Sunday, January 30, 2011

Should we have a third child, continued: I got pregnant at Blissdom!

OK, I didn't really get pregnant at Blissdom, as there wouldn't have been time and besides, Mrs Chicken was my roommate. But that urge to have a third child was so strong my ovaries were throbbing. I literally tried to pick up every single baby who crossed my path. I think my friend Kim suspected I was going to try and take Cassidy, this munchkin, home with me. How's that for conference swag?

I am utterly and totally distracted by babies at mom blogger conferences. This despite the fact that there was much to be engaged by at Blissdom: Outstanding workshops and panels (and I'm not just saying that because I was a speaker); amazing women and yet more amazing women; performances by Chris Mann and Crystal Bowersox; much spontaneous trading of tips; plenty of random free chocolate. But then, there were the babies. Babies I cooed and gooed at and talked in a funny high-pitched voice to. Babies I was dying to hold. Babies, babies, babies.

I learned a new term at the conference: "geriatric pregnancy" (THANKS, KIM!!!), defined as a pregnancy in a woman over 35. (I know, shocker, I look 25, right? RIGHT?!). That doesn't scare me. The potential chaos of juggling three kids, one of whom has special needs, does.

Do it, my heart says. Just do it.

It's a crazy thing to do, says my brain. What if you don't have enough time for Max?

You won't regret it, says my heart.

Yes, it'll be good for Max, but did I mention life is going to get crazy? says my brain.

This is why, even though I've long been mulling it over, that should we have a third kid question remains in the air. And one of these days, I'm going to run out of time.

Look, says my heart. Just, look.


  1. Of course just do it!! I manage amazingly well with 4, my oldest is 10, 8 my special girl 5 and a one year old. I was 38 when I had my baby he is the best thing every. Go for it. It's amazing even if he sleeps in our bed still at 21 months. and I have to potty train again. I love it.
    Anyways I'm still working on potty training with Ashley.
    not to mention this is something that you will always long for I think I know I would have. But with 4 now for some reason all is well. +++ making babies is fun too.

    Beside I'm sure you blogged about this last summer and your still thinking about go for it.

  2. It was so incredible to meet you at Blissdom!! And I say just do it!!!!!!!!!! You can do it. Managing therapies, etc. makes managing another child so doable. In a way, life has prepped you for a 3rd.

  3. Do it!!! You will be amazed at what the third child does for Max in terms of pushing him to new accomplishments.

  4. I have four kids, my third baby has CP so we were kinda nervous to have baby #4. I will be honest, things get crazy but something amazing happens when you take that leap and have another baby; when they put that baby in your arms you can't imagine your family's life without your new little person.

    Rah, Rah! Go, Ellen, Go, Ellen!
    There's my little cheer for you. Now go make a baby.

  5. Funny you should post this. I'm turning 40 in a few months and we're pretty much set on trying for baby #2. We went to the OB/GYN last week to discuss our options on this. I have the referral of a specialist in hand and I think we're making the (gulp!) leap. I say do it Ellen. Follow your's gotten you this far right? (yes, I know you're gonna say your brain contributed -- but your heart was neck in neck with it!) I feel on the fence but I don't want to look back in 5-10 years and say "Dammit! I should have gone for it when I had the chance!"

  6. Do it! You know you want to. You are a fantastic mom and that is why you worry about mothering 3 kids (with one having special needs). That is the very reason you will be so good at it.

    Maybe I can come visit with the baby for a while and get your fever in high gear.

  7. 25 weeks preggers with out third! Our twins are 3 and our son has cp. I am nervous too but here we are and no looking back. Go for it!

  8. No regrets, that's the goal, right? Those babies were so precious theyd have made a man's ovaries hurt.

  9. Kim just sent me here and I'm glad she did! I'm 37 and have two boys and work outside the home fulltime. I've been debating going for the third (a girl???) for some time. I go back and forth, asking myself all the same questions you did here. I've done a blog post about it too a couple months ago. And everyone commented, "Do it!" But that's easy to say to someone else, of course.

    Someone once told me that when you're done, you KNOW you are done. I don't feel done in my heart, but yet I know right now is not quite the right timing. I guess the only I advice I can give is don't ignore that inner voice.

