Monday, November 23, 2009

Ask Design Mom — Having Another Child



Ask-Design-Mom-Questions:

I have a strong yearning for another child and am looking for an infallible way to decide whether to take the plunge (just joking, I know it’s a leap of faith, but am looking for advice from people who might know about these things).
What factors would do you take into consideration upon deciding whether to have another child? Thanks for taking the time to answer. — Sarah

Hi Gabrielle. I would like to have a big family as well. I'm married almost 2 years and we are looking to start our family in a year or so. A few questions: How far apart are your children in age? Did you plan to have so many children? Did you plan to have them x amount of years apart? Thanks. — Venessa

Design Mom Answer:
These are such worthy questions. Thank you for sending them, Sarah and Venessa. The answer to how many kids you should have and how they should be spaced is, of course, super personal. And everyone reading has a different opinion and answer.

I'll share what my basic plan was. And hopefully readers will let you know how they've come to their family-size decisions as well. I need to make very clear: this was our plan. I'm not advocating it to anyone else. Period.

When I married at 21, I talked with Ben Blair about a basic plan. We both came from big families and wanted lots of kids. I wanted to be done bearing children by 35 — the age many risks increase. (Edit: apparently 35-as-riskier is a bit of a myth — but I didn't know that at 21.) So I thought: let's have our 1st at 23 (when we're done with school) and then have one every other year at 25, 27, 29, 31. And if we want more, we can have #6 at 33 and #7 at 35. Done and done.

How it really happened: we had our first at 23, our 2nd at 24, our 3rd at 27, our 4th at 30 and 5th at 31. Number 6 is due when I'm 35.

Basically, as soon as we made the plan we discovered we had no control over the plan. Very few of us are lucky enough to conceive or adopt exactly when and where we want to. And very few of us have such an ordered life and are wise enough that the plans we make at 21 still make sense at 31.

Bottom line: feel free to make a plan, but get really comfortable with the idea that the plan might not work. Some people (including me) find praying helps them feel settled about the decisions they make for their family. Others depend on counsel from friends and loved ones. Ultimately, I hope you'll feel confident that you can know what's best for your family.

Dear Readers, how about you? How many kids do you want to have? Are you done? How do you decide when to add more children to your families?

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59 Comments:

Blogger MomBabe said...

That sounds similar to our plan. Married at 19, start having kids at 25. Have a boy, then a girl....

What really happened is I had four babies, in four years, followed by a total hysterectomy at age 26.

So much for that plan.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger Bridget said...

Can I simply say I love that you wrote "or adopt" so naturally in your answer. Thank you. Thank you for making adoption such a normal part of your answer. I'm also touched by how many adoption stories are part of your series. You know how to make a prospective adoptive parent (that'd be me) feel very, very...normal. Something that often is a far-away feeling when adopting. Thank you.

First child: conceived 2 mo. after the wedding...I was READY.
Second child: (via adoption) taking what feels like a LIFETIME. My hands are waving up in the air, my heart is trying to let-go of my personal time table. and we wait.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger Design Mom said...

MomBabe — I love the "have a boy, then a girl..." part of your plan. I had totally forgotten about that! I was going to have girl, boy, girl, boy right on down the line.

Of course. That didn't happen. : )

Bridget — So glad I helped to make a fellow mother feel normal. I think adoption is soooo normal. My oldest brother is adopted. And I'm sure most of us can count friends who either are adopted or have adopted.

Best of luck in your new adventure. I'll cross my fingers for a speedy timeline.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Monkey Business said...

Excited about one a few months into our marriage and we were surprised with twins! Several days before the twins second birthday little brother arrived. We certainly thought we were done! But...now we find ourselves yearning for one more. I just "feel" there is one more baby out there for me, for us. Ill let you know in a few years how many we are up to!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:24:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two, and even though I would ADORE all my kids if I had a zillion kids, quite frankly two is all I can handle!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger zchamu said...

