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<very long and thorough> Some advice please from Mums and Dads alike. Need to get my head around this.

(33 Posts)
IsolatedAndAlone Fri 17-Jun-11 13:30:12

I have had to namechange for this as my usual name is very well used on these forums. Some parts of the post will be rather vague (children's sex/age for example, as they could identify me, last thing I want is dh finding out how I feel from a forum)

I believe I will sound selfish, please don't hold that against me as it's partly why I'm here. sadsad

I am mid 20's, my dh is mid 20's. We have 3 children (2 boys and a girl, youngest is 1yr, oldest 6yrs).
I am desperately broody for another. As you can probably predict, my dh is not. Majorly not. But he will not discuss it further, only to tell me what ISN'T his reason for not wanting another.

For me, the selfish bit is I have no good reason for wanting another, I want my little one to have a brother or sister to grow up with as already they are left out. And I just want one. As I said, very poor reason's, I wish I could turn this broodiness off. I fear it will eventually come between me and dh as already I find myself unreasonably resenting his decision. That said, there is no obvious reason not to have another child either. (Reason's stated further down)

He won't talk about it. I had to battle with him when discussing ttc#3 and I ended up with mild temporary depression from it and I don't think I could go through that again. Plus, whilst I was pregnant I was so sure that I wouldn't want anymore I promised this was it. So it's me moving the goalposts. I never dreamed in a million years that I would feel like this again, and so strongly. I have been broody since about a fortnight before I gave birth last year, I just never said anything to him - I don't want to upset him.
There have been times in the last 6 or 7 weeks that I have been intending to speak to him about it but then he comes home in such a good mood that I don't want to spoil it. Or he'll have had a terrible day and I don't want to make it worse. Or he could be in a foul mood and I don't want to make him angry. I just don't know how long I can keep it bottled up now tho, the tears have started when I see birth announcements, it's a constant thought occupying my mind.

Financially we are ok, he has a good management job which has enabled me to give up work. Our children have new clothes (mostly from George or TU), I buy/sell bits on eBay and we do fine. We don't exactly go without.
We can afford holidays, just not every year, we tend to do daytrips to different places (zoo, adventure parks, seaside etc) so the kids still do things throughout the year rather than just a week. As well as occasional weekends away with family as they live on the east coast seaside.

Here is all the (some vague I apologise) info on a plain sheet:-
- DH has an illness, unpleasant at times but manageable. He developed this when our eldest was 5m old. He will soon be starting methrotrexate for it. This will mean if I somehow become pregnant, it will end with a mandatory abortion according to his specialist (metho is apparently used in abortions and can cause birth defects). He says his illness/medication is not the reason for not wanting another.

- Money is ok, we're not rich but not poor so I count us lucky. We buy new and second hand to get by. We shop at Sainsbury's (basic's mainly mind). We have a joint mortgage.

- We have a nice car, but this will have to be changed if we were to have another child as it is only a 5 seater.

- We have the space, just. An extra bedroom would be nice but is not essential. We live in a large 3 bed mid-terrace, we have a double driveway and a very long rear garden. The bedrooms are a good size, one is significantly smaller, but still big enough for a single bed and cotbed - a high sleeper bed is on my daughters wishlist which is a good idea for more space. The second bedroom will be kitted out with bunkbeds soon for our boys and there is easily enough room in there for another set let alone a cot. This is besides wardrobe space.
Master bedroom is a good size too.

- Dh's father doesn't want us to have anymore, dh listens avidly to him. Dh's mum says go for it. (not that this matters greatly but still...). FIL has told dh to go book a vasectomy, which I talked him out of. In fact fil went and got the snip days after his second child was born, mil has never forgiven him as she wasn't 'finished'. The rest of his family (well some of) have 4+ children, his Nan had 15! Two of his Aunt's have had 6.

- I'm happy to go back to work if that will ease dh's stress. I know he worries about money as he is the only worker in our household now - it's him that doesn't want me to go to work.

- I have saved all of our baby things, save a few clothing items that I've sold on eBay. We wouldn't need to buy a thing (although probably would but a few 'special bits' anyway). Possibly would need a carrycot and car seat for pushchair (Luna Truffle) but they're cheap enough on eBay, about £20 each. <savvy>

- I have saved all my maternity things, so wouldn't need to buy any. (can stick to this one easily enough as I have looaads) grin

Please please advise me. I feel so guilty for bottling this up but I just don't feel like I can talk to him about it, he just clams up and gets angry. Which gets me angry.

