Before we ventured into the world of parenthood, we always said we wanted four children. We both came from big ish families and I think we just always pictured that idyllic playful family future - but then the reality of a terrible pregnancy, illness and days where you simply can't cope kick in and things change.
When we had Alf, even on the operating table being 'stitched up' following an assisted birth, I said I can't wait to have another baby! From day one I always wanted another, a play buddy for Alf, someone for him to grow up with and another chance to experience the magical moments of pregnancy and birth. Not so much the bad bits though obviously. However hard some days were, there was never any doubt that we would try for a second.
Since we had Sophie, the impact of two children from one is pretty massive and although in those early days it was at times a lot easier than just having one, once Soph reached two it has been really hard work, totally exhausting and often pretty stressful. My kids are great, amazing little people, really clever, funny and bright but jeez they can moan and scream like no other.
The gap between Alf and Soph has now passed again but this time we haven't had another baby, and the question is up in the air as to whether we will or won't. I just have no idea how you are meant to know when your family is complete, when you are done with the baby years and ready to move to the next chapter? I've been so incredibly lucky so far, I feel like I could be pushing my luck and I really am happy as we are, just with this niggling thought of a 3rd child that won't go away.
I believe that you would never ever regret having a child, but only regret in future not having another, but know that isn't a good reason to decide on a third and our family feels pretty perfect right now with one of each gender, one each to tackle at bedtime or when we are out, and comfortably fitting in our little house and car.
I just can't shake the feeling though that we should have another baby, another beautiful little squish that will not only have us two but two gorgeous siblings to dote over them too and I picture it all the time. I feel a tiny bit mental feeling this way and although I don't put any pressure on Adam as I'm not 100% sure myself, I can bet I am pretty annoying with it anyway.
There are so many reasons to draw a line under our baby days and move on as a family of four, like my bad back, anxiety, not being able to buy a bigger house, wanting to progress our careers again, start our own business and get some us time back. But then there are all the things we could have again like that exciting feeling of knowing you are creating a whole new person, watching and feeling them grow, seeing what the new baby will look like, choosing names, getting to know yet another little personality that at times will have you happy to the point of tears and other times have you longing for bedtime for a rest. I can't help but feel I want to do it all again and savour every second this time, especially as the years are flying by so fast.
This is one of the hardest decisions I think we will ever have to make and as much as I know we are lucky to be in the position where it is an option unlike a lot of people, it's still totally scary and a massive leap into the unknown not knowing how bad the pregnancy could be, if the baby would be OK or how the other two would react to any of it.
Have you ever felt like this? How did you know when you were/weren't done?