We almost didn’t have her. I shudder now at the thought.
Shortly after the birth of our third daughter, I remember thinking that I was so done. Even though I am one of those lucky women who has easy pregnancies (if there is such a thing), I was ready to put that phase of life behind me. I didn’t want to get big again. I didn’t think I had it in me to go through childbirth one more time. I just couldn’t take another round of sleepless nights.
And I certainly didn’t think I could handle being responsible for the life of yet one more little person.
This mom was MAXED OUT.
Looking back (when my third daughter was a newborn, and my other girls were ages 4 and 2), that was the hardest stage of my life, hands-down. With a husband who worked crazy hours and traveled incessantly, I was continually alone and yet never alone. The constancy of being needed all at one time by three people (and even the dog) often left me feeling suffocated. It seemed like I spent my days preparing food, feeding my (messy) kids, and then cleaning it up… only to repeat the cycle just as it finished. My daily life had become an exhausting circle of mundane repetition.
But it got easier.
Before I knew it, there were no more diapers to change. Soon they could all dress themselves, and they were becoming more independent all the time. They could help clear the dishes and make their beds. They would buzz around our house as a little unit (the beauty of having all girls perhaps?), and as they busied themselves, I found that I could actually get some things done now while they were even awake! One went off to kindergarten… and then another… I was finding more time for myself, time to catch my breath amidst the chaos of raising a family, and I felt like I was finally coming out of the fog that moms with young kids know all too well.
And then a crazy thing happened.
I began thinking about having another baby.
I couldn’t believe I was considering starting all over again. I mean, I was almost “free” since my third would be in kindergarten soon. What was I thinking?!
Even my husband, who was definitely more “done” than I was, seemed suddenly ready to add another little person to our family. In fact, he’s the one who first brought it up. That’s all it took. Him cracking that door open set my mind racing. (Some of his friends, meanwhile, were telling him to “shut that door! Shut that door quick, Buddy!!”) :)
Being the pragmatist that I am, I started pouring over the Internet, in search of parents describing what life was really like with four kids. I didn’t have much luck there, so I began asking those I knew with four (or more) kids to tell me about their experiences. (Did they feel overwhelmed? Was it impossible to get everyone to where they needed to go all the time?) I also spoke with older friends whose kids were grown and gone… did they ever wish they’d had more children? This was not a decision I (we) wanted to make lightly. Having another baby would change everything. Forever.
For months my thoughts swirled. Would I be able to handle four kids? What if I had twins?! Are we pushing our luck after being blessed with three healthy children? If we had a boy, how would that change our family dynamic? If we had a girl, would that create two “pairs” or would all four girls be close? How would our girls’ relationships change if we gave them another sibling?
But mostly, this thought consumed me: If we had one more baby, would I become a stressed-out, lesser mom to the children I already had? Was that fair to my three daughters? I often felt stretched-thin just among my three kids; how would I be able to give four children everything they need?
Despite my doubts, I kept feeling that pull… I just couldn’t shake the baby bug.
Ultimately, after much back and forth, my husband and I finally decided that if we were talking about another baby this much, perhaps something was left unfinished for our family. And then along came daughter #4.
She turns two this week. Now I can’t believe she was ever a question in our minds.
I feared that her arrival would coincide with me feeling like a failure as a mother. Surprisingly, she has brought me more peace than I ever could have imagined.
Compared to my first three girls where I was determined to be Supermom, I have done everything “wrong” with this one. As a newborn, she basically slept in my arms all night, feeding whenever she felt like it. Whereas I was once the schedule police, my youngest ate and slept at different times every day. When it was time to give her solid foods, I fed her fruits before vegetables (gasp!), and I never waited the recommended 2-3 days to see if she had an allergic reaction (she never did) before moving methodically onto the next food. Now as a toddler, she watches episodes of Dora and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse like it’s her job. And forget taking her to gymnastics or music classes. I only take this one to Target.
In many ways, her first two years have been a free-for-all, but she is a well-adjusted, sweet and happy little girl. And I know that I have never been happier myself; we have never been happier as a family. One daughter said recently, “Mom, I feel like we laugh a lot more since the baby was born.” She’s right – we do.
Having one last baby (after a 5-year gap) has actually calmed me as a mother, not the other way around, as I’d feared and expected. Even though there is obviously more to do and one more person to worry about (although the older kids are a huge help with their baby sister!), just about everything rolls off my back now. As a new mom, on the other hand, I’d been such a control freak that even the smallest mishap could rattle me. It’s so much easier to find the humor in the mess-making, food-throwing, and even the tantrums this time around. I know none of it will last forever; my older girls have shown me that. (When did my 11-year-old get so grown up anyhow?) I’ve learned to see past the exasperation and zero in on the entertainment of it all. I used to find myself so frustrated by the constant lack of cooperation (you can’t reason with a toddler!), but now it really doesn’t even take much effort to just shrug my shoulders at whatever catastrophe she’s bringing about.
Since my fourth daughter arrived, I no longer feel like I’m trying to prove to the world (or to myself) that I’m going to be one superstar mom. There is no Supermom, I now know. There are only women who are doing their best to raise good people. Perhaps that realization has come simply with age and maturity (and not because I had another baby), but either way, I feel like I have turned a corner on that front. I’m much more forgiving of myself as a parent these days. I once was paranoid about doing everything “right”, but I can see now that even when you do most everything “wrong” (as I have with #4), your children can still thrive. In fact, allowing them to see you make mistakes and not taking life too seriously is beneficial in its own right. There is more than one way to do everything.
