Before I was married, I never put an exact number on how many children I would have. I just knew I wanted a lot. Then one evening Joe and I were having a discussion about our future and Joe asked me how many children I wanted. Without hesitation, I blurted out, “seven!” I didn’t know why, It just felt right.
I have never been superstitious except maybe with this one little thing; My lucky number has always been seven. I am the seventh child in my family, born on September 7. When I was just five years old, we were at a local fair. I won the most amazing “lady bug” cake while standing on number seven in a cake walk. The only option for me in any numbers game we played as kids was seven. Even in 2011 when I testified before the British Columbia Supreme Court on polygamy, I was witness number seven!
After we were married, I got pregnant right away. Within four years, I had my first two children—Joseph and Laura. Things were going well for me and I loved being a mother. When I turned 25, I began to get really sick and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I could barely function every day. Having another child was out of the question. I could not get pregnant until I had the diabetes under control. It took me four years, and I was overjoyed when I conceived Shad! I often thought about whether I would really have seven children or if my body could handle the pregnancies with the diabetes.
I worked hard with my diet and exercise to keep my blood sugar in excellent control. After Shad, I had my son Ashton and then my daughter Kyra. Kyra was my fifth child, a beautiful 10-pound baby girl. But Kyra had a heart defect and other health problems and passed away at 5 months old. I wrote about the experience of losing my baby girl in our book, Love Times Three. After Kyra passed, I felt a deep emptiness inside. I wanted another baby, but I was afraid and needed time to heal. A year and a half later, I was ready. Allie was born and helped fill the hole in my heart. Three years later came Vanessa, my seventh! While I was pregnant with her, I knew she would be my last. The diabetes made pregnancies difficult with the constant appointments, monitoring and non-stress tests. It took a toll on my body.
Vanessa is now seven. She and all my children are growing up so quickly. Laura is now a mother herself!
Sometimes I really want another baby. For me, the connection and bond between mother and baby is unmatched. But it is time now for me to focus on other pursuits, my health, and being there for the children I have.
But that doesn’t mean I miss out on the joys that babies bring.
I figure this is one of the great benefits of my lifestyle. With Vicki having another baby and a grandson to enjoy, I get plenty of cuddle time!