Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lately I've been thinking about my life and the way it appears to others. I don't think I owe anyone an explanation - in fact I know I don't. But this is my blog, and sometimes I enjoy writing about whatever is on my mind. But please be sure this isn't my attempt at an explanation. I don't owe you, or anyone for that matter, an explanation.

Matt and I were married July of 2005. We had our first child in April 2006, our second in January 2008 (21 months break), and our third is expected in April 2009 (15 months break).

Granted, the reason we are expecting again so soon after Joshua is because of a few factors.
I (most likely) wouldn't be pregnant again this soon, as I'd have been breastfeeding Joshua all this time (and would have planned to continue until at least June 2009). I'd most likely have been *unable* to get pregnant until just recently - maybe 6 weeks ago (if history with Oceana repeated itself). The closest I could have had babies together, if Joshua were still here would be June 2009 (18 months break).

If I had a newborn in the house, I (most likely) wouldn't be thinking about having another small one. Sure, we all get clucky, but with the prospect of getting up in the night with one baby, we're never really excited about adding to the sleeplessness, are we?

But instead, here I am with three. Count them. 1. 2. 3. Of course to the outside eye, I look like a good planner. Because you know, 3 years between children is "just right". 3 years means the older child should be settled, know the routine, be toilet-trained, and all ready to understand the concept of "baby" and "gentle".

To the outside eye, we look like a young family who wanted their children 3 years apart.

No. This isn't me. I did (originally) want my babies 3 years apart. Now I wonder if I did something wrong. Did I mess up Joshua's life by hoping my babies would be 3 years apart? No. Of course I didn't! I know that. What happened with Joshua - HAPPENED. But it didn't happen because of me worrying about having two children close together. It didn't happen because I wanted my kids 3 years apart, not 21 months apart. It happened because it happened. Simply enough.

One of the biggest hurdles to get over with this pregnancy is the 2-3 question with new friends. We moved to a new city just 2 weeks after Joshua died. We found a new church. A new Mommy & Me music program. A new group of friends (we still love the last group though!!!!). And in this we have set into "explanation" territory.

Karen mentioned a few weeks ago, how no matter who asks, or how it is said, they talk about Jacob and the time he had with their family. I most often react this way. When people say, "So this is your 2nd?" while pointing at my now-obvious bump, and I quickly answer. "Actually, our third." They often look confused, thinking (I'm sure) "How does she have a child older than 2?" I'm sure they're thinking, if she has a 5-6 year old in school, she'd be really young when she had them. So I have to jump in and say, "No, actually, this is our third. Our son was born in January, but he passed away. We knew we were going to lose him. He passed away in March."

I'm sure I'm not making any extra friends, but as Karen mentioned, it's not our fault if people think it's awkward. It's not us who feels awkward, it's them. We have no reason to feel awkward about talking about our precious boys.

I love my boy, and I wish I had to juggle three. But in reality, I'm thinking about how I'll get Oceana into the car on a busy street, while watching the stroller, and getting our new daughter out of the stroller, into the carset, and getting the stroller into the car, without feeling concerned that Oceana is running off on her own. (On that note, I'm seriously considering teaching Oceana how to buckle herself into her carseat).

But on another note, I've recently been getting the "3 in 3" conversation too. I have been pregnant 3x in 3 years. I was pregnant from July 2005 - April 2006, April 2007 - January 2008, and now July 2008 - April 2009. That will equal out to 27 months of pregnancy, in just 44 months of marriage.

We'll still be in our third year of marriage when we have our third child. And while that may sound like a lot, in reality - 21 and 15 months between babies (while on the smaller end) isn't unreasonable. I have friends with Irish twins (12 months apart). I have friends with very small gaps between their children. My great-grandmother had 6 kids in 7 years. I'm not the first person in history to do this.

But somehow, "3 in 3" has made me the butt of jokes. Everything from comments on my reproductive health (I'm obviously just fine), to my use of birth control, to how many children I'll *pop out* in the next 5 years, to the fact that I have another 20 pregnancy-possible years and how I'll have dozens of children "at this rate".

I don't care what people think, that's rude! It's rude to make fun of me. I wouldn't be in this situation if it weren't for losing my son! There are other factors involved, one (very close to my heart) is my choice to not use certain forms of birth control. But those choices aren't up for joke. They aren't up for comedic discussion, for lack of a better subject.

So there's my thoughts for the day. It's what's on my mind. Anyone else been in this type of situation?


  1. Thank you for this Susie! I have been dealing with it too. Including my current pregnancy I will have five kids in five years. As it turns out my living children will be three years apart though. I get crazy looks and inquiries about if we are aware of birth control ALL The time. It drives me nuts. I know life would not be what it is without Isaac and Asher...if they were still with us, I have no idea what our family would look like, but they arent with us. This is our reality and we are excited. we are also excited for you!

    (as for the car issue...I taught Luke to crawl in and crawl over on the side where I was putting the baby in so we all entered the same side. For a while after I got Ben in I would have to go to the other side and help him buckle, but he was safely in the car and not standing in the parking lot.)

    Love and prayers! You are an amazing family and you are right, you don't have to answer to anyone. God has blessed you and I am so happy for you!

  2. I am the butt of so many jokes it isn't even funny. You see my children range from 14 to 9 weeks pregnant. I always get the jokes and the didn't you learn from the last one that your body probably doesn't work right? And that is from family. I waited almost a year and a half after JT passed away to get pregnant again. I have guilty feelings. I dont' want this baby to replace JT and I know it won't. Yes, people can be so rude. Altogether I have had myself 5 children this is my 6th. But, I also have 2 step children. So, we will have 8 children and I always count JT.

    Don't let people get you down for some reason they aren't able to keep their tongue from wagging. Just ignore it and don't buy into it. Enjoy the new one growning inside of you.

    You don't have to be accountable to anyone but God.

