Monday, March 26, 2007

Delaying children?

I have a question for you and would love to hear your thoughts. Comments are welcome! Please hang in there and read to the bottom for the question. I'll try to be brief, but it's not my best skill!

Hubs and I have been waiting for many years to start having children. We will celebrate our 8th anniversary this summer. We got married while still in college and were quite young....and got pretty good at being busy with life instead of parenting. Still, it's been a long time and we're ready. I'm REALLY ready. Actually, it's been neat to see God working on my heart. Not too long ago, I was throwing temper tantrums in response to my great desire for children. I wanted babies NOW. I asked God to change my heart, and give me His patience and contentment. I've come to trust Him with our future family. I know fully that He may not even have plans to bless us with children - that isn't promised. God may have another plan entirely. And you know what? My heart has changed. Of course I would love to have a house filled with little ones, but even more so, I want my home and family to glorify God - in whatever way God would have for us. If He doesn't have children planned for us, then I can't wait to find out what His plan is.

That being said, with great contentment and peace, our plan is to start trying to have children soon. As it turns out, I think I'm going to have an opportunity to travel to Africa for work right around the exact same time we were planning for this. The problem? I would have to take lots of vaccinations, and you shouldn't get pregnant for three months after you get the vaccines. If we have to wait a few months, it would likely be more like 5-6 months... to try, in some attempt, to avoid having babies in the middle of summer (long story for another day...just know it would cause great family angst for us to have a summer baby).

So... question of the year (or, of eight years!): Is it worth a free trip to Africa to postpone children for 5 more months, or should I choose babies first, and decline the trip? If it was a trip with my church instead of work, would it make a difference? Should it? Does it make a difference to wait 5 more months, when I've waited 8 years? Is this a test from God to choose family over work, or is it an opportunity from God to go to a place that I won't be able to go for many more years (since I won't be taking an infant there) and see His face in the eyes of suffering children?

I can't believe after all this, after all this waiting, I'm likely being given this choice. Please, please please, I'd love your thoughts. What would you do?


Kim @ Reformed Grits said...

Hi Kel! I've been lurking for a while but I still read all the time!
Could you go ahead and get the Vac's now? I don't know how far ahead that would be from your getting to go, but at least it'd give you a jump-start on the 3 months and if you DON'T go, then, hey, you are vaccinnated anyhow!
Maybe I am just not sure of your timeframe, etc so I don't understand.
As always, I'm sure you have made this a matter of prayer. God will lead!

kel said...

Kim -

Hubs had that same idea. I have to go to the travel doctor next week (I'm going to Haiti in a couple weeks), so I can ask her about it then. I could go ahead and get some extra immunizations, although really, it always depends on where you are going...specifically. I really don't think this solution will work though. I think for most immunizations, you need to get them pretty close to when you'll be traveling. It's not necessarily that the immunization is good for 3 months (although some are good for years), but that they just don't know the effects of many of the vaccines on a developing baby. The travel doctor was pretty adamant that you would NOT want to be in your first trimester when you get the vaccines. They advise that you wait three months because they simply don't know the effect. It hasn't been well tested and documented. Due to potential birth defects and such, they advise you wait three months. I can ask about getting them early though.

My bigger concern is that I just see this trip occurring later than I initially thought.

huberama said...

I lurk all the time... I think you should go to Africa. It may truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity. When the time does come for you to be a mom, you will be all the richer in experience and perspective. I truly envy your opportunity!

kel said...

Thanks Hubermama! And nice to meet you! =) Thank you so much for your opinion.

This is just going to be something that I'm going to have to pray about a lot. I would love to know God's opinion for me!

Thank you!

udandi said...

Keeping praying and at the same time I would say go to Africa. I always enjoy hearing stories of where my parents traveled before they had a family - growing up I realized they're more than just mom and dad! good luck!

kel said...

Thanks Udandi! I think it's funny how kids do or don't understand their parent's lives. I've never really thought my parents lives began until they had kids...that period of time just doesn't really exist, even though they were married for six years before having kids.

I love it... "keep praying...and go to Africa." That made me laugh. =)

Thanks for your thoughts!

Keziah said...

I think I would get my vaccines done straight away, go to Africa and try to get pregnant. There is no guarantee of conceiving straight away anyway. I'm a diabetes doctor so I don't do too much about vaccinations, but the recommendations here in Britain would be to avoid vaccinations generally while pregnant, but not to worry about getting pregnant once you have had them done.

kel said...

Thanks Keziah. So fun to wake up this morning to a bunch of comments from you. Hello!!!

There is a three month "wait period" required after any of the vaccines. I'm fully vaccinated...all except for malaria. That one is only done with pills at the time of the trip, so there is no way getting around it. I did find out that there is one type of malaria pill (with more severe side effects) that you can take once you are past the first trimester. =)