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Grieving over not having a second child

(110 Posts)
GreenFingeredGoddess Fri 01-Mar-13 10:50:37

I'm 44. For years I only wanted one. We went round and round in circles trying to decide whether to have another and decided we were happy as we were. I just couldn't face having another baby as I found it so hard the first time around.

I don't know why, but in my heart I always thought another one might come along or I would suddenly feel at peace with my decision. I never have.

It plays on my mind all the time. I talk to friends about it, I obsess about having only one and how many children other people have, it goes around in my head all the time.

DS is now 8 and a half. I'm very old to be thinking about another. DH does not want another. It would be hard but I can't STOP thinking about it.

I know it could be that I'm probably too old now and it's suddenly hit me, I just don't know. I just want all the thoughts to stop-they are driving me mad! I have had counselling but it didn't really help. I was just told to deal with it or try for another basically.

Can anyone relate and how did you cope?

PasstheStarmix Mon 01-Jan-18 23:29:47

sunshine546 That's great news smile I think you're doing the right thing. If it happens it happens and if not than it's not meant to be; you will have no regrets either way. Better to have tried than to be left wondering what if. My work colleague had both her dc in her early 40's; both healthy and full term pregnancies. I think the horror stories put people off as they're mainly all we hear because nobody shares the positives. My work college is also very young for her age and fit and healthy; she's fitter than a lot of younger women I know. Good luck flowers

sunshine546 Mon 01-Jan-18 23:20:40

So I don't know if it's something to do with new year and new beginnings thing but today I have woken up with a feeling that we definitely should try and see what happens. If it doesn't happen so be it.

One of the things that helped was reading an old thread where op was worried how she could possibly love another child as much as her dc. I feel like this and everyone on the thread says you just have enough love. I was watching ds today and thinking if we had another and I felt like I do about ds about them that would be amazing

I know I could be opening myself up to miscarriage and disability risks but I think I need to try and not focus on all the negatives

Spoke to dh who didn't run off in a blind panic so that's a good thing! We are both a bit tired and hungover today so decided we'd discuss it again tomorrow night

Thanks starmix for your thoughts!

PasstheStarmix Mon 01-Jan-18 15:19:02

Happy New Year sunshine546 smile and good luck flowers

sunshine546 Mon 01-Jan-18 13:26:52

Happy new year passthestarmix .. yes I think I need to speak to dh again and see what his thoughts are

PasstheStarmix Sun 31-Dec-17 09:32:01


PasstheStarmix Sun 31-Dec-17 08:54:32

I feel your pain sunshine, it's such a tough decision. I have 10 month old ds and i haven't enjoyed the baby stage. I love him more than life itself but he has been a difficult baby. I'm not sure if I want a second but know dh does. Some days I do and other days I don't know if I can go through it all again. However I think the end result will be worth it for say a year of tough times and may decide to try again when ds is a little older. I think once I've caught up on sleep and rested a little I may come around to th idea of a second. I've found the sleep deprivation so hard to deal with and can imagine as I get older it'll only become harder. I think I'd have coped with it much easier if I'd been in my 20's and not my 30's. However I do know women in their forties who have more energy than I do in my thirties so it really is such a personal choice. If you feel fit enough than why not? You know what you're in for yes but you also know it does get easier with time and that the difficult phase will pass.
I think the question you and your dh need to ask yourself is are you prepared to go through is all again to get to the end result? Would the end result be worth it for you personally? Maybe you could let nature take its cause and give it say a year and if it doesn't happen think it's not meant to be and don't ever look back.

sunshine546 Sat 30-Dec-17 23:40:05

Hi passthestarmix

I'm 41 .. ds is 5

The problem is I don't know if it is what I want and that's why I haven't done anything about it and have spent the last three years deciding and undeciding .. dh is equally indecisive as we found the first few years with ds v hard and weren't keen to go back to that again .. no family nearby , both demanding jobs etc. All my friends went on to have seconds and I just kept pushing back the deadline to decide. Now ds is older it's much easier so I've started to think we could try and see what happens but equally it's even harder now to contemplate nappies and sleepless nights..

The problem is at 41 it really is crunch time .. it may be too late already .. if we do try I am worried about mcs and health issues but if we don't I worry that I will feel like op and regret it in a few years ....

