Author Topic: When to stop, how many to have  (Read 3663 times)

Bourbon

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When to stop, how many to have
« on: October 02, 2017, 09:07:17 AM »
Currently 35-me and 36 - wife.  Parents of three children, ages 6, 4 and 2,  soon to be 7, 5, and 2 at the end of the year.

We had settled on the three kids as good number, though my wife has in the past talked about 4. She also wanted to be done having kids by 35.  We were set for my operation earlier this year, but it never happened and now she/we are in crisis over having the fourth. 

She swings back and forth between seeing the 4th child in every baby she meets, to not wanting to be pregnant again, not wanting to go through the work, the body changes, the breastfeeding, and not wanting to be the old mom with a kid in kindergarten at 43.

It's literally giving her panic attacks, interrupting her sleep, etc.  I'm supportive of going for another if that is her hearts wish, but it seems like both options are panic inducing for her.  I'm worried that my ability to go along isn't helping, that I'm not really helping with the decision making process. 

Other confounding factors - I've had a very good job that really changed our financial picture since about a year before we had our first.  Lots of changes at work and worry about my own motivation have me wondering if it is still a safe and stable source of income.   At the same time our stache is strong, and we just hit the 7 figure mark this year(all-in, including primary residence and college savings).

Anyone else labor through this process?  We are on a bit of an artificial timeline, both because we are in the middle of planning the large extended family vacation for next year, but also because each month means the old parent part of the situation gets a bit worse.

atxian

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 09:21:17 AM »
I don’t think the ‘old parent’ thing should really factor into your decision . At least I’m 2 years younger than you and it’s never crossed my mind... People are having kids older these days and I’m sure there will be many parents in your age range at kindergarten.


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Bourbon

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 09:24:27 AM »
I donít think the Ďold parentí thing should really factor into your decision . At least Iím 2 years younger than you and itís never crossed my mind... People are having kids older these days and Iím sure there will be many parents in your age range at kindergarten.


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I agree.  Though it does get to me more not when thinking about the kindergarten side, but how old I will be when they are out of HS, out of college, having grandkids(hopefully).  But I also think that is a reality of waiting to have kids until you are stable and launched in the world. Nothing to really be done about that at this point.




NeonPegasus

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 09:33:28 AM »
This is a really tough question to help with. I think I would help your wife delve into why she is thinking about a 4th.

It can be really, really hard to move on from being a mom of young children/babies. For so many years, my life was dedicated to getting pregnant, being pregnant, having a baby, nursing a baby, potty training a baby, managing temper tantrums, etc that it has been difficult to shift out of the mindset. Mine are 10, 7 and 4 and it is super weird to be done (though in my case, our surprise 3rd made me certain we were done). I have lost some of my purpose and I've lost a section of my life. Shit, my username on many forums (on on this one originally) was VBACmama because I was proud of being able to do that. But now ... now, I am no longer a reproducer. I've hit my milestones and the next thing coming down the pike is menopause.

So how do you tell if your wife is freaking out about the changes in her life or if she's freaking out about making an important decision before the opportunity gets away from her? I don't have that answer. I guess try to see if the discussions center more around someone being missing/wanting a larger family/wanting more of what you're already enjoying versus OMG we're getting old.

ixtap

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 09:36:39 AM »
You really can't turn to the internet on this one. However, I will say if she is having panic attacks over the issue, professional help seems appropriate.

Bourbon

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 09:42:23 AM »
You really can't turn to the internet on this one. However, I will say if she is having panic attacks over the issue, professional help seems appropriate.

Yes, I hesitated quite a bit before posting, but thought I would throw it out there.  We are getting help, just haven't solved it yet.

Bourbon

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 09:46:58 AM »
This is a really tough question to help with. I think I would help your wife delve into why she is thinking about a 4th.

It can be really, really hard to move on from being a mom of young children/babies. For so many years, my life was dedicated to getting pregnant, being pregnant, having a baby, nursing a baby, potty training a baby, managing temper tantrums, etc that it has been difficult to shift out of the mindset. Mine are 10, 7 and 4 and it is super weird to be done (though in my case, our surprise 3rd made me certain we were done). I have lost some of my purpose and I've lost a section of my life. Shit, my username on many forums (on on this one originally) was VBACmama because I was proud of being able to do that. But now ... now, I am no longer a reproducer. I've hit my milestones and the next thing coming down the pike is menopause.

So how do you tell if your wife is freaking out about the changes in her life or if she's freaking out about making an important decision before the opportunity gets away from her? I don't have that answer. I guess try to see if the discussions center more around someone being missing/wanting a larger family/wanting more of what you're already enjoying versus OMG we're getting old.