Since my older daughters now pull me in so many directions with school and activities and life, it’s easy to feel like it’s all passing us by without a second thought. We often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life that we forget to really live in the moment. Having a baby around again has changed that for me (and for all of us). The enjoyment she gets from the simple things is contagious. Her sweet request to play pulls me from the dishes in an instant. The laundry can wait if it means having her scoot backwards into my lap so we can snuggle and read a book. I will set anything aside to have her run, giggling, back and forth between my husband and me, as she dives into our arms on each end.
As a result, her innocence has also helped me to feel more in tune with my older girls. I make an effort to pause more to really enjoy some quality moments with them, even if that’s just having an extended conversation at bedtime. I feel like I have more patience with them these days, as their baby sister reminds me that they were tiny and helpless not so long ago themselves. I try not to expect quite so much; after all, they’re still kids, too.
Our last baby girl has truly been a gift in every way. I had been so worried about the stress and the responsibility she would bring that I had forgotten how fun it is to have a baby around. She has helped me refocus at this stage of my life. It’s almost like she jarred me awake (both literally and figuratively!), and I feel like she’s given me a new awareness of life’s most precious moments.
Getting the chance to experience it all once more in this lifetime – to feel her moving inside me, to hug her tight before laying her down in her crib, to watch her as her young eyes find wonder in everything she sees– it brings me joy that’s hard to describe. I find myself appreciating things like this in a way that I didn’t before. I feel like she was sent to me – to all of us – for a reason.
If you, too, are thinking about having one more baby, obviously your experience may be drastically different than mine. There are no parallel lives. When my daughter was born, her sisters were 9, 7, and nearly 5. (Perhaps this post might be very different if they had been 5, 3, and 1!) I can’t say enough about how helpful and happily involved my older girls have been, and I’m sure that’s partially why my experience has been so positive as I went from a mom of three to a mom of four.
With that said, there are certainly moments when I do, in fact, feel completely overwhelmed. The kitchen is rarely clean, and the amount of laundry this family of six accumulates is indeed impressive. We eat more takeout than ever before. I have yet to find a way to be two places at once or to grow another set of hands. My belly is even softer now after being stretched out and back yet one more time. But I don’t let these things bother me like I used to. They are the small things. One small thing herself reminded me of that.
Our decision to have one more baby really has changed everything for our family – for the better.
As a mother, I’ve never felt more content.
I’ve never known this kind of joy.
And I’ve certainly never felt more love.
Read more of my “from the heart” posts here:
I Can Feel It Happening – My Daughter is Slipping Away
Hello Preschool. Hello Mom Freedom!
Thoughts on Moving: Missing Home and Finding it Again
Thank You Could Never Be Enough: The Liver Transplant that Saved My Mom’s Life
Don’t Be a Hater: Support Your Fellow Women
If you struggled with this same decision: what did you decide and why? What’s your experience been like? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. I’m sure so many readers would benefit from hearing what you have to say!
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Click here to see how we revealed our daughter’s name to her older sisters with a scavenger hunt. So much fun!
I’m so happy to come across your story. I just had my fourth, our first girl, last Tuesday. I was feeling a lot of guilt after she was born. Mainly because I have a 2 1/2 year old son who has been my baby and now is getting less attention. I have a 19 year old from a previous relationship, and a 9 year old who is obviously fairly independent. Having big gaps made it easier for me to be able to “baby” each of my babies. I’ve never had two so close in age and have felt like somehow I’m taking away from my 2 year olds relationship with me. Maybe it’s just baby blues, but the mom guilt is overwhelming. Reading your story has given me some comfort and I truly appreciate it. With sleep deprivation, a ravenous breastfeeder, a demanding toddler, and fluctuating hormones with anxiety galore, I feel overwhelmed. You’ve helped me to remember that this stage doesn’t last forever and that soon there will be more sleep and more interaction between the kiddos. I just want all my babies to know how much I love them and that there is more love to go around, not less. Thanks for the great reminder.
Aw, hang in there! When my second daughter was born – just over two years after my firstborn – I cried like crazy! I felt like I had ruined my oldest daughter’s life! My dear friend (who already had two kids with the same age gap) then reminded me that a sibling is the best gift I could ever give my oldest daughter. That thought gave me a lot of comfort. You just gave your son one of the very best (if not THE best) friends he’ll ever have! This stage might be hard, but your kids will surely rely on one another all through their years! It will get easier!! And don’t worry, tired mama – your kids will most definitely know how much you love them! xo
Thank you for writing this. It made my heart soar as I read your words and thought “me too!”. So many of your thoughts and worries mirrored my own. I’ve just found out I’m pregnant. I have everything crossed that it will hold tight for nine months to be baby no.4.
I’m sure I’ll read this article again. I’m so glad to find a kindred spirit, someone who I can relate to, and whose words can dull that feeling of loneliness that occasionally rises from difficult days.
Hi Anna! (Love your name – I have a daughter with that name!) Thanks so much for your note. Best of luck with your pregnancy. I’m so glad my words resonated with you!! Take care. xo
Hi there. I have read your article several times and I really relate to it. I wanted to ask you: How did you finally make the decision to have 4? I always knew I wanted 3, and maybe four. Just like you, 3 was never a decision but the fourth is. I am also an Ivy League grad and although I work part time I feel like my career has definitely taken a back burner to mothering. I’m happy with that choice for now but would like to work more in the future. Right now I have three lovely kids (ages 8, 5.5 and almost 3) and I feel like my family is wonderful the way it is. They all get along well and we have so much fun together and it feels pretty easy.
