Mothers of large families are often asked: Were you always in total agreement with your husbands about family size? Did either of you need convincing or change your minds? Was it a gradual process or did you always know you wanted more?
The short answer to that question, the reply I give to nosy strangers, is that once we began having children, each one was so special that it made us want to have another.
The extended version is:
When we married, we had agreed that we would have children; at least two, maybe four. After we had our first, I was hooked. Daryl was pretty excited, too. We welcomed a second and a third in quick succession. At this point we were planning to put a larger gap between the third and fourth. The first 3 children are each 21 months apart and the second and third were both difficult toddlers. However, as it happened, our fourth child was born 21 months after the third! While I was pregnant with her, Daryl became convinced we needed a Suburban, instead of the minivan that we owned at that time. I felt that a Suburban was expensive and not really necessary. We could afford it, however, and I agreed on the condition that I was entitled to any one thing I should want in the future, including another child! Daryl readily agreed to this. I got pregnant in late May and miscarried in early July, at 7 weeks along. I was devastated, but fortunate in that the miscarriage was physically easy. I didn't suffer intense cramping or excessive bleeding, and didn't require any medical attention. I felt healthy immediately after it was over, and we tried again the next month. Our youngest was now almost 2 when we conceived our fifth child.
At this point people started to say things to us. We had 2 boys and 2 girls, which while larger than average, was regarded as a cute bigger family. When we went from 4 to 5 children was when we became a curiousity in the public eye. Particularly because we had "2 of each," as though they were matched salt and pepper shakers, people couldn't fathom our wanting another child.
When our fifth child was 16 months old, we moved across the country to Michigan. Although this was a long desired change, our lives were pretty shaken up by the experience. I wanted to have another, but Daryl insisted we wait until things settled down. After we'd been in Michigan for a year, he agreed that we were ready, and it wasn't long before I was pregnant with our sixth child. Once he was born, Daryl felt that he was done, and proceeded to proclaim that rather loudly. This was painful for me, since I knew I wanted to welcome another child into our lives. When our sixth child was 8 months old, I put my feelings in writing and gave Daryl the letter to read while away on business. I felt (and still feel) that we were handling the number of children we had well, and that God had blessed us in so many ways that we should be open to receiving another blessing from him. He returned home and readily agreed to have another child. I got pregnant immediately, much to our delight.
Our baby is now almost 2, and we are hoping and praying that God blesses us with another.
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4 weeks ago