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MommyMegan

What factors went into your decision to have another child or to be (permanently) done?

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Nothing more than a feeling. After #2, I didn't feel done. After #3 - and I mean, seconds after his birth - that was it. It was like a switch went off. Done. And it never went on again.

Same for me. I see babies now and I can hold them, but I'm happy to give them back.

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I broke my pelvis and had some internal damage after getting hit by a car right when I graduated high school. That led to issues and I was told I'd likely never be able to get pregnant and if I did, that I probably wouldn't be able to carry to term. 

 

I had three and went into early labor with all of them and was put on medication and bed rest. I didn't "do" pregnancy well. After my youngest was born I had a tubal. It was the healthiest option for me. 

 

 

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Seriously, I am now of the belief that everyone should have a 10 year old when they have a baby :)

 

 

LOL, too true! Our oldest was 12/13 when the youngers were born and it turned out to be a fabulous thing! She LOVES her little sisters, and even though she doesn't live with us, she's always coming to snatch them up and do fun things. And yes, when the youngers were babies, it was nice to have an older child who wanted to help.

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That seems normal to me. I'm 12 years older than my brother. My oldest is 15 years older than my youngest. An additional benefit is that when my older kids have kids of their own. My younger kids will be the perfect age to be mother's helpers for their sisters.

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We have 3; oldest is severely disabled. We knew we wanted more than just our oldest, but each pregnancy was stressful wondering if we would have another disabled child. Plus I was already in "advanced maternal age" with youngest. We felt "done" and very blessed with two more in addition to our special girl.

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Oh boy, emotional topic for some of us.

 

I think there's something to saying some of us will never, EVER feel done. I'm one of them. 

 

I'm 38 and have 5. By all logical means, I should be done. We're not out of space or anything like that, but our emotional stability and energy would take a huge hit if we were to have another. As it is, we are stretched and torn and quite frankly, tired and getting older. We just knew.

 

Having said that, I've asked similiar questions here and still don't feel settled about the idea. I've cried many tears about the baby that I sometimes think is waiting for us. I would probably have another in a heartbeat if my heart was the one making the decision. My brain talks me out of it though. Well, that and the fact that the doctor told me my uterus is a mess and didn't advise another. But that's another story...

 

I think sometimes I want another because I'm just not ready to let go of this stage of life yet. I waited my whole life to be a mom and seeing my youngest at 3 makes me so sad...like I"m on the other side of the mountain of life or something. If I look deep within, maybe it's not the baby I actuallly want, but rather that part of "me" back. 

 

I know it's a grueling decision that you are probably devoting a lot of brainpower to. I get it. Good luck-hopefully it will just come to you and you'll be at peace. Hugs.

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Wow! and more Wow!   You all have been tremendous!   So much meaty-ness for me to go back and read and re-read and digest.

 

Thank you!

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My second didn't sleep and I knew that I couldn't do it again without risking serious mental illness. It wasn't PPD. It wasn't anything but the fact that she didn't sleep and neither did I.

 

I was having micro sleeps at red lights.

 

I"m not an optimistic person and I thought if there is a 1/1,000,000 chance of that happening again (and it is likely much higher) I would not do it.

 

I still feel sick just thinking about it.

 

Plus, our fourth (two step and two bio for each of us) will be out of the house when we are 49 and 51. Combined with the "I will never do that again ever", the thought of total freedom at such a relatively young age is really encouraging.

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Whether it was my first, last, or none, I had pre-decided on no children after 30. It was my personal cut-off age.

 

After being in active labor for over 56 hours (24ish + 32ish) to have my two kids, I was done with childbirth.

 

After having my husband deployed with super young children, I was done with "single" parenting tiny people.

 

Finances were also a factor. From general traveling to visit family, fun vacations, affording high quality foods, being able to easily rent hotel rooms, etc. we were perfectly happy as a family of four.

 

Zero regrets. I don't even care to hold or deal with other people's babies or young children. Ever. They're cute to look at, but I have no desire to interact with them.

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Money/space and time/energy.

