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Second child mistake?

(23 Posts)
DontmindifIdo Fri 19-Jul-13 10:51:36

I think it's helpful if you think of the benefits for DC1 when DC2 gets out of the high need baby stage. DC1 will have a sibling, close enough in age to be able to play together (my DH and BIL are a large age gap, while MIL had it easier than my mum who had 2 pre-schoolers at the same time, this meant that really DH and BIL didn't become friends until BIL was late teens and DH was a grown up, they never actually played together like DB and I did).

Your DC1 won't have to be dragged round to things for DC2 that they are the wrong age/stage for (MIL mentioned finding htings to do on holiday that suited a small boy and a teen was hard work, much easier if both DCs are closer in age and can enjoy similar stuff).

Later on when they are adults, it will be good for DC1 to have a sibling, rather than being an only child where the pressure from elderly parents fall just on them, or if having someone else once you and your DH have gone.

Remember, the baby stage doesn't last long!

MiaowTheCat Thu 18-Jul-13 20:32:34

I think everyone with quite a small age gap goes through it - I certainly did... DD2 came home just as DD1 hit a sleep regression, and since I'd been in and out of hospital for weeks she was rather unsettled anyway. And I sat and sobbed and sobbed and apologised for ruining her life. Really struggled to bond with DD2 - horrid as it sounds - I resented her for showing up and "wrecking" my relationship with DD1.

Fast forward to now (DD2 is 4 months, DD1 is 15 months) and even though DD1 is now being an utter pain having hit the terrible twos early - the relationship between them is starting to blossom and it's absolutely adorable to see... DD2 absolutely idolises DD1 and thinks she's the most awesome thing on the planet (to the extent she'll lie on her tummy for a good half an hour just watching big sis play), and DD1 is trying really hard to be as gentle as the average toddler can be - and keeps coming over giving her little sister a kiss... the pair of them lie and giggle and grin to each other and I bloody well wish I could understand what the hell they're saying (and plotting)! And DD2, whom I felt such horrid stuff towards - is an utter joy of giggles and coos and the baby stuff DD1's just grown out of (I need my gummy smile and thigh squidge fix!)

I'd second the bath seat thing - we've just started bathing them together using one (just helps with the not enough hands to do it all at once factor) and they really really love it - again - howls of giggles and laughter.

Helspopje Thu 18-Jul-13 20:00:04

I'm in the same boat (daughter 3 last week and son 10 weeks). It sucks. I feel like I have wrecked our world and my daughter is suffering. To make it worse, stupidly I thought she'd benefit from more time at home when I was off (to attempt to assuage the guilt for having worked full time) but she now seems termially bored all the time and wants to watch TV all the time, wont do what I say, has started peeing herself and has a total paddy 24/7 hen she doesnt get her way. I feel like I have broken her.

Delighted to PM chat if you want a virtual mate in the lifeboat.

lotsofcheese Thu 18-Jul-13 19:51:23

Oh, you poor thing! This was me, 2 months ago - a very much wanted & planned 2nd pregnancy (after a very premature 1st baby & 2 mc).

I used to wish I was at work! It just felt like a hard slog, all day & night. I felt I had gone from being a very good parent to DS to a "minimal care" parent, just doing the basics. And his behaviour deteriorated too hmm

Gradually, things have improved. The time between feeds has increased so we can go out for an hour or two. I'm getting more sleep at night. DS has adapted well & I'm able to compromise between both their needs.

A couple of things that have helped:
- a sling (easier than getting out with a pram & hands-free)
- a baby bath seat so they can "bond" in the bath
- the baby "bought" DS a present so he had positive associations with his new baby sister
- we had play dates at the house so he was amused.