However when my youngest was 1.5 (basically as soon as I weaned him), I started wanting to have another one. My husband did not agree and it took months for him to come around to the idea. He saw how sad I was about not having another one and how much I felt strongly that a fourth would complete our family. Then he started to realize that having four could also be wonderful. As soon as he agreed to it we got pregnant right away—we are lucky in that it has never been too hard for us to get pregnant. But the moment I got pregnant I was wracked by doubts and fears that another child would change our family in negative ways: make it hard for us to travel and enjoy wilderness activities like hiking and camping (which we all love), take attention away from my other kids, and damage my health as pregnancy and nursing are very physically demanding for me.
Unfortunately we lost the pregnancy at 14 weeks. I was devastated and especially distraught when my husband said he didn’t want to try again. That was six months ago and now he says he is open to trying and doesn’t mind whether we have 3 or 4, but now I feel unsure as to what I really want. I have wanted another child for so long, and I have a strong vision of being a family with four kids. When I think about meeting that baby I feel so excited and positive. Yet I also am feeling more at peace with accepting having just three kids, and am enjoying the freedom I’m feeling as they grow older. I’m scared about losing another pregnancy or having an unhealthy child, and I’m scared about limiting opportunities for the rest of my family. Yet I can’t stop thinking about a fourth. Within minutes I can go back and forth from feeling like it’s for sure the right thing to do and meant to be, to feeling like I only want a fourth one because I’m sad to say goodbye to the young child stage of life and feeling like I won’t be physically and mentally up to another baby. I’m so confused and I don’t know how I will ever decide. I feel like I only have a window of a few months as I am 36.5 and I don’t want to have a baby when I’m close to 40. I already feel like the “ideal” time to have a baby has passed and so I don’t want to wait longer. But how will I ever decide? Was there a moment when you just knew for sure you were making the right decision about having a fourth, or did you decide just to go for it despite feeling unsure about it? I keep waiting for perfect clarity and it’s not coming. What made you finally decide? I know either option will be great, but I feel like there is an important decision to be made here and I’m not sure how to make it.
Hi Rachel! It sounds like you have been on quite a roller coaster, both mentally and physically. I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. That had to be incredibly difficult. While I have never had a miscarriage myself, my mom miscarried just before having me. I am the youngest of three. She often says how things work out just as they should – were it not for that miscarriage, I would not be here today. Perhaps there is another little person who is still meant to join your family! Or perhaps your family is meant to stay just as it is! I completely understand what you mean when you say that you’re wondering if you’re just sad about saying goodbye to the “young child stage of life”. I wondered the same thing. To some extent, I do think that happens – I feel like I’m going through it now a bit. As for finally taking the plunge, I guess we decided that if we were talking about another baby THIS MUCH, then perhaps something was left unsaid for us. And we felt that later in life, it would be very unlikely that we would regret having another baby – whereas it would be easier to imagine us regretting NOT having one more. That was probably the tipping point – worrying about regret. I was also 36.5 when my fourth was born, so we are in very similar situations. I wish you the best of luck! Please let me know if you have more questions! Take care. xo
Hi HH! I’ve left a couple comments on this post, but I do not think they ever end up going through! Here we go again – 3rd times the charm, right? Anyway, your post is just spot on. As are many of the comments everyone else has been leaving! I have 3 boys ages 9, 7, and 3, and have been thinking and praying over a 4th baby for over a year now. I have been waiting for clear direction…. for it to be really obvious what we should do. Life is so much easier now than it has been over the last decade! Everyone is potty trained and can go without naps! My older two are fully in the swing of the school aged child and involved in sports. Life is full, life is busy, and we’re out of the infant fog. We’ve even sold most all of the baby stuff besides the crib. I feel like if we tried again, it would likely happen quickly, since we’ve never had problems getting pregnant before, but I find myself worried so much about what other people – friends and family – would think! Are we too old? (I’m 35 and he’s 40). We already have 3 healthy kids, are we pushing our luck to try for 4? Is 4 kids just crazy town? I mean, you see lots of families with 3, but not many with 4! How would this change the family dynamic and would I be spread too thin amongst all of my responsibilities? What will life look like when they’re all adults? Ahhhh, I could go on and on, because I am an overthinker, an overanalytical person. I typically think of all the reasons why things would NOT make sense, while my husband is the dreamer and really wants to have another baby. I tell him he doesn’t remember all the crazy nights of not sleeping, toting around the entire house for a baby’s needs, not being able to pick up and leave the house easily or go on trips. That is just how it is with a new baby around. However, after watching my 3 boys grow, I know that the infant stage is fleeting. It is gone before we know it. You turn around for 2 seconds and they’re 2! I look at my 3 year old and feel sad. Sad that the little kid stage will be over soon. But there is a part of me that’s ok with moving on too…. I’ve worked hard to get back in shape after the babies and my last pregnancy was not easy. So I am really torn. But like you’ve written a couple times above, would the regret to have a baby be greater, or the regret to NOT have the baby be something I carry for the rest of my life? The window of baby possibility is closing, and it’s time for me to make a decision. And the fact that I’ve been pondering this whole subject for over a year (we never ever pondered the first 3 – we just found out we were having them!) tells me that maybe something is not finished, although life feels so full. Obviously, I am completely torn!
I feel like I could have written your comment!! I had all the same thoughts and fears. All I can say is that you have to follow your heart. Having my fourth was so different – I was so much more relaxed. You have to be – you are forced to go with the flow when you have that many children to keep up with! Now my youngest is 3.5 and she is the funniest, most independent little girl! Everyone adores her – obviously we do (!) but so do all my girls’ friends. She is so entertaining for everyone. Just so much joy and laughter in our house. She has taught me so much about life and love and what’s important. Clearly having one more was truly a gift for our family – but you have to do what that little voice inside your head is telling you to do! Best of luck!! And sorry you were having trouble getting your comment to go through! :( Take care!
