The Benefits of Being Three.

October 12, 2010 at 11:07 am | Posted in FET #5: Last Chance Waltz | 14 Comments

We travelled to Texas last week to visit my parents, and the trip went better than I could have ever imagined.

This time, O was our Big Kid.

We left the stroller at home, and instead, O pulled his own suitcase behind him in the airport.

He waited patiently in line to check in and then AGAIN in the security checkpoint.

He walked onto the plane himself, climbed up into his seat, and attempted to put his own seatbelt on.

We took up only one row on the plane.

We fit into an economy-sized car.

We all had our own room in my parents’s three-bedroom house.

We went out to dinner, the three of us, and relaxed, and played in the pool, and went to the playground.


I don’t think this FET will work.

Which I suppose is better than EXPECTING it does like I did last cycle.

(Less egoistic, for certain.)

The next BFN?

It’s going to hurt. I expect I’m going to be confused, and sad, and probably bitter over the unfairness of IF yet again. Because we put in our suffering with the three years we tried to get pregnant with O in the first place…

… yada yada yada blah blah BLAH.

Thing is.

There ARE benefits to being a family of three. For example.

Travelling is easier, for certain. We lived that this weekend.

I will have the flexibility to change careers sooner, since we’ll be done forever with daycare bills in three years (instead of six or seven).

I can plan my next half marathon training program; which for me means a sub 2-hour half next spring.

We don’t have to have to get rid of our guest bedroom; O can stay in the Yellow Room.

We won’t be cash strapped with two daycare bills AND saving for two college tuitions.

I know that this is me planning for the worst case scenario. And I know that this is drawing lines in the sand, and that it can change over time, and you all won’t hold me to the decision to be done after this cycle.

But there are some tangible benefits of being three. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think about that frequently.

As frequently as I think about having a sibling for O? No.

But those benefits, combined with my visceral desire to avoid another fresh cycle, make me feel like we’ll be okay when if this cycle doesn’t work.



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  1. I completely understand … it definitely makes it easier to think this way. I did, before I got pregnant this time, and even during the first few months (e.g.: if I miscarry, three is a great size for a family, and it will sure make life less complicated). I hope that whatever happens, you find joy in what lies ahead.

  2. I think it’s okay to feel both ways – that you want it to work, and that you’re happy with your family the way it is now. And it’s okay to frame it this way so you can be happy if it works, instead of assuming it will and being unhappy if it doesn’t. I am so glad you are enjoying O for now. 🙂

  3. I’ve found that the thing about cycling for a sibling is that if it doesn’t work, there will be tears, sadness, disappointment and maybe anger, too. But, ultimately, there is a feeling that whatever happens it will be ok because the future can still be full.

    Here’s hoping that whatever number of people your family turns out to be, your future will be full.

  4. Good luck with your next cycle.

  5. Summer said it best.

    Being three for so long, I still have issues sometimes in adjusting and totally agree with your list of benefits. 🙂

  6. I like Summer’s comment, too.

  7. It’s hard not to get caught up with the emotions of cycling, but there are a lot of benefits to a family of three. Before we started TTC again, I read a couple books about raising an ‘only’, just to try to get comfortable with the idea in case things worked out that way. And really, there was a lot that sounded appealing. But as much as I can list off the benefits of having only one child, my heartstrings are pulling for a sibling. I get the sense you’re in a similar place. I just wanted to say that you’re not alone.

  8. Just read your comment on stirrup queens – totally true! Putting your energy into something you CAN control. For you it’s running (NOT ME:). That’s the frustrating part of BFN’s isn’t it? That you cannot force it happen no matter how hard you try. The guilt of not trying another cycle isn’t founded, remember that. Everyone needs a break (or a change:) Good luck to ya!

  9. Oh, and so you should think about all these things. There’s this idea, at times, that if you want a child enough to be trying – especially through treatments – then you shouldn’t even pause to acknowledge any downsides. But how can any properly considered decision be made without weighing both sides of the equation? You are doing a wise thing to think about it. From a psychological point of view, yes, but also from a practical point of view.


  10. I’ve come back several times to this post trying to figure out what to write. This resonates with me.

    I tell myself all of those things, too. And they’re true. But I also know that all I can know is today. I don’t even follow my own advice well; I think about and attempt to prepare myself for what happens when this next and final cycle fail. But the truth is, all I can know is today. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other and make the decisions about later – later.

    Thinking of you and hoping there are only easy decisions to come.

  11. I think it’s always important to be optimistic AND Prepared…it sounds silly, but I try to think of the BEST case scenario and the WORST..and try to live between them. It’s easier said than done…for sure.

    I loved hearing about this trip, how much fun,,how relaxed you sound about it. How O being a “BIG KID” is something that is good for your family. But having 2 isn’t so bad….I swear. And Honestly WHEN this FET does work, you can plan for that too….things might change, plans might change, but it will be FOR A REALLY GOOD REASON.

    wishing you lots of love and luck

  12. I think this is the first time I’ve posted a comment on your blog, but I’ve been reading it for years. I originally found you when I was going through IF treatments, and I got pregnant around the same time you did. My daughter was born within a few days of your son! I’m in a similar place to you right now, although for slightly different reasons. My husband just doesn’t want more kids. I’d love another one, but I don’t want the stress and heartache of trying and not succeeding. So I’m trying to come to terms with being a family of 3. It really does have its benefits! But all the same it’s a struggle to accept it if part of you wants another baby. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that there are lots of us lurkers who are empathizing and pulling for you.

  13. Wishing you huge daycare bills and complicated traveling! 😉 C’mon, I want you to end up just as insane as we are over here. (Kidding of course.) Pulling for you from down here!

  14. I grew up without a sibling (okay, technically I had one, but he was 14 years older so it didn’t really count).

    To be truthful….it was wonderful. I didn’t have to endure any of the things my friends suffered at the hand of sibs. When I was lonely I could invite friends over and conversely, when I wanted peace and quiet it was readily available.

    Having said that, I am the parent of 3. The chaos at times is deafening. There are struggles between them since they are all completely different temperaments,personalities etc, but I love knowing that someday when I am gone, they will have each other to make fun of me and all my craziness throughout their lives.

    It’s a mixed bag.

    I hope whatever life brings your way, that you will be at peace with the result.

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