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Old, but thinking of having a 4th!?

(22 Posts)
Created Wed 29-Aug-12 21:44:44

I am 38, just had our third child this year. I get very tired in the day after all my babies, I find I need to sleep in the day for about an hour. This usually lasts for about 15 months. DS1 is 5, DS2 is 3 and DD is 7 months.
We would love 4 children, I don't feel that the family is complete. I repeatedly thought during my last pregnancy that I hoped this wasn't my last one. But wisdom would say I have very difficult babies,(terrible reflux for all of them affecting their breathing, and needing to be carried all the time as they are unable to lie down flat) I need loads of sleep and I am getting older. But DH and I would still like another. Time is ticking by. Is 4 much harder than 3? Positive or negative comments welcome.

Nagoo Thu 30-Aug-12 02:02:11

with your smaller gap you will find that the DC3 is dropping the nap while you still need it for DC4.

Can you use nursery/ childminder/ family help to get a break?

How useful is DH?

My main concern about having a 3rd is that I would be tired and bad-tempered and not give all the DC the energy and patience they need. In addition I am starting to realise that DH seems much older with our second than he was with the first. There is only 4 years between them but it seems to have made a lot of difference.

Juule Thu 30-Aug-12 09:15:03

Do you think that 4 would be much harder for you than 3? Is 3 much harder for you than 2? Different people might give you different answers to your question depending on the temperament of their babies and themselves.
Maybe give yourself another 6m or until your youngest is a year old and then see how you feel?
It sounds as though although it's something you would like, you feel exhausted by the idea of it at the moment.

Created Thu 30-Aug-12 21:45:51

Yes, exhausted at the idea of it. I do agree temperament is key. My DC3 is much easier than DC2 temperamentally, and I would have had a third sooner, had I had her as my second. Also having a 2.5 year old around, rather than a 2 year old, was also much easier, I can possibly choose the age gap, but not the temperament!
Thank you ladies.

slipperandpjsmum Fri 31-Aug-12 13:48:00

I don't think you are old. I had my last when I had just turned 40, although some people may say that is old. But I think you could hold on for a while. I am sure there are plenty of Mums on here who were older than 40 when they had a baby.

Musomathsci Fri 31-Aug-12 13:51:34

Why not wait until the tiredness from DC3 has finished and then see how you feel. However difficult number. 4 was, you could comfort yourself with the thought that it is definitely the last! Know what you mean about feeling incomplete. I always wanted 4 but stopped at 3 - defeated by hard pregnancies and PND...

Journey Fri 31-Aug-12 14:25:54

I don't think you're too old to have a fourth. However, I think four is a lot more work than 3 dcs especially when the youngest two are a baby and a toddler, and you've got two older ones that are still only little themselves. You're on the go all the time. (In some ways having say three preschoolers is easier because there is no school run, they don't have to have friends round in the same way they do when they're at school, and they don't need to do any activiites).

If you stuck at three dcs you would have two dcs off at school or nursery,and would only be managing one little one during school hours (if you're not working). Taking your older two to after school activities etc is so much easier with just one little one. Looking after a baby and a toddler whilst trying to manage swimming lessons for the older two isn't much fun!

When one of the older kids has a party to attend it is a lot of work sorting out the other three dcs. The older one for instance would be too young to be dropped off at a party on his own so you all need to get out the car and go into the place holding the party only to return a few minutes later with your ds safely dropped off.

Trying to do homework, with a baby and a toddler needing your attention, for your two older dcs can be a challenge!

It is however wonderful having four dcs but the logical issues and the fact that your older two dcs are really only little themselves does mean things can be a challenge at times. If you delayed having your fourth for a few years you would probably find things easier since you wouldn't have a toddler on your hands as well as a baby, but then unfortunately you would be getting older and the age gap would be bigger which you may not want.

I feel a bit bad being negative about a fourth because my fourth has completed my family and I'm so happy I've got her, but telling you that there isn't much difference between a third and a fourth would be untrue in my opinion; although ages of the children can make a huge difference to someone's experience of having four dcs.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Journey Fri 31-Aug-12 14:28:43

logistical issues not logical issues!

OneOfMyTurnsComingOn Fri 31-Aug-12 14:31:05

I'm 40 and just about to have my 3rd. I'm exhausted at 34 weeks. I know I could not manage another. Only you really know if you could cope.