    I have been following you since the beginning. You are awesome and Joshua, Matt and Oceana are awesome!! Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. My husband and I have 4 children (plus have had one miscarriage). While I cannot relate to having lost a baby after birth, I can relate to the snide and often outright rude comments people make when you have anything larger than a 2 children family, or haven't spaced your children 'perfectly' (whatever that is!). Even one of my best friends did the unthinkable and asked me if I knew what caused pregnancy when I was expecting our fourth. My husband and I both had to develop a thick skin. We had the opposite 'spacing' of you....our children are ages 17, 14, 6 and 2 and we got lots of comments about how poorly we planned our family. You can't win!

  4. Wow, people need to mind their own business! I think you should always say you have three children and if people are uncomfortable with the explanation that is their issue to deal with. Your choice of family planning is between you, Matt and Christ. Period. If you want my opinion, you can directly ask me but it is none of my business otherwise. I will say that I think people leave God will out of this decision too much and feel like the decision making is totally in their control. That is only a fairly recent ability since the pill and other things allow people to have more control. In case anyone is interested, has had some programs on radio discussing family planning that are probably close to the Sams' position and can be looked up in their archives.

    Susie, listen to wisdom (not just random opinion), but you and Matt in fellowship with Christ, are accountable for these decisions so stay strong and let people mutter I guess! And congratulations on that new baby girl! You have so much to look forward to. As a parent of 4 (2 boys, 2 girls), I can about guarantee she will be totally different from Oceana. Of course you can probably already anticipate that looking at you and your sibs!

    To all you mutterers - MYOB!

    Sandy in Texas

  5. I haven't been in your shoes with 3 kids in 3 years but my bestfriend had one 14months after having twin boys and she really got tired of hearing other peoples opinions! And I don't blame her. I have a 4yr old, a 1yr old and when I talk of having another I get looks from some. Just like you are doing, I have to not let it get to me. I like the saying, this isn't a dress rehearsal... this is our life and we have to dream and go for what our heart wants, praying it is inline with what God wants for us! I am so happy for you for each of your children. Goodness, look how many people Joshua's short life has touched! He will always be precious and I LOVE that you tell others about him. You are right, you don't owe anyone anything, but know that you are cared for and have many rooting for you in whatever you do! Michelle

  6. Susie
    I had 3 kids in 4.5 years. I truly wanted them closer, took a while for my husband to come to that conclusion. Some people are rude, chances are they will never change. You do not have to explain anything to anyone. Smile and have a great day.
    PS sometimes having them close together is difficult, but my 3 children are extremely close (ages 18,16,14) So it was all worth it(most days, I never really thought the 3 being teenagers thing out lol)


  7. With the car - leave both kids buckled into the car and get the pram out first and get baby settled into the pram and THEN get Oceana out of the car ;) Thats how I have always done it with my two and it means the older one cant run away.

    I had my girls 19 months apart and got lots of comments about having them 'close together' but never encountered any rudeness. If people are rude - pull them up on it! Say something like 'wow, did you mean to say that out loud? Its so rude...' and they should have the good grace to feel bad an apologise.

    Good luck :)

  8. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks! I say have as many babies as god wants you to. Have 20! You make beautiful ones and I cant wait to see number 3.

  9. I'm not in a situation like yours whatsoever... I just want to comment to cheer you on, that's all. Your family plans are quite simply YOUR family plans. I can not believe anyone is questioning your decisions.

    It would really be nice if people could jump out of our family rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms and just allow people to live, love, and laugh as they wish.

  10. This post struck a chord with me Susie. We have 4 years between our boys. We always figured we would have the 'typical' two year gap. But it just wasn't meant to be like that for us. One of the hardest things was that other people expected us to have a two year gap. From the day Hayden turned one people would ask when we were having another baby. (as an aside - after a while the question became 'when are you going back to work?') That question hurt so bad... I had never realised what an invasion of someones privacy is is to ask that simple question. Something that really helped me was when a dear friend was asked the same thing, and her reply was that she would love to, but didn't think they could. Awkward for the person asking, but much easier for my friend - being honest about it instead of trying to justify her situation to someone else. Definitely a break through moment for me too. Don't worry about what other people will think Susie, 3 babies in 3 years is who you are. 3babies in 6 years is me (and for a while I thought I would only have 1). Blessed. Remind me that later this afternoon when chaos reigns, in the form of tired hungry grumpy children!

  11. I think the world of you and your family. It is no ones bussiness how you chose to make or parent your chidlren. I cant wait to see the new baby girl!

  12. You are right, you own no one an explanation. Your life is your life. I heard a lot about being pregnant so soon after my first. I ended up losing that baby. I have to say I have never forgotten the comments made to me. For my babys very short life, insead of hearing "congrat" I had to hear "wow do you know what birth control is?" Whatever. People are so rude!

    Congrats on your new baby girl. I have three girls. They are blesings to me every single day. The space between them means nothing! Their smiles and giggles are all that matter.

  13. I know how you feel. I have had 3 kids in 3 year too. We lost our first in Nov. 2005 and he would have been three this year. We had our second 16 months later and our third was just born last month 19 months later. I think some people think we are crazy but that's ok. It also is sometimes awkward when people ask is this your 2nd and I have to explain that we lost our first. Sometimes i don't want to get into all of the details with some people. I am excited that your 3rd little one looks healthy and well. It is always wonderful to see that nice round head on the ultrasound. We lost our son to a NTD also. Will be keeping you in our prayers.

  14. Hello - I do not know you and you do not know me - I found your blog from a friend of a friend of a relative - you get the point...Some call it stalking, I call it just seeing how others live in this crazy world we all live in. You sound like an amazing family - and truly - you are you - and you should be proud -of who you are, (And I get the impression you are) That is all that matters. Try not to let what others think change who you are. And you seem like a sweet, kind caring mom - and that is all that matters! Best wishes for you and your family.

    A mom of three in MA, USA

  15. Hey, don't worry two hoots about what people think (the 3 in 3). My mil had 3 kids in 33 months...all before she turned 21. That's been over 55 yrs ago so it's definitely not unheard of! ;)

  16. First of all I want to tell you how amazed I am about the insensitivity we as humans show to others.

    In my church world we believe that part of the reason for being married is to have children & therefore people tend to have lots. I'm from a family of 5 girls & in the congregation that I attend this would actually be a smaller family. Because we only have 2 & they are 5 yrs apart plus I am very overweight I get the remarks about a) my weight must be holding us back, b) how many miscarriages have I had (1 & it was before I even knew my Hubby!) & c) when are you due?

