Family planning and nutrition… I committed a cardinal sin against the Weston Price guidelines.

Alright, alright. So I admit the title is supposed to be half-heartedly humorous. But believe it or not – these guidelines have become serious rules for people. Just like the ten commandments, if you will.

So my daughter was featured in Wise Traditions Volume 16 Number 1. I squealed with glee and delight as I saw they had put her photo along with a little snippet about her that I sent! She’s in the Healthy Baby gallery! I was so incredibly proud I thought to myself I could have ten more children all in water births I was so proud! I could drink gallons more of raw milk and shovel all the pastured meats I could get and swell up with pride as I looked at my healthy little babies. I love the community of Weston A. Price. I love the people, the families, the farmers. I love them all. I’ve studied the articles, read the books, done my research and followed the bloggers. I love it all! I find the photos of traditional people with nice wide palates and straight teeth along side modern people with more narrow features and crowded mouths. I find it all incredible.

But I committed one of the biggest cardinal sins against Weston Price guidelines. I didn’t wait three years between children to conceive again. I didn’t built up my nutritional stores.

Well, 4 months after my daughter’s birth I found out we were going to be blessed with another baby, according to the guidelines I actually had about 33 more months to wait until attempting to conceiving again. I was so surprised and excited! Then I automatically went into “what nutrition am I missing?! I had a pretty difficult labor! Oh no!” mode.  I admit I also felt a little bit of panic, being that my daughter is so incredibly high needs! I also began sort of dreading the next labor process because of how horribly wrong it went the first time. So I am slowly coming to peace with preparing mentally as well. But deep in my heart I am thankful, so many couples cannot conceive children.

Because I know my body will be going through a lot again – I started immediately:

1.Chugging raw milk like nobody’s business!                                                           2.Taking Dr. Ron’s Best Multi Vitamins                                                                     3.Being more diligent about taking my fermented cod liver oil                                     4. Trying to eat enough during the day (this is still a struggle to find time with a young baby, moms know what I’m talking about!)                                                           5. Making sure I was getting my pastured eggs, meats and bone broths.

You see, let me back up and tell you a little bit about our family. I suppose some might consider us an “unusual, different, or modern” family. But I just consider us family. My husband and I met, we spent three years as close friends, finally we began dating, and then two years later we married. Almost five years to the day we met actually, two days away from it. I was 24 when we got married, my husband 44. We have a 20 year age difference. I know the things most people think when they find this out about us. But… my husband never got married, he’d never even lived with anyone until he met me. He waited and waited for 39 years to finally meet me… then three more to be together! I know deep in my soul that all the state lines we crossed, all the hardships we went through to finally be able to be together, and to marry was God bring us to one another. We are from literally opposite sides of the country- him from Michigan near the Canada line, and me from Texas near the Mexico line. It still amazes me that our paths led to each other and every day I am thankful because the moment we met I felt that we had known each other forever. Co-workers who haven’t met me have a look of shock when my husband mentions anything about my age. But anyone who knows us, could ever doubt the love we have for each other.

We had always wanted kids, although we had never met anyone to whom we’d wanted them with until each other. He’s told me many times that he gave up on even finding the one who he knew he was meant to marry a few years before meeting me. I had always wanted kids, and I had never met someone who it felt right with until I met him. So after our wedding we decided to let whatever happen, happen! I didn’t think it would be only four months after we married that we would learn about our daughter. We had both never gotten close at attempting to try for a baby in all our lives, so for some reason I think we were both concerned about how long it might take. But we were so incredibly grateful and excited. She was due the next October, a month after our first anniversary.

We talked about how many we wanted, and we liked the idea of 3 or 4. I joked that my limit was 5. We thought 3-5 was a good number for us, we wanted to be open to whenever our family felt complete, or if we felt God was sending us a sign that one more was supposed to be here with us we didn’t want to be closed off to it because being so stuck on a specific number. So 3-5 it was agreed. (Although some days I lean towards one more than the other, just like any family, I think that we both want our hearts to be open to God’s plans for us.) He grew up with a family of four children, I grew up in a family of two children. I have one sibling. I always felt a bit lonely growing up, although we were only two years apart. People always think I’m insane when I say I want 3 – 5 children. Like somehow I’m supposed to have a set “for sure” number! They also think I’m crazy that I would even want 5 children to begin with. They say, wow what a handful or… that is so much work! It has become abnormal or even irresponsible to have more than 2 or 3 children. People look at you strange! But I just think of all the love and family time, all the Christmas mornings and all the smiles. Nobody could ever wish to have less siblings or less children once they are born. They become our blessings, friends, our joy. When a family member passes away we will mourn together, when a family member marries we will celebrate together. I cannot imagine giving my children anything more special and meaningful than a sibling for the rest of their lives. Our family is one of the most important things in life. The people who will be there for you, comfort you, love you, forgive you, understand you, truly know you. When our daughter was born, I had a serious emergency and a hysterectomy was mentioned. Thankfully I kept my womb, but it still makes me think that some things are meant to be sometimes and sometimes they aren’t. Although I would have been heartbroken to only have one child, I know God hears our prayers, wants, needs and he listens. Everything happens for a reason in his plans, and sometimes our plans don’t always work out.

