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Not Ever Done.

Fat Mum Slim /

My husband and I agree on most things in life; Brie cheese is king of all cheeses, the beach is where we should always live, the couch is better than any dance floor, towel sheets are awesome, and the Roosters are the best football team in the world. I could go on, and on, and on. And on.

The one thing we don’t agree on though? The number of children we should have.

It’s something that I wasn’t going to write about here, because it’s personal, and it aches my ovaries and my heart, and I don’t want you to think that Hubby is some kind of bossy monster who won’t let me have all the babies in the world {but seriously, he should let me, right? We make cute babies!}.

And I feel it would be insensitive of me to not stop for a moment now, and acknowledge that, as far as I know, I am blessed to be able to have a choice and that I am able to fall pregnant. I am grateful, and hope I don’t hurt feelings of anyone experiencing infertility issues. I know this is a sensitive topic and I’m trying to navigate it carefully, while also respecting my own story and wanting to share that.

So, I wasn’t going to talk about it. But I keep getting asked the same question over and over again. It’s like when you’re dating someone and people keep asking, “When are you guys going to get engaged?” And then there’s a ring on your finger and people are pushing, “When are you guys going to set the date?” and then once you’re married it’s all, “When are you guys going to have babies?”

And now it’s, “Are you guys going to have more babies? Are you? Go on!”

The reality is, I would, I think… in a heartbeat. I love babies. I was a nanny for goodness sake, and I love babies. I don’t know anyone that loves babies more. I love them so much, their squidgy little toes, and how much they just need their mama, and all those sweet milestones, and gummy smiles, and that moment once you’ve gone through that excruciating pain and have been handed that delicious baby. I could live that moment a million times over. It’s the best. I get pangs of envy when people experience that magical birth moment. I love that moment, and the baby moments, and the toddler moments and the growing kid moments too. All of them.

The day after I brought Lulu home from the hospital, I cried so much. I cried for a few days actually. I can actually still feel that pain I felt when I cried. It was deep down, heart-aching pain. It was big fat tears splashing down my face, onto her sweet newborn head. I was so sad that she was my last baby. I was so grateful at the same time, which felt so odd because I’d actually JUST given birth two days earlier, and I was already crying that I wanted more babies. It sounds so greedy, but I promise you it was some weird, deep-down grieving process for the magic I might not ever experience again. I don’t understand it, but all I know is that I felt it. Hard.

I wasn’t going to write about it, but I realised I’m not alone. Some people know when they know. They’re done, and they get that final feeling. I don’t have that final feeling. When I packed up our pram, and the baby clothes, it was like I was cutting off a limb. I wasn’t ready. It felt… final. I still feel it when she grows out of shoes or clothes, and I begin packing them away. Do I keep them? Pass them on? Donate them? It’s torturous.

Some people know when they’re done, and then there are people like me, who don’t know. I fear that I might reach menopause and have an epic breakdown for leaving it too late. One of my best friends is like me, and my goodness it’s so nice to share that with her, that unique kinda pain. To yearn for another baby, but not be in agreement with your partner. 

I know this is something that probably should have been discussed before we got married. We should have agreed on a number of kids in our vows or something. Hubby tells me that I did, not on our wedding day, but one day. He clearly recalls that he wanted one and I wanted three babies, and so we agreed to meet in the middle at two. I honestly can’t recall having that conversation, but he’s held me to it. And I know that it sounds like we’re discussing children as numbers, as if we’re discussing how many art pieces we’d like to buy. Oh gosh, I hope this isn’t coming across as insensitive.

And there it is. I’ve written about it. {Weird, heart-aching, raw}. As each day goes by I am learning/trying to settle that strong yearning that comes from deep within. I love that my girls are growing up into beautiful beings, and I cherish the time I have with them. I’m loving the freedom that having them grow up allows us. I love that they are more than enough and they make our family so rich already. I love our family as it is. I am happy with the beautiful family that I have. So happy.

I also can clearly imagine having just one more baby. After all I’ve been to two psychics and without prompting they’ve told me that I’m meant to have three kids. I’m aware that time is passing now too, and it feels as though it’s passing faster than it ever has. My children are growing. My body is aging. I need to find a peace with what is {and what is, is beautiful and fulfilling and amazing}, instead of having my head in a place where I keep wondering what might be, or what should be. I’m just not sure how to do that.

Where are you at with babies? Is it possible to not have that ‘done’ feeling and be OK?

  • Just as some people have that done feeling, I think it’s reasonable to say others will have the never done feeling. For us, the ideal number is 0. For others, it might be infinity. The spectrum is wide and it sounds like you are on one end of it πŸ™‚

  • Kathy Stern

    I’ve long gone through menopause and every time one of my nieces has a baby I am so jealous! I would have had 10 children! I love ’em! Maybe nature knows best. I’m done and I’ve gone on to hold other people’s babies. Doesn’t mean that there is not still a spot in my heart that wishes I could be a new Mom again just One. More.time!

    • Karen Ryan Leschnik

      I’m like you! I would have 10 kids if it was up to me, but would have stopped at 4 or maybe pushed for 6!. Hubby only wanted one. After 7 years he was ready for a second & we thought we were done but after another 5 years our surprise baby came along. I really think that if there wasn’t 7 years between our first & second, we would have ended up having four but now I am going through menopause. I do regret not having a 4th child but when I consider that he wanted 1, I wanted 4 & we ended up with 3, I am blessed.

    • I will hold ALL the babies!

  • Bee

    Oh Telle I’m hearing you…. this was Mark and I. He kept telling me be thankful for the two kids we had and two was enough…. but I wasn’t done, I was exactly as you described . It was heartbreaking to think I would never experience all that comes with a new baby again. I guess every now and then I would just drop it into conversation about how much I wanted another baby, I’d joke about it etc I really had no hope that he would every change his mind, the kids were at school and I was working full time but 7 years later and Mason was conceived. We didn’t speak about it, mark never mentioned he’d changed his mind, I don’t think he actually put much thought into it really… he was in charge of birth control and he knew I dint have any problems falling pregnant so one week there was no birth control used… his choice and my excitement!!!!! I am so thankful that I got to have my third bubba and I now feel done… I hold out hope for you that either Shane changes his mind or that you come to some sort of peace with this….. I really feel for you xx

    • Thanks Bee. I hope something changes, because right now it really hurts and I don’t like it. xx

  • Bec H

    Oh I know the feeling. We had two boys and they were 9 and 5 but I didn’t feel done. My husband was on deployment and I told him I wanted us to have another baby. He said we’d talk about it when he got home. I have suffered with endo since my teens and didn’t fall pregnant easily. The night he got home I fell pregnant. It was not planned at all. When I told my husband he looked at me and said “but I don’t want anymore children.” I was stunned. I told him he had to get on board as it was too late. Once number three arrived I felt done. He was the easiest of all our babies. Slept and ate and was a happy little man. He’s now 8 and we couldn’t imagine life without him. My husband, who didn’t even want three kids, wanted to go again. I said no that time.
    I really admire and respect your husband for his honesty and conviction. It could be very easy to just say yes then hold resentment. He’s a good man!

    • Of course, he’s definitely a good man. It’s just sad that it leaves me on the other side of that decision, aching. Either way someone has to be upset, and I wouldn’t want a baby to be resented, of course. xx

  • Mummaducka

    I’ve got three. 2 boys and a girl in the middle. Husband only ever wanted one, but dearly loves all of them and we are so very ferociously proud of them. I always wanted more. Could still have another at 48! But he had the snip when the youngest was one. Our youngest is almost 15. God forbid anything happen to any of the ones we have and he knew that i would be sending him back for a reversal to have more, lots and lots more.
    I knew after that third though that it was almost too much. Too much stress for me. Hubby wasn’t a great baby daddy when they were little. I don’t think he ever changed a shitty nappy! I’m a worrier and i barely sleep as it is. When they were young if a pin dropped i was awake! So my head won over my heart when the snip time came.
    I don’t really want to go there, but privately educating these three is hugely expensive, but very worthwhile none the less. Eldest is in UNI and the younger two are still at boarding school. So i guess you also have to factor that in as well, can you afford more? It all depends on your financial position and circumstances and desires for your kids.
    You can want more and not have them and be just fine.

