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partner says no to 2nd child. how to move fwd?

(19 Posts)
tiredybear Fri 03-Mar-17 18:02:37

Not sure if this is the right place to post this.

Great relationship with DH, have a nearly 2yo DS. DH is a great dad.
Took a while to conceive due to (now fixed) medical issues with me.
DS was the ultimate sleep thief and we had a really rough first year. Only just (in the last week!) started sleeping through. DH is mid 40s and thinks he's too old to go through it all again and be able to provide for second child in the long term.
I understand his reasons but the problem is I feel like our family is not complete. I am desperate to have a second child. I've really been trying to accept it but every time I get my period I feel devastated, even though we are being careful so very little chance of it happening.

I know I'm really lucky to have the family I've got and need to try and move forward but really don't know how.

Would really like some advice on how I can deal with this.

Writerwannabe83 Fri 03-Mar-17 21:26:56

I've been there OP and it's really hard.

Prior to having our DS both DH and I were pretty sure we only ever wanted one child and due to a very bad pregnancy and a very hard 12 months following the birth we didn't waiver.

However, when DS was about 15 months old I started to get broody and tentatively bought up the subject of having another baby and DH was having none of it. I let it go for a few months and then mentioned it again but he was positive he didn't want another. I told him my reasons why I wanted another which were primarily that I wanted DS to have a sibling but it made no difference.

I started to find myself getting upset about it (though hiding it from DH) because I just didn't feel 'done' and the thought of never being pregnant again or having another baby made me feel very sad.

I continued to bring it up in conversation every now and then and DH said he'd have another one if it mattered so much to me but I wanted him to want it too so didn't take him up on his offer.

Almost a year after I first mentioned it I'd had a really bad day at work (a baby had died) and when I got home all my deep upset cane pouring out and we had a really deep conversation about having another, it was probably the most honest we'd ever been with each other and the end result was that he agreed that we would try for DC2 and he promised me it was something he wanted to. I fell pregnant within two months he but it unfortunately ended in a miscarriage at about 8 weeks. DH and I were both upset, he said he couldn't go through it again and then went back to his stance of not wanting another baby. It was a really difficult time as I felt he'd snatched away something that was really important to me. I think it was just the upset that made him feel like that though as a few months after the miscarriage he told me he wanted to try again for DC2. My head was all over the place with him changing his mind.

Upon talking about the issue DH said the thing that was holding him back was because he felt that he was too old to go beck to square one even though he'd only just turned 34. He said he really did want to try again for DC2 but that if it hadn't happened in 12 months then we'd stop trying as turning 35 would be his cut off point. It took us about 10 cycles before I fell pregnant and I'm now almost 16 weeks gone. Thankfully it happened before he turned 35 as I'm very confident that once he got that mile stone he would have put an end to TTC.

I can understand why in his mid 40s your DH doesn't want to start all over again but that doesn't make it any easier for you

At one point during DHs refusal to have another I really tried to make peace with the fact it wasn't going to happen as I knew that his wishes to stop at just one child were equally valid as my wish to have another and I couldn't force him to want or have another baby.

Have you spoken to him openly about how desperately you want this? I think when I used to mention it every few months my DH just thought I was having general musings and that I was just going through a phase but when I really let him in about how much having a second child meant to me I think it came as a shock to him and he realised it wasn't something that was going to go away.

Some MN members talk about 'Deal Breakers' in terms of whether a woman who desperately wants another child is prepared to stay with a man who doesn't or whether the resentment would just be too much. I know I would never have left my DH over the issue, even if it meant me sacrificing my desire to have a second baby, but I'm not sure how it would have affected out relationship.

Huge sympathies OP as it's a really difficult and upsetting situation to be in flowers

tiredybear Sat 04-Mar-17 11:42:09

Thanks for the reply. And congratulations on your pregnancy!

WorldWideWish Sat 04-Mar-17 11:48:03

I think Writer has really hit the nail on the head there. Firstly, does your DH really know how much you want this? Secondly, as it's not something you can compromise on, is it a 'deal breaker' for either of you?

tiredybear Sun 05-Mar-17 13:02:37

I've tried talking to him but it's never the right time. I feel like he just wants me to get over it and stop rocking the boat. I wish I could but it's eating away at me.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 05-Mar-17 17:07:26

How old are you OP if you don't mind me asking? Is there an age/time pressure on you that you want another one soon? Or could you wait a few years?

ohforfoxsake Sun 05-Mar-17 18:46:57

What you want matters as much as what he wants.

You are going to have to talk to him, he needs to know how much you want this.

There's no compromise with this, so one of you will have to stand down eventually.