Slightly off topic but - 35 isn't a magical age when risks of childbearing increase. It caught that stigma years ago, when risks of amniocentesis were higher. The reality is, risks of problems with procreation increase every year the mother (and father) age past puberty. The age of 35 was when the risk of something being wrong with the fetus was finally higher than the risk of something going wrong due to the amnio, and thus was the age that amnio was recommended as a formal screening tool. Even though that no longer applies (amnio is much safer now) the stigma remains. I can tell you as a 39 year old first time mom, neither me nor my child were considered to be at high risk.

Just a little trivia. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger Liv said...

I am one of 3 and my husband one of 9. We wanted 4 at least. We married at 24. DS was born when I was 26. DD at 28. I can see a plan coming to fruition here. uh-oh DS gets ill and I need to return to work as finances dictate. He needs extra care over and above a "regular" child .Hmm. I'm 35. We're not done but now we are scared of going back to the nappies(diapers), sleepless nights etc and financially comfortable, finally. We can't decide.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:39:00 PM EST  
Blogger Design Mom said...

zchamu — I'm so glad you added that. I really had no idea where the 35-higher-risk info came from, but I've heard it forever and just assumed... which was stupid. Thanks for clearing it up.

I think I'll edit the original post.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger Amber said...

Great post, and so timely for me. My husband and I decided we were done at 3. Our third is 18 months old and we were both comfortable with our decision. But (isn't there always a 'but'?) This last month we both -at separate times- felt the strong prompting that we are to have another. I've never felt happier to add another to our family, and more at peace with our decision. I'm so grateful for prayer and the spirit to guide my decisions.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:57:00 PM EST  
Blogger lagata said...

I only have 2 boys... I wanted more but my boy's dad didn't...

My neighbor had her first 3 kids 3 yrs. 3 mths apart - she said she could only handle 1 in diapers at a time. Then the last 3 range from 4 years apart to 2 years... I have to say - I am a bit jealous of her "brood" :o)

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 5:21:00 PM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

Since you asked, here's an older mom's story:

There were four kids in my family growing up so I just felt that you had to have at least four, and then decide about more. I did feel that I didn't want to have any babies after I was 35.

I married at 18 had my first daughter at 20, second daughter at 22 and my third, a son at 25. Then we took a little breather - 3.5 years (three was a little overwhelming - when the kids outnumber the parents and the number of mother hands) and then number 4. Right after he was born, I felt strongly that there was another child, a girl, that was to join our family. When number 5 WAS a girl, I thought I was done. But when she turned 2 I had a strong feeling there was one more. So we had number 6. Then I felt peaceful and that I was "done."

So we had six children in 13.5 years, the youngest was born when I was 34. I've loved being a SAHM for 31 years and now my baby is a senior!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 5:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Lenarts said...

Growing up I always dreamed of 3. Got married and had to be talked into getting pregnant by a husband. :) Had my son at 28 and having him decided that we are done. Just felt right. About a year ago I started yearning for another baby. Took six months to warm up husband to the idea and now we are 27 weeks along (will be 33 at birth of a second one). Being pregnant for the second time I am already thinking of the third one. Which I could see it happening years down the road. I am good with 2, but 3 would be magical number. :)I have learned the more you plan, the more you think about having children, the less likely it is going to happen. You just need to jump in and enjoy the ride.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 5:30:00 PM EST  
Blogger rhilborn said...

I married at 21 but we were in school for another 3 years completing undergraduates & a masters. The plan was that we would finish school, and I would work for a 1 or 2 years in a great career job and then start our family. My husband's an Army officer so the Army always puts a spin on our plans:). Instead, we got pregnant 3 months after finishing school, miscarried, and then got pregnant with our son 6 months later. Moral of the story, we realized after the somewhat surprise first pregnancy that we longed to grow our family regardless of the magic number in our savings account:), or the fantastic career aspirations I might have. I'm so thankful that we threw our plan out the window!
Now we are faced with wanting to conceive another child but knowing he is leaving for a 1 year deployment in the spring. Only God knows the perfect timing for our sweet babes:), so we are awaiting his direction!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 6:01:00 PM EST  
Blogger sammyw said...

