The Future By Thirds

November 3, 2008

“What would you think,” my husband asked, “if I got a vasectomy?”

I put down my magazine and stared out the window. “I think,” I said carefully, “that I wouldn’t know what to think.”

“We’re done, though, right?”

“I think so.”

“But you don’t want to get pregnant again, right?”

“I don’t want to be pregnant again, no. Or at least, I don’t think so. I think. No. I don’t know.”

That wasn’t entirely true. I do know. I don’t want to be pregnant again. And I certainly don’t want to go through childbirth again. And I could do without ever going through another exhausted-depressed-anxious-boobchafed tour-de-newborn again. But do I want to ensure that I never get pregnant again, that I never have another child? I don’t know. I don’t think that those questions are the same. Do you want (or not want) to go through the process of having another child? is a different question from do you want (or not want) to have another child? in the same way that do you like the work of motherhood? is a different question from do you like being a mother? or do you love being mother to your children?

I don’t like pregnancy. I don’t like childbirth. I’m not super crazy about the work of motherhood, and I’m especially not crazy about the 24-7 boot camp nightmare that is the work of being a brand new mother to a brand new baby who stays up all night and chomps boobs and shits everywhere. But I love my children. I adore my children. They are the most precious, most delightful, most amazing things in my life. So if you ask me, do I want more mother-work, the fast and firm answer is no. But if you were to ask me whether I’d want another one of these incredible little beings, I would say that I can’t bring myself to say, firmly and finally, no. And if you were to ask me whether I’d accept further burden of mother-work in order to have another one of these little beings, I’d have to say, I just don’t know. I don’t think so, but I don’t know.

All I know is that I don’t want to say no. Not with any kind of finality. Not in a way that closes off any possibility of yes. Or even, oops. (Because oops is a yes of a sort, is it not?)

(yes is a world/and in this world of/yes live/(skilfully curled)/all worlds)

(feel free to roll your eyes at me here)

My hands are full. Emilia is hell on wheels, a brilliant and beautiful tempest that blasts her way through every day, wreaking full havoc and leaving us, her parents, stunned and enchanted and weary in her wake. Jasper is a great, hulking, grinning cherub of a baby, big and strong and determined to catch up to his speedster-demon of a sister. They thrill and delight and exhaust me. I adore them more than I thought it possible to adore any other living beings, but they keep me at the very razor’s edge of my wits. I don’t know that it would be humanly possible for me to manage another child. Ever.

But the idea of closing off any possibility of that third child… that seems, somehow, inexplicably, wrong. I’m not a big believer in destiny – that is, I don’t think that I am – but if there’s a future for us in which a third child figures, do I want to refuse that future? I think of those friends of mine for whom the third (or fourth) was unexpected, a shock even, and I know that if they had it to do over, they would not want to turn back the clock and refuse. But turning back the clock to change the past, and settling upon certain choices for the future are two different things, of course. I have already made innumerable choices that have closed off innumerable futures; I do not, for the most part, mourn the loss of these futures. They just simply are not to be.

Am I ready, though, to close off entirely the possibility of this future, of a future in which our two are our three, in which we four who once were we three become we five?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

(How did you know? DO you know?)

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    { 126 comments }

    Jo November 3, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I think you will always long for another baby, as a mother, it’s instinctual. I agree with those that say you should use your head and not your heart to make the choice. My heart wants oogles of babies, I would so love a girl… (I have two boys) but yet with two I have time for babyGymboree, and Soccer, and baking cupcakes, and going to the library, I get to stollercise, and put away money for college, and I have enough strength left over to keep my house nice and husband happy. I know I would not be able to do all of that with the energy I put into it if I had another baby. It was sad to close that chapter of our lives so finitely, but I know we’ll have a better quality of life because of it.

    Amie November 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    This is something my husband and I are currently going through. It will be me that gets the procedure done, but the end result is the same.

