February 24, 2011,
E.T. asks from Stafford, VA on February 22, 2011
I Want a 3Rd Baby, Husband Does Not. HELP!
I am sobbing as I am typing this.
My husband and I are at a stand still about this. We have two wonderful children, one girl (4) and one boy (2) and I have this uncontrollable urge to have another baby. Its not a new thing, I've felt this way for 11 months. I never felt like I was done having kids, but my husband feels otherwise. He is adamant about not wanting another one, to the point where he will not have sex with me when he knows I'm ovulating. We have had this "baby argument" four times over the past six months and I don't know what to do. I can't keep going through this month after month, each time I get my period its like a downward depression spiral for a few days as I lament over the fact I am not pregnant. I feel like I've lost a baby that I was never even pregnant with!! My son is two and a half! Is this hormones?? Am I crazy?? I can't seem to get it out of my head! And to make matters worse a good friend, who I have talked to about this, just got pregnant with her 3rd and its killing me. My husband says I should see a counselor or therapist or something, like that will magically make this better! I hate this. He is willing to get a vasectomy, but because of his job I have to sign the paper and I just don't think I could do it. He says hes not opposed to it if it were a surprise baby, but there is no chance of that happening. He knows how much this hurts me each month but I can't make it stop. Its been almost a year. What on earth do I do?? How do I get over this?? How do I get past this??
So What Happened?™
My husband and I are both 27. I wish it was a clock ticking thing, but to me it is. We are getting to a point in his career (and mine) where if we need to be done having kids, it needs to be in the next year or so, hence the urgency in me to get pregnant. We have talked seriously about it, the pros, the cons, and I’ve tried to listen to his reasoning but all I hear is rational logical arguments, and all I have are emotional wishy washy “I don’t feel our family is complete” arguments. I've listened to his fears (what if the baby has down syndrome? What if we get pregnant with twins?) and they all seem silly to me and I don’t believe them and even as I type this I can see how horrible it is for me to not give his argument any credence, but I just can’t make myself rational about this. It bothers me that I am much more emotional about this. He knows I would never trick him, and our bc right now is luck, which is why he abstains during that magical ovulation window each month. I feel like he is focusing on the negative, the worst case what if scenarios and not on how wonderful another baby would be.
The therapy thing, yeah, I just thought that was him being a jerk. His solution for everything is go to therapy or go to a doctor but never does himself. But after so many of you have suggested this I think I will give it a try. I’ve got a call into my OB to see if there is someone she recommends. I feel like this is post-partum in reverse so hopefully it will help me get through this. And I am going to make him come with me because not understanding what his hesitation is making it harder for me to move on.
And I’ve taken no offense to anyone’s tone or words—I truly appreciate everyone’s opinion. :)
C.B. answers from Kansas City on February 23, 2011
i am going to try to say this as "gently" as possible. yes, you need to see a counselor or therapist. someone needs to help you see past yourself. yes, your HUSBAND has every right to veto a third child. quite simply, there is no reason except "I WANT" for you to have another baby. what does that tell you? if one of your kids wanted a 5000 calorie sundae with the works, and when you asked for a good reason, all they could come up with was, "because it's what I WANT!", would you give it to them? just because they wanted it?? life isn't just about what one wants.
think about someone else. and be honest. are your kids suffering because of your "depression"? god forbid, do they know the reason for it? what about your husband? how do you think he feels when his reasons are being completely ignored? that he and the kids aren't good enough to "make" you happy? last what about the "non existent" baby that you are so in love with and are spending so much emotional energy on? that's an awful lot of responsibility to place on one baby's shoulders. it's sole reason for being, would be to "make" mom happy.
seems to me you are pretty much slapping your family in the face on every level.
okay i am sorry if that was harsh. please see someone for some help, if you can't get past this. you are really hurting your family, i am sure. at some point you have forgotten to appreciate and cherish what you have been given. if you can't get that back, it's okay to need help. no baby will ever "make" you happy if you aren't happy with yourself. we ALL feel the instinct to have babies. but babies don't make us happy. no outside source can MAKE you happy. that has to come from you and dear, trust me when i say i mean this in the nicest friendliest way possible, somehow you have GOT to realize this, for your family's sake. i know a lot will disagree with me and probably call me out for my opinion...it's the truth as i see it. you have been so very blessed. is it worth throwing all that under the bus just to get what you want??
9 moms found this helpful
K.P. answers from New York on February 23, 2011
Your husband is correct here- you need to see someone about the depression and the fact that "you can't make it stop". What I have learned from working with families is that when one partner feels strongly that the family cannot handle another child, then there will be no more children from that union, especially for the men. Men are "providers" and each child is wonderful, but... dads see each child as another long-term financial commitment and more years until they can retire and enjoy their wife again.
No one likes to talk about this topic b/c it sounds really harsh, but it is true. I can tell you that men worry about whether or not they can "afford" to have another child down to the craziest detail (braces, sneakers, activities, tuition, food, clothing, etc).
If he's telling you that he's "done", then he's "done". This is most likely about your need to be "needed" than truly wanting another child. For many mothers the idea of "we're done with babies" is overwhelming- most get through it quickly and move on with enjoying their family. For some, they need help working through it and accepting the family they have been blessed with.
He's basically telling you "S&@* happens and we'll deal with it, but I'd rather not add more responsibility to our lives". Listen to what he's actually saying, not just what you are hoping to hear.
Show your husband that you respect him and value your marriage and find a counselor. It won't "magically" make it better, but it will help you find clarity as to WHY you want to be pregnant again and WHY you are experiencing such extreme emotions surrounding the decision.
