Would you want a 3rd child under these conditions? — The Bump
Special Needs

Would you want a 3rd child under these conditions?

My hubby and I are thinking of having a third child.  We have two awesome boys who are almost 4 and almost 2. 

Our 3 y.o was just dx with auditory and sensory processing issues. There might be ADHD, etc.  He is now in a preschool that is helping him. He is a bundle of energy...very active and on the go.  We are JUST starting to learn and understand his issues. 

Our 1 year old is starting the terrible 2's.  He is very independent, but is very strong willed. I do not suspect any issues with him, I just think he is going to be my challenging kid when it comes to getting what he wants...he is your typical boy, active and such.

Put both kids together and I have a pretty constant day.  I'm a SAHM and love it, but I am so overwhelmed with the issues with our 3 y/o.  He is by my side at all times, cannot play independantly, etc.  He does not play well with our 1 y/o.  My hubby is very involved but with his work hours, he gets to see the kids 2 hours each night.  We have little to no help from others.  They know what is going on with my oldest, and offer to help, but when I say "please come over anytime, any evening after work etc" it goes on deaf ears.  No biggie to me.

My hubby and I are trying to weigh the pros and cons of a 3rd.  We both feel our family is not complete and want one more.  I'm 33 and I feel like my clock is seriously ticking.  I want to get the infant process over...(getting up in the middle of night, etc) I want to get my body back, etc.  I figure that our life is so chaotic right now...would it be this way in 10 months when the kids are older and we are more intuned to what we need to do to serve teh needs of our oldest. 

Would we be biting off more than we can chew?  I am not sure what to expect going forward with a child with "issues"....does it get easier? Would you have a 3rd or just thank god for what you have and deal with it?

Thanks for your advice!

Re: Would you want a 3rd child under these conditions?

  • I am not going to tell you what to do. But I would also take into consideration the life of your third child. If they are typical, are they going to  get the attention and support they need. If they are SN, financially and emotionally, can you handle that? Just some things to think about.

    For me, I struggle everyday as a working mom to provide the attention my youngest typical dd needs, and that is enough to stretch me to to the point where having a third child would stretch me beyond what I have available to give. 

  • This is the advice I need.  Thank you for being candit! 
  • I think it depends how you handle stress, and your financials.

    Having been through what we have been through, we now understand that each child has the potential to be VERY expensive. We don't assume that a second would not need as much or more than our wonderful DS. And that goes for money and time.

    Also, I have some work to do on learning to accept God's plan for DS and not let stress affect my relationships.

    So for us, and only us, I would say I would like to be 100% emotionally and stress-wise, not to mention have some money saved up, in order to go for another.

    That said, knowing the cause and extent of DS' conditions will play a major role as well. If it is genetic and not a one-time thing, we will probably be done or try to foster to adopt one more child, if DS is thriving and appears to be on track to continue to do so.

    Hope that makes sense. I am in a hurry. lol 

  • I can only give you my perspective and some insight to how DH and I view TTC w/ a SN child. We have always wanted a large family 6+ kids and that hasnt changed since we've had DS. We've also both always agreed we wanted our kids to be close together. There was a time a couple of months ago where the thought of having another child soon scared me since things were so hectic with DS.

    That being said we decided to start TTC and our perspective is that things are going to be hard regardless when you add another child in the mix whether you have a child w/ SN or not...2 kids is more work than 1, 3 kids is more work than 2, etc. My thought also was that for DS things arent ever going to get "easier" if anything they might get more difficult or at least stay the same. So the thought of putting things on hold felt more like deciding we weren't going to have more kids b/c if we waited until things got "easy"....well that time is never going to come. 

    I try to look at the positive side of having our 1st child be a child w/ SN, I have been faced with more things than many parents and we've made it through! Things are tough but things are GOOD! We are firm believers that God has a plan for each family and God has a plan for when our family will grow. Now that we are in our 4th cycle of TTC (which honestly shocked me since we got pg w/ DS so easily) I've come to see that clearly 4 months ago God didnt think I was ready for another baby...I'm hoping He does now ;-) GL with whatever you choose!

