Hi Friends! I’m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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The Question Of a Third Child

Jan 30, 2015

I love this blog not only as a place to share things that inspire me and that I love but also as an outlet.  I find writing very therapeutic.  It helps me clear my head and center myself. 

Lately I have had thoughts of a third child on my mind.

This is something I think about a lot.  I frequently get asked are you done having kids?  Do you want more?  and my answer is honestly I don’t know.

I have friends who immediately after they had their second baby said with certainty, I am done.  That’s it. Our family is complete.  I don’t necessarily feel that way.  I am almost envious of them to know with such certainty how many kids you want.  I am not sure if it is because I had miscarriage and so I feel I am missing that third baby or if it is because I grew up in a family of three.  But some days, most days I desire another baby.  I frequently think about that baby I lost and wonder if it was a boy or a girl and what our life would be like if there three kids.   I still yearn for and miss that baby I lost.

The problem is Matt is ready to be done with two.  He grew up in a family of two and thinks of the financial side of things and he feels two is enough.  He also does not like the newborn period with sleepless nights. And that is ok, I see his side entirely.  Me I think about 15-20 years from now I want a full house at the holidays.  I also long to experience giving birth again.  The two days my children were born were the best days of my life.  You can’t even put into words what a true miracle it is meeting your children for the first time.  I think about how much joy the two of them bring me so why not add another.

Can I handle three?  Heck I don’t know.  Most days I find just taking care of Sterling and Frances is extremely exhausting.  They are HARD.  Someone always needs something and I feel like I never quite get any time just for me.   I am wiped out and ready for bed most nights by 8.  They are a handful.  I feel like I have a good grasp and routine down for taking care of two.  We run errands and do things just fine alone since Matt often works long hours.  How would I get three kids in and out of the car? I would most likely need a bigger car.  Could I handle three kids alone??  Not sure.

Do I want to be pregnant again?  Not sure.  My pregnancy was ok with both kids, I had no major medical issues,  but the second time around took a toll on body.  From the bad varicose veins to being extremely tired while dealing with Sterling.  Could I handle being pregnant while taking care of two demanding kids?  Not Sure.  Not sure I truly want to be pregnant again.

Also there is the issue of my age and lets be real it was not easy for me to get pregnant with Frances.  Could I even get pregnant again?  I turn 35 this year so I know that equates to having a higher risk of having something wrong with my baby.  I also know that means each year that passes it is that much harder to get pregnant.  Ideally I would wait til Frances was three and have the same age spacing as her and Sterling.  But that would put me getting pregnant at 36 and delivering at 37.  Not sure that is even feasible.  Then what if I got pregnant with twins.  That terrifies me, I want 3 babies not 4.

Then there is the issue of worry.  I worry about Sterling and Frances constantly.  I am a hypochondriac and constant worrier often thinking the worst when things are just fine.   Would adding another child to the worry mix do me in?   Mentally it might- haha.

I wish I knew with certainty that I was done with two.  In all likelihood I will be done with two because I of course don’t want to have a third baby without my partner on board.  But I wonder will I think about that third child for the rest of my life?  and always feel like someone is missing?  Who knows.  I do know I am beyond grateful that I was blessed with Sterling and Frances Moon.  They give new meaning to my life and bring me so much joy.  They are everything to me and that is what is important.

So maybe just maybe two is all I am meant to have. Two is enough for me. I plan to live in the moment and savor my two children not dwelling on what if I did or didn’t have a third.   I trust God and his master plan.

Moms of two and three and kids would love to know your thoughts.

and because I could not stop laughing when reading these.

Seriously these are hilarious.


+ view comments

Leave a Reply

  1. Nickie says:

    First of all, thanks for the 15 comments by kids. I needed a good laugh b/c it's been a long week!! Secondly, just sit back and take a deep breath! I kinda understand what you are going through. I just have one child and wanted a second but it just didn't happen. We chose not to seek medical interventions b/c I got pregnant so easily with my first and just felt if it was meant to be, it would be. Some days I wonder what it would have been like with another child and pray that the one I have will remain close to her cousins. I'm at peace but I do wonder from time to time. πŸ™‚

  2. Such an interesting topic & insightful post, thanks for sharing! I am pregnant with my second, but am already thinking about the future & timing with a third (which my husband thinks is crazy, it's the planner in me!). We have always wanted four, but I hear that my thoughts may change after I see our new normal after two. πŸ˜‰ I guess follow your heart (sometimes easier said than done) and what should happen, will!!!!!!!!! XO

  3. meyersuddath says:

    Your comments represent my feelings exactly, with the exception of the miscarriage. I feel for you.

    I am happy with my two boys, but don't feel that our family is complete. My husband prefers to stop. I work full time and I too worry if I could handle 3… but I don't want to look back with regret. Like you, I also think of the holidays in 20 years… I want a house full of kids and grandkids one day. Once we are gone, they will only have each other. Financially, we should probably stop… we could handle 3 now, but cars, college, etc. worry me a little. My biggest concern is that it seems like asking for 3 healthy kids is asking too much. Shouldn't I just be happy that I have two healthy children?

    I have a lot of conflicting feelings,but love that I am not the only one. I will have to see how your other followers comment… thanks for sharing!

  4. After giving birth to James our family feels complete. We say we have won the lottery having one of each and are thankful that both are healthy. Being an only child, I always hoped to have more than one baby. At this point in my life, I choose not to press my luck for another.

