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What made you decide how many children to have?


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Just curious as to how others have decided how many children to have -

 

How did you decide when to stop, when to keep going, or was the decision simply out of your control, etc.?

 

Would love to hear your stories!

 

(we're in the middle of trying to figure out what's next as far as childbearing (or not) goes)

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:grouphug: It was a hard decision (for me, anyway). When we first met, DH was of the "as many as God will give us" mindset. I was thinking one, maybe two. After our first, I was thinking, "I think one is plenty. This is harder than I thought, we can give her the best of our parenting, and I was a happy only child." DH was saying, "Children need siblings--at least one or two!" After we had the second, I was thinking, "Maybe one more wouldn't hurt." DH was saying, "TWO IS MORE THAN ENOUGH!" (Our second DD is a handful :willy_nilly:)

 

What finally made the decision was DH's unbreakable conclusion that he is finished parenting small children. I was still on the fence about another, and sometimes still yearn for one, but that would negatively impact me physically in a few ways, and would be more than I could handle from an emotional resource perspective. DH and I have also experienced a sort of relationship renewal recently, and I can see how having a baby now would set us back pretty far. Instead, I'm enjoying having a strong marriage and relationship again and seeing the benefits of having older, more independent children. DH was sure that we were done a few years ago, but I only recently became convinced that we're in the best spot we can be in right now.

 

Good luck with your decision. It's not an easy one!

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We're not done yet:D

 

I'd like 7 or 8 but dh has said four is our limit. I'm not sure why he chose that number. He claims that's all we can afford, but I can't see us rolling in dough if we stop at three or living in a box if we have 5. I think he's just being arbitrary.

 

As to why I'd like 7 or 8, it just seems like a nice full house without being over run, again, arbitrary.:D

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I had 1 sis & 1 bro. I loved playing board games, & they all required 4 players. IF I could convince sis & bro to play, we still had to convince Mom, & she doesn't like board games. So I decided I'd need 4 dc when I grew up, so there'd always be enough players for games. :D

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We started out wanting three or four because we thought that was "reasonable."

 

Once we started having children, though, we loved them so much and saw God multiply our love, time and money.

 

We decided we would let Him decide what our family size should be.

 

Apparently, it's six :001_smile:.

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Wow! Thanks!!!

 

We both started out wanting like 5 or 6 (or whatever God gave us).

 

Our first turned out to be a HANDFUL (SPD and a will of iron)

Our second has been a little ray of sunshine, but I've been struggling majorly with postpartum depression.

 

On top of that, my labors/births haven't turned out the greatest (longer than 24 hours each, one ending in hemorrhaging, the other landing the baby in the NICU) and dealt a heavy blow on me physically for months following.

 

My heart yearns for more children, but I don't know if my body, emotions, etc. can handle it. Both me and my husband are so torn. He's thinking stop now, MAYBE, maybe having one more. I think the same, but am even scared of going through one more bout of long labor/depression afterward. At the same time, I think, how can we stop here? Oh, so torn.

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Guest CarolineUK

We didn't marry until I was 34 and DH 38. DH always said he wanted 4 children, although I thought this was a bit ambitious given our age and thought I'd be happy to settle for 2. However, once we started having babies I so loved them I always wanted just one more ... We'd both still love 'just one more', but as I'll be 47 in a few weeks time it seems wise to stop now (although DH has commented several times just lately that he'd be willing to take a chance and try for another).

 

ETA I remember when I first started having babies being told that you should stop when you reached the limit of what you can cope with. If you're coping, then another baby might be a challenge, but would probably be OK, if you're having difficulty coping then I'd wait and see how things work out in the future. Your children are very little at the moment, I remember having my hands very full when my two eldest were 3 and 1, more so than when I had my fourth little boy - older siblings can make wonderful helpers with little ones. It's only when you get to my age that you've got to say enough's enough, I assume you're still quite young and don't have to make a definitive decision for a long time yet.

Edited by CarolineUK
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Since we had to grow our family by adoption finances dictated lots. After the adoption of ds10 I stopped working and we couldn't afford another private adoption. We adopted dd3 from foster care but it took 5 years of placements and then another 2 years for her adoption to be final after she came to us. Dh is nearly 50 and said this is enough. I am over 40 so we wouldn't be able to adopt another infant from foster care anyway and after the sisters with RAD we attempted to adopt, I am not so eager to adopt an older child again. So, unless God brings a special child into our lives, we are finished with just 2 children.