  10. Gosh--if anyone would just dive right in, it's you--you definitely have the baby fever! I'm one of those people who likes babies because that's how you get kids.

    Hubby and I spend so much time debating two or three kids--luckily, we've been spared the discussion! We're having two and three at the same. Now Hubby jokes we should have four.

    My friend told me you will know when your family is complete. I think that's a good guide to follow.

  11. The logical side will always come up with a reason why not. Emotion will always tell you sure, why not!

    The same two words with two very divergent meanings.

    I had a professor in grad school who had 5 children, her oldest with a profound disability. Marianne is an amazing woman. You're equally as amazing as she is so I know you'd be able to do it all.

    You'd love Marianne!

  12. If you're afraid because of your age, you could always look into adoption :)

    Good luck!

  13. Three has been great for us. Mikey was nearly 2 when Dan was born and wasn't old enough to appreciate him or treat him gently - there were times I felt sad and guilty that both of them seemed a bit miserable that the other existed! Jemima came at just the right time. Mikey loves her, she's really helped him learn new things and our family as a whole feels settled and balanced.

    For us three has been a whole lot more fun and straightforward than the jump from one to two! Of course, there are draw backs and I do have less time for one on one. I also found lifting Mikey and dealing with his very physical tantrums quite hard going while I was pregnant. Xxx

  14. Ashley was our 3rd and our two girls loved having him around with all his challenges.
    Then along came Cerys and we are complete.
    (3 was too easy!)

  15. As you can read, so many women -- including me, my best friend, and my mom-in-law -- had more kids after that very special one. You can do this!

    I can only imagine how much a baby will enrich all of your lives. For us, our third child has been a redemption baby. For our daughter, he has healed so much heartbreak that she experienced from having a brother who couldn't play with her or show affection like she needed. If you do it, I think you will find little treasures too. After all, every child brings them to life.

    Wow, that was kind of cheesy and mystical but true. I think it may be bedtime now.

  16. I've never known anybody to regret having another child, but I've known lots of women to get past the point of fertility and wish they'd given it another shot. People are a good thing to make. I say go for it. :0)

  17. I thoroughly support this decision, given that I might get IRL baby cuddles out of the deal. :-) You can do it!!

  18. Have you considered praying about it?

    Geriatric OB ward - BTDT. Interesting place. Barbara

  19. Follow your heart. I've been there and so glad that I did. I have three kids, a 10 year old daughter, 8 1/2 year old little boy (with special needs) and a 3 1/2 year old little girl. I was a wreck with worry and had plenty of "you shouldn't do that" comments but for once, I followed my heart...

    Finley is our families balance... You will not regret may be hard at times, but look 20 years down the road (as i tend to do) and think of what a great support group ALL of your kids will have :)

    Cheering for you from afar :)


  20. i have three, and it is great and only a little crazier then two. my two older ones are quite a bit older then the third, and i think as long as your kids are spaced out a bit as yours would be it's not too overwhelming.

    my husband doesnt read your blog so i'll let you in on a secret... i think we should have a fourth (shhh)

  21. Go for it! We're in the process of adopting #3, and some days my head says "Are you NUTS!!!!!!", but most days that's masked by my heart shouting "woo hooo!!!"

  22. My husband says, we went from a one-on-one to a zone defense. My daughters are the best gift I ever gave my son (oldest with special needs and non verbal). I'm glad my daughters have each other also, someone to talk to and share memories, especially when I'm gone. In a crazy way the third kid helped balance our family and make us feel more "normal". We could no longer focus entirely on my son and his special needs. This was a blessing.

  23. I can't imagine anyone ever saying "Man, I really regret having that last kid every single day. They don't bring anything awesome to our family. I really wish they hadn't been born!"

    We have two daughters who were adopted domestically in 2009 and we're in the process of adopting two little boys from Uganda. Because we are idiots we will end up four kids between 3 yrs old and 5 yrs old. It's insane. It's going to be hard with two little ones who don't speak our language and will likely have some significant needs, not to mention two other kids who have significant need of us.

    But the fact that it's going to be damn hard doesn't change the fact that these kids are supposed to be OUR kids.

