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Big families: What made you *stop* at your family size?


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I‘ve known a few big families (6+ kids), and generally they started out with the belief that they wanted as many as God gave them. But most stopped before (I would assume) the mother reached menopause. I‘ve always wondered: what makes big families decide to end with say 10 kids, not 11? Or 6, not 7?

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I know one who stopped at 11 simply because she just keeps having miscarriages now she is in her late 40's

I know someone else who stopped at 11 because her husband had a stroke and is practically bedbound

I know a relative has stopped at 10 , every single one of her children has a disability, every single one ( things like IQ of 40 etc). it got to the point that she was threatened with having some removed if she didn't stop.

 

My mother stopped at 8, the last ones were twins and she thought that a good ending. it was a mixed family my mum was widowed and remarried

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Not sure if I am big family or not.  I only have 5 kids.  But we stopped with 5 fort lots of reasons.  

1. We were running out of space in our house and car.  We would have had to trade up to a big van at that point.  That would have cost us a ton because I was driving the kids around for 2.5 hours a day or more for ballet.

2.  Dh was traveling a ton, which meant I was on my own.  I had one demanding older child and one baby that woke up constantly and was also attached all day everyday.  I was at my limit and didn't think I could handle anymore.

3.  I get really sick while pg and didn't want to put my kid through that again.  They missed out on 4 months of life at least with each pg.  I wanted to support my older kids and what they wanted to do. 

4.  I had all healthy kids and no issues with pg (other than being sick), I didn't want to push it anymore.  

5.  I was facing some health issues about the time I would have wanted to have another. 

6. Financial.  I want to help my kids with things in the future and adding more things makes that harder.  College, vacations, extra curricular experiences

Now a few  years from when I decided that I wish I would have had one more kid.  It all made sense to stop, but I still wish I had another one.  So does dh even though he agreed with everything.  

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We have 6.  Our youngest is 10.  I'm sure that most people think that we stopped on purpose, but we actually haven't.  After having six children in the first decade of marriage, we have been unable to have any children in the second decade.  Before dh and I married, we decided that we would allow God to choose how many children we would have.

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We stopped at five because that was what we felt we were 'supposed' to have.  That dudeding didn't come from another ten years is a different question.

I know one family with 12, and that's how many they felt they were supposed to have.  (great family, great kids.)

 

eta: I do know one couple who argued about how many children they were to have.  (they shared this story). The wife said four, the husband said five.  She had twins her fourth pregnancy.  

Edited by gardenmom5
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I have 7, 

I planned 2. Dh wanted 4, number 5 was conceived 3 years after I had my tubes done. Then a few years later we became permanent carers of youngest twins. I don't consider it a large family as such because some of the older ones had already left home when the twins came to live with us

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Secondary infertility is a thing in our family.  I don’t think the assumption that one can keep having kids until menopause is a realistic one for many people.  We have two family members who had one and desperately wanted more, and DH’s parents had an 8 and 10 year gaps.

None of this applies to us as a couple.  We felt that 2 was what we could support, and stopped there.  Then another child needed us.

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We have eight.  Our last was born when I was 44 and I honestly think she kicked me right into menopause the day she was born.  I woke up just drenched in sweat that night!  First time ever but not the last time -lol!   

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I stopped at 4 because I had c sections. I really had difficult recoveries with each--always anemic, infections, etc. I just did not want to do that again. We seriously contemplated adoption/fostering after my youngest was born but ultimately decided against it. I am completely at peace with the decision. And it is a God given kind of peace. We still support/minister to the foster families in our community in a variety of ways. We are so lucky that God has placed these families in our sphere/lives. 

I have a good friend--about 10 years older than me--with 9 children who also had all c sections. She is a ROCK STAR. 

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1 hour ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I have 7, 

I planned 2. Dh wanted 4, number 5 was conceived 3 years after I had my tubes done. Then a few years later we became permanent carers of youngest twins. I don't consider it a large family as such because some of the older ones had already left home when the twins came to live with us

Ohhh wow. I had a tubal and was told year 11 is when the efficacy drops because your body can just basically create new pathways. Only 3 years?!

 

I do know someone who had a baby 14 years past tubal just before she got divorced. They sought counseling and stayed together because of that baby. As far as I know, they are still married.

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We have 9.  4 bio, then 4 adopted, then 1 bio.  We never really planned to have a big family.  The adopted kiddos are a sibling group and the bookend was a nice surprise.  From the outside I'm sure it looks like we have a conviction about large families, but our family grew by circumstance.  

