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Hard Time Coming To Terms With No More Ours Babies

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I feel like I know the answer to this, and my head says one thing-- but my heart is just having a hard time with it right now.

In a nutshell, I am kind of mourning the loss of not having any more "ours" babies. I know, I know. Here's the list of practical reasons why we should definitely not have any more kids:

1- We already have 3 total, 1 SK and 2 bios

2- Our bios are very close in age, we've got 2 in diapers. It can be really hard.

3- Finances for 3 kids, 1 that we pay child support towards and the others that require just a lot of STUFF x2 (carseats, high chairs, cribs, strollers, etc). It's like having twins to a degree, you're on the hook for 2 of everything at this stage

4- We'd definitely have to upgrade to a larger vehicle. We're really skimping by now with a mid size SUV, but we'd almost certainly need either a large one or a minivan if we had another

5- Our ages. We're not young... 30's and 40's right now. Many of our friends have kids that are in middle/high school or older, where we are just starting out with ours because we met a little later in life

6- I'm pretty sure my SK would explode if we had any more babies LOL


Ok but, here's where I am struggling. The finality of no more babies of my own. I don't consider my SK to be mine, truly. So, their milestones, while cool, don't impact me the way my own kids' milestones impact me. Right now with the baby, everything seems like the last. It's the last time that I'll ever see MY baby roll over for the first time. It's the last time I'll ever watch MY baby take their first bite of food, etc. And I should be thankful that I've gotten to experience that twice now. But, it still stings a little that one of the reasons we aren't having any more is because of the shared resources with my SK. And that yes, DH has three kids, but I only have 2 and that yes-- we COULD have more, but lets be real-- we're getting old(er) fast(er) than I'd like to admit.

DH says if I really, REALLY want more-- he will have another one. But, I don't want to have to talk someone into having a child, and he really is right. 3 is plenty. 3, with 1 that we pay extra for is a lot on our household. We're comfortable right now, and we're able to have a nice lifestyle and still get to see/do what we want for the most part. Adding another child would surely blow that up and we'd be back to struggling like we were a few years ago.

So, how did those of you who wanted more ours babies, but didn't have any more, finally close the door on that chapter?

tog redux's picture

I don't have any babies, but won't that feeling of "this is the last time" just happen with any subsequent babies? Where would it end?

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Haha, I don't know if or when it will ever end! Maybe you just get to a point where you're ok with that-- or it'll always be tough?

tog redux's picture

I'd think that rather than have more, you might want to figure out how to enjoy each life stage and accept that they don't stay in one stage forever. Otherwise you might end up like the Duggars in 19 and Counting!

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Logically, I know you're right. Emotionally, it's still been a tough pill to swallow that given different circumstances, we'd have another child. I definitely do not want to be some crazy kid popping out octomom *lol*

I just always saw myself with 2-3 kids and now that we're here, at that point, I'm leaning more heavily on the "3"!

Picardy III's picture

Wisest childrearing comment I got was from an older NICU nurse. I mentioned it will be sad to see each change in the baby pass by, even as a preemie. She said "you'll love her how she is, at every age."

WwCorgi7's picture

Yes, this feeling is true for all subsequent babies. I just had our 4th bio "ours" baby (5 kids total- 4 bios, 1 sk)  and I'm so sad thinking of it being the very last time. I'm trying so hard to enjoy and cherish every last little moment of it. I'm beyond blessed with the 4 healthy children I have. I would love to have 1 more but it's not realistic. I'm sure even if I had another I would still feel the sadness of the "last" time. There has to be an end.

Picardy III's picture

This is tough. I have three SKs and one BD, and we went for the snip a few months after she was born. DH and I both had some doubts about that finality. But DH is in his late forties with a busy career, and I'm building my career and having a second little would slow that down considerably.

I still have some gentle regrets... however, what helped me close the door was realizing a second child would bring *more* resentment - not of the child, but of the cost to my vocations and free time, since DH is simply incapable of shouldering half of the child caring burden.

