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How did you know that you were "done" having kids?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We are trying to decide if we should have a fifth child. I feel like I have won the lottery, I have four healthy great kids (boy 9,boy 6,boy 3, girl 1) I love attachment parenting, enjoy watching them grow, I think I could be happy being done one day, and then the next day I am longing for another little one.

How did you know that you were "done" having kids?

I have made a list pros-cons, but that hasn't really helped me out. The quick summary of the list is:

I will be 38 this summer, increased risks to me and the baby.
Financially we are secure, but there are all those college tuitions to think of.
Have a good relationship with husband
Kids would love a sibling
Won't get much support from extended family since they are not huge supporters of large family size.
Less time, attention for each child, but the benefits of an extra sib

Most of our friends have 2 or 3, and always say they just"knew" they were done, that realization hasn't hit me yet. I am just curious as to how other people came to the decision that their family size was just right

Thanks in advance for your answers!
post #2 of 12
Wow, we're in the same boat so I can't necessarily answer your question! We're still trying to figure it out!
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply Kindermama, One comment you made really hit home, giving each child enough one on one attention. Dividing the "pot" of energy to make sure everyone gets what they need is really hard to do.

I would be interested to hear what people who have been there do to make sure everyone's needs in a larger family are met.
post #4 of 12
First was stillborn due to cord compression and shoulder dystocia. I had severe hemorrhaging after her birth and nearly bled to death.

Second was a miscarriage

Third was born at home but did have shoulder dystocia, midwife had to reach in and shift his shoulders to get him out. I also hemorrhaged after this birth, not quite as badly, but it almost resulted in a transfer.

I was told by my midwife that I have a very narrow pelvis. Baby would have to be in just the right position to fit through, shoulder dystocia is very likely. I also had bleeding problems despite pre-natal preparation.

Due to all of this, and also due to finances, life plans, and a general feeling of being 'done', we have decided that DS will be an only child.
post #5 of 12
I have been wondering the same thing lately.

I always thought I wanted 4 or 5 kids. Then after having my 2, I have gone back and forth between being totally happy the way things are, and wanting to have 1 or 2 more kids. I'm especially thinking about another baby lately, w/ DS nearing one year of age and not being so much a "baby" anymore!

Regardless, it definitely would be unwise financially at this point- not until DH finds a more stable job and/or we sell our thus-far unsellable first house.
post #6 of 12
I am also waiting on this "done" feeling that everyone I know talks about. I have 3, the youngest just turned one, if I were to have another, then it would mean me getting pg next year, and I would like to know one way or the other. We have girls and a boy so we are completely set for clothing, I feel like I own every possible baby/child related item that I would possibly need.

The cons, children are expensive, I do not seem to produce cheap ones. We can do 3 children, they can do extra-school activities, attend this awesome little school that we love, 4 would be pushing it. Our medical bills are insane, 2 of my 3 have some special needs, not severe, but enough that our monthly bills rival many a house payment. If the 4th needs daily therapy like DD1 does, it would be a hardship then.

I go back and forth daily, I think I could be good with 3, maybe but then I remember my dream was always 4 and I think that I probably would regret it in a few years. There is another part of me that wants this baby stage to be over and move on to having older children.
post #7 of 12
We also have 4 and I don't really feel done most days. Dh feels very done. It is a problem.

Mine are 9, 6, 5, and 2. I feel like if we are going to do it we should soon as I want them all to be closely spaced. In reality I would like 6, but dh really isn't open to more unless it accidentally happens. We both know that he would be happy if it were to happen, but he doesn't want to make that choice.

I see his point for not wanting more. We have 2 boys then 2 girls. They share rooms as our house is small. We don't really want to move. They are getting older and more self sufficient. The youngest is potty trained and sleeps well. We can travel more. We have more freedom. We all can fit comfortably in the van. All good reasons I suppose.

But my heart wants more. I don't feel done. If we never have another I will regret it. This is the only issue we have felt differently about in 15 years. I just hope that I will feel okay with being done or he will feel okay with having another one day soon. It is hard to be in limbo.

I wish you luck in figuring it all out.
post #8 of 12
Something changed when we brought our fourth home. I finally felt like we should be done. I have been begging DH to get a 'v' before I change my mind

Ours are 9,7,2, and 4 mo. I'll be 35 this year. I finally feel like I'm ready to move on to the next chapter. I definitely didn't feel done before this last one was born.
post #9 of 12
I always thought I'd have 2 and dh and I planned for 2. We both were in agreement, although we wanted to leave the possibility open, so I got an IUD instead of him getting the vasectomy. I really liked the copper IUD, except for the longer periods, and it turned out to be a great method for us for over 4 years.

When my youngest was about 3, I started having some twinges, which completely surprised me. Prior to that I would have told you we were almost certainly done. Over time, my desire to have another grew stronger, and about 6 months ago when I talked to dh about it, my feeling on it was 60/40 on the yes/no thing. I was very on the fence. He was more like 20/80, so we sort of put the discussion on hold.

Then our friends started having their 3rd, and he's been playing with babies. And a close friend of ours offered us a couple of days a week of childcare when I have to go back to work. So we started talking about it more seriously and we've now decided to ttc our third.

I think for me, the feeling of doneness that I expected never happened. I sort of reasoned that when our family was really done, we'd know it, and as I was reacting to my friends' announcements with both happiness and jealousy, it was a big signal to me that I wanted to have another baby. I had to think a long time about whether I wanted another baby or I wanted to raise another child. I had to make sure. Once I came to terms with that, the decision felt a lot better.
post #10 of 12
I think one of the biggest things to examine when determining whether or not to have more kids is the same thing you should examine closely when trying to decide to have ANY. And that's the why. Why do you want more kids? Do you want another baby in the house? Do you want to try for a particular gender (IMO not quite the small thing that some folks think?) Do you want your kids to have more siblings? Do you want to be the most important one again (this isn't meant like I know it sounds, I just couldn't come up with a better way to phrase it-I am referring to the BF connection of being the one to provide all your child's nutrition etc.)

It's up to each person and couple to come to a decision about when and why to have more kids. But I think the examining why (as opposed to the pros and cons, which I think are similar, but not exactly the same thing) will help anyone become more at peace with whatever decision they make.

For me, I am 99% sure that we are done once the belly bean gets here in September. The reality is that I do want one more. But my reasons why are reasons that can be fullfilled with what we have, or will have come Sept. And DH's reason for being done is IMO more valid than my reasons for wanting more, given what three will give us.
post #11 of 12
I always thought I wanted 4. Finances were tight and we were finally able to buy a small house, but it is only 3 bedrooms (986 sq feet total). So we put #4 on hold. I knew I was done when I thought I was pregnant and was freaked out, not joyous. I made an appt for dh to have the V the next day. I went with him and watched . I'm having baby thoughts lately but in the next 5-7 years the kiddos will start going their seperate ways and I have thought about doing short term foster care for babies/toddlers.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the great feedback. Reading over your responses has really helped me reflect on our situation. For now, I am still just thinking, but it has prompted some other questions, that I think I might post!
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