  • I know how hard this was for you to write. A woman’s fertility is so private and yet so public at the same time. I don’t normally put links but a year ago today I wrote this http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_579271e2e4b0b3e2427c210f writing about it, finally sharing those thoughts also really helped me to move forward. I hope that your sharing of this will give you greater clarity and way to move forward too. Oh and if you lived closer I’d come round give you a big hug and pour us both a drink xx

    • Amanda, that was a really open, beautiful piece that you wrote, that gives me a totally new perspective which I really appreciate.

      I wish we could have that hug and drink. Thank you for sharing. xx

  • Tania Cake

    We have a girl (5) and a boy (3.5), via IVF. One fresh, one frozen lol. They both know it wasn’t the conventional way…though the oldest confidently tells people her brother came from the freezer in the kitchen lol. No specialist could determine we were unable to create babies on our own. I was not someone who saw myself as having children, especially early on, though my husband was, he wanted plenty. Once I was blessed with 2, we decided to wait a year to decide if that in infact was end of this particular chapter. The year arrived and we signed the form to send our embryos off to research. Prior to that point I was thinking I could have 4 – as you see I don’t like odd numbers! But given the length of time to get to the IVF stage and time to have babies, I felt I was getting too old to have more…though I found being pregnant was the happiest for me. We then decided that we could provide better for 2 than 4 (no negotiations for 3). Baby time was hard for me, more so the first than the second. I’ve gone back to sports and doing things for me now and planning forward to celebrate the things we can do with th 2 kids we have been blessed with in this journey.
    Thanks for sharing your story, people can’t compare and criticise, everyone’s story or journey is different and that’s ok. xx

  • Oh I know this feeling and situation so well. I want another, my husband is a strong no. I know the heart and ovary ache very intimately. I know the feeling of knowing your body is aging and you may miss your chance of another child. I know the feeling of feeling insensitive when you have children and want another, and other people just want to have their first child. I am slowly coming to an acceptance of not having another baby but I doubt I will ever feel ‘done’. I wrote a blog about it a couple of months ago because I knew there were others out there feeling the same and somehow it helped me to write and share it.
    Wishing you peace xx

  • Tina

    Oh I know that feeling and my youngest is 18! I still get pangs of ‘just one more’ We only had 2 babies I would have loved 4 or more, but with a shift working husband and 2 diffiult births which he said he found it very hard to cope with as he couldn’t ‘do’ anything. I also wanted to be a hands on stay at home mum which meant 1 income, we lived in a tiny house but had everything we needed. So a decision was made to stop at 2. Over the years as friends and family had babies I yearned to feel those special baby moves in my tummy again, and to soak in those baby smells. Then for medical reasons I had to have a tubial ligation and years later an ablation, thats it there is never ever any chance in the world for me to have children again, I grieved, I cried, I was angry but then I reminded myself of the 2 beautiful children we have now and how blessed we are.

  • Sarah Zuchetti

    This is so me. I get it. Totally. My husband just flat out said no. And that’s that. No more discussion. No more conversation. No more babies. My heart aches every day for the child I’ll never have, while, like you, I absolutely adore the two beautiful, amazing children I already have. Life is tough sometimes. I’ve dropped maternity cover (which broke my heart), sold the change table (also broke my heart!) but the Itti bitti nappies remain in the basket. I just can’t let them go!!!!

    • There is definitely stuff that I’ll never, ever part with. I just can’t. It’s all very hard. xx

  • We’d agreed on 3 but our family didn’t feel complete. I think that had a lot to do with age gaps and genders. 2 girls 17 months apart then nearly 3 years to our son. Our youngest definitely completed our family (she’s 8 now)!

    • So you just knew when you had your 8 year old? What did it feel like?

      • I knew I was done. When she started school it was completely cemented. I’d say I’m even a bit immune to babies at the moment πŸ™‚

  • Seona Roberts

    I really feel for you xx I was never having children. I loved babies as a kid & teen and then an event with a close friend made me say, no, I’m never having children. And then I had an accidental pregnancy. We kept him and were only going to have him. And then a second accidental pregnancy. Two boys and I was content and happy and never having more. And then I started to joke about having another baby. And then I asked my husband could we have one more? The third we planned. And I really meant it when I said no more. I loved being pregnant, I loved the baby stage and the toddler stage. But I knew I had to stop somewhere. But I also knew I was done. I had my tubes chopped and tied to make it a permanent decision. I celebrated the last feed. I celebrated the last nappy. I celebrated all the lasts and now celebrate all the firsts – starting school, leaving school, getting a licence, getting partners. But I still want more kids – but in a different way. I need to help those without a family. I need to help those who have been hurt and broken. And so I foster.

  • I want to have another baby but my partner doesn’t. I don’t feel done but I don’t think he will change his mind!

  • Sian Louise Willis

    Oh gosh I could have written this. It has split my husband and I. I have had 6 years of desperately wanting another and I still can’t come to terms with it. It remains the elephant in the room and has deeply affected our relationship. I wish I had the answer I do. You’re not alone. Xxx

    • I can imagine it causing relationships issues. It’s such a complex one, and one I think about daily. πŸ™

      Thanks for sharing. Please know you’re not alone too. xx

      • Sian Louise Willis

        I have often been called selfish, as a mother of 3 boys… I do long for a girl although I would happily love another boy if that was the outcome! The guilt I have felt for wanting another is intense, I have even had many months of counselling. Nothing eases it for me, I do hope I find peace with it at some point in my life. I hope you do too and thanks for sharing xxx

  • Alicia

    I’m in the same situation, I want 4 children & we have 3 healthy boys, 9,5 & 4. Hubby only wanted 2 but I pushed for 3. I could easily have a fourth but he’s waiting on me to be ready so he can go and get a vasectomy. My heart aches for another baby and the boys keep asking for another sibling but I love my husband & know another baby probably won’t happen. He’s done and I’ve resolved myself with the 3 beautiful boys we do have. I know we are extremely blessed to have a home full of beautiful boys. I think I feel the pang more this year because my youngest starts school next year and I don’t know what I’m going to do? Big hugs it’s not easy xx

    • I’m going to need a whole lot of support when Lulu starts big school. From there, it’s a downhill slide into the big girl years!

  • I’ve had the exact same conversations with my husband. He wanted one, I wanted three and so we settled in the middle. I would love another one but maybe that feeling will subside with time. I like to think that the door isn’t completely closed on having another baby so we can make the decision in a few years when our two are a little older.

  • Danielle Chant

    My par https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a368801f59df252dcdbbf6380799ebe14c3a5c61950b090d5aacd283fcf8bae3.jpg tner and I had a whirlwind relationship. Met online at 29, both out of rough long relationships. Both working and strongly independent, moved in after couple weeks, then couple months past ‘Boom’ pregnant with Twins. Boy & girl ‘instant’ family. We had talked about it prior and at the time both agreed with the big 30 approaching to stop contraceptives. When our bundles of joys arrived it was like magic, a childhood dream i never thought i would ever get to experience. It was hard work! also very rewarding watching them growing into now very strong willed threenagers. Partner and I always believed it was enough for us, the stress, the finance stretch of one wage. Getting to the point we’re we can go out and experience more of the world with our kids. Then something in me changed, only me of course, partner is still being the ‘smart’ thinker. I got baby on the brain bad, everyone around me seemed to be either pregnant or nursing. I was loading my pinterest with imaginary nursery ideas and beautiful baby shower pins. I bring it up everyday, i just have no sense about me. i’m like a obsessed woman on a mission trying to wear my partner down chip by chip. my greatest fear in all my baby craziness is, if i do win him over, will he truly be happy with his decision or will he resent me for pressuring him into it.

