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What Made You Decide to Have a Third Child?

I am a mother of 2 daughters and am contemplating adding a third and final child to our family. We would be extremely happy to welcome another child into our life. I know how busy and expensive life is with 2 children and I wanted to find out how you made your decision to have another child and how you managed to "keep your head above water" having a newborn and 2 older children. Is having 3 children overwhelming?

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I appreciate the overwhelming response of people with their own stories of not just mere survival, but pure joy with their families made up of more than 2 children. I understand the limited amount of resources this planet has to offer us, and I assure you that this does play a factor in our decision. I, however, do as much as possible to be aware of it and play my part in saving the planet for my children to enjoy for many years to come. I know that if I did not have a third child, that 10 years down the road I would regret it and always wonder WHO that child would have been. I am not stuck on having another child just to try for a boy, but more to experience another personality. I don't think that raising 3 (or more) children is selfish, like some of those wrote, it is more about selflessness. If I wanted to be selfish, spreading my self thinner among my children would not be part of my plan. It has been so wonderful reading all the stories from people, young and old alike. I appreciate all the time you spent to share your story! Best wishes to all!

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I heard a friend say once,"You may one day regret NOT having another child. But you will NEVER regret having one".

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We have three already and #4 on the way. I had always wanted more than two kids, and when #3 came along, he is just such a wonderful guy!! I think that the more children you have, the less you worry about some things, I find my third to be the most laid-back, the least needy of all of my kids. I hope #4 decides to follow in those footsteps. I love having a larger family than the "average", although trips to the grocery store are definitely a challenge!! Hope you go through with it - I think you won't regret it!

I have 3 kids. My 2 girls are 5 & 7. I also have a 3 year old boy. I got pregnant before we decided to have a 3rd. At first I felt overwhelmed when I found out I was pregnant. I thought it was much harder going from 1 to 2 kids then 2 to 3. My son has always been more mellow then the girls. I just love having 3 kids. It is fun, challenging at times, but that way with with any kids. I also work part time, but it has always seemed to work out with the kids. I wouldn't change a thing & feel so blessed to have 3 healthy, loving children!!

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Dearest J.,
When my second girl was 2 1/2 I wanted another baby very badly. My husband was done. We both thought we only wanted 2 kids. I prayed for a whole year that God would either change his heart or take the desire from me. Well God changed his heart. We had our 3rd girl. After that, they just kept coming. (Yes I know how it happens.)
I have the belief that they are gifts from God and let Him decide how many. We have 7 now, 5 girls and 2 boys.
It is extremly busy. I am working all the time. I am a SAHM and I home school them. I will have 5 in school this year and one will be starting high school.
When I think of what my life would be with only 2 or 3, I would have way too much free time on my hands. Time that could get me into trouble.
I wish you much love and busyness in your future.
By God's Grace,
Stac

Oh my family thinks we are crazy. We had to tell them to keep their comments to themselves, that they were hurtful. It is sad that they don't find joy in children. The world tells us that 2 are enough, but we don't have to listen to them.

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Hi, J.,
For years I was an adoption consultant. I have interviewed hundreds of moms. One thing I learned was that each woman had a knowing of how many children made her complete and that until she "found" her child whether by birth of by adoption, she felt restless and empty on a certain level. I heard your heart in your question. Trust your mama heart. I never saw a mother go wrong about the number of kids she was to mother.

Blessings,
S.

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I can only tell you why I decided to have only one child, and why she, in turn, has decided to have only one.

This earth is getting terribly crowded, and conflicts, demonstrations, and even wars are beginning to break out over limited resources. People, and their babies, in underdeveloped countries suffer as first-world countries move in, extract their resources, decimate their local economies and pollute their land, and give little to nothing back. None of us participate in this deliberately, of course. But it seems an important thing to consider.

Can we find a way to be content, to decide to stop short of fulfilling every possible dream, in order for others to have a life that meets more of their basic needs? For the sake of innocent children everywhere, I dearly hope so.

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J.,

I've taken some time to read through some of your responses. With all due respect to some responses, I say, go for #3 if you can handle it and afford it. It's a decision to be made between you and hubby. I'm a SAHM of 3, and lovin' it. The first boy is 9, the second (girl) is 7, and the last (girl) is 4. Just expressing my own opinion here, but considering the earth and overpopulation, global warming, and such is hogwash. I say this because the earth belongs to God. Absolutely nothing happens without His permission. If He wants you to have more children, you will be blessed with more. That's just how it is. It's wonderful to see my kids' interactions. Initially I wanted 2, and my husband wanted 6. I told him I'd have the first 2, and he can have the last 4. But 3 was the clincher, and there are no regrets.
Just wanted to add my 2 cents.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

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I see you have recieved a ton of replies and so I hesitated to add my response hence the tardiness.
I agree that having another child is more selfless than selfish. I have six and honestly am a bit offended by those who disapprove of me having more than two. I’m not trying to ignite any sort of debate, just trying to convey where I’m coming from. Those who are concerned about overpopulation can rest assured that The Population Bomb was a dud. In his book, Paul Ehrlich predicted that hundreds of millions of people would starve in the 70’s. That not only didn’t happen, but now approx. 6.66 billion people live longer, eat better, and have a higher standard of living than ever. I do agree that we need to take better care of the world we live in, but I think consumerism is what needs to be apprehended. In our family we recycle, try not to buy pre-packaged things, and try to purchase fewer quality toys instead of lots of cheap toys that will break soon and need to be thrown away. We do drive a bigger vehicle, but honestly I use less gas than I did when I drove a car. Taking 6 children out in public is a bit daunting so we don’t go out as much.
Every time I’ve announced that I’m pregnant (starting with my second pregnancy) my mom has given me a hard time. She loves all my children dearly now though and wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. Ultimately it’s not my mom’s decision, it’s ours. I would say that going from two to three was the hardest (but only in the sense of going out in public) as that is when we were outnumbered by our children for the first time. As far as the extra expense, we haven’t really noticed a difference from child to child (except when we had twins). Of course if you compared our grocery bill to that of a family with only one child ours’ would be considerably higher, but there always seems to be enough to go around. My older children love having younger siblings to dote over and the younger children just eat up all the loving attention they get from their older siblings. It’s a lot of (joyful) hard work for me, but I have had so many of those “Aha” moments where I learn a little more about the love our Lord has for us and the beauty in sacrificing oneself for others. I am sorry this has gotten so long and I hope I haven’t come across as preachy.
God Bless,
J.

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I heard a friend say once,"You may one day regret NOT having another child. But you will NEVER regret having one".

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J.,
This topic is near and dear to my heart. I have three kids: 7 yrs girl, 4yrs, boy and 1 yr. boy. After having our second child my husband and I talked about and wanted a third. However, as #2 got older we stopped talking about it (I think we were afraid of how much work another child would be!). Well, #3 was a surprise to us and we are so happy to have him. If we sat down to discuss it, I'm sure we would have decided that 2 was just fine, so this worked out best for all of us. Yes, it is a lot of work and a lot of laundry. Yes, we have to "switch gears" and divide our time between 3, which is difficult. But, our third is just so much fun. He is 1 and he thinks he is about 5. He loves to hug and kiss his siblings.
In case you're interested, we are done. Three is enough. After the birth of #3 our family felt complete (which was bittersweet). In contemplating a third I suggest you consider the age difference. There are benefits to having them close together as well as benefits to having more space between them. Also, think about how much help your husband is willing and able to give. Especially if the kids are close in age, you will need his help more than ever.
D.

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Hi J.

I have 4 boys of my own and its actually an easier transition (I think) from 2 to 3 than 1 to 2
I decided to take on my brothers 3 girls 3 years ago and now I have 7 at home.
I work full time and run my own business as well. Life is busy and expensive but if your husband supports you and helps out then you go for it!!! 1 more baby every time is just tons more joy!!
grandpas and great-gramma's come around right away too for the most part.
pray also, and guidance will come.

Blessing to you and your family
C.

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I thought I'd give a different viewpoint. We have 2 children and I wanted a third, but had too many health problems during my 2nd pregnancy to risk a 3rd (potentially preventing me from being a healthy mom for the 2 kids I had).

If you have to ask yourself if you want a third child, you probably don't (yet). If you truly wanted and were ready for a 3rd child you'd be telling or attempting to convince all of us how you think it's the right thing to do to expand your family and asking us to agree - not telling us you're concerned about being overwhelmed by a 3rd child.

I think you should wait another six months and see how you and your husband feel about it then.

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It can be hard when family isn't supportive, my Grandmother thinks we are down right crazy. I am a SAHM of two little girls, 2 1/2 and 1. We are expecting our 3rd in January. Our philosophy is that the Lord will give us as many as he sees fit and it seems that he is fit to give a quite a few. Each of our kids will be 18 months apart, and unless something changes, it looks like that is the cycle my body has settled into :o). The only thing you can do is follow what you feel is best and in our family we feel like it is best to let God be in control of our family size. It isn't easy but He has gotten us through so far and I know He will give us all the means necessary to take care of and nurture each child. Whether those means are monetary or just giving us more patience.
Hope this advice is helpful for you.

God bless you and your family

M.

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Hi J.,

It is really interesting hearing about different people's situation, experiences, and decision making processes.

Here's our story:

We had always wanted/discussed 2 or 3, leaning towards 3, especially if the first 2 were the same sex.

After a couple years of trying we had twin boys from fertility meds. I have to say I would not want to repeat those first 6-9 months. One had colic, the other reflux and torticollis, and both had their days and night mixed up for months before I figured out what was going on (both my parents are dead, none of my siblings have children, and my friends all had much older kids - I just thought having newborn twins was SUPPOSED to be that hard). Plus there was probably some PPD throw in for good measure.

I'll be honest, I didn't want anymore, mostly because I was too terrified to go through that newborn stage again, especially after we finally seemed to have life under control again. My husband was less sure.

Then we went on our first babyless vacation when the boys were almost 2 and - TA DAAA! - wound up with our 3rd.

I have to say I am enjoying his babyhood SO MUCH MORE than the twins', he is such an easy going boy. It does seem SO MUCH easier w/one, plus he is a fairly issueless baby (no sleep issues, no physical/medical problems, and he is not our first so there is none of that anxiety that pervades the first newborn experience).

I do agree w/others that the hardest thing to juggle is the different schedules the first year or so (which was not so much of a problem with the twins once we got them ON one).

All this being said we are now done done done and I know deep in my heart that our family is complete. You will know it too when you are finished.

If your family does not feel "complete" go ahead, if you are unsure wait a few months. I look at my three boys and am looking forward to them all coming home from college at the holidays some day and wrestling on the family room floor much like they do now. Now having just 2 really does seem like it would be, well, a bit....lonely. I like a little (LITTLE) bit of chaos. And I LOVE that they will always have each other.

Someone once said to me when were debating that in 20 years you may regret not having another but if you DO have a third you will not be able to imagine life without him/her.

They were right.

Hope this helps.
Liz

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I have 8 children. The first 2 were by inheritance through marriage and the other 6 by birth. We are not 'trying' one way or the other to have or not have kids. They are all unique, active, involved in community and sports and very well loved! We have simply made adjustments to our lifestyle (homeschooling, natural parenting methods, reducing 'stuff', etc.) in order to be able to nurture them into the amazing world changers they will be. Your husband is right! Children are a blessing. It is NOT overpopulation that is the problem.... the problem is HOW our resources and planet are being used/consumed..... We are raising our children to be respectful, conscious, otherly, loving people. I know they will have wonderful things to contribute to this world. And yes, it's a very personal decision. The best to you - strength and peace.

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J.,
I have many comments to your inquiry... hope this isn't too long :)

Personally I may be a bit strange because I desperately want 8 children. I've always wanted 8 children.

I have 2 beautiful little girls, and 5 little babies in heaven that died either before or at birth. No Doctor has found the answers to my pregnancy troubles. It seems everything should be without incident ~ they've tested completely ~ however something seems to go wrong every time.

With my last pregnancy it was going great until we had a house fire and smoke inhalation changed things... my water broke at 15 weeks with twins. Our daughter made it, our son did not. Our daughter did arrive at 26 weeks, and since you are a neonatal RN you can know very well some of what we went through. Just about every complication known to preemies happened to our little one. Numerous surgeries, near death experiences and ups and downs kept us very busy in the 4.5 mo we spent in the NICU.

We had no support from family or friends for wanting either our first or second child as my husband's family does not like children and my family is far away and only wants us to have children if we are close enough for them to enjoy them. Even Doctors urged us to have an abortion after the smoke inhalation issues ~ they stated there were just too many problems to move forward with the pregnancy.

I have to say the lack of support was draining, however, my youngest daughter is incredibly well loved by all now, and I don't know what we would do without her. Our oldest daughter's pregnancy had issues too so both our girls are our miracles.

I want many, many more children, but we are having more testing done to see if that is possible since the Dr. performing my youngest daughter's C/S made a few large errors that may have cost me that opportunity. I think about adding more children to our family all day, every day. I love having a family. I only had 1 sibbling growing up, and I loved him dearly, I had just always wanted more sibblings to pal around with.

My husband is an Electrical Engineer, and is supportive of me wanting more children, but is also understandably frightened by the idea. We have decided to continue with testing and just pray for guidance.

As for the lack of support from your family... it is something I understand very well. My family thinks 2 is enough and I shouldn't try for anymore. I have come to the decision that I am willing to stop at 4 and attempt adopting the other 4 since medically speaking I am not sure how much more my body will handle safely... and there is always the chance that the Dr's are wrong and I end up with only the 2 I have or possibly all 8 that I desire ~ only God knows for sure right now.

Something I observed while I was a nanny... 4 is easier than 3. Something about that odd number of 3 means that very often someone is left out. I was a nanny to several families of 4 and their children would play together then when they got bored they'd switch partners. It worked out great! The older ones also helped with the younger ones and there just seemed to be more order to the household environment. When I was in 3 children family home often there was chaos. Now, it could be just that a different set of parenting was at play but I keep hoping that I end up with an even number up until 4 (anything 5 or over I don't think it matters anymore if it is an even or odd number).

Since your husband wants as many as you feel you can handle, and your pregnancies and body seem healthy why not just swear off the birth control for a little while (set number of years) and see how many you end up with... and cap it at a set number too if you feel the need. Since your husband is great with them and loves them, just sit and consider each others dreams together. Figure out how many kids could fit into both of your dreams. Maybe sit down and plan out what age to cap off childbearing... for me I'd like to be done by 35 - 37 but I'd be willing to go older if needed, however, I'd like to be able to set myself up to retire not long after my children are in or finish college and I don't want that to be when I'm 80 since I want to do a lot of traveling.

This may all sound strange, but I do hope it is helpful.

Good luck with your decision!

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I can tell you why we are having our 5th :) Because you only get to live once on this earth and children are the best part. When we are old it is our children and grandkids that make us smile not the worthless boat that once sat in the driveway or the nice car that we once drove but the kids that come back and we want a lot to come back!! Having 4 is hard work but they are so rewarding and they bless our life with so much love. I heard a wise woman once say,"Be fruitful when you are young as the time when you are able to have children really is so short" . As far as the expense it depends on how much "stuff" you give them and your spending habits. We just became debt free and live off of $3500 a month and we want for nothing and that is with 6 mouths to feed. Check out Dave Ramsey he can give you the simple keys to becoming free of the debt, it feels soooo good! daveramsey.com

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Hi J.! May sound terribly old fashioned, but LOVE was the reason. My husband and I LOVED our babies! We didn't think, ....
"oh having another will be a burden on finances", etc...we
just had faith in LOVE, and you know what? Our four kids are all grown now and we wish we could have had more! We loved every minute of it!
Having four kids in five years (yeah...that's right!) was tiring, but I knew what my job was and concentrated on my little ones being healthy and happy. Dad helped out as much as he could, but mostly I was at the helm. I tried when I could to catch up on my sleep, and I ate well and exercised. I kept our house simple and our outside commitments simple. When I could, I stocked the cupboards really well so I didn't have to go shopping that often. I stayed off the phone and kept my eyes on my kids. I could never figure out why some moms think this is boring...I LOVED every day with my little ones. They were sooooooo cute and innocent, and they constantly made me laugh. I played upbeat kids music to them, read to them, played on the floor with them. They were my best buddies, and you know what else? They STILL ARE!
If you love your husband and your kids now, don't be afraid to just let life happen. God will take care of you if you put your trust in Him.
Be happy!
:>) J.

