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Do I want another baby? Help me decide!

(30 Posts)
AandO Sun 24-Jul-11 13:40:52

Ok so, we have a ds who is nearly five. We only have one child so far because he was a terrible terrible sleeper for the first two years, then we realised we could only afford one child in childcare at a time and would have to wait until ds started school so we put everything on the back burner.

In the meantime we began to love having an only! Life is so easy now, he has spent the past hour in his bedroom playing farm, we go for tea and cake together a few times a week and afterwards we sit in the cafe for ages with me reading a book and ds playing with toys we've brought along, he sleeps in and I have to wake him at 9am so I'm far from sleep deprived, he travels well and last year all three of us went off to Asia for 6 months travelling. So all in all I love having an only. But there is a niggle!

I feel I need to make a decision now, there will be a 5.5 year gap between the two kids if I get pregnant now. I would prefer there not to be a bigger age gap. Plus I'll be 35 when the baby would be born.

The main problem is that I change my mind about 50 million times a day!! If a person were to ask me at twenty minute intervals whether I wanted a second child or not there would be a different answer each time! Well more realistically I have days where I am feeling homely and then I think 'yeah, I could have another', then days when I read some work related things or travel related things and think 'why would I want a baby, babies tie you down!'.

About 6 months ago we decided to try anyway. I got pregnant, then spent every day feeling like peeling my skin off and running away as fast as I could and wishing it would all go away. Then it did! I miscarried. I felt a mixture of relief and sadness. But now I'm back from our travels and at home with ds before my job starts again at Christmas I keep on imagining a baby there with us. And when I daydream about the future there is always a second child in that future.

Dh said I was incapable of making my mind up so he would decide for me. He decided we'd stick at one, he sees the practical benefits (more time, money, quiet) but said he does have a small sadness (but only small as I had to convince him to even consider more than one initially).

What is going on with me? Any advice? Just to add, I know that there are many people on mn that want children and can't have them and that my miscarriage feeling could be viewed as horrible, I'm not trying to offend anyone, but I'm very sorry if I have.

Martha85 Sun 24-Jul-11 16:25:39

I'd say go for it. You don't want to regret not having another when it's too late.

tostaky Sun 24-Jul-11 21:18:09

for me i think about my old days... and i want lots of grand-children.... hence thinking about 3rd (and final) baby.

if you see another child in your future, then do it...

TheHouseofMirth Sun 24-Jul-11 21:20:13

There is no right or wrong answer to this. If you don't have another baby there will always be a bit of you that's a little bit wistful and if you do, there will always be a bit of you that remembers the special time when it was just the three of you.

Hassled Sun 24-Jul-11 21:21:03

You're doing a lot of thinking about this from your point of view, and much less from your son's POV. What do you think would be the best decision for him?

AandO Sun 24-Jul-11 21:25:58

Thanks for the replies!

Tostaky - I can't even imagine that far into the future grin!

House of mirth - that's exactly it!

Hassled - I think he's very happy as he is and from his perspective he'd be just fine staying an only, but if we did go ahead I'm sure they'd be initial jealousy but then he'd love his brother/sister as I assume all eldest children do. So although it would obviously make a huge difference in his life I'm sure he'll have a happy childhood which ever happens.

TheHouseofMirth Sun 24-Jul-11 21:26:07

But Hassled that's impossible to say, isn't it? We pretty much had DS2 to create a bit more family for DS1 because both DH & I are only children and we only have 1 parent left between us but I often think DS1 wishes we hadn't bothered! Hopefully, as they get a bit older, they will have more of a relationship and DS1 will appreciate having a sibling rather more...

Hassled Sun 24-Jul-11 21:36:54

It is impossible, you're right. I can't imagine not having the love and support I have from my brother, all the more so since our parents died. But then, I've never known any difference, have I?

A&O - if you don't have another child, you'll always be wondering if you did the right thing. If you do have another child, you'll never look at him/her and think "I wonder if I did the right thing?".

OddBoots Sun 24-Jul-11 21:47:43

There is no right or wrong but just do what you think is right. Sounds like you are tying yourself up in knots worrying about not only what you want but also what you think is expected of you you. Your ds will gain a lot form being an only or having a sibling, he has parents who love him so he will be fine whatever.

TheHouseofMirth Sun 24-Jul-11 21:48:40

No, you'll never think that for yourself in regard to the second child (who you will love as ferociously as the first) but you may think about it in relation to your first child. I have sometimes felt that I have "inflicted" DS2 on DS1 although after 2.5 years I think DS1 is starting to enjoy being a brother a bit more and says himself that even though he doesn't always like his brother he does love him.

musttidyupmusttidyup Sun 24-Jul-11 21:55:41

You may regret not having a second child but it's unlikely you'll regret it if you do have one! Do you have siblings? I am close to my brothers- my life is richer for having siblings and I wanted that for my children too. Also, I apologise for being morbid, when we are gone dc's will have each other.