Even in 'good' stepfamily situations, such as my own, I think there's an inevitable loss of opportunities from the get-go. The new spouse, assuming it's her first marriage, can't get all the traditional milestones: first home setup  together, husband fully present at firstborn birth, unencumbered management of household affairs, having as many children as you'd desire, etc.

It worked for me because I didn't have strong desires for anything that marriage to a divorced dad took off the table. I was happy for my DH to leave with the SKs after my daughter's birth and let me rest alone, for instance.
But for women for whom those opportunities and firsts are essential to a full marriage... I think they should walk away from marrying a divorced father, sadly.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

This makes a lot of sense to me. I was married previously, so when DH and I met-- the traditional things or "firsts" of marriage didn't stick out to me as things I needed to experience again. Surrounding motherhood-- at first there was some trepidation or jealousy that he'd done it all before, but truthfully-- that was a lot of worrying for nothing. Our experience was unique and special in its own ways and I'm happy with that outcome. I do agree that if you're the type of partner that values the "firsts", then steplife is not a good choice. 

What I'm having a hard time dealing with is stuff out of my control. I can't change the fact that we met later in life, I can't change the fact that some of our resources go out the door EOWE and I can't change the fact that adding another kid, like a previous commenter mentioned, won't take away feelings of sadness that this is so final. And that no matter how many babies I have, one will eventually be the last and I'll need to accept that.

JRI's picture

Leaving the stepchild out of the discussion, having 2 little kids close in age is a LOT.  My 2 were 17 months apart and it was overwhelming.  You must have much more energy than I did and I was in my early twenties.  Lol. I can't even imagine how I would have juggled that plus a SS.  Good luck.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

LOL. well I don't know about energy. I think I'm running on fumes most days! Truthfully, the baby is incredibly easy-- it's playing referee between my 1 year old and my SK that is exhausting.

SeeYouNever's picture

I'm currently pregnant with my second and the final baby with my DH. I always wanted to so this was not any sort of compromise for me because of SDs existence. there were a few times where my husband tried to talk me out of having kids in general and then asked me if I really wanted a second. I think since he always left it up to me as my choice for how many kids we have it helped. 

However now that we are done with our to the discussion has been birth control. pap smears have always been a struggle for me so I do not want to have an IUD put in. My husband said he would get a vasectomy which is perfectly fine with me. But then he began to backtrack and asked if I could get my tubes tied after giving birth this time. I said no o don't want to. it's not that I want any more kids but I don't want to take it completely off the table. What if something happened to him and I met another man who wanted to have a baby with me. I kind of don't want to close off that option. 



Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Prior to my youngest being born, we were both 100000% in the camp of this being it. If you'd asked me 6 months ago if I would have any more kids, I would've said abso-freaking-lutely not. No more. 

But, things changed and I don't know if it is hormones or what-- but the finality of it has REALLY hit me, hard. DH had a vasectomy shortly after I gave birth. He said he will get it reversed if I REALLY, really want another (even though there is no guarantee), which I would never ask him to do and it's not a surefire to way to have another. So, when I say final- I really do mean it, that we will not be having any more without serious intervention.

NeedCoffee's picture

getting tubes tied is a much riskier surgery than vasectomy. Vasectomy has faster healing time and can be reversed more easily. If he is certain about not wanting more kids ever, in any situation, then this should be his responsibility. You are not certain, so this shouldn't be up to you.

advice.only2's picture

I understand I had this regret around the time BD hit middle school, I wished I had one more so she could have a sibling closer to her. Combined DH and I have three, so BD did grow up with her siblings, it was just hard seeing them all graduate and BD was sort of left behind. Now that BD is in high school I am getting excited about the prospect of DH and I being emptynesters.

ndc's picture

My DH has 2 kids with BM. We have 1 child together. If the skids didn't exist, I would definitely want another child. But they do exist, and 4 kids is a lot, both financially and time/attention wise.  DD is still very young, so no final decision has been made, but the thing that troubles me most is that DD is in many ways an only child. When the skids are gone (half the week), DD is the only one. She has no sibling to play with or make memories with. If DH ever died (his father died quite young), the skids could totally disappear from DD's life. Being an only isn't the worst thing in the world (I know only children who prefer it that way), but I'd love to give her a full sibling and the skids are the main impediment to that. Luckily I like the skids, and they love DD and are good with her, but I do somewhat resent the resources they use.  

