Yea it just might be us three.


July 10, 2020

Before I get started on this post I want to preface it by saying it does not bother me at all when people ask me if we are going to have another child. I choose to look at it from the standpoint people must think we’re doing a pretty good job with Otto that we should have more. I’m writing this from the perspective of when we answer maybe not. We sometimes get one of the following responses:

don’t you want to have friends for Otto?
don’t you want to experience a normal pregnancy?
what if something happens to Otto then you have no kids?
what if something happens to you and Joe then Otto has nobody?
are you worried that he’ll grow up anti social and/or spoiled?
or Oh, interesting.

Some of these responses are kinda dark and  are things we’ve considered and thought about. I don’t think any of the responses are meant in ill will just curiosity.  At the end of the day whatever direction we choose to go things are going to be fine. If something happens to Joe and I, Otto has wonderful extended family and cousins. We are doing our best to raise him to be a good and loving human being. I hope he has friends other than a potential sibling. (Don’t get me wrong love my siblings but I have additional friends). There is just a lot of things to consider and weigh out with having a second child.

Why am I sharing something so personal? Well. I’ve kind of chosen this route and as Otto gets to his third birthday it’s typically the time people start thinking about round two. These are my personal feelings based on my personal experiences. If I’m weighing and worrying and considering these options maybe someone else out there is too?


Red Jumpsuit Poppy Field

My main struggle with considering a second child is two fold (and I write this knowing full well that someday the internet will still exist and potential children will be able to read this).

nothing is guaranteed. After we had our  miscarriage with our first pregnancy I thought for sure we would have a seamless go at round two.  We learned the harsh lesson that nothing “normal” is ever guaranteed. I know right off the bat that if we choose to have another child that we will (gratefully) have more appointments and monitoring just based on our history.

We met with a genetics doctor yesterday to grasp a bit more understanding on Otto’s condition. We want to know more. What are our chances of a second child having a heart defect or birth defect in general. Is this something that could potentially be prevalent in Otto’s future children. We are currently weighing the benefits of genetic tests which could give us vague answers on probability. We learned yesterday that test or no test anyone who has a child with a heart defect has an increased chance of 5-10% which anyone has a 2 % chance in general. That led to an interesting dinner conversation of what percentage do we draw the line.

I want to clarify this point. I love Otto with all my heart, soul and fiber of my being. Pending second child, defects or no I would love just as much.

Having a child with extra medical needs is a lot of work. It takes a lot to not only manage prescriptions, appointments, weight, illness etc it’s a lot of work to check your emotions. It’s easy to get angry at the world sometimes. It’s easy to feel spite. It’s hard to find someone willing to help you out and feel comfortable with meds, tubes and syringes. It’s hard to find a break. It’s hard to maintain a healthy marriage. It’s hard. It’s just really hard.

The thought of having a second child with a medical issue is really really really scary.

We know we are strong enough but the question is do we want to be.

I’m nervous writing this because I know I am opening myself to criticism but these thoughts have been weighing on me. I feel like a lot of parents and especially women find themselves in this thought pattern. Don’t get me wrong Joe is an excellent partner but when Otto is sick he wants his mama. A second child would mean more potential short and long term changes in my career. What would that look like? I like things the way they are (under normal circumstances). I don’t like change. (does anyone?)

Fennville Michigan Poppy Field

Life is (all things considered) really good right now. We are navigating our way through this crazy pandemic and Otto is in good stable health. We are 9 months in between appointments now. We are talking surgery in years not months. Things finally feel safe. We feel we can rest our heads for a bit. Do we want to jump in again and add a kid to the mix?

Medical issues and probabilities aside things are just finally hitting a grove. Do we want to shake things up again? These are the conversations that are taking place around our table deep into the night hours.

It’s a lot to consider and with everything comes prayerful consideration. We know that no matter what route is chosen we will all be ok.

If you find yourself in this life circumstance it’s ok to be really really confused. It’s really alright to now know what you want out of life. I was never one growing up that knew exactly how many kids I wanted, where I wanted to live, what I wanted to be.

