The Story Behind our Decision to Have Another Baby

Remember that time we said we don’t want to have any more children? Well, in case you missed it: I’m pregnant with baby #3 due in December. Since sharing our pregnancy announcement, some friends and long time followers have asked, “Why did you decide to have a third child? What made you change your minds?” Today I’m sharing our reasons for having another baby and the story behind our decision.

Truthfully, I thought we were done having babies after our second. We were perfectly happy as a family of four and quite comfortable in our new house with a bedroom for everyone. Financially, it made a lot of sense to not have any more kids — they are expensive! Physically, my body doesn’t handle pregnancy well. And the anxiety associated with having another baby was enough to scare me away. But life takes unexpected twists and turns that can change your future.

Without a doubt, 2020 was one of the most transformative years of my life. My experience with Covid and skin cancer, plus the pandemic itself, opened my eyes to the fragility of our time here on Earth. There were nights I wondered if I would ever get better and I started to worry about missing out on watching my children grow up. I entered therapy and learned it was my catastrophic anxiety talking, not reality. It didn’t help with the nostalgia of the girls’ baby and toddler stages of life consuming me. As I spent weeks recovering in bed, I began to ponder the idea of another baby. What would it be like to do it all again? Wouldn’t the girls celebrate big sisterhood?

During the pandemic I didn’t realize Brandon was beginning to feel nostalgic too. With him working from home full time, he had a front row seat to the girls’ growing and changing before his eyes. I don’t remember when he brought it up to me — that our daughters seemed so much older overnight — but it opened the door to the idea of a third child.

There are so many milestones between the newborn and preschool stages that we love so much. We have spent a lot of time reliving those milestones caught on video with the girls in the last year. Those moments pass us by quickly though, and during the pandemic we learned the importance of stopping to appreciate the little things.

We didn’t decide to have a third overnight. There were many conversations leading up to our big life changing decision. In 2017 Brandon and I were at a birthday party where we spoke with Mom of four, with one on the way, about having such a huge family. It seemed insane to us — so expensive and so many kids! But this Mom said something we will never forget.

One can never really predict who will be sitting at their Thanksgiving table 30 years from now, but you can imagine your ideal scenario. My husband and I always dream of a full house on the holidays after our little ones leave the nest for adulthood. Our children with their significant others engaging in conversations around the table while our grandchildren are running around the house — that’s what I hope our later years in life look like. We could easily have a huge gathering with just two daughters, but what if we had three kids?

family in matching pajamas sitting by fireplace christmas

After we moved into our new home in Connecticut in 2018 Brandon and I were in agreement to not have any more children. The girls had their own bedrooms and we extended our master bedroom into the fourth in our home. It seemed as if there was no room for another Houston in the house. But on Christmas Eve of 2019, Annabelle and Ailey decided to share a bed. They haven’t slept apart since — and Ailey only uses her bedroom as a place to store her clothes and books. She enjoys the space when she needs a break from the family to cool down. Ultimately, she wants to be with her big sister.

Money is a huge factor when it comes to having another baby. We are currently a one (and a half) income household. My husband is the only one employed by a company with a yearly salary and medical benefits. As a self employed blogger with inconsistent income, it was always hard to imagine how we’d financially manage if something were to happen to my husband’s job. But the last year we discovered anything is possible — and if we were to have another baby, we would thrive no matter what.

How do you know if you are ready for another baby? The answer to that question is personal and varies from family to family. For us, we knew we were ready when we realized our daughters are pretty self sufficient. They do a lot on their own and as parents, we have quite a bit of downtime now compared the years following their births. Life was chaotic from 2013–2018 with two little ones just 2 years 8 months apart. But now, everything is a bit easier and more routine. It’s the ideal time to welcome a baby into our family.

black and white family photo with baby and toddler

Our daughters will be 8 and 5 when their sister is born. This age difference has quite a few benefits, with the best being that there will be a lot of helping hands around the house. I’ve also spoke to a lot of people my age who are one of three children born the same years apart. They said the sibling dynamic was incredible — sure there were normal arguments growing up, but for the most part it was amazing.

An added bonus is that Annabelle and Ailey have been asking for a baby brother or sister for over a year. They are nurturing little girls who truly enjoy being helpful with their baby nephews. If our daughters didn’t want a sister we wouldn’t let that deter our decision, but it’s great they are just as excited as we are.

I’ve heard people say their reasons for having another baby stem from a feeling of familial incompletion. I never really felt our family of four (plus a cat) was incomplete. I love our dynamic, the ease at which we can each take a child to separate appointments or extracurricular activities. Things feel equal with two parents and two children. However, who is not to say they won’t feel just as great with a third child?

family of four with mom pregnant

I know there will be an adjustment period once the baby arrives. And sure, down the road we will definitely hit some imbalanced bumps. But any difficult times will be forgotten, overshadowed by the wonderful memories to be made with another Houston at the table.

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Caitlin Houston is a Mom of three and creator of Connecticut based life + style site Caitlin Houston Blog.

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Caitlin Houston

Caitlin Houston is a Mom of three and creator of Connecticut based life + style site Caitlin Houston Blog.