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Should we go for a third in our 40s?
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kittycatlover · 20/12/2013 21:36

Those of you that have more than two children, can I ask how you found the adjustment from two to three compared to one to two? I am 41, DH about to turn 43. We have two children already - DS is 3.5 and DD is 16 months. Both were born at 35 weeks with no explanation or reason identified as to why they were born prematurely. I found going from 1-2 harder than going from 0-1. The last year has been quite challenging for us but things are settling down now and I can’t stop thinking that if we are ever going to have another it really is now or never. We had previously decided no more largely because of our age and the fact that we keep having premature births; I would spend the next pregnancy constantly worrying that it might happen even earlier next time - and then we could have much more serious complications. I am an only child and always envisaged that when I had a family it would be a large one but I know DH will take some convincing to go for a third. I just love being a mum and would love to have another but am not sure about the practicalities. We have always found it incredibly easy to conceive but we are already feeling the cost of being a family of 4 financially. Just wondered how others have found the adjustment from 2-3, especially in their early 40s.

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thenightsky · 20/12/2013 21:39

Well I'm now late 40s and I really regret not having a third.

Not that's what you were asking Grin

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PoshPaula · 20/12/2013 21:40

Do you want another child?

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kittycatlover · 20/12/2013 21:53

I've only recently started to think about the real possibility of a third. The last year has been quite difficult and we'd previously ruled it out. I'd like another but I am blessed to have a beautiful boy and girl already. There are pros and cons to having one more but I'm genuinely interested to understand how others have found it. I found going from 1-2 such a leap but I've heard that 2-3 is less of an impact because you are more relaxed and experienced so they just slot in - is that really the case?! I am interested to know who has done it in their 40s - we feel so tired (!!) - not sure if that's age related or just a symptom of parenthood whatever the age!

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PoshPaula · 21/12/2013 08:24

I have three, the third was born in my forties. I am no more tired now than I was with my eldest son who was born when I was 23. Physically I don't feel any different. Babies are just exhausting!

There are pros and cons to having a baby whatever. It's the biggest gamble we ever take. If you didn't go for another would you always regret that, or feel a bit sad? I knew after my third that my family was complete, I no longer felt the urge for more children.

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PoshPaula · 21/12/2013 08:27

But to answer your question..... I don't think it gets any easier. The baby years with number 3 went by in a kind of haze just as they did for numbers 1 and 2.

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Iheartcustardcreams · 21/12/2013 08:40

I found 1-2 much harder than 0-1 or 2-3 but dc3 is. 8 months and I do find things very busy and full on with 3 but I have 3 under 5. I am very tired but I think that is because my other 2 are early risers and there is never an opportunity to nap!

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Weegiemum · 21/12/2013 08:48

I also found 1-2 the biggest leap, I now have 3 big dc (10.1, 11.11, 13.11). Dd2 was came about due to contraception failure ((my mirena fell out!), but now can't imagine life without her it seems kind of quiet when there are only 2 dc here. If we hadn't had an accidental pregnancy (which was very hard on my health I don't do pregnancy well) I think I'd have been pushing for a 3rd but we wouldn't have done it for health reasons. I'm incredibly grateful for that accident!

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JugglingChaotically · 21/12/2013 08:48

Had no 3 after an (unintended but unavoidable) large gap at 42. Less than 2 years between first two DCs.
I always wanted several too as part of a small family.
I think I would always have regretted it if we hadn't had DC3. She is a delight. And I sort of knew I wanted another.
It is less stressful and lots of fun.
You are more laid back and everyone picks on it.
At the beginning no extra costs (except nappies) as you have everything anyway and I bf which was easier than juggling bottles.
DD has now just started school and I would say 3 has been/is a challenge in two ways.
Financially - holidays, childcare costs, larger car so we can carry friends or GPs (but all these were down to our choices)
And I am tired. Very tired.
Some of the tiredness is me doing too much, fitting as much as possible in to time.
Some is age - but I am not fit and need to do more to address this. (Time again!)
You have to plan more.
But it's a small downside.
But if you want a third, I'd go for it.
We all love our larger family.

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NAR4 · 22/12/2013 11:39

I had 3 in my early 20s and then 2 more dcs in my late 30s. I find the last 2 as tiring as the first 3 Put together. I am more tired due to age, but children make you tired anyway, so what is the difference being a bit more tired?

If you want another DC and don't have 1 I think you will always regret it.

Financially it doesn't cost much having a baby, when you already have all the car seats, pram etc. The cost hits you when they all become teenagers.

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Franke · 22/12/2013 11:55

I had number 3 when I was 40 and found it much easier than going from 1 to 2. The two older ones were at kindergarten so it was like having just one baby, but actually knowing what to do! I can't deny that I did find it tiring though.

Practically there are issues - we needed a stupid big car for a while because of the need for 3 child seats. Holidays abroad become more expensive if you want to fly anywhere (i know, first world problem Smile), and the cost of extracurricular activities, clothes and shoes mount up as they get older. The prospect of putting 3 through college if it comes to it is a little daunting...

Dc3 was a surprise but the best thing to happen to our family. Everyone's circumstances are different of course but he's filled a gap in our family that we didn't realise was there. Awful cliché I know, but it's true.

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VenusDeWillendorf · 22/12/2013 12:03

Gaps in families are only obvious when they're filled.

For eg I didn't know we had a gap in our family until we got a cat.

If you're very unsure and think that financially your situation could be insecure with three, well then you have to look after the two you have.

Imagine that your third child was born with a disability which meant your next 40 years were taken up caring for him. Imagine the worst case you can and the effect on the rest of your family.

MyGP sat me down and gave me this talk, showed me graphs and everything. Somethings are not realistic and a baby after 40 has a much higher rate of genetic mutation as your and your DH eggs and sperm making cells are older.

Then sort out your contraception, and get a puppy, or a kitten.

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Bowlersarm · 22/12/2013 12:06

It wouldn't be having three small DC in early/mid 40's that would worry me, but running around and fretting about teenagers, exams, etc in my 50's/60. I'm not sure i would have the energy at that stage of life, not to mention the cost of three teenagers when you might be thinking about retiring and winding down, but won't be able to.

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princesscupcakemummyb · 29/12/2013 16:08

i am 26 but my dh is 52 we have 3 children our youngest is nearly 8 weeks old now and the other children are aged 4 and 2 its tiring as their all under 5 but saying that its perfectly doable anyway id say if you want go for it

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