How do you know when you’re done?

Growing up, I was never the young woman who longed for babies of her own. As the oldest of four children born in quick succession, I was not quite five when my youngest brother was born. I have very few memories of growing up with a baby in the home. As a teenager, I babysat, but I always felt vaguely relieved when the parents came home to take charge of their children. And as a young adult, I wasn’t always sure I would marry.

But the experience of having my own children has been something else entirely. Frustrating, tiring, yes–but also fulfilling and even transcendent. Turns out, I’m even one of those odd women who enjoys being pregnant–this despite having to give myself twice daily shots for the duration of the pregnancy. I suppose some of this stems from a lifetime of insecurity about my body: pregnancy pulls me out of all that, giving me and my physical body a clear purpose, at once powerful and deeply creative.

Now, as my youngest approaches two, my husband and I have begun grappling with that weighted question: are we done? To be fair, I grapple with this more than my husband, who grew up in a family of three and thinks that our three are just about perfect.

I’m not so sure.

I realize that being in a position to ask, “are we done?” makes me one of the lucky ones, as many people are constrained by health concerns, infertility, monetary issues, any number of things. But this still isn’t an easy question for me–my decisions cycle through as many variations as there are days of the week and I still have yet to settle on something that feels right for me, for our family.

On the one hand, my children are getting delightfully independent and I can finally see through the fog of early childhood to a future where I might get to reclaim some of my own independence.  Also, I don’t function well on little sleep (and with a toddler who has successfully slept through the night less than half a dozen times, well, that’s a big consideration). Then there’s my age: I had to mark the “advanced maternal age” indicator last time (though I had just hit my 35th birthday)–how much more difficult would things be this time around? Add to that the fact that my last delivery was an 11 week early emergency c-section, and there are health considerations to factor in as well. (In fact, my mother-in-law seems convinced that another pregnancy might risk almost certain death, this despite the fact that a maternal-fetal expert told me there’s a relatively low risk of that particular condition repeating). There’s also no certainty that a pregnancy would result in a baby: right now we’re batting about 50%.

But somehow,  the thought that I might ever feel that delightful anticipation of delivery, might not ever inhale the newborn smell of my own baby, makes my whole body tighten. I’m not sure I’m ready to make peace with the ache, as blogger Sarah Bessey so eloquently describes. Maybe I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I feel cheated out of my last pregnancy (I missed virtually the entire last trimester, and the natural delivery I’d planned for ended with a delivery in which I wasn’t even conscious and wasn’t sure, when I first woke up, if my baby had even survived). Or maybe I’m really not done.

I don’t know.

I have good friend who was certain after her third that she was finished–knew with a bone-deep, joyful certainty that these were her three children to cherish. I have other friends who simply didn’t want more after a certain point. I wish I had that certainty. In ten years, or twenty years, I don’t want to live with a decision I regret. But I also don’t want to introduce a new child into our family if it’s going to overtax already limited emotional and physical resources. Whatever we choose to do, I want to know it’s right.

I realize this isn’t a decision I can just turn over to the Segullah hive mind, no matter how wise and gracious you are (and you are!). Ultimately it’s between me, my husband, and God. So far, God seems content to wait for now, letting me work through the question in my own time.

But sometimes I think we share stories because we find ourselves in them–or we find our way a little clearer or a little lighter. So I’m asking–if you’re willing–for your stories. How did you know you were done? And how do you make peace with that decision when it doesn’t come lightly (if it ever comes lightly)?

About Rosalyn

(Prose Board) currently lives in Southern Utah with her husband and three small children, where she teaches writing part-time at the local university. She has a BA in English from BYU, and an MA and PhD (also in English) from Penn State. She served a mission in the Hungary Budapest mission. In her spare time (what's that?) she likes to read, write, try new recipes (as long as she doesn't have to clean up), watch movies with her husband (British period drama is her favorite), go for walks, and generally avoid anything that resembles housework.

27 thoughts on “How do you know when you’re done?

  1. I was you six years ago–we have three children and my youngest is now 8. We are done, but it took several years of slow gradual pondering to come to that place. Take your time. Your mind and heart will settle eventually one way or the other and you’ll know what’s next.
    Lovely post.

