Today I got a phone call from a woman in our church, a friend of mine, telling me that she gave birth to her second child early this morning. Her first child was born just three days before Curious J, and it’s been fun sharing the stages that our daughters have gone through in these first two years of their lives. Now, a new stage has arrived for their family – a second child. So, it got me thinking about our family having another baby, which would be baby #3 for us.
While Curious J is still a baby, in many ways she’s not a baby anymore. And I would like to have more children. So, I can’t help but be a little wistful at my friend’s new baby. But at the same time, now is not the right time for us to have baby #3. At least, from our perspective it’s not. JJ and I are on a TTC (trying to conceive) hiatus for a few months. When we were thinking about having baby #2 and had to take a few TTC breaks, I just hated it. I felt that I had. to. have. a. baby. now, and waiting for the months to slip by was incredibly frustrating. Of course, it was also frustrating to actually be TTC and to then be unsuccessful for so long. My two daughters are four years apart, and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that would happen.
But, the experience of trying to have my second child, and subsequently being blessed with my second child at a time when I had almost given up hope, really taught me an important lesson. Everything really does happen at just the right time. The fact that my daughters are four years apart has worked out better than I ever could have imagined. My biggest fear with their age difference is that they would not become good friends. That fear has been completely dashed away. As I watch my two girls play together, imitate each other, fight with each other, and give each other hugs and kisses at bedtime each night, I know that they are well on their way to being as close as sisters are supposed to be throughout their lives. All my fears were for nothing, because everything is working out just right.
Curious J arrived at just the right time in so many ways. After seeing for myself just how right of a time it was, I am confident that baby #3, if and when s/he arrives, will arrive at just the right time as well. And if I am so blessed to even have baby #4 someday, as is my hope, I know that baby will arrive at just the right time, too.
As I think about timing issues, I am comforted by the fact that my sainted Grandma Violet gave birth to four children (actually five – she had one stillbirth) over eleven years. If she could take eleven years to have her four children, then, hey, I’m right on track! Sometimes I compare myself to friends who’ve taken (or have been taken on ;)) the “fast track” in their childbearing and have had a number of kids in fairly rapid succession. I feel like I’m somehow lesser, that I don’t measure up when I compare myself to them. But the fact is, I’m just not a super-fertile — and that’s okay! Not everyone is meant for that kind of life. In fact, when I honestly assess the person that I am, the weaknesses with which I struggle and the strengths which I enjoy, I find myself seeing the wisdom of God’s timing and knowing that it’s probably better for me (and my husband) to have more time rather than less time between babies.
So, while I always pictured myself having babies on a “normal” schedule (meaning every two years), I’m finding myself quite comfortable with a larger spacing between children. I like being able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with my girls, and I think that’s one of the ways I shine as a mother. I have been blessed with unique strengths and gifts, and God has seen fit to bless me with babies at times that work with those strengths, for which I’m very thankful. It’s exciting to think of having another baby, and the control-loving part of me would very much like to know that when JJ and I decided to begin TTC again, it will happen right away. But, after my experience fretting and worrying while waiting for baby #2, I feel a lot calmer about it this time. It’s in God’s hands, and it will happen when the time is right.
Until then, I’ll get my “baby fix” from the adorable babies in my music classes, the two new babies at our church, and I’ll spend my pregnancy prayers in prayer for friends who are pregnant or who hope to be pregnant soon. You ladies know who you are… 🙂