    It’s really hard to decide. Right now, yes, we’re done. I’m about to have our third child, and the idea of going through another pregnancy makes my toes curl in a bad way. This pregnancy has been the roughest on me of the three and I know, were we to have more kids in the future, with me older still, it would only be a bit rougher that go ’round.

    We know we’re in for a ride having three kids (and we planned for this third child), and the idea of being outnumbered 2 to 1 if we were to have a fourth really doesn’t appeal to us.

    And then there’s the fact that my husband is almost forty, and wants to be able to enjoy some quiet time traveling and living out dreams we’ve had together, once the kids are all out of high school and, hopefully, out of the house. Right now, if all goes well, we’ll get that before he’s 60. If we were to have another child, we wouldn’t.

    Still, it’s hard to actually sit down together and firmly say, “Yes, we’re done. Forever. No more. No changing our minds, no turning back. Done.”

    ALI November 3, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I am perfectly happy with the two healthy children I have, unless I get lucky enough to get another one! I love having babies in the house as much work as they are, I think I would like another one when my current baby is older. Hubby on the other hand keeps saying we are done, he can’t handle any more. So here we sit, firmly on the fence, full of what it’s and maybe’s. Do I want another one right now? Hell no, but I’ll take whatever I’m given..

    Susan November 3, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I’ve been thinking about the same question, although there’s no V on the horizon, just a question of whether we even want to “try” for another child. And unlike most of the commenters here, I only have just the one baby, a boy who’s currently 15mo. The very sun shines from his eyes and I catch my breath at how much I love him (most of the time) but I went through brutal PPD.

    Somewhat ironically, it’s my hubby that doesn’t want to go through pregnancy and childbirth again – I had a great time, personally, but it’s the tour de newborn I don’t think I could survive again.

    And yet… stopping at *one* ??? Part of me feels like I’d be chickening out!!

    All Things BD November 3, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    After two girls, two exhausting pregnancies, two emotionally wrenching births and post partum dramas, I just knew I was done being pregnant and having a newborn. I did not want to go through that again.

    Here’s the really morbid, bizarre thought process we went through. If, GOD FORBID, something were to happen to one of our kids, would we want another? Would we somehow want to “replace” that loss with another child? I know, that is beyond creepy and awful, but that’s where we were. So we waited.

    After 5 years and seeing diapers and sleepless nights in our rearview mirror, it finally changed to, we’re done, and even if the unthinkable happened, there’s no way we’d even remotely consider another child to try and replace that hole.

    Wouldn’t you just love to hang with us at parties?

    Shannon November 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    My husband just had a vasectomy a couple weeks ago. Our third was “talked about” but not really planned. In my exhaustion of parenting two young boys 18 months apart, I had a couple drinks one night and miscalculated my ovulation day . . . nine months later came our bouncing little girl.

    I sort of do believe in destiny and that things happen for a *reason* . . . so I guess in the big picture I figure it was all for the better good of our family. I did not “feel done” after my second and I felt SO DONE after our third I refused sex ever again if hubby didn’t go get his big V.

    That being said – I won’t lie. I had easy peasy pregnancies and three fast as lightening home births with no complications. I had two average babies and lucked out with my third being pretty easy (ok, a dream) to take care of. I am, however, paying for my easy babies in the form of ridiculously crazy toddlers and one completely stubborn and “spirited” preschooler.

    Over time – you’ll figure it out. You’ll find out through talking, thinking, and just being, what is best and what is meant to be for you all :-)

    Karen Sugarpants November 3, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Easy. We knew we did not want to be outnumbered. I am not even kidding in the least. Thomas would have been an only child had he come first, I might dare to say as well. Daren had the vasectomy the 5 months after Thomas was born. We were that sure.

    Momo Fali November 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    This was a no-brainer for me. My first was born 10 weeks early and my second was born seven weeks early, with heart, stomach, eye and kidney defects. He had eight surgeries before his fifth birthday, and still needs an open heart procedure. At birth, the two of them spent a combined eight weeks in the ICU. I do not want to have another baby in the hospital. See? No-brainer.