I’m desperate for more babies. We have 2 amazing boys 5 1/2 and 3 1/2. My husband is SO completely NOT interested in having more. My heart breaks over this topic every time we discuss it. I just know there should be more and God is not taking this incomplete feeling away from me… I’m so eternally grateful for our 2 boys. It’s just not complete. He won’t budge. I’m just really sad and wish we could agree one way or the other. I pray and pray that God would change one of our hearts so we could agree. I’m willing and I try so hard to be fully content with our 2. And now the longer we wait, the more I want 2 more instead of just 1. So frustrating and sad…. thanks for letting me vent.
Hi Emily. That can be so hard when a couple isn’t feeling the same way about such a big decision. Thank goodness for your two sweet boys!! I wish you the best of luck!
I stumbled across this article as I was Googling “having a fourth baby” and I can’t tell you how much your words resonated within me. Seriously. It’s like you were thinking all of the exact same thoughts that I was thinking! We have been blessed with 3 beautiful, healthy children (1 girl – 8, and 2 boys – 6 and 3) and I was absolutely dead set that we were having no more babies after my third. Don’t want to have sleepless nights, don’t want to go back to square one again, fearful of pushing my luck with 3 very textbook pregnancies and 3 very healthy children etc. But those feelings are back, exactly like you described. We had a scare earlier last year where it opened the “what if we have a fourth baby” door and my partner reassured me by saying that if it was fate, he would welcome another baby with open arms. And I feel content knowing that he would support that. Whilst life would be absolutely INSANE bringing another babe into our family, I know that I would love every minute of it because nothing is more better than being surrounded by happy little mini versions of yourself and your partner :) so thank you – I really enjoyed reading this post and it’s just crazy how it really connected with me. C x
Hi Crystal! So glad you stumbled on my post. I look at it like things will work out as they were meant to be. I know I wouldn’t change a thing myself! :) Take care and good luck! xo
It’s kinda hard typing this as tears are blurring my vision…but it’s like you’re in my head. I found out yesterday that I’m pregnant with my fourth. When this baby is born…my kids will be 9,7, and 5. It took us a year to get pregnant this time…as opposed to the first try with the other 3. I feel like I should be more excited then I am. But I’m scared!! Like what the hell did we just do?! I would have been “free” with my youngest starting Kindergarten…now I’m starting over?! For the past 24 hours I’ve sought out articles like this to make me feel better. Thank you for writing this. Reading your wonderful post has calmed my fears and made me excited for what we worked so hard to get. I totally get everything you said about being a calmer Mom, living in the moment more because you see how fast they truly do grow up, and laughing more. I hope to achieve all three of those with #4. Eeeeek!!! Still scary to say.
Wow, Melanie!! We will be living parallel lives once your fourth is born! :) Mark my words, you will be JUST FINE. And you will LOVE THAT BABY SO MUCH. My youngest was a question mark for so long, so we always say to her, “What would we do if we didn’t have you?!” And she always answers back, “Cry!” So cute. She will be four next month, and she continues to bring our family together in ways I could never describe. I am so happy for you!! Your older three are also going to love that little cutie more than you ever thought possible, and it will melt your heart. Good things are ahead!! Hang in there! :) xo
Hi, I am really glad I have read this, it sounds exactly how I feel right now! I am a mom of three beautiful boys aged, 8, 6 and 3 and currently training to become an accountant, I have managed to do well whilst working, studying and looking after the children and it looks as though in the next couple of years I will be able to take over from the accountant who is due to retire but I can’t get out of my head about having one last baby!! All the things you described I have had all of the same thoughts and I am feeling very confused right now! My heart is telling me i must have my last and final baby but I am worried my work will think bad of me for having yet again another child even though I intend to return to work part time as I have always worked! I am one very confused mommy :(
I know, there’s so much to consider… it’s such a huge decision! All I can say is that you have to keep weighing the pros and the cons – and ultimately follow your heart! Best of luck! :)
Im happy to come across this site and thank you Christy for posting to your blog ! I am honestly encouraged to see all these moms on here sharing their stories. My husband and I have had some talk for a while about having a fourth but as a FT working parents there’s just so much negativity about having a lot of kids and tons of put downs that I dont personally think I can handle. My kids- ages 10 boy, 7 girl, and 5 boy- really want and have been asking for a sibling for a while now, but am just so afraid to go that route… thoughts…
Hi Olga! So many pros and cons when weighing such a big decision like this! One of the biggest decisions you ever make in life… you just have to do what’s best for you and your family. That’s all there is to it! :) Best of luck!
Hi! I came across your blog and it made me tear right up. I am a mom of 3 boys. My oldest just turned 2 and I have fraternal twin boys who are 8 months old. Although I am in no hurry to have my 4th child, I do feel like our family is “incomplete”. My husband who comes from a family of 4 is on board and although is also hopes for a girl, we would both be so happy to eventually have a 4th HEALTHY baby regardless of gender. But here is my million dollar question! When people assume I am done and I mention I am “done” for now, I do mention that we may one day go for a forth (I would like to enjoy all my babies for the next couple of years) I get judgmental looks. I hear comments about how 3 babies is “already too much nowadays” etc. Have you ever had to deal with these types of negative comments? Or felt like people looked at you like you were abnormal for wanting a 4th child? Although it is an incredibly personal decision and nobody should be judging OUR decision… those judgments sort of DO bother me… Was this something you ever dealt with?
