The Perfect Baby Number.


T H E  L O W - D O W N (11)

What is the perfect baby number?

It turns out I’m not sure, and that is coming from someone who thought they had it all figured out.

I was never a baby person, as a child I never played with dolls, and as a teenager I would have told you that I was never having children – I certainly didn’t coo over babies in prams. No one was more surprised than me when I got pregnant at 20…and was actually happy about it. I wanted my son from the moment I found out, it’s like a dormant part of my brain came alive!

When my son died my desire to be a mother didn’t die with him. I always considered my self lucky (if that is at all the right word) that after losing my son I didn’t instantly want to replace him. Of course, intellectually, everyone knows you can’t replace a lost child but that doesn’t stop our loopy hormones from pushing us. It doesn’t stop us, in all our despair, from thinking it will make a terrible situation better.

I also didn’t feel rushed into having another baby, partly because his father left me (there I go being all lucky again!).

It was five long years until I finally held my beautiful daughter, Amelia, with her father by my side and my family complete…or so I thought. I told everyone, with conviction, that we would only have one child. This meant I had been through two pregnancies, pretty awful pregnancies. I was relieved and happy to finally have my baby and I wasn’t going to push my luck.

Besides, although the ‘mummy’ part of my brain had been activated, I still had no desire for a large family. Body falling apart worries aside, I just thought raising multiple children looked hard!

We loved being a little family of three, this was our perfect number until the time Amelia was nearly four. I don’t know what happened, maybe it was the pesky hormones or that damn biological clock ticking as I edged closer to 30. Whatever it was, all of a sudden conversations about saving baby clothes ‘just in case’ and my decision not to recycle the moses basket became more serious.

I began to feel like someone was missing.

My husband proposed on my 30th birthday in the August (by poem which was lovely!), not ones to hang around, we booked the wedding for the following February, six months later. I blame all the loved-upness that followed his proposal but we made the decision to try for another baby at the beginning of December assuming it would take a couple of months at least and we might have a ‘honeymoon’ baby – as it turned out I was pregnant three weeks later (my husband’s charmingly proud of this fact).

We had an amazing wedding, despite the fact I had to buy another wedding dress two weeks before the big day! Silly me for picking a really fitted dress in the first place and then getting knocked up on purpose, I know!

So along came Poppy. Me, pregnant three times and a mother to two lovely little girls. I still can’t quite believe it.

This is the point – I’m supposed to hang up my overworked ovaries. I’ve had more babies than I ever intended to, more caesareans, more sleepless nights, more terrifying pregnancies and gruesome pregnancy ailments. I’m done.

Aren’t I?

My husband says he’s done, he’s happy with our two girls and wants no more. Who can blame him? Our youngest rarely sleeps in past 5am these days! Our house and car are the perfect size for a family of four, any more and life would start getting cramped, not to mention overwhelmingly expensive.

I know all this, and agree, but still…I’m starting to feel like someone is missing.

Perhaps it is the missing person that is at the centre of my broodiness. I am a mother of three but only two are here. If I went on to have another child, or even two, there will still be someone missing.

I thought I had it all figured out, I even thought I was lucky that I escaped that burning desire to have another baby straight after Louis died but maybe not, maybe it just burns in a different way. A slow burn that leaves me with a maternal urge I can’t quite ignore.

I hate feeling broody.

Deep down though I know that this family is complete. More babies would be a bad idea for my health, my marriage and my bank account! Lucky for me, my girls still enjoy a nice cuddle so I take full advantage whenever I get that broody feeling!

What has been your perfect baby number?


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20 Comments on The Perfect Baby Number.

    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    3rd December 2014 at 4:46 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow sounds like you had such a tough time but also sounds like you have a lively family. It is so difficult deciding how many children I the right number and must be even harder when you have lost a child. We are dropping at 2 for all the reasons you mentioned, though we both like the idea if 3 kids, the practicalities and health implications for me make it unwise really! Xx

    • Claire
      3rd December 2014 at 5:53 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you. Stopping at two makes so much sense doesn’t it? One of those few occasions in life though when the ‘right’ decision still feels iffy!!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Spidermummy x
    3rd December 2014 at 9:06 pm (4 years ago)

    I think it’s such a personal choice, and totally depends on your journey – and you’ve had a bumpy one to say the least. But ultimately, you’re a spring chicken with plenty of time to think about it. All I would say is never regret the things you haven’t done… I debated about this (not for long to be fair, but I’ve a few years on you!!) and ultimately I thought when I was old and grey in my rocking chair how lovely it would be to be surrounded by a big family. So personally for me, three is my magic number and although it’s crazy I’m grateful every day that I am blessed with three beautiful souls… Go with your gut I say xx

    • Claire
      4th December 2014 at 12:32 pm (4 years ago)

      I think three is a lovely number and what a great image of being surrounded by a big family when we’re old and grey!
      I’ll have to wait and see if that biological clock starts causing me trouble again – I seem to have babies every five years, like I’m on some weird fertility cycle (20, 25 and 30!!) so who knows, maybe another will arrive when I hit 35!!
      Thanks for reading!

    Lucy Blossom
    4th December 2014 at 11:59 am (4 years ago)

    I always thought I’d have multiple children, but after just the one pregnancy (which was awful) and a poorly baby for a few months I’m not so sure I want to do it again.

    • Claire
      4th December 2014 at 12:36 pm (4 years ago)

      Motherhood seems to be full of surprises and what we think we’re going to want (or feel) in advance rarely seems to pan out – in good and bad ways!
      I was absolutely convinced I would never have another after my eldest daughter was born and now we’re so happy to have two little girls – it did take me over four years to come around to it though!!
      Thanks for reading. Xx

    5th December 2014 at 2:50 pm (4 years ago)

    I am the same, I’m pregnant with no 2 at the moment, my hubby says two is his limit, but I can’t quite bring my self to agree with him. I guess only time will tell!

