How do you know when your done having kids?

MArsha - posted on 03/03/2015 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I am 39 - and I feel an amazing amount of pressure to figure out if I am done having kids by my 40th birthday. There is a lot that goes into the decision - the biggest portion is that I have had 4 miscarriages. The most recent was in October after being shocked that I was even pregnant - overwhelmed with the idea. We hadn't been trying since it had taken so much for us to have our two children, who are 8 and almost 3 years old. And as soon as my heart was wrapped around the possibility - I started bleeding. My husband says "No' mainly because he can't imagine watching me lose another - but I just feel like I am not sure. I can't imagine never ever having another - I need help! Honest feeback s awful as it may be!!

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Sarah - posted on 03/09/2015

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Marsha, I know exactly how you feel. I lost twin girls just after they arrived. In my case everyone knew before the birth that they were not going to survive.
It is a lose/lose situation a lot of times. I would be hurt because my friends would not share their good news with me out of fear of making me sad. On the other hand I would be hurt and sad when people told me good news in a big group or even is they seemed "too happy".
Sometimes people just don't know how to act to what to say when you are grieving, it doesn't matter if they say it perfectly; you are still sad and jealous of them. I do know it is hard to be happy for your friend and it is easy to be jealous and resentful. This is where a support group helped me immensely. I could say what I felt and be angry, jealous and sad and no one batted an eye.
I know this post was about TTC conceive again but maybe you need to look for an outlet for your grief as well?

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2015

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Does your friend know that you are wanting/trying for another? Your feelings are valid for you. I agree with Chana that your friend is not trying to be hurtful. Either she did not realize how it would affect you OR she debated telling you to not hurt you. But would that not be hurtful as well? If she is your friend and does not share her news with you because she does not want to hurt you how would you feel if you found out from someone else that she was expecting? Or if months go by and you just notice that she is expecting....would that not also be hurtful? It is hard when you are the person that is not getting or carrying the pregnancies to term, but it is also hard when you are the one that is pregnant and friends with someone that so wants to be. As a friend you don't want to hurt them and you are wishing along with them that they will get pregnant and carry to term. In many ways your friend is stuck in a rock and a hard place as no matter which way she goes it is still going to hurt and that is not what she wants to do. I think this is when you turn to your husband and talk about the hurt and the jealousy. Both are valid feelings for you, but your friend may not be the person you share these feelings with. Even writing a letter to yourself or a journal about how you feel might be good. OR venting on here.......I would just start off saying that you are venting, so hopefully you get positive feedback as people understand that it is a vent.

Sarah - posted on 03/06/2015

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Marsha, I was super close with my mom. She died three years ago after a head injury. She was in good health overall. My dad was even older! He was 47 when I was born and died peacefully at 84 in his sleep.
Regarding their age when I was a kid. My father had polio when he was five and had a mild disability with his left leg. He was not a dad that played with us, but he was always present and willing to help with homework and give advice. My mom was a SAHM and we lived on a small farm, she did everything and she was amazing. When I was 10 my dad had a heart attack, and so I sort of had a fear that I would lose one of them or both of them before I was a grown. They both live to see me married and have four beautiful kids. My parents both were very faithful, and truly instilled in me and my sisters that when God calls you home, you go. I was very lucky and would not have changed a single thing.

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2015

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I would say give yourself time. You don't have to have an answer now. Talk with your husband. Allow the both of you to heal. Do a pros/cons list for all possible option you want to consider and follow your heart.

Raye - posted on 03/03/2015

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If you're not sure you're done, then leave it at that. There is no magic number to stop having kids. True, as you get older it is more risky. And only you know if you're able to handle another failed pregnancy, should it happen again. So, tell whoever is pressuring you to back the hell up and live their own lives.

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Sarah - posted on 03/10/2015

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Marsha, you may not be at this point yet or may not ever want to walk down this road but I would encourage you to look at adoption. I know it is a journey to get to the spot of considering that road, so I don't want to push you. It is hard to feel like you are going to put having a bio child aside and to consider another option and you have to be ready for that. You have to have time to grieve. That being said there are many joys that come from adoption and it can be just another way of growing your family. Many times people hold back on adopting due to their fears with adoption. Though there is risk often times the risk is WAY less then their fears make it seem. Working in adoption the most common response I get from families that have suffered infertility and adopted is that they don't know why they waited so long to pursue adopting. Again this has to be you and your husband's journey. ......but it can still bring you all those dreams of adding another to your family.

MArsha - posted on 03/10/2015

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Thank you for the honesty! You are all correct, there is no way this friend would ever want to hurt me. I am sure it is either of the two reasons that Sara H. listed. I think she is just trying to wrap her mind around everything. It is just so hard. I keep having visions of her daughter (who is the same age as mine) wearing the Big Sis t-shirt and cant help but feel like, that could have been me... and then I circle back to should it be me? And then I think should we try for another and I just don't know. Yesterday I went to a therapist... there I realized for the first time in awhile how I could have another miscarriage - I just kind of assume if I get pregnant again that everything would be ok. But truthfully I have had 4 miscarriages and 2 healthy children... so the odds are not great. And even with my most recent full term pregnancy there were tons of bumps along the way. I had occasional bleeding that would send me to the er, it was a complete unknown why and I spent a majority of the pregnancy on pins and needles. I suffer from depression and anxiety as it is but this was all heightened because of the stress. I just don't want it to be over. Does anyone feel this way??

Chana - posted on 03/09/2015

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Marsha, I just wanted to say that having a baby at 40 is very possible. I had my first one month after I turned 41 and my second 4 months before I turned 42. Both conceived natural and carried full term with just normal pregnancy problems. I say just let nature take it's course and if it is meant to be it will happen.

