Wednesday, December 04, 2013

on having a third baby

For the past few months Poet has asked me, almost every day, if there's a baby in my belly*. I always reply: "Not just yet..."

You see, I have a lot of fear surrounding the idea of another pregnancy. It's a new-to-me fear; one that has come as a bit of a surprise, especially considering my love of being pregnant, giving birth and tending to a baby. Just the thought of a first trimester is enough to make me want to wait a good while before planning for another little one. It probably doesn't help that three times a week I'm teaching pregnant women; yes, the beautiful belly and joyous kicks are enticing but the exhaustion, nausea and heat is a constant reminder: pregnancy is hard work and always demanding. 


I talk about fear a lot in my prenatal classes; I come straight out and ask my students what they're scared of. There is always a wide range of answers: fear of pain, tearing, loss of independence, lack of sleep, birthing an unhealthy baby, not being able to breastfeed, not knowing how to tend to a newborn, etc. Once the fears have been recognised we work on letting go of them. Sometimes it takes months.  


For me, there is also fear about the reality of life with three children. Most parents admit that the jump from two to three is a big one - you really notice it because, quite simply, you're outnumbered. I'm also worried about having a newborn and getting Che off to school, the cost of a growing family, how I'll balance work and motherhood and the imminent and everlasting mountain of washing (a frivolous worry but a worry all the same). 


There's a part of me that feels selfish for having these fears, especially considering the amount of women who experience much heartbreak to fall pregnant and carry to full term. Regardless of my worries I'm grateful for the opportunity to wait and accepting of the fact that, at the end of the day, nature decides if and when.  


If you have more than two children, did you find the jump from two to three overwhelming? I've also been thinking about the age gap conundrum - if I leave it much longer will the gaps be too big? Maybe I should just let go of worry and see what happens...


*on discussing another baby with my parents a few weeks ago my Mum was genuinely disappointed that I wasn't already pregnant. "Oh," she said. "I thought you would have been working on that in Bali." 


106 COMMENTS

  1. My kids have varying special needs and 2-3 was still fine. We are early on in going from 3-4 and I am struggling with nausea and running around with school and kindy. It is very hard at this stage but I know once I am feeling human again the rest will be okay.

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    1. easy dinners and early nights for the next few weeks x

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  2. I have 3- the jump from 2 to 3 was astronomical- you are right to be afraid. I have 3 lovely easy going children and easy pregnancies but yes the juggle of early childhood, school and a newbie is incredibly difficult in that first year. My wee one is now 15 months and the fog has lifted and things are so so much easier for us all. I can contemplate working now (i am a lawyer) part-time as i have with my other two but it has taken longer to get strong, get enough sleep and get things under control so i can think about working- the illness too is relentless when there are 3. but i look forward and would not change a thing- they have each other and as they grow older together i know that it will have all been worth it. There will not be any more though :) They are aged 6, 4 and 15 months and i think that a 3 year gap is perfect!

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  3. Hmmm I love the age gap, I wouldn't have it any other way, really!! Nearly 6 years and it's great! 1 baby at a time I though. Plus Marlo is so helpful, I love it. I know watching friends have a third it's things like car size, house size and yes laundry size that are hard. Not frivolous at all! You will be washing EVERY DAY!

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  4. We have a fourteen year old, a ten year old and a soon to be four year old. The first four year gap between the boys was perfect for us - and I was hoping for the same with our third...but it didn't work out that way. As it turns out, I couldn't have wished it any other way. I love that the older two dote on her and I certainly don't find it as hard as I thought having three would be. xx

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  5. I found out earlier this year that I was pregnant with baby number three, a total shock as I just thought it was my appendix & took a trip to the ER. Haha! I was a little scared for a few months coz it would mean that our second and third children would be only 1.5hrs apart, it was way too soon for me! Our little miracle, Milla, is now almost 3 months old and I wouldn't have had it any other way, she came at the perfect time! Everyone told me that 3 kids is really hard work (because of being outnumbered), and yes going out in public has its trials, but I can confidently go to the shops ON MY OWN with all three kids (the oldest is almost 4). So with 3 kids under 4 years old, doing the groceries is a challenge, but kids at any stage have their challenges. You just make it work in your own way. There was no time in my life that I thought I'd be a mum of 3, and so close together, but it is truly amazing! xx

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  6. P.S. I'm also owning and growing my wedding and love photography business from home, whilst hubby works full time to bring home the consistent bacon ;)

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  7. My third is 4 months old and I feel I'm just starting to get into a groove. I've felt out of my depth completely this time and its been tough. Granted I work from home around 8-10 hours a week, i had 3 weeks off and even with my 3rd being my easiest, my 2nd was definitely going through his hardest stage around the time of her birth. Mine are all born in July, 2 years apart. I think if we'd waited longer between I would have coped better but who knows really!?

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    1. hi. if you don't' mind me asking, what do you do working from home. We are going on our 3rd and would also like to find a way to work from home. Thanks

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  8. We talk about a third almost daily! ( And get asked about it by others just as much.) That image you've posted up there is exactly what I'm fearing...being pulled in many directions at once. I don't want two in nappies again or two in cots again and Finn is almost ready to be out of both, but I also am very aware of the quality time he currently demands and I want to give him (and Ronan) a bit more of myself before I am occupied with a newborn. Who knows when is best...when it happens is when it will be best ;)

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  9. Our third has been a complete joy
    We tried to plan, nothing happened, I let go of my hopes and then suddenly I was pregnant
    The age gaps are (now) 11, 9 and 5 - its been fabulous as the girls were old enough and independent enough to help with the baby, they went to school and gave me a break and they all get along really well.
    Now they're all asking for a 4th....not going to happen!

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  10. We have three - when my youngest was born, my oldest was only 3.5. It was a little crazy back in those days but I wouldn't change anything. You soon settle into your routine. When my oldest started school my youngest was already 18 months old so I didn't have any worry about having a newborn and trying to negotiate school drop offs and pick ups. People talk about the ideal age gap, but really it depends on you and when you are ready.

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  11. I have three, all age 4 and under and I honestly adore it :). I loved this post because I feel the same way about having a 4th..just nervous!