The longer this goes on, the more resentment I'm going to harbour so I need to do something about this. I love my husband dearly, and I wish so hard that I could change the way I feel because either way it seems one of us will be unhappy. We both adore our children, and we are good parents, although perhaps we started younger than most would agree with (first baby was an accident in our late teens - the happiest accident of our lives)
I would never trick him, although I'm ashamed to say the thought crossed my mind. I believe a baby should be made with love and trust.

I'm so sad, I don't want to end up with depression again as that was horrid, crying every waking hour... I want to be able to enjoy my family, I adore my children and I am grateful that I have been able to have children - I do understand exactly how lucky I am to be a mother when so many ladies are unable to even become pregnant. This in turns adds to my guilt that I should be happy!

If you read to the end, congratulations! You need a bloody medal! grin

IsolatedAndAlone Fri 17-Jun-11 13:31:23

And I'm sorry if I've posted in the wrong place, I considered posting in 'conception' but thought I would probably upset people on there. sad

Georgimama Fri 17-Jun-11 13:34:42

I think you need counselling to come to terms with the fact your family is complete. You have already shifted the goalposts on your husband once by deciding you want a fourth when you promised a third would be enough; you can't blame him for thinking you'll just do it again.

Not what you want to hear no doubt but yes, literally count your blessings.

IsolatedAndAlone Fri 17-Jun-11 13:46:38

I appreciate your honesty.

IsolatedAndAlone Fri 17-Jun-11 13:57:16

You're right, I can't blame him. He has no evidence to suggest I won't just do it again. Besides sterilisation I guess. Something I vowed I would never do but I would in a compromise. That is the ultimate guarantee, I couldn't offer him anything stronger than that. He would know how serious I am if I were to suggest that to him too as he knows how I feel about male or female sterilisation.

And I do count my blessings, I know how selfish this thread must sound. I have 3 healthy children. But that doesn't mean I can't have 4. Theres nothing wrong in wanting a bigger family.

But still, I appreciate you replying to the thread.

Georgimama Fri 17-Jun-11 13:59:11

There is nothing wrong with wanting a bigger family. There is a problem though if that wish is not shared by your partner. That's the point.

IsolatedAndAlone Fri 17-Jun-11 14:02:48

Do you think I sound selfish?

FoundWanting Fri 17-Jun-11 14:04:26

Nothing wrong with wanting a bigger family, except your partner doesn't want more; he already worries about money; he is unwell, and although you have space now - your DCs will grow quite a bit bigger.

But, you are both still young. You could wait 10 years and then have 2 or 3 more children.

It sounds to me that what you actually crave is the pregnancy/newborn bubble.

IsolatedAndAlone Fri 17-Jun-11 14:12:09

Thank you.

I admit I miss the pregnancy and newborn times but what I actually want is to be surrounded by children. I want my little one to grow up with someone who isn't too busy playing ps3 or power rangers. I want them to grow up as friends. I have a living older brother and sister but grew up as practically an only child as they were much older than me. I don't want that, it's very lonely. I always wanted my children to be closer in age than 10-15 years apart.

I know I'm asking a lot from him, I think what I will have to do is have a really good long talk with him, put all my cards on the table and see where that gets us. If nothing changes then nothing changes but I'll have tried.

Thornykate Sat 18-Jun-11 01:21:22

Maybe you could show him your OP or print it out for him. You express yourself well whilst showing a lot of respect & consideration for your partners feelings. He might not love hearing about how you feel initially but if it's a feeling so strong you at least have to share it with him. What's the alternative; carry the feelings around for the rest of your life without him knowing?

You need to share this with him if not to result in another baby to prevent resentment & hidden feelings in your marriage.

FWIW I can never find sensible reasons for having babies either, can anyone?!

Hope you reach a resolution.

mathanxiety Sat 18-Jun-11 04:22:01

Methrotrexate only carries a risk of birth defects or spontaneous abortion if taken by a pregnant woman, not if taken by the woman's partner, surely?

