Are You "Done?"

In the last year, two friends, like me in their 40's with three young children, changed their minds that they were "done" having kids. Now, they each have a new, fourth baby -- nearly a decade younger than their three others. Their babies are divinely cute. My friends are giddy with happiness, acting like grandparents with their first grandchild. The three older children help with baby care, making the moms' second swing at motherhood far easier. But when one of my friends knowingly asked me if I were "done," I almost spit out my coffee.

Right now, I can't imagine having another child. My husband, an only child, originally wanted five. After two, he suddenly changed his forecast that three would be perfect. I agreed -- I grew up in a large clan and my philosophy has always been that children should outnumber the adults. But three is plenty chaos for me.

I have many friends who never, ever considered having more than two children. Two was somehow their perfect number. Others are blissfully happy with one. And yes, several think "zero" is exactly the right number of children. Lastly, although it makes me hyperventilate to consider their households, I know plenty of others who seem like they aren't stopping until the egg supply runs out.

So my question today is: How do you know when you are "done" having children? Before you had your first child, what number did you think would be "perfect" for you? Did your spouse agree or did you duke it out? Did the birth of your child(ren) change your outlook? What factors outside your control -- infertility, divorce, family struggles -- drastically affected your beliefs? Have your career successes -- or disappointments -- played a role?

So, are you "done?"

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  June 4, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
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First!

As for being done, we're trying to start, not deciding if we're going to stop.

At least I've never had that question asked me during an intimate moment...

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 7:24 AM

"In the last year, two friends, who like me were in their 40s..."

Well, Leslie, I kinda like you too. So make that at least 3 friends in their 40's that like you. :-)

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 7:36 AM

I wanted three kids (my husband wanted four but would be content with 3). We even bought a minivan in anticipation of being outnumbered by kids. Then I developed medical problems after giving birth to my second. The doctors told me not to get pregnant again or I risk death. We're both very sad and disappointed and we're doing our best to accept this new reality and let go of our former plans. But now that I have my hands full with the two, I'm slowly starting to see how this can be a blessing in disguise. The sleep deprivation, the constant laundry, the house that never seems to get clean enough, the tears and tantrums, the many crazy and stressful parts of parenthood - I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Posted by: done with two | June 4, 2007 7:39 AM

I wanted 2. She wanted 2. He was 2. Got snipped. We're done.

Posted by: Father of 2 | June 4, 2007 7:41 AM

I wanted 2. She wanted 2. We have 2. Got snipped. We're done.

Posted by: Father of 2 | June 4, 2007 7:41 AM

I wanted 2. She wanted 2. We have 2. Got snipped. We're done.

Posted by: Father of 2 | June 4, 2007 7:41 AM

No more posting before coffee.

Posted by: Father of 2 | June 4, 2007 7:43 AM

I've been thinking about this topic a bit lately. Being 32 and pregnant with my second, DH and I both think this could be it. He has one sibling, I have 2. I'm the middle child and quite frankly feel like I got the short end of the stick re: parent's attention. But I like having a brother and sister and wouldn't change my family for the world.

Still...we don't really know if 2 will be it. Like Leslie's friends, I think things change. Also, if baby 2 is a girl (we have a little boy already), I think we'd be more inclined to stop (we find out in a week!). But if we have another boy, we've talked about adopting a girl. Who knows??

Posted by: londonmom | June 4, 2007 7:49 AM

We want 3, but are having a hard time getting to 2, even though getting 1 took all of one month of trying. So, who knows? I'm starting to realize that family planning may not be as in my control as previously thought. :)

Posted by: VAMom | June 4, 2007 7:53 AM

TY, Fo4. Need to wait for Grammar Sheriff to show up to give me some ideas on how to correct that sentence!

Posted by: Leslie | June 4, 2007 8:01 AM

Done in is more like it! (The Grammar Sheriff has more than 1 kid!) I will work on the sentence!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | June 4, 2007 8:18 AM

We never really set a count. Had 4 over 10 years and when the youngest was 13 we wanted another. Since my better half had her tubes tied after #4 we tried IVF. We now have 5, youngest being 13.5 and we are in our low 50's.

Now when we think of having more we borrow the grandkids - two 3 year olds (girl/boy) and two one year old boys - for a weekend. We get the joy of the little ones around the house and the mommies/daddies get a weekend break.

Life is great.

Posted by: SoMD | June 4, 2007 8:18 AM

We each wanted 1 and we have her and are done! I have an IUD now and think it's really hilarious that everyone we run into has to say that I'm glowing and that they know it won't be long until #2 comes.

My husband is a good deal older than I am, which also played a part in our decision.

Posted by: MaryB | June 4, 2007 8:19 AM

I also find it funny and pathetic when others comment on our plans or lack of plans to have more children. Does anyone know of a good (and polite) way to tell well-meaning friends and relatives to mind their own beeswax?

Posted by: Leslie | June 4, 2007 8:23 AM

In the last year, two friends, who like me were in their 40s with three elementary school-aged children

Try this,

Two friends, like me in their 40's with three young children, changed their minds

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | June 4, 2007 8:26 AM

OT about Friday:

Aww, thanks for stopping by my pity party on Friday.

MN, no hard liquor b/c heart disease. And my husband is quitting too, so we are crabby together. You are a saint for living with a quitter!

KLB SS MD, Well, we quit in Jan., but I've had a few since then. The hardest thing is not smoking while drinking. My only cheats have been with a beer in my hand. But soon I'll be able to resist that too. Any pointers about that remaining urge?

Gutless coward, it's nice to share the pity. At least I didn't miss out on the casual sex!

Posted by: Meesh | June 4, 2007 8:28 AM

"In the last year, two friends, who like me were in their 40s with three elementary school-aged children, changed their minds that they were "done" having kids."

Since the "like me" is not necessary for the sentence, it can be set apart.

In the last year, two friends, who (like me) were in their 40s with three elementary school-aged children, changed their minds that they were "done" having kids.

or

In the last year, two friends, who - like me - were in their 40s with three elementary school-aged children, changed their minds that they were "done" having kids.

Posted by: Who likes me? | June 4, 2007 8:33 AM

Well, my husband and I have decided not to have kids. But we know that things change, so we're not taking any permanent steps in terms of birth control. Everyone warns me that I'll get baby fever when I'm in my 30s. Doubtful, but maybe.

I did have a dream the other night that we adopted a special needs kid. Got me thinking...

Posted by: Meesh | June 4, 2007 8:35 AM

Rude questions:
Something I saw on tv; when someone asks a question you think is rude or don't care to answer you respond with "why do you ask?". It would totally throw them off and they will stumble for an answer and will most likely not repeat the question.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 8:35 AM

You bet I'm done!! Wooo! CHC actually handed son #2 his diploma Saturday, and he's in OC with his buddies. My house is QUIET! Not clean -- yet...

I always wanted two kids, five years apart. I got two...sixteen months apart (the pill strength pre-pregnancy was not strong enough after pregnancy #1 -- surprise). STBX wanted seven. I told him (before he even proposed officially) if he wanted that many, he was going to have to find someone ele to give birth to the other five, because I was only giving birth twice.

For the nosy questions, how about the stony look? You know, the one that says, why on EARTH are you asking me that? We all have given that look from time to time. Then change the subject completely.

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 8:36 AM

http://www.answers.com/topic/emdash

em·dash or em dash (ĕm'dăsh')
n.
A symbol (--) used in writing and printing to indicate a break in thought or sentence structure, to introduce a phrase added for emphasis, definition, or explanation, or to separate two clauses.

Posted by: Who likes me? | June 4, 2007 8:36 AM

oops:
*someone ELSE*

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 8:38 AM

In college I wanted 4 husband wanted 3. After having his first son, husband thought we could stop there. I talked him into another son; now, we're done. Having more than 2 kids is for the very wealthy, especially if you don't have extended family around to lend a hand. The idea of a having a girl is appealing, but I wouldn't chance having another boy - they're so physical and they like to conquer/distroy things. I'm a girly girl, I like things organized. I love having my 2 boys, but I know I would go crazy being outnumbered 4-1. It's a full time job pick up after them as it is and, I work part time

Posted by: done with two too | June 4, 2007 8:38 AM

Done. Done done done. Stick a fork in me.

No. 3 was out of the question as soon as we had our first, the electron. Even no. 2 was a matter of much soul-searching on both of our parts. And the fact that we had to think so hard about even having no. 2 told both of us we didn't even need to discuss a third.

Added factors: We started late. Very difficult pregnancies. Infertility. Partly because it lost us a couple more years, and partly because of the emotional impact -- I knew I couldn't handle the ups and downs of trying and hoping and waiting and more miscarriages.

Also, our personalities and our existing kids' needs weighed into it a lot. I love the large, chaotic, loud families, but the thought of actually being in CHARGE of one scares the bejeebers out of me (and my husband). I don't know that we could give a third child all of the patience and attention we should. And we both like our careers, which are hard enough to balance with two. Having a third would either require one of us to quit and stay home, which neither one of us wants to do, or compel me to go back to work full-time to afford a nanny. And it just doesn't seem to make sense to me to go have more kids only to have LESS time with any of them.

Maybe if we had started earlier, and had kids who were 10 and 5, having a third might have been conceivable (umm, er, extremely bad pun not intended). But at this point, I am looking forward to being done with diapers, done with daycare tuitions, getting to the point where the boy can use words instead of just shriek with frustration (fun AM here today, as you can tell). And by the time all this is far enough in the past to make me nostalgic, I'll be too old to have another (and can't imagine really wanting to start all over again by adopting at 50).

Posted by: Laura | June 4, 2007 8:39 AM

I think a simple - "Oh, we're done. We already have our hands full with x, y and z."

Posted by: londonmom | June 4, 2007 8:41 AM

okay, fixing the sentence, let me know if it's fixed.

Posted by: leslie | June 4, 2007 8:42 AM

I am done after this baby. That will make two for me and I am happy about it. I only ever wanted two and now I am almost there. Well, in six more months anyway. The way things cost today, I just can't imagine having more.

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 8:47 AM

I always wanted two kids and never even considered having a third. Until my youngest was about 3! Even though my marriage was rocky I would periodically get obsessed with having another baby, and in a brief good patch of my marriage right before it ended, we had talked about actively trying for another.

But somewhere inside I knew that it would be a huge mistake for me to have another, and, knowing myself and my impulsivity and my fondness for babies, I took matters into my own hands and got my tubes tied when I was 37. I did it because I could just see myself turning 40 and deciding I simply couldn't live without another child and I knew that it wouldn't be the right choice for me even if my marriage had lasted.

I am going to be 39 in a week and my divorce will be final on Friday, and I frequently congratulate myself on having tied my hands (or tubes, as it happens) and taken away even the option to have another child. I am in love with a man who doesn't have kids and who just happens to have had a vasectomy, so even if my tubes were not tied, having a child together would not even be an option.

It would be easy to romanticize how much we'd love to have a child together--give him the baby he never had and give me the chance to have a baby with the man of my dreams. But I can't help but feel that this is some kind of divine intervention telling me--in no uncertain terms--that my childbearing days are over, as is the period of my life that was devoted 100% to the full-time care of two small kids. I am in the painstaking process of re-building my career and am enjoying being the parent of "big" kids (11 and almost 9) and the reality is that having another baby would not be an option for me even if I wanted it.

And as for the divine intervention, I do find it funny how emphatically the powers that be made their point: not only did I have my tubes tied and he a vasectomy, but I had endometrial ablation, making even IVF impossibility. There is no possible way, no matter how much I could want it, that I could have another baby!

Like SoMD, my life is great!

Posted by: Maggie | June 4, 2007 8:49 AM

Looks good to me. But certainly, the other suggestions were equally as valid!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | June 4, 2007 8:49 AM

We're starting with one to see how we do, but would like to have two so they can trade off on the dish-washing. My wife would like to have a third, but I came from a large family and prefer the dynamic in her smaller one. Two is good.

Regarding nosy questions, try being a lesbian couple planning to have kids. We shrug off a lot of questions about who's planning to get inseminated, who the donor will be or whether we'd prefer an anonymous donor, and so forth. Well meant, but nosy. I make jokes out of it if people are getting too intrusive and tell the guys (or women with male partners) that if we need the men's services we'll let them know.

Posted by: TR | June 4, 2007 8:54 AM

Awe Leslie, you changed the text of the blog entry and now it's going to make my 7:36 post make me look like I'm out to lunch... Again!

I'll have you know, young lady, that I very rarely go out to lunch. However, Leslie, if you ever happen to be visiting DC on a workday, I'll make an exception. :-)

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 8:54 AM

My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. We always said we wanted a bunch of kids, but we went through a lot of infertility, got older, and calmed down about the "big clan" idea. (Maybe watching the actual expenses played into that too :)).

We have had two children, but only my son is surviving.

We each have a strange feeling about going for a third, because we both feel like our family is "meant" to have two kids, and we have had two - yet we only actually have one. (And actually we have had some miscarriages but somehow they don't feel the same - they were all quite early too.)

But I think we will go for a third/second surviving in the next year and see what fertility has left for us. We just look at the table and it seems like there is not just the empty space where our daughter ought to be but another one - it's odd. I am glad we agree though.

I don't think we would do ART to add to our family, with the possible exception of something like Clomid.

Posted by: Shandra | June 4, 2007 8:57 AM

"okay, fixing the sentence, let me know if it's fixed."

Only problem I have with the sentence is that the commas imply the information inside is not important to the meaning of the sentence. What is important (IMHO) is that the friends were "in their 40's with three young children". What isn't important (for the meaning of the sentence) is that they are like you. The fact that they are like you would be important if you also changed your mind. However, that doesn't seem to be the case so therefore it is unimportant.

The only information which needs to be set apart as the "like me"

Posted by: Who likes me? | June 4, 2007 8:58 AM

Why did you guys encourage the grammar police?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:01 AM

Rude questions:
Something I saw on tv; when someone asks a question you think is rude or don't care to answer you respond with "why do you ask?". It would totally throw them off and they will stumble for an answer and will most likely not repeat the question.

Great answer in principle. But some people don't get thrown off, or are so nervy they can't take the hint.

When I've used "why do you ask?" one questioner replied (honestly, I suppose), "Because I want to know". Another self-appointed expert proceeded to give me a whole long lecture on the perils of waiting too long.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:03 AM


I am not the grammar police, that is another person. I only comment if some word or phrasing is atrocious or if asked to do so.

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | June 4, 2007 9:07 AM

Also Leslie, the phrase, "two friends, like me in their 40's with three young children, ..."

It is unclear to me whether your 2 friends are husband & wife and have 3 children, or they are 2 different women (or men), each of whom have 3 children totaling 6 kids.

Let's do coffee!

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 9:09 AM

We thought we were done after having 2 boys. We are in our early 40's. But after our 2 year old was diagnosed with a form of cancer that has a 40% 5 year survival rate, we kind of changed our minds. We couldn't fathom our oldest child being an only, and we also suddenly realized how much we loved the chaos and confusion of more than one kid. So now we have a third, a little girl. And our middle child is still alive, 3 years in remission.

Posted by: ratgirlny | June 4, 2007 9:14 AM

Fo4: coffee? Count me in! Iced coffee okay?

We knew we were done when the #4 was born. We thought we were done before #3 was conceived. But it was so much fun, we just couldn't stop the party. Seriously, when you realize you will be at your retirement party and still paying for college, you say to yourself: I'm done.

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 9:15 AM

Why encourage the grammar police?

Because many of us enjoy wordplay, as well as other sorts of --play. It's all in fun.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:18 AM

Considering the fact that the number one problem facing the world today is the uncontrolable growth of the human species don't you idiots think its time to stop contributing to the problem?