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  12. There is no perfect time. I have a 13.5 year old, an almost 11 year old , a 7 month old & I'm 16 weeks pregnant again. So far it has been chaotic but great. I think the hardest part is trying to juggle the baby's routine with the bigger kids school/sport/social life. My husband does 4:1 FIFO work so that's put more pressure on all of us but some how we make it work. Some days are horribly hard, others are blissfully easy. Some days I wish the gap between 2-3 wasn't so big but I really have a new/different appreciation for the baby stage of life now. Some days I wish the gap between 3-4 wasn't going to be so tiny but I'm excited to see the little two grow up so close. Pros & cons for everything but I think it all works out the way it's supposed to ....

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  13. The pregnancy...that was tough. The first year...that was tough too. But always, the hard work of it tempered by how much we all adored the new member of the gang - also, the beautiful surprise of how much the big ones loved having a baby; that we all shared that joy in 'our baby'. No jealousy. And now, with a seven, five and two year old I can't imagine things any other way. ...

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  14. Still the hardest 'jump' for me was from 0 to 1. I now have 3, all 2 years apart. The first year of having 3 was hard, mainly due to sleep deprivation and having all 3 at home (and pre-school). But they all adore each other and are so close, which is part I think it due to the age gap. And not at 5, 3 and 1 - I am starting to carve out some time for me. It has been harder work to have 3, but SO worth it!

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  15. Ha! I love your mum's comment!
    A timely post for me as I have just this last week started to feel as though a third may not be completely out of the question. But all the fears you have listed are alive in my brain, and my husband and I are very much sitting on the fence over the question. While his feet are dangling on the 'no' side, mine are still perched on the fence with the rest of me, unable to decide which side is the most comfortable.
    I have two sons, 3.5 yrs and 15 months, and the first year of my second son's life was the hardest time of mine. Sleep, or lack thereof, ground me down, and I was so short-tempered and felt so messy much of the time. I'm not sure I want to go down that road again, seems unfair to those in my immediate vicinity! Weighed against that though, is the feeling that there should just be a third to finish the team? So unsure. Will be reading the comments with interest.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jodi.

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    1. Well...did you do it? And if so...how is life now? Your comment reached out to me as I have a 3.5 year old & 15 month old boy right as we speak. Contemplating a 3rd but slightly terrified.

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  16. I have three little girls and would not change a thing. My girls are all roughly 20 months apart and all well planned. Each baby we have had has a medical issues post delivery(golden staph, dislocated hips and severe virus requiring hospitalisation for 6 weeks) post delivery was very tough however every smile and every sister cuddle and I would do it all over again. Watching a sibling bond is the most Devine thing in the world. It did mean a bigger car and lots of juggling in terms of furniture etc but we feel truly blessed. Someone once told me that you will regret not having a child more then you will ever regret having one xx

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  17. It's safe to say you know exactly what I think. But I will promise, if and when, to bring you chicken pie and freshly home bakes bread.

    xo me

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  18. Just have to say that I love your mum's comment! Made me giggle : )

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  19. I smiled to myself as I read your post. Three years ago my husband suggested a third baby. I resisted- I'm older, we are not in a position for me to leave my part time job, how would I manage etc. little did I know this time last year number three was quietly growing in my belly. Yes I was shocked and wondered how I would manage, and now we are preparing for our first Christmas with Maggie and could not imagine our family without her. At times the walk to and from school is tiresome, the pile of ironing seems always there but I do cope. :) The gap? My son is 8 and my daughter is almost 6. Perfect big brother and sister as they are keen to help but also independent enough to keep themselves busy when I am occupied with baby.

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  20. Lol, at your mum's comment. I have 3, ages 18, 7 and 2 years. I would have liked the younger two's age gap to be 3 years, but it took me 2 years to get pregnant. Sometimes there is conflict, with the 2 year old being well...a 2 year old, and the 7 year old getting frustrated because said 2 year old doesn't share, but they absolutely adore each other :) I wouldn't have it any other way :)

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  21. I'm due with my third in early Feb and we never thought we'd have a third. We seem to get to around 18months with our youngest and suddenly feel ready. Something to do with normality returning and more consistent sleep. I agree that pregnancy is hard and each pregnancy has got harder. I work as a part time teacher and balancing work, kids and growing a baby has probably been the toughest period so far in our parenting. We have roughly 2.4-2.6 years between our three and I know it will be very busy. Busier than I can anticipate. But when our two talk about the baby and play well, I know we will never, ever regret another little person sharing our lives. It's what life is all about-family. The thing that looms most now is labour...My first was 7 hours, second 3.5 and she was posterior so I'm nervous about a quick arrival. All the best on your decision, you may just feel ready one day.

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  22. You know how I feel about three x But a quick note or two: That everlasting mountain of washing isn't a frivolous concern- it gets bigger with every child. And needless to say so does all the other housework. Everything gets harder with three! But, BUT, I wouldn't have life without my third little firecracker for all the tea in China- somehow it all just works out- don't ask me how, and it doesn't work out every day, but overall, it works out. Don't worry too much about it, just trust your heart's guidance xx

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  23. I think that decision to go from 2 to 3 is a really hard one. We had a surprise no.3 which we are so thankful for. My middle child has a considerable intellectual disability & we were thinking that we wouldn't go again or certainly wait a bit longer. We've had some issues, Charlie (our no 3 & now nearly 14) had heart surgery when he was a baby. But he has been such a blessing to our family. I thiink any number of children have their challenges- I'm actually quite grateful that i didn't have to decide.
    One other thing is that when Charlie was born and I had all my family there, I felt finished.

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  24. I'm not sure my experience of 2-3 is helpful as there is a 12 year gap between 2 & 3! But with age gaps there is 3.5 years between the first two bigger than I'd have liked but it has worked out well. I don't think there's necessarily a right age gap, just a different ones.
    Each family has it's own rhythm and children come when they're meant to if we're lucky.

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  25. Ah Jodi, this post made me smile. We recently had our third and you know what I found? Going from two to three was a breeze :) I wrote about it at length here recently http://livinglovinglaughingtogether.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/the-family-numbers-game-on-going-from.html but for me, the transition from 1-2 was much bigger ( learning to divide time, one kid for you and one for dad, etc, juggling etc) whereas going to three just felt like a natural transition. We were already busy so whats another one!! PLUS the big difference w a 3rd is that the other two have a playmate when you are busy with baby - and your oldest is so much more capable to help out. Soooo different from juggling a toddler and newborn. Anyway, it's different for everyone but that was how it was for us.... so.... I say go for it ;) But seriously - I am sure you will know when the time is right and you will also adjust just fine. The school run though... yeah, not fun ;) but you do settle into it. Gorgeous post, and love that you are sharing these thoughts! xx

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  26. I like the idea of having 3 children but I don't know if it'll happen. I worry about all of the things you mention but I also worry about overpopulation and the environmental consequences of having more than 2 (which my mom calls replacement).