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I wanted a whole 'houseful' of children. I'm the 9th of 11 children born to the same Mother & Father ( a rarety nowdays) but I NEVER felt that I wasn't loved enough or cared for enough. In fact, I had a wonderful childhood and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I'm not saying it was perfect but it was wonderful. Anyway, on to the question: I had numerous health issues with my second pregnancy and was willing to take the risks on the third one.And I thank god everyday that I did. I have 3 children all boys, now ages 26,22, & 20. I stopped at three because of the medical issues or I would have had my 'houseful'. They grew up to fine upstanding young men and the two oldest have turned out to be great at fatherhood also. Mine was never a decision to make, I wanted it and just did it. Having children is the most precious gift God ever gave to us. If it's meant to be it will be. Put your trust in God's hands and he'll do the worrying for you. I don't know of anyone yet that ever ran out of love to give a child, whether it's your first or your third. If you and your husband feel that it's right then that's the only decision that should matter to you. Good luck and God Bless!!
A little about me... I'm a 43 yr. old Grandmother to 10 wonderful children. I have 3 children (all boys), my husband has 3 children (1 boy 2 girls). But we don't see it that way. WE have 6 children and 10 grandchildren. Period, end of sentence. As I said earlier, I wanted a houseful. And God granted my wish!!

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I am a very proud mother to 3 beautiful, healthy children. Their ages are 8, 5 1/2, and my baby boy is almost 2. I never knew that I wanted 3 children. Before my husband and I got married, we had the "talk" about children. He wanted 3 or 4 and I wanted 2. After our first daughter was born, I knew without a doubt that we'd have 2 more children. I loved pregnancy and being a mother so much. After our 2nd daughter was born, I wondered if having another child was realistic. Our house is small, our daughters would have to share a room...and I wondered about the expense but my heart felt empty. Despite how much I loved my daughters, I just felt that our family was not yet complete so we got pregnant for the 3rd time and now that I have my 3 children, I feel so complete. I look at our first family photo with all 5 of us and I no longer feel that we are missing someone. As for the expense, honestly, I have heard people complain about the expense but we hardly notice it. Diapers, yes are expensive but I buy the economy box that lasts for a month an half. The biggest expense we incurred with baby #3 was formula. Unlike my daughters who were totally breastfed, my third child had a weak suck and I had supply issues as a result of his suck and I had no choice but to supplement with formula. That was an expense I never saw coming. I am happy with my 3 and I have no regrets. All babies are a blessing anyway so there wouldn't have been any regrets anyway but I just feel so complete as a family now.

My oldest daughter acts like a little mommy to our youngest. My second daughter picks on the baby and her older sister but rivalry goes with having more than one child. Is it overwhelming? I'm home with them full time, with exception to the fact that my two oldest are in school. It can be stressful at times but only because of the whining, bickering, fighting over toys, etc. I don't think having 3 is any more overwhelming than having 2...it's just busier but you deal with it.

My advice to you is to pray, if you are a believer in God. Ask God to direct you with regard to this situation. Otherwise, look at your family and ask yourself if you feel complete or do you feel like something is missing? Follow your heart and just remember that this is a very personal decision. Nobody can convince you to do it or not.

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You mentioned that your dad and grandmother are not supportive, It might mean because they are already helping out with your two kids and they don't want the added 3rd??? I know that every time my SIL gets pregnant I cringe because she has such a tough time with raising them and depends on my MIL for so much.
then I think man here goes more money to buy more bday and xmas gifts. Yes that is very selfish but ....I want to concentrate on my own family not my siblings family.
just a thought. You might want to ask your dad why he feels the way he does.

also I have 3, I love having 3 but it is much more money and put me over the edge for the first 5 years. Children are very expensive we could not afford more than 3.

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Go ahead and go for #3. I understand that you want blessings from people who are closest to you but you and your husband are grown up and you need to make that decision of having another child between you two and you two only. It is your life and family and what is most important to you and your husband is should be what matters most. I wasn't sure about having a third child myself but my husband and I discussed it and asked our parents what they thought. They thought we were crazy but we decided that we were going to have a third child anyway because what we wanted was most important to us. They will be fine when that baby gets here and they will love him or her just as much as the other children. I honestly think you guys should go for baby #3! As far as your husband wanting you to have as many as you think you can handle though is kind of crazy. It is expensive to raise kids and I myslef wouldn't want anymore than 4 tops. I have 3 kids and I though about a fourth and decided no way it is too much. I think 3 or 4 is good but no more than that.
D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7, and 4. They are quite a handful but we love them with all of our hearts.

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I love children, and I hope this doesn't come across as judgmental, because I support you doing whatever feels right to you. But I'd like to add one piece to this decision, if I may. Our planet is overcrowded right now, and we're using up our resources at a furious rate. Adding more to the population could be seen as irresponsible to our planet, and to your current children who will have to share not just you, but oil, electricity, water, etc. with an extra person. Again, I don't want to preach, just add another viewpoint to your decision. I'm currently trying to decide if I should have a second child, and the more I see families with more than 2, the more I feel I shouldn't have a second.

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Hi J.,

Our third child came along after I was taking fertility meds for a problem not related to fertility.

I was having serious "female problems," and after dicussing them with my doctor, she felt that the best course of action was to take Chlomid to regulate and restore regular ovulation. She had warned us before I started taking it that we could end up with a pregnancy of multiples, and that at the time, it had been reported that women had had up to 7 babies at once on this medication. My husband and I discussed it at length but decided that the benefit of me getting better was worth the "risk" of more than one child. Thankfully, we only had one child from the resulting pregnancy, and she is a joy to me.

Although we'd already had our boy and our girl, we decided that another baby was just....right, if it happened. In fact, knowing that we could end up with multiples, we decided that if it happened, it happened, and we'd cross that bridge when and if we came to it.

I'll admit that I had serious PPD after she was born, and the fact that she had colic(would scream daily from 5-8 p.m.) and I had no idea how to help her, and had very little support after she was born(hubs left to Korea a week after she was born) didn't help my sanity, or me being a very effective mom for the other kids(not to mention, having a baby when my youngest was already 6 years old was a bit of culture shock for me), but if I'd known then what I know now, things would have been much better. I'd have been able to cope better.

So, for me, yes, it was overwhelming, but it doen't have to be that way. If you have any doubts, seriously there are so many options for coping and overcoming things you might face(colic, sickness, food issues and allergies, normal day-to-day parenting and child issues, etc...). Sites like this are awesome because you can brainstorm so many different things, and there is so much information available that some of us didn't have "back when."

*One more thing: after the infant phase was over, life with a third child was great! She has't been an undue strain on us in any way that we didn't face before, or wouldn't have faced otherwise without her, and being the absolute wonderful child she is now, and always has been, I wouldn't trade her for the chance to go back and have had the best behaved infant in the world then.*

I'd say this is an intensely personal decision for your husband and yourself, and you have to think about how life is right now(financially, as well as how the days go with the kids right now, and how they might go with them *plus* an infant), but I suspect that if it's right for your family, it'll just be right, and that is something that you will know when the time comes, if that makes any sense.

I hope I've helped some, and I wish you the best with your decision.

K. W

P.S. Now I have to lmbo at Zoe's comment--she is TOO funny! :o)

I'd say it'd be just as easy after 2 as it is with 2 at the grocery store, because ya always have those leftovers. I STILL haven't managed to quite nail how to cook for *just* five. Always end up with extra noodles and hotdogs, mostly because hotdogs come in packages of 8 lol. ;o) But the AIRport! Yeah, I can totally imagine the "Home Alone" family madhouse and airport dash!

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I've got three (now grownJ) children, and if I recall, it wasn't much of a stretch to think that another child would be wonderful. I think I said to my husband -- "well, after the first one, it's really just making more room at the table!" Your two older ones can help (mine were 6 and 3 when our third was born), and they were great at fetching diapers, and talking to the baby when I needed to do something else. I didn't feel overwhelmed; and now that #3 is an adult, and one of my best friends, I can't imagine my life without her. Go for it. It sounds like the baby will come into a most loving and wonderful family.

1 mom found this helpful

My third child hasn't arrived yet, but what made us decide to go for it was thinking of our children and the enriching of their lives over the long term. My husband has lost both his mother and his father already, and his family is quite small - just one brother. We want our children to have not just one other to rely on, but two, also think of the many different ways three can connect - when you have two it's just (A and B) - AB. With three it's (A, B and C) AB, AC, BC, ABC. Many opportunities for relationships, conversations, experiences and hopefully fun. Ours will all be in under 4 years too, so they'll all be in high school and college together. Whew! Fun for them...

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Hi J.,

I am a 31 yo mom of 3. Ages 5, 3, and 10 months. I am also hoping to have a 4th:) My husband and I decided to have three because we didn't feel our family was complete yet. We also thought that we would stop after 3:) I also work 3-6, 12 hour night shifts a month as an RN, and have been PRN since after our first was born. So much more rewarding for me to be at home, but still great to keep my feet wet and maintain my license. We are also big outdoors people; loving camping, hiking, and fishing.

Life is pretty simple with just two to manage compared to three. With that said, it was really only crazy for the first few months. So crazy that my husband and I were certain we were never going to have anymore children. Mostly due to lack of sleep, constant laundry (we cloth diaper), driving the oldest to preschool and participating in it too, managing the budget and shopping, and trying to take care of myself. Things are much easier now, and have been since the baby started crawling at 6 months (now she can get herself to her destination). The older kids are great helpers. They help keep the baby entertained and safe, set and clean up the table, help with snacks and meals, get themselves strapped in the car (only half way for the 3 yo, but it's a huge help), pick up after themselves, and both have been potty trained for quite some time, etc. My husband was an enormous help too. We have no family here to help, and only some friends could take time to help. So, we were in it together.

It's hard to imagine a time when our kids will be able to take on more responsibility, but as they do our lives become remarkably easier.
I used to marvel, and still do really, at families who have 5+ kids. The ones I know all seem so organized and efficient. Most are homeschooled too. How do they manage the home? The older their kids get the more they can do to help out (cleaning bathrooms, dishes, laundry, etc). How do they manage the cost of the home, food, and clothing, and stuff? They do by keeping it simple; hand-me-downs, children's consignment stores, garage sales, generous family and friends, sharing, their church, etc. A plethora of ways to maintain an active and fun life style without all the expense. Also, getting rid of debt will help too:) Famous last words!

Also, I just read your update. You and your husband should make the decisions that are best for YOUR immediate family. You are nolonger under the covering of your parents. You two are both grown adults that can make decisions for yourselves perfectly well. Do not allow the voices of your relatives to direct the choices you and you husband make. It could cause discord between you and your husband. Especially if he disagrees with your father and grandfather's views.

I also think that God did not make us all equal and to be able to handle caring for lots of children. Where is your comfort zone? How much patience do you have? How do your current children respond to you? Do you find yourself out of control frequently with them (beyond the norm)? Being a mom is one of the greatest acts of selflessness we will ever know. Are you prepared to spare a little more of yourself and time for another child? For me, the benefits and rewards of this form of selflessness are totally worth it, and help to refine who I am. How do you see yourself? Hope this is helpful and encouraging.

K. A.

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We have two children and are thinking about a third as well. Our first child is biologically ours. The second child we adopted from Foster care. Any more children will also be adopted for our family. Adoption is an adjustment, just like having biological children but they are normal happy, active, loving children none the less. With adoption you have the choice of boy, girl, sibling groups, infant, older child, etc. I have many friends, neighbors, and family members who have adopted children and all are well adjusted, loving, "normal" families. Biological and adoption are both great options for the incomplete family. God Bless your family choice. :)

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Hey J.,
In truth I wasn't planning a third child. I was planning to leave my husband when after 5 years of no pregnancy, and no birth control (hardly no sex) I found myself pregnant. On her first birthday, I was pregnant again! I describe the first as a 'novelty', the second as a 'family' third-'hanging off a cliff', the fourth comes and steps on your fingers and it is a wonderful free-fall! (I have since divorced him, and am remarried to a great man! Together we have 1 son (my oldest) and 5 daughters!
Life is good!

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I am a SAHM to 3 kiddos and would have as many as my hubby would let me. Our first "kid" was a set of twins, our next baby was not planned for at all. I thought 3 would be a nightmare. It was nothing at all like the horror stories that had been handed to me from a lot of my family and friends (who also fed me horror stories about how hard twins were). The older 2 are a lot of help actually.

It is all about you and your comfort level, if you feel like you could handle another then you most likely could.As a mom of 2 you are already used to splitting time between kids so really adding another is not all that hard.

As far as finances are concerned another one has not stretched us all that farther. I have had to alter a few things such as how I grocery shop; once a month for everything except fresh fruit and veggies, and we buy everything in bulk. I have ended up saving us between 200-300 dollars a month by doing it this way. We also tend to stick closer to home; we have "camped" out in our yard already a few times this summer instead of driving to a camp ground, the kids love it and they still have the whole experience of a fire, marshmallows, and staying up late!

Life with 3 is a blast an I am very much looking forward to adding another sooner than later. I love love love it when people walk past me and looked at my kids and then ask if they are all mine, I reply yes it is always the same old response, "Wow you sure have your hands full"! In my opinion I am no busier than a mom of one. This is my life and it is what I make of it.

My mom has made comments about how we should not have more and we should be happy with what we have. She gets overwhelmed being around us for a few hours so she doesn't understand how I can do it by myself. She can have her opinion but it is my life and my decision. I know as a grandmother she would love the next no less.

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The most important thing I can tell you is you will never regret it! We have three kids, two boys and a girl. The nice thing was we had our daughter when our youngest son was almost 5 and our oldest son was 7. Our daughter is turning 3 next week and they are both great with her. She and our now almost 8 year old son are partners in crime, always into something together and our now 10 year old son is so protective of her.

The one thing I can say is you may want to wait a bit, because with three you are outnumbered and your kids are much younger. There were times that I was overwelmed and still am, like going to Costco with all three of them! I don't want to sound like it is always easy, because it isn't. But, when she says something sweet or gives me a hug I just think what would life have been like without her, and I shudder at the thought. I have never reqreted having a third for one minute. Your question was what made us decide to have a third? We both didn't feel done yet, something that came as a surprise to both of us! We thought if we were blessed with another it meant to be. Hope this helps?

T.

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This is such a wonderful request and the responses are beautiful! I've been contemplating how many children I should have (1st time mother now). I believe every woman knows whether or not they are fit and ready for more children....it's part of our natural instinctive nature and sounds like you are in tune with yours. And cudos to your husband for supporting the idea and sharing the same page of family with you....probably why you married him in the first place. Go for it, enjoy and good luck.

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I am a Mom of 3 little boys, they are 2 and a half years apart, so when are youngest was born I was juggling a 5 year old, a 2 year old and a brand new baby - it was a bit tiring, but so worth it. We had just made the decision that we were happy with just 2 kids and we were going to be done, well Suprise - Suprise - here came baby #3, at first I cried and said I can't do this again (I think the hormones were talking) but the more it sunk in the happier I was - Now I look at this little boy and I thank God each and every day for the best surprise in the world.
The one thing I would say though is this - You have to have a partner who is going to help you, going from 2 to 3 kids is a huge difference and it is tiring. It is a must to have support and help. My little boy is now 5 and heading off to kindergarten in the fall - the time has gone by way too fast! Good Luck!

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Why not adopt? There are so many children here in the US (besides foster care) and internationally that desperately need loving homes. We just adopted from Vietnam and I cannot imagine anyone abandoning this precious little girl who has become our amazing daughter, but they did (most likely because of poverty) and for all of us it's been a win-win situation.

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I am a mother of three and love every minute of our crazy lives! I also was unsure after having a boy and a girl. My husband said he was done and I had always thought I never wanted any after age 30 (which my second one was born a few months after that milestone). But something inside me just wasn't settled. So, we never did anything permanent and then came our surprise. She was born 10 days before I turned 32 and it was my best birthday present ever! Now they are 11, 9 & 7 and keep us extremely busy! But I would never trade one minute of it. For every moment of stress there are multiply moments of happiness and closeness with all of them. My advise to all women, "you know when you know". Sounds like you don't know yet-so go for it and enjoy all the glory.