Posted by: mcewen | June 4, 2007 9:20 AM

I already have 4 kids, butIf I ever want a fifth, I'll just go to the liquor store. :-)

Ba dump bump, crash!

You knew it was coming...

And Dotted, you especially, as well as all the regulars here are invited to join the party!

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 9:24 AM

dotted: you have 4 and have retained not only your sanity but your sense of humor? My hat's off to you once again.

We didn't have a fixed number in mind before we married, but we knew our maximum was 3. We would have been happy if we'd only had our first, but became pregnant the first month we tried for our second, and the rest, as they say, is history. I was 40 when we had our second. Neither of us had the slightest urge to parent a third child.

btw, I'd propose reframing the question: how many kids do you want to parent? NOT how many kids do you want to have?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 4, 2007 9:24 AM

We are in debate now. We have two beautiful healthy happy girls and always thought that we would have 3. But the last postpartum was tough medically for me and now I am 37, so testing in pregnancy is a must. We would probably have to consider a change in our environment to handle a third as well--moving closer to family, one of us staying home at least part time. So we are still thinking but set a deadline. If we cannot make up our minds by that date then we are done. It is bittersweet, for both of us, because we love our kids so much and would love to have more.

Posted by: Sunniday | June 4, 2007 9:25 AM

*I'd propose reframing the question: how many kids do you want to parent? NOT how many kids do you want to have?*

Does that count spouses who don't want to grow up?

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 9:29 AM

Considering the fact that the number one problem facing the world today is the uncontrolable growth of the human species don't you idiots think its time to stop contributing to the problem?

Posted by: mcewen | June 4, 2007 09:20 AM

Whether or not YOU have kids, who do you think is going to take care of you in your old age? Like, after an elderly spouse or siblings are dead or no longer able?

People of your generation will need a new generation to provide the healthcare workers, farmers to raise your food, build and run the physical infrastructure society needs, etc.

Or would you prefer that the human race become extinct? You're already doing a great job, by being such a dodo.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:32 AM

I wanted three. I grew up in a family with six kids and loved the activity and friendships, but knew I wouldn't be able to manage that many kids, especially starting later in life at having them than my mother did and with a husband more than a decade older than myself. But three seemed like a good number.

After child number two, I was done. I just knew it--no other way to explain. DH felt the same way. And it wasn't until long after we made that decision that we learned that we're a genetic nightmare, carrying recessive genes for an immune system disorder that any child of ours has a 25% chance of having (only one of our two has this) and God knows what genetic coding for autism--both kids have autism spectrum disorders. But we really didn't know any of this when we decided we were finished having kids, so maybe we have lousy genes and good gut instincts!

I still get baby lust and think how nice it would be to have a little one around, and I think about adoption, but then I come to my senses--we're exhausted already with the two we have, DH will be 50 soon, and I just don't think we have it in us to deal with another child!

Posted by: Sarah | June 4, 2007 9:33 AM

We'd wanted three, maybe. After two I had some doubts about three. DH got cancer and we stuck with two. We certainly could have adopted had we wanted more.

I admire people who have children who are much younger than their first "batch". I think they must be really happy being parents.

I've been a happy parent, but I never had a great desire to revisit baby-dom after it was finished the first time.

If you are in your 40s and want more you need to get busy because it doesn't always happen so easily.

Posted by: RoseG | June 4, 2007 9:34 AM

mcewen, I think the number 1 problem is probably running out of potable water. Then overpopulation.

But a few people have mentioned adoption as a way to add to their families. That helps ease the problem.

Posted by: Meesh | June 4, 2007 9:34 AM

Ha, what a timely topic for me. I'm 44, divorced with kids who are 5 and 8 who have been begging for a little sibling. And I want another baby and my biological clock is ticking and there's no new potential husband on the horizon. So I'm thinking I'll do the spermbank route. The few people I've told think I'm crazy, and I can't argue with them. There are so many more reasons NOT to do this than to do this. And I'll probably chicken out in the end. I saw a social worker who specializes in fertility issues and she spoke of "baby lust," common among women my age. Guilty. Mid-life-crisis too, probably; also not wanting to grow old, not wanting my kids to grow up, etc., etc.

Posted by: divorced with 2 | June 4, 2007 9:37 AM

If we had #3 first, we would probably have stopped at 1.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 9:39 AM

If one spouse is irresponsible or high-maintenance, it has the same impact on the family as an additional child.

Posted by: to educmom | June 4, 2007 9:45 AM

Husband is on only child, I am an only child. We each wanted only one. She is an only child. Husband got snipped when she was 11 months old. Done!

Posted by: 21117 | June 4, 2007 9:45 AM

but Father of 4, if you were capable of stopping, or willing to stop, theoretically, at 1, why did you have #4?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:48 AM

to rude questions, try "gee, don't you think that's a really personal question?" that comment will usually stop most people but it won't stop the hardcore busybodies. nothing you can say will stop the hardcore busybodies.

Posted by: quark | June 4, 2007 9:49 AM

who knew mcewen had an opinion on something other than divorced women? .

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:50 AM

*If one spouse is irresponsible or high-maintenance, it has the same impact on the family as an additional child.*

I know...well, at least one can divorce an immature spouse. It's pretty sad when the 18-year-old is more mature than his dad.

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 9:52 AM

nothing you can say will stop the hardcore busybodies.

Posted by: quark | June 4, 2007 09:49 AM


Sometimes a long embarrassed silence works.

Or changing the topic to something totally different.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:59 AM

I don't know if we're done or not but we're not talking about that right now. #3 is only 7 months old so if we were making a decision now, that would be it. Perhaps if all 3 would sleep all night for more than a week straight, we'd consider it.

As for the rude question, my response is usually, "Who can say?" and leave it at that. Besides, even if we have a plan, sometimes God has a different one.

I also thought it was kind of rude, or at least presumptuous, when I was pregnant with #3, that everyone assumed it was because we were trying for a boy. #1 and #2 are girls.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | June 4, 2007 10:02 AM

My husband and I have two small children and two full-time jobs. In my struggles as a working mother I've realized one thing: some women derive great satisfaction from the structure of the workplace, praise and performance reviews, deadlines, to-do lists, adult interaction. I thrive on knowing my home is clean, the laundry is done, my son completed a craft project I set up, spending hours putting them to bed at night. We're not done having kids until I can find a career that allows me to thrive in my home life.
http://flexibleworkforce.blogspot.com
By the way, I've never met a man who did not derive the type of satisfaction I feel at home out of his work life. I'm sure they exist however and think Dads deserve the same type of consideration for their happiness at home and at work.

Posted by: Amy | June 4, 2007 10:03 AM

Fo4: liquor store, eh? For us, #4 should have been named "too many mint juleps in hot weather"

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 10:04 AM

One more thing about intrusive questions:
Sometimes, a conversation will drift into that gray zone between casual and revelatory. A question might be asked that goes into the privacy zone, although the person asking it didn't realize he or she had crossed the line (I've seen it, I've done it, and I've been on the receiving end of it). In that situation, I think the best response is a variation on 'let's not talk about that' and a complete change of subject.

Like quark said, nothing will stop the hardcore busybodies, but this approach works pretty well with the accidental snoops.

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 10:08 AM

DH and I were done with 2, we had 2 daughters at the time and I was just about to turn 30), but managed to have a third while I was on the pill. After our son was born, DH decided to take matters into his own hands and get the big V. So three is what we have, and we are definitely done.

Posted by: pamsdds | June 4, 2007 10:10 AM

When our last two children arrived as a set, we decided that was God's sign that we were done. When children arrive in packs - you are complete.
Anyway, with four healthy boys, we felt pretty darn complete anyway.

SIDENOTE:
Interesting take on the work/life balance in this link:

http://blog.fastcompany.com/experts/tstern/2007/06/worklife_balance_kids_stuff.html

Posted by: 4BoysinFredericksburg | June 4, 2007 10:11 AM

but Father of 4, if you were capable of stopping, or willing to stop, theoretically, at 1, why did you have #4?

Why would you ask that?

Sorry, I just thought I would try it out to see how it worked. :)

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 10:11 AM

Sixty-third!!! I am happy with two, he's happy with two, the two seem happy with each other. So we're not trying, but if fate intervenes ...

Posted by: Just Me | June 4, 2007 10:12 AM

Good Lord yes we are done! I sympathize with Teddy Roosevelt who said of his daughter Alice "I can be president of the United States or I can control Alice, I cannot do both". This is how I feel about my daughter too. She is equal to at least two kids by herself.

Posted by: pATRIKC | June 4, 2007 10:21 AM

Good Lord yes we are done! I sympathize with Teddy Roosevelt who said of his daughter Alice "I can be president of the United States or I can control Alice, I cannot do both". This is how I feel about my daughter too. She is equal to at least two kids by herself.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 10:21 AM

Ok, I don't get the "I'm not trying to get pregnant but if I do that's OK" kind of attitude.

ISTM you're either trying to have a child or you aren't; there's no halfway between those two. My wife and I went from "definitely no" to "definitely yes" without any of this "maybe" stuff. Having a child is IMO too important a decision to be wishy-washy about.

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 10:22 AM

We are both one of three and the middle children are a little out there. So we would both be scared of three. Dh indicated that he didn't want three and for a brief moment I thought-maybe four is a good number. But I'm too old and tired at this point.
I bring it up every once in a while and dh never seems to waver. He told me he wants me back-ie I do so much for kids (bf for a year, make baby food, make sure certain things are in place) and he loves that but he doesn't want it to take me away from him again. I thought for a brief moment that for the second it would be neat to have twins, then I came to my senses.
So, we're having two. And people all the time ask if I want a little girl. I always say no-im. The queen in the house and that is wonderful.
I have a friend who had her third boy and she was talking with me about how there's no way to religiously mark an end to one's fertility (in judaism, as I suspect in most religions, birth control is frowned upon-not so in the more modern applications, but still, there's no real ceremony or prayer or anything-that we know of anyway). It's a transition that doesn't see{to be marked and it sort of leaves one in limbo. Like-you can have more but you're done but there's nothing official. Said friend has said she's finished, but said they may still have more altho she is overrun by boys at the moment.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 10:26 AM

but Father of 4, if you were capable of stopping, or willing to stop, theoretically, at 1, why did you have #4?

Why would you ask that?

Sorry, I just thought I would try it out to see how it worked. :)

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 10:11 AM


you won't know how it works, scarry, until you use the response to someone who is speaking to you, not to someone else. Using it to interrupt someone else's conversation makes you a busy-body.

In this instance, Father of 4 commented that he would have stopped at 1 if 3 had been 1. The reasonable follow-up question is, if 3 would have stopped the bus, why are there 4? If you find that rude, it's a good thing no one is speaking to you, isn't it?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:29 AM

pATRICK, LOVE the Teddy Roosevelt quote -- sums um how I feel about my daughter as well as anything I've ever heard.

Posted by: Laura | June 4, 2007 10:29 AM

"but Father of 4, if you were capable of stopping, or willing to stop, theoretically, at 1, why did you have #4?"

Rude question, don't you think? But I'll do what I usually do when somebody asks me a rude question, I'll just answer it.

#1 was conceived after a Christmas party where my wife & I got a little tipsy. The thought behind it was, "hey, let's see what happens if we push this button. Let's see if it works like the manual says it will."

#2 was Planned! After my wife graduated from college.

#3 was my idea. Rough times.

#4 was an Oops! Ended up miscarrying. Generated some guilt. though.

#5 was a Makeup for lost #4.

Am I done yet?

Probably. However, the natural consequence of sex is conceiving a baby. I'm not done with sex yet.

And when my wife holds a baby at a party, gets that gleam in her eye, I think, no! no! no! Quick, get me another beer!

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 10:29 AM

My second was born when my first turned seven. Most of the time (except after occasional sleepless nights) I dream of having another baby when # 2 turns six or seven. I enjoy having them so far apart (I started at the age of 26) so I'm able to enjoy each stage they go through. My 10 year old DS beats me at Scrabble and my 3 year old DD invites me to tea parties with her dolls.
As 8:18 poster says, life is great. And I don't think I'm done yet.

Posted by: portuguese mother | June 4, 2007 10:29 AM

"Ok, I don't get the "I'm not trying to get pregnant but if I do that's OK" kind of attitude...Having a child is IMO too important a decision to be wishy-washy about."

Well, with us, we are either actively working for it or working against it. But you can still get pregnant when you're working against it. So you were trying to NOT be pregnant but you're pregnant anyway. You can be okay with that or have an abortion. That's not being wishy-washy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:30 AM

Yup, I'm "done" - having never started! Life is great right now without kids. I feel I have good balance between work, home life, and personal time. Why change it? As for babies being a natural consequence of sex.... This is the 21st century. There are ways to prevent pregnancy and they are actually pretty reliable if used correctly. Sterilization is a permanent method, with a near-perfect success rate. If those fail, there are other options if one wants to consider them. Sex does not have to result in babies anymore.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 10:34 AM

"I admire people who have children who are much younger than their first "batch". I think they must be really happy being parents."

LOL - I always thought that people who were well past baby, bottles, diapers, sleepless night stages were CRAZY to start over again.

Posted by: xyz | June 4, 2007 10:35 AM

We just had our first and he's seven months old now. I want more, my wife's not sure. I love being a Dad and feel like I cheated myself not having kids sooner. Maybe in a few years, I'll feel too tired to handle this. Now I feel like I am hitting my prime. So bring em on!

Posted by: Recent Dad at 39 | June 4, 2007 10:38 AM

"Ok, I don't get the "I'm not trying to get pregnant but if I do that's OK" kind of attitude...Having a child is IMO too important a decision to be wishy-washy about."

Maybe I can explain. We knew we wanted children but didn't have a timeframe or master plan in mind. When we reached the point that we would not be upset by an unplanned pregnancy, all birth control was stopped. However, we did not "try to get pregnant" by tracking cycles, temperatures, or anything else and planning sex around the optimal fertility times. So, we were not preventing pregnancy, but not actively trying either.

Posted by: nona | June 4, 2007 10:38 AM

...Forgot to add this...

Husband was instrumental in deciding the right number of children for us (zero). It is a decision we made together. If we change our minds (bloody unlikely at this point), that will also be a decision we make together.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 10:40 AM

Sorry, I don't see any rudeness in responding to your comment with an honest inquiry. I'm not one of your bashers. So, whether 3 was 1 or 3, it would have had no impact on your family size because it wouldn't have changed your values or birth control practices. That's why your initial comment made no sense to me. Thanks for responding, even with the snark.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:42 AM

Nona, IMHO that is in fact trying to get pregnant. You just aren't taking extra steps to do so. You are letting the biological process simply happen. However, by not actively trying to prevent pregnancy and still having sex, you are by default trying to get pregnant.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 10:42 AM

When my husband and I married we figured we would have 0-2 kids. we've since decided that zero is our number. We're happy with the way life is now - hubby started his own business 2 years ago, something that we probably would not have done with kids and without my salary/health benefits as a safety net. We enjoy our careers and traveling - no need for any change....

Posted by: CBCinNoVa | June 4, 2007 10:47 AM

I was expecting a different answer from Fo4. Something along the lines of "No. 3 was a difficult baby, but our experience with No 1 and No 2 was different, and we knew that all children are not the same. If No. 3 had been first, we wouldn't have known how easy it could be."

Posted by: anon | June 4, 2007 10:47 AM

"We just had our first and he's seven months old now. I want more, my wife's not sure. I love being a Dad and feel like I cheated myself not having kids sooner. Maybe in a few years, I'll feel too tired to handle this. Now I feel like I am hitting my prime. So bring em on!"

