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Please help me on this one... I feel as if I'm going mad trying to make this decision on my own!

(29 Posts)
TheBolter Wed 29-Dec-10 21:24:26

My decision is whether to have a third child.

When I say I feel as if I'm making this on my own, it's because dh is incredibly laid back about the whole thing. While being happy with our two dds, he also admits that if I were to accidentally fall pregnant he would be over the moon. In other words, he's happy either way - probably happier not to go ahead for the same reasons as me, but also happy to go for a third if I really wanted it.

For me the thought of going through pregnancy, birth and the early years again fills me with fear. I really didn't enjoy the early years - I had pnd and spd, neither of which helped - and found being a parent to a baby and toddler draining.

Also, if we had a third it would have an impact financially at a time when we are planning some major home improvements and these would probably have to give. We have found ourselves enjoying a comfortable lifestyle and having a third would mean sacrifices would have to be made. Please don't consider me superficial. I know nothing compares to a child but at the moment this child is a fictional being therefore I'm trying not to ascribe any depth of sentiment towards it!

I have an amazing job which could take off into much greater things when the dds are a little older, I am really loving the fun of having two gorgeous 5 & 6 yr old dds, my relationship with dh is getting back on track (neither of us dealt with sleep deprivation and the general relentlessness of the early years well). I feel as if I have myself back, and am starting to REALLY enjoy life again.

The thing is, dh and I are from large families, and I always imagined having three or more children. I feel as if our family is incomplete somehow. I don't want another baby but I would love another child and I fear that if we don't go for it I'll live to regret it.

When friends announce their third pregnancies I feel jealousy - a really unattractive feeling I know but it wells up inside me and I can't seem to help it - I don't envy them for going through pregnancy, birth, pre school stuff again, but I envy them for their willingness to do it all again. I do wonder if my priorities are at all misplaced here. And of course, I envy the future three older children they will have. Does that make sense?

Any advice would be more than welcome. TIA.

TheBolter Wed 29-Dec-10 21:47:16

Bump...anyone out there with advice? (Attempts to flutter eyelashes beguilingly)

baskingseals Wed 29-Dec-10 21:55:47

wish i could say do it or don't do it, but i can't. it's such a personal decision. it's hard to know whether it will always be a regret, or whether it's something you will get over in time. you sound so sorted and together i am sure the decision you make will be the right one. sorry i can't be more helpful. could tell you of my own experiences of having three if you would like to know - or perhapes ignorance is bliss!

RememberToPlaywiththeKids Wed 29-Dec-10 21:57:12

I felt exactly the same as you.

My approach is that I can do anything in the short term for the sake of the long term.

I find the first year impossible and the first 2 years difficult BUT I really want another child longer term.

I'm now 8 months pregnant with DC3.

MammyG Wed 29-Dec-10 21:59:53

I had the same debate this time last year! DS1 is 4, DS2 is 3 now and I now have a 13 weeks old DD. Financially things are a lot tighter here tho and it was therefore a big decision. I am from a big family DH has 3 other siblings.
My best friend has DS1 7, DS2 4 and she has also spent the past 2 years debating a another child and has not succumbed yet! She feels a lot like you. I was not at all looking forward to pregnancy but as mine are still young the baby part isnt such an upheaval. We were discussing - again - last week whether or not she would have a third and like you I dont think she is there yet. The difference between us was that I just got to the point where the yearning for a third outweighed all the arguments. It becomes physical I think or is almost primal and just cannot be reasoned or hushed. If it is not a right now decision wait and see if the feeling grows. Your 'willingness' will either dissipate or grow beyond all reason I think. How did you feel when you decided to have your other two? Wait until you feel the same and if it doesnt happen well then ...

Joolyjoolyjoo Wed 29-Dec-10 22:03:17

Well, I have 3. Originally wanted 4, but decided after 3 that I felt "complete" and have never had the pang for a fourth.

Like you, I really didn't relish the thought of a third pregnancy. In fact, when DH and I discussed it I was crying at the thought, but I knew I wanted three children in the future, so gritted my teeth and went for it. DS is now 3, and I am glad I did it, although I know what you are saying about "getting your life back"- I have small age gaps between mine for that reason! But the last 3 years have gone by really quickly, and now I really DO feel like things are getting easier!

Can't decide for you, I'm afraid, but just wanted to point out that those early days go fast, and I am glad I did it!

TheBolter Wed 29-Dec-10 22:06:53

Thank you so much for your replies, and thank you for nor shooting me down for being so materialistic and 'me me me' grin.

Baskingseals - I want honesty please on the experience of having three! Nobody other than a close friend of mine has ever said having three was a mistake. But I need to know what it's like! I know so much depend on personal circs, nature of child, age gaps etc but honest feedback would be so appreciated wink.

Remember - congratulations on your pregnancy and well done for being so brave smile.

