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am totally confused about whether to have another baby or not...help!

(13 Posts)
storminateacup10 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:01:03

Sorry for adding a thread which has probably already been thrashed out many times before, but am quite new to MN and have also read loads of the other threads around this issue...but still unsure what to do.
Have DD 0f 3.5 and have just moved to small 2 bed house in a great area near good nursery and primary, after much struggling to get here from crap area...took 2.5 years out to care for DD as was self-employed and couldn't stretch to childcare until she started at nursery and now has 25 free hrs a week. Have just retrained as baby massage instructor and am looking for work locally too...
I have a great sis 6 yrs my junior whom I adore and couldn't imagine life without. DH has sister abroad with whom he has practically nothing in common (18 mnths apart) and with whom he fought like cat and dog. Still do...
We are just now starting to settle into our new place and live in a fab little street where everyone is so friendly and all the kids run around on the pavements together- like a village, but still in London- it's amazing and never had that anywhere in London before.
I think DD would benefit so much from a sibling, but the thought of another pregnancy and the first year fills me with some dread, I must admit...DD was an easy baby, but I am not getting any younger, my new career hasn't even started yet, we don't have much space, and I had a horrible experience giving birth thanks to shit NHS policies in that particular hospital.
Am completely torn whether to do it all again or not- or keep our little family of 3 as it is...would I be letting my DD down if she remained a single child? Would I be too stressed and tired to have another at 40 and rock our status quo too much? I can't help thinking I am making excuses and it's not in my heart to have a 2nd (except the pressure from society to have one) but just when i think I have reached that decision, I seem to wobble and change my mind again...don't just want to have another baby because "it's for my DD", but also because I actually want one- can't make up my mind!!! DH happy either way, as his sibling relationship is bad anyway.
Any thoughts you may have I'd love to hear them :-) thanks.

Newbie20 Mon 04-Jul-11 07:42:52

There is nothing wrong with just having one child it does not mean that they will grow up wrong or anything like that I have a big family as my parents both remarried when I was just a baby and though I love all my brothers and sisters I sometimes wished there were less of us so that parents could spend more time with self. If you want a baby habe one and have a home birth instead of a hospital birth. Don't let the one bad experience you had put you off having a better one this time round if you decide to have a child

BikeRunSki Mon 04-Jul-11 08:09:00

Hi Storminateacup I could have written your post a few months ago, except we already live in a lovley street. Small house though. I used to lurk on this board and really struggled with the "should we/shouldn't we" issues.

I am 40, DS will be 3 in September. I have 3 siblings who I could not imagine not having. DH has 1 brother than he is not really very close to. I was 37 when I had DS. Yes, I was building a career, but we did not really want children until then (DH is 5 years younger than me). Our life was quite happily attuned to 2. I'd got to a point where I was working; sleeping; getting out in the hills a bit a week ends and starting over and thinking there must be more to life (much as I love hill walking and mountain biking). Then a small incident made DH realise that he wanted a DC. DS was born 10 months later! Very quickly our life became perfectly attuned to three.....!

When DS was approaching 2, I really began to want another DC.This despite a horrible PG with DS - hospitalised 4 times with hyperemisis and emCS, followed by a week in hospital.

I can't be sure whether in wanted another DC for DS or for me, but I didn't want him to be an only child of older parents. None of my siblings live nearby/in this country, so he has no close relationship with his cousins. I can't really explain it, other than saying to DH "I don't want to be 50 and playing football on the beach because he has no one else". I tried to imagine what I'd say when he asked why he didn't have any siblings, and could not come up with any truly satisfactory answers - all seemed to be short term or short sighted.

DH is not great about talking about his feelings, but shortly after this we had a very surreal conversation about IF we had another DC, then where would it sleep.... , which I took as agreement to TTC....then we ran out of condoms, and decided to see what happened. DC2 (a DD!) is due in OCtober. We've sold our 3 seater van, got an estate car and are preparing our life for 4.... DH is delighted! I appreciate that we are very lucky that we have conceived very quickly both times despite my advanced years, and a lady in her late 30s/early 40s could have a very different tale to tell.

So that is my story. I think what I am trying to say is that my decision to TTC a 2nd DC was based purely on instinct, and faith that the practicalities will sort themselves out.

Good luck with whatever you decide, you have all my support and sympathy that it's not easy is it?.

dontforget2scream Mon 04-Jul-11 09:49:03

No advice to give I'm afraid, but just wanted to say I think I understand how you feel. I am struggling to decide whether or not I want another DC too. DD is now 4.5yrs and I have probably thought about this question at some point every day for the last 2 years or so.

