Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: The Maybe Baby

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Maybe Baby

It's been 7 months now since we welcomed our third little bundle of joy into the world.

And although the timing with Sailor was very much a surprise (falling pregnant just 6 weeks after giving birth to our second child was certainly not something we set out to achieve) -  a third baby was always very much a part of our plan.

There was never, not even for a single moment, any doubt in our minds that there would be a third child in our future.

I don't mean to say that we took it for granted of course, pregnancy is such an uncertain thing - but we knew that we wanted a third child, and that we would be trying for one when the time was right - it just so happened that the right time was much more imminent than we thought!

Even when the pregnancy with my second child saw me suffering once again with hyperemesis, and the birth left me with an awful recovery to get through, and the nights with two children refusing to sleep were a struggle - even then, in the hardest moments, we both knew that we wanted a third.

And so along he came, and he has slotted into our family just perfectly, into that Sailor-shaped hole that was there all along.

And life with the three of them, although challenging at times, has so far been wonderful.

Each of my boys is their own little character, each of them so charming in their own little way - so funny, so sweet natured, so smart, and so perfectly part of our little family.

But lately I've been wondering - as I sort through the baby clothes that Sailor has outgrown so quickly - is he the last?

Should these little tiny cardigans and dainty little hats be stored away in the attic for a possible fourth child in the future? Or should they boxed up and sent on to the charity shops, for another family's use.

Have I felt my last kick from inside? Rubbed my tummy and tried to imagine the features of the little face growing inside me for the last time? Poured for months over baby name books and chosen my last perfect name? Picked out my last Coming Home Outfit? 

And some day soon, will Sailor's be the last hand that I hold as he takes those first tentative steps? 

Will his be the last boo-boo I kiss?  The last excited little person I wave off to school?  The last one to ask for a goodnight kiss?  The last one to utter the word "Mummy" to me?

With Sailor, there was never any doubt that he was in our plans, so I never had this question mark hanging over me when Noah was a baby (Not that there was much chance for that!...)

But this time, things feel so much more uncertain.

Life with 3 children so young is a struggle at times, but we're handling fact we're more than just handling it, we're really enjoying it even though the days can be hard sometimes.... but I can't help but worry if we'd cope so well with another one.

Or whether a fourth child would be simply too much.

But at the same time, I also can't quite accept that there will be no more.

I don't feel ready to close the door to that possibility.

So how do you know?

I hear friends state all the time that they're done having babies. They say it with such absolute certainty. Their partners go off and seal the deal with a snip, and that question mark hanging over them is removed once and for all. There will be no more. And that's exactly how they want it.

But I don't feel that certainty. I'm not even close to feeling it.

Would I feel that same certainty that my friends do if I was truly done having children?

Would I just "Know" if our family was complete?

I see that statement so often - a birth announcement accompanied by the sentence "Our family is now complete" - and I've never felt that way.

Not with Tyne, not with Noah....and not with Sailor, either.

So does that mean ours isn't complete yet?

Does my lack of willingness to say "No more" mean that we should consider a fourth?

Or am I just somebody who will never feel ready to say "never again". Will that feeling ever come to me? 

And what if I'm wrong? What if a fourth really is too much for us, and it's all thrown out of balance...what if we simply can't handle it all with one more child.

I've heard it said that you'll never regret the children you had, only those that you didn't.

And that makes a lot of sense to me.

But still, I'm unsure...

My mind says that if there's any question at all, then the chance shouldn't be taken....that obviously it isn't the right thing for us.

But then a voice inside says "It's not a case of "Never", it's a case of "Not yet"....that somewhere down the line, the time will be right for another little person to come into our lives. 

That we shouldn't shut the door just yet.

We won't be making any final decisions just yet, we'll be enjoying our time as a five....but I'd like to think that five may not be our final number.

I think I want to leave a space open for that "Maybe Baby"....

How did you know when you were finished having children? Or do you also not feel that certainty? I'd love to hear from you!

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  1. I don't think I'll ever be done. Ever. I'm now pregnant with my third but I am cherishing it as my last pregnancy because I am 37 this time and I need to get healthy. While I would love more, I have to be realistic plus with my husbands job I do a lot of the parenting alone. But... If you're young and fit enough to have more, think about it. Put those clothes in the loft. Even if you get rid of them further down the line. It is such a big decision. The other thing you could do, which we did after number 2 is just see what happens :) lovely post which I totally relate to xx

  2. I feel exactly the same. We always knew we wanted 3, like you number three arrived sooner then we planned. Now my youngest is two and it is time to get rid of all the baby stuff but I can't bring myself to get rid of the cot and pram just yet. I often think we are done but I can't be sure, I hate the idea of never having another someday. I think I will wait and see how I feel in a few years xx

  3. Whenever Caleb turned one, I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed another baby. It totally engulfed me and it's all I thought about. We conceived Erin quite quickly (Caleb was 15 months old) so she arrived just before his second birthday. When she was turning one, I didn't feel any of those feelings that I had before. I really expected to be one of those women who was constantly broody but I know I'm done now. Two just feels right for us. Erin is now two and seems so grow up but I'm not longing for a newborn anymore.

  4. I don't like to say never as that is just so final but I can say with probably 90% certainty that I'm done. I'm just so rubbish at being pregnant that is my problem. If I could just have a 10 day pregnancy like a mouse and pop the baby out that would be perfect haha!!

