This is my 1st post on GN as I would love the perspective of those further down the line to me, so to speak. Sorry for the long post! I don't have one clear question I'm afraid, despite the post title!
I have two sons who are 4 and soon to be 8. Before having our 1st child both my husband and I hoped to have 2 children.
My elder son was born after two distressing years of unexplained infertility IVF treatment (we were lucky that our 1st cycle worked). I was 35 when I had him. We both desperately wanted our 1st child and also desperately wanted a second too. We had an unsuccessful transfer of a frozen embryo from that same treatment cycle when my son was 2.5. I conceived but had an early miscarriage which was emotionally very hard.
We tried naturally next time as couldn't face the stress of more treatment even though we had a couple of embryos remaining. I conceived my first ever natural pregnancy but sadly lost that one just before the 12 week scan. This was again hard emotionally and harder still physically as it was later in the pregnancy.
We decided to try once more naturally as we now knew we could conceive and were lucky to conceive a third fourth time and that gave us our youngest son. As you can imagine it was a very stressful pregnancy given our earlier losses. And there were additional issues in the pregnancy which luckily turned out to be nothing but at various points my son was suspected of having an overly large head and small limbs. He was born healthy just before I turned 39.
So, I will soon turn 43. My eldest is moving up to junior school in September and my youngest will start in reception year. We still have two embryos frozen in storage at our IVF clinic, almost 8.5 years on from when they were created and have paid annually to store them every year since.
I have worked part time since my eldest was 10mths old in a job that is boring but suits me practically for now. I have transferable skills which mean if I wanted to work more hours I would in theory have other job options open to me. I have also considered retraining (teaching/social work/ nursing appeal) but wonder if I'm too old.
We have no family support locally, just me and my husband. My own mum passed away when my youngest was tiny and I miss her dreadfully. My lovely MIL lives hundreds of miles away.
I am one of two with a sibling who is much older than me so we grew up effectively as two only children and are not especially close as adults but we do get on.
My sons are amazing and I adore them. But both were awful sleepers as babies and toddlers and we found the slep deprivation so so hard and while they mostly get on now, and they are very close in many ways, I find splitting my attention between them and refereeing their squabbling very hard and draining.
My husband is the eldest of 3 boys and is amicable with but not close to his brothers.
Both my BILs have had new / 1st babies in the past year and this, along with my own two getting older and the youngest moving to school age, and the remaining embryos we have, has had me in turmoil for over a year now about whether to try for a third baby. Opinion on similar threads on mumsnet is divided though the saying 'you only regret the kids you don't have' comes up. So grans, is this true?
I have so many thoughts going round my head daily and it's exhausting!
I feel an obligation to give my two remaining embryos a chance? Or at least one of them. But I also feel that having had IVF and being lucky enough to have 'spare' embryos has left me in an unusual and emotionally charged situation.
Are 3 kids better than 2? For you as a parent and for them as siblings?
Would a baby take away from my time with my two boys? Would I regret this?
Could I cope / be happy as a mum of 3? Why do I feel I would be a worse mum to 3 than I am to 2, especially when others with less means seem to cope with 4,5 +?
Do boys stay close to their mums (and dads!) as they grow up and become adults?
I know gender isn't guaranteed if we try for a third but I do feel sad to be missing out on a mother daughter relationship if we stop at 2.
My husband is happy as we are and had tolerated my prevarication but is getting frustrated now. He says he doesn't want me to regret things and will agree to try for a third if I am sure it is what I want even though he doesn't want a third in the same way he wanted a first and a second. We both have worries about the risks to me, any baby and our existing children of any future pregnancy. I fear another miscarriage especially if late on, or a still birth, or baby with health issues, or a multiple birth!
The feeling for a third comes and goes, and seems to be linked to my still regular menstrual cycle (perimenopause some say?!), my boys growing up and pregnancy announcements from others. I find myself noticing 3 children families whenever we are out and about (which isn't often at the moment of course!) and thinking of all the 3 or more child families I know. Part of me wonders and is frustrated by why I can't just decide what I want and why I seem to worried about possible bad outcomes.
But the main thing holding me back is that my husband clearly doesn't want a third in the same way as he did a first and second. I clearly don't either given my hesitation and constant mind changing, but I have more of a want for a third than him and fear that the inevitable stress of any future pregnancy and of raising a third child could be damaging to our relationship and our relationships with our sons.
I partly feel I can't tempt fate after ending up with two healthy and, to me, perfect sons after at one time fearing I would be childless forever and all the loss and stress that we experienced on the way to having them. Trying for a third is a total unknown and sticking with what we have feels safer.
Will I regret not trying for a third?
Will I find peace with stopping at two? And how?
Did you have these feelings for another baby in your early 40s? Is it hormones talking?
Am I just too risk averse?
Will the empty nest come too soon if we stop at two?
Will my sons grow distant as they grow older, more than any possible daughter might?
Does my husband's preference to stick at the two we have trump everything anyway?
Is my uncertainty about a third a sign that we should stick where we are?
Am I too old now and are my age gaps too big to work well?
(I will already be 57 when my youngest turns 18. If we had a third I would be great 62 when they reached 18.)
Thanks for reading! I would so appreciate your thoughts.
CrystalBall Wed 01-Jul-20 13:24:10
MellowYellow Wed 01-Jul-20 13:39:49
Illte Wed 01-Jul-20 13:45:30
annodomini Wed 01-Jul-20 14:03:45
GagaJo Wed 01-Jul-20 14:16:37
rockgran Wed 01-Jul-20 14:50:20
Lolo81 Wed 01-Jul-20 14:53:10
Curlywhirly Wed 01-Jul-20 15:32:18
AGAA4 Wed 01-Jul-20 15:47:03
SueDonim Wed 01-Jul-20 15:50:43
trisher Wed 01-Jul-20 16:00:04
FlexibleFriend Wed 01-Jul-20 16:05:58
diygran Wed 01-Jul-20 16:08:47
Toadinthehole Wed 01-Jul-20 16:13:22
B9exchange Wed 01-Jul-20 16:13:24
klerg000 Wed 01-Jul-20 16:26:35
Grannynannywanny Wed 01-Jul-20 16:38:31
silverlining48 Wed 01-Jul-20 16:50:53
Esspee Wed 01-Jul-20 16:53:08
CrystalBall Wed 01-Jul-20 16:56:48
CrystalBall Thu 02-Jul-20 07:32:42
Sparkling Thu 02-Jul-20 07:57:31
GrannyLaine Thu 02-Jul-20 08:19:08
TwiceAsNice Thu 02-Jul-20 08:30:31
sodapop Thu 02-Jul-20 08:42:46