, dealing with resentment and so on. A dear friend said she was praying that the Lord would put us on the same page, whatever "side" that would be.

I prayed that prayer, and also begged Him to take the desire from my heart if it was not from Him. The desire grew and grew.

On March 29/08 we welcomed our third child, another lovely daughter. She has fit into our family more beautifully than I ever dreamed she would.

Do I now feel "done". No. I don't know that I ever will. I love having children and mothering them. I am trying to rest in the knowledge that God knows my heart and wants His best for me.

I will pray for you and your husband, that God will put you on the same page, whatever "side" that may be.

God bless.

Gucci Mama said...

I was really glad to find this. My husband and I have two children, a son who is two and a half, and a daughter who is four months old. I have suffered miscarriages and my pregnancies were very difficult. My daughter was born prematurely after pretty severe complications and hospital bed rest. (She is perfectly healthy, by the grace of God) but even with our excellent outcomes, my husband is now afraid to have more children. I've always wanted four; I don't know why, but I've just felt that four is "our number". I still feel that way. The complications I've had with my pregnancies have been about ME, not the babies, so I don't feel like getting pregnant again would be dangerous for the baby. It would be trying for me, but not, like, life threatening. My husband says he doesn't want to see me in pain (if I have another miscarriage) and he worries about my health and I also think that he feels "done" now that we have one of each. Still, just four months after my daughter was born, I would consider getting pregnant right away again. I know that once a year or two passes I'm really going to have "baby fever". I love being a mother, and I want to be surrounded by my children. I want my children to have the big family experience. I don't know what the future holds, or how we will reconcile our thoughts on this issue and come to a conclusion we can both accept. It's a difficult, even heartbreaking situation. I pray yours is resolved soon and that you will be at peace.

Ashley said...

I love posts like this, that are so honest. Proof that not everyone's life can be sunshine and roses all the time. I can understand a bit of what you are saying, and I hope it won't be like that in my future. I grew up with only one brother and ALWAYS wanted a big, noisy family with lots of siblings. So I want to have a houseful of kids, at least 5. So far we have two and my husband does want more, but I know he wants three and isn't sure about more than that. I pray that BOTH our husbands and us can come to an agreement that feels good for everyone. If such a thing is possible.

AmberRay said...

I know a little bit of what you are going through. I have 3 wonderful children and I want another. My husband is not against it, but we had 2 miscarriages this year. So I was thinking I have a hormonal problem so I went back on the pill for a little while. We may try again. My youngest is turning 2 tomorrow. I hope you get to have another. I am sure God is with you on this.