  5. mamamac says:

    I'm currently pregnant with twins and so terrified! We also have a 3 year old. I always wanted 4 kids but I am not sure I will be able to handle another one after the twins. I always always imagine life 20 years from now with s full house of grown kids and I think it sounds amazing. The more the merrier.! Follow your heart

  6. Paige says:

    I just had my second and I feel the same way. I always thought I wanted 2 but those birth days are the best days of my life. And the thought of a full house in the future is exactly what I want too.

    But the financials and the day-to-day chaos is a whole other side to consider. I too, am a worrier and worried a lot during pregnancy too.

    I guess we just have to believe that what's meant to be will happen.

  7. Michelle B. says:

    Having a son and daughter 15 months apart, I totally felt like I was done. After getting past those intense baby/toddler years we wanted another. Tried and tried but no luck. Then it worked but I miscarried. Saw it as a sign to let that go. Now they are 14 and 13. These are the more difficult years thus far without a doubt and I would go back to the younger years in a heartbeat. Don't wait too long though.

  8. I feel the EXACT same way. It was like you were speaking from my head and heart, haha. I grapple with this issue daily. My husband is like yours – he feels happy and comfortable with two and is ready to take the "next step" with them (meaning, being able to have more freedom to do things and start fun family activities like skiing:) He also feels comfortable financially with two. I am just like you where I am looking 20 years down the road and I want a house full of kids and grandkids like in Parenthood – haha! Isn't that sad I use a TV show as a basis for my future? I only have one sister and we are not terribly close so maybe that's why I debate. I don't know what to do!!!

  9. Natalie H says:

    Love this post! When I was pregnant with Matthew I was convinced that I was done at two. I'm from a family of 2 kids and thought it was perfect. Now that he's about 3 months old I have this nagging feeling like maybe I want a third baby. It wouldn't be for at least 2 or 3 years but I just can't shake the feeling that my family isn't complete. My husband also thinks two is the perfect number and doesn't have a desire for a third. One of my friends didn't have her first baby until 37 and her second at 39 and they were both fine. Which makes me feel better because if I wait 2-3 years I'll be over that 35 mark. Glad to hear I'm not alone in these thoughts.

  10. I swear I think you got inside my mind before writing this post. I have 2 boys, 5 and 2 years old. I'm about to turn 32. I DO want more children. However, due to both of my boys being preemies we think it's better that I don't get pregnant again. God laid it on my heart to adopt and we will be working toward that in the coming years. My husband says growing up he always assumed he would adopt. I, on the other hand, had never even considered it until the last year. I love my boys fiercely, but when I picture the future, they have more siblings. I also think about future holidays and having a full house with my children and their spouses and children. Just wanted to say so many others are out there in the same boat and we get how you're feeling. Whatever will be, will be, right? πŸ™‚

  11. Kate Dunn says:

    Right now we just have one, he is 16 months old and the whole time I was pregnant I thought "I never want to do this again!" It was rough and then I had to have a c-section after 31 hours of labor and that pretty much sealed the deal that one was enough for us. I loved the newborn days and now that he is a toddler I have been rethinking things, mainly because now my focus has switched to him and his life as an only child — is it a terrible thing to do to a child to not give him a sibling? We can provide him very comfortably but another baby would stretch us to have to scale back. Is it selfish of us as parents to just want one child because it is that much easier? Can any of you moms of only-children give some insight?

  12. You still have time. I had Henry when I was 38 and Keira when I was 40 and I got pregnant naturally with both. You can wait if you want to!!!!

  13. I love this post. We have an eight year old and a five year old. They are less than 3 years apart. My husband always wanted 3 but I always wanted an even number because I felt like someone would always be left out. I turn 35 this year as well. I wish we did have at least one more, but now that my youngest is already 5 1/2 I just think that would be too far in age for my liking. But when it comes down to it I'm happy because I have two healthy babies.

  14. Laura says:

    I think if you can handle two, you can handle three. For me, once you have two, you understand what it's like to have no time to yourself ever, and with three it's more of the same. Except now, my older two are actually playing together sometimes! Mine are 4.5, 2.5, and 7 months. As far as the age thing, I think those are all statistics and not individual. If you really want another one, I wouldn't let that hold you back from trying. But all this from a girl who wants four!!

  15. Kristen says:

    I was exactly where you were a few years ago. I just had my 3rd at 36 and he is light of my life! He is 10 months now and I really cannot imagine life without him. My hubs was done with 2 as well- took me 2 years of convincing but I got my 3rd. Go for it!:)

  16. Heather says:

    I really appreciate you sharing your honest thoughts about this! You have darling kids and I hope and pray that both you and your husband find peace about this — either way.

  17. Kelly Graf says:

    Wow- can totally relate to you πŸ™‚ 2 kids, about to turn 35 (and have also had a miscarriage) my husband is good w/ 2 for many of the same reasons as yours. I am not even sure I want another, but doesn't the pressure of 35 make you feel like you have to make such a big decision RIGHT NOW?? Ahhh, it's comforting to read all your comments and know that a lot of us feel just the same πŸ™‚

  18. rita cross says:

    I always knew I wanted more than two children. After having our second child, my husband was perfectly happy and ready to stop. I however knew I wasn't ready. Thankfully, it wasn't too hard to convince him. I always thought that if I never went for that third child I may regret it years down the line, but knew that we would never regret the third baby once he/she was here. And boy was I right! Our son has been a joy and delight, and I always thank God we went for three!

