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          Negotiating for More Children

          October 14, 2003

          Deciding how many children to have should be discussed with your partner ahead of time, but sometimes opinions can change based on how difficult a pregnancy is or whether one spouse is still longing for a boy or a girl. If you find yourself at odds about whether to have another baby, Dr. Phil has advice:
          If your spouse wants to keep trying because he/she longs for a child of a different sex:

          • Remember that each birth is an individual event and your chance of having a baby that is the sex of your choice is only 50/50. If you have two girls, that in no way increases your chances of having a boy next time.
          • Remember that you don’t love the children you have any less because they are not of differing sexes.
          • Try to meet your needs for a son/daughter in some other way. For example, get involved with a local little league or Brownie troupe, even if your child is not a part of it. 


            If your spouse doesn’t want any more children because of how difficult a pregnancy was:

          • Argue her side for a minute. Put yourself in her shoes and try to see why she doesn’t want any more children.
          • Acknowledge what you don’t know. You may be greatly underestimating what the pregnancy was like for her. Pregnancy can have a taxing effect on a woman biologically, constitutionally and physically. It is very painful, and for some, very debilitating, with biochemical changes that can bring on anxiety attacks and postpartum depression.
          • Ask yourself if it is fair to ask her to go through that again. She may not be a good candidate for pregnancy at this time.
          • It may also not be fair to ask your husband to have a vasectomy at this point. Don’t burn bridges yet if there is a chance that your desires may change in the future. 


            If you are hesitating on having another child because you’re afraid it will shortchange the love you have for your current child:

          • Understand that you don’t divide the amount of love you have to give by the number of children you have. You draw your love for them from different accounts, and you never run out.

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