For now, we feel 100% complete with our family of four. When I was younger I always envisioned three children. But now that we have two awesome kids, I really don't picture a phantom third child when I think of our family 5 or 10 years down the road. It's a pretty cool feeling to feel so complete!
Lauren's diagnosis of Down syndrome has had pretty much zero impact directly on our decision. I admit that since I've lost the "It can't happen to me" mentality I worry that a future pregnancy might be something I would have a very hard time with. What if future phantom baby had a fatal diagnosis? Or severe limitations? I do think this plays a small part in my choice to not have any more children, but honestly two kids just feels like enough for us. Babies are rewarding, but tough work!
Finances play a huge role for us as well. We want to be able to afford family vacations, couple's getaways, sports, dance, pets (okay, I'm the only one who wants a dog), retirement, college tuition (for both kids!), etc... Kids are pretty dang expensive. We are not rich and probably never will be. And that's okay with us! Money certainly isn't everything. I'm a RN and Greg is a bank teller.
And yeah, Lauren might end up being a little more expensive in some areas. She might need hearing aids (although she's passed her hearing tests so far!) or glasses, or special orthotics to help her learn to walk. We want to be able to afford extra therapy for speech, extra tutoring for school. Health insurance often places a financial limit on these types of things. We'll need to pay the difference. We want to be able to pay for college for both Lauren and Ryan. If Lauren is able and chooses to live independently as an adult, we'd like to be able to contribute financially.
And I like to shop, which is expensive. I would hazard a guess that I'm our most expensive family member and probably always will be! Unless I passed the shopping gene to Lauren, maybe it will be a tie. As my twin sister says, I think I was born into the wrong economic class.
Who knows? Ryan might end up screwing around in college and costing us money on classes he doesn't pass or change his major 10 times...not that I ever did that or anything ;) Bottom line- kids are expensive. If we win the lottery that phantom third baby might become a reality. It might become a reality anyways, I am a woman and we are known to change our minds. But for now, I am totally content being the four muskateers.
And because this picture is too cute not to share: