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How did you decide on the number of children?

(74 Posts)
Junosmum Mon 28-Dec-15 00:30:03

Please don't read this if you are struggling/ struggled with fertility. I'll come across as very insensitive, I apologise.

I appreciate many people have no choice due to a number of circumstances, but if you did I would appreciate your comments.

Background: I didn't want kids, never have. DH wanted kids, has always seen himself as a dad etc. Neither view is wrong imo. Prior to marriage we spent a period of time apart so we could decide if we could continue our relationship. He decided it was kids or nothing, I decided I wanted him therefore I wanted his kids (or kid, we agreed see how one goes then see). Fast forward several years and I'm now 37 weeks pg with DC1.

I'm already adamant I don't want another, despite having an easy pregnancy and getting a little excited about this one's arrival, I've hated being pregnant and, I'm ashamed to admit, slightly regret it (I got pregnant first try, after thinking it would take a while and I'd hsve time to get my head round the idea etc). This baby IS wanted and lived, I'm judt aware of how selfish i am and how much my life needs to change for this baby. OH wants a second, thinks it's mean/ not good practice if you can help it to have an only child (I think that's bollocks). We could afford 2 (just).

We have a 3 bed house (mortgaged) and are both in good jobs.

Am I likely to change my mind about DC2? Did anyone else make a 'head' decision to have a second? I've never ever felt broody so unless it happens by accident I don't see a second one on the cards.

I appreciate I haven't had baby 1 yet but it irked me no end when people said 'you'll feel differently when your older' when I said I didn't want kids. I never changed my mind (something my mum really can't get her head around) so doubt I will about number 2.

So how did you decide?

DisappointedOne Mon 28-Dec-15 00:48:53

We were similar. DH wanted kids, I didn't know if I did. After years of talking, counselling, thinking, nagging I decided to leave it to fate. Was pregnant within 4 weeks and now have 5 year old very lovely DD. Absolutely wouldn't be without her, but have absolutely no inclination or reason to do it again. 99% sure she's staying an only.

It's tough because it's not something you can easily compromise on. Someone has to "win".

DisappointedOne Mon 28-Dec-15 00:51:03

FWIW DH is reasonably close to his 3 younger brothers. My sister and I can't stand each other. While DH would have more kids tomorrow, I don't ever want DD going through what I have with my sister/mother.

GrimDamnFanjo Mon 28-Dec-15 00:53:15

I would wait till your first is here as that may decide things for you.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Mon 28-Dec-15 00:58:38

I fell pregnant at 19 and tbh never saw myself as a mother (then or in future.) after lots of tears and a few what the fuck am I thinking breakdowns during the pregnancy I got through it. I said I would be back at work in 3 months however my feelings changed once she was born. I breastfed till she was 14 months (again a never in a million years before she was born.)
Then when dd1 was 2.5 we decided to have another, it felt right and what we needed to complete our family. Fell pregnant almost straight away, once dd2 was born I knew our family was complete and we weren't going to have anymore.

However we had a contraceptive failure around 6 months ago and I fell pregnant. As soon as we found out I knew I didn't want nor could we keep the baby. It was a hard decision but I had a termination, we are now looking at more permanent contraceptive solutions as I never want to go through that again.

TheOldestCat Mon 28-Dec-15 00:58:54

Similar here. Never wanted DC but DH did. Thought we would have the one, but agreed (made a 'head' decision) to a second.

For a couple of years I had many moments of regret it as I have found it very hard (no family help nearby, working FT for a while then PT but still a long commute and DH works long hours).

But, now they are older (9 and 5) I am very happy we went for it, even though parenting is still tough at times.

Equally, one could be entirely right for you. Of course it's not selfish having one - what a load of crap. Ignore anyone who says that.

I would resist putting pressure on yourself now - see how you go. And good luck to you.

ToysDontWorkNoMore Mon 28-Dec-15 00:58:54

Wanted two, but after having DS (6) could not face it again. Parenting him wrings me dry!

RiverTamFan Mon 28-Dec-15 00:59:58

Wait until you have both lived the actual reality of your child for at least a few months before making a decision.

We always planned to have five kids but by the time our third was a few months old our second's special needs were becoming obvious. I planned that we'd wait until our youngest started school, assuming it would get easier. Nope, eldest was obviously ASD by that point and hands were thoroughly full! My point is to live it before deciding if you can take more on.