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I had 10 babies in 17.5 years with one of those pregnancies being a full term still birth.  We did not use birth control as per religious beliefs. We are *not* totally dogmatic about it as we believe there may be reasons for the mothers health (emotional or physical) or family situations that would necessitate its use.  For us, I was healthy and had straightforward pregnancies and we just had no compelling reason to prevent children from being born.  The spacing ranged from 18 months to just under 3 years.

I *really* did not ever want to make the decision to not have any more babies.  I did my best to take care of myself and just hoped that if God didn't have any more babies for us that no more would come.   

My youngest will be 7 in a couple weeks.  🤷‍♀️  I have not had any pregnancies since hers. I am 44.  I am at peace about it now although I really didn't feel *done*.  We just lived together normally and no more babies have come.  At this point, I would not be thrilled about a large gap like this if I were to get pregnant again but would also love to have another baby if it happened. 

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I stopped at 5. We never set a number, and we’re not religious. I really like raising kids!

It was mostly about money/housing. We had already ripped the boys’ closet out of their room to fit a bunk set with trundle, so we were literally out of space with no idea when we’d be able to afford to move after 2008 destroyed our home value. (Spoiler: new house likely won’t be finished until early 2022, when the youngest is 11 and I’m nearly 45.)

I get pregnant very easily (also had two losses) so we couldn’t risk leaving doors open.  We will take two relatives if they wind up back in the system, and I’d like to consider general foster care in the future. But no more homemade!

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I wanted about eight to ten kids.  I grew up in a family of five and always wished there were a few more of us, and I had a few friends from eight-kid families and loved their family energy.  I started young and spaced my kids close together planning for a big family (particularly as women in my family have menopause early, 36 to 40 in the last three generations, which could be another consideration in large families one assumes chose to stop at a certain point).  But my blood pressure got worse with each pregnancy, and with ds7 we barely made it to 37 weeks and I was told that another pregnancy would likely mean delivering the baby early to avoid having a stroke.  We fostered for a time, first one little girl and then her sisters, too, and would have adopted if things had worked out differently.  But we just couldn’t continue to manage the demands of both fostering and medical care after my son’s cancer diagnosis.  Then we got a shock with this surprise pregnancy.  As much as I felt our family wasn’t complete, I would never have chosen to get pregnant while juggling chemo for another kid.  But the best laid plans of mice and men, eh?

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2 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

I stopped at 5. We never set a number, and we’re not religious. I really like raising kids!

It was mostly about money/housing. We had already ripped the boys’ closet out of their room to fit a bunk set with trundle, so we were literally out of space with no idea when we’d be able to afford to move after 2008 destroyed our home value. (Spoiler: new house likely won’t be finished until early 2022, when the youngest is 11 and I’m nearly 45.)

I get pregnant very easily (also had two losses) so we couldn’t risk leaving doors open.  We will take two relatives if they wind up back in the system, and I’d like to consider general foster care in the future. But no more homemade!

Yes, that really messed things up didn't it?  We got caught in the same thing.  Bought in 2006 and then underwater for years. 

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8 hours ago, busymama7 said:

I had 10 babies in 17.5 years with one of those pregnancies being a full term still birth.  We did not use birth control as per religious beliefs. We are *not* totally dogmatic about it as we believe there may be reasons for the mothers health (emotional or physical) or family situations that would necessitate its use.  For us, I was healthy and had straightforward pregnancies and we just had no compelling reason to prevent children from being born.  The spacing ranged from 18 months to just under 3 years.

I *really* did not ever want to make the decision to not have any more babies.  I did my best to take care of myself and just hoped that if God didn't have any more babies for us that no more would come.   

My youngest will be 7 in a couple weeks.  🤷‍♀️  I have not had any pregnancies since hers. I am 44.  I am at peace about it now although I really didn't feel *done*.  We just lived together normally and no more babies have come.  At this point, I would not be thrilled about a large gap like this if I were to get pregnant again but would also love to have another baby if it happened. 

I like that thought process.

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My family isn't big, just normal at 4 kids, but I think the reasons are often the same when people stop. I'd had no real hard number to stop at, and had I not had a 10 yr gap between my first and second pregnancy (due to ex not wanting more kids because "it would take the focus off of him" - direct quote) I'm sure I'd have several more. 