    Twinsma November 3, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    In the beginning my hubby and I decided we wanted two kids…then we had twins. Talk about a monkey wrench in your plans. Well, after much discussion, we’re now expecting #3, due in April. And you know what, we’re still not sure we want to close that option yet. My mother always told me that I would know when I was done. She said she knew, without a doubt that her third was her last. She couldn’t handle pregnancy or babies again. I figure once this one gets here, we’ll see. If we still aren’t sure, we’ll wait and I’ll keep taking the pill. It worked for us before, I’m very consistent about taking it and it doesn’t have all the bad effects on me that it does some women. When the time comes to discuss it again, we’ll see.
    I wish I could be more helpful, but only you can make that choice and all I can say is if you really aren’t sure, don’t do anything permanent.

    Lori at Spinning Yellow November 3, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    I have obsessed about whether to have a third child for the last 3 years. I even got pregnant (at the same time you did) had a miscarriage and still can’t feel completely confident about making a final decision.

    I am grateful for the children I have, cannot really imagine being pregnant again (I hate it), and feel that having another wouldn’t be the best thing for our family.

    But all that doesn’t stop me from questioning a final decision. And worrying that I might forever regret closing the door.

    I think it is far too soon for you to make that kind of decision. You are still in the thick of it with a baby. Wait another year or two.

    Hopefully you will have more clarity than I do at that time.

    ComfyMom~Stacey November 3, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    I am done getting pregnant. I am done giving birth. My body simply cannot cope with the process again without most likely giving me serious issues. My body knows I am done. My mind knows I am done. My emotions have a harder time with that. There are times when I want another newborn, when I want to be pregnant again. But I can't. So DH had the vasectomy.
    But we have not closed ourselves to having another child. We considered adopting from China but cant afford it. We are considering doing foster to adopt of an older child (though younger than my 2).
    From my own perspective, having been there & done that, now is not the time for you to be making that call. It's too soon. It's too fresh and clear in your mind and you are too overwhelmed with dealing with your son. Let this time pass and wait until you can make this decision with a clear head so you won't regret it later.

    The Mrs. November 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I feel the same way. I don’t want to go through pregnancy, child birth, sleepless nights again. However, I love my children and I would do it all over again if another one happened to come along. However, I decided to have my tubes tied during my c-section. Now I am not sure if I should have made that decision.

    Ernesta November 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Seems to me that if you don’t know, then the answer is that you shouldn’t get the vasectomy (I mean your husband) – wait and see another year or two and then decide. I am in that boat right now – got 2, should be done, but I don’t quite thinks so, so I will wait and see. And that’s ok too!!

    Tiffi33 November 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Well, I felt alot like you do..not ready for the permanence of sterility..even tho I knew I was pretty done..
    the deciding factor for me was my husbands insistence on it..he could not handle a 3rd kid (he has issues relating to providing for a family and felt a 3rd would be too much)and I could handle only 2 (even if I wouldn’t have minded a 3rd..my pregnancies were SO easy..as well as the deliveries..however, the postpartum was hellish for me..PPD was nasty)
    However, he would not go thru w/ it until I was sure..which was when Gavin was about 3-4 months..
    it makes me sad some days..I would love to have another..but then there are days I feel barely qualified to have the 2 I have..
    all in all, think on it HARD…
    for me, personally having my tubes tied was not an option, but for him a vasectomy was OK..if that makes sense..lol..

    Momily November 3, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I don’t know, but I’m agnostic enough to not let my husband get snipped just yet! I feel that I can’t base my decision on how difficult having 2 has been for the past 6 months, because of the unrelenting demands of a colicky newborn. It seems wrong to make the decision right now, when i’m just coming out of the fog.

