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When did you feel ready for 2 or realise you were done at 1?

(35 Posts)
littlelionman Wed 04-Sep-13 16:30:22

Hi there,

DS has just turned 1. I didn't enjoy pregnancy (prolonged sickness), then had a traumatic birth and postnatal period (likely have PN PTSD). The first year has been tough (sleep deprivation, adjustment to motherhood etc). I adore DS but can't imagine doing it all again, even though before I was pregnant I thought I would want 2.

DH really wants 2, and wants to talk about babies again next year. He says everyone has told him it's just "too soon" for me to think about another baby and that I'll change my mind. Lots of friends have said that even when they were exhausted with their first they still knew they wanted another.

Just out of interest, when did you know that you were ready for a second? Did it take weeks/months/years? Or when did you realise that you were done at 1?

mumofboyo Wed 04-Sep-13 16:45:46

We always thought we'd love ds to have a sibling, with a 2+ yr age gap. I think this was because we both come from relatively big families and, despite a blip during labour, pg with him was easy and plain sailing. He was also a very easy baby who slept through at a month old, had no issues feeding or weaning and settled in at nursery and with other family members very easily.

Dd came along sooner than expected but we weren't too worried about the logistics or stresses because of how happy I was with ds.

There have been times since her birth that I felt I'd made a huge mistake, that I wished she wasn't here sad blush because she had issues feeding and caught every bug going. Now that she's bigger, however, that's easing off and I can see how much she's enriching ds' life.

I just think that you can never say never, especially if you're not entirely sure one way or the other, and just see how/if your feelings change in the future, as the stresses, difficulties and memories of your first child's birth/babyhood begin to fade, if indeed they ever do. And don't expect your 1st experience to be repeated with any subsequent pg/births.

DoudousDoor Wed 04-Sep-13 17:54:52

I always wanted 2. DH was more interested in 3.

I wanted a 2 year gap.

Then I had DS! grin

Awful pregnancy (sick for the 9 months), fairly good birth but then a very difficult baby (reflux for which we didn't get meds which worked until he was 12 months old - he stopped being sick at 15 months).

DS was always a terrible sleeper. Around the time we might have been thinking of TTCing I just could not face it. I was exhausted (FT work in a high-powered job + non-sleeping toddler + regular migraines) and to be honest, just could not face the idea of dealing with DS, work, migraines and being pregnant.

If I'm really honest, sex was more a chore than anything!

But then it got easier around 18months (for various reasons) and for the first time I could think about maybe having a second one. We waited a few more months (partly cos I'm up for a big promotion at work and want to get it before being on mat leave and partly cos we were finally finding DS easier and wanted to enjoy it) then went for it.

To my shock I got pregnant first month of trying so I am sooooo glad we waited! (especially as DS is nearly 2 and still not sleeping through the night!)

I always knew I wanted 2 just "not yet". My real surprise was when a workmate told me she was pregnant. She'd had her first 3 months after me, and to my surprise I was jealous that she was pregnant! That made me realise I really did want it.

AnneElliott Wed 04-Sep-13 18:05:54

I knew right after DS that I wasn't going to have any more. Easy pregnancy and birth but I found looking after a baby so hard. Once it got easier I didn't want to change it by having another. DS is 7 now and I don't regret the decision.

axure Wed 04-Sep-13 18:08:32

I always knew DS would be an OC, even before he was born. I've never felt broody. DH also happy with 1, he's never suggested any more (too late now).

Metalhead Wed 04-Sep-13 18:38:43

Before DD came along I thought we'd probably have 2, just because that seems to be the norm. However, once she was here and I realised that I'm definitely not the 'natural mother' type, I quickly changed my mind and thought there's no way I could do it all over again. This only changed shortly before her 3rd birthday.

So, I'd say it is still really early for you and you might well change your mind as your little one grows up and becomes more independent. Or you might not, which is also perfectly fine!

I think for me it was getting to a point where I felt I had at least some of my old life back, and realising that even if things would be hard again with another baby we would come out the other side eventually.

cherrytomato40 Wed 04-Sep-13 18:45:57

I didn't have that all-consuming broodiness for DC2 like I did with DC1. It was more just a practical thing, we always knew we wanted 2 and as it took a long time to conceive DD1 we started trying when she was 15 months fully expecting it to take ages- we were really taken aback when the next month I was pregnant! I like the 2 year age gap now but the first 6 months with a toddler and newborn were exhausting.