Congrats! You will enjoy your kids, I feel young just being around them. I had my first at 35 and second at 37. GOOD LUCK!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 10:49 AM

I've been thinking about trying for #2 since #1 was born! We're both the youngest of 3, so 3 seems right. I've had my daughter, and I'm OK with 3 girls (We just have to come up with a 3rd name!), but would like a boy. I think having 1 of each, then a 3rd is perfect, but that's what DH and I are. We'll be leaving DC when I'm pregnant with #3 so we can do PT/PT or FT/SAH somewhere where it's financially feasible. DH would love as many as I can produce, but anything past 4 and we'll have to grow more arms.

mcewan- I'm so thankful that my friends are producing the next generation of well-behaved, educated kids. The educated classes are not producing at a high enough rate to even maintain their population, much less contribute to overpopulation.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 10:49 AM

There's a line in The Kite Runner. The main character, Laila, says, "People" . . . "shouldn't be allowed to have new children if they'd already given away all their love to their old ones."

To the extent our family decisions were informed by the choices and behavior of our parents, we subscribed to Laila's statement.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:50 AM

scarry, that was hilarious. It's too bad it didn't work!

Like Father of 4, I usually just answer the rude questions because I don't want to be rude myself. I would love to have the gumption to say "My, that's none of your business," but I don't. I think that if I did, my husband would faint out of shock.

And I figure most people mean no harm. Some people just love talking about babies, so I let it slide. Next weekend we're going to a party with couples who all have at least two kids. I'm looking forward to having the
"When are you haivng kids?"
"Oh, we're not planning on having kids."
"Well, you'll change your mind!"
"I'm sure we will."
conversation at least 5 times (NOT). But then we just ask about their kids, and the conversation is redirected.

Posted by: Meesh | June 4, 2007 10:51 AM

"The educated classes are not producing at a high enough rate to even maintain their population, much less contribute to overpopulation.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 10:49 AM "

Sorry, the educated classes are not genetically superior to the others so if you are worried about there not being enough educated people in the future, work with the groups in the areas of the world/country where there are lots of people to make sure those people are educated.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 4, 2007 10:57 AM

We both wanted two but decided on one. I think my DH would still long for another but realizes it really isn't realistic for us. But it is hard to come to terms with an only child.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 10:59 AM

To Fred (ABOUT BREASTFEEDING): Yes, it was the LC who said all formula was essentially the same and reiterated the yur-dun-good the peds gave me. I'm not interested in going with Reglan or anything "medical." As long as we get to 6 months with the majority of her daily food as breastmilk, I'm happy.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 11:00 AM

I'm not done, but everyone else tells me I should be! I'd have more in a heartbeat. I get my baby 'fix' by helping out younger family members with newborns who need a break. DH would have more if we had more room and more money. He's one of 4, I'm one of 2. We are blessed with 4 beautiful kids...all healthy and happy (or so I hope).

Posted by: 2girls2boys | June 4, 2007 11:01 AM

mcewan- I'm so thankful that my friends are producing the next generation of well-behaved, educated kids. The educated classes are not producing at a high enough rate to even maintain their population, much less contribute to overpopulation.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 10:49 AM

get outtamyway - I'm headed to the restroom to vomit.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:01 AM

I get asked almost daily when I plan to give DD age 5 1/2 a sibling. The real answer is never but usually I just try to change the subject.

I enjoy our child, our condo, my work, and our lifestyle. Everything would change with a second or third (my father-in-law is a twin). DH and DD have already passed 40 and he will is closer to 50.

I watched the two of them playing yesterday throwing a ball and then a celebration hug and kiss. For us a family of three is perfect.

Posted by: shdd | June 4, 2007 11:05 AM

Divorce mom of 1- I never implied they were. They tned to be "nutritionally inferior," though, and there's no getting the pre-natal/peri-natal time back. Not to mention, there are parts of the world where we have to get them to stop slaughtering each other first. Maybe it seems simple to you, but not so much to me.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 11:05 AM

I get asked almost daily when I plan to give DD age 5 1/2 a sibling. The real answer is never but usually I just try to change the subject.

I enjoy our child, our condo, my work, and our lifestyle. Everything would change with a second or third (my father-in-law is a twin). DH and DD have already passed 40 and he will is closer to 50.

I watched the two of them playing yesterday throwing a ball and then a celebration hug and kiss. For us a family of three is perfect.

Posted by: shdd | June 4, 2007 11:05 AM

Nona, I'd define that attitude as trying to become pregnant, which was the point of my original comment. If someone is actively not trying to get pregnant, then basically they are saying they are willing to become pregnant.

As you pointed out, though, there is a grey area where the charting, testing, etc isn't done but no BC is being used at all.

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 11:05 AM

getting advice about formula from a lactation consultant is like getting advice from Karl Rove on whom the Democrats should nominate as their candidate for the '08 race.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:06 AM

Thank God, I have not heard the "we try not to have children on order to save the environment" posts so far. They make me want to poke my eye out with a pencil. But the day is young.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 11:08 AM

"getting advice about formula from a lactation consultant is like getting advice from Karl Rove on whom the Democrats should nominate as their candidate for the '08 race."

LOL! You'd think so, but not all LCs are radicals who think formula kills babies.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 11:12 AM

I knew I was done with two even though I personally wanted more children. I decided that since I could not trust my husband to be faithful, and I might need to be on my own some day, it would be unfair to have another child -- unfair to my two kids, and to me.

Posted by: Kate | June 4, 2007 11:14 AM

Thank God, I have not heard the "we try not to have children on order to save the environment" posts so far. They make me want to poke my eye out with a pencil. But the day is young.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 11:08 AM

pATRICK -

The day is, indeed, young. You missed it. mcewen posted that sentiment earlier. He must have changed his meds from the ones that incite him to label all women feminists out to destroy the family and bar divorced men from seeing their children.

Put the pencils across the room. You never know who'll be next.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 4, 2007 11:17 AM

haha, I thought this was a blog, which means that everything you say is being spoken or written to everyone on the blog. As people have told me in the past when I say, but I wasn't talking to you personally.

Geez, lighten up, it was a joke. If my innocent comment upset you that much, I hate to think what would happen if someone was really mean to you.

Sorry.

Meesh, you are right it was a funny joke.

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 11:17 AM

Well, we always wanted at least 2 and perhaps 3. We have one now. We're sort of trying for another. #1 has been so much fun, I don't see why we wouldn't want more. A good schedule takes care of a lot of your typical multi-kid chaos. So now I'd like at least 4.

BUT.

We've also become really interested in adoption, especially of a teenager or an older child. I don't want to adopt a child older than my natural children, because that's just mean, so we're planning to wait until many years later and see how we feel then.

Great topic, Leslie.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:18 AM

But it is hard to come to terms with an only child.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 10:59 AM

Why?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:18 AM

pATRICK: On the parenting blog one day, a person stated that the enviromentalists say we should only have one child now. They don't even recommend replacing ourselves. It seems like most people ignore them anyway. I have heard that three is the new two. Meaning more and more people want three.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 11:19 AM

Here's my standard answer when people asked when we'd have another child to go with our only: "My husband will have his next children with his second wife."

Stopped the questions every time.

Posted by: lurker | June 4, 2007 11:21 AM

Geez, lighten up, it was a joke. If my innocent comment upset you that much, I hate to think what would happen if someone was really mean to you.

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 11:17 AM

and here's the original from 10:29:

"you won't know how it works, scarry, until you use the response to someone who is speaking to you, not to someone else. Using it to interrupt someone else's conversation makes you a busy-body."

Scarry, you are projecting your own emotionalism onto others again. 10:29 doesn't sound upset. She could have called you a whole host of names more insulting than, "busy-body." If she'd been upset, she probably would have. and, after high school graduation, no one but you thinks in terms of someone being mean to her. Mean is for girls.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:27 AM

But it is hard to come to terms with an only child.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 10:59 AM

Why?

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 11:18 AM
I guess for a couple of reasons.
1) It just seems to be the American way to have siblings. I just have a hard time seeing my daughter not having a sibling for a lifetime.
2) In a rather morbid way, I sometimes fear the what if my daughter died scenario. I know that is kind of sick but once your a parent, you can't imagine your life with out your child. Realistically speaking, you could have two kids and loose them both in a tragic accident. But it seems strange, when you have more then one kid, you think you got a spare (so to speak). Of course no child could replace another one but at least in your grief, you would have the other child.
3) In a weird way, I worry about her life long support system. She won't have anyone to share her grief, struggles, and her happiness. And I worry when we die, she will be left a lone. Of course by then, she will most likely have her own support system of friends, husbands, boy friends, and extended family. But it is sort of sad to think of her all alone in the world.
4) Because good or bad, I think you do learn things from a sibling that you can't learn as an only child. If nothing else, you learn to share your parents.
5) Because both DH and I do enjoy our own siblings and we love being Aunt and Uncle to our many nieces and nephews.

But DH will transition to a new job in 2008 that has a 1 1/2 hour commute both ways. He is also finishing up his MBA and attends school two nights a week. We are also both in our late 30s now and we think it might be just too late. But it is still a strange thing to think of having only one child. One of my friends, who has one child, said the decision to have an only child is a decision you will make over and over again. You will never feel completely satistified with the decision till your child is fully grown.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 11:27 AM

"But DH will transition to a new job in 2008 that has a 1 1/2 hour commute both ways."

Why in the world doesn't he find a different job or move closer?

BTW - loose is not the same as lose.

From Wiktionary:

Usage notes
Do not confuse loose with lose.

Really not trying to be grammar/spelling police, but loose incorrectly used as lose is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Posted by: huh? | June 4, 2007 11:33 AM

ATB,

OK, as I said the other day, the most important thing is that the baby is thriving. At some point you can only do what your body will do.

Both Frieda and I were bottle fed so I guess that is why she is such a strident LC!

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 11:34 AM

Growing up, if I thought about the subject at all, I thought 0 or 1 was the perfect number of offspring.

Then I had #1 child, who was and IS, so overwhelmingly terrific, I opted to roll the die and had a second child.

Who is also wonderful, but DIFFICULT. Quite honestly, if #2 had been #1, there would only have been #1!

No more. I'm still winning the war because I am bigger, meaner & more stubborn, but I know my limitations.

Plus it looks as though #2 may be bipolar like dad. I really, really hope it is "only" bipolar, and not a personality disorder developing in conjunction with the other issues. *crosses fingers*

I've mulled over the idea of being a foster parent, someday. Babies are okay, but I prefer toddlers onwards. I even like teenagers, mostly.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 4, 2007 11:34 AM

June 4, 2007 11:27 AM maybe you should take 10:29 advice and butt out. No one was talking to you right?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:36 AM

Sorry, Patrick, I have to be the "pencil in the eye" person and say that if the planet is to survive we will all need to do a little more thinking about how we live and the future quality of life for us and our children. The planet is at a tipping point (in all sort of ways) and to believe otherwise is foolhardy. So, put me in the column of people who believe that having 3, 4, 5+ (more than replacement) kids is selfish unless you are living off the grid, are Amish, subsistence farming, etc.

And, no, I don't have kids but, as a 35 yo woman, would like to some day soon!

Posted by: kvs | June 4, 2007 11:38 AM

It is also how you view your own family. There's no right or wrong. If you want the parents to be closer to the kids, have fewer. With bigger famnilies the kids get more (hopefully) from each other. One way isn't better than the other, it's just different.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 11:38 AM

But DH will transition to a new job in 2008 that has a 1 1/2 hour commute both ways."

Why in the world doesn't he find a different job or move closer?

BTW - loose is not the same as lose.

From Wiktionary:

Usage notes
Do not confuse loose with lose.

Really not trying to be grammar/spelling police, but loose incorrectly used as lose is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.


Posted by: huh? | June 4, 2007 11:33 AM
Sorry, I never preview my posts. He may be looking into getting a new job but for now he wants to try his hand at the long commute. My guess is that he has longings for another child but not enough to change his job or his lifestyle. Most people have some longings for things but are not serious about adapting their life to make the change work.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 11:38 AM

"I'm still winning the war because I am bigger, meaner & more stubborn"

Go, Maryland Mother!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:39 AM

"My husband will have his next children with his second wife."

On track to be Fred's Quote of the Day!

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 11:43 AM

Sorry, Patrick, I have to be the "pencil in the eye" person and say that if the planet is to survive we will all need to do a little more thinking about how we live and the future quality of life for us and our children. The planet is at a tipping point (in all sort of ways) and to believe otherwise is foolhardy. So, put me in the column of people who believe that having 3, 4, 5+ (more than replacement) kids is selfish unless you are living off the grid, are Amish, subsistence farming, etc.

And, no, I don't have kids but, as a 35 yo woman, would like to some day soon!

Pencil at the ready. Funny, did you know many societies face collapse due declining birthrates? If we are to survive we need more people having babies. Sorry don't buy the tipping point argument now any more than every other catastophe argument from every decade. Life goes on.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 11:45 AM

Don't follow the OPRAH experts, you should base your decisions on your own needs and views. The 'experts" have a book that they need to sell. Don't believe the hype.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 11:51 AM

pATRICK & others, does it really matter why someone decides to have or not have children, and how many they have? It's their own decision, their bodies, their kids they will (or won't) be raising.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 11:52 AM

Where will sufficient potable water and enough food to properly feed ALL of the world (not just the 1st World) come from?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:55 AM

June 4, 2007 11:27 AM maybe you should take 10:29 advice and butt out. No one was talking to you right?

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 11:36 AM

another person stuck in schoolyard days.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:57 AM

The planet will survive no matter what we do. The real question I guess is is the human race will survive.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 11:58 AM

"I don't see why we wouldn't want more. A good schedule takes care of a lot of your typical multi-kid chaos. So now I'd like at least 4."

Yep, sounds like a mom of a singleton. :-)11:18, I suspect that, if you print this out and tuck it away and look back after you have a few more kids, it might provide you a nice laugh down the road.

Honestly, if I'd had my son first, I'd have thought exactly the same thing. But kids seem to have a knack for throwing a wrench into the best-laid plans and schedules. See Md Mother's 11:34 post for one example -- or I'll lend you my daughter for a weekend. :-)

BTW, I do hope you have the kids you want and find them just as easy as you hope -- it's really an art to keep a large family running smoothly, and I am always impressed by those who have both the desire and skill to do so.

Posted by: Laura | June 4, 2007 11:58 AM

pATRICK & others, does it really matter why someone decides to have or not have children, and how many they have? It's their own decision, their bodies, their kids they will (or won't) be raising.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 11:52 AM

DC Cubegarm, with all due respect, isn't that exactly the topic of today's column? to discuss when is enough, which implicates why and how one determines whether enough has been achieved?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:59 AM

I'm 43 and I've been "done" for ages. I decided long ago I only wanted one, and although that one turned up much sooner than I had anticipated - I was 20 - that was still the right number for me. I truly felt one was all I'd be able to handle well. His father later changed his mind about that "right number" of children - as well as a number of other things about our relationship - and that's one reason we're no longer together.

When I was ready to date again post-divorce, it was a non-negotiable that the man had to not want kids OR not want more than the ones he already had. I was a realist about the prospect of stepchildren being part of the package at that point. Husband #2 was in complete sync with that, and my two stepkids are great - at ages 12 and 7, it's not like going back to the beginning.

Posted by: Florinda | June 4, 2007 11:59 AM

I wonder if the second-batch-of-kids phenomenon has anything to do with the desire to postpone life change? I'm thinking of women who've enjoyed parenting young children and may have some ambivalence about what's next for themselves as their young-uns grow up and become more independent. Having another baby seems like a good way to ensure things'll stay as they are for at least a little while longer. Staves off difficult decisions about what to do with the rest of one's life.

Posted by: Curious | June 4, 2007 12:00 PM

Where will sufficient potable water and enough food to properly feed ALL of the world (not just the 1st World) come from?
------

scientific advancement created by our intelligent and educated children.

