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I am in the same situation you are in, Tertia. I have a beautiful boy (5) and a beautiful girl (2) and I SO want another one. We have 4 frozen embryos, but each try is about 10k and the last time we tried I had a dangerous cervical ectopic pregnancy that almost required a partial hysterectomy. My husband is nervous about the $/my health, but I do think we're going to try again because these children are my HEART. His too, of course. (And, my son keeps saying he wants us to have another baby!!!) How can we not try? By the way, I'm 43, so I'm a little long in the tooth, but these babies keep me YOUNG!!

Stacey

It's funny, childless (clueless) as I am, after I posted yesterday encouraging you to try for a third, I was had lunch with two friends. One fellow has a third child, an oops! baby that arrived when his wife was 43 or 44.

The other's wife is in her early 30s and about to give birth to their second baby.

I asked the fellow who's about to become a dad for the second time if he was afraid of what a second child would do to his marriage. He was completely unconcerned and confident that everything would be great.

But the father of three told a grim tale of a marriage whose joy and love seems to have vanished more completely with each child. He's sad about it; he still loves his wife and really misses what they had together before they had children. He's crazy about his kids, too; he wanted them very much and is devoted to them, and I know he wouldn't change being a parent for the world, but I really got the feeling that he grieves for the loss of the love that he and his wife shared.

It's a pretty typical story: he thinks he works like a dog to support his family (he does) and she resents him enormously because she's exhausted and overwhelmed with childcare and she thinks that he doesn't help her enough. (As far as I can tell he does absolutely nothing with his time but (1) work to support his family and (2) spend time with his kids, but then I haven't really heard her side of it.)

It's a really sad story because he loved her so much and she as good as left him when the kids came.

It struck me that they paid a huge price for their kids.

He hopes that they have time left together to recover the joy they once had, but because their kids were so spaced out, by the time the youngest is out of the house, they'll have spent thirty years of their marriage completely subordinating their own needs to those of their kids.

Wow - that was so beautifully said. Perfect. You stated so clearly the complexity of this issue ... one big plus - bigger than anything that could be meausured!! - that weighs against the minuses, and yet it's still such a hard decision. Thank you.

Another thing to consider, T, is that having children of different ages is a whole new ballgame, too.

Imagine the Best Moments of Adam and Kate interacting together. When they're getting along so adorably, and are so clearly bonded, that you feel it couldn't possibly get any better. Now imagine your heart about to burst, seeing Kate and/or Adam interacting with a younger sibling... being tender and gentle, perhaps sticking up for them, wanting to teach them "big kid" things...

Of course, there will be the not-so-lovely moments of bickering etc., but you already experience that, I'm sure (as happens when you have more than one!). And yes, there's the "downside" of having to go through the baby stage again, but at least you aren't so "far removed" from that experience that it'll be SUCH a stretch.

I agree that the intellectual exercise of a pro/con list doesn't necessarily fit when it comes to matters of the heart. If you feel incomplete, I think you ought to do you best to expand your family... because regret is a bitch.

Victoria, I've heard a version of that story more than once. There has to a way to avoid it, but I'm not sure what it is.

Tertia, I know what you mean. The presence of someone in your life you love so completely is like nothing else.

It's always your call, T. Do what you feel is right for your people and your life. Ultimately, that's the only audience you have to please or make any sense for. ;-}

totally off topic, but this is a post i hope kate and adam and any other child(ren) you may have read in years to come. beautifully, poignantly, powerfully written.

you are perfectly right and I understand you very well. BUT: to really enjoy this love, you also need to be relaxed. if you aren't, you won't feel it at all or so deeply. you will be stressed.
I have only one child (3 years) and I really wanted to have a second one as he was a baby. then I split up with his father (exhaustion on both sides, not only but also because of our pretty stressful son at the time). almost all my friends with kids were pregnant with a second and I felt really bad.
now, one, two years later, I'm very happy with my situation. I enjoy having a life of my own, I enjoy not being stressed because of my son anymore. and I enjoy my time with him very much.
I don't exclude having a second child (huhu, are there some good, single guys in SA?!?) in a few years. but due to my age and the fact that I would like to have a solid relationship, if I decide to have a second child, it is pretty unlikely that this will happen. and I don't feel bad about that. I think my mummy-hormones are gone back to normal at last. ;-)

Beautiful! Im so glad you put it into words....and im with you totally.