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Hi~

Our 4 kids are grown (last one just 'flew the coop' and now our nest is empty). The first 2 (girl who's 31 & now has 3 little ones, & they're truly 'Grand' kids, boy 28) came pretty quickly, and the 2nd one was the ONLY one we sort of 'planned'. He was 5 when I 'accidentally' got pregnant again, and this 3rd child (boy 22) seemed like 'the icing on the cake'. As he reached developmental milestones, I kept thinking, "Awww, this might be the last time I get to experience this!"

Then came #4 (girl 20) who truly 'topped' the cake (candles w/fire! LOL No, not really. She's the mildest natured of them all). We actually waited til she was 6 before we did anything permanent to end the additions of offspring.

As others have said, you'll know . . .

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My situation was a little more unusual than most because i could not get pregnant. We adopted 2 children and then, when the oldest was 13, I actually HAD one. So, although he was a surprised, we were pleased as punch.
Now, considering that you have the privilege of making a choice, this is what I would take into consideration. Are the children you have more difficult than the average? (ours were both ADD) Is your spouse a good parent who can take over when things get tough? How resient are you? Assuming you are average in these considerations, I would say, if you want another child, go ahead! God bless you and enjoy your family!!

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Hi J....my husband & I have two healthy, beautiful children...one boy and one girl...we considered having a third baby, but I would have been 43 or 44 when the new baby arrived...we have been so blessed with the healthy two...we decided not to ask for more...the risk with my age, and the fact that we had one of each...we decided not to have third. Every now and then, I wish we had the additional child, especially now that mine are 14 & 10, I miss the baby in the house and in my arms...but I know how lucky we are to have the two, so many, many people in the world don't get to have what we have...I thank God for the two I have...every day!

Good luck!

S.

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Having your Dad and Grandma against a third prenancy sounds like a reason to consider most seriously having a third child. Have you listened to what they have to say and seriously thought their ideas thru with an open mind?

You said you didn't know if you could handle a third child and thus you asked us about our experiences. That is a very good question to ask and shows that you are a thoughtful person who does think before they make a decision. I applaud that in you.

I didn't respond because I have had only 1 child and now 2 grandchildren. My one was all that I could comfortably handle and my daughter wishes that she had not had a second. Two are more than she can handle a great deal of the time. She is a single mother and so I've had to fill in for that missing father every week.

Because her two have become more than I can handle at one time they're in day care. You're younger than I am and you have a husband who is active in your children's lives. That does make a difference. From your posts I think that the two of you are able to provide for your children and have the skills that parenting requires. Only you know your own resources. A large family works for some but not everyone.

I'm glad that you have a supportive involved husband and father for your children. What I question is what he means by the the "number you can handle"? It's possible that you could handle a dozen. Many families have. The question is can you provide an equally good life for all of them and will one or all lose out because you don't have enough time or resources?

Yes, nearly all mothers can and do adapt to one more child but the adaptation does result in making changes which will feel like sacrifices to some. There is one more child whose needs must be met and you may not be able to meet them in the same way that you met the needs of the earlier baby/child.

My granddaughter was 3 when her brother was born. She is now 8 and still hasn't made a reasonable adjustment. She sees him as taking away her mother and still hates having to share. The two rough house together but neither one of them shares. I've not seen them play quietly.
They love each other and show that often but they both still resent the other much of the time.

I think that the first child has more difficulty adjusting than a second child has adjusting to the oldest. The second has had to share all of her life while the first child had you all to herself at the beginning. YOu now have two older children. My granddaughter is correct when she says that brother gets more attention and I understand why she feels left out. Her brother has taken a whole lot of her mother's time and attention away from her. He has learning disabilities which does require more time and energy than it would seem that she does.

Of course you expect that your baby will not have emotional or physical difficulties but there is no guarentee as you know from your experience as a neonatal nurse. If I were making the decision I would be thankful that I have the two with whom I'm having a successful and gratifying time parenting than risk another child who may have a difficult personality or other challenges.

I don't know about the personalities of your daughters. Each child is born with their own personality that is then shaped in part by their environment. My granddaughter was a high needs baby and still is as a child. The parenting skills that I've seen many other mothers use and which I've read about have not worked with her. My grandson, although his personality was calm the first couple of years so that he was an easier baby, is challenged with speech development. He is now also a high needs child. My daughter, whom I adopted was a high needs child. One high needs child can be too difficult for even those parents with good parenting skills and high energy levels.

What I'm saying is that another child will include a lot of adjustment for everyone and will change your lives. If they are a high needs baby/child you will run low on skills and energy.

A third child may be a good idea for your family but the decision should only be made after much thinking thru of all the possibilities including the less likely and more difficult negative possibilities. Listening and seriously thinking thru your family's lack of support is something to be serious considered. Are you willing to lose your father's and grandmother's support not only for you but also for your children?

My mother did not want me to adopt. I did lose her support and my daughter still feels that her grandmother hated her. Often my daughter is jealous of the time I spend with her daughter because she didn't have a grandma who approved of her while she was growing up. My mother's disapproval has made both my and my daughter's life more complicated. My mother is gone now. Furtunately I made my peace with her but my daughter has not been able to do so.

It is possible that if you're able to carefully consider your family's objections and calmly discuss them as well as your own reasons for wanting a third child that they will come around to see your viewpoint. Open and honest discussion amongst people who respect each other and their views often results in everyone changing at least part of their views. It's like a compromise.

I've seen many families in trouble once their children became preteen and teen. I'd guess that the majority of them were unable for a variety of different reasons to provide a warm, secure, and consistent environment for any of their children. However, I did see some families in which the parents related well to one or more children and had successfully parented them but they were unable to manage one of their children. One reason that this can happen is that one child needs something different than the others. It's difficult to be flexible enough so that one can parent each child differently. We are born with our own personality. Our parents can only influence that personality but cannot change it.

We don't ever really know how and given circumstance will change our lives. We may be able to know ourselves well enough to know if we're likely to be able to handle whatever life throws at us.

As I write now, I'm approaching having children from a world wide perscpective. As I've grown older I've become more and more aware of how personal decisions affect other people and the whole world. One aspect to consider is our world's population and the number of unloved and uncared for children already born. Another part of making decisions about children is the awareness that our world is fast becoming over populated.

Also of concern is that our children lack knowledge of our pioneer beginnings and thus are unaware of what it has taken and still takes to live to live successfully in this time. Children think milk comes from cartons and vegetables from the store. Will our children know how to obtain and/or grow food for themselves? What will happen when there is not enough earth to produce enough food for everyone? We already have people starving in our own country. Many, many more in other countries.

We also have millions of people who depend on those who work to provide for them. They're unable or are not willing to work to provide for themselves. Many believe that care from the state is their right. This population is growing faster than the middle class working group that we're in. What will happen when we have more people expecting others to take care of them than we have people who are actually doing the work?

We have a war going on now that may not be contained in the middle east. Will a war reduce our population if we don't reduce it for ourselves? Even while it's being fought in another continent, war is negatively affecting our country and it's people.

Our country is having financial difficulties as are many families. Even many of those willing to work cannot find work. This is not a statement of my beliefs concerning the war. It is a statement of what I would consider before have a baby.

Most of my life I've heard that our country is in danger of failing. When I was younger I scoffed at the idea that life will drastically change. Now that I've lived 65 years and seen the changes that were predicted I take the warnings more seriously. It's possible that we'll have a generation or more still able to work and provide for their families but eventually we will not be a viable population if we continue living as we do now. We do not now have the same comfortable lifestyle that we had when I was a child. Our world has changed so much that earlier generations wouldn't recognize it. We are now using up our world's resources so that we can have high tech comfort. We have adjusted but how long can we survive with limited resources?

I'm an optimist. I believe that if the majority of us could understand and/or accept what is happening and be willing to make changes, people will continue to live on earth though in a different style. As a population we are becoming more aware. Will we be able to make changes quick enough?

Overpopulation is an obvious difficulty that already has a known fix. If we replace just ourselves we can stop population growth. If the majority of us do not personally address our populataion growth the earth will eventually not have enough resources to maintain life.

Well, I've climbed up on two of my soap boxes and nearly written a book. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I respect everyone's right to believe differently than anyone else. I've only recently changed my way of thinking about the earth and how we're treating it. For many years prior to my new views, I had experienced a side of life that most people haven't seen. I feel that it's important to make others aware of the "other" side of living so that they can make more informed choices. What one person does affects the whole world in ways that are not obvious. As a young person I was not concerned about the world. I wanted to have a certain kind of life. I didn't get the life I expected. I'm glad, now, because the life I've had has been much more full and in the end more satisfying. I started, as a police officer, with a two dimentional way of looking at the world. I am more four dimentional now but haven't arrived at the place of understanding which I would like to have. But I am convinced that we have to change the way we live.

J., I am not saying that you shouldn't have a third child. I just want you, if you haven't already, to see more of the picture and make a choice based on more than what you've experienced so far.

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I have three and I love everything about having three! I have a 5yr old, 3yr old and now a 10 month old and there so great together. Having three I think is easier than just two because the two older start playing together it gets them to know each other more-at least it has for my kiddos . Anyways having children is a gift and you will regret not doing what you felt you wanted to do. People worry to much about what we can handle as mothers, and that kids cost a lot of money and theres to many people in the world-blah blah. God created us and he calls us beautiful and children are a gift not a price tag or a duty, but a gift! And if anything being married and having babies has taught me more about me and life than not. So don't worry i know it looks like a lot when you picture all of this, but its just getting your hands more into life. My husband always reminds me to attack life not to let life attack me. Anyways I love having three and if your heart is wanting that third baby- Go For IT!!!! Good luck with everything You can Do it-I am!

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Hi J.. I think bringing another life into the world is a very personal decision and there are just so many things to consider, including the needs of your children. I had my first and only at 42 and will not be having any more children.

I think Peg made some very valid points about the over population of the earth and the impact we humans are making; the global food crisis etc.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/globalfoodcrisis/

I love your idea of fostering and the lives that can be touched by your unconditional love. Adoption might also be considered. There are so many children that need loving homes that it's heartbreaking.

As for our plan, we've decided to focus all our energy on our one beloved boy and when he's old enough to express his own wishes and help make a decision, we'll discuss the possibility of fostering a/o offering a room to an exchange student so that our son can meet children from other parts of the world.

Good luck with your decision.

W.

http://motherrising.blogspot.com

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I have to add a vote for the environmental issue. Every time I see a huge Suburban on the road, I think about the gas it's guzzling. And then I think how well, maybe they have 3 or 4 kids and need the space. Then I think "well, what made them so special that it's ok to use so many resources because they WANTED 3 or 4 or 5 kids? What if everyone did that?" I think about a 3rd sometimes and many times it's the sense that it's just too much for the planet for people to have so many children that stops me. I take some satisfaction knowing that at least I'm not contributing to the overpopulation problem.

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J.: We actually wanted four kids. I have two girls, my baby is a boy, and I wouldn't trade any of them for anything in the world. All children are a blessing from God. People have responded very candidly. You have to realize we live in a world that values money and time often more than people. You have to decide what is more important - bringing responsible children in the world, or having more time and money for yourself. It does get more expensive with three, but you also don't have to give them everything they want. Also, children don't need designer clothes -we could afford to give them to our children, but thought they didn't need them because they grow out of them so soon.

The only thing I regret is that I didn't let the baby cry more and spend time with my toddler more- I tried to make her grow up too soon. We took her out of her crib a little before she was ready to make room for the baby. I think as long as you try to have time for each of them then you will be fine. Also, to realize they are all so different. Second born children seem more stubborn and independent, but they can also be super creative. My first born is very driven and an honor studen, my second born is left handed, very creative and sweet - she is a doll. My baby is a boy, who is also very caring. They are all very smart, unique and creative. If you give them room to create and grow and show them love you will be okay. Also, forgive yourself when you don't do things perfect and you scream or get frustrated - don't ever let guilt eat at you. Just apologize and move on. Life is too short to worry too much. I did way more than I wish I had. As they grow also realize letting go is a process, this has been the hardest for me. My three are 16, 14, and almost 13 now. Honestly, the teenage years are harder than the younger years, and they need you more as they get older.

Take care and God Bless You,
K.

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I also apologize in being late to respond. I agree entirely with Talia D. Overpopulation is the biggest threat this planet is facing, and it's not just in third-world countries. There are too many people, and not enough resources to support them, not to mention the pollution output of each individual and how it affects our planet. People talk about the extra money it takes to raise an additional child, but what about the water, fuel, food, etc. that child will consume over his/her lifetime. This doesn't just affect the family deciding to have more children, it affect all of us. I am amazed at how selfish and over-indulgent people in the US continue to be, even when it is clear we are destroying our planet.

This is not about religion and the directive to be fruitful and multiply, although that's how a lot of people want to frame it. I think many times this is just an excuse for people to justify their selfish wishes to have more children, regardless of the impact it has on others. Remember that God also gave people the responsibility to care for this planet, and we are doing a poor job of it. My peronsal opinion is that at this point in time, God would rather see us putting the needs of our planet ahead of our wishes for a big family.

For information about how the ever-growing US population is affecting resources in our country, see www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=653.

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Hi J., I know this may be a little late but I wanted to share with you my experience. I have 4 children and all of them were pregancy "00ps". Meaning that we were using contraceptives with every single one and I ended up pregnant, so I was not fortunate to be able to "plan" my pregnancies, they just came. When I got pregnant with my 1st, I was scared to death. "would I be a good mom?", you know the normal questions a first time mom makes. When I got pregnant with our second child, the first was only 10 months old, and I was still breastfeeding her, and I was still really scared, but for different reasons. I didn't know if I would have enough "love" for both, things that seem silly now, but at the time really worried me. Then I got pregnant with the 3rd. My second child was only 10 months old and I was still breastfeeding,(what a coincidence, right?) and the first was just over 2 years old. They were both girls and this third was going to be a boy, so now I was scared for completely different reasons once again! But when he was born, he was the love of my life! a completely different love you share for your daughters, nothing less, and nothing more, just different and wonderful! When my 3rd was 10 months old, and I didn't get pregnant, I thought I was in the clear. However I kept feeling that something was missing, but lo and behold right around his 1st birthday, guess what, I found out I was pregnant, with #4! and yes I was still breastfeeding! By this time, I knew what I had been missing and I wasn't scared with this pregnancy, it just seemed natural and I loved everythought that I was going to be a mom of 4 children 2 girls and 2 boys! They are now 6, 4 & 1/2, almost 3, and 14 months. They are all so special to me and I wouldn't change the way it worked out for anything in the world! It's completely normal to be scared, but once they're in your arms, it's absolutely wonderful!
I hope my experience has helped some, and I wish you the very best with your family! Remember to always keep God first!
V.

p.s. my mom is also a neonatal nurse and has been for over 20 years so I know what a wonderful, rewarding, and stressful job it can be! Take care!

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Hi J.

I stopped at 1. We had the philosophy that "parents should outnumber their children" I don't know that that's actually a great idea, but it's where I was at the time. As I am now 62 (?!!), I won't be giving birth to any more babies. I am adopting a LARGE dog next week -- don't think its quite the same thing.

So here is my advice to you. While it's nice to have the support of your "rents" the most important thing is to FOLLOW YOUR OWN HEART!! At last count the Duggar family had 18 children and they all seem to be healthy and happy souls.

Wishing you many blessings on your journey. SSH

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I am pregnant with #5 and my girls are 5,4,3,1! I LOVE having four children. I can't even imagine what it would have been like to only have one or two. Now, our families think we're crazy. Our moms have cried with each announcement (even the first one.) But we just don't pay them any mind. It's our lives, our children, and our choice.

As for the poster who said "Our planet is overcrowded right now, and we're using up our resources at a furious rate. Adding more to the population could be seen as irresponsible to our planet, and to your current children who will have to share not just you, but oil, electricity, water, etc. with an extra person."

Actually, the Earth is NOT overcrowded (all the people in the entire world could fit in the US- did you know that?!) and there are PLENTY of resources if people will just be wise with them. Look at all the wasted resources, all the food thrown away and clothing and furniture and other items. And look at all the people who are NOT having children- CF by choice as well as those who have abortions. Abortion is like birth control for some people.