If you knew you could raise the next Martin Luther King Jr, would you choose to have children?

My answer was yes and I similarly was determined to raise my children with the idea that they could be leaders who could fix the problems that they will be presented with.

Treating humans as anything but problem-solvers (ie, suggesting kids consume rather than create wealth) is devilish.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 12:01 PM

I had my son at 34. He was a little tornado and I couldn't fathom having the energy for another child until he was about 4 years old. Until that point, we had made the decision that he would be an only child, but as he got older, I began to want another. But my husband needed convincing, and that took another year or so. I am not sure what exactly changed his mind, but one day, he told me that he was willing to try for another if I still wanted it. So we began trying. I had a string of miscarriages over a two year period, and we were beginning to think that another bio child was not a possibility, when finally, a pregnancy stuck. I am now 13 weeks pregnant, and so far, things are looking pretty good. I have never been to the doctor's so frequently in my life, but I guess this is to be expected when you are 41 and have a high risk of miscarriage. We are very encouraged and extremely happy about the baby that is coming. I think this will be it though. I will be almost 42 by the time this child is born, and I don't think I can go through another series of miscarriages again. My son will be older than his sibling by almost 8 years, so we will be starting all over again. But at least I know what I am in for now, and no matter how busy or sleep deprived I am in those first few years, I will be grateful for this second chance at a baby.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 12:02 PM

A big factor in being done was we didn't want to "push our luck." With three healthy kids, we knew we were blessed. With each pregnancy, there were more challenges. And as we got older, we had more friends who went through more scary stuff as far as conception, pregnancy, and birth. I felt a bit defeated letting fear be a motivator in the decision to be done, but life lessons and gut instincts got us there.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 4, 2007 12:06 PM

I mean, I remember 10 years ago friend of mine up in arms that having children meant that the oil reserves would be depleted.

Then I bought a Toyota Prius.

My friends, who are childless have 2 people living in their air-conditioned 3000 sq ft house. Right now I have 5 people living in my 2500 sq ft house.

Who is using resources more efficiently? People who will never raise a doctor to treat themselves when they're 80 or people who could end up raising two doctors to save the lives of the older generation?

The arguments in favor of Zero Population Growth have all been disproved 10 years ago. It's like the anti-nuclear movement. It SOUNDS good on paper, but nuclear is way way way better than burning coal.

Step away from the 1970s people, it's 30 years later, people don't believe in ZPG anymore.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 12:06 PM

Hang in there Emily! I'm hoping the best for you. :-)

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 12:08 PM

Me too Emily! I think that after you get over the first 12 weeks you should be good to go. I had some contractions a few weeks ago, but other than that I am doing okay.

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 12:10 PM

We are still deciding if we are done. We have a wonderful 2.5 y/o daughter. We're just not sure we want to do it again. I just wish society was more forgiving of only child families.

Posted by: unsure | June 4, 2007 12:12 PM

Emily,

I am so glad you are at week 13, and look forward to your continuing updates as the months proceed.

We have a 6 year gap in the ages of our children and love it. Their needs are so different. Because of that and the age difference, our children do not expect to be treated identically. When we take one shopping, the other doesn't expect to go along. They don't compare and contrast the cost and time commitment of their hobbies/sports. I find it rather freeing in comparison to my friends who adhered to the Sacred Two-Year Gap theory -- NTTAWWT. They believe they have to enroll their children in the same camps, spend the same on back-to-school, etc. I'm sure you've thought all this through, in any event, but also thought you might like to hear some positives.

Posted by: MN | June 4, 2007 12:13 PM

Go, Emily!!! Yay, second trimester!!!

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 12:14 PM

The problem isn't overpopulating the world; it is in the distribution of food and other necessities. War, politics, bad transportation networks all play a part in that, but the food growing regions of the world make more than enough to feed everyone if there was a decent distribution system.

As for this nation overpopulating, the majority of our population increase is coming from immigration, not births. Birth rates in the US are just barely over 2.1 children/couple, but that takes into account first generation immigrants. Take them out the birth rate is much lower, around 1.7 children/couple.

What's interesting is that second generation immigrants quickly adopt the native birthrate in the US, realizing that more children are a drain, not a benefit to their resources. IMO it's also because the women find that their options in the US are a lot more diverse than their mothers had in their native country, and they deliberately choose to have smaller families.

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 12:14 PM

oh, and by the way, we have a child with physical difficulties and frankly it's no different than raising a child without them. I'm not saying that Downs or Autism isn't harder, because I don't know, but a little kid on crutches runs, plays, colors, reads, draws and listens to books just the same as my other kid. If I acted like it was hard, it would be hard, If I acted like it was different I would experience it like it was different, but if I don't act like that, it magically becomes easy. Only a wuss would act like it's harder.

I had a neighbor who was in a wheelchair when I was a kid. She wasn't that nice a kid, but when I was over at their house her parents didn't seem to be any different or do anything different than my parents and she got a summer job in an office while I was stuck mowing lawns. come to think of it the mentally retarded kid we all knew worked as an assistant bank teller in high school and for years- sorting deposits and feeding change into the coin wrapper. what initially seems like the end of the world quickly doesn't.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 12:15 PM

If you knew you could raise the next mass murderer, would you choose to have children?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:17 PM

Coming from a large family (7 brothers) I knew that I wanted more than 2 but never 8. Freida has just her brother and wanted a large family. After she was pregnant with No. 4, I just knew that was enough. I knew that emotionally four was it for me. Frieda was not so sure. I do not know if her job as a LC fed the desire for more children or vice versa. But after several years, Frieda has begrudgingly admitted that 4 was enough.

Frieda has remarked when she was pg with No. 4, many people were so rude saying, haven't you had enough? Why do you want more? But No. 4 surprises us with his observations on life. He saw the style of Van Gogh painting in a blouse the weather lady was wearing the other day. We did not even know he knew about Van Gogh.

In response to some comments on why would you have a 4th (or third or second) if No. 3 was giving you such hell, some traits and behaviors come out only after many years of life, sometimes after the birth of another child.

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 12:19 PM

The arguments in favor of Zero Population Growth have all been disproved 10 years ago.

No, they haven't. You probably don't think the Earth is warming, either. And P.S., the Earth's not flat.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:20 PM

If you knew you could raise the next mass murderer, would you choose to have children?

FLUSH!, that was your inane post being tossed

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 12:21 PM

MN -- I love the Sacred Two Year Gap Theory. These kids have a great time together and have an amazingly close bond. As far as the "compare and contrast" issue you mention -- it's EVERYTHING, from the number of hugs to the amount of time as events to who gets to brush their teeth first (or last, depending on the preference that night). I'm happy we observie the Sacred Two Year Gap Theory, but the scorekeeping does drive me nuts!

Posted by: Arington Dad | June 4, 2007 12:21 PM

Up until about two years ago, I never wanted to have children, whereas my husband had always wanted children. Now we have a 6-month-old son who's the joy of our lives. Now that I have one child, I would like to have one, or possibly two, more, and my husband feels the same. But our ability to afford more children and my age (I'll be 34 later this year) may stand in the way of our wish to have more children.

Posted by: first timer | June 4, 2007 12:21 PM

"If you knew you could raise the next mass murderer, would you choose to have children?"

We don't even find out the gender before the baby is born.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 4, 2007 12:22 PM

Yay Emily! And speaking as the parent of another little dynamo, I suspect the age difference you have will work in your favor -- when they're old enough to talk and reason and play with different toys, when you can trust them by themselves for a few minutes without worry that the house will catch fire (or, in my case, when the remora is actually willing to disengage herself for a few minutes), when they're old enough to bring a bottle or set the table, it makes having a second manageable.

Posted by: Laura | June 4, 2007 12:22 PM

If you knew you could raise the next mass murderer, would you choose to have children?

FLUSH!, that was your inane post being tossed

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 12:21 PM

You've forgotten the Virginia Tech massacre ALREADY?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:22 PM

MN- I'm not particularly close to my older sibs, who are 8 and 9 years older, but they're terribly close. I wouldn't want that gap for my kids. I'm envious of people who are close with their sibs, and that generally goes with age closeness, at least for the first 20 years. I also don't have much of a choice, since I'm trying to get out 2 more as soon as possible, since the first was born when I was 32.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 12:22 PM

We don't even find out the gender before the baby is born.


That was really funny. Look it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a joke.

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 12:23 PM

Arlington Dad, I hope you understood my short-hand for "not that there's anything wrong with that" - I have seen the two-year gap work beautifully for some as well, and would be the last to say that somehow our approach is better.

Posted by: MN | June 4, 2007 12:25 PM

If you knew you could raise the next mass murderer, would you choose to have children?

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 12:17 PM

Under this theory, no one would ever have kids!

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 12:27 PM

If you knew you could raise the next mass murderer, would you choose to have children?

FLUSH!, that was your inane post being tossed

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 12:21 PM

You've forgotten the Virginia Tech massacre ALREADY?

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 12:22 PM

This is really ridiculous either way. NOBODY KNOWS what their kid will be.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:30 PM

MN -- totally got your "not that there's anything wrong with that." But I still think anything you capitalize and dub a term is hilarious -- Sacred Two Year Gap Theory.

Our baby is 4 and 6 years younger than his sibs. I'm glad to hear your 6 year age gap is working well -- sometimes I worry that he'll be the odd man out. But even now, the older two pay so much attention to him and take such delight in him that I feel like they will all be close.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 4, 2007 12:30 PM

MN- I'm not particularly close to my older sibs, who are 8 and 9 years older, but they're terribly close. I wouldn't want that gap for my kids. I'm envious of people who are close with their sibs, and that generally goes with age closeness, at least for the first 20 years.

Well, atb, I respect how your experience worked out for you, but disagree with the broad statement that "closeness goes with age closeness". My family experience happened to be the opposite of yours, and all that proves is that each family, including Emily's, is different. I have three siblings. The closest in age is 8 years, and, after that, it's 12 and 14 years older. The oldest speaks to no one. The other three of us are quite close and always have been, not only as adults, because of shared interests, common personality traits, common experiences with our parents, cities we lived in, etc. In fact, I'm closer to my 8-years-older sibling than he is to his 4-years-older sibling.

I've also seen siblings two years apart fight like cats and dogs for what they perceived to be limited resources. There's no guarantee that a particular age gap will produce closeness, IMHO.

Posted by: MN | June 4, 2007 12:31 PM

MN - I'm an only child, so this sibling dynamic is fascinating to me. In your opinion, what do you think parents can do to foster strong sibling bonds?

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 4, 2007 12:35 PM

I wasn't very close to my 6 years older sister or my 7 years older brother when I was growing up; they just were into such different things than I was and then they moved out while I was just becoming a teen. After we all became adults, however, the bond between my sister and I has strengthened as she's the one I see the most often.

My 4 years younger brother, OTOH, was always doing (or wanting to do) the same things I did while growing up, but now that we're adults we hardly ever talk. Us siblings have moved in all directions so we can't just get together for a weekend, which makes it hard to stay connected.

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 12:36 PM

My sister and I are 15 mos apart and fought like cats and dogs when we lived in the same house. It wasn't until we were separated that we started to get along. We still don't always as we are VERY different people but do better than in years past. I was one year ahead of her in school but we had a lot of the same friends.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 12:38 PM

If there is zero population growth, then changes in demographics of great importance to economic factors will occur, including changes in age distribution.

Plus, in order to achieve zero population growth, you must have a net migration of zero, i.e. the number of emigrants and number of immigrants must be equal. I can't wait to see the one or two ZPG advocates around here twist themselves into knots deciding whether ZPG is more or less important than reaching a sane resolution to our immigration dilemma. It's a zero-sum game, pardon the pun. You can't be pro-immigrant AND pro ZPG without being a hypocrite.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:42 PM

Wahoo Emily and Scarry! Keep with the updates. I may be 'done', but I can enjoy vicariously (if you don't mind). Wahoo for you!

#1 and #3 are 10 years apart, yet they are quite close. I enjoy watching them together.

Yesterday was a rainy day that ended up being a cuddle time on the couch. We all don't fit as easily anymore...sob!

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 12:45 PM

MN- Talk about a sound bite! "I'm envious of people who are close with their sibs, and that generally goes with age closeness, at least for the first 20 years" does not equal "closeness goes with age closeness."

You removed both of the qualifiers of my statement. Sheesh. I wasn't accusing anyone of having lousy relationships with their sibs or guaranteeing their kids wouldn't be close. I'm just looking at the people I know and seeing a trend.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 12:45 PM

You can't be pro-immigrant AND pro ZPG without being a hypocrite.

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 12:42 PM

WHo said I was both? Many pro ZPG groups are anti-immigrant

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:45 PM

You can't be pro-immigrant AND pro ZPG without being a hypocrite.

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 12:42 PM

If I am pro ZPG on a global basis - what difference does it make what country the people live in? After all ZPG relates to world resources and resources, pollution, and enviromental issues like global warming tend not to care about political boundries.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 4, 2007 12:51 PM

As a mom of a large family I never really felt like our family was complete. I always wanted more kids. I never had a fixed number in mind, I just knew down to my bones that my family was not complete. After number three they started bringing friends with them. I now have two sets of twins and I am so done. Having survived two sets of twins and now a seventeen year old daughter I feel like I have conquered motherhood. My family is great on every level. Yes it is noisey, confusing at times but filled with love and laughter most of the time.

When people ask me if I am having more I just look at them. They were not in the room when my doctor told me I had a 99% chance of only having twins or higher ordered multiples--so the answer is NO MORE for me.

I try not to judge other people's choices or look into their lives but I do get a lot of judgement from others. To one very nosey lady I finally said "well I personally know 7 people without any kids so I had theirs for them." She finally shut up.

Posted by: magnificent7mom | June 4, 2007 1:00 PM

KLB:
That must be a girl thing. My sister and I are almost four years apart, and we fought like alley cats; my sons are 16 months apart, and they've always gotten along well. My dad was one of eight (good Irish Catholic family) and he remembers his sisters fighting constantly, and the boys not fighting much at all. My sister and I get along great now, and my aunts also have great relationships. My boys are still pretty close.

Fred's chosen QOTD reminds me of my grandfather (my mother's dad). He used to introduce my grandmother (to whom he was happily married for 42 years) as his first wife.

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 1:00 PM

"To one very nosey lady I finally said 'well I personally know 7 people without any kids so I had theirs for them.'"

This has GOT to win some sort of prize, though.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:02 PM

*To one very nosey lady I finally said "well I personally know 7 people without any kids so I had theirs for them." She finally shut up.*

LOL! Great comeback!

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 1:10 PM

Re: the two year gap

Not all siblings outgrow it. I have two in-laws and the first one HATED the second, from the moment the baby came home.

It's 50 years later (!) and the first-born STILL hates the second. Without reserve or let-up.

I'm not saying it happens often, but it is really ugly to witness in person. #2 kid is polite and has made efforts through the years, but #1 has made it clear that nothing will ever close the gap.

Interestingly, #1 gets along very well with #3 and okay with #4. #2, same thing.

Posted by: anon this time | June 4, 2007 1:11 PM

Always thought I wanted 2 and now I have 2, (DD's almost 5 and 2 1/2) so I'm done and all is well, right? Never expected it, but I was (briefly) thinking fondly about a 3rd. However at my age (43), with the severe sciatica I got with #2 and am still having problems, and the fact I get high blood pressure when pregnant shut down those thoughts. As my Dad told me as a teenager many times, "don't let anything but fear and common sense hold you back."

Posted by: Robin L. | June 4, 2007 1:12 PM

Excuse me, #1 child is 54, #2 is 52. #1 still hates #2.

And in case the grammar police come along to handcuff me, I realize that I have more than two in-laws, I mean to say I have two particular in-laws that have a troublesome relationship. I guess you can call it a relationship...maybe it's the fine difference between "family" and "relatives".