I didn't comment yesterday because I really didn't have anything to add. I don't think I would have anything to add that would help you make the decision, personal as it is.

I did want to say though, that I am having the same thoughts for myself but you described it all so perfectly. It doesn't get us anywhere though decision-wise but descibes perfectly why I am at an impasse.

Oh, Tertia. What a beautifully written post.

The only thing I have learned from reading all these comments, I think, is how intensely personal these decisions are: how much they depend on your self and context.

I will say that you seem to want this so badly that maybe you should just go for it. The boobs were supposed to be in trade for that last frozen transfer not working out, no? So, they didn't do the trick for you. You are still turning this over in your head, thinking about it. If you keep on coming back to it again and again, that says something.

Maybe one thing to consider is what kind of path you'd take. Just doing your normal thing, hoping there might be another natural pregnancy, but not actually? The techniques you used before? Is there some kind of a "middle way" that you would be comfortable with, that would give you a child but perhaps reduce some of the emotional wear and tear of the process? (Donor egg--although I don't know your background so I don't know if that would help--, even adoption, etc.)

Whatever you choose, I hope that you feel you've made the right choice.

I love your "on paper" analysis. Somewhere I read that "on paper", a bee can't fly, either. Supposedly it's aerodynamically impossible. But, they do!

I never believed that I could love anyone as much as I love my son. Just thinking of how much I love him brings tears to my eyes.

Yeah. The love. Is wonderful.

Well Tertia, I know how you feel about the desire of wanting to have another child. I however do not have trouble conceiving. Anyway, I do have three children and one more would be great! My husband is however settled on 3. It is very costly and tiring but the love is great. Theres nothing like it in the world.
You know, if you have another child, the pregancy will be more tough and when the baby is born, the next 6 months will be so tough on you but, after that, you just forget all about the tiredness, fussing and all that stuff. Just like that. Life certainly is easier when the baby turns one year old and they sure do grow fast.
It is tough decision for you in your situation. Just make sure you wont regret it. Maybe sit on it for the next 3-6 months without the pill and re-evaluate and see if you really want to go for it or not.
Good Luck

When I was convincing my husband to try for child #2, he asked me why I wanted another so badly. I said I felt that there was still a lot of love inside me to give, and it was more love than one child could hold. Today, with 2 children and a husband, it feels just right. As though I have the perfect amount of love to go all around and my family is just the right size. You should trust your instincts on this; you know how much love you have to give.

I believe the really hard part is when they are young. T., you have said it yourself that you hated the infancy stage (I did too!). You would need to be mentally prepared to go through that again, although, this time I am sure it would be easier with only one and with the experience you now have.
It would, however, be a killer first 3 years. Tough on you, on the kids, marriage. (BTW.. i would put off any discussions of new puppies until you resolve this baby thing).
I think that people erroneously believe that having a famiy can be like a fairy-tale. Having children means completely subordinating your wants and needs to that of your children who are dependent upon you. Completely and unequivocally. After the first few years when they are older and more independent i think you will get your life back, your marriage back on track, etc.
Patience is the key here...
My concern for you, my friend, is that you are extremely overwhelmed with what is currently on your plate and in a constant battle with your depression and achieving a perfect balance of your AD's. Although i don't believe you are "done" and should continue to try for ONE more child, you must be prepared for the downsides. (You know i would sooner eat glass than have another child after having twins, yet, i know you feel differently so I advise accordingly).
If you can get through the first few (very)hard years with another child, i think it would be fine. Your kids would be close enough in age so that it wouldn't feel like you were spending your entire life on their young childhood.
I really don't think you would regret trying it, or, doing it. I think you may regret not trying, or, doing it.
Life should not have any "forseeable" regrets.

Absolutely spot on, Tertia. Beautiful writing.

Tertia,

It's not an easy choice. I guess that you can only make the best decision with the information you have and the way you feel NOW. If only's are tough down the track...

J

Will you regret it in 10 years?

What a lovely post. I knew you weren't done, especially after reading your thoughts the last time you almost got over the line. When the time comes for me to make this decision, I intend to look at it the same way as I do IVF - you keep going until it is actually easier to stop than to continue. For as long as your mind, wallet and courage can hold out. Best of luck xxx

My toddler is 2.5 years old. Before his birth, I wasn't sure how many children I would like to have. His arrival and my ever-increasing love for him made up my mind that four children would be a perfect family for me/us, regardless of how much (in)fertility treatment was required to get there. My twins are only a month old and I'm already planning the next cycle -- that's how greedy I am for mommy love.