    • I replied to your comment on Facebook, but just wanted to also say how much your photos made me smile! xx

  • Hannah Selwood

    Oh my goodness i could have written this. In our case though both hubby and i are unsure of having another babe. Physically pregnancy and childbirth is very difficult for me and financially we would like to be in a better place but DANG i love babies too! I do all the crying and feel all the feels each time our youngest grows out of something so i totally get it!
    I keep thinking one day i will know- I hope you find your peace with it and me too!

  • Lauren Roney

    I am like you and love love love babies and children… I want one more and hubby does too but after that he isn’t sure and that’s ok.. I love him and as much as I love baby baby babies I love him more and I respect his choice too. My heart aches for you because it’s such a hard thing… I’m not at the last baby yet but I know I’ll find it so hard when I am… xxxx

  • Lisa Martinez

    Possible Trigger ahead. Oh man. I thought my hubby was done after two. He said as much. We still tried for another. For five years before we conceived. Hubby was grumpy and overwhelmed at the idea. Then we lost baby at 8 weeks. And I was crushed and hubby finally admitted he wanted more babies. He had dreams of having a son that he never shared with me. As rough as that has been to go through (it’s still fresh 4 weeks in) I am so happy we are finally on the same page. I don’t know that I would have ever moved passed that feeling of incompleteness. I hope that what ever happens in your journey that you find joy and completeness in your family.

  • mary_j_j

    We have two children, I always wanted 3, he was happy to go along with whatever I wanted. We met late, I had my 2nd at 40 and was wiped out with the 2 under 2 phenomena. We had a few months of half hearted trying when I was 43 and then I realised that I did not want to go through fertility programs and two kids is a pretty amazing thing really! Now my “adopted” adult son (we met in China when he was 19) has a beautiful daughter and I can get my Grandma on years before I would be otherwise! So – I wasn’t “done” but nature stepped in and told me to get a grip!!

    • That’s beautiful Mary! I welcome all babies around me. I love them!

    • VoneeM

      Oh my Mary.jj, I have a very similar story to yours. My husband and I met late and we wanted children so I had my first at 38 and second at 40, with a very sad passing of my second pregnancy. We have tried for a third (at my insistence because I love children) however after two miscarriages, my husband is done (and slightly relieved). I still look at mums with three children and feel sad, wishing my body had been younger and more able to hold those precious pregnancies. I am infinitely grateful for two lovely, challenging, interesting children who give the best cuddles I could ever hope for. But if I’m honest, I will always grieve for those babies that didn’t make it, so completely understand the rawness of emotion in this stories. Thank you for posting xx

  • Kathie Waters

    I TOTALLY understand this whole post.. I have 7 children and 6 in heaven from miscarraige and I remember when hubby said no more … I was and still am ( 6 years later) devastated … I know lots of ppl know when they are finished… I know I am not … and yet … I am ( thanks hubby ) In his defence I get severe PND … SUCIDIAL PND and I am now 45 but that ache doesn’t go away …. yes the pram and cot have ( that was traumatic) but the baby clothes are boxed up and in the roof cause I can’t part with them …. How do you get thru this part of life …. honestly I have no idea and it is something I don’t like to talk about cause ppl don’t understand.
    You are 45 .. you are too old now… you will have grandchildren soon… you have 7 kids already …. etc etc
    Still doesn’t take away that raw ripping ache in my heart.
    The short version is ….. I understand

    • “raw ripping ache in my heart” – I can’t imagine living with that, but I know it’s something I’ll have to.

  • Tash

    Oh I cried reading this! This is me to a tee! My partner says two is enough and I love my step son and daughter to the ends of the earth but I always wanted three and feel like I just NEED that third! I understand that this can sound completely insensitive and understand how lucky I am to have two happy and healthy kids… my daughter turns two in September and at the beginning of this month I finally packed up her bassinet out of our room… I cried as I did… I would have a thousand if I could but I’ve just always (ever since I was young) envisioned myself with three… and like you my heart and my soul aches for that third…

  • Oh I relate to this so much! As personal as it is, thank you for sharing it, this is a topic talked about a lot in my friendship circle.

    It took 4 years to convince my husband to try for a third baby. I knew I wasn’t done after our second, but it was a very hard slog with our eldest (he had severe reflux and allergies), and neither of us thought we could handle a third baby. We sold our baby gear, gave away the clothes, cot and pram and I stopped whining that I wanted another. In spite of that, every time I was around a baby I hogged them. I visited our friends in hospital and just cuddled and sniffed their heads. Once our second boy went to kindy I sat hubby down and talked about my ‘third baby pros and cons list’, and my deep, aching desire for another child. Hubby eventually agreed, and now we have our third and (despite the fact we are now knee deep in toddler-hood 😱) we don’t know what we ever did without him in our lives. I also know he’s definitely my last (though we’d have 6 children if we could afford it!)
    I know how privileged I am to have the choice to have even one baby, let alone three, but I also know that aching pain of knowing you want another.

    • Lacey {our eldest} was so hard. It really nearly broke us, and sometimes even now she nearly breaks us. And Lulu was a much easier baby. She’s just light and awesomeness.

      Shane worries that we’ll end up with a baby just like our eldest and that would be a struggle. I’m an optimist though. Hubby isn’t quite that way.

  • Liz A

    I don’t know if I’m done or not..Probably am but not totally by choice. My child’s father & I separated when she was little, almost 11 now & I never wanted to go through that again especially with a child involved..have never found the “right one” to bring another little human into the world with, even though we’ve done lots of other awesome things in life, she does suit being an only child, we have a super close bond & also has lots of cousins & friends. I definitely think sometimes she would have loved a sibling to grow up with.

    • Shane is an only child and loves it. Wouldn’t change it for the world. I can understand why. Each circumstance has it’s positives! πŸ™‚

  • Dave and I are a bit like you guys, I would like 3, but he is definitely done with 2 and won’t even entertain the thought of a third. I was really annoyed about that for a long time, but as time has passed, and our youngest is about to turn 4 on Sunday, I realise that I’m actually ok with it. I would welcome a 3rd baby with open arms, but at the same time I hate toddlers and I am loving the things we can do now with older kids (and not having to change nappies!). I also think I’ve realised that my mental health would take a major battering if we were to have one more, and I also don’t think I’d be prepared to put my career on hold again now that I’m finally starting to make it work. So it’s been a slow realisation, and while I will always miss not having all of those things you’ve written about with having a new baby, I’m also ok with it now too. I try to think about all of the things we’ve gained with two as they get older, rather than the things I’d lose not having a third. Makes it much easier.

    Plus, I’m pretty convinced that if we did go for #3 we’d totally have twins and I could not handle that at all!!!

    • There was a lady on my FB that went for one more and had triplets!

      Shane won’t entertain the thought either. It’s flipping hard. I love toddlers. I love nappy changes, breastfeeding all of it. I’m weird like that.