PasstheStarmix Sat 30-Dec-17 21:56:50


PasstheStarmix Sat 30-Dec-17 21:56:38

@sunshine546 would it definitely be too late for you? Would your dh come around to ththe idea? It seems a shame if it's been what you've wanted. I've heard of loads of women having babies alittle later and it works for them.

sunshine546 Sat 30-Dec-17 21:43:45

Thanks for your post yellow

Good to hear time is a healer. I gave gone back and forth on a decision for 3 years and now I think it's prob too late ...dh not really into having another otherwise I think I would have been persuaded

I do feel a bit like I've dithered my way into this decision rather than consciously making it though which I'm annoyed with myself about

Yellow10 Sat 30-Dec-17 15:53:07

I’ve spent the last 6 years wanting a second. My dd is 7.5. For years my husband kept giving excuses (new job, moving house, nursery costs etc). It got to a point 3.5 years ago that I forced an awful conversation about it (having got a new job, moved house and dd was about to start school). Result was I’ve been left with a broken heart. My husband admitted he didn’t want any more and I was devastated that he had lead me on for a few years. He had his reasons which I understood but to me they weren’t good enough and it broke my heart that he chose his view over mine when he knew what it meant to me. Having a second wouldn’t have caused him as much pain as not having another has caused me.

We’re now 3.5 years post this conversation and I still resent him for it and will never truly forgive him. He broke my heart and whilst it’s now healed it took until about a year ago for me to feel less angry about it all. We’re still together and I still love him dearly but if I’m being honest I don’t love him how I used too. He made it clear who was most important in our relationship and really didn’t seem to care how much his decision hurt me. That doesn’t heal.

I’ve spent a few years grieving for the additional children I’ll never have. I can’t stand to listen to others talk about their second pregnancies and have to fake interest in them. It just hurts too much. I’ve even pulled away from some friends because of it because I feel so upset over what I couldn’t have.

I’m a lot better now, and I love my family and all the things we can do - holidays, eating out, financially secure, both have very successful careers and can provide opportunities for our dd. The grief will never fully go away but you have to learn to really appreciate what you have and enjoy life. A second may not be as rosey as you would hope....

Children don’t always get on with their siblings and having just one allows you to truly dedicate your family time to them. No arguments over playing etc!! My dd has lots of friends and is a beautiful and mature little girl. Yes she would have loved a sibling but as she gets older the attraction to her of a sibling is decreasing as the age gap would be greater.

Thinking of all of you in the same boat.

Make the most of what you have and enjoy life. Grieve but then allow yourself to move on.

sunshine546 Sat 30-Dec-17 09:59:37

I would like to hear from op too ..

PasstheStarmix Fri 29-Dec-17 17:08:26

I think it would be interesting to hear from OP to see how she is doing now and if feelings have changed or if she went on to have another. I think this could help others.

PasstheStarmix Fri 29-Dec-17 17:06:24

Ignore me this is an old thread I just realised!!!

PasstheStarmix Fri 29-Dec-17 16:59:33

only just

PasstheStarmix Fri 29-Dec-17 16:58:51

I'm so sorry you're going through this @GreenFingeredGoddess I agree with the previous poster and wonder is it really too late for you to possibly try even if like Penny said you give it a time limit?

I'm 32 with 10 month old baby and I'm so traumatised by my first experience that I don't know if I want a second. Things are not just starting to get better little by little. DS doesn't have any cousins though so this is a major issue. I'm going to see how I feel next year. flowers

malteser17 Wed 27-Dec-17 15:22:13

Many of these sentiments resonate with me as well. I'm 46 and have a gorgeous 4, nearly 5, year old boy. (my miracle baby as the doctors told me I would have very little chance of conceiving naturally due to high FSH and low AMH hormone levels). Most of my parenting friends from the NCT group are a decade younger than me and all have had their second now. In addition, his two best friends from school are now big brothers to new baby sisters and he keeps asking me when he's going to get a baby as well :-( Aside from my age and the fact that I'm in the process of separating from my EA husband, my periods have almost stopped so the chances of having no. 2 are zero. I love my DS to bits but I can't help wondering what life would be like with a second child. I don't think I can foster as I work full time but I have been thinking about adoption (when everything is finalised on the separation of course). However I don't know if I should just be grateful that I have my DS and concentrate on loving him.

sunshine546 Tue 26-Dec-17 21:39:34

All of these feelings really resonate with me. I'm 41 think it's too late now and feel like I sleepwalked into this by not making a decision

inapickleoverthis Sat 09-Dec-17 18:55:01

How are you feeling now postage?

inapickleoverthis Fri 08-Dec-17 07:14:53

Thanks for sharing your feelings postage. Glad it's helped to write it down

I too feel a bit like I am letting a decision be made for me by not making one. I have been changing and unchanging my mind for 2 years at least. Ds is 5 I'm nearly 41.. think it's too late now but I do worry that I will not be able to stop thinking about what if .. when it's really too late

I can't imagine another baby now.. everything is so much easier as ds in school, our relationship is better, money, career etc and the reason we didn't want to before was because everything was so hard!

We haven't ttc because I am also petrified of miscarriages, disabilities or multiples

I wish I had a crystal ball so in 4 years time I could see whether I made the right decision or not

Postagestamppat Wed 06-Dec-17 07:53:46

I forgot to say, thank to the OP with her brave honesty. Her and subsequent posters made me realise that I am not alone and enabled me to say things that I would never have had the courage to articulate.