    Anonymous November 3, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I have one and I am DONE. I don’t know whether it’s something to do with being a single parent or not having a man so at the moment it’s impossible but right now I cannot ever imagine wanting another child. I love my son, and I actually adored the newborn stage. Up til the age of 18 months I was fine and I’d have had 50 kids. Right now, aged 3? Never again.

    My life is getting sorted, I’m at university, I’m looking at careers. I have time in my day that don’t involve being climbed or drooled on and it is wonderous.

    I love my son, I love him more now I get some time away from him. I have no idea why ANYONE would want to go back through all the crap that comes with small children. I can’t wait til he’s 5 and even more independant and in full time school, we’ll have a ball then me and my little bub! :D

    But yeah, I think you just KNOW. I think maybe you need to leave it til you’re not hormonal and are in a place where you can make a concious, proper decision and not one that’s fueled by hormones.

    Naomi (Urban Mummy) November 3, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Such a hard decision. We are going through this now. I keep asking myself if I will regret (having, or not having) another.

    I didn’t want to be having kids into my 40s, but now I’m just not sure.

    Anonymous November 3, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I was pregnant with my first child when I graduated high school. I got pregnant with my second just after I got married (my first was 6 months old). When I got pregnant the third time when the second was 6 months old, I had an abortion. I was 20 years old, and the sole provider for my family. My husband (who became my ex a year and a half later)couldn’t keep a job. When I was 21, obviously very fertile, and single with two small children, I talked my doctor into giving me a tubal. It took a lot of talking because of my age, but I’m glad I did it. I was not going to open myself up to being talked into more children by a man. I told myself, that if I met the right person, he would love me and my family the way we are. I found that man, and sure, sometimes I think it would be nice if I had been able to have “his” kid, but he’s ok with being a Dad to the kids we already have. Now that my kids are teenagers, I can’t imagine starting all over. I love babies, had easy pregnancies, but yep, I’m still done.

    Shannon November 3, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I think I understand how you feel. We have an almost 4 year old daughter who fills our every moment with wonder and well heavy amounts of “mother work”. My partner has been adament that we are done since day one, since I think he fears that he cant manage more than one, so we say to everyone “we arent having any more” a part of me kind of wishes that we could, if it wasnt so hard, and scary and expensive. I dont feel like I have enough breath or arms to manage as it is some days, how could I manage with one more. Its hard to watch my wonderful little girl grow up and at the same time wish that she was a baby again.

    If I got pregnant by accident I wouldnt be upset. That means I want another doesnt it? I would be very sad if he got a vasectomy. It’s a tough decision. I will be checking back to see what others think.

    Miss Grace November 3, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I don’t know if I would ever be able to absolutely positively say with a vengeance YES I’M DONE. There’s something so final about it, yknow? Right now I have an IUD, which is long lasting and no-oopsing, but it’s reversible, if, someday, I change my mind.

    Jennifer A. November 3, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    We still don’t know how to answer it either.

    Anonymous November 3, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    A good friend of mine is literal living proof that even vasectomies are not a 100% guarantee! For some other personal reasons, I’m not a fan of the procedure, but then again I’m a big fan of Natural Family Planning.

    I know a very wise man who has an interesting take on contraceptive drugs, procedures, etc. He said it seems as if society treats fertility as a disease – something to be “fixed” or “prevented,” when it is the most amazing and powerful gift we have. He was not advocating throwing all family planning out the window, and I TOTALLY understand knowing your own personal limits. His point was just that there’s a lot of good that can come to a marriage and a family from working with your body, difficult as that may be, instead of trying to force it to do something it wasn’t designed to do.

    I can tell you my husband and I have found NFP (NaPro Technology, specifically) to be a really beautiful gift to our marriage and a tremendous asset to understanding my own health. I am the first to say that it is a VERY personal decision that may not be right for everyone, but I do encourage people to give it a shot.

    One way or another, you’ll know what’s right for you!

