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Does your second child shake up your world even more than the first??

(26 Posts)
HarryFlashman Mon 13-Dec-10 21:56:30

Hi all,

My daughter is now just over a week old, and my son is 3 months off being four. Despite the face she's been in hospital most of the week struggling to gain weight, I myself have been struggling to decide if she's changed my world even more than my first child.

Although the birth was easier and I (as the husband, at least) felt less apprehensive about it and less worried during it, it also like something big has changed. It's at once subtle and fundamental. My love for my son hasn't been split between him and the baby, but a whole new sprout of love has started for my daughter, Alice.

I might be naive to think this can continue (it's only been a week!), but I also want try and involve my son with Alice, rather than feel I have to split time and love between them. Tom (my son) seems to really love her already, which really helps. He talks to her and wants to kiss her - thankfully gently! - all the time.

Also, I know what fun is in store, once she starts to smile and interact with us. I can't wait to see the two of them playing together. At the same time, I know that the precious first months are never to be repeated, so I should enjoy them to the full and make sure I remember the feelings of a new baby.

I can't help looking forward to the first time we all go out for a family meal together, and we can all talk and laugh together. It will be so wonderful to look at my wife and think that we made these two wonderful people.

While I'm getting a bit sentimental, I also start thinking it's a shame that all we ever hear on the news is death and catastrophe. For every one of me, there are millions of other families enjoying their own company and so much happiness about.

It might be that I should be able to bring my wife and new daughter home from hospital tomorrow, but I'm feeling very sentimental this evening (I've only had one beer!) and just wanted to share my thoughts.

All the best,


HarryFlashman Mon 13-Dec-10 21:57:35

And please excuse the typos - I should have read it through a bit more thoroughly!

Iwasthefourthwiseman Mon 13-Dec-10 22:08:17

Interesting post. My dd2 is 12 weeks & dh said today she is only just starting to feel like 'his'. I think it's because I am bfing & he is having to deal with dd1 most of the time, and they are v close.

RhinestoneCowgirl Mon 13-Dec-10 22:13:11

I think with our second child we felt more that DD was being born into a family, whereas first time round it was about us not just being a couple any more (and all that that entails...) We also knew more what to expect, that after the newborn stage comes the smiley baby, the squidgy toddler etc

Hope your wife and DD are home soon

Roo83 Mon 13-Dec-10 22:46:04

Amazing post...that bit about sitting down to a family meal all talking and laughing brought tears to my eyes! I have a son (2.5yrs) and daughter (3mnths) and completely understand what you are saying. I've found everything so much easier this time,and am appreciating every second of babyhood as I know if goes too fast! Hope your daughter is home soon and you can start to enjoy family life. Thanks for such a positive post

SparklyJules Mon 13-Dec-10 22:49:26

Lovely. Yes, recognising all that is to come as your DD grows is lovely, and part of that is the nostalgia for when your DS was that age. I can remember my DH and I saying constantly "oh, look at DS, do you remember DD doing that?"!

Rhinestone Cowgirl.. what you said about DC2 being born into a family rather than becoming a family - was beautifully put!

Beamur Mon 13-Dec-10 22:51:03

That's sweet.
My DD is my DP's 3rd child and I think no.2 was a challenge, as he wasn't sure he could love another child as much as DS, but obviously does love her v much. our DD however has been a challenge in other ways! She's very much a mummys girl (both his other kids were all about Daddy) and he's struggled to bond with her at first, but they are much closer now.
All the best with your newly expanded family! (No.3????)

twofalls Mon 13-Dec-10 22:52:55

I have exactly the same age gap as you between my 2 dds and it is lovely. Dd2 is now nearly 10 months and watching her eyes light up and squeal with excitment when dd1 walks in the room gets me every time.

Thanks for a lovely post and I hope you get them home soon.

WanderingInAWinterWonderland Mon 13-Dec-10 23:02:06

Thank you for starting this thread. I have a DD (3.6) and she will be the same age as your DS when DD2 arrives end of feb/March.

I've been worrying a bit about how we're all going to fit together, how DD will accept a new little sister and how I'm going to spare some love for a new baby! I love DD so so much and sometimes I can't see how it can be possible to love someone else as equally as I do to her. I mean I know it is as people say it is, but what if I'm different? Do ykwim?