Ok that is partly true, I wanted to be a designer living in Manhattan. Jokes on me, I live on a 12 acre farm in Allegan raising sheep, chickens and a toddler.

I’m sharing this sensitive opinion because if you feel a bit guilty (like I do) for having the thoughts of not knowing what your supposed to do, the right thing for you will come about. And whatever choice anyone makes to have or adopt 10 kids or 1 kid or no children it’s all the right choice because it’s the one you made.

Our next step is to wait and hear back what our insurance covers in terms of genetic testing. We both have a budget in mind for what we are willing to spend in the name of research. Side note: if I was focused enough to get involved in the medical industry, I would for sure choose genetics. It is SO interesting.

Thank you for being on this journey with us. Your support all along the way is so appreciated. Love to you all.


Joe and Abby

And otto (who’s vote is “My Toys”)


Fennville Michigan Poppy Field Gigi Pip Straw Hat Poppy Field Fennville Michigan Gigi Pip Straw Hat Poppy Field Fennville Michigan Great Places to Take Photos

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  1. Karan says:

    I love your honesty… this is your life and your truth. You’re an amazing mother. Xxx

  2. Darleene says:

    As I watch and read your journeys I am of course wondering those thoughts for you but these are your and Joe’s decision to make. Just know this little old from Ohio has you and Otto in our prayers. Just enjoy life and be happy.

  3. Gwen says:

    You do what’s right for you and Joe, period! It’s your life but more importantly, your hearts. Why people think they need to ask you this very personal question, I don’t understand. Have one, have 19. (Think The Dugger Family) have none, you do you❤️ Peace and love
    P.S, I do love sweet animal loving Otto. You’ve done good Mama.

  4. Vicki says:

    Yes: What Darleene said – any decision regarding future kiddos is strictly between you & Joe. You guys have such a great thing going & us followers love your posts! You be you, Abby!

  5. Melani says:

    Whatever you chose will be the right choice. ❤️

  6. Stacey says:

    I have followed you from shortly before Otto was born. Thank you for being so open and honest. You are right many of us wondered but didn’t ask. It’s great that you shared for those who might be going through the same questions. Also you know your limits as a family and you have to follow your heart. The genetic information that you use to make your decision will be interesting and I hope you continue to share.

  7. maribeth says:

    Very interesting topic and thank you for sharing your story.
    I do not have kids, but I have the same questions in my head. I would feel guilty, but more on, I don’t want the child to suffer so much pain by bringing the child into this world.
    But, what is meant to happen will happen. Whatever is out there for me, my husband and our future kid/kids, Im thankful.

  8. Jacqui says:

    I have to admit I have found myself wondering if you planned to have more children. And I fully understand all of your mixed feelings. It’s hard work to raise children, and you certainly had extra pressure with medical issues. I will say, however, that I think you and Joe should have ten Otto’s! He is the dearest child, and your love and devotion to him is so obvious ❤️ Whatever you decide, thank you for sharing your life with all of us. Your energy and zest for motherhood, gardening, cooking, antiquing and life in general leaves me wondering how you do it all. You make it look easy sweet girl, and I know that isn’t always the case. But I sure enjoy sharing the “ride”.

  9. Morgan says:

    I found that from the time my daughter was roughly 1.5-2, we got the “when are you going to have another?” question from so many people. And it took me until she was three to feel solidly ready to consider having another baby. There was a time where I, too, thought she might be an only child. And that’s fine!
    We did end up having another baby, and man…I called him a Dangerous Baby from day one. He was a preemie, but he was also the kind of baby that makes you want more babies. Immediately. That Dangerous Baby is 3.5 now, and is still our baby. While I am open to a third, my husband is less so…and we’re not gettin’ any younger! So, it seems unlikely. And oh yeah – even when you have a second baby people still ask if you’re going to ‘try for one more’. 🙂
    Otto IS awesome, and you ARE doing a great job, at least in this stranger’s opinion.