    I find all of these to be extremely offensive. I have NO fertility issues however I DO have delivery issues. I'm allergic to narcotics & ibuprofen so my c-sections are dangerous. Also we had a nightmare w/ our oldest & after 36 hours on pitocin w/ no epidural I had an emergency c-section & while our son did get to stay w/ us it was touch & go for a month.

    I wish I didn't have to explain this all of the time. It's not anyone's business but mine! Oh & the other thing is that I must be very young because I only have two. Actually Hubby will be 50 in a couple of years & I'm 42.

    Sorry for venting but I really appreciate it. Didn't realize how annoyed I actually was!

  17. I don't post comments very often, but I feel like I need to today.

    I haven't struggled with your situation, so I can't speak to it exactly. But, as someone who struggled with infertility for many years, I can say that no matter how much you "plan" or don't "plan" - God is in control of how many children you are going to have. And even if you had never had any children by this point, people would still have something to say about it - they always do.

    You're right, it's rude to make fun of you. I don't know why people think it's funny. It's not. But, the key is to keep your eyes on Him - as you always do, which is evident in your posts.

    God is the Creator. He chose for you to be pregnant again, no matter what anyone thinks - it wasn't something you had control of. When someone says something that makes you feel bad, remember that - He created you and every one of your children in His timing.

    I am still praying for you to have a great pregnancy. Thanks for exposing yourself to so many people - we all have a lot to learn from you.

  18. Absolutely :) 5,3 and 18 months... thats my boys and I get alot of odd looks if Im out with one and people ask and I say-actually I have three boys...They're mostly shocked. You get used to it. And of course...theres the fertility jokes here too. But I wouldnt have it any other way and if people think Im crazy thats their problem not mine :) Although I dont have to deal with the explanations so I can imagine that makes it so much harder on you as well. Some People.I dont get it. But I dont have to...Im happy with my family so I dont care if people think Im too young or have too many children.

  19. Good for you! I've been following your blog for a little while now and whether or not you had lost your sweet little boy, your family is your business and every single child is a blessing from the Lord! I got a lot of ribbing too having four children between the ages of 5 and 9 months but we are having so much fun! God bless you and your family!

  20. I only have one son, but it appalls me when people are like that.

    People need a life. Children are such a wonderful gift that if you are fortunate enough to have 3 and are raising them as happy, healthy members of society.. then who cares how many you have. I also agree that you shouldn't have to hide that Joshua was in your life for a short time. If it's awkward then that's the issue of the other person.

    Hold your head high and be the person that you are. You're such an amazing woman and family and while you have every right to be angry... you also have every reason to hold your head high and to be proud of your family.

  21. I hear you!! My husband & I were married in September 2003 & had our 1st, Eli, in August 2004, then we had our 2nd, Joshua, in February 2006 & finally there is Jacob who was born in June 2008. So that's an 18mo break & a 28mo break. But the bigger picture is that we had 3 babies before we had been married 5 years. So, I know the jokes! I get them all the time. "Don't stand next to Emily, haha", "don't drink the water at Emily's house, haha",& my favorite, "this is it, right?". I'm sure you've heard them all! It is rude but I think you handle it perfectly from my vantage point of watching through this blog. I think you must be an incredibly strong & courageous mommy & you have 3 incredibly lucky babies!!! Just keep up what you're doing. Afterall, it's no one's business how many kids you have & how long it takes you to get them!!!
    Emily in Mississippi

  22. BTW, you just keep right on talking about sweet Joshua!! I adore hearing you talk about him!!! I feel blessed & lucky to get to know him through your stories & eyes!

  23. I agree. What you do is no one Else's business. Its up to you, to Matt and to God how many children you have, and how far apart they are. I am so happy for you guys. You deserve to live your life the way you want to, without any input from others.

  24. Oh Susie, I can most definately relate! I had my first in Aug 96 & my second in Mar 00. Three and a 1/2 years between the two of them. It was a good spacing. I was pretty self-righteous about my perfectly spaced children. And then we had #3. On the day she was born, #2 turned 10 1/2 MONTHS old. He was born at the end of March 2000 & she arrived mid-February 2001. We got all the jokes, too. People asking "don't you know what causes that?" or all the little comments in the store "boy, she has her hands full!". Oh, and the best one was a complete stranger eyeballing me & asking "How did this happen?" as if I did something wrong. After gently trying to explain in the kindest manner possible & she continued probing, I got rude back. I said "It happened the usual way...on our living room couch if you must know." When her jaw dropped, I walked away. I mean, really...I DON'T KNOW's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

    We really blew people away when we had custody of our niece & nephew in 2006-2007. While they were with us, we had 5 kids whose birthdays fit within a 4.5 year timeframe. It was SOOO funny to watch people count them as I got them out of the car or to watch the wheels turn in their head when I explained they were all single births & that there was 4 1/2 years from oldest to youngest. In fact, only 11 months between the youngest 3!

    (We gave up custody of the "extra" kids in March 07, so we don't have THOSE questions anymore, but we still get plenty of questions about our bio 3.)

    Anyway, yes....I lived it. I know how you feel. People are rude & nosey. Just smile & try to do your best at answering them kindly. In fact, there is a website somewhere (I'll see if I can find it!) that has all sorts of funny but kind answers to the closely spaced kids question. I'll post the link here in the comments if I can find it.

  25. Found it!!!

    Ok, so some of them may not be so nice, but they're pretty funny!

  26. Hi! I normally just read, but this is dear to my heart also. No matter how many babies you have in how many years people are going to poke fun and ask stupid questions. That is just sinful man.

    The Lord said children are blessings, but few people see them that way. Not even "Christians". I think any more than 2 children makes most people uncomfortable. I only have 3 and they are 3 years apart and people (family, friends and church family) still asked me those rude questions. And those rude questions are part of the reason why we chose to end our ability to have blessings for which we have repented and reversed to the best of our ability.