  2. I thought we were done after #3, but a couple of years later we thought it would be nice to have one more, so we did. Then we knew we were done again, but three years later we thought, “no, there is one more spirit out there.” Yes, we missed the baby phase, but it wasn’t a decision we took lightly as I am very sick through the first five months of each pregnancy, and one of our kids has some pretty intense learning disabilities. Anyway, we decided to have another baby, and the whole pregnancy I was pretty sure that we would actually need to have a sibling for baby #5 because he would be 4 years younger than the rest of the pack. I didn’t want him to be lonely when everyone else was at college or on their missions. I felt this way until about 6 months after he was born, and then I just knew with a definite surety— more than I had ever felt before— that he was our last. We did get pregnant in an oops moment, and then I ended up miscarrying. It was very sad, but also a huge relief. I still feel a tiny pull at my heartstrings when I think about the fact that #5 is now 3.5 years old. He is not a baby, and we will not have another baby, but I also feel peace from the Spirit, and know that this is our family as God wants us to raise it.

    I guess this is just a long way of saying that even if you currently feel like you are done, be open to the Spirit. Don’t shut off the possibility of more, but if being done feels right, than that is okay.

  3. I love that you included your history (and your husband’s) as part of the decision process.

    My husband and I married young and came from large (ten kids and eight kids, respectively) families. “Let’s have our kids young” was my husband’s mantra, as he watched his dad deal with teenagers in his seventies. So we had four at approximate two year intervals. After the fourth, I dawdled. The last two were really close together, and I had suffered depression throughout my last pregnancy. One day I realized that when I turned 30, all my kids would be in school, and I was not ready for that. So number five came four years after the others, when I was 31. This time the depression was worse, despite the 4-year gap and my maternal enthusiasm. I dawdled for eight years, until my OB-Gyn, in the process of recommending a hysterectomy, asked if we were done having kids. I looked into my heart and saw that, yes, we were.

    Bonus share, because my daughter is the confiding type:

    My daughter had two baby boys, and felt strongly that there was another little boy to come. Baby number three was a girl, to their lasting delight, but what about the boy? Son-in-law was happy with three (he was the oldest of three), and my daughter’s pregnancies were difficult. But she kept waking up to a baby crying “Mama!” while the three were sound asleep, so they agreed to agree on a decision. Son-in-law had his own experience that convinced him to go for another son, and what his name should be. Duly-named fourth and final child (a son) is now four months old, and my daughter has no more of those dreams, luckily, because she’s not getting much sleep. But he is definitely their fourth and final answer.

    Everyone knows that giving away the crib causes pregnancy, so be careful once you’ve made your final decision.

  4. I was blessed with easy pregnancies and deliveries, but after 4 in 7 years we felt we were done. When the youngest (and only girl) was about 5 she kept asking for a sister. I decided if we were going to have another I would want to do it sooner rather than later, so I made it a matter of fasting. I spent the day feeling sick and uncomfortable every time I considered another child, and I knew that was my answer. My daughter didn’t stop asking, but I was much more confident after that in telling her that there would be no sister.

  5. I’ll bet this one will get lots of comments! We have two children and we are 95% sure we are done. I have struggled with fertility issues. It took me two years to get pregnant with our son and 3 1/2 with our daughter. And those 3 1/2 years of heartache and medical testing and Clomid were really hard on me. Essentially, I don’t want to want any more children. I am 36 years old and my kids are 8 and 3. That said, if the Lord wants us to have another one, I will be open to it!

  6. I always wanted four kids. And then life happens! I got married at 29 and struggled for years with recurrent pregnancy loss. We finally had our first last year at 35. We want to have at least one more if possible. I’d love more but I’m trying to prepare myself for reality. I have also been enjoying this little guy as much as possible in case this is it – and if that is the case I want to feel like he is enough and not dwell on what cannot be. But having said that I struggle with aching for more or at least a different fertility path.