  19. Katie says:

    The thought of a 3rd kid is constantly in my thoughts. it takes over some days. I have a 3 year old and a 10 month old and while my heart says 3, the expense of them all say 2. And I hate that money may end up being the reason we don't have a third. You are not alone in your thoughts, but I guess time will tell for both us, and so many others, the path we will take.

  20. Kristin says:

    I feel 100% the same way you do. I'll be thirty four this year and I have a 3 year old and a one year old. I always pictured my life with 3 kids- particularly because I want to have big family get-togethers in the future and It has always seemed to me that bigger families are closer. I worry about having another baby- the toll on my body, the first 3 years, not being able to travel like I want to, and of course the expense (not to mention my husband also says we're done). I never before considered adoption but lately it just keeps popping up and I've been thinking of it more and more. I think it could be the perfect blessing to be able to care for a child that needs a family to love and it would also alleviate the worry of pregnancy complications and possible special needs. Something to think about I guess.

  21. The wife says:

    This post touched my heart. After giving birth to my 2 girls, I felt the exact same way you are feeling now. After over a year of not necessarily trying to get pregnant, but also not preventing it, I still had not conceived and started making the pro/con list about just having 2 kiddos. I had wrapped my brain around our family "as is" and then BAM preggers with number 3. With all of that being said, one day you will have more children in the people your children choose to marry and bring into your family and then bless you with babies of your own. A full house will be in your future regardless!

  22. Such a hard decision and you may always wonder "what if…" We have three, always knew we wanted three, but my husband wanted four (and I didn't). Sometimes now I think about it and I'm a little sad we didn't take that plunge, but at the time, he was traveling all the time and it would have been just me trying to juggle a newborn and three other young children. However, I really did not find that going from two to three was that difficult. Going from one to two was WAY harder. With the third, you don't expect perfection and order because you already know it doesn't exist! My youngest is my easiest and poor thing took most of his naps in his carseat, but I can't imagine life without him.

  23. Kristel says:

    I have a lot of things in common with you on this post, for the exception of one thing, my youngest is 10, and I cannot start all over again. I always wanted three kids, but after having my youngest, things weren't right for adding a third at that time, financially mainly, plus, we had our girl and boy, so we thought we we're complete. To this day, I crave a baby, and feel like I'm missing someone, I even dream about this baby. But my hubby is way done, he like yours sees the financial side of it plus he's not getting any younger (so he says). I can't picture starting all over again and having way older kids, just wouldn't be fair to any one. If you can convince your hubby, I say go for it, or you might live in regret for a long time.

  24. annie says:

    It is always a hard topic since everyone has a an opinion and the standards of the world say stop at two. I come from a a large family and i knew that i wanted to have a couple kids. After my second came i didn't know if I could handle more, but God had different plans for me. after a routine visit to the doctor i discovered i was pregnant and with twins non the less and the thought of 4 kids 5 and younger was overwhelming. It is always a party at my house but now that my kids are getting older I couldn't feel more blessed with the size of my family. I don't know many woman who ever regret having more kids but i do come across a lot who wish they had had more kids. It is all a personal choice but i feel like you will really know when you are done and if you don't feel that way then maybe you aren't. Plus, you have such cute kids why wouldn't you want more!

  25. Suzanne says:

    First off, love your blog and your honesty…I've been reading for a while, but have never commented.

    I had a boy in 2001 and then a girl in 2003, we were delighted and thought our family was complete. Sometimes I wondered about having a third, but figured that I should be grateful for the two healthy children I already had.

    Early in 2012, at the age of 39, I surprisingly found out I was pregnant…really didn't think it was possible, but it happened! Had to have some additional testing, but had a great pregnancy. Our third is now 27 months and we can't imagine life without her! We feel like we've known her forever πŸ™‚ Yes, it's crazy and hard, especially with a teen, a tween and a toddler, but we've learned to embrace the chaos.

    I truly feel that things happen for a reason and that things have a way of working themselves out, so hang in there and hopefully your path will become clear…

  26. This was such a great post! It is literally my thoughts on an almost daily basis. I want a third and my husband says we are done, but I don't feel complete. I love your approach and thinking on this!

  27. theKfam says:

    We have a 13 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. I remember feeling the same way…I went through a short period of time when I kind of wanted to have a third. I loved all the excitement of being in the hospital with a new baby! Just the whole experience. But my husband and I had agreed on two, and we have one of each, a boy and a girl, really perfect for us. I think the majority of the time it's the husband who wants to stop at a certain number of kids, because they are ready to get on with their lives, and to have their wives back, so to speak. Babies and toddlers require so much of us, and rightly so… we wouldn't be good mothers if we didn't devote so much time and attention to our children. And it is so worth it. But speaking for myself, my marriage is more awesome now than ever before, now that our kids are teenage and preteen. That's the most important thing to me, because no matter how many kids we had chosen to have, my future with my husband is something I can look forward to after our kids are grown (in addition to grandchildren, hopefully). Also, if a man's wife stays home, he does feel that financial pressure. I don't know if that makes sense… Just a perspective from a 45 year old who is a little further down that road. Looking back, over time it became less about the "what if I had another one" and more about giving all I could to my family as it was.

