I Don’t Know if I Want More Kids and That’s OK

Let me start by saying that this is a very personal topic for me, as it is for everyone. In this article, I’m simply stating my truth and feelings as I know that everyone feels differently about their family planning.

I always thought I wanted to have a big family. I like the idea of big families. Both my husband and myself come from families with three kids, and we just always wanted to have our own big family. Today, my husband and I are blessed with spunky, 4-year-old twins and I think because the girls are 4, we get asked routinely if we are going to have any more children. My response is always the same, “I don’t know”. My response is not me just trying to avoid the subject, I just really don’t know. I wish I did… it would be easier.

I think most human beings like to plan. We like to know what’s coming and try to control our situations as much as we can. I know I definitely do. However, when it comes to most of our plans, we are never guaranteed what we plan for. Just because someone wants to have 4 children, two girls and two boys, doesn’t mean that it will happen that way. Just because I might want more children, doesn’t mean that I will be able to have more children. After four years, I have not yet come a point where I’m ready to say that I’d like to have more children or that I definitely don’t want any more children. And that’s OK.

I’m in a place now where I am content with the blessings that I have been given. Sure, I’ve thought about the fact that if we have another child, there will be an age gap between them and the girls and sure, I’ve thought about the fact that I’m not getting any younger. I just don’t feel ready to move forward or say that I’m completely done. Although I sometimes get the itch to have another baby, I think about what we’ve gone through and I just don’t know if I can do it again. Honestly, I’m still exhausted.

IMG_0113Let’s rewind back to 2011. I was 25 years old and pregnant with twins. At 20 weeks pregnant, my girls were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, given little to no chance of survival, I underwent surgery, went into preterm labor, developed cholestasis (the worst itching I’ve ever experienced), and was put on bedrest. After 8 long weeks of bedrest at home, I was put in the hospital at 28 weeks after my water broke and was hospitalized until they were born via C-section at almost 32 weeks. They were in the hospital for 6 weeks, came home and both developed colic. While the colic went away, and my scars (emotionally and physically) have healed, I get flashes of what it was and honestly, it scares me. I just don’t know if I could do it again and while I’m sure most of those things wouldn’t happen again, it’s just not that easy.

Parenting is a lot of work. It’s mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. To top it off, I have strong-willed children, which makes everything a battle. I have a marriage, friendships, a career, a small business, and my own needs that I also need to think about. The decision to have more children is not simple for me, and when I’m asked, my “I don’t know” is all I can muster up, but under the surface is my story. Under the surface is the fear, exhaustion and questions I really do have about having more children. Would I like more children in the future? Maybe, but for right now, I still just don’t know. I’m blessed with my family of four and that’s OK.

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7 Responses to I Don’t Know if I Want More Kids and That’s OK

  1. Mindy March 11, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    My husband and I always planned on having two kids; but after my, now 9 month old, son was born with a heart condition that meant he needed surgery at 6 months old (he is now fully recovered!), we don’t know either. It was such a terrifying and emotional experience for us. My husband was an only child and I have two siblings, so we know the pros and cons of both options from the child’s perspective. The answer “I don’t know” is about all I can come up with too.

  2. Melissa
    Melissa March 12, 2016 at 9:07 am #

    Mindy,
    I’m so glad to hear your baby boy is healthy and recovered. It’s SO scary, and I get where you are coming from 100%. I think my biggest thing is that it’s OK to not know and it’s ok to be scared. Enjoy your sweet family of 3! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  3. Jennifer March 15, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    I could have written this myself! We have a lot in common. My 32 weeker twin boys are two years old now and we had our own share of pregnancy difficulties at the end and an almost six week NICU stay. People ask us about our plans for the future and I honestly have no idea if we will try to have another. Life is good as a family of four. I sometimes think part of the reason I might want another baby because I want have a “normal” pregnancy and birth. I feel like I missed out on something by not being able to hold my babies immediately after they were born as they were rushed out to the NICU….and a plethora of other things as well. Essentially, it doesn’t matter because my little boys are happy and healthy, but it still makes me a bit sad, maybe even bitter at times. I also think life in the NICU makes you realize what a miracle bringing home a healthy baby is. Add that to the list of cons for having another baby. So I”m with you at “I don’t know”.

    • Melissa
      Melissa March 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      Jennifer,
      I know EXACTLY what you mean when you sometimes think about being pregnant just to have a “normal” pregnancy!! I think about it all the time. I wonder what it would be like to be able to nurse just one baby, and be able to actually do things while I’m pregnant (and not sit on the couch). But then I remember that I might not have a “normal” pregnancy and it might be just as complicated as my first. I also start to think then, that my desire for that also isn’t a good enough reason to try to have another child. It’s such a complicated decision, and I totally understand and relate to everything you are saying! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Dani March 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    I only have one little guy, no significant health complications just a chaotic and traumatic experience in the hospital, a tough post partum, and an EXTREMELY head strong, tenacious, physical little boy. We thought for sure we’d have at least 2….most days I barely feel like I’m meeting my own expectations for having one child! What would I do with 2?! Or more?!? Anyways, I completely relate. I wish I knew. But if I’m honest most days when j think about the details…I’m terrified of having to manage another whole life around here…I can barely keep up as it is! But everyone else seems to do it with ease….I know comparing isn’t helpful, I just know I can’t help but wonder, why it is that I dont think having another baby sounds fun and everyone else does. What am I Missing?! ?

    • Melissa
      Melissa March 16, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

      Dani,

      Yes to everything you said! My girls are both strong willed and there are times when we’re having a rough day, I look at my husband and say, “There is NO WAY we are having more kids..” Some (ok.. most) days I feel like I can barely handle my two. I really think it depends on what kind of children we have and it sounds like we were blessed with children who really know what they want and are sticking to it.. 😉

      Hang in there, you aren’t missing anything!

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

      Dani, I identified so much with your comment and wanted to chime in. I am a mom of one strong-willed little girl, and I feel exactly the same way you do about having more. For the longest time I wondered if something was wrong with me, and I compared myself to other moms, too. The truth is that nothing is wrong with us. Motherhood is hard and some of us just aren’t meant to have a whole brood running around! That’s NOT because we aren’t great moms, it’s just because this is where we are comfortable. And THAT’S OK. Enjoy your little one, give him the world, and give yourself some grace. XO

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