When I was little I grew up as an only child. I have two sisters who I love a lot, but I didn't get to grow up with them. I was not completely lonely as I had friends and a lot of cousins to play with, but at the end of the day, when I was at home, I was alone. I was jealous of my cousins who had siblings and the bonds they had with their siblings from growing up together. I always knew that when I had children that's what I wanted for them. That bond. I know that my Mom would have had more children if she'd had the chance but she was not able to have that chance.
So as I grew up I knew that my want of 12 children was probably not all that realistic, and I knew, when my father died that I wanted either my husband or myself to stay at home with our children, to have that security I felt from my father being at home with me.
I met Michael when I was 15 years old. As we got closer, we started talking about what most young people do when they are way too young and dating. We talked about our future, and what we wanted. I told him that I wanted a ton of kids, probably somewhere around 6. He said he wants kids, so that wouldn't be too bad probably.
We didn't purposely have James, but he wasn't exactly an accident either. We were both very much aware that he could happen, and we went into that with our eyes open. He was VERY much wanted. We chose to try and have Jade as close as possible because I was informed it'd be hard for me to get pregnant (ha!).
After Jade we discussed family planning, how we wanted to go about it. We chose to try for Steven as soon as possible after Jade turned 1, and the same thing for Willow. We discussed money issues, our family dynamics, and if this was something we really wanted (to be parents of four). We were both in very much agreement that a large family was something we both wanted.
After Willow I had said no more. Michael (and pretty much everyone else wasn't convinced) that I'd have more. I was not. Michael and I talked about it though, around the time that Willow weaned/turned 2 and decided that we would try and have two more kids, but that we'd wait for me to be pregnant while he was gone, and then he'd be home for the first year of the baby's life. Then try for baby #6 when baby #5 was 1 year old. We got pregnant with Katara and I have since decided that the panic attacks I have at the end and after giving birth are too consuming of me, and we've decided not to have more kids. Not because we don't want more (because we do) but because my mental health is important.
That doesn't mean though that we couldn't provide for more children, that we wouldn't be able to give another child all the love, affection and attention they deserve.