Sunday, 24 January 2010

Five reasons why I shouldn't have another baby...

... and one reason why I should.

I really, really want another baby.  I just feel like I'm supposed to have another baby. I'm at that stage where everywhere I look there are pregnant women and I'm jealous.  So jealous.  I love being pregnant.  I love breast-feeding (in a totally non-weird way, clearly).  I can't bear the idea that I'll never do/be either again.  I think, although we were never definite on it, that if A&S hadn't come along at the same time, we'd probably have tried for a third, and I feel cheated of that hypothetical third pregnancy.

But it's a ludicrous idea. It's totally insane.  It makes no logical sense at all. 

I have three beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, incredibly hard work children already.  Why on earth would I want another one?  Another baby is just going back to all the bits I don't like: the sleepless nights, the poo everywhere, the endless screaming that you just can't stop, the baby that you know you should love but that just lies there and doesn't do anything for six months.  I hate all those bits, and at times I don't cope very well with them.  Why am I even contemplating doing them again?

And anyway why push my luck?  My girls are amazing.  They are intelligent, beautiful, sparky, funny, creative individuals.  We are so lucky, and so grateful for that luck.  I intend no disrespect to anyone who has a child with special needs, and I know that they are often just as loving and rewarding as any other child, but were we to have one, that child's needs would demand more of our time than the other three, and if those needs were severe, or severely demanding, that just isn't fair on the  children I have already.  I'm not an old mother by today's standards:  I was 30 when I had L and I've just turned 33,  but still every year adds to the risks.  Why run them? 

And what about the other risk...?  I want four children.  But do I want four children more than I don't want five?!  There are three risk factors for twins: i) getting older; ii) having twins already; iii) having twins in the family, and I tick all the boxes.  Twins again would not be funny, however much I love the incredible pair I have already, and triplets would be worse.

And then there's the environment.  Four children? Four more consumers of the planet's already limited resources? Another however many hundreds of disposable nappies sent to landfill? That's just wrong.  And what about the practicalities? What sort of car do you get for four children (probably all under four)? What pushchair? How do you ever leave the house?  How do you get a house big enough in the first place?

But I want one.  I know that logically I shouldn't but I do.  And I don't know how to square those two things.  B is happy as we are, but will go along with what I want (although when we've had a really bad day with the girls, he's more adamantly anti).  I'm just frightened of accidentally doing nothing until it's too late and then spending the rest of my life mourning, deep in my subconscious, for the baby I never had.   Or of being "punished" for my greed in wanting something I don't need by having two babies, or a baby with disabilities, or a baby who becomes ill, or crashes his or her car at the age of 25 or, or, or...

I realise I have to make a decision and stick with it.  But how?

Picture from, but presumably copyright whoever made the film.


  1. Only you know whats best for you and your family hunni and its not going to be an easy choice by far but whatever you do in the end will be right for you all. Just give yourself time to decide and think :)

  2. Oh dear god, you sound like me! Apart from the fact that I only have 2 at the moment and no space for a third in our tiny house. I am also petrified of having a child with special needs for the same reason as you and the money of course. Children grow up and need more, there are the studies, the pocket money, the first car, the driving licence... it never ends... but still I want to be pregnant again...

  3. I would have loved a large family and am very envious. You do what you need to do to make you all happy.

  4. I always imagined having five children, even with four it felt as though one was missing. I wanted to be no older than 35 when I had my last, especially as I had my first at 21...I was just 35 when no 5 came. He completed our family but he did have some health problems & it caused a lot of stress ( maybe why my H left? I don't know) although he is fine now.
    I don't think those feelings will ever go so I think you should go for it ....but in a couple of years. I personally loved having bigger gaps between babies 4 and 5 so that I had them to themselves while the next one up was at nursery. Good luck, sometimes it can be more of a headache planning than it just happening. XX

  5. I wonder how many men would read this, roll their eyes and tut 'typical bloody woman'.
    I did the 'I don't want babies, I'm never having babies, I was never meant to be a mother, it's not for me, no no no no no.'
    'Oh hang on, I've changed my mind, I want babies and I want them now and I want more than one and I want want want want want.'
    I think it's just in our genes. Just go with the flow!

  6. I know what you mean about feeling 'cheated' out of a hypothetical pregnancy - I felt this when I found out I was expecting twins. Now, like you, I love them to bits, but am terrified of having another set so the decision about whether to have another baby is a difficult one (my twins are only 4 months though so it's not a decision I'm going to be making any time soon!!).

