How did you know you were done having kids?

Basically what the title says! How did you know when you were finished having children? DID you know?

I’m a planner and like to have an idea of what our plans for the future are. If we’re done with two, I just want to give away all the baby clothes and clear the house a bit and start thinking about how the next stage of our lives will look.

Honestly I can think of zillions of reasons why we should stop now, and no reason to have any more… except that I’d always thought I wanted 3 and two feels incomplete somehow.

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I’ve been asking myself the same question lately. We’re currently TTC for baby n° 5 (my husband’s fourth) and I keep telling myself that this, if we’re blessed with another child, will be our last one. [name_f]My[/name_f] main reason is that I turn 35 next year, and I personally don’t want the whole TTC and pregnancy thing anymore after that. Other than that, it’s just a feeling. I feel like I’ll be done after this one, but what if I feel differently once that baby is here?
[name_f]My[/name_f] husband would like another baby after n° 5, and that isn’t making the decision any easier. I know he’ll accept it when I say I don’t want any more children, we’ve discussed it countless times, but knowing our family may not feel complete to him is really bothering me.

So I’m afraid I’m not much help, but I’m looking forward to reading other people’s replies.

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We always talked about three or four, and we are done with two. I felt I knew immediately after having my second – I didn’t want to go through pregnancy or birth again. This feeling is reaffirmed often – I often feel a bit overwhelmed with the kids I have, and the idea of throwing a third into the mix just gives me anxiety. Mine are 6 and 3 now, and I feel like it’s getting easier, and I’m looking forward to doing things with them I would find difficult with a baby (taking them to the water park by myself, camping, going to shows at the theatre… having my evenings back instead of spending them nursing and cosleeping with a baby/toddler). Also, I don’t create children who sleep so being able to sleep again is a plus.

Basically, I just feel relief at the thought of never having a little baby again. Whereas iI think if you feel a lot of grief about that, you might not be done.

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I’ve been thinking about this lately as well. So I guess I don’t have any answers for you. But from what I’ve gathered some people feel complete, and others just decide, and others have known since they were little.

For me I never had any idea growing up how many kids I wanted, and now I’m totally happy and content with 2… But I could see myself having another one or 2 if the situation allows, or I could see us having 2 forever. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens the next year or so.

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I always imagined 3 or 4. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband wanted 2, so when our first pregnancy was twins he was content to be done.
It took a fair bit of convincing to get him to try for one more but we just had our third in [name_u]October[/name_u].
Due to complications from having to have csections it would be too risky to try for another so we are truly done now.
If I wasn’t high risk and he was onboard I would have liked one more but we are both so happy with the family we have.
All that to say that I guess sometimes circumstances around actually having the baby help make the decision for you.

Thanks so much everyone for your replies!
So many of your replies resonated with me. I’m already 35 and age is definitely a factor, but I didn’t start having kids til 32!

And honestly, @northernlights pretty much everything you said felt just like me, except that while I want the baby stage to be over with, and often already feel overwhelmed, and quite honestly don’t even really like newborns (they’re so much cooler as they get a bit older and start doing more!)… I still feel like there’s a person missing from our family. Not that I want a tiny baby again, but I don’t want this to be the last time I have a 10 month old.

This really applies to us too. I haven’t been told not to have another, but I’ll be at high risk of some complications. First had iugr and came out skinny (1.1th centile) and second was emergency c-section due to a fetomaternal haemorrhage. So in different ways the placenta failed both times. This is why I feel so crazy for wanting another. I’ll have to have lots of monitoring, and a planned c-section though they said they wouldn’t do it til 39 weeks. There’ll be no happy excited pregnancy, I’ll have crippling, hideous morning sickness yet again, and be feeling on edge the entire time that I could lose the baby at any time, even moreso the later in pregnancy I go. I’m scared of c-section because my emergency one has left me with on-and-off pain (adhesions?) even 10 months later. I feel a really sharp pain deep in one side of my lower abdomen before pooping (sorry for tmi!) and am kind of anxious I’ve got scar tissue attached to my bowel or something. C-section would also mean being unable to drive or pick up my other kids for 6 weeks, and then… well the newborn phase just sucks :sweat_smile:

And yet STILL this irrational part of me wants my third :woman_shrugging:

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When you feel complete. I have been trying for no 3 for 11 months now. Ans although I am immensely grateful for my son’s, there is a massive void where I know my third is out there. I feel like it’s looking through a pane of glass. You can see and sense them but you can’t reach them. So for me it’s that feeling of completion and finality.