I in fact never thought I'd feel "done". Then we had DD4 when I was 41, and about 6 months to a year after that I realized I was done. I was tired. Pregnancy wasn't harder in my 40s than my 30s, but dealing with a newborn WAS harder. I was tired, and had prenatal and postpartum depression that I think was mostly sleep deprivation bothering me more than before. And no way to really nap, etc. For the first time I didn't feel I could really care well for another newborn baby, teething, etc if I were to get pregnant again.

And I'm VERY fertile. We got pregnant the first time we tried at 40 yrs old, and with the only other planned pregnancy. The other two were surprised.  When I had an ultrasound when I was 42 to check for an ovarian cyst the tech, who normally worked in a fertility clinic, told me, "You know those stories of women getting pregnant at 50 yrs old? That could be you - be careful!"  Apparently I had the ovaries of a much younger woman. We didn't do anything permanent until I hit 45, but at that point even I could see that we were done. DH had a vasectomy. I personally couldn't take a permanent step, emotionally, but he was more than willing. 

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I have 6, pregnant 7 time. The only reason we stopped is because 6 C-sections have been hard on my body and we don't want to put me through that anymore. My youngest is 1.5 years old and now is my time to focus heavily on my health.

I would have been happy to keep having kids but I also have no feelings of our family being incomplete

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10 hours ago, Brittany1116 said:

Ohhh wow. I had a tubal and was told year 11 is when the efficacy drops because your body can just basically create new pathways. Only 3 years?!

Crap, this is year 11. Please tell me this isn’t true 😆

I had my tubes tied while still in the hospital after my 6th child, 8th pregnancy in 10.5 years. The miscarriage I had before him had me in icu for 8 days. We weren’t going to have anymore after that, but dh never “got around” to that vasectomy and surprise! Along came #6. My o.b. Wouldn’t even see me for #6, he handed me off to the university hospital. It was super traumatic, but he is a fantastic, healthy kid.

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ETA: History
1st baby - 1996
2nd - 1999
3rd 2001 - awful pregnancy with preterm delivery @ 26 weeks, she died at 12 days old
4th - 2001 awful pregnancy with emergency cerclage and c-section delivery @ 36 weeks 1 day
Every pregnancy after that was considered high risk - progesterone shots, cerclage placed, and VBAC, so while I never loved pregnancies, I liked the kids. 😉 
Closest spacing - 11 months (twice) and furthest spacing 35 months between 1 & 2.  I had no convictions about birth control at all until 2000, ironically following my conversion from Catholicism (culturally, no real root in the Church) to Protestantism.
Oldest - 1996 and youngest  - 2014


Our last living child (#12) was born in August 2014.  In December 2015, I had a life threatening miscarriage complete with passing out in the ambulance, shirt cut off, two IVs, lights & sirens, surgery, and a major transfusion.  In July 2015, my body "held on"  to a dead baby for 13 weeks again (same as happened above) but we had a D&C.  My husband was out.  It was never really his conviction anyway... something I held close and he was a "good sport" about.  His willingness ended at life threatening.  The December miscarriage was a fluke - the body holding onto a miscarriage for so long, but the placenta continuing to enlarge.  It's not unusual for a grand multipara to fail to contract and the uterus not clamp down effectively, but in my scenario, it was pretty scary.  When it happened again (except we had the D & C to head off the inevitable end) he was done.  That was July, he had kidney stone surgery in August-ish and had a vasectomy at the same time.  In late summer I began to trip and fall for the first time, then we saw the neurologist for the first time.........

Edited by BlsdMama
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11 hours ago, JanOH said:

We have eight.  Our last was born when I was 44 and I honestly think she kicked me right into menopause the day she was born.  I woke up just drenched in sweat that night!  First time ever but not the last time -lol!   

Isn't this common post-pregnancy? I was 24 when I had DS and I sweated insane amounts (we both woke up completely drenched) in the first week or so after we came home from the hospital. 

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10 hours ago, Brittany1116 said:

Ohhh wow. I had a tubal and was told year 11 is when the efficacy drops because your body can just basically create new pathways. Only 3 years?!

 

I do know someone who had a baby 14 years past tubal just before she got divorced. They sought counseling and stayed together because of that baby. As far as I know, they are still married.

Wow, I never knew that. 

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9 hours ago, busymama7 said:

 

My youngest will be 7 in a couple weeks.  🤷‍♀️  I have not had any pregnancies since hers. I am 44.  I am at peace about it now although I really didn't feel *done*. 

