help with family questions at Christmas(16 Posts)
DD will be 5 months at Christmas and this year we're going to my uncles house where there will be lots of family (my dads family and also my uncles DWs family)
My issue is that I know I'm going to get asked when me and DP will have another baby (my dad already told me to have another one soon when I was still pg!). The problem is that I had a really terrible birth and a little bit of PND due to a longish recovery,being in pain for weeks, etc. I haven't decided if I want, or could even stand the thought of doing that again. I'm not even sure I would want another even if I'd had a wonderful Zen like birth.
My family all know what happened at the birth but not how its affected me mentally, and I cant use age as an excuse as me and DP are early 20s. Plus my age means most of the family still write me off as too young to really know what I'm talking about.
I don't really want to delve into the details with everyone, especially as I don't know my uncles DWs family all that well.
Just say, we're still recovering from the first one!
Or, I've read that two or three years between births is ideal for kids.
Our do what I do and smile and nod. My mom is relentless about this and I'm 45 with a3 year old
I am a fan of bigger age gaps so if we did have another one it wouldn't be till DD started school at the earliest. I just know they'll keep going on about what a good thing siblings are and then I'll feel guilty and start debating in my head again because I really cant make up my mind and I know its ages away but I can't stop thinking about it for some reason
Thanks for the suggestions though I may use some of them!
Wow. This is how I felt, how my family assumed I felt and how I felt in limbo - exactly!
Just say 'It's not your place to say when I have another. It's my choice if I want another or not, if it's even going to happen'.
I got things like 'But you'll have another one anyway. You're too young to know' - Okay, so I was old enough to decide I wanted a baby in the first place but not old enough to decide if I want to stop or not? Hm, that makes sense.
I didn't have a good experience either and it was only when I told my mum and sisters how it still effected me when my son was 3 that they kind of "got it". They've accepted that I'm not having another and they STFU now.
It takes a toll on your mind and body and takes roughly a year to actually recover physically. Tell them to give you a break!
Personally I don't see the point in having more than 2 kids. If you're OVER THE TOP!!! and LOVE kids... then go ahead. But for me, one is enough and I've come to terms with it.
(and just for your knowledge... you can have a birth debrief via the hospital to go over your notes. And you can join Birth Trauma Association on Facebook if you feel you need to.)
Oh wow it makes me feel alot better to know I'm not the only one! One of the midwives did kind of go over how I felt about it, I had a bit of an iffy doctor, apparently she reported him herself and wanted my opinion on how I found him for the record too...
I didn't know about that facebook page thank you
I might just say "maybe when I stop having flashbacks about the last one" but I can't help feeling even that won't stop them. Hopefully my aunt will stick up for me as she has an only child too, through age and choice (she says even if she could she wouldn't have another one) so I might have some backup at least...
If you feel you need or want to though you can always ask for someone to come out to you with your notes and go over them in detail and explain what happened and why. I had this a couple months ago.
Trust me, I felt like I was the only one that felt the way I did after having my son - no one understood. I didn't know that you could get help for it, didn't know it was a thing or what birth trauma even was. I took it upon myself to Google 'how to get over a birth' 3 years later (sister had another baby and it brought everything back), joined BTA, found out about birth debriefs on there, then forced myself to the doctors for a referral for therapy. I should have gotten the right help and support back then, but I am now in a much better place than I was even a year after.
See, everyone in my family has more than 1. My nan, aunts, mum, and sisters. I'm the odd one out basically so I get a heavily bias opinion about having one. It hurt when they used to say 'have another' etc. because I just couldn't. Now I'd consider it but I think it's too late as the risks of what can happen have been thrown in my face now with my son's birth and I can't help but think something actually will turn out worse. They didn't have a birth like mine so don't really understand how much it can actually effect a lot of aspects of your life.
Have you looked up the symptoms of Postnatal PTSD? It's also called Birth Trauma or just PTSD. Flashbacks are a symptom.
That is good to know thank you
I've read loads of stuff about birth etc since, its upsetting because if I knew what I know now then it might have gone differently. But there's not point dwelling on "what ifs". My dad told me about two weeks after birth that I should have another one so DD can have a playmate and it'll be easier... At that time I could barely walk and was really struggling to bond with my LO. I nearly cried.
It must be tough being the only one with just one, and that your family think its so weird. I don't think my family think its weird in itself, just think that I'll obviously have more because I'm young and love kids. I do love kids but I agree with you, I would never have more than 2 of my own.
Part of me wants to have another one to try and "do it right" but then I think if that goes wrong too it would crush me completely.
I'm glad you're getting help now and I hope you feel better about it, it must have been hard living with that for 3 years
I have read about PTSD and I don't think I have "full blown" PTSD but I do have a few symptoms... I just don't want to be overreacting because in reality a lot of women go through the same as me and come out fine, and some go through much worse.