for as long as i can remember my desire has been to be a wife and mother. jesus richly blessed with with an amazing husband when i was 19 and soon the baby talks (when, how many, etc) came. my hubs & i both agreed we wouldn't start trying until we were both 100% on board, neither of us wanted to have to convince the other. raising children is a team effort and a high calling from the lord, we didn't want to take it lightly. it's been almost 4 years into our marriage and my husband just whispered to me a couple weeks ago he is ready. i think my ovaries clapped :) what a sweet memory for us both. i am so thankful for the time we've had thus far to grow, mature, experience so many things, it's been a huge blessing - so our plan is to become pregnant sometime next year - we'll see what the lord has in store :)

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 6:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kenj said...

Love that photo! What a hoot!

Our first and our eighth weren't in our plan, but as the magnet on our fridge reads, "We make plans, God laughs".

And I wouldn't trade any of the eight for the world, even the "unplanned" ones. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 7:02:00 PM EST  
Blogger Rachael said...

We have three, and we're hoping to have lots more. I don't think it's ever really "convenient" to have children (we're still in grad school and will be for another 3 years), but I'm so glad we didn't wait until everything "made sense" for us to start having kids--i.e. done with school, steady job, etc. We just based our timeline off of prayer and spiritual promptings.

With that said, we start thinking, "is it time for another?" right around the 15-month mark for the youngest baby. That's such a magical age that you really feel like another child would be a blessing!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 8:02:00 PM EST  
Blogger Courtney said...

I married at 20 and I thought I wanted 4-6 kids and my husband wanted 8. yikes! we thought we would start having kids when I was 24 (and he would be 27), but instead we had our first when I was 23, and now we think we want just 2, maybe 3 children. I keep telling myself that I don't have to decide how many children I want right now. I can just take them one at a time. My daughter is 19 months now, and I constantly have to remind myself to enjoy just having one instead of constantly thinking about when we should have the next and if we will have another after that, etc. Always a trial for a mother-- enjoying the current stage of life.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 8:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger polkadot said...

i am one of 2, and i always thought it was too few kids, so i planned to have 4 kids, two girls and two boys, of course.

well, 3 years after i got married, had my first (a girl) at 28. then a boy at 30. then another boy at 33. then we deliberated and deliberated, and finally just jumped in, and our fourth, another boy, is now 10 months old (and i was 36 when he was born).

we are done! ...though it would have been nice to have one more girl!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 8:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Katie said...

4 babies in 4 years! Wow! And I love that comment "I think my ovaries clapped." Hilarious. It took my husband and I over 2 years to "get lucky" and now my daughter is 4 months old. A week ago I thought I was pregnant and came to peace with it (Irish twins, due date would've been one day after my daughter's birthday) and then I wasn't. Funny how that can be disappointing. I have no idea how many children I want to have. All I know is that one is not enough and I figure I'll know when I'm done. My ideal spacing is 18-24 months. Although I really should give up trying to plan these things!!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 9:01:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sierra Rix said...

My husband and I talked a lot about kids before we were married. We both agreed that getting married meant we were willing to accept the potential of children. It took a year for us to concieve and I miscarried. Two months later we conceived our daughter, who will be seven in Jan. Our next, a boy, was born 20 months later. Our third was born 17 mos after that. So three in thiry seven months. At which point, I felt like I was going off the deep end and needed a breather. So now, 3 1/2 years after the birth of our third, we are enjoying our fourth child, a girl, who is 8 wks old today.
I had my first at 25 and my littlest at 31. I definitely want more and my husband would love to have more. But it is God's plan and we are planning on adoption down the road too.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 9:51:00 PM EST  
Blogger simply seleta said...

At first I wasn't sure if I wanted children. Then I wanted one. Then two. Then three. I thought we were all done.

God then gave us number four.

I pray a lot every day to be a good mom...and for plenty of patience because I need all the help I can get. Each child is such a blessing.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 10:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger michelle said...

Take it one at a time. You never know what your situation will be, if you will have a child with any sort of special needs (disabilities, allergies...), etc.