 

I was pretty sure I wanted a bunch of kids, but I had absolutely no idea how insanely fertile I actually was, and wound up with a bunch without doing much intentional planning.  I had my first at 21. Met and married dh the year I turned 23.  I got pregnant and miscarried right after our wedding.  Had dd#1 a month after I turned 25.  Found out I was pregnant with dd#2 4 months later. Next ds surprised us the month I was between IUDs (or rather, was supposed to be between IUDs.)  I eventually did get another IUD and had an ectopic pregnancy with that one.  Was a bit careless one more time (and with just one tube) and got another ds!

 

I'm sure I could have easily wound up with at least 3 more right now if we hadn't taken serious measures.  It was a difficult decision in that I hated the idea of taking away options.  They had offered to tie my other tube while I had my surgery, but I couldn't bring myself to be permanent at the time.  But we have 5 rapidly growing kids (well, the oldest has maxed out, I think) in the house we purchased with 3 very small kids in mind.   We had no idea the real estate market would dump so hard and for so long in our area, leaving us no way to "trade up" the way we watched our parents do.  And then we added homeschooling, limiting my earning potential and raising our expenses.

 

Keeping up with the oldest three is chaotic now.  Making sure the younger two get opportunities to do cool things takes serious effort and planning.  It's not as bad now that dh works from home a lot, but he worked many more hours OOH and traveling when we made our permanent decision to be done, so juggling all 5 kids was all on me at the time.

 

I still get baby lust.  I love raising kids.  I've been known to research vasectomy reversals!  But I've also come to love my transition away from baby care and back toward having the freedom to pursue interests and enjoy my teenagers.  (I enjoy the little ones, too, of course, but sometimes it feels a little old-hat.  :o ) I'm actually getting a little energy back!

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My youngest child was born when I was 37.    He was adopted, so I didn't give birth at 37, but we still weren't sure we were done.  For several years we talked about adopting one more child.  But it didn't happen, and now I think it is too late (I just turned 50).    And to be honest, I kind of regret not pushing harder.

 

I know I *could* adopt at my age, I have a friend who is 63 and her youngest is 11 (adopted) but I don't feel I have the energy.

 

41 is not too old, unless you feel it is.  I guess that is my point.   My friend 50 and her oldest is 30 and her youngest is 26.  I am the same age and my youngest is 12.  For her, she thought she was too old after age 32 or so.  I didn't even have kids until 32.

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My youngest child was born when I was 37.    He was adopted, so I didn't give birth at 37, but we still weren't sure we were done.  For several years we talked about adopting one more child.  But it didn't happen, and now I think it is too late (I just turned 50).    And to be honest, I kind of regret not pushing harder.

 

I know I *could* adopt at my age, I have a friend who is 63 and her youngest is 11 (adopted) but I don't feel I have the energy.

 

41 is not too old, unless you feel it is.  I guess that is my point.   My friend 50 and her oldest is 30 and her youngest is 26.  I am the same age and my youngest is 12.  For her, she thought she was too old after age 32 or so.  I didn't even have kids until 32.

I was just thinking about this yesterday.  When I was 10, my mom and dad had really wanted another baby for a few years but nothing....  Then Mom started talking about how she was just too old.  As an adult, she told me they were planning a tubal ligation when they conceived my baby sister. There are 10.5 years between us.

 

I didn't realize it as a kid but my mom was 32!  It cracks me up now to think about it as 32 being "too old." Several of my high school friends didn't start until 30-35. ;)

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We had two, but we started at an older age (34 and 37). I didn't want any more.

 

I've never wanted anymore either.

 

But I will say that sometimes I wish we hadn't waited so long. I'll be (optimistically) a 56 year old grandmother at the earliest and 68 if my girls decide to wait as late as we did! I won't be as able to do things as many of the youthful grandmothers. Hey, I could already be a grandmother at my age!

 

And one thing I did *not* think about is the timing. So when both two girls are teens, I'm going through menopause - so my patience and forbearance aren't where they optimally should be.  

 

I have a friend who had a child at age 44/45. She looks tired. Her other children really don't have any guidance/discipline (a couple are seriously awful to be around anymore) which I think stems from the fact she is just too tired to make the effort anymore. I'm not saying this would happen, but physical stamina does typically go down as you get older. The idea of getting up several times a night strikes fear into my heart!