Posted by: anon this time | June 4, 2007 1:16 PM

Now in First Place for Fred's Quote of the Day,

"'well I personally know 7 people without any kids so I had theirs for them.'"

We will have to see what else comes in today!

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 1:17 PM

People would ask my sainted mother, "8 kids? Are you sex fiends or Catholic?"

Sainted mom would just say, "Yes."

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 1:20 PM

No, they haven't. You probably don't think the Earth is warming, either. And P.S., the Earth's not flat.
------
This is a brilliant parody of a playground insult.

Why would I think the Earth isn't warming just because the ZPG people used inflamatory statistics that refused to take into account any kind of efficiencies gained through scientific advancement.

ZPG has been long ago discredited. That's coming from a lefty.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 1:22 PM

ZPG has been long ago discredited.

Where's your evidence?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:25 PM

If I am pro ZPG on a global basis - what difference does it make what country the people live in? After all ZPG relates to world resources and resources, pollution, and enviromental issues like global warming tend not to care about political boundries.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 4, 2007 12:51 PM
If a person is pro ZPG, shouldn't we hope that they future people aren't Americans? Because don't we use the majority of the world's resources. So we should hope other countries increase their population, while us greedy Americans decrease ours.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 1:26 PM

ZPG has been long ago discredited. That's coming from a lefty.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 01:22 PM

Wasn't there just a news report on hunger in the US this weekend? And it's still bad in plenty of Third World countrie.s

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:27 PM

Israel uses saltwater and turns it into potable water. A system all could use.

So, as implied in other posts, I'm not sure about another kid, dh is dead set against, but I just don't want to say no way. That is difficult.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 1:29 PM

still want to have them babies

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:29 PM

In your opinion, what do you think parents can do to foster strong sibling bonds?

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 4, 2007 12:35 PM

Arlington Dad, The closest families I have seen have either been drawn close by shared tragedy (suicide of a parent, death of a child, in particular), or by shared experiences, e.g., they regularly spent time together doing whatever the parents like to do -- camping, biking, going to museums, playing ice hockey, chess, etc. Siblings attend siblings' soccer games and practices. Everyone got out in the garden and weeded together. The family yard-sale involved the contributions of everyone, not just mom. In both my husband's and my families, older siblings babysat younger ones from time to time, assisted with homework. They didn't move away when they could have done so. Two out of 3 of my siblings stayed in the area rather than relocate away from each other. If family closeness is an integral part of your support system, and who you are, I suspect you are less likely to entertain the thought of relocating away from that anchor. The inverse is NOT true, i.e., that those who relocate are less close to their families than those who stay in proximity.

Or maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe the key to fostering close sibling relationships is nothing more than the avoidance of behaviors that crush those bonds. I'm sure others have more, but these spring to mind:

1. don't compare Johnny unfavorably to Susie (why can't you get straight A's like your sister? if you practiced your three-point shot like your brother does, maybe you'd be a starter, too.)

2. Don't have an obvious favorite child (we all know when we're not it, and the It Girl knows that she IS it), you know, the one who gets more leeway, who makes your eyes sparkle more, whom you always invite to tag along when none of her siblings are invited.

3. Don't force kids to choose sides between warring parents, putting the kids on different parent-teams; and

4. Don't offer such a dysfunctional family life to your kids that they cannot wait to shake the dust of your household, your hometown, and all memories -- including siblings -- of their home life from the soles of their feet.

KLB - did I miss one or two?

Posted by: MN | June 4, 2007 1:34 PM

"You probably don't think the Earth is warming, either. And P.S., the Earth's not flat."

I have Tawanna Brawley's number if you want it, after you get done examining Piltdown Man.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:41 PM

MN,
#4 is sure a biggie. I could write a book but will save that for the shrink :-)

I would only add to be fair. If "A" wasn't allowed to do something don't let "B" do it the next year. I think that caused a significant number of the fights between sis and me and parents.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 1:42 PM

MN - thanks for the thoughtful advice! I feel like giving my kids siblings was a huge gift to them -- and has helped fill some void I felt as an only child (and my parents did a great job -- this is my issue). We are off to a great start as far as family closeness, and I appreciate your insight on how to make the bonds between my kids as wonderful in reality as I imagine they should be.

Posted by: Arington Dad | June 4, 2007 1:45 PM

MN's #2 is a biggie, and so is KLB's suggestion. My mom was guilty on both counts (and I hated sis -- oh well). In fact, my mom had a 'good' one: she used to say a fortune teller told her that her second child would surpass her first; mom seemed bound & determined to make that happen. Thank God dad was fair & balanced -- it counteracted a lot of mom's damage.

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 1:49 PM

OH - and don't force the 10 year old big sister to allow her 5 year old brother to "tag along for the fun". Not many things foster resentment faster than forced togetherness. At that age five years is way too much and neither one has fun.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 1:50 PM

I also find the sibling dynamics very interesting. I have 3 younger brothers who are two years apart from each other, but I am 9 years older than the one who is closest in age from me. I am pretty close to two of them (the youngest and the oldest, who are also close to each other). My middle brother is not close to any of us, and actively hates his older brother. I am not sure why family dynamics work out the way they do. In my family, the two year gap has not resulted in closeness, but rather in a lot of competition. A little space seems to have helped ease that dynamic. But I do have friends who are very close to their close in age siblings.

My son loves loves loves babies. He is always fussing over baby cousins when they visit, so I think he will be very happy with a baby in the family. And it will be nice that he is very independent and helpful these days. I don't think I could keep my sanity chasing two toddlers.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 1:51 PM

Emily: I am so glad that your pregnancy is going well. Best wishes.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 1:54 PM

What is/was ZPG?

Posted by: boston liz | June 4, 2007 1:59 PM

Foamgnome,
I know this is a very personal decision, but if you are on the fence about another child, have you considered another bio child? You are approaching your late 30s, right? Although the risk of miscarriage is higher as you age, it is still not too late for you if you really want another child. Is there something special that is keeping you from going the bio route? You still have a pretty good chance of conceiving a healthy baby, despite the age.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 1:59 PM

Husband wanted three, but after having two kids 14 months apart, we have settled on the two we have (boy and girl). I finally got the second one to sleep through night (at 9 months old), and I'll be 40 next year, so I feel complete with the two wonderful children we have!

Posted by: NR | June 4, 2007 2:00 PM

Emily, I think because my daughter has had so many learning issues, my husband is afraid that we would have a child with the same or worse problems. You can't really do genetic testing for the stuff my daughter has.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 2:01 PM

Now it is that wonderful time in the day for:

The Cultural Tidbit of the Day!
(Fitzgerald Division)

We have been talking today about how many children to have and what siblings mean to each other. Another part of this equation is what the children think of parents. Beyond the early years of "I Love You" and the teen years of "I Hate You" sometimes comes great insight into a parent's soul.

I read this quote by Scottie Fitzgerald, the only child of FSF and Zelda and was shocked about how succinctly Scottie summed up her mother. Zelda, as you may know, fought mental illness for many years and died in a fire in a mental health facility.

"It was my mother's misfortune to be born with the ability to write, to dance, and to paint, and then never to have acquired the discipline to make her talent work for, rather than against, her."

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 2:04 PM

(I haven't read all of the comments yet, sorry). We always say we want two, with an option for a third. We have one, and it looks as if the choice of having a second may not be ours to make. This weekend, I had my second pregnancy loss, and my OB tells me I may never be able to conceive and carry a child normally again. We're looking into fertility clinics now.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 4, 2007 2:05 PM

NewSAHM,
I am so sorry for your loss. FWIW, I had 4 miscarriages in a row (all in the early weeks) before this one took. And I have a good friend who also went through several miscarriages before her son was born. I hope you find the best medical care and some answers to your questions. Hang in there!

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 2:10 PM

I haven't read all of the comments yet, sorry). We always say we want two, with an option for a third. We have one, and it looks as if the choice of having a second may not be ours to make. This weekend, I had my second pregnancy loss, and my OB tells me I may never be able to conceive and carry a child normally again. We're looking into fertility clinics now.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 4, 2007 02:05 PM
I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 2:10 PM

DC Cubegarm, with all due respect, isn't that exactly the topic of today's column? to discuss when is enough, which implicates why and how one determines whether enough has been achieved?

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 11:59 AM

Sort of. It was clear from Leslie's blog entry that this sort of thing is individual. She asked for OUR PERSONAL opinion on OUR OWN situation and what factors were taken into account for THAT SINGLE decision. So, for the person who doesn't want kids for environmental reasons, their answer is "I'm Done at Zero". It is not our business to judge whether that's a good reason to not have any; these things are much too individual and personal.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 2:12 PM

I always disliked being told to take my younger brother around when I went out. He was 4 years younger than I and that was part of the reason he and I argued and fought so much when we were both teens.

OTOH, my sister always said I was my dad's favorite, probably because he too was the third child in his family. I never saw it, but she said I was always able to get away with more than either her or my older brother ever could (or did).

It wasn't that I was taking advantage of this treatment; "how will my dad react if he finds out I did xxx?" was never high on my list of questions before I did anything that may have gotten me in trouble. Plus, I was 12 or 13 when she moved out, so the amount of "trouble" I could get into was limited to around the house.

As for everyone doing things together helping create a bond between siblings, we all worked on the farm and it didn't work out like that. It really IMO depends on the personalities of the kids; my mom's death helped bring me and my sister closer together, but it did nothing for me and my younger brother.

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 2:13 PM

so, DC cubefarm, I assume that you disapprove of the following comment:

"So, put me in the column of people who believe that having 3, 4, 5+ (more than replacement) kids is selfish unless you are living off the grid, are Amish, subsistence farming, etc. "

or is that sort of statement supposed to pass without comment?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 2:16 PM

Yup, I think that kind of comment (you should only have 3+ kids if you live off the grid) is pretty silly, too. If you want a whole horde of kids, go ahead and have them. I only ask that you aren't on welfare when you do it. These decisions are truly individual.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 2:23 PM

Zero Population Growth

Posted by: To Boston Liz | June 4, 2007 2:24 PM

Thanks, Emily and Foamgnome. I keep hoping that the OB will be wrong and that things will work out.

Emily, congrats on your pregnancy. I hope you have an easy time for the rest of your pregnancy, and a quick, painless, safe delivery. :-)

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 4, 2007 2:26 PM

I knew I was done when I discovered I was pregnant with #3. When we got married my husband and I agreed we would have two children early on (preferably before we turned 30) and go from there. During our late 20's we were blessed with a son and a daughter two years apart. Once we got them out of diapers and daycare, life was wonderful. We affirmatively decided at that time that we were done!

Unfortunately, I could not convince my husband to take permanent precautions to ensure that we really were done. He wasn't having second thoughts -- he just squeamish about the idea of having surgery "down there." He went for a preliminary physical but kept putting off making an appointment with a urologist. By the time I finally gave up and made an appointment to discuss tubal ligation with my OB, it was too late. Shortly before that appointment I discovered I was pregnant, a 35-year old "victim" of birth control failure.

Our "oops" baby is now six and graduating from kindergarten. She's funny, bright, loving, talented, and wonderful. I certainly would not send her back. Her siblings are both in high school. It hasn't always been easy juggling the needs and schedules of our teenagers with a preschooler. So I admit, sometimes my husband and I wonder how different our lives would be (and how much larger our college and retirement accounts would be) if we hadn't had to go through diapers and daycare again.

We are now definitely done. As luck would have it, during my last pregnancy my OB discovered that I had an abnormality requiring surgical repair, so I had him perform the tubal at the same time. My husband and I both feel very liberated knowing that, in our early 40's, our childbearing years are behind us. After all, we could easily be grandparents in ten years. The idea of having both children and grandchildren in elementary school at the same time was just a bit more than we could handle!!

Posted by: MP | June 4, 2007 2:27 PM

If you have a backbone and can fight off the guilt others try to inflict on you, you can have one child and be content with that decision. We love being a family of three, and my son loves being an only child. Don't ever let someone else or guilt make life decisions for you, whether in the parenting realm or any other realm. Do what's right for you and your family.

Posted by: Tysons mom | June 4, 2007 2:28 PM

John L, Points well taken. Is there anything you think your parents could have done different to encourage you all to be closer?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 4, 2007 2:33 PM

Back when we were first discussing whether to have any children or not, my wife told me she'd not want to have just one, because she remembered how alone she felt being the only one in her family. However, I doubt we'll be talking about having two children once we have one (unless we have twins, which ISTM would be the perfect solution...).

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 2:33 PM

Another take on the 7 people without children, less cute and funny:

I have a childless uncle who tells people he would have liked to have kids, but his sisters had more than their share (5 for one, 3 for another), so he doesn't get to have any.

Posted by: WDC | June 4, 2007 2:35 PM

Yup, I think that kind of comment (you should only have 3+ kids if you live off the grid) is pretty silly, too. If you want a whole horde of kids, go ahead and have them. I only ask that you aren't on welfare when you do it. These decisions are truly individual.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 02:23 PM

now I get it. It's acceptable to be judgmental about the choices of the poor, but it's unacceptable to be judgmental about people like us, you know, the educated, elite, and financially comfortable. Nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 2:37 PM

Those fertility treatment commercials put a lump in my throat. The young women in their soft, yet urgent voices, appealing to the desperate couples who are trying to conceive and using phrases like "You get your baby or your money back" really hits a nerve in me.

Then at the end, the sound of the crying infant I think is enough to drive a childless couple into depression. All in 30 seconds.

Maybe I'm just too sensative, but commercials like those I really have to shake off.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 4, 2007 2:38 PM

Yup, I think that kind of comment (you should only have 3+ kids if you live off the grid) is pretty silly, too. If you want a whole horde of kids, go ahead and have them. I only ask that you aren't on welfare when you do it. These decisions are truly individual.
---------
Yes, I'm sure this is the popular opinion but do realize the personal decisions we make do have an impact on the world around you. It's the individual decisions that add up to positive or negative changes socially, economically, environmentally, etc. Also, to me it's not about ZPG for the US, but about the US making a lighter footprint on this world.

Posted by: kvs | June 4, 2007 2:38 PM

I am one of 6 and always wanted 4 kids. DH wanted only 2. Two pregnancies resulted in 2 life-threatening situations and major pre- and post-partum depression. We stopped at 2. DH refuses to adopt. So, I'm trying to accept.

Posted by: PT lawyer FT mom | June 4, 2007 2:38 PM

To new SAHM: I'm so sorry for your loss.

My dad was an oops very late in life baby and his sister was tasked with raising him, so to speak. They never got along ever (perhaps two strong willed personalities had something to do with it). So it is a bit of a loss that I'm not as close to those cousins as I could be.

My sisters always point out to us having a nurse who wouldn't let them see me for 6 mos to a year. And they say I was spoiled, but I think that is normal rhetoric (they were treated pretty leniently and didn't have live in a house with two adults, who didn't speak, one due to depression the other who rarely spoke anyway-boy what fun).

But family trips were a nightmare, thankfully we couldn't afford them much after I was quite young.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 2:41 PM

Why was ZPG discredited. I read some articles discrediting the organization in the 1990s. They said that almost all of the projections the organization put together extrapolated energy usage without any concept of new energy efficiencies.

Then later ZPG the organization changed their name to "Population Connection" and attempted, from what I read, to distance themselves from literally "Zero Population Growth" to "Smart Population Growth." There are a thousand reasons why smart growth is better than no growth.

Malthus's ideas don't take into account scientific advancement provided by one's children. Malthus's ideas were tied into or misused by the eugenics movements and many online posts related to ZPG mirror eugenics ideas, which are horrible and wrong.

