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...not to want this baby?

(61 Posts)
CrumbCoat Fri 12-Jun-20 16:53:55

NC for obvious reasons.

I've just found out I'm pregnant (5 weeks or so), and it's not a great time. We have a 13-month-old and mat leave really drained our finances, which are shaky now DP is furloughed. We bought our house just before our first was born and it still needs lots doing which we couldn't afford if we had another mat leave. I feel my partner and I have only just started regaining an equilibrium and I'm enjoying being back at work (albeit remotely) and rediscovering that side of myself. In general our life feels a bit chaotic and white-knuckle and I just don't feel ready for another child, let alone 2 under 2 which was never my dream.

On the other hand, we adore the child we have, we wanted more kids, I'm not getting any younger, DH is a wonderful hands-on parent and partner, the house is a 3-bed and could hold us all... and there is never a right time.

I feel very guilty that the most I can muster about this situation is ambivalence when DC1 was so desperately wanted, but honestly I worry that another child will be bad for us right now. I feel quite overwhelmed by life - I wanted to wait another year and get us on a more even keel financially, emotionally and workwise.

AIBU to feel this just isn't right for us? Or maybe more to the point not right for ME? I wanted to buckle down on my career for a year, enjoy having a bit more freedom from DC. I feel selfish and small about it, but my gut is screaming no.

I don't feel I can discuss any of this frankly with anyone else, so I would appreciate your frankness. How have you handled a small age gap? Would you do it again? Have you contemplated/had an abortion in this sort of situation?

OP’s posts: |
Drivingdownthe101 Fri 12-Jun-20 16:59:35

We had a similar situation when DD1 was 11 months. I was on the mini pill so it was a bit of a shock.
We went ahead with it, the first 6 months were pretty awful but now they’re 6 and nearly 5 and best friends, and especially during lockdown I’ve been glad they’re so close in age!
But it’s entirely your decision, there’s no right or wrong answer.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 12-Jun-20 17:00:51

If I were you, I would continue with the pregnancy, especially given the fact you want another child. I got pregnant with my daughter when my son was 15 months, so not too far off from you, and I thought it was brilliant. My husband and I originally planned to have several years between babies, but I can't express how glad I am now that it turned out the way it did. My kids grew up as best friends and are still very close now that they're in their 20's. As for your career and money, it will still be waiting for you in a couple of years, and life marches on!

Wallywobbles Fri 12-Jun-20 17:06:34

15 months between mine. There's more positives than negatives I think. How old are you? I'd say if you're over 30 if at all possible do it. Maternity leave in France where I live is only 3 months. You don't have to take longer if you can't afford to

Merryoldgoat Fri 12-Jun-20 17:09:52

If I got pregnant when my youngest was 13 months I would have had an abortion.

It would’ve been terrible for us in a million ways and my mental health wouldn’t have coped.

The right decision is the one that works for you and your family.

millymollymoomoo Fri 12-Jun-20 17:12:29

Yanbu to feel unsettled or question it
I found out I was pregnant with my second when my eldest was 9 months old
I went back to work after 6 months maternity for both
It was hard at first but in many ways easier than having a big gap
Take time to think it through

thejoysofboys Fri 12-Jun-20 17:18:20

18m between mine. DC2 supposedly medically impossible so a big shock.
Financially we were ok, but mentally I was not. DC1 was a hard work baby and cried for months on end as a new born with DH working away/long hours and family hundreds of miles away.
After the initial shock and contemplating what to do, I realised that anything other than keeping the baby didn’t feel right. Even though I was terrified.
As someone else said up thread, the first 6 months were a circus but after that it was soooo much easier and we were well out of the baby stage when all our ante natal friends were starting all over again.
They get on like a house on fire (mostly) now.

But everyone’s circumstances are different. Take time to make a decision that’s right for you x

Member345787 Fri 12-Jun-20 17:25:20

YANBU and the decision you make has to be whatever is best for you and your family. You probably have a more realistic idea of the potential difficulties this time around as well, having done it once.

I struggled to conceive DS and took no precautions afterwards, DH words were "we couldn't be that lucky twice" and found out I was pregnant again when DS was 9 months old! I remember having sleepless nights about how I would cope, how we would afford it, how I would return from mat leave and drop that bombshell on my boss/team etc.

It was hard financially, particularly nursery fees until our eldest became entitled for his 30 hours at nursery. However they play well together (mostly!), we are getting through the hardest years quickly and I am grateful that I was able to have two beautiful children.

