Here's mine: I have 3 awesome kids. When DH and I first were married we said we wanted 2 or 3. Then when we had 2 we said "if we go for 3 we should plan to have 4". Well, #3 was a surprise so we never really made that decision. And when she was born she was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality that we had never heard of and brought with it a lot of health concerns. Also that pregnancy was very difficult on me physically. It took a long time to get my health back. I said then that we would table any discussion of #4 until she was 3. Well, DD turned 3 and it wasn't the right time - finances were and still are difficult, things at home felt chaotic and we didn't see how adding another child would ever let the dust settle, etc, etc.
Well, as Fleetwood Mac says, "Time makes you bolder, children get older and I'm getting older too."
The kids are almost 10, 8, and 5 now. We're long past the diaper stage, and the nursing stage, and the diaper bag stage and the nap stage. Financially we're looking at college and retirement looming. I've spent 8 years working less than full capacity which has taken a financial toll. I'm a mere few months away from 40 and don't have any of the financial security it seems like one "should' have. Most of our furniture is hand me down from parents and grandparents. We never have enough money to make the repairs on the house that need to be done. Most of my clothes are at least 10 years old.
But I'm healthier now. I'm stronger. I'm not nearly as overwhelmed. And I know a lot more about how to keep myself healthy. DD's heath isn't a major concern anymore - she's doing great and there's no reason to think we have anything major on the horizon there.
My periods are a little funky and I have some hot flashes now and then. Not sure if I'm in the early perimenapause stage and whether TTC would be nearly as easy this time around as it has always been before. Not sure how my body would hold up to a pregnancy. And then there's the idea of trying to raise a child at this age. What if DH and / or I have health issues in our 40s or 50s as many people do? Not to mention the issue of having 4 kids - who would take in 4 kids if we couldn't care for them? 1 or 2 is one thing, but 4!!
Financially, since that's a big issue, I think we could make it work but I would have to go back to work full time as planned when DD goes to Kindergarten next year. I just don't feel like I can put that off anymore. And another issue is time with DH. We both feel like we've put our relationship on the back burner for the kids and I know that isn't good. We need to focus more on each other. Having a very young child makes that very difficult, espcially with they type of parents we've been. We could change our style - not co-sleep, have more strict bedtimes in your own beds, etc. But if I'm working full time and not allowing night time cuddles it really feels like I'm short changing this baby. Is that fair? I know a lot of moms do it that way and have very happy relationships with their kids. Its just such a change from the way we've been. I struggle with whether the fact that I have all these conditions that would need to be different in order to agree to baby #4 means maybe I just shouldn't be going down this path.
And then there is the overpopulation of the world issue - to which I have no response. All I can say is that I want 4. I don't know why. I don't think its logical. How terrible is it that the fact that there isn't going to be enough food and resources to support all the people isn't detering me from wanting another?
If I listed out the pros and cons it would be heavily against TTC. The main thing on the pro side is that I just think I want to do it one more time. I want my kids to be raised in a big, close-knit, supportive family. But the reality is that my kids fight all the time. So maybe its all wishful thinking...