  7. I was like you–my youngest brother is only 6 years younger than me and I didn’t babysit at all as a young woman. For years I didn’t think I would get married and had a hard time picturing myself as a parent. I was surprised to get married fairly young and to feel a desire for children fairly soon after getting married. Getting pregnant was easy for me, but delivery and recovery were difficult. During my first pregnancy we discovered several problems with my uterus and I ended up having a c-section. My second pregnancy ended dramatically with a placental abruption at 37 weeks and nearly a year of post-partum anxiety/PTSD. After that, my ex-husband and I both were sure we were done and I had the support of that from my doctor. We had two kids, a boy and a girl, and thought it was good to have it be the end. I didn’t feel a desire for another child until my son was nearly 3, and got pregnant more quickly than I expected. I spent that entire pregnancy worried about complications, but thankfully I had a routine c-section and fairly easy recovery. During my delivery with my youngest I had my tubes tied and feel at peace with that decision.

    My “baby” just turned four and I’ve felt that ache for more children off and on over the last year or two. Several friends just had babies and that makes me miss the newborn phase and the excitement of having another child. I’m also divorced and have known more than one woman who decided that she wasn’t really “done” after getting remarried and went on to have more kids. However, I’ve already closed off that possibility. I don’t regret that decision at all, especially since it seemed wise from a medical perspective, but it can make dating in your mid-30s a bit complicated. It seems like a fairly personal thing to disclose early in a relationship, but some men are still expecting to have their own children and that’s not an option for me.

  8. Rosalyn, oh, I don’t envy you or this decision! One of the most difficult…and also one that we are so fortunate we CAN make.

    I always say that I am “a two-kid mom with five kids.”

    However, for many years, I knew I would have three children. That’s what I grew up with in my family, and it was a comfortable number. Yet as soon as that third child was born, I knew…in my heart of hearts…that we weren’t done. I stressed over it from the day the third child was born and fought that feeling for two subsequent years. Oh, how I fought it!

    My husband chose a career path that involved many, many years of training. We were still in that training when all of our children were born. We didn’t have a dime to our name, and we lived in a tiny town home. He also knew that I would bear the primary burden of childcare, so he let me take the lead on whether or not to have another child. But I knew he wanted a bigger family. And I finally came to appreciate the need for a long-term perspective. The years when they are little are oh-so-demadning. But they DO end, and guess what? Then you have this wonderful family, each other, with your children having siblings that are a GIFT in so many ways, for the rest of their lives. We looked long term, over a lifetime, and decided what we wanted. That image, for us, included another child. But for someone else, that “picture of the future” could be very different. We knew we had to get through those uber-demanding years with little ones running around.

    Six years ago, our twins–#4&5!–were born. I knew something was “different” about that pregnancy from day one, and I was not surprised when I found out I was having twins. It was the ultimate irony, after I had agonized for so long about having another child…just one child! And I can’t lie–I was really, really upset at first to find out I was having not ONE, but TWO. But those two children, those twins, have been one of the greatest experiences and blessings of my life. I am still a two-kid mom with five kids. But I am so glad I have five kids, and I am grateful every day that I didn’t ignore those feelings. Our kids are getting older now, and life is still crazy and busy and the demands of parenting have changed and have, in some ways, become more difficult. But I am so very glad that we have the children we have.

    I will also mention that I have not had ANY “inkling” since the twins’ birth that I should have another baby. Those feelings have entirely, 100% gone away. They disappeared naturally once my twins arrived, and, can I say it?!, I truly feel relieved! I still mourn the passing of each “stage”–i.e., babyhood, preschool age, etc. However, I have no longing to go back. Life is good, life is full, and I know we’re done. I believe the Lord has given me that reassurance, has accepted our decision. In my talks with other LDS women, I believe this “I know I’m done” feeling is common feeling–but it certainly doesn’t happen for everyone.

  9. Thank you all for being willing to tell your stories. These are beautiful–and they give me hope that I will eventually find a clear answer. It always amazes me how there is such a wide variety of “right” answers. What is right for one family may not be right for another. For me, this is just one more witness of a mindful God, who answers us each individually.

  10. I’m so glad you posted this because the same question is weighing on me. Also, I agree with you about so many “right” answers.