    Focus on the Lord and everything else will pale in comparison. Life is a vapor, enjoy your blessings!

    love in Christ,

  27. I agree, that's incredibly rude. It's nobody's business. I know you're too sweet to give a flip answer, too.

    BTW Oceana certainly can learn to buckle herself in. My son (he's a small guy) did from about age 2.5-3. He understood pretty well the importance of car seat safety and was reluctant to move to a booster because it wasn't as safe! The buckling himself in thing saved time and my back. :)

  28. Oh Susie I'm so sorry! I think I mentioned once about the 3 pregnancies in 3 years and I'm truly sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. Please forgive me if I offended was not my intention. I will try to be more sensitive. I love you sweetie!

  29. Our first three babies are in heaven and then we have two girls 13 months apart. I get lots of the "Haven't you figured out what causes that?" But God planned our family perfectly. I got pregnant with our second daughter while breastfeeding AND taking the (progestrone only) birth control I'm pretty sure that's how God wanted our girls spaced. Try as you might, God will space your children how HE wants them spaced. Good luck!

  30. It is amazing what people will say! I am a doctor so you can imagine the jokes I got as I had four boys, the last at 41, and lost five little ones over the years. Everything from "did I not know how that happened" to "are you trying for that girl" to "do you realize how old you'll be", etc. Patient after patient, acquaintances, clerks, you name it! It is ok though, because no matter what people say, you have your heart's desire and He has blessed you!

  31. I don't even have my own child yet, but as a daycare provider who gets the kids out in a quadruple stroller, the comments are incredible, from kind to rude to profane. The worse is, "haven't you heard of birth control?" and "don't you know the world is already too crowded?" The funniest was from a guy who looked to be in his late teens or very early twenties. He and two buddies were walking and I passed by them and he said, "Dang, and she stills looks good!"

    I get asked all the time if they kids are twins. I finally got tired of it and say, "No, twins mean two and I have four."

    In the classes at my adoption agency I've been primed on what to expect once I bring my Chinese daughter home. I'm not looking forward to it since we've been encouraged to be polite and remember our children will be witnessing our responses, but I'm putting into memory a few retorts, like, "May I ask why you want to know something so personal?" and "She was born, just like the rest of us," (to the ever asked, Is she adopted?).

  32. Being a young mom is tough! I can relate. Although I didnt have three in three years I guess I techincally still could be pregnant 3 times in three years... We have a 5 year old, a 2 year old, lost a baby in June at 11 weeks and are TTC again. I dont worry too much about what people think. You are an awesome mom and it is obvious to me. It ANYONE who has been in your situation and even if they have, they have no right to criticize you. Big hugs to you. You dont deserve that.

  33. I totally get you on counting
    Joshua and telling strangers that this is your third.

    I get questions all the time if this is my first and I always say no, it is my second. If they ask more questions I tell them that Sami passed away and it always end up with them feeling awkward - but hey they asked and I refuse to 'forget' my son on order to protect some strange peoples feelings.

  34. I've been reading your blog for quite some time now. I can relate to the 3 in 3 thing. People are incredibly rude and inappropriate. My son was born May 05, daughter February 08 and I'm currently 29 weeks preggo again. The new baby is due January 09 which will make my 2 babies 11 months apart. The comments both my husband and I receive are downright rude and insensitive. We are just as excited with baby #3 as we were with #'s 1 and 2. People act as though we are cursed by this. We feel incredibly blessed and lucky to get to have 3 babies. Please don't let these ignorant people make you feel anything less than happy! Congrats on your new baby girl!!!!

  35. I have had 3 kids in LESS than 3 years and I hear the same stuff too! I look very young as well so people really look at me when I pile my kids out of the van along with my oldest who is 8. So yes I have 4 kids, no my two girls are not twins, and my favorite is Are you going to get fixed? WELL Apparently NOTHING is broken Thank you very much! People can be nosey and ignorant sometimes and have to be overlooked.

  36. i hear ya friend, we alll know i love children.. esp. mine, hehe, and when i tell people, veryyy openly, that i want all the children God can give me b4 i';m 30, they are like what??? hahaha, yup, they are like, that could be like 6 more!??! haha, OH WELL, if thats what God has planned for me < they are eternal creatures, and the whole part about people saying they cant afford anymore children, thats a bum remark to me, cuz they are eternal, and dosent the Lord God almighty plan to care for his eternal creations? He takes care of the sparrows? right?? PHEW, glad we had this disscusion, lol... you go girl! i mean, girls...

  37. I just posted on my blog a few weeks ago about this issue of people thinking they have the right to comment on my personal business, specifically our desire for a 4th child.
    (if you want to read what I said:

    I have a son who is almost 6, and daughter born 19 months later who is 4 1/2 and a son born 24 months later that is now 2 1/2. We have been trying to another baby for almost 10 months now. When people hear that we are trying they say some of the meanest insensitive things. And I have also been told I am robbing my youngest child of his "infancy" by having another baby. Whatever.@@ People just need to leave to mind their business!

    I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS on your Pregnancy! I am so very happy for you, Matt and Oceana. I bet Joshua helped God pick the perfect little girl out for you guys! Your little girl is so lucky to be born into such a great family!

  38. Hi Susie,
    Don't know if I've commented on here before, but I've been reading your blog for awhile and have been very encouraged by God's hand in your lives.
    My husband and I got married in August 2003, had our first in May 2004, our second in Dec 2005, our third in May 2007, and are expecting our fourth in Jan. I've been pregnant for 34 of the 63 months we've been married. I don't even know how many times my husband or I have been asked, "Have you figured out how this happens yet?" We have some issues with hormonal birth control, and have never really tried to either prevent or achieve pregnancy, but to trust God with it. I've actually struggled a lot with comparing myself to friends who have "planned" their families, and for awhile felt sorry for myself that my husband and I didn't get to enjoy years of just being a couple before having children. Yet we know that God has given our boys to us, and we have done our utmost to honor Him in the building of our family, whether it's been easy or hard. With our current pregnancy, we waited for awhile to tell anyone, and I was really nervous as to what the response would be. Thankfully almost everyone has been genuinely excited for us, except for some relatives who don't know the Lord and think we're out of our minds for having this many kids, period.
    Congratulations on the three beautiful children God has given you, and may you continue to bring Him glory as a family!