Hi there! So glad you found my blog… I wouldn’t say I deal with the negative “you have too many kids” comments very often. I get “Wow!” or “God bless you!” a lot, though, when I tell them I have four girls! :) I also get, “Are you still trying for that boy?” all the time – that one makes me crazy. Perhaps you are getting looks at this stage when you mention a possible fourth just because your kids are so young right now. For me, though, I can’t even remember the last time I got a negative comment about having “too many kids”… so no, I guess I haven’t dealt with that much at all. But DEFINITELY lots of rude comments about having all girls – ugh!! I will write a post about that one day for sure! I cannot believe what people will say sometimes. Best of luck!!! xo
Thank you for writing this. I’m debating our third, not forth, child. We have an almost 4 and almost 2 year old girls and would likely have a third in a year. All I hear is “don’t do it” “you’ll be outnumbered” “I love my third child BUT” “oh the noise”. It’s so annoying. It’s making me think twice. I always wanted three but I’d be 34 when he/she comes and had PPD (unknowingly) for 1.5 years after my second. I was so done at two. I was overwhelmed. Then the depression dispersed and I had light in my life. Then the baby bug hit. Sometimes I think I’m crazy…if I get PPD again, how would I deal with THREE kids?! I’m finally sleeping well almost every night and the girls play with each other giving me much needed space. Life has just gotten easier….why do I want a baby again?? Am I pushing my luck? What if the third child has special needs? What if they tip the balance and our home isn’t as happy? Two kids was always a given, three seems more of a choice. I’m nervous to make the wrong choice.
And your talk about with critical mass being tipped from three to four I feel will be me from two to three. I already have given up a lot of control with the second and feel the third will just make me calmer (within reason). But people think I’m nuts and I’m tired of it.
So, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for making me feel it’s ok. I also enjoyed reading the comments. All made me feel less alone and more at ease with the decision to have three.
I’m so glad my post and all the comments helped you sort through your feelings a bit. Two to three kids is a big jump for sure – at least it was for me! Hence, the almost-five-year age gap between our third and fourth! I needed a little time to regroup! :) Whatever you decide, I wish you so much luck!! xo
I have randomly stumbled upon your blog and I can’t stop reading page after page. I’m sure many have told you before, but I thoroughly resonate with you on so many things… It’s as if you write what has been on my mind for years :) Thanks for sharing.
Jane, what a nice compliment! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you feel at “home” here at my blog! :)
Hi Christy! Thank you for writing this. I am new to your blog and this article popped up as I was looking online for advice about a fourth child. We have three kids (ages 9, 6.5 and 3), two girls and a boy. I have been trying so hard to decide whether to go for that 4th!! I am 36 yrs old so time is on my side. Mostly I am scared because I am getting a little taste of freedom (no more diapers, kids in school and preschool, etc) and also we are incredibly busy as is! But, I am also a baby nut! And I don’t want to have any regrets later in life. Like you, we recently moved from NC. We were in Greensboro. What a great state; it was so hard to move away from there! Thank you for writing this article; you seem really happy and complete!
Thanks for your note. Sounds like you were almost exactly where I was in every respect when we went for that fourth! Best of luck with whatever you decide! :)
Thank you. You’ve put me completely at ease. We have a 13 year old son and a 9 year old daughter and I’ve always joked about having a caboose baby. My husband joked that he wanted a vysectomy for Christmas! I said NO way are you getting neutered just yet! We decided to go ahead and have another one in a few years! This blog post was just what I needed. I see a lot of laughter in our future!
Aw, I’m so glad this post landed in your lap just when you needed it! No doubt that everything will work out just as it should! :) Good luck!
Thank you for this ensures that everything will be ok and I’m not crazy for thinking of adding to our family. I too have said NO NO NO after 3 boys we spaced our boys 2yrs and 8-9 months apart each time, so now they are 10,7,soon to be 5. Of course every yr the thought of another came up in March, our oldest birth month but I talk myself out if it. This yr it only took a couple days to get past the idea. Well earlier this month my husband says it would be nice to have another, let’s try for that girl! Ahhh is my first reaction why now are you bringing this up have you lost your mind of course ” your not the one home with the boys all the time”. So now it’s the thought that keeps popping up now and seeing friends with babies on facebook don’t help. With the past yrs I struggled with high stressed anxiety that kept me from working which I’m ok with being home too but back in Dec. I came off the medicine and have done really good plus I have learned to find myself again which puts me at not caring what others think. We tend to have more friends that’s family instead of family that’s family which I’ve learned to dill with too. So now I’m looking at expensives and we all know that no matter what there is always something else to pull out you pockets. We are buying a house have a vehicle to hold more if needed cattle to fall back on, even though we still seem to be pay check to pay check. So what’s holding me back right? The thought of am I going to be there for all the kids if we do. But your article seem to help answer some of my worries and then seeing the post of “God only wants you to do the mothering and he will do the providing” also God will only give you what you can handle too, seems to help too. So I think we will probley try again I told my husband if it happens by Sept then ok lol if not then maybe that’s our answer. By the way any advice on conceiving a girl lol besides praying either way as long as the baby is healthy is the best part! :)
Best of luck with whatever happens for your family! And no tips on conceiving that girl – ha! Although we definitely seem to have mastered that task somehow! :)
We had our eight baby…a surprise…when I turned 45. My husband and and I joke that we will be using our senior discount to buy our son’s Happy meals.
