I had always assumed that having children would come easily for us. I had always wanted a large family and prided myself on my emerging identity as the matriarch of a stereotypically large Catholic family. Fiercely prolife and a dedicated NFP user, I was sure that God's plan would align with my desire and we would gladly accept as many children as God would give us. I just thought that meant that we might have a surprise bonus baby or two.
Tragically, we discovered at 24 weeks that our perfect little girl had died a few weeks earlier. We were devastated but sure that God had a plan. Our sweet Jenni died so that our next child would come to be. Our fourth daughter--Hannah--our rainbow, our destined child, for whom we had to give up our Jenni passed at 16 weeks gestation. Sure that we had an effective treatment plan, we didn't worry to much when I popped up pregnant yet again a mere 6 weeks later. We were so hopeful and excited that our first boy would be fine that it completely devastated us to learn that Austin too had passed, a mere hours after a 17 week ultrasound.
We were suddenly forced to accept that not only would we never meet and get to know our precious babies, but that I may never be able to carry a baby to term again.
It was an incredibly painful and shocking realization that God not only had taken away our children, but that He may not give us another living child again.
And that's when I realized that I had promised to accept any children God would choose to give me and that that meant accepting the number of children God would have me raise--even if that meant I would only raise my two girls.
This acceptance does mean that I will give up all hope of ever being able to have another living child, but it does mean that I need to face and learn to accept the possibility that our family may forever be a family of four. This will mean finding a new vision for what a happy, close, Catholic family looks like, and redefining my self-identity and learning to love myself and find my value as a mother of just two.
I pray that the Lord will guide our doctors to discover the what is causing our losses and that He will bless us with another living child in His time, but for now I must move on. I must learn to stop living in the future, trying to control how my life will look in ten years and focus on the present.
Our daughters have been sharing a room for the last year and a half. our third bedroom set up as a nursery for a future third baby we may never have. We are giving that room back to our second daughter. Someday, should God bless us with a third child, they will again share a room, but for now, I must learn to live a full life with the children I have.
I don't know what God has planned for our family in the future. All I know is that today I am a mother of two beautiful, healthy daughters. I have four nephews and a new little niece or nephew on the way with whom I can love on and build strong relationships with. My life is rich, meaningful and full of joy and I am right where God wants me to be and He has promised to bring good things out of the sorrows we have experienced.