Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One More

For the past 11 days, I have been a mother to four instead of the usual three. My one and a half year old niece stayed with us while her parents were away. This is why all of our meals last week were pulled from the freezer, why all my posts from last week were pre-written and why we took an early Spring break from school.

Her stay went really well. She is such a sweet little girl and took this visit to her Auntie's in stride. She slept beautifully, ate well, played hard and by the end of the stay had graduated to fully-accepted status as part of our family by Sam and Sadie. They were treating each other like real siblings- hugging one moment and getting annoyed with each other the next.

I was curious to see if this additional (albeit temporary) member of our family would reveal something to me about a sense I have been having. You see, since Miriam (now 8 months old) was about two months old, I have been experiencing something new.

When the three kids and I were in a room together, I would get this strong sense/feeling that there was another child (under my care) somewhere else, but not with us. Somewhere else in the house. Now, don't get freaked out. I'm not freaked out. Honest.

Does it ever happen to you that when, maybe, you lay a child down for a nap and a few minutes later you find your eyes scanning to locate their whereabouts only to remember that you put them down for a nap? That's the same exact sensation that I have been having except there is no realization of where the missing child is. I've had this feeling several times a week. For the last six months.

At first I thought it was just me getting used to and adjusting to having a third after only having two children for three years- and this could very well be what this is. I thought this feeling/sense would lessen with time in it's strength and frequency, but it has not.

Here is where my niece comes in. I thought that maybe having her here would dispel the sensation, seeing as I would have my "fourth" to look after, but it didn't. Several times during her stay, I'd get a quick visual of kids (making sure no one was where they shouldn't be or doing anything they shouldn't be doing) and sense (it's the best word I can come up with) that one was missing. Maybe down for a nap. Maybe upstairs with Jamey. I don't know.

What I do know is that I have never experienced this before. Not after Sam was born. Not after Sadie. It doesn't scare me. It usually doesn't make me sad. When it does make me sad, I'm not sure if I'm sad because I wish we could have more children (we won't) or because there is this perceived child out there that is supposed to be with me. This sense-of-child is of no particular age except young and I never have/get a mental image of what they look like. It's just a sense.

Where does this leave me? In prayer. I believe it very well could be my mind still adjusting to keeping track of three children versus two. Psychologist friends out there, care to weigh in on my state of mind or don't I want to know?

Whatever it means or doesn't mean, for the time being I will just continue to be curious until this sense-of-child fades away... or doesn't. And, I'll pray that if this is some sort of message from God or my subconscious, that it will work itself out in time.

With my niece gone home, I'm back to three. Or is it four? Pin It


  1. I see everything in life as "of God...or NOT.". From a spiritual perspective...I wonder if God isn't giving you a sense of your missing child in the form of foster care...or adoption? That maybe that fourth child is yet to come?

  2. How old is your house and do you only have this feeling when you are AT HOME? Or do you get this feeling when you are at a store or somewhere else?

  3. Could you perhaps be thinking of adopting #4?

  4. My mom used to say that she always felt like she was missing a child---she miscarried twice and attributed it to that, I think.

  5. Is it possible that there is another child waiting to come into your family? That you sense that he or she is waiting to be born? I have struggled with the same thing in a different way. I always felt that I would have a girl (I come from a long line of strong matriarchs :). I didn't find out about the gender of my kids, and with each of my four boys I thought "she" was coming, but she never did. It took me almost a year after my last was born to let the idea (that I am the last girl in my family) settle in. I don't understand why I felt so strongly that she would come and yet she didn't but I feel peaceful about it now (maybe my granddaughter will take up the torch!). I had two early 2nd trimester miscarriages and often wonder if she came but couldn't stay. It is a question that I hope to someday ask in heaven! If you are patient, I think you will know what to do as time passes. :)

  6. This is interesting ~ Before having our fourth child (and I wasn't even pregnant), I would occasionally set the table for six ~ we were a family of five. No one was expected for dinner...I put it down to the longing in me for another baby. I figure it was the missing child that I did eventually have. I NEVER accidentally set the table for seven now! ;-)

  7. To answer some of your questions...

    ~ Yes, our house is very old and I never get this feeling anywhere but at home, yet I don't believe in ghosts. Angels and demons, yes. Ghosts, no.

    ~ I think I always thought we would have a lot of kids and whether I am missing the two I lost, am lamenting that there will be no more or am longing to foster or adopt one day, I am not sure. It could be a combination of all the above.

    Thanks for your stories and encouragement. If it goes away, I'll let you know and if it strengthens, well, then Jamey and I will have to sit down for a long talk.

  8. I totally trust this sense that you are having...

    What it means - who knows... other than Grace is knocking at the door and asking you to answer.

    Blessings on you as you live with the Mystery - allow the Divine to embrace you - and listen to the whisper...

    I get the sense that something bigger than you and Jamey is coming your way.

    With anticipation and surrender,


  9. I can 'relate' to this. I've never 'had' children, adopted, yes, so it always seems that a couple that didn't end up with us, are out there. I don't think I'll ever meet up with them. But right now, I'm feeling an empty spot in our tribe. I think I picture or feel something because I have to visualize it, very strongly to 'make' it happen. I have to imagine what the child will mean to our family. And what we will mean to them.
    Perhaps another will come for you another way, but I think as our lives evolve into what they do, images of or the sense of something as profound as another child are completely possible.

  10. I had several miscarriages and a still birth. Can't ever say that I felt this feeling you are experiencing. I like your relaxed attitude. Some day you may know the meaning of it.

    Aunt V.

  11. Maybe you're just anxiously awaiting the new arrivals!

  12. just wanted to let you know, i totally know that feeling. i had a picture of my husband and three children taken on a beach vacation 3 years ago. when i looked at the picture i had the strongest sense that someone was missing. we had many, many discussions on adding a 4th or not and i could never shake the feeling that we were missing someone. number 4 is now 14 months and i know we're all here. he is exactly who i knew he would be and it feels so complete to have him here. much peace as you find your answer.

  13. I know this is a late comment, but you just linked this post so I had to take a look. I totally know what you are talking about! Sometimes I get the feeling that there is another baby in the other room or down for a nap, and I have to literally look at my kids and puppy and husband to realize that, no, we are all in the same room. I have always attributed it to the fact that we want one more baby, but maybe your "sense" is leading you in another direction? I know that I have been feeling strongly lately about wanting to support a child financially through a Christian organization. May God bless you and reveal His will for your family in His perfect timing!


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails