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The Gift Of the Third Child

When we found out I was pregnant with our third child, my husband and I both became depressed. The pregnancy was unplanned and unexpected, to say the least. After failed infertility treatments six years ago, we had adopted our two daughters, Roma and Beatrice, now 6 and 4. As selfish as it sounds, another child -- biological or not -- wasn't what we wanted.

Rethinking theĀ Future

The news came at a time when we had just turned a corner in parenthood, enjoying a bit of freedom as the girls had become more independent. The prospect of having a life outside of home again -- one that included nights out, gym time, uninterrupted bathroom trips -- seemed possible. I could actually fantasize about a 10th anniversary trip to Japan abroad without kids and believe it could happen.

Compounding our depression was the fact that Roma and Bea were adopted from China at 11 months, so we'd never dealt with the "infant thing," as we called the first year. The thought of having to wake up several times a night with a yelping baby (and with our luck a colicky one) in addition to our current rounds of middle-of-the-night scary dreams or water requests was downright daunting.

There was never any question that we would have two children. Even while I was in the throes of infertility treatments I always imagined having two kids. As soon as we got Roma home from China, we started the paperwork to go back and get her a sister. Once we had Beatrice, our family felt complete. Two was a bit of a stretch -- logistically, financially, emotionally -- but it felt right. Surely a third would send us over the edge.