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blueskies12

How to get over wanting another child

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blueskies12

Firstly, I want to thank you for reading this.

 

I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old; both boys. I have been wanting another baby since the second was born. I would love three boys, but I would also love a girl. In my heart it is what I want. Then there’s my head. My head says no. My husband says he is on the fence and is ok with just 2, but hasn’t said no, just that he’s on the fence. My extended family have all told me outright not to go again. For all reasons that I agree with. Our first was born in distress and it was a difficult/traumatic birth, I then developed PNA/PND (non-diagnosed) which I would have had for at least the first 18 months. I have since got help and did Circle of Security, have seen a psychologist etc. My first was diagnosed with ASD (Aspergers) last year, which was a relief. I have been loving spending time with the boys and have been happy. So. I guess people are worried that I would have another birth like that, become unwell again, or have a child with even greater needs. They have also reminded me that babies are like puppies- they grow up quickly. Extended family have also said they can manage looking after two, but three may stretch them and this may limit them baby-sitting. Of course, then there is the financial cost, and there is the cost to my career. We have a three bedroom house and so on.

 

Three people I am close to, have suffered with infertility.

 

I know I am very lucky. I completely agree with that when people tell me, every day I am thankful. Yet still in my heart- I want a third. However, I am realistic and that I may likely never get another child.

 

In a way it feels like grieving. I see my maternity clothes, I see small baby clothes and feel sad. I feel like avoiding people with newborns and people who are pregnant. Very selfish, I know, and not something I would admit in real life.

 

Part of it is that I had PND, so I feel I wasted that time with my first-born. I should have been having skin-to-skin and staring adoringly at him, appreciating the miracle that was in front of me. Instead it wasn’t anything like that.

 

I do have an upcoming psych appointment, but would love any ideas on from EB.

 

So the question is: If you wanted another child, but stopped, what helped you get over wanting another child?

 

EB has helped me tremendously. Thank you for reading. Please don’t flame me. I may delete later. I haven't been able to really have this conversation with anyone in real life.

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little lion

I understand your feelings. Removed for privacy.

Edited by little lion
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Ellie bean

hugs blue skies. Is it another baby you want or a daughter specifically? I guess I’m just asking how you would feel if you had a third son? No judgment here especially as I had a strong preference for a girl and my first was a girl so would never judge

I also didn’t get to do the “gazgazing adoringly at newborn “ thing either time but do you think realistically you will get that with a third child? I suspect I wouldn’t because firstly they’d probably be sick like the first two were, and secondly my older 2 would be butting in amd wanting attention.

Wishing you all the best

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Kallie88

I was lucky in a lot of ways, when I was pregnant with #3 Dh was very clear he was done. We had talked about 4 so it had been a possibility and I can still see us with a 4th child even though it's definitely not going to happen now. Knowing that it was my last pregnancy while I was doing it helped me a lot, I tried to focus on the things I loved and reminded myself I'd never have to go through the crappy bits again (was a big motivator during labor lol) and I find i keep doing it now bubs is here (4 months now) we have the super crappy no sleep weeks and i can tell myself this is the last time to help me through it and appreciate the little-ness etc.

But, hopefully more helpful for you, the other thing that helps is planning/ thinking about all the things we'll be able to do as the kids get bigger. Putting our family into the future as it is without another baby holding things back is something i find really positive and motivating. We had 3 under 3 so in a few years we'll probably be able to travel a bit more, take the kids out to activities that we can't/ don't want to do now with a baby, and all that sort of thing. The dynamics between kids changes with 3 too, we'll embrace it because that's what we've got lol, but it's a definite plus to 2 of they get along I think.

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blueskies12

Thank you for your replies. I LOVE the ideas and support on EB. It's like no other.

 

Little Lion, I hope you don't mind me replying (let me know and I can edit this part out). I am sorry you and your husband have been through illness. Big hugs. That would have been very hard. I am glad yo hear you are happy with your two boys though. Big hugs and thank you for your reply.

 

Ellie Bean, I did have some gender disappointment with my second. But now I love having two boys and would actually love to have three boys (though I would also love a girl equally). I think you are right though- how much newborn gazing etc would I realistically do with two other little ones. I am working on my patience levels at the best of times... Thank you for your support XX

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Caribou

It’s hard isn’t it? I suppose I never thought of #2 as being done. And there might be a third. When we were unexpectedly with a #3, though it’s not viable, (just waiting on a m/c) I realised yea, I want #3, but DH isn’t on board enough for me to do it. He said ok, but he’d rather not. There were a lot of factors for him. He worried about giving all the kids equal attention, Our relationship (could it handle three kids keeping us busy with no time for us to connect?) and how would he manage retirement, it meant working longer to support more people as he’s the main income earner. There were a million reasons. I’ve had to grieve for the fact this is my last pregnancy. I can’t do any more losses anyway. I’m done. I know I’m lucky to have 2 kids. They’re happy and healthy. Staying with two allows me to give them more opportunities (like overseas holidays, we love exploring the world, I get this isn’t everyone) a lot would be changed or given up for #3. What it came to, was too much would be given up for #3, despite the baby would have been very much loved.

 

There’s no easy decision. Sorry Blueskies. I hope you can decide what’s best for you and everyone. Don’t be influenced by your extended family. Focus on you, your DH and the kids and how it impacts them and you.

Edited by Caribou
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Minka1313

Big hug!

 

I could have written your post - I have two boys 4 and 2. I have always seen myself with three kids. DH, however it done. So done in fact that he has gotten himself a referral for a vasectomy. I asked him to wait a year before he did something that couldn't be reversed.

 

Family is 3000km away so it is just us.

 

My rational brain says no! Don’t do it, be happy with what you have already. But my stomach is in a knot and my heart beats louder with the desire for another.

 

We have this amazing gift to create life! We can create life - it blows my mind that we can create this entirely new little person that has never existed before – Crazy. We then have the honour of teaching our children and watching them grow.

 

I love my boys! They are my sun and moon and air. They are the legacy of our DNA, our thoughts and our beliefs. We will leave nothing greater on this earth then the lives that we create.

 

Deep down I would love a girl. DH says that if he could guarantee a girl he would have a third. This just tells me that may be he isn't "definitely done"?

 

Good luck. I will be following this thread with keen interest. I hope you get the closure you are looking for!

Edited by Minka1313
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Future-self

I’ll be honest, I would have loved another. I get a stab when I hear of friend having a third - hell, even when a blogger I follow announced they were pregnant with a third recently I felt my stomach swoop.

But I’m not having a third. For many reasons , all of which are compelling. But I don’t think the desire is something that I have to ‘get over’. It can exist alongside all the other thoughts desires and musings in my life for however long ,maybe forever! Who knows! It’s not painful, doesn’t affect my everyday existence, it just is what it is. My point is, you can accept that you’re not having another baby happily without getting over wishing you could have one in an ideal world.

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Jo.F

I don't have any advice OP, I'm struggling very much with the same thing and I was hoping to get some advice from the lovely EB community too. I'm sorry to hijack your thread.

 

I desperately wanted another baby. I have one gorgeous DS who was the result of 6 IVF cycles and after our 3rd failed attempt for a sibling my marriage broke down (there's a thread on this, long story). I know I'm very lucky to have him as I've met so many lovely ladies who never got their miracle but my dreams for my future included two children and I'm devastated that it won't happen.

 

I haven't got over him leaving me but I will eventually. What I'm worried I'll never get over is not being able to have another child. I cry whenever a friend announces a pregnancy, or when I'm shopping and walk past the baby section in a store. I just can't seem to let it go. I think it's possibly harder because the decision was made for me and that just eats away at me. I do try to think about all the hard times of having a newborn and now that DS is 3 things are a lot easier but it only works for so long.

 

I didn't know my pregnancy with DS would be my last, and my ex made it impossible to enjoy so I feel like I was robbed of the joys of having my first baby and now I'll never get to have a pregnancy that I can be excited about and share it with someone who is excited to become a father. I'm constantly grieving the loss of a child that I'll never have.

 

 

It doesn't matter how many kids you have, when you long for another and it doesn't happen, it's really hard to get past. There's absolutely nothing selfish about feeling that way.

 

I hope you can get to a point where you're ok with it OP. I hope we all can xx

 

once again, sorry if I hijacked your thread x

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nasty buddha

I wouldn't dream of flaming you.

I totally could have written many parts of that myself.

 

I too have had self diagnosed pnd/pna after my second and feel like I missed out a bit. But I've forgiven myself for it. I knew I had to forgive myself.

 

I also had a very very difficult first pregnancy, after infertility. I have two healthy little ones. My heart wants another, my head says stop while you're ahead.

 

There have been a few posts on EB that have helped me recently. As it has been helpful to read other peoples thoughts for and against expanding their family.

 

For me, I became more aware that a third will put a strain on how much attention I have with my first two (now and in the future). And I'm not sure I want to change that potential by adding a third to the mix.

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RichardParker

Look after my toddler for a week. Guaranteed to kill all desire for more children.

 

JMO, but the grief of losing the special moments with one baby (whether through trauma, death, depression or circumstance), I don't think, can ever really be healed by another baby. Each baby is precious and perfect and those early moments can be so magical - but I honestly believe they're unique to that baby. Having another baby won't relieve the grief, it just might distract you for a while - until that baby grows a bit, then the grief and yearning will come back again.

 

Proper help to process the trauma of the difficult birth and PND might be more beneficial in the long run.

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JRA
Is it another baby you want or a daughter specifically?

 

I will reword that, is it another baby you want, or another child.

 

You seem very baby focussed. Babies are only a baby for a very short time. If you were to be pregnant again, it is another child that you will be caring for, from day 1 through to ... ok, they never grow up

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Nerdette

This is me at the moment. I'm 4 weeks post partum and all I can think about is that I want to do it again. The thing I need to work out is, is it just being pregnant that I want to do again, or do I actually want a-whole-nother child?

It's tricky, and I don't know what I will do either way.

Sorry I have no advice, but you aren't alone. I will be following this thread with interest.

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cfwact

I’m feeling like I’m only just coming out the other side if this feeling. I really wanted another one, but husband was done. I have cried each time I have had to get rid of the clothes my youngest has grown out of. There is certainly a type of grief to each ‘end of an era’, even though it exists alongside the joys of having children a little more independent. For me, it helped to realise that even if I had 10 children, I would have to go through the emotions of ‘the last one’ at some point in time.

 

My husband and I went away overnight without children for the first time since having children (and it was amazing!). It’s doing things like that that I now have the opportunity to do that has helped me accept there will be no more.

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Kreme

I have 2 kids 17 months apart. From the minute my first was born I wanted a second, and from the minute my second was born I wanted a third. The difference was that my head knew that it wasn’t as simple as just having another one, that there were a lot of practical issues to consider like finances and housing. We had been lucky enough to have two healthy kids from two pregnancies both in my late 30s. Going again felt like we were tempting fate.

 

So DH and I agreed to wait a year and see how we felt. And by the time the year rolled around we had both decided against it. We made the decision with our heads and it was the right thing to do. I have no regrets.

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blueskies12

Thank you everyone for your replies. It has made me not feel alone. It felt so much better to let it all out on the table so to speak. I have been bottling it all in, because I know I sound ungrateful and selfish out loud.

 

Kreme, I am grateful that you too have been where I am and have wanted another from the moment your babies were born. Giving yourself a year is a good idea. I know exactly what you mean about tempting fate.

 

cfwact, that is so true that it doesn't matter even if you had 10 kids you would still eventually have to have your last and say goodbye to all things baby. I also know what you mean about getting more time with your husband etc.

 

Nerdette, this was me with my second. I wonder if it would be me with my 'dream' third. I also somewhat enjoyed pregnancy, but I know it isn't all roses. Many sad and hard things can happen in pregnancy too, but the thought of growing a new life and wondering what their little personality is like is amazing. Seeing them born is amazing. It's hard with all those clucky hormones running wild postpartum too.

 

JRA, you are so right, it isn't just a baby, it is a child. I think I would love another child. I'm not sure how I would go parenting teenagers, but I'd love another 3 year old, etc. Though I do agree with you- when people ask they always use the word baby; do you want another baby? They don't say do you want another 15 year old in 15 years time? lol

 

RichardParker, I have to thank you for your deep and honest response. It really made me think and enlightened me into some of what is going on. You are completely right. In some ways my second was really healing for me. Although, I have been deeply saddened by the fact I never enjoyed the moment with my first. So yes, another baby/child will never ever be able to fix that. It is time that has passed and is gone forever. The only thing I can try and do is to work through that trauma (thank you for calling it that- and for taking me seriously) and forgive myself.

 

nasty buddha, I know what you mean. I do wonder how much attention would be taken away from my other two if I had a third. I know many mother who do brilliantly at this, but I may struggle.

 

Jo. F. You could never hijack my thread! You have helped me tremendously. Thank you. I can completely understand how you feel- even though I am not in your shoes and I think most would feel the same. You have had that decision taken away from you when your Ex walked off. That is very difficult. i am sorry to ask you a rude question, have you considered doing IVF with a donor? You don't have to answer, but you sound like a beautiful Mum and you have a lot of love to give. I understand crying when you see baby clothes etc. I also understand that trying to rationalise how it is easier now only last for a little bit, it does for me too.

 

Future-self, you have put an interesting idea in my head. That I can still wish for it, but accept my situation all the same. That's positive, thank you. Really interesting!

 

Minka1313, I feel exactly the same way. I hope we get closure too.

 

Caribou, thank you for writing your post. I am sorry that you have had to go through loss. I know what you mean about appreciating the two you have and making the most of opportunities that you have because of two i.e. travel.

 

Thank you everyone. You have given me a lot to think over and honestly being able to write to you and hear your thoughts has made my load lessen XX

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blueskies12

Thank you SuperMombie3, you are right. I have never had a chance to stare amazingly at either of my newborns and it is SO refreshing that others haven't either. My experiences weren't exactly Insta-worthty. My first, well he had colic, reflux and I had PND and PNA and my second, when I tried to stare at him in amazement, in between the tantrums, playing and cleaning up of the first-born. Thank you for bringing back the reality. No doubt with my third, even if I coped mentally well I would still be gazing adoringly, next minute cleaning up rice bubbles on the floor from the second, next minute first born having a tantrum before kindy/school...so yes, not all just sitting on the couch and having that beautiful skin-to-skin time. Thank you XX

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blueskies12

I have been thinking a lot this afternoon. I have tried to come up with an action plan. One of my biggest regrets is wasting precious time with my first-born by having PNA/PND. So I need to learn from that lesson and not waste precious time now. The kids are still little. I don't want to look back at photos and see sadness in my eyes, of wanting another, and not appreciating what I have in front of me.

 

I am going to make it clear to my husband that if he wishes to not have another he has to organise contraception. I would like another child, so don't want to be on anything, but at the same time I will accept whatever contraception he decides. This makes me feel better because whilst I feel like this decision has sort of been taken out of my hands, it gives me some peace that I still have (some) choice.

 

So here goes (not in a particular order)-

1. Work through my grief/trauma of having PNA/PND with my first with the psychologist. Maybe I need to see the PND as the raincloud and I couldn't have the rainbow (now) without the rain. I had to have it really difficult and horrible in motherhood, in order to appreciate all its glory too.

2. Sell/give away everything that my second has grown out of. Looking at it reminds me. Use the money to re-do their rooms and make it a new chapter.

3. Stop reading about people being pregnant/having newborns/babies on social media. All those famous people with their beautiful newborns aren't helping. Hearing mums from my mothers' group talk about their pregnancies/newborns every day are not helping. Limiting this contact would help. Avoid baby sections of shops.

4. Knowing that even my friend who is pregnant with her first this year (I am delighted for her), that her baby will also grow up. Even people that I know that will get o have their third, their children will grow up. It isn't just happening to me.

5. Develop my own interests. Try some new things. Develop myself personally. Have goals outside the kids (even small ones).

6. Try and see the possibilities of the future with my kids, not just look backwards; maybe a holiday etc,

7. Completely love-up and enjoy my children just as they are. Love the little people that they are and spend as much time being and playing with them as I can. Give it my all.

 

Thank you for making me think.

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Caribou

I completely get what you mean about feeling you missed so much with your first with PND. I remember the moment that jolted me to seek help was when my DD who was barely two at the time, said she did t want me to play with her because I was always too sad. I thought I’d been Hiding my emotions well. I saw a counsellor, it took a long time to heal, from time to time I still feel a pang of remorse for the time I lost, but I know it was so far beyond my capability at the time. My second baby was in so many ways, the healing I needed to close the chapter on the PND. I’d spoken to a charity that supported in preventing and assisting PND for parents before my second was born as I feared it would come back, but thankfully it didn’t. it was what I needed. Counselling helped so much.

 

My head says you don’t want any more kids for such and such reason.

 

My heart says just one more. The family would be so complete.

 

Honestly? The family might not actually be complete. I might actually break my family up. We have no way of knowing though. There’s taking a leap of faith, and there’s looking at it logically. But like other PP, those moments where it’s just me and DH make me realise how much we missed those moments. I love my kids so dearly, but I also miss my independence, I miss doing things for me. Even though I’d happily do it again for another (mind you 9months pregnancy is crap) l am looking forward to little things like sitting in a cafe uninterrupted, or just sleeping in bed and no one bothers me.

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Kreme

I’ve remembered something my friend told me. After her third child she felt herself wanting a fourth and spoke to her sister who has 4 kids. Her sister told her that she had wanted another baby even after her 4th, and that some people will always feel that longing for babies. She told her not to keep going assuming that she would know when she was done, because maybe she would never feel done, but to consciously draw the line at a point that was best for her relationship and her existing kids. I think this is good advice.