Just wait until you feel ready, if you ever do! I have friends with a 4-5 year age gap who say it's the best thing ever!

peachypips Wed 04-Sep-13 19:06:26

I had a terrible time in both pregnancies. I was hospitalised with severe PND and drugged up to the nines. My first birth was bad and ended in a section.

After DS1 it took me two years to feel ready to start trying. We had DS2 when DS1 was 2 yrs 9 months.

My second birth was very fast and vaginal. I was fine after I had him. It is tricky at the start but now I am so glad I have two.

So, in summary, I had the worst time but I would still not take it back for anything. I love having two- DS1 is 5 and a half and DS2 is nearly three. They play together, have fun together, make each other laugh. I find it easier too as I am not DS1's sole source of entertainment.

DS was a challenging baby (silent reflux, hyperactive, cried a LOT) and had a fairly traumatic birth with him (didn't realise how bad it was until DD was born and it was so much better!) but nevertheless I still felt a huge urge to have another baby from him being about 9 months (I remember thinking at 7 months no way and then suddenly feeling differently) - I got pregnant when he was 12 months so there's nearly 21 months between them.

I won't lie, it's been really hard - I have suffered from really bad anxiety and stress and developed PTSD (related to unresolved childhood ishoos) when DD was a few months old. But despite this (and the violent/shouty stage DS is going through with her) I can see how much they've bonded and adore each other and I don't regret a thing (except it would have been nice to get a diagnosis and treatment sooner) - I think if you're going to want another one the urge just happens whether you plan for it or not...or sometimes it doesn't! unfortunately we all have plans of how many we'd like before having any but the reality is sometimes things put us off or we change our minds or perhaps it's just not the right time yet. you'll work out if and when it's time for you - hopefully it will be the same decision your DH comes to because if there's one partner that doesn't want any more, they're usually the one to get 'their way'!

have you had a diagnosis/treatment for the PTSD? I think that's a good place to start..parenting is a hard enough job without unresolved mental health problems thrown into the mix. best of luck!

oh and my pregnancies couldn't have been more different by the way - first had horrendous morning sickness for the first 14 week's throwing up constantly, heartburn, aches and pains and general misery throughout! the second I still felt horrible nausea for the first trimester but after that I felt amazing, kept forgetting I was pregnant! the birth was pretty awesome too..I listened to a natal hypnotherapy CD and took the view that my body knew what to do and all I had to do was trust it and be left alone, which seemed to work! I actually look back at it fondly and as a relaxing memory despite the pain, so it can be better than your first experience.

CreatureRetorts Wed 04-Sep-13 19:36:40

I knew I wanted more than one before ds was born. He was an atrocious sleeper and I struggled big time with being a mother then going back to work but I still wanted another and we had dd. so I just knew and didn't change my mind.

sparkle12mar08 Wed 04-Sep-13 19:43:02

I knew within seconds of ds1's birth that I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I'd venture to say that if you feel you're done at one, then you're done at one. Give yourself the freedom to change your mind by all means, but you know how you feel, in exactly the same way as I did.

LadyBigtoes Wed 04-Sep-13 19:48:03

I always wanted 3. After my first, I was keen to have another soon - at 5 months I was thinking about it, but DP was too much in shock and didn't want another.

I let it go for a while but I really wanted another so much, I kept talking to DP about it and eventually he agreed to try for a second, but a third would be too much for him. Now we very happily do have a second child, but I think he was right – I couldn't manage 3 either.

Now, I did persuade him to have no 2 when he wasn't really keen - but if he had said definitely no I would have had to respect that. However, when it's your body doing the carrying and birthing, I think you have more of a veto and shouldn't be put under pressure.

If your age isn't a pressing issue, relax and see how you feel as time goes on. Our DC have an almost 5-year age gap, and I think that's been easier than some families I know who have them close together.

peachypips Wed 04-Sep-13 19:55:16

I'm sorry sparkle but that is just not true! If you have a bad time then that eclipses your true feelings. I always wanted four. After DS1 it took 2 years before I wanted another. Then I had DS2 and I am glad.

littlelionman Wed 04-Sep-13 20:02:16

Thanks to everyone who has replied! It's really interesting to hear everyone's stories.

NiceCupOfTea: I've just recently been diagnosed with PN PTSD and am waiting to start some treatment. Treatment might change how I feel about the birth, but I would still be very nervous about coping with another pregnancy, and looking after another baby...I'm just starting to be able to imagine a 'normal' life again.