The entire concept pre-supposes that we have limited resources on earth over a time period which is ridiculous. This is akin to someone in 1800 saying that there are so few whales on the planet that we shouldn't have children because there won't be enough whales to provide us with whale oil to light our oil lamps in our house and we'll all be blind!

"Peak Oil" has no meaning to a culture that has stopped using oil for transportation.

Not enough clean water means nothing to a planet that can produce clean water. air pollution means nothing to a planet that has created greenhouse gas scrubbers to clean the air. Decline fish populations means nothing to a vegetarian world. decline in real estate space means nothing if, like is happening in downtown Bethesda, a childhood friend's house is being converted into a 60 unit dwelling. 60 units in the place where one unit once stood!

ZPG: discredited.

I don't care if people don't find this good enough or not.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 2:42 PM

Why does your husband *refuse* to adopt?

Posted by: To PT lawyer FT mom | June 4, 2007 2:44 PM

I think that knowing when you are done is a great thing. For me it has been very liberating to not have to worry about birth control or planning our lives with the possibility of a baby in the future.

My brother and his wife just had an "oops" baby nine years after their youngest. They love the new baby, but they were stunned for the first several months. Their doctor told them she was essentially a "menopause" baby because of the shift in my SIL hormones caused her normal long term used birth control to not work any more. Would have been nice to know before hand.

I never wanted an "oops" baby (or babies) so I had my tubes tied after the last babies, and then I had to have a hysterectomy last year YEAH! Best thing that ever happened to me!

Posted by: magnificent7mom | June 4, 2007 2:46 PM

I stopped at 1 because I got too old to have another child naturally. And I don't want to adopt because I fear I wouldn't love the adopted child as much. Adoption is not for everyone.

Posted by: lynette | June 4, 2007 2:46 PM

Are you a vegetarian?

Posted by: To DCer | June 4, 2007 2:47 PM

Yes, I'm sure this is the popular opinion but do realize the personal decisions we make do have an impact on the world around you. It's the individual decisions that add up to positive or negative changes socially, economically, environmentally, etc. Also, to me it's not about ZPG for the US, but about the US making a lighter footprint on this world.

Posted by: kvs | June 4, 2007 02:38 PM

yada, yada, yada, the personal is political.

This is the same sort of thinking that leads to pressure on smart women to return to the work force, whether or not staying home is what they and their spouses determine is best for their individual families, because they owe it to society to stay in the workforce.

Same dogma. Different crate.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 2:49 PM

"Why does your husband *refuse* to adopt?"

Some people are very partial to their "blood'. I have read about this with men whose "children' aren't theirs. They don't bond.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 2:49 PM

How do you know that some of your friends didn't actually have "oops" babies, but are just trying to put a good face on the situation in public because it's politically incorrect to say they didn't really want or plan the baby?

Posted by: To Leslie | June 4, 2007 2:51 PM

DCer, thanks for the enlightening explanation.

Posted by: MN | June 4, 2007 2:52 PM

newSAHM- I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I really hope things work out for you.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 2:53 PM

"Why does your husband *refuse* to adopt?"

Some people are very partial to their "blood'. I have read about this with men whose "children' aren't theirs. They don't bond.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 02:49 PM

What would change their minds?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 2:53 PM

To KVS:

And the reason why this is *still* a personal decision, even assuming larger families will have much greater negative environmental impact, is because our society prizes individualism above environmentalism. Until we institute some sort of draconian breeding or child limit program, it is NONE of our business how many kids (if any) people decide to have and how they arrived at that decision. It is simply too personal and individual for us to judge.

As for passing judgement only on the poor.... If I'm paying for continued births (not existing children prior to going on the dole) out of a tax dollars, it does become my business.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | June 4, 2007 2:53 PM

Megan's Neighbor,

My situation is so different from the usual sibling bonding issue I doubt there is anything my dad could have done to improve it. My dad was always strict with my sister, and hard on my older brother (probably because he was the first son) to do his best, only his best wasn't always good enough.

Then my mom's death came at a critical time for both me and my younger brother; I was 16, he was 12. My sister was 22 and had already moved out, and my older brother had a family as well. It's taken me 30 years to actually discuss with my sister how Mom's death affected us, and I think that's in part because of the age differences between all of us. My younger brother still won't discuss it, in fact.

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 2:53 PM

Are you a vegetarian?
---
I'm not a vegan. I do, occasionally, eat crab and shrimp or in a pinch, tuna sandwiches at office meetings- perhaps 3-4 times a month. Was this because of the vegetarian comment? My point was that human society, as we know it, will not exist like this in the future, and ideas of ZPG often presume that it will.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 2:53 PM

"If a person is pro ZPG, shouldn't we hope that they future people aren't Americans? Because don't we use the majority of the world's resources. So we should hope other countries increase their population, while us greedy Americans decrease ours."

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 01:26 PM

Actually, I hope that "future people" includes as many Americans as possible, both those who are born here and those who come here from elsewhere. Americans don't just "use" resources. We figure out how to generate new resources. That's because the best and brightest, the most ambitious and hardworking people from all over the world come to North America, where they form a critical mass of combined inspiration and hard work.

In most countries of the world, the few smart, hard-working people either got lost in the shuffle, or rose to the top and promptly devoted themselves to self-enrichment at the expense of their stupider and lazier countrymen. When they came to America, though, they and their descendants made the technological revolution that keeps so many people alive today. That's called, "American exceptionalism."

Many people all over the world know this, and would give their eyeteeth to be able to come here and help make the world better. By having as many babies as they want, each American couple can contribute to the well-being of the whole world.

Example: There is a controversy going on about whether Brazil and India are doing the right thing by forcing the manufacturers of AIDS drugs to give compulsory licenses so that Brazilians and Indians can afford drugs that currently cost over $2,000 a year per patient. That's for the lawyers and humanitarians to work out. My question is, ¿why haven't pharmaceutical firms in Brazil and India invented their own AIDS drugs, as effective as those of the American companies?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 4, 2007 2:56 PM

"Why does your husband *refuse* to adopt?"

Some people are very partial to their "blood'. I have read about this with men whose "children' aren't theirs. They don't bond.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 02:49 PM

What would change their minds?"

Frankly nothing I imagine. I think it is something you feel or don't feel. Might be ingrained into men biologically. Not all men but many. I think this is why men are not keen on marrying women with children from another man.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 2:57 PM

Matt: I heard Americans make up 5% of the world's population but use about 25% of the world's resources and produce 25% of the green house gases. So even if we are the champions of invention, we seem to use soo much more then our share. It seems like we would like to limit the future world population to just the inventors of US technology. But of course in practice, this would be hard to do. Maybe we should focus more on Americans using less resources. But so far that has not worked well for us. I count myself in this greedy American group too.:)

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:00 PM

My question is, ¿why haven't pharmaceutical firms in Brazil and India invented their own AIDS drugs, as effective as those of the American companies?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 4, 2007 02:56 PM

Why should they have to reinvent the wheel?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:00 PM

This is the same sort of thinking that leads to pressure on smart women to return to the work force, whether or not staying home is what they and their spouses determine is best for their individual families, because they owe it to society to stay in the workforce.
----

you're saying this pressure is a bad thing? Isn't that pressure a good thing? Kind of like the pressure to pay off credit card debt or keep one's front yard clean? It's just pressure fer crying out loud.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 3:01 PM

It's not just men. When my sister and brother-in-law were trying to get pregnant it was naturally or nothing. They discussed but dismissed both fertility treatments and adoption. My sister was the one who didn't want to adopt, for exactly that reason. As for fertility treatments they couldn't justify the expense when they weren't willing to pay to adopt.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:02 PM

"Why should they have to reinvent the wheel?"

They shouldn't. But they shouldn't get a free ride either. Let them pay what Americans pay.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:02 PM

If a person is pro ZPG, shouldn't we hope that they future people aren't Americans? Because don't we use the majority of the world's resources. So we should hope other countries increase their population, while us greedy Americans decrease ours."


These types of comments remind of a communist talking to a capitalist. They look out and see a wealthy man's life. The pessimistic communist says "No man should live like this, upon which the capitalist says, "No you are wrong, everyman should live like this". A world without "greedy" americans would be dominated by polluting dictatorships with their boot on the face on humanity forever. We take all this freedom far to lightly.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:03 PM

Unfortunately, there are people who can not see beyond blood lines. But realistically speaking, it is better that they know their own limitations before getting an adopted child involved. It is flat out wrong to adopt a child, if you know you could not love the adopted child as your own. So at least they are sparing the adopted child any future pain. Besides if they are content being childless or having a smaller family of biological children, there is nothing wrong with that. There is no rule saying people have to adopt children.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:05 PM

"Maybe we should focus more on Americans using less resources. But so far that has not worked well for us. I count myself in this greedy American group too.:)"

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 03:00 PM

When the time comes -- and it's coming soon -- when we have to figure out how to maintain our air-conditioned, private-automobile-based standard of living while using fewer natural resources and generating less pollution and carbon dioxide, my guess is that it's gonna be Americans who invent ways to do it. And that'll benefit everyone, from Greenland's icy mountains to India's coral strand.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 4, 2007 3:07 PM

If a person is pro ZPG, shouldn't we hope that they future people aren't Americans? Because don't we use the majority of the world's resources. So we should hope other countries increase their population, while us greedy Americans decrease ours."


These types of comments remind of a communist talking to a capitalist. They look out and see a wealthy man's life. The pessimistic communist says "No man should live like this, upon which the capitalist says, "No you are wrong, everyman should live like this". A world without "greedy" americans would be dominated by polluting dictatorships with their boot on the face on humanity forever. We take all this freedom far to lightly.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 03:03 PM
Patrick, my point wasn't that we should limit wealthy countries access to children. I was just saying it response to pro ZPG people who say it doesn't matter what country the people live in, as long as the whole world's population stays the same. I am saying, enviromentally, it makes more sense to limit large users of resources (like the US).

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:09 PM

Adoption is also very scary. You have no idea about genetic background or fetal exposures. Not to mention the expense. Adoption has become a business of selling babies, and that's rather gross. It's not seen as in the best interest of the child. I'm not sure I'd be happy supporting that enterprise.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 3:09 PM

And I would adopt everyone in the world if I could. I feel so guilty having had bio kids.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 3:09 PM

"My question is, ¿why haven't pharmaceutical firms in Brazil and India invented their own AIDS drugs, as effective as those of the American companies?"

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 4, 2007 02:56 PM

"Why should they have to reinvent the wheel?"

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 03:00 PM

Point well taken. I should have asked, ¿why haven't pharmaceutical firms in Brazil and India invented their own AIDS drugs, *more effective than* those of the American companies?"

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 4, 2007 3:10 PM

"my guess is that it's gonna be Americans who invent ways to do it. And that'll benefit everyone, from Greenland's icy mountains to India's coral strand. "

It sure as hell won't be the bureaucrats in government. I get so aggravated at what I call the straight line history school of thought. Tomorrow will be the same as yesterday therefore this will happen. Think of the world 50 years ago and now, much different and 50 years from now same thing. The leftist pessimists would have you believe we will all be eating dogfood and living under a bridge. Pessimism is for losers.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:13 PM

"Why should they have to reinvent the wheel?"

They shouldn't. But they shouldn't get a free ride either. Let them pay what Americans pay.
-----

argh! Is it not in America's best interest NOT to have a generation of teenagers with no parents at home in an unstable third world country? There is every freaking reason we want every country in the world to be free from AIDS epidemics and for the improvement of their educational efficiency (once someone has been educated by the state, they work productively for longer than if they died early).

It's like telling my kids they can't have an allowance and then one of them shoplifts to get something they want. Where's the benefit to me to have a kid who shoplifts rather than pay out an allowance?

There are reasons we give countries breaks on things that work to our benefit.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 3:13 PM

"Treating humans as anything but problem-solvers (ie, suggesting kids consume rather than create wealth) is devilish."

People DO consume, and not always in a positive way. I'm not saying that people aren't inherently good, but I hate this attitude that someone considering the negative impact that people can have on the world is "devilish."

Considering the pros AND the cons of the impact of reproduction on the world as a whole isn't "devilish," it's thoughtful and responsible. It's more objective and logical than a knee-jerk, sentimental, and obligatory argument such as "all people are problem solvers!"

Posted by: Anon. for now | June 4, 2007 3:14 PM

"Why does your husband *refuse* to adopt?"

I am a woman, and I wouldn't adopt either. I didn't have such a burning need for children that I would go to any effort out of the ordinary. If I had a baby, fine. If not, then I would lead a happy, childless life. Adoption and fertitility treatments were not even under consideration. The expense of either was a deal-breaker.

Posted by: notme | June 4, 2007 3:15 PM

Re: "Point well taken. I should have asked, ¿why haven't pharmaceutical firms in Brazil and India invented their own AIDS drugs, *more effective than* those of the American companies?""

The curse of being American. Because we're the land of plenty, we're expected to give, even if it severely costs us. The reason why our drugs are so good is because it's a for-profit endeavor. Forcing companies to release the drugs early is only good in the short term. If it takes the profit out of big pharma, there goes our fancy drugs. On the other hand, that's why we're so behind on antibiotics: they are generally one time use and thus not profitable.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:16 PM

The leftist pessimists would have you believe we will all be eating dogfood and living under a bridge. Pessimism is for losers.
----

you have no idea what leftists are saying about this. you made it all up in your head. read some of my posts here.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 3:17 PM

Adoption is also very scary. You have no idea about genetic background or fetal exposures. Not to mention the expense. Adoption has become a business of selling babies, and that's rather gross. It's not seen as in the best interest of the child. I'm not sure I'd be happy supporting that enterprise.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 03:09 PM

WTF??????

Could you at least limit your comments to things you know about?

When we adopted, we had full medical information on each child. Our doctors reviewed their medical records and we asked pertinent, additional questions. Not that it's any of your business.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:18 PM

"It's like telling my kids they can't have an allowance and then one of them shoplifts to get something they want. Where's the benefit to me to have a kid who shoplifts rather than pay out an allowance?"

So just steal what you want huh? Sorry buddy no way. How about your kid getting a job? Giving away companies products mamy make you warm and fuzzy but then you guarantee that people won't be making those wonder drugs becuase there is no profit to them. Strange how foreign governments find monies to fight interminable civil wars and gold toilet seats but can't invest in their own people. No sale.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:19 PM

I never thought I'd have more than two children. But after divorcing when those children were relatively young, I met a man who wanted to have a baby together. I thought he was crazy--he already had two himself--and told him so. But after much reflection, we agreed and nine months after our wedding, our son was born. He is 9.5 years younger than our oldest child and the best thing that ever happened to me, in the sense that he proves that life's "best laid plans" aren't all that wise. The other kids love him too and he's added a terrific dimension to our marriage. People comment on the wide spread of our kids all the time--usually I just laugh; sometimes I explain that he's the product of a second marriage. Their reactions--and this blog--underscore how people think you can plan your life or should plan your life........my feeling is that life changes and being open and flexible is the route to joy.

Posted by: You Never Know | June 4, 2007 3:20 PM

I never thought I'd have more than two children. But after divorcing when those children were relatively young, I met a man who wanted to have a baby together. I thought he was crazy--he already had two himself--and told him so. But after much reflection, we agreed and nine months after our wedding, our son was born. He is 9.5 years younger than our oldest child and the best thing that ever happened to me, in the sense that he proves that life's "best laid plans" aren't all that wise. The other kids love him too and he's added a terrific dimension to our marriage. People comment on the wide spread of our kids all the time--usually I just laugh; sometimes I explain that he's the product of a second marriage. Their reactions--and this blog--underscore how people think you can plan your life or should plan your life........my feeling is that life changes and being open and flexible is the route to joy.