MammyG - wow, so comforting to know there are others out there. I hope your friend is happy whatever her decision. I certainly don't feel a physical longing for a baby but I am very much a head over heart person. Pragmatic is my middle name. Wish it wasn't then I might find myself acting on impulse a little more!

TheBolter Wed 29-Dec-10 22:09:42

Joolyjooly, thank you for your post and congratulations on getting your life back after three!

God I'm so anguished over this one. Why oh why can't I just be one of those people that's happy to stop at two?

LoveMyGirls Wed 29-Dec-10 22:15:30

I am happy stopping at 2, I agree with the complete feeling.

Is there a rush for you to decide now? Why no just put the decision on hold for a year or two?

baskingseals Wed 29-Dec-10 22:16:54

i find it bloody hard tbh. much harder than going from 1 to 2. i never have enough time. but i think it would be easier for you as both your girls would be at school. i had a five year gap between dd and ds1 which was lovely, i literally fed and snoozed all day on the sofa with the baby, totally focused on him, and then had time for dd when she came back from school. there is less than 2 years between ds1 and ds2 and it's nearly finished me off. but and this is a big but - that will not be you. it will be far more civilised than having 2 small boys and one rather sophisticated 8yo dd.

mrsjohnsimm Wed 29-Dec-10 22:17:58

Have been through many of the same thoughts and am now pg with DC3. And while I am happy and excited and know it will be great having three DC (and am thankful to have made the decision) I think if I were deciding again now I might go the other way. All the negative points of three, and the finances, and of going back to the baby stage, are feeling very real and immediate right now. But then in twenty years (or, with luck, far less) I'll likely think that this was the right decision, I know.

MammyG Wed 29-Dec-10 22:18:13

Hiya - thats the thing.. I am generally v practical and 'the sensible one'. Im the one who worries about the money and havent been impulsive since my 20's. It just got the point where I knew deep inside me I would really regret it. Its hard to explain but it was a yearning I guess that wouldnt go away. When I talk to my friend she doesnt have that feeling. She worries that she might regret it but doesnt know she will.
I had a rotten pregnancy - was incredibly ill but didnt feel any regret during pregnancy either. Im delighted I took the chance. Love my little bundle but life with 3 under 4 is hectic. Im still on mat leave and am dreading heading back to work. Im so busy at the moment its hard to fathom how a full time job is going to fit in. Also I think because I knew during my pregnancy this would be my last I have a bit more peace and feel Im really enjoying this for what it is and still happy to pack things up and pass them on. I feel done now.

Hassled Wed 29-Dec-10 22:22:46

It's one of these things where you might always regret not having another, but you know you'd never regret it if you did go for it.

Are you young enough to wait a year or so and see how you feel then? You say your DC2 is 5 - so would be 7 or so by the time DC3 was born (assuming you wait a year and assuming you then conceive quickly). That's not a bad age gap at all - I think it would work well.

Hassled Wed 29-Dec-10 22:24:44

PS - I found DC3 a delight as a baby, despite not really being a baby person - I was older, more confident etc and even though he had colic and cried endlessly, I was better able to cope than I had been with the older two (he came after a gap of 9 years). And the older two helped enormously.

TheBolter Wed 29-Dec-10 22:27:28

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. I am really grateful. I'm going to digest these for a bit and then go to bed.

Lovemygirls - no I don't have to make the decision right now. I'm 35 but see 37 as the latest I would ideally like to be going through it all again... I'm not massively robust health wise and I tire easily (I sound like a Jane Austen character although alas I'm not given to fragrantly wafting around Georgian stately homes, more shrieking like a fishwife in Sainsbury's).

I'm off to bed to rest my tired delicate little head and will check in tomorrow morning.

Again, thank you.

TheBolter Thu 30-Dec-10 09:23:19

baskingseals - agree age gap would be v civilised and nothing like the 1.5 year gap between dds 1 & 2! My sister has a 10 & 11 year gap between me and db. I remember things being fairly civilised, although my mum might disagree with that! She had a professional career and used to have to drive a sixteen mile round trip to our school and back every day in between having a new baby. Still. could have been tougher!

mrsjohnsimm - thanks for your candid post. That's very thought provoking. ATM it's all up in the air and theoretical but if I were to give birth in a couple of months it would all suddenly feel v real and scary! Good luck anyway - and I hope for your sake it's less than twenty years before civilisation returns to the simm household!

Hassled - I know I'd make a great mum to the third, it's just whether I'd make a good wife, mother to dds 1 & 2, employee etc at the same time! But thank you for your thoughts... it's always heartening to hear how well big age gaps work. Dh and I are all for them, having come from families where big age gaps have worked, but so many people seem to think it's madness to even consider it! (Personally I think it's madness to have three or more in quick succession!).

sneakapeak Thu 30-Dec-10 16:57:51

Im in the same horrible mind numbing quandry thebolter. It is so unsettling.