Agreed, tough question to answer, probably tougher to give advice on.

All of those emotions sound very familiar and we have discussed them.  Is it just the shift into a new part of life?  She isn't super fulfilled at work/career, but proud of being a great mother, but not sure about being a SAHM.  I hate how hard it is for her.  I was a bit freaked out about everything involved with another kid, but I also love being a dad and can see doing it again.  At this point I just want her to be ok.

NeonPegasus

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 11:20:17 AM »
All of those emotions sound very familiar and we have discussed them.  Is it just the shift into a new part of life?  She isn't super fulfilled at work/career, but proud of being a great mother, but not sure about being a SAHM.  I hate how hard it is for her.  I was a bit freaked out about everything involved with another kid, but I also love being a dad and can see doing it again.  At this point I just want her to be ok.

It can be a huge shift, and for someone who is obviously so good at being a mom, shifting out of "mom of young baby" role is really hard. Here's the kicker for you guys - you haven't quite gotten to the point where you see the benefits of being out of the baby stage. So, you still have all the constraints of babydom but you don't have the itty bitty baby anymore. Things will look dramatically different in a couple of years if you don't have another - the ability to travel will really open up and the kids will become fun in different ways.

It sounds like your wife would appreciate some more concrete discussion from you, rather than a "I'm happy with whatever you want" approach. Listing more pros and cons with her may help her hash out her feelings.

acroy

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 11:32:41 AM »
Have lots
It's good for you and the spouse, makes you better people
It's good for the kid (their parents are good people, and they'll have lots of cool siblings, and you're rich, so they'll have it super good)
It's good for the planet. http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/23/have-lots-of-children-its-good-for-the-planet/

There's not much downside, and what there is, sounds not so much as reasons but as selfish complainy-pantsy-ness ;)

good luck!!
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Bourbon

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 11:42:40 AM »
All of those emotions sound very familiar and we have discussed them.  Is it just the shift into a new part of life?  She isn't super fulfilled at work/career, but proud of being a great mother, but not sure about being a SAHM.  I hate how hard it is for her.  I was a bit freaked out about everything involved with another kid, but I also love being a dad and can see doing it again.  At this point I just want her to be ok.

It can be a huge shift, and for someone who is obviously so good at being a mom, shifting out of "mom of young baby" role is really hard. Here's the kicker for you guys - you haven't quite gotten to the point where you see the benefits of being out of the baby stage. So, you still have all the constraints of babydom but you don't have the itty bitty baby anymore. Things will look dramatically different in a couple of years if you don't have another - the ability to travel will really open up and the kids will become fun in different ways.

It sounds like your wife would appreciate some more concrete discussion from you, rather than a "I'm happy with whatever you want" approach. Listing more pros and cons with her may help her hash out her feelings.

We have been able to do a bit of travel and seen increases in mobility lately even with the youngest at 2.5.  Thanks again for the comments, it is really helpful to hear of someone else experiencing some similar emotions.

Quite frankly, we have probably talked it through 1000+ times.  I work up the spreadsheets on childcare costs, ages at significant life events, etc - quantitative stuff that checks a box but is not entirely helpful.  We also discuss the other sides of it, and I think one big con of having another is that we expect it to negatively effect the time we have to devote our current troubles(children).  We've had some extensive loss in our lives this year, and we're both a bit emotionally drained/off.  Going in I was in 3 camp, she in 4, but we've talked about it so much it is normalizing and I'm ready to say just go for it.  I think we're both feeling a bit reckless in trying to make such a major decision when we know we are affected, but again I'm confident that we can handle more if we do go forward. It definitely pushes us out of knowing how life is going to go and into a lot of unknowns.


BAM

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 01:11:52 PM »
I'm going with Acroy. Have lots. Totally worth it. Kids love it - my kids are always excited when we are expecting another one. We love it - kids keep you young, bring lots of fun and laughter and keep you from being selfish.

Don't worry about the old mom thing. I was 45 when I had my last so I'll be 50 at K age. And, yes, approx 63 at high school graduation. Who knows for college and grandkids. Not really worried about it.
And, when I do die, there will be lots of aunts, uncles and cousins to provide all the love needed for all of them.

The time spent with each child works out also. You get better at juggling those things that can be juggled - laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc - and find time to spend with them no matter how many you have.

dphngbr

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 01:23:08 PM »
I guess try to see if the discussions center more around someone being missing/wanting a larger family/wanting more of what you're already enjoying versus OMG we're getting old.

^^I really liked this! 

