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Knowing When You're Done?


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  #1  
January 7th, 2010, 03:21 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Hey ladies. How was everyone's holidays? Wonderful I hope. They were great around here.

I was wondering how you all deal with torn feelings on knowing when you're done having kids. Ivy is #4. We now have 2 boys and 2 girls. That's all the bedrooms we have so each child has their own, that's all the dining table chairs we have. We drive an Expedition so technically we can seat 8, but seating 6 we're not cramped. Financially, we live pretty close to our means.

I THOUGHT I didn't want any more kids. DH definitely doesn't want anymore. I'm 30, and always said I did not want to be pregnant after I turned 30. It's more physically demanding than when I was in my younger 20's.
I could go on and on with reasons why 4 kids is plenty for us. DH intends to schedule a vasectomy soon and I had intended to get Essure.

But I'm all of a sudden getting cold feet about permanent birth control. I won't use hormonal birth control, and my IUD didn't work out, so that leaves only natural family planning. I can do that, did it for years, but it does leave the door open for accidents due to human error. So I figured getting fixed was the solution.

I envy so much the people that can have 6 or more kids. I wish I could do that. Emotionally, I want a HUGE family. 4 kids is barely above average. My desire to have more children is not logical. If I think about it rationally, I should be done having children. But my heart aches to have a really big full of love family.

So my questions are....How do you know when you're done? Once you realize you've reached your limit and you shouldn't have any more kids, how do you sooth the heart ache of knowing you will never experience another pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding relationship? If your DH is certain he doesn't want any more children, how do you ask him to hang in there and not do permanent sterilization, and remain open to "maybe" having another? (My DH is 42, and understandably doesn't want to be a geriatric while the youngest kids are still in high school!)
I think most likely I should be content with what I have. So what do I tell myself to not be depressed about never getting to do this again?

Wow, sorry that was so long. lol Thanks in advance for any insight.
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  #2  
January 7th, 2010, 03:56 PM
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Oh boy do I understand you on so many levels.

DH has put off getting a vasectomy because he is afraid I will lose my mind with baby fever and demand a reversal. However we are financially strapped right now and having a fifth and sixth (for some reason six is the magic number around here, even DH jokes about 6) would be irresponsible.

That being said I cannot consider us forever done. I just can't do it. I find it depressing. I like being pregnant. I love babies. I love watching my kids together. I lvoe this whole phase of my life and can't let it go yet.

I find it fascinating when people know they are done. There is a woman in my PR who knows she is done with 1. I just can't imagine that feeling because I don't know if I'd ever feel it.

Wow am I helpful, huh? Just letting you know I understand.
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  #3  
January 7th, 2010, 05:30 PM
KrazE's Avatar ShutTheFrontDoor
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I knew when I was done after #4. I wanted to go back into the work force, I wanted to take classes, I wanted to be able to give the kids a 'comfortable' life where I wasn't counting every dime to make sure that there was enough all the time with something left over to cushion 'just in case'.
I had my 4th 3 days before I turned 27 and I too had decided that I did not want to be 30 & pregnant. I thought of things in ages, such as 'when the kids are these ages, this option might be possible' (basically).

Now that being said, it also does not mean that I did not like being pregnant or breastfeeding, in fact I LOVED it immensely. I loved being pregnant especially when the baby was moving around. I loved the special moments that came from breastfeeding. I loved the smell of baby soap and shampoo and fresh clean diapers.
Sure, a part of me misses those things, that's not something that easily goes away, and seeing new babies or walking through the baby aisle just to smell those baby smells remind me of when my babies were tiny.

But my 'baby' is going to be 11 at the end of Feb, I'm 37, no longer with their father, in a great relationship with a wonderful man that has never been married or had children of his own, and we're content with life.

Only you can decide for yourself what you imagine life to be in the future. I was certain and had a tubal ligation in 1999 when baby #4 was 4 months old - it was the right thing for me.

Best of luck in whatever decision you decide in the end, it's not always an easy one.
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  #4  
January 7th, 2010, 09:07 PM
Mommyx12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We have been kinda dealing with this. Dh would be ok to be done now but says that after the next one he will get a vasectomy, he's kinda joking but kinda not.... I have a hard time with this a couple reasons. The big thing for me is that years ago we decided to let God give us the children He wanted us to have. I had wanted to have a 3rd baby and dh felt satisfied and said if it happened fine, if not fine but wasn't ready for me to stop bc. I soooo wanted another baby but I didn't want to pressure or force him so I prayed that God would either take my desire for another child away or give dh the desire to have another baby but to put us on the same page. I just wanted 1 more, but in church there were several messages about trusting God for health, to take care of your family, needs, ect. They weren't at all about having lots of kids but it got me to thinking. I wasn't ready to bring it up to dh because I knew I'd like 1 maybe 2 more kids but I wasn't sure about having 10 or more. And then one day dh said he'd been thinking that we should let God give us the children He wanted us to have. I was so surprised because I had been thinking the same thing, so there we were on the same page, a page I didn't figure on when I had prayed. So now it's hard for me to go back. I am happy with our family and know we are blessed and if God doesn't give us anymore children I can not complain. We recently lost a baby and I hope and pray that we will have one more baby, but again we have been so blessed, that I'm sure I'll be fine if we don't. But it will be hard for me if we actually try to prevent another baby. I would always wonder who else we may have had. Dh looks at it a bit differently but he has not got to the point where he really wants to be sure we are done.