Hopeforever Fri 31-Aug-12 14:32:41

You are not old!

Gumby Fri 31-Aug-12 14:36:05

What about cost?
Canyou fit 4 kids in the back of your car?
Can you afford swimming lessons for 4, 4 pairs of school shoes, trainers etc

MUM2BLESS Fri 31-Aug-12 15:10:45

The decision needs to be yours as you know what you can handle.

I had my fourth at 39. Kids now aged 8 11 13 and 16 years.

Three is not much different to four really.

booklava Fri 31-Aug-12 17:08:18

I don't think you are too old at all but it depends how you feel yourself as others have said. I had my 4th just before my 39th birthday. At that time DS was 4 & 1 month, DD1 was 2y 9m and DD3 was 19m. I found that my mind was set for dealing with nappies, naps etc. I also found the even nos (2nd & 4th) easier to cope with but that might just be my experience. My lot are now 17, 16, 14 & 13.

Godalmightynotagain Sun 09-Sep-12 22:40:17

Old? 40 isn't old or at least it's as old as you make it. My mother is downright old at 60 as she acts it, but my FIL at the same age just hiked round Mexico. Only you know what you can cope with but put it this way, are you going to get younger suddenly? Cos if not, these are the breaks. Course j have a massive self interest here as I'm trying for another and will be 40 next year grin

orangeberries Thu 13-Sep-12 13:37:31

I had my fourth when I was 37 with very small gaps of about a year and a half each. It was exhausting and I had no family help, although DH began to work from home and without that it would be hard to manage. You do need an extra pair of hands, I found.

My youngest is 3 now and things are a little easier but like others said, I do find expenses are high and also juggling the ferrying around gets tricky. Every extra child is extra things to worry and think about, a different personality, different needs, etc

Having said all of that I never regret for one single minute having my 4, I would never change it for the world. Also they are a really great team, they do fight but they are very close so I'd say if you can master the energy go for it!!!

charlottehere Thu 13-Sep-12 13:42:31

Your not old. Its sounds like you would regret not going for a fourth. You just need to work out the logistics, have you got any help? What age would be the latest you would want the 4th?

I am pregnant with my 4th (biased) at 34 and my last! I am finding the pregnancy really tough but excited to complete the family.

designergirl Sat 15-Sep-12 16:46:21

I had my fourth at 38, nrly 39 and I LOVE having four. My fourth baby is the most easy going baby ever, though. She just fits in with everyone.

designergirl Sat 15-Sep-12 16:47:30

My kids are now 8,5,4 and 15 months

cece Sat 15-Sep-12 16:53:50

I had my 3rd when I was 42.

Yes I was tired but I wouldn't have changed it. Tiredness passes and now DC3 is older (3 yrs) and he is in Nursery for some of the week things are getting easier.

However, you do sound tired. I think it is quite unusual to need an hours daytime nap everyday at you 38.

jellybeans Sat 15-Sep-12 17:09:42

I never had 3 as I had twins who were 3&4. I found the jump pretty massive though. Needed bigger house, car etc. We did go abroad occasionally on holiday but it is out of the question every year, every outing can seem like an expedition, trying to watch them all etc. But we have a s good time in the UK. It is VERY expensive when they are older and there is 4 at cubs/swimming etc. It can't have been that bad as I have a 5th now. He had severe reflux and stopped breathing etc and was in/out of hospital as well as not sleeping at all for the first few weeks at night! That was tough with having to do the school run! I am mid 30s. Life is chaos but I love it.

deleted203 Sat 29-Sep-12 05:14:39

Four isn't much harder than three - but I wasn't able to carry babies after having my last at 38. No reason why, had 5 babies very easily, no medical problems, always fell pregnant easily, easy labours, etc. But although we would have liked another child I had 4 miscarriages between 39 and 42 all under 12 weeks. My GP simply said that the quality of my eggs was no longer good enough to be viable and it was nature's way, which I believe was true. Not wanting to be doom and gloom, and some women have babies into their 40s. But this is actually a minority of women. At 40 there is a 33% chance of miscarriage even if you do conceive. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from having more children, but it is naive to say to anyone wanting a child at around 40 'oh you're not old'. Because you are in terms of child bearing. And I honestly think you need to think about the fact that having another child might not be your choice at this age. It might be nature's.

Oneflipflop Sat 29-Sep-12 06:30:20

I think if you have to ask, then don't do it.

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