Picardy III's picture

It sounds like your SDs' mom is pretty sane, and would probably facilitate your DD spending time with her sisters, if your DH ever passed?

But it's not the same as growing up in the same household, of course - more of a distant cousin relationship. 

Seriously7's picture

I so wish I was able to plan on whether or not to have a third. My husband and I have been together for over five years now, married over two, and trying, seriously trying for about a year and a half, for over four years now. There is still not even one baby.  Not one milestone to enjoy. He has a daughter who has had milestones I'm sure he's enjoyed and will continue to enjoy over the years. I am now forty and he is in his fifties. I don't know if I will ever have a child to enjoy. So, I'm not trying to be a downer, but my advice would be to be thankful for what you do have because so many people are not as lucky. Try to really appreciate and enjoy all of their milestones. Not just the first time they roll over but their first steps, first words, first day of school, first friend, etc. 

And... why the rush on another one? Since you already have two, you are still in your thirties, and your husband is open to another, maybe you could hold off for a year or two and then just see what happens.  You may get lucky again. I constantly remind myself the oldest woman on record to get pregnant naturally was 59. That may help if you're stressed over age.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I'm so sorry to hear of the struggle to get pregnant. That's just, not fair and heartbreaking. I hope you do get your little one!

The rush would be age related. That's all 

Rags's picture

Every last is followed by a first. Quit lamenting the lasts and look forward to a lifetime of firsts.

If you want another baby, have another baby.

Do not allow the progeny of a prior failed family prevent you from having another child.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

You're right, it's merely a change of perspective on my part. I'm very excited about the future, and all the things the kids will do. Just saddened over my baby growing SO FAST! 

AshMar654's picture

I am about to have out first ours baby. My first period. Probably my last because I will say being pregnant is literally the worse thing I have ever experienced in my life time. I am pretty sure that if I ever start feeling like of I wont get to see this again I will remind myself of all the bad stuff that comes with being pregnant. Do not get me wrong I am very excited to have this baby and the baby was really wanted. Not sure you had any bad symptoms but let me just remind you of all the stuff that comes along with another pregnancy,

Hormonal, Sick for the entire pregnancy, cramps from the stretching up until about IDK 22 weeks or so. What about the excessive swelling in you feet no matter what you do, the insomnia you can get, sense are highetend, allergies could be worse than normal, your sensitive skin could be worse and you break out in rashes, baby is jammed up in your ribs you can barely breath or eat most days towards the end. Or better yet be pregnant during one of the worst summers in history in your area, or you have to wear a mask all the damn time while already struggling to breath because of some stupid pandamic. The constant pressure on the bladder and peeing, Boobs grow so large you can not even find bras to actually fit you that great. Hips hurt and ache all the time. Your memory is so shot you forget where you put keys, what you are currently typing.

Maybe it was not that bad for you but maybe remembering how much pregnancy takes a toll might make you feel differently.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Right there with ya, I HATED being pregnant. For all the reasons you mentioned plus the end of pregnancy joys like hemmerroids, extreme insomnia and the worst heartburn of my life. DH is always like, "but you HATE being pregnant!!". Which I'm like, "I know... I know... but its temporary! I mean its hell on earth for 9 months, but then it is over!"