  28. E Hayes says:

    I have had this conversation so many times in the past year. We are done. Like Matt, Pete has the exact same reasoning. Is a self proclaimed baby hater (disliker?), but yeah he hates the baby phase. Financial reasons, especially with me staying home, and just wants two. I've come to except it after suffering postpartum anxiety after Kenley…. well, turns out I had after Ashlynn was born pre-term… and going even further, the panic attacks actually started after my miscarriage before her. With that realization, I don't think I could handle another. For all the reasons you said, the hypochondria, anxiety, etc. I always wanted three growing up bc I am one of two and a lot of my friends had three and I always wished for a younger sibling. Although, like you too, we don't want to push our luck. We are grateful for healthy children and also, my BIL had 4 girls….. 7, 2, and 1 and 1. the twins were a unplanned pregnancy and surprise twins….. conceived before their 2nd had even turned 1. Madness. I'm also glad to be done with the baby phase.. as much as love the sunggles, nursing, etc, the sleeplessness defnitely has a big effect on my mood. I've come to terms and feel at peace and excited to have our life unfold as us four.

  29. Carrie says:

    So funny, I felt the exact same way. We had two gorgeous boys and my husband and I had always said we would just have two kids. But after my second boy turned two, I just couldn't get the thought of one more out of my head. Most days, I would talk myself out of it because adding one more just seemed so hard. But I would always feel a little jealous when I saw families with three kids. My friends that had two kids seemed so "done" and I just couldn't quite say that yet even though I wasn't positive I wanted one more. My husband wasn't begging to have another one but he also didn't say, absolutely not. I remember when I turned 37, I told him that if we were going to have one more, it was going to be now or never. So we tried and it happened πŸ™‚ And now we have three beautiful boys and I am SO thankful for all of them. My third baby was born on my 38th birthday! They're now 8, 6 and 2. It is definitely not easy. But lots of fun. I know you feel pressure to get going, but maybe wait a year. I love the spacing between my older two and my little one. It allows me to truly enjoy the baby, as the others are old enough to do some things for themselves and they're both in school. And now, I finally do feel DONE. Three is plenty! πŸ™‚ Follow your heart. I know it's a hard decision.

    I love reading your blog! πŸ™‚ Good luck to you.

  30. We knew we were done at two. Similar to you, we have a boy (5) and a girl (2 on March 1st!). They are 3.5 years apart and I was 33 and 37, respectively, when they were born. My husband and I both come from families of two kids, so that's what we know. Also, we're in a bit of a different situation because we both work full time outside the home. We DO live a mile from my parents and they are a HUGE help with the kids (like amazing, unbelievable, awesome, etc.). I just can't imagine three kids – for many reasons, space, financial, craziness. You mentioned that you were concerned at being 37 if you were to have another – I can tell you – I was in the best shape of my life when I got pregnant at 36, and other than the fact that I don't love being pregnant, and I was sick throughout my pregnancy, the baby was healthy and delivery was AMAZING. I delivered both kids at 41 weeks – so was induced with both – and the second birth was SO MUCH EASIER. I also had two miscarriages before I had my son – and don't feel the profound sense of loss that you seem to be feeling with yours. I mean – I would have loved to have met these two kids, don't get me wrong, but I have my two kids and I know that somehow some way those two miscarriages are the reason I have my two loves today. We do know that the second miscarriage was a girl, and I always wonder how it would have been to have my son have an older sister as opposed to a younger sister. Anyhoo, we as a couple are finished, and extraordinarily blessed with the two that we do have. Thanks for being real on this blog.

  31. spenn says:

    Honestly this really hit home to me and is exactly how I've been feeling. Things work in funny ways. I am in the exact same boat. I have always (and still do) want 3 kids. I have 2 beautiful girls – a 3 year old and 6 month old. My husband is the same as yours however and only wants 2 and is adamant that this is it. I feel extremely blessed with 2 healthy babies but I feel like I will always have that underlying yearning for a third. This will probably be it for me too, because just as you said, not having your husband on board makes all the difference. But what is meant to be will be and if this really is it, I can only hope I feel one day that 2 is the right number for us and that it all worked as planned. Thank you for this post today, I really needed it!

  32. Oh girl. I feel like I was writing this post. I have the exact feelings (age too) and my husband is the same as Matt. We have decided to go ahead and try for another with no expectations. We have a really hard time getting pregnant and I've had 3 miscarriages… Ugh. But I just can't help but yearn for more. Only time will tell.

  33. LynnC616 says:

    Follow you heart, trust your gut. Give it time. Think about it, a lot. I have three (my youngest is now 7 months) and even though my husband and I are what I think are very laid back parents, the adjustment from 2 to 3 has been tough. Not gonna lie, not gonna sugar coat it for you. It's been the toughest adjustment so far, even with my third being such an easy baby. Three kids is no joke. We thought 1 and 2 were easy. Best of luck in your decision making process, it is not an easy one. For what it's worth, I am 35 and also not totally ruling out a 4th. I think no matter how many kids you have, there will always be a part of you that's sad and that mourns the passing of that stage in your life. I mentally cannot accept that I am "done" having babies. I love being pregnant, I love labor and delivery. I agree that the days your babies are born are the best of your life- nothing like it. It's almost addicting. THat being said, good luck in your decision-making process- it is not an easy one.