I just don't know. But I do know that no matter how tight money has been or how bad things seemed at the moment, God has NEVER not taken care of us. We've been through tough times but we've always had our needs met and so many of our wants as well. Things always seem to work out at just the right time.
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  #5  
January 7th, 2010, 09:57 PM
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I can relate a bit (not sure I can answer your questions though -- sorry). My dh is pretty set on being done but has changed his mind on permanent birth control. We both have this feeling that altering our bodies might not be the best idea for us, but dh doesn't necessary believe we are feeling this way because we are meant to have more children (and I somewhat agree with him). I, on the other hand, would very much love to have just one more but I know now is not the right time and I don't want to pressure dh into doing something he doesn't want to do. Lately, I don't even address the subject of more children with him. I have this feeling that he might come around in his own time. If it never happens and Isabel is my last baby then yes I'll be a bit sad but I think eventually the sadness will fade. If I were you, I wouldn't get too upset just yet. There's still time and your dh may decide that getting a V really isn't something he wants to do.

BTW, Congrats on you baby girl! She is beautiful =)
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  #6  
January 8th, 2010, 05:50 AM
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We are done after 4. We prayed for 1 baby for so long and felt blessed when we finally had twins via IVF. I pressured my DH into a 4th and I think a lot of it had to do with me wanting another boy (we are having a girl).

Anyway, I am 34 and I can't imagine adding any more after this. Financially it would be hard and I just want to move onto the next phase of my life where it isn't all about strollers and diapers and potty training. I am looking forward to going the movies and baseball games and the swimming pool without babies and toddlers.

I will miss being able to have another baby but the idea of having a future without all the "baby" related stuff that I don't always really enjoy more than makes up for that.
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  #7  
January 8th, 2010, 07:08 AM
shari626's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I know that I am done. Not because I just feel it. Because I can't really push my luck any further. My first was surprise pregnancy. My second was six years later due to fertility issues. My third child was two years of charting/temping/clomid. My fourth was a bonus when my baby was only 10 months old. Dh and I didn't want to do anymore fertility things. We feel blessed with the four we have since we thought for many years that one would be it for us. Dh had a vasectomy when #4 was four months old. He is actually the one that says we should have more children. (His mother was one of 12 and his father was one of 9) I am the voice of reason around here ~ and know that I don't want to start the baby stage again. Finally, there is no more baby equipment, baby carriers, strollers, or child proof items around anymore. It's kind of nice.

It will always be bittersweet that my baby is getting big. I miss all the things that went along with a baby, but that doesn't mean I want to do it again. My sister is just starting her family so I get my baby fixes from her. My neice is 14 months and it's a nice reminder that I don't want to do it again.

You may never know if you are officially done. You may never feel it. I love babies, but now I just borrow other babies.
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  #8  
January 8th, 2010, 09:32 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think if there is any doubt in your mind, don't do anything permanent. If you are 100% certain and are going to proceed, bear in mind that both male and female sterilization come with health risks. Do your research so you can be fully informed before making a final decision.
Tubal Ligation, post tubal ligation syndrome
PainAfterVasectomy.org - Hope for Affected Men


If you have concerns about NFP, maybe a refresher course after all these years would be a good idea to increase your confidence in how to follow it all and reduce the chance of human error? Another NFP method than the one you've used all these years might increase your confidence too. We've switched 3 times during the course of our marriage to find the one that works best for us with my complicated PCOS cycles.

We won't ever say we're done until menopause. Our reasons for being done right now might not exist in a few years. We might feel very different than we do now, so we don't want to make a decision now that we may regret later. Plus, neither of us is at all comfortable with the risks of sterilization. So we're an NFP family for the long haul, because it's 99% reliable minus any health risks to contend with.

Our family size is always up for discussion, always up for re-evaluation. Our form of NFP allows us to keep the discussion open, but with a failure rate of only 1% it also allows us to choose to avoid if we need to. On any given day, it's entirely up to us whether we follow the NFP rules or not. We have never conceived as a result of following the NFP rules. Only when we broke the rules, but that was a choice and we knew the potential consequences.
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  #9  
January 8th, 2010, 10:08 AM
foxfire_ga79
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Thank you all so much for your advice.
I struggle with my faith in God a lot. But I do feel the need to TRY to have faith and that includes trusting Him to help us make decisions this big.
I asked DH last night when he planned on getting the vas and he said he wasn't sure. I made a joke about holding off for a while because later we might want a tie breaker baby. lol He laughed, but said "no." He's 100% certain he doesn't want any more kids.
I think I'll ask him more seriously if he'll hold off on doing anything permanent, and I'll relearn some NFP stuff. I did have 1 oops in all those years of NFP, but it was my own fault because I ignored all the signs and timing. I don't know what in the world made me think I wouldn't end up pregnant, because it was very blatant that I would. I admit I'm pretty confident about it. My biggest fear with it isn't becoming pregnant again by accident, but getting pregnant when I truly didn't mean to and DH thinking I tricked him. I wouldn't do that.