    And I worry about sleep deprivation! I just don't think I have it in me to go through the crushing sleep deprivation 3 times. But, but… there are so many things to love about big families. I look forward to cuddling your third whenever the lucky little one is born...

    xo

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    1. I used to have the same worry about environmental problems associated with more children, but that's actually quite a myth, so don't worry about that! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouibKgFHoxA

      Sleep deprivation is a reality though! :0

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  27. I found the jump from two to three extremely challenging, which completely took me by surprise, I really was not expecting such a drastic change. With my highly strung kinder boy and adventurous houdini-like 2 year old who would disappear from my side within the blink of an eye, I tried not to leave the house unless I absolutely had to. However, I was longing for baby number three and adored every moment of him. It will happen whenever it's supposed to and the age gap really doesn't matter. Now we have number four, six years later, and I have three big helpers who idolise her..x

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  28. Try going from 1 to 3!! My daughter was 2yrs 5months when my fraternal twin boys were born. I had wanted and planned for 3 kids, just not 2 of them at once!! It definitely hasn't been a breeze. My daughter is now 4, and my sons are 2 and every day is like the picture you have posted - 3 needy little people pulling me in (often) different directions. It takes a massive amount of patience, which some days I just don't have. And yes, I do washing every day! I do love the family dynamic with 3 children though, on the good days, it's just wonderful x

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  29. Your mum's comment is so funny. My two boys age 4 & 7, and my husband would love for me to say yes! let's add another baby to our nest but I am not convinced. I love the baby part but the mere thought of another pregnancy and labour leaves me exhausted plus I feel like we are well and truly out of the baby stage and I want to pursue other aspects of myself aside from being a mother, may sound selfish but its the truth. On your question about timing and age gap I agree with others that just sorts itself out. I say this not to add to your fears but to illustrate that sort of thing is out of our hands, I had a miscarriage between baby number one and two so that changed the age gap between our boys and it is what it is. I love reading all the comments above of all the different age gaps and experiences. My friends who have 3 all say that baby number 3 was their tipping point and that the leap was very big, but we get through we mamas don't we?! One way or another we get through. Best wishes to you Jodi x

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  30. I can so relate to this Jodi :) I enjoyed my last pregnancy and birth and I just Love Babies :) but the idea of another has me a tad worried (washing, tiredness, the school run just as you mention) I have started writing a blog myself (very new to it and still learning) and I have one that is titled 'Just not sure about number 3?' Its yet to be published like many others I have waiting to be finished.... glad to know I am not alone :)

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  31. I'm hanging on these comments as I'm going through the same questions/fears at the moment too. Though if we DID decide to have a third I don't think I'd be ready for a year or two (my youngest turn 1 next week). I think about it all the time though. When the 2nd baby was born I was certain she was our last! But now I feel like our family isn't complete, but I am scared of all the things that a third would bring - morning sickness, exhaustion, breast feeding (I'm not so good at this part), chaos. Though I am almost certain that a third would complete the brood.

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  32. I think siblings are the most wonderful gift to give your children. I am constantly in awe of the beauty of their relationships and how different dynamics take place when you add another in. We have five under seven... anything is possible because I am an incredibly selfish Momma, yet they are all loved, nurtured, and they take on a great responsibility that may otherwise never have been expected or assumed. It's been just beautiful to watch and never once have I felt like it was too many (although the noise and the effort sure remind me from time to time how full our home is!).

    Ps, it's so true about how quick pregnancy can go... I have a difficult time with pregnancy, no complications, but just sick the entire time... the twins was almost torturous, however, now, it was as if it were just a moment... sigh. And as they have weaned and are becoming so independent, it leaves me asking, "one more?!". ;-)

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  33. Wow! I'm a lot in the same state Jodi. I actually only have one child, a little boy, but sometimes I entertain the idea of having another... I have a lot of fear too, fear of the pregnancy and fear of having two children. My pregnancy with my son was very hectic, I had my gallbladder removed at 14 weeks and had a case of sepsis at 30 weeks and practically almost died, had to be on IV antibiotics for 17 days, etc. I bounced back quite nicely though, and had a very calm and easy 4 hour natural labor and birth! Sometimes I wonder what life with another would be like, what I will do differently with the next pregnancy, but I worry about not having enough time to pursue my photography and studies, and I worry with my husband away at work, I would love to have another child if my husband was working from home, and that's something we're striving to accomplish. We plan on moving to SW Florida next year, almost 4000 miles across the country, and perhaps once we've settled there, we'd be ready for another. Our son will be three next year, and I figure that near 4 is a great age to add another babe to the mix, since he'll be able to help with diapers! A lot of this also has to do with the fact that I plan on homeschooling our son (and any extra children that come along) and so I will be with my child(ren) a lot! I believe that somehow though, we all find a way, and I'll be 26 next year and want to have a baby sooner than later if I decide to do it... I definitely would stop for myself at 2 children, we were pretty set on only having one but our son is so loving, he would be such a good big brother! I also think about how nice a little girl would be, but I have to remember that very easily I could have a boy, so I think the best time to have another is when I want a baby, just a baby, not a specific gender of baby, which is what I'm more daydreaming about now, a little girl with cute dresses and all. :)

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  34. I have 3 children now, a 5 year old, a 21 month old, and an almost 5 month old. I would say that the transition from one to two was the most difficult for us.
    When you have your second child it's the first time you have to divide your attention, and I felt and still feel a sense of loss and certainly guilt over the way my relationship with my firstborn son changed when our second son was born.
    Each child has their own supply of love, but we only have a limited amount of time. When our daughter was born this summer (or your winter since you're down under) it was difficult in that we are now outnumbered as you mentioned above. That and our second born son was only 17 months old at the time, and very much still a baby in many ways.
    For our family it seems that our oldest has always been the one to feel the change the most when his brother and then sister were born. I have this replaying record in the back of my brain that says although he doesn't need us as much physically he still needs us just as much emotionally, and he needs just as much attention as his siblings.

