Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2 Reasons We Have 4 Children

...and not, say, 1 or 2 kids.

Obviously, there are numerous reasons for our current family size, the most significant being God's plan for our family! But two factors recently came to mind as I was thinking about how, in the span of 7 years, 1 month, and 7 days, we went from a couple to a family of six.

1. I've never been plagued with bad morning sickness. My bout earlier this month with nausea and vomiting reminded me how completely wretched that stuff is. If I had to deal with that on a daily basis during pregnancy, I'm not sure I would have wanted to venture past two pregnancies!

2. My boys have been champion sleepers. I've always known that the first two or two and a half months would be challenging as far as lack of sleep; but at that age, each of my boys started blessedly sleeping through the night, which never fails to transform my whole outlook on life. If I had had children who just wouldn't sleep worth a lick, I don't think I would have been as eager to add to our brood. The reason I've had this on my mind this week is because my darling little Shav has been having a terrible time with sleep recently, and I've unfortunately been reminded in all too vivid ways how sleep deprivation messes with me. I never expected him to be a better sleeper at two months than he is at six months, but that seems to be the case. I feel like I've returned to the fog of one month postpartum, and I don't like it. Not one bit. I'm not entirely sure what is disrupting his sleep--teething (we do see and feel a bump where his right front upper tooth will emerge), sickness (he's had a cough for a while, and maybe other pain? but of course he can't tell us that), stubbornness (as one member of the family suggested this morning), a dislike of his cradle as he outgrows it (which will soon be remedied since we plan to move the crib back into his room as soon as we find a mattress for Tobin's new bed), or simply the dawning realization that crying loudly for a long time means someone will come to get him and he'll get to be held again. Who knows? When I'm thinking rationally, I'm fully aware that this too shall pass and one day he will again go to sleep peacefully by himself in his own bed and will sleep through the night and will go down easily for naps...and I will sleep more and will actually feel rested. "One day" can't come soon enough. I've often said that I take my hat off to moms who, for various reasons, have to deal with chronic sleep deprivation because I don't know how they do it. I feel that way again. If my sons had not been such great sleepers, I'm not sure I would have felt ready to dive into the parenting ring again.

Of course, sometimes we don't feel ready, and we still end up diving in! ;)

In the end, I have to say that I'm immensely thankful that I didn't have bad morning sickness and that I did have boys who learned to sleep well at a young age because I simply can't imagine not having one of the children who have been given to us. I know you don't fully miss what you've never had, but still, what a tragedy that would have been!

* By the way, if you want to enter the giveaway for my blogging anniversary, click over to my previous post and leave a comment there!


Misty said...

Davene, we are going through the exact same thing with Anastasia! She has gotten two teeth, had and recovered from a cold, moved from the little portable crib to a full size crib and nothing seems to help! Here's to hoping we both get some sleep soon!

Mike and Katie said...

Hear, hear! About the morning sickness. That's why we initially stopped at two. Being sick for 18 months out of the first 36 we were married was not fun. And I knew nothing about how to sleep train my boys so the rest of the time we dealt with sleep deprivation. It's a tough way to start a marriage.

I'm still just as sick but we all have a better perspective this time around. Babies are just so precious!

Beth said...

And a third reason why you have 4 kids...You are an amazing Mom! They are blessed beyond measure to have you Davene!

Margie said...

Davene, even though Sarah didn't sleep through the night until she was 26 months old, we still wish for more. I had terrible morning sickness both times, and Sarah's light sleeping (when she slept) for almost two years made life barely bearable at times (and months of barely any sleep coupled with a cryer/spitter and lack of reliable schedule can really make one crazy), but our age played the biggest factor in our decision to say, "Enough." Which is sad for both of us, since we think the girls would have done well with more siblings.

You are so blessed to have four wonderful, well-loved children! But please know that I sympathize and empathize with your exhaustion. Even though it's relatively temporary, it's a difficult path to walk.

michelle said...

i honestly believe that part of God's plan for our family was to allow me to keep my sanity by not going thru the sleep deprivation! (that was always one of my biggest fears about becoming a parent!) so even though we adopted older babies, i know from many of my friends that sleeping 12 hrs. straight thru the night is not common for 7-9 month olds! i am extremely thankful! :)