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Yes, scar tissue caused my uterus to adhere to my abdomen wall. Probably the reason I had crazy BH from around 20 weeks. I went into labor the day before my scheduled csection and the doctors didnt realize how much scar tissue there was or how strong it was. It took two surgeons to break through it and get her out.
They also had to cut both horizontally and vertically and remove a fibroid so I lost quite a bit of blood.
They told me if I had to have another csection it would have to be vertical on the outside too. And because of the vertical incision on the inside there is an increased risk of rupture.
That on top of being 36 now convinces me I’m done :sweat_smile:
The amount of scaring I had was more like someone who’s had 3 or more csections they said. So normally it is not that bad on your second one!
I’ve heard many women say their second csection was a breeze compared to their first.
And I will say that even after all the trauma the recovery still seemed easier than after my first.

I would talk to your doctor about your concerns though. I’ve had some pain since having her that worried me a bit but my mom who’s had two csections said it is pretty normal to feel those pulling pains even years later.

I do understand wanting another so much you’re willing to go through all the morning sickness and craziness all over again.

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I don’t feel done having kids but my husband is! I have 3 children (boy 4, girl 2 and boy 3 months). He would have been happy with 2 but our last son has definitely been my blessing. [name_f]My[/name_f] mum died end of [name_u]October[/name_u] and my son was born beginning of [name_u]December[/name_u]. All the grief has been easier as I’ve had my little angel to help me. [name_f]My[/name_f] first child is special needs as well. These mixed emotions has made having kids so much more intense and scary. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband would have more for me so it’s all down to me.

I would love another little girl but I know there is no guarantees. I would still love baby number 4 just as much as the others if it was a boy (if we have anymore…). It’s just I’ve always wanted a sister and my mum was so close to hers. I hope to give this to my daughter.

I know a lot of my feelings are due to losing both my parents young, I’m 37! It could be hormones from just having a baby and grief all mixed up. Im not going to made any real decisions until I’ve had some time. I know I should feel lucky to have 3 but I currently feel someone is missing. I am enjoying have a newborn and I completely adore him. I’m trying to enjoy everything as it could be my last child. This does make me feel so sad.

I think for some people they do know when they have finished having kids and others just stop but wish they had more. Some people say you don’t ever regret the kids you have, just the ones you didn’t! Having kids is such a complex personal decision. There is never a wrong decision!

I have [name_m]Von[/name_m] Willebrand’s disease, and when I reached my 40s, my monthly period, always heavy, became life-threatening. [name_f]My[/name_f] kids were 13 and 8, and I was in the middle of an ugly divorce. I had always wanted 4 children, but I had 3 miscarriages and one stillbirth. It was pretty obvious I was done.

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I am not someone who would ever say I’m 100% percent sure we are done having children, or that it’s 100% our choice (I don’t like to play God). But with our one four-year-old son right now, life feels right. We have gotten over the hump of babyhood, and I can’t imagine rolling back the clock right now to do the last 4.5 years over again. I didn’t enjoy most of my pregnancy, and the first few years were a drain on me physically and mentally, though our son himself was and has been an “easy” child and we love him to the moon and back. Not to mention things like finances, time, space, energy, child care… The list is exhaustive of the things which would have to align to make another child feasible while maintaining the quality of life we have now. Things like names and the “idea” of a new baby, and the excitement around it all is fun, but the reality of it is a bit more complicated. Right now, I am at peace being “one and done.” I don’t have to think about another pregnancy, birth, another postpartum phase, or caring for a newborn. Strollers and all the other baby accessories that are finally gone. I don’t have to think about our family dynamic changing. Right now, that is fine with me.

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I’m 38 or 39… I’ve lost track. 4 pregnancies and 3 babies and one in heaven, all c sections. [name_f]My[/name_f] oldest just turned 5. We’re hoping for one more and planning to VBAC. Birth has not been easy, but the children are so worth the pain. I have always wanted an even number, but once I turn 40… I’m done! Met my husband at age 31.