Whether or not to attempt to spawn further offspring has been a topic on pretty high rotation here of late.
When Holly was first born I got the full dose of mummy hormones after she came out the front door (as opposed to the sun roof like her brother) relatively drug free and a pretty straightforward birth. Right away I was declaring that a third baby was definitely on the cards but I think that had more to do with the fact that I was basically high. It’s like taking ecstasy for the first time and deciding right then and there it is so fun that you want to do it 500 more times.
Exhilarating but not overly practical or realistic and more than a wee bit life altering.
Fast forward almost 15 months and I am tired. Holly doesn’t always sleep through and is currently in what I consider to be the most shit phase of parenting – the dreaded 12mths – 2 year zone. Here they have all the energy and no awareness and it all comes on the back of 12 months of pretty much no sleep. It totally sucks. I fucking HATE it.
Love her, hate the zone.
Both my kids are eternally whiny along with it. At the moment if her brother is not at home H will essentially just follow me around the house whining and pulling on my leg so I pick her up or sit down and play with her. I LOVE to play with her but apparently I also need to run a house and feed the other people who live here and all that jazz. So play time can’t be had all day long.
Anyway, I digress. You get the picture, full on time with the baby, super tired, no juice left in the tank, blah blah.
Thankfully my first child is almost 6 so I know that this intense phase does actually pass and after that for me, parenting is pretty rad. There are still shit times but the phases seem to progress more quickly or something.
Because of this my ideal time for falling pregnant with another is around the time the youngest is 2. It’s a bit easier to deal with all the fatigue when your kid isn’t so intense. But of course we aren’t spring chickens (40 and 47) and have battled secondary infertility before so delaying getting started probably isn’t the best idea. This is what M thinks. M said if we’d started younger he’d want 7 kids so the idea of 3 is pretty appealing to him. He is all “get your skates on” about it.
And then there’s all the relationship stuff. I thought we were all done for and broken around Easter but we’ve actually managed to climb back from ashes and stronger than ever too which has been a massive surprise to me. Funnily enough, I think considering the third child has actually helped us. We have both had commitment issues because of where we came from which I think in some ways has prevented us from being truly “all in” with each other. But if we go down the third child path we know that it has to mean we are all in and that for better or worse we have actually chosen each other and that concept has actually been quite freeing. We pretty much had to give up the concept of leaving each other and when we did it opened us to commit.
Pretty amazing really.
A third child would break that a bit. A new baby is pretty much the hardest time on your relationship and adding a third just brings more mess, more jobs, and less fun stuff at least in those early days. I think we would actually crack under the pressure quite a bit and that really doesn’t seem all that fun.
But you know what does seem like fun? Imaging our 3 kids grown up and having kids of their own and being there together as grandparents and having these awesome family gatherings That vision brings tears of happiness to my eyes. I am actually welling up a little while writing this. Seriously. And that’s what we have kids for, isn’t it? Not the few shit years in the beginning where it is all give give give and will I ever be able to stop breastfeeding and drink wine again, but the joy that it brings us later in life when they are grown and making families and lives of their own and time for drinking wine is a-plenty! This is the picture my heart wants.
Oh, wow. As I wrote that last sentence I realised I have actually made my decision. I just hadn’t got my head round to it yet. Fascinating.
Even having this realisation feels exhausting though. I know my cycle too well. I can’t stop watching it after all that we’ve been through so to make a decision to enter a world of trying to conceive again I know I am entering into a world of endless cycle watching and analysis.
We will not try to the extent we did with Holly. There will be no IVF, there will be no endless cycles of hope. I will go back and have my endo looked at and removed if need be and then give it a set time-frame and then move on. The universe can have the last say on this one.
I’m really interested in hearing from others who have three kids – what made you decide it was the right thing to do? How have you found the transition?
Or those with two, would you have had a third if that option was available to you? And if it was up to you to stop at two, what was the deciding factor?