Live your life consuming in WISDOM and don't feel guilty about it. For my family, I chose to use cloth diapers and wipes, I try to not cook more then we will eat, I don't use disposables except for special occasions....and we use wind power for our energy. It can be done! Yes, our van is high on the fuel and pollution factor (15 passenger) but we conserve and go to as many places as we can when we HAVE to go out somewhere. We go to places IN TOWN and choose where we shop accordingly. We use freecycle and craigslist to save on money and to recycle the items we have and no longer use.

S., mom to 1 in Heaven, 4 on Earth and 1 in the womb, with hopes for more!

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J.

I know this is a late response but I read that you are welcome to more responses/suggestions. So...I speak from personal experience when I say listen to/follow your gut!!! I had my first two babies in 2000 and 2001. Life was a whirlwind. We were lovestruck, but a lot of things are a blur. I had horrible pregnancies (24/7 nausea, vomitting, debilitating LOW blood pressure, migraines, painful reflux...you name it!). I always wanted more kids, but the pregnancies were so debilitating that I didn't knopw how I could be a mom to my two kids while I was pregnant/so sick. We just always said "we're done" and people always commented how we were lucky we had one of each. Even so...I always felt a sadness. Well when my daughter started Kindergarten and my last child was officially growing up, it broke my heart. That combined with how much I wanted to give my kids more than just one sibling (I have 3 brothers/loved it and my husband has 5 brothers/loved it)made us decide to do it one more time and if it was God's plan it would happen. It did and we hoped the pregnancy would be different. Well unfortunately it wasn't and I was ridiculously sick again...but our family now has a beautiful 8 month old dream baby. She is SOOO sweet and mild mannered and never stops smiling. She has enriched our family and each of us individually in a way we could have never dreamed of! My gut---for years--- was always telling me there was someone missing. That feeling never went away, it just got stronger. And although she is 6+ years younger than my older two (same as me and my 2 older brothers)...I am so so grateful to God that we finally gave our wonders/worries up to him. Listen to your gut...NOT OTHERS' OPINIONS...and then "let go/let God". Whatever is meant to 'be' for your little family will 'be'. Best wishes to you on this!

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J.,
My husband and I were actually living with my parents (It was a financial recovery plan from medical debts.) when we got pregnant with and had our third child. We now have six children and our family is complete. That sense of completion for us really came from within. We have some family that really wondered if we knew what we were doing. My parents have always been thrilled. With our last baby (I had her at 39) my father said to me, "how can you ever not love and be excited for a new life?" My mother passed away 5 years ago and she was able to know and love 5 of our children. She longed for grandchildren for years. She was a great hands on and loving grandmother "Nana". We live near them and never planned on not having her here while raising them.
A third child definitely changes the dynamics of a family. And I would never tell someone that that will always have time for all their children all the time. Honestly though, I see a great willingness to share in my children and a great ability they have for give and take. With siblings, sometimes they need to take turns. A huge benefit though is that they also are there for each other. When my 5 year old fell and got hurt at her sisters cheerleading practice last week, her two older sisters were right there caring for and comforting her. I was thrilled and very proud when at a parent teacher conference a few years ago a teacher told me how when my children got off the bus at school they waited for all their siblings to get off before they went into the school together. The oldest was 7 or 8 then. Instead of just running in and thinking of only themselves they were daily invested in the welfare and care of their siblings. They all know we are here for them but in addition, they are there for each other. Is it always peaceful, loving, and harmonic. NO. But this is their training ground for life and real life situations come up here every day and we are able to help teach them how to deal with those things right here at home. We love our number 3 and wish you the best in whatever you decide.
M., SAHM of 2 boys and 4 girls, nearly 13, 11.5, 10, 8, 5, and 8 months.

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You are worried about keeping your head above water? With the world warming up considerably, I would be thinking "how am I going to keep my childrens' heads' above water?
I have two daughters and one grandchild.I love them all dearly, and I love all kids, but my thoughts while pregnant with both was that of their future, not mine. The world is everyones responsibility, and we must begin to think on this.

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we have 2 children who are everything to us. we live for them and they are what life is all about, im sure you know this already. we plan to have 1 or 2 more.

you have recieved many responses and i wont repeat, but i did feel the need to address one "theory" i have read on the posts- in regards to not having a child for the reason of overpopulation, resources, the world is a crazy place, ect. i read something once that put it all in perspective. it was a response by a man to someone making the comment "if you are concerned about the environment, resources, and leaving a footprint, you shouldnt have children as you are contributing to the problem". on an interesting blog, the author responded to a woman saying how maybe adoption is the best way to help the enviroment by not reproducing. in response he said(from the No Impact Man blog)-
"Adoption is certainly laudable, but at some point people that care about this sort of thing and who can physically reproduce, MUST reproduce. Otherwise, what kind of a world will we have? One that is only populated by the offspring of those that don't give a sh*t(toilet paper or not)."

you could also apply this statment to being a good person, as if we who are good, loving, caring, kind, responsible, contributing, giving men and women, if WE do not reproduce, who will our world be left to? those who are raised by parents who will not instill these qualities, then we will be worse of than now.

just some food for thought on statements about not reproducing for the good of the world.

good luck to you, you may or may not regret only having 2 children, but you will never regert having the third once they come.

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I see you already have lots of responses, but I just want to add a reason we have chosen to have more children. When you get old, they are the only thing that will bring you joy and will love and take care of you. I worked in many a hospital and nursing home, and when you are old; no money, time, crafts, home or any material thing will bring joy to your life. Children are the only thing that lasts and it boils down to more children = more love all the way around. There is no greater blessing.

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i have three children all within 2 years of each other that i raised pretty much on my own. i have no doubt that if this is what you want you will do fine. go with your instincts. my comment is regarding your comment on foster care. i have been a foster parent for almost 10 years now and you should know that the vast majority of the kids in foster care are not 'troubled toddlers'. they are simply neglected and not used to being given the care they deserve. they are not usually troubled at this age because even though they have not been 'properly' taken care of, they dont usually even realize this. they only know what they have experienced and it all seems normal to them. i have had 8 toddlers over the years and they were each a joy. i went into it with my case workers knowing i would prefer children slated to return home and your workers job is also to accomodate you, so i was a sort of 'pass' for parents to regroup and get help. it was always a joy to see my children reunited with their parents, although hard too. i dont want to ramble but if you are truely interested the rewards are incredible. there are thousands of innocent children who just need a safe and loving environment temporarily. you will feel fulfilled in ways you cannot even realize and if you love children as it sounds like, the joy you will feel giving them the respite they need and safety they deserve is indescribable.
please at least call and get information. you have no idea how needed you are and if anyone deserves anything at all it is surely our children. 1-877-kids-needu 1-877-543-7633

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I am pregnant with our third and have two boys that are only 16 months apart. I agree with the other responses follow your heart. We knew that someone was missing, and who knows there might be another someone missing in a few years. Mostly for us it was just looking at our family and deciding that someone was missing. Some people will question your reasoning, but I totally agree being a mom is more selfless than anything.

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Hi J.
From what you have said, I gather that God has blessed you in many ways. I am from a very large family and I have 4 children including twin boys,one girl, and the last kid a boy - all grown now. I do have grandchildren whom I love and help to take care of amongst all the other things I do.

I have read the responses to your question and I agree that there is a lot of concern about the economy etc. but my little input is that lots of people depend on planning their family size and this means interceding in God's plans because you would have to take action to prevent yourself from having another child if you are moved to sharing the emotions of a true love with your husband. Children are a gift from God born of true love. Further if you believe that whatever the circumstances we are faced with God will take care of us. I come from a large family who lost their parents (both at a very young age), the last kid just a baby but I think that our family ties were strengthened by the 'faith and love'foundation our parents had built for us - again we are all grown with grandchildren of our own. We know that God is in the midst and like Michelle, I hope you would look to him for your guidance. Pray, and you and your husband listen to your hearts for the answer, don't let fear get in the way.
Peace and Love.

F. G

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Congrats on the decision to have another child. I will say that it is very evident that you are good parents to put a lot of thought onto it. I only have 2 children right now but certainly want at least 2 more. one thing I think about is if you only have 2 & God forbid something happens to one of them the other one would never fully get to experience the blessings of growing up (and even adulthood) with siblings. Siblings are the only ones that you can share certain memories with. I guess what I am trying to say is family is what this world is all about. When you take every thing else out of the picture family is what it is all about. I look forward to big family gatherings & tons of grandkids. You would adjust to 3 & love them all the same. And last but certainly not least, pray about it as a family. Good luck!

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I know you've already got a ton of responses, but I had to just add my two cents.
I find it amazing that so many people received such criticism when pregnant with, say, their third child. I come from an LDS (Mormon) family where it is considered odd if you want less than four. Talk about culture differences!
But seriously, if you feel like your family is incomplete, you need to go with that feeling. I really believe you are receiving it because there is another little one waiting to be a part of your family.
I don't know if you're of a religious background, but the FIRST commandment given was to 'be fruitful and multiply' (Genesis 1:28). As this is the Lord's earth, he knows to what capacities it is able to handle. I think we need to be conscientious of the environment, but I also believe that if the Lord gives a commandment he does it for a reason. The philosophy that we need to limit the amount of children we bring into our families because of overpopulation, global warming, etc. is a man-made philosophy, and we all know how those generally work out.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do. I agree with those that say you may or may not regret having a third, but you will NEVER regret another child once they're here.

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J.,
I feel the need to share my thoughts on having number three and I think it is best said in the words of my 8 year old daughter "mom, what would we of ever done without Sarah?". She wasn't planned, it has been hard at times, but adding her to our hectic life has been a blessing beyond what I could of imagined. My children - all girls - are 8,6 and 2. I personally enjoyed the 4 year age difference between the last two. The best part of my day is to watch her big sisters take care of her - crossing the parking lot, holding her hand, helping her put her shoes on, etc.
Also, I found the transition from 1 to 2 children much more difficult from 2 to 3. I've also heard moms of 4 children say 4 is actually easier than 3.
Do what is right for YOUR family - not your extended family.
Blessings to you!!

I grew up in a family of six children and my home was not like the warm cozy big families you see on tv. The more children you have the less time you have for yourself, you spouse, and each individual child. I have two children a 10 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. I'm a single mom and I thought my family was "complete" with just my daughter. I never even wanted another child until she turned 5 and went to kindergarten. Suddenly I wanted another child, but I never seemed to have the right kind of relationship to have one. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with moderate endometriosis and my doctor said I only had two more years before I would become infertile. I decided to let it go and be happy with the one child I had. However, a series of other relationship events took place and somehow (without planning) I became pregnant with my son. It was a miracle! At least that's how I feel and love both of my kids completely. Although my life has changed a lot more than what I thought it would.

I'm saying this because sometimes I look at my son and feel a sadness that he is my last baby. Even though I could never take care of another one (time, money, etc.) I think its natural to mourn the end of your years of having babies and I think its normal to wonder if you should try to have just one more. You girls are only 3 and 2 in about 2-3 more years you are going to be so busy with them in school, cheerleading, dance recitals, girl scouts etc. It's going to be alot of fun and a very busy time in your life. So you may want to think about WHY you want another baby.

I too had to lobby for a third child. My husband came from a family of just he and his sister and I had four older brothers and myself. One day my husband came to me and said, "how can I say no to another child because of the love we have for our children?" We hardly tried and we were pregnant with our third. My m-i-l kept making comments like she didn't think he could handle three and I said (at 5 mos. along) that it is too late for that. I also had to explain that it took the two of us to have this child and that we both were thrilled about it. Now, I cannot imagine life without our third. He brings soooo much joy to our family and my older boy and girl adore him!!!! It is pure bliss when you see each one being so caring and loving with the others. It is a bigger adjustment than two so be prepared for that. Also, we have been moving a lot the past three years and finding a home for everyone to have their own room is a bit harder but WELL worth it. Good luck!!! And try not to let outsiders make the decision for you (especially grandma and dad) because ultimately you and your husband are the ones raising these bundles of JOY.

We just knew we wanted 3 children, when our third was born our first was 2 1/2 and our second was 16 months. Our fourth (and final) came along the day before our oldest turned 5 and our second was 3 1/2 and third was 2 1/2.

4 boys in 5 years has definitely been hectic and at times hard to "keep our heads above water", but the boys are close and we would not trade having 4 in for anything in the world!

I have 2 kids and only haven't had any more because I'm SINGLE now. if I were married, I would have definitely had more.

I'm the oldest of 3 kids and I am so glad I have more than one sibling to turn to. They are so different and unique (as we all are) that they each add something very special to our family's life. They are the greatest gift my parents ever gave me ... 2 younger siblings.

I say ... go for it. If you feel even the slightest bit of wanting for another child, your time is now. Yes, the bigger the family, the bigger the expenses, but when we look at our budgets there are sometimes many extras that aren't really NEEDED, but are just extra cush. We were NOT well off financially growing up, but we never went without anything we actually needed. So we each didn't have 12 activities. So what. We each had 2 activities (Scouts and one other thing) and we did alot of family stuff (parks, beach, canoeing, etc.) We didn't do the theme park vacations in hotels and stuff ... we camped and traveled all over the Southern & Eastern US ... together. We learned more about each other (and how to tolerate someone who is TOUCHING you in the back seat for hours) in those car trips than most siblings learn in a lifetime.

If your heart says yes, then go for it. Children are always a gift ... :)

Hello,

We have 3 girls and wouldn't change a thing. I initially didn't want a 3rd for many of the reasons you are struggling with. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's draining. But our 3rd has also been a huge joy to our whole family. Seeing our older two interact with her has been great.

I wrote a blog on the topic "how do you know when you are done?" and am enclosing the link here if you'd like to read it.

http://amomintheburbs.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-do-you-kno...

(I can't enclose it as a hyperlink, so just cut and paste.) :)

J.,

I am the mother of 4 boys - 8, 7, 2, 1. I can't imagine not having any of the 4 of them.

I have to be honest - some days are scary crazy with sports and religion classes and homework, but at the end of my day, when I go in and make sure everyone is where they need to be, I truely feel blessed that my boys are there, in my house, sleeping peacefully.

I got plenty of support from my family in AZ or my husband's family who lives 90 monutes away, but not much help after the first few weeks wore off. So it is my husband and I who made the decision because it is my husband and I who are raising these beautiful boys.

When you choose to increase the size of your family - it is the best decision ever. I had my tubes tied last year after my 4th was born, but I still have to wonder how many more we would have had if my body could have handled it. (I don't think that I could have handled much more wear and tear on my person).

Best of luck!

LuAnn

Hi,
I am a SAHM of 3 girls 4,2 & 5 months. I always knew I wanted a big family with sisters in it and I have just that. Having had an older sister & brother I like odd numbered kids too. As children we had to figure out our problems by voting and there was rarely a deadlock where we all had our own idea and our parents had to intervene.
I don't find having #3 overwhelming since her sisters love to help with her. They love to "play" with her often too.
I truely think that most people can handle what they are given including lots of kids. Base your family on what you need to feel whole. Most people say they know when they are done. If you don't feel done and stop because of outside support I think you will feel that missing child for a long time afterwards and resent your reasoning. They would love any child of yours don't you think?
By the way I am 38 and would love to have 2 more.

J.,
From what you've said in your response, you've pretty much already decided to have your third child. Let me start by telling you that I am a mother of three (8yr old son, 5 yr old son, and almost 6 month old daughter), and my husband and I thought long and hard about whether to have a third or not because i don't have good pregnancies. So as to how you keep your head above water, you just do what you have to do. You'd also be amazed at how much the older kids want to help. I know that yours are younger than mine, but after talking with others, it's usually still the case. As for having the support of the rest of your family, you need to do what is right for you and your immediate family. Either the rest of them will fall in line and support you or they won't, but as long as you have your husband's love and support you should be good. Plus you have the support of all of us here at Mamasource. So good luck and follow your heart.

I, too, felt something was missing with just two children who happened to be boys. Part of trying for a third was to try for a girl, but I also felt the need for another child. We have three sons and, while they are similar, they are each unique. There is a benefit to having three of a kind - lots of hand me downs and toys! Each child has his/her own personality that adds to the mix of the family. If you have the urge and have talked it out and feel you can afford a third child, then you should follow your heart. Children do create extra work, but they also add extra joy to your life.

I had my third a year ago. Two boys and then a girl. I just am so happy to have her, we all are enjoying her (except when she's screaming alot). When she was born it was like a dream come true, but I have to tell you having three the first year is crazy-making as there is so much to adjust to and needs to be met for newborn that it feels like being in a whirlwind. After she started to crawl and become more independent life has eased up and calmed down with some rhythm.

