Monday, September 11, 2006

Ding - Time is Up!

Before we got pregnant with Vivian (our fourth) we thought, "This will probably be our last, but we aren't sure." A wise friend of ours once told us that you shouldn't make a decision about having more kids while pregnant or with a newborn. Tim and I agreed with his logic. The mom is hormonal. The family dynamic is changing. There is added stress. Of course, this friend has eight kids so maybe he wasn't the best one to listen too. Yet, we decided to wait until Vivian was six months old to talk about the issue.

The last trimester of my pregnancy was hard. I know it could have been much worse. I didn't have health problems. I wasn't on bed rest. I was just very tired, grumpy and uncomfortable, much more so than with any of the others. If you had asked me then if we would have more kids, the answer would have been, "I seriously doubt it, but there is a slight chance."

Then she was born. She was difficult. Check my March archives. Again it could have been worse, but I was stressed! More kids? "Are you out of your mind?" And she got easier and the maybes started to creep back in.

Vivian was six months old about a week ago. I am really torn. There are plenty of practical reasons to stop with four. There are times where I feel like I am barely treading water with four. Times where I am ready to pick up the phone and make Tim a doctor's appointment for a little snip snip.

I do enjoy the kids though, most of the time. I love to watch them grow and figure everything out. I love how they are all so different and similar at the same time. I love the lessons they are learning from having siblings to deal with. (I do have to remind myself of that when they are screaming at each other!) I love kids. It is not your typical kindergarten teacher, warm fuzzy type of love for kids, but I do love them.

If I was younger I think we'd have more. Yes, there are plenty of women older than I still having babies, but as I said this last one was physically draining. And I am at the age where pregnancy starts to become more risky. Tim also always looks to the other end. How old will we be when the kids are gone? Right now I will already be my parents’ age. Their kids have been adults for awhile. I think, "If I was them, would I still want kids at home?"

I think I do know deep down that Vivian will be our last, but I am having a hard time making that a permanent decision. I have friends who did the snip snip and now want another child. How many people do I know who thought they were done and *surprise*. The surprise was such a blessing. I guess there is no rush to make a permanent decision. I am surprised that this is such a hard decision to make. I would love to hear your perspective.


  1. All I can give you is my experience. Two weeks after my third was born, hubby got the snip. Only once or twice (usually when visiting a friend in the hospital with a newborn) did I even have an inkling of regret. However, my youngest is now 15 months, and I could not be more happy that we're done! Everytime I see a baby spitting up, or hear of 6 month old not sleeping through the night, I'm so glad that we're through that and moving forward. I get my baby fixes holding friends' babies, and am so excited that all of our kids can be legally out of the house by the time we're 50! Not that I'm rushing them or anything... :D Hope your decision comes to you, and that you enjoy every crazy, stressful, joyful, heartbreaking moment of motherhood! Okay, maybe enjoy isn't the right word. Appreciate? Still working on that myself. ;)

  2. This is one of the biggest questions for motherhood - right behind "When you having a baby?" and "When are you having another baby?" Either decision will bring some regrets - as every big life altering choice does. I haven't made this decision yet - we are in a similar situation. I just keep putting it off. :> Basically I'm avoiding the issue...until life, our insurance or biology makes the decision for me.

  3. I was 40 when I had my second child. I'd like to have more but due to my age, I think this will be it for us. I just don't have the energy like I used to.

    Here via Carnival of Family Life.

  4. In so many ways I'd love to have another child. I'd love to experience a "normal" pregnancy and "normal" delivery. I'd love to go home from the hospital with a baby in my arms, instead of leaving them behind in the hospital for 6 long weeks. I'd love to experience showering all my attention on ONE newborn. But - I can't imagine bringing a baby in to the world when I've got three toddlers that require 300% of my attention.

    That would be insanity!

    Still, I'd love to have another child. :)

  5. I'm going to butt in with another point of veiw. I have 5. My youngest is now 10. We got the "snip snip" while I was pregnant with #5-I played the sympathy card to get him to do it.
    From my own experience:
    No one should stop on an UNeven number of children-there is always one that is singled out or left out by all the others.

    You will have regrets and moments when you want a baby whether you stop it yourself or God does. You will also have moments when you wish you had stopped when that "just one more" is throwing a temper tantrum in the floor at Wally World.

    Life with hubby becomes so much more "exciting" when you don't have to worry about an oops pregnancy. (trying to put that delicately)

    On the down side, I am looking at empty nest syndrome as my first two are getting ready to head out the door and wishing desperately I could have more. But at this age that would be silly anyway. Hmmm adoption?

    Thanks for letting me butt in. Hope it can be of some help.

  6. I always thought I would have just 4. Now I am pregnant with number 5. We usually have to really try, but this time we weren't. We weren't preventing though, because we both felt that another one would be welcomed and loved as much as the first 4th. I'm not regreting being pregnant at all, but I am feeling like I want to enjoy this experience this one last time. But, then I'm hormonal. I never thought I would ever lose that longing for another baby in my arms. Maybe I won't. But right now I'm feeling like its more possible.

  7. Hi! I linked you from Nettie, but we seem to be pondering the same things so I thought I'd chime in.

    Personally, we've used the delay approach. I've never been able to say, "I'm done. That's it!" But I can say, "Right now I'm not ready for another baby, You?" and then we set a date to talk about it again. First it was after we bought our house and got moved in, then it was when I turned 35 (I had my youngest at 31), then we moved again, etc.

    Although I'm still not ready to say absolutely, I am getting more comfortable with the idea--although I admit I've been thinking more about a baby lately!

    But still I like knowing that if I should change my mind, I can still do that, we haven't made any firm decisions and we haven't made any irrevocable snips either! You don't have to make the unchangeable choice, you can just make the right-now choice.