We're twins. 😉 I'm 44 and the baby turns 7 next month. ❤️ I don't miss babies.  I was never a baby person.  I love kids - especially the 10+ crowd, but I could skip 0-2 entirely.  I never missed not having another baby, but I wonder if that's because our first grandchild was born just a couple years later or because we were then flooded with medical cr@p? 

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9 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

Our last living child (#12) was born in August 2014.  In December 2015, I had a life threatening miscarriage complete with passing out in the ambulance, shirt cut off, two IVs, lights & sirens, surgery, and a major transfusion.  In July 2015, my body "held on"  to a dead baby for 13 weeks again (same as happened above) but we had a D&C.  My husband was out.  It was never really his conviction anyway... something I held close and he was a "good sport" about.  His willingness ended at life threatening.  The December miscarriage was a fluke - the body holding onto a miscarriage for so long, but the placenta continuing to enlarge.  It's not unusual for a grand multipara to fail to contract and the uterus not clamp down effectively, but in my scenario, it was pretty scary.  When it happened again (except we had the D & C to head off the inevitable end) he was done.  That was July, he had kidney stone surgery in August-ish and had a vasectomy at the same time.  In late summer I began to trip and fall for the first time, then we saw the neurologist for the first time.........

Wow, this is so scary! 

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5 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

It was incredibly hard on our oldest daughter.  I'm amazed she decided to have children after that TBH.  

You must have such an interesting life with 12 children. 🙂 You ought to write a book someday!

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I stopped at the number of children that I felt I had mental, emotional and financial resources to properly care for on my own should anything terrible happen to my husband.

We had one less than originally planned.

Both of us are lifelong atheists, so religion had no bearing on our choices.

Edited by annandatje
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It’s possible I could bring home another baby, but it’s really not very likely.  We would not be upset to have another but surprised enough that it would catch us completely unprepared.

I have 11 kids and half as many miscarriages.  The youngest 2 are 5 years apart. So I guess for 5 years a lot of people probably thought we had decided to stop after 10.   Or maybe they still think that and just presume #11 is an oops baby. Who knows.

For us, we never tried to have has many as possible or to avoid, excepting the year after #9.  We have just tried to make the best of whatever blessings have come our way.

I can say biology and life circumstance determines more than free will.  Very few women these days are going to end up with 11 simply bc most don’t even have their first before age 25.  That alone would have meant 4 less kids for me.  And my fertility steeply changed at about age 35.  From 21-35, I brought home 9 children, 36-47, I brought home 2. For most women, there’s a long time before menopause where in theory they can possibly get pregnant, but the vast majority won’t bring home a baby whether they want to or not. It’s not just that the fertility sharply declines, the rate of miscarriage sharply inclines too.

So am I done? Probably.🤷‍♀️

 

 

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We grew our family via fostercare.  We had fostered 50 kids, 5 stayed (plus 2 older biological kids).  We were exhausted in some ways and then we had a very traumatic experience with a girl.  It was horrible and changed us significantly.  We decided we were done. We still have some issues because of that child. 

Anyway, so we supposedly quit fostering in January 2017.  In April, my youngest's birthmom called to say she had a little girl and CPS was taking her, could we watch her until they could get her back.  We agreed.  16 months later, we adopted her, number 7. 

Though my heart wants to help more, we just are too traumatized by the system and that last child that we haven't jumped back in. And I don't know that I would adopt more though I kinda think I might if the right situation with an older child comes along (we DEFINITELY would not add another very young child). 

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22 minutes ago, GracieJane said:

You must have such an interesting life with 12 children. 🙂 You ought to write a book someday!

My goal is to hope they never write a book. 😂 😂 😂 I’ve said to the girls before, “Let’s try to leave this out of the book....” 😉 

Edited by BlsdMama
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I was one of 9. I remember telling my future husband (facetiously) that I wanted at least as many kids as it took to get two boys and two girls. I ended up having two boys and two girls, in that order. Dh would have stopped at three, and he considers #4 an accident. I know that in reality it was more that we were unsure about whether to have a fourth and therefore weren’t as careful with NFP as we should have been. But after #4 we were both done. Even before I found out #4 was a girl, I just felt stretched thin. Perhaps the fact that I had just started homeschooling made me feel even more stretched thin. 

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16 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

My goal is to hope they never write a book. 😂 😂 😂 I’ve said to the girls before, “Let’s try to leave this out of the book....” 😉 

Did you homeschool all of them? How did you keep track of 12 children running around the house? This is so interesting!