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We wanted five or six. Dh is a baby man and I love elementary and high school aged kids...not quite so fond of that junior high age. So, we weren't expecting to stop at four at all.

 

But, I had a severe health crisis after ds, the third child, was born. Nearly died and in the following months, it did not appear that the problem was going to resolve in the near future. It didn't and I still have some blood clotting issue problems. We hadn't made the decision to do anything permanent but I was nursing ds, we were using NFP, and using a barrier method on top of that. Still ended up pregnant with child number four and the pregnancy was very dicey. I came pretty close to dying and so after that, DH was not willing to leave it to chance as I am a fertile myrtle, so to speak, and it doesn't seem to be predictable. He took care of things permanently.

 

I'd still like one more but by the time we were in a place financially to consider adopting (we were very drawn to international and in particular, Latin America), dh was one year or more too old for the countries we were interested in. By the time we came to the conclusion we needed to expand our horizons, we found that he, at 45, had aged out of nearly all adoption systems except for older children and dh really wanted a little one again.

 

So, we are at four and they are wonderful and we love them to pieces. But, sometimes, I feel like there is a hole there. That said, I gingerly approached my OB about the possibility of reversing this thing and having one more (I'm 42). He did some bloodwork and got a horrified look on his face which tells me the answer was, "ARE YOU CRAZY!" He's a Christian doctor and all for big families. He also doesn't get all nutsy about maternal age like some doctors. Therefore, he was clearly flipped about my health. We'll just have to be content.

 

Dh runs around church collecting babies to watch for moms while I'm at the piano during Sunday morning worship. If someone needs a break from their little, he's your man.

 

Faith

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When we got married, dh wanted 2 and I wanted 6 - I told him we could compromise at 4. When we had 3, we had the "as many as God would give us" mindset. We had 2 more. When #6 came along, I said I was D.O.N.E. I even gave away all of my baby stuff to prove it. Two years later I found out I was expecting #7 and I can't imagine life without him.

 

However, I think we really are done now. I can't afford daycare for anymore and once then little one now is out of daycare, I'll be paying too much in auto insurance for all those teen boys to pay daycare!:D

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Just curious as to how others have decided how many children to have -

 

How did you decide when to stop, when to keep going, or was the decision simply out of your control, etc.?

 

Would love to hear your stories!

 

(we're in the middle of trying to figure out what's next as far as childbearing (or not) goes)

 

We always more or less thought of having 3 or 4 kids. DH said, from the beginning, "three strikes and you're out" -- his cute way of saying 3 boys and we stop, no more trying for a girl.

 

Well, when #1 was premature, and then #2 was not quite so premature, and then #3 was very premature, and they were all boys, we knew that was that.

 

Mainly we stopped because we knew after three NICU babies that another NICU experience was not something we wanted. Yet, with no known or identified reason (and thus no way to avoid it) for me going premature each time, we knew that another pregnancy would, with 99.9999% certainty, lead to another NICU experience. Not something we wanted, at all.

 

We've been lucky/blessed/fortunate so far that none of our boys have significant delays or handicaps due to their prematurity. But, there's no guarantee that a subsequent preemie would be so lucky. Again, not something we wanted to risk.

 

Add to that the fact that I really yearn(ed) for a girl, not just another baby, and of course there's no guarantee on that either....well, we knew/know: I will not be giving birth to any more children. Period.

 

now -- have we completely, totally, 100% ruled out adopting a little girl sometime??? Probably, but not necessarily. I'd still like to; dh, not so much. But, only time will tell on that one. I don't expect it, I consider us done, and I'm happy/content with that most of the time.

 

If dh changes his mind some day, that will be okay too, but for all intents and purposes, we're done. Because three preemies is enough, and I can't guarantee I wouldn't be (initially) disappointed to have another boy.

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I will share. I think it would be good for me infact (therapuetic).

