Friday, November 01, 2013

What's Wrong With Two?

I think I'm about to dive into shark-infested with waters with this post....

But, hey, that's never stopped me before. ;)

Since Rory was a few months old, we've been asked when we're going to have another baby.  I kind of expected it since we live in a rush-rush society where people aren't content to enjoy the moment and are always thinking about what's next.  The question mostly came from people who were ignorant of what I've been through this year.  Those who knew the truth never asked; they knew I had enough on my plate.

This is a good answer:

Even before I became a mum I noticed that 'three is the new two'...especially in Christian circles.  It seems a given that Christian families will consist of at least three children.  I do know plenty of Christian couples who stopped at two, but the subtle pressure to have more seems to be there.  I'm glad Karen noticed it too, so I'm not the only one.  I've met some Christian women that seem to think the marker of biblical womanhood is not using contraception so you are not taking the 'control' out of God's hands, that you need to let Him determine the number of children you have, and not try to prevent conception.  I've heard women describe themselves as 'living life on the edge' and implying that the more children you have, the more it shows you trust God (and that women with fewer children must be control freaks).

Personally I think this kind of reasoning against family planning to be ludicrous.  We make decisions in all other areas of our lives so why should the number of kids we have be any different?  As long as a couple are not using contraception which causes abortions, it is a personal decision for each family.  If a couple want lots of children that is their business, so should it be if they want to stop at two...or one.

After everything that has happened this year, we've had to have serious discussions about family planning.  In an ideal world, three children would be great, however I've been warned by numerous medical staff to stay on my medication for at least a year (since April) and that while I can take it while pregnant, it does increase the risk of birth defects.  That's another thing...according to some Christians, being a godly woman means going against a doctor's advice, that if a doctor has told you it is unwise to have more children, then you should have more anyway because doctors can be wrong.  Yes, doctors can be wrong and many of them don't follow God and approve of things that I would consider unethical.  But that doesn't mean every Christian woman should risk her health.  Maybe God is speaking through the doctor...

There is a considerable chance I could end up with postnatal depression again, but I could also be fine.  Duncan and I decided that if I get it again, that's it.  We'll stop at two.  I consider it to be unfair on my husband, family, church and friends to deliberately have child after child when there is a significant chance I will be unwell afterwards, and they will have to pick up the pieces time and time again.  I wouldn't blame them for saying, "Sarah, stop having children.  Be content with the ones you've got."  I seriously don't know how women with depression cope with lots of children.  I've felt like dying with one.

Only in the past few weeks have I felt that another child could be doable one day.  I don't want Rory to grow up as an only child, if possible, as he's such a social chap who would probably love a sibling.  I'd prefer there not to be a big age gap, but we'll see how we go.  I'm really enjoying Rory at the moment and this time with just him will never come again.


Wendy said...

Wise woman!

Wendy said...

Sarah, I want to send you this link, but I can't remember your email address.I thought you'd be interested:

Sarah said...

That's a great article, Wendy. Thanks!