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Sad about larger age gap after MMC

(19 Posts)
Virgo9 Sun 27-Apr-14 16:39:55

This is trivial in the grand scheme of things, as I am blessed to have DS, but it is something that is really bothering me and getting me down.
After over a year of trying for DC2, I had a MMC last month.
DS is now 3.5ys old, whilst trying for DC2 I was always aware that age gap was getting bigger and bigger. Now after initial devastation of losing DC2 and the overwhelming sadness has lessened I have become obsessed with the age gap issue, I feel I have let DS down and that I can not provide him a sibling to play with.
He has started asking about babies and is becoming aware of brothers and sisters, all his friends have them and it breaks my heart that I failed to provide him this. I am not ready to start trying again yet as the pain of the MC is still so raw.
Anyone else feel this or am I being ridiculous?

Misfitless Sun 27-Apr-14 23:17:13

Sorry to hear about MMC Virgo.

I used to feel the same about the age gap and know exactly what you mean.

You certainly haven't let your DS down, be kind to yourself and take all the time you need.

There is an almost 9 year gap between my DD1 and DS. If I could have chosen an ideal age gap, this would not have been it, but I think there are advantages to bigger age gaps just as there are advantages to smaller age gaps.

I wouldn't change it for the world now. In my DCs school there are several children who don't have any siblings, and several more who have huge age gaps (even bigger than mine in some cases).

I'm not suggesting that you will have a big age gap, just that it is not as unusual as you think, and is not a bad thing if it is bigger than you had hoped.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 28-Apr-14 08:22:54

I know exactly how you feel as I can see myself heading this way. I wanted my dc1 and 2 really close in age (it would be my dp's dc2 and 3). However having just having had an early miscarriage, if I dont fall pregnant this month the age gap will be more than two years and I keep feeling sick at the thought of it and in such a panic to get pregnant. I literally see the age gap growing each passing day and panic that every bfn adds another month on. I experience the same feelings as you as my own mum had three dcs under 3.4yrs and I wanted similar for my dcs as we had a great time as kids. I feel so guilty every time I look at my DS.

However, my ds has a big brother who is 8 years older than him (my dss) and who doesn't live with us and he is his favourite person in the World. He goes round the house shouting his name even when he is not here, he is the first person he looks for in the morning, and they play together all the time. So although it is not what I would have chosen, I have a regular reminder that big age gaps can work and it isnt the end of the World - they won't grow up with the lonely childhood you imagine!

I think they work because the older child is old enough to understand the needs of a smaller child and can appreciate the cute and funny things a toddler does. There is also less competition for attention as they are at such different stages.

It also means youll have little ones around for longer! My dsil is currently pg with #2 and will have a 20 mo age gap. We were pregnant with our first together so I do sometimes feel pangs of jealousy and sadness, but this will be her last dc so I find that it helps to remind myself that at least I will (hopefully be blessed enough to) have lots to look forward to and babies around for a few more years to come!

CrispyFern Mon 28-Apr-14 08:35:06

I would guess a lot of people feel similarly.

If their relationship broke down. Or if they lost their job and couldn't finance another child for a time. If they became ill or were bereaved or had other caring responsibilities for a time.
My DC have a six year gap for one of those reasons and I do occasionally feel guilty because they can't play together in the way I would have liked them to.
But - if I'd had them at different times, they wouldn't be my DC, so you have to look at it that way I suppose! Be happy you have the DC you are lucky to have!

Ratfinkle Mon 28-Apr-14 10:04:33

OP I could have written your post two years ago. In fact, I had to check the name and date to make sure it wasn't one that I had forgotten writing!

I had a MMC at 12 weeks after trying for a year, when DS was just coming up to 3. I had that panicky feeling that getting pg was completely out of my control and that poor DS was getting older and older without a sibling. I didn't know when or if I would be able to have another child and the not knowing made me even more panicky.

I didn't get pregnant again for another year and then had another MC (I have pcos which may explain our fertility issues). All that time I worried and panicked about the age gap. But DS was blissfully unaware! His life went on as normal, he went to nursery, made friends, had a baby cousin to pour love and affection on. He is the apple of his grandparents eye and he got full attention from us. When he started school in September, I was able to give him my full attention.

Just as he started school, I found out I was pg and this one stuck! I am due on Saturday so fingers crossed all will be well.

