PARENTS

Have You Made The No More Babies Call?

14/05/2013 14:14 | Updated 22 May 2015

Have you made the no more babies call?Alamy

As I look at the line of coats by the front door and the chaos that has become my home in the last five years, I wonder how I can possibly still have that low level ache in my stomach which I have come to recognise as feeling broody.

I already have three amazing and beautiful children and the oldest is only five so it's not like I'm suffering from empty nest syndrome.

First a caveat, I realise there are many couples out there who are desperately trying to conceive one child and even considering broodiness after one, two or in my case three children may appear ridiculously self indulgent.

Yet I can't ignore the powerful signs that my body is telling me I should have another baby.

My youngest has now hit two and I can feel my body almost physically pushing me to conceive again. Of course my husband and I have had the conversation and there are a plethora of reasons why adding to the madness is not a good one. Not least the financial, environmental and isn't-our-life-already-bonkers-enough reasons.

During these conversations my head is in charge and I know we're doing the right thing and I truly believe in our decision.

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Yet I still seem unable to push the no more baby button.

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When friends ask if we are going to have any more children I still find myself saying 'we'll see'...

If you were to look in my loft you would find the Moses basket stacked neatly next to the baby bath, baby carrier and bouncy chair. It's as if by finally letting go of these things, I would have made a definitive choice and accepted there would be no more tiny mouths to feed in this house.

Parents appear to fall into three categories when it comes to considering expanding their families; the definite 'Nos', the definite 'Yeses' and where I sit, the definite 'Maybes'.

For the definite 'Nos' the no more baby button has been firmly pressed and thoughts of another baby result in visible bristling.

For Fiona a mum of two from Birmingham, it was an easy decision to make and something she assures me that I will feel as well when the children are a bit older.

"I always wanted two and I have never wavered from that," she explains. "As soon as my second grew out of them, I got rid of baby things. I knew two was my number and have never imagined going beyond that. Within six months my husband had had a vasectomy."

But for other mums who have made the no more babies call it is not always quite so clear cut. Sarah from Luton has decided to stick at two but she still feels broody.

"When I hold a tiny baby there is a small 'what if' part of me But then I hand them back and feel glad that someone else is getting a turn at what I loved so much," explains Sarah. "Broodiness has been replaced with a feeling of contentment."

In my case I think the only way I'll be able to draw a line under it is when the decision is made for me and my child bearing years are over.

This was certainly the case for an older friend of mine who says she never considered how many children she was going to have until she hit her late forties and realised that the answer was three.

Mum of two Jenny, 41, has another rather beautiful take on it. "Making the no more baby call is too definitive and final for me, even though I know we probably won't have any more children," she explains.

"Instead I think of it like a boat sailing out to the sea, something that happens gradually. Then one day you see it on the horizon and you accept that the chance has finally gone and because you've had time to get used to it, you're OK with that."

Have you made the no more babies call yet? What number of children did you want and why?

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