    When it comes to the age gap everyone has their own preference, but for me having them closer together (17 months apart in the case of my two youngest children) seems easier. Easier because they are not so far a part developmentally, and I can combine activities with them more and more as they get older. My 5 year old however is school age now, he's reading and writing, and is a full blown kid! He doesn't want to do what the "babies" are doing, so I constantly feel divided. He needs this, but they need that. However, it is very difficult physically to have children close together in age because of all the logistical stuff, i.e. they both need to be carried, or they need help eating, they are both in diapers, etc. and you only have 2 hands. In that way it is nice to have a big brother like my 5 year old to help out by bringing me a diaper, or something along those lines.

    At the end of the day I feel that there is no perfect formula. When our daughter was born we were sure we were done, but now it just doesn't feel right to say forever. Maybe we will want a FOURTH someday, although right now just the thought of another one fills me with anxiety. When I got pregnant with our daughter, we were in no way "trying." It was quite a shock actually, and we felt completely ill equipped to have another child in almost every way, especially financially, However, I have always dreamed of a daughter and she is just the sweetest most incredible baby girl, and I couldn't imagine life without her. I like to say that she is exactly what we needed.

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    1. I enjoyed reading this comment. Really insightful. :)

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    2. i wrote a comment above echoing a very similar sentiment - for us, 1-2 was a big transition but 2-3 felt just so natural and much less of an impact as we were already so busy w 2, what's another kiddo in the mix?! :)

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    3. Thank you, Olivia! :)

      Katie, I agree!

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  35. At this stage I can't imagine having more than two children. I find leaving the house difficult enough with them now, let along adding another to the mix. The main reason I err on side of not wanting more is because of how ill pregnancy makes me. I suffered from awful Hyperemesis Gravidarum for both pregnancies. I vomitted around 20 times a day, every day the whole time, my stomach lining is ruined and I now suffer permanently from heartburn... I just don't know that I can do it again. That said, as I sit here typing and breastfeeding my 15 week old daughter, I remember how worth it the whole thing was... so I guess I'll never say never!

    I have said to my husband though, if we do have a third, we need to save for an au pair or nanny to help out with the older girls whilst my head is in the toilet for 9ish months. ;)

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  36. Good luck with the decision making.

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  37. Jodi I wrote a post on exactly this subject a few weeks ago called 'the pigeon pair'.. I always thought I would have another baby but lately I have been wondering if two is it for our family.. I'm not sure. I also think that life is very busy with two and I'm not quite sure I could cope with another little person running around but I guess Henry has only just turned 1 so I may feel differently in a few years. It would be exciting to see another little one in your family.. You do make pretty amazing kids! x

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  38. Hi Jodi. I have three young ones. The third wasn't planned - a HUGE surprise. I was very fearful at first, with all of your same worries. And then I thought, my body is doing this - it is coping and so my mind must surely be able to cope too. And it did, and we are all alive and live a rich life really, all the richer for the third. The washing has become less of an issue for me than it once was. I read somewhere that mother's often link the amount of love they have for their family and how often they wash - often washing things that aren't even 'dirty' just out of love and that really helped me look at what needed washing and what I wanted to wash - I wanted to wash so much more than was dirty 'cause I love my family! Also I think, that the dirty clothes basket is good at hiding mess that is otherwise on the floor! Anyway, back to three kids - I really now gravitate to mothers who have three or more kids. They just get the limits and juggling that a Mum of two or less really doesn't understand. Life with three is noisy and at times chaotic but it is real and beautiful too. Good luck with your decision. me x

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  39. I am pregnant with no5. Somehow you just slowly adjust to it.
    I really rely on strength from God, as a Christian I am shaped through motherhood and it makes me see just
    how selfish I was with my time.
    Nothing selfish about Motherhood, constants demands, endless washing far out weigh the Joys of little ones and older ones...I know when I'm old and grey my children will be biggest joy still.
    I say go for it...

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  40. How gorgeous is your Mum! Very upfront and I like that ;)
    I have no advice for you as we are sticking with two. It has been a super hard decision to make and one that I know will take a long time to work through and be at peace with. I LOVE being pregnant and giving birth. Love, love, love. However both our babies have suffered from silent reflux. Screaming, screaming and more screaming until they could move around and were on solids. Plus both didn't sleep well until they were over three years old. tough times. I just can't put myself back into that place again, even though I would love to have another baby to hold and a child to raise. We just don't have the support around us to make sure that everything else doesn't fall apart if we have another baby who is unsettled.
    It is a leap that I am sure you will make and you have received so many good tips and reassurance here. I for one can't wait to follow your next pregnancy :)

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  41. I would so love another baby but my husbands says no we wouldn't cope. I disagree as I think it would be wonderful but he says unless we win.lotto no chance :(

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  42. I had twins second time around, I went from the easiness of one to the chaos of three, life is defiantly harder but I wouldn't have it any other way. The bond they all have together and as pairs is beautiful. I think the age gap is perfect when the youngest is out of nappies and in a big bed! x

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  43. Words of wisdom from my grandmother: "When in doubt do nothing. You'll know when you know." Whatever happens will be the right thing. Beautifully written post, Jodi!

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  44. We went from two to four - yes, our third pregnancy resulted in twins. It was the easiest transition by far because I was forced to let go of so much. Let go of my expectations about our family, let go of my somewhat tidy and organised house, let go of the one-hour-of-television-a-day rule. Instead, we lived purely in the moment. We also had no family in the country so it forced me to rely on our gracious and generous community for help when we needed it! The kids coped fine; so did the parents. There were days when it was challenging, days when it was overwhelming, but those were outnumbered greatly by days of pure joy and pleasure. Our children are now six, four and nearly two.