It is time for the two of you to go to talk about this in the presence of a counsellor imo. In particular the issue of your FIL having any sort of say or direct influence on decisions of your DH's that he should be making with you and you alone needs addressing. It is not the place of anyone to be telling your DH to have a vasectomy, and your DH should not be lending a willing ear to his father. He seems to come from a family where women's fertility is something to be feared or rejected, and where husbands do what they wish without regard to the feelings of their wives. Please do not even think of bringing another child into this family of yours until you are satisfied that there are only two of you in this marriage, and not three.

The happy accident -- how did his father see that?

The work thing -- why does he want you to be home?

It is possible that your FIL sees women as manipulative beings who would trick men into marriage and financial support. Maybe your DH has absorbed something of this attitude from his father? It is possible he will see depression on your part as manipulation. You have a lot to talk about, in counselling.

Your FIL needs to be excluded from your relationship.

The bedroom arrangements you speak of are just you trying to envision how everyone would fit in, as children, into a three bedroom house. Although you don't mention bathrooms this becomes critical when they are all teenagers -- but it doesn't matter what size your house is. It's the relationship between the two parents that matters.

IsolatedAndAlone Sun 19-Jun-11 11:29:14

Thornykate - I've thought about showing him this thread actually because it hides nothing, it's very honest as I wrote everything down, even the things I didn't want to - I needed honest answers. I think I'm hesitating because I'm afraid he'll say no again, despite him having every right to refuse and me having no right to even ask.

mathanxiety - I wasn't at the appointment where methotrexate was mentioned however he called me immediately after and told me, it doesn't sound like something he would make up to end all hope of having children. Again tho, the thought crossed my mind that he may be making it up to prevent further discussions. I have no foundation for this tho because he has never lied to me otherwise, I think it's my silly brain trying to find a way around it.

I did some research on metho myself and found a couple of studies that have been done on rats and rabbits where the mother was on the drug and the babies were malformed. On the other hand I have read success stories of people taking the drug, success was higher where the father was taking it. All depends on the dosage as well of course.

My fil is a good man but as you say I believe he puts himself first in some situations where it may have been better to discuss them first. With our 'accident' he wasn't exactly over the moon immediately but within a month or so he was very excited. We had only been together 3 months, I was on the pill and we were using condoms so it wasn't something we expected at all; I certainly wasn't trying to trap dh and I sincerely hope his father didn't think I was either.
I agree there seems to be some disregard for the feelings of others and also that there are mild issues with a womans fertility. I've never met anyone else in the family that acts this way however.

With my work situation, dh knew how much I wanted to care for our children myself insted of relying on family but with our first two children it just wasn't possible and I returned to work very soon after their births. He took a higher paid higher stress job to make this possible and he loves the fact that I'm the one now looking after our children. He didn't force me he just made it possible and wants the arrangement to continue for as long as possible.

Depression - I know from conversations that dh doesn't believe depression is a disease or illness. A family member of mine has severe depression and doesn't work because of it, my dh thinks it's a ploy to stay off work. When I was depressed I was off work for 2 months and I think dh thought I was lying about the whole thing so I could stay at home. The fact that I'm afraid of going back to being depressed holds no weight with him at all - all he sees is a persons situation and if it seems there's nothing wrong then that's what he believes. Many arguments have been had over this.

The bedroom arrangements - honestly they are a brilliant size for a large family. I know my mind is in overdrive imagining baby furninture in them and bunkbeds etc but it's definitely possible. My sister raised 4 children in a 3 bed house where the rooms were not as generous so I know it can be done. We're moving in a few years anyway when I return to work and I would not move to a house smaller than this; plus I completely agree that an extra bathroom would become something of a necessity (sp?) when the kids hit their teens.

If I'm really honest with myself I don't think there will be anymore children as I cannot give my husband a reason why I want another, and he will want a reason. But I also want a reason why not as so far I don't really know why.

mathanxiety Sun 19-Jun-11 21:05:15

I see a little contradiction in his attitude to you staying off work/being a SAHM and his attitude to depression.

A discussion of Methotrexate for treatment of ectopic pregnancy. The drug has to be taken by the woman.

WebMD discussion of Methotrexate -- it cannot be used by women who are pregnant or ttc or who may become pregnant. No issue stated wrt men using it if their partners are ttc or may become pregnant. Birth defects are only an issue if MTX if taken by a woman.