I would recommend it if your spouse is willing/understanding and you know ahead of time it will be more chaotic for at least the first year. And it will cost more in food for sure. A third brings you also to the "multiple children club" where people with 3 or more tend to hang out with you more as you understand one another and all that goes on with multiple children.

Hi J.,
It looks like you got plenty of responses, but since you said, "Keep them coming," I thought perhaps my response could encourage you as well.
I am a mother of 7, all spaced about 2 years apart. Each pregnancy has been challenging, and taking care of a newborn has its hardships, but no so much that I could not handle it in the end. And each pregnancy has been worth it. There is nothing in the world--no amount of money or leisure or ease--that would make me want to "send back" any of my children. They bring me so much love and joy! Being a mother is going to be a challenge no matter how many children we have because it was designed by a loving Father in Heaven to help us stretch and grow (not just physically) and become better ourselves. So if we focus on the difficulties of it, we can get overwhelmed. The benefits of adding on another child far outweigh the challenges. If you knew that a certain single investment of a certain amount of money (that you could afford) would bring you dividends of a million dollars in the future, wouldn't you make that investment? Keep your eyes on the sweetness of motherhood, and pray for strength and the resources that you need, and you will find them. God has the ability to help us as mothers!
There have been those who have not been initially supportive of the idea of more children--but in the end, it hasn't mattered, and they have loved every single child. They have become supportive as they saw our family grow, and the love we have. Your child will be greatly blessed to grow up with siblings and parents who love him or her!
You can do it!
L.

Hi J.,
I have four boys ages 12, 11, 8, and 5. With each child day to day "stuff" gets more hectic. However, I would not change it. I am so thankful that my kids have each other to play with. They have their moments when they don't get along but for the most part that really do enjoy each other. I do have to prioritize what gets done when but if you stay organized than it is much easier! I would go crazy without my PDA!

We have three kids and it is alot but so worth it! And as far as your family your husbands opinion counts the most because it is the two of you that have the responsibility, right! As far as fiances the biggest expense now (kids are 11, 9, 5 ) it is the college funding and activities. You can make it work though, we only go on a big vacation every few years or so, but we camp alot and the kids love it! ( I do too, lots of good family time sans TV and commercialism!). By the way, what a cool work schedule! That must be nice, just one day a week, get some adult time and a little cash! If you can continue to make that work with a new baby as well I say GO for it!! And maybe a little boy, I had a little girl after two boys. ( I just wanted a third though and just hoped for a healthy child)

After my second, I went through postpartum depression and my son was a truly unhappy baby. I was going crazy. I always wanted more children, but didn't want to go through that again. I was so nervous with the 3rd pregnancy, but with a lot of prayer and taking DHA, I had the most precious, happy child. I am so thankful that I went ahead and had my 3rd. If I wasn't so tired, I would probably go for a 4th. But, I'm tired yet happy. The 1st one was interesting and worry; the second one was work, the 3rd has been enjoyment, soaking in every minute knowing he's my last one. So, I've truly enjoyed him. You don't worry as much, you already know the work load, and so you totally enjoy the baby.

We have 3 children. I was at your place 1 1/2 years ago when we decided to have a 3rd. I was definitely scared about giving love to a third and how would the youngest, now middle child handle all that. I assure you it has been the best decision of our families lives. I've never felt more complete and content then I do now. We have two older boys, one almost 5 and 3 1/2 years, and our daughter is now 7 months. We've been blessed to have an easy baby, and the boys absolutely adore her. Sure there are hectic moments, but it has been easier then with adding a second.

I have 3, grown now. sOMETIMES IT WAS HARD, JUGGLING WHERE 3 WOULD GO AND how to get them there. We raised our children without family help, in a dif state. Having enough love? That is a given, your heart grows as they do.
Finances were our biggest problem. Now that they are grown, it is fun to all get together. My third was a girl. I feel even more blessed to have had her, as boys wives don't usually bond with a mil. I have 2 wonderful daughters in law. But they have their own mothers.

I have 3 wonderful healthy children who are grown now-ages 26, 21, and 17. The first 2 were boys. I always wanted 3 children. I am from a family of 4 children and my siblings are all brothers. Two children just didn't seem like a big enough family for me. I was blessed with a beautiful girl for my third and I finally felt complete. I didn't have that urge anymore for more children. That might be because I had my girl but even if I had a boy, I think that I would feel like my family was complete. 3 takes a lot of work and expense, but my house is always filled with friends and chatter and I think my spacing made it a bit easier. I wouldn't have had it any other way!! Good luck!

Hi J., I am a mom to three beautiful girls and as less hectic as our lives would be without the third, I cannot imagine life w/o her. I also went back and forth with the going for the third baby decision. My second was a handful & didn't think I could handle a third until she was around 2 and things settled down a bit. I think as moms we know what we can handle. It is a lot of work, but so is 2 and so is 1. I will tell you that for me it was easier going from 2 to 3 kids as opposed to 1 to 2 kids. Having three can be overwhelming at times for anyone, and some times more than others. Some women find 1 overwhelming, it depends on the type of person you are and the type of children you have. I found it very easy the 1st six months b/c baby gets toted everywhere in the infant seat or is easily occupied while you are doing other things. It was a little more challenging when she was older and required more attention. But you manage and figure out what works best for you as you go along. From what you say about your husband, he is very involved which is a huge plus, so you will have a support system. As much as you want everyone's blessing, listen to your heart and what you really want. My mom only had 2 and always wanted a 3rd, but my dad didn't want anymore. My mom has always regretted not pushing for that 3rd. You can always wait until your little one is older and have a bigger age gap, some people find it easier with a bigger age gap. Best of luck to you.

How many children any couple has is such a personal decision that unless your father and grandmother are providing financial support for your family, I can't see how their opinion is appropriate. That said, just take your time making the decision. With both your other kids so young and so close in age, you have time to space the third one a little to have the other ones in pre-school making for a gentler transition. You sound like a thoughtful parent and I'm sure you'll come to the decision that's best for your family.

Many have already answered this post, but I thought I'd add a little: I have a 15 year old daughter from a relationship when I was 20. I got married later in life (30) and my husband and I have 2 children together: a 4 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. Perfect family, right? It is now b/c it has to be, but that is b/c the choice was made for me. After having my daughter, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was told that it was STRONGLY recommended that I get a hysterectomy b/c the cancer was spreading into the tissue, etc. I was not ready to make that decision when my daughter was just about 11 months old, but my husband begged me to think of my health first. He was content with what we had. I now babysit a 2 month old 4 days a week and I still feel sad and empty that I wasn't able to have my own 3rd child. I come from a large family (4 girls/4 boys) and my siblings (and now their spouses) are my best friends. Your children will have so much growing up having a bigger family. We are a family with 8 children, each married and right now the grandchild count for our parents is 16 with one on the way. Family get togethers are the BEST!!! Give your children that joy and have that third if that is what your heart tells you you want. As long as you're able to handle things financially, the rest will fall into place!

You know yourself and your family better than anyone else. If you and your husband feel that you want another child, then don't let anything else stop you. Are you overwhelmed right now? I don't think you are, otherwise you wouldn't have the desire to have another. And even if you are at times, maybe that is what makes you happy. I am pregnant with my third, but my children are spaced 14, 5 and one on the way. Money and instability has always held me back, but I think you can make it through anything. So go for it! Your grandparents will love you regardless, they just worry about you.

I recently read a most amazing book. If you are a person of faith, or if you believe that our souls/spirits existed before we were born, this book will touch your heart and soul. It is about the spirits who are waiting to be born, and who are meant to come to us specifically, whom we have known before this life. If you feel your family is not complete, then there probably is another person wanting and waiting to come to your family. The book is Songs of the Morning Stars. I got it as a gift for my MIL, as she and I both enjoy reading about near death experiences and such. I had not yet read it, and she loved it so much that she got a copy for me. It is about pre birth experiences that people have had, and is a quick, beautiful, heart-warming (and heart-wrenching) read. It is on amazon.com. I long (and long) to have another child, but we aren't very fertile. My grandmother used to tell my father not to have kids when he married my mom... Now that she is 90, she says she wishes she had had twice as many (she had 5).

I am the mother of three beautiful girls. Before we had children we always talked about having two children. When my first came along it was heaven on earth. But we knew that we were not done. During my entire second pregnancy, I was so scared and worried "How could I possibly love anyone as much as my daughter". Well my second daughter was born and I fell in love again. My husband was happy with two healthly babies, but I knew I needed one more. During my third pregnancy I never worried about being able to love another person as much as my first babies because I knew how easy it was the second time. I couldn't imagine life without my third daughter! I'm a SAHM and my girls are 10, 7 and almost 4. It gets a little crazy and our house is never quiet, but we love it! We know that one day when our house is quiet, we will be wishing for the craziness back! Good luck!

Go Ahead. You will be haunted by a nagging feeling of emptyness and unfullfillment the rest of your life. This is how I feel because my husband shot it down. The unfullfillment is the secret baggage I carry alone. I never talk about it. Yes, I had a long career and degreed out the door -- without a third child.

No matter what your dad and grandmother say now, once they hold that little baby they won't remember ever having voiced a reservation. Aside from that, it's completely inappropriate for them to voice any opinion whatsoever regarding your family's decisions. You and your husband know what you can handle. Nobody else is inside your marriage and inside your home. If you and your husband feel that having another baby is the right decision, then I think you know what you should do. :) Ultimately we all have to find a way to not seek/need the approval of those outside our marriage. The only one we really need to be aligned with is our spouse. And if you two are on the same page, others will follow your example. And if they don't, they have their own issues to work out that have absolutely nothing to do with you and your decisions as a family. Good luck!

Actually, God played a large part in our having a third child. I was an RN at home with 2 little girls and wanted to try for a son. My husband felt our family was already perfect. Obviously, God thought I was right and Tommy was born! Ten years later,He blessed us again with Mike. Boys are harder than girls, but I sure wouldn't trade any of them. I'm a Grandma now and care for my grandchildren on a regular basis. Unless your grandma and dad do that everyday for you, I don't think their opinion about the size of your family should carry too much weight.(we also camped!)

You have lots of good advice! I just wanted to encourage you in the area of family support. I have four girls. My youngest was born 2 weeks before my oldest turned 5. When we found out we were pregnant with out third child people stopped saying congratulations. My Grandma said, "Are you f'n nuts?!". Our parents were like oooookkkkkk. And most of my friends said, Don't you know what causes that? Your husband is your family and he is on board then I say go for it. Everyone melted when Victoria was born. When Izzy was conceived, same reactions like we were dummies that didn't realize how we were getting pregnant. I felt like when I was pregnant with our 4th daughter that she was the final piece to our family puzzle. After I had her, I didn't yearn for more children. I felt like our family was complete. Best decisions we ever made. Good luck!

Dear J.,

I wanted to share that my father hasn't been very supportive of the fact that I had more than 2 and am actually days away from giving birth to my 4th (and final) little boy!! I am thrilled beyond words. I look at my 3rd son who is 4 and cannot think where my life would be without him. My first two are 9 and 8 (20 months apart) and then my 3rd and now my 4th. The spacing has been ideal for me but that is me. If you feel like someone is missing then follow the promptings and enjoy bringing the new life into your family's life. If I had listened to the original promptings my 3rd would likely be 5 right now, but I had to be "hit over the head" so to speak. I am a stay at home mom and it can be a struggle because my husband is in the military and sometimes I have stints of being a single stay at home parent, but my boys make it worth all the downs because of all the ups and love that they give me. Good luck with your decision and God bless you and your family!
L.

I always wanted three I think because I grew up with a brother and a sister. Life was just getting too easy and too perfect with my daughter and son....we needed to stir the pot just one more time and add that extra bit of chaos.
We had our 3rd last August and I have to say it has been amazing! I know she is my last so I really enjoyed every moment....even the night feedings and the sleep deprivation. Consequently she is my happiest, easiest baby and just fits right in with the family.. One can completely understand having more once you hit the 3 mark. With the first child you have no clue what you are doing and are thus a lot more anxious. With the second you are just getting used to multiple children, learning to juggle. With the 3rd you are a pro, have major mommy confidence and can basically do it all.
I had 2 miscarriages before having my 3rd, so my eldest is 6 and my son is 4.....so that does play into the easy factor as they are both out of diapers and a HUGE help when it comes to entertaining their baby sister ect. Sanity wise it does help to have your other two in school.
good luck. I highly Recommend it.

J.,
I have 2 boys, 7 and 2. I am also on the fence about having a third child. People keep saying, are you going to try for the girl? We have gone back and forth on the issue. We would need a bigger car if we had number three. Financially, it would be difficult, diapers, formula, etc.. for a few more years. Also, I am 38 and my husband is going to be 43. It is harder to lose so much sleep the older we get. So I think we are leaning toward enjoying our 2 sweet boys. I think.......
Good luck with your decision.
T. D

Wow what a great question, not to mention you asked exactly what we have been thinking about that "3rd" baby? Do have one or not to? My two are 10 years apart (5 and 15) and now my son is off to all day kindergarten this year and I am wanting another baby too. Personally Ive always wanted 3 but now that they'll both be in school Im struggling with whether or not to get a part time job during that time? I cant see that having 3 is any more difficult than having 2. I also agree that going from 1 to 2 is more of a challenge than a 3rd addition. So Id say do it and dont wait until they get too far apart, because I regret not having one sooner so my 5 year old and new baby (hopefully to come) would be closer but you have to live with the decision you make and you really only have one life to live. So if that would make your family "complete" I'd say yes. Well at least thats what I had to tell my husband and he finally jumped on board. Good Luck!

Hi J.,

I just had my third child and am absolutely loving it. I am able to work part time and have been off for 6 months. I have been able to bond and spend more quality time with all my children. It has not been overwhelming because I am more organized and my other two are very helpful and sweet with the baby. She is also a good sleeper and I take advantage by napping. Since your husband is so involved, there is really not that big difference between 2 and 3. It is such a blessing and if you are in the right frame of mind, having a big family is FUN! Good luck with your decision! ;-)

I have 3 boys now 13, 10 & 8. I cannot imagine my life without my third son. He brings me such joy. He has been much easier for me his entire life. When I am with him I feel like I am enough, a good mother, a good person.

He was born into a family so it was not the adjustment it was with my first needing to accept our second. Also I was more sure of myself as a parent at that point. Which is not to say life isn't challenging. Certainly 3 is more then 2.

He brought a balance to our family & to me I would ever have expected. I know our family & even the world is better with my third son in it.

We have 3 children, B-almost 5,G-almost 4,B-almost 2 and one on the way!With our first son,my hubby started talking about the big V...no way!! It was just culture shock talking -we soon found out we were preggo w/#2..they are 11mts apart! We then had 2 miscarriages in between her and the youngest and we have had 2 more in between him and this one that's on the way. EVERYBODY I know has said we're crazy!!! Well-in all actuality,it's nobody elses business! They're not the ones raising them! I'm blessed to be able to be a SAHM and have a hubby that comes home everynight to welcoming arms and has no problem helping w/ our nighttime routines. If I need help in the middle of the day,because of a drs appt or something,he comes home and watches the kids while I go or if he can't then I drop off one or two of 'em at his office and his secretary will watch them for me while I go..Going from 1 to 2 is a big adjustment, going from 2-3 is nothing! Kinda just-alright, hop on for the ride..lets go!
My mil has NEVER been happy about ANY of our pregnancies...she doesn't "show approval" about any of them until they come home from the hospital.It's odd because she's 1/6 herself and she had 3 boys (my hubby being the oldest).My mother is just like-OMG!! ur pregnant AGAIN?!? Ok-whatever..and then she's fine about it..do what YA"LL want-not everybody around you!! good luck!

I think if you really didn't want a third child, you wouldn't be asking this question. I think you would just know that 2 is enough and you don't want a third. I have 2 children now and we have decided to have a third. I had a miscarriage in March, but we are going to start trying again soon. My oldest is 5 and he is pretty much self-sufficient so I think that will help a lot, plus my youngest is 2 1/2 and very independent which helps too. I was the youngest of 5 kids and never felt like I had to try harder for my parent's love and affection. My parent's treat us all the same and we have a blast at holidays when we all get together.