I have two kids right now, 21 months apart. I'm 30. We definitely want another, maybe a fourth. We'll see how it goes with three kids before I commit to a four.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 10:46:00 PM EST  
Blogger Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Growing up I didn't like baby-sitting so I didn't think I'd have more than two or three children. Then I got married and baby #1 was born 10 months later. Baby #8 was born six weeks ago and I can't imagine life without a single one of them!

People ask us all the time if we are "done." Who knows? Only the Lord.

We know when another little one will be joining our family when we sit down to eat or pray and feel like someone is missing. It's happened with the last five children. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 10:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger cpeep said...

My theory is that everyone has about half a child too many :) How ever many it is, you know you're done when you have that last baby and say, "What were we thinking?"

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 11:08:00 PM EST  
Blogger Hannah said...

I don't have kids yet but I do know one thing...

I have never heard of someone regretting having another child. But I have heard friends regret that they didn't go with their feelings to try for one more...

Good luck!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 11:42:00 PM EST  
Blogger {april kennedy} said...

This post couldn't have come at a better time for me. We have a 12 year old girl who is a wonderful big sister to our 7 year old boy who was born with Spina Bifida. I am really sick during my pregnancies and after baby number 2 and being sick for 7 months we said we were done.

7 years later and I still go back and forth. We had twins in our home for over a year trying to adopt them and they ended up with their birth mother. At that time I felt complete with them in our home, but after they left I thought "phew...it is nice to have older children."

Now a couple of years later and 38 years old, hubby and I decided while camping this last weekend to go for another. I scheduled an appointment to have my IUD taken out the middle of December and I started talking my ultra high dose of folic acid to try to prevent another nueral tube birth defect. Although being a little "older" in age, I feel very comfortable in trusting my Heavenly Father with sending me the child that was meant to come to our family with or without a disability.

And just when I think..."we can do this" I get a little panicky thinking Disneyland and surfing vacations won't be the same with a baby for a couple of years again but oh how I yearn to smell a baby and have it cuddle in my neck again while cooing. We are jumping in with complete faith that Heavenly Father knows to send us a baby if it is part of his plan for our family. I might end up a little disappointed if it isn't part of his plan. We shall see.

But shhhhh....we aren't telling anyone we are trying! It's going to be a surprise. Both grandparents think they are done getting grandbabies!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 11:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Lisa said...

I come from a family of 6 kids and my husband comes from 7. I married at 21 and my husband and I waited 3.5 years to start having kids. We knew once we started, we wanted them 2 years apart (as if one can really plan these things).

My daughter was born when I was 25.
Son at 27.
Son at 29.
Twin sons at 31.
5 kids in 6 years was fast.

We thought we wanted four kids and then maybe a fifth so the 4-5 punch was fun and crazy. Our twins will be 1 next month and it's been the most rewarding and difficult year of our lives. But, we wouldn't change it for anything.

We both have strong feelings like our family isn't complete. People ask us often if we are "done", we say that we are "done for now". I want to have the family Heavenly Father intended for us. My husband and I have thought often of adoption for years but whether it's through adoption or not, we know we are not "done".

We just had family photos taken. Our five kids had their picture taken sitting on a bench and there was room at one end of the bench. A fellow twin mom saw our kids' photo and said, "Looks like there's room for one more!" My first thought was that there wasn't room for just one, but two more! :)

Gabrielle, thanks for your inspiring daily posts. During the challenging days of being a mother, I love to take a little "me" time and check to see what's new on DesignMom.

-Lisa

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 12:37:00 AM EST  
Blogger Be Like the Squirrel, Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 1:26:00 AM EST  
Blogger Be Like the Squirrel, Girl said...

We both wanted to be done with school before we started having kids, and my husband took a little longer to finish school than we anticipated. Then we were in for a surprise when I didn't get pregnant right away. 2 years and 2 miscarriages later, I had a baby girl at age 32.

We want our baby to have the chance to be a big sister to a sibling, but I am planning to go back to school for a doctorate this summer. I feel like it is now or never to get my advanced degree, which means I will earn more when I'm finished.

Depending on how things go, we might start trying again in a year or two. I wish it were possible to know how long it would take to conceive again.