I'm just curious. If you were to get pg again, would your boobs grow larger? Stay the same? Would your sexy Dr. Dirk have to take another stab at them? Horrible questions, horrible, but this being internet and all, we ask the questions we haven't the balls to ask in real life. Good on you for all that honesty. We can hide from just about anything except our true feelings - always pop out eventually. And no one can really give opinions on your degree of done-ness. You is or you ain't. And it sounds like you ain't.
SO what's the game plan?

they are SOOOOO worth any risk. don't stop wanting them; don't stop trying.

Haha! I am not sure what it would do to the boobs. But if they do need a bit of maintenance work afterwards, I will be taking them along to Dr Dirk indeed.

This is lovely, Tertia. I know exactly what you mean.

My personal feeling (which is completely going off my own situation & what I've seen around me - I'm not an expert and I know others feel differently) is that actually adding a third child would be OK. Wonderful, even. But getting to the point where you've got that third child could be emotionally very hard. Which is a big DUH statement, of course. You know bloody well that it could be very hard.

Having another baby in the house would be difficult in terms of sleeplessness, worrying about Adam and Kate coping, worrying about still trying to connect with Marko, and the usual baby problems of getting him/her to sleep, eat. Getting the baby over developmental humps. But in your case some of this would be easier because you've done it with two before, so you have the experience that any second-time mother would have, but you also have lower expectations in that previously you had to worry about getting two babies to sleep and now you'll only have to worry about one. There would be some hiccups that you won't have expected because your third will be unlike K & A in some ways, but again you'll be ahead of lots of second-time mothers because you already know that K & A aren't exactly alike each other.

There are so many wonderful reasons to have a third baby. And I know exactly what you mean about "mommy love". It would be lovely for you to watch your three kids begin to get on with each other, and man! Adam & Kate would be so excited about a baby in mummy's tummy.

I know there are emotional, physical, and financial issues involved with trying to get pregnant again and have a healthy baby. I can't begin to imagine how daunting those must be - you've been through so much horrible stuff.

For what it's worth, I hope you can make a decision that suits you all down to the ground, and it *works* for you. Whether you decide to keep trying then have to give up after a year, or you decide not to try, or you decide to keep trying until you hit menopause (which won't be for another 20 years because you're too G&D) and then you get pregnant within 6 months with a beautiful baby who comes out full term after a 3 hour labour (ha!) and has no health issues.

Tertia, I hear you totally. We started with pets and suddenly found ourselve with 2 cats and 2 dogs because, I argued over and over again, all we're really doing is adding love to our lives.

Now that we've lost two daughters and managed to hang onto one, we're about to embark on trying again? Why? It's all about the love. The loss is hell -- as you know. It puts sleep deprivation and financial insecurity to shame. Nothing is worse than losing a child. But even though the babies are gone, our hearts are changed. Mine got bigger with every daughter I delivered. Even broken, my heart is bigger. And better. I am a better person -- more patient, more loving, more forgiving. Less judgmental. Those are gifts from my children.

It's true that you have to decide what's right for you, and you will. From where I sit, though, feeling much of what you're feeling, what is right for *me* is creating more of that love. It's corny corny corny, but that mommy love makes the world a better place. And it makes coping with hardship a little bit easier.

Good luck with your decision.

Tertia,

I'm late to the game here, but something to keep in mind is that although you have 2 kids, you only had one experience doing the child-rearing, infant stage. And the first stab at that is ALWAYS hell. As I said to someone recently it's the dirty little secret of motherhood that no-one ever shares. The first time is so so hard we think we never want to have kids again, but the next time is much easier. Not because the second kid is different, but because we finally actually know what we are doing. Sleep, feeding, discipline, potty training, all of it, love helps, but damn girl, now you have SKILLZ.

For me my first just about killed me, but my second living child has been a breeze by comparison. I don't have twins, but I know many twins parents, and they are so much more work. A singleton would not be the same.

You can't pre-judge the next experience by the past, simply because you are not the same woman you were before. You are not the same Mom.

As for the pregnancy outcome? Technology is not the same as it was then. We have newer and better drugs, better treatments for preventing preterm birth like progesterone shots. (not PIO, something different.) There is no reason to believe that you would face the same risks as you did before.