I have always wanted to be a glowly, pretty, happy pregnant woman. I was always one step away from turning into a troll and living under a bridge both times with mine. It's annoyingly accurate though when people say you forget the hard/bad stuff and only look back at the positives. Much be Mother Natures way of ensuring life goes on, giving us a short memory of the painful parts! Both deliveries were rough, too--- failed epidurals, tearing, punctured spinal fluid resulting in the worst headache and pain I have literally ever experienced. Even worse than an unintentional natural birth (see above: failed epidural). So I def must be crazy to want to go through all of that over again!

AshMar654's picture

I am sure once this baby is here I will forget all the bad stuff. I have a preteen kid at home that is also taking a ton out me and my husband lately. I will say seeing what I am in store for as this one gets older is also helping me not want another one. Like everyone said you have the choice which is good. It would be alot of work and I will say as they get older they are really expensive. I know infants are too but than they want more name brand clothes or want to do this sport or that activity. It is crazy how much we spend. DS recently hit growth spurt out grew all his clothes from last year that I bought kinda big. We just went out and bought literally all new clothes, socks, underwear, all of it.

I may change my tune after I have this one but I am will have to remind myself of all that comes with adding one more and cost and tiredness. Best of luck on deciding.

SittingPretty's picture

I experienced this when I was pregnant with our 'ours' baby. DH set a hard limit of 4 and it was difficult to have that decision made for me. 

Realistically, it was the right choice. I feel maxed out at 4 and I felt very overwhelmed when she was a baby. But...I could never help but think that a third would have been on the cards if it weren't for the 2 skids. 

My youngest turned out to be a non-sleeper. I didn't sleep more than 4 hours straight in 2.5 years, no joke. That turned right me off having another one!!!

I like that your husband is letting you decide. If you really strongly want another baby then it sounds like you have the choice. Minivans aren't that bad Wink


Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Yours sounds like my oldest-- total nightmare sleeper. It can be ROUGH. We did sleep training finally and that did help, but it still doesn't "cure all" of just a really active young toddler.

DH is pretty cool, he'd go through a reverse vasectomy if I really wanted this to the point it was impacting our marriage or I was distraught or something-- which I'm not at that point, just feeling general sadness over the fact that this is it in terms of babies. It's hard to explain I think because not every mom feels that way about their kids and are so happy or firm in their decisions to be one and done or two and done or whatever, and I thought I'd be that way after my 2nd... but that switch just hasn't flipped yet. And it's not for lack of hardship LOL-- if you've seen any of my previous posts you'll see my DH works outside of the home, his job was never moved to work from home during the pandemic. So we had a pandemic baby where he was not home and works very long hours. I have a SK that is having a monsterous time adjusting to my 1yo and is in counseling for that, and I have 2 babies that are 15 months apart, at home with me, while I am working from home full time for the foreseeable future.

But my baby is just my bright, shiny spot of 2020 and is the most huggable, happy, chunky, gummy smiling little thing ever and watching the stages FLY by (already rolling over and teething, what?!) is giving me some serious feels.


beebeel's picture

I am firmly one and done. DH already had two kids, so that definately played a role, but there are many factors. I always cringe when I see people having more and more babies because they want another BABY. Sure, babies are cute and all...but that is a whole person!! So your toddlers just don't bring you the same joy because they grew up? I don't get it. If you want something cute and cuddly to play with and you crave a bunch of piss and shit in your life, get a puppy lol.

Picardy III's picture

Yep - I know a family on baby #8 because the wife just loves *babies* and loses interest in her kids as they get past toddler stage. They're in their 40s, high-risk pregnancies, home is a pigsty, older kids are semi-neglected or forced to be caretakers to the littles while mom coos over the new baby.
Extreme situation, but contemptible when your kids' primary purpose is for your emotional indulgence. 

beebeel's picture

My bff's sister spit out 5 kids every two years. As soon as one was out of diapers, they had another. Then promptly ignored the older kids. It's so gross, immature and damaging to those kids. And yes, the eldest is more of a mom to the younger ones than "mom" who is too busy test driving her divorced vagina to care for her kids. The youngest is a demon terror because she never stopped treating him like her baaaaaaby.