    My advice to you would be to let go. Trust in yourself! Our abilities and strengths far exceed our expectations in those early baby days and in the years beyond. One day you might say "Oh, I wish I had had another baby" but I can guarantee you you'll never say "I wish I hadn't!" ;)

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  45. My mum had my sister than 17 months later I was born then 17 months later my brother was born! I love my brother and sister to bits and can't image life without them. One of my friends is only 11 months older than her sister. Crazy! Good luck with the decision making x

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  46. There's no way around it Jodi, even the "easiest" of babies are still hard work and the perfect age gap has not been documented because it's different for everyone, there really are pros and cons to every age gap. My last Post touched on this - the fact I had 4 within 4 years was hard but there are so many benefits and it suited me at the time. I didn't want to be constantly dealing with dipping in and out of work between children so decided to take an extended break from work to solely focus on them and I've loved it so much I haven't gone back. And now of course there's baby no. 5 with a 4 year gap this time and I'm loving the fact that I have just one baby to look after while the others are 1) super independent and old enough to really help out and 2) they are all off to school so I can really enjoy this one :-). Our situation is perfect for us and whatever you decide for you will be perfect for you…Mel x

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  47. I have 4 children aged 7(almost 8), 6, 3(almost 4) and 18 months, and 3 months pregnant with my fifth. I found going from 1-2 the hardest to cope with, my girls being 20 months apart. I coped much better with number 3, which I put down to the 2 1/2 year age gap being easier! I had a few people say after I had my fourth baby that if I was unsure about whether I was finished having babies then I probably wasn't. And here I am! although I can honestly say this time I feel like this will be my last baby. I truly believe the decision to have another baby comes from the heart, all the other stuff will fall into place. Good luck xx

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  48. I tried to plan my second pregnancy down to the week and month. In the end, things didn't go to plan, and when I did fall pregnant (well behind schedule!), it was twins! I have learnt that for the all the little details like age gaps, school drop-offs, work commitments, school starting ages, you just make it work. PS Having said that, take my advice and just try not to have twins… ;)

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  49. I have 3- 9 years, 6.5 years and 3 years old. I always wanted 4, but my husband was happy with 2, so 3 it was for compromise. We had a slightly bigger gap between 2 and 3 because I needed a little break! I didn't find that it was having "3" that was a difficult adjustment, but having a baby again- with feeds, naps, etc that was more the issue. Probably because by the time little was born, middle was 3.5, so it had been a while. Now little is 3, life is easier(ish) again. All the best with whatever happens x

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  50. I also may have thought you were working on that in Bali! I don't have my own experience to offer as a guide but I know of my friends who have three that they all thought the jump from one to two was significantly more... I heard someone once describe it as- one is huge (you go from none to a child), two is big but not as huge (you have one already so have some idea of what's ahead, and still big in that you've doubled up on children) but after that there is considerably less stress to the any adding of any children. Maybe more simply put like this: a third child is just 25% more, not 50% like the second one and 100% more like the first one! Oversimplified of course and majorly so in some ways but food for thought all the same eh! Best of luck whatever you choose. x

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  51. Or rather 33.3% more, sorry was thinking in terms of four children...

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    1. On reflection I think I got the figures wrong here but I can't remember the correct ones. if I come across them I'll post them. The meaning was the same anyway!

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  52. Hello Jodi, I read these comments with such interest as this is often a discussion we have in our house too :) I always thought I would have a big family, but I found going from one to two such a shock that in the beginning I couldn't imagine how I would ever handle having more. I thought maybe I didn't have enough "mother" in me to do it for three. However my number two was not without her difficulties and I spent at the very least 10 months on almost zero sleep which I can't quite imagine doing again... (they say there is always one!!!) Now that she is 14 months however, that little niggling feeling has returned!!! I am one of four, so when thinking of my own full and rich and wonderful childhood - due to having my sisters around me - it seems strange to stop at just two. In my adult life I now have three beautiful sisters who are also my best friends. I cannot imagine having just one of them. So many things to think about, but there is such wise advice in the comments. My favourite being from Rosemary above from her grandmother... fantastic and so, so true! Someone else also mentioned that you will regret not having a child more than having a child, which I also believe must be true as once a beautiful little soul is born into your life there is absolutely no room or need for regret. Good luck Jodi, thank you for bringing this topic to air, I feel the same way as you, with all the same fears. I love reading about other mother's with three children, I feel almost rallied by it - if they can, I can!

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  53. I am only thinking about going from 1 to 2 and this is something I think about all the time. Every minute really. I worry mostly about the demands on me. I am just getting my life back...I have new interests and even a new career that has grown out of those interests. It is very selfish but I don't know if I want to put all of that on hold. I of course also worry about finances and practical things like laundry. And I loved being pregnant and having a new born. But I think I love what I have right now even more.

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  54. I have 3 boys, in September the eldest turned 4 and the youngest 1. I can honestly say that it is only been in the past few weeks that I have started to gather myself and get my into my stride. We had always planned to have a third and fourth, but number 3 happened alot sooner than planned. It has been hard and truth be told wondered if I had done the right thing. But now I couldn't be happier, we have our groove, it really does get easier. I think it will be at least another 12 months before I start thinking about number 4, I know pregnancy will be hard, newborn and baby phase will be hard but then it will get better.
    Kate xx

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  55. i found the jump from 2 to 3 great. obviously the middle and youngest have a 6 year gap so i get great helpers and entertainers for the little one. this little guy gets all the love a baby could ever need. the expense so far isn't that great but we are good at budgeting and only buying what's necessary.
    very exciting times ahead cute us.
    whenever you are ready you'll know , big hugs x

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  56. yes jody, my daughter asks constantly if we can make another baby! She promises she would be a great helper and I'm sure she would. My children are 7 and 5 and both will be at school next year. It feels like the end of an era for me. I am a SAHM and worked night shift so there was no child care at all. it was what we wanted and whilst the thought of another baby is still a possibilty as we had our children young, at the moment I just want to enjoy supporting them at school, finding myself now they are not so reliant on me...and who knows a third might be on the cards later, but not just yet. You'll find your way, I'm sure you will! very lovely post! xx

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  57. I wonder if I can add something 'from the other side'? We stopped at two. I very much wanted three (or four! . . .) and my husband was always certain he was content with two. We both hoped the other might change their mind, but neither of us did. I felt it was fairer to our relationship - and to the third child that never was, and the children we already had - for me to concede and continue to be happy with and grateful for our two healthy happy sons, rather than try to persuade him (this was after a couple of years of hard persuasion though - I'm not a saint!) We discussed it a lot and both had good, clear reasons, and could see one another's perspectives, but instinct is powerful. There were a few other factors: this was in no way about me wanting a daughter, as lots of people assumed - I just love the baby years and wanted them not to end. For my husband, we had had a challenging time (our first child was the result of IVF, and the second was an amazing natural surprise just 20 months later, so the gap is small by some standards, and it was an intense time) . . . he also, rightly or wrongly, felt three would be pushing our luck: his sister had a very traumatic birth when our oldest was four months, and very sadly lost a daughter at 13 days old as a result. Of course, all cases are unique, but all this is a very roundabout way of saying that after several years of wistful envy when friends announced their third pregnancies, I am now (the boys are 9 and 7) conclusively past that, and genuinely glad we made the decision we did. I feel my life is more balanced and my relationship stronger than it might have been. And the washing is endless with two boys anyway ; ))
    There's still plenty of time for a decision. Best of luck to the four of you whatever you decide x

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  58. Hello Jodi,

    I agree with dear Mel above: the ideal age gap does not exist. My eldest daughter is seventeen - applying for uni - my son is nine and then last but certainly not least is my youngest daughter who will be turning four end of January. To some this might seem like a significant difference in age. To me it's perfect. I am kept on my toes soaking in the different needs each age brings, the children really learn the benefits of team spirit and give and take - as in all families, I imagine - and I had the privilege of starting from scratch with each one of these lovely little souls. Magic.