  34. Samma says:

    I struggle with the third child a lot also. It's still up in the air, but I look at my two healthy children and get scared to push my luck, which makes very little sense!

  35. "B" says:

    Children (babies) are such blessings. I currently have two daughters and never once have I thought we were done. Never even crossed my mind. My husband would like to be but knew going into marriage I wanted at least 3 and then we'd evaluate on 4, 5, 6 etc. (He's the same with babies, sleepless nights and our second had severe reflux and cried for hours on end, it was driving him insane slowly I think) I am older as well but my thoughts are what will be will be. My philosphy is no regrets. I completely agree with the partner on board thing. In a year or two when they are older perhaps the sleepless nights will be a distant memory:)

  36. So funny you posted this…I've been thinking the same thing about having a second child. I constantly waiver back and forth on whether I would be content with just one or if I want another one. I know my husband would love to have a boy so more than likely we will try again but all your points are so true! Like you said, we just have to trust in God's master plan for our lives which is easier said than done!

  37. Victoria says:

    My boys are 10, 7, and 3. I always wanted 3. My husband said he was done after 2 but I couldn't let it go. Fast forward 3 years and he finally agreed he wanted another. It was the best decision ever. I can't imagine our family without him and now we know our family is complete. You could handle 3 and $ is a crazy reason my hubs threw out there too:)

  38. Meredith says:

    I have all of these feelings exactly. We have a 3 year old boy and a 1.5 year old girl. I thought I would be content with two especially after having a boy and a girl, but I have this longing feeling for another baby. My husband is happy with two, but hasn't shut the door on a 3rd. I think as a typical male he worries about the finances, etc. which is understandable. I just feel in my heart that we are meant to have one more, so I hope that my husband will share my feelings one day soon.

  39. RWH says:

    I was the same, uncertain about having a third… finally, when it was time for my IUD to come out after 5 years, faced with either have another or get "fixed" for good, I knew I wanted another. The idea of eliminating the chance of another made me certain I wanted the 3rd. My kiddos are now 10, 7 and 2. I do kind of wish our 3rd wasn't so much younger than the other two but anyway, after the 3rd I finally felt that true certainty that we were done and our family was complete. I got "fixed" with no hesitation and I think that's key- the feeling of certainty that I didn't have before we had our 3rd. Good luck with your decision!

  40. Dina says:

    I bet you will get tons of comments on this post! I've been in the same boat, the wondering, the discussions with my husband, etc. And, although we haven't come to a 100% decision, I do feel like the answer is becoming more and more clear for us and our family. We have a 4 and a just turned 2 year old and within the past 6 months, it definitely feels like life in general with kids has gotten harder-there are more worries about everything, not that I have anything I need to worry about but I just do, it's being a mom! And as the baby gets older, it's more work-toddlerhood, sharing toys, etc. More money with 2 kids activities, preschool, everything. And then I worry that my 2 kids are healthy, what if a 3rd wasn't, and when I see friends having a 3rd with health concerns, it freaks me out! Plus I don't want to be a yelling mom, a stressed out mom, a negative mom, etc. just because we decided to go for #3 and I'm stressed out, it's not fair on my family. Anyways, those are today's thoughts…could be different in 6 months πŸ˜‰

  41. This post hits so close to home. I was struggling with these same feelings. Age and finances were always some of the reasons why we were certain that we were done. I turned 35 (4 months ago) and it happened overnight…the longing of wanting another child. I had my first baby at 34. My husband and I waited to have a baby for many reasons. And now I'm wishing we hadn't waited for so long. We decided to try for another baby and I pray that by God's grace I can get pregnant again. I also pray that we have another happy healthy baby. Boy or girl….I just want another baby! I'll keep you in my prayers. The decision to have another baby is never easy and caring for one isn't easy either but once they're here….they are worth every penny spent and every ounce of energy.

  42. I felt the exact same way you do, and for a while. My husband was somewhat on board with #3, if I was positive it's what I wanted. I could never officially commit to having another baby- we have a healthy boy and girl, and I worried we might not have another healthy baby. Now my children are 5 and 3, and I absolutely adore our life. They play so well together, we can skip naps if we need to, stay up a little bit late to hang out with friends, they love staying with a babysitter or having playdates with friends. Now, the thought of having a newborn terrifies me! I still imagine what it would be like with another baby (I always envision another boy!), but I am so content with two.

  43. lifeasfour says:

    I had to comment here because your feelings are the exact same ones I had after my daughter was born. We had two healthy children, one boy and one girl, but I just didn't have that "complete" feeling that everyone talks about. My husband was content and I wasn't sure I wanted to go through everything all over again. Two years went by and the nagging feeling of someone missing never went away. I would even feel gloomy some days when my two were playing together as if someone were missing. I still went back and forth and back and forth and over thought the hell out of it but in the end the question I asked myself was in five years, will I wish I had gone ahead and had another baby and the answer was definitely yes. My third wonderful baby just turned one (my daughter was 3.5 when he was born) and I finally feel that our family is complete. He is such a little joy and words can't express how sweet it is to see the other two love all over him! Also, the transition from 2-3 was actually the easiest for us…good luck with the decision-it's a toughie!

