How to decide if we should have 4th child... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so torn about this! If I was younger I'm sure I'd be more open to the idea but I'm 37 and DH is 40 so we're not getting any younger! LOL
DH totally wants one more and has always said he wanted 4 kids (or more). He talks about getting pregnant (me, of course )all the time! But he also is the one working long hours and not breastfeeding for 2+ years either. He's a great dad and very involved with the kids but he also works 12 hr days and seeing the kids from 6pm to 8:30pm and weekends isn't that much KWIM?

Now we have a 7 yr old, 4 yr old and 1 yr old. I'm homeschooling and it's a challenge enough with a 1 yr old let alone adding a baby to the mix.
I'm also worried about oldest son being 8 or 9 when another came along. That's such a large span. I was 9 yrs older than my youngest sister and we were never close since I went off to college when she was 8 yrs old. Even as adults we aren't really close since we've never really been near each other since she was 8.
Of course, the idea of having a kid in college and elementary school is not the most exciting to me

My heart tells me another baby to love would be wonderful but my head says it really isn't best for our family and I could give them more of myself without a baby.
How do you really "know" when you're done having babies?
Thanks
Ann

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#2 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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Sometimes it helps me to look at it from the perspective of when I'm an old woman. The experience of that fourth person as a whole versus the short-term fatigue of raising little ones!
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#3 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 03:53 PM
 
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I have a funny story about that. My allergist has four daughters, all very close in age. When I was pg with Abi, he asked me how many I planned to have. I said maybe 3. He said, with a smile on his face, "No, you have to stop at two. Don't have three. You'll have to get a new car, a separate asile on the plane, a new kitchen table. It just messes everything up." Then I asked, "Wait a minute. Don't you have four?" He said, with a big grin, "Yeah, well after three it's so crazy it doesn't matter anymore if you have more."

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#4 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 04:24 PM
 
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you really dont sound like you want another one. But, your baby is still so small, maybe if you wait even just a year and think about it then?
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#5 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 04:36 PM
 
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The age difference can actually be a good thing too. I have 3 sisters who are 9 years, 10.5 years, and 14 years younger than me! I grew up taking care of them and sort of their second mother figure. I loved having such younger siblings. We are and always have been extremely close.
It is true though about having more than 2 changing everything! We have 2 right now but plan on having 4 (if possible). We are realizing we will have to get a new car before we can have our third! And I am realizing that right now when I take them places I have a hand for each one of them. When I imagine more than two I see them swarming everywhere and me having trouble keeping them all together!
But we still want to have four children.
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#6 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 04:42 PM
 
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Just a thought: I really don't think age difference is the major factor whether you will be close or not. My brother is 10 years older, we are not close at all. But it's most definately not an age issue!

I have seen too many siblings with big age differences that were fine, little age differences that weren't fine....

My 0.02
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#7 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 04:45 PM
 
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I'd say wait till you're totally okay with it and excited about it, even if that never happens. I think if it doesn't, then you don't want another. But I wouldn't have another one just cause your husband wants one... like you said, it's not hard seeing them just for two hours on nights and weekends.
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#8 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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For the first time ever, I KNOW I AM DONE! (after this one obviously). I just know. I always wondered the same thing, how do you know for sure. When you know, you know. SO many people said that to me, and I was worried I would never know. With my last I was wavering, I AM SURE NOW. Could I be any more sure..

And my oldest will be 11 when the next is born. He was 9 1/2 when my last was born, and it was so cool to watch him with the baby. He could pick him up, hold him, really have some one on one time that he couldn't with the other kids. I love the age difference. You would be surprised what they will get from each other.

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#9 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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I am closest to my sister who is twelve years older than me. And there were a lot of kids closer in age than her. I love them all, but she and I have a real bond
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#10 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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We are on the fence about number 3, like yours dh is great, but not around much.

Like someone else said, I think ahead 30 years and will it matter if I was tired and nursing for a few more years.

If your only worry is age I wouldn't worry, I think it's personality more than age.

I too worry that I'm already stretched so thin, how could I handle another.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#11 of 22 Old 12-01-2005, 05:28 PM
 
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37 really isn't old.
I say the more the merrier!
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#12 of 22 Old 08-30-2006, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ACK-this debate is still on at our house!
DS #3 is still a constant nurser at 21 mos and still doesn't sleep thru the night....
I mostly think a new baby would put me in the funny farm
But it's hard to imagine NOT going thru a pregnancy and baby time again....
And my older 2 keep asking when we're having another baby since "the baby" is getting bigger
Any new thoughts?

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#13 of 22 Old 08-31-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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I'm wondering the same thing. I cant imagine starting over again with the newborn stuff. Its just starting to get managable around here again with ds closing in on the 1 year mark. But some how that question of are we done is still haunting me. Sorry, not much help, but its nice to not be alone.
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#14 of 22 Old 08-31-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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Who are you people who are "puuling it together" as your child turns ONE??
dd turns 2, and I'm just starting to think maybe i can have another kid, at some point, and not go crazy!
LOL

CPST
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#15 of 22 Old 08-31-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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We can't decide about #3--we are the same ages as you guys. And I have a genetic clotting disorder, which means I must give myself a shot of heparin daily when pg. And clotting issues get worse with age. What worked 4 years ago might not work this time! This kind of freaks me out, but the more studies they do about if heparin works, the better the stats look.

I am leaning yes, like SOON, and if we don't get pg well we tried, and dh is leaning no, like SNIP SNIP. He is so worried about the bedroom issue, which to me is silly. We have a den/playroom that could become a girl's room later. If it's another boy, I'd be inclined to put all 3 in one room, then move the oldest later--like high school. To me this is so silly! It's years YEARS away.

We have two boys, almost 7 and almost 4. Both had allergy issues as infants/toddlers, so I would likely be on a special diet while nursing. Again. That's not so exciting.
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#16 of 22 Old 08-31-2006, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a little scare last month where I was 3 days late (even though protection was used each time) and while I was a little freaked I was definitely more excited. I was actually a bit disappointed when the test was negative-but relieved too as far as the timing. I would rather have closer to 3 yrs between the youngest since he is my biggest challenge.
So do you think puts me more in the "one more" camp?

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#17 of 22 Old 08-31-2006, 11:14 PM
 
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I say, if you're hesitating then there's a reason - if you knew knew knew, that you didn't want more (and it's hard for me to say this, fyi, because I'm Catholic and I have no plans on deciding certainly when I'm done - that's Someone Else's decision) then you'd know. But you don't.

I say when in doubt of having another child, always "err" on the side of the child - because if you say no you may live to regret it someday - always wishing you'd had that 4th baby. But if you do have baby #4 then I highly doubt you will ever wish that child hadn't been born.

I've never yet met a woman who regretted having her large family, but I have met several who regretted not having more.

Myself - I don't think I could call it quits if I were Catholic or not - just seeing my little ones run around and play with each other or snuggle up next to me at night makes me wonder what the next child will be like, what he/she will look like, and what he/she will become. That's enough to make me want still another.
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#18 of 22 Old 09-01-2006, 03:33 AM
 
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I just had my third in June and am 38 in September. My eldest is not 6 yet. Right now I am tired - but happy. DH and I both would love to have another, we have always hoped for 4 or 5. We were even talking about conceiving #4 before #3 was born .

However, my DH also works lots of hours 7 days a week. I do have some help in the form of a wonderful sitter and my SIL and BIL are moving to be closer to us so we can help each other with our kids !

So it sounds like you are open to having another but maybe should wait a while longer until you are more convinced. Also if your DH is so keen can he figure out ways that you would have help when he is not around?

I don't think you're too old, my own personal concern is that you can't assume you will fall pregnant as easily as you get older. Biology bites!

I'm another Catholic who just loves plenty of kids!
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#19 of 22 Old 09-02-2006, 12:53 AM
 
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Ha ha ha, we were talking about #4 while pregnant with the twins!! I am glad I am not the only crazy one out there.

I agree that the age difference isn't really the issue. I am the oldest of 5 and I ADORE my sister (10 years younger!!). I loved taking care of the younger kids, fighting with the older ones, and always having someone to talk to or play with. . . even if you are fighting with someone else!!

However, kids are also a huge responsibility. So I would wait a while and see. There is no real rush and a child deserves to be wanted with your whole heart. (and you can always adopt if you have infertility issues).

Last thought, if you had some help. . . weekly housecleaning or nanny once a week. . .would that take off some pressure and you would then want another?

Courtney wife to geek.gif and mom to 4 boys: chicken3.gif   . I need caffix.gif !
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!
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#20 of 22 Old 09-02-2006, 10:52 PM
 
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Shhhh... don't let anyone in my family hear this... I am definately done having bio kids due to a health condition that could make pregnancy again fatal for me and ultimately babe. I am so thankful that I've been able to have 3 beautiful kids. My decision is whether or not I want to adopt more kids. DH and I have always wanted to adopt but then we decided no more kids and told EVERYONE in our families that we are definately 100% done. My in-laws keep saying ,"You won't ever have more kids right???" They don't want us to have more. Makes you wonder what they think of our parenting skills but that's another story. Anyways if we adopted it would be international, definately trans-racial so we would want to adopt two so that the child had a same race sibling. So that puts the decision to sticking with 3 kids or going for 5. I keep saying I'm done, I'm done, I'm done but this little voice in the back of my head keeps saying ,"Oh no you're not." We are living with my in-laws (we have our own 3 bedroom apartment in the basement) until spring of 2010 so there is no decision making to be made before then. DH will be in school full-time until December 2009. Eliana (the baby) will be 4 years old by then and we would want a bit to get settled in our new home and DH get settled in his new career so the soonest I could see it happening would be starting the adoption process in fall 2010 and then a child would be home around fall 2011. Eliana would be 5.5 by then, Olivia almost 9 and Elijah 10.5. We can only adopt one at a time (stupid Ontario rules) which sucks because I would rather adopt two at the same time. We would adopt a child around 12-18 months old so that would Eliana 4-4.5 years older than the new one. I guess that's not too big of a gap. I agree with the sentiment that when I am an old woman I am much more likely to regret NOT adopting than I would regret adopting. The only thing standing in my way (besides our whole familly thinking even 3 kids is a huge family) is that I was/am going to be starting school part-time in January to eventually get my MSW and I was planning I could start working when Eliana was 15 (we homeschool but by then I figure I could leave them for awhile) which would make be 41 years old. If we adopt one then we'll adopt another for the reason mentioned above so if we adopted one in fall 2011 and then another say in fall 2014 then I would be 49 years old before the youngest was 15. I really would like to have a career as well. AARRRRGHHHH!!!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#21 of 22 Old 09-03-2006, 01:23 AM
 
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We had a hard time deciding about adopting for our third child, but I would probably go for a fourth even! The biggest decider for me was a quote I read: "You'll never regret having another child, but you might regret *not* having one for the rest of your life." That did it for me! When in doubt, love never divides, it only multiplies.
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#22 of 22 Old 09-03-2006, 02:03 AM
 
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That is a really hard decision.

I have heard the "when you're done, you just know it" theory. I think that was true in my case. I didn't feel done after having two kids. I didn't feel "not done" either. I was neutral I guess. No huge longing but not any firm "finished" feelings either. Then dh and dd1 talked me into the third. I was open to it, just not as soon as they were. I'd planned to wait another year or two.

I would be surprised to find anyone who'd admit to regretting having their third (or fourth or whatever) child. But the stress that having another child brings can lead to stuff that is regretable. Sometimes life just kind of sneaks up on you - and a way of life that you wanted and that worked for many years can suddenly be.... too much. Or not enough. It is hard to explain.

But three kids is enough for me. I ADORE being pregnant and giving birth and the tiny baby stage. But those babies grow up - and write on walls and whine and fight with their siblings and hide in department stores and all the rest. I know it is just for a few years. But a few years for each kid adds up to a decade or more for a mom. I went back to work three weeks ago - something I thought I'd NEVER do before my youngest was in 1st grade. Dd3 is barely three. But I just can't take the SAHM thing anymore. It was the greatest for a long time. Then it was too much. I am LOVING work! Honestly, I think it is saving my life.

Long way of saying that there are pros and cons. Sometimes we just cannot know what changes will occur in our lives. I have SO learned to never say never!!!! If BOTH of you really feel you NEED another child in your family then I vote yes. Pregnancy is always exciting - there is always that draw. But I'd try to weigh the day to day stresses of having another child when making your decision.
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