    Having three in quick succession was not for us. I know my limitations. This way I always get to listen to mature thoughts from my eldest and baby talk with my youngest in the same day. For what it's worth in your case, Jodi, I think you are wonderfully young - I've just turned forty-five and my last pregnancy was brilliant - and with your busy working life you have time ahead of you to think about number three or four ;-) Having said that you will more than likely cope very well if you don't wait ;-)

    Stephanie

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  59. We're six months in to life with three and I'm still floundering! It's been a quantum leap into chaos, which took me completely by surprise. So much harder than I ever anticipated. Mostly I feel like we're just getting through one day at a time. But in spite of all that, I say do it! Take the leap. There is never a perfect time. Oscar has completely changed the dynamic of our family and brings us all so much joy. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

    Rachel xox

    {my last two attempted comments got eaten, so fingers crossed for third time lucky!}

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  60. When we made the jump from 2 to 3, it felt calm and busy in a weird way. I was extremely excited about having a third, so I was ready for it. But, the mental stress is different when you have three. So many things to think about because, as you said, you're outnumbered. But, the actually do-ing of all the things wasn't stressful. I enjoy always being busy, but being mindful at the same time is exhausting.

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  61. We have six now...honestly the biggest jumps were none to one and one to two...our third just felt so normal...we felt relaxed and capable...

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  62. We have two and are thinking of three, well, I am thinking. I have these same fears and concerns about logistics and family dynamic that you mentioned. After thinking and talking, talking and thinking, I'm taking on a "if it happens, it happens" attitude, since nothing can ever be certain. So, I'm excited that you flagged this issue up. Reading through all the comments has given me pause on some of my fears and worries. Thanks, Jodi! And your mom's comment... so great. ;)

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  63. I think you should let go of the fears and believe you are a capable free woman. Yes, some things may have to take a backseat for awhile...but hey, its a new life - a human we're talking about and thats pretty specia and worth the sacrifices! Im on my third pregnancy right now...this is the first properly 'planned' pregnany ;) I have a 3.5 y/o, a 2-1/4 y/o and Im 24 weeks pregnant due in March. Im thankful there will be a larger age-gap between my youngest and the newborn when he/she arrives. Poet is a good age to try again, don't forget your adding a whole 9 months onto the equation:) One thing Ive discovered being pregnant for the third time...things are less glamorous pregnancy-wise this time round. I am possibly fitter/lighter this time round but older of course (30 next april like you) and I feel the pressure physically more, heavier feeling in the groin region/tired etc..But oh so worth it in the end when I get to meet little he/she.
    Happy planning ;) xox

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  64. oh that first trimester.. yikes. I had it bad too, the all day morning sickness and exhaustion, taking maxalon for months on end just to take the edge off and still feeling entirely crap! there is so much love there to give to another child between you and Daniel, Jodi. I think you have the right idea on letting it happen when it happens.. and yes, I found the jump from two to three harder, purely because I felt outnumbered - and not children to parents - I mean children to arms and legs. I never felt outnumbered with two because I had enough limbs to manage them! but with three, you are definitely outnumbered. we had 19.5mths gap between R and C and then 21mths between C and E, really purely because of when my cycle returned. we wanted to have them close, even though it's quite a bit of work having three under 3.5... but I never complained, we were so blessed with every pregnancy, being able to fall pregnant so easily and carrying all the kids to full term with no problems, with quick, natural deliveries. I grew up with about 2yrs between each of my three siblings, my husband too, and we are very close now, I think the small gap worked in our favour. I worried that if I was out of the 'baby phase' long enough, I wouldn't want to go back for nappies, toilet training, wipes, pureeing baby food, cleaning up baby sick.... we are really out the other side now with E turning 3 early next year and I am so glad we went all in, so to speak! you're such a beautiful soul, Jodi, so grounded and aware of your body and your environment and how they work together - I have no doubt you guys will know when the right time is xx

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  65. i am floundering about on this very topic. it is the most challenging decision when i started out as a mama that wanted none, then one and so on. i do know that the more people i speak to in their later years the more i realise that the thing they never regret is the children they had, and many do regret not having more. i take that as encouragement that if you don't feel your family is complete than it probably isn't! ;) xx

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  66. Oh Jodi.. I have only one so all I have to say is this.. You make some delicious looking kids! It would be doing the world a favour if you has another! :)

    P.S. Mason was totally conceived in Bali!

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  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  68. I would love to have more babies, but all those things you mentioned and more are holding us back, unfortunately it is mostly financial... As for age gaps and planing, whatever happens it'll work out, it always does. xo

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  69. Just some years ago I thought it would be nice to have kids with a short gap between them. And it took me 8 years to have the second, and 4 more years for lili to come. Well, now I know that a large gap is for me, for us a good solution. Even if I imagine things differently. My boy really needed 4 years in order to be in his middle place and when lili arrived, it was just magical. 10 months today and we do not even remember that we were hesitating about a third baby. I also worked on my fears during pregnancy and accepted to understand that most of my fears came from my parents, and what they said or lived during my childhood (and after !). Make it as you feel right now!

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  70. My mom always said two is two, four is four, and three is ten. Perhaps it's because of the odd number. I always find myself and my siblings ganging up on each other 2-1.

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  71. There's nineteen months between my eldest and middle and there's exactly four years between the middle and the youngest. For me a third kid was a DODDLE!

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  72. I have three boys, each barely 2 years apart. I think the jump from two to three was definitely a jolt to the system for us! It was the first time I realized I really needed help, and we enlisted a nanny for 3 days a week for the older two just so I could take a nap with the baby. But now that they are older (my youngest is 2), watching them together is just magical. The physical and emotional stress is lessened with each month, as the older ones learn how to do more and more for themselves. My six-year-old is also incredibly helpful with both of his brothers. I can't imagine life without all three of them!