  • Reannon

    I am the eldest of 6 so never wanted a big family. Two sounded good to me. So we had babies young- 1, then a miscarriage, then bun 2. Excellent. Two healthy babies by 23. i thought we were done but we weren’t. At various times over the years we talked about having more but I was always too scared. Come 30 I asked hubby to have the snip & he asked me for another baby. It took 3 years & another 2 miscarriages before we welcome our 3rd baby & the day I came home from hospital I said ” we’ll have another one” Hubby wasn’t so sure but the universe made up our minds & 3 months later I was pregnant. At age 38, with 4 kids ( 1 in year 12, 1 in year 9, 1 in kindy & 1 off to kindy next year ) I know we are done. I’m happy with 4. Four is great! But if we had our time over I think I would have had my kids closer together, not have been so scared of things going wrong, scared of not having space or money & squeezed in a couple more…

  • Rachel Devine

    The moment I was told that my twins were a boy and a girl, I knew we were done. It wasn’t a number thing, it was more of a feeling that all of “us” were present and accounted for. We felt complete and that feeling just kept growing stronger as they were born and the kids grew…

  • Sharon French

    I know what you mean. I had 7 children under 10. I nearly died after the birth of my last one. I had to have an emergency hysterectomy to save my life. I’m extremely greatful I was blessed enough to have 7, however I cried for so long because my choice of having more children was taken away πŸ˜ͺ I probably would have had 10 if I c

    • Oh wow, I am so sorry for this experience but so happy that you have 7 beautiful children. What joy they must bring. x

      • Sharon French

        Thank you Chantelle, although we would have loved to have more children, we’re definitely blessed with the ones we’ve got. We also now have 4 grandsons and 1 granddaughter & another one due around Christmas. It’s great watching the family grow & they also bring us much joy & fill our house with so much love xx

  • Ginger Swanner

    We had fertility treatments to have our twin boys. I don’t ovulate. We tried randomly over the years. I was always hopeful even though I knew better. I always wanted 3 babies. A year ago April we had a miscarriage. We didn’t even know I was pregnant until I wasn’t. It was horrific and has taken me a year to get over. My twin boys turn 9 in about a month. I still wish for more. But….I don’t want to start over. The gap feels too big. I turn 40 in a bit over a week. My head says I am done and happy. And I am happy to have my two. So happy. But my heart hurts. So I hold my friends’ babies. And when I leave I am glad it won’t be me doing a 2am feeding.

    • I’m sorry for your miscarriage. I fear that if I did get the green light and then suffered the tragedy of a miscarriage I might not ever be the same person. I’m such a sensitive person, and I can only imagine the pain that causes. I feel for you. xx

  • When I was in my twenties, I was totally desperate for kids and if I didn’t meet anyone I was going to a sperm bank. I had it all planned out. Then all my friends had kids and I totally went off the idea. Everyone said I’d feel differently when I met someone, when we got married, when we put roots down but all those things happened and I didn’t change. I’m lucky that I’ve met someone on the same page as I can imagine the kids thing could be a real deal breaker. That said, hubby asked me about kids on the third date! I was horrified! I’m done with none πŸ™‚

    • Hahaha, cheeky Hubby! I can’t remember when we talked about them but I have always been keen so it was probably the first date, knowing me! πŸ˜›

  • Allison Marie

    You should discuss adopting or fostering.. He might be open to it and u have a change to help a kid. Then ur age really dosnt matter

  • Cat Bensein

    For a split second I wanted a third, I wanted the same 2 year gap that we have between Georgia and Lulu, between Lulu and our third. Hell, I even had the names picked out – Vivian and Jude, for those who are interested. However, the more I got to know Lulu, I just knew in my bones that she wasn’t a middle child, she was my baby.

    Then as she went through all of those Baby stages – like toilet training, I started to quietly celebrate the end of the nappy era.

    We definitely feel like 2 kids is the right fit for our family.

    • I love this sense of contentment that you have. It’s really beautiful. I wish I could celebrate the end of things, instead I find myself mourning them – even the toilet training and stuff.

  • Donna Trujillo

    I had that exact set if feelings! I had two, a girl and a boy. I was so grateful and I felt so selfish for wanting another. But I did. I wanted one so badly. It actually contributed to the failure of that marriage. I still don’t understand why I felt so strongly. I did get pregnant a third time and ended up married to the father of my last daughter. And I feel satisfied. And, God, lucky. Of course I’m not suggesting that would be the right thing for anyone. And my ex husband and I were having other problems. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

  • Jo Baldry

    Im in the exact same place yet my body is ageing and not necessarily in agreement with my hearts desire for one more. I’ve wanted one more since my last was born 4 yrs ago… but my hubby is 10 yrs older and he is finished. He smiles and says No No No on a No button toy….every time I ask. If it happened naturally he’d be okay but he doesn’t want to try…and seeing I needed medication to help fall with my last 2, we are not “trying” anymore. This makes me feel so sad. I’m going through the same pain of letting go of the hopes of one more and holding onto things for that one. I still have boxes of baby stuff… I’ve given away a lot but still have more I should probably give away. Its hard to let go. I want to always be surrounded by children…and to have big family and I feel I’ve had my feathers clipped a bit so I cant spread my wings as wide as I want to…. Any way thanks for your blog. Ive found some comfort in knowing that other mums are going through similar as they come to the same place in their lives.

    • Feathers clipped… I feel that. My husband is older too, by 8 years, and that worries him if we had another child. I wish we’d started earlier.

  • Susan Beauchamp

    Hubby and I had talked about children and agreed on 2. After an horrendous pregnancy, a premmie baby and postnatal depression, we still wanted to try again when our son was about 3 years old. We kept all his baby stuff. Well we tried for quite a while and nothing happened. Meanwhile I was suffering bad migraines again because of having to be off meds for this. We ultimately decided that a second child wasn’t meant to be and felt blessed to have our son. We then sold all the baby stuff and it was quite a sad sense of finality but in time we got on with raising our son and we felt complete. He is now 14 years and thriving. It was family that kept at us to have another for a while, which was stressful, but they eventually accedpted it. As I’m now in my late 40s, with health issues, I feel very grateful for what I have.

  • Princess Squishy

    I’m infertile. I don’t really have the “done” feeling, or in the infertile world, the “giving up” feeling, i don’t feel it deep down, but i know its the right decision to stop making it an issue and start making peace with living child free. I think its possible to not Have the feeling and still be okay because some of us don’t have any other choice but to be okay, even if we don’t have the feeling

  • My husband and I wanted four children. But the next 9 years would be an
    emotional roller coaster. I had a miscarriage first, then laparoscopic
    surgery for endometriosis, then I had my son. I had another miscarriage,
    more surgery, then my daughter. After the third and most painful
    (emotionally) miscarriage, we decided we were done. We were emotionally spent. We decided to count our blessings with two
    beautiful healthy children, both little miracles in our eyes, now 11 and 8
    years. Right now they are living the best years of their childhood and I am
    loving every minute of it. I rarely think about ‘what might have been’.
    I’m just so grateful for what I have. I didn’t find your post to be
    insensitive at all and I completely understand how you feel. Your post did stir
    deep emotions in me. I guess deep down I still yearn for more babies
    too. But I want you to know
    that it is possible to not have that ‘done feeling’ and be OK. The key is
    to focus on all that is good in your life and to channel everything you
    have into that. x

  • This post has stuck in my mind since I first read it in the early hours of this morning! Firstly, as someone who has been dealing with secondary infertility, I want to thank you for your amazing sensitivity and acknowledgement of those who physically struggle to have children (or more children). But I want to acknowledge you because it’s still a similar issue, isn’t it? That feeling of grief and fear that it won’t happen again and wondering if you’ll ever find peace about it? I’ve lived it. I hear you. It’s OK to feel that grief – whatever may happen between now and menopause. I used to think I might want 3 children (I know my husband would love that). But then we had one (now 5), followed by a shit ton of struggle to try for another one and I now know that if I am blessed with another beautiful baby that I truly will be done. At least that’s how I feel right now. I look forward to the freedom of not having to ‘try’ anymore or worry about my ‘lady parts’. I crave the freedom of owning my body again. All I’ve ever wanted is to give my son a sibling and if I can do that, I honestly feel like I could die happy. Hopefully not for a long long time but you know what I mean? I hope that whatever happens, you find peace and happiness about it xoxo

  • Stephanie S

    I feel for us, instead of the discussion to have more babies, its the discussion to have our first. I have always felt I was supposed to be a mother. Maybe it’s part of the female stereo-type, but I love working with kids and I think that fuels the passion to have one of my own. My husband on the other hand has been against having a kid from his own genes. He has evolved over the years, working through his own issues, but I worry by the time we’re both in that place together where we can say yes, it’ll be too late. My aunt did have a child when she was a few years older than I am, and all these stories of women later in life having kids is what keeps me from breaking down.

