Stuck

After two terrible pregnancies, I want another baby.

I’m certain that I am one of the worst pregnant women ever.  Morning sickness kicks in for me at 6 weeks and doesn’t stop raging until I give birth.  Not a mild, “my belly feels off” feeling, but rather an “I think I might die” all-day sickness. With both children, I was on anti-nausea medicine until they were born and still vomited often.

Knowing that I was carrying a child, who was thriving and growing because of me, provided a tremendous sense of purpose. I pray that I never forget the feeling of having my two newborn babies placed on my chest, skin-to-skin, still slick yet beautifully sticky.

I want another baby.

I went into labor with Katie for the first time at 24 weeks.  I was ultimately put on full bedrest and still went into labor and delivery eleven times, where they had to work to stop my labor.  Thankfully, I was never on bedrest with Matthew, but the contractions began in earnest at 26 weeks.

I will never forget their first kicks, those tiny flutters that proved they were there.  I will never forget delivering them.  Their births were perfection.  Absolute perfection.

I want another baby.

When we brought Matthew home, I cried every night, worrying that I had selfishly turned our world upside down.

Now, when I see them together, I realize that those fears have washed away.  Katie adores Matthew and clamors to comfort him or make him happy.  They giggle together and their connection deepens each day.  It is clear that they have grown to need each other.

I want another baby.

I will be (gulp) 40 next year.  We’ve been so fortunate to have two healthy babies, but with each passing year comes higher risk of us not being so lucky again.

I believe that it is because I started so late that I am a good mom.  I am more patient, more aware of what matters in my life.

I want another baby.

We are fifty percent of the way through potty training.

When am rocking Matthew to sleep at night, I can’t fathom that he’s my last baby. His skin is so soft, his flesh still so squishy, so yielding to my touch.

I want another baby.

There are days when the two children that I already have completely wear me out.  Most nights, I fall into bed and I can barely stay awake long enough to say goodnight to Craig.

In the morning, the sight of Matthew’s face, his immediate desire to nurse, and Katie’s exuberance and delight in starting a new day, bring me joy and purpose like I’ve never known.

I want another baby.

There are days when I am short of patience, when I have to count to ten and remind myself to just breathe.

But, if there is anything in this life that I am certain of, it is that I am a good mother…that I am patient more often than not.

I want another baby.

There are Sunday mornings when I dream of sleeping in.

Then there are Sunday nights, filled with tickles, hugs, laughter, and the knowledge that we are good parents, giving our children a safe and happy childhood.

I want another baby.

Neither getting pregnant, nor staying pregnant come easy to us. With parenting comes never-ending work.

But the nurturing and loving part more than balances it out.

I want another baby.

But do I need another baby?

Here’s where I’m stuck…how do I differentiate between want and need?

How do I know when to quit while I’m ahead?  I have two lovely, healthy children who bring me tremendous happiness.  I get to sleep through the night.  I didn’t get a single stretch mark from either pregnancy.  Surely if I have another baby, that will catch up with me?

How do I know whether or not I’m just being greedy?  If two is wonderful, is three necessarily better?

Would another sibling be a gift to Katie and Matthew, or would it result in them having less? Less time, less opportunity?

Will I regret not having another?

I’m stuck.

And time is not on my side.

36 comments

  1. KLZ taminginsanity.com

    I will tell you what The Empress told me when I confessed to her that I was embarrassed that I thought I could happily be the mother to 5 children: you will never regret having them

    Now, I don't know that that's helpful. But it gave me a certain peace for the time being.

    Good luck.

  2. BringUpBee bringingupbronwyn.com

    Does anyone NEED to have even one baby (aside from continuing the species)? No. Don't go with need over want. If you and C truly want another baby, and you are will to go through everything that comes with it? I say go for it.

    Me on the other hand?

    I think I'm good with one.

  3. I think you know deep down. If it is meant to be then it will be…try it…see what happens. Then you will know.

  4. Both a friend and I have been having this conversation lately. When you look at it logically, objectively, consider what changes could occur, that life would be different- there are a million ways to talk yourself out of having a baby.