    • Claire
      5th December 2014 at 2:58 pm (4 years ago)

      It’s the never never part isn’t it!
      Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy – perhaps your husband will come around once he/she makes an appearance!!
      Thanks for commenting!

    Coombe Mill
    5th December 2014 at 3:43 pm (4 years ago)

    I think it’s difficult to know what the perfect baby number is, each person is different and at different stages of life the number’s different. Many would say that 6 is far from the perfect number but I love my family of 8, even if it is a bit difficult to juggle at times with clubs, sleepovers and nights out. #PoCoLo

    • Claire
      5th December 2014 at 5:33 pm (4 years ago)

      I think it sounds like you have a lovely big family!! I thought I was done after my eldest daughter was born but I’m so glad we had another – maybe I’ll get that feeling again!
      Thanks for reading! Xx

    Verily Victoria Vocalises
    6th December 2014 at 11:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Being the eldest of 7 I always knew how much hard work babies were…thankfully! I always wanted at least 2. I have Grace and Ross and I love her to bits but Ross and I would love at least 1 of our own. A really lovely post and you have done such an amazing job. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo :) x

    • Claire
      8th December 2014 at 1:52 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much!
      Eldest of 7! Wow! Your mum certainly had her hands full but how lovely to have such a big family. I guess the ‘right’ number of children probably changes for most people – I’m certainly glad that I didn’t completely shut off the thought of a third pregnancy or else out youngest wouldn’t be here now. good luck with adding to your own family!

    7th December 2014 at 10:03 am (4 years ago)

    I’m expecting number 2 now and before this pregnancy, I wanted 3… But it’s been a tougher pregnancy so I’m back to thinking 2 is good lol it may change again though…

    • Claire
      8th December 2014 at 1:55 pm (4 years ago)

      I think if someone had asked me about any future pregnancies while I was actually pregnant I would have given them a very short (and possibly rude) answer, pregnancy never did agree with me!!
      I hope the rest of this pregnancy goes well for you – perhaps you’ll ‘forget’ sufficiently to go for baby number 3 at some point!
      Thanks for reading. Xx

    8th December 2014 at 3:01 pm (4 years ago)

    This is so hard for me. I always wanted 4 and my husband always wanted 2. When my son (number 2) was born, his birth was so traumatic and we both nearly died. We both swore no more children and I was GUTTED that my dream of a big family was gone. Then baby number 3 surprised us so we kind of compromised at 3- half way between what we both wanted. But I knew even when I was pregnant with her that I wasn’t done, hence why number 4 is now weeks old! Now i have my 4 and I still don’t feel done. The choice is out of my hands now though, since i just had my 4th section and this pregnancy was fairly stressful with growth issues and so on. We’ve been advised not to have any more and yes i am upset about that but glad the decision was taken from me. I would just keep going if I could! x xx

    • Claire
      8th December 2014 at 4:16 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m so glad that you have the big family that you wanted – even though it sounds like you’ve had some pretty scary issues in getting there. To have the decision taken out of your hands must be so difficult to accept, even if you know it is the right decision.
      My husband is adamant that he is done, I don’t blame him, all his reasons make perfect sense. I even agree. I just can’t shake that feeling that I’m not done. Of course I may never shake that feeling, I’m always going to miss my son and I accept that.
      With two c-sections and my abdominal wall having some serious issues (including hernia’s that need repairing), another baby doesn’t make sense physically either.
      All good reasons, I just wish my heart would take notice!!
      Thank you so much for commenting.

    Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork
    9th December 2014 at 10:35 am (4 years ago)

    It’s such a toughie, this. Because of the mental health issues in my family I didn’t want kids at all for a long time, so as not to pass these issues on. But then I met my husband and neither of us could imagine not having children together, so we settled on two. Or so we thought! We have one son now who’s almost two, and although we’re being inundated with questions over when the next one will arrive, we just don’t know. There are weeks when my body screams out for another baby, but then we have a run of illnesses, bad nights and bad behaviour and I think “no thanks, one is enough!”. There is definitely the financial side to consider.
    In the end, I’m really not sure there is such a thing as a “perfect” number, nor is there even a “perfect” time to have a baby at all. I expect that one day we will just go for it, or else our finances won’t get sorted and the decision will be taken out of our hands. Not sure whether that would be any easier though!

    • Claire
      10th December 2014 at 10:00 am (4 years ago)

      I’ve often thought if everyone waited for the perfect time to have children no one ever would – it never seems to make sense on paper does it. I always thought I’d only have one, I thought that was a more ‘manageable’ number – turns out children aren’t very manageable no matter how many/few you have!!
      Enjoy your son. I was nowhere near ready to have another when my eldest daughter was two – she was four before I got remotely broody again so give yourself chance.
      Thanks for reading!

    Honest mum
    9th December 2014 at 11:09 am (4 years ago)

    Oh hun, thanks for sharing this heartfelt post, it must be hard, I can’t imagine quite how hard. I feel my family is complete with two gorgeous boys. I don’t really feel broody ever anymore but who knows what the future holds. I think I don’t like the idea of saying no to anything and being open. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • Claire
      10th December 2014 at 10:08 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you. I think deep down my family is complete too – another pregnancy would be very difficult for many reasons. I just wish my head and my heart would get on the same page!!
      It’s good to keep an open mind to these things. I was certain I’d have no more after my eldest daughter was born, I stuck to it for four years, but I’m so glad I changed my mind.
      Not feeling broody would be great!!


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