Thursday, June 26, 2014

You want another baby, your husband doesn't: Group therapy

An online friend of mine asked me to throw this out here. She writes:

"I desperately want another baby. Yes, that would make five for us. All but one of the kids would love to have a new baby, and I know my husband would come around. But he really, really does not want a baby. I don't know what to do. I feel desperate. He loves having babies. He just feels four is enough for us. I feel like I missed out on the sweet baby-ness of our youngest, because one of our other children was critically ill. Everything from that time is a blur.... Some might say four is plenty, but I just really want one more."

I can't speak from experience. Dave and I are on the same page, in concept, about wanting another baby; we just can't commit. But that's another story. Me, I'm also a big-time lover of babies, and I've had to confront myself on whether I wanted another baby...or another child. 

Do you have insights to share with this mom?  

41 comments:

  1. I know this is different but my second husband and I had a hard time deciding on weather or not to have a child together. We had a total of 4 kids from our previous marriages and two have special needs. My two daughters were 8 and 6 when we married, the youngest has Down Syndrome. He has a daughter and a son who were 7 and 3 at the time. His daughter(the older couple of the 2) has spina bifida. We eventually decided to have another child but we did go through couple's therapy to make sure we were on the same page. We welcomed Issac on 2/27/14 and he joined his eager siblings Ally(then 8 now 12), Hannah(then 6 now 10, with Down Syndrome), Laura(then 7 now 11, with spina bifida) and Collin(then 3 now 7).

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  2. Oh yes, I understand. For a long time, I thought I'd love 2 or 3 kids, and my husband was set on 2. I was ready to let it go, not feeling really committed, plus our youngest being on the autism spectrum. Then something happened, and over the course of several years I realized I still had a strong desire to have another. Problem was, my husband did not. He was so DONE. I know in my heart that it's just wrong to move ahead if one of you is not on board. I was willing to pray for the strength to let it go. There was also of course the concern that maybe we would have another child with special needs, but my desire to have another seemed to trump that. My heart felt broken, and last year I decided to sit down and tell my husband my feelings and ask him for help letting the idea of a third child go. To my shock, he suddenly had changed his mind. I can't explain why. All I know is, in less than a month, I got pregnant again at age 38. Our precious daughter turned 5 months old yesterday. She is a true gift. I always hold in my heart those making this kind of decision, and those who decide not to have another. I know it can be a heart-wrenching decision. I also know others who have chosen to be "done" who have been able to come to terms and be at peace with that decision.

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  3. With all due respect, I have several questions about your post. First, I feel both parents must be 100% on board with any pregnancy. Also, it worries me that it sounds like you took a "vote" of your children before you and your husband were on the same page. Also, if one of your children battled a critical illness, you not only missed out on that precious "baby time" with your youngest, but also I am sure time with your other children, as they went through that very stressful time, as well. I thought Ellen's point about the distinction between wanting another baby and wanting another child is a poignant one. A fifth child should not come into the world with a pre-determined job to heal the loss you feel over missing moments with your fourth baby. Not to say you cannot grieve that loss of time, moments and memories, but no matter how many more babies you have, you cannot recreate them. Best of luck to you and your family, whatever decision you make! Yours sounds like a loving home any child would be lucky to be a part of.

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  4. It is critical that both parents be sincerely on the same page. You need to honestly weigh your carrying capacity financially, logistically and emotionally. There is always a chance of a high needs child--could you handle that without sacrificing your level of support and parenting for your existing children? The baby stage is fleeting. Just adoring babies is a bad reason to take on the commitment--one can always work with little ones, volunteer to hold fostered newborns, etc. A large family is a financial and logistical challenge even without the extra challenges of SN. I sincerely wouldn't have another, and I only have two (both SN).

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  5. So you're willing to gamble the love/trust/happiness you've got with your husband + 4 kids, on the fact that he'll likely be cool with + 5 kids? That missing the 'babyness' of one kid because another child was critically ill 'entitles' you to another little human, even if your husband has clearly said he doesn't want another kid?

    A marriage counselor is an unbiased third party who may be able to help this mom think through her over-entitlement complex!

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    1. Whoa. Nobody used the word 'entitled' but you. She's longing, but longing is far different from feeling entitled. If she felt entitled, she'd get pregnant and assume her husband will come around once the baby has arrived. I read no narcissism in her letter, no assumption that the world (or her husband) owes her another child. Be careful in your language, because even as I agree that a marriage counselor could help them work through this issue to a decision, your tone is superior and unkind.

