Sunday, February 8, 2009

In Defense of Large Families

Anyone who knows me or my story knows that I had a horrible pregnancy. It was just plain bad. I was on modified bed rest for 6 months. I had to have up to 6 shots of insulin every day. Every single test having to do my my health or my genetic makeup just came out so badly that by the end of my pregnancy my doctors just didn't tell me the results unless there was immediate danger to me or my son.

Yeah, it was that bad.

So, it probably doesn't surprise anyone who knows me that after finding out that a second pregnancy would be that bad or worse (up to and including shots of blood thinners because it turns out that I have a genetic clotting disorder on top of EVERYTHING ELSE) I have decided that getting pregnant a second time would not be in my best interest or in the interest of my family. (Does anyone out there think 9 months of bedrest, no medication for the fibromyalgia and 9 shots a day sounds like fun?) This does not mean, however, that I am against larger families. I am actually for them and I commend anyone who can make it work.

Who can make it work? Especially in this day and age? Anyone who really wants to, actually. It takes a lot of work, planning and lifestyle modification to have more children, but if a family is up to it and makes the conscious decision to have children then who are the rest of us to judge?

Last night when we went to pick Sammy up from my parents' they took us to dinner at a new restaurant that just opened near them. While we were waiting, we met a family of 7 with 5 kids under the age of 7. It was near chaos - loud, crazy, insane chaos. But at the same time, each child was getting personalized attention - maybe not solo attention, but personalized. Each child knew that their parents were there, that they were loved and that there was more than just mom and dad to count on. By the time we were all seated at our separate tables, I thanked the dad for his choice. I know I can't give that to my son, but I commend those who can.

So, how are we going to give Sammy the love of a sibling? I don't know. I do know that even if you have a sibling there is no guarantee of love or even of just plain respect, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like for him to know that he has someone other than people generations older than him to count on. We've discussed possibly adopting a child, something I always thought I might do, but no decision yet on that front.

I know there are many options out there for us. Everything from adoption to surrogacy to doing nothing to my actually going insane and signing up for a nine+ month sentence with an even longer recovery time is on the table. (Yep - bed rest really does feel like a sentence, trust me - not something you volunteer for.) But in the meantime, a note of support for people with more than 2 from someone with only 1 - some of us think your choice is brave.

Thank you for having so much faith in the future that you are willing to contribute to it.

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