We're in a similar boat as the OP:  ages 6, 4, 1.5, and one more on the way (T-4 months).  We're also mid-thirties.  We had plenty of discussions about a fourth but the conversation the PP suggested above was what it boiled down to.  At the end of the day we just wanted more kids.  We're not ready for this stage to be over -- we love it!   

But as so many have said, YMMV.  We're in the lucky boat that our lives are pretty stable at this point, no health issues, no major family issues, and our kids have no special needs.  You say that it's been a tough year, so maybe now is not the time.  But that doesn't mean that next year won't be a better time, or at least a better time to be having the conversation.   
 
Good luck to you both! 

And PS:  There are tons and tons of grandparents at our kindergarten pickup -- there'd be NO chance you guys would be the oldest, at least here! 

Snowman99

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2017, 01:35:56 PM »
Someone asked me similar advice once, and this is what I gave:

If you do have another child, you will never regret it.  You will love that child, and he/she will grow to be an amazing piece of you.

If you don't have another child, you will likely look back and always wonder.  If you are thinking about it now, and don't do it, then you will have days when you thought, "what if" and probably regret not doing it.


That person went and had another kid, and they are as happy as could be.

Hope this helps. 

Hula Hoop

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2017, 12:54:30 PM »
I'm going with Acroy. Have lots. Totally worth it. Kids love it - my kids are always excited when we are expecting another one. We love it - kids keep you young, bring lots of fun and laughter and keep you from being selfish.

Don't worry about the old mom thing. I was 45 when I had my last so I'll be 50 at K age. And, yes, approx 63 at high school graduation. Who knows for college and grandkids. Not really worried about it.
And, when I do die, there will be lots of aunts, uncles and cousins to provide all the love needed for all of them.

The time spent with each child works out also. You get better at juggling those things that can be juggled - laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc - and find time to spend with them no matter how many you have.

I'm only a mother of 2 kids but I liked this post.  Children bring so much joy to your life.  I can't imagine regretting having a child.  In your shoes, I'd totally go for it.

mm1970

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2017, 01:24:16 PM »
Quote
She swings back and forth between seeing the 4th child in every baby she meets, to not wanting to be pregnant again, not wanting to go through the work, the body changes, the breastfeeding, and not wanting to be the old mom with a kid in kindergarten at 43.

I am 47 with a kindergartner.

But yeah.  I thought briefly about a 3rd kid when kid #2 was 6 months old and sleeping thru the night.  But then he started teething.  9 straight months of interrupted sleep.

Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, lack of sleep.

I absolutely DO NOT regret stopping at two.  I never ever ask "what if".

Poundwise

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2017, 05:00:33 PM »
The "old mom" thing doesn't need to figure into your equation quite yet. There are lots of older parents these days; in fact I seem to be closest in age to my middle son's friends' parents (he was born when I was 39).   

It seems like having a deadline is making your wife panic. How would she feel if you moved the deadline a couple more years? Also, does she just miss having a little baby around, or would she be able to welcome an older child (i.e. adopting)?

I have three and though this is a good number for us, frankly I am tapped out. I would just drop dead if I had another. But we have no family support and elderly parents who need/will need care, so that is a different equation than yours.  That is another factor to consider, of course: at what age, if ever, will you be called upon to care for elderly relatives?

Bourbon

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2017, 06:59:46 AM »
Quote
She swings back and forth between seeing the 4th child in every baby she meets, to not wanting to be pregnant again, not wanting to go through the work, the body changes, the breastfeeding, and not wanting to be the old mom with a kid in kindergarten at 43.

...

I absolutely DO NOT regret stopping at two.  I never ever ask "what if".

I think this is the sticking point.  If she wasn't asking "what if" we would be safely ensconced at 3.  Now that we have been circling the issue for so long, the "what if" is in my brain as well.  Still feel like I can unwind it if I had to.

The "old mom" thing doesn't need to figure into your equation quite yet. There are lots of older parents these days; in fact I seem to be closest in age to my middle son's friends' parents (he was born when I was 39).   

It seems like having a deadline is making your wife panic. How would she feel if you moved the deadline a couple more years? Also, does she just miss having a little baby around, or would she be able to welcome an older child (i.e. adopting)?

I have three and though this is a good number for us, frankly I am tapped out. I would just drop dead if I had another. But we have no family support and elderly parents who need/will need care, so that is a different equation than yours.  That is another factor to consider, of course: at what age, if ever, will you be called upon to care for elderly relatives?

The old mom is still stuck in her head.  I think around being able to help them launch into their lives, be there for grandchildren etc. 

