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Anxiety of having a third baby

PA2074
Community Member

Hi,

Apologies I posted in the wrong thread prior.

I saw a couple of people have posted about a year ago on the same topic, and hoping others are out there.
I have a lot of anxiety about a third child. This has been a decision I have battled withe for 2 years. I am 39yrs and haven't helped myself by putting a time pressure on myself (well biological clocks kind of make that unavoidable). I have always said if I have a third, I would want to give birth before i am 40. This has given me 2 months left of trying.
For the last 2 years I have choked up at seeing families of 3, of friends have round 3. I've always thought I wanted three, and i think my heart probably says that, however my practical and logical side of the brain kicks in every month around ovulation and freaks out at the extra responsibility, cost, entertaining the third which would have a 4yr age gap to the 2nd, sleepless nights, minimal time off with my husband, less travel and holidays, the juggle etc etc. I incessantly go to a bad place in my head every time ovulation comes around, and then at other times in the month, I feel great and want to go ahead and have a 3rd. This process has been so damaging that I have actually made choices I come to regret in the past, and we try again, and then I freak out again. I understand this absolutely isn't normal ,i just can't break the cycle. Seeking help has a very long wait list, finally due to see someone early July.
I have just tested positive again on a pregnancy test after being convinced having a 3rd is right, and now I am back in the same damaging mental cycle. I am absolutely torn wether to stay pregnant, knowing this is the last time as I will soon be 40.
Has anyone been in this horrible place before? Where you just can't get the clarity, the heart and the head are at totally opposite spectrums.
I was just getting in to a good place post grieving the past trauma and that having only 2 is a fantastic choice.
I have a successful career, and the bread winner of the family at present, which places extra pressure on having a 3rd and returning to work. I think how on earth will I juggle full time, school hours etc. My husband is 4 days and doesn't have too much flexibility. As you can see, I jump straight to the practical challenges.
I wish there was an amazing psychic who can look in to the future and tell me everything will be OK, and what the right thing to do is.
Thank you for reading this far!

7 Replies 7

smallwolf
Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome.

wouldn't it be nice to be able to look into the future and to know what happens.

and what if we did not like the answer.

by the way, this is something I have spoken with my psychologist about as well!

a little secret .... in the important moments of life such as buying house or kids or ... I was never excited. I would see all the challenges and problems to deal with. Never really in the moment. Now I can say I am few years older and things can work out. Perhaps not like we might have thought but ... '

how you define something working out is also unique to you as well. So it makes it a difficult question to answer.

Perhaps the only answer that I can give is that you and your hubby will make a decision that is best you both based on the information that is available to you in that moment. And that is all you can do. If you want to talk more, I am here

Petal22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi PA2074,

Well come to our forums.

Follow your heart, I believe that the heart knows best.

I understand your anxiety but you never know what the future may bring, you may win lotto.

Have you ever been taught how to challenge your thoughts?

Meditation is great for anxiety it just takes practice maybe you could give it a try.

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi PA2074

My heart goes out to you as you struggle with such a mind altering life changing decision. Having only 2 kids (19yo girl and 16yo boy), I recall the battle between 2 minds when it came to having a third child. It really is what I'd call a heartfelt and mentally disturbing decision. Disturbs your everyday focus, disturbs your sleep, disturbs your nervous system and kind of just invades your existence. Almost becomes obsessive and definitely can become stressful in certain ways.

For me, the biggest factor was financial. With my husband and I more than happy to go the traditional route of me staying home for a number of years raising the kids while he raised the money every week (to be able to support this lifestyle choice), it kind of became a matter of 'How much financial challenge are we willing to face under the circumstances?'. I should add, if I had ended up having a non planned pregnancy resulting in a third child, we would have coped. Amazing how we're pushed to cope when the choice is not there. It's often through having no choice that you find the absolute best in yourself - the outside the square thinker in you, the sage in you, the strategist in you, your resilient sense of self and so on. We're developed through the process of challenge. In the case of an added expense, 'the financial planner' in us can also very well exercised, the creator of financial spreadsheets and juggler of resources 🙂

As a mum and as a person in general, I can honestly say my kids have raised me beautifully so far. They're absolute legends. They've raised me to be a more patient person, a more resilient person, more evolved, more open minded, more loving, more analytical, more sensitive and so on. Kids raise us in incredible ways. I suppose you could ask the question, when it comes to a 3rd round of motherhood, 'How would a 3rd child raise me and how do I wish to raise them in return?'. If you imagine so many joyful loving ways (amongst the challenges), perhaps you have your answer.

