Ask Design Mom — Having Another Child


I have a strong yearning for another child and am looking for an infallible way to decide whether to take the plunge (just joking, I know it’s a leap of faith, but am looking for advice from people who might know about these things).
What factors would do you take into consideration upon deciding whether to have another child? Thanks for taking the time to answer. — Sarah

Hi Gabrielle. I would like to have a big family as well. I’m married almost 2 years and we are looking to start our family in a year or so. A few questions: How far apart are your children in age? Did you plan to have so many children? Did you plan to have them x amount of years apart? Thanks. — Venessa

Design Mom Answer: These are such worthy questions. Thank you for sending them, Sarah and Venessa. The answer to how many kids you should have and how they should be spaced is, of course, super personal. And everyone reading has a different opinion and answer.

I’ll share what my basic plan was. And hopefully readers will let you know how they’ve come to their family-size decisions as well. I need to make very clear: this was our plan. I’m not advocating it to anyone else. Period.

When I married at 21, I talked with Ben Blair about a basic plan. We both came from big families and wanted lots of kids. I wanted to be done bearing children by 35 — the age many risks increase. (Edit: apparently 35-as-riskier is a bit of a myth — but I didn’t know that at 21.) So I thought: let’s have our 1st at 23 (when we’re done with school) and then have one every other year at 25, 27, 29, 31. And if we want more, we can have #6 at 33 and #7 at 35. Done and done.

How it really happened: we had our first at 23, our 2nd at 24, our 3rd at 27, our 4th at 30 and 5th at 31. Number 6 is due when I’m 35.

Basically, as soon as we made the plan we discovered we had no control over the plan. Very few of us are lucky enough to conceive or adopt exactly when and where we want to. And very few of us have such an ordered life and are wise enough that the plans we make at 21 still make sense at 31.

Bottom line: feel free to make a plan, but get really comfortable with the idea that the plan might not work. Some people (including me) find praying helps them feel settled about the decisions they make for their family. Others depend on counsel from friends and loved ones. Ultimately, I hope you’ll feel confident that you can know what’s best for your family.

Dear Readers, how about you? How many kids do you want to have? Are you done? How do you decide when to add more children to your families?

122 thoughts on “Ask Design Mom — Having Another Child”

  1. Not even married yet, no proposal has been foreseen by me. With the only someone I have ever been able to say that I love, I feel deep down that he's the one for me. I can imagine children with him and all but I still get quite teary reading these stories, worrying that it won't work out like that. I always will maintain that I'd like to do things how my Mum did them – engaged at 21 (the last day of being 21 for her! Not sure I could wait that long but I'm learning patience), married at 23, first baby at 26 then another at 28 then another at 30. She always hoped/planned to have another baby at 40 but that didn't happen.

    I have only one ovary. Unfortunately I don't think it can clap as it doesn't have any friends down there!I am desperately hoping that I will be able to get started on having kids before I am too old. The doctors believe that my "best by date" is 25. The only ovary I have is struggling along all by its lonesome. Writing this, I'm all over the place. But I have hope….

    Next year I turn 21 two days after Valentine's Day. I only hope that my 'happy ever after', with marriage and children and the big gap in my heart all filled up, is not too far behind.

    I am so envious of every single man and woman who have a child of their own. I am terrified I won't be able to even have one, just one, of the four I dream of.

    1. You are still very young as far as childbearing goes. Don’t think it is the end to turn 21. I had similar thoughts and didn’t marry until 38 and got pregnant two weeks after despit the Dr.s telling me it might take much longer than someone in their 20s. It is important to find the right one for you. You don’t have to do everything like your Mum did. As far as only having one ovary- if it is healthy, you can seek out medical help to increase your chances of pregnancy when the time comes. Don’t worry, give yourself time and keep hope.

  2. I'm just starting to read this blog. What a lovely place to visit! I am so inspired by the personal thoughts all these women have shared. Thank you for filling up my day, even though it's not quite 9am.
    I am carrying baby number four right now. My first one came along while my husband was an undergrad, number two showed up while we were waiting to hear if he was accepted to medical school. When we showed up to med school with two babies, I thought his classmates' jaws would never go back in place. Number three came along during his first year of residency, and number four is planned at the beginning of his fifth year. We both think "school and babies" are a good combination – they give purpose and fuel to your studies, despite the added stress.