I would be open to giving it another year, but I reaaallly doubt that she would be or that it would help her.  I also completely acknowledge that the deadline pressure is a problem for her/me.  On one hand if we moved forward soon(and we did roll the dice some this month, but not at perfect timing), then it lines up with kindergarten start dates, etc.  I think she and me to a decent degree are tired of circling the issue after 6 months.    I'm increasing my practice in holding contradicting positions in my mind.

dumbblond

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2017, 12:59:43 PM »
I feel like DH and I went through similar discussions about staying with two or trying for three. I'm not a baby person...I love my kids, but the thought of having to survive through another pregnancy and baby stage was overwhelming to me. What finally settled it for us was thinking about the question, "Thinking about your family in the future, do you want another child?" The context I originally read that in was talking about someone who just wants another baby, but doesn't necessarily feel like their family would be incomplete in 10 years if there wasn't another kid at the table. For me, it was seeing that in 10, 20, 30 years, I couldn't picture our dinner table or family get-togethers with only two kids...when I did, it was like there was a person missing. So that convinced us to try for a month or two, and after that we had our answer (and #3 is due in a few weeks).

Acorns

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2017, 10:18:41 AM »
For me, it was seeing that in 10, 20, 30 years, I couldn't picture our dinner table or family get-togethers with only two kids...when I did, it was like there was a person missing. So that convinced us to try for a month or two, and after that we had our answer (and #3 is due in a few weeks).

This exactly for me. We could have been done after two kids, but every time I looked at them playing, I felt like someone was missing. Now that someone is a year old and our family feels complete!

AMandM

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2017, 03:13:30 PM »
I'm one more person in the camp of "if you think you might want another, have another!"  I look back and wish we hadn't stopped after #7.

Hula Hoop

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2017, 02:18:33 AM »
I totally agree with AMandM.  We only have 2 kids but after one kid had that burning feeling that someone was missing.  It took me a while for DH to come around as he was more on the fence about kid #2.  After having 2 children that feeling is completely gone - like the baby having chapter of our lives is over.  I can imagine that feeling of someone being missing continuing after any number of kids for other people.  Everyone is different.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

iowajes

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2017, 02:58:35 AM »
I just wanted to post to sympathize with the OP. It's an extremely difficult decision, especially as maternal age becomes a factor. I'd your wife feels a whole in her heart about not having 4, I'd try for 4.

Can someone make this decision for me to? I have one living child, after a late term loss, and it kills me to think she will be my only one. But after a partial placental abruption the midwives say I have to wait 18 months, so much for close spacing...  Assuming a conservative 6 months to get pregnant, I'll be 38 when I have another baby. But then the thought of another urn instead of another baby completely tears me apart. I'm just not sure I would be able to go on. People tell me to be happy with the baby I have, and I'm thrilled with her. But my family isn't complete and I'm scared to try to add to it or not to.

NeonPegasus

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2017, 08:39:33 AM »
Can someone make this decision for me to? I have one living child, after a late term loss, and it kills me to think she will be my only one. But after a partial placental abruption the midwives say I have to wait 18 months, so much for close spacing...  Assuming a conservative 6 months to get pregnant, I'll be 38 when I have another baby. But then the thought of another urn instead of another baby completely tears me apart. I'm just not sure I would be able to go on. People tell me to be happy with the baby I have, and I'm thrilled with her. But my family isn't complete and I'm scared to try to add to it or not to.

First off, I'm sorry for your loss. That is awful. Second, why do the midwives say you need to wait 18 months? I have heard that timing suggested after a c-section but that is to allow the scar to heal to reduce the chance of subsequent rupture (and even that stat is suspicious - plenty of moms successfully VBAC with a lesser period between births) but I can't figure out why that would be necessary after an abruption. In your shoes, I would consider another opinion, preferably from a doc with a reputation for delivering VBACs since that tends to be a marker of someone who practices evidence based medicine.

Regarding trying for another, did the midwives determine the cause of the abruption? If you haven't already, get tested for clotting disorders. I used to belong to an ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) chapter and some of the moms lost babies late term and later discovered that they had clotting disorders (MTFR is one) that could have caused the abruptions. So, I would go down that avenue to verify there is not a treatable factor that led to the abruption. If there isn't, you can chalk it up to really horrible luck that's unlikely to repeat. And if there is, you can begin treatment to change the outcome of a subsequent pregnancy.


iowajes

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2017, 08:59:07 AM »


First off, I'm sorry for your loss. That is awful. Second, why do the midwives say you need to wait 18 months? I have heard that timing suggested after a c-section but that is to allow the scar to heal to reduce the chance of subsequent rupture (and even that stat is suspicious - plenty of moms successfully VBAC with a lesser period between births) but I can't figure out why that would be necessary after an abruption. In your shoes, I would consider another opinion, preferably from a doc with a reputation for delivering VBACs since that tends to be a marker of someone who practices evidence based medicine.

