Why My Husband and I Aren’t Having More Children (as published on’Parent.co’ on1/6/17)

Ever since our youngest turned one (he is now one and-a-half), my husband and I have been asked if were going to have another baby. Our answer is an adamant “No.” Responses range from “Why not another baby?” to “I’m on the same page.”

We love our children. We are content with the two kids we have. We are two and through, and here’s why.

Infertility

I’m infertile. Fertility treatments did not work and were emotionally, physically, and financially draining. My husband and I are not willing to go through them again.

Despite being unable to have biological children, my family was created by the beautiful gift of adoption. My husband and I are forever grateful to our children’s respective birthparents for giving us the gift of parenthood. We always envisioned two kids, and our dream came true via adoption.

For us, however, the adoption process was emotionally and financially draining. We endured five failed adoptions, spent tens of thousands of dollars, and do not want to go through the process again. Our son and daughter are perfect, and we have our perfect family.

Post Adoption Depression

I suffered from Post Adoption Depression (PAD) after adopting both my son and daughter. Several factors contributed to my PAD.

Even though my husband and I longed to have kids for nearly four years, the adoption of our eldest, my daughter, did not bring instant happiness. The transition from our carefree, doing-what-we-pleased, two-unit household to the responsibility of caring for a newborn was rough.

The transition from a three-unit household to a four-unit household after my son was born felt even more difficult. Caring for a jealous two-year-old and a newborn was not an easy feat for me.

I had a hard time bonding with my daughter due to my infertility issues. I did not carry her nor give birth to her. She does not look like me or my husband. Guiltily (and I still feel this guilt for having this thought), I would look at my daughter and wonder what my children would look like if they were biological.

Thankfully, I no longer view my daughter as being ‘different’ from me. Instead, she is my daughter whom I love and cherish. I could not imagine my life without her.

I had a hard time bonding with my son because I love his birthmother. I think she is a wonderful woman, and I felt such sadness for her, despite knowing she chose to place our son for adoption. I can’t imagine what she must have been feeling and thinking when she signed off her parental rights to my husband and me. When I looked at my newborn son, I often thought of her.

Today, I still think of her, but not with sadness. Instead, I think of her with gratefulness because she gave my husband and me a beautiful gift.

Both of my kids were diagnosed with severe acid reflux right after turning one month old. I was severely sleep deprived and caring for sick children – cleaning up vomit, making sure my babies weren’t choking, and devastated to see them in such pain. Their sickness overwhelmed me. I wanted healthy babies.

My PAD also impacted my marriage and other relationships. I felt angry, sad, and tired, and I took my feelings out on others. I’m so grateful to those individuals who stuck by my side during this tough time.

I regret not seeking professional help for my PAD. Attending therapy was not the issue. I’ve been in therapy countless times, and I’m a Marriage and Family therapist. I should have been happy about having a new baby, but instead I was ashamed for feeling sad.

Eventually, I overcome my PAD. I don’t know how, but I did.

Sickness

Since my son was five weeks old, he’s suffered from intestinal issues. His illnesses have required medications, numerous doctor appointments, pain on my son’s part, and sadness on my and my husband’s end. The illness has also taken attention away from our daughter, which is not fair to her. Adding another child to the mix would simply not be fair to anyone in our household.

Money

As we know, kids are expensive! As they get older, the expenses pile up. Whether paying for preschool, activities, clothes, or food, these littles take our money! Financially speaking, my husband and I want to be able to give all we can to our two children comfortably. Adding another child would make our budget pretty tight and limit what we can do for our children.

Limited help

Being a parent is an amazing gift. It’s also a lot of work. As much as we love our kids, we all need help – and a break from them – once in awhile. Besides relying on each other and the occasional use of our babysitter, my husband and I do not have additional help with the kids.

By the end of a day with my two children, I’m exhausted. I know my limits. I don’t think I could handle another child. I would be that much more exhausted and impatient, that that would impact my ability to be a good mother.

We have our perfect little family. Our cups are beyond full with love. We are beyond blessed. We are two and through.

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