  3. I have read every comment and feel like I know each of you. I can relate to so many of the feelings and thoughts shared. I love the personal and spiritual nature of family.
    We both come from fairly large families (mine 7, his 6). My family is balanced with 3 girls, 4 boys, me being the youngest. His is very boy heavy, 1st a girl, then my husband, then 4more boys. We are on his family track I guess.
    We married young (20 and 22), though I didn't think so at the time. We were in school and I was unable to work as I didn't have a work visa. After six months I told my husband I was ready to start. He was not. I found out we were pregnant with our first the day I got my green card in 2000. She arrived in March 2001 just as my husband was finishing his undergraduate degree. We moved across the country when she was just 8 weeks old so he could start graduate school. Baby number 2, a boy, arrived in May 2003. Then a miscarriage on Valentine's Day 2005. Baby number 3, another boy, arrived in February 2006. Baby number 4, another boy arrived in September 2009. Finances have worked out for us somehow over the years. I am a stay-at-home mom. While it isn’t always easy we always have enough.
    I thought I wanted 5 but 3 and now 4 has been a challenge. My husband was done and I was mostly done. But this fall we heard a talk that changed his mind and mine. Now we are enjoying our 4 and waiting to see if 5 is right for us. We just don't feel quite complete yet. The thought of another baby is overwhelming some days and yet I think we would find the strength if we were blessed with another one. And please let it be a girl!
    Gabrielle, thank you for sharing such wonderful birth stories. I was reading last week and found myself tearing up and laughing at the same time. Such beauty.

  4. When I was about ten I decided that I wanted to be a doctor, get married after medical school, and have ten children so I could have a birthday every month (my husband and I would have the other two months).

    Now I'm more interested in making maps, I did marry late (28) because it took me a while to find him, and I've scaled back my Ideal Number. (I started to comprehend how much work birthday parties are for the Grown Up.)

    I don't actually have a before and after yet. I'm just newly pregnant with my first and it has taken me longer to get here than I thought it would.

  5. wtmontana: The doctors told my mom she wouldn't be able to have kids (she had 1/2 of a uterus), but she had four girls (I was the first and I had to stretch her out a bit, but I turned out okay).

  6. I had an interest in science and my junior high school biology teacher taught a lot on overpopulation. I decided that I would do my part by not having children, and I have never regretted that decision. I think our fragile planet is already overpopulated and I worry about how our next generation will survive. I don't think I am pessimistic, but realistic.

  7. I am a mother of a 12 year old daughter, an only child, and my husband and I had agreed years ago that we were content with our small but mighty family of three. I had had some pretty troubling depression issues in my 30s and once I waded through those for 3 or so years, I felt so grateful to feel good again that I thought it was best not to consider having another child.
    But here's to being open to the possibility of change once your mind is 'made up' ~ We recently decided to try to conceive another child (we've lost two to miscarriage, one before our daughter and one after)~ the 'call' was soooo strong that when I talked with my husband about it he could feel the shift just as strongly (I guess that's what being together for over 20 years will do!) We did agree to only try for six months or so due to our ages (40s) and not wishing to seek any type of fertility treatment at this point. I have no idea if we will or have conceive/d our child, but I am surprised and delighted to have been open enough to reconsider after many years of thinking that our decision was final.

  8. I have just celebrated the first birthday of our first son. I am 39 in three weeks and hoping that we might wait another two years or more before having the second. This makes me old… but no older than a lot of my peers who have similarly delayed starting their families. I would actually be happy to stop at one child, but am not that keen for him to lack the social skills that come from being a sibling. I am also keen for him to be more self-reliant, and for me to be back in paid employment with paid maternity leave for the next child (have been a SAHM with one income for two years now, long story). I would have stopped at two at any age since I think that is evolutionarily and ecologically sustainable. But my age really dictates that now I think. But all power to those of you with big families and a lot of love to go round!

  9. I had hoped we would have a lot of children. Boys and girls. What we do have is three girls currently ages 5, 10 and 15. Everyone thinks we planned them five years apart but it just happened that way. I’m 41 now and still would love to have one more but am too scared and feeling a bit tired!

  10. My husband told me on our first date he knew he would marry me and he wanted to have 12 children with me! Yes , we went on a second date and 6 years later we married. We have been married now for 7 years and have 4 children and I am pregnant with our 5th due this summer. I come from a samll family there is only my brother and myself. My husband comes from a bigger family , he has 2 brothers and 1 sister. After our first child we thought we might go half way between our families and stick with just 3 , obviously our plan was changed. I am not sure if we are done, per se. My motto seems to be ‘never say never’. We’ve left our decisions about our future in the hands of God and couldn’t be happier!

