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Girl Talk: The Need for Three

Q   I have two boys; the younger is 1. My husband says two is enough, but I want one more. It's not a need to have a girl  -- I just don't feel like I'm done. Any ideas? I'm totally depressed.

[ANSWER {After my first baby, I'd meet other women who said they knew they were done, which I always thought was strange. How could they be so sure?

And then I had two more children. Suddenly I had crossed a divide, moving from the "I'm not sure, maybe" group to the "Stick a fork in me, I'm done" posse. When, how, or why it happened, I haven't the foggiest. All I know is that feelings on this subject are real, and not easily dismissed. The problem, of course, is convincing your husband of that. I'm not saying you should beg your partner to "let" you have another baby. Sure, you may get what you want, but the possible resentment fostered by this bargain is, in the long run, a high price to pay. I'm also not advocating that you attempt to hammer out an ironclad consensus. I've heard of many cases where a husband didn't want a child, and then, after she arrived, couldn't imagine life without her.

You want to allay your husband's fears enough so that he'll consider the possibility. Ask what worries him. Money? Pressing his luck after two healthy babies? Facing another newborn endurance test that deprives him of sleep, showers, and sex? Even if it's yes to all of the above, you still have a shot at bringing him around because you probably share these concerns.

In short, you're in this together, and that's how you want to frame the discussion. Let him know that you actually are on the same page, and then ask how you might work through these fears, perhaps by remembering how you did it twice before. You might also bring up another topic of consensus  -- namely, how much you love your children and how the arrival of your second didn't diminish your love for your first. Best of luck.}]

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