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Potential 12 or 13 month age gap - slightly sensitive subject, not intended to upset.

(22 Posts)
oops13 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:06:05

Had DC1 in early Feb this year, have just had a positive test. All our own fault, weren't being as careful as we should have been. I know we've been stupid, not looking for a lecture or sympathy, just people's experiences and opinions.

Is it do-able?
Have you coped?
How hard was it?
When did it get easier?
Do DCs get on or is their huge sibling rivalry?
What were the best and worst things about the age gap?
Do you feel your DC1 'suffered' due to having DC2 so close?

Really unsure what to do. Feel torn as I love DC1 to pieces and would love a another year or so.

DP seems as torn as me. Not sure how family will react as DC1 wasn't planned (was using contraception but medical issues meant it failed) but they love him to bits. DP and I are early thirties but not married if that makes a difference. I was adamant about keeping DC1 but this time I'm worried about how we'll cope and DC1's welfare mainly. Envisaged having more time with just him.

Thanks in advance.

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 23:11:44

I think it is different asking for advice about potential age gaps when you're not already pregnant, than when you are. You know for everyone who can newer your questions in a positive way someone else can come on and say the opposite. Not sure if you are looking for reassurance that it will all be ok, or giving serious thought to termination. If the later, do you think you can wait a year, get successfully pg again, and have that baby without negative impact on you, your relationship or your relationship with dcs? If yes, then I guess you have your answer.
Did you bring up not being married because you think the relationship isn't stable? Many people aren't married these days when they have children.
I think the only reason not to have the baby is if your welfare will be seriously damaged by doing so, I really don't think you can predict how it will affect your first child in the long run (obviously in the beginning will not get so much of your time) so I wouldn't use that as the basis for my decision.

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 23:14:33 advice is slanted by my own experience of recurrent miscarriage, which messed up completely the ideal gap I had in my head between number 1 and 2 - so feel free to ignore, though it's just another way to look at things. All the best thanks

3boys3dogshelp Sun 30-Jun-13 23:16:10

Hi oops, we have 18 months between our boys, which was not entirely in our plans. I'm not going to lie, pregnancy with a baby to look after is exhausting! I suffered with spd during second preg which I'm convinced was a combination of not allowing my body to recover and having to carry a (big) 1 yo about. In the early days i would just change 2 nappies instead of one, read to ds 1 while i fed ds2, put ds1 to bed whilst ds2 napped before his feeding marathon etc.. Life was never dull!
However having said that I would not swap what we have for the world. My boys are best friends (now 3 and 4) ds1 does not remember being an only, so has never ever been jealous. Friends and family with 2-3 years seem to have more problems than us in that way. A very good friend of mine has 14 months between her 2 children, they also get on very well. I honestly don't believe they miss out by having a sibling.

AgentProvocateur Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:04

15 months between mine. First couple of years were a blur of nappies and feeding. Gets easier when they're 3 and 4, and from then on its been great - easy to do family outings and holidays because they're at the same stage. They're now 18 & 17 and great friends. There's never been any sibling jealousy or problems.

CheckpointCharlie Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:11

Don't know about a close age gap but I do know about a six year age gap and it is just as hard as having two small children!!!

I wonder how you would feel about actually going ahead and terminating. I am very pro choice but would you be able to justify it to yourself, is just being a year too early enough of a reason?

And I promise you love a second child as much as the first. Even if you can't imagine it. Not sure if that helps....!

pinkladyslipper Sun 30-Jun-13 23:38:38

Well we have a 53 week age gap. It is the hardest thing we have ever done. However it is the best. Funnily enough we just had a conversation this evening about what it may have been like to only have our 2 year old. We both agree that life would have been easier with just him but I would most likely have just had our second or be pregnant withDC2 now. I am so thankful we have both now.
It is do able, you will know no different.
It is incredibly tough at times,lack of sleep, teething, illness, etc BUT
We realise each bad phase is a phase.
Life is easier now. DC1 just turned 2 and DC2 just turned 1. DC2 is getting very independent so I can see howeasier things will get as they get older.
I think they have only benefited from each other. They smack/throw things at each other as smallies tend to do but when DC2 cries DC1 is there like a shot to make sure all is ok. Many people have commented how well they get on together.
BTW its much tougher being pg with a 3-12 month old than having a toddler and newborn,even with lack of sleep.
Best of luck.