    We thought we were done. In fact, I think I thought I was done more than my husband did. But I have never had baby fever as much as I do now, after two kids. It started awhile back, and has only gotten worse over the past year. I just know, deep in my heart, I'm not done. So, decision made.

  5. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    The "everything that comes with it" worries me.
    Pregnancy and I do not get along. At all.

  6. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I've never thrown caution to the wind. Seriously, like never.
    I'm not even sure what that would feel like!

  7. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Did Craig pay you to say that? ;)

  8. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    That's the thing, Kristin…I'm not sure that even if we had another that I would feel done.
    I love my children and would love to have many more.

    But, I worry about what it would mean for them. Would it matter that we wouldn't be able to do as much or give them as much? I know that the happy answer is that we'd be giving them another sibling to love, but in reality, would they resent that one day?

  9. Yuliya shesuggests.com/

    Oh good luck to you. The logical part of me says the world is made for a family of four (you know like one free child ticket for every adult kind of stuff), the environmentalist in me says adoption is a great idea, the mommy in me says squishy baby feet, yum!

  10. WELL, you're asking the wrong gal. I'm not sure you want to hear my answer because it's completely biased. I am a single girl afflicted with the baby lust with no relief in sight. so I say: have a baby!

    I have to say though, I don't think need has anything to do with it. having a baby isn't like buying a car. you may have to weigh want vs need for a big ticket purchase. but a baby? well that's not a need; it's a life-long addition to your family. and it ha to be right for your family. does that help?

  11. Nikki mommyoblongata.blogspot.com

    I'm stuck at the moment too and I have been contemplating this same question in my head for months now. Now that my son is almost a year, I yern for another newborn, to experience "firsts" all over again…but then I remember all the times when I thought I might go crazy and if that is how I felt with one…would it double with two? I don't know, but I will admit that I had a tinge of sadness when I started cycleling this month.

  12. Alex@LateEnough lateenough.com

    After my second pregnancy, I knew I never wanted to be pregnant again. I was so sick and a crappy mom to E when I didn’t have help here. And i hated having to rely on others to parent.

    However, I’m totally comfortable with adopting so I never felt like I had to say DONE to say SNIP.

    My parents told me to have one more than you think and want. I thought I wanted five. So after I adopt four babies, do you think I’ll be able to still blog? Or should I go for the sitcom?

  13. Hmm. This is a toughie.

    I've had the ute twinges as well. Hub and I do not have any children together, so there is the desire to share a child between us. However, there are some financial limitations for us.

    Also? I have a lot of fear. I adore my son, more than I have ever loved anyone or anything before in my life. I am lucky that we are very similar and I "get" him in a way most don't. Genetics don't guarantee likability tho. And my stepdaughter? Is difficult. Even the parent who is genetically linked to her (her father) finds her difficult and often very difficult to deal with or like.

    I believe myself to be a good mother. But having to parent a child you don't really like (and not permanently damage them), is really difficult. For me? The fear of creating another child that creates that much stress? Kinda puts me off the idea.

    But, her mother contributed half the genes (and 5 years of bad environment), so who knows what a child between my Hub and I would be like.

    It's a confusing problem, for both you & your husband, and for me and mine. Just for different reasons. I wish I had some useful input…and I hope you find a way to a decision you can be happy with. :)

  14. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    If we had another, I would need a bigger car, too.
    But yes, those squishy baby feet are delicious.

  15. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    That's the thing, Andy.
    What *is* the right thing for our family?
    That's what keeps me up at night…well, that and the sound of my biological clock ticking.
    Sigh.

  16. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    It's so tough, because for every reason *not* to have another child, there's a reason *to* have one!

    My little guy had terrible reflux up until about two months ago. He cried so much that I felt like I was going to go mad. He threw up everywhere and my clothes were just ruined.

    But now? He is happy and lovely and delightful.

    It's just not an easy decision to make, is it?

  17. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    My pregnancy with Matthew was hard on Katie. There were days when I could barely leave the powder room and she used to pat my back as I was throwing up. She was so good about everything…so patient and loving. But, I felt as though I lost about eight months of her life as I lay on the couch. struggling not to be sick.