    I’m glad my thinking isn’t alone in this, whether its the couple who can’t decide on having one, or the couple who can’t decide if they want more.

  • Kylie Gannon

    I had my son, then a miscarriage, then my daughter…..I always thought I wanted 3 too. A friend did the ring over my tummy and it was 2 boys and a girl!……my eldest is 15 and youngest 11. I didn’t want anymore. I don’t know if that’s because I have a boy and girl (maybe if I had 2 boys I would have tried again for a girl) But what kind of did get me questioning my 2 was when a friend lost her son and now only has one child……she told me I should have more so if anything happened 1 wasn’t left with no siblings! it’s a crazy thought and probably not very logicalπŸ˜•
    Even though I don’t want any more and the other mums who don’t either…..I think we still have those grieving moments when our children grow through stages that they will never return to – My son used to have me in bed every night with a story before sleep….now I get a peck on the cheek and he closes his bedroom door!
    -The time they stop playing with their barbie dolls or matchbox cars…..those moments hit me hard….and I shed a tear for what I will never get to enjoy again.
    So, I pray for you….really wanting another would be tough if your spouse isn’t on the same page. I hope you come to a decision that both of you are at peace with❀

  • Robyn

    I think this has to be one of the hardest arguments in a marriage. You can compromise in a lot of situations. But you can’t have half a kid. There’s always someone who gets what they want and someone who doesn’t unfortunately.

    Before we started having kids we thought four was our number. But after number 2 we both struggled badly. My first two were 17 months apart and I had a traumatic birth that left me with ppd. I think we both weren’t completely done, but were scared of going back.

    Five years later we had number 3, but hubby decided he just could not handle any more- financially, emotionally, in every way he was finished. He nearly didn’t want to have 3, but we got there- and that was a stretch for him.

    I remember that devastation after bub was born that he was my last. And I struggled a lot when hubby decided to have the snip when our Bub was 6 months old.

    But now, it is easier. I battled hugely before the vasectomy. But once it happened, it helped give me that release to move on you know? I think it wasn’t good for me to live with that hope, and I was getting a bit obsessive about the whole thing. it was becoming unhealthy for me.

    I think it’s important to acknowledge that you want what you want and you can’t change that. It’s hard letting go of the family you imagined yourself having. But it helped me to realise how many people often don’t get everything they want. We have this dream of what our life is going to look like and are told we can have everything. But the truth is sometimes, we can’t. There are lots of people who aren’t living the life they wanted for a variety of reasons. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create good lives. Even if they aren’t what we planned.

    My mum told me that every now and then the pain gets you. When a friend has a baby. When you reach that point when things settle in your career/family life/finances… And another baby seems possible, and necessary. When your hubby gets the snip/ or you go through menopause and its definitely no longer possible. But it does get easier. And for me personally, I had to make a conscious choice to let go of that dream so i could be OK.

    • You can’t have half a kid. I know this seems like an odd statement, but I’ve thought it… and felt comfort that you did too. It’s a compromise.

  • Leanne

    I am old now, but I know exactly how you are feeling. I was pregnant with our 3rd child and when I went for an ultrasound, it showed that there was something terribly wrong with the baby. It was a very emotional time for my husband and after our heart breaking decision to terminate the pregnancy, I told my husband that is is it, no more tempting fate, we have 2 beautiful healthy little girls, our family is complete. Fortunately the gods had other ideas, I didn’t even find out I was pregnant until about 16 weeks. Then my son was born, and he was just meant to be. He made our family complete, and I could never imagine a life without him in it. I knew after he was born that I definitely didn’t want anymore, and I had always wondered how you would ever lose the that feeling of wanting more babies, but I did. I definitely think it is something that your husband and you need to talk about more deeply, as you don’t want to have that regret and resentment later on. I wish you luck with whatever you and your husband decide.

  • Such a tricky one Chantelle. I was saved a lot of torment by starting late. Hubby is 11 years older than me and one of eight with many, many nieces and nephews. When we met he said that he wasn’t fussed if he had kids or not. There were plenty of kids in his life. Then our eldest was born when I was 35 and he was 46 and he was hooked. He loved being a dad (anyone who knows him could have told him this). We had two miscarriages and our little man was born when I was almost 39 and three weeks shy of hubby’s 50th birthday.
    I thought we’d go for number three for a while and he would have kept going (still would) but life got harder. He was busy with work. I discovered that I’m not very good at dedicating all my time to life at home and I needed to work for my own wellbeing. Then I got used to sleep again and found it hard to imagine another baby. Once I hit 40 I realised that the risk of miscarriage and other health challenges for me and a baby were rising. The two miscarriages we had were tough and I didn’t know if I could put myself through that again. I was also concerned that our relationship would suffer if we went through all of that again and that wasn’t fair on, us or our boys. It wasn’t long before I felt that our family was complete. My husband will still tease me about the ‘daughter I decided not to have’ which hurts sometimes but I know he doesn’t mean to be hurtful. Life is what it is and I just have to look at my two boys to realise how lucky I am. They’re healthy, happy and well adjusted. My job now is to guide us all through the next stages in life. Good luck with finding peace – whatever you decide. x

  • Cara McKee

    We have three. We discussed it before marriage and agreed three. Then we had one and my husband wasn’t quite so sold on three, then another, and he was sure two was enough, but I wasn’t. It took a while to wear him down but then we had our third. It’s really hard work. I have two arms to cuddle with and two knees to sit on. We are outnumbered and there is always someone that doesn’t want to do the thing of the moment. We don’t fit in a family hotel room, or in most family deals, we are in holiday at the moment and there are only four seats at our dining table. Even with all this, three is a magic number. πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’š

    • Cara McKee

      Also I was done after three. I still like babies but I don’t want one. I’m glad they’re all growing up and I relish each new step toward independence (and I plan to be here when they need me for as long as possible).

  • Michelle McGuinness

    We always said we’d try for 2. When my son was born I had a very traumatic birth and hubbie was put in the terrible position of having to choose which one of us the doctors should save if it came to it. After that, he could never face trying for another and things have never been the same. Our son is going to be 12 in 2 weeks yet he ache has never gone away. I still feel as though I have another baby in me, and have no idea how to handle it. I’m 42 now, and hubbie is 49. When I bring it up he just laughs and says he’s too old. I have no idea if id even be able to get pregnant now, but i would jump at the chance of another. I have friends who say I’m mad, that they can’t believe I’d want to start all over, but I would in a heart beat. My son would make such an amazing big brother, but it’s looking like he’ll never get that chance 😒

    • That makes me very teary. 😒 I understand that traumatic choice for your husband. I just can’t imagine how he felt. xx

  • Krystal Merchant

    We have 4. Ages 8.5 boy, 6.5 girl, 3.5 boy & 11mths boy. We had decided after 3 that was it. But i brought up #4 & hubby literally said are you effing mad? Perhaps. After thinking i was preg, test being negative – me disappointed and hubby 50/50.. .i was preg the next month. Now, we are 100% done. βœ‚οΈβœ‚οΈ But i am still devastated that baby Arthur is 1 next month. It feels weird knowing all his firsts are my lasts. Im going to miss my babies 😣😣

  • Deb

    I get it, had three, wanted more, but realistically knew I couldn’t, husband wanted to stop at 2 and friends said I could have an ‘accident’ but I could never do that, eventually he agreed to one more and then I got steralised as I fall pregnant so easily. I never really regretted it but did have the same thoughts as you, all the same hankerings and envy, even now in my 50’s when I see women with loads of happy, gorgeous kids on instagram. Why couldn’t I be that earth mother? Anyway, now have a 6 week old granddaughter, fills my heart 100 times more than my own babies did, don’t shoot me but its true. I get to squash her face, kiss her, cuddle her, but no sleepless nights and worry, all the good bits.