    I have two daughters, lost a baby boy (second trimester miscarriage) and now have a healthy baby boy. The last three pregnancies have been really difficult – physically and emotionally. The entire last pregnancy, I was certain it was the last one. I gave away all my baby girl clothes when we found out he was a boy.

    Then he was born. And I have this ache for another baby. I’ve never experienced the ache this strong. How can I ache like this when I have a baby? He’s 4 months old and I hold and cuddle him as much as I can and love every minute of it, and still I ache for another baby.

    I had a miscarriage yesterday. I’m certainly not trying for another baby – I’m not even sure I want another baby – despite the ache. But when I discovered I was pregnant (despite an IUD) I figured this baby ache was preparing me. And now having lost the baby, I’m not quite sure where to go from here. It seems crazy, absolutely crazy to even be thinking about this right now.

    My mom had 5 kids. Her last pregnancy had life-threatening complications and having another one wasn’t realistic. She says she still ached for another baby – but as the years passed, she felt at peace about the fact that she wasn’t able to have another one.

    It is such a personal decision. But it is so interesting to hear how others have wrestled with the Lord and received answers.

    Good luck with your decision!

  11. We thought five would be about right for us when we started. The first two were planned and the third came a little sooner than we anticipated so it was a bit crazy for a while but it was all good. When # 3 was about 2 years old we decided to try for #4. I was 31. What followed were three first trimester miscarriages, each 2 years apart. And then nothing. Post partum infertility.
    A friend of mine had successfully pursued fertility treatments, trying to conceive children 3,4 and 5, which was what she felt prompted to do, but I felt that was not right for us. For us it would have been like a child who had gleefully opened three presents and then looked around wildly for more. I felt called to focus gratefully on the three we’d been given.
    What surprised me was the sense of mourning that came with the end of childbearing. I mourned the end of the era, even though I felt very right about accepting my mothering of three.
    I realized that whether I chose to be content with my three in my mid-thirties, or whether I pursued fertility treatment and ended childbearing later (both my mother and mother-in-law bore children they adored in their mid-40s) the end would, for me, be a bitter-sweet time of both being tremendously grateful for what I had received and sorrow over the end of the opportunity.
    I had no idea that would be the case when I started the journey.

  12. I think it’s okay to allow yourself to allow for some uncertain moments. We’ve decided we are done because of many reasons. But I do have times when I want to relive the little joys of babies, or having that sense of purpose that itty bitty ones gives, sometimes I wish our youngest had a partner in crime, but the majority of the year I feel firmly that we are done and I feel okay about it. I think that is the sweet spot. Allow yourself to feel the yearning for the past, to perhaps wish for things that “could” be, so long as eventually you end up back at your original decision that you’re done.

    I do think it is an easy trap to get really caught up in how all consuming babies can be, to never get out of their vortex because you love it, you don’t know any other life, etc. but that could just be my own experiences and insecurities.

  13. I wanted at least 4. By the end of three we knew there were to be no more – health issues. But I wanted more. We prayed and prayed but told no. My husband was booked in for the “snip” to make sure we had no accidents (I was medically not allowed unplanned pregnancies). I could not accept and prayed for one more sign. 5 minutes later I got a phone call that there had been a cancellation and they could do my husbands operation the next day. I am content with my lot and as they are now older and see the issues they are having I can see the wisdom in the decision. I miss babies but enjoy cuddling other peoples. I have taken in two teenagers as well this year – so now have 5 “kids” in the house.

  14. my current concern is less with numbers and more about spacing. i look down the road and don’t want a straggler, but i also need to balance my sanity in the short term. it’s hard for me to see my youngest getting older and older before my eyes and know that it takes at least nine months to have a new baby, but also not feel that it’s right quite yet.