And I take so much shit for my "selfishness" of being one and done its ridiculous. Right, because it's so "selfless" to keep having BABIES that you ignore once they stop shitting themselves?

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Yikes. I see where you're coming from, but still-- harsh much? People love babies because they're lovable. And I love my toddler because again-- lovable! Some people just like kids, sue us?

ETA: Obviously NEGLECT is not okay, neither is ignoring your other, older children. Going to sideline that and focus on the reality that is, sometimes you just really love kids and it makes you want another one.

beebeel's picture

I love kids and babies. I love dogs and puppies, too! Making a logical choice rather than an emotional one when it comes to deciding your family size does not mean I don't "love babies."

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Right, agreed. Which is why I am here, asking other stepparents who have been through this, for advice instead of demanding my husband give me "MoAr KiDs NoW!". You can be logical, then emotional and a lot of in between those spectrums because, ya know... human and all.


But I do agree that family size shouln't be an emotional decision-- that doesn't make it any "easier", which was the point of the post. "Having a hard time coming to terms with no more ours babies" was literally the title. You suggested getting a puppy, so thank you for that suggestion. As far as I can tell, that and "use logic" were your only pieces of advice as you admitted that you didn't have any issues in this area in your own life (yay, thats awesome!). But just because someone experiences a same event differently than you, doesn't make their struggle less valid. 

beebeel's picture

I guess from your comments, I got the impression you were leaning heavily toward #3 and were looking for people to say "go for it!" So I tried to ooffer an "opposing view." I agree that having a baby - whether #1 or #8, should never be an emotional decision. But so far all the comments were only addressing the emotional aspect. 

So my advice would be to sit down with your budget and see how a third child would impact that. Factor in a larger car payment. Does your home have the space? Would your existing kids need to share rooms? With your new budget, could you still afford to give ALL three kids the same opportunities? Three sports fees? Three band instruments? Three out of state trips in high school? Three college savings accounts?

Think about the time you spend with your kids. Does it feel like they get enough of your undivided attention? Do they get one-on-one time with dad? How does that look when there is a third?

I can give you the reasons why we are one and done, but they probably won't match your values. Personally, just looking at the financial aspect helped my logical brain win out over the emotional side. But I don't think many people having 3+ kids these days are thinking logically. I mean, we are in the highest tax bracket (just barely) in our state and managing more than one kid was just not in our budget. 

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

This is good, thank you. I guess the first order of business is to see how much a reverse vasectomy would cost... I don't even want to think about the ins and outs of that. And then just general fertility issues with age. With my oldest, we were about to start IVF when I got pregnant after trying a few others meds and intervention. So we, wrongly, assumed that having a 2nd would be difficult. Well, surprise it was not and was definitely not planned. So who even knows what scientific and anatomic issues we'd have to do and undo to even get pregnant with a 3rd ours.

Then, like you said, finances. Someone would have to share a room. We'd need a larger vehicle. It'd be daycare (eventually, if they ever reopen lol x3) expenses. So it wouldn't be some small thing, it'd be a lifestyle overhaul even more than 3 kiddos currently are. We're fortunate in that we could make it work, but who wants to just "make it work" when the alternative is a much more comfortable lifestyle and more funds (and like you mentioned, time) to go around.

Thank you again for those questions-- that was very helpful

JRI's picture

I'm in my 70s and have watched many women handle these emotions.  There were the ones who had 3, 4, 5 kids and who were so busy with it all that the aging of the children was a secret relief.  Some multi-kid moms infantalized their kids to keep their mom role relevant.  My neighbor had 2 kids, a failing marriage and then transitioned into a dog breeder as a way to keep nurturing.  My daughter did the same: moved from mothering kids to mothering pets.  Others seemed content with 1 or 2 kids and either became uber SAHM moms or went back to work.  I think most women deal with this issue, either at your stage, or later as the kids leave the nest.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

That is really amazing advice and a unique perspective since you've lived it long enough to see your own daughter going through it.