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1 hour ago, hippymamato3 said:

Isn't this common post-pregnancy? I was 24 when I had DS and I sweated insane amounts (we both woke up completely drenched) in the first week or so after we came home from the hospital. 

Maybe it is but I had never experienced it before and since my cycles were wonky from that point on I just assumed it was my body starting the process of menapause.

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I have 6.  I decided to make sure I had a longer break after being pregnant or nursing for 8 years straight.  I was tired (my last was born when I was 38).  I was done but still got pregnant when my youngest was 4.  That ended in a miscarriage at the hospital.  I have had a couple of very early suspected miscarriages since then.  But really we had two older girls, two middle girls, and two younger boys.  We were perfectly paired and fit in our house in a cozy way without being crowded.  It just seemed like a good time to stop.  

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1 hour ago, JanOH said:

Maybe it is but I had never experienced it before and since my cycles were wonky from that point on I just assumed it was my body starting the process of menapause.

Haha - I had one pregnancy (but have 3 kids) and therefore assumed my one experience was the norm. 

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I have only 4 but a 5.5 year gap between number 3 and number 4 due to a string of miscarriages and other health issues. Had those not happened we would have had 1-2 more in there. 
 

Number 4 is 1, and I’m 42, so it’s looking like we will be done with 4. 

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We stopped at five for multiple reasons.

1. Kids were all adopted so coming up with the money was getting harder each time.

2. Age of dh and I (41 when youngest was added to our family)

3. Age of other kids and all their activities keeping us busy

4. I honestly one day just thought to myself that I was good, done.  That no one was missing and I had no desire to add another child.  I never thought that would happen honestly, I figured I would always be up for one more, but at that point (youngest was about 3, other kids were 8, 10, 11, and 15) I just felt done.

 

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50 minutes ago, Splash1 said:

 

4. I honestly one day just thought to myself that I was good, done.  That no one was missing and I had no desire to add another child.  I never thought that would happen honestly, I figured I would always be up for one more, but at that point (youngest was about 3, other kids were 8, 10, 11, and 15) I just felt done.

 

Same never thought it would happen, and then it did. So weird!

I forgot to say that worries about health issues that are more common after 40 were also a reason....I was 42 at least by the time I was fertile again after our youngest, and that seemed a lot less safe to me - both in terms of genetic issues but also in terms of multiples. We know I carry a gene for hyperovulation according to my DNA test, plus my dad is a twin, he has another set of twin brothers, and his mom was a twin. And twins are more common as you age. I really didn't want to try for "one more" and have twins in my mid forties. 

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

Same never thought it would happen, and then it did. So weird!

I forgot to say that worries about health issues that are more common after 40 were also a reason....I was 42 at least by the time I was fertile again after our youngest, and that seemed a lot less safe to me - both in terms of genetic issues but also in terms of multiples. We know I carry a gene for hyperovulation according to my DNA test, plus my dad is a twin, he has another set of twin brothers, and his mom was a twin. And twins are more common as you age. I really didn't want to try for "one more" and have twins in my mid forties. 

When I was a preschool teacher before having my own kids, we once had four sets of multiples in our class at once—three sets of twins and one set of triplets.  Three of the four moms were over forty, one was over fifty.

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1 hour ago, Condessa said:

When I was a preschool teacher before having my own kids, we once had four sets of multiples in our class at once—three sets of twins and one set of triplets.  Three of the four moms were over forty, one was over fifty.

Yeah, there is a definite correlation in age and multiples. I kind of figured I'd played the odds enough, lol. Not seriously, but it was a factor...an accidental twin pregnancy is pretty scary compared to accidental singleton. And then we would have needed different vehicles..etc tc. 

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We have a small family (two!) but have not used birth control other than fertility awareness since our younger son was born in December of 2008.  Some people just aren’t that fertile so I try not to assume anything when I see a a family (large or small) hasn't had a baby recently.  In my case, I could get pregnant pretty easily if we timed things to TTC until my mid 30s but I didn’t stay pregnant (recurrent miscarriages).  Apparently I have a lot of scar tissue on my uterus.  At this point I turn 41 this month and haven’t been pregnant for several years.  We would have liked more kids but it wasn’t to be.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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Well, I thought I was done at 3, but.....🤣   Guess I wasn't "done" yet.

I would love to have a girl (all 4 are boys) but honestly, I even feel I am too old for the 3 year old.

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1 minute ago, DawnM said:

Well, I thought I was done at 3, but.....🤣   Guess I wasn't "done" yet.