    Anonymous November 3, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Deep inside you will know… you know your limitations, be they financial or emotional, better than anyone else. I have one and I am DONE. I love my daughter more than anything but I wouldn’t do it again. Even the thought of it makes me cringe.

    kittenpie November 3, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I thought I wanted one, but wasn’t sure enough to do anything permanent about it, to close the door. We decided eventually that we wouldn’t regret another child, but might regret NOT having another. So we did. But a third? I know I dont’ want a third, and I never want to be in a position where I have to decide what to do about an oops, so I had my tubes tied.

    aGibby November 3, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Once my second child turned one, I just knew. I knew I didn’t have it in me to have another. Not that I didn’t enjoy pregnancy, motherhood, diapers (well, who really enjoys THAT?), but I knew that I wanted to move on. We were blessed with two beautiful daughters, and I felt that it wouldn’t be fair to them or to a third to have me stretched among them. My youngest is 4 now, and yes, I miss the baby-stage. But it doesn’t mean I want another one. It just lets me remember how much I enjoyed it and how it is time to move on, to enjoy the stages the girls are in now. I have never gone back on our decision, and I am thankful for who I do have in my family, instead of wondering who else may have joined us. Good luck to you.

    Trillian November 3, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    There are these lovely things called sperm banks. Husband can simply make a few deposits and put ‘em on ice. Still get the vasectomy, which seriously how great a guy is he! And you could still have another baby later. Also, vasectomy can be reversed…..I seriously know too much about this for a lesbian.

    Stefanie November 3, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Hey Cath, I can’t read through all the comments but I had to add mine anyway. I think if you don’t know then there’s your answer. Why? Because I KNOW! Because I knew I was done at two and at the 8-week ultrasound when it turned out I was having three children my first thought was “I’m having my tubes tied.” And when it came time to sign the release for the tubal I thought nothing of it. And when I was on the table being cut open knowing that something could go terribly wrong with one or both of the preemies and the doctor asked “Are you positive you want your tubes tied?” I yelled “Yes! Get back down there and do it!” I had no doubt. Then again, I’m 42. But I”m excited at the thought of enjoying the family I have and moving on the the next phase of life. Be sure. You’ll know when you are.

    Stimey November 3, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I think maybe that not knowing means you do know: you’re not ready.

    When I had my last, I knew I was done. I knew I would love to have five or six or seven kids but that (1) I don’t want to be pregnant or give birth to them, (2) I can’t afford that many kids, and (3) I don’t think I could parent more than three kids very well.

    Now when I see babies, I think they’re cute and wonderful and all, but I feel glad that I’m not having any more of them.

    I think you’ll know when you know.

    Domestic Extraordinaire November 3, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I knew that we were done when hubby didn’t want any more. I had horrible pregnancies that I wouldn’t wish on anyone and lightening fast births that did nothing for my nether regions. When he declared that he wanted a vas. I was for it. I figured if another baby was meant to be that something would happen and I would get pregnant. I am very thankful and content with the girls that I have. But if you aren’t sure then wait a bit and see. Although vasectomy’s are easier to reverse if you realize down the road you made the “wrong” choice. HUGS!

    Eva November 3, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I think it’s like weaning. No matter what, people have conflicted feelings about it, but eventually you either decide, or time decides it for you.

    Anonymous November 3, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Well, I am now pregnant with #2/due in 5 weeks. My first one will be 2.3 years old when baby is born. I am 35. My husband is 43. We live in a tiny house, in a wonderful but very expensive part of the country/neighborhood. I am a SAHM=we are living off one good, but not luxurious salary. I have not enjoyed my pregnancy much although the first one was fairly easy. My patience is tested over and over again just raising our one child. We have very little family help raising our kids. The economy is in the crapper. I just finished my Master’s and would really like to get a part-time job at least sometime soon. So, if you add these things up you eventually realize that two is just perfect for our family.
    Plus we have this DREAM of retiring on the beach in a tiny little house. And we’d like it to happen before our joints give out completely.

