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Tertia~

I didn't comment on the last post, we just had to make the same decision and it's still so fresh.

I don't have that satisfied "done" feeling either. I can so relate to your comment about always wanting more regardless of how many we have. But we ARE DONE and my tubes have been tied (like I need them to get pregnant- haha!). I wanted a singleton pregnancy for the same reasons as you, to have that normal experience. It ended up being more complicated than my twins and I still had a preemie. Even though we still have 2 frozen embies, we won't use them because pregnancy is too risky for me and my babies.

I'm hoping that for some the done feeling comes from making the decision. I keep telling everyone and their sister that we are done and I have given away all the baby clothes except the ones on the baby's back! I think sometimes I am trying to convince myself!

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes what your brain knows, your heart doesn't. There is so much emotion tied up in this discision. I wish I were one of the people that feels done. I know I am done. I love our family. But sometimes it's still hard to say out loud and to act on, kwim? It's OK to close the door.

Infertility is such a bitch. It still screws with you, even when you are done having kids.

Wow. Thanks for posting this. It surprises me, because I was one of the ones who said, "Oh Tertia, just do it!" But what you write here makes sense to me.

I am facing a similar decision, and in my case I realize that -- if I can have another child at all -- there are 2 different universes in front of me to choose from. Both involve a nuclear family consisting of me, DH, and our child(ren), with a larger family outside of that including, among others, my 2 adult stepchildren (DH's children), any kids they have in the future, and DH's and my many, many nieces and nephews. But in universe 1, the nuclear family numbers 4 and we are more confined, in terms of not being easily able to travel and being more invested in our jobs because we need to support both kids. In universe 2, the nuclear family numbers 3 and we are less tied down and able to devote more time to the extended family.

Both are good universes. The one I think I prefer is universe 1, but DH definitely prefers universe 2. We haven't picked one for sure yet, and even if we agree to aim for universe 1, we may not get there.

All of which is a self-centered (!) way of saying, maybe there are different universes you and Marko can direct yourself toward (some you could choose, some you can only aim for) each of which has its own lovely features. It's frustrating that we cannot pick the best features of each universe and conglomerate them into one, but there it is.

Hi Tertia,
Sorry in advance for the long and rambling post -- You are right when you say that you may never feel done...my mom is 56, post menopausal with 4 grown children and 13 grandchildren and she says she wishes she could have one more right now. For the reasons that you list - That wonderful baby love! When she was in her 40's she said it was a good thing that she had her tubes tied, otherwise she would have just kept having babies ( despite the fact that she couldn't financially afford them). Once she hit menopause she said that even though the feeling is still there - it isn't nearly as bad as it was. And it isn't regret that she feels as it was the right decision to stop, but that doesn't make the longing go away. She now only has occasional thoughts of it. One of the commenters on the other post said that "You know when you know" if you are done. I think that for some people that is true...I KNOW with no uncertainty that as much as I love and adore my children, and as much as I love oohhing and ahhing over new babies, I don't want anymore. Sure I have moments where it makes me sad that the childbearing phase of my life is over - actually just had one - I said to my husband the other day " Ya know, Sophie will be 3 in July - she's not a baby anymore - and that makes me kind of sad" His monotone response while not looking up from his dinner plate " Doesn't make me sad - not one little bit." But for some people, the wanting feeling never goes away. I have several friends who are the same way...one in particular has 4 children and is wanting more despite the fact that it will put extreme financial strain on the family. Sometimes I think that as hard as it is, you have to think with your head and not your heart and just be content and happy with what you have. It sounds like that is what you are doing.

I also read Sister Mel's response and think that she speaks very wise words. She probably knows you better than anyone...she saw what you went thru to have Adam and Kate and I think it speaks volumes that she doesn't want to see you go there again.

I know that this is a hard decision for you . I hope that you will find peace in the decision that you make.
Laura

I know what you mean about having to make a decision. I wanted to choose a path for my family, and go down that path, too. I am so much more content now that we have. It is done - no more wobbling or second guessing. It is still very emotional to get rid of the maternity clothes and schedule the vasectomy and purge the attic of all the outgrown baby clothes, toys, and equipment. But I am content with the decision since it is made. I don't think "baby hunger" ever goes away - that is why we all beg our children to give us grandchildren when they get to be the right age.

Hi Tertia,

Your post really made me think. I have a three month old adorable baby boy and this topic has been on my mind a lot. I told my husband (and everyone else) that I was fine with just having one baby (he has two teens from a previous marriage that we have joint custody of) but I didn't know how amazing having a baby would be!