We had a boy and a girl - almost 4 years apart due to a miscarriage in between- and I,too, just felt like something was missing. I was from a family of 3 kids, my husband had 4 siblings. I missed the craziness of Christmas morning - two didn't make it madhouse enough! My husband took a bit of convincing- but Oh! that third one is his baby. (altho she is 10 now) With us we already had one of each gender so mostly we were curious as to "Who" we would get, not what sex. And I truly believe that one kid is an incredible amount of work ( mostly since you don't know what you are doing) and two is a piece of cake and after that- they just all take care of each other. I used to swear that if anything ever happened to me that the middle child would raise the baby and do a better job of it than I would. They are now 10 and almost 13 so not as close- but still there are days that give me great joy watching them interact. One downside that we encounter now that they are older- and it's one that kinda makes me wish we had gone on and had four- is that when we travel MANY, MANY hotels only allow 4 people to a room. Lots of hotels don't allow roll aways and we are now having to get two rooms when we travel. Since the oldest (boy) likes to scare his sisters that makes me uneasy letting them have a room to themselves- but I have pretty much solved that by taking along the baby monitor and always keeping a room key to their room myself. Oh! And with three- you seldom get them all gone at the same time. I frequently have nights where two have gone off to spend the night out- but the third will be at home w/ friends over. My friends with just two kids frequently have nights where both their kids are gone for the evening on sleepovers and they get free time. The more kids you have, the less likely you and your husband will get a bonus night at home!
And yes- the people who love their children and can care for them are the people that should be having them.

I married at 20. We had our first child at 22, second at 25, and third at 29. I wouldn't trade them for anything. We had our tough times, especially when their Dad left and I was on my own. Now 12 years later I've remarried, we're trying to add to our family - my new husband's first child. It was a struggle to decide if siblings 21 years apart was a wise idea. My family is staunchly opposed and very vocally critical of our decision. We made our decision based on US. No one else was in the decision. We are very child oriented and it's the natural thing for us to do. We both work, we're very frugal, we are Christian, organic vegetarians, and ecologically minded. A well balanced couple who feel our family needs one more to be complete.

Make your decision on you and your husband. After all, you're going to raise the child - no one else.

We have three already and #4 on the way. I had always wanted more than two kids, and when #3 came along, he is just such a wonderful guy!! I think that the more children you have, the less you worry about some things, I find my third to be the most laid-back, the least needy of all of my kids. I hope #4 decides to follow in those footsteps. I love having a larger family than the "average", although trips to the grocery store are definitely a challenge!! Hope you go through with it - I think you won't regret it!

J.,
Always follow your heart. With each one of my kids I had a gut feeling their sex and I was always right and when we had our last child I knew I was finished. My mom told me that you'll get this gut feeling when your family is complete and she was right. On another note when I was with my ex we had a rocky relationship and my mom knew it and she'd try to control me on not having anymore kids and I was glad I didn't listen to her because she heard through the rumor mill that when I was pregnant with my 3rd that I wasn't getting my tubes tied girl she came to my house and told me that we are getting your tubes tied. I was so upset I called my oldest sister who my mom thinks hung the moon and she had a talked with her and my mom left me alone. Now if I would have listened to her I wouln't have my son I have now and the pregnancy she told me that with was my daughter who died of crib death when she was 3 months old. I heard my mom tell someone at the funeral and yeah we were going to have her tubes tied and I said no you were going to, I never agreed to that. Anyway that last part was to let you know girl no matter if its financial, rocky marriage or just meddling family members for no reason at all. Follow your heart our dear God has gave you those intuitions because you are a woman. Always follow your heart, it will tell you when your family is complete. Even though my one passed away and the next child was not the same sex, I knew each time what I wanted and I knew when I had the one I lost before I lost her that I wasn't finished and then when I had the next I knew I was finished. Hope this helps, sorry I don't know how to get straight to a point.

My husband and I got together after our first marriages didn't work out. He had 1 boy, who stayed with his mom, and I had 1 boy and was pregnant. He treated my children as if they were his own, and suffered because his exwife was so stingy about his boy. Together we had 3 children, and loved each and every one of them. Now our baby is 25, the oldest 35, and we have 12 grandchidlren ranging from 14 to 4. We are raising 2 of the granddaughters (their mother ... our oldest daughter ... liked to party, and gave them to us when they were babies) and have a 4-year-old grandson staying with us (his father lives next door ... our younest son ...b ut the child wants to stay with grandma). There is love enough to go around no matter how many you have. My husband's parents had 13, my mother had 7, so a large family is no big deal to us. Enjoy all your chidlren. With the cost of everything now-a-days, others think we should stop at 1 or 2. I got many looks and questions "are you pregnant again?". I ignored those people. It's our lives, and we didn't ask them to support our children.
God bless your family,
Jan in MO

J.,

I have 5 children ages 15, 11, 10,6,and 5 i would have 5 more if we could afford them. I enjoyed being pregnant and loved the newborn stage. Twice I had a new born with a young toddler. It gets easier with each child I believe. I also think that as long as your body can handel being pregnant you will be fine. The decision to have a 3rd child is between you and your husband. When i got pregnant with my 3rd my family was not thrilled but when he got here they were more excited than I was. Same goes for number 4 and 5. I come from a family of 4 girls and always knew I wanted at least 4 kids.
This is your family and you and your husband are in conrtol. I promise your family will come around don't worry about them.
good luck to you.

J., I just want to share with you my wavering between 2 or 3. I have a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl who I love dearly. My husband always wanted to have just 2 and I always thought I wanted 3 children. (Perhaps largely because I grew up with 2 siblings and he grew up with 1 - that can certainly influence our views of the "perfect" family!) So, when my daughter was 8 months old, my husband was starting to look into getting a vasectomy. I had tentatively agreed to being "done" but still had that doubt that I might always regret not having a third. We were also getting ready for a cross-country move at the time. The weekend before his first "consult" with the doctor about the procedure, I thought that I was pregnant again. I had been charting my cycles, but not using any other birth control, and the pattern looked remarkably similar to how it had looked every time I had been pregnant (including one miscarriage between my two children's births). I was completely stressed out the entire weekend. Taking pregnancy test after pregnancy test, knowing it was probably still too early for the tests to be accurate - and despite it showing up negative, I was convinced I was still pregnant.

During that time, I really had the chance to think about how I felt about having a third child. As much as I had thought that I wanted it - wanted to experience another pregnancy, wanted another child to be part of our family, etc. - I began to realize that I really liked our family the way it was! I was having a hard time thinking about my lovely little girl, my baby, suddenly becoming the middle child and how that would affect her life forever. Although I knew that if it turned out that I was pregnant, we would certainly welcome the new addition to our family, learn to adjust, and be a happy family with 3 children, I was quite relieved when it turned out that I wasn't pregnant after all.

It can be very hard to make the decision about another child, but I think that you often have to put aside all of the "logic" and outside influences one way or the other and just think about and envision what you want for your family and your children. I am very happy and no longer hold any doubts that two is the perfect number for us. I hope you can feel confident in your decision as well, whatever that turns out to be.

J.,

My husband and I have three children, 9,6 and 5. We are planning on having another one. My friends told me that they will come and visit me in the Psych Ward after I have one. I also feel that missing void. I told my husband that I don't feel that our family won't be complete until we have one more child. The only thing is he has a vascetomy and he has to get it undone. That may not be until next year sometime. I wish that I didn't have to wait that long because I am so ready now. Of course it won't be easy dealing with small children, but you just go with the flow and don't even think about it. That was the only way I got through it after I had my son when my daughter was one. Just go with the flow and you will be alright.

Best

We spaced ours out a little. Our first two were fairly close (2 yrs 4 mos apart). The biggest challenge for me was having an infant and a toddler at the same time. We didn't have our third until our youngest was six. It was so much easier because the other kids were self sufficient and I really got to enjoy having a baby again. Now my husband wants another one so the baby will have a sibling close to her age. I'm content with three. I think everyone has their limits and you will know when you reach yours. Three is a blessing and a handful at times. I have never regretted the decision to have the third. I come from a family of seven and I don't know how my mom ever managed that!

We are pondering the exact same thing as you are. We would like to try again for a boy but have to be comfortable with having three girls first.
From what I've heard, the hardest change is from one to two and adding three is nearly seamless. The things I worry about are two kids ganging up on the other, college, weddings, spreading money too thin, space in the car, and being outnumbered. I'm excited to see what people tell you!

Best of luck to you, J.. I just saw your post and enjoyed reading it and the responses. We are considering having our fourth, but I think we are in a similar situation as you because we had twins and then a single baby, and this would be my third pregnancy. After the twins, my husband thought, how much trouble can one be? Let's have more. I thought he was a little crazy, but I did want another one. For me, adding my son was a huge adjustment -- not because it was three, but because I suddenly had to learn how to juggle different ages. Things finally started to feel semi-normal again when my youngest reached 9 months. Now that I've adjusted to juggling different ages, I think a fourth will be just the normal newborn craziness for 9 months or so, but not any extra craziness. And my twins will be 5, instead of 2 when this one arrives, so that will be a lot easier too. The amazing thing is that my husband and I both swore our third would be the last all through my last pregnancy. But since he was about 4 days old until now (he's almost two), I've had this strong desire for another.

Best of luck to you! V.

Hi J.,
I'm a little late on the response I see but I thought I'd add another dimension to the replies. I also felt like something was missing after having a girl and then a boy. They are 2 1/2 years apart. My husband kept saying "we have a girl and a boy, we're done!" which would always make me feel sad inside. I always thought I wanted two but it was strange thinking something was missing. One day I sat down with my husband and explained how I felt each time he said we were done. (I had at this point given all the baby stuff away except for a crib) After our conversation, I spent a lot of time just praying that God would take the desire to have a 3rd out of me since that's not what my husband desired. Well, 6 months later, my husband came to me and said out of the blue "When are we going to try for #3?" After I picked my jaw up off the ground, 2 months later I was pregnant.....with......TWINS! Talk about feeling overwhelmed and panicky most of the pregnancy. It was tough when they were little but now, we just can't imagine our lives without them. (Now the kids are 13,10,7,7) Sure life is hectic but I wouldn't change it for the world. I worried about loving each child equally but their personalities are all just so different that this hasn't been a problem.
Basically, what I've noticed is that the world is set up for a family of 4 so traveling takes a lot more thought for sure. (hotels,restaurants, vacation packages, cruise ship rooms, etc.) So, we can't go as much as other families. Not a big deal, just another side note.
Hope this helps (although the twin thing might freak you out a bit...lol)
Good luck with your decision!
M.

Your dad and grandma will love a 3rd child just as much as the other 2 when the baby is here. Soon they will forget they were ever even discouraging you.

Good luck!

Hi J., Well...I can at least tell you from personal experience.....that is from a grandmother's point of view as well as a mother. First of all my husband and I have been together for 17 years. We have 2 children each from our first marriages plus 1 of our own....who by the way was a big ooops. Though not planned on our part, but very much wanted and loved. He's the light of our lives and has kept as young. Now out of the 4 oldest children they have produced 9 grandchildren (with the 10th due in Feb.) the oldest only being 2 1/2 years younger than our youngest child, plus 5 step-grandchildren, which I might add, none are treated any differently than the other and all considered our grandchildren no "step" added. :-) I can probably say, as far as your dad and grandmother are concerned, it is more than likely concern for you knowing that more children add more stress and cost to your lives. On the plus side, if you decide to have another child, he/she will be very much loved, not only by you and your husband, but also by your dad and grandmother. Sometimes it's just the anticipation of adding another child to ones lives that tend to cause the negative feelings. Like I said, we have a total of 14 plus grandchildren, and whenever adding more is discussed it brings a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but once they're here you can't imagine what you would have done without them. They all bring such joy to our lives. So however many you decide to have, do so knowing that he/she will be very much loved by all your family.

Best of luck,
S.

Hi J.

I know you've had tons of responses but here's mine anyway - I've got three children and the third is definitely the icing on the cake - loved by everyone especially his big brothers. But I've got a huge difference in my family - his brothers are a teenager and middle schooler.I don't know how old you are but you've got two very small, and needy children at the moment. Three kids is definitely manageable but way more fun if you wait until your other kids are way bigger. If you are in your 40s and can't wait, then I'd go for it. If you're still in your 30s I'd really take your time - I've seen lots of moms with three little ones under five and I really do think they seem more hassled than I was when I had my baby (he's now five, but still our baby!). Imagine - the older two bath themselves, can bath the little one, can babysit if you need to run out, will entertain the baby - and there's also no jealousy because of the larger age gap. If you don't want such a large age gap, how about waiting until your older one's in elementary school at least.....that would definitely help a bit. Good luck! - Alison

Hi J., I'm a mom of three which is a new adventure every single day but I wouldn't miss it for the anything in the world! My son will be 17 this year he's my quiet one & honor student he has always been my sweet,quiet kid then theres my oldest daughter whose going to be 15 soon shes my soccer, cross country, cheerleading active child always on the go for new adventures but then there my youngest that turned 5 last June she's alot like her sister she's very active in soccer, gymnastic and whatever she can get into so I'm sure she'll follow in her sisters footsteps. I was always one who wanted more then one child I had only a brother so I thought it would be nice to have three children so if you feel for the need to have more children even though I believe you have already made up your mind go for it!

J.,

The love doesn't stop when you have more children. In fact it grows. Whether your biological child or adopted there is always enough love to take care of them. My husband and I decided to have whatever children that God brought into our life. We have 3 boys 4,3,20mo and a new baby coming any day now. Not everyone we know is happy with our decision to have many children, but it OUR decision.

You deciding to have a third baby is your choice and you will love that little one reguardless of what others think.

This adage is not from me, I only have one, but from my mom's side of the family....where 3-8 kids are common place. I'll be interested to see what mom's who DO have 3+ that aren't my family have to say :)

"2 children are about 10 times the work of 1. It doesn't make sense, but they are. The 3rd is easy, and after that you only notice at the grocery store and the airport."

Hi J., I went through the same contemplation about having a third child... we have two beautiful girls, aged 7 and 2, and we just welcomed our son who is 1 month. Once you have a child, no matter if it's your first or 8th, I think you always wonder how you could have lived without this little person in your life. Our family feels so much more complete now. Because I already know how fast these newborn days go by, I honestly don't think I have minded so much the lack of sleep that comes along with having a new little bundle. With the first child you are trying to figure motherhood out so I think you gain more appreciation for things with each child because you already know what moments are not worth stressing over and what things are meant to be treasured...

My father was not supportive of my having another child either, and while his blessing would have been nice, I filed it under the "oh well" category. I chose to ONLY focus on how my husband and I felt about an addition. Having your family's blessing is great but you are the parents and going to raise the child, not them. I decided to stay home after our 2nd child, so financial considerations were key in that having a 3rd would postpone my returning to work and obviously increase our expenses... However, my husband and I decided that if we were going to have a 3rd, the best time would be now while I was still at home instead of further down the line when I'd return to work and have to go through that whole transition again.

Now my son is here, and splitting my attention has been a challenge so far. I think it has helped a lot that my oldest is 7, and so madly in love with her little brother. My 2 year old follows her sister's lead and I think seeing how much her big sister adores the baby makes her warm up to him as well. Our 2 year old hasn't shown any jealousy yet but rather more frustrations towards me for not being as available immediately. The best advice I have for you is that whenever possible, attend to your toddler's need first (like getting her a snack) before the baby (like changing a diaper). There are times this is not possible of course, but this way she doesnt feel you "always prefer" the baby. Also,I took my daughters individually on a "mommy & me" date once I was back on my feet to spend some 1-to-1 with each. I think my husband enjoys the "daddy time" too when I'm out with one of the girls. I hope to continue this as well as dates with my husband at least once per month...

While I am writing this with deep circles around my eyes, I could not be happier. I think I would have regreted it my whole life if I had been afraid to take the leap of faith... because ultimately that is what having children is... you take a leap of faith that everything will be okay.

Best wishes to you whatever you decide. :)

We only have two, and we would really like to have more, but it doesn't seem to be happening. We know *lots* of families with 4 kids, and several with more than that (the largest is 9 so far). With all these large families, everyone wants even more kids, both the adults and the kids.