 

Good for you for seriously considering this. Bringing a child into the world is a big commitment.

 

And, one thing to think about - if you do have another child, won't that child be alone once your boy graduates and leaves home? It happens. 

 

Edited by Bambam
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Seriously, I am now of the belief that everyone should have a 10 year old when they have a baby :)

 

 

My son was 10 when my twins were born, and I could not agree more. He has been like a sheep dog .... watchful, protective, energetic, playful and adoring. He was the all time most vigilant safety officer. Now that they are older, he is a great friend to them.

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And, one thing to think about - if you do have another child, won't that child be alone once your boy graduates and leaves home? It happens. 

 

She could just plan two back to back.  :lol: Goodness, I had sets of two in the same year (2001 and 2004) and no twins.  I think it's good to think these things out, lol. ;)

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For DH and me, three was when we were done.  Two are adopted, one biological, and while my pregnancy went easily, the birth itself was a bad experience, and somewhat life-threatening, and after I was holding my adorable newborn a few hours later, I looked at DH and said "I never want to do this again."  The baby stage is not my favorite stage.  Sleep deprivation doesn't do good things for me.  Kids are so much more fun when they can interact with you more.

 

I also feel I would be doing my other kids a disservice.  I'm less patient than I'd like to be.  I don't think more kids would make that better.

 

ETA - and DH was in total agreement.  2 would have been okay for him, 3 is fine, but the complications I had with the birth scared him and he didn't want to risk it again.

Edited by emba56
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Five c-sections, and multiple incision points. If not for that, I'm sure we would have had at least one more.

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I wanted to be able to devote enough time and money to the child I have. And I would be remiss if I didn't say that environmental/overpopulation issues influenced our decision.

Edited by bibiche
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I LOVE babies, and I will probably always feel the need to have more babies in my life.

 

But practicality tells me we are done. I have absolutely miserable pregnancies.

There is also the time/energy/attention factor. And I seem to be the only introvert

in a (small) house full of loud extroverts, and I have to put a lot of effort into keeping my sanity.

 

I sometimes wonder if we will foster or adopt again at some point in the future, but as of right now, we are

a full house.

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We said that we wanted minimum 4, possibly up to 6, when we got married, young and idealistic!

Our first 3 were more difficult to get than we anticipated, and there were two losses in there. Huge surprise, as I was only in my early twenties! #3 wasn't/isn't an easy child and we had life stuff going on, so we just left it, happy for a surprise but no more trying.

 

Our 4th, a natural surprise - the only unmedicated surprise that I have carried to term - arrived when I was 29. I had originally wanted to be done by 30.

 

I don't have baby fever anymore. Dh does! For him it's less about wanting a baby than the vision for his family, and the idea that this phase of life is finite. For me, it's less that I don't want a baby, I deeply agree with the vision, I'm just tired and stressed! I can get my head around one more...

 

So, we're back to not trying and we will see what happens I suppose. I'm only 32 so in theory we have time, though neither of us are comfortable with the risks of trying after 35ish.

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We stopped at 2 and were happy to do so. 

 

While I loved a lot about the baby and toddlers years, dh and I are not baby people in general, there was never any desire to always have a baby around. Getting the non-sleeping model both times was certainly a factor, and I felt that five straight years of nursing was plenty. 

 

I felt that my very loving parents were a bit "done" when I came along as #4, and sometimes a bit overwhelmed. I never wanted to have to triage their needs if avoidable. 

 

Kids are noisy and needy and sticky, and I knew I could only handle so many years of that. 

 

We tend to do best with a narrow focus, so we wanted our kids close in age. I can definitely see the charm of older and younger siblings, but that kind of juggling was not for us. 

 

We have lots of extended family nearby, so we felt that many of the plusses of a bigger family were met that way for us. 

 

Disney World value resorts are intended for families of 4, lol. 

 

I'm 50, and have 2 more years of home schooling to go. I can not imagine having another 10 years  :lol:

 

 

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Maybe I shouldn't tell you that my pregnancy at 40 was actually twins! We lost one very early. I think that's one reason ds took Ed's death so hard--that was his brother that he never got to have. 

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