March 4 08

First of all, I just logged into Ali’s dashboard and saw there were a handful of comments needing to be moderated. I’m not a high enough level user to do that, but those of you who were wondering why the site ate your comment– just hold tight, I’m sure she’ll be right on it when she gets back.

Second of all: hi!

Some of you may know me. Most of you probably don’t. So– hopefully this first impression thing is going well. My name is Becca, and I run DasBecca.com right down the road (two streets on the right, can’t miss it). I was really nervous about writing this entry. I’ve never done a guest post before and had no idea what to talk about. Ali told me the sky’s the limit, so she was basically no help at all. Heh.

I decided on a topic I’ve been struggling with a lot personally, and something I think every person can relate to: family size. So get prepared– it’s going to be An Oprah Episode Kind of Post. Right now we have two children, a four year old boy and two year old girl. They’re AMAZING. Love love love. Our plan all along was just to have two, and we’re there. Add to that, our daughter had an extreme scare when she was born– an intercranial hemorrhage– and while the possibility of it happening with another pregnancy is slim, there still is a possibility. We’re finally slowly getting on top of finances. Things are great. We’re happy and we have our hands full. So, when my husband brought up the idea of getting a vasectomy in a few weeks– something we’d even discussed in the past– I should’ve been totally cool with it. But– I’m not. I’m in this weird gray place.

Getting pregnant right now with all the risks involved scares the crap out of me, but in five years there could be a medical answer for and prevention of the problems we had with Addie. We should be debt-free minus our house. I could really want another baby. Or I could be working part-time while the kids are at school, carting them all over to soccer and ballet, and spending time with my sister (who is supposed to move down here and have babies of her own in the near future). I may be thrilled we stopped at two. I just don’t know. I don’t even have, like, a gut instinct.

I’ve heard that little adage about people knowing that they’d always regret the children they didn’t have more than any children they did. That’s my biggest fear. What if we go on to become a five-person family and it’s a mistake? I know I’d love a new child regardless, but I also know there are moms out there who moved from two to three, and it just about killed them. I’ve also heard about mothers feeling complete after the birth of their last child, but I don’t know if I feel that, either. I’m just– neutral.

I know there are people who feel like I shouldn’t have to make a permanent decision at 25, but I really can’t stress enough the timing issue of a future pregnancy. I really feel like I can’t responsibly get pregnant until I know our money and the baby’s health would be in good standing. I don’t want even a small possibility of an accident. Birth control has failed several women in our family, myself included, and I feel like I wouldn’t be sure unless we did something like the vasectomy. If we chose to keep going with over the counter methods, it just seems like it’s a matter of time until I wind up pregnant again, and I should be okay with that, and I’m not.

I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud. This is why the Internet is such a nice place: because we can meet for the first time, and I can tell you all this drama. If we were sitting in a Starbucks, and I sat down next to you, like, “Should my husband get a vasectomy or not? I’m going to need to tell you all the details so you get a feel for the situation,” most of you would probably politely move a few tables away. And then write about me on your blog. Heh.

I’m not really looking for answers. It’s a personal decision, and I need to figure it out for myself. What I’m hoping to get from you guys is your family situation. How did you decide how many children to have, or if to have children at all? Did you/do you have an idea of what your ideal family looked/looks like? Is that what you have? What was the hardest transition for you (zero to one, one to two, two to three, three to six, etc.)? Did you feel done at any point? Do people ever feel really sure about how many children they have?

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  1. Okay, wow – first off, I love that you’re a guest poster! Why? Because the issue of children has always been something talked about in my relationship – even when we hadn’t had sex yet!!

    But seriously – we always sort of had a 2:1 ratio in place for children. If I wanted four, my husband said two, if I wanted two, I got one. It worked mostly, and I was happy with it… then we decided not to have children.

    Not to say we don’t have a backup plan, which is adoption, but the decision became a vasectomy for him. Instead of getting my tubes tied because the vasec was free and the tubal ligation was not.

    If I WERE to decide on children right now, very likely I would REALLY liek two, whether they are two boys or two girls, or one of each – and preferrably close in age. Not for an automatic laymate but because then one won’t be used to being the only baby before the next one has come along.

    Also, why am I saying this? Because dear guest blogger, my husband (who does NOT want children) has been saying things like “awww, she’s cute” about baby girls, my cousin in particular.

    But she IS unbelievably cute.

    And my sister is pregnant which makes my maternal instincts strong.