I promise you it gets easier!

quertas Thu 18-Jul-13 19:28:43

Thanks everyone. It's great that people understand. I do feel quite resentful of the baby in a way and am struggling with this. I miss my Dd even though we spend a lot of time of ether it's not the same. Lots of practical suggestions that I'm really grateful for here! I had wondered if mixed feeding would help but I'm not sure how to go about this. When I had DD it was suggested tht if I mixed feeds I'd reduce/ lose supply and that feels like a bit of a defeat. But it'd be wonderful to be able to do some things without having to factor in my flipping boobs all the time! I think I'm finding it harder to bind with this baby, and maybe some of that is that he was in Scbu for a few days after birth and so we were separated which makes it tough but I feel like I should be back to normal now. It's great to hear I'm not the only one though!!!

DontmindifIdo Thu 18-Jul-13 16:59:03

right, my DC2 is 6 weeks old and DC1 is 3 years old so I hear you - this is far far harder than last time! If your DS is anything like my DC2, then the heat is making him feed all the time.

cut yourself some slack, introduce some formula if you need to (it's not all or nothing, you could do formula when you are out and about).

Take your DD to places where you can sit while she plays, so parks that have contained play areas, soft play, so you can sit and feed, waving now and then while she plays.

Do you have a paddling pool? (there's one for £4 in Tescos!) Water, toys in the garden, let her get messy while you feed.

Will your DD be at preschool in September? That's only a couple of months away, it's only a couple of months when you will have two all day. Hold on to that!!!

If there's anyone who can help out a bit, even just taking DC1 out for a while to give you a break, take them up on it.

Remember, you don't need to parent DC2 the way you did with DC1, so if you don't BF, introduce a routine, leave DC2 a little longer when he cries, that's ok.

ThePippy Thu 18-Jul-13 16:55:07

I totally get where you are coming from. I felt like my relationship with DD was ruined when DS turned up. I desperately craved the closeness I had once had with DD, and even though family could see I was struggling (it turned to PND sadly) whenever they visited it was always DD they chose to "unburden" me of, when what I really wanted was them to take the baby for a bit so I could just go play with DD.

Anyway, my two are now almost 4 and 19 months and it is so very different. DD loves her baby brother and is so so proud of all the new developments he achieves, DS looks up to his big sister like she is his hero and wants to do everything she does. They laugh and play together and I know I did the right thing as it has enriched our lives massively. DS has a very different character to DD, much more cheeky but very very affectionate. I honestly didn't think I would ever feel the way I do now, certainly not in those early months for me which just felt dark and miserable.

So I know it's really hard when you are right in the middle of it, but it gets so much better, so hold on and take any offers of help you can, especially if it means getting some 121 time with your DD again.

Good luck xx

PanickedandAnxious Thu 18-Jul-13 16:51:31

Well I went from 1-3 (very unexpected twins) and yes, it was pretty hard work. The guilt is the worst thing and the feeling of being spread so thin.

It will soon pass, I never have to go through this again, this is the hardest it's going to get - just repeat that mantra to yourself.

jussey17 Thu 18-Jul-13 16:44:59

I only have 1 child so have no direct experience but everyone I know who has more than 1 had a grim time to start with, but it does get better. Hang in there your baby is v small and the feeding will get easier.

BeaWheesht Thu 18-Jul-13 16:32:57

I have a similar age gap and I wouldn't say I ever felt dc2 was a mistake as such but I definitely felt an overwhelming sense of guilt that I had destroyed dc1's little world and I actually felt I had betrayed him by having dd, as if saying that he wasn't enough for me. I longed for evenings being adults only again, for snuggles with ds, for some bloody personal space!

However, I had PND - doyou think you do? I don't think you necessarily do I think that I had alot of other symptoms too.

What I will say is that it truly gets better, when people said that to me I thought either 'when? If not today then I can't stand this another second' or 'no it won't, not for me'.

It did though, slowly but surely and not actually as slowly as I thought it would!

They are almost 3 and 6 now and mostly absolutely adore each other and I think having dd was the best thing I've ever done for ds.