  • Jenni from Styling Curvy

    Three pregnancies and two amazing sons. I was done at two but when the youngest turned two I wanted another. It took me a few months to realize I wanted another ‘baby’, not necessarily another child. I hope you work it out x

  • Erin

    I will never ever feel done. I just know it. My fourth is 6 months old and I’m already in mourning. Mourning that she is my last. That I’ll never feel that ecstasy of having a fresh bundle placed on your chest. It’s bloody hard and I feel your pain. X

  • Asher

    We have three hell no im not done my husband was done at 2 then we had major pregnancy problems this time round and almost lost my boy it’s was so traumatic for my husband he’s hell no we arnt going again the doctors also after 3 c sections say um your sooooo done but my heart aches at the thought of no more I can’t give anything away I’m stuck in a shitty place where everything says no more but my heart won’t listen but alas there’s no choice I’m assuming one day I’ll accept it and feel at peace(I hope so) :'(

  • Mellou

    I had 5 pregnancies and have one child (three miscarriages before, one after). After the last loss We decided it was enough. I was so angry not at my husband at the situation. We wanted another child so badly but we felt the emotional toll of another loss wasn’t worth the chance.

    It’s been 2 years since we decided to stop trying and while my life is pretty damn good there are times I feel a deep sadness for the child we might of had, the amazing sibling my daughter would have been. Maybe we could have pushed on and got the second child and maybe the stress and despair would have made us forget why we wanted babies together in the first place. Because we love each other. In the end our little unit of three is enough.

    • I’m sorry for your losses. xxx

      • Mellou

        Thank you, Chantelle. I appreciate that. I’ve been thinking about this post a lot , about choices, either made by nature (who is a bit of a jerk ) or partners and the difficulty we have processing and accepting those decisions when they are not ours. I do think it’s possible to move on, be content and still feel a little sad at the same time. Best of luck to you and your husband.

  • I had the deep yearning for both number 2 and number 3 but as soon as number 3 was born, I just knew I was done.
    My husband is 18 years older than I am and had 6 children already (he was a single parent when we met as his wife died). I had a 3 year old son and didn’t expect him to want anymore children at his age. Thankfully he was happy to have as many as I wanted but I think he was very happy when I said we were done after our 2 girls were born!
    Our youngest, Ella is 10 next month and I haven’t felt broody once since she was born.

    • What a great clan you have there. I’m so happy that the ‘done’ feeling came naturally for you. xx

  • For several years after we had our 3rd I wanted another. I would often suggest we have another and my husband always said no… mainly because I have a lot of complications during pregnancy. When our youngest was almost 3 we went on a short break to the beach, and for the first time in years, we didn’t need a pram, portacot, or most of the other baby paraphenalia. We had a lovely relaxing time, and I could suddenly see a future with kids who were that little bit older and more independent, and I just knew that we were done. These days I love other peoples babies, but I love to give them back as well!

  • michelle barrington

    That was a beautifully raw post Chantelle. Before I fell pregnant I wanted 4 children after only having one sibling myself. I imagined myself as a real earth mother and I loved everything about the idea an from of pregnancy. Until I fell pregnant and suffered such severe hyperemesis gravidarum my OBs advised me to terminate and then I had Raya prematurely. Hubby swore he would never ask me to get pregnant again. When Raya was 1 and we were backpacking around the world I suffered an early miscarriage in Greece. It was traumatic and I was sure I couldn’t have anymore. Then Raya was so divine and I started to dream of a second baby in our family – always a boy. I was petrified by those dreams, they felt so real. I fell pregnant the first month hubby and I discussed having another baby and I was pregnant with – you guessed it, a boy. My second pregnancy was even worse than my first, except I avoided naso feeding. I went into preterm labour at 28 weeks and had every single drug known to man plus almost 10 weeks of bedrest to keep Raffy in. I miraculously held him in till 37 weeks. My high risk obs said he never wanted to see me ever again. We had a boy and a girl and I felt “clever me” and we were done. I just couldn’t imagine going through it again. I was relieved, hubby had a son, Raya had a sibling. Fast forward to last year and I am 37 and unexpectedly fall pregnant. I wasn’t even sure I could do pregnancy again. But we came around to the idea and realised how much we wanted to have a third. Then I suffered a miscarriage. It was devastating. It was also devastating for our daughter who knew I was pregnant and longed for another sibling. The grief was intense. We committed to wait to see how we felt in a couple of months and then I had spinal surgery. I have given away all our baby stuff. I would love another baby but working in special ed I know the complications of a micro-premmie, my body is just shit at growing babies and I think it may be greedy to risk another baby and so I just focus on the two that I have. But seeing new babies is hard and my heart does ache.

    • Oh Michelle, your story breaks my heart. You did it so hard… and I remember it all. So happy that you have your two beautiful kids. xxx

  • Anita Burgess

    I felt the exact same way after having my second, as in within a day I knew I had to have another one. After my 3rd son and a difficult pregnancy I knew we were done, but man did I cherish all those last “firsts”.

    • I’ve made sure I’ve cherished every moment this time, because I know it was most likely the last time. It was beautiful, and heart-aching at the same time. x

  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It

    This was me 3 years ago. I wanted a 3rd and my husband was adamant that 2 was best. He had what I called this chicken theory. He thought with 5 people in the house there wouldn’t be enough wings and drumsticks to go around when we ate a roast chook. I told him I’d give up chicken forever but it made no difference.
    I grew to resent him as a 3rd baby was something I desperately wanted. I tried to ‘forgive him’ which didn’t work as he’d done nothing wrong so instead I found small, petty things to get angry at him about. I felt he was denying me something that I desperately needed to be fulfilled.
    One day he asked if I wanted to have a 3rd child. Turns out he’d spoken to his dad about kids who’d casually said he always regretted not having a 3rd child (my hubbies has 1 brother). Turns out my husbands motivator was the possibility of regret rather than promise of hope. He is a bit of a pessimist so I guess that follows. It also frustrated me that my ‘maternal fulfilment’ was left in his hands.
    Lucky for me we did get our chance of a 3rd baby; a girl to join my 2 boys. Now I know I’m done, when before I never felt fully finished. Even now as we transition her into her big girl bed I have twinges of sadness of leaving my baby days behind but I’m looking forward to all our big girl activities more.
    I was unable to ‘let go’ of the need for baby no. 3 and I think it would have driven me to a pretty sad and angry place.