    Have another kid. Or adopt another kid. I can see how pregnancy would feel impossible. But no one ever regrets having another child.

  24. I had no idea how much EVERYONE in this family would enjoy Fin. Best, best, best unplanned EVER.

    I know there is SO much more to it than happiness.

    But I know you'll figure it out. One day, you'll just know.

  25. I LOVE the picture! You look so happy with that little one, almost glowing ;) HMMMM!

    By the way, I was a geriatric pregnancy - I had Lily at 37. YIKES!!! She was my first and probably my only, but I had the same feeling you did at Blissdom. I go so googly, silly and mushy when I see a baby. I just want to kiss their little heads forever - I just love that sweet smell!

    Right now we are having some tough decisions to make. We want another baby, but Lily's condition could pass to the second child. We were told that a second child had a 50% chance of having TS. It might not be as mild the second time. I don't know what to do. I don't know if I can take that chance with another little one's life. I never regret having Lily and would still have had her even if I had known before she was born. I just don't know if I can risk it now that I know and have control of the situation. There are so many babies that need homes, I feel that it is my calling to adopt. I don't think it will be the answer to not having a child with special powers, but at least it wasn't due to something that I either did or didn't do. I am also concerned with the needs for Lily's future, making sure we have everything we need for her care first.

    It is such a hard decision. I want Lily to have a sibling. I love babies, but it doesn't have to be a baby. I just want to expand our loving home to a child who needs us.

    WOW! I never intended to get deep on this comment. UGHHH!!! Blissdom hangover, I guess!

  26. I'll give you a single mom perspective.

    When I adopted my oldest (now 12) everyone thought it was great, wonderful thing to do.

    2 1/2 years later when I adopted #2 (now 10), the excitement was much less. Even had some comments about how I was just getting my life back, and here I go again.

    4 years later when I adopted #3 (now 8) not much excitement. The fact that he had special needs (bilateral cleft lip/palate) -- well that was easy to fix. Turns out he has autsim, is non-verbal, has lots of sensory issue, plus LOTS of ear issues (cleft related).

    The first two years weren't too bad, but Luke was just a little dude. The last two have been REAL rough.

    Right now I am very optimistic. Things are smoothing out. I am going to get back to church (very excited about this!)

    There are times when I wonder why I did what I did. Particularly when I have to deal with my step-mother's health issues.

    The end result is that Luke completes our family. We are much better because of him. I would love to have another, but I know my family is complete (being 53 helps me know that ;-)

    You will know.

  27. I'm thinking that you and me, pregnant, waddling around Blissdom sounds like a freaking fantastic plan. ;)

  28. Ha! Can't help but giggle at all these positive comments! You know now that we're just going to be watching and waiting for an announcement! X

  29. If you want a baby that much, then go for it! Kids are very adaptable, and Max would probably be fine with another sibling.

    And as for age, my mother had me at 38 and her mother had her at 37. So it's something to think about, but not a be-all and end-all.

  30. Shannon doesn't know what a real geriatric pregnancy is--ya gotta be well over FORTY with plenty of salt in your pepper and convinced you've got indigestion for a good month and a half to be a genuine old lady in a family way! When you go to school to get the kids out of class for the doctor, they need to come to the office expecting grandma, because that's who they were told was waiting! You've got to get used to people saying "Oh, your grandchild is so cute/so badly behaved/fill-in-the-blank" and then watching them cringe (in shock? Horror?) when you correct them!

    Do it now, if you're gonna do it, or be prepared to be stocking up on hair dye (if it matters to you) and mistook for granny more times than you'll care to remember(particularly by the "teen mom" set!).

  31. I say go for it. I have 6 ages 12,11,9 Baily who has Down's, 7, 5, and 4. I give them all time and Baily always has someone to interact with and someone who accepts and loves him. He has things in common with all the younger ages and stages and each day will have a different "buddy" he wants to play with.

  32. Okay, for a moment here I thought I was going to have to do that SQUEE OMG CONGRATS! thing.

    As you know, I have five kids, but by far I was most nervous about going from 2-3. As it turned out, it was the easiest transition. I've heard from other parents that third babies tend to be easy-going...because they know they have to be. Or maybe it's just that by the time they come along, we finally have some clue of what we're doing. Good luck as you work through the decision!