Mmmmcake123 Mon 28-Dec-15 01:00:29

At your age you would be best to have them close together which is hard work for a few years then easier once they entertain each other, assuming they get on.
Can't stand only one bashing, my fave people in life are both only ones. Don't be pushed into having a second dc as the effort involved could lead to pnd.

Boogers Mon 28-Dec-15 01:00:30

I'm completely the opposite and always wanted children, and when I fell in love with DH I knew I wanted them with him. Fast forward a couple of years and I'm very unexpectedly pregnant (coil in situ) and it just felt like it was meant to happen. Cheesy but true.

Fast forward 5 years and we're living in our own house and we both say 'why don't we not use a condom and see what happens?' and DD came along 10 months after that. I would love another baby but we live in a house with 2 1/2 bedrooms (DD's room is a box room with a bulkhead) and we can't afford to move so the decision is kinda made for us. When I was pregnant with DD I worried how I could love another child like I loved DS, but I just did, though when I was pregnant with DS I was so scared I talked to my GP about not being pregnant at 24 weeks.

You might find a maternal feeling comes and you can't ever imagine life without your baby, along with it the instinct to want to make more babies, and if it does, it does. If it doesn't, and you feel that one baby is just right for you, then it would seem only fair to tell your DH, but don't be coerced into having another baby if it's not what you want.

You're going to go through a rollercoaster of emotions in the next few months, and without wanting to sound like those people who said you'll feel differently when you're older, you might feel differently when baby arrives.

Good luck! smile

Sprink Mon 28-Dec-15 01:09:58

cake123 I don't see where the OP mentioned her age. She said she's 37 weeks pregnant, not 37 years old.

OP, just wait until you have this one then see how you feel. Worrying about it now accomplishes nothing. Congratulations, by the way.

VimFuego101 Mon 28-Dec-15 01:10:52

I had a horrible birth and non sleeping baby, I was adamant no more for at least 2 years. The only thing that made me change my mind is that DS is unlikely to have any cousins since I don't see BIL, DS or DB having kids. As it turned out, it probably won't happen for us anyway.

I didn't really enjoy the baby years, it was really tough. But DS is 4 and he's just brilliant now, he's my little buddy and I take him everywhere and we have a great time. He's toilet trained and we're over the stage of having to cart all the baby crap around. I'd love to have 10 more if I could fast forward them a bit grin

MidniteScribbler Mon 28-Dec-15 02:38:41

I always said I only wanted one, and having DS has not changed my opinion at all. I adore him, but wouldn't want to go through the baby years again. I'm satisfied with what I've got.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 28-Dec-15 02:52:45

I didn't want any. Then DH convinced me. Then, annoyingly, he decided that DD was a bit, you know, hard. So we only have one and I would have had another.

Funnily enough I think that's the reason. I was realistic about the pain, sleeplessness and trauma. DH wasn't. The love and wonder came as a surprise to me; the hard work to DH.

Luckily DD is perfect so we don't need a spare. star

PerspicaciaTick Mon 28-Dec-15 02:56:47

Don't base decisions about children on how you feel about being pregnant, it is such a relatively short time that, unless you are at medical risk, I think it should only be one factor of many affecting your decision.

chrome100 Mon 28-Dec-15 06:42:24

I think it's unfair of your DH to demand you have a second. You have already made a (huge) compromise for him in having the first. Why should he get to call the shots?

alien11 Mon 28-Dec-15 06:55:57

We have two DCs. Different to you in that we both wanted them. Wait until your first is here. After dd1 I wanted another but as she got older,more independent etc we were tempted to stick to one. But we decided we did actually want another member of our family but two was the limit. When pregnant I had wobbles as dd1 is 4 so totally independent and we had a happy fun life. A newborn could and would ruin that. It's hard work yes but time flies by and life settles eventually .Funnily enough when dd2 was born 10 weeks ago I really felt I would love another member of the family but Dh says no way and he's right. For us financially we can give our girls a comfortable life,I can return to work when dd2 is older & can have my independence back. To be honest I know I couldnt have had a child if I really didn't want one.

sashh Mon 28-Dec-15 07:05:29

OH wants a second, thinks it's mean/ not good practice if you can help it to have an only child


A second child isn't a toy for the first.