    • I worry about this too… and I want to be sure that whatever way we go, we both can move forward with love, forgiveness, acceptance and happiness. xx

  • Hayley

    I don’t know if I’ll ever have that done feeling.
    I remember feeling those exact same feelings when I had number 2. I just knew I wanted another baby and yet here she was, the beautiful little girl only a few days old. But as she’s grown, I think I could be content with my two girls. In saying that, I also think I will always want one more, and it’s not ruled out. We have time on our side, luckily. We’ve had talks about it and it’s likely we will go again. But if we didn’t or couldn’t I think I’d be ok with that. In saying that, if we did – it’s scares me I still won’t be done. I love pregnancy, I love newborns and I love watching them reach all their milestones. Just like you.
    It’s definitely a very raw and personal subject but I don’t know if there is an answer to it, what if hubby said let’s do it. Would you ever be, done? I don’t think I would…

  • Sandi White

    Before my husband and I got married we agreed that if we had two of the same sex children we would try for a third. My husband loved the name David and I didn’t but I (naively) agreed that if the third baby needed up being a boy we would call him David. We already had two sons but when our third arrived I just couldn’t call him David so he became Daniel David. I tell you these two stories to show u my husband compromised on both parts when it came to babies. Also, to tell u that people change and what u agreed to prior to marriage doesn’t necessarily have to hold fast now several years on. I got pnd after our second son and it was a mega struggle so my hubby was super relunctant to go for baby number 3 and I totally understand why, but there was just this NEED in me to have another baby. He couldn’t understand but after 2 and a half years he gave in. It has caused us so much strife in our marriage. He has been very angry and resentful even though he loves our third son to death. We are working on our marriage and it’s getting easier now the boys are getting older (10yrs, 8yrs and 4yrs) Of course our baby Daniel is a total blessing. He is the most affectionate of our kids and I really feel he binds our family together and shows my bigger boys how to love and be kind but it has taken a massive toll on our marriage. I read someone else’s comment below that this is one of the hardest issues in a marriage to negotiate. My husband certainly threw it at me a lot when times were tough. (Eg. I didn’t even want three kids etc) but I wanted to try and work through his pain with him because he had given me what I had really wanted. I also had a really long hard think about why I wanted a third baby. I had two son’s so everyone kept asking if I was going to ‘try for a girl’ ANNOYING! So I sat down and thought about how I would feel if it was another boy. Would I be sad? Disappointed? Not want the baby? The answer was No. I really just wanted another CHILD. Luckily, I had done that would searching cause I now have three boys! πŸ˜€. I have to tell u as well that I STILL have pangs for another baby. They are not as great as they were when I wanted a third child but I probably would have had more of my husband had wanted them but marriage is a compromise. I have just found other ways to be involved with kids and babies still. I am a family photographer now so I still get my baby fixes. Is that an option for you, or is it really your own child u want? I’m not sure this will help you but keep talking to your husband and thinking about what u really need and want and try and listen to that as well. I always think we regret the things we don’t do not what we do do but often the road to your dreams is hard. Sending love. X

    • Kate

      Yes! This! So often people say ‘oh it will be ok, just go with it’ etc etc. But this was huge in my marriage! My husband and I were waiting and deliberating over number three, and once we finally did, it nearly wrecked our relationship. There was lots of talk about how I forced him into it, and every time we had issues it became a sore spot. It took us a long time to work through all the mess after Bub. Not that all of our issues were because of having number 3- but it became a bit of a catalyst for the issues in our marriage.

      I also underestimated that financial toll that another baby would have on hubby. I had to go back to work a lot quicker with Bub than I wanted, and I found that really tough. and financially, having Bub has set us back a fair few years. In my mind it’s worth it, but I failed to realise how much stress it meant for my husband and how heavy the weight of financial responsibility is on him. It definitely isn’t a black and white thing.

      • Sandi White

        You are right Kate. Finances was also an issue in our marriage too.

        • Thanks for sharing, both of you. I’m someone who will always consider everything, so this will come into it all too. xx

  • Rach

    I always wanted 3 but felt totally done after number 2 arrived. I was handing out baby clothes and things as soon as he grew out of them. So very, very done. Pregnancy was hard on me physically and while I would do it again but I am done. So very done. So contently done and have been ever since he arrived. Our family just feels complete and I am so happy with that.

  • Lee Provest

    I wasn’t sure I wanted children but then I feel pregnant at 18. She is completely awesome but I thought that might be it. When I hit 30 I really wanted more kids. My husband wanted kids too. I wanted 3 more, he was undecided. We had a boy then 18 months later a girl. The moment she was born I knew that was it and I absolutely did not want any more children. My kids are amazing all completely different and sometimes I wonder what another one would look like but I absolutely do not want another.

  • Kate

    I think you have to be 100% sure that you want another child- not just a baby, and you need to be ok whichever gender it is. You also need to think of the logistics if things don’t go well (Bub isn’t healthy etc- could you guys handle it?) I must admit, this was my trouble. I wanted another baby and had an idea of what my family should look like. But the reality has been much harder than I thought. Especially because my husband did end up a bit resentful and angry- feeling like I forced him into the decision (even though I didn’t feel like i did!) I think it’s important to go into having an extra child with your eyes wide open- knowing hubs doesn’t really want it, and realising how hard it’s going to be. I know I romanticised it a lot. And I wish I hadn’t. I don’t regret my child. But I know that cluckiness was so incredibly strong in me. And it was much harder then I thought it would be.

    • Thanks Kate. I don’t care about the gender, and love babies, but also would love adding to my family. The concerns about accepting health conditions etc comes into every pregnancy – always a lot to think about. xx

  • Jessica Bennett

    I rarely post on these things. I have 3 beautiful children. When #3 arrived we were done. Family complete. Hubby went off and had the snip, all was fantastic life was good. But something changed around #3 turning 1, I wasn’t sure I was done. We talked about reversal but we weren’t sure. It’s hard. Its a huge decision plus that body ‘need’ is so hard to explain, I’m sure men don’t really get it.
    Today I’m happy with with 3. 3 is complete (maybe because school holidays have just ended and 3 have been sick). But if there’s a spontaneous reversal and I end up pregnant again I’m not sure I’ll be upset.
    My point is think that ‘complete’ feeling for me changes and moves. But if its not moving for you at all… I prescribe a night away with hubby to chat it through.

  • Carolyn Klein Lagattuta

    I just have one (she is now an amazing teenager) and was done after her. I thought I would want more, but she was all we needed and wanted. It was a right number for us, our personalities and lives.

    I think it’s important to make choices for you and your marriage. If your husband doesn’t truly want more and he ends up saying OK for you and then isn’t happy with more than what you have now, your whole family might crumble or not be as happy as you are now. But again – if you don’t have more, *you* might not be happy…

    It’s a hard road to navigate and I wish you lots of love and strength.

    And I am curious – is he ok with you sharing this?

    • Hey Carolyn, yeah he’s fine with me sharing this. πŸ˜‰

      Either way it’s a compromise and we both need to come to a place that we’re both comfortable with. We’re a team and we’ll work it out.

  • Kelly E

    Ohh I feel this! My husband had two already at a young age who were 16 and 12 when our daughter arrived. We agreed on one early in our relationship and I will want one more until the day it’s no longer possible I think. Sometimes I cry at every baby I see, some months I’m happy with our choice.

    He loves being a dad but the financial burden would be massive if we had more. With one I’ve been able to be at home with her for close on 4 years. I wouldn’t have that luxury with two.

    Of course I hope one day he might change his mind but I’ll never push it. Every day I’m thankful he was up for one more and I didn’t have to choose between my relationship and being a mum.

    Good luck.

    • Kelly E

      I should say though most of the time I’m totally content with just the one!

    • That’s a hard place to be, isn’t it? Good luck to you too. xx

  • Naomi

    Sometimes you don’t have a choice in how many children you have. Some don’t have enough or any children, some have more than they expected(unexpectedly). After years of IVF I had my miracle daughter. She is such a blessing. When she was three we decided to have another baby and I got pregnant but lost the baby in devastating circumstances. More IVF and more IVF, it almost ruined my life. I eventually came to accept that one was it for me. I had to have counselling and it has been five years now but I have well and truly come to be happy that I only have one child. I did mourn, I really did. Now I think it has been a blessing for my family to have one child. Like I said, you don’t always get a choice in the children you’re blessed with. I feel like you need to have a very frank discussion with your hubby and let him know how this is affecting you. Easier said than done. Please know in my experience you actually can move forward from this and accept whatever may be. Even become to be thankful for that. Thank you for sharing, I know how hard it is xxx

    • Thanks Naomi. I’m sorry for the difficult parts of your journey. A frank conversation has been had, and it was a bit amazing. xx

  • Ashley

    I always knew that I wanted 3 ever since I was tiny. My husband knew this upfront when we first met and was sort of ok with that but that we would see what happens. We had our first two 20 months apart and I distinctly remember minutes after giving birth to my second looking at my buss and and saying how could we not have a 3rd…everyone thought I was crazy in the delivery room. It took a lot of conversations and a few tears to decide that we would try for a 3rd and see what happens. Well I fell pregnant straight away. I think hubby found it hard when he was first born as he felt he had lost me to all the kids…but it was the best decision we ever made. I felt complete as soon as he was born and our family was too. We all absolutely adore him. I won’t say life with 3 is easy but for us it is so worth it. When the littlest was 2 if my hubby had said let’s have another I would have considered it as I just love babies but am so glad we had our 3. I know how hard those conversations are as I have been there and it is never easy. I hope you and your hubby manage to figure out what is best for your family xx

  • I had four babies, all daughters. I totally wanted ten, but at least six. I never had more, unfortunate circumstances and two failed marriages, glad that I didnt have more to the first and then none to the second exes. I have now met a lovely man thta I love ever so dearly and as a mature person, feel he is the one. We will not marry for personal reasons and both are too old for children. I feel an empty sadness for not having a second family, with only my bodies ‘used by date’ makes my choice. I am content with my life as it is but the wish for more babies still remains within; if this makes sense.

