Within an hour of me waking up after Holden was born, Steve and I vowed we would stop at two children. We were not going to have any more. We weren’t going to talk about it anymore – two was it. The experience was traumatic and we have said from the beginning that two boys would be our ideal family. And here we are – at exactly what we had dreamed of.
I can’t help but wonder if our decision is the right one. Both Steve and I have more than just one sibling. I ask him, “can you imagine your family without your little brother?” and of course he can’t, and of course I can’t. Our little brothers complete our families. Of course we wouldn’t have known there was something missing if we had never met them, but something would have been missing. We know that now because we know life with them.
The Mormons believe that before people are born, they live as souls, waiting to inhabit a body. They believe that when you feel that a spirit is wanting to join your family, you give them a chance to do so. I think that is beautiful. And also, dangerous thinking to someone like me – I would never stop having kids. I feel there will always be room for one more child for me to love. I would want to give bodies to all the orphan spirits and would end up with my own reality show ala the Duggars.
Perhaps I will always feel there is something missing from my family because Gracie is a part of a different one. Perhaps I could have six or seven more kids and still wonder about the ninth or tenth child – what he would be like and how we could possibly live without knowing him. I did not know I would love being a parent so much that I would want to do it over and over again. But I do. As Holden outgrows each stage, never being able to relive it with another baby feels sad to me.
So we agreed on two. I believe I actually started that conversation. But I never promised I wouldn’t wonder “what if?” Because I know I always will.