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  73. I do think it matters how much capability your older children have. My third is 9 months old, with the older two being 8 and 5 when she was born, and I found it very easy to add another baby to the family. When my first daughter was born it was like "WOAH I have a child now FOREVER" which was a huge shift both practically and existentially. When my son was born three years later I loved him so much but I also mourned the changing relationship with my daughter. We weren't a dyad anymore. When my second daughter was born it was much more like "this is great! now how am I going to get all of this laundry done?". I felt like a very capable mother, pretty calm and I knew what what to expect - it was more of a logistical shift. I felt like I was slipping into an old pair of comfy shoes I hadn't work in 5 years. "oh yes, babies, I know how to do this. This is nice". And the big kids LOVE her and are so helpful. A sibling is a great gift. And it is a lovely opportunity to teach the older children how to be more capable and helpful around the house. Too much laundry? Depending on their age the can fold, put away, sort, start the washer, etc. I know that I often don't expect my children to do what they are perfectly able to do with a quick lesson - a new baby is a great reason to give them more responsibility. In my experience they will rise to the occasion and be so proud to do some valuable work that contributes to the family. They may groan sometimes but they whine and groan more when they feel don't have the sense that they are needed as well as cared for. Best wishes, these choices can be hard xoxo

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  74. I think it depends so much on the temperment of the child. Our third was very easy going. I found by the third we were so much more relaxed with things and didn't get so stressed out AND we'd spent so much time investing in the eldest that she has been a great help over the years, and often chooses to lay in bed with her younger brother (6 1/2 years between them) to tell him stories at bedtime. I really wanted to have four, but miscarriage got in the way and now I think we're finishing with three:-( I don't think making choices out of fear is ever a great idea, probably something you need to meditate on. And ultimately accept that we don't always have control over everything...... good luck:-)

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  75. I'm so surprised that so many people say the jump from 2 to 3 is so big. I found number one the hardest and scariest. Number two was much more fun and easier. Our third and final baby turned out to be twins and honestly - I find that even easier than the last two. And all my children are under five.

    Yes we are outnumbered (perhaps being completely and totally outnumbers make the difference?) ...but we know what we are doing. We don't panic about crying, or wonder what does it all mean? Or milestones and what is my baby doing or not doing that yours is - they are all very different, who cares. We have given up the idea that sleep is going to happen, it doesn't but when it does its friggin bliss. I'm happier and more laid back now with four than I was with one or two.

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  76. Currently pregnant with number three, with a big boy who turns five this week and starts school (Prep) next year, and my 'baby' who will be two in February. And oh, the first trimester, it was killer. But it ended and I feel great now! So positive and full of life and excitement. The little ones are excited too. Will have to get back to you about the jump from 2 to 3. I have heard horror stories, and beautiful stories. One that comes to mind is a friends mother who had three boys. She said she didn't feel her family was complete until she had her third. With two there was one for her and one for her husband, but three made them a family. xx

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    1. ...such a beautiful way to think of the third - the family maker x

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  77. Let go of the worry! You can't rationalise poetry. x

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  78. I've always wanted three kids but due to economic crisis in my country, Croatia, I've decided that two is enough and - got pregnant for the 3rd time!!!
    I am soooooo happy, I am sooooo content right now! I even think that it would be brilliant to have four children!!
    I have a boy who is almost 8 and two girls- Ina is 5 and half and Roza is almost 1!!

    Like Theresa said: you and Daniel make cute kids!!!

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  79. I feel it totally depends on the age gaps between your children, and their natures. Going from 2 to 3 was quite difficult for us because our 3rd has a very difficult nature. Going from 3 to 4 was easy, because our 4th had a very sweet nature. But my best friend had her 3rd 6 months ago, and it was her easiest adjustment, because her 3rd has such a sweet nature.
    Looking at your perspective on life, and how well you have a grip on reality, I bet you would be just fine, Jodi! Especially if you feel a pining for another little one. Good luck! Wishing you another mild natured child in the future! :)

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  80. Jodi, how I wish I could have attended your pre-natal classes - they sound really healing! My first pregnancy was twins so we already started out with one more than expected. Two boys. And although I felt I wanted another one in theory I couldn't imagine adding to the insanity. And I thought I wanted a girl but it also really scared me. I had the hang of it - being a mom to boys - but to a girl? What if I couldn't relate to her? What if she only liked Disney princesses? What if I couldn't nurture her in the way she would need when she's a difficult teen? What if I fell short in caring well for all three of my children? And last but not least, What if I had TWINS AGAIN. It was terrifying all those thoughts swirling around in my head. But somehow, after some developed awareness, we became pregnant and although the pregnancy was difficult for me emotionally I made it through. And we now have this sweet baby miracle of a girl (and chubby as anything!) and she is a blessing beyond blessings. A little person that I can see loves her brothers and they adore her. There is a 4 year gap between them - it just worked out like that. Life with three took some getting used to like any major change in one's life but now it's just normal. Crazy at times, but normal. And so so good.

    Blessings of luck and love in whatever decision you come to!

    xo, Cortnie

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  81. It is such a difficult decision isn't it? For us three has been very challenging and there are many sacrifices to make for both you as a couple and the older kids. Is it worth it? Entirely. None of us could imagine life with our third. I didn't feel "done" with 2, but I do now. I can imagine that it would have been more difficult in our set of circumstances to have 3 close together, but the 5 year gap has mostly been very good for us.

    And yes, some days are pretty had, but so they are with 2 kids also!

    Wishing you all the best with your decision x

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    1. that was supposed to read "without our third" not with! And "pretty hard" not had. Not sure what's with me and so many typos today!

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  82. The advice an older mentor friend told me stuck with me. She said that having children is a blessing. That you will never regret having another child once you have that child.
    That stuck with me in my decision. (with my husband) to have a third. it has been more challenging than the change from one to two, but totally worth it. Ours are close in age (19 months and then 23 months between them). You know what is right when it's right. Go for it!

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  83. I have the same fear surrounding the decision of when to have a second child! I have all the same fears as you, frivolous ones included, but my biggest issue is that I'd have to share my son with someone else. I feel that although giving him a sibling would be a great gift, I'd be taking something away from him - me. That I would no longer have him to myself. All selfish reasons really but I can't help but feel like I'm being unfaithful.