  39. Good for you. You don't owe anyone an explanation. I'm sorry that some can be be so closed minded. I know I was overjoyed when you made your announcement. Congratulations to you.

  40. Thank you Susie,
    Ive never commented before but have followed your blog for awhile. Our son was born in January of this year and lived for a day. When people ask how many I have I need say nothing because my adorable 3 year old tells them the whole story. Out of the mouth of babes. I think most checkers at target and walmart know and other store clerks. Maybe not that much, but honestly he loves to share and I love that he does. Funny how we think we need to give an explaination. I do think it is so great to talk about them...just another reason to share their perfect stories. Well praying for #3. He or She is hear exactly when God intended as each of your children are. Looking forward to seeing more of your story.

  41. HI SUSIE!!! i had my little boy may 2008 at almost 34 years old so we tried again after he was 3 months old and it happened, i wanted to be done by 35. my friends made so many comments about me having 2 babies a year apart. it just so happened my little girl came 3 months early (march 2009), so my children are 9 1/2 months apart. it is sad i still get comments but then others praise me. i do not know how people can be so rude.
    i love your blog, kelly

  42. I found your blog through other blogs that were praying for a miracle for your Joshua. Our #5 was born with a birth defect, so I always like to pray for others in similar situations. This particular post hit home with me because I am expecting #7. My first 6 are boys. So, I'm sure you can imagine the comments I get. It's sad that most people don't understand that children are a blessing. When I first confirmed that I was expecting, I really didn't even want to tell people because I was so dreading the stupid comments. I have decided just to ignore anyone who shows their ignorance in that way. I am proud to be the mom of 7 no matter what anyone else thinks. As for the "Don't you know what causes that?" comment. My husband always says, "Yes, I'm never using her toothbrush again!" That usually shuts them up:)

  43. I actually just had two "episodes" like this in the same day.

    Two days ago, Thursday, I was admitted to L&D w/ abdominal pain and pressure. My doc just wanted to be safe (I did too) so I was sent up to be monitored, blood work and an ultrasound amongst other tests. As the nurse was hooking me up to the heartrate/contraction machine she a said when was your c-section? I said March...she said what year...I said this one, 2008. She said oh wow, you sure didn't waste any time. I replied she died...and would you believe she said, yea, I know. WHAT!!??!! If you knew such information, apparently from my chart, why the heck would you say anything at all???

    Then, the ultrasound tech...asked if it was my first pregnancy. I replied no, it's my fourth. She said, Oh my, you have three other children. I told her our brief story and her jaw just about hit the did mine when she had ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE as to what Trisomy 18 is and had never heard of such!!! Needless to say she was horrible at her job, said many things that she shouldn't have said and I finally just tuned her out and just focused on our quite active baby boy on the screen.

    So, I feel you in this post. I can certainly say that I would not likely be six months pregnant if I had my eight month old in my arms. Especially when you see that I have a 12 and 8 year old. Eleven months apart, with #3 being a section, would not have been a part of my plan. I trust that His plan is the best plan.

    Thinking of you everyday! And congrats on the healthy baby girl!!!

  44. If I had just met you and you told me about how this was your third I would be glad that you told me and would feel blessed to know. My sister who lost her son always includes him when she tells people about her children and likewise I always include him when I talk about my nieces and nephews. You are doing the right thing and if people feel awkward that's their problem.

  45. Get it ALL. THE. TIME. 5 children, 8-1... not shocking when you consider there's twins in there... which I started to point out real early on in the piece. We're come up with a bunch of good comebacks, which always throw people off, but it's the "you'r crazy" comments that get to me the most. One time, I'd so had it up to 'here', that when they happened to say "I think that's too many" (I'm sure she was thinking for herself, but didn't say, who knows) I responded with "well, which one do you suggest I give back?" She looked at me starteled and walked off. It was all I could do not to give her back the finger. Tthe one thing I abhor when people comment is the "you know there's something you can do to end all that, you know?" making the snip snip sign with theire fingers.

    I'll snip snip you, buddy, so help me. *grrr*

    And then there was the time when I answered the inevitable "any more?" question with "Actually, I'd like one more" I got a "God forbid!" back. I gaped at the woman and even Adam stepped in that time. I was so livid. Oh, I could go on and on... the doctors, the friends, the strangers... since when did having more that 2 kids become abnormal?

    *smile* But who's the blessed ones? Really, in the long run? Us, who get to have these precious lives for however long. Adam and I figure, also, that even if our kids only have two each, that's 10 grandbabbies! Imagine if they each have 4! 20 grandbabbies! WooHoo! Won't Christmases be so much fun?

  46. People can be so assuming, can't they. They assume that you WANT to know THEIR opinion on your family planning.

    ...Um, no.

    We have a lot of comments directed our way too, but mostly of the: You sure know how to plan!... type.

    Yes, we did plan but it's not up for discussion. That's personal and off limits.

    You'll do great with two. I know it, because I've been there. I thought through everything that I knew to think through BEFORE I had Judah. And I was a bit panicked by the thought of it all.

    But, when you are in the midst of it, you figure out the best way for you to do things. It is part of who we are as mothers. We are quick learners!!

    We taught Eve how to buckle herself before Judah was born. I had decided that was a priority. It was really good for her because it made her feel big and grown-up and independent. And it helped me out a TON.

    I'm rooting for ya, Susie! And you tell those nosy people that you'll do in YOUR bedroom, with YOUR husband, just what you want to do!


  47. Your children are in God's timing and no one should question that. You are a great mother to two beautiful children and will be wonderful with the third. Ignore ignorant remarks from others.