If you want to formula feed / use a dummy / use cbeebies / whatever do it just to get you through. It is a tough time and you're exhausted and emotional, it's only natural. Take a break whenever you can - remember Dh DID have a part to play in this too (!) and take any offers of help you can. Also, ask for help. Even if you don't know someone that well then still ask if they'll even just accompany you to the park and hold the baby whilst you play with dd.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 18-Jul-13 16:19:05

The first 2-3 months are awful but then it gets better. By Christmas the baby will be crawling around and they will actually play 'together' and leave you alone for a minutes peace

I agree with MaryKatherine, I also have 4 and 1 to 2 was the worst. I promise it gets better. TV is your friend

Marcheline Thu 18-Jul-13 16:17:30

I agree with MK - ceebeebies is your friend.

DD1 had just turned 3 when DD2 was born. They're now 3.5 and 5 months, but in the early days there were a couple of times where I shouted at DH through tears and snot that it had been his idea and I hated it blush - he was definitely more certain than I was about having baby #2, but it takes two to tango!!

It gets so much better, honestly. Now, DD2 lights up as soon as DD1 appears in the room, and DD1 chats away to the baby. DH came home for lunch today and we stood watching DD1 perform for her little sister, both of them laughing, and it just felt right. It helps that DD2 is chilled out and calm, the total opposite of her big sister.

Feeding was a real battle for me too. It still isn't easy for me, tbh; though it's not painful, just uncomfortable, I can't wait to wean. I have actual scars on my nipples.

Your DS is still really small; it will get better soon.

LostLion Thu 18-Jul-13 16:13:11

It gets better!!! No really, it does. My son is almost 3 and my infant has just turned 5 months. It was really tough go at first, but I now feel like I have a good handle on how to manage them both AND my bonding with DS2 is now coming on strong. Not that I didn't love him, but you have to consider that you've known your first child for a lot longer and are just getting to know this little one.

I early on got organized with some easy activities to occupy DS1:
-dried macaroni in a bin on the floor
-cornstarch and water in a bin on the floor (or in the tub)
-color wonder sheets and a variety of crayons, markers etc
-shaving cream and foam sheets on a dollar store shower curtain
-daily I would just let him play in the kitchen sink with soap suds etc.

Do you have a garden? Can you sit in the shade with baby while your DD plays in a sandbox or with a bin of water?

You get the idea. There are lots of ideas online...and YES mine watched a lot of tv.

Cut yourself and the baby some slack - you are both just figuring things out.

Hang in there OP! Two is a blessing - give it some time.

Chrysanthemum5 Thu 18-Jul-13 16:08:20

I remember sitting watching DS playing with DH when he was just turned 3 while I sat with newborn DD. I was sobbing thinking about how I'd ruined his life as he'd been so happy with just us. Now they are really good friends, and I know they bring something to each others lives that DH and I couldn't provide.

It's early days, it will get better. Ask your
GP about pain relief. I think you can have paracetamol when bfing? Taken on a proper schedule it's a good pain relief.

MaryKatharine Thu 18-Jul-13 16:04:22

I have 4 children and without a doubt, going from 1 to 2 was the biggest transition. Everyone kept telling me not to be besotted with my baby and to remember the needs of my 2yr old! Well in fact it was the other way around as I resented DD1 because she took me away from DS1. She was a screamer too which didn't help.

You are very early in and it is a difficult time. There is a reason why statistically, more couples divorce within a yr of having their 2nd baby.
I would say, cbeebies and cbeebies magazines are your friend. Oh and a crazily fast swing which was the only thing to stop he'd crying. Give yourself time. Does your dd go to nursery? If not, maybe a couple of half days. Just to give you time with DS.

JemimaMuddledUp Thu 18-Jul-13 15:58:28

Can I give you a completely un-MN hug?

You sound exhausted, and I think everything is getting on top of you because of that.

Speak to your HV about how you are feeling. You aren't the first and won't be the last. The transition from one to two children can be tough, even without health problems on top.