I have time to make a decision (I'm 34) but not too much time (I'm 34). I wonder if it's financially responsible to even consider it. I wonder how I'd ever find the time to have two babies and two teens at the same time. But most of all, I wonder if we'll regret it if we don't have another child.

Just before reading your post I read this: http://babyonbored.blogspot.com/. Food for thought. I also just found out recently that my sister is having another baby, her third at 24 years old & she and her boyfriend don't have near the financial security we do. Talk about throwing caution to the wind! Our good friends had twins yesterday, and I was so happy for them but also kind of jealous. I'm just all over the place!

I guess I'm posting to tell you that you aren't the only one having these conflicted, heart wrenching, mind blowing feelings. I'm pretty sure you know that already, but it never hurts to hear someone say "me too!". Although we didn't struggle with infertility the way you did (it just took us a REALLY long time to get pregnant) I can relate to your fear of regret. And alas, also your desire to keep things just the way they are.

Hugs,
Melissa

I don't have any clear advice for you, as you made compelling arguments in both columns. But I would say that I don't think the list of pros and cons is the right way to make such a decision. One of my favorite sayings is that you should "Make small decisions with your head and big decisions with your heart." And I think that's very true ... I also realize that it conflicts directly with one of the above commenters, so I can appreciate that not everyone feels this way, but for me, I am a firm believer in going with your gut.

I also didn't comment on the last post, but it was helpful to me to read all the comments. I am going through the exact same thing (minus the infertility). My head thinks that we have more than enough children (three) but sometimes my heard aches for one more. I feel the same way as the above posters; I think that maybe, as a woman, we never lose that longing for children. Maybe it's just a natural thing that we'll always feel. Although, I hope that with time I'll become more immersed in the children I already have, and forget that I feel a need for another!

So, I made the same decision, and we are done. But I still feel a tinge of sadness over it. It's not as cut and dry as I'd hoped it would be.

I love your honesty and sincerity.

I am so surprised by your decision. I thought with all the thought going into it that you'd definitely have more. I'm so happy for you that you've made a decision though.

Completely understand - "see what happens" is not great advice for women nearing 40 with infertility issues. It is nice in theory, but it really isn't practical. In my case, "see what happens" is the same as "don't have another," b/c it won't just happen on its own. And the mental and emotional closure is important, if you decide the factory is closed.

Can't tell from your post if you have decided or not?

Buddy is fixed. I've had to come to terms with the fact that there will be no more babies in my future. And I don't know that any woman feels ready to let go of it completely. It's a rite of passage in some ways, though I think there is a psychological fear that it means you're careening towards your funeral at a breakneck pace. You don't make babies anymore, therefore you must be old, right?

Wrong. But I think these are the growing pains that come along with realizing that.

Or maybe that's just me.

I'm nowhere done with my family, so I cannot really say what direction might be best for you.

What I can say is this: My mother wanted another child, tried for another child, and gave up (fairly) quickly when difficulties arose. She is now going through menopause and very sad that she didn't keep trying. She wonders what life would be like with another child, who would now be a teenager. My aunt thought she was done with 2, waited about seven years, had some heartbreaking moments during a subsequent pregnancy, but now has another child. She doesn't regret one minute of it. You never regret a child when you have one, though you may always regret not having a child...

tertia, I know you are a busy bean but if you get the gap,pop over to my blog and read my entry from last Friday. (I AM NOT PUNTING MY BLOG!!!) It is SUPER SHORT but it speaks to the heart of this issue. You and me are in the exact same space. We are "done" in our heads (practicalities etc) but our hearts will never be done sista.

xx

Aah mother love, its so fierce, so intense, so delicious. Now I have a solution, seriously.... God love. As you get to expereince His love you want more and more of it. You feel desired, affirmed, adored and you get to love Him back with a love as big as mother love. Remember I told you it was like 'e'.... take the drug, have the fix, have the rush and you don't even have to have the no-downer-no- Oprah day. When I try and imagine how much God loves me, I think about how much I love my kids and I know its even greater than that. Winner hey!

I look at my two beautiful daughters and think, "How can I possibly look at them and say they're not enough, that I have to have more to feel complete, when they're everything?" and in the same thought I think, "How can I possibly look at them and say that we're finished, when there are kids inside me that we haven't had the chance to meet yet?"

It's so hard. I hope that you can find some sense of peace with your decision. Hugs to you.

Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

I got the IUD put in when I realized it isn't more kids that I want, it's grandkids :-)

Actually, we're in a similar place right now. I got an IUD so that I wouldn't make any rash decisions and "forget" to use BC at the wrong time (unlikely to make a difference anyway, but not impossible). My husband and I have set some goals for ourselves (financial, educational, physical) and have decided that in two years (I'm 35 now), if we have met them and feel the same way about more kids, that we can try again, either to get pregnant or to adopt. If we haven't met them, trying to have another child would not be fair to the ones we have. This makes me feel more in control of the decision, and is allowing me to be at peace with having only two right now.