  44. I love and respect how honest you are in your writing. I do not have children yet, so I don't quite know the feeling. However, I personally believe whatever is meant to happen will happen. Just say a few prayers πŸ™‚

  45. Martha says:

    Hey…long time reader, first comment!
    My kids are much older than yours now, a boy who is 15 and a girl who is 12. I'm also remarried with two stepchildren, a boy 16, and girl 14. For a long time, my new husband and I debated on having a baby together…and in the end, we decided it wasn't in the cards. Now I can't possibly have kids, and it does make me sad sometimes to know I'll never see that baby. BUT, I can tell you that I know we made the right choice for our family. I think in this kind of situation, you just have to follow your heart and not your head. In my situation, we'd never have been able to really work on having a blended family if we'd had one of our own…and that transition was really important. Good luck, and follow your heart.

  46. I just want to say that you can handle whatever God gives you in life. I am 38 and I have 4 kids. I had my 1st at 19 and 2nd at 21 and it was terrifying (mostly financially) but everything has worked out somehow. You make it work. God takes care of you. They have even attended private school their entire lives and have never gone without. My oldest will start college this fall and we have even figured out how to cash flow that (Dave Ramsey!). I had my other 2 much later and was 35 with my last pregnancy. Everything was fine. I will say that 4 kids is very hard – but so rewarding and fun. I would never change it. Family and relationships are the most important in life, not finances. You can do it!!! Just have faith.

  47. bella says:

    I am a grandmother now so I have a different perspective than a lot of your readers. I have three grown daughters, and a miscarriage between the second and third. I think you know inside how many children you want for your family. After my second I felt in my heart I would like another child. My husband left the decision to me since I was a stay at home Mom the extra work would primarily fall on me. When my third child was born it did add a bit more chaos to the mix but I also absolutely loved it! It felt like we had a big family. After my third I no longer had a desire for more. I just knew our family was complete! My husband and I are happy with the size of our family and have brought us so much joy over the years, even more so as they have gotten older. I have never met anyone who regretted having a third child, but I have met people who have regretted NOT having one. Also having a third child does not erase missing the child you miscarried or replacing it. I still think about the child I lost and always will fill a little ache in my heart, but I am very greatful for the children I do have. They are such a blessing!

  48. I think because of how fast things went with Wyatt, I am already thinking about #3. Ryan and I both came from big families and I think that though the days are long now I just love the idea of having big family get together down the road and sharing in on life with the kids. But ask me again in a year and I may have a different story…ha!

  49. I'm pregnant with #3 and completely understand this struggle to know when I'm really finished. I always wanted 5 kids but with 2 (soon-to-be 3) c-sections, I know I can't have 5, and 4 is unlikely as well. This pregnancy has been terribly scary and I also don't think I can put myself through all of this emotionally again, should it happen once more. But that being said, I also wonder about the baby that we lost and wonder if it was a boy now that we've gone on to only have girls. I don't know that I'll ever feel "done" but certainly don't want to look back in 20 years with regrets that I didn't have one more.

  50. Oh and I was SO hoping this pregnancy was twins so that I could have 4 kids with only 3 pregnancies!! I'm the anomaly out there who always wanted twins πŸ˜‰

  51. Taylor says:

    Haha oh my goodness I am dying laughing and so creeped out by those 15 comments from kids!!! I am no help in the kids department, but whats meant to be will be πŸ™‚ (I'm one of three too so have always assumed I will want three??)


  52. Ginger says:

    The 15 comments by kids did indeed made me laugh! But, on a serious note, I can totally relate to all of your yearnings and concerns. Let me first say, I'm no "spring chicken" anymore–I'm soon to be 58. I come from a family of 5, and my aunt and uncle who lived next door to us also had five–each one of me and my siblings had a cousin to hang with, either the same age–my oldest brother and my oldest cousin were born a day apart the same year–or a year older or a year younger. When I was younger, I always wanted to have 5 children, too. When I married, I realized that this would probably not happen, so I decided that I'd be happy with 3. I had my first child at 29–a son and my second child at 31. During my first pregnancy, I developed preeclampsia (I didn't know that because my OB doc didn't tell me this.) In short, I ended up having an emergency C-section because my son was in distress and as was I. But, my Matthew was full term and healthy. So, when I became pregnant for my Natalie, I was carefully monitored and had an uneventful pregnancy. I, too, thought I was done. Then, when she was around 2, my husband brought up the subject of a third one. I discussed this with my OB, and he was strongly against me becoming pregnant again. He just advised that he thought it would be too risky. So, that was that. Now, that they are grown–30 & 26, I also think like some of the others and you about holidays when my husband and I are gone–they'll just have each other. But, God has a plan, and that was his plan for me, and he has a plan for you, Natalie. If you are meant to have another one, it will happen. I'm sorry this is lengthy and maybe contains TMI, but I just thought I'd give my perspective as an older mother who has two wonderful, grown children. Have a great weekend! xoxo

  53. I totally understand. I always wanted 2, a boy then a girl a few years later, and luckily that's exactly what I got. I also wanted to be done with kids by age 35 so DH had the V done then, my DD was 2 and my son 6. It was hard work back then I remember and I was SURE I was done. My husband can travel a lot and the thought of taking care of 3 young kids alone often about gave me a panic attack.

    My husband also only wanted 2,but I'm sure I could talked him into a 3rd and it would have been fine. Honestly I didn't really think about it much at the time because I was so sure I was done. We could have financially handled a third fine, but just the ease of a family of 4 traveling, eating out is nice.