Postagestamppat Wed 06-Dec-17 07:34:52

Sorry. I was having a particularly bad day. But have calmed down now. Cathartic to get it off my chest. I hope all other posters are coming to terms with this. flowers

Postagestamppat Wed 06-Dec-17 06:16:13

I know that this is an old thread, but I recognise so many painful emotions in it.

I have one child (5) and yearn and grieve for a second. I am 42, nearly 43, and there is no way that we could conceive naturally. DD was from the result of fertility treatment. For years I have wanted a second child, but there was always some obstacle to going for ivf: cost, work, DH was happy with only one, moving, new job, etc. etc. etc.

Now, I feel that it is too late. I missed all that time when I should have just said "fuck it" and made it work. I kick myself mentally all the time, obsess about timing in the past.

But at the same time I am scared. Scared of miscarrying or having a stillbirth, not ever getting pregnant, spending all the money we have worked really hard to save for nothing, having a child with chromosomal abnormalities, the gossip of people about my age.

I despise myself for my lack of decisiveness years ago when I could have done something and my fears. I hate myself for not being happy with DD who is the most gorgeous little girl.

I can't cope with the idea that I may carrying on feeling like this for years. Every time I look at DD I just want another gorgeous child like her and then sad when I realise I can't and then guilty that I am smothering her with love.

I resent sister one because she is not a nice person and has two kids. I then feel guilty because sister two probably won't have any and she is the best person in the world. I try to be grateful when I think of my second sister.

I wish that I could be rational with my feelings, but I can't. I can't stop regretting.

RiseToday Mon 28-Aug-17 11:00:05

I'm pretty certain that we will only have one child - he is 2.5 and HARD work.....albeit lovely, funny, cute etc!

I know my limitations, I know how much I enjoy peace and quiet and my own headspace, which I get rarely. I want to go back to work when he starts school, our lives are finally starting to get a little easier. Having another baby would propel us backwards and I know I would resent it.

Having said all of that, I STILL seem to get these twinges of sadness that he won't have a sibling, that perhaps I could do it all over again. I was in tears packing up his baby clothes! It's a head fuck. I do think that my feelings are intensified because society deems 2 children to be the 'norm' but what if 1 child was considered the norm, would I still want another? I don't think I would, I would feel happy and vindicated in my choice. So I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Secondly, the social media aspect. Seeing all these snapshots of siblings cuddling/playing etc certainly pulls on the heartstrings but that's all it is - a snapshot in time. All the people I know who have 2+ kids tell me about the fighting, competing for parents attention, that it's more than twice the work, the exhaustion and stress that the parents feel. That is the reality that's not projected on social media because nobody wants to talk about the bad bits. Only behind closed doors!

Out of my NCT class of 6, only one other person wants another one. One child families are so common these days, not in the majority yet but fast forward 20 years and I think it will be.

To the OP, did you say your daughter was 9? That sounds like a great age to me! I'm going through toddlerhood right now and it's no joke. It's bloody exhausting. Do you really want to go back and do it all again now? As time passes you forget just how difficult, stressful, exhausting and all consuming it can be. The grass isn't always greener.

There are so many different paths in life. Some people have one, others have 2, others have 6. Some people choose not to have any, some can't have any. There's always something to feel guilty about it or to question our lot in life.

This is obviously something that weighs heavily on your mind but ask yourself, are your feelings of sadness primarily because your daughter won't have a sibling? Or is it because you want to experience motherhood again? If it's the former then honestly, your daughter will be fine, there are so many pros to being an only child. If it's the latter then that's a different story, but you need to either, go for it and have another or make peace with what you have and start looking forward.

All the best whatever you decide flowers

LouLouLove Sun 27-Aug-17 23:30:14

oh wow, this thread has said so many things i feel. I had my ds when i was 39, he's 6 now. We tried for number 2 and it didn't happen for almost a year (ds was conceived first month of trying so i thought it really was that easy!), then my husband lost his job just after we bought a house and it was too scary financially to think about me going on maternity leave and we stopped trying. There is always a pain in my heart for the second child I'll never have. I love my son so much and know another baby would turn our world upside down now but my son is so loving and always talks about wanting a sibling, he is fascinated by families with more children and is always watching families when we are out and my heart breaks for him . I wish things has been different and the pain comes and goes but I don't think it will ever go completely, for him even more than for me. I also feel our house is too tidy and too quiet, I know things most people wouldn't complain about but I know some of you will understand what I mean. I love my life in so many ways but my missing baby is my biggest heartache and it's not something I ever tell anyone about, not friends or family, only my husband knows how I feel and feels the same. I laugh it off when people ask about only having one or if I will have more, I don't want to open up about it and prefer to say it's what i want/wanted. If I could turn back time I'd have kept trying and just found a way to manage if we had managed to conceive, I'm so risk averse that at the time I just panicked. I wish everyone on here all the best, hold your little ones and cherish what you have and know that you are not alone. x

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