    • It absolutely makes sense. Thank you for sharing. x

      • Reading more responses to your letter have made me realise a few things here.
        I think my problem was Chantelle, I was too young when I had my children. I had no support from the babies father and he wasnt worthy of me or the children (without going into details). With support things would have been different, and I probably was trying to fill an empty gap in my life as babies put you into a very different world.

  • petallis

    We never discussed having kids before we got married, just knew that we want some – no number, just some. After two beautiful girls we said we were finished – then 8 years later came our son. After reading Leanne’s story below, ours is very similar. Our son was born profoundly deaf and autistic – and today I can’t imagine life without him. Good luck which ever way you choose to go, it is a decision only you and your family can make. AND the ROOSTERS are the best football team EVER!!!

  • Lauren Russo – Love_Live_Loz

    We had always said we’d have three or four and last december welcomed our third little treasure. I am SO BLESSED to have my babies and since our third came along hubby has said three is enough. The eipic loss of sleep and the daily noise and chaos is enough for him. I agree with him most days. Or perhaps I’m trying to convince myself that I agree with him. Because I too cry at each of the ‘lasts’ milestones. I drive around for weeks with bags of clothes in my car for the salvos because I just cant quite commit to them never being used by my babies again. I still feel that, despite all my hesitations or acknowledgments that perhaps its a bonkers idea…I am just not done growing our family.

    • The noise and chaos is what I think gets to Hubby, and the lack of sleep. It gets to me too, but would a third really add that much more to it? I have to wonder…

  • Kate McLean

    You have written this post so wonderfully sensitively Chantelle, it is really beautiful. I get it, I really do. After a miscarriage and then three perfectly healthy girls (now aged 10, 8 and 6) I would have loved another. Realistically, four kids is hard (logistically, financially, emotionally, physically). So I asked my husband – ‘if we were guaranteed a boy for number four, would you go there?’. His answer was no, so he booked in for the snip. I’ve had some regrets not pushing harder for number 4, but then I look at my beautiful, healthy, perfectly perfect family and I know that I’m blessed and so grateful to have what I have. We might just get a male puppy instead… x

  • Sarah Minchin

    We have 3 boys aged 16, 13 & 5. We didn’t plan to have 3 kids and were happy to stop after 2. Although I love kids, I didn’t find pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, the whole motherhood thing as easy as I’d hoped and I was happy to just move on with the children we had.
    Then we fell pregnant unexpectedly and by the time we realised how much we wanted it, we suffered a miscarriage. My heart was broken (and I’m still putting it back together again). We decided that we really did want a 3rd but it wasn’t easy. Previously we’d fallen pregnant without really trying, this time it took months and when I finally was pregnant I was told that things weren’t going well. There were antibodies in my blood which shouldn’t be there which were a sign of Rhesus disease and could potentially cause eyesight loss, hearing loss, brain damage or even the death of our unborn baby. We were lucky to get to 31 weeks before any medical intervention was needed but that didn’t work and he was born 2 months early and very, very sick. Thanks to the work of our wonderful NHS, he’s now a healthy, care-free 5-year-old.
    Long story short, we’ve been told that falling pregnant again would be pointless as my body has now learned this immune response and we wouldn’t carry anywhere near viability. I’m okay with that. After the miscarriage and the traumatic pregnancy, emergency delivery and 2 month stay in NICU / SCBU, I can’t go there again.
    I’ll hold other people’s babies and squidge their gorgeous chubbiness.

    • I didn’t know all this Sarah. I’m sorry that I didn’t know. Thank you for sharing… and he certainly is a cute 5 year old! x

      • Sarah Minchin

        Thanks Chantelle, we had a rough few years but things are much smoother now. Well, as smooth as they can be with 2 teenage boys (and a precocious 5-year-old) in the house! x

  • Rachel Rooker

    I feel very sad that we are done with children as well. I have/had horrible post pardum depression and don’t do well emotionally on little amounts of sleep… blah blah. I look at my two kiddos and feel like I could cry instantly at how much they’ve grown and how much I want another one. I feel your aches Mum and know that you are not alone <3

  • Monica Spilis Abel

    We didn’t discuss how many children we were going to have. We just knew we wanted kids. Our first attempt ended up with twins born 12 weeks early. With them being in the NICU for several months my husband was not willing to have any more as he didn’t want us or another baby to go through the heartache we endured all those months. However, God had other plans and 18 months after our twin girls were born, our son arrived. Full term I might add. We didn’t discuss it was the end but finances and babysitting issues kind of sealed the deal for us. We had our girls and our boy so in a way we were complete however we both said if circumstances were different, we would have liked to have rounded it out to an even four.

  • Vivienne Henderson

    I didn’t have choices I had accidents. I ended up with 1 out 4 of chosen but I did love them all, but it was really hard work at the time. They are all grown up now and have children and grandchildren of their own. They come with lots of heartache as well as joy, like Cara I found I only had 2 knees and 2 arms and someone always left out.

    • Vivienne Henderson

      PS I’m 70 now, things were different when I was young xxx

  • Emily Psaila

    Can I just say, not insensitive this is your story and I’m glad you told it because I feel the same ❀️

  • I’m so happy and proud of you for sharing! Nothing to feel negative about, I promise. *big bear hug*

    Before being married, we always thought that 2 would be our number since both of us come from a family of two children. We know how life is like to have a sibling to hate on as a kid and love so much more growing up.

    After getting married, the husband kind of starting having second thoughts about having two, using financial perspective in this modern time. I assured him that if our parents could do it in tough time, I don’t see why can’t we. Besides, it would be unfair to so many out there if we were to address such issues with money.

    However, now that I’m into the first pregnancy, husband had once again put on his convincing hat about having just one kid, seeing how unusually tough the first trimester had been for me. Right now, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that once he meet our Jr, he would change his mind.

    Of course, reminding him about the beauty of having another sibling seem to be working so far. So we shall see in a couple of years to come.

  • Chantelle I hear you loud and clear. I am a mother of four sons who regrets not having a fifth (so your not greedy) and at forty two I now think I’m too old to go back. What would people think ? Could I cope after so long between babies? (Seventeen years) my heart, my ovaries and my soul ache whenever a new babe is born. Do me a favour, if it’s something you truly want, have a deep conversation with your hubby before your like me xx

    • Thanks Beck. We had the conversation this week. There was lots of crying. Thank you. xx

      P.S. I don’t think it’s too late for you. I’m 37. x

  • Larissa

    I have 6 children, with the last 2
    Not being planned but lovely surprises! We both always wanted a big family of 5-6 but it’s hard work! I love Babies too and originally worked in childcare but I now know I’m definitely done because I could just not stretch myself any further! Good luck with the talk πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜β€οΈ

@Fatmumslim