to not want another baby?

(55 Posts)
Karrot Wed 21-Sep-16 15:31:04

We always wanted two children, but after a horrible pregnancy with DS1 (hyperemesis, PUPPs rash and various other unpleasant things), for a long time, we thought we were done. He was also a bit of a tricky baby/toddler and I also suffered quite badly with PND. We have no family support nearby, though my DP is very hands on.

He is now 5 and we're considering another - but only really, so that he's not an only child. I feel horrible that he wouldn't have a sibling if we didn't do it again and the number of people who have confirmed that fear - from close friends who have confessed their "relief" that he wouldn't be an only one when I've said we were finally considering having another baby, to the randoms who have told me that I'd be scarring my child for life by not having a second - is enormous.

We're at the point now where it's a bit now or never - I'm not getting any younger and the age gap is already pretty big. But the idea of actually going through it all again terrifies me. My DP feels the same - he knows how hard it was for me the first time around and the baby stage wasn't exactly a walk in the park for him either - so there's no pressure from him, we just don't know what to do.

Icklepickle101 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:35:48

I have many friends who are only children and not at all scarred or less personable.

If you don't want another, don't. Your DS won't miss what he doesn't have!!

I am the same, always wanted 2 no more no less and now I have 8 month old DS I've decided if we don't have another by the time he is 3 it's not happening, and I've made peace with that. Make peace with how you feel flowers

MidnightVelvettheSixth Wed 21-Sep-16 15:36:10

If it helps then my second baby was the opposite to the first. I was so sure I didn't want the kind of traumatising 3 day birth I had with DS1 so I had pre-natal acupuncture for DS2 & he flew out within 4 hours. His birth healed me from the memories of DS1's birth. My point being that your second pregnancy may be trouble free, there's nothing to say that it wioll be the same.

DS2 was a totally different baby, he was easy & he slept & was happy, so very different from DS1. The PND didn't happen with DS2 either.

Your experience second time around may be the opposite of the first smile

mangocoveredlamb Wed 21-Sep-16 15:45:20

It's so tricky.
If you do consider another can you see your GP to get some preemptive advice about the possible recurrence of HG? I did, and having a plan for medication etc really helped me feel in control when it did strike.
Now at 34 weeks, having had a terrible and worrying pregnancy, I'm glad this baby will be here soon and I don't regret going for another.i also have much more mental health support and the health visiting team are aware of my previous PND so that is/will be better to plan for and manage.
And as others have said your experience may be totally different!!

thehugemanatee Wed 21-Sep-16 15:46:51

Nothing wrong with being an only child. I never wanted siblings and was glad my parents didn't have any more kids.

Thurlow Wed 21-Sep-16 15:56:23

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having only one child, so don't feel pressurised into having more children just because people think someone should have 2 or 3 children. I don't really know that many adults who have a close relationship with their siblings, so I don't automatically see that it means having someone else to be close to.

However I agree that knowing you might have a difficult pregnancy and planning for it can make a lot of difference. Yes, it is a bit harder second time around because you can't just come home and go to bed, or spend all weekend resting. But you can plan a certain amount preemptively that might help.

I had HG with DD and so it wasn't until she was gone 4 that I was prepared to contemplate it again. I was fortunate to have a different job that I knew would be more supportive, DD had a full-time nursery place, and we have made friends locally who can help out by taking DD for an hour or two at the weekend if I'm feeling totally rubbish.

It's been a different pregnancy this time around - less violently sick so not HG, but I've still been sick the whole time, rather than it calming down in the early 20 weeks. AS DD is older she is able to do more for herself and to understand when mummy is feeling poorly, which has helped a lot.

It also means that my maternity leave will be when she is at school so I am home alone with the baby, not juggling two toddlers. I also disliked the baby stage so I am hoping that the school run gives me some distraction and routine to my day.

You don't have to make a decision right now. You can say you don't think so, and still change your mind in a year or two.

But FWIW, I hated the idea of another baby for a long time and it was only as DD got older that I felt ready to contemplate it (though if I am being honest, if it didn't happen I wouldn't have been heartbroken). If you haven't had that kick in then I'd say you are probably just not prepared to have another child - and that is absolutely fine.

Karrot Wed 21-Sep-16 16:01:35

Thurlow, it sounds like you were v similar to me! We had decided we definitely weren't going to do it and chucked out all the baby stuff, the cot, the clothes about six months ago...and after doing that, felt we maybe weren't ready to give it up.

We talked about it for a while and had sort of decided we were going to try soon (I had a minor health problem that needed to be sorted first so we had a kind of reverse deadline meaning we couldn't just go for it straightaway). And now we could...I'm just not sure again. I don't really want to leave it another year or two as I'm getting older adn it seems stupid to put myself (and the baby) at risk of more complications when we could have done it earlier. Or be less likely to conceive in the first place. Part of me just wants to try for six months and hope it doesn't happen - and then I can feel like we've tried and it wasn't our fault that there's not a sibling!