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  • I can't tell you what is right for you. We have always wanted 3 kids. We have a typical almost 4 year old and an almost 2 year old with an undiagnosed genetic disorder that has global delays (about 6-9 months behind) and microcephaly and some heart problems. Her SN are not severe and right now everything is manageable. We decided to go ahead with our plans to have a third. I'm due at the end of August.  I'm scared of having another SN child but the odds are small and we didn't want to let that fear change our plans.  I think Izzy is going to be an awesome big sister (when she gets old enough to understand it all!) I'm a working mom and it's hard to juggle it all, but our family is very happy and I think adding another kid will hopefully make it even happier.  Good luck with your decision!  
  • image skittles_123:

    I am not going to tell you what to do. But I would also take into consideration the life of your third child. If they are typical, are they going to  get the attention and support they need. If they are SN, financially and emotionally, can you handle that? Just some things to think about.

    For me, I struggle everyday as a working mom to provide the attention my youngest typical dd needs, and that is enough to stretch me to to the point where having a third child would stretch me beyond what I have available to give. 

     Sadly I'm having these thoughts about having a second child, let alone a third. I know that financially and emotionally we could make it work- but we'd need counseling on both accounts. I think we'd have a really rough time. If our situation was different- if we had family nearby that wanted to be involved, or if I was a SAHM and finances weren't a concern- then I would have liked DS to have a sibling. However, I think I'd be having many of these same thoughts even if DS was typical.

  • I'm not sure I really have any advice, but DH and I are likely going to be in a similar position.

    We're in the process of getting our three-year-old DD1 evaluated for speech/behavior/social issues that may put her on the autism spectrum. We know already that speech therapy is a must, and depending on what else she needs, our day-to-day routine will probably be way more scheduled than before. (I'm also a SAHM and tend to leave a lot of free time in our days.)

    She is generally a pretty easy-going girl, likes her little sister, plays independently (sometimes a little too independently!), and for us, it's more a matter of needing to keep her engaged so that she doesn't start up with scripting/repetitive language/play. We haven't started any therapies yet, and I'm kind of overwhelmed with trying to do what I can for DD1, and still keep DD2 occupied and try to keep up with day-to-day stuff around the house. DD1 will start preschool in the fall, so at least then I'll have some time with only one child.  

    We have no family closer than 1,200 miles, so no regular help to rely on. DD2 is still not STTN, so I'm dealing with day-to-day exhaustion, which is making me put off things like night PTing for DD1. Going from one to two has been hard, even before we knew about DD1's issues, and DH and I go back and forth regularly on whether we can handle a third -- even though I think we'd both like another child. We've also discussed that depending on how extensive DD1's needs are, the two that we have may be all we can realistically handle.

    I'm 33 as well and would like to be done having kids by 35. But the other wrinkle is that while we *think* DD2 is typical, we won't really know for awhile. And if DD1 is on the spectrum, siblings have a higher chance of also having an ASD -- which would hold true for both DD2 and any future kids. I have really, really mixed feelings about how and whether I could handle two SN kids, without throwing a third (typical or SN) into the mix and be fair to any of them. DH works really long hours and while he is fantastic and very hands-on when he's home, the reality is that I would be the one doing the majority of the heavy lifting at home. 

    I think by the time DD2 is 18 months, maybe we'll start having more serious discussions on TTC, b/c we'll have a better handle on what we need to devote to DD1's needs and how things are going with DD2. Day-to-day life is getting easier as DD2 approaches a year, but like I said, we're just at the start of identifying how things are going to change because of DD1's issues. That will determine a lot. 