AandO Sun 24-Jul-11 22:06:30

Musttidyup -I am one of five! I think this matters in my choices as my memories of my mother is seeing her back while she was at the sink or oven. I didn't want that kind of relationship with my ds. We are very close. When I think of my childhood memories I mostly remember the things I was doing/seeing, I am vaguely aware that my sisters and brother were also present in the memory but they are on the periphery just hovering on the edges if that makes any sense grin.

I am close to my sisters now, we all have kids around the same age, but not my brother. It is the adult relationship with my sisters I value more than any other relationship I've had with them.

I don't worry about ds after we die as I assume by that stage he'll have his own children.

musttidyupmusttidyup Sun 24-Jul-11 22:27:59

Typed long reply and lost signal bloody phone.
It was the adult relationship I particularly value I think. Sent childhood mostly arguing!
Hope my dc's remember something other than my arse at cooker/sink/washing machine! smile
Good luck hope you come to a decision.

AandO Sun 24-Jul-11 22:34:01

Another thing I should mention is that following the miscarriage we decided to try again. We had unprotected sex a few times then I went with ds to visit my parents for a month. I spent the month wondering if I was preg and thinking 'please don't make me be pregnant' over and over again in my head. I felt like I couldn't breathe, that there wasn't enough air in the room! When my period came again I felt both relief and sadness.

Now even talking about the idea of another child I feel really panicky, and again like there is a shortage of air. I have no idea why I feel this way. But it's a big problem really.

Of course when I'm daydreaming I'm perfectly happy with the baby idea, it's only when I consider it seriously that I get this run away reaction.

UniS Sun 24-Jul-11 22:45:09

If you spent a month thinking you might be PG and hoping like hell you were not.... I guess one child is a good place to stay at.
I occasionally wonder if we made teh "right "choice but then look at teh stress that having two children seems to be in other families and am happy to have the one and be able to do the fun stuff we do because I don;t have to factor in a younger sibling all the time.

AandO Sun 24-Jul-11 22:51:48

It's true UniS. That is the conclusion dh came to also.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 24-Jul-11 22:53:40

OddBoots said what I would have said.

I would also say don't go for it unless or until you see a second child in your life. For me, it speaks volumes that you spent the visit to your parents hoping you weren't pregnant. Maybe you need a little more time after the mc, and maybe things will feel different in a while, but you certainly don't sound yet like someone who's committed to a second baby. Finally, block out all the arguments about how your son will want a sibling or will be blighted if you don't provide him with one - there are plenty of threads on MN to testify that sibling relationships (childhood or adult) aren't always a source of comfort and joy and (in my view) bringing a child into the world is far too big a step to take on the basis of what you guess your child will feel about it in 20 years' time.

boognish Sun 24-Jul-11 23:30:22

I feel I'm on a bit of a mission here, so disregard my views if you want to, but here goes. I'm not surprised that the concern that you might be pregnant made you panic. Projecting somewhat, the only time it hasn't done that with me was when I had to have ivf, having left things somewhat late, and fortunately discovered it had worked.

I realised that perhaps I'd always been the type of person who'd worried too much about each decision I made full stop. So I was bound to feel enormous trepidation about ever finding myself pregnant, enough to make me feel sick and as if I was an idiot for getting up the duff, even though that was what I really wanted. I'm not sure that it is correct to say that if you don't feel absolutely right about it when you see the blue line on the kit you shouldn't have the baby. Becoming a mother of a new baby is an enormous responsibility, and a person who has a lot of interests and thinks deeply about the impact of their actions on others may well find their opinions shift from one day to the next and may well think: should I be doing this? But this feeling can quickly evaporate as you get older and - sigh! - care less about having your own identity or conforming to other people's expectations and more about living a fulfilled life in the broader sense. "When I daydream about the future there is always a second child in that future". Your own words say it all to me.

So I'm not saying you have to go for it - but I do agree with Martha85. It's an instinctive reaction, and rather tellingly it's the first one you got. I don't think you would actually regret having two children rather than one. You would just love your second child to bits.

But I am on babymoon right now... grin

AandO Mon 25-Jul-11 10:08:20

So far the people with more than one child have picked up on the seeing a second child in the future feelings and so feel having a second would be best, and the people with one child have picked up on the wishing I wasn't pregnant feelings and so feel sticking with an only would be best grin. This to me just seems to show that each group is happy with the choices they've made in their lives grin.

I guess the more I have thought about it I realise my reasons for sticking with one boil down to two issues:

1. I love the quiet sitting in a cafe reading lifestyle that I have now and am worried that a second child would have a very different disposition in this respect to ds. I know for the first few years it would be all craziness but by the time the second child would be three would I be able to settle back into this way of life with two (and an age gap of over 5 years)?

2. My massive fear of giving up all the other things I want to do in life. When I was here (in Ireland) I hated the idea of a second child as I just saw families being very domestic, spending their time cooking, cleaning, telling their kids to do their homework etc. This didn't appeal to me at all.