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  6. Our son was 8 years old when our special needs daughter was born
    We had experienced a pregnancy loss between the births and were delighted when I carried a pregnancy to term
    After our daughter's needs became apparent to us, I wanted another child--I am from a big family and wanted our son to have the experience of multiple siblings
    My husband was not in favor of the idea--he has a brother a year younger than him and enjoyed their closeness due to their ages. He felt another child would be so much younger than our son, he would not have the companionship he had enjoyed
    My mother in law who never interferes in her children's marriages opined that she had
    longed for another sibling when she was a child and more so when she became an adult.
    My husband's mother had a brother with severe disabilities following a childhood accident. The brother was institutionalized after their parent's relatively early deaths.
    My mother in law told us how she so wished there was a brother or sister to help her make further decisions regarding her brother's care and to go with her when she visited him
    After the discussion with his mother, my husband had a change of heart
    We now have a second typical daughter, who while too young to really "hang out" with her brother, will be of enormous help and comfort to him someday if they need to assume the decision making for the care of their sister

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  7. I'm on the opposite end of this right now, so thought I'd weigh in from the "other side." My husband wants a no. 3. I love our life right now, and can't imagine adding another. I do occasionally feel that longing for another baby, but I don't think it's a longing for another child, just that "I want one to snuggle on my chest" thing again. And, on top of that, I had two very, very difficult pregnancies, bedrest with both, pre-term labor with both, and one who now has cerebral palsy. I cannot imagine putting my body through that again (and I believe maybe I just wasn't designed to bear children, something that I struggle with), and I cannot imagine bed rest with two kids already. it was already so, so hard when I was on bed rest with my second and felt like I wasn't able to do all I wanted with my first. but he has that longing. truthfully, I believe that when one partner wants another and the other doesn't, you gotta work through it together, but the one who wants more might have to look around and evaluate, and be okay with what you have. to just look around at your blessings and believe they are "enough." but this is not an easy issue.

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  8. WE had always wanted 3 children. But once our oldest was diagnosed with autism I was concerned that if we had a third, our second child would get lost in the mix between the special needs older child and the infant. I wasn't about to sacrifice my second's well-being for an as yet unborn child simply because I had a yearning. And yes my husband was disappointed at the time when I told him I didn't want a third child anymore. Luckily I listened to my inner rational voice because our second child was also diagnosed with ASD a few years later. Do I miss that third child? I always said that if I knew that child would be a girl I would have probably gone ahead or quite frankly saved a girl from China. But in life you have just so much strength and just so much money. I wanted to give my sons everything that I could and I also quite frankly wanted something left over for myself and my marriage. How much emotional reserved do you happen to have? How are you going to educate all those children? How are you going to give therapy and support to the special needs children in your lives and take care to give your NT children what they too deserve? What about your husband, what about your relationship with him? Something simply because you yearn for something doesn't mean it isn't selfish and doesn't mean it is appropriate for everyone in your world.

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  9. Your posts about the decision to have another child really hit home for me, as does Elise's post above. We are battling the same thoughts and feelings. Our special needs daughter is 7 and has significant needs, ie behavioral. We also have a 3 year old daughter. We've always wanted 3 and are feeling tapped out. Would our 3 year old be lost in the shuffle if she were to become sandwiched between a special needs older sister and a baby? I want her to have some support when she gets older, to have a typical sibling. Our oldest doesn't talk. I wish that I could look into the future and see what would be better for her. Having a typical sibling, or having more of our attention. Ultimately, having another baby is not a good idea "on paper". But when I think of our family I don't think of it being complete. Why can't I let go? I feel your pain- hugs! XOXO

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  10. I'm right here with you. In fact I googled it because I was struggling so much and that's how I found this post. We had twins a year ago through IVF. If you would have asked me if I wanted another child at any other point over the last year my answer would have been a resounding " GOD NO!!! And my husband would have been right behind me! In fact we once had a pregnancy scare and he made it clear that he thought thst was very bad news. However, lately things have changed for me. I am having second thoughts! I have a sudden and very strong feelings of desire for another baby. I don't know how to handle this. I would talk to him about it but I just know he's not going to support it. We are using condoms now and its gotten to the point that I have seriously considered helping myself but I know I could never go through with it. I guess I'm just looking for someone to tell me what I already know.

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    1. Hi! We had fertility issues as well, but we're blessed with 2 beautiful children, now 3.5 and 5 years old. I long for one more, but my hubby is not on board at all. Don't get me wrong, I feel so blessed with my sweet babies...but long for one more. I desperately wish I didnt. I envy women who "know" they are done and are content with that decision. Anyways, just wanted to let tou know you are not alone.

