I would like another DC but don't think I can bear to repeat the baby stage - experiences?(19 Posts)
The title says it all really. DS is 20mo and DH and I were planning on trying for another DC this year, but health problems have meant putting it off until next year. The thing is, I'm really not sure I want to have another. I hated being pregnant, found childbirth terrifying, the newborn stage literally nearly killed me with the combination of sleep-deprivation and PND, found looking after a baby fairly boring and hugely demanding physically and the PND lasted at least 14 months and has, I feel, done some serious harm to our marriage. I just don't know if I can bear to go through it all again and worry that if I get PND as severely as the last time I really will end up dead or hurting the toddler or baby. I like the idea of having another one but the reality of last year was hideous.
Has anyone had the same dilemma? What was the outcome?
Regarding the PND I'm not sure if you mean that feeling about hurting hte baby was a symptom of the last PND, or if you are worried that it might be a symptom of any future possible PND? But the best thing to do is be upfront with the GP from teh off so you can be looked after and monitored. Often with PND it's not diagnosed till it's been wrecking your head for months.
I was pretty much in the same boat as you. The astonishing thing though is that from about 2 on, and particularly from 3 on, suddenly the whole thing became just so much more manageable. I am about to have a baby and while I can't say I am looking forward to the birth, and do have some dread about the isolation, being off work, etc etc etc of the early months in particular, I do feel ok knowing that it's a short time that passes quickly. So i am determined to enjoy it, not wish it away. Having said that I'm sure I'll be Explodo-Head at some point, and the lack of sleep will undoubtedly lead to arguments with DH, and so on and so on. But if you want another baby, a year or two of that is well worth it, I think. It's like a miracle when you realise the baby can be babysat, that you can go back to work, or go out, that life goes on, and while you are undoubtedly aged and physically changed by the pregnancy, birth and early days, life is actually better when you emerge, blinking and rubbing your eyes, into the daylight, and the family you have to share it all with is bigger and happier.
AKMD I'm in the middle of it and it's hard but fine because I know this time that once the first year is out of the way it will get good.
The last 5 lines of LavenderScream's post sum it up beautifully.
I didn't hurt the baby but I did have to put him down in his cot, shut the door and walk away a few times. I'm very worried that if I was as shattered I was then and DS was getting up to mischief I would snap
I was completely honest with the GP last time round and knew I had PND from very early on so got all the help I could. It took me absolutely ages to gte a handle on it though.
As DS will be 2 in a few months it might start looking like a more attractive option again. I know it's a valid choice to have just one but I know DH would be heartbroken and I would too.
I know, family size is a hard one. Personally I've gone for three, and although I love having a larger family, I do find the smaller one annoying the older two often - e.g. scrambling through their lego, paints, pens, toys etc!
However, I've just been reading about women in Africa who often have 8 children to look after, and then I think, what am I complaining about?! They are pretty much pregnant or breastfeeding their whole adult lives! Take a look;
Yes but then they have a large extended family living in the same village to help out (and the five year olds! )... Painful though!
What a tricky dilemma. Like you I had an awful pregnancy with DS and found newborns and sleep deprivation unbearable - I didn't have PND then but in hindsight was teetering on the edge. I was always certain I wanted 2 DCs but after DS I was not at all sure. I actually got pregnant again by accident and termination wasn't an option for me. I'm still in the thick of the first year. It's been dreadful (sorry) - horrible pregnancy, traumatic birth, both DH and I have had PND (or whatever the male equivalent is!) and I'm only just getting it sorted. Very bad days are well, very bad but on good days I see glimmers of hope like the way DD and DS giggle at each other and play together sweetly. BUT I don't regret DD and I know if I'd only had one I'd always have pined after 2 (DH thinks differently!) and I KNOW it will get easier and I would do it again if I had the choice (I think!!). Whatever you choose, good luck and if you decide to go for no. 2 I am wishing a dream pregnancy for you and a baby that sleeps through at 3 weeks
I have two and a third on the way and have to say it is sooooo much easier the second time around. What I found hard first time was the boredom but when you have an older one who can chat and do interesting stuff then you just don't notice the boring parts of babyhood cos you are too busy getting on with stuff.
It is so worth it when they make each other laugh or give each other a cuddle. When we decided to go for three we just thought long term gain for short term pain. The idea of a lovely big family just outweighed the lack of sleep/teething troubles etc etc.
Whatever you decide good luck!