I love it! :)
Hi there okay so I just wrote out a long full story of my life and I hit the back button and lost it all so basically here it is in a nut shell. Im.a stay at home mom of 3 two girls ages 8 and 6 and a son born on my 26th bday (came early) and he’s 4 this month on the 21st. We only have my mom and gram who babysit. My dad is retiring and wants to travel with my mom and my gram is getting older but can still get around well and all three adore our kiddos. My husband’s family isn’t around like we wish they would be. But we have learned it’s them not us and they are missing out not us. But still super sad and I wish I could change their way of thinking but simply can’t. I also coach all three of my kids soccer teams (first year for it) I absolutely love coaching and fear of what I wld do if I had a baby….how wld I coach. Who wld babysit. It’s not fair for that child to sit through three hour long practices three times a week or three hour long games on Saturdays. We are super on the fence but I too was done after our son came. Husband rlly wants another boy but wld be super happy with a girl too. I don’t care what baby wld be but would love another son for our son now. I fear our kids will fear pushed aside or less loved if we had another. I fear I’ll fall more behind in house work as I already am…..dishes always fill my sink. Laundry higher then my kids’ heads, and toys all over. I do loose my cool (don’t hit my kids tho just yell) when they don’t listen after the 20th time of me telling them to put their shoes away or not to leave their coat at the door or plz don’t play in your milk (my son) or don’t drink the chocolate syrup right from the bottle wait for me. I always have a laundry chair we just grab and go from. But as of now no clothes on it and I feel like I won a gold metal for having it all out away. I feel we r finally getting to a place we can all do things together and not have to stop to feed or change a baby…..but what’s 3 yrs of doing that again….right? I go back and forth so much it makes my head spin. I always say u won’t ever regret having another baby but you wld regret not having another baby. My mom alays says I might regret it tho:/ I’m just very stuck bc I don’t know what’s right for us…..and that’s scary I can’t just decide. I’m worried I won’t be able to coach anymore bc I won’t have a sitter for practices and games. My husband works a lot and helps when he’s home. And right now I don’t even need help with things or changing a milk soaked son bc he didn’t listen and played in that darn cup lol. But for most part I got things down to a science……finally. lolI feel if I have another I’ll go back to being so stressed and wondering why me…… I didn’t promise husband if he got this promotion he’s been going for for 2yrs I’d have another baby….I thought he wld have gotten it 2 yrs ago. Then I think maybe he didn’t get it bc we aren’t meant to have anymore. Then I fear the baby would have problems….and I can’t handle that….I cry hearing stories of kiddos getting sick and all. I have asked many ppl I know who have 4 or more how it is and they say it’s a breeze once u find your groove. And I often think…..how? It took me 2 yrs to find my groove with three….not really but it sure felt like that to me at times. I don’t know if I’m waiting for someone to just tell me do it or maybe for my mom to be more on board. I know she wld be happy with another but she seen how stressed I was w 3 bc husband worked so much. But now with this promotion he’s home so much more. Works 14 12s a month and is off a straight 7 days a month and other days here and there in month. That week long break is so nice bc he use to work almost all that when he was doing his old job. But now that he’s a boss he doesn’t have to do OT. Thank you jesus!!!! But I guess I’m just looking for a mommy with my similar story and life to tell me it will all be okay, just do it. I survived so can u;) thank you for listening to me. I’m so so happy for all of you ladies and gents and your amazingly beautiful families and stories. A couple I read (mainly your blog made me go hrm I cld so do this 4 kids thing. Thanks again and God bless. Tabi mom on the fence.
I know, it can be so hard to make a decision as big as this! For what it’s worth, I also coached my girls in soccer for many years – my husband traveled a lot, so I often had all four kids at the field by myself (including when my youngest was a newborn). Not ideal, but I made it work! It became pretty comical, really. :) That’s the biggest change for me, I’d say: I find the humor so much more easily. Things are complete chaos sometimes, and while I certainly have my moments like anyone (a lot of moments!), I feel like I get less stressed now… instead, I shrug my shoulders more and think, “Oh well… what can you do?” I strive less for perfection and more for happiness. Best of luck!
Thank you. That helps me a ton!!!!!:) bc I do get stressed a lot now. So I’m worried I’ll get stressed more wI think a fourt . But seeing as you just have to laugh at stuff I feel I would be the same. Lol bc with first kid I was a mess “omgosh don’t touch that” now I’m like a bug sure touch it whateve . Lol thanks for your input. *hugs*
Ha! So true. We evolve as mothers for sure. Best of luck! xo
I’m so glad I found your story. It was a link on Pinterest surprisingly. We are thinking of having a 4th baby and I wanted to know other moms experiences. My older kids are 10 and 7 from a 1st marriage and my youngest is 16 months. Something just tells me I’m not done having babies. I’m glad your youngest daughter was such a joyous blessing for your family!
Glad you found this story, too! Good luck! xo
Thanks for writing this…. Have 3 girls, 6, 4 and 1 and just found out I’m preggers with number 4. I’m kinda freaking out. Your post made me relax a bit. Thanks!
Aww… it will be great! We wouldn’t change a thing!! That fourth will fill your hearts to the brim. Best of luck! xo
I just happened upon this post on my quest for an answer too. My three are 4, 2, and 7 months. Most days I want to pull my hair out but I cannot help but wonder if God has a plan for one more as I begin to put baby things away. All your thoughts are exactly mine…..we have been blessed with three healthy kids, why take a chance? Twins run in the family….what if?…..my friend just told me about her daycare’s SIDS baby….ahhh.
I’ve been told “you’re so young still (29) just wait and have another later.” I do not want to do that. I don’t want to start over a few years down the road.
Woman say they just have a ‘feeling’……ugh I just need the feeling to overwhelm me sooner than later. Bc I’m driving myself nuts!
I’m not sure about the “feeling” – I think oftentimes we can’t figure out what our feelings are telling us! :) I have a 5-year gap between my third and fourth, and I was also worried about “starting over”. But it didn’t feel like starting over to me when the time came. It felt like a gift – a bonus in my life to get to do it all over again. I appreciated my last daughter in a very special way when she was a baby (and I still do now). I really hung on to each moment, and I think she is still a constant reminder to me to slow down and take in this precious time in life as a mother. For me, it was actually priceless to “start over” because I became a different type of mom at that point, with time and perspective in my back pocket. :) Good luck!
