This uterus is closed for business

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.

Do I really want to go through this age again?
Do I really want to go through this age again?

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.

Oh, come on, just one more?
Oh, come on, just one more?

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!

Are you dealing with baby fever? What do you think is the perfect family size for you?

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My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)

7 COMMENTS

  1. My husband and I had four in less than three years, and I love that we had them all so close together! Most people think we’re just crazy… Like you mentioned, I couldn’t imagine starting ‘fresh’ with a newborn once they are all older and out of that phase… We’ve just lived in baby-mode for three years. After twins, the youngest has been a breeze! I am ‘done’ with having babies, but my husband still wants to keep the options open a few years down the road – we’re both still under 30. We also believe that you will never ‘regret’ having the children you do have, but you may later regret not having more… Every family and situation is different! For us, the financial aspect of having more babies is really the only limiting factor – I would love more if we didn’t need to afford feeding and dressing all of them!

  2. As a mom of triplets, I too agree that THREE is the magic number. But I must admit that on their birthday, not one, but THREE different physicians/hospital personnel asked me if I was having my tubes tied while they we’re in there doing the c-section to deliver my triplets. I almost shouted my answer the third time…..”NO!” That day. Their birthday. It would not be the day for me to decide whether my uterus was closed for business. I needed to know they were “safe” and I was full of so many hormones and babies that I couldn’t think clearly. They probably knew what was best, but I insisted on making that decision later. Once I was home with three newborns and all of us struggled to survive that first year, I could then clearly see why these physicians offered it three times. But it is truly one of those decisions that must be made by each woman and her spouse when they are ready. Great article!

  3. I’ve raised two children all the way through – my daughter turned 18 last week and my son is 15.

    Shortly after the birth of my son I got my tubes tied. I had a girl and I had a boy. The perfect set. I never thought I would want more than that.

    Then, when my son was about a year old, my marriage ended. A few years later I met my current husband who had never been married and had no children.

    For the past 12 years we have talked about wanting one together and it has been a very emotional journey wanting to make him a father but not being able to. He has been an incredible step-father to my children, but it’s not the same as having your own biological child.
    Well in April, we decided to undergo the procedure to have my tubes untied and at least give ourselves a chance at getting pregnant. It worked! I got pregnant in less than a month on the first try! We are expecting a baby girl in January!

    Starting over with a newborn is scary, but also really exciting. I was starting to get that empty nest syndrome with my daughter graduating high school this year and heading off to college.
    I miss when they were little. Halloween was no longer fun and Christmas morning isn’t what it used to be either. Of course I had other wonderful things to look forward to, but even so….having to let go of your children as they spread their wings and fly is one of life’s most difficult transitions.

    I think the baby is going to make that a lot easier and I’m really excited about being able to do it all over again. And my older kids couldn’t be more excited. My daughter has decided to stay at home and commute to Baton Rouge for college so she can help with the baby. I couldn’t be happier about having her at home a little longer. 

    So, yeah…I thought this uterus was closed for business too, but like you said – you never know what life will throw at you.

  4. I have a 5-year-old girl in kindergarten and I thinking that it was a good time to get pregnant again because I wanted two kids but I didn’t want them super close together. Guess what? I am pregnant with two twin girls now due on xmas eve. I was majorly freaked out when I found out it was twins because I wasn’t all prepared for that news, I am more excited now about it, but I am still scared and stressed about the extra responsibility and the extra time I’ll spend breastfeeding them. My husband still wants a son, but doesn’t blame me for having two girl twins because he is the one whom provided the sex chromazone(sp). I doubt I will try again though.

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