  48. Who's been saying that stuff about you Susie? Lemme at 'em! LOL!

    I am decidedly NOT a young mother having had my first child at 31 and my last at 37. I have three (living) children that are 3 years apart. And I STILL have had the comment of "Haven't you ever heard of birth control?"

    The first instance of this was when my sister-in-law found out I was heading to the hospital to have a D&C after my third baby died in utero at 6 weeks but didn't miscarry.

    Sensitive timing eh?

    I've never really been good at handling the question of "How many kids do you have?" in a manner that feels right to me. I feel like on one hand the baby I lost was never actually BORN so people have a hard time grasping her (I just believe it was a girl) as a "real" baby.

    But the loss sure felt real to me.

    You're right sweetie. You don't owe anybody any explanations and thanks for showing me that neither do I.

  49. Hi Susie, I think your attitude is in the right place...and everyone SHOULD mind their own business. I had 2 babies 15 months apart. Both my pregnancies were very difficult and I was very ill and had emercency C-sections. My daughter was born at 29 weeks and my son at 31. People were rude to say the least after my son was born. "you're not going to do this again, are you?" They still ask "are you having more?" I've come up with the best reply: "not today." Most of the time they get the hint...doing what feels right, and is right for your family is always the best choice. Your life is what it is...nothing will change that. I love reading of Joshua, and I'm sure he'll be smiling at you juggling his two sisters.

  50. Hi Susie,

    I looked up the term "Irish twins" b/c I'd never heard of it before. You and I would be considered to have "Irish triplets" because we've been pregnant 3 years in a row.

    I have so many older generation women telling me that they didn't have a choice about how far apart their children were because contraceptives were not a part of their way of life. They said that they would not do it any different though regardless of how hard it was in the begining.

    I think that people who have negative comments are usually giving testimony to their own lives and are VERY narrow minded and forget that God is the only one that gives and takes life. Not us as human beings. Also our children are blessings not punishment!

    Way to go to all of us moms who are not bothered by the age gaps of our children and rather focus on enjoying them!!

  51. Hi Susie,

    I've been a silent stalker from SoCal :) I have 1 wonderful, precious child, by choice, which alot of people don't understand. She's a lovely 8 1/2 year old girl, incredibly smart, well balanced and surrounded by friends and family who love her. It "works" for us. We don't live a "sad" life as some people have been bold enough to tell me. People will pick on whatever...only children, many children, children close in age. I say live and let live. It's YOUR life. It shouldn't have to be explained or defended.
    You are a lovely, lovely family :)

  52. Susie,
    I have been following your blog for some time. Now knowing God led me here to help prepare me for what we have just faced. Our 5th child was born still just 2 1/2 weeks ago. Samuel would have joined his 3 brothers and 1 sister. We love kids and are praying the Lord will see fit to bless my womb with another child in His timing. When people have made comments to me like, "Boy will you be busy!" I have always thought... nothing better than being busy with babies. God says they are a gift and blessing and they are. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be holding our newest blessing, but I am trusting in the one who created him. I am so happy for you to be carrying that little one inside of you. I will continue to pray for God's hand to be on you as you continue on the journey he has you on. Blessings. Our family blog is

    Thanks for being used by HIM<><


  53. Wow, I've been thinking about this post since yesterday when I first read it. I think it has stuck with me because it strikes a cord with one of my deepest fears...that I will say something hurtful and insensitive to someone, and never know the damage I have caused. I could totally see myself saying something along the lines of the 3 in 3 years comment, but I would have meant something entirely different. I would have been trying to express that I remember your son, he matters, he counts, he will always be one of your children. And I would never have thought of the fact that you wouldn't be pregnant again right now if he were still with you. You would be hurting because of what I said, and I wouldn't even know to feel like a moron. So, even though I've never met you, I want to apologize on behalf of myself and all the other morons out there. I'm sorry you have to deal with this along with everything else.

  54. In almost 10 years of marriage (in January it'll be 10), I have birthed 4 children, gained a stepson (yes, since we were married), and miscarried twice. I also was pregnant as a teenager. In my heart, I have 8 children. When people ask me how many I have, I say 5, and for people who know one is my stepson, I sometimes get a confused look. But why wouldn't I count him? My goodness, that child has caused my heart more tears and pain than any childbirth could! And I love him as much as if he came out of me. So he counts and anyone who thinks he shouldn't needs to zip their piehole.

    Now, we are for sure done growing our family biologically. I had a hysterectomy last week. Our youngest three are 3.75 years, 21 months, and 2.5 months. I can't stand the look of relief on some people's faces when they ask if we are done and I say 'yes'. It's rude and none of their business. Maybe I'll start answering that way...but then that might make me rude too, huh?

    So...yeah...BTDT. Rude people come in all shapes and sizes. But so do kind people. I hope we both run across more of the latter in the future.

  55. I have two little boys 19 mos apart and I got a lot of comments, too, even from family members. It was frustrating and even took away some of the joy of announcing my pregnancy with my 2nd. I'd love to have more kids someday but I dread "those" comments. I don't know why people have to share their rude inappropriate comments. You have a beautiful family and God has blessed you with all of your babies. Just enjoy them and ignore the ignorant people out there!

  56. Our son will be 4 in January. Since he turned 1, people have been asking when we would have another one. I always wanted an 18 month age gap (my sis and I are that close and are best friends), but it would seem that God has other plans for us. We've been off birth control since our son was 6 months (due to my body not liking the hormones) and have been seriously trying for a second baby since he turned 1. People assume that since we haven't gone the route of IVF or other methods, we are choosing not to have another child. We tend to get a lot of dumb people saying things like "When are you going to give him some siblings?" or "So you decided one was enough after you had him?" (This from a close family friend who should know I want a houseful. The kicker with this one is that our son is very mild-mannered and easy.) I do wish people would think before they open their mouths!

  57. oh girl i HEAR you! When we found out I was pregnant with Addisyn, we weren't married yet. So I dealt with all that backlash..which I could deal with. BUT THEN exactly a year later, we found out I was pregnant with this one...and the jokes flew. Everything from us secretly being Mormons to breeding like rabbits etc... And then there are the looks I get in the grocery store...pushing a 12 month old in a cart, with my huge belly, looking like I'm about to pop.