    1. I have kids 16, 14, 10 and just turned 6. I usually love my spacing. My children get along really well together. Who knew a 14 and 6 year old could love playing together so much? My older kids are so good with younger kids because they love to play with the youngest. My 10 year old can play with teenagers and with younger children.
      Babies are wonderful for children who just entered puberty and need someone to cuddle. Little children are so cute and fun. Older children enjoy teaching younger children or helping them.
      There are occasionally some downsides (there are few things we can do as a family activity that everyone can enjoy….but occasionally we hit on something and it is fun).
      Anyway, I don’t mind the spacing at all. I’ve loved having a younger child so I am not going around saying things like “They grow up too fast” because I have so many different stages I can enjoy them a little more. It is SO fun to have a toddler to cuddle when you can also discuss the Russian Revolution at the dinner table, or get excited about teaching a kid to read and also discuss the pros and cons of taking too many AP classes.

  15. I wanted four, but my husband was content with two. (Truth be told, the idea of kids scared the heck out of him when we got married, so I was happy with two!) I didn’t pursue any more; he said he could only be a good dad to two and I wasn’t willing to risk my marriage fighting windmills. I didn’t have the ache that many women describe; I felt like our family was complete.

  16. Oh, to even be able to make such a decision. These conversations fill me with such sadness that I have never been given the choice, when motherhood was all I ever craved from the time I was a little girl…..it’s a difficult path to acceptance, even after many, many years. To long for something that everyone else seems to achieve easily (though I know this is not true!), leaves a chasm that cannot be filled. A dull ache that never really goes away.

  17. Hi, Rosalyn. Your decision is so relatable, yet uniquely personal. My husband and I thought we were done at three (two from my first marriage, then one biological together). We struggled for about a year with the decision. We wanted to be done and felt like we got an answer that it was really up to us. I was disappointed, because I hoped for something more clear-cut. Eventually, we took permanent measures to prevent more. We still felt like we were missing something (not someone), so we grasped at ways we could serve or give. That’s when we were guided to adoption and Elie (Levi), our fourth (with whom you became acquainted from my essay). At that point all of our unclear feelings made complete sense. We weren’t meant to have another biological child, but here was a child in need of a family, and we in need of him! My guess is that you, too, will get it all sorted out as you wait and are open to all the options. Good luck and thank you for sharing!

  18. When my husband and I were dating/first married, we settled on the number four for our family. After having the first two 18 months apart, we were completely overwhelmed and didn’t want any more. The joke’s on us though – because 9 years later we now have five children altogether. About a year before I got pregnant with #5 (she is nearly six months old right now), I had very strong impressions over the course of several months that we should have another baby – that it would be a boy, that he would bless our home with his special personality, even what his name should be. We weren’t able to find out the sex of our baby while I was pregnant, so I just assumed we were having that boy – finally a brother for my 9 year old son!

    When she was born, I just had to laugh. In my imagination, our fourth daughter must have jumped the queue in heaven so she wouldn’t be left behind. I am certain we have another child waiting to join our family, but I am content not worrying about the when and how of it all.

    I have considered what Ashley mentioned about not wanting to leave the baby days behind because there is nothing else you can imagine doing; I think that is a real possibility for me, but I also look at my eldest (nearly 11) and am really looking forward to having older children and teens loitering around the house. They are fun.

  19. Im lucky in this regard in that I have a firm testimonial style knowledge of the eternal make up of my family which is odd because I’m fairly spiritually insensitive and the veil of forgetfulness lies heavily on me.
    I’ve known for a long, long time that my wife and I will have 3 (backed up by several confirmations along the way), but number three hasn’t shown any signs of being ready to join us yet. Im sure she will when the time is right for us.

  20. This is such an interesting and timely question! I had 4, a set of older girls and younger boys. Perfect symmetry, everyone had a buddy, etc. Except then, my husband and I both started getting that feeling. You know, the listening for a crying baby, frantically counting children trying to figure out who is missing, only to discover all your children are accounted for, etc. We both had unmistakeable “visits” from a girl spirit; we knew her.

    I, however, was determined that any possible baby was not coming from my body. We started looking into foster care before realizing that it was more craziness than my family could ultimately handle. In the midst of all this, I got pregnant, completely unexpectedly. And how I cried!

    Just as I adjusted to the idea of another baby, I miscarried, which was strange and hard, all at once. It took months of praying and searching before we decided that obviously the only way we were going to get this little girl here and part of our family was if I got pregnant again. So I did.

    Except it’s not a girl. U/S at 20 weeks was very clearly a boy. And I cried some more.