  11. We waited until after my 30th birthday, and after our 2nd wedding anniversary, to start our family. (That had always been my plan.) Our 20’s were so much fun! We got to be selfish, we completed our professional degrees, and we traveled all over the world, doing nearly all of the things we’d always dreamed about. Highly recommended to wait until your 30s – and enjoy your own youth first! I feel that having all of those experiences under our belts before becoming parents makes us happier parents, with so much more financial and emotional resources to give our children.

    We’ve been incredibly lucky: we got pregnant each time we tried, on the very first try. We welcomed a son in October 2007, and a daughter in October 2009. Both are healthy. Someone told us what we have (2 healthy kids, one of each gender) is called a “million dollar family.” On our daughter’s first birthday this year, we will decide whether to play the conception lottery once more before I turn 35 – but in my gut, I think it’s time we left the proverbial casino while we’re ahead.

    When our son was a newborn, we entertained the idea of having somewhere between 3 and 5 children. But as our son grew, we realized that parenting is so much more of a challenging and rewarding undertaking than we had ever imagined. Now I find myself in the “Less is More” camp; although I am delighted to read about large families, the lifestyle is definitely not for us! Best wishes!

  12. Never say never, right? The birth and first year with our son was so difficult, that as much as I love him and want to eat him for dessert, we said we’d never have another. Sure enough, the urge came back. We got mentally prepared- went for it and got pregnant right away, only to miscarry at 7 1/2 weeks. We are gong to try again, but if it doesn’t work out this time, we will be a happy family of three.

  13. I like that you say it’s alright to have a plan, as long as you get very comfortable with life not going as planned. I met my husband at 26, we married a year later, and tried and became pregnant half a year later. I was 27 when our first was born, a girl. Our lives changed immensely. We changed, is more correct to say. We had our second daughter 2 years later and the ages were perfect. I miss life back then….but they grow up. We had our first boy 3 years later and again, everything was perfect. I was convinced I was done as soon as I held my little boy in my arms and so was my husband. But the kids were entertaining each other, one was starting school, it was really not as hard as we thought. When he turned 2, we decided to try for #4. Little did I know where this journey would lead. After 3 healthy pregnancies I had 2 miscarriages in the span of 11 months. I was 34 and we decided to try one more time. If we got pregnant and it was a viable pregnancy, this would be our last. If the pregnancy failed, we were perfectly happy with our family as it was. I became pregnant in the fall of 2008, after an extremely difficult financial year for our family–again, we didn’t plan for that, either. I had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby but the delivery did not go as planned. We had another baby boy….but due to complications at delivery and some decisions my doctor made during my labor, he went to heaven 4 days later.
    Our world was turned upside down. What we have dealt with this past year has made our family stronger individually and as a unit. We miss our littlest member every moment of every day as he took a piece of each of us with him.
    I no longer make plans in my life. I take each day as it comes. I feel emotions more deeply than I ever did before and I know that whatever life deals us, we can handle. Despite never feeling like pregnancy treated me well (I complained about all the aches and pains and gross things that happen to our bodies), I now would love to get pregnant at least once more. I know that the entire process, from conception ’til you bring them home, is a blessing and would cherish every minute of it.
    So, for me, I am in the more is better club, because no one can ever have too much to love. I am truly blessed, with 3 healthy children, the man of my dreams and am slowly getting used to *not* having a plan.

    Love your site(s). Thanks for sharing.

  14. chelsey gertsch

    Growing up I wanted to be Granny Wendy from Hook and have 21 children and 21 dogs, not sure where the dogs came from. Now I want maybe one dog and maybe six children. We have 2 with one on the way. The more we have, the further we space them. I just love having the time to hold and cuddle them while they will let you. I definitely think it is individual though, mostly because I think it is important to be able to “handle,” with love and patience, the number you do have. (Our kids are 4 and 2 so I’m learning to hone my patience:) My husband and I were married in our mid- twenties and I’m so grateful to my mom for her encouragement to travel the world and experience life to the fullest when I was young- I never would have expected my life to turn out how it has, as a stay at home mom with three little ones before I’m 30 but I’m grateful it has and that Someone else had a different plan for me. I also think it is an excellent idea to present your idea to God in prayer and see how you feel. Always works for me!