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  11. I had twins the first time one of which has myelomeningocele SB. So I'm done trying. This is nothing to do with the fact that Noah has myelomeningocele SB however. Twins are enough for me right now. I had always wanted two children but I didn't plan on having twins. I have two boys Noah and Jonathon.
    My husband is the one who is ready but I remind him that I am not going to have baby number three. But if Noah had been a single first baby, I would get pregnant again irregardless of whether he had SB or not.

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  12. I'm there as well. I have three daughters aged almost 7, almost 3, and just turned 1. Our oldest has Autism, and she was diagnosed when I was pregnant with our second. The third was a breastfeeding surprise conceived less than a year after the second.

    I do not want any more children right now, but I want one more in the future. I just keep getting this feeling that someone is missing. I keep waiting for a curly haired child to peek around the corner to run after his or her sisters.

    My husband does NOT get this feeling. At all. He gets the feeling there's a genetic component to Autism, and Autism baby chances increase with the father's age. We are both very fortunate that the Autism that is rampant on my side of the family and eccentricities on his side only manifested once. We love our child to death, but we do not want a repeat.

    Yet I still want another. Not a baby because I dislike that stage. Thank goodness it only lasts a year or so! I want another child, one that will grow up and give me grandbabies. I want to celebrate a fourth child's 5th, 10th, and 16th birthday. Girl or boy doesn't matter. I think I'd actually prefer another girl really. =)

    Only advice I have is to give it a little time. Make sure your house is calm and organized to give your husband the knowledge y'all can handle another. That's how I opened baby dialogue with mine. ;) I also made some stipulations like better job for him, bigger house, both of us need to be healthy and energetic, and I don't want to give birth after 35. If we have all that, we will think about it when our third hits 3 years.

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  13. I also would love another child but my husband does not.I met my husband when I was 16 and 2 years later we were married.2 years after that we welcome to our first. we went on and had three more within 4 years.my children now are 16 15 14 and 12we have been together 20 years.my husband says we shouldn't have anymore because 36 is too old to get pregnant and the baby would suffer not having a sibling close in age.

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  14. it's hard when someone you love so much does not want something you want so bad. myself and husband had are little boy two years ago and last year we went throw a hard time . we'll now we are better and I want another baby so bad I told him when he married me I wanted alot but two or three weeks ago he said he wanted a baby when I told him it was the time of the months to try he did not want to have sex he said he was sleep well he now has told me he does not want one just said that cuz that's what I wanted to hear I feel stuck. I love him so much but I want another one so bad

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  15. It is incredibly interesting reading the different view points of everyone. I too am and really wanting a third. Not sure where these feelings come from but i do know that one of my desires comes from the selfishness of being a mom. I absolutely love being a mom and it is great joy in life. We both have good jobs and can support our children. I do worry about the future of how we can pay for college, summer camps, cars etc. But I cannot be alone in these thoughts as I look around and see many families with three. What were there thoughts around this or is it me that I think and worry too much about life in the future. I think the other issue with me is that I have two boys and would love a girl. My boys are getting bigger and into boy activities. As the only girl in the family, I am usually by myself when the three go out. I grew up in a family of girls so having boys was completely new to me.
    At what point is the decision made or do you eventually pass those child bearing years and at that point it is no longer a decision.

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  16. I want to try and have another baby also. My husband says he does not want another child, mainly i think the reason he doesnt want another baby is the fact that we have 3 daughters. 7,4,and just turned 1. I want to have a baby so bad because i love the feeling of that one growing inside me and i want a son. At times i can see in my husband's eyes when we see a little boy that he wants one too. Another reason is the cost of daycare. Neither side of our families want to help with the child that is not in school or with the older ones in the afternoon. We pretty much are in this alone. House size is not a problem, car size we just bought a new car so number 4 would mean a new vehicle to fit the family in. I come from a big family. I have 4 half sisters and 3 half brothers. He only has a sister. I just want to try again for that son.

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  17. I've wanted another baby for two years. At first my husband did too. Now he's completely against it. I'm mad, and so heartbroken. I don't even want to look at him and I'm considering leaving him.

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    1. I am in the same situation and trying to figure it out. Don't know what to do or where to go to get insight or solution.

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  18. Yikes also in similar situation, i have a child and my partner has 3 with ex wife, i would love another child, but he is dead set against it, he says if i dont change my mind we will split up but at the same time im considering HIS feelings and the prospect of not having another so i dont lose him, im 35 and technically now classed as an older mum and i really dont know what to do :-(

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  19. I am in the same boat and 40 is around the corner. My only dream in life was to have 2 children and be a Mom. Our son will be 3 next month and I am so angry and bitter. Before we got married, I made it clear that is what I wanted. We were on the same path. I have tried to listen, to understand. He keeps giving me a yes and then a no and it feels like someone is messing with my life dream. Not fair.