  10. Grace says:

    Hope your heart finds it’s way ❤️

  11. Sarah says:

    You are Joe are wonderful parents! My whole family has fallen in love with Otto! Watching you walking through his health issues brought back so many memories of walking in your shoes. Whatever path you choose will be just right! God never pushes our hearts the wrong way!

  12. Jennifer says:

    When ever in doubt look up and he will guide you. Which ever path comes about you both will handle it with grace and love❤

  13. Jennifer says:

    You and Joe are amazing parents! Otto is the best! Thank you for always being so honest. Parenthood is hard no matter what. ♥️♥️♥️

  14. Kelly Roberts says:

    My family has grown used to me coming to them to show “what Otto is doing” or look at this cute picture of Otto! Having no grands, he is a joy to watch grow up, and this time you have had at home with him is super awesome!. That being said, no matter your choice it will be perfect in it’s own way.. y’all are terrific parents!! Thank you sharing your life with us.

  15. Beth Bricker says:

    The decision of a second child is for you and Joe only. No one has a right to even tell you “oh Otto will be alone yada, yada.” I have one son, And we were very lucky God graced us with him.. He is amazing and we could give him a great childhood and lots of attention because he was an only child. Everyone is different. He and his wife have no children. Do I wish I had grandchildren, yes but that’s their decision and it doesn’t make me wish I had, had another child for an opportunity to have grandchildren. I was told that I may not be able to have children so I was happy when I got pregnant. He was born healthy but does have seizures. Many things come in to play when deciding about future children. I wish people wouldn’t ask “when are you having more kids?” Or other “well meaning” comments. You are doing a great job!

  16. Paige says:

    Thanks for sharing your story ♥️ I have struggled with this as well and it is refreshing to hear your thoughts, especially when most of the comments from others are the same as you mentioned. You will make the best decision for your family and it will be perfect ♥️

  17. Sarah says:

    I love you & your sweet family. Big questions & even bigger decisions, but they are yours & Joe’s & not for any one else to decide. I have watched precious Otto grow & thrive throughout this journey since you announced his pending arrival. You & Joe have to do whatever it is that is good for the three of you. I am interested in the genetics testing, but I always feel in the end it falls to God’s hands what he chooses to give you. I feel like there are always possibilities…I had a friend with the same disease & level of disease as I had, she had surgery to remove 9/10ths of her ovaries to deal with the pain. I chose the less invasive way , which left both my ovaries intactas we wanted kids. She got pregnant first go & after 5 miscarriages I never did. Idk if I’ll ever know if I did the right thing. I have 4 beautiful step kids now & she has a beautiful daughter. These are tough decisions my sweet friend. I admire you whatever choice you& Joe make. Otto is such a happy, beautiful boy& he will be happy either way. Love & prayers to you all

  18. Lena says:

    I think it is wonderful what you are writing and how you are looking at this from so many angles. It shows that there is a spot in your heart that thinks about the second child and that’s just what probably most parents to one child do. Follow your heart and keep out the sound of others. You know , after we had our second child (during which pregnancy I had severe health issues almost to the point of dying from them) we said it’s just too much risk to have another – even though we have always wanted at least three children or more. We did the same like you. Evaluated. Talked and set limits. Went for more opinions.after all I wanted to see my kids grow up and not die at the age of 34. still, we got the clear to go .
    I was always leaning towards no however. And I really felt it. Then one day just like that someone with a baby walked past me. Don’t know what that particular moment did to me, maybe the night or the hormones or I don’t know but it hit me then. My heart knew the answer. I turned to my husband and said I want another child.

    And this child is bound to be born any day now:) I am fine the baby is fine so far everything looks great and our two sons are looking forward to that person that was missing in our family so far.

    I wish for you that you can make either decision based on your hearts voice shouting at you like it shouted at me that night. And I hope you are eternally happy happy with whatever your heart is shouting .