Hi J.,
I agree with the person that said that you seem already to have made up your mind that you really do want a third child. Your husband is onboard - loving, supportive, engaged - so it seems that if you both feel the void of a third child. All the other issues would work themselves out. Chaotic days and financial issues come up just as they do now (probably) and you'd work them out just as you do now.

When it comes to large families, I admire people who seem happy and at ease with many children. Then, it makes sense that they would have decided to have upwards of two children - or any at all. If that's your situation and you can reasonably support the third child, emotionally and in all other ways, it would be wonderful. What baffles me are people who seem completely overwhelmed already with their families, either with one or two children, and still consider having more, and are upset that people won't take them off their hands for them for weekends and nights out. If you are considering potential family babysitters and the like for three children versus two, it doesn't seem like a rational decision.

Hi J.,

In regards to what made us decided to have a third child, I was in the hospital after giving birth to #2, and I said "someone is missing". We were not trying for #3, but he showed up a few years later...and he has been a delight since that day, the easiest baby of all three! Life is wonderful with him here. I also have thought a lot about my old age, and what I want to have around me...belongings? No. Children and grandchildren? YES!

It does change family dynamics a bit, but I choose to ignore the naysayers who focus on the difficulties. It's only difficult to get to the grocery if my attitude is bad and I make it so. We can go on vacation, we can attend cultural events, we can eat out...just like anyone else. If it takes more planning and creativity with funds, so what? I won't let that hold me back!

I have two SILs with two children only. One for health reasons stopped at two. The other stopped at two for personal reasons regarding her wealth which she wanted to hold onto...so sad to me. She once shared with me her "insight" that those who have scads of children are just wrong because life was obviously made for couples to have only two children...two seats in cars, two seats in restaurants, etc. I feel badly for her that she is so short-sighted and selfish.

I did not see a lot of people respond to you about the lack of support from your family. My birth family, particularly my mother, also has dictated a lack of approval on multiple children (note: I am one of four, and I am the only planned one!) I was supposed to have two, and two only...I have endured many more rude comments from this side of the family, ranging from suggestions re: birth control to sending my husband on a long-distance car trip locked in the car with the children to show him how difficult it is (as if it was his idea alone to have this many children!)

I finally said ENOUGH! It's my life, let me live it! I love all my kids, they are all welcome here, and I will love them each totally and completely. I had to determine what was important to me...after all, I have one chance to live on this earth and no one else will be around when I'm old and grey, looking back and thinking I wanted more kids...so I decided to live it MY way, on MY terms. I don't depend on them for support financially or emotionally or even with babysitting, so I feel absolutely secure in making this declaration.

I say GO for it, but it's a personal decision, best carefully thought out. I wish you the best with your family.
~ K.

Wow. You have gotten a lot of responces. So many personal thoughts and beliefs are wonderful to read. I have 3 children but did not go through a lot of deep thinking about having them. My first was a boy. It took five long years to have my second, also a boy. At the time of having my second son I told my husband I would try one more time for a girl. My third child is also a boy. I am happy with my three boys. I simply knew after my second that I would be done at three. I can't say why or how I knew, just that for me I was ready to have my boys grow up and enjoy the benefits of not having a baby in the house. I do think that parents of 3 children have to be aware of the middle child issue. It does exist and if not ignored then all three children should grow up happy with who they are and their placement in the family. (I am a middle child and notice the difference in my own middle child's actions/reactions to be a firm believer in the middle child being a unique placement in the family.)

My story is mine. Your story is what you make it. I don't believe there is a wrong answer, just being happy with whatever decision you make.

Money--somehow we always do what we need to do. I can't imagine a third child changing that too much.

"Keeping your head above the water" comes from adjusting the family and creating the support system that works for all of you. That will have to adjust and change with your new needs. You sound like a strong woman who would work to create what she needs to have a happy and content family life.

Best of luck!

I am at SAHM to 3 girls who are now 24, 20 and 11. When we were trying to decide about a third we decided to leave it in God's hands. Well it took a little longer than the others but he blessed us with a beautiful, healthy girl when I was 45 1/2 years old. Even though most of our friends our age and now empty nesters, or close to it, we wouldn't trade having her for anything in the world. It keeps you young, active and connected. Don't let anyone influence your decision to have another child....you and your husband are the one that will be responsible for this child; not your family or friends. And the joys of getting together when you have a larger family are so wonderful. I'm one of 6 in my family (my mother had 4 under the age of 5) and my husband is 1 of 4 so family gatherings are so much fun. Also when you and your husband get older and pass on you leave behind a family to love and cherish each other. That's my 2 cents worth!

I just wanted to let you know that I really hesitated about having a third. My husband really wanted more. So we decided together 3 would be it. I will tell you now that my third child is a gift. She just turned 5 and I cannot imagine my life without her. There is just something special about #3. Life can be hectic and yet I wouldn't change it for anything!

Hi, J.! Congratualtions on the two beautiful children you already have. If you weren't so in love with them, you wouldn't even be contemplating another child. It sounds like you have married a great husband and father. I commend you for really taking the time and gathering advice and support from those around you. I am the mother of three great children: an almost-18 yr old son, a 16 yr old son, and a 14 yr old daughter. The boys are wonderful! Great young men! My daughter is the rose amongst the thorns, the icing on the cake.:) She is my greatest joy in life! For me, the decision to have the third child was easy; our family just didn't feel complete. (I would have liked to have five children, but my husband was finished at three.) My kids are close in age: 3 yrs 7 months start to finish. I have always been delighted that they grew up close in age. The boys are one grade apart, best friends, and have always had most of their friends in common. They dote on their sister. The only downside to that was in the early years. My husband worked long hours so I could be a SAHM. My body didn't have a chance to recover from the pregnancies, so when I was pregnant with my daughter, there were complications. I was on restricted activity through most of my second and third trimester. Once she arrived, I had my hands full. One child to two was a breeze. I could read stories to the first while nursing the second, etc. Two hands are plenty for two kids. Two to three made me fully outnumbered. While nursing the baby, the boys would wander into other rooms and I would hear a crash. "It's okay, Mom!" would follow. My husband worked nights and weekends, so I was alone a lot. Three little pairs of shoes before church and trips out could be overwhelming. Three carseats were another adventure. These things never stopped us from pursuing outtings, but they were time and labor intensive. The good news: after the first year, all of that becomes very easy! You already know that children are expensive. However, to my husband and me, it has always been money wellspent. They require a great deal of time and energy. All three are very active, and we enjoy volunteering, coaching, being Scout leaders, etc. We cannot think of any better way to spend life. I think your extended family will fall in love with yor third child (should you choose to have one), and they will support you when the time comes. This is a private decision within your family. When I announced my third pregnancy I had a one year old and a 2 1/2 yr old. Many of my friends gasped and tried to comfort me, I had to make it very clear that we were overjoyed. Once I did, everyone was delighted and excited for us. I think your family will be the same. Best wishes to you!

I always wanted 4 kids and my hubby just wanted 2 so we sort of compromised with 3 and now he is so glad we have the 3rd one and can't imagine life without him. We have a son almost 16, daughter 13, and son that is 8 and had a miscarriage between the 2nd and 3rd which that one would have been 3 yrs apart but took a few years to have another one after the miscarriage.
After the miscarriage I wanted a 3rd child so bad, I was an emotional basket case until I got pregnant again and even gave up at a time and thought we weren't going to be able to have another one and got rid of most of the baby stuff then wasn't long after that I got pregnant.

The oldest one is easy going, hard worker, and loves to learn and a high achiever,

The 2nd one is very creative, has quite an imagination, likes to write stories and do art work, loves kids, and is that young teenage girl trying to figure out what she wants in life.

The 3rd one is a combination of both his older siblings personalities. He is easy going, hard worker, high achiever, creative, likes to please, likes to make up crazy stories with his sister and is very close to both of them.

My husband loves to spend time with the kids every chance he gets because he was gone so much in the military and now works 2nd shift so he doesn't see them much during the school year so is trying to spend as much time with them while they are out of school for summer break. Our youngest is so much like him and adores all the special time he gets to see Dad and now he wonders how he could only have wanted 2 kids because he can't imagine life without all of them now.

As for the 3rd one costing more money. We really haven't noticed much of a difference because we still buy the same amount of food as we did with 2 and actually have cut back on how much we eat now because we realized how much extra calories we were eating and now trying to eat more healthy and eat less fattening high calorie foods.
You can also get creative when eating out. Since we started cutting back on our food intake, I usually share a meal with one of the kids because I can't eat a whole meal and between all the meals being too much, you can make an extra plate from all of the meals so buy 4 and take a few things off each plate to make a meal for the 5th person. The waitresses usually don't mind as long as you leave a nice tip. Believe it or not the 8 yr old eats more than the teenagers. Our oldest doesn't eat that much and tends to like the healthy foods. He likes to eat the frozen veggies and will grab a bag of veggies and sit and watch tv and eat pieces of frozen broccoli instead of grabbing a bag of chips so he has a bag of veggies he marks with his name so we know which bag he had his hands in and that is his bag. He also likes to munch on baby carrots or fruit.

I came from a family with 3 kids and we all get along great and always have. We are a very close family and didn't have very many arguments. My kids don't argue that often either. I think that is all in what you allow your kids to get by with. We may have argued with our parents some when we were teens but didn't argue much as siblings and still get along great.

My husband only had him and his sister and are 2 years apart but they aren't very close at all since they moved away from home. He rarely calls her and we don't see her often. Once in a while we will see her if we happen to be able to visit his parents at the same time but they don't make an effort to be home for holidays or try to be there at the same time on vacations or anything. The last 2 times we saw her was for a funeral. It seems sad to me since our family is so close.

My mom came from a family of 8 kids and I know all my aunts, uncles, and cousins and stay in contact with all of them. There are about 75 people from this side of the family when we all get together at once.

So have the # of kids you desire and enjoy every moment with all of them. I wouldn't worry too much about what other family members think. I think they will love and accept the 3rd one as well as they do your other 2. As long as you take good care of them and support your kids then there shouldn't be a problem with having another child.

Dear J.,
Let me speak as a mother of nine...by God's grace, you can do this! I tell every new mother who asks me "how do you do it?" that this is the most difficult time in your life. When they are all little and not much help yet, it can get tiresome (to say the least). It will be worth it all! My children are each others best friends, (most of the time!). Large families have very much to give each other and the community. As far as the expense of another child...it just seems to stretch. And the love multiplies with each child. The older children will help to make up for the attention that you may feel you can't give. In fact, you may be faced with the older ones wanting to spoil the baby! A great problem to have! H. M

I always wanted that third child. The doctors kept telling me I needed a hysterectomy. I had so much trouble delivering babies. I loved my pregnancies, I felt so good. I just kept putting off the surgery. Then along came John. My daughter was 13 and my son was 11. I have never regretted my decision. They are now 45, 43, and 32. It's been a wonderful adventure! Go for it!

I have always wanted more children, my husband did not. He felt the three kids we had now was plenty. We only had one together. After a long talk and we desided that we would not try for anything but if it happend it happend. After a 6 months it did. And for all of us its been the best thing possible. Its brought us all closer as a family. And we are working together alot better. Our 4th just happend to be the girl we always wanted so it made it extra special.
It sometimes is a bit overwhelming, but we desided to add another baby 6 years after our last. Her brothers are 9,8 and 6. I dont think i would ever want to go threw having babys close together again as our oldest boys are 10 months apart. My family and my husbands mother wasnt pleased when i got pregnant again but i told them its not their choice. I hope whatever desision you make you make it for you and your husband not anyone else.

I also am a NICU nurse. We had 2 girls, age 3 1/2 and 2. I wanted another child, girl or boy. My husband at first was't too excited aobut it. But he realized how badly I wanted one, and agreed. My reason. I had a sister who died when she was 25 and I was 26. I was always so glad I had 3 other siblings. Not that you can replace any of your siblings, but I was glad I wasn't alone. I wanted that for my children. If something happened to one of them, I didn't want an only child, or one without siblings. That is what made my decision. I will agree that having an even number of children is easier. Three children made it difficult to go on amusement rides, since most of them require pairs. But it was not much more difficult to have three rather than two. My girls were 4 1/2 and 3 when their brother was born. Then, years later, we got a surprise, number 4 came along. good luck on your decision. I am glad you are not just trying to have a third to have a boy. I think a child should be wanted, no matter the sex, but that is my personal opinion.
R.

I am a mom to 3 adult children, ages 30, 27 and 24. I am sooo glad that I had a third child, even though I went through 3 caesareans. Now that my children are grown and one is married, we have so many wonderful memories and such fun together at family reunions. With a helpful husband, I had a great time (but a very busy time) raising 3 children. They are the light of my life. Go for it....you'll never regret it!

J.,

If YOU have this feeling inside of you - that's what matters - go for it!!!
Of course it is important to have people that are supportive, but the only one who's support really matters is your husbands!
The others will come around eventually - you'll see! They're probably just worried about you not being able to handle it. If they see the little one and especially if they see that you CAN handle it they'll be fine with it!
You and your husband sound like you have a lot to give. Every person in this world that's been brought up by loving parents makes a different to this planet!

I'm saying that, because I would love to have another one... But I already feel so overwhelmed sometimes with just ONE (daughter, 2 1/2), that I don't dare...

M.

Well I have three kids and Im continplating #4. You have the support of your husband and that should be all that counts. That's more than alot of women get!!! (My husband sure doesn't want anymore.) Three kids is alot of work, but it is all worth it to me!!!! I look forward to my kids growing up and giving me grandkids to bring to Christmas dinner. The hard work now will be blessing in the future!!! I have 5 brothers and I say the more the merrier. Here's to you having a third!!! Good luck!

I have 7 children. I never thought I would have 7. I always wanted 4 but when my 4th boy arrived I thought "Okay, I will go to 5 to try one last time for a girl". When #5 was another boy we decided that when he was 2 or 3 we would adopt a little girl so I gave everything away and then surprise, surprise I was pregnant. It was another boy. We decided that we were dont but I just kept feeling like our little girl was missing so we decided to still adopt but then we found out about a fertility doctor in Boise, Russell Foulkes at Idaho Center For Reproductive Medicine, (my husband had had a vasectomy during 6th). They can do a gender selection and it was cheaper than adoption. A scientist comes in and tests and they know which ones are girls or boys. Dr. Foulkes is wonderful and the whole staff in amazing. We prayed and prayed before we made the decision to do this and we told no one. When we knew it was right we went forward. I am the only LDS in my family and so having children is not on the top of my family's list. My dad said it would be selfish to have more after our 4th. They don't understand where we are coming from so I just didn't share the news with my side of the family, except my mom who thought it was wonderful. Having children is such a personal/spiritual decision and not one any body can make for you. I love all of my boys and my new baby girl and nobody is going to tell me how many to have. We are done. I finally feel it that we are done and yes there are days when I want to pull my hair out but the deep love I feel for these 7 little people is amazing to me. If you are interested in having a boy as your last one then you should look up Dr.Foulkes. My OB recommended me to them. He travels to Utah on a regular basis and has many Utah clients and I believe in other states. If you don't care if you have a girl or boy then I say you go for it. My husband's side is mostly non-LDS and they believe you should only have 2 children. I honestly feel that nobody has the right to tell anyone how many children they should have. If someone only wants 1 child then that is okay too and I don't think they are selfish either. Okay, I know I am writing a novel but I am very passionate about this subject because we have been criticized even by strangers in Walmart!!! Sometimes you just have to do without a few luxuries in life to have these little ones but I don't mind. You make sacrifices. So we might not be able to take all of them to Disneyland, oh well. Sorry about the novel. Good luck!!

Well, i talked to my husband first and then we both agreed to have a 3rd child. so what you need to do is talk with your husband and make sure you are both on the same page. And talk to your kids like say would either of you like to have another sister or a brother. and ask them how they would feel because i now my youngest thought that she would be forgoten and not cared about cause we would be with the newborn more. So make sure you talk to your husband and kids first. Then make the move..

i had 2 boys 2 1/2 years apart. We wanted to try one more time for a girl. We decided no matter what 3 was the limit. We did get our girl. 3 is no different than 2. you just fit one more in your schedule. some how mom's seem to make it work. I wasn't overwhelmed at all. It seemed to get overwhelming when they got a lot older and I had to drive them 3 different places. Just go with the flow. You will be able to handle it just fine.
good luck with your decision. I also worked 5 days a week, 7am-3pm.

