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When You Want a Baby And Your Husband Doesn’t

When You Want a Baby And Your Husband Doesn’t

When Mark and I first met, during our nine hour first date, the subject of kids came up. A weird first date conversation, I’ll admit, but as we had both just left long term relationships, it was on both of our minds that any prospective future might involve children. In the course of our conversation, we both said that we imagined having three kids one day. Mark said he wanted two boys and a girl, with the girl in the middle. I said I’d be happy with that, of course, but I’d always imagined three boys. I grew up on episodes of Home Improvement, and I just loved the idea of being a mom with three boys.

Little did we know that only a few short months into our relationship, I’d fall pregnant, and our little imagined family would become a reality. We both hit the jackpot with our first, as it was the boy we’d both desired. Our second pregnancy was discovered just after we made a HUGE trans-Atlantic move from the UK to Florida. That child was also a boy. I was 2 for 2, but Mark said that that was fine. He was happy with two boys. In fact, he was happy with no more kids at all. At the time, overwhelmed with two small children, the idea of stopping sounded great to me. Two under two was enough to be getting on with. We took precautions to ensure that we didn’t have more.

But wouldn’t you know it? On the day of our second son’s first birthday, we had ourselves one of those WOOPS moments. And once again I was pregnant. That third pregnancy was hell. It didn’t help that when I was seven months pregnant, we moved across the country from Florida to Utah, driving our little minivan the whole way. The stress was out of this world. I was on bed rest for the rest of the time, but it didn’t stop me going into early labor again and again. We ended up inducing at 37 weeks and out popped another amazing little boy.

I had my greatest wish. Three boys. My perfectly imagined family.

In the course of that final pregnancy, I’d suffered so much that I decided that I wanted to get my tubes tied. I was adamant that it was the right decision for us. I knew that if I didn’t do it, I would get a few years down the road and talk myself into the idea of another child. I told my doctor that this is what I wanted. She agreed. But when the time came, she said that she wasn’t comfortable doing it until I was 6 weeks postpartum. I knew then that it wasn’t going to happen. I could talk myself into doing it when I was pregnant and huge and tired and swollen and miserable. But once that baby was here, I knew I was a goner. No one could talk me into ending the possibility that I could maybe one day have another child.

Mark, for his part, was frustrated. He knew without a doubt that he did not want another child. He was overwhelmed with two, and three was even more work. He knew that he loved our kids more than anything, but he loved me, too. And the idea of putting my body through another pregnancy like the three I’d already endured was not something he could bear. While he knew we could deal with another child if we had to, for him it was a worst case scenario.

For the most part, I agreed with him. I was happy to say I was done, though in my secret heart I hoped for another WOOPS moment. I knew that another pregnancy was a bad idea – for my body, for my mental health and for my relationship. But I couldn’t help it. I told myself (and tried to convince Mark) that I desperately wanted a daughter. But that wasn’t really it. Though I’d love to have a baby girl of my own, I would be just as happy with another boy. I love my boys, and my heart would be full.

Two months ago, we had our WOOPS moment. I had already finished ovulating, so it wasn’t a big deal, but somehow my period was late anyway. I found that I was extra irritable, crying at the drop of a hat and feeling pretty crazy. I convinced myself that I was pregnant. I just knew it. I told Mark all of my symptoms and told him that I’d bet money I was. But I wasn’t. Only an hour or two after I’d told him, my period came, and I felt like an idiot.

Then this month, once again we had a more major WOOPS. The WOOPS that happens smack dab in the middle of ovulation when you are at your most fertile. We knew exactly what had happened, so the next day we hopped to the pharmacy and asked for a morning after pill. I took it and knew that was that.

But once again as it got near to my time of the month, I started having overwhelming symptoms. I had a small amount of bleeding a few days before I was due. It was brown blood, the kind that has been inside for a little while. I thought of the only times I’ve EVER had that before – implantation bleeding when pregnant. I waited for more, but nothing came. The next day, once again, I had the smallest amount of blood when I wiped. The same brick color as the last one. I had been very nauseous the last couple of days. I thought I was sick. I had had some serious dizziness, which I put down to too much caffeine. I had had some insomnia. I was having trouble catching my breath even when sitting. I was bloated and irritable beyond reckoning.

In short – I was pregnant. I knew it to be true. I didn’t FEEL pregnant like I had the other times. But I just KNEW I was pregnant. I went out and bought prenatal vitamins and a double pack of pregnancy tests to confirm it. I’d already told Mark, and he’d been as upset as I thought he’d be. I even told Dexter that I had a secret, though thankfully I didn’t tell him what it was. Because even before I’d been able to take the test, I got my period – three days earlier than it was due. Heavy and painful and miserable.

And I lost it. I told Mark that I desperately wanted one more baby. I cried and I railed. I told him that I KNEW it was a bad idea, but I didn’t care. I swore that I wanted a baby more than anything. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t know why it was so important, but I couldn’t stop this desire inside of me to have one more child. I could see the pain behind his eyes. Mark has never denied me anything I’ve ever wanted. He goes out of his way to make every one of my dreams come true, no matter what. He keeps every promise to me, and he lives to make me happy. He is a wonderful husband and partner and father to our kids. But he couldn’t give me this.

He doesn’t want another child. He is done. He’s angry at himself because he’s been threatening to get a vasectomy for so long, but he hasn’t done it out of respect for me and the fact that I have struggled so much. He doesn’t understand why I am not happy with our three amazing and wonderful children. With Chester having turned two in October, he’s finally starting to feel like we’re getting our lives back. Our older two are potty-trained and sleeping in their own beds instead of between us. They are in school Chester is a very independent kid who is learning and growing every day, and things are so much easier than they used to be. Why would we want to add in a screaming, sleepless baby?