Justfornowitwilldo Sun 30-Jun-13 23:46:50

You get a lot of people sharing that when they were pregnant with their second they were very concerned that they were somehow wronging their first child as another child would take away time and attention from their first; that having a second was almost a betrayal of their first. Or worrying that they might not be able to love the second in the way they do the first. I think those are totally natural concerns that are made worse by fluctuating hormones and aren't necessarily related to the fact that your pregnancy is unplanned.

MiaowTheCat Thu 04-Jul-13 16:31:36

I have 11 months between mine (should have been 12 but for minor prematurity). First couple of months were hard, especially with feeding issues dd2 had, but not massively so and now dd2 is nearing 4 months it's nice to see her grinning and laughing at her big sister.

Plus when I ship all the baby stuff out of the house it's going to be gone for good

BarbarianMum Thu 04-Jul-13 20:39:33

A friend of mine has a 13 month gap.

When she found out she was pregnant again she cried for about a month.

The first 18 mo (counting from finding out she was pregnant) was really tough/exhausting.

Those are the bad things.

Her boys have always been really close, share same interests etc (can be v competitive but not sure how much that is due to gap).

Her ds1 was upset by the arrival of new baby for about 48 hours then just accepted him totally.

By the time ds2 was 12 months old she was really glad things had worked out the way she did (although she said she didn't recommend I tried for the same).

RandomMess Thu 04-Jul-13 20:43:22

I have 4 dc, there is only a 14 month gap between the middle two - it is actually my favourite age gap. Your life does revolve around them totally whilst they are young but they are into the same things at the same time making life easy once they are both toddler IMHO.

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 04-Jul-13 20:49:16

I had fertility treatment for DC1, so did expect DC2 to rock up quite so soon!! I love the small age gap, of course it is hard work having 2 babies, but you also move onto the next stage quicker. I couldn't have imagined getting DC1 to 3 years, then starting again.
My DC's adore each other. Totally and utterly!

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 04-Jul-13 20:49:53

*didn't expect Dc2!

AlwaysWashing Thu 04-Jul-13 20:51:57

I have a couple, actually several friends who have small gaps between their DC and they are all doing ok. One friend conceived again 4 weeks after giving birth (CRAZY & unplanned for sure) & her 2 boys are lovely together. My own gap is only 20 months, again unplanned and although I never considered termination I was certainly very unsure.
My advice is a bit blasé really in so far as "you won't be the first & you won't be the last" in this situation, sure it's tough, hard work and we were constantly shattered for a while but it can and is done. I think providing your relationship with your OH is solid you'll get through fine and your DC won't suffer in any way, shape or form.

hatsybatsy Tue 09-Jul-13 15:46:33

as a parent, any gap between 2 children can be hard. if you imagine that 2, 3, 5 whatever years is the ideal, then think again!

I have 22 months between my two - did not plan, just happened, and the first year of having them both was very hard. I think the first few months in particular were chaos. But I think its probably like that whenever dc2 arrives? Our world was turned upside down by dd colliding with our schedules, but it did gradually right itself.

our 2 are ok together - they have many of the same friends and generally like the same acivities which makes day to day planning easier. they can also fight like cat and dog but they are siblings -thats normal!

have nothing deeper to add to the conversation than that. if you've managed one, you'd manage with 2. it's entirely your decision as to whether it would be the right thing for your own situation.

wishing you all the best.

pingulingo Tue 09-Jul-13 16:17:35

Totally doable (so far!) i have 12 months between mine. currently 9 and 21 months old. hardest bit was bedtime up until youngest DC was 3-4 months old. i had to just leave her crying for whilst i put DS1 to bed.