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    1. I am almost in the very exact situation you are. I am 41 now and have one son who is 3 now. I wanted him to have a sibling so bad and my husband says no and that is all he has to say. I wanted to try even at my age but have asked for this since I was 39. I love my husband but at the same time feel different toward him because this meant so much to me for our son and our lives as we age. He says don't bring this up again sometimes and maybe I could think about it then others flat out no. I stay on a roller coaster ride wondering about everything and wishing my body will be able to do this again. At 41 how do you just not want to talk about it and put it to rest. I know how you feel so sorry I feel your pain.

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  20. Hi, Ok so I'm 33 and getting married this year! I have a son who has just turned 6 with my partne. he has a.son from his previous marriage who is 10. I did not think I wanted another child as my pregnancy was awful. But lately I have been feeling so broody. I have mentioned it to my partner but he said he 100% does not want another child. It breaks my heart. I love my partner so much but he won't even talk about it.

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  21. My husband is 42 and I am 28. I just found out that I am pregnant with our second child. He stated 2 days ago and was very clear that he did not want any more children because he currently has 2 children who are grown and out of the house and our son will be 1 in June. How do I tell him that we are pregnant again when I know for sure that he does not want another one?

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  22. I am in that same situation. I desperately feel incomplete and would love just 1 more baby. I have 4 children and I feel like we are not complete. I completely agree that your spouse needs to be 100 % behind you..but my husband uses this issue as a way to feel in control. Being I'm getting up in age..it's so important to me and my clock is ticking loudly. He teases me with saying no..but then sometimes he doesn't pull out. Getting good my hopes up and just breaking my heart. He needs to care about me and how I feel..make a decision and stick with it so I can try to move on...i an so heart broken I often think of leaving him and inseminating myself. Anyone???

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  23. Iv got a 11 yr garland 2year old girl. And I'm so so desperate for another baby I can't describe the feeling other than its breaking my ♥ and have a constant hurt feeling. I love being pregnant I love giving birth I love babies and I have so much love to give. My partner keeps finding things as to why but I just think he doesn't want anymore but as a child iv always wanted 4 and I don't think I can or will be stopping at 2. I can't cope with the feelings I'm having,I walk in a shop see baby clothes or stuff and either get a lump in my throat, eyes water or I actually end up in tears in the shop. I get very very jealous of woman's bumps or seeing babies. I can't bare looking at my girls baby photos without wanting to cry. Sometimes I wish it would accidentally happen I know it's bad. I don't know what to do, I'm thinking of going to the doctor s wondering if iv suffering from something making me like this but I know one thing this feeling will never ever go away

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  24. I too googled "how to get over having another baby" ha! Look at how long this thread has gone. I have three boys, 5, 3, and 1. My husband is done and I was one too until I held my last baby in the hospital. I said "I changed my mind". He said, "No!" He is right that it would be a lot easier without having another. I am 36. He is in the military. blah. blah but I too find myself looking up baby stuff and feeling a huge longing to be pregnant and have another baby. I think that maybe I have just been having babies for so long it is hard to let it go. Who would I be if I didn't have a baby? If I wasn't changing a diaper? If someone didn't need me to feed them and help them brush their teeth? I am not sure but it is true that I don't think you should have another if both are not on the same page but can you move on without bitterness? I just wanted to post and say thank you for making me feel like I am not alone in my craziness! ha!

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  25. I also have been wanting another baby die a while now. My husband and I have 4 boys with a set of twin girls that passed away when I was 23 weeks 4 days pregnant before our 4th son. My husband dies want another one but, he's terrified that it will be another boy which neither of us wants. Our Boys are great, don't get me wrong but that's a lot of boys and we are grateful. We honestly want a little girl badly but, we would not love him any less if it was another boy. I mention trying and he says "if you can guarantee that it will be a girl" he's only half kidding. We both want another child but the fear of having another boy is holding him back.

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  26. It is the same issue for me. I have always wanted 3 kids, but he has only wanted 2. We have 2 beautiful healthy kids, 6 and 4, and I have been wanting the 3rd for a while. He is completely against it. He keeps saying he will think about it, but ultimately refuses. He thinks I cam being un grateful for the 2 great kids we have. I am beginning to get upset and very bitter about it, and don't know how to turn those feelings off. He expects me to just accept his final decision on this without complaint or regrets or any negative feelings at all. Which only makes me even more upset. First he gets to have the final say about the number of kids we have, and then he gets to tell me how to feel about it as well? I want to be able to let go of feeling so bitter, but am struggling.