Take care and best wishes with whatever you decide x

Tipsylizard Fri 12-Jun-20 17:25:38

I have a 18 month gap between mine and was anxious all the way through my second pregnancy about how I was going to cope with it all. I found it a very difficult juggle for the first few months but now they are 5 and 3 and are best friends. As they aren't that far away from each other in development they both kind of enjoy the same things so entertaining them is easier and they have kept each other company in lock down. It is a busy house and hard work but I like that. You have some time to think it through and make the decision that is right for you and your family now. xx

steppemum Fri 12-Jun-20 17:26:18

to be honest, there is never a great time for a surprise pregnancy. If you wait for a couple of years, then you will have a whole host of other reasons why it isn't the best time.

If you go ahead, then the first year or two will be tough, and then it will get better, and you will probably enjoy the age gap.

But the other side of it is how do you feel about a termination? That is key to your decision.

AwwDontGo Fri 12-Jun-20 17:26:39

If you want to have a miscarriage it’s ok. You don’t need permission from anyone. There will be plenty of people who have loved having kids close together and plenty who haven’t. You have to do what is best for you and your own family. Perhaps you could talk it through with a counselor or someone similar, ultimately though, you need to make the decision.
I’m not sure posting on MN is a great idea as there are some posters with very strong opinions.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

BluntAndToThePoint80 Fri 12-Jun-20 17:28:36

From another perspective, I get why you’d be nervous but you do say you want another child.

We wanted to have a bit of a gap before we started trying for our second. However it took us a while to get pregnant first time round, so we had that hanging over us. We were also mid/late 30s.

In the end we have exactly 3 years between our girls. I love them to bits and it’s not a massive age gap, but just as the first was becoming more self sufficient and we were getting more of our lives back, we went back to step one of babies. I suspect a smaller age gap is hard work at first but much, much easier as they grow. They’re fairly cheap as babies - it’ll be a couple of years before real costs kick in and hopefully the situation will have settled by then.

Totally your decision. There is never a perfect time to have a baby, but I do understand your concerns over the timing. It’s a hard call, but I think I’d go ahead if I were you (mostly due to your mention of age and the fact you want another baby - but I might be swayed due to the fact we took over 2 years to conceived our first and over a year/ nearly 2 for our second).

Scruffbob Fri 12-Jun-20 17:31:00

I don't have any advice like many of the posters who are years down the line but I have a similar age baby and I wouldn't want another baby now.

Im dying to go back to work, to do something other than look after babies. I'm sick of never getting anything done and never having any money. If I had another baby it'd put me in a hole and I don't think I'd want to do that to myself, I think I'd struggle to feel mentally well for some time.

I can see the attraction in just getting the baby stage over with but personally I'd feel that it'd be a too high a price for my mental health. Good luck with whatever you decide OP.

LilyMarshall Fri 12-Jun-20 17:33:49

If youre planning another one soon anyway id day the smaller the age gap the better. 22 months in mine and the older one loved to ‘help’ and they had afternoon naps at the same time. They are both generally interested in the same things and same day trips / holidays as they are in the same age bracket. Theyve even done some of the same extra curricular classes.

Ive friends with larger age gaps and it does add complications re: age appropriate tv, activities etc. Ive a friend with an intentional five year age gap and their weekends just seem to be constant compromise. Or splitting the family in two to accommodate two different activities.

Career wise, getting mat leave over and done with in a few years then focusing on your career could be better for you than taking another mat leave a few years down the line.

LilyMarshall Fri 12-Jun-20 17:34:28

Should have said mine are 10 and 8 now

Pumpertrumper Fri 12-Jun-20 17:34:55

OP you have to do what’s right for you.
I’ve not been in your position but If I were I’d think carefully about the alternative (just to weigh up both sides), you say you want another child, will that be better/easier later on or are you just delaying the inevitable?

My DS is 3 months, DH and I know we want another at some point but I had such a hellish pregnancy that I just can’t get my head around doing it again. So I keep pushing it further and further in my head, 2 years has spiralled to 5 already as I’ll ‘focus on career’ and ‘feel like myself’ first. But when I sit down and really think about it, putting it off won’t make it any better.

I’m 90% certain to have another totally shit pregnancy and waiting (whilst it does make me feel better) is probably just delay tactics.

There is no right or wrong, maybe make yourself a pro con list to look at it from all perspectives then go from there.