    Now, with two kids to care for, I'm not sure I could do it alone. We don't have any family here either, so it's just me and Craig.

    And my vote for you is YES, go for the sitcom. I would SO watch you! :)

  18. cristina

    I am going through the exact same thing, I have two and there's a part of me that wants another and the other part thinks of all the great things that comes with just being the 4 of us. It has actually been driving me insane the past couple of weeks, I wish I could just be 100% about it either way. I so desperately want to make a decision and then move on… it's hard.

  19. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    If I were a betting woman, I would bet that you wouldn't dislike your own child. Not real dislike. Sure, there would be times when you disliked a certain behavior, but like all things, it would pass. I would imagine that raising a step-child presents so many challenges and limitations.

    And you're so right…it really is confusing. It seems that there really is no "right" answer. Just different ways of looking at it. Sigh.

  20. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    That's exactly what I would like to be able to do–make a decision one way or the other. My son is only 10 months old, so we wouldn't try immediately, but I'd love to be able to wrap my brain around whichever decision we ultimately make.

    Good luck to you as you try to figure it all out!

  21. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I can't tell you how many times I've actually thought that it wouldn't be so bad if I just got pregnant without it being a choice that we actually made. I'm a planner and a worrier, so that is completely unlikely, but it would take the burden of the actually making the decision off our shoulders!

    It's scary enough to decide to have another child, but to make the decision to be violently ill for nine months is tough. I know that it's worth it in the end, but how much can I put my children through now?

    Thank you for sharing your story and wisdom with me. It's comforting to know that others have been through similar experiences.

  22. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com/

    Are you my long lost twin sister? I could have written this exact post. I have terrible pregnancies, NICU babies and my husband is begging me for a vasectomy. His patience with the kids and whining is growing smaller and smaller as the days go by. Did he think this was going to be easy? And with everything going on my with my dad…I am more grateful for my brother and sister every day. I want another baby too.

  23. Carolyn thistalkaintcheap.com

    I guess leaving it up to chance isn't a possibility? Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't? I'm not one to judge, believe me, because my choice was NOT to have another one. I didn't want to go through another 9 months of hell. I certainly wouldn't put myself through it again, but I kind of like the dynamic of three kids. I feel like I have the big family I always wanted.

    Whatever you decide… know that it will be the right decision for you… and that's all that matters.

  24. Renee 2old2tap.blogspot.com

    Have you talked about with the WHOLE family? Not just C. Get Katie’s input, Matthew may be a little young, but how does he interact with other babies? Ultimately it’s your decision, but get all the feedback and support you can at home.

  25. I hope you get what you want.

  26. kris prettyalltrue.com

    I am not going to tell you what I think.

    Because only you know what's in your family's heart.

    The depth of the wanting.

    The need.

    And to me?

    Those are not opposing urges.

  27. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    Today I was wrestling X into a diaper. And he's standing in my room and as I'm fastening the little straps next to the Elmo on the front I had this thought: "How the Hell did he get here?" Because I couldn't believe I was there, with MY toddler. My surprise third child. Who now I can't live without.

  28. This is a struggle I have as well, except (thankfully) I have really easy pregnancies. We always thought two, and we have two gorgeous, huggable, perfect (ha, ha) kids. Logically, for us, for a lot of reasons, it makes sense to be done. Yet, a baby…

    Basically, I don't have any advice! I think that practicality will win out for us. Three might tip our financial scales in a way that changes the situation we are currently in, and neither of us want that.

    But a baby…

  29. KLZ taminginsanity.com

    Your children will be successful. They will do well. However many of them there are.

    And while I know this isn't a popular opinion, if you have the money for three ok colleges and one of them wants to go to a great college…they can always get loans. Or work some to help pay for it. It's not like they won't have options is all. Don't make that your final call.

  30. I have so many conflicting thoughts about this myself. For me it's a done deal, I am done. At 50 my eggs are cooked. The twins, born 2 weeks shy of my 42nd birthday, were IVF conceived miracles. There have been / will be no "happy accidents." And yet I long for a third child, a daughter. My chest grows tight my nipples tingle, my arms reach out when I pass a newborn on the street. And I live on the Upper West Side in New York City. Baby-ville. I see a LOT of infants. Daily. And it's hard.