Going back to the original question asked by Sarah, I think some important factors to consider are 1) your financial situation, and 2) the impact our population has on the world. Both of those things weigh heavily on my mind and influence our decisions regarding procreation. I think we can only afford to have one more and I'm not sure I feel comfortable having more than 2 children. But it is a deeply personal decision and I'm not going to tell others what they can and can't do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 1:29:00 AM EST  
Blogger bridgetroll said...

thank you for this i've enjoyed reading all the comments.

I had always planned on being "done" by the time I was 30. My mom went through an early metapause (at 41 she was done) which really freaked me out.

We have three children each are 3 years and 3 months apart (we're anal math people, each of our kids have 6 letters in their first names as well). I was very blessed to be able to get pregnant very easily and despite our first child (who was not planned) the other two were planned down to the day that I conceived them.

My youngest is now 14 months old and I have a strong feeling that we are not done yet. My husband feels like we're done, mostly because we are at full capacity in our vehicles (stupid reason). Finances are also a worry. I'm 27 so I have a little time left in my "master plan" but we'll see how it all works out. I'd love to have more and I keep dreaming about a little girl with brown hair and brown eyes (my girls have blonde hair and blue eyes).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 1:42:00 AM EST  
Blogger Maria said...

This is a timely post for me. We have three (6, 4, and almost 2) and I would really like one more, my husband feels very sure he would not. He has many reasons that make so much sense: he feels like he doesn't have enough time/attention to give already, stretching finances, challenges of having a new baby...But for some reason I can't get the thought out of my head. If we do have one more, I would want it to be soon, but I just don't know how we are going to make the decision. He says if it is really important to me we can, but I hate to do it when he is not on board....thanks for the ear...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 2:41:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My advice:

Don't have a new baby until your current baby gets the concept of "just a minute."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 9:41:00 AM EST  
Blogger Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

I come from a family of 11 kids and I think a big family is lots of fun, but I don't think I want a huge family myself. I just had my first baby a year ago and I don't think I am going to set a specific number of kids I want. I think after each baby is born I will decide if I want to have another one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 9:59:00 AM EST  
Blogger B Kinch said...

I started young, because of a strong family medical history that landed my mom and aunts with hysterectomies in their late twenties. I had a baby at 20, and another 17 months later. Since we homeschool, I love having the kids close in age. They are in the same "grade," which makes teaching very easy, and they love learning together. My plan was to have two more close together when I was 27, but after one baby, we decided we were done with three children, partially because of the economy, and partly because our third child had health and sleep issues that put a major strain on our family. I think the key for us was remaining flexible to our needs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 10:23:00 AM EST  
Blogger Amanda said...

You are right when you say that plans can change quickly. We got married in September of 2006, and thought we would have our first child around this time of 2009. The Lord looked at our plan and decided to mix it up, and give us two surprises Asher 2, Abbie 8 months. We laugh about it now, and know that we are lucky and wouldn't trade them for anything.(especially when we have a sister trying to adopt.) We just have to find comfort in the ride that is out of our control.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 11:47:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

I got married at 24 and had our oldest son and our daughter at 24 and 27. I just knew with all my heart that there was another baby for us but it took a while to conceive.

My little son was born when I was 31... he just turned 5 years old last week! He has completed our family, although I do admit to feeling that longing for another baby at times.

Thanks for this post... so interesting to hear other people's stories and about their planning and thinking on this intimate subject!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 11:50:00 AM EST  
Blogger Roshanthi said...

One and done! That’s our motto.
It really depends on the personality and priorities of the parents.
My husband and I decided earlier on we wanted to keep doing what we were doing even when we are parents - travelling, lots of outdoor stuff, and quite honestly having time for ourselves. We have a 4 y.o. daughter and we cant be happier. At 37 there are times I feel like it might be nice for her to have a sibling, but the reality of a small close family works for us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 12:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger Paper + Ink Studio said...

great post and perfect timing! i married at 25. got divorced. remarried at 29 and had my first child at 31. now that i am about to turn 35 and my hubby is about to turn 40, we are so up in the air about whether to have a 2nd child. i realized the longer you wait, the more set in your ways you get and as your only child gets more independent, you start to dread "doing it all over." people warned me about this, but it's so true for me. i think we will end up having a 2nd child and soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 3:02:00 PM EST  
Blogger Andrea said...