 

I am currently 19 weeks pregnant with #4 and she will be our last. There are a few reasons for this. One being I've had medical problems with this one. A couple of trips to the ER with my uterus being tipped and trapped behind my pelvic bone. I've had to wear a foley catheter for 5 weeks and it stinks. Plus, there's a chance of having to wear it again after the baby is born for an unknown amt of time.

 

The other reason is my dh. He really didn't want another child before this one came along. With that said, he's really happy about this baby and looking forward to her, but no more. One of us will need to do something perminate (sp?) after she is born. I would prefer it to be him because I've already gone through so much. He doesn't see it that way:glare:.

 

It's a really hard issue for me because I would take what God gives us, but there is a physical/mental limit with me. It's just hard to accept sometimes. I think the Lord has let me go through this with the baby to possibly show me that this is it. I'm starting to come to terms with it in my heart. I love kids and well...it can be hard. Sorry, I'm a broken record.

 

We have three lovely children (plus my step son who is living with us) and a new babe on the way. Blessings are many and I guess I need to realize my limits and to be content with what we have. Can I get an Amen?;)

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When we got married, we were thinking four kids would be great. Then, we had ds#1 and ds#2 and started thinking we might want more than that. Then I got pregnant with ds#3 - his pregnancy was the hardest for me; I had a four year old plus a two year old who was doing speech therapy 2-3 times a week, and I was the most sick with ds#3. Then his L&D was hard and fast; and then he was a very intense child. I told dh I was done. Between working with ds#2 on speech issues, trying to give ds#1 some fun Kindergarten time, and having an infant who did not sleep very well at all and constantly needed to be in arms (not in a sling - but in my arms themselves), I didn't think I could handle a fourth. Plus, I was afraid another pregnancy would be harder and that I would still deal with some post-partum depression.

 

Well, apparently we weren't in charge. Currently my 6 week old is napping in my lap. ;) Her pregnancy was great - I finally seemed to have eliminated the foods that were making me sick while pregnant (things I can't tolerate anyway but pregnancy seems to exacerbate the food intolerances). My post-partum recovery has been incredible and there is not ppd - between changing my diet and taking specific supplements, I am feeling great, despite dealing with chromosome testing at 10 days old and receiving a Down Syndrome diagnosis at 1 month.

 

That said, dh feels we are done completely. He knows our dd will require more time due to probable therapies (speech, OT, PT), and being an infant, we are not yet sure the degree of her DS. Given that we want to make sure we can give as much time and attention to our boys while also meeting the needs of our dd, he wants to permanently make sure we don't have anymore (I'm pretty fertile and get pregnant very easily - we were actively avoiding when I ended up pregnant with dd). I am having a very hard time coming to terms with the finality of being done. Though I'm not crazy about being pregnant at 40 (I'm 37 now and based on when my fertility returns post-partum, that's about the time I'd be pregnant again), I'm also not sure I want to be permanently done.

 

So, though I know in my heart we are probably done, I told dh that I wasn't ready for him to do anything about it until at least the summer ... I wanted to get through the newborn/early infant stage, allow my hormones to calm down a wee bit, and re-evaluate in a bit. But yea, I'm pretty sure we are now done.

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The decision was made for us. I had 3 difficult pregnancies, 3 difficult deliveries, and 3 difficult recoveries. When we had the 2 girls and then had our son, the doctor talked with us about maybe thinking about stopping.

 

We prayed about it, felt no leading whatsoever, and decided to follow the best medical advice which was, we had 3 beautiful, healthy children and I was still around to take care of them and my wonderful dh, so we are done.

 

Not at all what I wanted and I've spent a lot of time regretting it when I realize that truly it's all over. But, it was the right decision.

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We got to decide?! :p We were quiverfull...well, our quiver is full. I still have another 10yrs of fertility left, am on my 11th pregnancy, and my body is shot. A friend once told me, you'll know when you're done. Well, after this baby, I'm done. I had two losses this past year and this baby is due in April...she will be my 8th living child. I'm done, I'm happy, I want to be able to be there for my family.

