Emotions in the weeks/months after a second birth. Different to first time? What was your experience?

(18 Posts)
Lostonthemoors Thu 07-Mar-13 09:10:22

Op thanks for starting this thread - haven't had number 2 yet but this has made very interesting and reassuring reading.

Just posting to say how brilliantly you did with bf in difficult circumstances and that I agree it's best to keep dc with you as much as possible.

cjel Thu 07-Mar-13 09:01:34

Thats great news. Congratulations. Relax and enjoy!!!

MammaCici Wed 06-Mar-13 23:38:13

I have to say, when I asked this question originally I could never have imagined how universally better the second time sounds. I'm so glad I asked now! It's such a relief to hear that struggling the first time is "normal". I am very much looking forward to holding my LO but was dreading the part where I felt like a train wreck. I am much less concerned about this now. Thanks ladies!

RoseandVioletCreams Wed 06-Mar-13 21:56:42

hit by a train first time, emotional shock, responsibilty, fear, trauma of labour even though physically not too bad. mil ruining things, interfering, taking over then screaming at me. whole experience fraught with fear and terror.

second time, elc, calm, wonderful, days after frustrated by reduced mobility but emotionally calm, far more confident, much better prepared all round, got Bf established properly which has been going really really well this time, its been a different story, oh and no mil allowed on the scene this time.

i was braced for horrors of sleepless nights etc but she has been a brilliant sleeper from about 4 weeks. i am calm, she is calm - we are all calm. smile

Pleasenomorepeppa Wed 06-Mar-13 19:42:04

DD2 is 6 weeks old & v refluxy, screams & doesn't sleep. I am totally besotted, not at all stressed & really enjoying her. Labour & birth were fine. My recovery time was so quick. I took DD1 to pre-school on day 2
DD1 was completely different. I was in shock for months. I physically shook for the first week & had PND. I begged everyone to never ever let me have another baby.
This time I've not even had any baby blues.
Good luck with everything ok grin.

notcitrus Wed 06-Mar-13 11:07:15

I was very anxious and exhausted after ds's long birth. I think hormones kept me going for 5 weeks, then I realised I had huge breast pain, still had SPD pain, no sleep, and MrNC couldn't help much as he was trying to get a roof on the house and we were running out of money.

Luckily the HV I burst into tears on was great, as was my GP who told me "You were in a wheelchair 6 weeks ago, you've give birth, you've had no sleep, you're in pain, you don't have a warm home to relax in, and you wonder why you're having problems coping?" GP told me to phone everyone I knew and tell them I needed help, even if I only trusted them to rock the baby under supervision while I got to sit down.

It got ok from there, I think I was near PND but not quite, thanks to baby groups and groups of mums etc.

With dd, had horrible pregnancy but then felt fine within a couple hours of birth, and the first 3 months were lovely, lots of reading to ds, lots of CBeebies, he still went to nursery 3 days a week. Didn't really get to socialise with other mums though as previous lot moved/at work and first-timers not comfortable with older child. So it got lonely and I had anxiety and when I took Cerazette, got PND badly. Was about to leave the kids when I read it.could be the pill, stopped, and was back to OK within 48 hours.

It's been pretty good since, but I feel a bit sad I missed the 3-6 month time, especially as dd slept through the night for that bit. Since then she hasn't been a great sleeper at all, so just as well my brain is ok!

Twitter and a smartphone have really helped with feeling connected to my friends, especially during the night. And major renovations to the house were on hold so MrNC could help a lot more, and my parents did more, mainly with ds - they didn't really know what to do with a baby - but also just letting me visit and get fed, or having kids in a cafe while I went.shopping round the corner.

sw11mumofone Wed 06-Mar-13 10:39:57

Hi MammaCici. Thanks for your message. ITs really lovely to chat to other people who have had similar experiences. I don't feel really down as such, just not impending excitement!! And that just makes me feel guilty. I have organised good support this time around. I did have support last time too but once it petered out at 5 weeks post birth I just had an awful time. I had just started to get my head around everything when my DD was four months and then she became very ill and I spent months in and out of hospital with her. I think that, coupled with post traumatic stress from the birth, is what led to the pnd at 9 months post birth.
I'm hoping that that whole chain of events won't happen this time. I plan to do things differently. i.e. like you say, take it a bit easier after the birth. I discharged myself within hours and that was too early. I also have told DH that I am going to need more time to recover this time. I rushed everything too much last time and put too much pressure on myself to be up and about and an amazing mum from Day 1. This time I'm restricting visitors in the first couple of weeks and my mum is coming to stay every week monday to friday until I'm ok.
You're right that a lot of people seem to have a much better experience second time around and also the amount of confidence you have as a mother probably makes bringing the baby home less terrifying.
I hope that things go really well for you and will keep an eye out on here in a couple of months for an announcement!
In the meantime, I'm praying for this baby to make an appearance before Tuesday' induction - once I'm out the other side I will drop you a note on here and let you know how the second time around went! Fingers crossed I'll be able to give you another positive story.
Take care xx