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    Comment by Mari on March 4, 2008
  2. Hi Ali’s friend. I know what you mean – we’ve always said “One and done”, but just to be on theh safe side, we haven’t done anything drastic or permanant. But, I DO highly suggest an IUD – I’ve had one for 3 years now. Do you know how many pills I would have missed in 3 years?!?! Enough to make SEVERAL babies! It’s good for 10 years, or I could have my dr. take it out at anytime & be immediately fertile. Also, it’s non-hormonal, which I love. I promise I don’t work for an IUD company – ha ha!

    Cristan’s last blog post..Eat, Pray, Barf

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    Comment by Cristan on March 4, 2008
  3. Good luck with your decision, it’s a difficult one ;)

    Multi-Tasking Mommy’s last blog post..This is what happens….

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    Comment by Multi-Tasking Mommy on March 4, 2008
  4. Becca! Shout out!!!!
    What a surprise to see you here…..

    Hmmmm, I have my two girls, and to answer your question…I just knew. After my first, I felt similiar to what you are describing here…I didn’t want another one, but I didn’t not want antother either… But after the second was born (and it was a much easier transition for me from 1-2, than from 0-1) I knew I was done. And I feel completely at ease and satisfied.

    I wish you luck in deciding. You can’t go wrong, though. You already have an AMAZING family is you keep things the way they are. And, if you add to your family, I know you will continue to be an incredible mom (along with your awesome husband and freaking adorable kids!)

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    Comment by Wendi on March 4, 2008
  5. We have three.

    After our second son we thought we might be done, but were not certain. So we waited.

    Sure enough, after he was one, we both knew we wanted one more, regardless of sex. During my pregnancy (which sucked) we both KNEW it would be my last pregnancy (which was a girl). Honey had the snip snip.

    We figure if we want one more, we will adopt :)

    As for other contraception…I used the book “Taking Charge Of Your Fertility” to chart my cycle using my morning temperature. It helped me both be NOT pregnant, and to GET pregnant.

    Even if you do not use it for birth control, it sure opened my eyes to how the human body works. My daughter will read that book when she is older.

    (Great post!)

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    Comment by Angella on March 4, 2008
  6. I have 2 girls. I don’t feel done – I’m not sure I ever will. However I watched how a 3rd child totally changed the family dynamics for my SIL – and it wasn’t for the better. Unfortunately it’s a personal decision. You could try an IUD until you guys are sure, especially since you’re still so young.

    Visit me @ http://www.momontherun.net

    Mom On The Run’s last blog post..Some Precious Gems

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    Comment by Mom On The Run on March 4, 2008
  7. hi!
    Well, when I met my husband he had a 2 and 4 yr old from a previous marriage. He planned on only having one more. We had our son but I did not feel done at all. Unfortunately for me the decision was made by itself, after 2 m/c in 4 yrs, and now I am 42, my child-bearing days are up and have been decided for me. But … we have been recently discussing adoption .. sooo .. you never know. Personally – I would have at least 3 kids of my own if given the choice. I think V’s can be reversed can’t they? I’d say at 25, if you don’t know for sure, then he shouldn’t have it, but be careful :)

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    Comment by Sarah on March 4, 2008
  8. We have 6…and I would LOVE to have more. However, I’m guessing that’s it for us.

    First off, #3 was the biggest change for us…the hardest adjustment was going from one-for-each-of-us to a 3:2 ratio…it IS hard…but do-able.

    Second, don’t do something permanent until you are BOTH of the same mind about it…make that decision together.

    Laura’s last blog post..And so it begins….

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    Comment by Laura on March 4, 2008
  9. Hmmm…well we were done at 2. Our second has autism and we figured we had a full plate with him and our older son who is only 18m older. We were happy and content and satisfied with 2 boys!

    When our second was 3 years old I got pregnant. We were definately trying to NOT get pregnant.
    Long story short – she totally completes our family. Our life. I can’t imagine life without her and she was the piece of the puzzle we didn’t know was missing.

    Oh and for the record – the third baby was the easiest transition. It was by far WAY easier going from 2 to 3 kids.

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    Comment by Christine on March 4, 2008
  10. I was done with 2 and about your age. Now we have 4 living children and I am preggo with number 6. Since I had number 3 (who was stillborn) I have never felt done again. I don’t know if I ever will because someone will always be missing. but after this one, dh is for sure going for the vasectomy I talked him out of 2 years ago.

    Kristen’s last blog post..A Snowy Trick

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    Comment by Kristen on March 4, 2008
  11. I think we, as women, struggle with this question right up to the point we are too old to have children.

    I had my one and only child, my darling daughter, at the age of 36. I so desparately wanted her to have a sibling, but my husband is several years older than me and he didn’t want to have the worry of putting two kids through college as he started retirement. He also has a serious health problem (end-stage renal failure) so he was worried about passing along his medical condition. We had one healthy blessing, we were grateful for.