    So what about this little girl? I don’t know. I’ve thrown up nearly every day for the 30 weeks of my pregnancy, I’m 36, I homeschool, I have two very gifted musician children whose needs I am trying to balance, and I’m working about 15 hours a week. I cannot fathom 6 children. I likely do not understand who this girl was or why she was “bugging” us. I’ve had to come to peace with the fact that this is our son who is coming, and if this little girl is still hanging around after he is born, then we’ll have to figure it out then.

    So. No easy answers from me. Just empathy.

  21. So many wonderful responses! I’m honored by your willingness to share.

    @Megan–I’m so sorry for your loss. I had no idea how difficult miscarriages were until I experienced some of my own.

    @Miriam. Yes. Sometimes I worry that I’m mistaking the mourning for an era with the desire for more. Sometimes the two look similar.

    @Ashley–I love the idea to let myself be uncertain. Sometimes I push too hard to get answers that God isn’t ready to give (or I’m not ready to hear) and this is a perfect reminder to me.

    @Shelby–My heart goes out to you. I can only imagine how difficult it is to be childless in a culture that spends so much time talking about children. And I realize my position is a privileged one.

    @Sherilyn–I love that your answer took such an unexpected form!

    @Stacy–thank you for the empathy. I don’t know why I always hope for easy answers to difficult questions, but I do.

  22. I had three children with my first husband, and the day after I came home from the hospital with #3, I had a very strong impression from the spirit that I would have another baby, and it would be a girl. I was very confused at the time because I had just given birth, and I remember having a very exasperated thought that God needed to give me a chance to recover!

    I got divorced less than 2 years later. Fast forward a few more years and I got married to a wonderful man who wanted to have one, maybe two, children of his own, so we got pregnant… with a boy. I had a blessing when I was pregnant with him in which the Lord thanked me for having this child and was told about how much joy he would bring to our family. When he was 16 months old I got pregnant with his sister, and knew it would be my last. I was 39 when she was born and my body had had enough.

    I will admit that it has been a little bittersweet, knowing she is my last. I am not at all sad that I won’t ever be pregnant again, I was sick for the entire pregnancy for these last two, and had gestational diabetes on top of everything else. I think the ache comes from how sweet and simply beautiful babies are, some of the time. We all love the romantic view of “babies” and the feelings that brings out in us, but the reality is that babies can be very hard. There really is a limit to how much our bodies and our minds can take, and babies turn in to kids. Managing kids is a LOT of work. If you add postpartum depression into that mix, like I have done 5 times now, it becomes a matter of survival.

    It is no small thing to take into account the physical health and MENTAL health of the mother. We are not meant to pop out babies annually simply because we have a functioning uterus. I love my children. I do not want any more. I struggle every day to deal with the ones I have, and I have really good kids. I do not feel bad for saying that because I have to be honest and I have to take care of myself in order to be able to take care of them. That is the bottom line for me.

  23. When I got married I joked that we would have five and then take it one at a time from there. I was blessed with tremendous fertility so my flippant answer was my reality. And that’s about how it went. After five I was pretty maxed out and the pregnancies had gotten more taxing to get through. During my 6th pregnancy both my husband and I felt like we were done after that. He felt more sad than I did; I was pretty worn out and claimed that I would “rather go to Hell than have another baby.” I am grateful I didn’t do anything permanent though. We took a break–what we assumed would be for the rest of our lives but then I got pregnant. I was devastated but then we figured out how it would all work out. And I had an early miscarriage. That was hard but it jump started our thinking. We prayed a lot and I had a blessing and the gist of it was that whether or not we had another child was our decision but that if we chose to we would be blessed in just about every conceivable way you can imagine. Even to having more time to spend with our other children and financial blessings–talk about an anachronism! So we went ahead and had another. I thought about being done after that but every time I prayed or researched getting my tubes tied, I felt “dark.” So I didn’t. When #7 was two weeks old I know we had another one–a boy. So we had him. THEN I was done. I made an appointment to get my tubes tied. But I did not feel good about it and when I finally prayed and said I would not get my tubes tied, such a palpable feeling of peace settled over me. Part of me wanted to scream in frustration. (#8 was NOT an easy baby.) I told my husband that just because I had the option, did not mean I had to exercise it. To make a long story short, we chose to have #9. Then I miscarried again, this time a tiny baby. After that it was harder to think about going forward but we had and had #10. I have left out a lot of details about HOW we came to the conclusion each time to have another child but mainly the thing I learned is to be prayerful. During the “break” between #6 and #7 I was constantly praying for guidance. Over and over the reassurance I received was that it was “fine.” We can’t assume we already know what God will tell us when we approach Him. Even if there are VERY compelling reasons for not having another child we should still include Deity in our decision process, trusting Him that He has our best interest at heart and will give us the guidance we need for who we are, where we are now and where we are going in our lives.