    I also agree with about all of your points. I worry so much too, worrying during another pregnancy would have been tough. I worried about 'the middle child syndrome' and giving DD the short end of the stick. I'm not sure I could have handled 3 well at all.

    But since I've been in my 40's I've really regretted not having a third for some reason. And I NEVER thought I would feel that way. Maybe it's a mid life crisis, I don't know. I really never wanted to be pregnant again, I knew that for sure. But I would love to have a 6/7 year old right now and for DD to have a sister. I truly don't think I would have had another back then anyway but sometimes I do wish we had put off the V longer so maybe a 'happy accident' could have happened. πŸ˜‰

    In my heart of hearts I know our family is perfect the way it is, have one perfect boy and one perfect girl I tell them. I don't like a lot of noise and another child could have sent me over the edge too. I am a SAHM and it gets so much easier as they get older, mine are 9 and 13 now. I realllly enjoy my days to myself, it's worth all those early years. πŸ™‚

    Good luck with your decision, whatever you choose will work out!

  54. Alison says:

    I hear you! I have two girls, 3 & 5, and that is constantly on my mind!

  55. Jaime says:

    We thought there was a good number and then got pregnant unexpectedly sooner than anticipated – 23 weeks with my third surprise gender baby and we have an almost 4 year old boy and a 2 year old daughter. And I'm getting anxious about this being my last pregnancy – like maybe I want 4! I think mothering and pregnancy is just such a short era in your life and it's normal to feel some sense of uncertainty about when that era should be done. You just have to make the best decision for your family. Financially, 2 is perfect, 3 will be a lot tighter, but we feel like kids are such a blessing that we don't mind buckling the straps. Plus it's already chaos at our house – the more, the merrier

  56. Ashley says:

    I hear you! We have 2 beautiful boys, and just agreed to stop preventing pregnancy and see what happens! I too turn 35 in a few months, had a miscarriage between the boys etc. The things that made is decide to try were 1) the wisdom of older parents. The baby/hands on/intense phase is such a short part of your kids lives. They all say you never regret your child and 2) In 10, 15, 20 years I want the full house, the joy, the chaos. NOTHING in life is guaranteed. Live today.

  57. Tammy says:

    Those 15 comments from kids had me in tears laughing! OK, I've been a reader for a very long time, but never commented. I just had our 3rd baby 3 months ago at 38 years old. I now always wonder if I could've handled 4. I will say the pregnancy itself almost did me in, (my "big kids" are only about to turn 4 & 2.5) but I don't do pregnancy well. The delivery almost killed me this time around, and for that reason alone, we cannot have any more. Would I do it all over again? Absolutely. If you find yourself questioning having a 3rd child, simply don't close the door on it permanently just yet. You have plenty of time to make that decision. Who knows, in a year or two, your husband may change his mind, or you may become even clearer in your desire to have another. Those sweet babies really are a blessing from God. You seem like you are truly a wonderful mother, so I have no doubt you'd be able to handle 3!

  58. Bodie says:

    Hi I am a mother of 3 (who has had 2 miscarriages) and there is definitely a feeling that your family is complete. We were done at 2 and then we had a surprise, I will admit that after my third I had a happy complete feeling that I cannot put into words, that I didn't have with my second even though I thought I did. Probably making no sense but we always said 2 and I had no yearning for another. I loved my family of 4, but with my 3rd we all feel she is the missing link. I understand Matt's financial thinking, life these days is catered for a family of 4 but it is worth it. I think you put it best to say it is god's hands.

  59. Right there with you! This is the exact conversation I have with myself. I have two boys so I've had to get to a place where I'd want to "try for another boy." I'm fine with that now, it's just the whole being pregnant/taking care of another life that gives me pause.

  60. Mandy says:

    I have three kids (9,6,2) and I had my third at 37. She is an angel baby;) We always wanted three. My husband is so much help and it makes it very doable. However, I will say that when things go off the tracks (sickness, behavior, etc…) it gets chaotic. I think there is NO way I could do it without my husbands help BC we have no family in town. I think praying and listening to see if you have space and margin both emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially is important bc along w a third life, responsibility, and commitment comes more pressure. Also my kids require much more of me as they are growing and I have to really work to make the emotional space for each of them, as well as for myself and husband. You will know….Mandy

  61. Katie Kunz says:

    I felt the same way minus the miscarriage after my second boy. Now, Age 8yrs and 5yrs, we were surprised to be expecting twins in May. Prior to finding out we were pregnant for the 3rd time, I longed for a 3rd. My husband, liked the idea of two and he was set with his boys. I was flying to meet my husband on a business trip and an older women next to me on the plane asked if we were having anymore. I told her my husbands reservation, financial, we'd have to add a bedroom to the house, restaurants are seated for 4 (I hated that excuse) the lady said, "if there is room in the heart, there is room in the home" It always stuck with me. I prayed about it and now got has twice blessed us, which was a total shock. Follow your heart!

  62. BaconBear 4 says:

    First, I love that you are giving a 3rd serious thought and you are thinking of all the right concerns about whether you should have another child. Financial, I think, is the biggest issue. If you can afford it and you are on the fence, you should have another child. But your decision needs to come from the present moment! It is impossible to think or daydream about what it would be like in the future. You know that! Anything life changing can happen at any moment. Please don't think about time to yourself–your a mom now, you know what that is like. You don't work!!!!! You have all day, everyday to take care of your kids, whether it's 2 or 3..not much difference. Plus, don't forget your kids will be in school at some point. In a few short years, you will have time to yourself when they are in school all day!! It's not that hard if you don't work. I am a mother of 5 children and I work part time. If you are honest, it's definitely challenging at times, but all of your time is your own. Think of moms that work full time and have kids. Now that would be overwhelming. Your time is picking out cute clothes, cooking food to eat and photograph, and great lunches with friends. That's a great life but hardly overwhelming! Go for it!!

