For those who haven't heard, we have officially decided that we are done with having children. It was, for me at least, a difficult decision. I mean, when I'm pregnant and right after my babies are born, I'm certain that I never want to go through that again. (and i question why the heck i went through it the first time!) After several months, however, the amnesia sets in and I start thinking longingly of pregnancy. [shudder]
This last time that I started to feel that way, I took it to God for an answer. I fully expected Him to tell me it was time to pop out another hit, but I was in for a surprise. The clear message was that we should have no more children. I couldn't figure why He would give me that answer, so I kep questioning Him and myself. (Is that reeeaaally what He said? . . . Yeah, it really was.)
Then I had an amazing time of communion with God during a church service where He spoke clearly to me on a few different topics, one of them being this one. The message (given by the Always Inspiring Ted Beasley) was on quitting - when you should, when you shouldn't, and stop complaining either way. He mentioned that one time when it's appropriate to quit an endeavor is when the end result does not justify the pain caused in the process.
And then it hit me: This was why God didn't want me to have any more children. Lila and Eli are well worth the pain that the pregnancies and depression caused. But God does not want me (us) to willingly, knowingly engage in that kind of difficulty again. It's not just my own pain that must be considered (that i can more easily overlook). There is also pain for Doug and those members of my family and friends who are so sacrificial and helpful during difficult times. And if we had another child, this time Lila would be old enough to really be impacted by my depression.
It was both a humbling and a warm feeling. Humbling to think that so much pain could be caused by my actions (getting pregnant, i mean - i know that i can't control the depression 'cause BOY have i tried). And it made me feel warm and loved to know that God cares for us and does not desire pain for us. I have two amazing children and my responsibility now is to raise them and teach them to love God and and pursue their passions.
At the same time, it was a difficult decision for me to accept. Part of me felt as though I were rejecting a child and telling him/her that they weren't worth it. I had to remind myself that I was not rejecting a child, I was just choosing not to create a child. It's a subtle, but profound, difference that's difficult to explain.
And now I'm at peace with that decision and Doug and I are trying to decide which one of us is getting "fixed".