When my husband and I were talking about how many kids we wanted, he was adamant that one was enough (he’s an only child), while I thought two was the magic number (as the youngest of three who always had to sit in the middle with her feet on the hump). Of course, that was all a moot point after my first ultrasound, but after the boys were born, I was surprised to find myself wanting another.
Four kids? Was I nuts? That’s drifting into Duggar territory. I mean, isn’t three enough? As it is, our house is bursting at the seams, never mind what it’s going to look like when three teenage boys are stomping around it.
But…I only got to be pregnant once. And it was stressful, and uncomfortable, and was seven weeks shorter than normal. I felt short-changed, frankly. And triplet newbornhood was not conducive to nursing, cloth diapering, or cool strollers (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing!) I just wanted to experience a normal, low-risk pregnancy leading to a normal, singleton newborn experience. Maybe a girl?
And then the boys hit the challenging age of 15 months. And then 18 months. Then two years. Then two and a half. They were becoming ever-so-slightly more self-sufficient. We took away the binkies. They were sleeping great. Did I really want to introduce a newborn? Start all over?
When they hit three, we potty-trained them and they moved out of their cribs into toddler beds. And that’s when I realized it was gone. My baby fever had disappeared. I had no desire for a newborn anymore. The thought of sleep deprivation with three preschoolers did not seem very fun. Now I know why people have their kids close together. Most people say a singleton after triplets is a walk in the park, but I suspect that’s not always the case.
Don’t get me wrong; I love newborns. I adore them. But I also love giving them back. Three kids is the perfect number for us. That number is different for everyone. Maybe, like in the case of my best friend, it’s zero. Or one or two. Maybe it’s five or six. Who am I to judge?
I consider myself lucky that I was able to come to that realization pretty easily. I know many friends who struggle with the decision. They long for more children, but they can’t afford another, or maybe they’re dealing with fertility issues. Or maybe they had what they considered the perfect size family, and along came a surprise. Goodness knows, you can make all the plans in the world, but life sure does like to throw curveballs!