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bluesilk

Time. Your children are still quite young. As a pp said, once you get past that baby/toddler stage, you don't want to go back to baby phase again. Things get easier and you start enjoying a different relationship with older, self-sufficient children. I now feel like I am over wanting another.

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Freddie'sMum

I had bad PND after both births, no family support, not straight forward pregnancies or births, lots of reasons for us to stop at two.

 

Our "babies" are now 13 and 11. I can honestly say that one more child would have been the tipping point for my mental health and our marriage. They are babies for such a short period of time - they are children for years - and it's the second part that grinds you down.

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Jo.F

 

Jo. F. You could never hijack my thread! You have helped me tremendously. Thank you. I can completely understand how you feel- even though I am not in your shoes and I think most would feel the same. You have had that decision taken away from you when your Ex walked off. That is very difficult. i am sorry to ask you a rude question, have you considered doing IVF with a donor? You don't have to answer, but you sound like a beautiful Mum and you have a lot of love to give. I understand crying when you see baby clothes etc. I also understand that trying to rationalise how it is easier now only last for a little bit, it does for me too.

 

 

thank you for your kind words Blue xx. And it's not a rude question at all. I've had other people suggest it to me as well because they know I've got a lot of love to give and they think I'm a good mum which is very humbling. I have thought so many times about IVF with a donor. For the first 6 or so months I desperately wanted him back so I knew having another baby wouldn't be an option but since then I thought about it constantly. I've just never had enough money to do it. He left me with no money of my own and I didn't see it coming so I had no time to stash any away. I've been trying to catch up ever since. Even if I could have just frozen my eggs that would have been enough to keep me going but I've just turned 43 so I think time is going to run out for me. If I were to suddenly come into money I would give it serious thought. I'm not 100% sure how much my family would support me on it though - and I know it's my decision but I have struggled so much this past year just with DS that I know I'd need the extra help and support. I am trying to take positives from how strong my relationship with DS is now and and just accept that my heart will forever have a tiny empty space in it. It's just much easier said than done x

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blueskies12

Thank you, Kreme. Someone told me that too. That they had their third, and were still clucky…even though they said that they were tired from the 3 kids. So, you are right, maybe some people never feel done. I do worry that in 10 years I will feel even bigger regrets, but hopefully counselling will help that. People don’t really talk about this in real life, do they? That the ache never goes away…and it can be hard to hear pregnancy announcements and seeing babies.

 

SuperMombie3, your post was really thoughtful. Thank you for taking the time to write. It was a horrible entrance into motherhood and thank you for acknowledging that. I am sorry you went through it too. Nothing is worse. My husband was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness pre-children and honestly it seemed easier in comparison to that experience (for me mentally-wise). Sheer torture. You are right. Perhaps, I yearn for the fairy tale picture, the insta-worthy shots; when I am not that type of person. I am imperfect. It will never be perfect and I perhaps will never live up to my own expectation as a mother, but I need to see what is right in front of me and see all the love that is there. Thank you for your thoughts.

 

Thank you Bluesilk for saying it will get easier with time. That gives me hope and it is lovely to hear you enjoying your relationship with your older kids. So much focus is given to the under 5s. It is nice to hear that it is just as enjoyable when they are in school.

 

Freddie’sMum, thank you for posting. I have wondered whether a third would tip our marriage, our finances and me mentally over the edge. I have patience, energy and time now, so I should be happy to simply share that with the two lovely little people in front of me. I do wonder whether the over-focus on the baby/toddler stage in society makes us sad to leave it. They are children for much longer than they are babies. Blink and you miss it.

 

This has given me a lot to think about. I need to start packing, selling, giving away baby stuff.

 

Part of me thinks that if I say goodbye to being pregnant/baby stage, then where does that leave me, personally? Your whole life you imagine what your children will look like, will they be boy/girl etc and now that the phase has passed, all it leaves me is looking down the barrell of middle-age ha, ha.

 

Thank you for listening to me. Sorry for rambling. It is lovely to be able to let it out here.

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RichardParker

But that point where your children are all grown and you're left staring at the cat happens whether you have two or seven children. If you only have two, at least you're still young enough at that point to retrain or take up new and engaging activities.

 

It still happened to my Mum, who had six children, but by the time the last one had finished school, she'd kind of lost herself and her motivation to seek out new challenges - she doesn't regret having her kids, but I know she regrets not doing a lot of other things.

 

Could you train to work with babies in some way? Maybe as a midwife, a nurse, or counsellor dealing with new mothers? That way, you get to experience the great early days (and perhaps help new mothers in a way you wish you had been assisted) without them turning into grotty children who live at your house and need feeding all the time.

Edited by RichardParker
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