I do wonder what it will be like when I really am done, to not lug around baby and toddler stuff. My oldest will be 12 in April, and they are all spaced out so that for the past 12 years my car has not been without a car seat or booster seat. lol

I probably am done. I guess my real fear is making it so I can't change my mind, just in case. I mean, if I get my tubes tied I might as well be going through menopause. Not because of the hormones but because of having reached an age where becoming pregnant is in my past. That makes me feel sad.

But thanks again for the helpful insight. You ladies have helped me organize more how I feel about it and I feel more prepared to talk to DH about not doing anything permanent just yet and getting back into NFP.
Take care!
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  #10  
January 8th, 2010, 10:11 AM
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I can't say I really am done in my heart. I'd love to have as many as God will give me, but I think realistically I need to be done. This is my ninth. I am 36. I can't afford anymore. I would eventually like to get back in some kinda shape. I'd still love to finish school. I think this is it. I don't really want to get it taken care of permanently, but I am going to, I have to.
So, sorry, I don't really answer your questions, heck, I can't really answer my own.
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  #11  
January 8th, 2010, 11:14 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It might also help to get DH on board with NFP - like doing something concrete like the charting. That way you can never really be accused of "tricking him" - he can be just as aware of your fertility as you are by being involved. Lots of couples take the classes together and it becomes the husband's job to keep the chart.
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  #12  
January 8th, 2010, 11:27 AM
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That sounds like a really good idea! I'll ask him what he thinks later tonight.
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  #13  
January 10th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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" I mean, if I get my tubes tied I might as well be going through menopause. Not because of the hormones but because of having reached an age where becoming pregnant is in my past. That makes me feel sad."



Wow, that really drives home how I feel and can't express. Thanks! Maybe that'll help me explain it to others.
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  #14  
January 11th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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I have such a hard time expressing how I feel about my kids and having more. I just want to leave it alone and what will be, will be. Everyone wants me to "get fixed" (sounds like I am a dog) after I have this baby, and I say I will, but it makes me so sad.....really, sad.
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  #15  
January 11th, 2010, 11:17 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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What's to fix - are you broken? If you don't have peace with it, then don't - Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome is a very real risk and not something to be entered into lightly. A few of the Mommies on JM can tell you about their experiences with it. Skipping the tubal doesn't mean you have to bear more children though, if you feel it would be unwise or physically risky. You can avoid conception naturally without having to resort to the risks of sterilization. It does require self discipline to follow the avoiding rules though, but I think it's a small price to pay for the greater good of your health. A tubal isn't your only option, even if those pressuring you seem to think so. It's your decision, your health, your family - not theirs. Something to consider anyway...
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  #16  
January 11th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Yes, thank you, I am sure there are issues with sterilization when it isn't really wanted. I am not sure that I am disciplined enough for any natural method such as NFP and charting. I am not even disciplined enough to take the pill. I definitely am not in a situation to have more children though. Its such a hard decision and the thought of being unable to bear more children makes me sad. At least I don't have to make any decisions for a few months.
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  #17  
January 11th, 2010, 01:29 PM
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I agree. Don't get the ligation unless you really want to. I think that is part of the reason my mom went crazy. The rest was excessive alcohol and my father running around on her. Avoid that stuff, too.

In your particular case, UM, I would suggest just not having sex til you get married. I know, I know, old fashioned, crazy, whatever. Then you don't have to get surgery, take pills, or anything. Then when you get married, go crazy!
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  #18  
January 11th, 2010, 01:45 PM
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I'm never getting married. Half my **** problem today, I am old and no one will ever want to marry me, no one who is worth anything anyway. Who wants an old, flabby, momma with nine kids.....no one.
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  #19  
January 11th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMomma View Post
I'm never getting married. Half my **** problem today, I am old and no one will ever want to marry me, no one who is worth anything anyway. Who wants an old, flabby, momma with nine kids.....no one.
Not true. God can bring someone into your life. You would be an amazing wife with as caring and generous of spirit you are.

But that brings up a good point, why are you giving yourself away so cheaply? You are worth more than that. Something about free milk and a cow would fit right here.
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  #20  
January 11th, 2010, 02:16 PM
UrbanMomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Have you been talking to my grandmother?? LOL

Arghhh...I don't know, I need counseling.
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