In some of the social media groups I’m in, a question has been floating around in recent months. It’s generally phrased like this, “How do you know when you’re done having kids? When is your family complete?”
I usually don’t answer, because I assume the one posting the question is looking for guidance from someone older and wiser who can tell her how to know she should prevent further pregnancies, and I don’t have the answer to that. Plus, those are two different questions.
I have two miracle children born when I was, in medical jargon, “advanced maternal age.” I am very likely done having kids, but my family will never feel complete this side of Heaven. I have walked the road of infertility, including pregnancy loss, for too many years to ever reach that place.
That doesn’t mean I am not content, or that I am not thankful for the children God has given me. I am, very much! I love the life I have, and am overjoyed at the blessing of being their mom.
What it does mean is that there is always a wondering.
I will always wonder what might have been.
I will always wonder what it would have been like to have three or more children.
I will always wonder how different two brothers or two sisters would have been from each other.
I will always wonder what kind of mom I would have been to a larger family.
I will always wonder if having children at a younger age would have been easier or harder.
I will always wonder how a bigger family would have changed the children I do have.
I will always wonder who I would have been without the lessons learned on this journey.
The wondering doesn’t take away my joy. It doesn’t steal my delight in the children I have. In the midst of the daily crazy that is my life, I often don’t stop to think about it. But the journey of infertility has woven the wondering into my heart, this quiet ache for the children who might have been, the missing of my children in Heaven, and the gap between my children on Earth that is bigger than I had hoped it would be.
And in the quiet moments between awake and asleep, when my children on earth are hidden in the shadows…
I will always wonder.