It sounds to me as if your DH has misled you about the Methotrexate and pregnancy.

mathanxiety Sun 19-Jun-11 21:05:53

'The drug has to be taken by the woman to have any effect on the pregnancy.'

IsolatedAndAlone Mon 20-Jun-11 09:33:06

Thank you for those links, very interesting indeed.

As far as I know though dh (and me) had never heard of MTX before it was mentioned as a possible treatment for him, so I do believe the doctor raised these risks with him. MTX can also reduce fertility in men though, so either way it's not hopeful I guess.

I trust my husband, I hope he hasn't lied to me about the MTX. I have his doctors details, I could just email him to find out what the risks are but I'd look like a crazy stalker wife.

I did find this link interesting. It states without doubt that if the man is on MTX you should try to get your partner pregnant.

So much conflicting advice.

IsolatedAndAlone Mon 20-Jun-11 09:33:35

should not try to get your partner pregnant.

crappy typer

darleneoconnor Mon 20-Jun-11 11:40:04

tbh, I think you'd still be broody after 4. Where does it stop? You are still very young. Is this issue so important to you to leave DP over and have 1,2,3,4,5 DCs with someone else?

I dont think you do have a very big gap between your DCs. There is over 5 years between mine and they play together all the time. You need to get your older ones off the consoles and interacting with your youngest. You seem to have gone into it with an expectation that kids only play with other kids of the exact same age. It is a very valuable life skill to teach children how to interact with others of differing ages. They will learn compromise, cooperation and responsibility and may be much closer as adults than close age siblings (who are often very jealous of each other).

IsolatedAndAlone Mon 20-Jun-11 12:26:41

Hi Darlene, thank you for your reply.

No I would not leave my husband because of this, but I fear I may drive him away with my resentment unless I can do something about it.

The age gap to me is quite large, purely because of observations I have made from my sisters children and how they interact. Also with things I am told of dh and dh's brother's upbringing. I talk to my mil a lot about this (tho not in much detail) and she says the age gap is the reason she would have liked more children as her youngest (bil) is just 3 years younger was very left out and didn't have any cousins etc to play with. It is my observations that gave me my expectations of parenting.
My older brother and sister are 13+16yrs older than me and they were more like babysitters than siblings. It's only as I've reached adulthood that we have developed things in common, we are a completely different generation in effect.

I imagine if I had been witness to other siblings with large age gaps playing nicely then I would feel differently.

My older dc's are not always on the consoles btw, they are limited to 1 hour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes an hour at weekends. I prefer them to be active and outside. They play a lot of 'imagination games' such as pretending they are power rangers, dinosaurs etc. Sometimes they pretend dc3 is the baddie when s/he crawls after them but that's as interactive as it gets I'm afraid. We have tried -and will continue to try - to gel them together, but as yet it's having very little effect.

As for life skills; dc1+2 are very good at compromising for eachother, are very protective of eachother and are not jealous of eachother (which I was expecting), so I believe they have a decent foundation for building life skills.

All in all, I agree with you though. I believe I probably will still be broody after number 4. Which is why I was thinking of sterilization, then I can never be in this situation again. I know it's drastic but to me it's a huge compromise as I am so against sterilization surgery, or surgery at all unless medically necessary. That's a very personal view on it though - I'm absolutely terrified of surgery. My dh knows this and would realize the magnitude of my offer.

IsolatedAndAlone Mon 20-Jun-11 12:30:17

I would like to add though that I think when dc3 gets bigger there will be less involvement issues. I would just like dc3 to have someone closer to his age to play with.

Ragwort Mon 20-Jun-11 12:40:07

Can I just put the other point of view?

We agreed not to have children before we married, I discussed it very clearly and my DH agreed - he then 'changed the goalposts' and said he would really like a child after 14 years grin - by which time I was in my early 40s. We did have a child and (I wouldn't say this in RL of course) I do resent the fact that I allowed my DH to 'persuade' me - I should have been stronger and ended the marriage. Of course I love my child but I do not love being a parent - and it is nothing to do with career/money etc.

Please accept what your DH has said; respect his point of view and value your 3 lovely children. Presumably your youngest can go to toddler group/playschool etc to have other children his own age to play with?

If you love babies so much why not look for volunteer work with toddler groups etc?

ronshar Mon 20-Jun-11 12:58:13

I sympathise with your situation. I am a mother of three and think alot about number four.