Best bits: no sibling rivalry (so far!), they are close enough to enjoy sort of similar things. Getting all the baby stuff out of the way at once. DS1 has just started giving DD1 kisses and cuddles without prompting - so cute!

Worst bits - sometimes feels like a conveyer belt of nappies, bottles and weaning. And I've worked out that I'll have 4 years of constant exam stress when they are teenagers.

DC2 "suffers" more than DC1, activities we go are more for him than the baby and I don't get chance to take her to things like baby massage. DC2 will go into part time childcare at an earlier age than DC1 and that makes me sad.

But is far easier than I was expecting. I worried about all sorts when I was pregnant and it's been nowhere near as hard as I was expecting. Good luck and congratulations on your bfp!

ldt87 Tue 09-Jul-13 16:23:19

Hi my oldest two are 7 and 8 with only 11.5 months between them. I loved having them so close together and actively planned it! It was nice that I had them both napping in the day at the same times, bathed them together and my oldest has never really known life as an only child. They are practically like twins and I would not change my choice to space them the way I did. It was great, they started school a year apart and I had my time to myself back all in one go.

I'm now expecting another, my last and worrying myself over the big age gap! I think you worry any way but it is doable and you easily adapt to it. Congratulations!

ldt87 Tue 09-Jul-13 16:31:50

I agree that pregnancy can be exhausting no matter the age gap. At least with a baby they nap regularly. It's true it will go by in a blur if you decide to go ahead, knowing that you want another at some point I very much doubt that you would regret keeping this one. I am however totally pro choice and know that not everyone wants 2 so close. I hope you and your husband can talk more about this until you reach your decision xx

Kendodd Tue 09-Jul-13 16:44:48

I love small age gaps, I had a new born, an 1 yo and a 2 yo, it was great, but then mine all slept well. I actually think a small gap is easier, when my youngest was a baby I still didn't have a school run to worry about, they are all pretty much into the same think about the same time.

I read once that a child under about 18 months is unable to feel jealousy, in that, they can want your attention but are unable to put 2+2 together and resent the younger sibling for taking your attention.

kalidasa Wed 10-Jul-13 14:59:21

How was your pregnancy? Do you feel fully recovered from it? What about work? Will you still be eligible for maternity leave etc or not because of the short break? Those are the things I would be asking myself in this situation I think. (Our baby was born in November.)

Obviously all pregnancies are different and you can't always anticipate it but I think for both you and for your DC1 there's a difference between a cheerful, healthy mother for nearly a year and then a new baby in April and a sick miserable mother for eight or nine months now, followed by a new baby in April (if you have bad pregnancies).

I would have a termination if I accidentally got pregnant right now, and my DH has agreed to that, but I was terribly ill right through pregnancy and haven't recovered yet. So we would need lots of support in place before doing it again.

I come from a big family with lots of short gaps (one 15 month gap, two 17/18 month gaps). I think from the point of view of the children it's nice, you are very close and can play together.

oops13 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:38:01

Thank you all for all your positive experiences and advice. It has helped to put things in perspective. I think I just panicked initially. Everything seems more manageable now, even though I know it will be really hard at times.

kalidasa you make a good point about how I felt in my last pregnancy. Luckily I didn't suffer too much morning sickness and despite horrendous hip and back pain and weeks of insomnia, I did manage to work as a PE teacher until 36 weeks...not bad going. I feel my body has largely recovered after a pretty difficult birth and I have already returned to work.

Thank you for your support and kind wishes. smile

ldt87 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:55:17

Oops13, I'm really happy that the initial panic has died down and you feel better about things.

It is hard sometimes, but I found it less difficult than friends who had 3 year plus age gaps because they had got so used to only having one that they really got a shock going back to the baby stage at the same time as nursery or school runs etc.

Despite the difficult bits you will be giving your child a close sibling to grow up with and play with, there will be much less jealously than if you waited longer too.

Congratulations xx

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