  33. oh yeah do it!!!! i have a beautiful 4 year old daughter called Tilly with Smith magenis Syndrome, and a beautiful 3 yr old daughter poppy and now have my beautiful boy Busby Bill who is 10 months old! he is my baby 3 shall i do it or not do it baby! cant imagine my life without him, so so glad i did it and you would be as well. do it do it do it! am going to follow your blog to chaeck if you do or not! lolxxxx

  34. My special needs kid is 16, her brothers are 9 and 2. I had the two-year-old at 41. (I am more irritated at the universe giving me two crazy boys than I would have been had it given me two special needs kids.) Follow your uterus.

  35. Erica, I think "Follow Your Uterus" should be a bumper sticker.

    Congrats, Kelly and Taz!!!

    Adoption not out of the question.

    CM, I also don't think I am "done" in my heart.

    Kait: That's exactly it, I know. Nobody ever regrets having that third child.

    Shannon: Blissdom hangover: YES. I sent you an email with ideas about what we'd discussed, did you get?

    Kristina: It's a date! You bring the antacids to Blissdom next year if we're both preggers, k?

    Felicia: No need to stock up on hair dye, I already do this. Grays. Feh.

    Once again—as with the last time I mulled over this topic—it seems to be unanimous GO FOR IT. I promise, if it's meant to be, you guys will be among the first to know.

  36. Don't forget what a blessing it will be for Sabrina, too. Friend! Partner! Support!

    I think three of them would make a very strong little triangle that can handle whatever comes. Speaking from experience, it is much easier to love/care for/appreciate a special needs sibling when you've got another sibling to do it with you.

    My family has a sibling set of three, where one has special needs. I have never seen a more fiercely devoted and closely bonded set of siblings. It's lovely to see.

    (Also, yeah: I've never heard anyone say they regret having another child. You hear the reverse all the time.)

  37. GO FOR IT!!!

    I won't be joining you though. Although I am drawn to those sweet babies too, I have ALL I can handle with the two I do have!!!


  38. They call it advanced gstational age, and it doesnt mean all the much, really. You CAN!

  39. OMG - I'm so glad I'm not the only one who came away from Blissdom thinking maybe I should go for baby #3! Seeing all those adorable little peanuts everywhere made my heart ache too.

    I say go for it. I agree with the sentiments above - nobody I know has ever regretted having another baby.

  40. You have some wonderful comments here and it sounds like your decision has been made (yay!). Like you, I had long dreamed of a third, always felt like someone was missing and knew I would always wonder "what could have been" (sort of similar to what you said). I also dreamed of a third to help out #2 with #1, and also to just balance everything out. Well, lo and behold, I'm now pregnant with twins! Somewhere, someone has a real sense of humor, right?

    I'm not sure how we're gonna do this, but we'll do the best we can! And I know you can do it too. xoxo

  41. Oh, I know! Kim's precious little girl made my ovaries ache. I wanted to take her home with me.

  42. DO DO DO!!! :-)

    You know I did. And very thankful.

    For me, little baby A has been the best gift ever.

    When M was a baby, I didn't enjoy him half as much as I should have. I am sure there was too much hurt and grief related to S's early days. I blogged about my guilt recently too related to that.

    With baby A, there's been none of that. He's not the baby following the baby where things went so wrong. I don't compare him, I don't worry about him, I just ENJOY him and through enjoying him I am enjoying all 3 of my boys just that much more.

    OH and his brothers LOVE HIM TO BITS!! That's the other great thing about having a sibling when his/her brothers/sisters are a bit older. The adoration they have for the baby is priceless.

    So yes, we vote DO IT :-).

  43. OH, and geriatric? PLEASE!

    Look at Kelly Preston, well, well over 40 and glowing with her most recent pregnancy.

    The average age of motherhood is creeping up and I think you'd be in an average age bracket of third time mummyhood to be giving birth between 35-40.

  44. Do itttttttttttt.

    I'm one of four so I am so biased. And my parents have 6 or 7 sibs each. Grandma was one of 20.


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