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  84. This is timely - as we're currently planning (god-willing) to get pregnant this year with our fourth child. Now, I was a nanny for 10 years before having my own children, as well as the eldest of 8 children (my husband is eldest of 6) so all that experience with lots of little people I think helped me learn to love, rather than fear, the idea of a larger family. We had our third a few days before our first turned four. So, 3 babies in just under 4 years. In all honesty, the third baby wasn't hard at all - she was super easy going, happy, and just so excited to be with us (ignore the fact that she was our worst sleeper - at almost 20 months she rarely sleeps fully through the night)...so I guess I could claim that the jump from 2-3 was easy for us. BUT there are other factors that have contributed to having 3 be difficult. Hard. First, is the choice we made to move across the country - we sold our small townhouse in Seattle when this third baby was 10 weeks old and drove all the way to Austin, Texas. We lived in a temporary apartment for 8 months before buying a home and moving into it literally a week before her first birthday. Financially, the move was very taxing on our savings account, and moving twice within 8 months time with 3 kids 4 and under was...a little crazy to say the least. I think the choices we made to move etc. would've lended to a stressful year whether we had decided to have the third when we did, or not. We intentionally planned to have her before the big move, as tend to get quite ill during pregnancy and I would've rather moved with a newborn than moved while sick and pregnant. Anyway...in spite of the stress of the previous year, things are calming down now as we get settled. We still drive a 2002 Honda Civic (very small sedan) with 3 carseats stuffed in the back seat...so considering a 4th means yet again more financial sacrifices. This time, we will NEED a bigger car. But, we are convinced the benefits outweigh the inconveniences and eventually overcome the fears. While difficult to have so many children so close together, at times - I love that our children are growing up as such wonderful friends (first two are 19 months apart, second two are 29 months apart, and hopefully 3 and 4th will be about 30 months apart). Having them all little together has also changed me and taught me things I would never have imagined. I certainly have less time to do much for "me" but I am okay with that and recognize there are different times and seasons in our lives. For now, I am whole heartedly enjoying this season - yes, some days are frustrated, but others are pure gloriousness. Best of wishes to your family! I have very much enjoyed catching up on your blog when I have a moment, and particpating in the 52 week project this year!

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  85. I read your post and comments with much interest as I have been trying to decide for the last two years whether or not to have a third baby. I love being a mother, absolutely love it, it was the most life changing event for me. I love my kids to pieces. I always thought I wanted three kids- when I saw families of two I wondered where the other one was and when i saw families of three it looked right. Our first two just sort of happened and there was no discussion about whether do it or not. But the third has always been an issue for us- mostly me wanting it and my husband not (although he has been VERY patient and supportive). When we did actually try for another baby it felt so wrong and filled me with so much anguish and anxiety that I just knew it wasn't right. I tried to convince my mind otherwise because the thoughts were still there, but now I realise how happy we are as a family of 4. I feel really blessed for the two healthy children I have and although it would have been nice to have another little person in the house, for us it was not meant to be and I am happy with that. Thanks for your post.

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  86. hello everyone, i am here to share my testimony on how i conceived my baby. i have been married to my husband for 18years without no issue. my husband has been tested OK, i too have been tested. but no issue. i had problems with my in-laws even my husband started to have new affairs aside your marriage. it was a very terrible thing to bear. i became a laughing stock among my pear, i prayed and fasted and nothing happened. i was now seen as always unhappy. after many medical treatment and there is no way. i took it as i was born barren and i accepted every challenge that comes my way. i was even ready to pack out of my marital home and stay on my own because my husband was not given me any attention that i needed from him. i decided to focus on my job and try to live happy on my own.
    on this faithful day, i decided to check the net for updates on healthy living and i came across a story of a man who Dr EDIONWE helped his wife to conceive a baby. i decided to put a try because this has been my greatest problem in life. today i am a proud mom. words will not be enough to explained what this man did for me. he casted a pregnancy spell on me and i noticed i was pregnant on the 7th day after the spell. i am a happy mother, the pride of my family, a miracle in my town. i know there is someone in same condition and you feel there is no way. i urge you to contact him via email edionwesolutiontemple@gmail.com. This is the solution to every single mother around the globe. distance is not a barrier, he will surely make your dreams come trough. contact him today via email: edionwesolutiontemple@gmail.com. you want your lover back or any other miracle in your life, contact him today so the world can be a better place to live. bye!!!

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  88. Hi All, I know this post is a few years old and I hope someone will still answer. I have 3yr8mo old boy and almost 1yr9mo girl. We're thinking of a 3rd but not sure that's it's the right timing. I've went back to work part time in December for the first time since the oldest was born and am currently waiting on a full-time teaching position from a school. But not sure if it'll happen this coming fall or mid-year or next year, so I was thinking of maybe having a 3rd. My husband was ready for a 3rd the minute after our second was born. However, the years at home with the my babies, even though my oldest went to day care after at 27mo, have been the most trying years of my life. We also moved to a bigger space after our 2nd and more of the household responsibilities fell on me. I feel live I'm just coming out of the fog and feeling like myself again, whatever that is, and well I feel like this might be a good time to have a third if there is a gap in work. Although, I'm beyond terrified and feel like a pretty crappy mom because I lose my temper especially with my oldest too often. I just hope some of you might have some advice for me. Thanks so much. I also breastfed each of my babies until 13mo and that was all consuming and feel like I'd like to do the same if we ever have a 3rd, which also scares me. Anyway, thank you so much again.

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    1. P.S. I'm also terrified the school retract the teaching position offer if they find out I'm pregnant and want to take a 3-month maternity leave. Thanks so much!

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  89. Pregnancy can be a tough stage in life. For some couples, it can be easy, but for some others it will take miracle to have a baby and start a wonderful family. That miracle is right here in babaka.wolf@gmail.com , The title of my story is how i get pregnant by the power of Priest Babaka, Priest Babaka did excellent job for me. everything you need to know is that Priest Babaka is a great man. In addition to that, him gave me instructions and i follow it, and now i have achieve my goal of having a newborn child. this make my husband family to have hope in me, and they stop blaming me for not having a child. is miracle that happen to me thanks to you priest Babaka. if any of your friend’s or you reading this my story having a hard time conceiving a baby, and you have tried months and months and just couldn’t find the reason why they weren’t able to do it. The doctor said you can not have a baby, I recommended you to this great man called Priest Babaka of babaka.wolf@gmail.com contact him today and you will have very reason to be happy

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