When I got married (age 19), I wanted ten kids...until I had one (at age 21). Then I decided two would be plenty. But two didn't come for five years, and when she did, it was a horribly rough pregnancy. After she was born my husband and I were pretty sure we were done, especially when my Dr. assured me I couldn't get pregnant, and SHOULDN'T get pregnant. Low and behold, one year later a surprise pregnancy (my easiest one yet), resulting in a son - who we could not live without. Three years later now, and my Dr. has changed his tune: "Go for it." But I'm not sure my body could survive another rough pregnancy, so for now we're done. And, for now, that is the right decision for us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 4:28:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Yo-yo Mama said...

35 is actually the age the medical fields consider "advanced maternal age", which if you've ever had a baby at 35 or older it's documented right there. In most cases, women's fertility does significantly decrease in their mid to late 30s.

I wanted four children: boy then girl then twin girls. I got the boy and then got pregnant with a girl who died at 16 wks gestatation. After that, any time any one ever talked of having a plan I would scoff.

Our plans were nothing when up against biology. At 41 I gave birth to a perfectly healthy girl...via the egg of a 34 yr old donor.

Congratulations to all of you and your families. Don't ever take them for granted or think that 2 years is perfect or 7 years is perfect. ANY span between loved children is perfect.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 5:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger Juwmama said...

When I first married at age 20 I wanted 11 children! My husband wanted double digits! (I think that's why I married him . . . what guy wants that many these days??). Looking back I think that was our idea of saying, "Why put a number on it. Just have lots!" Well, 10 years later we have 5 beautiful babies and currently contemplating #6. Our first three were within the first 3 years of marriage. And after #5 I thought, "WOAH! If I keep this pace up either I'm going to be insane or my children are going to be completely ruined!" He's two now, life's a bit more slow, babies are starting to look cute again. :-) I feel strongly that the urge to have a baby is a gift from God. When your family is complete, you will feel peace with that decision. :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 7:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger mandi said...

i think we must be more laid back about this...we figure that we will have as many children as we are blessed to have. either through adoption or biology ; )

i say that...

that we are laid back...

but we have been trying to conceive number 3 now for 2 years. and i'm not feeling so laid back anymore!

so maybe i should say that we are open to lots of kids, and trying to be open to 2 perfectly wonderful ones.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 9:59:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Hanna said...

Wonderful stories thank you for sharing. My husband(@34) and I (@29) got married and thought hey we should start trying could take a while. We ended up pregnant about 3 weeks later. We now have a little girl who is 17 months. (and though we had "planned" to keep the kids 2 years apart.) His brother who is a stay at home dad has 3 all 2 years exactly apart.. I have a training to take this spring so we are trying to wait. (and start trying when she is 2) I always wanted a big family - I come from 3 (though my mother had 4 miscarrages) & my hubby came from a quiet family with 2. We have talked of having 3 but he is now trying to convince me 2 might by the magic number. I always thought 4 would be delightful. so here we are...Enjoying this baby and looking forward to a time that we are joined by another. I guess we will see where that takes us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 10:14:00 PM EST  
Blogger kamille said...

i loved this post and just had to laugh because i too had my plans :)

i am currently expecting our second and i truly thought that i would be able to plan every one of our pregnancies. well - this one...guess what...it wasn't planned! hehe. it is only a few months earlier than i was planning but still...it threw me through a loop because i had fully planned on "planning" everything out to a "T" - you're right...make plans and then be flexible!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 12:56:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sarah said...

Design Mom- you are a force for good and I thank you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 1:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger Carrie said...

I'm so glad to see Roshanthi's post. Nothing wrong with only children!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 2:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger Brittons of Provo said...

