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by Abigail Van Buren

After Three Sons, Dad Ready To Give Up Trying For A Little Girl

DEAR ABBY: I recently became a father for the third time. My children are 18, 5 and 3 weeks old. My wife, "Molly," had complications during this last pregnancy that caused her blood pressure to remain in a heightened state for the last few months of her pregnancy. She had been hoping for a little girl, but we were blessed with another boy.

I'm turning 40 and my wife is 37. I have reached a point in my life where I'm ready to be done changing diapers, but Molly wants to try again for a little girl. I have issues with my back and have a hard time getting to my 5-year-old's level now. I'm afraid if we continue having children, I'll be unable to be the involved dad I want to be.

Am I a bad husband for feeling this way? I don't want Molly to go through life regretting not having the daughter she always wanted, but there is no guarantee it will happen if we decide to try again.

I make a fair living, but with additional mouths to feed come additional financial responsibilities. I'm afraid I won't be able to provide for my growing family as I need to. Am I right in my thinking, or am I being overly cautious? -- STOPPING AT THREE IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR STOPPING AT THREE: You are thinking clearly. At 37, and with her medical history, your wife would be considered "at risk" if she becomes pregnant again. While I sympathize with the fact that she yearns for a daughter, allow me to share a true story with you:

A man was in a similar situation to yours, but he had four daughters. So he and his wife decided they would try "one more time" for a son. Sure enough, his wife became pregnant. She delivered beautiful identical twin ... daughters. At that point he gave up and had a vasectomy!

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