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bad experience with first child - any one else feel the same?

(8 Posts)
RohansMummy Fri 07-Oct-11 14:24:03

I've been feeling alot of guilt because I don't feel I can cope with a second child. I had a very bad experience with my first:

-birth: baby was back to back and got stuck. Almost ended up with emergency c-section but in the end had forceps delivery resulting in 3rd degree tear and lost 1L of blood. Hospital made no check for blood-loss anaemia.

-the first 3 months were horrendous - baby cried constantly (hubby and I had to do tag team sleeping ...) and would not breast feed properly - I was in pain and baby would not latch on properly. He lost almost a pound in the first week and I was then told that I had to bottle feed him and if he hadn`t gained 5oz in 4 days then he would be taken into hospital. This made me feel like a complete failure. I then decided to express, so in any 3 hour period I would feed and change son for 15-30 mins and then express for 30-45 mins and then eat/sleep/do anything else that needed doing. This was exhausting. At 6 weeks after lots of dizziness, doctors decided to check for blood-loss anaemia - yep, I had it. At the same time I was suffering from postnatal depression. I am still battling with it on and off 2 and a half years later. To be honest, I have only really properly bonded with my son in the last 6 months. Now I would not be without him. The thing is that I am still really struggling - we aren't able to get much family support so we are pretty much on our own. We struggle to get simple things like housework done and very rarely get any time to ourselves because we haven't really got a support network.

My husband is extremely keen for us to have another child but doesn't feel he can really give me any more help with childcare/house because he is now retraining as a teacher and has a massive workload. He feels that we are letting our son down by making him an only child. I am desperate for some time to myself and am only just coping. Therefore I feel I couldn't possibly cope with another child, especially if I was likely to have a similar experience to last time. I also do not feel it would be fair on my son to have another child and risk sliding back into depression - no-one would be happy. Also, I'm 36 and a half so haven't got long left to provide a sibling for my son.

Has anyone else had a similar experience and similar views? Any support would be gratefully received as I feel really guilty and hearing other's experiences might help me validate my own feelings!

thanks :-)

mistlethrush Fri 07-Oct-11 14:31:43

I've given up trying for another child- its not worth the heartache.

I would do the same again though - if I could - despite birth problems - got stuck, gave up with forceps and had a emcs. No sleep in hospital on night 3 due to loud patient and relatives then colic kicking in. Colic nightmares - we tag-teamed until we got colic sorted - a bad night started at 7pm and finished at 5am. I did bf - that was the one thing that actually went according to my birth plan. Didn't mean it didn't hurt though. Did I get anything done in the house in teh first 6 months - no. And yet I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

DS would be a lovely older brother. However, its not to be. No, I'm not letting him down - he can borrow friends siblings when he wants to (!) and he can bask in the benefits of being an only child - I only have to listen to him read, I only need to put him to bed, I can let him do classes out of school, and we can go on slightly better holidays because we can afford it.

'my husband's very keen... but can't give me any more help' - parenthood is a partnership. If you're not both prepared to put something into it (ie not just you) it is clearly not important enough for the other person.

Rogers1 Mon 10-Oct-11 21:06:04

I can relate to your hesitation...yet still longing for a sibling for your DS.
My labour was hassle free but I suffered sever blood loss afterwards & developed dysfunctional uterine bleeding til my DS (now 15 months) was 1 year. The synthetic hormones made me a hormonal, over-protective & often snappy mummy (the guilt of being so poorly for my DS first year is still so hard to deal with). My DH would love another baby...I am like you in both longing to have a baby yet worried of the after-math. I feel I need to 'make-up' for those 12 months before I consider another baby.
It's great that you and your DS have now sound like you have done so well to get where you have.
Do you have any etc that could reassure you?

LostInTransylvania Mon 10-Oct-11 21:22:09

I also don't think I would be able to cope with another dc. I do see DS playing with his cousin and think he would like a sibling, and then she grabs his stuff and pushes him and I think he will be fine as an only one! It is hard and I think about it almost everyday but I think that it's mainly down to those bloody hormones trying to make me broody again. I think your DH is being very unfair in pressurising you to have another especially if he isn't willing to help out. If it was the other way round and you wanted one and he didn't you wouldn't tell him you expected him to do all the work because you were busy! It's a huge decision and most of the effort is on your part so if you aren't sure you need to think about it and the impact it will have on your life some more.

Romilly70 Mon 10-Oct-11 21:30:56

OP, don't make a decision either way just yet. you may think 36 is "old", but i conceived my DS at 39 and gave birth at 40. spend a bit more time with him and see how your DH's new job pans out. when he is more established and your DS is at school, i would revisit the new baby question.

In the meantime, concentrate on getting yourself emotionally well, see if you can have some counselling and for now just enjoy your son

CMOTdibbler Wed 12-Oct-11 14:15:17

I think right now you need to concentrate on getting through the depression, and getting into a good place yourself, while completely leaving any thought of another baby out.

You aren't letting your son down by him not having a sibling, and the question should be whether you want a baby for you and dh, not providing a sibling for ds. He'll be happy whatever happens, but don't let pressure to give him a sibling do something you don't want, and which might be incredibly hard for you.

WTFlike Wed 12-Oct-11 14:18:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RohansMummy Sun 16-Oct-11 09:32:44

thanks, ladies - it`s so reassuring to have your support and start to believe that I'm not a wicked, selfish freak! I'm finding things particularly hard because all of DS's young friends have either got a sibling or have another on the way ... but I keep telling myself that it would actually be unfair on him to have another if I'm not in the right mental place for it - it could really have a detrimental effect on him.

<tongue in cheek:> It's not helping that DS has really hit the "terrible twos" now too ;-)

thanks again :-)

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