  63. Pieces says:

    I read this article a while ago and it pushed me over into the one more baby territory! Plus when my parents were young my dad wanted one more but my mom didn't, now that we are all grown she really regrets not having at least one more child. I already have two beautiful healthy girls but it feels like my family is not complete!


  64. Kelly Otwell says:

    I have three kids, ages 18, 16 and 13. Going from one to two was a really difficult adjustment for me. I always wanted more and felt like my family wasn't complete with two, but I couldn't ever decide to go ahead with trying for a third. My third pregnancy was a surprise and I have to say, I cried through at least half of it. But she has been the absolute biggest blessing and I can't imagine my life without her. She was just what my family was missing. For me, going from two to three was nearly as hard as going from one to two.

  65. Kelly Otwell says:

    Oops. That was supposed to say that going from two to three was NOT nearly as hard as going from one to two.

  66. Alexandra says:

    I was in your exact place almost four years ago. I couldn't go through sleepless nights again, not traveling, the financial drain etc.
    It stressed me out so much I went ahead and did it and it was no turning back. I know I'd regret it and you have a small window during your childbearing years.. I couldn't be happier and love a family of five. It's not easy at all but fun and I'm complete. I've had some very hard days and of course logistics are harder. But anything hard is soo worth it..I was very scared when I found out I was pregnant. But soooo happy I got through it, my third is now 3!!! It's just time to celebrate that I made it. I say go for it!!!!!

  67. Leigh says:

    I so get you. I have two boys, a 3.5 yr old and a 7 month old. I look at my youngest and can't help but feel like I want one more. I am the oldest of 3 but my husband comes from a family of 2. I work full-time and my husband is home all day with the boys. I come home and he goes to work and I'm home all night with the boys. It's works right now but it's been crazy hard. What would happen if we had a third? My husband doesn't want to put me through a third baby. With pre-eclampsia both times and my body struggling to get my blood pressure under control this last time, he thinks having another baby is a bad idea. I just turned 37 and have had two c-sections. I had trouble conceiving my first child too. So many thoughts, emotions, struggles. I just don't know what to think. Maybe we are done. I just don't know.

  68. Mommy, Esq. says:

    I know exactly what you mean in this post. .. and that's why we just had our 3rd baby girl! I simply didn't feel "done" after 2. I felt the same way, wondering how my friends with 2 could be so certain that their families were complete. I always sensed that we would have 3 girls. So, with all that being said, we went for it and I had my 3rd perfectly precious baby girl at the age of 35. Life with 3 is challenging, but its certainly beautiful. I love having a baby…especially now that shes sleeping through the night, and her big sisters (ages 6 and 3) adore her as well. It was definitely God's plan for our family.

  69. Hey Natalie…
    I feel like we are friends because I so enjoy and appreciate your words…and style!!! It seems weird to not have written until now! Thank you, first and foremost, for your thoughtful posts…I really enjoy them..
    My third baby just turned one. And upon reading this post, I felt like I was reading my own journal from a few years ago. My oldest is 7, middle 5.5 and baby 1. My husband felt the same as yours. But I couldn't shake the sense that someone was missing from our family. My fears mirrored yours.
    But here is the thing…I asked God to remove that desire if it wasn't meant to be, but instead he shifted my husband to consider giving it a go. And baby boy has been a light in our family. I pinch myself to remind myself I am living life, not a dream…I am so grateful. I was 36 when he was born. My older two are older (which worried me), but that has been a blessing too…
    The other unexpected gift is that I am so much more relaxed this time around. I have enjoyed this baby more than I did the others (which is hard to believe!) simply because I am not worried!!! That spills over into everyday routine too…the sweetness of a third is that these mommies can hold onto things less tightly πŸ™‚
    I will be so eager to hear…I know you will know what the next step is for you all…and either way you can't loose!!

  70. Natalie – my comment is late because – I was busy having my third baby when you posted this!! I too had the same thoughts you do, I always felt like something was missing. I used to tell my husband I felt like there was a baby out there that was ours that we didn't know, but were meant to. He thought I was crazy πŸ˜‰ My husband only wanted two (I have a boy and a girl just like you, 4 1/2 years apart) but I wasn't sure yet. I must have talked about it too much because he finally said to me "I'm not saying no, but let's wait and in a year we will decide" – well a month later, God decided for us and we found out #3 was on its way. My pregnancy was exhausting with two at home, I frequently told my husband it was a huge mistake! haha.. but I made it and our little boy is here and I wouldn't change it for the world. Yes, it's crazy. My husband works long hours too and I'm with the kids by myself a lot. I need a bigger car, but we squeeze in for now. Today we braved the grocery store, me and 3 kids and I made it! You learn how to laugh a lot more because it's all you can do. It's crazy, but it's wonderful all the same. You will never have a baby and wish you didn't, that's what I kept telling myself. I knew I would fall in love instantly and I did and I'm so thankful for my three kids.