Regarding trying for another, did the midwives determine the cause of the abruption? If you haven't already, get tested for clotting disorders. I used to belong to an ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) chapter and some of the moms lost babies late term and later discovered that they had clotting disorders (MTFR is one) that could have caused the abruptions. So, I would go down that avenue to verify there is not a treatable factor that led to the abruption. If there isn't, you can chalk it up to really horrible luck that's unlikely to repeat. And if there is, you can begin treatment to change the outcome of a subsequent pregnancy.

I had to have an emergency c section because of it- the baby's heart rate was repeatedly decelerating .  I was surprised how long of a time frame they gave, because plenty of people have close pregnancies, but apparently on the whole adverse outcomes and pretty likely.

The midwife clinic treated me in conjunction with MFM at a highly respected hospital, so I will likely use them again.

The loss was genetic and unrelated according to the pathology. I wasn't tested for any clotting disorders (just a karyotype) after the loss.  This placenta did have a rare trisomy mosaicism so they don't know if that was related.

38 just seems so old...

Poundwise

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2017, 02:16:28 PM »

38 just seems so old...

I'm so sorry about your baby. 

Further thoughts on assessing whether to have another child. 
IMO, good reasons to decide NOT have another child:
- realistic assessment of your ability to handle raising the child. If you have another, will you really have enough time, attention, patience, energy, and money to raise all your children the way you feel they need?  Would you have some reserve in the tank to deal with the unexpected, i.e. health issues or simply a difficult personality? I was thinking about this the other day, and it is not clear to me that my family gets much in the way of bulk savings in terms of my time.  I would say that having 2 regular, healthy kids is about 1.9 times as hard as having 1 kid, having 3 kids might be 2.8 times as hard as having 1 kid, if you get what I mean. It's still a lot.  I still have trouble (as I have written elsewhere in this forum) with allocating enough attention to each child.

- a problematic spouse or family situation.  When you have another child, you will probably get more of what you have already, not a cure for any existing problems.  Do you have a dramatic family? More drama. Do you have a joyous family? More joy.

- health issues; life threatening or such that if exacerbated by pregnancy could long-term impede your ability to care for existing children

IMO, bad reasons to NOT have another child:
- Fear of emotion or passing discomfort, unless you have always struggled to overcome depression or anxiety.

As for the age thing, well, reproductive biology seems to be so idiosyncratic. I was fortunate to have healthy kids at ages 39 and 43! And I have many friends who have had healthy children in their 40s... as well as those who have had losses at all ages, as well as surprisingly many who had kids with the help of reproductive technology. If I could do it all over again, I would start having kids at 25 and stop at 35, but it's not the end of hope if you are over that age. It does mean extra anxiety and testing, but the new technologies are quite amazing... much less agonizing over having an amniocentesis, as  most checks can be done with a simple maternal blood test these days. When I realized I was pregnant in my 40s, I did shut down my emotions and reserved no hope until I was mostly sure that the baby was viable and healthy.  I am not sure how I would have reacted had the pregnancy not been viable, but I think it helped to not get attached too soon.

Hula Hoop

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2017, 03:52:10 PM »
I'm also very sorry for your loss, iowajos. 

About the maternal age thing - 38 might sound old from where you are but I had my babies at 36 and 40 with no issues.  Had no issues getting pregnant and completely uneventful pregnancies and births. 

I do have a clotting disorder (Factor V Leiden) and had a small stroke between baby #1 and baby #2 so had to inject blood thinners every day during pregnancy number 2.  But that was a minor matter really.

I would not let age stop you.  The media likes to scare women with stats about 'advanced materal age' but a lot of it is really overblown.

mm1970

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2017, 05:37:03 PM »
I just wanted to post to sympathize with the OP. It's an extremely difficult decision, especially as maternal age becomes a factor. I'd your wife feels a whole in her heart about not having 4, I'd try for 4.

Can someone make this decision for me to? I have one living child, after a late term loss, and it kills me to think she will be my only one. But after a partial placental abruption the midwives say I have to wait 18 months, so much for close spacing...  Assuming a conservative 6 months to get pregnant, I'll be 38 when I have another baby. But then the thought of another urn instead of another baby completely tears me apart. I'm just not sure I would be able to go on. People tell me to be happy with the baby I have, and I'm thrilled with her. But my family isn't complete and I'm scared to try to add to it or not to.
I'm so sorry for your loss.  I never had a late term loss.  I was 35 with my first.  I had a miscarriage at 40 and several early pregnancy losses shortly thereafter.  After a solid 20+ months of trying for #2 (but not going down the fertility treatment route), we stopped.