  15. My husband and I met when I was 20 and he was 25. We were married almost exactly three years from the date of our first date (dating and wedding anniversaries are only three days apart). We’ve been married for 3.5 years now, and the urge to start a family has hit us both so strongly this year that it nearly takes my breath away. At 27 and nearly 32, we feel so ready and so excited to become parents, and we’re glad we waited until we felt that we’d overcome a lot of the issues that we had to deal with during the early part of our relationship — I think we both needed time to mature and to learn to be married, and to have some selfish just us time.
    Because of a career opportunity that recently presented itself, we have decided to wait until August (our fourth wedding anniversary) of this year to begin trying for a baby. It’s hard to wait, even though August is only 3 months away! My mom says we overplan and that we should just get started, stay relaxed, and start trying now (she wants a grandchild). I know I have a tendency to overplan, and sometimes I question that tendency, so for now the date to start trying is August, but who knows — if it feels right, I may just go with my gut/heart and start next month (my husband would be thrilled).
    As of now, we want 3 or 4 children, but I don’t really know if I’ll want to have babies after 35 or 36, so we’ll start with one and see where we go! I cherish the vision in my head (and my heart) of my husband and I surrounded by little ones, and I know it will happen one way or another.
    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and stories – it’s wonderful to read about the experiences of other women.

  16. Thanks for sharing. My first baby is turning 2 and isn’t really a baby anymore. I have always thought she would have siblings, but how many and when is in question. I wanted to wait until potty training was in site and she was able to do a few things for herself. I have days where everything seems so hard that I can’t imagine adding another child to the mix, and want to delay. But my husband is 37 and I am 34 so we don’t want to wait too long! I’m starting to think that there will be rough days no matter how long we wait. I also have to remind myself that my daughter will be almost a year older from when we get pregnant until we are blessed with a baby. The todder I see before me today will be a bit more mature when she becomes a big sister. I am a school teacher, so that adds one more layer to the planning. My preference would be for a late spring baby so that my summer vacation can piggy back on my maternity leave. If there is one thing I am learning from the other entries, you don’t always get what you plan for. So we’ll see.

  17. Hi everyone!

    I always knew at some point in my life I wanted a family. I never put an exact number on how many children. My husband has 2 brothers and I have 2 brothers. We were married in 2003 and had our first baby girl in 2004 I was 29. Then two year later my little boy was born and 2009 we were blessed with a baby girl. I’m a stay at home mom and some days can be challenging, but overall I feel very blessed to have three beautiful angels. I think three is a good number for us, but there are days when I say to myself it would be nice if my little boy could have a brother! I think my husband wants to be done having babies, but I feel sad sometimes when I think that I’m done. So, at this point I’m not sure if we will attempt at number #4, but I think it would be nice.

  18. a leap of faith it is. just like everything else in life. i had a pretty crazy childhood and early adulthood, then finally i met mr. wonderful and everything fell into place, became calm, and life just like i wanted it started. after a few years we had the most beautiful child in the world, turns out he’s also the smartest and funniest and life with him is perfect. we come from small families and have very little contact with the family we do have, so we wanted to have a big family and put down thick roots. when we were about to celebrated our son’s first birthday, i injured my back and have had chronic pain for the last 3 1/2 years. it changed everything, from the way i move to where i will go outside of the house. every day my husband and i are weighed down with the pressure to make a decision to have another baby or not. last week, i decided not. i hope the circumstances change, but for now i’ll take what i’ve been given and move forward. i think we need to take each day as it comes, do the best we can, and not be afraid to abandon a path we were certain was the right one.

  19. I never had a plan as to how many kids I wanted to have. I don’t think my husband did either. We now have five. I am the oldest of five children, he’s the youngest of three. We met in college and got married right afterwards. I was 23, he was 25. We had travelled a lot together during college and lived in Ireland for the first few years of our marriage. We moved back to the U.S. I got pregnant with our first right away. I was 25. We had no health insurance, no house, no plan, and a beautiful baby boy. Almost three years later, we were a bit more settled and we had our second beautiful baby boy. Two years later, another beautiful baby boy. Twenty months after that, after a studied read of “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby”, a beautiful baby girl. After that there was an extended break, and our youngest arrived almost five years later, another girl. The older I get, the more I believe that you don’t really make your own plan, there is a plan for you. My father always told me that if you wait for the ‘right time’ to do something, you’ll never do it. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Good luck to all in your family-building. It’s so great!

