I’m one of two girls, so it’s hard for me to imagine what having three children would be like – but I often find myself doing just that.
Little D is most definitely a Big Girl now, as she keeps reminding us, with her third birthday party looming (a Trolls extravaganza), and I feel at somewhat of a cross-roads when it comes to family planning.
If I turn right, I continue on this wonderful journey with my two Little Loves – safe in the knowledge that I have two happy, healthy children and for that I’m eternally grateful.
But if I turn left, and have another child, I enter into the unknown. How would adding another sibling affect the current family balance? Would I have a boy or a girl (obviously I would be happy with either)? Would I have enough time and energy to share around three children? Could we afford it (I love nice things, holidays etc., and kids are expensive to run)?
Then the intoxicating baby memories kick in, and I think about that first scan, first kicks, thinking of names, buying all those teeny-weeny baby-grows (I love rompers so much).
And then I check myself, and remember the excruciating back pain I had in my second pregnancy and the fact that I would need a third c-section and that makes me a little apprehensive.
But, endlessly vacillating, I then remember that delicious newborn smell and how much I enjoyed breast feeding, the romance of bringing life into the World takes over completely.
Age is also sadly a thing. I’m 37 this Summer (sshh!) and, while I know mothers are commonly and safely having children well into their 40’s and beyond now (which should be celebrated), I worry that my own maternal health isn’t what it was at 31 when I first had Big D and the toll it would take on this already car-crash of a bod I have (it looks ok-ish on the outside, but I suffer with back pain that I never had pre-kids and no matter how much I work out or have physio I can’t get it 100% right).
It’s no secret that having babies can put pressure on a relationship and, while I can honestly say I’ve been super-lucky to have a very supportive husband that has been a rock over the past 5 years, I know deep down that (while he’d welcome a third with open arms), he’s happy with his house full of girls and delighted that we have arrived in a place where we no longer have to leave home with everything and the kitchen sink and that I’m able to devote a bit of time to him too now. We sleep well, we have have fun and the girls are a true joy – so why rock that?
The decision to have a third or even fourth child will no doubt play on my mind for years to come. For now (or at least right now, today), I think staying as we are (such is our contentment) seems like the right decision. I think it’s impossible to call time on the subject completely as I believe as long as a woman is physically able to bring life into the world the question will constantly be left open. It’s by design.
If you have three children and felt like me before making a decision I’d love to hear how your experience has been. Obviously, no one ever regrets a child – but how did it affect the dynamic, your lifestyle – how did your other children adapt?
Little D keeps asking for a puppy – so maybe I might cave in and that can be my third baby… for now.
Love Mummy B