CrumbCoat Fri 12-Jun-20 17:37:04

Thanks all who've replied so far for your kindness and thought. I really appreciate it. @scruffbob you've totally summed up my feelings. I feel quite overwhelmed by the baby stage (and mine has been a good sleeper on the whole but has had other problems that made it hard), like I've been just surviving for the past year and I'm so ready to get my teeth into new things and get my head back how it should be.

But I love and enjoy my baby, and if there's one thing about parenting I've learnt to accept is that things can not go as you expect/plan/want, and still be great.

It feels very counter-intuitive to end a pregnancy when I am in such a fortunate, generally stable position. I definitely need to give it a lot of thought, and talk it through properly with DH. I really appreciate all of your stories of small ages gaps working out well!

OP’s posts: |
CrumbCoat Fri 12-Jun-20 17:38:04

oh, and I'm 30. So I do have time, but not loads.

OP’s posts: |
Lulu98 Fri 12-Jun-20 17:39:02

I experienced the same thing. My son was four months old when I fell pregnant with my daughter. Twelve months and 12 days separate them. Looking back, I genuinely don't know how we managed. We were permanently exhausted, always skint, never got out etc etc. Now they're 17 (Dd) and 18 (Ds) and best friends. They entertained each other, helped each other and also fought. Only you can make the choice. I decided to go ahead as I wasn't convinced we'd be able to have another child (complicate gynae history) and my (now) exH had always wanted two. It seemed easier to get it all out the way in one hit! Best choice I ever made. It's still not easy but I'm very proud of my two young adults x flowers

Freewanderer Fri 12-Jun-20 17:41:46

I was pregnant when my baby was 6 months, so 15 month gap. Yes, it’s hard work at the moment, but there are so many positives. They will (hopefully!) play together later on and give me a break. Hopefully they will be closer to each other in life too (no guarantees). You get all the nappies etc done in one go, if you opt for only 2 children. Etc etc. You will cope with whatever you have to in life. Best to not over think it and go for it, if you wanted another child anyway? That’s what I did, and no regrets!

Freewanderer Fri 12-Jun-20 17:45:10

Ps. I love seeing them together! In the future, (at moment they are 4 and 19 months), hopefully because they are at the same stage, going on days out will be easier to plan iyswim.

Purpleartichoke Fri 12-Jun-20 17:51:59

If it were me, married, employed, and wanting another child at some point, but the timing just wasn’t quite right, I would continue the pregnancy. That is why DH and I were ridiculously careful to the point of frustration when dd was a high-needs infant, because we knew we couldn’t handle another pregnancy or infant right away and we knew we would continue the pregnancy if it happened by accident.

GiraffeWithSwag Fri 12-Jun-20 17:58:48

At my DDs first birthday party I was 6wks pregnant with DS. DH had been working away and was due away again on another project so time to actually get pregnant was possibly going to be difficult....we knew we wanted a small ish gap but I had hoped not quite so small! That said, all the baby stuff was done and dusted in a short space of time...sleepless nights, nappies, potty training, etc. For me I felt that to have done the baby years then to start again when eldest was say3 or 4 would have been too much like hard work. I went back to work ft after each pregnancy, difficult but not impossible. Financially my wages covered the nurseries fees but worth my sanity. DH very much hands on. Babies are now 22 and nearly 21.
Only you can decide though. There are positives/negatives for small/ big gaps. I liked the small. Think the kids do too, they’re quite close siblings.

Stripeytopgirl Fri 12-Jun-20 18:00:04

I got pregnant with DD2 when DD1 was 14 months, almost exactly the same as you. It wasn’t planned & we were having to move (Not through choice) home at the time it was all really stressful.

But we knew we wanted another baby at some point & I couldn’t bring myself to have abortion because the timing wasn’t right.

My girls are 3 & 1 now. It was tough, I won’t lie. But I’m really glad now, my baby making days were done in a few years & I have 2 children 23 months apart who really do get along & entertain each other.

Obviously the choice has to be yours, just letting you know from my prospective. It worked out well in the end.

GiraffeWithSwag Fri 12-Jun-20 18:01:05

....oh and just to add.....easier for school too. Pass on books, uniform, kit, etc plus easy on school run with only one school year (as mine are...eldest was Oct, youngest july) my SIL had 2-3 year gap and seemed to do primary school run forever!!! Eldest was in yr9 but still doing drop off at primary for youngest.

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