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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Baby number three - yes or no?

This topic has been on my mind for several weeks, months even.

It's about having baby number three.

It's a funny conversation that usually goes something like this:

Me: "I think I am done. No, I know I am done. The husband is definitely done. But somehow... I don't know... there is a niggling feeling I may want another child. I may want to expand two to three."

Friend: "Really? Are you sure? Then do it! Yes, I know we are all turning 40, but women are having babies later anyway, so you know, you should definitely do it. On the other hand, you know... you have a boy and a girl, so you have the pigeon pair."

It's a strange convo, that plays out in different ways, but always starts and ends the same way. Uncertainty, then clarity.

That is: I am very clear I am done with adding to the family. Two was always the magic number for us. Two boys or two girls, or a boy and a girl. It was always two. But then: I was number three in my family.

And: I never expected to have two in one go, to have twins.

Which meant: one pregnancy, one delivery, one lot of breastfeeding (yep, sometimes at the same time), and one hellish lot (well, two - they'd wake at different times) of getting up in the middle of the night, for hungry babies.

Plus, now that I am experienced with the chaos of two, I want to know what's it's like to attend to one. Enjoy one. Be lost in the joy of caring for just one. [I am fully aware that this is possibly a rose-coloured glasses way of looking at the whooole process again; on the very rare occasion one of my twins wake up when I am about to go to bed exhausted, I remember: oh yes, I haaate my sleep being disturbed!].

I have long said, "One baby...? Pfft... I could do that with my eyes closed now!"

A friend, whose sister has had triplets, said this was probably common among women with multiples.

While we are genuinely, eternally grateful for being blessed with two (or more) in one go and 'getting it all out of the way', apparently many mums of multiples would like to experience what it's all like with a singleton bub.

A [male] friend of mine who is a dad of three recently told me: "EVERYTHING changes when you go from two to three. For us, it meant a bigger car, an extension to the house, more stress, more hard work, worrying about a new person all over again."

That comment alone convinced me [although I did casually add that we had a spare room, and a spare spot in our Kia Carnival] that we were done. Yep, yep... done. Yes, totally positive. [I think... no, I am sure. Sure.]

And so, last night I read with interest a story in this week's Grazia magazine [if you want a copy, be quick - it goes off sale by today's end].

The story, by Sonja Ebbels titled "The Third Parent Trap" not only talks about women wanting to expand their brood to a trio, it also talks about some examples she knows about women secretly falling pregnant to to do this, despite their partners' wishes that two suited them just fine.

"These weren't single women terrified their biological clocks were ticking, but desperate mothers who wanted one more child than their other half was willing to give," writes Sonja.

She adds this alarming statistic: "A UK survey revealed that about 42 percent of women would lie about using contraception in order t get pregnant, in spite of their partners' wishes.

"From the stories I heard, it seemed to come down to one question: what will kill your relationship faster? Living with a lie, and another child, or feeling forever unfulfilled because of your man's lack of compliance?"

It's an incredible take on the whole topic: deceiving your partner into having another baby. Lordy, I would never do that.

So, are you going contemplating having a third child right now? What are your experiences?

Feel free to comment (anon is okay) about your own experiences.

And for more on Grazia, go here:


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  3. Since I did IVF and we had three embryos frozen after our boys were born, we decided to try for a third. I wanted to give the embies a chance, we knew that 2 of them were female, and I wanted to experience that feeling of only having to look after one baby at a time. But not because of the lessened workload and increase in sleep ( although I am sure I would have appreciated that ) but because of the greater time I could devote to that one baby. THe feeling of not having to rush because the other baby had to be attended to. The feeling that I could just sit there and cuddle for as long as I wanted. A bit of freedom from the strict routine I set up for coping with my twins.Knowing that if that baby cried, I could spend as much time as I needed to comfort it without having to comfort another baby at the same time. To be able to leave the house easily, whether it be alone or just with my baby to Mothers Group. I love my boys, and I feel very blessed to have twins, but there are the things I will always be curious about. Unfortunately a third wasnt meant to be for us, but at least I tried, and have accepted that fact. And accepted that I have a bit of my life back : )