When our first baby was born I was 25, my husband 45. As much as us parents hate to admit it, the moment you have a baby all of a sudden it’s like you are watching time pass. The baby grows so fast each day and you realize – wow – this is going quickly, it’s like watching seasons pass all at once! Before a baby there wasn’t much difference from one month to the next, it was occupied with work, holidays, birthdays. But now each month marks so many milestones, developments! It makes you realize how precious it all is, how very dearly you want to savor it and make sure to enjoy it and be there for it. But it has also made me think of age.

As much as I never thought about our age difference before unless it was mentioned, now I have to think about it when we think of our children.

When our first child is 5 years old I will be 30, my husband… 50. When she is 15 I will be 40, my husband… 60. When our daughter is 25 I will be 50, my husband 70.

Trust me. I hate to think about our ages as our children grow. When my husband says “I hope I can someday meet our grandchildren with you,” or “I hope I get to walk her down the aisle when she gets married,” it makes my heart shatter at the thought.

I agree with Weston Price’s guidelines, except for the three year wait in between children and I don’t feel I have to say that I want each child to be healthy and have the best possible start in life, of course. It goes without saying! But I also want them to be able to have their parents for as long as possible. I can see how this would be ideal for parents who are younger and around the same age during childbearing years, if you agree with this guideline more power to you. But this is more to do with God’s plans than with nutritional deficiencies. I pray every day that our second baby is getting all they need and I am much more diligent to remember my prenatal vitamins this time because I worry more thanks to this guideline.

If we followed the guidelines of 3 years in between children here’s what it would look like, I put 5 children on there just to further my point, and yes it is roundabout estimations not factoring in our birthdays:
**please note there may be trouble viewing this on mobile device**

– – – – – – – – – -Mom age:      /  Dad age:- – – – – – – – – –
Child 1 is born.-   25                          45
Child 2 is born.    28                          48
Child 3 is born.    31                          51
Child 4 is born.    34                          54
Child 5 is born.    37                          57

– – – – – – – – – -Mom age:      /  Dad age:- – – – – – – – – –                               
Child 1 is 5.-         30                          50
Child 2 is 5.          33                          53
Child 3 is 5.          36                          56
Child 4 is 5.          39                          59
Child 5 is 5.          42                          62

– – – – – – – – – -Mom age:       / Dad age:- – – – – – – – – – 
Child 1 is 15.-         40                          60
Child 2 is 15.          43                          63
Child 3 is 15.          46                          66
Child 4 is 15.          49                          69
Child 5 is 15.          52                         72

– – – – – – – – – -Mom age:       / Dad age:- – – – – – – – – – 
Child 1 is 25.-         50                          70
Child 2 is 25.          53                          73
Child 3 is 25.          56                          76
Child 4 is 25.          59                          79
Child 5 is 25.          62                          82

So… you get my point here. Now, I want to also briefly talk about the age differences between the children.

Each child would be 3 years apart so the oldest child would be 15 years old when the last baby is born if we had 5. If we had 3 children instead of 5 the oldest would be 9 years old when the last baby is born.

I think closer ages in siblings fosters a close bond, (not that siblings much older cannot have a bond as well), they go through things at around the same time frame and I can’t help but feel a little sad for the fifth child who is getting the older parent’s. (Like I said though nothing wrong with older parent’s but children do take a lot of energy, just saying.) I know that children close in age is also a LOT of hard work though… don’t get me wrong. That part scares me a bit, and I don’t doubt it will be overwhelming.

After our first baby was born, we took a bold approach and decided to stay as healthy as we could, and leave it in the hands of God. I was trying to wait until she was six months of age before conceiving through natural family planning, but God had other plans when I couldn’t find my battery anywhere for my basal body thermometer. (Kind of funny!) But we were very surprised but also so thrilled to be having babies one year apart from one another! We are so excited that they will be so close together, and although it caused some anxiety in the nutritional aspect that is so taxing on a mother and new pregnancy – we were also relieved that it didn’t take a long time to conceive again, I know some couples have trouble after the first one.

The funny thing is I had to go to the gynecologist about a month before we conceived our second baby and I was offered several times a prescription for the birth control pill. It didn’t feel right, and I decided to say no.

I think a little bit bigger gap after our second baby will be a good idea, but I don’t think I’m going to be a control freak about it. I don’t know where everyone gets the idea that they can control everything. (Well, maybe if you are using contraceptives you can ensure whatever spacing your heart desires.) I’m sure I will be a little more prepared with my natural family planning next time. But, children are blessings whenever they come! I don’t think I have the choice… or luxury to prevent a pregnancy for three years though – as I explained above.

Each family has to take into account what is best for them and their situation, and let’s not give a hard time or challenge families who have kids 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 10 years apart. Let’s leave their business in their own home. If we were both younger I would have been more open to waiting three years because there is no doubt in my mind that there are nutritional benefits. Seriously though – let’s also stop treating the guidelines like the ten commandments. I believe in them, but every family is in a different situation. Why do I always find a certain taboo around having 1. children close together or 2. more than 2 children? I think America needs to start loving children again, they are our future!

God bless the children and precious families. Enjoy them no matter how close or how far apart they are. Time goes so fast, and the most difficult challenges won’t last forever!

Most people we tell the news to reply with comments like, “Already?!,” “Wow, so soon?!”, “Don’t you have a TV?”, “Do you know what causes that?”, “You’re going to have your hands full,” or one of my personal favorites, “Hope you don’t lose an arm because you’re going to need both!” To which I usually reply, “Yeah, we don’t waste time.” 🙂

We will have our hands full, and our hearts will be full as well.