It turns out that there are lots of reasons why getting pregnant when you have a four year old is actually pretty good! I don't find being pregnant easy and so it has been a godsend having DS at school because I get to have two days to myself (I work PT). This last few weeks on mat leave I have been pottering about enjoying my last few days of freedom like when I had DS. DS is fully aware and excited about having a baby brother or sister. He loves telling people he is going to be a big brother and I am less worried about the impact on him than if he was a toddler. I have friends with kids that have smaller age gaps and although they wouldn't change it for the world, they tell me that it ain't easy having two little ones! My big nearly five year old is now able to dress himself, entertain himself, get his own shoes on, swim on his own, ride a bike.... All things that will keep him busy whilst I grapple with a newborn!

What I am trying to demonstrate is that although the age gap issue may seem like a massive deal at the moment, it hopefully won't always. I think personally it was something that I fixated on unnecessarily -is it called projecting or something? I worried about that when really I was worrying about the wider issue of the miscarriages and not being able to get pregnant.

I am really happy that things have turned out as they have for us so far, I can see the positives now in a bigger gap and am grateful that the baby we have coming now is here at all.

There is a six year age gap between me and my sister and although we didn't exactly see eye to eye all the time when growing up, (which siblings do?) we always had a very strong sibling bond and are now absolutely the best of friends. As people so often say, it's the personality that counts and not the age gap.

Good luck with trying again when you're ready, I really hope that in a few months time you are able to write a similar post to mine telling someone else that in all probability things will turn out fine!

Virgo9 Mon 28-Apr-14 19:06:46

Thank you for the replies it is good to know others have felt the same and I'm not being totally ridiculous.

Ratfinkle congratulations and I hope everything goes well for you.
I also have pcos and therefore I am worried that getting pregnant again will take a very long time, I am also worried about getting pregnant again and having another MC, I don't think I would be able to cope with that.
There is 4yrs between me and my middle sister and 6yrs between me and my youngest sister. Growing up I always felt they were closer as shared common things because they were closer in age. As adults the age doesn't matter we are all very close to each other. I wanted my DC to have a closeness but guess it is personality that matters more then age.

I too hope that one day I can give someone else the reassurance you have given me. Thank you

Ratfinkle Tue 29-Apr-14 12:36:34

The thing that I believe made the difference to my pcos was changing my diet. I cut out sugar and went on a low GI diet for four months. I saw a nutritionist who advised me what to eat. By the end of the four months I was pregnant. (And then couldn't stomach anything remotely healthy due to MS!)

I don't know if the diet is what did the trick, luck, or the fact that I had something to focus on and therefore was less stressed but it was certainly worth the effort. And got the added bonus of losing weight!

Might be worth a try?

Ratfinkle Tue 29-Apr-14 12:39:38

Ps I worried about having a second MC too, it was horrible but I coped because you have to - and it also made me determined to do something positive, hence the change in diet. I felt like I needed to be in control of something if not getting pregnant.

MistyMeena Tue 29-Apr-14 12:40:16

Larger age gaps can work really well. I had exactly the same situation MMC when DS was 3. Took a further 6 months to conceive, DS was 4yrs 4m when DD was born. I was worried as largish gap, opposite gender, what could they have in common? DD is 5 now and the honestly get on like a house on fire!

marshmallowpies Tue 29-Apr-14 13:35:53

My DD has just turned two, and my ideal age gap between children was 2.5-3 years. I got pregnant in feb which gave us a gap of 2.5 years, perfect. That pregnancy ended in week 9.

We are now starting TTC again, and I just don't know what to do if I don't fall pregnant again soon (I've got pregnant at first attempt both times, so I am not used to having to 'try', it happened so easily first time).

I grew up with a brother 4.5 years older and whilst at that age, we are slightly different generations (he was already at school when I was born, etc) we are very close as adults and live near each other.

So I'd have no problem with an age gap that big if it came to it - but DH is 39, I'm 37, we don't want to delay any further. Now I wonder what would have happened if we'd started TTC sooner, and had a smaller age gap. I wonder if I will always feel a bit guilty we didn't start sooner, for the sake of giving DD a sibling, but I really didn't want an age gap of 2 years or less, I just didn't think I could cope.

