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Longing for another child, but I already have a few!

I know many mamas have struggled to conceive.  I have been so lucky in that regard.  Our first came a complete surprise.  I know there are many families who only have one child, for environmental reasons.  Our second was planned, conceived at what felt like a "good time" for us after we talked about our "thoughts on number two".  Before we could even talk about our "thoughts on number three", we conceived.  To be sure, each of our families are different.  We make our own choices and decisions.  We have the size of a family that is right for us.

So for me, right now, I am feeling like I am pining for another.  Number Three is now a year and a half, such a delight.  I never did feel that I had the time or opportunity to experience this longing, this deep sense of want, this intense draw to become a mother to a young child, yet again.   To be sure, this feeling is the result of my joy in mothering a toddler (I just LOVE this age) as well as knowing that he is probably my last.  Yes, "probably" my last.

Have you had that yearning for a baby feeling?  Did you put it to rest?  Did you conceive or decide to adopt to address the yearning?  Or maybe time helped ease the feeling?  Or perhaps that longing still percolates, to this day?

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I have a couple of friends who are going or have gone through this, and it is so hard. Here are a couple of blogs that have good discussions about this issue. The comments sections are very good too. Both authors have more than one post on the topic, but these will get you started reading them, if you're interested.

http://swistle.blogspot.com/2010/11/so-hard-to-explain.html

http://lifeinatinytown.blogspot.com/2010/09/state-of-state.html

I had that feeling for about a year after my second child was born. I knew he was my last and it was bittersweet that my pregnancy and birthing days were done. After awhile that longing totally faded. Thank goodness.

I remember having an 18 month old child, and that being about the time I started yearning for a second child. So we went ahead and did it.

Now, two years later, our first has an Autism Spectrum diagnosis, and we have our hands totally full as it is. And yet, I still want a third child. On the one hand, I feel like it would be totally irresponsible to bring another child into our family, given the behavior issues my son has, and the struggles we have in dealing with them. On the other hand, I have always wanted three children. Plus, though I feel quilty admitted this (hence, the "anon" signature), I don't know if my son will ever have the social skills to be a very close sibling with my daughter. I really want her to have that bond. Will having a third child provide her with that? Maybe, maybe not. Then, finally, my chances of conceiving another child with ASD are something like 1 in 50 now. That's a little daunting.

I'd love to hear from others who have a special needs child and are contemplating having another child. How do you resolve these issues? I'm not getting any younger. I probably have another 2 years to think about it, and then the window closes.

I have that longing. Quite frequently, in fact. But I know that really, it is best for us to be done. My youngest is getting ready for kindergarten, and I am very excited about the next phase in our family. My two are very close in age, so we have really been able to grow at much the same pace with both. While adding a new one to it would be lovely, I think it would keep me from really being able to engage in what's next and would have me divided between babyhood and childhood. I think that would take some of the magic away from both. Sometimes I think those thoughts of having another one are just so I don't have to feel the sadness of those years being gone because they really were such lovely years. Or so I can "try again" to not make the same mistakes along the way, which is strictly fantasy I am certain!

Plus, I've been home with my two so far, and look forward to working a little once they are in school. I wouldn't be able to do that with a new baby (I would need to stay home, ymmv). The financial impact of a third would be pretty huge. I don't want to take that on. I imagine there may come a day when I regret not having done it, but I will have to just be okay with that.

I have two children. My youngest is two years old. He is such a lovely, mellow boy that I do occasionally feel tempted to have a third--even though we've decided to stop at two. I wonder what that third baby would be like. I wonder if our family is somehow incomplete without that child (but we just don't realize it yet).

But, like Kim, I am looking forward to the next stage--for both myself and my family as a whole. There are so many things that we are looking forward to doing "when the kids are a little older..." While I love the baby and toddler stages, my oldest has shown me how cool 5 year olds can be.

I think I'm just going to have to enjoy the new baby stage vicariously.

I am so familiar with that feeling. For me, the longing lasted quite a while. At some point, though, I realized that it was often not allowing me to fully enjoy what I have--here and now--as I was thinking about what might be in the future. I won't lie, there are often days when I see a newborn or toddler and think about it, but I am so enjoying the current days and stage with my little ones much, much more than I think I did when I was wishing for another. Honestly, I am content and happy with what I have, it feels right, it feels good, manageable and perfect. I am appreciating them at each and every age more than I ever have. It feels good to move to the next stages in all of our lives after babyhood...and know that we are exactly where we need to be.

After my second I longed for a third as well but I knew we really couldn't afford it. The yearning took quite a while to pass and I'd see babies at the grocery store and get quite blue. I'm too old now which is nice since it's no longer in the back of my mind and my kids are teens and so I'm on to the next stage. On the upside, I'm always the first to offer to hold some tired mom's baby at a party. : )

I am in the exact same boat. My baby is 1&1/2 and I also have a 4 year old. I am LONGING for just one more... but my husband says NO WAY! I just know that I am going to always regret not having a third. :(

Mine are 8 and 3. My husband says no more, no way, no how, no discussion. I actually tear up when I see babies at the grocery store. I would looooove to have one more and like Ellen, I think I will always feel some regret for not having a third.

