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Monday, October 31, 2011

Soul Twin

There are so many times I think about life without Gwenn. Deciding to have another child after the wretched birth we experienced with Teale and the not easy birth of Beau, was in many ways very risky. We were terrified something would go wrong again. There were many reasons though, that I felt another child was a good decision for Mark and I. When I first started talking to him about the idea, I knew he would be open to the discussion because, after all, we had always wanted four or five children. At some point in my reasoning with him I said, "I just think I will always regret it, if I do not." That was all Mark needed, living with regret was not a chance he wanted to take. I can still hear him say to me, "Well, then it's settled, that's all I needed to hear. I don't want us to grow old and for you to regret never having a third child because of me and then possibly resenting me." We have always run our marriage this way though. The "deal" we made in the beginning of our marriage, still holds true. Whoever is more passionate about a decision wins, period. This way of looking at life has worked well for us, we seldom argue or disagree, maybe because we have stuck to this simple rule, passion wins. I had many good points on why I wanted a third child. I hoped for healing in many ways for both Mark and I. I wanted Beau to have a sibling he could share this life with, all the good and the difficult things about being Teale's sibling. Giving him another person who understood how his life was different than most. I also knew, even though Teale was only three years old in the year we talked about trying to have a third child, that Teale would always need care. The responsibility of being a sibling of a special needs person can be very difficult. We never want our other two children to think they can't live their own lives. They can chose to move away from here if they want to, but of course our hope, is that they will always be there for Teale, when Mark I can't be. Someday, Mark and I will be gone, but Teale will still need people advocating, looking out for and caring for her. Somehow leaving all that up to Beau seemed risky and unfair. I had always wanted a large family, but as both pregnancies and births were so difficult, three was "all" I thought we could "handle." I know in the beginning of our pregnancy with Gwenn, I was hesitant to tell anyone we were pregnant. I knew there would be much judgement and criticism, as they wouldn't understand what my heart felt. I trusted in my faith of God that this was the right decision for my family. I had prayed much and had really felt good about it, but I tend to want others approval, so actually telling people was tough. It was Mothers Day when we decided to share our exciting news. Mark, Beau, Teale and I were in church with Mark's Mom by our side when I had an idea. We had told Beau that morning, he was thrilled, wanting a brother, as any seven year old boy would. Mark and I were most uneasy about telling his Mom, she would think we were crazy, our hands were already so full. Besides Teale's many medical and physical needs, we also ran an in home daycare together. It was a busy life and we had much support, but if this child had issues also, would we be able to handle it? Mark's Mom was sure to roll her eyes at us, so we let Beau tell his Nana, during the passing of the peace at church! Yes, that is really how we handled it. We let our seven year old spill the beans in a public place where my mother in law could not overreact! She did react, it was similar to what I expected, but because we were in church, well it was "less negative." Mark is her baby, her youngest of four children and we were the only ones who would have more than two children in our families. I believe she had thought all of us were all done having children. But then again, Mark and I have not followed the norm. We only dated from December of 1988 until Valentines Day, before we were engaged, setting a wedding date for August 12th, 1989, less than a year after starting to date. It was a shock to many and I'm sure there were doubters, but after 22 years of being married, happily, I think we have proven ourselves. Anyway, back to our third pregnancy, we got through all the announcements, all went relatively well.  ( to read about Gwenn's birth story ) We were both set on not finding out the sex of the child as we both enjoy this secret that God gives to us. I secretly hoped for a girl, thinking a sister for Teale and a daughter for me to share all the those "girly" things with would be so nice. So here we are, eight years later and of course any Mom would say having any of their children was the "right" decision, but for me, Gwenn is much more. She is the hope and faith I so needed. She gave me the gift of renewal and healing in many ways. Gwenn and I are connected by similarities that can only be described as a "gift." We share a love of animals, both of us enjoy cooking, baking and trying new foods. She appreciates my diverse cooking much more than either of my other children and she is almost always willing to try something new. Gwenn and I both love gardening. We can spend hours in a garden store together dreaming of all the beautiful gardens we would design if we had tons of money. There have been many times we have purchased plants or seeds to grow because of her passion. She understands the miracle of a plant growing from a seed, her understanding and patience has always been far above her age. My Mother was a talented gardener, I see her in Gwenn often.  Gwenn is a talented artist, she and I could draw or paint for hours. She is often creating "art" with our extensive craft supplies, she loves working with  molding clay and making pottery also. Her musical abilities are amazing, but that is from my husband, not me. I often look at Gwenn and see myself, we have so much in common, Mark often jokes about us being twins. When I was pleading my case with Mark those many years ago that I really wanted a third child, I knew that child would complete us as a family. Gwenn is what I would call my soul twin. We share a depth and a love of numerous passions.  I had dreamt of teaching a daughter but as she matures, I find we actually teach each other much.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you decided to have another child. I didn't need to make that decision since my child with special needs is my third child. Also, I LOVE how you had Beau tell his Nana during the passing of the peace! :)