  19. Liz says:

    Thanks for sharing this with all of us!! I have loved following your beautiful family. And it’s YOUR family. None of us have any right to judge what is best for YOUR family.
    As a Type 1 Diabetic for over 50 years, I know how hard a decision it was for my husband and I. We chose adoption, and God graved us with an amazing son(25 )!!
    As we always say”You do you “!!!!
    Blessings to you and your beautiful family!! ❤️❤️❤️

  20. Jenn says:

    It’s so nice to read this! My husband and I decided not to try to have kids, partly because we were almost in our mid-30’s when we got married, partly because of some family history, partly because we love the flexibility we have w/o kids, partly because I overly(?) worry about the environment etc, and fortunately we have great family/friends who we can get our ‘kid fix’ from.
    We are old enough now that people don’t ask if we want to have kids, but in conversation with strangers, one of the first things we’re always asked is ‘Do you have kids?’. When we simply say ‘No’, most are at a loss for words, as if that’s not plausible. I don’t offer explanations/justifications anymore. I simply move the conversation along with a ‘So how about that weather we’re having??’

  21. Kirsten Juenke says:

    Awwww, you just keep doing you. You guys are a sweet, beautiful family. Come what may, you’ll be fine. I have 2 kids, almost exactly 9 years apart and oh the comments I’ve had over the years “hmmm- that’s quite a spread”, to “what the heck were you thinking?” Here’s the thing: I wish there was one in the middle of my two, but it just didn’t turn out that way. For many reasons. And I’ve been to a few funerals for brand new babies, and known couples whose marriages couldn’t stand up to medical issues in their kids. I’m grateful for my kids, and I know you’re grateful for Otto. That’s that.

  22. Jo says:

    You own everyone nothing. This is your and Joe’s decision and no one else’s. What you decide is strictly up to you and no one should ever offer criticism or anything – certainly no negative comments ever. You two need to do whatever you feel best with. I have one daughter with 3, one with 1 and one with none. The one with none honestly doesn’t want any. They love the way their life is without kids. Do I wish they would have had one. Yep. Every mother wishes their kids would provide her with grandkids. But it’s their life, their choice and I’m fine with it, as are they. Don’t you worry about anything other than you and Joe in this decision and whatever the outcome, that’s just find.

  23. Heather @ Oldoakcottage says:

    I relate to so much of this. We are constantly asked “when’s number two coming along?” Also all of those but he needs a sibling, he’s going to be spoiled, don’t you want him to have a friend?

    Right now we are in such a groove, I don’t really get too excited for a reset to start all over! I wanted my guy with all of my being when we got pregnant. I want to make sure we have that feeling again before we try for another child.

    I’m also scared of child birth to be honest, having a c-section really scared me! I can’t imagine throwing in the possibilities and what you have been through with sweet Otto too. Many things to think about! And staying in this sweet spot with a party of three is perfect the way it is too!

    Thank you for sharing! <3

  24. Sandy says:

    I am now in my 60’s-and had 3 boys-all whom I couldn’t love more, but also all that have given me such angst at times. They all came with their own set of challenges.
    If I could tell my younger self-either go all in and have 4 -or stop at 1. The stopping at 1 would be the best option.
    I worked full time, challenging with 3 boys. I would have done so many things differently, but I was a young Mom and did my best, and they are so loved.
    And then we lost our oldest boy. and people actually said” well you have 2 other boys still”…people don’t mean to be insensitive , they just don’t know what to say to a grieving Mom.
    We just built a tiny house in our backyard, and named it “Three Brothers Lodge”. After the Three brothers Rock in Yosemite that we always said was our rock. My late sons ashes are resting in Yosemite, and this tiny house is meant as a refuge for anyone that ever needs a safe place.
    The reason for this message-you will never know if you made the right decision-you just make it based on what you know now and where life leads. There is always a consequence to any decision -you just live with the one you make. And either decision is ok. We can’t predict the future, we can only live our best lives right now. So sit a spell-and let life give you the answer…much love to you and your lovely prefect family.

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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