First, a little background: I have two boys, two years apart, and of course I love them dearly. I love their age gap, they’re best friends (for the most part), and until very recently, I really thought that our family was complete. Having another child at this point seems like starting all over again, an idea which, frankly, didn’t appeal to me. Or so I thought. Then a pregnant friend posted something one would think would be relatively innocuous, a picture of her gender reveal cake, and out of nowhere my ovaries decided that they wanted to start acting up! The pang of wanting more children – specifically, a little girl – hit me. Hard. Damnit!
In the weeks that followed, I did what I could to stuff the feeling down. I ignored it, tried to channel the energy elsewhere. I even tried to bring the issue to a head by talking to my husband about a vasectomy, so that these feelings couldn’t keep creeping back in. But as we discussed our options, I couldn’t keep the feeling away, and as I confronted the potential finality, I literally broke down into a waterfall of tears that I couldn’t control. My poor husband. He really thought this was a safe convo, as indeed, it had been only weeks ago! We were both surprised by my reaction. Damn these hormones. They make an otherwise logical and sane person (or so I like to think) absolutely crazy! I blame that picture. Why oh, why, did I look at that picture?
Now my husband and I are in this weird place trying to decide what we’re going to do. Obviously there are pros and cons on both sides. But the decision is proving to be a tough one. Is there any way to know when your family is complete? How do you make the final choice to cut the option off, literally? Before you get too excited, there is no conclusion to this post. I still don’t have a clue as to what we’re going to do! Here are my thoughts. Perhaps you can help. Seriously (comments below).
Pro: I still want to try for a girl!
Con: I don’t want to give up the sleep that I only recently re-discovered
Con: I’m just getting my body back into shape
Con: My boys are
self sufficient becoming self sufficient
Point of Concern: What would having another child do to their relationship? Would a new baby be the outsider?
I could go on and on forever. The point is that there are so many considerations and, truth be told, we’ve got it pretty good right now. Why mess with success, right? So how do you get this feeling of wanting another to go away? Even my husband has confessed that the idea of another child doesn’t terrify him (that’s HUGE for him). So how do you make a decision that will forever change everything? Another child means a bigger house, another tuition, a bigger car, more expensive vacations and all new baby stuff because I donated everything thinking we were done. Yet the biggest Pro of all… It’s another precious child! Boy or Girl (hoping girl) … it’s another member to our family. I know that I sound a mess. I am.
Hi Kelly! WOW! One of our contributors shares your story! I guess it’s not that uncommon.
I can understand feeling a loss with a sick newborn. My first son had a handful of minor problems that really made me the over-worryer that I am today. My second son was a breeze comparatively. I’m so happy for your family and your happy surprise!
Thank you for sharing!
Jamie – great post! You know my family, but for those who don’t, we had boys 25 months apart and then had a girl 20 months later. 3, ages 3 and under for a few months. Chaos! In the back of my head, I came from a family with 3 kids and always wanted 3. But before we tried for #3, I still remember a day watching the 2 boys play with cousins and just thinking, our family isn’t complete. It’s hard to explain, but it was just a feeling I had.
My husband took some convincing, and decided 3 would be it, no matter what we had. When I “got my girl”, we were both excited (he probably more so, because he knew I wouldn’t convince him to try for #4 just to get a girl!). We jointly made the decision to be done while I was still pregnant, and he went to have the physical snipping done when she was a month old (we wanted to take advantage of the medical deductible before year end – lol!). Now, our “baby” is almost 3.5. And I’ve said for the past year or so that having a fourth would have been so easy after having 3. But we’ve “closed the factory” so it doesn’t seem like that will happen. (Don’t tell my husband that I’ve been keeping adoption as an option in the back of my mind!)
Of course, now that we are a family of 5, there are things like hotel rooms at Disney, having one kid with no lap to sit on, finding a table at a restaurant, etc. that will never be “fair”. But we can also still fit in a regular sedan, everyone still has a hand to hold, and tuition discounts – cha ching! But the really amazing thing in my opinion is watching them all play together. The boys used to play together all the time, but watching them branch out and play with their sister is awesome. Hearing all 3 laugh and play together is the best thing ever. And not to say that wouldn’t happen if I just had 2, or if we had 4, but for us, 3 is perfect.
I wish you luck in your decision. It’s one that only you and your husband can make though. You are still young, and your kids would still be close together if you decide to go for #3. But the boys will be happy if it’s just the two of them too! (And I’ll send you a private message to let you know how we “got a girl” for #3, too!) 😉
Sara! You’re like superwoman! I don’t know how you do it all! I’d love to hear your strategy for girl making!
It’s funny because my husband would be the same way… elated for a girl because it would mean no harassment for #4! YIKES!
Thank you for your advice. It really helps to hear others’ stories. We are close to our decision… I think! 😉
I’ll keep my eye out for your girl success story!
All 3 of ours were complete surprises (we thought we would not be able to have ANY; we were married for 10 years before #1 came!)…..so, our perspective is unique I think. We feel so lucky, so blessed. The declaration of “being done” has never felt like it was ours. Having said that, we are cautious and at the same time always open to a bigger plan beyond our understanding =).
There is NOTHING like baby #3…..they are SO much fun. You know exactly what to do, you don’t sweat every small detail, you are confident and know that “this too shall pass”. The best part? Seeing the love of siblings grow and a hubs that sees it as an “old hat” too!
Yes, it is crazy and I know that one day we will look back and see remember how great the craziness was…!!!
We have LOVED it. I say go for it =) Good luck!
I am so happy for your family. I’ve thought all of these thoughts at some point. I feel weird taking my husband to have a permanent alteration to his anatomy without first allowing God the chance to bless us with another if that is his plan.
I’m also excited to have a third baby because I am so much more confident as a mother. We’ll see!
Thank you for your advice!
I had my youngest (a surprise) when my big ones were 9 and 12. I was 43. Now that I have her, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Yes, if I didn’t have her I’d be “done”; my big ones are 24 and 21 and I’m looking at high schools. But when I think of the joy she added to our family, there is no way I could be sorry.