    It's the worst. But you CLEARLY love your kids, and you're doing a great job being a mom. Im proud of you. Its soo hard to be a mom, and you've gone through SOO much since you've been married. It's inspiring and awesome.

  58. We get it all the time, and I find it pretty funny when strangers ask me "If we know what causes that?" To which I always have to laugh and say, actually the last two weren't even created that way, they are foster to adopt and we completly took them on by choice! You don't have to explain anything. I am one of the odd balls in my group of friends because my boys are a whole 2 1/2 years apart, and most of my friends have less then that between their kids. (I didn't have a period because I nursed for 19 months, so I just didn't get pregnant) Do you think that people are more weird about this subject there where you are or here in the US. I am just curious. I am sure you would get it anywhere. Keep up the good work. You are a wonderful mommy and all 3 of your kids are blessed that God chose them to be your children.

  59. I'm right there with you, girl. I'm 25. I got married when I was 19... in June, 2002. We had our first baby in September, 2003... our second in February, 2005 (17 months apart)...our third in June, 2007 (28 months apart... and now our fourth is due in April, 2009 (22 months apart). Miller Grace (girl #3) lived five days. That changed everything, you're right. I think we would have been done having babies if she hadn't come along and changed us completely. We value life so much more now (even though I thought we did in the first place) and we understand more than ever what a blessing from God this sweet baby - and EVERY baby - is. To have my 4th baby at age 25 is absurd in this world. By the time this baby is due, we will have been married less than 7 years and my oldest will still be five years old. I quit counting how many months I've spent pregnant our nursing of our marriage. :) But it's a blessed season. It's what the Lord had for us. We love our life. We can't make anyone else understand and we do not want to. It drives me crazy that people see me with a (tall) 3 year old and a 5 year old and they think I "learned my lesson" about having them close together and waited a while to have this one after a wiser span of time. Whatever!! I would give anything to have my 16 month old on my pregnant hip!!! God has a plan for our family and I don't pretend to know how many children He wants us to have. I just know how incredibly blessed we feel with these four today.

    So yeah, I get it. And if you're crazy, I'm crazy, too. We can be crazy for Jesus... and our husbands and babies! :)

  60. Susie,
    I was pregnant from Aug. 2002 - May 2003, August 2004 - October 5, 2004 (miscarried at 6 weeks) got pregnant right away again in October 2004 - July 2005, and December 2006 - September 2007. When my husband told his parents we were pregnant with our last my father in law said, "Well, are you done yet?". Seeing as how out of their four children, my husband is the only married one and the only one giving them grandchildren I didn't see whay they were complaining! People can be rude and thoughtless. If they ask you again "Don't you know how this happens?" you could say, "Yes...God's Will". Do not let insensitive people get you down or make you feel bad about talking about Joshua. Like someone else said, if it's awkward, let them deal with tell that sweet boy's story! For the record...I'd love to have 1 more! My sister and I were pregnant at the same time each time and the last time she ended up with twin girls :) She gets lots of strange looks.

  61. I can totally relate to a lot of what you posted here. I get comments and remarks all the time about how I can possibly manage a family with 4 young children.
    You just do!
    My family was not very accepting when I got pregnant with #3 and then again with #4...
    I had 2 miscarriages in between #3 and #4 and my family had harsh opinions regarding the losses.
    my first miscarriage was a blighted ovum which I carried for 10 weeks before having my D & C. I do not know if you are familiar with a blighted ovum but basically the gestational sac develops but the fetus does not. All of the DNA is there for the baby that didnt grow.... but it just doesn't. The placenta and sac contintue to grow... well... my mother and rest of the family always tell me "well, it wasnt a baby anyways..." TO ME IT WAS MY CHILD... for 10 weeks I carried that baby and held out hope that it would be there the next ultrasound. That it was hiding and they just couldnt see it. Unfortunately that was not the case. We just passed the 2 year mark for when I sent my baby on its way to heaven. I miss my baby. I longed for that child. I had hopes... I had anger... I was sad that that baby had 3 awesome big sisters that it never got to play with.. I had not told my grandmother about those pregnancies I lost... and she passed away in Sept and I wonder if they were greeting her when she got there. I cant wait to know the 2 babies I lost! (I will be patient though) and then I look at my son and think WOW! If I had not lost the other 2 I would not have this AWESOME little guy in my life.
    When we are out together as a family people look at us ALL the time. We have had harsh remarks made that my husband would have said something had the children NOT been there. WE love ALL of them. We would have more had I not had complications with ME arise with every pregnancy. Our oldest 2 are often mistaken for twins because they are close in age and size. (18 months apart) and then Kiley is a little more than 3 years behind them and then CJ is almost 3 years behind her. I would have had them ALL Close in age... I love that my two oldest are so close and usually compatible. I wouldnt change anything for the world...
    My family like I said was not happy and #3 and #4... they think I had too much to handle already. But here I sit... being a great mom... giving my children ALL the opportunity to learn about the world around them. They are involved in activities.. they are wonderful... and I cant say enough about large families! I Wish mine would be bigger... but that wont be!!! I have to convince my lovely husband to allow me to adopt one day!
    Oh, and my family typically has the opinion that you have 2 children. One to replace you and one to replace your spouse.
    I think you have a beautiful family!!! I cant wait to see the dynamics once flip flop arrives!! Everything falls in to its place because it was in the plan to begin with! Congratulations! and thank you for being honest.... because I could not have written it so well... yet totally relate!

  62. People really can be pretty rude with comments sometimes. I think it is worst when they truly feel that they are 'helping'

    My props to you and Matt to have the 3 in 3. My little Natalie was another one of those not supposed to happen babies, we had an unplanned pregnancy quickly end in miscarriage and were told it would be 3 months at the earliest before we could conceive again, well 3 weeks later we were pregnant and on birth control! So we found ourselves having had two pregnancies and 1 baby within the first year of our marriage. Not easy definitely.

