The third child; why we’re not planning any more children

After I had my eldest we were already planning our second.  We had always said that we would have two or three children.

Two or three. 

We’d see how it went.

Or is such a little word.  Such an insignificant word.  But one which I should have paid more attention to.

Because two or three means just that. We could stop at our two perfect boys or we could add another sibling to the mix.  We could try and not be successful, or we could try and be sucessful.

But then came the little one, and his dramatic birth which nearly killed us both.  And suddenly or three was off the table.


Two or three gone.

And with it all the potential and possibilities that go with that one little word.  Or.

Just two.

And my two boys are perfect.  I wouldn’t change them for the world, every sleepless night they’ve ever given me, every tantrum, every bite, every cuddle, every kiss, every smile.  I wouldn’t change.  I wouldn’t wish them to be any different.

Baby Kisses

Yet still I mourn the possibility of a third child.  Still I think what if.  Still I dream of what a third child could mean.

What I’m mourning here isn’t the fact I’m lucky enough to have two little boys.  I’m mourning the child that could have been our or three.

The little boy or girl that would have taken us from four to five.

That would have promoted the littlest to big brother status.  And added gravitas to the eldest’s title of big brother.

That would have given the children the advantage of outnumbering the adults.

The potential little person they would become. The friendships they would, or wouldn’t form with their brothers.

And yes, the or three may never have happened for us.

We may never have been blessed with a third.  We could have tried and tried but never gotten pregnant again.  It may have been the case that we weren’t able to have a third child.

But we would have tried.  That possibility would still be there.

And yes, some days I couldn’t even imagine adding an or three into the equation.

Most days I can’t.  Most days the two is where I am.  The two is where I would always stay no matter if the or three was a possibility.

But the or three is not a possibility

And yes, I know how lucky I am to have my two, healthy, loving boys. But some days?  Some days I wonder about the what if of the or three and I mourn the possibilities.

But that’s OK, I just need time to say goodbye to a dream I once had of three little faces looking up at me.

I need to work on letting go of the potential. It’s time for me to be leaving behind the or three once and for all.

How about you? How many children do you want? How many did you have? Are you too letting go of a dream you once had? I’d love to hear in the comments or on Facebook.

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  1. February 1, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    I know what you mean, I want 3, my husband only wants 2 and I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to my possibility of number 3 child. Xx

    • Laura
      February 6, 2016 / 10:06 am

      That’s it Jenny, I’m not quite ready even though I know it’s not going to happen x

  2. February 1, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. We always said two. Just two. No more. I was fine with that. Until the awful birth experience of my youngest daughter. When the doctors told me it was “medically inadvisable” for me to have a third, I suddenly wanted one. I wanted to be the one to make the decision to stop at two.

    • Laura
      February 6, 2016 / 10:07 am

      It’s like you always want what you can’t have or when control is ripped from you. I will always want to have been able to experience a natural birth even though it will never happen. X

    • Jodie
      February 14, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      This was the exact position I found myself in! I cried for months, and had counselling for PTSD for the birth….and even though it nearly killed me and I know I need to count my blessings that I’ve two healthy boys I still mourn what might have been. X

      • Laura
        February 15, 2017 / 9:29 am

        It’s a tough one to say and deal with, because you aren’t being ungrateful for what you have, you’re just mourning your plans. The what if. The may have been!