I would love to have a girl (all 4 are boys) but honestly, I even feel I am too old for the 3 year old.

We went into permanent care because we wanted another daughter. We were placed with twin boys. 😁😁

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Small family (just 2). I got pregnant with a third earlier this year (miscarried before the 7 week mark). That month though I was a MONSTER and felt horrible (good thing COVID was going on there were days in there I didn't really trust myself with my kids). I want to end with just the 2 because I don't want to feel that way ever again.

My other 2 pregnancies were easy-peasy I didn't even get morning sickness, just allergies and of course being 35 lbs heavier.  I don't know whether that horrible feeling is because I turned 36 or because it was a miscarriage. 

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On 7/12/2021 at 8:12 PM, Junie said:

We have 6.  Our youngest is 10.  I'm sure that most people think that we stopped on purpose, but we actually haven't.  After having six children in the first decade of marriage, we have been unable to have any children in the second decade.  Before dh and I married, we decided that we would allow God to choose how many children we would have.

I think this kind of story is actually quite common. Either the babies just stop coming (either failure to conceive or pregnancy loss) or mother develops serious health issues that make further childbearing overly risky.

Fertility for most women declines significantly by the mid thirties.

Edited by maize
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21 hours ago, GracieJane said:

Did you homeschool all of them? How did you keep track of 12 children running around the house? This is so interesting!

It sounds like a big number, but you have to remember my bigger gaps were at the beginning and my closer kiddos were at the end. We homeschooled from the very beginning because DH was in the Army and the base school had a very poor reputation. While I had a religious conviction to homeschool, DH did not. His interest was purely relational and academic. When we moved back to our hometown, we planned to put them back in school, but by then he had seen the perks of having them homeschooled, so we didn’t. Two of our kids (the youngest) went to half day preschool (DS@4yo) and half day kindergarten (5yo DD) the year of my diagnosis because we were told by a couple close family members we weren’t thinking of the kids because with an ALS diagnosis, they should get used to it now. We agreed... not realizing there are outlier ALS patients who live longer than 2-3 years. It was hardest when I was schooling 9 grades (1 year.) My DH now works from home. Most of our kids start CC at 16 for at least part of their credits. And I’m not learning how I want to do this anymore... That’s part of the difficulty of homeschooling, sorting through curriculum, figuring out who you are as a teacher, figuring out learning styles of children. I did that the first fifteen or so years, but now it’s not too difficult. Keeping track of thy em? We lived in a very small house for the first twelve years. 😉 

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12 hours ago, DawnM said:

Well, I thought I was done at 3, but.....🤣   Guess I wasn't "done" yet.

I would love to have a girl (all 4 are boys) but honestly, I even feel I am too old for the 3 year old.

That's why my grandma stopped at 6, or why she had 6, lol. She wanted a girl, but first was a set of twin boys, then a year later a singleton boy, then a year later another set of twin boys. Finally a few years after that she had a girl and stopped. But to her total dismay, it seems being the youngest with 5 older brothers led to said girl being an utter tomboy who rejected dresses and ribbons and all things girly and eventually joined the army. 

When I had a girl as my second child my grandma actually said, "how did you manage to get so lucky, I had to have FIVE boys before I got a girl" as if I had some secret to share. (I actually love baby boys maybe more than baby girls...so didn't really sympathize)

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We just have 4. We had fertility issues in the beginning, having to see a reproductive endocrinologist, going through numerous tests and procedures only to be diagnosed with "unexplained infertility." I got pregnant naturally sometime afterwards, and then the next three came in pretty rapid succession (4 in 7 years.) We had planned to stop after #3 but didn't take any permanent measures. #4 had a very traumatic start to life and while he is an absolute joy, he is also profoundly disabled and requires a lot of care and attention most 9 year olds don't. I was 37 at that point anyway, but we could not handle any more "surprises."

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18 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

That's why my grandma stopped at 6, or why she had 6, lol. She wanted a girl, but first was a set of twin boys, then a year later a singleton boy, then a year later another set of twin boys. Finally a few years after that she had a girl and stopped. But to her total dismay, it seems being the youngest with 5 older brothers led to said girl being an utter tomboy who rejected dresses and ribbons and all things girly and eventually joined the army. 

When I had a girl as my second child my grandma actually said, "how did you manage to get so lucky, I had to have FIVE boys before I got a girl" as if I had some secret to share. (I actually love baby boys maybe more than baby girls...so didn't really sympathize)

I love having boys too.   I really do.

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