Motherhood Personal Posts

How Did You Know Your Family Was Complete?

I know I sound crazy even thinking about this while typing 1-handed and holding my newborn son…

When I was pregnant with my second child, I just knew I didn’t want him to be my last. Throughout the pregnancy, labor, even a few minutes after he was born. I couldn’t imagine not doing it all again. Morning sickness, swelling, heartburn, hips so sore I had to crawl to the bathroom at night…still wanted to do it again!

This pregnancy, the whole time I was asking myself “why did I think this was a good idea again?” Every time one of my kids had a tantrum, every night that I tossed & turned. I still cherished every kick, don’t get me wrong. I just felt like I realllyyyyy didn’t want to do this again.

I don’t know if I want more children. I certainly wouldn’t be devastated if it happened, but since there are almost 7 years between my oldest & youngest, I feel like I’ve been doing the “baby thing” forever already.

Yet, holding my son and looking at his sweet face, I feel a twinge thinking that we may never have another little baby again, and everything that goes along with that.

I’m guessing these are normal feelings in the postpartum haze, and that at some point in the future, I’ll know for sure.

I just wondered how those who are “done” knew for sure that their family was complete.

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • .:karen:.
    January 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Ideally, we are done. Stopping with 2. I know my limits and I am already frazzled both mentally and financially. Obviously, if an oops were to happen, we would love that baby and figure out a way to make it work but for both my husband and I, we are totally happy with our two little girls. Now, that doesn’t stop me from aching when I see a newborn (like yours!) and turning to my now 9 month old “big” girl and feeling wistful but that is relatively short-lived. Especially since this second kiddo is not the amazing sleeper that her sister was/is. It’s easy to say “no mas” when under the delerium of no sleep. ^_^

  • Katie
    December 15, 2011 at 8:25 am

    All my life I thought I only wanted 2 kids. But now that we have one 2 year old and I am 25 weeks pregnant with #2, I am starting to think it would be nice to have 3. My husband says ‘definetely not!!’ but I suppose we will have to see how life changes with 2 kids. You never know right?!…

  • tiffany
    December 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Lol we were done 2 kids ago and kept oopsing. Needless to say it is now impossible for me to have more kids so now we are for sure done and done!

    Also CONGRATS mama the little one is super adorable and I cant wait for all of the new cloth modeling photos!

  • December 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I know how you feel. Guess what? When I had my first child. My first words out of my mouth when I came out of anesthesia was: “Am I going to be able to have another baby?”

    You just know you aren’t finished , even though sometimes you wonder if you are seriously crazy to want more 🙂

    Enjoy the little one.

  • Katie
    December 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I wonder how people know when they are done too! We have a 3 year old son and I’m 9 1/2 weeks pregnant with baby #2!!!! (after a year of trying) I’m thrilled and praying earnestly that I hear a strong heartbeat at my first prenatal visit in a few days. Anyway, I’ve always thought that I wanted a large family (like 5 or 6 children!), but since we had a bit of a hard time conceiving baby #2 I have no idea how many more I’ll be blessed with. So, in short I know I want more than 2, but really don’t know how many I’ll end up with. I feel like it’s going to be really hard to know when I’m done. Since I always envisioned myself with a large family, it’s hard now to come to terms with the idea of a smaller one! But some days I feel so overwhelmed by the one I have! 🙂

  • Jenene
    December 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    We have one right now (9 months old) and much to my husband’s dismay, I can only picture us having one more. I didn’t like being pregnant (even though I had an easy pregnancy), although I LOVED giving birth. I find myself looking forward to future when I’m done with the baby stage completely. Of course, if our next baby is easier than this one, I might just change my mind!

  • Kim
    December 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I wasn’t done. I just feel like I was meant to have a daughter…I have two boys now. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, though. I’ve had it since I was 11 years old. My pregnancy with my first son was okay, I was 21. About a month after I had him, my health declined dramatically. It took a long time to feel good again. My second pregnancy was a nightmare, I was 26. Almost immeadiately after birth I could barely walk. I decided then that I needed to have my tubes tied. It would not be fair to my boys to have less of a mother because of my selfish desires to have another baby. I still wonder (almost 3 years later) if I made a mistake. If I could have done it again. It’s one of those things in life that I have learned to live with. I try to always remember how lucky I am in this life, and how I’ve been blessed. I know my circumstances are nothing like yours, and my experiences don’t really answer the question of how one knows they are done…but I thought I’d share anyways. LOL

  • December 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

    We’re hoping to not be done, but I’m praying that we’ll know when we are. Right now we have four little ones under five years old (no twins). Just hours or days after having each one of them, I’ve known that I wanted to do it all again. My husband and I haven’t slept through the night in 4 1/2 years and I’ve been nursing continuously since then, too. I think we’re a little afraid that it might be harder if we have baby free time in between our children. (Oh, and by this point my maternity clothes are much more stylish then my non-pregnant clothes, and I don’t even know what pants size I am anymore.)

    We’d like six, but if the next baby was a boy we might possibly stop at five, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • December 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I know exactly how you feel! My husband and I always said we wanted two children, so when our DS came into the world only 15 months after our DD, I found myself trying to face the idea that I may never have another child. I couldn’t do it. Now we are hoping for at least four. We love having kids and although they take work and sacrifice, there is nothing not worth giving up for them in our eyes. I am hoping that after baby 3 or 4 comes along a lightbulb in my head will go off telling me to stop… I guess we will just have to see what happens and take each child as it comes. It’s interesting to me how different women are… some have one or two children and will say with conviction that there isn’t anything in the world that would make them do it again. Others forget about the aches and pains of pregnancy and labor almost immediatly. I think my biggest problem is that I LOVE being pregnant! At the end of the day I guess it just goes to show you that we are all different and there is no right or wrong answer. I’m interested to see what other women say and how they knew… I will be looking for the signs in the future!

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