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    1. How are you handling it? Is there a message board where people sharing these feelings can talk?

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  27. My husband And I have 2 teenagers we are both 36 and met very young after our youngest was born he had a vasectomy as he had decided we were done having kids. I was fine at first but now I am so broody it's ridiculous! Everyone including him knows I want more children but he keeps saying no he's not having it reversed and now our kids are older and we are getting our life back how could I think of ruining that. It's making me so bitter that I am thinking of leaving and finding someone else to have children with it is really getting to me now.

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    1. So let me get this straight: you would divorce a good man who is a great dad just because you want another kid? And no other reason? What's your husband's name so I can personally tell him that you wanna divorce him for not reversing his vasectomy.


      This man isn't unsupportive of you and your teens.

      He isn't abusive.

      He's obviously responsible.

      He isn't asking for anything except "please no more kids we have a great family already."

      He loves and appreciates you and his teens, you stated that you're both getting your lives back on track.

      Yet you're willing to stupidly throw that all away, divorce him AND abandon your wondeful teenagers to get pregnant again to someone else - so damn every one else because its all about you.

      Got it.

      You're a VERY ungrateful, totally selfish female dog.

      Do you know how many women - especially women who survived domestic violence and other trauma from crazy ass males - WISHED they had a amazing husband that you've been immensely blessed with?!

      Seek help immediately because you're off your mental rocker lady. Better yet LEAVE your husbad for a guy willing to get you knocked up and don't look back.

      Another woman will care for him and your teenagers unselfishly since you're so self absorbed.

      When that happens- don't get mad at anyone else but yourself and I hope your husband doesn't let your sorry ass back in the damn house after that.

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  28. I'm 35, I have three children and I can't stop thinking about having another baby! I have struggled with this for 2 years now thinking it was hormones! My husband is on board! What should I do?

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  29. As a woman with a 10-year old and struggling with the decision between leaving my husband and accepting there will always be only one I find it extremely irritating and selfish that you can even dare to label your NOT having a 3rd, 4th, 5th a drama. My child will never know what having a sibling means whereas yours will. And I will never know how it is to experience mothering two children. And you will. I sometime feel I have no sense of decency compared to someone who has no children. I truly hope that you know you have no sense of decency compared to someone who wants two and will never have them.

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    1. You cannot judge someone else's struggle! Thats THEIR life and how they feel. Everyone has stated they are grateful for the children they Do have. But your struggle is yours alone and so is theirs. Don't you dare insult them in that way. We all struggle, but our struggle will be different. How would it feel if I said you have no decency because you want to leave your marriage and throw your vows out the door? Wouldnt feel great would it? Please don't judge!!!

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    2. I feel you as a mother of a 9 year old son who just wants one more...not two or three. Just a opportunity to give him one sibling.

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  30. My boyfriend has two children from a previous marriage (a boy and a girl ) and I also have a son from a previous marriage. I want to have a child together more than anything, but he doesn't. What should I do?

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  31. My boyfriend has 2 children and I have 1. He doesn't want more children and I do for many reasons. I don't know what to do.should I try to convince him,should I just give up the idea. I'm torn on what would be the right thing for everyone.

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    1. Personally, you have to decide if this relationship is worth continuing to the next level if you have differing views. If you love him and want to get married than this is something that you have to be willing to accept. Just let him know heart to heart your feelings. I know how you are feeling and there have been times I contemplated ending my marriage over my husband not wanting another. You can also try a family counselor so that you both can be heard and the counselor can provide some good feedback for you two. Hang in there I know it's tough.

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  32. I have had a strong desire to do more mothering in this life. I actually have 2 boys ages 13 and 9. I never had a maternity leave for either child, 3 days for the first and 2 weeks for the second. I am finally at a point in my life where i can quit work and be a full time mom but my husband is not on board. My hubby actually had a vasectomy 9 years ago after our 2nd child was born. He just got a reverse vasectomy (after me begging him for the past 5 years) now he just informed me he regrets getting the reversal and does not want to have a baby with me. All I can say to everyone is that no matter how much convincing u try to do, you cannot change someone's mind. Your husband has to be on board. I tried so hard for him to see things from my point of view and thought he understood but now it has only made him resent me. I am coming very close to full acceptance of this. I am grateful for what I have and I really pray that everyone here will have peace.

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Thanks for sharing!



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