I have a friend who waited long enough to have a 4 year gap as she had PND after her first. After the 2nd she was absolutely fine So that is another option, have a slightly larger gap so the eldest is off to school.
well we found the baby stage v hard, and I had depression as well although its was about 9 month stage so not exactly PND - we wern't ready to think about it until our DS1 was 2 - and sleeping through, and our marriage was better - do you have anyone to take your DC over night as that massively helped us BTW - eg to repair things, we also had a one off appointment at relate
in the end we didn't have another until DS1 was 4 - it was lovely - birth way eaiser, baby stage much easier - easier baby and more relaxed parents - no depression afterwards, and was on maternity leave when DS1 started school which was nice. Also it was much less dull being on maternity leave- DS was at preschool and so had a nice mixture of time with baby and time with both - and he was delighted to have a brother - so I would say a bigger gap could help - also being super on the altert for PND
I felt very similarly. I didn't have PND but a very difficult pregnany and traumatic start to ds's life, then terrible sleep deprivation which I dealt with very badly, and didn't really enjoy the baby stage. I knew I wanted to give ds a sibling though, so we went for about a 3 year gap, mostly so that ds would be old enough to understand that mummy was coming back if I ended up in hospital for a long time again.
Fortunately the pg and birth were much better with dd, but the sleep deprivation was even worse and I did struggle. However I think it was much easier with perspective. With ds I felt like the hideous sleep deprived bit was forever - with dd I knew it would get better eventually, so was much more relaxed, and just looked forward to getting through the first year! Sounds awful put like that , obviously I loved them both as babies but they are much more fun as children.
Also, as Klinda said, I had a buddy to get through it with in the form of ds, whereas when ds was a baby I felt very alone. Maternity leave was much more fun with an established circle of "mum" friends and an older child to
shout at chat to.
Never ever again though
I felt very very similar to you too. However, I really wanted ds to have a sibling, and it was much easier in some ways the second time around made easier I think by the age gap. We had 3.5 years, which meant that ds was able to help me a lot, rather than need so much looking after, and he was off at nursery and school too, which gave our days a much nicer structure - I never felt trapped in the house with the second baby, as we had a nice daily routine sorted out.
The sleep deprivation was still tough, but as LandL says, you know that it is only a phase. Getting ill was always an issue which caused me great stress as we have no family support nearby and dh couldn't always get time off work to help. I was just not allowed to get ill with ds1! With ds2 I had to put my foot down and insist on my right to tonsilitiis/vomiting/whatever when I really had it and dh just had to step up and take time off. He didn't get fired and we survived.
Only you can say whether you can face it all a second time around. It is hard work, particularly with PND, but if your GP is supportive, and if you and your partner can talk and tackle problems together, that can help a lot.
Thanks everyone. I was wondering if it would be better with a bigger gap too - if DS was starting school I can see it being a lot easier, but then if we put it off that long I might be too comfortable with the status quo. The best thing to do is obviously to talk it over with DH but it is nice to get some perspective on here.
My DD has just turned one and the last year seems to have gone in a weird blur - I barely remember the early months, and when I look at pictures I don't recognise me in them, or my DD either. It has been hard, and sad. And harder still is feeling glad that year is over because it comes with regret that I didn't enjoy it (much). I had a three year gap and am glad of that - 4 or 5 may have made it easier but I can never test that theory of course.
Somehow though it strengthened our relationship where having DS did not. The whole thing has just been a totally different experience for us as a couple (please excuse the phrase) and we are better for it. And of course it goes without saying that I wouldn't be without my DD, the baby I never thought I'd have, she is just a dream, and worth it. But, would I do it again? No.
I found my first easy, it was the second that nearly did me in.
I'm now in tha same situation as you in that I want another but dont want pg, birth or the first 2 years.
We're going to try to do it by DP becomeing the main carer.
I'm seriously thinking about adoption. I know it's not the same!
I also had a four year gap between mine and was so so broody for a second but just couldn't handle the newborn bit.
It was still pretty bad but we got through it and by the time the baby was 6 months all was fine.
I will say though how pleased I am to have two, they get on fine, play well together. I think if I had an only child it would be a lot harder.
I also seriously considered adoption for the same reasons as you but turns out we're not eligible here as we only have a 2 bed flat
I agree with all the posters - I think a bigger age gap would definitely have made things a lot, lot easier. I would have preferred 6 years (same as me and my sister and we are really close) and definitely not the 2 under 2 I ended up with.
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