  20. I love reading all these “mommy” stories! Now here is my own… I met my husband in 2006, and one of our first conversations while we were dating was how we we should get married and have dozens of babies and be the happiest people in the world. We became engaged, I moved to NYC for a few months, I postponed the wedding when I got back, then we got married in 2008- we were both 22. We got pregnant with our first on our honeymoon, so we celebrated our first anniversary with our beautiful 3 month old little boy. Then, a month later, surprise! We found out we were pregnant again, and a few weeks after our son turned 1, our little girl arrived. So now, here we are, 2010, buried in diapers and breastfeeding and strollers and toys and lovies- and having the time of our lives.
    My husband comes from a large family (second oldest of 7), and I come from a medium family (oldest of 4), so having a large family just seems like second nature to us. Some people think that we are crazy to want lots of kids, without a “plan”- some even say we are irresponsible, and “how do we plan on supporting all these children?” God’s plan is the only one that matters, and He has and will continue to make sure we are taking care of- whether we have 2 kids or a dozen. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, and some days I feel I never want to have another baby again- but, really, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and actually look forward to seeing the look on my husband’s face when I tell him #3 is coming soon. : )

  21. I loved loved being pregnant and think had it not been my age that I would have continued doing so. I had my first son just shy of my 40th and my daughter just shy of turning 42(now 3 and 5). Life gets better every day, they are the best things that ever happened to my husband’s and my life. I found true love late in life, and am so grateful that I was able to get pregnant so easily. If we hadn’t been able to have our own I think we would would have felt the strong urge to nurture a child that needed to be part of a family. Six babies, wow life must be a constant amusement as nothing beats watching your children grow!

  22. I am glad I stumbled across this post. I am currently 24 and expecting baby #3 in just a couple of months and sometimes I think I am crazy! I married my husband when I was 20/he was 24 and a few months into the marriage we found out we were expecting our first child and daughter and so we celebrated our first anniversary with a beautiful 1 month old baby girl. 6 months after she arrived and after buying our first home we found out we were expecting baby #2 and our first son. Now when this new baby boy arrives we will have a 3.5 yr old and a barely 2 yr old. I never really planned on having children so soon and so young, but they have been a blessing in my life. I have always known I wanted to be a mother, and I have always had a desire for 6 children, and to be done when I am 30. Some days I want more and other days I feel like I am done… at least for now, my husband says he could be done but ultimately leaves the choice up to me since I will spend my days and most of my time with them. Of course we both decide, but I am sure when I feel like I am done then we will be done. Life is crazy being a stay at home mom and very tiring, it is sometimes hard to see others my age and see how much fun they are having and how they are finishing their degrees, but all in all this is where I want to be. At home raising my growing family. I know one day I will go back to school to study something(when I figure out what I want to study), but I feel like my place right now is to be home with my sweet children.
    Family planning is one of the most difficult things for me because I just don’t know how many children I will have or where we will live or what exactly I want, but I take it one day at a time. I am lucky to have married a smart man who knew what he wanted to do career wise, and who has a BS degree in Computer Science and has been supporting his family since we have been married. It makes things a little easier knowing we can support and raise more children if that need arises on one income.

  23. SUEBob, you’re so incredibly selfless! Large families always sound so appealing, and to let go of the little girl’s dream for the good of the world is a beautiful thing to do.

  24. We have one little boy, born on our first wedding anniversary. He is the light of our life. Things haven’t been easy and I think having another one would not be the responsible thing to do. I fear it would hurt our marriage, and I don’t want to risk that.

    I’m turning 40 this year and that is also a big concern to me. So many healthy kids get born to moms who are older, but I’d be so worried about it the whole time. I have pangs for having another baby sometimes, especially because I love being pregnant and love breastfeeding the little bugger so much, but I don’t know that I want to do all that baby stuff over again. And I hear that going from one to two is a huge adjustment…

  25. I am 42 I have three children and I want another one so bad I could burst…I could rob one from outside a supermarket…so I think its safe to say when you don’t feel the urge to steal small tiny babies, your done!

  26. Thanks Gabrielle for putting up this post. I am 31 and have two beautiful boys who are 3 and 10 months, respectively. I am trying to finish my dissertation and think this will be the year, but suddenly I have been overcome with the desire to have a third child. My husband it not particularly open to the idea, is very happy with the two children that we have and would prefer that I finish my degree (years in the making) before we consider such a thing. He comes from a large, but not particularly happy family, whereas I have only one sibling and we are extremely close (and my brother is also very close with my husband and his older brother). My best friend has had three little girls in about the same time that I had my two boys, so I think some of this sudden desire comes from seeing her three together. I was not ready to have another child until we started trying for our second, but have been thinking about another as soon as my second was born (well, except for a few minutes about the delivery when I think I said something like “never again”). Anyway, I think my husband’s concerns about time/money/careers are reasonable, but I am still thinking about it a lot. Anyway, it was very nice to read other women’s stories.


  27. Hi Gabby,
    I just wanted to tell you the ‘praying’ link is broken. Love your shining example.
    Have a fabulous day!

