Something I'm finding that I'm really having a hard time with is this huge gap I have left between my two girls. I always loved that my three girls were close enough to play together and laugh together and bond (and fight), but now I have five years between Lexi and Ava. It feels so awkward and uncomfortable. I struggle with it every single day. Hailey filled such a special place in our family. She was the perfect age to be a playmate for both Lexi and Ava. Hailey was old enough to play Barbies with Lexi and watch some of the shows Lexi loved, but still young enough to play baby toys with Ava and watch shows like Baby Einstein. She was happy doing either...the "big" girl stuff and the "baby" stuff. It worked out great for her too because she was able to be a "big" girl with Lexi when she wanted to and also regress back to being a "baby" with Ava too! Lexi and Ava really have nothing in common and that hurts. I hate it.
It's weird too because I never realized how many people I know who have three girls, and several that are all the same ages as mine. That hurts too. I see their little three year olds growing up, talking, playing, giggling, entering Primary at church and playing with their big and little sisters. In some ways it's comforting to me, but honestly, it also really hurts. I hate to say that because I don't want anyone to feel bad or uncomfortable when they're around me, so please know if you have three girls I still love you with all my heart. :-)
The void I feel and have is so huge. One of the things I've always wanted was one of those huge family portraits that I could hang above my fireplace and would be the centerpiece of my living room...and alongside that, a beautiful portrait of my three girls together. Now it's starting to hit me that I'll never have that. Unfortunately, this is one of those things that our little Tinkerbell doll can't even begin to fill in.
I just love my family! Honestly, I felt like I had the perfect little family. I had three girls...and loved having all girls!!! They were the perfect amount of years apart. Selfishly, I was proud to tell people I had three children. I was proud that I was capable of raising them, caring for them, and keeping them healthy and happy in a loving home. They are such good girls, too. I just love them. But now, in a way, that's all been shattered and we sit here in limbo trying to decide where to go from here.
Do we have another baby? I know many of you are wondering it and don't want to ask, so I'll ask for you! And the answer is, we honestly don't know. We weren't planning on it. We were done. Our family was complete. We were so ready to move on from babyhood and start raising our girls. And honestly, we were excited about it! Now, we sit here, our plans gone awry, and having to wonder if we should have another baby someday. To be honest, I don't want to (all for very selfish reasons). I have no desire to ever be pregnant again, have another baby, go through bottles and diapers and crawling and all that stuff. I'm not a baby person at all. I like when they can walk and talk (and pay their own bills)! On the other hand, I don't feel right with just two physical children in my home. It's lonely, weird, uncomfortable, calm...too calm.
I've actually always felt like I was supposed to have four children, however when we had Ava, Sean and I both agreed that it's true when they say, "three's a crowd," and we were done. But, now that Hailey isn't here physically with us, I have been left to wonder if that's why I felt like I was supposed to have four. The Lord knew I would never have four because it was just too much for me and since I'm being honest here, I just didn't want to! Of course, I don't think that's why He took Hailey from us, but it does leave the door open for a fourth. (It has been said that the Lord works in mysterious ways!)
But then I struggle with the thought of never having a complete family photo with all four of my children. That would be something that would really bother me. And I struggle with the fact that our new child would never have physically been in a picture with his/her big sister or even in the same room together for that matter. These are things that I can't believe I even have to think about or deal with or struggle with. I can't believe how life can turn sometimes!
On the other hand, this child would be so special because he/she would always know that they were sent here by their older sister. We would be able to tell them that they are here in our family because their older sister went to Heaven. It was so important that they be a part of our family that she sent them here to be with us! Who knows, maybe they would have a special connection with Hailey that I wouldn't even be aware of because they knew each other before.
My last thoughts on the subject are that we feel like we would never regret having another baby, however in years to come, we may regret not having another one. But then again, we really, really don't want one. (Okay, so as I'm reading this to Sean right now, he feels that's a little harsh to say. Although, he is totally laughing! So he would like me to mention that he's a little worried that if we do have another child and they happen to stumble upon this blog and realize we're talking about him/her we may have a lot of explaining to do. So if that happens, just know that we only had you because we finally decided we wanted to!) The other thing I've always said before I even had children was that I always wanted three so that if something happened to one of them, the other wouldn't be left alone. Did I ever think that would be my reality...ummm, no! Anyways, I'm rambling on now.
So, at this moment, here's where Sean and I stand on the issue. We honestly don't know yet if we will ever have another baby. Our minds change daily, sometimes even secondly. And obviously, right now, we are no where near emotionally ready to make that decision. We have decided that we will wait to get through all our "firsts" without Hailey. I was so unprepared for how difficult Christmas would be for me, so I'm literally terrified at how difficult her fourth birthday and the one year anniversary of her passing will be. I definitely wouldn't want to be pregnant going through all that. I want to be free to feel and experience those emotions. Then after all the firsts are over, we'll deal with the thought of another child. There's a good chance that we'll want to just take a break, rest and enjoy the two beautiful girls that we still have here with us. Who knows.
(Although...if we did have another baby I like the name Celeste for a girl because it means heavenly and that would represent her connection with her big sister. And we would name a boy, Joseph Daniel, and call him Joey, after his two awesome grandfathers! So, Celeste or Joey, if you're reading this, just know that we love you with all our hearts and this was written during a difficult time in our lives...and we only had you because we absolutely wanted you!) :-)