We decided to go to Asia for 6 months instead of have a second child at that point in time. I was delighted with this decision. When were there we met alot of European families living an alternative lifestyle, travelling alot and they were all realy really enjoying life in a way that I am interested in. Several people that I became good friends with had two children. For the first time I thought ahh maybe I can have two kids and still do things I want to in life. So then we tried for a baby, I had my freaky reaction etc.

Now I am back in Ireland. My only image of families again has reverted to domesticity. Again I am thinking I don't want that! Suddenly again I view a second child as tying me down, which I really don't want. With one I have much more flexibility it feels. But then if I won the lotto I would have a second because then I could still travel, not be stuck for money and have time to myself a bit also. As it is I have not won the lotto grin so a second would perhaps mean being more tied down, more broke, and less time to myself.

AandO Mon 25-Jul-11 10:12:39

I guess what that all adds up to is yes I want a baby, but ony if I can continue with the lifestyle I have chosen to live so far. Is it possible to do this with a second child? Ok not at first of course, but say two three years down the line?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 25-Jul-11 11:04:03

What I was trying to say was that you don't sound ready for a second child yet, rather than that you should abandon the idea for ever. It sounds to me as if one of the issues here is that you are not wholly comfortable with Irish culture and I'm guessing that you'll always feel that to some degree, whether you have one child or two. I would guess too that you're more likely to keep your current lifestyle, or something close to it, with a bigger age gap than you would be with (say) two children under the age of 3.

Above all, though, what I think about all threads like this is that I hope they help people clarify their thinking or maybe get a new perspective on things but I really, really hope that nobody ever has (or doesn't have) a baby based on the outpourings of a bunch of anonymous women on the internet.

rainbowtoenails Mon 25-Jul-11 11:25:17

I think you should consider ds's adult life as an only. If he marries another only his dcs will have no cousins. When you and dp get old/sick the entire burden for your care will fall on him. When you die he will have no one to share the childs grief with. The longest, and closest genetically, relationship any of us will ever have is with our siblings. I think you would need a vv good reason to deprive your ds of this.

PogoBaby Mon 25-Jul-11 13:37:17

Rainbow has some valid points but I do think that to much emphasis can be put on what happens to an only when we as parents die.

I am an only and have gone through the death of my father - maybe having a sibling would have made it easier for me but at no stage in the process did I wish I had one as being an only was all I knew.

I've also married an only so DD has no cousins! I had 3 cousins growing up but due my mother and her sister not getting on I never saw them so never had that relationship either!

Whilst the future has to be planned for things don't always work out how we expect. My parents planned and planned for their retirement making sacrificies to save money yet my dad died 5 months after his 60 birthday so never got to enjoy it.

Bottom line, you can only make a decision on what is right for your family now. If you are still not sure maybe it's best to just put it on the back burner for a while.

PukeyRag Mon 25-Jul-11 15:47:35

Firstly, AandO, a baby doesn't tie you down if you don't want it to.
I was born in to a travelling lifestyle, my mother AND my father were travellers, we had horses and carts, caravans, they worked on a circus and we went all over the place. They had me and my brother (in fact, he was born in a teepee in Wales) and were very happy.
A baby is not something that stops you from living your life, a baby is something that becomes part of your life, for you to share experiences with, and to travel with a baby would be fantastic.
You don't like Ireland, that's obvious - but don't let your surroundings and how other people live their lives affect how you live yours!

Of course it will involve more work to raise two children, but if you can really see a second child in your future, then go for it! I am a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason" and I think if you're meant to have another you will.
However, you don't sound 100% ready, and my advice would be to really, really think about this. Write down a list of ALL the pros and cons of having another baby, talk to your DH more, and really try and work out if it would be a good thing for your family.

Also, getting pregnant is scary - i'd always wanted kids, in fact looking back to when I was about 16 I was desperate for a baby (thank god I didn't get pregnant then!) and when I did eventually fall pregnant I was terrified! Humans fear the unknown, naturally, and you have no idea how it would affect you or your life but i'll tell you one thing - with babies you adapt for them, you love them despite the fears and I think if you had another you'd be just fine.
And if you didn't, you'd be just fine.

AandO Tue 26-Jul-11 10:43:10

Thanks Maud - Yes I feel I'm not ready to write it off entirely yet, but still not ready to go through with it. So in a way the ideal would be to wait. My problem with that is the age gap and also dh has said it's now or never (no sure why, but he's fairly firm about it).

I won't choose based on others opinions don't worry smile but I do need to talk it through. Dh won't talk about it. I tried last night, he said we'd been through all the arguments for and against already, nothing has changed, I just have to figure out my feelings. My closest friend here has 4 kids and is continually trying to encourage me to have babies grin! My sister just had a second child and is all full of the joys, and my other close friend here is tcc with no success so I don't want to upset her with these issues. I guess I just need to air my thoughts, see if that helps.

Pukeyrag (nice name btw grin) - Thanks

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