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Well, my husband wanted a big family, but we didn't get married until our late 20s and had our first child at 30. After getting hit with the reality of raising children, he amended his plan (not necessarily my plan) to 3 - 4. After we had our two boys, my second having some serious sensory issues, he was OK with stopping after 2. I didn't feel our family was complete. After we had dd, we both felt that, unless God had other plans, we were done. Being pregnant, buying a house, trying to sell a house, having a lender renege on a promise of a bridge loan and forcing us to come up with 100 grand in cash, and having a high need, tantrum-prone preschooler through all of this was more than I could bear and almost I ended up in the loony bin. My adrenals were shot after that.

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For us, it was fairly easy. We didn't have a set number in mind. I grew up in a very large full quiver family and I was certain I didn't want that many kids but I didn't know how many I wanted. I was open to having as many as four or five kids. But then Genevieve was born. She was a really terrible baby. :p So we held off on having another for a while. Plus, my kids were 18 months apart, to the day. So that was stressful. As time has gone on, our family just felt complete. It wasn't a decision we made in a day, but over the last 8 years, we've just reached the place where we realized that we're just done. We don't want to go through the baby thing again. And it's also very practical. We live in a three bedroom house and we like the girls to have their own rooms. I like that we can all fit in a smaller car. I like that they'll be moving out when I'm still fairly young (I got married at 19 and got pregnant right away so I haven't really had kid-free time in my life; my teen years were filled with caring for my younger siblings). Now that we're past the baby stage, I love that they're so close in age, and I love that they're both girls. They play together so well and even though they're so different, they have a lot of the same interests. If I threw a new baby into all that, it would totally change the balance and dynamic of our family. I'm sure we would cope if something accidental happened, but it's certainly nothing I will do intentionally.

Edited by Mimm
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We didn't have a number in mind, but I'm sure neither of us expected to go over three. I had infertility problems and we were so happy to have 1. We didn't think we had the resources ($) to have another. Then we got on with our life and we were surprised to find out I was pregnant. After that we couldn't stop it. I got pregnant on birth control pills with #3. I still wanted another and dh was done, but we went on vacation and got pregnant with our last.

 

Dh, had a vasectomy. I was sad and wanted more. He offered to have a reversal. I never felt the odds were worth the money and pain he'd have to go through so we were done. Having four is just perfect for us.

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DH wanted 2, I wanted 3 or 4, so 3 is supposed to be our compromise (that's what we talked about before we even got married). I'm pretty sure I'd like one more (some days, anyway), but DH is about as sure as he can be that he doesn't. So that's probably that. But you never know what will happen...

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I always thought 4 would be good, but I never really wanted to be pregnant. I got married in my late 30s and felt even less compelled to birth a child. So, my husband and I adopted twice. We realized we were at our limit! And while both of our children are a handful apiece, it is really our lack of skills (patience) which made us stop after two. ;)

 

Plus, I had to question my motivation for 4...we have a history on one side of several generations of only children, and then that started on the other side of the family in this generation. I guess I felt like I had to make up for everyone else. When I took a good look at how complete and great our family was with two children, I realized that I wasn't responsible for fixing the lack of siblings in our family.

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When we first got married we would joke and say we wanted 17 dc. Fast forward and we thought we were done at 3 because of having 3 c-sections and heart issues. Well turns out I'm pregnant a 4th time. We are very happy and glad God made the decision for us. Now dh wants twins because he would love to have 5 but doesn't want me to have to go through another c-section.

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Our first was born with a serious birth defect and will always need a lot of care. We have a slightly higher chance than most at having another with a birth defect. Having a disabled child has been a huge blessing--every family should have one! But I don't think I have enough resources within me to handle two disabled kids. Having my next two kiddos was very worrisome and stressful for me, but I had enough faith that we would make it through all right (eg enough faith to handle any outcome). I don't have enough faith to face that risk anymore, especially as I age and risks increase. So we're done. I would love to have a large family, but I have what I can handle.

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I've always said I shouldn't have more kids than hands - so 2. Then I married DH and decided that's really true - we travel internationally quite frequently and I need to keep hold of the kid(s) in foreign airports where none of us speak the language and it's crowded and not child friendly!

 

God seems to think 1 is enough for us, though. Years of trying and no siblings for the princess.

