I feel cheated.
I don’t know how else to describe it.
Ben and I were talking about family planning and I just don’t feel like my family here is complete. I’m supposed to have three children, and yet I only put two to bed each night. I only wash clothes for two children, and I only give baths to two children. At prayer time, I remember all three, but life doesn’t feel quite complete here on earth.
There is a longing for my third.
Not the same empty pit I felt after Alex died, the gaping hole that couldn’t imagine possibly raising an only child. But a gap nonetheless. A lingering discontent for something that is missing… something that there isn’t a substitute for. As time passes, I realize more clearly that there is this feeling I can’t overcome on my own. The sensation grows stronger and I can’t avoid it.
I feel cheated.
I’ve been pregnant three times. I’ve had three c-sections. I have had morning sickness and fatigue and cankles three times! Where is that third beautiful face for me to cuddle and hug in the morning? Where is that third child to dress up at Easter, and inspect candy for at Halloween?
I had this vision. Back after Alex died, I had this dream that we would have a girl and I would get to zip her into Alex’s brown jacket and reassure her that girls wore brown too. I looked at our family photo in this vision and we had three kids here on earth. I don’t know what else to say- I’m not done.
I miss Alex. Nothing changes that, or takes that away. I would be lying if I said the joy of Molly growing up didn’t dull the sting of his death. Everything about Molly radiates sheer joy. I notice her presence every day, *not* Alex’s absence. It truly is a glass half-full situation. I am so humbled by her arrival and so grateful for her every breath that I am astounded by how much I love her. But…
When I think about what is next for our family, I am willing to be open to the possibilities that God has in store for us. I’m not begging for a third, but I’m not closing the book on what’s to come for us either. I have no idea how other families decide this. If you have kids, or don’t have kids, and you’re happy with what you have, is that enough? Is there a distinction between happiness and contentment? I’m not restless with two, but I still don’t feel the deep satisfaction of three.
Is that selfish? To want to have another baby here on earth when I have two happy healthy children here on earth right now? I have two beautiful kids that adore each other, and life is very calm and easy. Am I looking to upset the apple cart? At one time I would never have guessed that I would have wanted more than this, but now I don’t know.
Losing Alex has opened me to the possibility of more. Loving more, having more, losing more. I can’t control what God has planned for us, but I can open myself to the possibility of what He has planned. I can’t shut the door yet. I want to give Him time to reveal what he has in store for our family. I love what we have, but I dare to envision something greater.
I wrestle with this every day. As if my analysis will somehow make the decision with a sense of finality that will calm my restless spirit and quiet my heart. My greedy heart. My heart that has been broken, then mended, but still feels a little bit hollow. I want to feel that bursting with joy feeling that only a pregnancy can bring.
I have Molly here, but I am still waiting for my Alex. I feel like there is one more beautiful baby planned for me, planned for our family. I feel like there is a beautiful boy with gray eyes and a chubby tummy just waiting to look into my eyes and settle my spirit. He’s coming. I can feel it.
Maybe it’s not cool to be this vocal or public with my heart. I’ve been patiently biding my time, waiting for my final baby to come. I just feel like I need to give it a little more time. It’s God’s plan and choice that matters. In the meantime, I wait.