Mummageddon Mon 28-Dec-15 07:07:19

Wait and see how you feel when the baby arrives. I went the other way, always wanted two kids but my first DC was a difficult baby and I said never again (that sounds so flippant but the first year or so was truly awful for me). However, as DC got older I wanted them to have a sibling. They dont have much extended family, no cousins to play with etc..I was close to my own sibling, massive support when we lost a parent young etc.. and decided that no matter how hard it was going to be I needed to have another DC.
Am currently pg with #2.

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Mon 28-Dec-15 07:11:18

Maybe you'll love it and have another three, maybe you'll stick with one and be delighted, or maybe you'll always feel a little (or a lot) like you compromised yourself to appease your husband. I really hope for your child's sake that you love being a mother. You've taken a massive risk though - most of us come down with a bit of PND at some point, especially with the first. It can sometimes be hard enough to see light at the end of the tunnel even when we've wanted that child our whole lives, but when we've had it to fulfil our part of a bargain or to keep hold of a man and can happily say we'd not have had it otherwise, well…..let's just hope this is plain sailing for you.

I think it would have been easier and perhaps fairer and more sensible to let your partner go, and find another soulmate (there is always another soulmate) who wanted the same things in life as you, than doing something as massive and life changing as becoming a mother when you knew your heart was never really in it.

I hope to god this doesn't backfire on you or your child.

waitingforsomething Mon 28-Dec-15 07:15:31

I was adamant that I would have one. Dd arrived by surprise but once she got here, although I found it tough, I thought she was amazing and perfect. Broody didn't happen to me again as I felt I didn't have enough love for two. When she was 18mo we made a head decision to try again. She was the only child in a large family, no prospect of a cousin and was quite shy. We felt it would be a good future investment. When she was 2.8 DS arrived and he is now almost 6mo. I think he's gorgeous and perfect too and I don't regret a thing. They have a lovely relationship and dd is extatic to be a sister.
I made a head decision and it was the right one but I didn't make it until I was ready. No trying to decide when 1 felt like a handful!

SparklyTinselTits Mon 28-Dec-15 07:16:00

DH and I currently have dd1 (8mo). He has always said, that before he met me, he never saw himself having kids, but he realised that kids come as part of the deal. I come from a huge family, where everyone has at least 2 children. I can't imagine my life without them, or a life with only one child. Just yesterday, I saw a squishy newborn in Tesco, and melted into a puddle of maternal broody pants are always at the top of the drawer.
My poor uncle (by marriage), in his 60's now, was an only child, and both his parents are now dead. He has no blood relatives other than his children and grandchildren. Both of his parents were only children, so no aunts, uncles, cousins etc.
As morbid as it sounds, I don't want my DD to have to deal with the issues of elderly parents (illness, death, funerals etc) by herself.
We have made the decision to try again next summer. If we have a boy next time, we have agreed that 2 is enough (for now!), but if we have a second girl, then we would definitely go for a third in future years. If we got 3 DD's then we would stop - we couldn't afford more than 3. We are lucky on the housing front, as we live in military housing, which we pay peanuts for, but even if we do have 3, we are looking at the cost of a bigger car and all that jazz!
I also hated almost every second of being pregnant (hyperemesis from the second the sperm touched the egg, until DD arrived!) but I have no qualms about going through it broodyness overrides my fears of it happening again

aquashiv Mon 28-Dec-15 07:26:01

You just don't know how you will feel until you live breathe and feel being a parent.

GladysTheGolem Mon 28-Dec-15 07:32:54

I didn't want kids, DH did, I regretted getting pregnant with dc1, even though it took 11months and a miscarriage.
The second dc1 arrived, after a terrible labour, I knew I wanted more kids.

I had mild PND with dc1, didn't stop us ttc dc2, no PND after them...and shortly after that dc3 arrived.

I really don't want anymore. Ever. But the way I felt when broody was so, so different to anything I've felt before...all consuming urge to have babies!

GladysTheGolem Mon 28-Dec-15 07:34:52

Oh, and I absolutely hate every second of being pregnant, I hated breastfeeding (only tried it with my first for a few weeks) & I'm not a very 'natural' parent (still not a fan of other people's children on the whole).

Good luck, and hope you have a good birth!

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