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L.C. answers from Washington DC on February 23, 2011
I think you need to listen to your husband. Go see a counselor - together. Your husband has just as much say about raising another child as you do. I think you need to listen to him. You also need to focus on the two children you have -- Count your blessings.
You need to remember that the world of today is made for families of 4. The extra car seat means a bigger car and a bigger gas bill. It means another place at the table and a larger food bill. It means another set of activity fees and fewer activities for the older two. It even means a larger hotel room when you go on vacation - providing you can afford it. It means another college education, another wedding, and more. The older they get, the more expensive they get. I know this. I can't believe it myself. I never thought they'd cost as much as they do -- I have 2 in high school and believe me, they are very very expensive and we don't have all the goodies and gadgets most families have.
Financially another child is a huge thing to take on -- look at it from his point of view: He is working to support his family. He is already freaked out with the responsibility of providing for you and the two children you have. Now you want another baby? Give the man a break.
You can't live your live comparing your family of 4 to other larger families. The grass is not always greener - trust me.
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J.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 23, 2011
I also agree with your husband. Seek some help and preserve your marriage. Good luck.
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K.F. answers from Los Angeles on February 23, 2011
Counseling is IMPERATIVE...And no, one session will not make the problem "magically go away", but many sessions, some with and some without your husband, will help you both get to the root of your issues. You must find out exactly why you want the 3rd child so badly...Are you subconsciously trying to fill a void now that your youngest is not a baby anymore? Are you feeling insecure about your own worth? Confused about whether you're going to go back to the career world after the kids you do have reach a certain age? Are you feeling disconnected from your husband and hope that a new baby will help you to connect again? Or did you you come from a huge family, and 2 kids just feels wrong to you?
Now some important questions about how this obsession is affecting your family:
Are you missing out on quality time with the kids you DO have because you're so distracted and depressed about the 3rd you DON'T have? If you're sobbing while you're writing this, chances are, you did not just wrap up a happy play time with the kids, where they were your entire focus. Will a third child put a strain on your family financially? If yes, what good will it do your 2 current children if their dad is never home because he has to work so hard to save for THREE college educations?
I do understand your longing....I have 1 child and always wanted 2. We waited to have the first, and by the time he was 2, we were surrounded by elderly parents that needed our attention, demanding careers, unexpected deaths in the family, you name it. Also, I had a real health scare with my pregnancy, and to roll the dice for a sibling and risk losing a mom made no sense for my son. When I took the focus off my obsession with the "child that wasn't there", and put it on my son and husband, it changed our family dynamic from good to absolutely, richly fantastic! My son and I are SO connected...and because I'm not drained by a second child, I can pick up the slack when my husband's demanding career keeps him away from home for too long so that our son feels secure.
It is possible that your glass is half full, and you are refusing to drink until it's to the top. It is possible that, with one more child, your cup will "runneth over". But if your not even taking a sip of the fine wine you have right in front of you, a full cup isn't going to make a difference - you will always thirst for more. Please, find out where that thirst is coming from -and why- before you do anything else.
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M.G. answers from Chicago on February 23, 2011
I agree with your husband, go see a counselor. If he does not want a third child you must respect his wishes.
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P.M. answers from Portland on February 23, 2011
Nature has designed women to ache for more babies. It's built into our systems, from hormones to body to brain. It's part of the culture, and we practice being mommies from the time we're little girls. It's necessary for the survival of the species, considering all the disease, famine, war, and other catastrophes humanity is subject to.
But it's becoming necessary to slow the growth of the human population today, unlike previous centuries. The population curve, on a graph, is no longer a gradual rise, it's a line running almost straight up. Today we are polluting the planet, crowding out other species, and even threatening the climate that all life has adapted to, so it's become important to place a higher value on our ability to make rational choices, to protect all the children that are already here. That shift in focus can make a difference in how we feel. We can even end up feeling great about making the best possible choice for the good of all life.
It is possible to stop suffering over this, if your focus is on cultivating peace and happiness and investing yourself fully in the blessings you already have (I say this as a woman who adores infants, but stopped with one child of my own). Since your husband isn't subject to the hormonal longings you are feeling (and part of that is that you have given birth), he's already in rational mode. So you have other good reasons NOT to have a child – the long-term success of your family unit, for example.
The feelings you have are somewhat like physical hunger. Just because we feel hungry doesn't mean we can eat everything we crave. What we want may be unavailable, it may be unhealthy, it may simply be too much. Think about how you calm your physical appetites to assuage suffering, and adapt that to dealing with baby hunger. A counselor could help you with that, not by waving a magic wand, but by helping you change your focus.
I wish you the best. You might put your love of children to good use by getting a job working with children or babies. Even volunteer work. There are babies born with drug habits whose little lives you could improve by being available to hold and rock them, for example.
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C.C. answers from Sacramento on February 22, 2011
I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Have you thought about acting on your husband's suggestion of therapy? It is definitely not a good idea to have a baby that one of the parents doesn't totally want (or want at all). You have two beautiful children, right? What if you put this desire to have another baby aside for a set period of time - say, a year? Give yourself a year to think about this without taking any action on it. Go to therapy and really think about why you want more children. I went through a period of time when I thought it would be a good idea to have a third child. My husband was adamantly against it for financial reasons. He ended up getting a vasectomy (which I wasn't totally against), and strangely enough, that made me realize that I was totally okay just having two children. I think it was the "possibility" of having another child that drove me nuts. Once it was off the table, I was fine. Maybe that's just me. In any case, I think you really need to explore this further, and going to therapy isn't a bad idea.
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