I don’t know why I can’t let this go. I am not in the greatest health. I feel like I’m a terrible mother a lot of the time. I’m exhausted and really rather overwhelmed with it all.

And I have THREE kids. That’s more than some people get. It’s more than I ever expected when I was told at 23 years old that I’d never be able to have kids without IVF. Why am I so greedy for more?

The truth is that I am grateful for my kids. I love them more than my own life, and I am amazed by them each and every day.

I just don’t know how to stop wanting what I can’t have.


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Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

This is my story, my husband and I has 20 years age gap. we have a 4 yo daughter. I really want to have another child but he won't touch me thinking I will get pregnant right away. at least what he heard from my OB that I could not get pregnant until my daughter turns 2 because it will be easy for me to get pregnant after our first baby. Imagine 4 years with no sex. My daughter is now 4, and I'm hoping and praying for her to have sibling, it doesn't matter if it's a boy or girl, as long it's a healthy baby. But he doesn't want no more, a straight no answer, no way, not in my lifetime, maybe on your next husband, not from me. Sometimes I would start the conversation what if I get a sperm donor? then he said we'll get a divorce first. I just feel that in unfair. just one more child that's all I ask.. :(

Katie Reed

Tuesday 9th of November 2021

I am so sorry you and your husband are not on the same page. It is so hard. My heart is with you. I will say that I have two girlfriends who both wanted more than one child, but both of their husbands refused - one for medical reasons and one for financial reasons. Both were really upset, but they have made peace with it and have found true happiness with one beautiful child. They have made very happy lives giving their attention to their individual children, and they have found other ways to fill the gap. I know the heartache of wanting just one more, but I hope you can find peace one way or another with your daughter and your husband. Sending you love and strength. <3

Random Woman

Thursday 26th of August 2021

I don’t ever comment on blogs but I felt the need to. Your post helped me so much with my own feelings. Thank you for sharing your own story. I am 28 with a 4 year old. I left her abusive donor at 8 weeks pregnant. I had my mom the entire pregnancy so I wasn’t alone but it wasn’t the same. Fast forward to now I have met the love of my life. He’s 41. He has a 16 year old and I have brought it up that I want another baby. I have never felt this way in the four years of having my daughter but I want the chance to be excited with a man and a pregnancy. To see the father of my child hold the little baby. We have girls so I want to give him a son. It’s so painful. When we argue he brings it up and says no. But then he tells me to get off birth control and we will see what happens. I am very confused and the longer I go without trying to conceive the more I want it. I want him to come around and have the same desire. My heart aches and I cry over it. I know without a doubt someone is missing in our family but he doesn’t feel it. I would get my tubes tied afterwards I’m willing to do anything for him to want this. I’m rambling at this point but your story really touched me. Thank you.

Katie Reed

Sunday 29th of August 2021

I am so sorry you are going through this. Our hearts and bodies know when something is missing. It's so difficult to feel like we just want that final piece of the puzzle. I wish I could offer more than platitudes. You deserve to feel fulfilled. Please think hard whether this man really IS the love of your life. If he truly is, and having another baby is very important to you, you'll have to make some tough decisions. My heart really goes out to you. I wish you the very very best. <3

Laura P

Saturday 7th of August 2021

Oh my goodness, I need an update! What happened?? This is our situation, three wonderful children but my heart wants another. Thank you for sharing your story.

Katie Reed

Wednesday 11th of August 2021

Oh bless you. If you can believe it, we now have four wonderful boys. Our fourth was very much a little miracle, as I had finally given up hope and was actively on birth control while waiting for my husband to have a vasectomy. But somehow we got pregnant anyway, and our little one is almost four years old now. I feel very much complete now. I totally understand how hard it is to feel like you just want that one more baby. And while it may or may not happen, I am really happy that you have three awesome kiddos you love and appreciate. I'll hold you in my heart. <3

Jennifer LaClair

Monday 27th of August 2018

I have 3 boys and I desperately want a girl, a 4th child. Honestly if it ended up a boy I would be just as happy because I have tons of boy things and I'm totally prepared as a boy mom. I am on an IUD and was planning to have it removed thinking that my husband would agree to a 4th. We have openly agreed to it in the past, even talked to family members about it. Last nightI brought it up, saying I felt like it was time, and he shut it down. A definite no. Does not want any more childre. I cried all night, I'm angry. He changed his mind and now my deepest desire as a mother is being denied. How do get over this? I'm devastated.

Katie Reed

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

I'm so sorry, Jennifer. I have been there, obviously. Maybe give it time. Only four months after I wrote this post, I found myself pregnant again, and I now have four wonderful and amazing boys. My husband has since had a vasectomy to ensure no more, which is very bittersweet. But I think at times, if it is meant to happen, it will. My husband was 100% against having more kids, but it happened anyway.

I know how hard it is to deal with, so my heart is with you. But perhaps it will happen anyway. I'll keep you all in my thoughts. x

blogging mummy

Sunday 15th of January 2017

Oh no I had no idea you wanted anymore. I couldn't imagine having three let alone four. with me having the 2 boys I always though I would want another to try for a girl, but I feel we are totally complete and I am so content with just the 2 boys. I can see you wanting to take on that woman in the Uk with 19 kids ha ha!!

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