(And I had my second at 42.  I realize that statistically, that's not quite normal.  Though approximately 40-50% of women will have a successful pregnancy after 40 - you just never know if you are one of them.  And you cannot guarantee you'll be 40, and not 42 or 44.  And there may be miscarriages.)

I know that 38 seems old.  All I can say is that once you are there, it doesn't seem so old.  Yes, I am tired a lot and cranky and such as a 47 year old with a kindergartener - but the kids really do keep me young.  What will it be like to be 60 when he graduates from HS?  Well I'll know when I get there.

MayDay

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2017, 08:55:49 AM »
Someone asked me similar advice once, and this is what I gave:

If you do have another child, you will never regret it.  You will love that child, and he/she will grow to be an amazing piece of you.

If you don't have another child, you will likely look back and always wonder.  If you are thinking about it now, and don't do it, then you will have days when you thought, "what if" and probably regret not doing it.


That person went and had another kid, and they are as happy as could be.

Hope this helps.

I hate this advice.

If I had another I would regret it. If I did get pregnant I'd terminate.

I never ever ever regret not having a third even though we did consider it for a few years after our second was born.

Seriously why do people say this shit?
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NeonPegasus

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2017, 10:34:00 AM »
First off, I'm sorry for your loss. That is awful. Second, why do the midwives say you need to wait 18 months? I have heard that timing suggested after a c-section but that is to allow the scar to heal to reduce the chance of subsequent rupture (and even that stat is suspicious - plenty of moms successfully VBAC with a lesser period between births) but I can't figure out why that would be necessary after an abruption. In your shoes, I would consider another opinion, preferably from a doc with a reputation for delivering VBACs since that tends to be a marker of someone who practices evidence based medicine.

Regarding trying for another, did the midwives determine the cause of the abruption? If you haven't already, get tested for clotting disorders. I used to belong to an ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) chapter and some of the moms lost babies late term and later discovered that they had clotting disorders (MTFR is one) that could have caused the abruptions. So, I would go down that avenue to verify there is not a treatable factor that led to the abruption. If there isn't, you can chalk it up to really horrible luck that's unlikely to repeat. And if there is, you can begin treatment to change the outcome of a subsequent pregnancy.

I had to have an emergency c section because of it- the baby's heart rate was repeatedly decelerating .  I was surprised how long of a time frame they gave, because plenty of people have close pregnancies, but apparently on the whole adverse outcomes and pretty likely.

The midwife clinic treated me in conjunction with MFM at a highly respected hospital, so I will likely use them again.

The loss was genetic and unrelated according to the pathology. I wasn't tested for any clotting disorders (just a karyotype) after the loss.  This placenta did have a rare trisomy mosaicism so they don't know if that was related.

38 just seems so old...

Regarding timing, that seems to be linked to ACOG's general recommendations. https://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Optimizing-Postpartum-Care - "The optimal interval between delivery and subsequent pregnancy is 18 months to 5 years; the greatest risk of low birth weight and preterm birth occurs when the interconception interval is less than 6 months (11, 12)." The idea is that a woman's body needs time to recover from pregnancy but recover happens along a continuum. I looked at one of the sources they referenced and interestingly, it said that intervals of over 5 years was ALSO associated with higher risks for preterm births. Anyway, their recommendation was >11 months between pregnancies, not 18. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010782409003084

If you're ~6 months out from your last birth, I think it's reasonable to start trying by 11 months pp.

*Edited to remove recommendations for testing. I see that you have had a successful pregnancy after the initial stillbirth so the issue is likely moot.*
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 10:42:53 AM by NeonPegasus »

Polaria

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2017, 12:10:39 PM »
Can someone make this decision for me to? I have one living child, after a late term loss, and it kills me to think she will be my only one. But after a partial placental abruption the midwives say I have to wait 18 months, so much for close spacing...  Assuming a conservative 6 months to get pregnant, I'll be 38 when I have another baby. But then the thought of another urn instead of another baby completely tears me apart. I'm just not sure I would be able to go on. People tell me to be happy with the baby I have, and I'm thrilled with her. But my family isn't complete and I'm scared to try to add to it or not to.

Dear Iowajes, I am very sorry for your loss. I have read your story on the various MMM forums and frankly this hasn't been an easy read. I cannot imagine what it's been like for you living through this.

If one of my friends in your situation was asking for a piece of my opinion, I would say to them that they have to give a try, otherwise I feel that regrets are going to crush them in the coming years and that might well be the worst of it all.