DonaldStott Wed 21-Sep-16 16:07:35

Having another child to become a campanion for the one you already have, seems a bit crazy. I am one of 5 and I do have aclose relationship with all my siblings. We have one child and are stopping there. Dd is a happy, caring, funny child and the least selfish person you could meet. We will be able to give her everything she could need. We can save up for uni/deposit for house etc. We couldn't do that for 2. We are a very happy gang of 3. The idea that only children miss out on something by not having a sibling, is a misconception imho.

SageMist Wed 21-Sep-16 16:08:02

Here's a different perspective. I have a brother. We didn't get on as children and we have nothing in common now.

Just saying.

AmeliaJack Wed 21-Sep-16 16:10:17

My best friend is an only child. Never felt lonely growing up. Had a very happy childhood and never feels the lack of siblings.

There are advantages to being an only as well as disadvantages.

Illstartexercisingtomorrow Wed 21-Sep-16 16:12:41

Part of me just wants to try for six months and hope it doesn't happen

I think this is your answer. Don't try for a baby that you don't want it's not fair on anyone involved.

As pp have said second pregnancies and babies can be totally different. But you have no idea which way it will swing. I think the people who have had better experiences second time on have probably really wanted a baby so psychologically it makes it easier to get through the tough stuff. I had a hard preg (not as bad as yours), traumatic birth and a very difficult baby plus post natal injuries and pnd and totally isolated. Just thinking about it makes me shudder. For a long time after DD was born I was sure I didn't want one again.
Dd2 is due is a few days and I am really excited (mixed with nervous). For me I got to a point where I was ready to face all the crap bits again because I had got to point where dd1 was big enough and I was far out enough from the pnd and injuries that I realised how much joy I had with her and I really would do it again happily. I just made sure I pre-empted my issues this time. And am desperately hoping and praying for an easy birth and no pnd. But if t does happen again I know I can get through it as I already did once. (Someone please remind me I said this if you see a 'hellllp' post in a few weeks time blush)

Being an only child means you can focus on him, use all your resources for him, and get your life back. It is not a bad thing and nothing to feel guilty about.

SpookyPotato Wed 21-Sep-16 16:15:40

Don't do what society expects, do what you both want. It sounds more like you don't want them than do, so you could end up regretting it. You sound happy as you are!

yorkshapudding Wed 21-Sep-16 16:16:06

I loved being an only child. I honestly don't get what the fuss is about. I know a lot of adults who either can't stand their siblings or have a very polite but distant sort of relationship with them. There are no guarantees.

From your OP it sounds as though you don't really have any desire for another baby but are going through with it because of other people's opinions about 'only children'. In the nicest way possible, that sounds like a crazy reason to have a child.

Karrot Wed 21-Sep-16 16:19:59

Thanks everyone, it's good to hear different perspectives. It's not as simple as I don't want another child - in an ideal world, I do...just not sure I want it enough to go through hell again. If there wasn't DS to consider, I don't think we would (which obviously makes no sense, because if there was no DS, I wouldn't know how bad the pregnancy etc could be!).

The problem is, I just feel like if we don't do it, I'm always going to wonder if we should have - and like there's part of our family missing that should be there...

NewPotatoes Wed 21-Sep-16 16:24:17

and the number of people who have confirmed that fear - from close friends who have confessed their "relief" that he wouldn't be an only one when I've said we were finally considering having another baby, to the randoms who have told me that I'd be scarring my child for life by not having a second - is enormous.

Leave other peoples' nonsense out of your decision-making. Most people are 'relieved' when you make the same decision they made about something because it supports theirs as being the right one, and I'm assuming all these people who feel so strongly about you having
another child have more than one themselves...?

People are almost as ridiculous about only children as they are about women who are upfront about choosing not to have children - the various stereotypes about lonely onlies and little emperors, the fantasy closeness of siblings and their unfailing support for one another when their parents get infirm etc are as much founded in reality as the idea that women who choose to remain childfree are rigid, chilly careerists or hedonists who prefer snorting their massive salaries through a rolled-up fifty than spending it on nappies grin.

The only good reason to have a child is because you really want that child. Don't have a 'companion baby' you don't in fact want as a fantasy benefit to your current child.

We have one child by choice, and the person who has been most vocal about the awfulness of lonely onlies is my MIL, who had five children that she and FIL had no way of supporting before her 23st birthday and appears to think her family is a model of happiness, and that me and DH choosing to stay childfree for years and then - shock!- having one child by choice when we could afford to have more, is a direct rebuke.

Sparklesilverglitter Wed 21-Sep-16 16:27:06

I am an only child as my mum had to have a hysterectomy to save her life when she had me and I had a very happy childhood and enjoyed all of my parents attention.
Not everyone gets on with there siblings anyway remember!

I've just had my first baby at 39 she will be my only baby. I would never ever do childbirth again. I hope my dd will be happy as an only child like I was

For your op it sounds like your trying for another only because you don't want your ds to be an only child. Please remember being an only child is no bad thing

TwirlingGoldfish Wed 21-Sep-16 16:30:37

What a brilliant post, NewPotatoes!

Anyway - another only child here. Loved it when I was a kid, still love it now at 41. Lots of close friends made over the years who I'm as close to as I would have been to any brother or sister. And - wonderfully - I got to choose them. :-)

NewPotatoes Wed 21-Sep-16 16:32:23

The problem is, I just feel like if we don't do it, I'm always going to wonder if we should have - and like there's part of our family missing that should be there...

Karrot, maybe that's OK. Maybe you can own that you will never know, rather than labelling it as a form of torment? I would be very surprised if every single person in the world hasn't got one or more significant 'what would have happened if....?' moments in their past. There have been some very honest responses on the 'how did you know you definitely didn't want children?' thread which might help - of course many on the thread always knew they didn't, but for others the decision was a struggle and took some coming to terms with in a way not dissimilar to what you're saying is on your mind.

What I'm saying (possibly not very clearly) is that there are ways of dealing with roads not taken which stop them becoming some kind of weeping sore on your psychology.

IHeartFrasierCrane Wed 21-Sep-16 16:32:31

People often talk about how many children they would like to have before they've ever actually had any and still have no idea about pregnancy, birth, the baby stage etc.

You've had one baby and the process which brought you there iS one which has caused you to stop and rethink whether you actually want to go through it all again.

You might not have the same kind of pregnancy again, but you might. There are no guarantees. Just as there are no guarantees that siblings will grow up with a close relationship.

Think about what it is you want, not what other people think you should have. There is no right or wrong answer here.

CarrieLouise25 Wed 21-Sep-16 16:36:04

I don't want to be doom and gloom by my HG got worse with each pregnancy and so did my SPD. BUT. I have had my 3 children now and so glad I did.

I had huge gaps though because pregnancy/labour was so shit. 8 years and 6 years between.

Also, I wouldn't have a baby just for a sibling. We had 2nd and 3rd because we wanted them, not to make sure DS wasn't lonely.

Nothing wrong with an only child. A difficult pregnancy is a HUGE ask from you. 9 months feels forever. So good your DH is supportive, that is vital.

Good luck with your decision flowers

Clarinet1 Wed 21-Sep-16 16:37:08

Just a thought - since the concerns you have seem to be mainly to do with the pregnancy and the birth, rather than the practicalities of bringing up another child or paying for all it needs, have you considered adoption or fostering?

cestlavielife Wed 21-Sep-16 16:37:27

just stick with this one. he will be fine.

you could end up with a nice pregnancy and baby or you could end up with horrible pregnancy pnd and a disabled child. every pregnancy is a risk. there are no guarantees. so dont take the risk unless you really really want to...

there is nothing wrong with having only one child! i ahve 3 but the one child families i know have a great time.

cestlavielife Wed 21-Sep-16 16:38:51

not that disabled children are not nice - i have one of those smile challenging but fun...
but if you not prepared for all eventualities then dont risk it.

Birdandsparrow Wed 21-Sep-16 16:41:00

Don't have a baby because you feel you somehow "should". Especially if you had HG with DS as that is highly likely to recurr and in fact be worse (tends to get worse with each subsequent pg). You might not have HG, but it's a serious consideration and certainly not at all comparable to morning sickness, as I'm sure you know.
There's nothing wrong with being an only child and NO guarantee they would get on as siblings, none at all.
If you don't want another, don't do it.

puglife15 Wed 21-Sep-16 16:42:23

For different reasons, DC2 is a much, much harder baby than our first, with health and sleep issues. It's been very hard on DC1 coping too and we've seen massive behavioural issues crop up which have added to the stress (nearly 4 so a bit younger).

All in all, the last 7 months have been utterly brutal. Plus I developed prenatal anxiety and we lost two babies trying. It's been a tough journey.

We wanted another baby, but weren't 100%, part of the reason we went for it was because of the pressure from others.

I don't regret having DC2 because he's gorgeous but I can't believe what hard work it's been and continues to be. It would have been easier on us all to stay at one. Most people seem to find their 2nd baby easier though and we have no family support either.

How would you feel if your DC2 had health issues or disabilities or just really didn't get on with your DD at all? Just food for thought.

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