  24. I think sometimes we don’t always know, it just happens that we are. I’ve been through years of infertility. Believe me, there was a time in my childless years that I wanted to sob when a Relief Society teacher introduced the topic of “how do you know you’re done?” into a lesson. I just wanted to know when I would get to start!) I have three adopted children now, and I just turned 44. My husband is 50. After our last adoption 3.5 years ago I felt there was one more, but I am emotionally spent. After 18 years of family building, I have nothing left to give to trying either to adopt or get pregnant. So I have told the Lord I am open to one more, but He has to do it. I really do not want to go through the adoption process again. I actually think it would be very difficult to have another child at our ages and with me homeschooling, but if the Lord saw fit to have it happen, I would do it. But I’m not putting myself out there, I’m not pursuing another child. At this point, 3.5 years after our last, I really think we are done. It’s a bit sad, and I don’t know 100% for sure, but realistically all the signs point to us being done. I’d love to have a sure knowledge from the spirit, but this is more of a “common sense says” kind of thing.

  25. Well, if you had asked me a few weeks ago, my answer would have been different. We have three children – 10, 7, and 5. I have PCOS and used Clomid for each pregnancy. We tried for a fourth but to my relief it didn’t work out even using more invasive methods. I felt completely done, maxed out and ready to move on. I had an impression when my 3rd was a baby that she might be my last and to enjoy it, so decided to go with it. I also suffered from post partum depression and was happy to be done with that too. I basically told Heavenly Father that if he wanted me to have another it would have to happen naturally as I was happy to move on and done with the fertility methods.

    My youngest started kindergarten this year and will be in full time school next year and I was counting down the days to having all of them in school and being in the next stage of parenting. Well, guess what. I’m pregnant. 12 weeks today. With my fertility issues, I have to look at it as Heavenly Father’s will, but it has been hard to accept in a lot of ways. Of course any baby is a blessing, but it is exhausting thinking about starting completely over. It is also confusing because I felt so completely done. So, I guess I really don’t know how you know when you are done – still figuring that out. I’m sure in a few weeks I will start to get excited (especially when I am past the morning sickness/fatigue).

  26. Within days of having my first I was craving another baby, watching expectant mothers enviously, thinking how lucky they were to be pregnant. It felt totally crazy since I was still recovering from giving birth. I knew I’d have a second.

    After #2 was born several people (including the midwife who’d helped me through labor and my OB) made comments about this being my last one. I was talking about him as if he were my last, but every time I felt a little twinge of rebelliousness, like I knew I wasn’t really done.

    Right now I’m 29 weeks with oopsie/#3. In spite of the fact that this is the easiest pregnancy I’ve had and I’m having this one in a country that isn’t nearly as obsessive about doctor’s visits and measuring every little thing (I haven’t been weighed since the beginning. Yeah!) I’m remarkably annoyed at every aspect of pregnancy this time around. While I’m not totally convinced we’re done, I’m thinking it’s highly likely. DH is talking about scheduling a vasectomy during my post-partum recovery (since having both of us at half capacity sounds like such a fantastic idea), and I haven’t said no, but I’m not sure I really *want* a permanent solution. I’m not sure I want to close off the possibility of another accident, as annoyed as I’m sure we’d both be in that event.

    On a side note, if I delivered my baby right now (since I’m at approximately the same stage when you gave birth to O) I’d feel cheated too.

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