My husband and I have been debating about having a fourth child. I came across your blog today and I have to say it brought a smile to my face. My children are 9, 6 (she will be 7 in October) and my youngest will be turning 5 this month. I was concerned that a five years apart would be a big gap between my youngest. He wants a brother so bad, but of course I can’t promise that.? After reading your sweet description of how its affected your family in a positive way has me reconsidering a fourth child. Thank you for sharing!
We wouldn’t change a thing ourselves! I was also worried about that type of age gap, but there are positives with an age gap just like there are positives with having kids close together. Good luck!!
Thank you for this! Your situation is almost identical to mine 3kids 9,6,4. Never thought I’d be thinking of having another baby but here I am in the waiting room of my gp to get the coil removed! Like you my hubby opened the door and forgot to close it! Reading this has made me very excited for all the laughter and tears and endless bottles and nappies again.
Best of luck! xo
The similarities in our lives are crazy! I have three girls, similar age gaps and if we get pregnant they will be 5,7, and 9. Your post was comforting to me :) thanks for sharing!
Wow, so similar!! Best of luck! Glad you found my post. :)
Writing to you from a country far away, Sweden.
Wow! I read your post and a lot of the replies that other fellow mothers left. Your story is inspiring. I cried while reading the comment a lady left saying she believed our longing for another child is God’s will for another person being born. So beautiful and poetic. I’m not even religious.
Maybe I will become religious on this journey I’m experiencing. I had a son that I longed for 2009, a daughter who made us so excited 2011 and our amazing and funny son 2013. My husband thought he was the last one, but I couldn’t imagine I’d never experience the adventure of falling in love with another baby again but I didn’t say anything.
Recently our youngest started sleeping all through the night and my biological clock is ticking loud, in feb I’ll turn 39. It’s now or never…
Intellectually I should be satisfied, I had hard pregnancies with a lot of morning sickness.
During long periods I was a stressed and not so nice mother nor wife because of hormones and lack of sleep. I was too tired to work in a proffession that took more that 100 per cent of my energy. Now I longer feel the desire to do all the things I found exciting as a doctor. My mission is to have a fourth baby. My heart says something but my head is afraid of hurting my precious family by becoming the evil pregnant lady again.
So glad you found my post! I know how you feel – it’s a big decision!! Best of luck!! xo
I loved this article, it was exactly what I needed to read. I am currently 11 weeks pregnant with baby #4. My girls will be 8.25, 6.5 and my boy will be 4.75 when baby arrIves. I’m really looking forward to a new phase for our family. I hope it goes as smoothly as yours seemed to.
Good luck! Sounds like you’ll be busy, but your home will certainly filled with a lot of love and laughter! Take care!
Thank you for sharing your story. I have three beautiful girls, 9, 7 and 3.5 and “knew” we were done after the third was born. Just a few months ago my husband asked about another. I completely change my mind on the subject daily. Today, I feel we are done. But I’m still thinking about it constantly and can’t seem to ever be comfortable with permanent birth control because what if…
When it comes down to it, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to add a fourth. But, I don’t want to be sitting here in five years at age 40 still wondering, possibly regretting our decision (or rather, lack of decision). Your post makes me think we should just go for it. Still terrified though! I really appreciate your perspective.
Best of luck with whatever you decide! I don’t know that there’s a “right answer” when it comes to something like this. All I can say is follow your heart! :)
Thank you so much for your post! I’m so glad I read it. I have three daughters, the oldest is 3.5yo and the youngest is one month. During this last pregnancy I was sure that this is our last one. I was so exhausted and couldn’t think of going through this again. My husband and I decided that three is enough. But now having our third little sunshine I can’t stop myself thinking of having another one and feel so sad about not giving birth and holding a newborn again. I have exactly the same questions in my mind and worries that you described.
Now after reading your story I feel pretty confident that we shall go for it and have another one in a few years. Thank you once again!
Best of luck! xo
I just stumbled upon your blog post today when I googled “decision to have a fourth baby.” Thank you for sharing! My youngest just turned 3 and I have a 5 and 8 year old. I said I was totally done. Now all of sudden, there is a pull for a fourth and I think I’m going crazy. I can relate to what you wrote and you definitely gave me some food for thought!
So glad you found my post. I remember those days – I was making myself crazy, too! Good luck!
My newly husband and I (Married March 3, 2017) currently have three children of our own. There ages are 5 a girl, 3 a boy, and 2 our daughter. I have always told people our last daughter is the glue to our family. They make everything happier and full of much more fun. I couldn’t imagine life without any of our three. Now that we are officially married after all that time, my husband has been speaking of fourth baby. He has this weird feeling like our familyneeds one morebbay. As crazy as that sounds, I was in everyone elses boat about no more babies.
Now that I am thinking about it, I wouldn’t mind having one more baby. My only problem with this is, I am a full time student, I have a part time job working for juvenile hall, a part-time job working in customer service, three small children, three dogs (of all shapes and sizes), and my husband has two jobs as well. Between all the craziness, is another child really the option here?
I would suppose i am still on the fence at this point, but I want what is best for my whole family. I think I still have some thinking to do.