    Plus, frankly, if we do have a third, I am absolutely dreading the sickness, even more exhaustion, and birth/recovery. My second pregnancy was much harder on me than my first, I felt like a crappy mom because I had so little energy for DD1, and I think that will only be worse with having two kids who need me instead of one. 


    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • DH and I are in a similar boat.  DS1 is typical. DS2 has CP.  Our main issue is that he is military.  This deployment has been difficult with 2 little ones (2.5yr, 16.5mos). I constantly feel like I am not able to give DS1 the attention he needs and deserves.  We have wanted 3 kids but when he left we were both on the fence (deployment started before the CP diagnosis was given).  Having been the sole caretaker, I can honestly say I'm leaning towards the Two And Through side of the fence.  There is still a very small portion of me that wants a 3rd but I honestly do not think that I could handle it...well, at least at this point.  I'm turning 38 in a couple of months so this decision has to be made quickly as I already know that I will not be having children once I turn 40.  We'll see what side of the fence he falls to once he has been here and has had a chance to be caring for them for a few months.  LOL
  • I guess it all depends on how much you and dh are able or willing to handle. We waited a little bit before ttc #2, ds was hospitalized or on dialysis a lot from age 18 months to 5 years, but we managed.

    It took a long time before I figured out that when people asked if they could help, I had to be very specific. As an example, DS was admitted to the ICU just before Christmas, people asked what they could do to help. I asked for people to make freezer meals, help with a load or two of laundry or have the girls for a few hours. Or when he's well, I've asked if they were coming over to visit, to stay an extra 30 minutes so I could do a few chores. It doesn't happen often that I get an extra hand, but it helps. I also found a teenage babysitter that I can trust, and am considering having her come once in a while as a mother's helper so I can get things done, or have one on one time with the kids.

    If you want it badly enough, you will find what works for you. Your kids will get older, and it does get easier to handle them, even with a s/n. You learn more about it and what things work for your child, it becomes part of the routine, as much as it is for kids in sports, or music, etc.

    Good luck with your decision, don't feel you have to rush, 33 isn't that old! Wink


  • My DS is 2.5 and functions at about a 1 year old level.  He walks, but does not speak.  He has a de novo genetic condition which causes daily seizures.

    My DH and I always wanted a big family, and we are determined to not let DS' condition change that.  We just decided that we were going to make it work. 

    I think that it is just up to you guys to decide what to do.  If you want it bad enough, you will be able to make it work.  Good luck with your decision.

    image image image image image 9/07 m/c baby boy @ 18wks, 4/09 m/c @ 4.5wks
  • If your family feels incomplete, it's incomplete.  Raising a family is difficult, SN or not.  Sure, having a child with SN is financially, emotionally and physically draining, but it's also one of THE MOST REWARDING experiences of my life.  

    For my family, having as many children as we want to have is a decision best made in the moment.  Do you look at your children and beam with pride and smile at their accomplishments or are you daunted by the mountain of progress that your LO has yet to accomplish?   

    I think that your perspective can change in an instant - you can switch from glass half-full to glass-half empty depending on the trials of the day and moment.  

    I think that having children is such a blessing (not in a biblical sense), but in a life-altering way.  If we could financially handle the burden, I might be the Duggars regardless of DS1's issues. 

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  • We have 3 children.  Our oldest daughter is 5, my 4 yr old son who is dx with ASD and we have a 7 month old daughter.  My son having an older and younger sister has been a god sent for him.  He has been so much more affectionate with his baby sister and in return has come out with other people as well.  His older sister has been  amazing and the 2 of them ( especially because they are so close in age)  get along so well and it helps with his social, Imitation and communication skills have improved greatly with the help of his siblings as well as other therapies.  I was pregnant while we were going through the roller coaster of getting a dx etc.  do not recommend that.  We are very happy with our decision with having 3 children.  and yes its crazy here sometimes but now he has 2 sisters that will help him when his mom and dad can't be there for him.  GL on making the decision.   

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