  3. February 1, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    I get where you’re going. I always just wanted two kiddos. Then the lord blessed me with twin boys, and though I love them to bits and wouldn’t change it for the world, I still wonder what it would be like to make them Big Brothers… Maybe I want another one (possibly a little girl), or maybe we wer just meant to have my two gorgeous boys…

    • Laura
      February 6, 2016 / 10:08 am

      Ooh now twins would really have thrown a spanner in the works I think! X

  4. February 1, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    This rings so true for me – I’m in the ‘2 or 3’ camp at the moment I think… and we’re currently only pregnant with our first. I’ve been dreaming of a family of three for several years now although never know how I’m going to feel when baby (or babies!) are actually here. I’m one of four children and my husband is one of three… I guess finances and how I fare in pregnancy and how well I take to parenting will help to dictate what we end up doing. I know it must be sad to think of an additional child that will never be. Big hugs. LPMx

    • Laura
      February 6, 2016 / 10:09 am

      Thank you, it’s a dream that was always in the future and it may not of even happened. But I liked having the potential possibility if we weren’t quite done. X

  5. February 1, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    Oh I completely sympathise with you on the post. We’ve got 3 children but wanted 4 (i know that sounds so greedy) but I too had an exceptionally traumatic time with my son and nearly lost him – just felt blessed that we were able to have 3 children and that having a 4th may be pushing our luck. I am sorry to hear that you had such a hard time with number 2 but just so gorgeous to see such beautiful photos of healthy boys. Enjoy every special moment #MarvellousMondays

    • Laura
      February 6, 2016 / 10:10 am

      Thank you, I do feel the same that a third would push our luck completely! And thank you for saying about my photos, they are some of my favourites! X

  6. February 1, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that Laura – it does feel like the decision was taken out of your hands a bit but your gorgeous boys help I’m sure 🙂 My hubby said he could have three but I think if we have another…that may be it. However, it must be horrible to not have the choice. Hugs xx #marvmondays

  7. February 2, 2016 / 1:27 am

    Sorry to hear your choice was taken away, for a long time it felt like our choice had been taken away too. I always wanted two children and was over the moon to be expecting my second and final baby. When Joseph died and we were, on paper, back down to one again I prayed for just one more baby, just one healthy baby to give us back some hope and happiness. And now there are four of them and I never ever imagined that there would have been four, nor did I ever want four, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! But that said, every day I grieve the fact that there are not five, just as there should have been. I think many of us live with regrets. Much love. #marvmondays

  8. February 2, 2016 / 1:49 am

    Laura, this is such a beautiful post. And I can completely understand. Before I became pregnant again, I was beginning to think I would need to come to terms with the fact that we would never be a family of four. We’d had three miscarriages since Little Miss H was born and it was impossible to know how many more we would have to go through to complete our family. The idea was terrible and filled with emotion. I still love and adore Little Miss H and know that we are so blessed to have her in our lives. But this doesn’t stop you wanting more. Hopefully, this baby will be born safely in July and we will become that family of four. But whether we want another child or not. We will stop there. Physically and emotionally, I can not cope with trying for more children and the heart break that comes when I lose a baby. Thank you for sharing such a lovely and thought-provoking post. Big hugs to you. Lucy xxxx

  9. February 3, 2016 / 12:03 pm

    This is completely understandable and you are completely justified to mourn this. We always planned two but after T was born and I suffered such debilitating postnatal depression there was a long time when I debated ever being able to face having another. Now I’m so much better we are planning baby 2 but I certainly get where you’re coming from. Sending hugs x #marvmondays

  10. February 7, 2016 / 3:23 am

    Hi Lovely, I completely understand what you mean. We’re in a similar camp, pregnant with baby number two and not sure whether this is our last or not. On one hand I quite like the thought that this baby will make us a family of four and potentially complete our family, but on the other hand it makes me quite sad to think that I may never be pregnant again.. Its a difficult one to get your head around and perhaps it just takes time. Emily x #MarvMondays

  11. February 8, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    Oh hun, I’m sorry it’s not even an option for you now. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with, eventhough you do have two wonderful children already. You never know what may be round the corner, it could one day be a possibility. I think we will also stop at two, my hubby is set with two, I think I’d love to add to our family in a few years, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be allowed to pull the goalie! I have always said though, life is made for families of four. Restaurant tables, cars, recipes, homes, it’s mostly always suited to a family of four. Our kids bring enough crazy too don’t they! x

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