I know, from experience, that the decision to have another baby is one of the more personal decisions you'll ever make. And, for some of us, that decision isn't easy. But then there are the moments when you realize with distinct clarity that your family is missing someone special: a future family member. And in those moments you just know your family isn't complete. Not yet.
Looking back, I definitely remember some signs that made it clear I wasn't done having babies. Fortunately for me, the times when I contemplated having another baby were also times in my life when I had achieved some semblance of financial stability. They were also times when my kids had gained enough independence for me to be able to give a new baby the attention they needed to grow and thrive. It also helped that my partner was enthusiastically on board with the idea of growing our family, too... because I couldn’t have done it without him.
There were the more subtle signs, too. The way my ovaries ached when I saw my friends' pregnancy and birth announcements come across my social media feeds. And the sadness I felt when I folded my son's baby clothes and diapers and put them in a box for the donation center. I knew, deep down, that my family was missing someone, and the following signs made it obvious that without that someone our family wasn't really complete.
You Dream About Them
This is going to sound hokey, but it also totally happened to me. One night, a few months after I started dating my husband, I had a dream that I was playing with the most beautiful blonde-haired toddler. It was like the universe was sending me a clear message that I needed to meet him.
I'm so glad I did, too, because he made our family complete.
You Feel Good Physically
I'm not gonna lie. My second and third pregnancies were rough. In fact, the last was so bad that when it was over I vowed I was done having babies. My body couldn't take another pregnancy and childbirth like that. I am so glad I gave my body a little time to heal and recover between pregnancies, because guys, I don't want to think about what it would have been like with a baby at home. The thought is terrifying.
You Are Relatively Financially Stable
Kids are expensive, and I'm sorry to tell you that their needs seem to grow and expand as they age. While I don't think the decision to have a baby is entirely financial, there's simply no way I would have been able to have two kids in day care at the same time, or afford to stay home with my youngest child, without a bit of financial planning and budgeting beforehand. I'm not saying there is a perfect amount of money to save before planning a pregnancy, or that poor people shouldn't have children, but it's good to have a bit of financial stability on your side.
Your Ovaries Ache When You See A Newborn
My body literally ached when I would see a baby or pregnant person. I would think about how good it felt to hold a tiny newborn or snuggle with a toddler. I knew that I wanted another baby... or at least my hormones did.
Your Kids Ask For A Sibling
My kids told me outright they were ready for a younger brother or sister. Of course, each one had their own preference for the gender of their new sibling, but they made it very, very clear that they anted one. I knew they were ready.
Your Kids Are Pretty Independent
I am so glad I waited to have another baby until after my older kids were able to do things on their own. Having a baby and a toddler was no joke. The next time around, their age and abilities factored heavily in my decision-making.
It's On Your To-Do List
I'm a planner by nature, and since I always planned on having two kids, three years apart, the decision to have baby number two was pretty straightforward. Fortunately for my husband and I, everything went according to that plan.
Until, that is, our plans changed.
It's Now Or Never
While medical science is making it possible for more people to get pregnant, and to do so at later ages, in my experience, there's still such a thing as a ticking biological clock. As I approached my 40s, I knew that if I didn't try to conceive soon, I might not have the chance.
Your Partner Is On Board With The Idea
My partner was less enthusiastic than I was about having another baby. It's not that he hated the idea, he's just a worrier by nature and didn't want the expansion of our family to ruin the good thing we had going. Once we made our choice, though, he was fully on board with having a baby, which was necessary.
Your Dreams Have Changed
When I married my second husband, my initial family plans went right out the window. Fortunately for us, I was able to get pregnant right away, and have the baby I dreamed of. Our new plan made our currently, incredible present a reality, and I have to admit it's even better than I had dreamed.