    Izababy and KJ's Mom November 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Yes! I knew. But my circumstances were a little different than yours. My first was 13 years old when I had my 2nd and I was 41. She was definitely a blessing, but it was a difficult pregnancy which included 49 days in the hospital and her being born almost 2 months early. She’s now 17 months old and she wears me out. When Cactus decided on the big V I cheered him on!

    for a different kind of girl November 3, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    There are hundreds of reasons (or at least 20) that I could list off for why we shouldn’t have a third child, but I swear I felt the desire for a third while still in the hospital falling madly in love with my second child. I would love a third child. My husband can’t decide. However, we’ve never discussed the idea of permanent birth control. I think if he brought it up, honestly, I’d cry. I might not end up having a baby after crying, but the idea of permanently shutting down the option is a little mournful in my mind.

    Mr Lady November 3, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I got pregnant with #3 2 weeks after I got my tattoo celebrating the fact that my baby making days were over.

    Oops would be a rather large understatement.

    I told my husband, “We’re pregnant, and we’re not keeping it.” Sometime in the next 6 hours I changed my mind. And every single day I’m glad I did. That was the best whoops I ever made.

    But I’d better not have oops #4. I’ll beat my husband with a shoe if I do. :)

    SciFi Dad November 3, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Tonight, my daughter said to me, “Daddy, when are we going to have another baby?”

    “Well, your brother is still a baby. Why do you want another?”

    “I dunno. I just love babies.”

    The problem is, her parents feel the exact same way.

    In truth, we say we’re done, but we both acknowledge that a lot of that is postpartum fatigue. We want more, but aren’t sure another pregnancy and delivery is the right answer. In short: I dunno.

    Amy K November 4, 2008 at 12:11 am

    If you change your mind down the road, why not consider adoption as an option? A vasectomy doesn’t mean you can’t have more children in the future – they just wouldn’t be your children by birth.

    Callista November 4, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Hubby and I have 2 children together and he has another one from before but he doens’t get to see him sadly. My hubby does NOT want another kid. He gets that feeling every once in a while that it would be nice to have a baby in the house but then he smacks himself and goes back to normal LOL.

    I WANT another kid. I want to try once more for a boy (we have two girls) I’ll be happy with another girl too of course. I just don’t want another kid anytime SOON. I only had 6 months between giving birth to number one and getting pregnant with number two so I feel like I was pregnant for 2 years.

    I don’t want hubby to have a vasectomy ever because like you, I don’t want to have the option of not having kids. Lucky for me he won’t have one anyways. He’s tried to talk me into a tubal. I’m only 25, there is no WAY I’m tying my tubes this early.

    Lori November 4, 2008 at 12:48 am

    I was 37 when my last child was born – unplanned – freaked me out. He was #6 (combined family – oldest was 18). Best thing to happen to our family. As an older mom I was much more relaxed and enjoyed him so much.

    Hubby had a vasectomy before I gave birth. But I have to tell you that when I reached menopause, I grieved the biggest change in my life – knowing that even if I wanted another child, I couldn’t give birth or nurse another baby.

    This is a tough decision and one you should allow yourself the time and consideration you need to make it. If you have any feelings of ambivalence, wait.

    Refinnej November 4, 2008 at 1:23 am

    It's weird, I had no issue with my husband's vasectomy. I had/have no desire to have my tubes tied, though. It seemed too final.

    I know I'm done. My boys are 10 & 6, and I tell people that my younger one "cured" me of baby fever. He has been intense from day 1, and I would lose my mind if I had another child.

    Lady M November 4, 2008 at 4:14 am

    I have never in my life wished more than two children – two was perfect in my imagination. But just last week, I snuggled with the baby’s head just tucked under my chin and thought, “to never do this again?” and had a pang. I think two is the right choice for us, but it’s still hard to close the door.

    Your children are so beautiful – good luck deciding!

    Parent Club November 4, 2008 at 9:22 am

    I’m right THERE. Talking about #3. Actually, more than that. More than just talking. Actually – gulp – trying.