  7. I sat on the fence about having a third for a long time and then decided against it because hubby was OK with two and I decided that I didn't want a toddler at around 40. The decision never sat well with me. Ha! Didn't I just then have another baby at 41, after a medical procedure that was supposed to prevent it? No regrets excpet that he's so much younger than the other two he might as well be an only.
    I don't think, at 33, you're in much danger of having a special needs baby, (because of your age, I mean) although twins might be something to consider.
    One thing I would think about though, is - do you just love the baby thing? I agree with Chic Mama, - leave it a few years and see how you feel. You have plenty of time and it may allow you to grow into the next phase of motherhood. As the mother of toddlers and babies, I always thought that older kids weren't as much fun, but they are. And teens are great too. Just something to think about.

  8. I'm with EPM. You definitely aren't too old (bearing I was 38 when Boy #2 came along, I would say that of course), and maybe just give yourself a year or so to realise how much life changes (for the better, I personally think) when night feeds, nappy changes and toddler tantrums are a thing of the past. Oh, and they can entertain each other too - that happens when the younger ones hit 2 1/5 ish and wow, does it change your life! So give it a while and see if you still want one when the baby dust has cleared; you've plenty of time, really!

  9. I don't think you ever regret having another child. I'm in the throes of having a newborn and two young children to look after. I'm finding it very hard at the moment but I also feel wonderfully lucky and happy with my children. I know what you mean about those first six months but they pass very quickly. And I find it lovely when they're so small and cuddly and don't argue with you! (like you I HATE nappy changing though). I once read an argument as to why larger families aren't necessarily environmentally harmful. Reasons include travelling less (fewer foreign holidays) and being more frugal, eg buying lots secondhand. It sounds like I'm talking you into it here! Only you know what to decide, maybe give it a bit more time. 33 is still young. I'm 35 (still young too *cough*).

  10. Although I have 2 children and am considering the 3rd, I can completely relate to everything you say here. I feel like I have hardly thought about anything else for the last 6 months. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that if I can't get it out of my head then I need to just do it.

    It's a hard decision though, and not one I have yet made by any means...

  11. I'm not sure there is a magic formula to reaching that decision

    i've always wanted 3 but am not sure I can put myself or my family through another difficult pregnancy and yet I still want that baby

  12. When you say you "can't bear the idea...." it was like you'd been inside my mind a few years ago. We had 2 and thought we were done. But that feeling, that never doing pregnancy/new baby/feeding etc again feeling just didn't sit well. And it didn't go away.

    And in a fit of "let's do this". Out came the IUD and baby number 3 was soon cooking. It felt right, it was wonderful and we all adore her. (Though of course, in last two years we've bought a people mover car, ridiculous large house etc etc and decided we need a devil to sell our souls to in order to pay for it all....)

    I'm now, officially, done.

    Maybe that feeling is one you should listen to ;-)

  13. Thank you all for fantastic comments. None of which will clearly make the decision for me, but all of which will help in their own way! Am particularly interested in the age gap comments though - there may be a post to come on that one!
    Oh, and a couple of specific points - Victoria: Congratulations! How did you make the leap of faith? Just tried to say hello on your blog btw, but you're clearly not posting on it much ath the moment.
    Expat Mum: I don't think it is just the baby thing, but thank you for making me think about it. I didn't say it in the post, but I've always imagined having four children, so I think this is just something that feels right. It's also received wisdom from the twins lobby that the best thing you can do for a single sibling of twins is to have another single sibling (whether L would agree with that I'm not sure) but it appeals as an idea. And I really can still remember how utterly awful parts of the last year have been - which is one of the things stopping me, rather than one of the things pushing me on...!
    and Young Mummy - if you're even contemplating having another baby 4 months in you're doing so much better than I was...!

  14. and a ps to the MadHouse, whose blog on genetic testing I've just read. I didn't know, when I read your comment, the story behind it. You've made me realise how very lucky I am to have the choice at all. Thank you.

  15. Sorry I'm late commenting. I just wanted to say that I know how you feel. I haven't had twins, but had two babies within a year of each other. I thought we'd have a third, but I was too tired for the first year with two and now, at almost 40, I think I'm too old. I'd love another child. I think you should do what you've got to do. You have plenty of time x

  16. I always thought that I'd never regret having another, but I might regret NOT having another. I could never imagine looking at a child and thinking "oh, if only I hadn't...", but I could imagine looking at my existing children and thinking "oh, I wish I'd had another".

    Does that help? Probably not...

    The twins thing does complicate it a little, and I wasn't high odds for that.

  17. I had three under three and am permanently exhausted, my oldest just turned 4, I'm 38 and sometimes in moments of madness I feel like I want a 4th! Thank God my husband has put his foot down and won't entertain the idea because I think if I did have a 4th I would end up in the nut house! I have a friend who has 4 and she loves them but says it's a logistical nightmare. BUT - only for a few years I guess!

  18. Ha! I've just re-read this post and the comments. I'm guessing you now feel it's unimaginable that you didn't have another - but look over there! That's you in a parallel universe where you didn't.

    1. Now that *is* unimaginable. Off to give M a kiss goodnight and tell him I'm glad we did...


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