  5. I Have 2 boys... the eldest will be 6 next week (I have no idea where that time went!) and the youngest is 3 and a half. We are done. No more. I can't tell you how I know but i just know and I have 'known' from the youngest being a year old. Every now and again i get the thought 'we could have another' but that soon passes... in seconds... I think thats just the yearning to buy pretty dresses for a daughter that would probably never happen though. 2 is what we're happy with and it works for us. We have a busy life style, we like holidays and going out at the weekend and right now we are financially comfortable to do all these things and more and it feels good not to worry. If the time comes when you can say 'no more' you will just know that its the right thing to do, for whatever reason that may be.

  6. This post has hit home to me. I have 3 and always imagined having 4. The more I think About things I can't see myself having 4, and I can't imagine right now being pregnant again but I know I'm not finished having children. I've still got all my baby stuff. Some things I have sold as they take up room? But their things I can buy again 2nd hand easily. My last child (2years)I have all his baby clothes and just can't bare to part with them! I have my 7yr old daughters clothes still too...just incase.
    I'm supposed to be planning a wedding, studying for a degree and moving on with my life away from the nappies and sleepless nights but I still harbour thoughts about nurturing a growing bean and newborn cuddles!! Somebody stop me!!!
    I think you do great with 3 the ages you have them. Well done :)

  7. I didn't feel like I was done until Gogo was older. Once she was out of nappies & sleeping in her own bed, then I was actually really happy to be done with the baby stage. Up until then, I actually felt broody!

    I suppose being out of the baby stage (like you, I had 2 close together so even when Bella was a bit older, Gogo was still very much a baby), I could see the advantages of not having more. & we did so many things as a family of 4 that I felt a baby would hinder us.

    Having said that, I always said if I'd had 3, I would have had a 4th!

  8. I definitely feel like I've got another in my locker. Even though I remember, with clarity, those days filled with migraines where I swore I'd never have another. Now Elsie is almost 5 mths I feel desperate to see those two little lines again. What the hell is wrong with me? Husbands says he's not keen yet there is no precaution-I think he's a little more easy going than he lets on as he knows I'll get all giddy and excited lol!

  9. I don't think I will ever feel done as such. In my heart I would love more children. I love being a mum and am so happy when snuggling my baby. But I think practically we are done. We can't afford another baby. And emotionally I wouldn't be able to cope with the risk of another miscarriage or risking my mental health. This breaks my heart though. A brilliant post lovely. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  10. I can't have children (which is fine btw) so I can't relate to this. But it great you're are being honest and trurthful with yourself. xx #SundayBest

  11. I knew I was done after my second. Although sometimes I still get broody, and the last firsts are bitter sweet, I still know that we are complete. People always expect me to try for a girl, but I never tried for a specific gender either time! I think if you aren't certain, your not done, and if you're not sure, it's just not the right time yet. #SundayBest

  12. I feel exactly like this, I have 2 but think I would like a 3rd, hubby not too sure but I just don't feel done if you know what I mean? Thanks for hosting! #SundayBest

  13. Before having any I always thought 3 children was a possibility but since my 2nd I know I don't want any more. Maybe it's because the births were so hard and the reflux was hard and the feeding was hard, who knows. I'm in awe of your strength as a mother and can definitely understand your twang for another little hand to hold even though it's not the path for me.

  14. With hubby and I being the eldest of three it's so tempting to have a third. However, I have Type 2 Diabetes so it's risky. #SundayBest

  15. Emotionally I will never be done having babies, but intellectually I know we should stop at 3. I love my 3, but always wanted more and always will. I think when you desperately want another child it is always an emotional decision. It is like my heart just craves it. I am so blessed to have 3 babies and they are healthy! I survived it all too and we are so happy. Financially we might scrape through if we had a fourth, but it would be so tough and I want to give so much to the 3 I have. I want them to get the best education we can afford and I want them to have access to great health care and have food on the table. I am not so worried about expensive or exotic holidays but I am worried we would struggle financially. Of course if we had another I wouldn't ever imagine life without him or her, but i know the right choice is to have no more, I guess that is why I have a new puppy lol #sundaybest

  16. I really don't feel done yet, but I'm not sure I could cope with another pregnancy. Getting rid of baby things is so final that I have only reduced the amount, but kept enough, just in case. There is no way anything as final as the snip is happening. I really can't imagine ever being that sure #SundayBest

  17. I think about this quite often! I often think about a third and deep down I'd love another but the pregnancy and financial constraints makes me think again. Like you I suffer with HG and with other babies to care for and enjoy I wonder if it would be the wrong thing to do xx

  18. Such an interesting one, I always imagined a big family but I'm so happy with my two boys. Who knows though, I literally felt maternal overnight with my first when my husband was broody for years so I'm not ruling anything out. Maybe not anytime soon but no one knows what the future feels or how you'll feel in time. I did remember my hormones made me feel broody for a year and half after Xander so maybe see how you do, each stage is gorgeous and your boys are just adorable x

  19. I always knew I wanted 3, and even though I'm pregnant with my third I don't think I am done. The thing is I have found this pregnancy so hard so far and it's just not been fair on the boys so I feel like this should be it for me x

  20. My gosh, I could have written this word for word. These are all the thoughts that I have, all the time at the moment. I don't think I am 'done', but then I don't think I will ever be 'done'.

  21. Ahh I could have written this!!! We have 4 and that question still looms. I don't have this done feeling yet. Crazy I know..


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