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Dh and I in highschool (hs sweet<3) both thought we wanted 4. We wanted more than 2, and I grew up with 2 other sibblings (out of 12 total kids) and it was always 2 aginst 1 (being them against me.) I didn't want that for my kids. We had ds1 as a Valentines' surprise (rhythm method: don't try it....) and the pregnancey was so difficult that I was like "no more!" But then he started growing up too fast, and I wanted another baby. Ds2 was premature because of preeclampsia ( I had it with ds1, but it was less severe.) We thought it wasn't wise to risk having another, but my heart longs for a daughter, and we're praying about it. I definitely will wait a little bit longer between kids if we do.

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We have gone back and forth with this one. After 5, dh was going to have a vasectomy. It was scheduled and re-scheduled for a variety of reasons when lo and behold I end up pregnant with #6! So, we cancel surgery for good. Again, dh says he is done and 2 years later #7 comes along! :D #7 is now 2yo. Dh and I had talked about more and about 6 mos. ago decided to just let God decide if we would have more. Well, fast forward to last month when I "though" I was pregnant. Dh freaked out. He decided NO MORE. He can't handle any more. He's done. I am devastated. I want one more. I believe there is one more child that "belongs" to our family. Don't ask me why. On the really tough days when ds9 is melting down and all the kids are fighting, I think dh is right after all but I quickly feel remorseful somehow and go back to wanting that one more. Anyway, it is ultimately in God's hands. I told dh I am opposed to a vasectomy and he agrees. We will do NFP. I was late again this month and was so hopeful. But nope. I am 38 and don't have many years left. This could be it for us anyway. But I'd rather leave it in God's hands, kwim? I'm angered that dh wants "his way" and not "God's way". See, I'm fine if God doesn't bless us with another but I am sickened in my spirit and my "gut" that we are using any means to prevent that blessing. Does that make sense? We have our hands full. I know. But, I believe God will give us the means and the strength to take on more if He gives us more.

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I have had two children and two miscarriages. Both of my pregnancies were difficult and took me out of life completely for 9 months. I couldn't work for good parts of them and was hospitalized three times with the second. The children I have depend on me and I believe they would have to sacrifice too much. Also, my youngest was born with some special needs and it has worn me out. Dh is also adamantly against having more for all of the above reasons. He says that he doesn't think he can stand watching what I have to go through to have them. Also, we really just can't lose my income right now. I thought for a long time that I still wanted more until my best friend had her baby last year. Now, sweet as he is, it has reminded me of how hard little ones are and I just can't go back there.

 

I struggle with this decision because as a Catholic, I feel I should be more open to more children. However, I have prayed about this extensively and I believe that I am called by God to do what is right for the children I already have and to protect my health for them. If He isn't in agreement, I guess I will have to take what I get.

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Time, Energy, Money, Patience - to me all are needed in order to have children.

Time - I don't have more time to spend. Two is perfect for us. Plus, we're blessed to have a girl and a boy. I homeschool both and wouldn't dream of having more. The age difference would also not be something I'm in favor of. I like the fact that our two are close in age.

Energy - I no longer have the energy that I did say, 10 years ago.

Money - short supply.

Patience - short supply.

 

ETA: We did go back and forth many times on having a third, back when our children were very young. But once we made our decision, we were set, happy, and content.

Edited by Negin in Grenada
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I always wanted 4-6, simply because I really enjoy children and always have.

 

My two pregnancies were miserable and very hard. That squashed the desire to bear more children, almost. Now that my younger child is almost 10yo I find myself craving just one more little one. :rolleyes:

 

We thought we might adopt, but then my aunt was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It became clear that her five young children need all the love and family possible.

 

I still ache for another child, though, and still wish I might have had one or two more of my own.

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We haven't done anything to prevent babies in 12 years and I've been pregnant 4 times in that 12 years. Our "baby" will be 3 next week and I haven't gotten pregnant again so we may be done. I'll be 35 this summer so I still have a few fertile years left I hope. I'd love a couple more but only if it happens naturally.

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Faith, have you ever considered foster-to-adopt? My mom and stepdad are adopting 2 little ones. Mom's a bit over 60 and stepdad's in his 50's.

 

As for us, we took longer than I'd have liked to get around to #2 (mostly waiting for DH to be ready, once I was done with college I was MORE than ready). #3 will have to wait until I'm done with law school (which I plan on starting next fall), then I'll probably have at least one more. 4 would be good. If my age makes it difficult to concieve, I'd be more inclined to adopt than to go through dealing with fertility docs. DH is in line with 4, though I'm pretty sure that'll be his limit.