  28. So glad to hear that you and your husband choose to have a big family. God bless you. My husband and I currently have 5 and baby 6 is due in December. You are an encouragement to me. Children are such a blessing . It takes bravery to help nurture a large family, yet I believe we are capable of such greatness. Like you said it takes a lot of prayer and with that.. we are sustained. May you endure with rest, grace and loveliness.

  29. Have them if you can!! All of my six darling birds have flown away and now I have an empty nest. Now at age 55, I can honestly state that they are “my most prized possessions” along with my college degree. Thank goodness I did not stop at three children when everyone told me that I had a perfect family. The second-half-of-the-family three children made life crazy, hectic, overwhelming, full and oh so worthwhile. I am not alone in my conclusions–my peers with large clans are all in agrement. Those friends who chose to have the good life and fewer children look on with envy.

  30. Growing up an only child (and hating it) I always said I would have at least 3 children. Here in the UK 3 is considered a large family! We married at 26, and like most of our peers, and we waited until we were 30 to start trying for a baby. Our careers were established, we had a lovely home and comfortable lifestyle, we were READY. It didn’t happen. Then eventually it did. Hurrah! But our son was stillborn and for a while it felt like my life had ended. Then a period of infertility, then two miscarriages in quick succession. Depression set in. We decided for one more try and with a lot of medical help our healthy, beautiful daughter was born. She turns 6 next month. My miracle was granted and with it my desire for a big family disappeared. She’s all we ever wished for and more. I am a good mother to one, I’m not sure I would be such a good mother to more than one. We are at peace with our decision not to tempt fate. We are blessed with our daughter and happy to stay a little family of 3.

  31. I wish to have atleast one more.I’m 35 and have 2 boys now .My husband is worried about finance and education for the kids.I wonder what do you guys do for living with more kids.

  32. Hi!
    after having more then 2 children and deciding to go for more did family or friends look at you like you’re crazy? I ask because it seems like if you have 3 or want more certain people have their opinions or an attitude about it that can be hurtful. Has this ever happened to you?

  33. Anjantte–boy did I ever get the comments. I had a boy and a girl 2 1/2 years apart and we wanted another child. First, people were amazed I was trying for another because what I had “was perfect, one of each”. Then when strangers askd about my pregnancy the following conversation inevitably ensued
    Stranger: Is this your first? ( I look really young, good genes)
    Me: Oh no, third.
    Stranger: Really! Boys or girls?
    Me: No I have a boy and a girl
    Stranger: Really! Well surprises come along all the time. (or some other remark insinuating an “accident: occured)

  34. I just found this blog, and am glad someone else commented this year so that I don’t feel like the last one talking! :) We were married when my husband was 21 and I was 20. Our first, a son, came when I was 22, my second, a girl, at 24, my third, a boy, and 26, and I am 26 weeks along with a boy, due when I am 28! Our kid’s birthdays are all almost exactly 2 years apart, but that is not necessarily what we had planned. With each, one day the Spirit would suddenly prompt that it was ‘time’. I have a VERY strong belief that babies come EXACTLY when they are supposed to. During the past 7 years of marriage, we have finished undergraduate degrees (both of us), my husband finished his Master’s degree last year, and in January we joined the military and are leaving for Japan in 2 1/2 weeks (for 3 years)!! Through experience I have found that you can have children in ANY situation of life, and the Lord always provides!! We have been more poor these past 3 years of grad school than ever, and have always made it. I completely agree that the timing with getting pregnant is completely between you, your spouse, and the Lord. We have the perfect guide, if we are willing to rely on Him!! I do sometimes get the ‘stare’, especially because I am told quite a lot that I look very young. I can only imagine what the next 3 years will be for us outside of our comfort zone and network of family and friends. Especially in a different country. But I am SO happy with our life and know we are where we should be!! The trick- stay close to Christ. With Him, all things are possible!

  35. Christy, I’m late to the conversation too but feel compelled to comment! I dreamed my whole life of marrying young and having a big family with 5 or 6 kids. God had other plans and I met the love of my life at 30, he was 36 and an only child. We’re now 32 and 38 and our 1st child is due in June, on our 1st wedding anniversary. I am so thankful for the wisdom gained in my 20’s and the opportunity to see how wonderfully a small family, like my husband’s, functions. We’re excited to be welcoming our first, and are quite certain she’ll be an only or 1 of 2. It’s amazing how at peace I feel with this and how much I look forward to focusing my energy into the child I’ve waited so long for!

