Last weekend, I went to a training to learn the more clinical aspects of midwifery and I came away from it with some upheaval. Not about birth but about my future children.
First there were lots of Moms with Many or Quiverful Moms there with 6-10 kids each. This is a big deal for me because I've never gotten to know personally mothers of large families so I've never been able to envision me being the mother of more than 5-6. That is further complicated by my husband not wanting more than 6. Then I learned that my fears of pelvic floor dsyfunction was real and my concerns about my hip pain are getting stronger. And I realized that if I want 5-6 (or more) kids that I'm not going to have enough time before I get to 40. And then the physical issues might make it hard to have that many more kids.
So one at a time:
On our first date, I told my husband I am aiming for 6 or more children and he didn't feel confident that he could be a father to that many so he said he'd be comfortable 4 (which is one more than his parents had). For the sake of an easy compromise, I said 5 and that's what still remains the agreement now because I haven't felt like pushing for more. As of now, he doesn't know that I'm now thinking of more than 6.
Then is the fear of not being able to physically withstand more than 6 pregnancies. After two pregnancies so far, I have chronic hip pain that I fear might be arthritis. Through yoga, working on correcting my posture, chiropractic adjustments and regular massages, I can keep the pain from being all the time but it often nags most of the time. There was a point just after Belle was born that I couldn't walk it was so bad and I had to find a chiropractor in a state I didn't live in so I could get the joint put back in place. It was really uncomfortable at the end of Belle's pregnancy and I'm scared if I don't get it healed before I get pregnant again my next pregnancy will be really difficult and it could be worse after. And the older I get, the worse it will be.
The other effect of two pregnancies I'm worried about is the prolapse (cytocele and rectocele to more precise). Basically, it means that my vaginal walls have been weakened so when my bladder or colon is full, both can be felt weighing on the vaginal walls. Its really common in women who have had children and it really only negatively affects me when I'm on my menstrual cycle. It makes wearing regular or super sized tampons difficult because they get pushed out by the collapsing tissue. Its also the reason why the Diva Cup doesn't work for me. I am concerned however that if I don't work to rectify it now that it will get worse in more pregnancies and become a problem.
Between those two things, I'm scared that I will be so effected that having a third baby will make life after that baby so difficult that I wouldn't be able to care for the children I have, let alone have more children.
On the other side of that, is if those things can be resolved so I'm no longer in pain and don't need to worry about more severe prolapse, then how long will it take? 3 years? That was my original plan, I knew that having both children so close together meant I needed to have more time before the next one. Now I'm concerned if I wait that long, I won't have enough time before I decide I'm too old to have another baby. If I turn 40 in 2024 and I have my next baby in 2013, that's 11 years of time to have more babies. Every two years, I could have 5 more. So I feel my upper limit is 7 then which means that only 7 of the 9 names we have chosen would be used for our children. And I'm scared that having babies every two years will be too much for my body because having two babies in two years already has been too much for my body and I'll just be older which will means pregnancies are automatically going to be harder than if I was younger.
Meeting the Quiverful moms was really an inspiring experience for me. Many of them had their first babies younger than I did. So I'm already feeling "behind" like I was getting a late start. Though I know that even having a baby at 21 is still plenty young aside from the fact that it was perfectly right for me. I also am realizing that my body, because of breastfeeding, is going to space children a little more than 2 years apart, which I feel is great and good because its a sign of how Heavenly Father created us to bare and care for our babies.
I don't want to be in competition with other mothers to have as many babies as they do, but I do like seeing the fruits of their families. The older children learn how to be parents by caring for their younger brothers and sisters. Mothers get help in managing and caring for so many people, and from what I've seen the older siblings caring for the younger allow mothers to be involved in activities that take them outside the home (in this case, to become midwives). I also like the idea of not worrying about fertility and accepting pregnancies as they come, having faith and reliance on God.
I know that's the answer. To trust in God, pray to know what to do about my hip because, really, that is what concerns me most.
I think what I wish is that my hip pain could be gone and not a worry because if it were, I would be excited to conceive again as soon as possible. I'm already feeling stirrings for another baby but I'm so scared of how painful that pregnancy would be if I were to get pregnant now with my hip the way it is.
And even if my hip was fine and I could conceive again so early (I'm thinking that my luteal phases are still too short), I'm almost positive my husband would be opposed because according to his plan, we are not going to have another baby until he graduates and we move. I have to throw this in too: he frustrates because to me it appears that he does not consider God's plan for our family at all when it comes to trying to conceive. I think he might think that he's going to decide whatever he wants and just trust thats what God wants for him. I'm not feeling like I can agree with that.
To further complicate things is the circumcision issue. As far as I know, he still is obstinately supportive of circumcising our next son and he refuses to even talk about it until we know we are having a boy. I want to be surprised with the gender our next babies so that is the recipe for an all out fight after the baby is born. I don't want to put off finding consensus until after or even while pregnant. I'm pretty sure a large portion of the reason why he doesn't want to discuss circumcision is because he would rather not face the idea his parents did something to him when he could not stop them and it may now have negative affects on him.
Oh my goodness, this thought just occurred to me: what if my hip problems and his not wanting to discuss circumcision is linked? Karma could make it possible...
So there you go, those are all my issues. I'd love advice on any of the above.