As far as your friend goes if she is truly a friend I am certain she did not mean to hurt you. She just wanted to share her joy with you because she considers you a friend. Maybe you should tell her how you feel because in her joy it is quite possible that she did not even think about how it would make you feel. I can tell you from experience it was more than likely not intentional.

MArsha - posted on 03/09/2015

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This weekend was hard, for many reasons but the big one was a friend and I went to dinner Friday night and I learned she is pregnant. I am angry that she doesn't know that this might be hurtful or hard for me, jealous that her situation is everything like mine except she didn't have a miscarriage, and somehow I made it through dinner acted super excited and happy - yet now I sister here still wanting to tell her how I feel.

MArsha - posted on 03/05/2015

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Are you close to your mom? Do you ever feel like she is or was to old when you were younger?

Sarah - posted on 03/04/2015

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My own mother had me at 38 and my sister at 42, in an era when that was the age of most grandmothers! While there are risks with advanced maternal age, they are not insurmountable. I agree that a good health check and some talking things over with your doctor may help you feel more comfortable either pursuing or not pursuing another pregnancy. Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2015

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You have time. Yes 40 is a marker but so is 35 and many women have kids after both those numbers. You hear all the negative about having kids after those ages, but that does not mean that will be you. There are also lots of positives with older age too. Often times your life is more stable than it was when younger which also affects pregnancy. And......maybe this next one is suppose to come differently into your family. Maybe your desire to have more is for a special someone that needs a home. Sometimes not being able to carry a baby does not mean you should be done or your desire should not be there. Sometimes it means that your child comes to you in a different way.

MArsha - posted on 03/03/2015

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Raye - and all of you - Thank you for not thinking I am crazy - most people htiki I am dumb for even considering having more kids after the path I have been down!! Truly appreciate the support!

Raye - posted on 03/03/2015

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I can say that I "just know" I don't want any kids at all coming out of my body. I've known since I was young, and I was on the pill for 20 years because the doctors thought I might change my mind. Nope! I had tubal ligation 2 years ago because I decided no matter what the doctors thought, it was my body and I knew what I wanted (or didn't want). I have two beautiful step-kids and I love them to pieces and that's good enough for me.

The fact that you don't know if you're done means you might not be. Don't close the door until you "just know" you're done. Otherwise you may regret it for a long time.

MArsha - posted on 03/03/2015

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Sarah,
Thanks for caring! I really appreciate it. I just don't feel like I have time. I am turning 40 in July - and that just feels like a ticking bomb waiting to go off :(

MArsha - posted on 03/03/2015

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Evelyn, I am so sorry for the loss of your marriage. I hope you have found happiness. I admire you! I have a hard time being content, probably my greatest flaw. I don't know how I am going to figure this out. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had to go to the ER or doctor many time because of bleeding. It was terrible we were always thinking we were going to lose her. I was actually induced because she had made it to term and the stress of the unknown was to much. Things I have easily blocked out of my mind. I don';t know why I even think I can get pregnant, let alone carry the baby to term. I can understand why my husband says no - just can't ell my heart. It is like I want a do over.

Ev - posted on 03/03/2015

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Its not that you are greedy by any means, Marsha. You must have a great love of children if you want more. I would have loved to have a bunch myself but after my marriage failed it was hard on the two kids as it was and I could not imagine had it been more how it would have been handled. I was blessed with the two. I had an easy time getting pregnant both times and after all the scares and worries with the second one that were unfounded issues, I was done. I did not want to have to deal with it again but I also had one of each and was happy with that.

MArsha - posted on 03/03/2015

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both Thank you for taking the time to respond. It helps me to feel less alone. I feel like I am the only one going through all of this. Most of my friends have all had easy pregnancies and decided they were done, satisfied with 2 or 3 children... as they put it "they just knew." Some are younger than me so they could still change their mind - some are the same age but their kids are older so that ship sailed long ago. The doctors never determined why I miscarried. My first loss was my first pregnancy, we got pregnant right away but the doctor determined it was a blighted ovum, then I had my son, then I had 2 more pregnancies through IUI both of which I lost, then I got pregnant on our own with my daughter, and then this fall we had a surprise pregnancy and suspected blighted ovum loss. Maybe I should be done. Maybe I should be more grateful for what I have and should stop being so greedy!

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2015

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Maybe you are to have more children but instead of biological it is to be adopted. As others have said talk to your doctor. Find out if they know why you miscarry. If it is something that can't be fixed or they can't figure out and that desire to grow your family is still there maybe that is the direction you are meant to go. There is no right answer on age, number, spacing, or bio or adopted for each family. You will know the answer as time goes on and you get answers.

Ev - posted on 03/03/2015

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I agree with Raye on this and also advise a long talk with your doctor about why you might be having these issues. Sometimes our health as we get older and into middle age does not show us everything that is going on in our bodies. Maybe having a good check up will help to find those issues if they exist. Then you could move on to the question of having more children or not. Also have your husband along with you during these doc visits so he is enlightened to what is going on so he can also help make the choice of having more or not. Also how you have handled the past miscarriages also can shed light on how you handle another one. Its only a suggestion.

I made my choice not to have more after waiting seven years to have a second child. We had some issues while I was pregnant that turned out to be non-existent; none the less: we were terrified of what was going on. I wanted no longer to endure those things again and we also had finally got one of each and I was satisfied with that. My main reason was having one of each but thinking back, maybe in the back of my mind it was the issues with the doctors and all that made me think twice. Also it was not long after that my ex husband and I divorced. But that was me and I was almost 29 when my son came.

MArsha - posted on 03/03/2015

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Thank you! Some how just like having a baby it is easy for me to "forget the pain" - so I say I can handle it now, but I don't know...

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