  36. Hi there! I just loved reading all these stories, so I thought I’d add my own. I met my husband at age 38. We married when I was 39 and we had our son when I was 40. I’m now 41 and my husband has talked me into trying to have another baby. I’m scared, to tell you the truth. The reason I decided to say “yes”, let’s give it a try, is that I want my son to have a brother or sister, someone with whom he can grow old, someone to relate to, to rely on. The reason I’m scared – our family is perfect right now. Our son is perfect. Together, we three could have such wonderful adventures. While I worry that I or my husband or both of us will die at an early age (my mother died at 59 and and I was 21 – something inside me broke for good) and leave my son alone, I worry more about leaving my son responsible for a special needs child.
    One of my school mates recently gave birth at age 41. Her beautiful daughter has Down Syndrome. Upon seeing her pictures and hearing my friend gush about how much love she feels for this child and how much she wants to give her in life, I was simultaneously comforted and stricken with fear. I know I can handle a special needs child (and the matter of advanced maternal age is not the only factor – I’m a worrier to begin with, I would worry about having a special needs child after having a healthy child just BECAUSE those are the odds in my life, it seems)
    Just about every plan I’ve had for my life has gone tits up so far. So our plan to try to conceive this baby before my 42nd birthday in 5 months is optimistic, to say the least. (That’s the deadline I gave my husband – if we’re not pregnant by my 42nd birthday, we’ll stop and be the three muskateers, happily. He agreed, pleased that I was even considering it, after my rough pregnancy with my son. But I think…I think we’ll do it. I think we’ll try. As one of the mothers above said, you can’t ever have too much love.

  37. I am glad you all enjoy having children. I love children but I don’t want any. My plan was, and still is (I am 31 this year) not to have any children, even though my husband and I are perfectly capable of having them. Three personal reasons for this : a) I would make a terrible mother; b) I wish to focus on my career, c) my life as a non-mother is way too good for me to change it. Children are an option. I am childfree and I love it.

  38. Tonya Beauregard

    It is so funny how things work out.
    You can sit down together as a family and deep inside know whats right.What somehow is suppose to be.
    Maybe not what you think you want, or what is convenent,or easy.
    But you know not by plan but by perfect design!
    To be a parent is the greatest occomplishment you will ever achieve.
    To raise and mold the future of the world. Who your children become will determine what this world will be.
    Mother of 5 and counting.

  39. Lorraine Thompson

    I married at 28 and wanted to have a family. It took me a little over a year to get pregnant with our first daughter. Then we had another daughter about 2 and 1/2 years later. Daughter #3 arrived in another 2 years. Today she is turning 30 and is pregnant with child #2. My family brings me such joy , as does our little grandson..Can’t imagine life without them. So glad they came when they did….I potty trained the first one to be out of diapers when the second one came and it worked well with each of them. I feel it a great blessing to be a mother and grandmother and wouldn’t have it any other way. Motherhood is the most challenging, yet rewarding, job we will ever have as women ( well, Most of us!).

  40. I do agree Lorraine! I love being a mother. Hope, I’d make a good grandma:)
    I got married when I was 21 and my husband 23. We got our first son the same year. Then we had a long break as we thought we should focus on our careers a bit. Our second son arrived almost 11 years later and it was something amazing. I was bananas about him! I appeciated the mature motherhood. We took the plunge and in a little over than a year I got pregnant again. Unfortunately, this time I lost my baby boy in 5th month. I’m 34 now and we want to have more children.
    When I look at my friends, it’s definitely easier for the parents to have longer break between the children. Especially during their first 2-3 years. Our older son is a great help and the relationship the boys have is a pleasure to watch. Still, a real mental contact between them will be possible not earlier than in 20 years time I guess.

  41. Its so strange, to read about all this baby stuff. I grew up in the UK in seventies when feminism was massive and and adventure was the name of the game.

    A girl at my school got pregnant at 16, and they had to design a maternity uniform just for her. Everyone would say ‘There goes Kelly, you don’t want to be like her!’ it seemed the worst fate. To end up on a council estate with kids coming out of your ears. ‘Travel and see the world said my Dad” ‘whatever you do, don’t get bogged down with kids in your twenties’ said my mum.
    I was determined not to be like Kelly. Young mums were pitied by me and my peers. They had wasted their lives,squandered all their opportunities.

