LSH and I have been discussing recently, our plans for the future, and the possibility of a 3rd baby to add to the lovely chaos of our lives.
When we got married, I wanted 5 children. LSH wasn’t so keen on so many, so we decided to compromise. We would try for 2, with a 3rd, if that happened. Given how difficult I find pregnancy, with Hyperemesis gravidarum (HEG) until well into the 2nd trimester, and our miscarriage issues and struggles to become pregnant with Big Girl, and two not so easy births, 5 definitely seems like a huge thing and 3 seems far more feasible.
I love my children, I love being a Mum (most of the time, there are definitely some moments when I could reach for a stiff Gin&Tonic and I wonder what I am doing in the madness of this parenting malarky) but I don’t feel DONE. I realise we are incredibly blessed to have two beautiful, healthy children, one of each, when we have friends and family who have battled with infertility and loss, and would give an arm and a leg for a healthy baby. I have spoken to lots of people who assume we should be “DONE” and not want or need any more children. Two children, a boy and a girl, is kind of the “ideal” it seems. I know that some of my friends and family, aware of how hard pregnancy and birth was for me, and how tired I (and we) have been with Small Boy not sleeping so well, think we would be out of our minds to try for a 3rd baby. We’ve had all sorts of reasons thrown at us. We’d need a bigger car, we’d need more rooms in our house, we wouldn’t be able to afford one more, we couldn’t send them to private school (which isn’t a consideration anyway, no matter how few or many we have) we are getting “older”. I have heard it all. I have said these things to myself, and LSH and I have said them to each other. We are now at a stage, where Big Girl is at school, Small Boy is going to be potty trained, and at nursery in September, both are no longer babies, we could do away with all the baby paraphernalia not have to worry about going back to nappies, sleepless nights, infant car seats, weaning, baby proofing…
My age is also a factor, and being so tired, and also struggling with a chronic health issue, which actually goes into remission in pregnancy, but can be exacerbated by the post partum hormonal period, and by tiredness, which comes with a newborn baby. I am 37 in June this year, and if we did try for a 3rd baby, we would need to think about it soon. My risk factors for certain syndromes and health issues with a baby increase as I get older, and whilst we would welcome and love a baby, regardless of any issues he or she had, it is still a factor in my mind, when we think about the decision. Also, pregnancy and birth are harder as you age. I am not 30 and pregnant with my first, I could be 37, or even 38 and pregnant, with HEG and two children, a job and a life to manage. That does make me think hard about the whole thing. The sickness and HEG is a huge hurdle for me. We have put of trying for a 3rd for two reasons, one because of Small Boy’s sleep, and wanting to get that in a better place, and two, we wanted him to be older, so that if I am unwell, with a 3rd pregnancy, that he would be less needy and I would be able to cope better. When pregnant with Small Boy, there were many days spent literally by the toilet, or in bed, or on the sofa, with a not quite 3 year old Big Girl pottering, and entertaining herself, or patting me on the back as I threw up, saying “poor Mummy, you better soon” – this lasted until the 32nd week of pregnancy, with several visits to the Maternity Assessment Unit for fluids and medication for dehydration thrown in for good measure, so you can see why I am concerned?
But, despite all of that, and knowing that my body may not want to fully co-operate, I don’t feel done, and I want to try for a little brother or sister for Big Girl and Small Boy. LSH feels the same, we want to see what happens. I simply can’t explain it. There is a small void, there, that makes me feel not done, not quite complete, unless we at least try and add a 3rd child to the mix. My heart aches and I get a weird rush of hormones, when I see newborn babies of friends, I guess you could call it broodiness? I won’t go down the hormone treatment route we had with Big Girl, we will let nature take it’s course, and if number 3 is meant to be, then so be it. If it doesn’t happen, then I will know we are DONE and will be thankful for my two precious children, and will give away and sell all of our stored up baby gear.
But, don’t panic, there won’t be anything happening in the “near” future. I have plans to loose some weight and get in shape, and run my 10km run in September, and we have a few financial loose ends we’d like tied up, and the work I do with the parent and toddler group and music group at our church is taking off, and expanding fast, and needs my full attention, but soon, we hope. You will have to watch this space!
I’d love to hear some thoughts on adding more children, age, pregnancy when you have older children, and if you had two or more, but still weren’t “done” and wanting to add “just one more” to your brood. It is so hard to explain, this feeling inside, wanting one more, knowing I should be grateful for what I have, but not feeling quite complete. Please feel free to comment or link up.