Most people I know are having 2nd babies exactly 2 years apart, though, and I feel suddenly like I'm the only one who isn't.

33goingon64 Wed 30-Apr-14 10:33:24

DH and I were just talking about this yesterday. I am miscarrying as I type, and DS is 3. We had thought we'd go for a 3 yr gap but we didn't have the best relationship at the time we would have been TTC. When things improved we tried for 3 months and got pg. The strange thing is that despite the sadness and concerns about age gap, the loss has made me feel even more in love with DS and optimistic about the thought of life with 'just' him if it comes to that. I don't know at this point whether we will try again but this thread has helped me feel more positive about a bigger age gap.

ShoeWhore Wed 30-Apr-14 10:56:16

Virgo I am so sorry to hear about your mmc. Do be kind to yourself, it is still pretty early days.

I think your feelings are totally understandable but please try and remember that you have done nothing to let your ds down.

The only other thing I would say is that happy families come in all shapes and sizes. Dh is much closer to his db (8 years gap) than his dsis (2 years gap). I think there are pros and cons to all age gaps tbh.

Do take care.

Chottie Wed 30-Apr-14 11:02:33

I have a 4.5 year gap between my two DCs (3 MCs) and it is just fine. They are now adults and are really, really close.

threepiecesuite Wed 30-Apr-14 11:07:03

I have a dd who is 4.3 and we've been ttc #2 for 2.5 years. I feel so sad about her being an only and I hope it happens for us one day x

littlepeas Wed 30-Apr-14 11:41:10

I am worrying about this too - I have 3dc already and they are very close in age - we decided to have a 4th, but waited quite a lot longer this time. I fell pregnant straightaway, the gap would have been 3yrs 3 months between dc3 and dc4, but I miscarried at 9 weeks.

I feel like I want some time before trying again, but the gap is widening and widening and will be minimum 3 and a half years now, if we start straightaway, fall pregnant straightaway and everything goes well. I am worried that my dc are like a little gang and a 4th will feel left out forever. My cycles have changed since having dc3 and I am worried that I now have an issue that may result in further miscarriages. I now have to face the decision of whether to try again or not - stick or twist, as my dh put it. A week ago I had a baby in my future and now I'm not sure I do.

marshmallowpies Wed 30-Apr-14 13:25:05

33 I know exactly what you mean. The experience of having a MC has made me so overwhelmingly grateful that I have DD.

She has been such a joy to us and such a comfort to DH and I as we were getting over the MC, she'll never know how much it helped us!

But it leaves me with a bit of a dilemma - it makes me want to give her a sibling even more than before, as I know she'll love it (she adores babies), but neither do I want to put more strain and unhappiness on us as a family as a whole. It's very tricky.

jimijack Wed 30-Apr-14 13:34:44

like you said, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter.

I had 7 miscarriages between my two. There is a 10 year gap.

All is well, 2 happy healthy kids, that's what matters to Me.

sleepyhead Wed 30-Apr-14 13:41:33

I'm so sorry for your loss sad

I've not had a pregnancy loss, but we struggled to conceive dc2 and ended up with a 6.5yr gap rather than the 3years we'd planned, back when we blithely thought you could plan these things.

I still get a little wistful occasionally for the closer in age playmate ds1 will never have. Sometimes it feels like there should be someone else there. Like I should have a 7yr old, a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old (although we wouldn't have had 3 in any likelihood).

However, ds2 is marvellous grin Ds1 adores him as do all his friends. Ds2 worships his big brother.

I also have several friends who are very close to their siblings despite a similar or bigger age gap. And I have to say that the age gap has made going from one to two and absolute breeze.

Be gentle with yourself and give yourself all the time you need.

Catlover2014 Sat 03-May-14 16:33:47

Hi Virgo9,

So sorry you're going through this and don't say it's not a big deal because it's how you feel and that matters.

I just wanted to post to say me and my brother have a 7 year age gap and we are best friends. I love him more than anyone in the world, I always have and always will. We have great memories of our childhood together and when my parents had a rocky time he was a rock to me. I guess the age ago enabled that.

I can only say that I would so dearly love to have a child of my own but my battle with miscarriage and infertility has preventer me so far.

If you can just enjoy ds for now and his sibbling will soon be here to bless your family I'm sure!

Hugs and stuff xxxx

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