MammaCici Wed 06-Mar-13 10:17:25

Hi sw11mumofone, I'm sorry to read that you are feeling so down. Being overdue can't be easy. I think you should discuss this with your caregiver, don't wait for baby to arrive.
Statistically we are both more likely to have an easier birth with our second children. I know it's not until afterwards that we can be sure but try to believe it will be better and visualise it. However you feel after the birth at least this time you know the importance of seeking help if you feel you need it. Everybody who has replied here has found it easier the second time. In fact most seem to feel amazing afterwards. I'd settle for feeling ok! Anything else would be a bonus. Have you had the chance to set up a support network for yourself? Some mums get a doula to help at home for a week or two. I remember a total lack of sleep and feeling desperate from it. But I think this time my body is more used to going without as much sleep. You are probably the same. I've also explained to DH how fragile I felt in the weeks after the birth. I don't think he had realised the extent of how bad I felt so this time he'll be more aware. I've told him not to expect me to be fully functional for some time.
I think being confident in our mothering skills will really stand to us this time. We know what we are doing!
I'm determined to have a better experience this time. If necessary I will reach out for help. Last time I was afraid. Reading other mums experiences has helped me believe it will be better.
Look after yourself. When you feel up to it let us know how the birth etc. goes. Wishing you a wonderful, healing second time around birth! xxx

OrWellyAnn Wed 06-Mar-13 09:02:29

Humphrey speaks a lot of sense when she mentions the psychological adjustment of becoming a parent. I wonder how much 'pnd' is actually this process, and how many women could be more realistically prepared for it. I certainly went through a process similar to yours, burying birth trauma, (I remember feeling so betrayed immediately after the birth that noone had told me just how psychological it was, not just Physical) and then the feelings os loneliness and isolation once dc was home and DH had gone back to work.

Second time round was so utterly different. Looking at it on paper dc2's birth was far 'worse' than dc1. The difference was I knew that whatever I was expecting something else would happen. smile I had an emergency section after hours of labour and dc2 was stuck...and it was a much more positive and joyful experience than dc1's birth. I enjoyed the baby stage so much more because I wasn't as scared by dc2 as I had been by dc1. (scared of getting it wrong and f'ing her up for life. The pressure I put myself under with dc1 was ridiculous in hindsight.) I had friends I could visit that I trusted to hold dc2, who came and saw me for coffe or took dc2 out for a walk so i could get some skeep...whereas with dc1 I knew no-one and hated anyone but immediate family touching her.

You are a seasoned pro now, I honestly think your experience will be VASTLY different!

Good luck, and congratulations. smile

SunnyUpNorth Wed 06-Mar-13 08:42:24

I had an emcs after a horrible induction with dc1. I did recover well but was definitely very emotional and anxious afterwards. I felt very vulnerable too.

2nd time I managed a vbac and even though I had an episiotomy And ventouse I felt amazing afterwards, euphoric like others have said. Felt like I had conquered the world! I have been so much more rekaxed this time. Even though it is tiring obviously, I know it will pass quickly so I am just enjoying my baby much more and accepting the tough bits for the moment.

This time I have introduced a bottle of formula in the evening from about week 2. I found he was cluster feeding alot then and I couldn't just sit and feed him when I needed to give my toddler her dinner, bath etc. this has worked really well and hasn't interfered with breastfeeding the rest of the time. In retrospect I wish I had done this with dd as it comes with alot of benefits such as dh being able to occasionally give him a bottle at the first night waking so I can get a block of sleep.

Good luck, I hope you have a better time this time.

cjel Tue 05-Mar-13 18:29:02

Have only read OP but want to encourage you that I found 2nd so different. Confident that baby would come out so more relaxed, and all the worries about holding feeding loving properly were different, I almost want to say I was complete wreck after dd and sailed through ds. I can't explain it any better, The only thing that was harder was trying to get the rest needed as it was harder to sleep with baby because of toddler. Hope you find way to relax and enjoy and not worry. I had one contraction 2 pushes and no pain relief with ds!!!

sw11mumofone Tue 05-Mar-13 18:16:24

MammaCici - I'm also following this with interest. I had a v traumatic birth first time round and felt traumatised for months afterwards. I didn't bf but hadn't really wanted to so that wasn't a problem and bonded with DD absolutely fine. But I found it a difficult transition to go from somebody with a career who travelled the world every month to being at home with a baby and not knowing what the hell I was doing. It took me a very long time to get to grips with it and suffered pnd months later.
I am now five days overdue with DC2. I really don't feel ready at the moment for what is about to hit me! Nervous about the birth and petrified of what will come after that. I wish I could feel excited about it but I don't at the moment. I'm just scared. I know that I will have more confidence this time but the thought of all that lack of sleep and the logistics of having two terrify me. I feel really bad that I'm not more excited and hope that changes once he or she is born.
Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and the birth and I hope you have an easier time of it this time around.