However. DH does not, he wasnt keen on number three and it did cause alot of friction in our marriage. Still does sometimes.

I think you need to really examine why you think number four would be good for your family. Number three is still so small that the older two children probably arent that interested in playing with them.

Also would DH illness be an issue with so many children. Would it be affected? Is there a chance you could be left alone with four children? How will you cope financially etc?

I know that these are all really boring things to think about but ultimately we have a big responsibility to any children we bring into this world.
Just because we want another baby doesnt mean we have the right to another baby. I dont mean this as dig at you, please dont think that.
Have you thought about fostering? You could have a constant supply of gorgeous little snuggly babies without the long term commitment that your DH doesnt want. Obv that is a symplistic view of fostering but you know what I meansmile

I would love to be pregnant again and have a beautiful baby to hold but I really dont want another child!

IsolatedAndAlone Mon 20-Jun-11 13:30:05

Thank you both for your opinions.

Ragwort - I was very interested to hear your view as it's potentially what my dh thinks of me. I had briefly thought of this but dismissed it as I assumed he would tell me if he still resented me for #3. I hope he doesn't sad

Ronshar - dh's illness isn't life threatening thank goodness but we think stress might be a trigger for flares. He has Crohn's Disease (there goes my cover if dh finds this...). As I said in my original post it is manageable but hugely unpleasant at times. Thankfully the flare-ups are very infrequent but it still isn't nice. Dh has alrady dismissed his illness as being a factor in his decision though.
Financially we would be alright, I don't think there would be too much impact as we have everything in prep for a baby. The only thing I can think of really is the cost of more nappies, we literally have everything else. I have been looking at the multimac seating so we didn't have to change cars as we both really love our car and it is very efficient on diesel with a lovely big boot too.

I enquired about fostering but dh wasn't keen to look after someone else's children. I can't win it seems, but I understand we already have a large-ish family.

I could take dc3 to toddler group you're absolutely right but I very much doubt it would curb my broodiness, to be honest it would probably increase it when other mums brought newborns in. When I envisioned my family I always pictured lots of children, and this is what I want. Of course as ronshar said, it doesn't mean I have a right to get it.

ronshar Mon 20-Jun-11 13:45:04

It is a very difficult situation.
Thank goodness that DH illness is managable. Another layer of stress removed.
I think crohns is stress related to a point.

Have you given a thought to what your life will be like in say 5 years time? Your children are still young. When they get bigger they cost even more. School trips, days out with friends, trainers, school shoes, uniforms etc etc. My eldest is 12 and she costs more than the 2 year old. Dont get me started on mobile phonesgrin

IsolatedAndAlone Mon 20-Jun-11 14:10:08

Mobile phones eh? grin

I have thought about the cost's of things as they get older, dc1's recent school trip was £18.50 for a daytrip to a playpark hmm. £18.50?!

School uniforms cost hardly anything so I'm not worried about the clothing side of it. I will definitely be back at work in about 4 or 5 years so I'm really not worried about money, things aren't bad now with only one income so with 2 it will only be better.


This isn't going to end until I speak to dh and find out the reason why he doesn't want anymore children. That reason and if it can be worked around, will determine then whether I ask for another child or not.


loler Mon 20-Jun-11 16:36:32

My dc are 8, 6 and nearly 4 - you are me 3 years ago. I was sure I wanted another one. DC3 was growing out of being a baby and stopped doing that looking at me as though I was the most important thing in the world. Broodiness and the need to be pg again hit (it's something I know I'm good at!). DH said no way.

Fast forward 3 years - I've got my head around the fact that the family is moving on, we can go on the spur of the moment days out, I get sleep (mostly), the dc can dress themselves, we can go on family bike rides - life is getting easier (mostly) and probably more fun (mostly!). I'm so glad I'll never have to do another nappy, never have to wean another baby, potty training is a thing of the past and the best ever - never have to teach another dc to ride a bike. And I'm really glad that there's not another dc to wash for/do homework with/ run to after school activities.

Yes - I still feel sad I'll never be pg again and love cuddling my nieces and nephews but once I got my head around enjoying what I had it was much easier to live for today rather than hankering for a different future.

Hope you manage to enjoy your 3 dc and I agree with everyone else talk to your dh honestly - it's unlikely to change his mind but he needs to know how you feel.

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