As for your marriage, lots of people with one baby or none at all get divorced. If you two set aside time for yourselves, and keep talking, you will make it. If you don't, well another baby isn't going to change that.

I know you'll do the best for yourself and your family, I'll be reading along to find out what happens next!

You will make the best decision. I'm happy you feel this love, it warmed my heart to read it.

Just one little thing: they won't hate you when they're teens! They will find their own identity and resent some of the stuff you have become inflexible in - which might make you learn a thing or two - and you will still be the same funny, adorable, understanding, loving mum - they might not listen to you all the time - but they won't hate you.

I think this is a myth. I have three teenagers currently and none of them or their friends show any signs of adult-hate.

Don't expect it, it's not going to happen. I find teen age a wonderful time of exchange, mutual learning and respect for my clever, independent kids.

I just had to say it. There are no hard times ahead with the two wonderful children you have.

You are really a solar person, you radiate warmth and brightness, this is what makes your readers so loyal to you. As the sun of your family's lives, you will make the right decision.

All the best to you!!!

I keep thinking that wanting a third child is selfish, but that first phrase... "I want more Mommy Love." TOTALLY IT. COMPLETELY!!! Part of me wants to give up the idea of adoption, but how could I walk away from another chance to have a baby? Another pregnancy could very well kill me, and adoption is hideously expensive, but a baby... A precious, precious baby... Oy...

Tertia - I am behind on the posting, but just read on the 'wanting another child' debate and felt the need to comment. I was in the same boat as you, just a bit younger. I ended up with triplets, after considerably less hardship than you to get them, but still felt like I wanted another. Everyone (including DH) thought I was crazy. I came from a small family, but knew I wanted a large one of my own from the get-go. I was excited to have triplets (after they arrived safely, of course). I still just always had that feeling of 'one more.' A pregnancy with one, a time to relish having just one, a different experience and another member for our family. I tried every single month I could, and miraculously, one month it happened. I knew neither myself nor DH would do the treatment route again, so this was seriously a miracle. DH was scared out of his mind, I was only scared about having another miscarriage, and everyone else seemed weirded out by the idea of having yet another...not to mention those comments about having one without any 'help.' Fast forward and she is now 2 and my triplets are 6. I wouldn't change anything. Having the experience again knowing it was my last (my DH made sure of it), I savored things I wasn't able to the first time around. I enjoyed parts of it I couldn't the first time. I was able to have a VBAC. Everything was different...except for that love part. That IS truly the best part about parenthood. The greatest high as you mentioned. And the part I didn't expect? The wonderful interaction of a younger sibling. It's been wonderful to watch the multiple bond (and still is) but add in a baby sister and wow, I have been in awe from day one. More awesome than my wildest dreams. Of course the little one is growing up much faster having older siblings, but the interaction between them all is something I can't even put in to words. I consider myself incredibly blessed, and while at times I do feel stretched thin, I have more love in my heart than ever. That's my story and my experience for whatever it's worth. Good luck with your decision!

I know how sensitive people on "fertility blogs" are about the a. word, but I gotta ask. Have you ever thought about adoption? Seems it might be a way to fulfill more of that mommy love you so crave, while giving your body a break.

i think you should go for it if you feel the desire that deeply but one question - is there a chance you would have TWO more (twins), rather than just one? and is that something you'd be up for???

I am not a fan of more than two kids for myself. I have two (a boy and a girl) and am thrilled. As much as I love children and teenagers (mine are now teens), I personally am not someone with loads of emotional energy. Having children takes a lot of physical time but also as the kids get older, it takes a lot of emotional time. You need to be present when they are ready to need you. If you consider that having another one now would mean that you would be X age when they are teenagers, please ask yourself, will I have the energy for them? Be really clear with yourself. The love one has with one's children is unbelievable, but the reality is that if you find marriage hard with two, just add another. If you do the math, it is also not must an addition of one more, it is a mulitple of the relationship of that one to each of the other people in your home. It is sort of like square roots or something. There is a joke here that says: "never let them outnumber you". The joke is just a funny thing to say, but there is a lot of truth in it. Right now you are pretty overwhelmed from what I read so I would not personally add one more thing. Wanting more children is not the same as actually having more. I often want more. Even now that I am almost 50, I often think of more, but I know I would not be the proper mother that I am to my two now. That is my 2 cents.

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