I like the stories of regretting the third grin* so tell me about that one friend who regrets it!!

Id like someone to talk me out of it.
I am always knackered, mainly due to the fact ive ended up with an under active thyroid after having DD a year ago and even since meds, don't feel back to my old self.

I had a very high risk PG with DS 3.5 yrs ago then an emerg C section.
I carry group B strep and both my DC's were born just over 3 weeks early due to waters just breaking after bouts of unexplained tummy upsets (weird coinsciedence).
Then there's the thyroid risk. None of it earth shattering but all adds up.

Oh then they both had severe reflux and I nearly lost my mind with the constant screaming for 4/5 months.

Im exhausted with 3 yr old and 1 yr old and yet my mind won't shut up. Should I, Would I cope, will I die, will baby be very early this time, will my marriage end, will my pelvic floor collapse argggghhhhh.

So, I want more negative stories on this thread please if you don't mind.

PS, thebolter I think you should go for it wink. Your 2 will be at school it will be easy peasy!

TheBolter Thu 30-Dec-10 18:16:48

sneaka, thanks for your post! Wow, you have had a bit of a time of it... sending you my sympathies.

I remember when my two were a baby and a toddler... wow. I should have been given a medal. Hang in there it does get so much easier! So much easier, in fact, that it makes you wonder whatever would possess you to go back there. smile

My friend said that if she's stuck at two her two oldest would get on so much better. They were inseparable before dc3 came along, then dc2 decided she wanted to play with the younger one more and this causes deep resentment from dc1. She said life is completely hectic with three, the younger two - who are now at school - still don't sleep well. She never has time for herself, travelling anywhere is a nightmare. Oldest has mild behavioural issues and needs a lot of her attention. Oh, and she's completely loaded and therefore has an amazing lifestyle (foreign holiday home, regular weekends away, cleaner and mother's help etc). Makes me wonder what hope I'd have as a WOHM on about a tenth of her family's income!

sneakapeak Thu 30-Dec-10 19:14:45

Oh I like it thebolter, that's what I need to hear. It's like a deafening slap across the puss to bring you round!

Getting around would be a complete PITA wouldn't it.

She has a cleaner and a helpful mother and still her life is hectic - food for thought.
What are their ages/genders?

C,mon people, talk me and thebolter out of it!!

In all seriousness I would love to wait until my two were at school but id be 38 by then and given my history Id be adding more risk to my big list.
You on the other hand are in a nice position to have another.
Maybe you hated the very young bit because of the tiny age gap?
It would be very different with just one (if it's one)!

I did pick up on the fact you are very happy and relaxed right now though - you must just feel it's make or break time.
It is so so hard isn't it.

sneakapeak Thu 30-Dec-10 19:19:15

Ive kind of hyjacked your post actually. Im going to start a post begging MNrs to tell me why not a third!

You need advice based on your situation.
Im convinced you should wink!

(Im only kidding, im not taking any blame)

BuckingxmasFells Thu 30-Dec-10 19:35:49

I am middle of three so is dh. We have two grin. I like second one too much to turn her into a middle.

LoveMyGirls Thu 30-Dec-10 19:39:58

I'm not doing it all again for a few reasons which I will list if it helps....

mine are good ages now (11 and 5) so life during hols and weekends is pretty easy
getting a babysitter is easy for 2 dcs, prob less so with 3 dcs
I can't afford it, we're in debt and don't own a house yet.
I am not sure we can afford to send our dd's to uni so not having another dc makes that more achieveable if that is what they want to do, I'd like to be able to help them set up home etc.
holidays are cheaper/ easier with 2 dcs than 3 imo.
I look after children as my job so don't have the urge for more of my own babies as I get to borrow other peoples and give them back so I can get a full nights sleep grin
at some point I would like a career change and will need to save money to do this.
We would like to save money to buy a house for our old age and also to get a pension.
When I am 40 my dc's will be 23 and 17 and I will be FREE!!

Having said all this IF I were to fall pg by accident as I did at 16 I would keep the baby and get on with it but I would never knowingly make the decision to have more.

sneakapeak Thu 30-Dec-10 20:29:47

buckingxmas tell us more about being one of 3 or middle child. Why is it so bad?

TheBolter Thu 30-Dec-10 20:35:48

Sneaka, hijack away!

Thanks for your posts Lovemy and Bucking... nothing like a few hard truths.

I'm 5/50 on this one so horror stories to stop me from going ahead would be good!

Actually, I know the potential horror stories, but even they won;t silence the voices!

I think I'm going to wait another year before making this decision. I'll be back with the same question then!

Any further posts on this would be most appreciated... I am still in the dilema, just putting it on hold for a while...

TheBolter Thu 30-Dec-10 20:36:05

50/50 I meant

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