I think it is particularly hard for those of us who have spent so much time being defined by our ability, or lack thereof, to have children to stop making that a focus in our lives. Besides, my mother tells me the desire to have another baby wear some of the cute clothes I still have is NOT a good reason to keep having kids.

tertia, i thought i was done with babies after having 5 pregnancies, two miscarriages, one cot death, and two beautiful beautiful girls that survived. my last two pregnancies miscarried, and my husband at that time had a vasectomy because the hurt and grief of the 3 losses was just too painful.

that marriage failed a few years later, and at 40 i married the love of my life - really. we decided we would not have kids - my two were 22 and 19, and that was that.

well, ha ha, amelia, the baby who decided for us that we were in fact to have a child, is now 9 months old. i was 46 when i had her, scared silly, worried that i couldn't cope. but - i could not have asked for a better way to have a child. she decided, not me. and i don't imagine my world without her. watching andrew with his daughter is one of the greatest joys i have known.

your heart knows what is right for you, trust it. you will manage whatever you decide.

you have enough room for more babies in that heart of yours, and plenty love for the ones you have if you decide no.

enjoy the moment; now is all we have. we can't control the future, or the past. this is it - so make the most of it.

xxx

Tertia, I really do not think you will regret things. Like you said, live in the moment. No "what ifs". I truly believe that you would be having another for the wrong reason and think of all the heartache you could go through trying to have another. That would be years you would not get back. I think that you are placing too much importance on happiness depending on how many kids you have. I think you will be happy no matter what but it really doesnt' matter whether you have had 1 kid or 10. Treasure what you have and live with no regrets. I'm not saying you should not have one, but it sounds like you may be leaning that way and when I read your posts it seems like you are at such a great place and your sister's comment really should be one you take to heart since she knows you (and most of us do not). She has seen you go through it and can give an outsider view of what she saw. I hope you find peace with your decision either way and I can understand needing to make the choice now rather than just "wait and see". I think that is asking for a lot of heart ache and unknown. Good luck to you!

Good for you, Tertia. I'm glad you're reaching a decision that you can be comfortable with. You could always mark your calendar to think about it again in a year, and see if anything has changed. But I think you will be even more happy with your life and your family, as the children grow.

Our triplets are 8 now, and watching them grow up is still sometimes bittersweet as they leave each stage behind, and we don't get to do those things again with another child. But my feeling is nostalgia, love and regret for past happy times, not a fierce longing for another baby. I can live with that. I know how incredibly lucky we are to have our three children, the joys of our hearts. And I know you feel the same way.

I'm done as well.
We have two stunning girls
But...
My husband has been hinting
about a boy.
Dunno if I can go though all that again.
Sometimes I feel like a bad mum
I just want my life back.

The older I get, the more I'm realizing that with many things it's a choice to look back with regret or not.

My only child is 16 now. In the thick of it, I simply could not envision the life I live today. But something unexpected happened when we drew the line in the sand and said "enough." I found peace.

My wonderful husband is also irritatingly logical and decided he was done being sad, done wondering "what if" and ready to move on. It took me awhile to catch up. I grieved the end of the road, truly the end of the road. I feared the regrets. I cried, a lot.

But I got ready and gave him the okay. Now, there is only the way forward. And you know what, I had no idea how much head and heart space I'd been giving to a possible child instead of not only to my family but to myself.

Now we make plans about jobs, schools, the future without the "what if." I spent so much time worrying about regretting that I completely unestimated how good the life that unfolded instead was going to be. I knew I loved my husband and my kid, I knew how lucky we were. But now I really live in that space of gratitude.

It may sound a bit crazy, but if we'd kept on the "trying" path, then I would not have known to regret what I was missing. Does that make sense? If we'd kept trying, I would not have known that the road untaken included a more solid marriage, such strong ties to my kid, more involvement with the rest of my family and dear friends and, wonderfully, reconnecting with the other dreams and hopes I have for my own life.

Which is not to say that I do not have the occasional dark night. But I cannot wrap my arms around that regret and carry it with me anymore. My life and heart are too full of the things I am able to dedicate my energy and resources too.

As with anything fertility related, I have no idea what anyone else should do as I've barely figured myself out! But I wanted to share with you a different angle. I'm a woman who never felt done, who probably could have fought for years longer but who got bumped/jumped to a different path. Was it the right one? There's now way to know! Instead of letting that dictate my feelings about it, I've decided it was the right decision and that's what really count.

Best of luck to you!

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