Hahaha....I love how "having a plan" is such a general guideline when it comes to have having kids. My husband and I wanted both wanted to have a large family...around 12 was our preferred number. We decided to have the first two close together (they are 15 months apart) so that no one would be all alone. Then we were going to space the rest out about every two years. Well, we just found out that I am expecting again, which will put the third one just 18 months after #2. A little sooner than I was planning on, but we are super thrilled. I guess we will wait and see how the rest of our plan unfolds!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 3:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger Musings of a Housewife said...

I love hearing how people come to these decisions. When I got married at 23, I mentioned to my husband that I always figured I'd have 2 kids (I come from a family with 2 kids) and my husband replied that he figured we'd have 4 (he was one of 4.)

GACK!

We eventually compromised on 3, and that's what we have.

He would still have 4, but I had miserable pregnancies that got progressively worse, and I had to put my foot down. I definitely feel fulfilled with our 3 kids, but I do miss that babyness. My youngest just turned 4.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 3:46:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic, Gabrielle.

We currently have two beautiful girls and I feel infinitely blessed. That said, we'll probably have at least one more. Both my husband and I have a little tug on our hearts telling us that we're not done yet...

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 4:51:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Mary @ Parenthood said...

My plan was to have kids by the time I was 25. Overall I wanted at least four.

And then it turned out that according to the medical professionals, neither my husband nor I are supposed to be able to have kids. (Our daughter Elizabeth will be 9 months on Saturday)

We'd love another miracle but we've long given up on the idea that the timing and number of children is something you "plan". You can manage the probabilities, but more than that is a bit of an illusion...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 9:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger Faye said...

What a great post. And something that has been on mind lately (and it's not just me judging from the amount of other comments!)

My husband and I have an 18 month old daughter. I'm 26 and he is nearly 32, we live in London, UK where we are the first in our group of frends to have a child. I am considered a young mother! I guess it's a very different story in other countries,in America it definitely seems more the norm to have kids in your early 20s.

We definitely want one more, which I wouldn't mind trying for pretty soon as I don't want a big age gap but my husband is worried about finances. I'm really suprised hardly anyone else has mentioned this as it's a really big factor for us. My husband has a decent job and I work part-time but we only have a 2 bed flat which we rent and we do struggle a bit at the end of every month with just one child! Maybe that's just because we live in London.

So just trying to decide if we should wait until we have saved more money and can be in a more comfortable position to provide the very best life we can for 2 children or just throw caution to the wind and go for it and hope it all works out. Hmmmm...

Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 2:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger wtmontana said...

Not even married yet, no proposal has been foreseen by me. With the only someone I have ever been able to say that I love, I feel deep down that he's the one for me. I can imagine children with him and all but I still get quite teary reading these stories, worrying that it won't work out like that. I always will maintain that I'd like to do things how my Mum did them - engaged at 21 (the last day of being 21 for her! Not sure I could wait that long but I'm learning patience), married at 23, first baby at 26 then another at 28 then another at 30. She always hoped/planned to have another baby at 40 but that didn't happen.

I have only one ovary. Unfortunately I don't think it can clap as it doesn't have any friends down there!I am desperately hoping that I will be able to get started on having kids before I am too old. The doctors believe that my "best by date" is 25. The only ovary I have is struggling along all by its lonesome. Writing this, I'm all over the place. But I have hope....

Next year I turn 21 two days after Valentine's Day. I only hope that my 'happy ever after', with marriage and children and the big gap in my heart all filled up, is not too far behind.

I am so envious of every single man and woman who have a child of their own. I am terrified I won't be able to even have one, just one, of the four I dream of.

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 1:18:00 AM EST  
Blogger [AlisaR] said...

I'm just starting to read this blog. What a lovely place to visit! I am so inspired by the personal thoughts all these women have shared. Thank you for filling up my day, even though it's not quite 9am.
I am carrying baby number four right now. My first one came along while my husband was an undergrad, number two showed up while we were waiting to hear if he was accepted to medical school. When we showed up to med school with two babies, I thought his classmates' jaws would never go back in place. Number three came along during his first year of residency, and number four is planned at the beginning of his fifth year. We both think "school and babies" are a good combination - they give purpose and fuel to your studies, despite the added stress.