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I married late in life.

 

36.5 -- Met husband on eHarmony. Love at first click. :D

 

37 -- Married him. :001_wub:

 

37 -- Got pregnant on the honeymoon. :001_huh: We had fun, though.

 

38 -- One week after turning 38, had Daughter #1, 8 lbs. 8 oz., via C-section. :Angel_anim:

 

38.5 -- Cancer. Surgery. Treatment. Victory. :hurray:

 

39 -- Got pregnant again (planned & okay medically).

 

40 -- Two weeks shy of 40, had Daughter #2 and Daughter #3, over 7 lbs. each, via C-section. :willy_nilly::willy_nilly: ALSO, I had my tubes tied.

 

We're happy. The girls are all healthy. We are done.

 

And, no, we are not "trying for a boy." :glare:

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I'm still trying to figure that one out. We have 2 little girls, and I love having only girls. My husband and I are both the oldest of 6 kids, so we both assumed we'd have 5 or 6 kids because that's what we both know. Our first daughter was handful, and after our second was born, we slowly have changed to thinking 3 or 4. Also, with me having 2 c-sections, and likely all my children will be born with c-sections, my husband is very concerned for my health and is firmly set at no more than 4. So now we have to decide between 3 and 4. Lately I've been leaning towards 3. I love having a small family (compared to what we both grew up with!) and I'm not sure if I want to make it bigger. But we'll see.

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We were hoping for four but after 1 preemie and 6 miscarriages we are happy to have two healthy kids. We constantly long for that third but, looking at things honestly, we simply cannot afford one more. If we did have a third, I would have to get a job outside the house and we don't want to do that.

 

So, the decision was sort of made for us and we are ok with that. In the end we would have prob come to the same place.

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Just curious as to how others have decided how many children to have -

 

How did you decide when to stop, when to keep going, or was the decision simply out of your control, etc.?

 

Would love to hear your stories!

 

(we're in the middle of trying to figure out what's next as far as childbearing (or not) goes)

 

no deciding on our own, my body just won't allow me to let a baby live anymore :(.

I miscarry if I can even get pregnant.

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I want/wanted 5. DH would have been happy with 1. Our compromise was 2, with the option for a 3rd. Well number 3, decided he was coming regardless of what we decided, and I am currently pregnant with him. That being said, DH is at his limit, he knows that more then 3 is too many for him and will push him to his breaking point. I am actually okay with that, I wasn't after number 2, I knew I wasn't done then. With this one I just feel done, I would still love another 1 or 2, but newbie feels like he will complete our family. I don't feel like we are missing anyone now that I am pregnant with him, and I did while pregnant with both DS and DD.

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We're infertile and adopted our kids. For us, deciding whether or not to adopt again was/is a matter of how much we could handle as far as intrusion into our lives, the cost of agency fees, and whether we feel a calling to adopt again.

 

We've wavered back and forth for years and still we don't feel a strong leading. For many year we haven't been able to afford to adopt again and while we could probably swing it now, it would make things pretty tight. I always say if God wants us to have more kids, he'll make it happen. Who knows how our minds might change in the future.

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well dh was so sleep deprived from the first that when the second came along he went and got himself snipped as fast as he could! I didn't agree but I understood how tired he was and he just wanted sleep! LOL

 

I wanted more for years. He wanted a reversal not long after. But we decided to let it be and if meant to have more it would happen. It didn't.

 

And now I can say it was a good thing. We are a great family at 2 kids. Our kids are snuggly and sensitive and really need that time with each of us. More in the family would affect our kids. So it has turned out to be great for us. We also have been able to do things I see some larger families not doing. For example I know of some larger families that do not vacation except when visiting family. We treasure our vacations and am glad we can afford to do these. We also have taken up outdoor activities such as kayaking. If I still had littles we couldn't do this. So again, for us, it turned out to be a good thing even if I wasn't so sure back then.