Posted by: You Never Know | June 4, 2007 3:20 PM

RE the straight line history school of thought and Pessimism is for losers

Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:21 PM

"The leftist pessimists would have you believe we will all be eating dogfood and living under a bridge. Pessimism is for losers.
----

you have no idea what leftists are saying about this. you made it all up in your head. read some of my posts here."

Yes I do. I read news commentary from many sources and leftists are generally professional pessimists.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:21 PM

Adoption is also very scary. You have no idea about genetic background or fetal exposures. Not to mention the expense. Adoption has become a business of selling babies, and that's rather gross. It's not seen as in the best interest of the child. I'm not sure I'd be happy supporting that enterprise.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 03:09 PM
I always find comments like this sort of interesting. My biological daughter has a genetic disorder that did not appear on either side of the family till this generation. She is also on the autism spectrum as well. DH did not know that his second cousin had a severly autistic child 15 years ago. So even if people are not adopted, they often do not know their own medical histories. Genetics is a game of chance to a certain degree. Even if you have knowledge, it does not seem as if people stop having children just because there is a slight chance of a genetic abnormality. Only when there is a significant chance, do people take some precautions. Even then, some still take the risk and deal with the consequences.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:23 PM

Could you at least limit your comments to things you know about?

Can you not take everything so personally? She didn't ask about your child.

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:23 PM

being open and flexible is the route to joy.

No, it's just rationalizing about being irresponsible about birth control.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:23 PM

So atb, is it better for those children to grow up in an orphanage? I'm not saying you are incorrect, just asking: what are the options?

And , foamgnome, when you use terms like: fair share, etc, you are using language begun by our socialist friends. Just sayin' cause I don't know if you think that way or not-but that's how it sounds.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 3:25 PM

"...had full medical information on each child. Our doctors reviewed their medical records and we asked pertinent, additional questions. Not that it's any of your business."

Maybe you are certain of your particular child's information, but there are many people who are not. Just look on the HHS adoption website. Loads of kids with terrible medical problems. When you adopt, you only know what you are told. You have no way of knowing for sure whether the mother drank or used drugs while pregnant, much less what her family's health and genetics are all about. People do lie.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:25 PM

argh! Is it not in America's best interest NOT to have a generation of teenagers with no parents at home in an unstable third world country? There is every freaking reason we want every country in the world to be free from AIDS epidemics and for the improvement of their educational efficiency (once someone has been educated by the state, they work productively for longer than if they died early).

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 03:13 PM

It seems I've heard of this concept before. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. In fact, now that I think about it, the solution to homelessness is to take the homes of DCer and everyone else on this blog and redistribute them to those without homes. Because, after all, is it not in America's best interest NOT to have a persons living on the streets, a significant portion of whom are veterans of our wars?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:25 PM

"Scarry, you are projecting your own emotionalism onto others again."

This coming from the person who has an obvious emotional attachment to scarry.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:28 PM

And , foamgnome, when you use terms like: fair share, etc, you are using language begun by our socialist friends. Just sayin' cause I don't know if you think that way or not-but that's how it sounds.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 03:25 PM
No, I wasn't thinking in terms of socialism. Just pure numbers. We make up 5% of the population. It makes sense that we would use close to 5% of the resources. Not 5 times that figure. Not talking about political governments as a solution.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:28 PM

"When we adopted, we had full medical information on each child. Our doctors reviewed their medical records and we asked pertinent, additional questions. Not that it's any of your business."

Then why post it on the blog for all to see?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:30 PM

anon at 3:18:
Atb does have a point, especially when it comes to international adoptions. Many times, it IS impossible to know the prenatal health history of the mother and infant. I have taught students who were adopted from former Soviet republics 10 to 12 years ago, and those children had a host of issues.
That doesn't mean that those children should not be adopted; however, parents should be made more aware of the risks and potential problems (I think that, again in the area of international adoptions, there is more of a marketplace mentality in some of the agencies).

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 3:30 PM

"No, I wasn't thinking in terms of socialism. Just pure numbers. We make up 5% of the population. It makes sense that we would use close to 5% of the resources. Not 5 times that figure. Not talking about political governments as a solution. "

FOAMGNOME you are being either incredibly lazy or naive in your posts. Ok, let's not provide a military presence to protect the world, let's not export food, let's not do a damn thing beyond 5% etc. This is really a terribly ill conceived set of posts by you.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:34 PM

Maybe you are certain of your particular child's information, but there are many people who are not. Just look on the HHS adoption website. Loads of kids with terrible medical problems. When you adopt, you only know what you are told. You have no way of knowing for sure whether the mother drank or used drugs while pregnant, much less what her family's health and genetics are all about. People do lie.

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 03:25 PM

the gutless cowards are coming out of the woodwork to bash a practice about which they know squat. It must be a full moon.

Most people don't adopt through the HHS website. They adopt privately or internationally.

and, no, you don't only know what you're told. There is evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome. There is evidence of developmental delay. Pediatric growth is a little more sophisticated than praying as you consult your crystal ball.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:34 PM

The curse of being American. Because we're the land of plenty, we're expected to give, even if it severely costs us. The reason why our drugs are so good is because it's a for-profit endeavor.

THen why is it OK that our government is blocking embryonic stem cell research?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:35 PM

anon at 3:18:
Atb does have a point, especially when it comes to international adoptions. Many times, it IS impossible to know the prenatal health history of the mother and infant. I have taught students who were adopted from former Soviet republics 10 to 12 years ago, and those children had a host of issues.
That doesn't mean that those children should not be adopted; however, parents should be made more aware of the risks and potential problems (I think that, again in the area of international adoptions, there is more of a marketplace mentality in some of the agencies).

Posted by: educmom | June 4, 2007 03:30 PM
We attempted to adopt a child internationally earlier this year. We were informed to the best of their knowledge the risks involved. I think most reputable agencies try to explain the risks of international adoption, children who have lived in orphanages and third world countries. My guess is to a certain degree prospective parents do not always want to hear the truth about the risks.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:35 PM

DH is adopted and doesn't know his own medical history. Should he never have children?

BIL is not adopted and doesn't really know his own family's medical history. Everyone died of "old age".

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:36 PM

To you never know:

Right: man plans and g-d laughs.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 3:37 PM

"It's like telling my kids they can't have an allowance and then one of them shoplifts to get something they want. Where's the benefit to me to have a kid who shoplifts rather than pay out an allowance?"

So just steal what you want huh? Sorry buddy no way. How about your kid getting a job? Giving away companies products mamy make you warm and fuzzy but then you guarantee that people won't be making those wonder drugs becuase there is no profit to them. Strange how foreign governments find monies to fight interminable civil wars and gold toilet seats but can't invest in their own people. No sale.
-------

and that's why you will forever be confused by world politics, you either willfully refuse to analyze the situation or you are unable to understand the big picture due to lack of education. but from everything you've written above I guarantee that you watch the news and say, "I can't understand why the world is this way?!" the key in that sentence is "can't understand."

Did you take civics class in high school?

The state department has a website that details a lot of what diplomacy means to the people of this country. You are welcome to start educating yourself there. otherwise. dude, I'm cracking up at your silly post, I can't write anymore with a straight face.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 3:37 PM

Of course I don't want babies languishing in orphanages, but the business of it is gross, like I'm sure HIV drug inaccessibility sickens others, literary and figuratively. In a perfect world, all babies would be wanted and loved and we would have endless resources and genocide wouldn't happen.

As far as what I know, I have a close friend who went back to law school to become an adoption lawyer after he adopted 2 kids from Russia. His adoption stories are insane. It's not a clean business, to say the least.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 3:38 PM

To those who think that an "oops" pregnancy is okay:

Please reconsider. I was an "oops" child (an "oops" pregnancy which turned out to be twins--so a "double oops") and I always sensed it, even though my mom said that I was "the best suprise she ever had," blah, blah, blah. I'm sure that there are people who take an "oops" pregnancy in stride and really do find it to be a positive turn of events, but I wish more people would put more thought into their reproduction. All of these "oops" prenancies accompanied by a sly little giggle really nauseate me. We're talking about bringing a HUMAN BEING into the world, and "oops" just doesn't cut it for me.

Posted by: Oops child | June 4, 2007 3:38 PM

FOAMGNOME you are being either incredibly lazy or naive in your posts. Ok, let's not provide a military presence to protect the world, let's not export food, let's not do a damn thing beyond 5% etc. This is really a terribly ill conceived set of posts by you.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 03:34 PM
Patrick, no one is saying do not produce things that help the world. Even though we produce a lot of food, we also pay farmers do not produce or pay them for grain that is never given out. Do you really think we should use up far more resources then the rest of the world? Seriously, do you think we are giving back more then what we take? I don't think we know the answer to that because those numbers are never published. But I do think it is a good idea for Americans to stop being so wasteful. And I include myself in this group.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:39 PM

"Ok, let's not provide a military presence to protect the world, let's not export food, let's not do a damn thing beyond 5% etc."

Sounds great to me! Let other countries solve their own problems and not look to us all the time for a handout.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:39 PM

Matt in Aberdeen -- thanks for sticking up for me

Foamgnome -- whose side are you on?

Posted by: Uncle Sam | June 4, 2007 3:42 PM

to atb:

I don't know where you get the information that it is not in the best interest of the child to be adopted. Your anecdotal evidence, if any, is clearly different from mine. I have two adopted children, now adults. One of them sought and found biological parents. When my child sees the problems experienced by a later born sibling raised by those parents, my child is extremely grateful to have been adopted and not raised in that same environment. As with most everything in life, it depends. Sometimes adoption is the best possible option for a child.

Posted by: carrot | June 4, 2007 3:42 PM

It seems I've heard of this concept before. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
------

what you wrote had nothing to do with what I wrote and your attitude reflects really badly on you. Republicans have written position papers on the strategic nature of international commerce that would not disagree with what I'm saying. Certainly, if anything, what I wrote follows Eisenhower's ideas for rebuilding Europe during the cold war.

So are you against Eisenhower's policies in Europe? answer that one.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 3:42 PM

"The state department has a website that details a lot of what diplomacy means to the people of this country. You are welcome to start educating yourself there. otherwise. dude, I'm cracking up at your silly post, I can't write anymore with a straight face."

Dude? Uh Dude, Mcdonald's called said your break was over and to get back to the french fryer. Uh dude. Put down the bong. What are you 16?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:42 PM

I considered adoption briefly after my last miscarriage. My initial research was discouraging. The cost is considerable, as is the uncertainty. To me, the best thing about having a bio child is that it's relatively inexpensive (barring fertility treatments), and that I can control how I take care of myself while the baby is in utero. Genetics are unimportant. As far as I am concerned, they are pretty much a crap shoot.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 3:43 PM

Dude? Uh Dude, Mcdonald's called said your break was over and to get back to the french fryer. Uh dude. Put down the bong. What are you 16?
----

an answer that once again, details your education level regarding world politics. You have given yourself quite a reputation here Patrick.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 3:45 PM

I am not on any side. I originally got into the discussion because some ZPG supporters said country of origin doesn't matter as long as the world's population does not increase. I am simply saying, it sounds like it would be more efficient if heavy resource users would cut their populations at a higher rate. Matt brings up a good point that maybe our inventions out way our usage rates. Patrick just thinks we all should be as greedy as we want because we will defend them in some war later on.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:45 PM

to 3:34 anon- Um, who's the gutless coward, ie anon?

to 3:36 anon- There is no should or shouldn't. It's just scary, a roll of the dice. It is even when we have our own kids, but at least we have somewhat more control then. I haven't meant to insult adopting parents. I was just defending people who don't want to adopt. Neither side is "right."

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 3:46 PM

Emily,

My wife was adopted, and even though her state of birth has a more open adoption disclosure policy when it comes to medical records of the parents, she has still been unable to get anything from the agency.

While it has not affected our decision to try and get pregnant, she would like to have that information to provide her OB/GYN in the case that there're complications with her pregnancy.

Posted by: John L | June 4, 2007 3:47 PM

DC 'er your posts are legendary...in your mind. Keep them coming, this blog needs a clown jester and you fit just perfectly, dude.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:47 PM

Dude? Uh Dude, Mcdonald's called said your break was over and to get back to the french fryer. Uh dude. Put down the bong. What are you 16?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 03:42 PM

Why are you being so insulting, Patrick?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:48 PM

Wow! OK, I'm not anti-adoption! I was just giving my thoughts about why one would personally be anti-adoption! It's great for kids to be adopted, obviously.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 3:51 PM

The only proper course for those who believe in ZPG is self-immolation. Self immolate early and often!

Posted by: to ZPG Adherents | June 4, 2007 3:52 PM

Patrick just thinks we all should be as greedy as we want because we will defend them in some war later on.


FOAMGNOME, you get it wrong, I never said or thought Americans were greedy. Americans through their inventions, sweat, political institutions, government, blood, and openness to business have created a wealthy society which we permit millions to come and share. We produce goods that make the world a better place and defend the freedoms of hundreds of millions. I totally reject your numbers post.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 3:52 PM

Our govt is *not* blocking stem cell research. They are just not paying for the research. It is just not funded by the govt. There is a huuuuuuge difference. The govt should not be in many businesses they are in, yet they are there nonetheless. If there is a reason for the reseqrch, then pharm cos and universities can pay for it.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 3:54 PM

pATRICK: I have no idea if those statistics are accurate. Again, I was only posing a theoretical argument. Like I said Matt brought up a good point and I think you do too. But you seem very angry today. Why so angry? Smile and be happy:)

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 3:56 PM

I see your point ATB. And I do think that in the US, the business of adoption has turned away from the goal of finding homes for homeless kids to the alternate goal of finding kids for infertile couples. It is a different ballgame, and I agree with you that these days, the welfare of the kids is almost secondary to the wishes of the couples. Not that anyone should adopt a child they don't want, but there don't seem to be enough white, healthy babies to go around anymore, and I think this is what most people want.

I do wish there were more people willing to adopt kids with challenges. If I have any extra energy (and money), in a few years I might consider adopting an older child (older than 3 or 4 years old). This was what I considered earlier, and I still don't think it is completely out of the question.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 3:58 PM

"pATRICK: I have no idea if those statistics are accurate. Again, I was only posing a theoretical argument. Like I said Matt brought up a good point and I think you do too. But you seem very angry today. Why so angry? Smile and be happy:)"

Not angry, aggravated. I despise the psuedo ramblings of theories like yours. (although I do not despise you). China today wanted carbon credits for their one child policies. To think that governments feel empowered to ask for kudos for forced abortions and restricting the rights of humans to reproduce is disgusting. It is in the same vein as what you were posting. By the way good luck on the adoption.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 4:01 PM

Thanks Patrick but because my daughter is developmentally delayed, we most likely will not get approved for an adoption.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 4:02 PM

what you wrote had nothing to do with what I wrote and your attitude reflects really badly on you. Republicans have written position papers on the strategic nature of international commerce that would not disagree with what I'm saying. Certainly, if anything, what I wrote follows Eisenhower's ideas for rebuilding Europe during the cold war.

So are you against Eisenhower's policies in Europe? answer that one.

Posted by: DCer | June 4, 2007 03:42 PM

dismount, DCer. I can't imagine how it could reflect badly on anyone to disagree with someone making thoughtless statements.

Whether or not you choose to acknowledge it, or continue to have your fingers deeply inserted in each ear, I provided a quite cogent example of the concept that taking property is taking property, whether the property being taken is the intellectual property of a pharmaceutical company or the real property of DCer, the self-reporting leftist. A taking is a theft unless it's a legally permissible taking. Pharma companies make investments for the purpose of maintaining and increasing stock value. Stock valuations of pharma companies are largely based on the value of, including the expirations of patents contained in, their intellectual property holdings. Those intellectual property holdings include, among other things, valuable patents on AIDS medications. Your proposal, to take the intellectual property of companies and hand them over, for free, to others, is theft. Theft for the purpose of solving a horrible social ill remains, nonetheless, theft. Like all theft, it is a morally bankrupt solution.