The posts on here have helped me think more positively, so thank you!

twofalls Tue 14-Dec-10 06:28:07

Wandering, I worried about that too but it is amazing how your capacity for love just grows. Truly I look at dd2 now and wonder how I could have ever doubted I would love her as much as dd1. We have had some challenging moments with dd1, especially when I seemed to be continually bf-ing and I have had to make sure I build in some time for just dd1 and I (normally when the baby has gone to bed - again not very possible in the early days when there is no bedtime!). And it can be hard when they both need you but honestly you will look back and find it hard to imagine what life was like before the baby came.

InmaculadaConcepcion Tue 14-Dec-10 09:50:15

HarryFlashman (and other posters) - DH and I are planning on ttc for our second child soon - DD is currently 10.5 months, so the gap will be smaller.

I must admit, having read so many threads on here by (mostly) mums struggling to cope with two very young children, I was starting to dread the extra complications and sleep deprivation that would inevitably follow with two LOs.

But this thread redresses the balance beautifully and reminds me why DH and I would like another DC and the rewards that come with creating our family.

Thanks for posting smile

Onetoomanycornettos Tue 14-Dec-10 10:14:58

I also felt like this with my second, I had a whole rush of love for her, and I bonded instantly and the whole familiarity of having a little baby reassured me and gave me so much more confidence than with my first. I loved those first six months!

Not to burst your bubble at all, but I would let your son develop his own relationship with your dd at his own pace. My first was under two when her sister arrived and she was just not interested in her for the first six months, then got intensely jealous (culminating in clocking her one) for a few weeks, before seeing the potential of having a partner in crime. They are now both at school and incredibly close. So, if your son feels loving, brilliant, but be aware that he might have mixed emotions as well towards this little baby, and that that's ok.

reallytired Wed 15-Dec-10 21:46:08

As a family gets bigger the love gets bigger. Although your son will have to share his parents time, he will have the love from Alice. Alice will also have love from Tom.

I think for me my first child changed my life far more. I had to give up my carefree existance and could not go out at a whim. I also gave up a good career.

With my second child, it was a change, but I was prepared. I enjoyed having a baby the second time round as I was more confidence.

Anyway congratulations to you and your wife.

LilRedWG Wed 15-Dec-10 21:55:18

Thank you for this thread.

It is beautiful and - being 31 weeks pregnant with DC2 - just what I need. I'm terrified of moving from one to two and your lovely op has made me think more positively.

Congratulations. x

pointythings Wed 15-Dec-10 22:02:26

I think the biggest thing you need to remember as a dad is that your older DC is going to need more of you than before now that your new LO has arrived - there is so much you can do as a dad to make the transition from only child to sibling easier. You sound like the ideal dad - just go for it.

Dysgu Wed 15-Dec-10 22:56:49

The age gap between our two DDs is 2.3years - DD2 also stayed in NICU for 10 days after her arrival which we feel gave DD1 time to get used to having a baby sister. It meant that DD1 got lots of Daddy time as he was off work (Christmas holidays) and then took two weeks paternity leave once DD2 came home.

The arrival of DD1 brought more changes I think - she was born at 32 weeks and had she been the second one we really would have struggled to cope with everything! DD2's arrival was into a family and she slotted in pretty easily. She also thinks her BIG sister is fabulous and is clearly her favourite person.

During the tough times for DD1 we were (and still are) very empathetic and agree that it CAN be difficult being the big sister. Having a baby around, having to wait your turn, having to share your things, including your mummy and daddy, CAN be VERY frustrating. We always make a point of acknowledging that it can be hard for DD1 sometimes, even though there is nothing we can do to change the situation. Luckily, DD1 is the easiest, most laid-back of our two and we have never really had to deal with any jealousy.

Also, now that DD2 is nearly 2 years old (on Christmas Eve) things are really getting easier. They play together, chase each other around and make me laugh out loud with their imaginative games every single day.

Having two children, IME, is even better than having one.

