I am finding this decision so hard

(21 Posts)
3monkeys3 Sat 24-Nov-12 16:26:35

I just can't make up my mind whether to try for a 4th child or not. Some days I am very happy just to stop and others I find myself really yearning for one more. I have thought about it so much that the hypothetical 4th child is starting to take on a vague shape in my mind - I find myself thinking about the future and there is someone else there. It would be easy enough to stop, we have lots to do and lots to look forward to, but I think about it every single day without fail and it's distracting me from my actual life! How on Earth do you make such a big decision?

Thinkingof4 Sat 24-Nov-12 17:44:32

Have you made a list of pros and cons of a 4th? Can you afford it? Do you have space? Would you need a new car? How would it work with your childcare (if you work). What does your partner think? Have you had difficult pregnancies, to the extent that it would be difficult to look after your brood when pregnant?

I really feel for you 3monkeys as I was in your situation for months trying to decide. In the end I decided I was more likely to regret not having a 4th and we decided to go for it but set outselves a time limit of about 6 months. I got pregnant 1st month of trying and just had an early scan today showing I am 8 weeks!! It's very exciting but I have to admit that I am a bit scared/nervous thinking aaargh what have we done type of thing. But I always feel a bit like that in early days of pregnancy.
Ask me in 7 months if I still think it was the right decision though!!!

MUM2BLESS Sat 24-Nov-12 19:00:28

I have four kids b b g b. I loved being pregnant.

If you really really want to then why not? You may look back wishing you had.

I wanted to have another but I believe I made a good decsion to stop.

I am a childminder of SEVEN smile

3monkeys3 Sat 24-Nov-12 19:33:24

I am finding it very hard. I want to, very much, but am very torn about whether we should. I swing wildly between thinking we should definitely stop and desperately wanting one more. It would definitely only we one more - I've never been interested in more than 4, it feels like my number (I'm happy to take the small risk of twins - no twins in family and am 30 - and know myself well enough to know I'd be fine/happy if we get twins).

For info, we have ds (4.2), dd (3) and ds (1.3) - so all close in age and still little. I worry a lot about having too big a gap and hypothetical dc4 always being left out - we're already at a 2 year gap if we start now, which we won't.

In terms of pros and cons, it would absolutely come out in favour of stopping - surely it would for most people if you think about it in practical terms? From my point of view, pros are:

- I want another to experience it all one last time
- I feel like our family should have 4 children
- I think it would be lovely for the dc to have a big gang of siblings
- I think it would be less likely someone would be left out with an even number
- I just want to
- I worry I will regret it if I don't

cons:

- We only have a small house, though we will extend and then move in time
- I don't want to spread myself too thinly
- I don't want to stop enjoying raising my children
- I would have to have a 4th section
- I am likely to get spd in the pregnancy
- It would stretch our finances
- I am starting to feel that I'd like to get my own life back on track and this is starting to happen at the moment (am nearly back to wedding weight, can go out, thinking about my options re work, starting to have more time to myself/with dh) and another baby would set us back again
- I very slightly find myself wanting another girl - I would be thrilled with a boy too, I love my boys, but I want a sister for my dd and I don't want ds2 to feel pushed out

There is probably more, but you can see the cons list is longer!

We can afford it to a point, but things are a bit tight at the moment with lots to pay for over the next couple of years and we will be losing our child benefit. We already have a big 7 seater, so car is not an issue. I am a stay at home mum, so childcare isn't really a problem, but it would mean delaying my return to work by another couple of years at least - in all honesty work is a separate issue I have to think about as it is going to be very difficult for me to return to my previous career (events) without sacrificing a lot in terms of time with dc and dh, so I have a lot to think about there anyway. I miss work desperately at times, but then I am so happy at home with my dc that I usually get over it pretty quickly! I think about retraining, but the only other thing I am interested in doing also involves long, antisocial hours! Sorry - went off on a bit of a tangent!

I don't like being pregnant (apart from the nice bits). I love the baby stage, I love the toddler stage, I love the preschool stage - I can see me loving every stage tbh, but I do really like them little, I wish I could press pause. That said, I know it isn't just mindless broodiness because my brain refuses to think any further than 4 children - it is definitely the 4th child in our family that I want and not just another baby.

Dh needs convincing - he is a pragmatist and far less emotionally driven than I am - if he were more like me he would do it in a heartbeat.

Sorry for essay - it;s hard to talk to people about it as everyone just tells me I would be crazy!

3monkeys3 Sat 24-Nov-12 19:35:21

Thought of another pro! Big support network! Woo!

And apologies for some very long sentences in the above!

3monkeys3 Sat 24-Nov-12 19:39:19

Oh, and congratulations thinkingof4 - sorry, I am so self absorbed!

sounds like you've already decided, but a friend of mine, adult, who is one of four, was telling me she loves the dynamics of four. Their mother recently died sad but they are all so close and it's made them closer and more of a support network, like you mention.

3monkeys3 Sat 24-Nov-12 20:05:19

I don't think I have ilovemydog! I don't know which way you think I've decided! grin

lljkk Sat 24-Nov-12 20:18:09

You are an amazing Mum if you can contemplate SPD again.
4 is um... hard. Has screwed my career over completely.

I don't see why you feel you have to make this decision now.