    We decided to use birth control because we needed to get things settled before we even think of #2. We married within 6 weeks of meeting, so it was a whirlwind year for us. But Natalie is the best outcome we could ever imagine.

    You guys rock for how strong you are and doing such a great job with Oceana and Joshua...I know you'll be great with #3 :D

  63. Hi,
    I have never left you a comment (sorry) but have read your blog for a good while. I think it is wonderful that God has blessed your family with a new baby!

    I was just reading one of the comments from one of the Mom's who said that people give them grief on how they "screwed up" the spacing of the kids. Tell them ....ok, that isn't to Christian. LOL. Ok, here is a more Christian reply...the one I usually give. Wait, first I have to tell you that my husband and I have been married over 20 years. We were only married a month and a half when I got pregnant so you would think that everything worked perfectly fine, right? Except we could not get pregnant for TEN YEARS after that!!!! Trust me it wasn't for lack of trying or praying. LOL. So my kids are 9 and 19. We have had people think they are from two different marriages or we have a opps baby (no way, I waited for this kid for 10 years...he was born with seven heart defects by the way but I wouldn't trade him for the world...he is an awesome kid and the last one in a line up you would pick out that he had health issues).
    After saying all that I always use the opportunity to tell the people how it was not my timing but God's timing (if it were my timing I would have 2 to 3 kids that are very close in age). I then usually tell them about my son's special heart and how God has taken awesome care of him. See, we can plan all we want (and yes, I realize there are those lucky people who can say....hey, I think I want to have a baby, have sex once and be pregnant with a singleton or even twins) but there are a lot of us out there who don't have that "luck".....just remember God is in control.
    BTW, my son is 9 and I have not gotten pregnant a third time....
    I hope you have a awesome pregnancey and a beautiful healthy baby girl Susie!!!!

  64. I had 3 kids in 4.5 years and one miscarriage. Due to pressure from sources outside our immediate family, that is my dh, I had my tubes tied after my last baby. EVERYONE was telling me, it was the best decision. PG hormones and exhaustion from carrying for a child with severe asthma muddled my brain and I had it done. To say I regret it is beyond an understatment. I cry sometimes cause I will have no more babies. With 3 children, I get the comments too, like "your hands are FULL". My answer, yes they are full of countless blessings! My children are good kids. They are loving, compassionate and precious. I would love to have another baby and I dream about a baby boy. I can almost see him in my dreams but he is always just out of reach. Had I listened to my gut instinct, that still small voice deep within my soul, instead of the voices of my "advisors".....I'd be pg right nwo! Our oldest was 3 years older than his little sister and she was 2.5 years older than her sister. We like the age range of 3 years or less apart. I say, have as many kids as God allows and enjoy them. The Bible says blessed is the man(or whose quiver is full. I wish my quiver were fuller! But since I have what I have and I can't change it....I will Mama my 3 little blessing with pride and celebrate the fact they are NOT handfuls. God bless you and your sweet family.

  65. I don't read for a few days and something I can totally connect with.
    I had 3 boys in 4 years and just had number 4...a girl in May 07. I did want to have my 4th A LOT sooner but DH kept telling me to wait and finally I stopped taking BC and behold my baby girl. But the comments I rec'd when preggars with #3 were rude and hurtful. I was almost embarrassed to tell my family. But I love my big family and would love to have more. If we could afford to buy a bigger house and if I was a tad younger. My dad is 12 or 13 and my mom was 4 of 5 kids and I loved going to family functions. I love the bond and closeness my dad has with his siblings. There is always someone there for you. I dunno I wouldn't trade my 13, 11, 9 and 18m for anything. I love the sports their in, all the appts I take them too bascically anything for them I love. I do love the chaos they bring to my life.
    Love your family and all the joy they bring. No one can take that away from us.

  66. I was thinking about what you and Karen said ... and about how it isn't your job, really, to make sure everyone is comfortable with your truths about your babies. It's more important that you are truthful about yourself, your feelings, your life. I think some really good things can come of the honesty, and some connections made that would never be made if you held back from sharing. When I was pregnant with Mallorie, and expecting there was a good chance of us losing her, that was a hard thing to share with others who weren't really close to me. But the times that I did, and which really stand out in my mind, are times when I made an unexpected connection that would not have happened in ANY other way. Like the guy who rented me cars for work travel, who was in the car with me as I took a call and was being very cryptic in my responses, not wanting to spell out the details. Then when I hung up, I realized that my privacy could almost "feel" like rudeness, as it would be obvious to him that the way I was speaking was proof that I was very aware of him and didn't want him privy to something personal. So I told him we had some "stuff" going on, that I was pregnant with a baby we'd been told would not survive, and finally realized I wasn't coping so well and needed a counselor. That opened the way for him to share a beautiful story with me about his firstborn son, who had a skin (scalp) opening, and who died very young. He shared about the night when he died, his feelings then and now, of his great love for his son. My daughter's story opened a doorway between 2 grieving souls that can never be closed. There were other similar moments, but that was the first, and I knew that day that I'd always be grateful for the urge to be honest, no matter how it turned out.

  67. Girl, let me first say, CONGRATS on the baby girl! That's awesome, but more importantly, Praise The Lord for a good u/s report! Second, yes...I've been pregnant 3 times, but have 2 children, and I can't tell you how many times I've had rude comments. When I told my best friend that we were expecting our second she was like "geez, what, are you just going to turn into a baby factory for the next 5 years or something?" I was appalled! I love children, and honestly, if I had my way I would probably have about a dozen, but we're aiming for four, and I don't think that's outrageous by any means! But to say that, especially when she's supposed to be my best friend (for 18 years none the less!) is just rude! I also don't believe in certain types of bc, and I use NFP, and I can't tell you how much crap I get b/c of it, and how often I get told that we're going to have a crap load of kids b/c we're not "preventing" it. Really, the only person other than my husband that has been really supportive about it is my OB, go figure! LOL! But really, that's just rude, and you have every right to be upset. I think you definitely don't have anything to feel awkward about, and that's great that you share Joshua with the world! Don't let others get you down, and know that I'm still praying for you! (((Hugs))) ;)