Even before Joseph proposed to me, we talked about our future babies a lot. While I’m the oldest of eight kids, Joseph has one little sister. But despite the differences in our family of origin, we were excited to have our own children. After we got married, we decided to be open to having a baby right away, and we conceived our son, Marion, on our honeymoon almost two years ago.
But just eight weeks into the pregnancy, we lost Marion in a miscarriage. After healing emotionally, physically, and spiritually from that loss, we began to discern adding another person to our family. Despite our openness to another baby, a diagnosis of secondary infertility means that our life as a married couple doesn’t quite look like what we thought it would back when we daydreamed during our engagement.
As a married couple, we’ve done a lot of the things that couples do when they wait for littles to arrive. We’ve traveled to the beach for vacation. This summer, we backpacked through the mountains together. We’ve made (and eaten!) great food. Last spring we adopted a pet rabbit. We spend quite a bit of quality time together, and have a wonderful community surrounding us. Because our schedules are more open than couples we know who have littles, we’ve been able to say yes to a host of ministry opportunities in our parish that we wouldn’t have been able to commit to if we had children running around. And while we love our lives together as a married couple, we’re also open to all of that changing with a positive pregnancy test.
But discerning having more children (especially after losing Marion) has been a lot tougher than we expected. Just how do you sort through the host of questions that come with thinking about babies? Sure, we pray about God’s will for our family — and ask Him regularly to conform our will to His. But we’ve often wondered how often we should bring up the subject of babies with each other. We ask each other how to discern being a responsible parent.
Joseph and I know we aren’t the only married couple asking ourselves these questions. For couples in their fertile years, these questions can be difficult.
Click over to Aleteia to read four tips from couples on how they discerned when to bring children into their family.