I do agree that there's a touch of my "mom role" pride coming into play--- or in StepTalk terms, I probably have a tinge of golden uterus syndrome with my own kids. When it comes to my SK, I do not feel maternal and was unsure if I'd even be a good mom because of those feelings. But when I had my own, it was like, something was unlocked and I was like hey-- I am good at this! But. I don't want to infantalize my children or be a helicopter parent. Or keep having them just for the sake of babies. I just really, really enjoy them. But, my pride isn't too big to admit that I haven't learned a thing or two from this site and definitely don't want to grow tiny little brats that mommy fawns all over and are incapable of being productive members of society. I'm very aware of that, and want to have a good balance in life when it comes to mothering, and not let it consume me. I was a lot of other things before kids, and will be after they've left the nest (and hopefully the in-between part where they're at home I still have my own shred of identity left)

JRI's picture

We here on Steptalk are living the complicated, sometimes awful, realities of being a step-parent.  But I think there's one possible benefit to it.  Is there any better wsy in the world to bond with your DH than to participate in the raising of his child?  I realize this is slightly off-topic but it is something to weigh in the scales as you think about what the SK takes from the family, financially, emotionally and in all the ways.

My DH83 and I are close here near to the end.  But I don't think we'd be this close if we hadn't had this eventful, crazy, tumultuous journey with his 3 and my 2.  It bonded us like nothing else I can imagine.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

In the spirit of the other thread going around right now about why OP's don't come back and respond, I did want to provide an update of sorts. Many of you gave me A LOT to think about and chew on, especially beebeel's comment of "just get a puppy" and JRI and Gimlet asking some additional soul searching questions-- as to why I feel the way I do.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and have had a better time accepting that my last baby is my last baby, but there's so much to look forward to. Will I always want a 3rd "mine"? Maybe. I don't know. But you all gave me some good things to think about and consider, and it's nice to know others moms in blended or intact families sometimes struggle with this, and I'm not some crazed baby addict!

NeedCoffee's picture

I didn't read all of the many posts and replies here, but I just want to say I think it's great that you are trying to process this issue. It sounds like not having more is a source of sadness for you. This doesn't make you baby crazy. It makes you a person who has certain desires who realizes these desires are not going to be fulfilled. This is a part of life for all of us with one thing or another, and it hurts. Even when your head sees all of the realistic reasons for this road, when your heart wants something else, it is not easy. I'd say just allow yourself to be sad about this and process it as best you can, like with writing about it here. Eventually, the sadness will be less intense, and acceptance will come. I think it's good to remind yourself of the reasons why not adding more is a positive for your family. I think this will help with acceptance. I also think that acknowledging the loss you are feeling will help you get there, too. You are in a grieving process, really. Take care!

Swim_Mom's picture

I have 3 healthy kids who are now 15, 19 and 21. I was in a crappy marriage and knew it. But after the first two, I wanted another baby so badly, and we had my youngest DD. Best decision I've ever made. Then I was mourning a 4th but decided to just be grateful for my kids, accept reality and move on. We ended up divorced, but we would have regardless, so I'm so grateful I have my third 'baby'. DH and I met a year after my divorce and have been married over 4 years (together for 6). Got the marriage right this time! I do sometimes wish we had an 'ours' baby' but, we were too old when we met plus DH has 4 kids (now ages 15-27). We got a quarantine pupppy; he is almost a year old and he is the 'ours' baby! 

I guess I have no particular advice other than it is totally normal what you are feeling. I would have a hard time not resenting the SK as part of the reason, because SK's are not my kids, not even close. I guess it is all in your own perspective and choosing to be grateful and accept that what you have is already great.