You don't need to have full blown PTSD to be able to get help. And yes, a lot of women do go through the same thing and don't get effected by it long term, which is why I didn't know it was a "thing", I thought you just got over it. But it depends on what happened, how you felt about it, even afterwards it can kick in, and how you perceived it or how it was handled. It doesn't make it any easier. I think compassion, explanations and communication are crucial to the woman and how she then takes that and deals with it afterwards. If you don't have them from the staff it can play a part in how it's processed in your head. They're bigger factors and more important than midwives / doctors think.
Yes, I did say half way through having help "maybe I should think about having that other baby I wanted" but then realised I only wanted another so I could "get it right". That's not reason enough to have another. There are ways of healing without going through another birth.
I thought the same as you, if I knew then what I know now it would have been different. But... the way the birth went isn't your fault, you didn't know what was going to happen. From the point of conception, that birth was waiting for you all along. That's what I tell myself. Sometimes there are things you can't control. I couldn't deal with another trauma. It would break me. Especially if the worst actually happened just because I wanted to have the birth I wanted with my son. It's normal to think about 'what ifs', I did, because I blamed myself. But as I went through the whole thing bit by bit and actually acknowledged it all, it was down to the midwives and doctor.
I thought I was over reacting too... I suppressed it because I just didn't know what to do with it. There wasn't a "controlled" environment for me to let it out. So I blocked it out. Didn't talk about it. My stomach turns if anything about the NHS is mentioned. I'd panic if OBEM came on by accident and I was just angry about everything to do with birth, hospitals midwives etc. I couldn't do anything about it, but when my sis had her baby she had the midwives round, then I started panicking. Went home, thought that's not right surely women don't live with this. That's when I Googled getting over birth. A load of stuff with trauma and PTSD came up. I read the symptoms and cried. Went from there really.
I'm just trying to say don't think you're wrong about feeling the way you do. It's natural and normal if you feel effected by it. If you find yourself questioning it more... then I'd suggest gong to the GP and asking for a referral. Because it can fester.
I am rambling a bit but I don't think you can ramble too much about birth trauma. It's good to actually talk about it and your emotions because it's such an important issue and I don't think any mum should be left on her own to deal with it. It doesn't help when medical staff aren't even aware of it themselves when they are the ones you go to for help.
I'd say something like one of these:
We want to enjoy this one for a while.
We feel blessed to have this little one, don't want to be greedy
We'll see what happens
This one keeps us busy enough for now
Lots of good lines suggested above but I'd also plan for how to bat it off if they keep on about it, as from what you've said they're very persistent. I would say, 'Ooh, didn't realise we were going to discuss everyone's life plans today! When do you think you'll retire (to your parents and the older ones)? Do you think you'll go on a big trip? Where would you go?' to decisively change the subject away from you. You can follow up if needed with 'let's not go on about me all afternoon - what are you doing next year..?' I get this too because I have one child, actually would like another but, like you, don't want to have to talk about it or justify what I am or am not doing re the size of my family! to all of you living with birth / hospital trauma.
You're all being so wonderful thankyou I am like 90% sure I don't want another one, but I don't want to say I'm not having another because if I do decide to I don't want lots of "I told you so", I think I will just say that we're fine with DD for now and then swiftly change the subject...
I have a doctors appointment next Monday for something else so I might bring it up then and see what happens
Thank you everyone you've all made me feel much better
I felt the same as you after having my daughter. Very traumatic birth and said never again.
However I changed my mind and now have two sons as well. There's a four year gap between my DD and DS1 as it took a while to get over DD's birth but at the end of the day 24 hours out of a lifetime is nothing and so worth it.
I know I may well change my mind, I realise that I am still young and may want more kids when I'm older. I know I want a big age gap and no more than two (unless DD is old enough to have moved out/take care of herself by then!) as I don't want a chaotic household like I grew up in. I'm one of 4 and the eldest by 7 years so I know that I like big age gaps and not small ones (all my other siblings have 2 years between them). The issue I have is that I don't want to commit either way, because if I say definitely no more and then change my mind I'll get lots of "I told you so" but if I say yes I will have some more I'll keep getting pestered about when even if I change my mind and keep DD as an only... So I'm kinda snookered into not deciding either way
(I appreciate chaos works for some people btw, my aunt and uncle have 3 kids, 2 year age gaps between them, and they love it, its just a personal choice)
but at the end of the day 24 hours out of a lifetime is nothing
Hmm. My labour was 3 and a half hours. I think if you're left with life long physical damage it can really effect you and actually make you unable to have more whether it's because of the physical or mental damage, especially if it was done without consent, weren't given a reason for it and you were treated like an animal. For some it's not the way the birth went, it's how it was handled.
Though I do understand where you're coming from, some find it too hard to just "get over" and "forget" about it. It's not that easy. Any traumatising event can take a hold of anyone for life.
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