I am completely torn too and feel mentally 'stuck'. I keep thinking that for my own sanity I need to make a decision and stick to it but I too wobble back and fro. When I think I've decided that our family is complete as it is, I find myself dreaming about baby names and crying at the thought of never raising another little person. Yet, when I think I've decided I'd like to ttc, I start to seriously worry about all the negative implications of that decision for DD, DP and myself.

I think I have over thought this issue so much that any instincts I may have once had have been wiped out.

Like you, my career and space is a major consideration. I have been a SAHM since DD was born and my career break is soon to expire. In reality now is my last chance to get my former career back on track. We recently moved to a new house, in a nice area, that fits our family of three but would be quite cramped with another child. Our previous place was tiny and I found living on top of each other very demoralising.

I have six siblings and absolutely adore my big sister. She is an important part of my life and hate to think I'm denying DD that. DP, on the other hand, probably wouldn't even notice if he never saw his only sister again.

My DP says he is 60% against having another as opposed to "happy either way" but there is still that 40%... I get so annoyed with him as I feel that this is a decision we should make together but I always feel the weight of the decision ends up on my shoulders. Rationally I know it is bonkers, but it feels like the future happiness of the three of us (potentially four of us) rests on making the 'right' decision.

I am watching this thread with interest and wishing you all the best with your decision.

EmmaNicole Mon 04-Jul-11 21:15:06

I'm glad to see this thread as I too lurk around this board to see if anybody else struggles with the decision to have another DC. I too wrestle with the pros & cons every day and keep going round in circles. My DD is 2, I'm 38 and feel as though I need to make a decision soon. DH is happy as we are but when probed he does say he thinks it would be a good idea to have another...but then says he worries if we could cope...and round and round we go!! It doesn't help that we are moving to France in 6 weeks and I will lose all the help I currently get from grandparents. And I'm scared at the thought of being in a foreign country with 2 DCs and no help. I envy those people who seem to be so sure about having another and just get on with it....but then I look at the pressure of having more than 1 and think...thank goodness that's not me. And I went mad and sold all my baby items on e bay so would have to buy everything again!!!

storminateacup10 Mon 04-Jul-11 22:16:15

newbie20 thank you- yes, I should be brave and not let a past horrible birth experience cloud my vision, it's true...have even considered going private and wiping out all my savings overnight just to avoid any bullying at the hands of NHS hospital again...think I would want an epidural though, as the pain from the first birth still makes me feel sick if I think about it...which kind of rules out a home birth, I suppose.
bikerunski "all seemed to be short term or short sighted" I completely agree with you there- I feel I am making endless lists of excuses out of pure selfishness...many congratulations on DD in October by the way and yes, you are right- instinct is so crucial- it's strange though how pressure I have managed to put on myself over the past year seems to have cancelled out much of my instinct overnight! thanks for writing such a long post :-)
dontforgettoscream YES!!! what started out as a simple question "shall we have another child?" has now become almost an obsession! I too ask myself this every day and am no closer to finding an answer- today I think I actually changed my mind again twice. Hormonal times of the month don't help to keep a straight and rational head on my shoulders though :-)...am now post-period and feeling far more wobbly than I ought to.
DD probably will never know what she missed out on if she remains a singleton...but I don't know whether I could justify my decision based on finances/size of house/current levels of energy/advanced age!
I feel I ought to make a decision I shall not regret- that's the main thing. Almost want to just stop thinking about the damn subject, give up all contraception and "see what happens"- then, if body is too old and dried -up, at least I know nature has drawn the line under it rather than me- bit of a cop out though?
emmanicole that so made me laugh out loud :-) as I am a serious ebayer and have been systematically vacuuming packing and storing DD clothes in every conceivable space both here and at my poor parents' for 3 years now- when I thought I had decided for certain not to have any more children, the ebay part of my brain actually screamed "nooooo! You'll be sorting, photographing and pricing up clothes for weeks now!" Blimey though- moving to France? that is huge, especially as the grandparents are not joining you...i relied so much on my parents when DD was tiny and they still feature heavily in her life, seeing her every week or so...they both still work but manage to take her twice a month usually and she loves going "on holiday" to their house and packing her Trunki case :-)
I envy people who can come to such a quick decision too- but then again, I have also asked myself over the past few months how serious some of those decisions were- some people really seem driven just by the desire to 'tick a box' - get good job---get nice house---get great bloke---have 2 kids---tick...because for some bizarre reason having 2 rather than 1 still appears more socially acceptable. doesn't it?
after reading some interesting posts on another MN thread last night, I found this article, which was , if nothing, very interesting:

www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/mar/15/single-child-families

can I just thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts? i feel like I am not alone out here any more and not going insane either :-)
funny how we are all around 40 too- wonder if that's got a lot to do with it too...
will be back on here as soon as I have stopped being so bloody indecisive :-)

wompoopigeon Mon 04-Jul-11 22:31:23

I didn't feel pressure from society- indeed quite the opposite, as we live in a tiny flat so no-one expects us to have another, plus obviously my work don't want me to go off on mat leave!
A number of things helped me make my mind up to ttc #2, but chief among those is actually that DD (3.5 also) started asking repeatedly for a sibling. Has yours expressed a view either way? I know that's not a good enough reason on its own (she wants a five foot stuffed giraffe too) but it did tip the balance somewhat.

wompoopigeon Mon 04-Jul-11 22:33:40

I should add that I think we make a very nice family of three, and if this pg doesn't lead to a sibling... I can see happiness as a one child family too.

storminateacup10 Mon 04-Jul-11 22:40:32

woomoo no, DD hasn't ever expressed a view unless asked directly- though the past few weeks she has been more aware of the fact other kids in her nursery have siblings, whereas she knows she hasn't.
when asked today whether she'd like a brother or a sister some day, she looked very thoughtful and came up with "I'd like a baby sister and a baby cat"- same thing she has said for the past 6 months.
guess I am stupidly stealthily trying to gauge an opinion when she may not have one- yet. easier is she had! I do agree with you that I count my blessings that I even have one DD- especially when I see the heartache some of my friends have been through after rounds of unsuccessful IVF...
I think we make a great little family of 3 and would be quite happy with the status quo, I think, if nature dealt me that particular hand....but there is always the lingering "what if"...

MindySimmons Tue 05-Jul-11 13:41:39

I slightly different view I think from others so far but I'm not sure having another dc to provide a sibling for your dd or ds is enough of a reason. I too have worried about not giving dd a sibling and the fact that we are the only family of 3 I know, but I just don't have the yearning for another child. Yes, I've had wobbles and felt guilty for being broody, which now I realise is totally insane! I adore my older sister, but she is 16 years older than me. I also have 2 other sisters, both that i don't see very much and we just are not close.

In my heart, I know I am probably the best mummy I can be with 1 - that's not to say that I don't worry sometimes but as dd is approaching 5, the chances of providing a close playmate diminish anyway and I revel in the lovely life the 3 of us have together.

Llanarth Tue 05-Jul-11 16:01:22

Hi everyone, another over-analyzer here, spending far too much time worrying that I might regret not having another, rather than getting on with enjoying the fabulous family I have.

My situation is slightly complicated by fertility issues (in that it would take a lot of effort, although probably not insurmountable, to have another), but one thing that really helped me was realising that I needed to work on coming to terms with the fact that I don't actually want another child. I have trouble accepting this as I feel it must make me 'less' of a mum, or less maternal than those who want lots of babies, or that it suggests to others that I don't like being a mother, or regret having my DS. None of these things are true - I love being a full-time mum to my DS, and think I'm pretty good at it! I also know I wouldn't be such a good mum if I had more than one.

I know its tempting, but I'm not sure how helpful it is to ask a DC about whether they would like a sibling at a young age. If you asked the question "Would you always like to have mummy and daddy to yourself and not have to share them with anyone else?" most preschoolers would say 'yes' but equally I wouldn't take that as the deciding factor that you should not try for a sibling! I think if you want another child, for it's own sake, then that is great, but if you don't, there is nothing wrong with being a one-child family!

MindySimmons Wed 06-Jul-11 10:23:15

Totally agree with Llanarth - esp on asking children, it is tempting but in the end, it is your decision, not theirs. If I asked dd she would say yes, she would love a little sister, but that is on the basis that she will have an instant playmate and best friend who play all the games she wants to play all the time! Equally she would love a pony! I think sometimes we are so good at piling on the guilt that believing your child is being denied a heart felt wish is just another way of putting the pressure on and over analysing.

In the end, the responsibility lies with us and we have to do what we believe is right for everyone in the family. That is in no way selfish, it's understanding that everyone's happiness and well being is important. A happy vibrant loving home is what's important and they come in all sizes!

storminateacup10 Wed 06-Jul-11 12:11:22

you are all very wise smile thank you x

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