    This is not something that can be revisited. We will not adopt. We don't have the space, or money. And even more so, my husband is NOT a kid person. He loves our sons, but he does not love spending time with them. As much as I love being a mother, have found myself here in motherhood, he finds fatherhood painful, torturesome, he most certainly does not want more children. And I know, in my heart of hearts, that in his heart of hearts, if he could go back and un-do becoming a father he would. This is the source of much pain for me. And I can't write about it on my blog, he reads my blog. But he won't read yours, so I can say this here.

    And there is this awful thing here, with having one of our twins on the autism spectrum. We really SHOULD have had another child IF there were a guarantee it would be a typical child, which of course, there can not be. If Jacob needs a guardian for the rest of his life (something we do not know yet, it could go either way) that now falls squarely on the shoulders of his twin brother Ethan alone. This is an awful burden for him to carry solo. It would be so much better for him to have someone to share this with. Likewise caring for us, their parents, when we grow old and burdensome. That too will likely be for Ethan alone to bear. And Ethan wants, needs, longs for a sibling he can play with, interact with. Jacob, too needs a sibling who is not seething with resentment at his twin being autistic. A younger brother or sister would look up to Jake, likely be much more accepting of who he is, not have dashed expectations clouding his heart.

    But of course, even if my husband had wanted more children and we could have afforded it, having had one child on the spectrum increases our chances of having another greatly, exponentially. We probably wouldn't have risked it. And yet when we are on a playdate and Jacob is having the time of his life playing with the 3 year old sister of a friend of Ethan's I catch a glimpse of what could have been, of what our family really needs to hold together, but cannot have. I long for that third child, that daughter. But I have to shut my feelings up in a box, put them away on a shelf with all the other might-have-beens in my life, accept the family I have, and let go.

    That is my very long winded way of saying: HAVE THAT THIRD CHILD if you can. I wish I had been able to.

    (And sorry to hijack your post, I didn't realize I had so much to say until I started saying it, hope you don't mind)

  31. susie newdaynewlesson.com

    As a mother of five, what I have to say is that if you want one and don't have one you will regret it. If you don't really want/need one but DO have one you won't regret it.

  32. ksluiter

    I can't tell you what to do, that is clearly for your family to decide, but I wanted to tell you that this post is so beautiful. Trying to get PG again is scary to me too, but because we only have E, I KNOW we will try at least one more time. I am all baby fever over here lately…but C is not, so we wait.

    Waiting? Is dumb. :)

  33. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I think it's a classic example of the heart vs head debate.
    Yes, we must we long lost twin sisters!

  34. I don't have kids, so if I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about it's because…well…I don't.

    But I truly believe that you'll know if you are supposed to have another baby. I think moms have that special ability to know if some little person is "missing" from their family. I've had a few friends that have gotten pregnant at inconvenient times, but they have all known it was just right.

  35. Maryline francoamericandream.com

    Most responses here tell you that you know what is right for you. I am not sure I can guess what that choice is, but your post clearly tells us that you want and need to grow a larger family :)

    I'm not saying the choice is easy, but I know many happy moms who had baby in their early forties. You have a bit of time left. Don't let that drive your decision!

    On a personal note, my sister had 2 children, both had severe digestion & reflux problems, her little boy who is my son's age was very unsettled, had to stay at the Paris-area hospital for children a few times and she knows she is not ready to go through that again. Both her babies were quite miserable with their tummies until about 6 months when they were able to have other foods.

    Because you know the "misery" you went through, you can decide if you can endure it again. As long as you don't put any of Craig' substance under the microscope I am pretty sure you have a fair shot :)

    By the way, not all pregnancies are equal, #3 could be a bliss. Just sayin'

  36. this is super tough. obviously, none of us can tell you what is right for you. I come from a family of four kids… and just being honest, i did resent it growing up. unless you have a lot of money, with more kids means more sacrifice … by EVERYONE. of course i love each of my siblings!! but I'm not going to lie and say it was all love and hugs and kisses. i was / am jealous of the divided attention and the sacrifices we made for a somewhat large family.

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