Oh, and it does get easier with time.

HeadFairy Thu 18-Jul-13 15:58:00

Sorry, I didn't offer much by way of practical support. You absolutely cannot be in two places at once so don't kill yourself trying to. Can you involve dd in looking after your ds, bathing him perhaps, helping with nappy changes etc, so she will not only be bonding with him, but you get some time chatting together. Someone suggested a brilliant thing to do with a toddler while bfing, get some plain white paper and get her to draw around your bare feet while you're feeding, she can then colour in your "feet". DS used to love doing that! I also resorted to having dd in a sling pretty much all the time so I could get on with stuff with ds. I have pretty big boobs and I used to have to use both hands to feed, so I used to sit at the kitchen table and bf dd while ds drew me pictures, he would turn the pages of books/comics so I could read them to him. We watched a lot of films together, he watched a lot of Cbeebies too.

Beechview Thu 18-Jul-13 15:55:35

I agree - its early days.
I found the first 12 weeks a real struggle but honestly, it gets much easier.

Can you see a breastfeeding counsellor to help you with positioning?

Does the baby sleep in the buggy or car so you can out for a bit?

QTPie Thu 18-Jul-13 15:54:04

It is such early days:
- things WILL change: you will be a lot less tied to feeding and be able to take both DC's out.
- it is a "period of adjustment" for everyone: you WILL all adjust and get used to it.

Go to your GP: there are lots of painkillers that you can have whilst BFing (I had a CS and had both voltarol and Codydramol - paracetamol and codeine)

HeadFairy Thu 18-Jul-13 15:53:13

Give it time, you are absolutely at the hardest point, with a toddler and a newborn. It is without a doubt the most tiring, exhausting, frustrating and utterly relentless.

But it gets better.

I was the one who pushed for baby number 2 and I found the first bit so so hard. You will settle in to your routines, your baby's feeding demands will get easier to cope with. Your dd will cope with you not being able to offer her your full attention. Millions of children do.

And at the end of every stressful, exhausting, frustrating day give yourself a break and a wine

Floralnomad Thu 18-Jul-13 15:52:50

Why don't you swop to formula ,it won't hurt the baby and will probably be less time consuming , I'm sure other people must have these wobbles so do whatever makes your life easier .

AnythingNotEverything Thu 18-Jul-13 15:50:14

I think it's early days.

It sounds like everything feels awful at the moment. It won't always feel like this. Get some help - can DD go on a play date? Can you get some help with your latch so feed time can also be cuddle and story time for DD?

quertas Thu 18-Jul-13 15:46:25

Shit, shit, shit. I've screwed up. I have a just 3 year old DD and now a 4 week old DS and I'm just beginning to realise how badly I've cocked up. Our lives were brilliant before DS and now they're ruined and it is all my stupid cow fault. I was the one who wanted a second child, not DH,who spoke against it. Now I barely get to spend any time with DD as I'm stuck permanently breastfeeding the baby or trying to get him to be quiet. If he cries he wakes her in the night, even though she sleeps one floor down from our bedroom where his Moses basket is, so I can't settle him at night other than to put him in bed with me, which just means I get no sleep at all as I'm uncomfortable and petrified I'm going to squash him. Can't take DD anywhere far as the bloody baby wants to be fed all the time and for some reason can't stay latched on without my help. I have to hold him with one hand and hold back the rest of breast with the other otherwise his nose is covered and he can't breathe so doing anything while Bf ing even with a sling is out. Added to which I'm now in agony witha recurrence of a prolapse that I had after DD and my gp says he won't even refer me back to the surgeon who originally diagnosed it for treatment until I'm 3 months postpartum - presumably on the basis that as I needed surgery after pg 1 pregnancy 2 might have cured it blushblush- and I can't get any pain relief as I'm bfing. What have I done? What the hell can I do to make this better ? Does anyone else regret having a second or is it just me?

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