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Help! I'm driving myself nuts!

(7 Posts)
Butty69 Fri 17-Oct-08 21:22:29

Hi there,

This is my first time posting a thread so pls forgive any schoolboy errors!
I am driving myself crazy thinking about whether to have a second child. Our DS was born 2 1/2 years ago following assisted conception and, despite two further attempts I haven't conceived. DH and I agreed that we would only try once (even tho we did do two) and that, if it didn't happen, so be it.

But I now find that I am struggling to let go of the fact that I'm never going to have another child. Every month I think, maybe, this month, it could happen, though I know deep down that it isn't (although we are an 'unexplained fertility' statistic, I've been off the pill since June 2004}.

I do dread the thought of the first 3 months of hell (I had an emergency C section plus post natal infection to add to my woes), but hate the thought of my DS being an only child.

Every single month my decision swings and I'm feel like I'm slowly going nuts. My fertility nurse thinks that I'm actually struggling with letting go of my fertility, which I agree with.

To cap it all, I feel as if my time is running out (my 40th is fast approaching) though everyone (including my fertility specialist) tells me it's not too late.

I would love to hear from anyone in a similar position. How do I get over this?

Thanks.

Mulanmum Sat 18-Oct-08 00:47:26

Ask yourself why you "hate the thought of DS being an only child"? Hate's a pretty strong feeling. Lots of perfectly happy, well-adjusted, fulfilled children and adults around who don't have siblings.

You know what's really sad, Butty? You have a little boy who is 2 and a half years old and instead of enjoying him you are, in your own words, driving yourself crazy. What a waste! If I were you I'd wave goodbye to your fertility nurse and fertility specialist and start concentrating on the child you have rather than the one you might never have.

editrix Sat 18-Oct-08 08:44:23

Hi Butty, I've had a similar experience and really sympathise. My DS is 5 (I had him when I was 38), but he was a difficult baby, plus DH was made redundant when DS was 9 months old, and I spent ages agonising over having another. Once DH has working again we did try for a few years but I had two miscarriages, both of which I found very traumatic and took some time to recover from physically and emotionally. I was able to keep my agonising to myself but in the end I felt like I'd never truly be able to get on with life until we made a final decision to either keep trying or stop.

Over the summer we decided, reluctantly, to stop trying and I have to say a weight lifted. I'm now getting rid of a lot of the baby stuff and although I have "wobbles" about the decision from time to time, I know I couldn't continue to put myself through the agony of wondering each month whether I'd conceive, followed by the anxiety about miscarrying again. I don't think the "wobbles" will truly go away until I get to the menopause and know for sure there's no physical chance at all of having another child, but I get through the difficult times by reminding myself how much of my energy the "will I/won't I get pregnant" stuff took up, how well our family works with just 3 people, how I'm able to have a life of my own but also spend lots of time with DS and be there whenever he needs me. It helps that DS has never wanted a brother or sister, and that he has lots of friends, several of whom are also onlies.

There are many wonderful things about being an only child and having siblings doesn't guarantee happiness. I'd agree with Mulanmum that hating the idea of your DS being an only is pretty strong. What things in particular do you dislike about the idea? There are some good books about having an only child (e.g. Parenting an Only Child by Susan Newman) which may help counter any anxieties you might have about only children.

Having said all this, I can understand the urge to never give up hope. My S-I-L had her daughter at the age of 44, having tried for 2 years (and for several more years in a previous relationship). She gave up trying, stopped charting her cycles, and fell pregnant the next month. So psychology plays a part.

Good luck with whatever path you take.

Butty69 Sat 18-Oct-08 15:37:31

Thanks for your replies.

OK, 'hate' is probably too strong a word to use. The reason I said that is because DS is the only grandchild/nephew in the family and there is virtually no chance of there being any others. Also, DH and I are 'older parents' (DH is 44). So that was one aspect.

Also, DH and I both grew up with siblings and had lovely childhoods - though I know this is not necesaarily the reason why.

I am certainly not obssessing about what might be and think that my decision is made in that I don't actually want another child. What I am struggling with is precisely that - why, when I have made up my mind (and DH is with me), do I look longingly at pregnant women? And why, when I have awful, irregular periods haven't I just restared the pill? Conversely (and strangely) I don't get all broody over other newborns. This is what I'm struggling with...

I am so fortunate that DS is an absolute gem - funny, loving, bright and great fun to be with. We really enjoy our days together and frequently end up lauging lots over silly things. So it's not as if I have a nightmare child to deal with. He does love babies and so maybe I'm just feeling that I would love to be able to give him a brother or sister.

I know exactly what you mean, editrix, about sorting through the baby stuff. We have a loft full of everything from when DS was born. I'm going to sort this out and have a massive car boot sale in the spring..

editrix Sat 18-Oct-08 16:20:41

I sometimes look longingly at pregnant women as well, and in my case I think it's because although I didn't "love" being pregnant in the way that I know some women do, it was one of the happiest times of my life and I remember it with great fondness. I didn't meet DH until I was in my mid-thirties, by which time I'd almost given up on ever meeting someone and had certainly pretty much given up on the idea of being able to have kids. So my pregnancy was a lovely time, which I really savoured, and of course it was the prelude to DS's appearance, and although he was hard work as a baby he's completely lovely and loads of fun.

In my experience, all this longing and clinging on to hope when in fact one has made a decision only fades with time. I guess I'm 3 years "ahead" of you on this path and it's only this summer that things have really settled down for me and I've been able to make a firm decision.

On the plus side of moving on, I've just sold my breastpump on ebay for £28, so I think I'm going to treat myself to something nice!

Butty69 Sun 19-Oct-08 08:57:00

Thanks, editrix, your message has really helped. It's nice to know that I'm not actually going completely bonkers with all this swinging to and fro!

I absolutely loved being pregnant (had a great pregnancy with no problems) but the daft thing is most of the time I couldn't imagine having to deal with a newborn again and am so glad that DS is now mobile, independent (of sorts) and able to hold a (reasonable) conversation (of sorts!).

We are a happy family unit and are so, so grateful for what we have. I suppose I always imagined us having the 'typical' family unit but, from now on, I am not going to waste my time and energy rueing what could have been.

Thanks again. I shall look forward to the time when I can sell all my stuff too and treat myself to something nice!

editrix Mon 20-Oct-08 09:55:47

Glad my message helped. I had a big wobble yesterday when the people who bought DS's cot came to collect it. Ridiculous as it's only a piece of furniture, but there's nothing logical about these feelings.

It's wonderful when kids become more independent and able to converse and it only gets better (if you leave out the amazing ability my DS seems to have to negotiate and argue his case!). I read a while back that Terry Pratchett (I'm pretty sure it was him), who is an only child, said that his best times as a child were in the car on the way to school with his mum, having uninterrupted conversations about anything and everything. He said he learnt more during those times than he did at school, and I guess it wouldn't have been the same if he'd had a sibling. He also said he thought his imagination had developed the way it did because he was an only.

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