    But my confession: I’m still on the fence — but my dh doesn’t know it….

    Jaywalker November 4, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Totally done. And I have looked the ‘oops’ in the face and taken that decision, so it’s not wholly abstract. I see it as more for the kids I do have (two, not particularly hard work, I’m just a bit pathetic I think) than for me, because I’m easily overwhelmed, operate poorly on limited sleep and slide fairly easily into depression. What a great mum! Yeah!

    Strange not to have someone small squiggling around and kicking my belly ever again, but still the right thing for us. Now I just pressure all my friends into having babies I can steal briefly.

    kgirl November 4, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Well, I do love pregnancy… and childbirth… and the early, crazy days… and the rest of it.
    And that is exactly why Chris had a vasectomy two weeks ago.
    We are lucky. We are blessed. We are fortunate. We are done.
    My baby lust is tamed every time I think about the roll of the dice that is having a child. I’ll just stay happy with the two healthy, happy, beautiful girls that I have, and know that I am not yet overwhelmed (or outnumbered), and that they have the best of me. With a third? Not sure that would be true.

    Sage Moonstone November 4, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    We’re right where you guys are. I have to lay in bed for 10-13 weeks to have full-term babies (and however nice that sounds, let me be the first to tell you.. it’s HORRIBLE!) And we’re still not ready to say NO for-sure-no-regrets-no-more-babies.

    It’s a tough one..

    Amy November 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Not having read through all the comments, I have no idea if I am saying something that has already been said, but…

    I am by no means advocating for your husband to have a vasectomy, but should you make such a decision and then decide you do want more kids, there is always adoption. I think too few people consider adoption, an absolutely beautiful choice in giving a child a loving home.

    PDX Mama November 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I can definitely relate – it’s hard to say definitively, “we’re done.” When I finally say that, that means this phase of my life is over – the phase of pregnancy, childbirth, babies. That makes me feel old and a bit sad! So, I’m not ready to say that phase is over, but I’m damn close. Things are semi-manageable with the two I have. We’re getting out and doing things and traveling, we’re getting sleep, and these children are becoming little people who sometimes like to do the things we like to do and sometimes amaze us with the things they like to do. I just can’t imagine having another baby. Even thinking of the newborn phase is enough to make me exhausted.

    I hope things are going better for you and you’re getting more sleep.

    Her Bad Mother November 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Re: adoption – I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of adoption, if we changed our minds. That’s some very interesting food for thought…

    doubleagentgirl November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I don’t think it is ever possible to FO SHO come to that conclusion. I’ve been down this road too. So many reasons make sense to not EVER do this again, as much as I love them and cherish their every breath.

    Even when I can’t think of ONE pro to have another child, my womb screams NO NO NO when I think of making a decision to NEVER have another.

    That mother nature. She’s a crafty one.

    Kira November 4, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I have to second those who said going from one to two kids was harder than two to three.
    Then again, I’m currently pregnant with #4 (plus I have a beautiful stepdaughter), and we’re all delighted, so I may not be the most SANE person to ask.
    I WILL say that if you are in the midst of new babyhood and toddlerhood and the thought of closing that door makes your heart contract – DON’T DO IT. I have good friends who made the choice of permanent birth control when they were in the throes of the early days, and lived to regret it intensely. The fact that you’re deep in the trenches and still can’t feel ease about the thought…just give yourself more time. That’s the sort of decision you should feel pretty darn content about.

    Anonymous November 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I love this question. When I was debating the third, it seemed to me all I heard were stories from women who had an “oops” third, and those who had two children and knew it was enough. Where were the discussions about being in between? In our case, it was perfect reverse psychology–dh wanted a 3rd (and I waffled SO much), but he then decided against it one day. It took me a week to realize I definitely did want a third. The next day we got pregnant. This is one of the best decisions we ever made. Our baby son is here, he fits right in and he’s wonderful. And about a month after his birth, the man-surgery appointment was made and kept.

    MLD

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