Best of luck, Jessica!! xo
I love this article!!! I need some help! So a little back story. We got married. got pregnant, miscarried twins. got pregnant again 3 months later, and then had a little boy. 19 months later had another little boy and 2 months after that had another little boy! 3 boys! We were done! More than done!! All our boys are high energy. We did all of this while my husband was going through medical school. Well now he is out of medical school, in the middle of residency. He as been wanting the snip snip. I told him I was 85% ok with it. I know I don’t want anymore kids. Then why do I feel so guilty with him getting a vasectomy. Well the thought of another baby popped into my head about a month ago and I just pushed it out. NO WAY am I doing that again. Our pregnancies are horrible. I keep pushing it out of my mind. Then the day after I told him I was becoming more ok with him getting “fixed”, I had a meltdown. I told my husband the feelings I was having. He was in shock, so was I. our boys now are 19 and 21 months apart. This new baby (if everything went according to plan) there would be a 3 year gap. I have so many thoughts going through my mind. If we get pregnant (if that is what we feel we are supposed to do) there would be a 3 year gap with the last 2. I have been pondering a lot. What are things to expect? Is it really the mantra of “whats one more?” Going from 2 to 3 was pure hell for me! I am terrified to add a 4th. But if it is something I keep feeling that strongly about I don’t want to leave another little spirit up in Heaven that is meant to come down. I so nervous that if we decide to do this I don’t even want to tell anyone. Not even family, until they start asking questions. I don’t want to resent my baby because I didn’t want another. But I don’t want to not do what the Lord asks of me. Does anyone know or understand anything I am saying??? Help!
sorry 21 months not 2 lol
So many things to think about… going from 2 to 3 was really hard for me as well. Going from 3 to 4 felt easier for me. Best of luck with whatever you decide!! Thanks for taking the time to share your story. xo
So I too just stumbled across this post when I was googling “should I have a 4th baby”. My little loves are 4, 3, and 9 months. I work full time – my husband is in the military but is about to get out and be a Stay at home dad – what a shift in “normal” standards. I have 2 girls and one little man. I’d love to have another little dude. Some days are really hard – really really hard. But then I think about really being done having babies and it makes me so sad! Then I read this and just started crying. Who knows what the future holds but I found so much comfort in reading this – so much of it is exactly how I’m feeling. Thank you!
I’m so glad you found this post. I hope it’s helping you process your feelings… such a big decision! Take care! xo
I loved reading your post! I too am a university graduate who is a stay at home mum with 4 kids! I have 3 girls aged 8, 7 and 5 and a boy aged 3. I agonised about having the fourth as i’d decided i was definitely done at 3! Nevertheless i couldn’t get rid of my curiosity about what having four kids was like and could I do it? I did so much ‘googling’ to try and work it out but in the end we just decided to go for it and little Jack is such a wonderful member of our family. Now he is 3 and our lives are starting to flow i’m starting to feel like I want just one more. Because i had the first 4 in 5 years, it was continual chaos and now i want to see what it’s like to enjoy a baby without being in a pressure-cooker. So now i am googling what it’s like with 5 children lol! A great friend told me today that in polynesian culture, the fifty child is considered to be the gift for the mother.. so a boy to look after her, or a bestfriend if it’s a girl. Very interesting… definitely going on the “pros”list for number 5! xx Mel
I loved reading your story! Best of luck if you decide to go for #5! :) Would love to know how things turned out for you! xo
Hi I absolutely love your story sounds like you guys made the right choice how amazing ! So glad I read this. Me and my husband have been together since I was 15 (him 18) I’m 34. we are best friends & have 3 children together there ages are 16(girl)10(girl),& 5(son)!all of there birthdays are in the next 3 months so they’re all growing up so rapidly on me! I always stayed home with the kids and my husband alwYs worked Our oldest will be a senior this fall and our youngest a kindergartener.my last child was the only surprise and at the time I found out I was pregnant my husband was layed off so it was a stressful time but once my son was born we all adored him and he is my sweet heart. I realize now when my middle child and him were home w me during the day at the sane time when he was a baby and first born ,till she started kindergarten the following year was some of the best days of my life. He has been our biggest joy and we all get along better w him in our world Yet I felt I could never have another kid again bc I had a crazy pregnancy found out I was had hypothyroidism & worked part time bc hubby was layed off & my son was born 5 weeks early and was completely healthy but still shocked me and made me so scared and nervous. Plus our house wasn’t big enough for anymore kids my girls shared a room as is and my son has his own room.well found out in march I was pregnant again :) surprise again! Hubs was layed off again! Wow I was nervous but my husband assured me it was going to be ok ! We were happy felt like I was falling in love w my husband all over again loved him more than ever ! Our basement is almost completely finished for our daughters to have there own room & a living room in between ! There’d be there room that there in now that a baby could stay in what’s another crazy kid my husband said?! No big deal he said and I was shocked!!! I wanted to be happy so bad so I made apts w dr to make sure everything was ok ultra sound predicted about 4 weeks but a week later I ended up having a miscarriage sucks !now more than ever I realize how much I did want another baby! & i think about this everyday but were aren’t and weren’t ttc and now that I’m
Not preg anymore my husband said he wishes we were in a better financial situation so we could have another baby but we aren’t going to hit the lottery lol & the truth is we just aren’t ever going to be.& it just sucks bc I feel like that was my last & only chance. I am so thankful and happy for my children I have But am I wrong to want to be pregnant and have one more of my husbands baby’s before I’m to old and it’s to late I think my son would be a great big brother ty & love to laugh with the kids ty so much for sharing your story it touched my heart
Thank you for your note. I’m glad my story touched your heart. Best of luck to you! Sounds like you are blessed with a wonderful husband and great kids! Take care. :)
Great post! My husband and I have 3 girls; 9,6,3. When we were first married I said 3, he always said 5, so we agreed to a possible compromise at 4 ?. As my husband has been in PA school the past few years, I felt that I was truly done. A year ago I confidently got rid of all things baby during a move. He will be done in a few weeks and we are now weighing all the options as you did. ? I really couldn’t imagine that happening even up to last month, I think God is just softening my heart. Thank you for sharing your story.
Best of luck, Sherilee! xo