 

We have considered adoption. There are days I want more kids. But on the day to day level it's just right for us. I didn't know that back then. I know it now. And I open my home to my kids friends as often as I can and that adds the 'more' when we need it :-)

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We don't really have a set number. Currently we have 4. We would like 5 or 6, but who knows. Right now the baby is only 2.5 months old and we're in a very tight financial situation (dh was unemployed most of 2010) so certainly not any time soon. We only use NFP for religious reasons, so who knows.

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:grouphug: It was a hard decision (for me, anyway). When we first met, DH was of the "as many as God will give us" mindset. I was thinking one, maybe two.

 

I had to smile at this.

 

I hadn't given it much thought. DH was happy with the one child we had and was more than willing to be done. I wanted one more. :) We agreed on two. Baby #2 was born - perfectly spaced to be three years apart. They actually had the same due date three years apart.

 

I was begging for number 3 when he went off to Basic Training and he had agreed three might be nice. Baby #3 was conceived when he got home from AIT.

 

It wasn't long after that that I read A Full Quiver by Rick and Jan Hess and I began trying to see God's point of view.

 

Now I don't know that I'd call us quiverfull. DH is certainly not and I'm not going to "plan" to have a baby he doesn't want. If he decided to get "fixed/broken" I'd accept it and still like him. I have offered many times to temp as I'm quite aware of my body after all this time :D but he's lately said, "Ah, what's one more?" Both of us agree we absolutely will NOT use hormonal birth control or something like an IUD. It's simply NOT an option for us.

 

NFP is a great option for us but so far we've left the planning/spacing up to God. We are now expecting again. It is our twelfth pregnancy in 15 years. We have eight living children, have buried one, and have had two early miscarriages. Baby #9 is due in July.

 

I get the comment all the time that my pregnancies must be easy. They're not. They're an absolute nightmare, having to have a cerclage surgery with each pregnancy and dealing with the threat of preterm labor each time. Sometimes with steroids, sometimes not. Each baby has come earlier - but they (with the exception of Hannah) have so far each made it to 36 weeks. I hate being pregnant. Hate it. Absolutely hate it. The first 12 weeks are a dream and the last four (after we've made it past 32) are stress free. But from the time we prepare for the cerclage at 13-14 weeks, we deal with contractions and stress and worry.

 

But, in the end, my children are blessings from God. Each created in His image, each an amazing testimony to His goodness. My pregnancies are my cross. My children - my gifts.

 

How many will we have? We get that a lot too. I don't know. It probably depends on the strength of my faith. I feel weak sometimes... Thinking about how many more cerclage surgeries my poor scarred cervix can take. They tell me eventually my cervix will become scarred and not dilate as it should... Then it will mean c-sections. So far, thank God, that hasn't happened. We've only had one c-section and my deliveries are SHOCKINGLY easy. Maybe that's my balm for dealing with the pregnancy. :D

 

At the end of the day we'll see. I would have told you after Ella's pregnancy that I NEVER, EVER wanted to be pregnant again. Ever. And I was pretty adamant about it. I prayed for at least a three year break but I was willing to take what came.

 

For the first time since I was incredibly young, I didn't even know I had ovulated this time. ;) It was earlier and a closer spacing than we are used to despite a baby that is perfectly willing to nurse every hour on the hour and sleeps with us and nurses 'round the clock and doesn't use a pacifier. :tongue_smilie: We were more than a little surprised to find out we were expecting this time. Not only did I not need the three year break ;) but I'm pretty tickled at the idea of a new little one. This has been one of my easiest pregnancies so far and I suspect it's a little boy - what with no morning sickness. We'll see.

 

There is definitely a blessing in contentedness. I am happy as I was and I'm happy to have another. I wouldn't even call it necessarily happiness as it isn't the burbling joy we think of when we think of happiness. It's a peaceful joy, a contentedness. It's a good place to be.

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When my 3rd was born, my other 2 were 3yo and 14months old. I was so sleep deprived that I barely remember that year AT ALL.

 

We had planned to have 2 about 2 years apart, wait several years and have 2 more. #3 was a big surprise and came at a very difficult time...I had to babysit to buy groceries...I had care of 5 dc age 3 and under, and 1 of the kids I babysat had OCD (I suspect he had more issues not disclosed.:glare:). I *love* my little guy, but his first year was a nightmare.

 

 

I'm still recovering...

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