Now of course givers of advice don't pay the price and I am do not have children by choice so I can't walk in your shoes, but still I felt compelled to tell you this.

shelivesthedream

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2017, 12:53:11 AM »
On advanced maternal age... If you don't have any specific concerns, 38 is not too old. My mother was 35 and 38 when she had me and my brother, and my father was 40 and 43! They are still doing fine. We probably had a less "running around playing football" than those with parents in their twenties, but we were both inclined towards reading and suchlike anyway. Age alone is not a reason to not have another. Obviously other concerns will be a factor, but 38 is not too old.

iowajes

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2017, 06:56:52 AM »
Someone asked me similar advice once, and this is what I gave:

If you do have another child, you will never regret it.  You will love that child, and he/she will grow to be an amazing piece of you.

If you don't have another child, you will likely look back and always wonder.  If you are thinking about it now, and don't do it, then you will have days when you thought, "what if" and probably regret not doing it.


That person went and had another kid, and they are as happy as could be.

Hope this helps.

I hate this advice.

If I had another I would regret it. If I did get pregnant I'd terminate.

I never ever ever regret not having a third even though we did consider it for a few years after our second was born.

Seriously why do people say this shit?
Isn't that advice only for people who want another but are thinking of all the "responsible" reasons why they shouldn't? (time, money, window seats in the car)
 

Dreamer

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2017, 07:35:16 AM »
On advanced maternal age... If you don't have any specific concerns, 38 is not too old. My mother was 35 and 38 when she had me and my brother, and my father was 40 and 43! They are still doing fine. We probably had a less "running around playing football" than those with parents in their twenties, but we were both inclined towards reading and suchlike anyway. Age alone is not a reason to not have another. Obviously other concerns will be a factor, but 38 is not too old.

I agree with this 100%.  I had my first at 38, not even realizing some people considered that to be "old".  My second was born when I was 44.  I felt completely healthy and energetic throughout both pregnancies, and am perfectly able to keep up with both children now (ages 7 and 1.5).  Now that I am aware of people attitudes regarding women having babies over 40, I do feel a bit self-conscious at times, but in no way do I regret having either child.  I would have another now (at 46) if I could!

socaso

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2017, 04:58:43 PM »
To anyone fretting about being the "old parent" I recommend "Good Stuff" a memoir by Jennifer Grant of her life with her father Cary Grant. She had so many wonderful memories of her father it really changed my perspective on being an old(er) parent. Now I think if you want them, have them and love them as best you can and everything will be great!

gluskap

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2017, 06:52:13 PM »
I'm having problems with this decision too.  We have 1 daughter right now who is 3 and we thought we were pretty sure we wanted another.  And I got pregnant last May but then ended up having a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.  Now we want to try again but part of me is worried about another ectopic pregnancy and part of me is worried that 38 is on the older side too (more worried about higher chance of Down's syndrome, etc.).  I feel like I'm okay with 1 kid if I don't get pregnant but I do feel a little like I would wonder "what if" if I didn't at least try.  We'll see what happens...

Bourbon

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2017, 07:57:58 AM »
Thanks again for all of the discussion. 

As of today, we are sitting at trying for the 4th for this month at least.  Still having days of stress/uncertainty but that's been life lately.

mrs sideways

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2017, 09:41:18 AM »
Threads like this make me feel like a weirdo. I hated the baby phase. Older kids are a million times better. If I could somehow give birth to another 4-year-old, I'd consider having a third kid, but I am happily done with babies.

Plus, higher parental age means a higher risk of problems. Having seen what some parents on our street go through with Downs and Autism... Let's just say it made us decide not to roll the genetic dice again.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2017, 01:30:21 AM »
You people who can have multiple children are so lucky, Iíd be happy with one.

iowajes

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2017, 02:23:14 AM »
To anyone fretting about being the "old parent" I recommend "Good Stuff" a memoir by Jennifer Grant of her life with her father Cary Grant. She had so many wonderful memories of her father it really changed my perspective on being an old(er) parent. Now I think if you want them, have them and love them as best you can and everything will be great!

While her father was older, Her mother was 29 when she was born assuming  the sources I used were accurate.

My fear of being an old parent has a lot more to do with maternal and fetal outcomes than anything else.  And "energy" to interact with kids is probably less of an issue if you have a spouse half your age.

Milizard

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2017, 11:44:59 AM »
I was 43 when my oldest was in kindergarten.  A friend with whom I graduated HS with also had a child in his class.  I will be 46/47 when my youngest is in kindergarten.  I color my gray hair, but other than that, don't feel like I'm oddly older than the other parents.  My kid doesn't know my age, though, which is a running joke in the house. ;-)

calimom

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2017, 02:06:58 PM »
You people who can have multiple children are so lucky, Iíd be happy with one.

