Why I decided to have a third baby 10 years after our first. And how we struggled with the decision of adding a third baby to our family.
There’s no denying it. There’s going to be a pretty big age difference between my two daughters and their soon-to-be new sibling. My kids are 10 and 7 and will be 11 and 8 by the time this new bundle arrives.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I imagined the reactions and comments and knew a lot of people would assume this third pregnancy was a mistake.
But it honestly wasn’t.
This pregnancy was intentional, and in fact was the most planned of all of them. It was the result of years and years of discussions and debates and tears. And while being pregnant in your late 30’s is far from easy, it’s turning out to be far more enjoyable than the first two times I was pregnant.
Years ago when my husband and I were dating we discussed kids, but never seriously. I always said I wanted three kids and he said he’d prefer two. It never seemed like a huge obstacle and I always figured we’d sort it out somewhere along the way and come to a mutual decision that worked for us both, as well as our family.
Only that didn’t really happen.
My first pregnancy, I was 26 and it was a happy surprise. We were living together, had moved across the country and were seriously talking marriage. So, adding a baby into the mix a little earlier than planned didn’t have a huge impact on our relationship. But there was definitely a HUGE learning curve.
Because I was so young, I wasn’t in a huge rush to have another baby like some of my older friends, so instead we wanted to wait a few years. Just after our daughter’s second birthday I found out I was pregnant again. Truthfully that pregnancy was also a bit of a surprise. Although at that point we were married, had moved home to the GTA and bought a house, and were seriously talking about getting pregnant again.
When our second daughter arrived, I was comfortable with motherhood but definitely struggled to manage a three year old and newborn.
By the time she was a year old, I felt those feelings of wanting another baby. Of needing another little person in my life. My husband wasn’t on board and I understood. Money was tight and we definitely had our hands full.
So instead we got a dog.
He was a great addition to our family and distracted me from those urges to have another child….for a while.
Every few months, I’d bring up the subject of having a third baby and my husband would immediately shoot it down. There wasn’t much discussion about it and often he would get upset at just the thought of it. I let him know how I felt but also wanted to keep the peace.
Fast forward a few years and those urges to have another baby had only become stronger. A lot of my friends, now in the their mid-thirties like me, were having babies and pregnancies were all around me. I’d hear people stressing about pregnancies and inside I’d be seething with jealousy. I tried speaking with family and friends about it, and many told me it would pass and that yearning for another child was part of getting older and realizing that your ‘clock’ was running out.
But it didn’t seem to fit.
The explanations and advice didn’t change how I felt or ease the turmoil. I wanted another baby and the feelings were getting stronger by the week.
I couldn’t imagine never again holding my own little baby while it nursed. Rocking my newborn or carrying my toddler. It just seemed unthinkable and it broke my heart. I was unbelievably envious when someone else would announce their pregnancy and tried desperately to ignore those feelings.
My baby discussions with my husband became more frequent, despite his negative reaction. I didn’t care. I needed to be heard. I needed him to understand how important this was to me.
But still we didn’t agree. He said he was done and didn’t want any more kids. Nothing would change his mind.
And this is where we stayed for about 2 years. In this place of disagreement that often ended with me in tears.
I felt angry and resentful.
Of course I understand that both parents need to be on board with the idea of bringing a new child in the world, but it still didn’t seem fair.
Why did he get to be the one to decide this for us?
Why did he get to have his way, and my dreams were just cast aside? Why weren’t my feelings as important as his?!
I realize these thoughts sound somewhat irrational. Both parents need to be in agreement about having a baby and I wasn’t trying to push him into something. But I was struggling. Because as strongly as he felt against it, I felt as strongly, or more, about having another child and about the loss not having it, meant in our lives.
I struggled with this for a while. Sometimes feeling incredibly angry and spiteful, and I didn’t share it with anyone. How could I? When I said it out loud I sounded unreasonable! I was mad at my husband for not wanting a baby and was pissed off for not getting my way.
But there was something driving me. I don’t know how to explain it but I felt like my baby was waiting for me. It was out there and it was waiting to join our family. Perhaps that’s what made me continue to bring it up in private with Scott. Maybe that’s why I dealt with the rejection and heartbreak for years instead of moving on and giving up.
All I know is that the day I found out I was pregnant with baby number three was the most reassuring day of my life. It made sense, it fit and I was more calm than with either of the first times.
Without going into too much detail, my husband made his own decision that we should try for a baby over the holidays. We hadn’t been speaking about it recently but he knew where I stood. He suggested we try once or twice and see if it happened.
It did. And so yes there will be a huge age gap between my kids but it’s not because this pregnancy wasn’t wanted. It’s because it took us a while to get here as a couple and I know that as a family this is what was always meant to be.