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 8:59:00 AM EST  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I have read every comment and feel like I know each of you. I can relate to so many of the feelings and thoughts shared. I love the personal and spiritual nature of family.
We both come from fairly large families (mine 7, his 6). My family is balanced with 3 girls, 4 boys, me being the youngest. His is very boy heavy, 1st a girl, then my husband, then 4more boys. We are on his family track I guess.
We married young (20 and 22), though I didn't think so at the time. We were in school and I was unable to work as I didn't have a work visa. After six months I told my husband I was ready to start. He was not. I found out we were pregnant with our first the day I got my green card in 2000. She arrived in March 2001 just as my husband was finishing his undergraduate degree. We moved across the country when she was just 8 weeks old so he could start graduate school. Baby number 2, a boy, arrived in May 2003. Then a miscarriage on Valentine's Day 2005. Baby number 3, another boy, arrived in February 2006. Baby number 4, another boy arrived in September 2009. Finances have worked out for us somehow over the years. I am a stay-at-home mom. While it isn’t always easy we always have enough.
I thought I wanted 5 but 3 and now 4 has been a challenge. My husband was done and I was mostly done. But this fall we heard a talk that changed his mind and mine. Now we are enjoying our 4 and waiting to see if 5 is right for us. We just don't feel quite complete yet. The thought of another baby is overwhelming some days and yet I think we would find the strength if we were blessed with another one. And please let it be a girl!
Gabrielle, thank you for sharing such wonderful birth stories. I was reading last week and found myself tearing up and laughing at the same time. Such beauty.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:10:00 AM EST  
Blogger Shooting Starchild said...

When I was about ten I decided that I wanted to be a doctor, get married after medical school, and have ten children so I could have a birthday every month (my husband and I would have the other two months).

Now I'm more interested in making maps, I did marry late (28) because it took me a while to find him, and I've scaled back my Ideal Number. (I started to comprehend how much work birthday parties are for the Grown Up.)

I don't actually have a before and after yet. I'm just newly pregnant with my first and it has taken me longer to get here than I thought it would.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 2:54:00 AM EST  
Blogger Shooting Starchild said...

wtmontana: The doctors told my mom she wouldn't be able to have kids (she had 1/2 of a uterus), but she had four girls (I was the first and I had to stretch her out a bit, but I turned out okay).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 2:59:00 AM EST  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

I had an interest in science and my junior high school biology teacher taught a lot on overpopulation. I decided that I would do my part by not having children, and I have never regretted that decision. I think our fragile planet is already overpopulated and I worry about how our next generation will survive. I don't think I am pessimistic, but realistic.

Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 7:19:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a mother of a 12 year old daughter, an only child, and my husband and I had agreed years ago that we were content with our small but mighty family of three. I had had some pretty troubling depression issues in my 30s and once I waded through those for 3 or so years, I felt so grateful to feel good again that I thought it was best not to consider having another child.
But here's to being open to the possibility of change once your mind is 'made up' ~ We recently decided to try to conceive another child (we've lost two to miscarriage, one before our daughter and one after)~ the 'call' was soooo strong that when I talked with my husband about it he could feel the shift just as strongly (I guess that's what being together for over 20 years will do!) We did agree to only try for six months or so due to our ages (40s) and not wishing to seek any type of fertility treatment at this point. I have no idea if we will or have conceive/d our child, but I am surprised and delighted to have been open enough to reconsider after many years of thinking that our decision was final.

Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 11:11:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just celebrated the first birthday of our first son. I am 39 in three weeks and hoping that we might wait another two years or more before having the second. This makes me old... but no older than a lot of my peers who have similarly delayed starting their families. I would actually be happy to stop at one child, but am not that keen for him to lack the social skills that come from being a sibling. I am also keen for him to be more self-reliant, and for me to be back in paid employment with paid maternity leave for the next child (have been a SAHM with one income for two years now, long story). I would have stopped at two at any age since I think that is evolutionarily and ecologically sustainable. But my age really dictates that now I think. But all power to those of you with big families and a lot of love to go round!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 5:30:00 PM EST  

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