MammaCici Tue 05-Mar-13 08:29:50

It's such a relief to hear your stories. Thank you.

peanutbutterhoney Mon 04-Mar-13 20:21:36

First and second times were like night and day. First time around I had a birth that while not dreadful, didn't go as I expected, ending in threatened c-section and ventouse with episiotomy. Afterwards I felt traumatised, shell-shocked and very emotionally fragile for a number of weeks.

Second time around I was as a previous poster has said, euphoric. I felt on top of the world, despite a 3rd degree tear and PPH. I was up and about, healed SO quickly, and we went to a BBQ at a friend's house when DS2 was only 4 days old. Everyone thought I was crazy but I felt absolutely fine! I just was so much more ready and confident and laidback about the whole thing.

I had more trouble bfing my second too (he had tongue tie) but I still coped with it better and more calmly.

So don't worry! You absolutely will not feel as rough the second time around.

MammaCici Mon 04-Mar-13 17:25:16

Thank you for your stories. I think quite a bit of my anxiety came from self imposed pressure to succeed at breastfeeding too. I also had a major problem with it and I got a lot of advice from friends and family back home to wean immediately. But I didn't. My right breast was extremely badly engorged due to breast cysts and milk blockages to the point that I had fever from it. But I kept going (used a pump on the sore one for several weeks) and DS nursed exclusively from my left breast. I ended up extremely lob-sided, at least 2 cup sizes in the difference. But from about 12 weeks he was able to latch onto my right side again and we didn't look back. He nursed until he was just shy of two years. He stopped at the start of this pregnancy. I was lucky that after a rough start we were able to salvage our breastfeeding relationship. I was also lucky that I only had problems on one side. If it had been both sides we couldn't have gone on. I think that problem started because I allowed MIL to hold DS for too long. He pretty much nursed around the clock but when the in-laws visited I felt I had to let them spend time with him. If my next baby is also an around-the-clock nurser I won't be shy about shooing people away if I feel it's been too long.
It's good to hear that second times have been a bit easier. That's what I was hoping to hear! I guess there's nothing quite like making the transition to motherhood the first time. I remember even when he was a year old I was still saying that I can't believe I have a son.

Snowfedup Mon 04-Mar-13 16:46:04

Hi I had a lot of anxiety with my first ds also after emergency cs. I have a 4 year gap and had planned cs I hoped this would help unfortunately bf failed again and I still feel a lot of anxiety ( maybe just my personality ) but definitely less and at least I know it all went away by 6 months !

HumphreyCobbler Mon 04-Mar-13 16:33:08

I felt terrible after the birth of my first child - I think I was in total shock about what had happened to my body (EMCS at a very late stage which took 4 months to heal) and found the lack of sleep torture.

However after my second baby I felt euphoric. I had mentally adjusted to being a parent, I was confident in my parenting skills, I had a planned CS so none of the health complications, I had sussed breastfeeding (in fact I was still bfeeding my 20 month old DS) and I bloody loved it.

I am sure having your mum there will be great. I am sure that now you know that gas and air is not for you that you will be able to choose pain relief that will empower you. Best of luck.

MammaCici Mon 04-Mar-13 16:28:23

I live overseas in Sweden with DH and DS. DS was born here in 2010. After the birth I felt extremely fragile emotionally for months after the birth. DS was an all night nurser so it was months before I got any REM sleep which didn't help. I felt quite traumatised after the birth but buried any of the "bad" bits and chose only to remember the more positive aspects of the birth. DH was a great support but we don't have any family close by to call on if we need outside help. Back then I didn't really have any friends here either and I felt quite alone and scared. At the time I worried that I was going crazy. I felt so much pressure. I wanted to be the best parent I could be. There was no room for mistakes so I gave it all I had and then some. I started feeling better after a few (4ish) months when I realised I was doing a good job.
We're expecting DC2 in 2 months time. This time my mum will be here (unless baby comes before week 38). First time around I felt calm and confident about the approaching birth but fell apart during a difficult labour in which I hallucinated (from gas). After I stopped the gas and had a walking epidural I was able to focus again and things got better.
This time I will keep well away from gas. I'm hoping to go as far as I can naturally but imagine I will opt for a walking epidural again.
Besides being scared of the birth this time I'm concerned about how I am going to be emotionally afterwards. I'd really like to avoid feeling so fragile and scared. I'm hoping it will be different this time as I'm already confident in my mothering skills. I'm also hoping that having my own mum with me at the beginning will help. She will go home a week or two after the birth.
I'm interested to hear how the weeks / months after your second child differed (emotionally) from the first time around. Especially if you were someone who found it difficult first time like I did.

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