I hope the OP's wife is not so consumed with the scarcity mindset that she's not able to appreciate the true abundance of what she does have: 3 healthy children, enough money to care for them, and what seems to be a good relationship.

onewayfamily

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2017, 05:39:29 AM »
You people who can have multiple children are so lucky, Iíd be happy with one.

I hope the OP's wife is not so consumed with the scarcity mindset that she's not able to appreciate the true abundance of what she does have: 3 healthy children, enough money to care for them, and what seems to be a good relationship.

Great points. I think we all need a reminder every morning how thankful we should be and how lucky we are relative to most of humanity (forget about humans who lived in the past).
We FIRE'd at age 28 (me) and 29 (Mrs. OneWayFamily) and are now trying to travel to every country on Earth - it takes longer with 2 toddlers!

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JoshuaSpodek

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2017, 06:50:26 AM »
You may want to consider the contribution to pollution and global warming of having a child in the United States -- one of the greatest.

Everyone can do his or her own research, but this page -- https://www.growthbusters.org/population-growth -- is a start, with links to more.

iowajes

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2017, 06:54:51 AM »
You people who can have multiple children are so lucky, Iíd be happy with one.

I hope the OP's wife is not so consumed with the scarcity mindset that she's not able to appreciate the true abundance of what she does have: 3 healthy children, enough money to care for them, and what seems to be a good relationship.

Great points. I think we all need a reminder every morning how thankful we should be and how lucky we are relative to most of humanity (forget about humans who lived in the past).

This is a really unhelpful thing to people who are struggling.

It's like people who think you can cure depression by just saying "Have you tried just being happy instead?"

onewayfamily

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2017, 09:35:47 AM »
This is a really unhelpful thing to people who are struggling.

It's like people who think you can cure depression by just saying "Have you tried just being happy instead?"

I don't really see how agreeing that having 3 healthy children, being in a financially sound position and in a good relationship is something to be grateful for... is the same as giving inconsiderate/ignorant advice to someone suffering from depression.
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iowajes

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2017, 09:39:48 AM »
This is a really unhelpful thing to people who are struggling.

It's like people who think you can cure depression by just saying "Have you tried just being happy instead?"

I don't really see how agreeing that having 3 healthy children, being in a financially sound position and in a good relationship is something to be grateful for... is the same as giving inconsiderate/ignorant advice to someone suffering from depression.

The OP stated his wife is having actual panic attacks and not sleeping due to this.  Those are symptoms of mental health problems due to this issue. Telling her she should just be grateful is dismissive of her problems.

onewayfamily

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2017, 10:04:57 AM »
Fair point.

Maybe it's best we let the thread get back on track instead of diagnosing the OPs spouse with mental health issues through the interwebs.
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lifejoy

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2017, 12:08:35 PM »
PTF

ysette9

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2017, 02:13:30 PM »
I agree with others that if your wife is suffering from anxiety over this decision then this is larger than what we can tackle. However, that doesn't mean it isn't useful to read other experiences and points of view.

We have a troubled history with pregnancy as well, as I have shared elsewhere. Briefly, two losses at 19 weeks traced to an unexplained problem where my body's immune system attacks the placenta as though it were a foreign body. I have had two successful pregnancies that both resulted in preemies, but we also struggled to get pregnancy the 3rd and especially the 4th times.

Through every step of the way, every decision, we tried to always frame our discussions in terms of what would cause us the least long-term regret. For example, would I regret not trying X procedure 5 years down the line? At what point constitutes "we gave it our best shot" without going crazy overboard with 4 rounds of IVF? What was our capacity for mental anguish and grief? I don't have it in me to keep trying if we kept having loss after loss, though other people are stronger than that. Perhaps relevant in your situation: if you got pregnant and something was wrong with the fetus such as a trisomy (advanced maternal age and all), would you be on the same page as to how to react (keep or terminate)?

I am of two minds on the part about being grateful for what you have. I said many times, and believed it, that if we weren't able to have a second after exercising what we determined subjectively was "our best shot" (without sacrificing our current lives/happiness in the pursuit of a second baby), then I would have been content with the wonderful husband ad daughter I do have. At the same time, that came from within. I completely see how having someone else tell you to be grateful for what you have could come cross as dismissive.
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branman42

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Re: When to stop, how many to have
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2017, 12:23:02 AM »
If I could somehow give birth to another 4-year-old, I'd consider having a third kid, but I am happily done with babies.


Adoption is a great way to skip the baby phase. I do not have kids yet, but I plan to adopt, both because of the impact I think I can have as well as the fact that I do not particularly love babies, and I would much prefer a 4-year old.