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.
We were in the exact same boat last week and it’s still in the back of my head but our reasoning to end it here (with two boys 2 years apart) is that we are older. I’m 40, husband’s 45. The risk of having a third that may not be healthy would change the family dynamics completely and put so much strain on the marriage as well as the other kids that we decided against it. Plus a girl (which we so desperately want) is not guaranteed. Plus the sleep thing, money, new car, rebuying all the stuff, is too much for us. Good luck with your decision. I know it’s a hard one to make.
Nilong, I completely understand your position. We are young still (30,32) so we have time from that perspective, but I would like my children close in age and I feel the pressure to decide one way or the other pretty quickly. My family’s dynamic at this point is also a huge consideration. Thank you for your comment!
I can totally relate! I daily toss and turn between desperately wanting another child and being done. I understand wanting a girl, as I also have two boys. Good luck with your decision!
Thank you, Mary! You too! Maybe we can have girls together! ;-p
My mom twin is at it again! We are currently in the very same place with the indecision of adding to our family. I caught myself balling like a baby looking a t a friends pics of her girls at Disney looking up so bright eyed at all those princesses. But the thought of actually going through with making he decision to try for another is utterly terrifying. Interested to see a follow up to this post soon! 😉
Hi Ashley! Too funny! lol. I’m glad I’m not alone. Sometimes I think that I might be certifiable with these crazy thoughts running through my head! 😉 At our last Playdate one of the contributors little girls was gazing at Princess Elsa in a way that really almost sealed our fate. It was absolutely adorable. sigh. What to do?! I’m sure I’ll be filling everyone in soon!
We have two little girls, 5 months and 22 months. They are sooo adorable together. We do want more; maybe four is our number? We practice natural family planning and are very open to whatever happens. I do not think I could ever say we are done, but right now we are content. Lol.
Hi Megan! I love the idea of Natural Family Planning. I never thought that the idea of shutting it down would affect me so deeply. Clearly I’m either longing for another child or perhaps it’s just that I need a pedicure buddy when the boys are teenagers.. perhaps a niece? lol. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!
I had 2 little boys 19 months apart and thought we were done having kids. But we got the greatest and best surprise when they were 6 and 4.5 years old…..another baby boy! I have to say that having 2 close together was tough, but having a gap between the 2nd and 3rd is a dream! They adore the baby, (who is now 21 months old, but will always be the baby) and he adores his big brothers! The older 2 are so helpful to me and we all just think that Adam is the most wonderful thing. I felt like I was in survival mode for a while raising my oldest two….my oldest was climbing on the countertops, climbing in the refrigerator, etc. while I was nursing, changing, etc. the baby! Having a gap has made me enjoy our youngest so much more! I treasure every second of everyday with him. And I pay attention to every detail because I know this time is passing quickly! All of my friends who had 3 kids always told me I needed three, that there was something so special about the 3rd child, and boy they were right!!!! So boy or girl, I hope y’all go for #3!
Hi Renee! Thank you for words of encouragement! That is one of my fears. The boys are so close in age (26 months) and they adore each other. This baby would be 5+ years younger than my eldest son and I worry that the relationship between them would leave the (possible) baby alone like an only child. I love hearing that your boys took the baby in! I’ll post an update in the future for sure! 🙂
Hi Jamie, good luck with your decision. In my opinion, so long as you have love to give, adding another child is not the wrong decision. In my family’s case, we’re done at 2. One girl (3 1/2) who loves Star Wars and princesses and comic books, and one boy (11 months) who so far loves baby dolls and transformers. And it’s pretty impossible for me to keep up with them both. I know we’re done because of our lifestyle not being able to afford another child, but before I got pregnant with my second, I was certain I would want 10. For me, with where I’m at now, I know I couldn’t do justice to a third child, but I know so many people who can.
Hi Kristie. You’re right. I often think that I may regret not having a third child someday, but I’ll never regret having another child. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
I have three, two girls and a boy. 16, 11, and 5. The age gap makes them get along better. The baby is spoiled rotten and not at all left out. I would have one more if I could but my body disagrees and shut that down a year ago. I’m still sad about it, especially knowing that this is our last time in Pre-k, our last time teaching our kid to ride a bike, etc. it’s very final once it’s medically final. I say go for it!
I have other insane reasons for having more than two kids but I will spare you from them 🙂
Liese, That’s great to know. It seems that many people share your experience in that the baby is not left out. It makes me feel better to at least have one of my fears assuaged! Thank you for sharing!
Hey Jamie! I understand COMPLETELY how you feel! I have two boys who are two years apart, and I could not get the idea of a third child out of my head! We were surprised last year that I was expecting AGAIN!!!! And, I knew this will be last pregnancy; I have a special-needs child already, and I knew this was it! Last June, lo and behold, ultrasound looked different than years past- we had a girl! So, my kids are Jack (4), John (2), and Julia (4 months!) I know the feeling!
Heather! How exciting. That’s great. Enjoy them! What a blessing! Thank you for sharing!
I know exactly how you feel! My boys are 3 and 20 months (18 months apart in age). But before my husband and I got married, we always felt that 3 was our number, no matter the gender. My youngest son will be 2 in June so we had the conversation last month about #3. Since we are 30and 35, we didn’t want to wait too much longer and so decided to just go for it! I found out yesterday that we’re pregnant! I’ve had several moments of fear and freak-outs, but there is such an overwhelming wave of love and joy that fills me every time I think of the sweet new bundle of joy coming our way. My Granny, who is a mother to 8 children and now has over 55 grand/great-grandchildren has a saying that sticks to me like glue….”When you’re in the dance, you just dance it”! I’ve applied that to EVERY area of my life! No matter what I’m doing, I’m committed 150% and it will be the BEST dance I’ve ever danced! Good luck and live with no regrets!
OMG! Congratulations! Such great news. Your Grandmother shares sound advice. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that not everything requires a grand inquisition. I’m especially bad at that! I feel the need to over think everything! See above! 😉 Thank you for sharing with us!
Well we were done at two but, as my OB says, someone has to be that lucky 1%. So, this December we were blessed with a THIRD BOY when our first two were 4 and 2.5. The older two are so close and have remained close with the arrival of new baby brother.
Aside from the normal newborn headaches, the added financial burden, and, well, giving up my body for almost two years (pregnancy and nursing), adding that third kiddo to our family has been such a blessing.
And on a personal note, our newest addition has been sort of like a mulligan for me. My middle child was a very tough infant with severe colic. Although, it should go without saying that I love him no less, he tainted the whole newborn phase for me. Our youngest has a lovely disposition and has allowed me to relish in the newborn stage. And for that I am very grateful.