Whatever party politics you are babbling about is irrelevant to our dispute.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 4:07 PM

"Thanks Patrick but because my daughter is developmentally delayed, we most likely will not get approved for an adoption."


Sorry to hear that but why if you don't mind me asking? I don't know anything about the ins and outs of adoption.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 4:07 PM

To oops: every child born to a very religious jewish couple who doesn't use birth control is bot an oops and a blessing. Same, I suppose, for catholics (and other religions, I suppose). It is all up to g-d and so you have people with 8 or 10 kids by the time they are barely out of their thirties.

Posted by: atlmom | June 4, 2007 4:07 PM

"Your proposal, to take the intellectual property of companies and hand them over, for free, to others, is theft. Theft for the purpose of solving a horrible social ill remains, nonetheless, theft. Like all theft, it is a morally bankrupt solution.

Whatever party politics you are babbling about is irrelevant to our dispute."


Well put, but morality is all relevant to a leftist. Your logic is lost on people like the DC "dude". The ends justify the means to them.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 4:10 PM

Patrick: I have to go soon. But my daughter is mildly on the autism spectrum. We do believe she will be fully mainstreamed for kindergarten with minimal pull out services. But she will be a fully functioning human being. It is not clear whether she will attend college yet. But she is three and I don't think you can ever be sure of that unless your kid is some kind of genius. But my guess is there are a precious number of healthy children under the age of 3 from Viet Nam. And the adoption social worker feels an adopted child would fare better in a family with all typical children or no children. They are thinking in the best interest of the adopted child. I think they also think my daughter's educational issues may take away time from our adopted child. I don't think this is true. She does take more time and patience but we would make time for any other child that came into our family by any means. But I do understand that the agency needs to look out for the best interest of the children they place. It seems sad. Like when I read about adoptive parents abusing their children and I wonder how they could have been approved and we were not.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 4:11 PM

"When we adopted, we had full medical information on each child. Our doctors reviewed their medical records and we asked pertinent, additional questions. Not that it's any of your business."

Then why post it on the blog for all to see?

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 03:30 PM

'cause it's a blog, silly wabbit.

and also because the scope, nature, and idiocy of the anti-adoption comments is breathtaking today.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 4:19 PM

and also because the scope, nature, and idiocy of the anti-adoption comments is breathtaking today.

But why take it personal? ATB has good points about why she thinks adoption is scary. It doesn't reflect on you or your child.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 4:21 PM

to ooops:
I think you have issues way beyond how your mother became pregnant with you. You project these issues onto others. I suggest therapy and I also suggest learning how to laugh with life. Calling an child 'oops' is merely laughing with life. A sense of humour and all.

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 4:35 PM

dotted,
Your optimism is usually contagious but today I am in the dumps and even you can't get me out. It is hard when you are usually the funny one, the class clown and then one day you can't crack a smile. But keep it up - I will smile at you again soon. :-/

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 4:38 PM

Disagreeing doesn't make something personal. Her points are not good. She is not alone here today. Fortunately, on other days, this blog has been less anti-adoption.

Ignorance only reflects poorly on the speaker, not on my children, or anyone else's.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 4:40 PM

How many people are going to buy an I-Phone at $500-600?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 4:42 PM

klb -
you pessimistic today? I was last Saturday. Noone in their right mind would have been around me Saturday afternoon. Even Fred's sainted mother would have run away!! The grass was too brown, the electricity and water bills are sky high, and I need a new bathing suit. Nothing makes me pessimistic as much as needing a new bathing suit. What about you?

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 4:44 PM

To "Oops":

Having an "oops" baby is okay. Continually reminding the child that s/he is an "oops" baby is not OK.

My husband and I managed to avoid pregnancy for 8 years using birth control before finding ourselves unexpectedly pregnant. I honestly have no idea why our birth control method failed on the particular occasion when our youngest was conceived -- it just did. Being a happily married couple with the financial and emotional resources to raise another child, we honestly felt we had no option but to have our child, love her, and raise her to the best of our abilities. Somehow I doubt you really would have wanted your parents to make a different decision.

I do agree, though, that it isn't healthy to tell the child that s/he is an "oops" baby and continue to make jokes about it. When I became pregnant, certainly all of my family and friends knew that the pregnancy was unintentional because my husband and I had gone on record that we weren't having any more children, and we sold all of our baby furniture at a garage sale several years earlier. Yes, everyone had a good chuckle about our situation. That kind of joking stopped, however, before our daughter's first birthday, and we would certainly not permit anyone to make that kind of joke now in our daughter's earshot.

Posted by: MP | June 4, 2007 4:45 PM

"How many people are going to buy an I-Phone at $500-600?"

Not me and I love apple stuff. What's eating you today KLB?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 4:46 PM

no iphone for me...I use verizon, not ATT, so it isn't even on my agenda.

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 4:46 PM

I do not get the concept of
a) deciding to have a certain number of children, especially before even having ONE
b) deciding to have a certain number of children with the primary consideration being "how many do we WANT?" and not something like "how many work best for what we have now/have in the next 3 decades?"

So, given that lack of comprehension on my part, this entire conversation seems weird, and even wrong on some level.

Posted by: Liz D | June 4, 2007 4:48 PM

Dotted,
I hate bathing suit shopping too. Especially as a pregnant 41 year old. Sigh. But I'm not complaining. Although I shudder to think what I will look like in August at the beach. Yikes. But I'm not complaining.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 4:49 PM

Family crap - unlike Fred, my mother is not-so-sainted. I have written about her before. She was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of MONTHS ago and still has not received any treatment. Each day is full of drama and excuses why she can't go for this test or that test. It is making me crazy to say the least. I am just not myself lately and don't like whoever the heck has taken over my body.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 4:50 PM

Back from the dead... HOA'S. I went to look at my former house. My beautiful tree, dead. Yards overgrown in neighborhood, junk in the alleys, fences in need of repair. Thank God for my HOA in my current home.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 4:51 PM

dotted, as much as I hate shopping for a bathing suit I would prefer that to the crap that is going on now.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 4:51 PM

Emily, and I believe I speak for many of us here, you will look beautiful in August at the beach. And those looks at your belly will be from those women fondly remembering back-when.

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 4:52 PM

Remember when pregnant women wore big loose tops? No more - now the belly is bared or a tight top and slacks are worn proudly. Good for them.
Or would you prefer the painter smock look with a giant bow at the neck (haha)?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 4:53 PM

oh klb - I feel for you. How about a virtual hug?

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 4:54 PM

dotted, thanks! All hugs welcomed (altho I am not the pity party type at all today I am partying hearty).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 4:55 PM

You're thick if you don't see adoption as scary. You've made me resort to insults.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 4:56 PM

klb - I have a picture of my mother in one of those painter smocks with a huge red bow at her neck. It is generally not a good look. Preggy fashion has definitely improved. Then again, I don't get these non-preggy ladies wearing empire waist shirts that billow out down from their chest. They look pregnant. Noone who has ever been pregnant would wear one, imho.

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 4:57 PM

KLB SS MD - Sending my virtual hugs as well. My thoughts are with you.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 4:59 PM

dotted, I have a picture of my mother wearing one of those too - she is pregnant with my sister. Every time I see one all I can think of is Lucy when she was pregnant on the show. I now associate those types of tops with her and comedy.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:01 PM

I don't think that not wanting to adopt makes someone anti-adoption. It's just not for them.

Posted by: notme | June 4, 2007 5:07 PM

But I always thought Lucy looked very sweet and matronly in her maternity wear. Although I am glad that maternity tops are no longer tents, I won't be baring my belly this summer (or any other summer, for that matter). That ship has sailed.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 5:10 PM

does it make me a prude to be very uncomfortable about the idea of wearing a bikini while in 3rd trimester? Right now I can feel and even see the baby moving and I just think that sort of thing would really freak out other people. I also hate the "look" where the dress is so tight you can exactly where the pregnant mom's belly button is and where or not it has "popped". Just TMI in my opinion. I got a bikini that has a "skirt" type thing to cover up my belly and I'm still thinking I'd like a bit more cover-up . I love my big belly, but I just think it would be uncomfortable to have a kid say "Mommy-- the baby in that ladies' belly just moved-- see!"

Posted by: Jen S. | June 4, 2007 5:11 PM

Being pregnant at the beach is PERFECT. Absolutely no reason (and frankly no ability ;o) ) to hold your stomach in!

Revel in your belly that has a reason to be big - unlike mine :o( !!! hehehe!

Robin L.

Posted by: To: Emily | June 4, 2007 5:12 PM

Personally it wouldn't bother me seeing a bare pregnant belly (I bet a lot look better than some non-pregnant bellies - like mine) but it is a totally personal choice. Whatever you are comfortable with.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:13 PM

I just got a one piece bathing suit that was two sizes too big. Work great through mid-July. (Late August baby, but I couldn't travel past mid-July due to BP problems.)

Robin

Posted by: To Emily again | June 4, 2007 5:14 PM

"I love my big belly, but I just think it would be uncomfortable to have a kid say "Mommy-- the baby in that ladies' belly just moved-- see!"


Kind of like in ALIEN when the monster moves around and then explodes? Wear a one piece. IMO

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 5:14 PM

i should clarify-- it isn't really a bikini as much as a two piece-- the "skirt" deal is attached at the bottom edge of the top piece. As the tummy get's bigger, it's going to become more and more of a pee show of my belly. I see these pregnant models wearing bikinis and I just wonder if real women actually wear such things and if it isn't weird when you can see the baby moving under the skin?

Posted by: Jen s. | June 4, 2007 5:15 PM

Oh my, pregnant beach bellies. I think they look cute although I don't think they are for me.

The best thing about having a big belly for me is that it makes me boobs look smaller.

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 5:16 PM

Jen s,
I sure hope you don't mean a pee show (haha).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:16 PM

Whow! I mean "peep show"

Dang-- i really should proof read this stuff!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 4, 2007 5:16 PM

a co-workers wife just had their 11th child. she decided with this one that they're done.

home owners assoc - socialism in another guise.

Posted by: quark | June 4, 2007 5:17 PM

home owners assoc - socialism in another guise.

Huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 5:19 PM

home owners assoc - socialism in another guise.

Huh?

Some people don't like to be told that they can't leave junkers in their yards and let the grass grow a foot long. I can see their point - a row of neat yards just looks too - suburban!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 5:22 PM

Yeah-- I guess a "pee show" is a whole other thing!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 4, 2007 5:22 PM

The best thing about having a big belly for me is that it makes me boobs look smaller.

Had a wee drop of the whiskey today lass? ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 5:23 PM

pATRICK, you beat me to it! darn you.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:24 PM

pATRICK, you beat me to it! darn you.

ha!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 5:25 PM

pATRICK,
Watch it! You are dealing with an angry woman today. I would win in a war with a mother bear right about now.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:26 PM

I totally understand the curse of the big boobs. But alas, I don't think a big belly makes things any better.

Posted by: Emily | June 4, 2007 5:26 PM

Ladies, I work in plastic surgery. One of the funniest and most common things is when a woman has a breast reduction she asks us what we did to her belly to make it so big. We have to tell her that it was always that big - she just couldn't see it. Some are unconvinced.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:28 PM

"pATRICK,
Watch it! You are dealing with an angry woman today. I would win in a war with a mother bear right about now."

So quoting you the words to the song 'TOMORROW' would be ill advised I imagine.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 5:29 PM

I dare ya! Come on - bring it on!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:31 PM

klb - you crack me up...

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 5:33 PM

"I dare ya! Come on - bring it on!'

I prefer to keep all of my parts where the good lord put them in the first place, so I will decline.;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 4, 2007 5:33 PM

pATRICK,
You are safe.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:36 PM

klb - some title tracks for you to hum...

Always look on the bright side of life : Life of Brian
Smile, darn ya, Smile : Roger Rabbit (near the end)
Walking in Sunshine : some Lithuanian chick with red lipstick whose name I can't remembre

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 5:39 PM

dotted,
Thanks but today I prefer to wallow :-0

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:41 PM

comfortably numb? Pink Floyd maybe

Posted by: Dotted | June 4, 2007 5:45 PM

Pink Floyd is always good as is The Doors.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 5:54 PM

The best thing about having a big belly for me is that it makes me boobs look smaller.

Had a wee drop of the whiskey today lass? ;)


Hah, I wish. :)

KLB SS MD so tell me is a breast reduction really safe? I would love to have one in a year or two but I am afraid!

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 5:55 PM

Night all,
light my fire is next in line for klb

Posted by: dotted | June 4, 2007 5:59 PM

You're thick if you don't see adoption as scary. You've made me resort to insults.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 04:56 PM

Yes, we must all agree with the Queen, atb, dictator of all that is reasonable for every family and every woman everywhere. Y'all salute now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 6:02 PM

Yes, we must all agree with the Queen, atb, dictator of all that is reasonable for every family and every woman everywhere. Y'all salute now.

You started it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 6:04 PM

Breast reductions are as safe as the surgeon and anesthesiologist involved. The women who have them are among our happiest. Remember there are scars but they do fade with time.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 4, 2007 6:21 PM

You started it.

Posted by: | June 4, 2007 06:04 PM

if that's the best you can do, you are a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 6:21 PM

I wish those that take the IVF path would instead adopt. There are so many unwanted children that can benefit from being adopted. I've always seen IVF as a selfish option.

Posted by: Jess | June 4, 2007 6:41 PM

Jess- It's not like there are a whole bunch of healthy young kids to choose from, it's extremely expensive, out of pocket, and you can easily be rejected. IVF is sometimes the only option, and it's covered by insurance. I don't see it as selfish at all.

I rather like being the queen, but not if my subjects are a bunch of thickheads.

Posted by: atb | June 4, 2007 7:15 PM

Jess, I very much agree. We've become a strange society - where people want a child so they feel they deserve it no matter what. One reason people can't get pregnant is that they shouldn't be passing their genes down to another. It's that simple.
And then, many times, people have one child - and that child is the be all and end all and that child gets raised to think that the sun rises and sets with them.
I don't think any of that is good for our society.
I would never do anything except somehow/perhaps to educated - there's no other way.
But not everyone is entitled to be a parent. We have somehow forgotten that.
Of course, life is the most unfair in this arena. I see very fertile, abusive parents, and unfertile people who I think would have made the best parents ever.
But that's the way it goes.

Posted by: regular, anon for this | June 4, 2007 8:43 PM

"My sister and I are 15 mos apart and fought like cats and dogs when we lived in the same house. It wasn't until we were separated that we started to get along. We still don't always as we are VERY different people but do better than in years past. I was one year ahead of her in school but we had a lot of the same friends.

Posted by: KLB SS MD"

Are you my sister?

Posted by: single mother by choice | June 4, 2007 8:58 PM

KLB SS MD

Thanks for the info and I hope you have a better day tommorrow. scars don't bother me, I would be so happy if my back didn't hurt and my top actually fit my bottom.

Posted by: scarry | June 4, 2007 8:58 PM

Some people are very partial to their "blood'. I have read about this with men whose "children' aren't theirs. They don't bond.

Posted by: pATRICK

How do they bond with their wives?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:09 PM

How do they bond with their wives?

I hope it's not in the same way they bond to a child? ewwwww.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:35 PM

Fred Quote of the Day is awarded to:
(with a surprise entry) Jen S.

"As the tummy get's bigger, it's going to become more and more of a pee show of my belly"

And the usual prize is a ride in the creepy van but don't worry Jen S., it has vinyl seats!

Posted by: Fred | June 4, 2007 10:56 PM

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