Should I have a third child?

The other night, I was reading this depressing article which basically compared a woman to an autumnal gourd.  “There’s no one age where a woman turns into a pumpkin,” the fertility doctor says in the piece. And then goes on to explain there are slight declines in fertility after the age of 35, followed by steeper drop-offs.

That’s when we turn into a pumpkin, ladies. After 35.

I’m 38. I’ve had two healthy pregnancies and two healthy babies (thank you, sweet baby jesus. Thank you so much. Prayer hands emoji alllll over the place). I am not yet a squash, but I’m close.

But! But! But!

What if we want to have a third?

It’s now or basically never. The door is closing. Quickly.

I’ve done some soul searching and what my soul tells me is that we would have a third if: 1. Nat would be the one who got pregnant. 2. Nat would be the one who gestates the baby for 10 months. 3. Nat is the one who then gives birth to it. 4. Nat is the one who breastfeeds it for six months. 5. Nat then has to work for a year to get his body back while taking time off from his career. 6. We had ONE MILLION EXTRA DOLLARS.

It would also help sway me if my mom was 20 years younger and lived in the basement.

Since all of these things are impossible, it looks like we’re done.

I know that when I’m older, I will look back and be sad we didn’t have a third. I mean, we can do it; we could theoretically afford it (although it would be tough and we wouldn’t be able to retire until we’re 135). Despite my complaining on this here blog, we love our children and derive great happiness from them. We could muddle through and make a third work. In fact, we would LOVE three adult children. But getting to the Adult Child thing is super hard, and extra super hard on me, Dorothy Robinson, the bearer of newborns. My pregnancy with Kit was tough. I was a tired, depressed, angry mess.

I don’t want that again. I want to enjoy the family I currently have. 

Now that Kit is almost 2, I feel we’re getting our groove back. It’s so nice right now to have a little bit of money, to have a little bit of time, a little bit of sleep, to have a little bit of freedom. I don’t want to go back. I have a little taste of life now, and I want more. I don’t want to reset the parenting clock. 

But still, I feel a little bit of sadness to put a “Closed / Do Not Enter” sign on my uterus. To not bring another one of us into this terrible, wonderful world. To be ours.

But then I remember what it’s like to poop after childbirth and I’m resolute: No thank you. We’re done here. The baby making shop is closed. 




(If you’ve gotten this far, it probably means you like what I write. If you do, please subscribe to my newsletter. It’s short, funny and has some recipe ideas as well as some links to interesting articles, etc. It’s like The Skimm but for busy, tired parents and women who don’t look a day over 35. You can subscribe here. It comes out every Friday. )

One Comment Add yours

  1. mbridgman says:

    Just had my second baby, I am so with you on this! Especially the poop.


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