Hi J., Well I was a single mother of 1 daughter for 3 years and then I married my husband. Since my daughter didnt know her biological father, she took right to my husband as her new Daddy. A year later he adopted her and became her dad for real!! Then a year after that, we got pregnent with a second daughter. It was awesome~ I had my two beautiful girls but then we wanted to try for a boy. If I didtn have my boy that time, I was set that we wouldnt have any more children because it was just too hard on my body to be prego again!! We got lucky though~ We got our boy!!!

It wasnt really too hard with a third child. Once you have mastered two, a third is a peice of cake!!! yes, it is an extra mouth to feed and the expense can be a bit more, but you just make adjustments in your budgetting. You cut corners where you can and make changes in the way you live your lives! You can also choose the cheaper and natural path of feeding the new baby and breast feed him or her. That will take a big cut off the expenses for at least the first 6 months. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable.. Things like this can be helpful!

If you are worried about being overwhelmed, just get your other children involved in the care of the new baby, as long as they feel a part of it all, there wont be any hard feelings and jealousness which in turn will make it all easier on mom and dad!! Good luck and dont worry!! S.

Well, in our case, she just surprised us. But you know, dear little mother. You take one day at a time. If you want to consider over the life time...it's a wise choice to go ahead. Offspring in the retiring years is such a blessing..the more, the merrier! Dollars and cents cannot buy love and caring!

I'm also interested in the responses you've gotten, and hope to see more posted. My first is just turning one (tomorrow!) and we hope to have another next year. My husband has always said he wanted two, but I've contemplated three. My gut just says three, but I have similar concerns to those voiced before: finances, time, sanity, odd man out syndrome, etc. And for us, there's the concept of the world population crisis in the back of our minds--with two, we're essentially replacing ourselves in the world population, but with three, we're adding to it...

But one of the most interesting arguments I've heard for having a third was from a friend of mine who thought they were done with two. Then one of their fathers passed away, and they saw how valuable it was for them to have several siblings to rely on and to still have family after the passing of the parents. With two, you have a single lifeline, but with more there's more of a network of potential support there. After that they decided to have a third. I thought that was an interesting rationale.

So we'll see how I feel about it after hopefully having a second next year. Several have told me recently that two is a LOT more work than one, so I'm cheered by the argument that three doesn't seem exponentially more again! :)

Good luck, and regardless, enjoy your girls!

I have 3 kids. My 2 girls are 5 & 7. I also have a 3 year old boy. I got pregnant before we decided to have a 3rd. At first I felt overwhelmed when I found out I was pregnant. I thought it was much harder going from 1 to 2 kids then 2 to 3. My son has always been more mellow then the girls. I just love having 3 kids. It is fun, challenging at times, but that way with with any kids. I also work part time, but it has always seemed to work out with the kids. I wouldn't change a thing & feel so blessed to have 3 healthy, loving children!!

I am the mother of 3 little girls - all within 5 years of each other - and our third daughter is such a joy. I say if you can afford it - go for it -- you will never regret having a child - but you might regret NOT having that child. her 2 older sister just adore her, take care of her etc, And as my 2 older ones are getting into school ages (almost 6 and almost 8) I am SO thankful to have my little one still at home for a couple more years..she'll be 3 next week. I love having 3 - it's not too big and not too small...just the perfect amount of little nippers running around!

YES!! It is overwhelming!! I am overwhelmed with LOVE for all 3 kids!!! It's the best decision I made and my family now feels "complete". I had those nagging doubts, do I want one more, should I have one more.. and then I had #3 and he brought such a special love it made my love for ALL my children increase and I'm so happy with 3 kids. It's not the right decision for everyone, but it was for me. :-)

J.,

I have five kiddos, and love it! Yes, we have our less than perfect days, who doesn't?? After our first child, we decided within a year to try again....well, I got preg right away, and at 36 weeks found out it was twins! So we were at an instant three! It's my opinion that the Lord puts the desires in the hearts and gives multiple children to those who can take care and love them. I won't say that you won't have overwhelming days, that would be a lie, but I can tell you that you will have just as many or more very rewarding and wonderful days! You also have another gift....a supportive husband who is active in his kids'lives (definitely a plus). I have family members who didn't fully support my wanting and having a large family, but I think that now they can see though my family and children that we could do it and that it was our desire. If you are desiring having another child, I would say, "Go for it"! Yes, expense is a part of it too, but its funny how your priorities change when you have kids. I don't need all the latest fashion clothes, we repair the van instead of getting a new one,we don't go out to dinner as much, etc. Best wishes to you and your family in your decision.
A. (Married to sweetheart for 16yrs, 5 great kiddos (13,11,11,7,almost 5 year old)

I knew that I was not ready to not have anymore children when the time came to either have one or stop. going from 2 to 3 is not that hard. go for it!!!

You sound like my daughter..her girls are older 14 & * but she would really like to have another baby because her husband really wants one. He actually had a vasectomy and then had a revesal but they still have not decided if they want the third one. It is hard to start over when hers are this old.
Ihave a daycare Mom that it was a surprise her thirdone and she has beenreally shocked at how easy it has been to just fit the third one in. She says she s really easy going and just goes with the flow of things. She finds it no harder to have the third than she did to just have the two.
Her kids are 4 & 3....then she has the baby. course she is not as uptightwith the third and lets alot of things just fall into place where she didn't withthe first two so she saysshe has learned to be much easier going andrealize that everything doesn't have to be just so....
Hope some of this helps...I say go for it..it just works out.....my daughter wishes now that she had of just gone ahead and had the third earlier instead of procrasinating and stressing about it so much.L.

It's so funny and hurtful at the same time when you hear comments about someone pregnant with their 3rd. It's like it gives people an opportunity to get involved in your life. I also don't beleive in this "god has a plan for me so that is why I had a 3rd-4th-5th-6th)" not that I am not a beleiver, just take credit where it is due. I am from a family of all girls, 2 real, 2 step, and although it was hard in the early years, lots of fights/bullying/tears etc etc, I am so glad to have it now and the love my sisters and I all have with each.

Whatever you decide, make sure to go on vacation with your husband for a week or so...you will lose some of that connection for awhile...and also because family/friends aren't so willing to take care of 3! :)

Hi J., I had one child when i was a teenager but new i wanted more a few years later when i married and had my head on my shoulders. I am married to my daughters father and we tried to have more children over the years after we thought we were ready and i ended up miscarrying 3 times and we almost gave up but we tried again and had our 2nd beautiful daughter when our older daughter had turned 8, i knew that i wanted another baby after having her and same with my husband so 2 years later we had another baby girl! My husband wanted a boy and said we would try for a boy but when the time came to try my husband ended up going back to College and was working 2 jobs, so 3 years later we decided after my husband was done with college to have another baby since the kids were like mom we want a boy so we tried and got our boy!!! I thought we were done but we were so happy with our big family and our miracles that we decided to have one more baby and 2 years later we welcomed another boy! He has a CHD but doing wonderfully and when i see all my children together and interact and play i feel like i am complete now! 3girls and 2 boys how lucky can a mother get! I never had anyone in my family tell me that we have to much but friends were asking if i ever stop, and to tell you the truth if my son wasn't born with a CHD i would love to try for another one, but I am happy and blessed for with what i have and my focus is now making sure my baby is ok and the kids are taken care of. I am a stay at home mom and enjoy everyday with my kids. Only you know what you can handle and what will be best for your family. I spend special time with each of my children one on one and all together. Don't let other people in the family or friends turn you away of having another baby. Good Luck and let us know what you decide!
S. mom to 5 beautiful children, 16yrs,8yrs,6yrs,2yrs,and 9 months check out my son's journey at www.liamlockhart.com

Hi J.,
I'm not sure you'll see this with so many replies, but here is my advice. If you embrace what your child gives you daily (the smiles, the I love you's, the giggles)and look for the silver lining in the additional "work" involved (mountains of laundry, yogurt paintings on your counter), then add some more joy to your life. The world may not need more people, but they need more good, happy people. We have 3 (a girl & 2 boys who are 5, 3, & 1) and I feel like they will offer the world a ton someday, just like they do to me now!

Best of luck!
M.

I had our third daughter in February. My other two girls are 6 and 4. I realize our spread is farther apart than yours, and that wasn't planned, just the way God sent it. It turns out to be wonderful because my older two aren't getting into toddler trouble while I'm with my baby, or climbing all over me to nurse again, or getting jealous.

My husband is very involved also, which is a tremendous blessing, but I do have the girls myself for most of the day. I just have to stay calm and proactive. Schedules, plans, letting the older two know what's expected of them, and discipline all work together in a little dance to keep our life calm.

I'm not trying to say something rude to you, but it drives me crazy when people talk about the cost of raising children! You don't have kids for any reasons associated with money! Our culture tells us you have to provide all these *things* for yourself and your children, and that's a bunch of bologna!! They need love and time. Everything else is a bonus. We get by in the Seattle area on just over $30,000 a year (this doesn't count my home because we live in a parsonage and that's included in our compensation). A very meager salary, I think you'll agree, but our kids have no idea that we're "poor". If you want a third baby, then you need to have a third baby!!!

i am a mom of 3 girls who are 7,4 and 3..the younger two are 14 months apart. when our youngest was about 1 i still couldn't say that we were done...just something i felt i couldn't rule out. however, a year later 'that something' popped in my head and heart and i knew our family was complete. we are done with diapers, bottles, sippy cups and potty training and now are ready for whatever the next phase of parenthood brings us...i know i'm done because when i hold a friend's baby i don't have that emotion that makes me melt..when i see a pregnant woman it doesn't send that urge in me to have a baby again. i now cherish the memories of what it felt like to have a life inside you and delivering and the late nights with crusted spit up in places you never thought possible. Go with your heart, if you don't it will always nag at you...you'll know when your done. as for the family...are they gonna love the child less because they didn't want you to have it? i doubt it...they'll get over it!! good luck...

Hi J.,
I do want to start out by mentioning that my husband and I didn't plan on our 3rd child, especially while planning and recovering from brain surgery. Having 3 kids isn't as difficult as so many women may say, especially if you have a husband who is well involved like you said. There are days that I feel like ripping my hair out, but I felt like doing that with just 2 kids too. What I say makes the difference when family members ask me how I do it, I just say that it helps to have loads of patience, oh and a designated away space that the kids aren't to follow you to when you need to take a breather on a bad day, mine is our walk in closet. I still have the energy to raise and care for 9 chickens and grow a fruit and veggie garden, of course with my husbands help. So like I mentioned before, have loads of patience with your away space, and also I suggest keeping to a daily routine.

I haven't read through all of the responses (149!), but I was wondering if you were hoping to try for a little brother for your 2 girls? I have two boys, ages 6 and 3, and would love to have a girl to complete our family.

We have three boys, 7, 4 1/2 and 1 1/2. It has been great. the first few months were a little harder because I was not able to get any naps. We are very happy having three children.

S.

Well, my husband and I have two boys (ages 6 and 3) and our baby girl who is one and a half... crazy times, but we are so happy to have her. The boys play really well together, so really I just need to keep an eye on her getting into everything. It was difficult when she was a newborn and I had a toddler and a big boy who wasn't too happy about having someone taking up all my attention for awhile - they also outnumber us which can be a little wild at times! We're totally loving it though and are in process to adopt a fourth... I like the idea of a big family because my dad was one of six and it's always so much fun when the whole extended family gets together. :)

Hi J.,

We have 4 kids and think it's great. We had wanted 3 and then after we had 3, we thought maybe 4 would be good. They are all 27 months apart.

It is amazing that with one child gone (it doesn't matter which one) the house is so much calmer. There is always something going on and sometimes scheduling is a big problem but we've worked it out over the years.

We homeschooled for years and it was great for the kids to do things together and they actually get along very well most of the time. Our third child is disabled and requires ALOT of attention so that has changed the dynamics or our family in terms of what we are able to do - we rarely all go out together. Usually one parent stays home and one goes to the games and events of the other.

We think that 5 would be too many (particulary with our high needs child) as it would be difficult to have 1:1 time with them all or to get to know the children individually. To me, it is kind of sad to see a family with just 2 kids - it seems so lonely in a sense.

Now my kids are 12,14,16 and 19 - the two oldest work at the same place and get along really well. The biggest problems are between my youngest and oldest as they still share a room and they fight over time on the XBox.

The hardest adjustment as far as child number was going from zero to one for use. That has to be one of the most life changing life experiences as far as changing life style. All the others seemed to just flow right into the groove.

C.

Hi J.,
Follow your heart. Bringing children in this world is glorious. I wish you and your family all the joy and support you need. I too would like to get remarried soon and start having 2 children I am 44 and early timing is essential.
C.

Hi J., I have three girls and was about where you are when thinking about my third. Having enough love will not be an issue, you'll see! I won't sugar coat the overwhelmed part, especially with you having two very young siblings in the mix. It will be overwhelming at times, how could it not! But they do get older and easier (physically anyway), so the tiny, every-second-of-the-day stage does not last forever. It's hard to see this sweet stage go, but there's a reason that it's brief because it is so physically draining. The toddler stage is another that's a bit longer but still fleeting, because again, we're tired with the constant nature of protection. My girls are 7/6/2 now, and the older girls, although they have their challenges, are more relaxing because I don't feel that constant sense of mama bear protection I do with the 2 y.o. As for the expense, if you have a girl you are going to save lots of $$ on clothing, supplies, etc but you'll still add with any preschool/daycare/camps/activities and of course some food expenses. If a boy, you have to add in that solo new wardrobe for the next 18 years LOL. Good luck with your decision, but if it's solely based on spreading the love, you'll have plenty to go around. I like to choose certain outings that are one on one, that gives the kids special time with mom or dad. It all takes extra effort, but anything of value takes extra effort.... good luck!

I have three children 4,3, and 6 months. With each there was at least one family member that was not supportive to the point of actually being angry and mean. It was totally worth it though. When my third was born the I had the most amazing experience, when my husband brought our first two to the hospital to visit I heard them coming from the second they got on the floor telling everyone and anyone who would listen they were coming to get their baby brother and when they finally got to my room the look on their faces when they finally saw him is one I will never forget. They were just as happy and just as in love as I was and every time I think about that joy they had it makes me start to cry. I feel like their siblings are the greatest gift I ever could have given them. There love for him hasn't faded now that hes home either they share even their favorite toys with him, include him in their games as much as possible and cuddle him constantly. You ill never regret having a third but you may regret not. I wouldn't tell the family members that aren't supportive right away if you do get pregnant though. Enjoy it for awhile before they rain on your parade.

We have three children, however, the decision was not ours but Gods. We had two children 4 year old boy and 1 year old girl, then we found out our third was coming. She is another girl and we are so glad we did it. Yes, money is tight and life is CRAZY at times, but we truly believe God wanted us to have three children. My girls are only 20 months apart and are best of friends and keep each other company (even at bedtime when they are supposed to be asleep). My suggestion, I love have three, but you definitely are outnumbered and and the first few years are insane. My children are 8 1/2, 5 1/2 and 4....life is getting easier!!! I wish you the best in your decision, however, sometimes these difficult decisions have to be made for you...best of luck!!

Hi J.,

Ultimately it is you and your husband's decision, you cannot base your decision on what others think, as long as you think that you can handle a third child and you will love that 3rd child the same way you love the other 2. It all boils down to the decision that you make. I only have 1 child but it was my decision not to have anymore, I do love children and enjoy my nieces and nephews very much; but I could only handle 1 child with my present work and life situation, but I'm very happy with my decision, so I think whatever you decide you should be happy.

E. H.

J., I didn't see your post at first, and it looks like everyone's pretty much answered your question. But, I do have the perspective from being an older Mom. My kids are 23, 19, 17, & 14. My 17 year old will be a senior in high school this year. When my 19 year old graduated from high school, it hit me - What if I'd only had two? I've never regretted having four children, but now that they're older, I'm even happier I had four. It all goes so quickly! I know it can be hard at many stages in their lives. But, in the long run, it's a very small percentage of time that you have with them. Whether you stick with two or have three, enjoy them!
R.

Three is over the top! I had a 6 year old and a 2 and a half year old when my third son was born. I have to say that my work load and stress grew exponentially when my little guy came. Who knows though, the dynamic of your family could be totally different and you have girls, so they could be little mamas. My boys are like a pack of puppies!
Good luck with your decision.

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