    I ached for a second child, primarily so that my daughter would have a sibling when she was an adult. I can’t imagine life without my sister.

    I guess what I am struggling to say, is that from the perspective of a person 49 years old, 25 looks way too early to decide “no more”. A lot can happen in your 30′s that you don’t expect!

    Kathy’s last blog post..Best two hours ever spent!

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    Comment by Kathy on March 5, 2008
  12. How timely. My husband is scheduled for The Snip on the 14th. And i’m ambivilent.

    We have a beautiful 5yo girl and an adorably nearly 2yo son. And hubby’s 12yo son from his first marriage lives with us. I’m almost 35. Hubby is 40.

    It should be a no-brainer, right? It should be obvious that we are at the point in our lives when we are Done. But part of me still kinda hopes that in these last 10 days we have a whoops. No, i’m not doing anything to encourage that along, but a wee part of me still wants another one.

    Even though it makes no sense for us in our situation.

    I read one Blogger who says she just always felt like someone was missing until she had her 3rd baby and when he was born, the family was complete.

    Part of me feels like I’m missing my second daughter. And I know, even if we did get pregnant again there’s no saying it’d be a girl…

    man, rambling.

    My point? This situation is RIGHT upon me and I’m still not entirely sure.

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    Comment by chrissie on March 5, 2008
  13. We have four. All boys. Here’s the way I look at it…

    Zero to one = Monumental. An infinite increase in the number of kids in your house.

    One to two = Doubling the number of kids in your house. But you’re still not outnumbered.

    Two to three = Smaller proportional increase, but now you’re outnumbered. You have to switch from a man-to-man defense to a zone defense.

    Three to four = Life is so out of control at this point that you hardly notice the change. Not really, but kinda. Having a new baby with three other kids running around is a challenge, but by this point you’re sorta used to it.

    raising4boys.com’s last blog post..The Miracle Bus

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    Comment by raising4boys.com on March 5, 2008
  14. Great post!
    So, here are my thoughts. I’m 29 and expecting baby #2 in the next few weeks.
    We discussed getting my tubes tied (not interested) and the big V for my husband. The truth is … we’re not ready.
    We are at the same place. Financially things are finally settling a bit. And, we think we only want 2. But, at the same time, a permanent decision seems soooo rash at this point.
    Honestly. I think that a decision so final should be made when you are sure. Like completely sure.
    No – I don’t want to get pregnant again either, but I’m not 100% sure that won’t change.
    In case you’re wondering, I’m probably going with the mirena iud/ius after this baby since the pill and I don’t get along all that well, and it seems the most logical choice.

    LD’s last blog post..Questions, questions …

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    Comment by LD on March 5, 2008
  15. I don’t have an answer for you at all. I don’t think anyone really knows what they want, in any situation, until that exact moment. See, no help from me. Hopefully you find what you’re looking for.

    Holly’s last blog post..See Ya

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    Comment by Holly on March 5, 2008
  16. hi Becca, i am 47 and i have 4 children.my last pregnancy was extremely high risk and fraught with problems from start to premature finish.it was then that i knew i didn’t want to be pregnant ever again as my age and gestational diabetes were causing severe problems.i love my children who are 17,15,7,and 3.but i also know without a doubt that my baby making days are done….when you have that rock solid no wavering decision in your heart about adding to your family you will know….

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    Comment by LAVENDULA on March 5, 2008
  17. I had 3 daughters, ages now are 17, 16 and 8, and I had my tubes tied. I regret it to this day cause everytime I see a baby, I feel a little tug on the old fallopian tubes. I also keep trying to steal my niece’s new baby.
    Best of luck with your family and your decision.

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    Comment by Jennifer on March 5, 2008
  18. I don’t know, either. Husband is 39, I’m 26, and we have three children under the age of four… the youngest just turned two weeks.

    Husband is ready. He was a bachelor just five years ago, lol, and now the poor man is responsible for a wife and three kids? I’d be overwhelmed if I were him, too. He aspires to have decent furniture someday, get a house paid for, maybe have some couple time that doesn’t involve complicated babysitter logistics.

    I believe that many women never DO feel “done.” A friend of mine has EIGHT kids and still develops baby lust as the youngest of her brood starts walking and talking; I don’t think she’s lying when she says she’ll keep having children till God stops sending them.

    Personally, I don’t want to get into that sort of family size (the level of frugality necessary would strike most people as extreme) but a big chunk of me is shouting “but four kids is such a nice even number!”

    Anyway, 25 really is too young if you feel even a little unsure. With so many people having third and fourth kids these days, you may find yourself surrounded by friends’ pregnancies and babies, which may make it harder to “move on” to the next stage of family life.

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    Comment by Just Wandering on May 6, 2008
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