Tuesday, 25 June 2019

PREGNANCY #3: Let's Talk About...Deciding to Have a Third Baby

PREGNANCY #3: Let's Talk About...Deciding to Have a Third Baby
When you decide to have your first baby it is often filled with nerves, anticipation and an understanding that you don't really know what you're letting yourself in for. A lot of people will ask 'how did you know you were ready?', but in reality are you ever ready to become a parent? You can't possibly know what it's going to be like before you become one, so it's almost too late to know if you were ready or not. We decided to start having children at what seems to be on the younger end of the scale these days, as I had just turned 25 when I gave birth to Isabella. I can't say I felt 'young' or that I had thought that far ahead into the future, but we were eager to start a family and then along came our first daughter. Those first few weeks, months, even years are such a steep learning curve as you question yourself more times than you thought possible, all of your independence is lost and your whole life suddenly evolves around this little baby that you love so much it hurts. You'll feel guilty for anything and everything, you'll quickly learn how to multi-task like a pro and you'll pour every last ounce of energy you have into keeping your little bundle of joy happy and content.

What I hadn't thought about when we decided to start a family was the age gap we'd ideally want between siblings, if we were lucky enough to have anymore. So when we did breach the topic we both decided that around a two year age gap would hopefully work for our family. When Isabella was two years two months I gave birth to Poppy and suddenly I was 27 with two children. Nowadays that is pretty young to have two children and I did for the first time start to feel quite young to be at this stage in our life. All of our friends from university weren't having children and the mummy friends I'd made along the way were all at least 5-10 years older than me. Age doesn't really mean anything and it certainly hasn't come between my friendships, but the stage you are in your life perhaps does have more of an impact. While our peers are enjoying nights out, festivals and establishing a career I didn't have that in common, as my nights were spent feeding a baby and I was once again on maternity leave. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't have it any other way, but it is hard sometimes to find things in common with friends that used to be so close. 

Once Poppy reached around the 18 month mark the questions of 'do you think you'll have anymore?' started cropping up and it did get me thinking. I'm useless at making decisions, especially life changing ones like this, so it wasn't a quick yes/no answer. I come from a family with three children, as does my husband, yet all of the families we know have stopped at either one or two children. My experience of 'family life' is with three children because that all I've ever known growing up and prior to having children I had always said I wanted four children. But at this point I knew what life with two children was like and personally I didn't find those early months very easy at all. The idea of having a third baby scared me, not to mention having to go through the first trimester sickness/fatigue again but with two children in tow this time. But I couldn't get that niggling feeling that our family didn't feel complete with two. I kept seeing fellow bloggers and mummies saying that they were 'done' and felt complete, yet I didn't have that feeling which left me feeling confused and unsure as to what to do.
For a while we thought that maybe we'd wait until both Isabella and Poppy were at school before trying for another baby, so that at least there was only one child at home the majority of the time and it would be a more affordable option for childcare too. But then the more mummies that have three children that I spoke made the very valid point that in three years time would we want to go back to nappies/changing bags/sleepless nights/losing that slight bit of freedom you get as your child gets more independent etc.? My instant reaction was no, not really. At the moment our home is still filled with little babies toys and 'things', the cot hasn't been put away, we still take a changing bag everywhere, we still change nappies, we have all of our baby paraphilia within easy access and we haven't gained our independence back fully yet. 

That really got me thinking about whether we were best to try for another baby now and get those early and very testing years over with in a shorter period of time or do we wait until the girls are older and see how we feel then? When it comes to making huge life changing decisions like this it's hard because there isn't a handbook or anyone there to tell you the 'right' answer; I think you just have to be confident that whatever you decide will end up being the right decision for your family. Our decision on this was to add what will probably be the final piece to our family puzzle now, rather than wait until the girls are both at school and hopefully that was the right decision.
By the time our third baby arrives Isabella will have started school, so it's almost like I'm rewinding my life back to having a toddler and newborn baby again! Those times were hard and I am extremely nervous about going back there again, but I survived it and know it will all be worth it. I don't think there ever is a 'right time' to have a baby, but now that we're expecting our third I can see so many positives for having our children so close together. There will be around two year between each of them and that means that they will all be young at the same time, interested in similar things and seeing Isabella's excitement for her baby brother's arrival is just absolutely magical.

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x
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11 comments

  1. In a way I think it's good having them close together - being in school brings with it new challenges and as they say, there is never a right time, only the time that is right for you!

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  2. I was the same age as you I had my first at 25 and then second 21 months later just after my 27th birthday. I always wanted a third but my husband didn't - just when I got used to the idea we weren't having any more my husband changed his mind. Our son was born when our eldest was 5 and her sister was 3.5.

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  3. We have 7 - ranging from 21 to 5 years old. I think each time we just knew when we were ready for another one.

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  4. I think it's a great idea to have them close together. I think it makes it easier for the parents too. Best Wishes for you and your family!

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  5. This has been such a big thing for us. We have 2 now - 4 and 7 and I originally thought we would have our 3rd by now but I don't feel mentally ready for that yet and we don't have the space. I do want a third but I worry about a big age gap - by the time we have enough space, I think our youngest will be around 7 or 8 if not more and I just don't know how I feel about it tbh. I know I'm not done but I just can't get it figured out yet either!

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  6. It's nice that they'll be close in age. Your friends had a really good point about having to get all the baby bits out again after so much time.

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  7. We had a third after saying we wasn’t going to . Our age gaps are quite big , but I think if it’s right then it’s right :)

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  8. Oh I was sure I’d done this one.

    I agree you never really know when you’re ready, but if you were to wait until you think you were no one would ever have a baby.

    I just had the one, as a single parent, a second was not an option. But now I have two step daughters, my family is complete.

    Good luck with your third pregnancy x x

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  9. My mum says she felt complete when my little sister was born, I guess its different for everyone.

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  10. I love the idea of having a baby at a close age. There are advantage and disadvantage but what I loke it is, it is more fun.

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