We had three and were so content with our family...until I found out that (surprise!!) I was pregnant again. I had passed through that longing time after my third was three and was moving on. A new baby? Again? I actually struggled with the idea of adding another personality to the lovely mix we already had. But then she arrived, and she's adored by all. Nearly five years younger than my third and more than ten years younger than my oldest, she is the light of our family. ... and I am content ... and done.

I adopted three from foster care, and I am in the process of possibly adding more. I am a single mom.

I am largely responding because the posts all seemed to assume extra children can only come via birth. But many kids in foster care need homes. Adding desired children through adoption is just as valid as birth. It is also an option to consider if you want to wait past the fertility window to add children, or are an empty nest family. You can also simply foster to fulfill that desire, too, if it works for your family. For the poster who has a son with Aspergers and would like more, I think if you have the ability and time, then why not? Any sibling benefits from learning empathy for special needs. It all depends on what you want and what is best for your family.

I have a 6 month & a 2.5 year old and I just got an IUD today. Kind of bittersweet. My husband is well and finished but, though I have my hands full now, I'm still hoping for a third somewhere down the line. I think for some people the craving never goes away. My mom (who was a young mother) went through menopause several years ago at 56, but up until then would talk about how she wanted kids with her new husband. He, quite sensibly, was not interested.

To the original poster--Why not adopt?

Yep, I have two as well.. nearly grown teenagers and still long for more. Hubby said no way, no how.. so I manage. (just barely)

My mother still longs for a child and she is 50 years old with three adult children. I guess it never goes away.

Adoption could be a wonderful idea-it helps you with the longing for another child and also gives a child a loving home. Many of our friends have adopted and can't imagine not having that child/children in their lives-so their "longing" helped change a child's life forever in amazing ways.

Except that I don't think anyone has really mentioned fertility problems as the gating factor to additional children. The financial/time/space/relational/health/behavioural/work etc. issues that keep us from the additional children we desire would mostly be the same with an adopted child, unfortunately.

To "anon" above: a gentle reminder, fertility issues are not the only reasons people adopt...

I have a 7 year old and have never experienced the 'yearning' to have another. However, I have thought of how wonderful it could be to adopt or foster a school aged child - if I actually had the time, energy, money and agreement of my husband to pursue adoption or being a foster parent. But these are not realistic for us.
And although I really enjoyed all stages of my child's development, seeing babies does not make me want to get pregnant again. at all.

We having been discussing having another child for several years now. Both my husband and I would like a third child but we have a child with special needs that can take a lot of work and energy. He is almost seven years old, not potty trained, does not sleep through the night, and today had a four hour tantrum. Our other child we adopted through the foster care system. We also have had many discussion of me carrying a child vs. adopting again.

Divorced and not remarried, and now facing the end of my truly fertile years, I've done some crying on this issue. Alot and often out of nowhere. But now that my son is older (10), I feel better about it. Having just one is easier on me, I have my body looking good, he is older and I can think of us doing more adventurous stuff then we could if life had been different. There is something to be said for the next phase of older kid, being more of yourself again, more of an adult, less asked of you. I have a special relationship with him because we are so tight and my mommy love is undivided. I will hit the phase where I can travel for long trips much earlier. I guess I am saying there will be things to regret and things to enjoy no matter which way life goes; so sometimes we have to let things go to enjoy the good parts.

km,
You are right that infertility is not the only reason why people adopt. But the main problems discussed here are one of the spouses not wanting more children or not enough resources for one more child. These issues apply whether you adopt or conceive.
I think adoption is wonderful and I think it takes a special person to be an adoptive parent. But I also think that if my partner didn't want another child I wouldn't just say to him "Well, then let's adopt instead of conceiving." It just doesn't make any sense to mention the adoption to a family who cannot afford or cannot agree on having another child.

A thought on the adoption issue is many families make the choice (for whatever reason(s) ) to parent a baby/child who is already here and in need of a loving, supportive family rather than choose to bring another into the world, especially if they already have one/two/a few. It doesn't sound like anyone was trying to tell someone else what to do, just bringing up an option and sharing thoughts.

I have had that yearning, but it has mostly passed now that my youngest is 2 1/2. My son, age 7, really wants another sibling and sometimes gets upset when I tell him that we're not having any more children. If we were rich I would certainly adopt or foster another child, but we simply can't afford it and I try to explain that to him without stressing him out about money. When my kids are older we hope to foster a child, or at least do foster respite care (a great option - people should look into this!), but right now I can't imagine putting my small kids through the stress of that, and our house isn't big enough for another person.
What helps me is to think about it pragmatically, and to hold the babies of everyone I know!

This news can be interesting for many people. I'll advise to read this post to my friends.

The main problems discussed here are one of the spouses not wanting more children or not enough resources for one more child.

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