And as for the love, I once read that it is like a candle - the original does not burn less brightly when you use its flame to light another.

arabicabean Thu 16-Dec-10 09:20:56

Following on from that logic Dysgu, is having three children better than two?

pipplin Thu 16-Dec-10 12:01:41

What a lovely post. Congratulations on your new arrival. Hope mum and dd get to come home soon.
Alice is a gorgeous name

sneakapeak Fri 17-Dec-10 10:22:23

There's nothing like seeing my DS 3.5 yrs and DD just turned one having a cuddle or crawling up and down the hall giggling.

Of course there are hysterics over toys and my DS's 2 day huff since DD's birthday but seeing the two of them interact and having a bond is amazing.

It's lovely being a family of 4 for the first time, good luck.

Scruffyhound Sat 18-Dec-10 03:40:08

This is a lovley post and congratulations! I have a 5 yr old boy and im 24 weeks pregnant with baby number 2 (we dont know sex as baby would not let us see!) The difference is My son who is 5rys old was with my ex husband and this little one is with my new partner. Im worried about us all bonding together and being a family. DP is great with my DS and they get on great together most of the time. I would of liked nothing more than to have stayed with ex husband and had 2 children with him but he was selfish and did not really bother with DS and this is why I left amongst other things! I wonder is anyone else in the same situation? But as for having two children I was worried about sharing the love between them as well so this post has helped! smile

OnEdge Sat 18-Dec-10 03:50:17

I've just had my third, and it happens again. Another "sprout of love" (I love that) has happened and I want to hug myself with glee at the prospect of watching it happen all over again.

nooka Sat 18-Dec-10 04:39:25

Lovely post My two are now 11 and 10 and I can't really remember their baby years that clearly - partly because they were so close that it all kind of blends together. But I love having the two of them, they are such good friends and have really been there for each other (of course they fight at times and there is a fair amount of storming and finger pointing too). I still think the phrase "having one child is like having a pet, having two is like having a zoo" has a fair amount of truth to it grin My favourite times have been when they used to get up early and as they knew they weren't suppose to wake us I could hear them talking to each other - very sweet

roundthehouses Sat 18-Dec-10 06:48:01

aw thanks for this. i am also 31 wks along with no. 2, ds1 will be 2 months shy of 4yrs old on my due date... it is really nice to read all of these stories to contrast everyone in real life revelling in telling you how HARD it´s going to be, how AWFUL the early days are etc.

Congratulations on your new addition!

WelshMaenad Sat 18-Dec-10 17:02:12

Such a lovely post.

I am enjoying motherhood far more the second time around. My daughter was prem, and very poorly,and that caused a lot of anxiety, I ended up with PND and whilst I loved her very very much, I was a very tense person for her early years. I am so much more relaxed with my son, and I finally feel like I'm becoming the mother I want to be - to them both.

Laurtopsy Sun 19-Dec-10 04:38:18

This is a wonderful post.

I am three weeks in to being a mother again to DD2. The love I felt with DD1 was intense. I loved her from the minute I found out I was pregnant with her and lived in fear of having a miscarriage, a stillborn baby, a SIDS baby and so on. She is now a healthy and happy 2.6 year old. She is the center of mine and her fathers world and she knows it.

Due to a 'break' in our relationship and a one night stand that went awry, DF has a DS (1.10) who I've grown to love and adore. He is not biologically mine which pains me but he is biologically DF's, he lives with us three days a week and he and DD1 get on like a house on fire. He is part of our family.

DD2 came along three weeks ago and turned our lives upside down. While it's easier knowing what to expect and what to do, it's more difficult knowing the love you have for your elder DC's and knowing the kind of love that is going to grow for her, too, day by day. The sleep deprivation hit me much harder after having a full night's sleep for a year but my relationship with DF has not suffered. We are very much in love and this has just made us stronger.

We feel that with our 3DC's we are a family. The love that has been created has only intensified and bonded us more. It is more difficult to juggle all three at the same time with different needs but it is also easier in the sense that we are not alone, we share the responsibility and the children help out by helping to change nappies, holding a bottle, kissing their sister gently, DD1 sings her songs to help soothe her and so on.

Watching my DF with our children makes my heart melt and makes me fancy him so much I'm afraid an unexpected and unplanned DC may pop into my head. Bad hormones! blush

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