I would recommend a little more time and a bigger age gap does not mean siblings that aren't close. My husband is one of 5. He has an older sister, then two brothers and then a sister. He is probably closest to his youngest brother who is 5 years younger, but they all are close as a family. I have 3 children and am expecting my fourth. There is two and half years between my first two (boys and they are best buds at the moment) and then 3&1/2 between number 2&3 (a girl) yet they all get along and can play really nicely. There will be 3&1/4 between no 3&4. We had wanted smaller gaps but this is how nature has worked it out. M

I really enjoyed a bigger gap. No 2 was at preschool and I got to do loads of one and one with my baby girl and then she would nap when no2 got home so he got loads of attention. The older one has got more time in the evening. I am sure we will manage in a similar way.

It does mean delaying a return to work which means more financial planning at this stage but you know what it's worth it.

I would have been devastated had I never had number 4, I know I am really lucky with 3 and I am grateful for them everyday (even when it's hard) and I hate pregnancy (apart from the baby). It took almost 2 years of TC and a MC to get this far. I only have about 6 weeks to go now (need a section date).

I would recommend starting to discuss it with your husband as that may help you as you verbalise it all.

All the best whatever you decide.

nicobean Sat 24-Nov-12 20:45:55

Oh my goodness I could have written your post, 3monkeys. I am trying to decide myself whether or not it's madness to consider another.

It's really difficult as my rational brain tells me I have 3 lovely DC's and not enough space and money for 4, but my emotional brain just craves one more.

I know what you mean about feeling there's one misssing...or maybe it's just hormones...darn biology!! You do have time on your side (not like me envy) so that's a blessing. I wonder that as my youngest (2) grows up I might enough having older kids and not want to go back to babyhood.

Do talk to your DH about how you're feeling. I was very surprised that mine is more up for it than I was expecting, and tbh, the idea that I might actually get what I want is more than a little scary.

Best of luck with whatever you decide. I'll definitely be lurking to see what other people have to say.

Journey Sat 24-Nov-12 21:10:06

Go for a 4th child. You'll never regret it.

I'd probably wait a year before conceiving though. The reason being is four dcs is hard work and if you waited then your youngest would be three and have a nursery place when your fourth was born. You would then be able to have some lovely 1-2-1 time with your newborn.

Managing a baby and toddler with two other dcs is demanding. You will feel very stretched at times. It is wonderful though and seeing them playing with each other is lovely.

I would ask yourself how much "me time" you would like to have. With four dcs you don't get any; at least not in the early years. If you like time to yourself then perhaps three dcs would give you a better balance.

Follow your heart...

Thinkingof4 Sun 25-Nov-12 18:41:44

Thanks 3monkeys
I hate being pg too, but so far I haven't been sick which is astonishing for me as I normally puke for Britain grin
hopefully the pg will continue to not make me feel too terrible and I'll be delighted. Ds3 pregnancy was my best up till now so maybe I'm getting better at it!

I could have written this too - it's exactly how I see the list of pros and cons, even down to the SPD, and my DH is very similar. The only difference is DC1 has just turned six (DC2, 4 and DC3 1.5)

We did eventually decide to go for DC4. On our sixth cycle trying now.. all the others (and my two losses) were conceived within 1-2 months so it's just a tad bewildering and frustrating. I chart and use OPKs for TTC and TTA so I know what I'm doing. Part of me wonders if my body is trying to tell me I'm being bloody stupid wanting that fourth DC, but my heart won't let me rest until they're here.

Good luck with your decision!!

psychomum5 Fri 30-Nov-12 23:26:40

as a mum of five, all I will say is...

if you have room in your heart for another, then all the other stuff is just that, stuff.

I yearned for #5. I had people tell me I was nuts. But we had room in the house (we are lucky, we have a 4 bed and it is large downstairs), room in the car, and room in our hearts and lives.

I have never regretted it grin

NAR4 Sat 01-Dec-12 10:56:37

I agree with psychomum5. If in your heart you want another one, then go for it. Children just need love, not stuff. It will all work out somehow.

Main differrence going from 3 to 4 is needing to get a people carrier of some kind rather than a 5 seater car. Assuming you need a car where you live.

NAR4 Sat 01-Dec-12 10:58:00

Sorry, just re-read your post and see car is not an issue anyway.

Go for it, I would in your position.

NAR4 Sat 01-Dec-12 11:02:23

Congratulations Thinkingof4. you will have to change your name on here soon!

charlottehere Sat 01-Dec-12 20:19:33

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3monkeys3 Sun 02-Dec-12 15:31:55

Thank you so much everyone. I think we've decided to stop - for now anyway. I am feeling quite behind this decision actually - I've had a good few weeks where I've been socialising and enjoying myself with friends and dh and ds2 has slept through the night for the last 3 nights, so I am suddenly seeing the positives of stopping! Plus ds2 (dc3) is turning out to be a handful - incredible, wonderful, gorgeous - but hard work (my older 2 seem easy peasy in comparison) and I'm not entirely sure he would take well to a new sibling.........I'm not saying never though - I'm not sure I'll be able to say that for a good while!

Thinkingof4 Sun 02-Dec-12 15:40:33

That's great 3monkeys you enjoy your brood! And you won't have to change your name unlike me! I'm too scared to change it yet, I'll wait till im past 1st trimester then change it, all being well

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