I hope you reach a conclusion that serves your heart and mind, so that both are satisfied 🙂

PA2074
Community Member

Thank you @Therising. I really resonated with what you said.

I have a question, do you ever look back and regret not having a third child? I hear the saying 'you can regret not having a child, but you will never regret having one' a lot, and just not sure how truthful that is when it comes to multiple siblings.

Thank you

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi PA2074

At 51, I still occasionally wonder what it would have been like to have a 3rd child, especially based on me being 1 of 3 myself (the youngest). It's more so a basic sense of wonder at this point in my life, not an intensely serious sense of wonder like it once was. Sometimes I might imagine what it would be like to have 3 but accept that's in my imagination - it's a highly active one at times 🙂 Sometimes I even imagine becoming a foster parent yet that's something my husband's never been on board with. Who knows what the future holds. Might be a single foster parent one day. As I say, highly active imagination at times 🙂 I think the compulsion to raise someone to be all they can be and find joy in that shared experience is a strong compulsion if it's in our nature.

I'm greatly focused on the 2 amazing legends I have in my life these days, my 19 and 16yo. I think I'll always wonder to some degree when it comes to that 3rd child. As time goes by and I move closer toward menopause, that wonder involves rare fleeting thoughts that I don't give much time to. Personally, I have no regrets. I should add that what largely motivated me to stop at 2 involved (besides the financial factor) a couple of early stage miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy between the birth of my 2 kids. So, my motivation to stop at 2 involved not wanting to face another possible miscarriage. This was a long time ago so the losses hold no emotional charge for me anymore, yet they did impact some of my decisions around that time. I think sometimes it's easier to make a decision based on highly motivating factors. Much harder to make a decision when they're not there.

Karen0901
Community Member

I know exactly what you are going through. I am having the same problem but with going from 1 to 2 children. I have a lot of infertility problems and that is adding to the anxiety.

I don't have a lot to offer for help, since I am also struggling with this problem, but just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

TashaG01
Community Member

Hi PA2074,

I know you posted a few weeks ago but I really wanted to reach out and see if you had found any clarity. I literally could have written this post myself. I am in exactly the same situation, two wonderful kids but continually feeling that I have not finished having children and longing for a third. Unfortunately for us I would have to return to IVF to try and achieve that which adds another layer of difficulty. Having just turned 40 I can feel the clock ticking. Like you I am always feeling in my heart that I want another child but then all of a sudden I am struck with panic about that prospect. Certainly the practical considerations are a big one but mainly for me it is two things - 1. feeling a sense of dread that I am tempting fate because I already have two great kids and that something will go wrong and I will destroy my family and 2. feeling that I will lose the amazing relationship I have now with my two kids and the special bond we share. I think I won't ultimately be able to offer them the same amount of time now or later in life afford the same things for them and give them the headstart I might be able to with 2. I am terrified it will be the wrong decision and ruin things. Probably what weighs into it further is my husband is fairly anti- no 3. He will do it for me essentially but would prefer to stay with 2 kids. Hence if something goes wrong I feel like it will all be my fault. I also recently thought I may be pregnant and had a sleepless night from anxiety and feeling this sense of dread that I've ruined everything. As soon as the test came back negative, I initially felt relief but then a few minutes later sadness that another opportunity was gone. The cycle is so strange and mentally exhausting. I wonder am I just in love with the 'idea' of three kids and not the reality or do I really want three kids and this is just my anxiety coming out horribly as soon as I try to make it possible?

Would love to hear how you are feeling now. Hope you are coping and have lots of support either way.