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Is 2 the magic number?

How do you know how many children are the right number of children for your family?

How do you know when your family is complete?

I just don’t know if this trying for a third baby is the right thing to carry on doing.

I don’t know when, or if, we should be stopping trying and accept that two is the right number of children for us.

I don’t know at which point someone will wave a magic wand and say ‘look there’s no chance of you actually getting and staying pregnant so stop trying’ or maybe they won’t and I could find myself still taking temperatures and filling in charts months in the future.

I just wish I could know what the right thing to do is for us, for me, for this family.

Half of the problem is that when we’ve thrown everything at trying in the past it has tended to work – it did in the summer to be fair but then it didn’t work out.  So now I have a niggling worry that there must be something wrong with one or other of us that is stopping this working.  There could be – I’m rhesus negative, Mr Muddling is positive and there is a chance that the miscarriages or Littler’s birth might have done something to create antibodies.  Except I think I had a test after she was born to say that I was ok.  Can’t remember and not sure how I would go about finding out about that.  If I knew at least I’d know that there wasn’t any chance and I could move on.  

Or perhaps that we just aren’t trying hard enough.

Honestly it has been a struggle for the last few months to be in the right place at the right time and together.  The together part obviously being key.  Also the not being absolutely shattered, feeling slightly in the mood and not having to deal with poorly children bit.  Perhaps evolution has meant that small children know to get poorly around your fertile part of the month so that you can’t breed more siblings to disrupt their life.  Or I may be over thinking this!

I’m not getting any younger and neither is Mr Muddling.  That can’t be helping things but then again I’m not sure at which point we can safely say that we’re past it.  I’m not sure I want to admit to the possibility of being past it, even if I do come from a family with a history of early menopause.  I have bought some tests which should tell me if I am getting close to my sell by date but, strangely, I’m reluctant to use them.  But it is there niggling away at the back of my mind.

And we are so lucky with our two – they are beautiful, clever, funny little things (of course I would think that!) and with Littler aged 2 life is a lot easier than it has been at any point in the last 3 and a half years.  Is that a sign that we should just accept that what we have is good.  Is good enough?

Help me here – what should I do?

How did you know the right number of children for you?

Am I just missing the signs telling me that enough is enough?

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30 comments to Is 2 the magic number?

  • kninki

    You poor thing, it must be so hard to be in such limbo.

    I can only say what I’d do personally, and that would be to approach my GP, find out what tests had been done, and what the next avenues of investigation might be. I’d need to know of what my body was and was not capable.

    But that’s me. I can totally understand the reluctance to ask for fear of what the answers might be. That alone can be utterly paralysing.

    • I am leaning towards going and talking to them – if it isn’t to be then at least I’d know one way or the other and that has to be a good thing. I just wish I’d managed to stay pregnant in the summer

  • I don’t think you can easily set that wanting aside, but if you could step back from the trying you might fund it less stressful. I’ve known various ppl have extra surprise children after they’d given up hope, some in the most extraordinary situations. Huge hugs, it is do hard.

    • I hear you – trouble is, and I guess one reason I think we’re not done yet, is that I cannot let go completely.

      I’m tempted to give it a good go for another couple of months and then stop trying so hard – perhaps then something might happen. Who knows!

  • Cara

    I am in pretty much the same position as you. And my conclusion is that, if I keep asking myself, is this right, should I not be happy with two beautiful healthy children?, then I’m not finished. I have meet people who just know that they are done and that is it. I think, for me the constant questioning means I’m not done. I think for me, if I don’t try I’ll regret it and if it a doesn’t work well then it doesn’t work and it will be upsetting but it will be what I wanted to do.

    • That’s a really good point – if I’m still thinking it might be a good idea then there’s a chance that I’m not ready to walk away from it

      And as you say, the regret that I might not have carried on trying will be hard to live with

      Guess that has rather answered my question

  • Christine

    We are pregnant with our third. It took us such a long time to decide if we should or not then it took ages for it to happen. I decided in the end that I was unlikely to look back in 20 years time and regret having a third child, but I might well look back and regret not having one.

    But even now I have times of wondering if we are doing the right thing, our boys are 4 and 5 and so much fun, having a baby again feels like it’s going to be an even bigger upheaval than having the first one.

    Life always works out though, one way or the other.

    • As you say, I may regret not trying for a third but I won’t regret it if it works out – time for some action I think, at least to talk to the doctors and see what might be able to get tested to give me a bit of an answer

      • We would like a third and lately our little family is getting on really nicely so are also in a bit of a dilemma about having another. Like you, the regretting not having one is a big issue but we’re lucky to have time on our hands and will hopefully come to a conclusion at the end of next year. Hope it works out for you both x

  • The Mad House

    Even though I can not have anymore,. the longing is still there. Not much help to you I know – sorry

  • Oh Hannah. I’m not really in the best position to comment on this, but what I would say is that I do believe deep down we know when something is enough. Perhaps you are getting to the point where you both decide to stop trying but I’m sensing hesitation so I don’t think you’re there yet. When you are, I think you’ll know. I hope it all works out for you, whatever happens. x

  • Bbj

    I come at this from a different angle in that I am infertile and currently about to start our 3rd round of ivf, I think at some poin you think enough is enough I cannot do this anymore, I am not there yet but I think I will be at some point, or t least I hope I will or we will be skint lol. I am sure you will be the same xx

  • Bbj

    Oh and regard to testing you amh don’t do it live in blissful ignorance it was the test that broke me x

  • Hi Hannah,

    It is an impossible question to answer, I hope so much you fall pregnant again and all works out, I know how much you adore your family already and wish you all the love and luck in the world that you get to add to it.

    j x

  • Wonderful post, more than anything else because i/we are in the same kind of limbo & just don’t know what to do.
    I love my boys to pieces, as you do your girls, but have been wondering almost every single day this last month or so (in fact, i could be so much more precise!) if i could add to that with another. Surely, that question in itself is the answer really.
    I hope you find your clear answer, as i hope i find mine, and sooner, rather than later!

    PS – yes, also completely agree with you about siblings timing their illnesses almost perfectly, every, single, month!!

    • I’m not sure there is a clear answer, but at least writing and talking about this has cleared things up a bit. I guess one of our issues was having the girls so close together – now we have had a gap it’s a bit harder to consider going back to babies again and the impact that has on the family

      But not ready to give up yet – hope that you find a way out of the limbo or destiny takes over and helps you out

  • It sounds very much like you’re still in the stage of really wanting a 3rd and practical and physical difficulties are stopping you from achieving it, which is heartbreaking. I wanted a 3rd, I always had 3 as the magic number in my head, but my OH doesn’t and is happy with 2.

    Each month as my hormones get to the ovulation stage, I wonder what it would be like to have another and start wistfully looking at “There’s a house inside my mummy book”, hoping to share it with 2 kids this time. But lately I have resolved that for a number of reasons, mainly that OH doesn’t want one, financial reasons and the fact that pregnancy 2 saw me vomit 10 times a day for 4 months, followed by a ton of other hideous symptoms, that I can find some peace with 2 as the new magic number.

    It took a few months to get there – basically had to brainwash myself! It sounds like you still want 3 so good luck with trying, but if you decide to stick with 2 then I’m sure you will be able to find peace eventually by focussing on your lovely girls. x

    • Thank you Rachel – I’m not there yet, I’m still willing to try, I just guess there will come a time when I have to move on. I’m now trying to stop having our life on hold. A year is long enough to not be doing stuff just in case so perhaps do it anyway will mean it all works out in the end

  • It’s a tough one: I can totally see that you don’t feel your family is complete. Plenty of others feel the same way. I knew we would be two after the last month of pregnancy, six day induction and cripplingly painful first 12 hours of labour with Dimples. For a while, I felt really angry that the decision had been taken out of my hands by my body’s inability to cope with pregnancy. Now, I’m at peace. You will be too. And when you are, you’ll know that the decision is made.
    I know that seems like a cop-out response. But it was my experience.

    • I think part of my desire to have another is to have another go at pregnancy after the horror of Littler’s – which may be nature’s way of saying that enough is enough and the reasons we had trouble with her will stop us having a third. Just wish I could choose or at least know what is going on

  • There is no simple answer. You will know it yourself eventually and noone can take the answer to this out of your own hands. I knew I couldn’t do the hope and disappointment cycle for too long so had set myself a time limit (but was clear that I reserved the right to change my mind about it!). I was lucky to fall pregnant within the time scale. And now – well I’d love to have a third, hubby does too but I don’t think my body could cope with another pregnancy and I really and truly feel too old for it. So I’m done, 2 is my magic number, as much nudging I may get from hubby to change my mind.

  • I really don’t know. Having just had my third, the number of children I always thought I wanted, I don’t think there is a ‘right’ number – I keep finding thoughts of another (which we definitely won’t be trying for) creeping in.

    I guess what is hard is that you have decided to have that third, and if it doesn’t happen then it is hard to let go of that.

    I hope it happens for you, but good luck with what ever you decide.

    S xxx

  • Steph

    It’s a toughie, that’s for sure. I’m not sure that any woman ever knows, with absolute certainty, that they have finished with having more babies. I have a big age gap between my eldest and my youngest (9 years) and my youngest is only 11 months now. I’m currently just under three months pregnant and I veer from being ecstatic at the idea of a third and another little tot to be close in age to my daughter as my son will soon be at the age where his focus is outside the house, to being terrified of quite how tough having two babies under 18 months will be. But, despite the fear, I have a deep-rooted faith that it’s the right thing, the only thing, and that it will all come good. I just keep remembering what a friend once said which is that I could forget never having another, but I’d never regret the children I’d had.

    I wish you luck, and peace, with what lies ahead and any decisions you make.

    Oh, and regarding the Rhesus factor, I too am negative and had to have the Anti-D injection during both pregnancies. With both babies I didn’t have to have the Anti-D injection post-birth as they were both Rhesus Negative babies. If Littler was Rhesus Positive, you should have been given the Anti-D injection 24 hours after birth and if you’ve not had it, that’d suggest she’s Negative too, so no antibodies will form. Hope that helps?

    Steph (a new, but addicted, reader)

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