Ladybigtoes: I'm 35 so time is a bit of an issue. I'm not sure that DH really appreciates that when he says he wants number 2 that it means me being pregnant, me giving birth, and me (mostly) looking after the baby..even though that's what happened with DS..

I feel so broody before DS and I just can't imagine feeling that way again.

nomoreminibreaks Wed 04-Sep-13 20:20:20

DS was pretty tough - difficult birth, PND, colic for 5 months and didn't sleep through until 18 months. For a long time I struggled with the expectation that there would be another but I didn't see how I could do it all again. The decision to try for DC2 was not easy but when DS turned 2 I started to think I might just be able to cope with another. I'm now 5 months pregnant and I'm starting to get more excited about giving DS a little brother.

To be honest I wasn't 100% sure that I really wanted DS until he was born and once or twice after and everything turned out ok, so I figure this will turn out fine too.

I often think that those parents who choose to have a smaller age gap are those with children who sleep, feed and had easy births!

sparkle12mar08 Wed 04-Sep-13 20:49:56

Which is why I said give yourself the freedom to change your mind peachypips...

Shakey1500 Wed 04-Sep-13 20:57:54

I hadn't planned on having any children. DS was a (happy) accident. However I knew straight away that I didn't want any more.

Portofino Wed 04-Sep-13 21:12:23

I never did. I was 35 when dd was born. The time was never right to go for another. I regret it only on her behalf. I never wanted to do another a baby.

sharond101 Wed 04-Sep-13 21:52:12

I had a horrid pregnancy (hyperemesis and SPD) and was anxious throughout due to having previously miscarried. DS was a difficult baby, reflux, colic, clingy and hated being put down or in his pram. It was super stressful and ultra tiring and DH is out of bounds with a bad back. I knew however at 3 months I wanted to do it all again. I could see it wouldn't be forever and realised we needed some time before trying again but with no uncertainty I knew I wanted 2. DH was very traumatised after the birth and has taken a little more convincing.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 04-Sep-13 22:00:27

I was 35 when DD was born. When she turned 1, we felt ready to think about a second and started trying straight away because of my age. I got pregnant when she was 15 mo. TBH I was relieved not to get pregnant sooner as 2 years is a small enough gap for me. It does take a while to get your life back, and to get back into work.

I had a terrible birth and was left with a prolapse, but the consultant suggested i could have a c section (no promises) so I felt more positive about getting pregnant again.

bigwellylittlewelly Wed 04-Sep-13 22:09:59

Always knew I wanted two, now I have two I would love another.

First birth - horrific - a medical mistake left baby fighting for her life and although she survived she has lifelong disabilities. Uncontrolled reflux until 20 months due to cerebral palsy and she only came off reflux meds the week before her third birthday. Left with untreated PTSD.

Because of many many cock ups during my second pregnancy I had to have a caesarian prior to going into labour. I resent that so very much. Baby is easy and happy and a beautiful drram but I urge you to get the PTSD sorted out - I have now been assessed as having clinical depression not PND.

Cjilly Wed 04-Sep-13 23:29:30

I always wanted 4. Had DS and was adamant that one was enough for me!
I'm pregnant with DC2 but in the risk of being flamed, I'm not overjoyed about it. I had the worst time raising DS by myself for the first two years of his life (DH was still at uni and I had to drop out) so was living down south alone while he was in the Midlands(Long story) and even though I love DS to bits and he was and still is an amazing baby(little man) I do not possess the 'doting mother' gene. I'm enjoying it more now that he's almost 3 and talking a lot.

So how did this one come along? I hear you ask.. I felt so guilty at the thought of denying DH the experience to raise a newborn. He missed DS birth as I spontaneously went into labour and he was too far away. He wasn't around when DS was reaching his milestones etc so I felt guilty at the fact that, through no fault of his own, he missed out on a lot and so here we are.

Tbh, I wouldn't be feeling so bleurgh if this pregnancy wasn't so hard on my body!

neunundneunzigluftballons Wed 04-Sep-13 23:36:02

It was nearly 3 years before I considered having number2 after a traumatic time on number1.

LadyBigtoes Wed 04-Sep-13 23:38:54

OP - I had my babies at 35 and 40, so from my POV you are fine! I know fertility is supposed to decline from 35 but recent research suggests it's not as bad as was made out. When I talked to my GP about it, aged 39 she said "of course you can get pregnant again! my surgery is full of 35+ pregnant women!" So I'd still say give yourself a break and time to think (and explain to DH that's what you need).

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