    At 17,However, me and my BF had ‘an accident’. A split condom…soon, I knew. I was up the duff. A bun in the oven. The terror! We went to a young peoples help clinic and a very clandestine abortion was arranged. I told no-one, not my parents or friends. Afterwards the relief was incredible…I felt as if the staff at the clinic had given me my future back, all wrapped up in a pretty box with ribbon – here’s your life back – go and live it. In the autumn I went off to university and started living. After that I traveled. All over India and southeast asia for four years.I fulfilled all my ambitions and had a wonderful time. I met my hasband when i was 24, in India and we married at 26. I thought this seemed very young to settle down! We didn’t want kids, either of us.We were comitted to our lifestyle of working for long enough to save to go travelling, then keep going as long as we could.Now, in our forties, we still travel with our little business selling indian stuff, and can’t imagine another lifestyle. But sometimes, I look at people with kids, and I wonder…what would it have been like? would it have been soooo dreadful? Very few of my peers have kids. I hardly know what to say to children, which is shameful really I suppose. I blame it on the spirit our the age I grew up in, and have very few regrets. But reading stuff like this does make me wonder about a whole other world I may have missed out on.

    Oh well…in another life!

  42. Good luck with all your children!! but for me i’ve only ever wanted one. I adore travelling and due to financial restriants haven’t seen as many countries as i’de like but seen a bit of the world and would like to see more!. Once i’ve ticked them off i’de love to just have the one. I’m sure children are expensive and i’m an only child myself and loved it!!. I do have some medical problems too and am not the strongest of women. For social reasons too i haven’t found the right man, i loved a lad fairly recently and he just ended up breaking my heart :( so i must be ment to be an older Mum!. I’m 30 but look about 18 so i think i’m living like an 18 year old in some ways! but if i don’t find the right person by 35 or 36 i’ll probalay adopt my baby. I have friends who have adopted and it’s really worked out for them. My Mum had me when she was almost 36 so maybe i’ll follow her!. I respect everyones choices and hope you all make the right ones for you!!.

  43. Can I just say that I find this page terribly funny? Oh, “the best laid plans”!!!

    My plan? Date my boyfriend forever, get married at 34 and commence to churning out 4 babies, back to back. The reality? Had the first one (who is the light of my life, by the way!), went “OH CRAP! What have I done?!”, and vowed to never have another. Which I didn’t.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the way things turned out. Sometimes I love our tiny family, and sometimes I cry over the ones we didn’t have.

  44. This page makes me slightly sad. My husband and I got married when I was 21 and he was 22. We were both still in school, but I thought we would have lots of babies. I have always wanted a big family (4-6 kids) and my husband is okay with just 2 kids. I thought because we were getting married so young that we would have plenty of time to have a big family. Well, fast forward 11 years. Still no children, not for lack of trying though, and currently have been waiting to adopt for 2 years.

    My husband says he is okay with having lots of children, if we can afford them. Since it looks like we will be adopting all of our children, it doesn’t seem like we will be able to afford a big family….plus, with the amount of time it takes just to adopt one….I don’t want to be an old mom….Sigh…. My dreams are being shattered.

  45. Wow! Loved reading all the stories! These questions have always been hard for me to answer…I am the oldest of 14! In my family there was No family planning…and it was considered the “best way to do it”. And to make matters worse…I enjoyed growing up in a big family, but have never been certain I would follow suit. Then I married a Samoan…average Samoan family size 8 children…In that culture the bigger the family, the better! Let just say PRESSURE! I knew I wanted 1 child for sure but couldn’t decide when, so we decided not to do anything and see “when” it would happen…six years later I had a baby boy. After having him I knew I wanted 1 more because I couldn’t imagine him being an only child…I loved my siblings…I couldn’t decide “when” again so we let it happen and now prego with #2 (another boy) my boys will be exactly 18 months apart…Whew!…I don’t know what the future holds but I have learned to answer people when they ask me “how many children I want” I just say “1 at a time!” We will see what happens!

  46. Love the photos! We had 5 children in 9 years, I was 39 when I had my youngest, who is now 17. It’s so good to have all these beautiful young energetic people in my life! May God bless you and your family!

  47. This subject is SO on my mind right now. We’d always planned on two (well, once the hub got over his initial reluctance to have any, heh) and then when I got pregnant with twins after we had one, we suddenly were pleasantly reconciled to three. Cue my miscarriage *sigh* and then we were plunged into a kind of darkness. Suddenly it was clear we needed to wait for financial reasons. Suddenly, I was back in the “real” workplace. Now we’re trying to figure out what is right or best or right for right now. I want another and would actually like three, but I think the hub’s mind is back at two. We’ll see, I guess. I’ve just been putting it out of my brain lately by putting it into God’s hands, if you know what I mean.

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