I just couldn't. Not on this. It's not just about having a baby, it's a brother or sister. It isn't just about him. I really hope you can make him understand.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 05-Mar-17 19:00:19

It's not just about having a baby, it's a brother or sister. It isn't just about him. I really hope you can make him understand.

Absolutely - and this is why I found it so hard when DH was initially saying no to a second baby. I come from a huge, really close family whereas he doesn't so we were both coming at the issue from different angles. I love my sister more than I can say whereas he has no relationship with his brother.

I told DH that it was really important to me that DS have a sibling and be able to experience being an uncle and have nieces and nephews etc - those type of relationships/bonds can be really special and I didn't want to deny DS the chance to ever have them. Because DH had no close sibling relationship or no ties to any family (it's just him and his dad really) he simply couldn't see why our DS 'needed' a sibling or the chance to belong to a bigger family.

I know people say you shouldn't have a second baby to provide a sibling but it 90% of my reasoning to have another.

WallisFrizz Sun 05-Mar-17 19:14:35

Ohforfoxsake...i dont think that's fair. She wants a second child for her not for the benefit of her existing child. Sure, that child would get a sibling if they had a second but who is to say they would be close. There are benefits to being an only child. The OPs husband is saying he doesn't want a second, sure she should talk to him but emotional blackmail is not a good idea.

Manupprincess Sun 05-Mar-17 19:47:44

My DP would love another child and a sibling for DS. I just couldn't go through pregnancy and babyhood again, it was just too hideous the first time. We are just starting to get to the point of enjoying being a little family and it's lovely but I can't change my mind no matter how much DP wants it. I know it's tough on him but he accepts that I won't change my mind so is focused on enjoying the lives we have now. We have both been very honest with each other which is important. You both have to make it clear to each other what either option means to you.

WorldWideWish Sun 05-Mar-17 20:18:47

OP, whatever the outcome, you deserve to have an honest conversation with your DH and for him to listen to you and acknowledge your feelings.

tiredybear Mon 06-Mar-17 22:49:35

Thanks for your replies. We sat down and had a big talk about it all today. Not reached a decision yet but feel a lot better for having been able to discuss it.
I'm 36 and DH is 44, which is his big reason for not wanting any more. I think that's even more of a reason to have a 2nd as then our son will have someone when we're not around!
DH mentioned the possibility of adopting an older child as a compromise so lots to think about.
We've agreed to talk about it again next week.

WorldWideWish Tue 07-Mar-17 07:19:58

Glad you've managed to have a proper conversation about it, OP. I hope it all works out for you.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 07-Mar-17 07:28:45

as then our son will have someone when we're not around!

Absolutely not. Please don't use this as a reason.
They could grow up not getting on, a second child could be born with special needs, you just don't know.

Have that conversation, look at all the options, I wish you all the luck... but please don't use that^ as a reason.

Screamer1 Tue 07-Mar-17 07:30:02


WigglyWooWorm Tue 07-Mar-17 07:34:00

Having a sibling is a fairly usual reason people have a second child. Of course it doesn't mean you should but its fairly usual round here as a reason.

I'm 38 and would have had more if I'd started younger/ was fitter/ more affluent but we've definitely stopped ( he had vasectomy when he reached 40)

smilingsarahb Tue 07-Mar-17 07:36:59

Can you look at things that would make it easier on you both..Eg night nanny a nights a week...or an au pair. Build in some down time for him and you. I found the lack of sleep horrible and can relate to not wanting to go back.

NataliaOsipova Tue 07-Mar-17 07:41:56

DH mentioned the possibility of adopting an older child as a compromise so lots to think about.

Gosh - I wouldn't think of that as a compromise - that's a wholly different kettle of fish with a huge number of different challenges. An older child is, more likely than not, to have been through the care system and possibly have a history of abuse. I know someone who adopted a 9 year old very successfully and I have huge respect and admiration for them, but it was a challenging journey and required huge dedication and time from them. It's not a "get out of jail free" card with regard to the sleepless nights that come with a new baby and it would have significant ramifications for your DS. (Not necessarily negative, of course, but potentially- and very different ones from those that would come with the arrival of a baby sibling).

I think you do, as a pp said, need to lay out to your DH exactly how you feel. His age is no big deal - 44 is a pretty common age for a dad amongst people I know! The sleep thing is tricky - but not all babies are the same. If finances allow you could look at a doula or a night nanny for a period? (I haven't ever done this, but have heard of people who have used them for a week/fortnight for a bit of respite).

pishedoff Tue 07-Mar-17 10:18:06

It is hard, I would have loved another but DH against the idea. We have 2 children and did try again but I have 2 miscarriages 5 years ago ( yesterday was the due date of the first one I lost sad)

We have talked about it - not for a few years but after the MC's- but DH doesn't want to go through the MC again. I just don't feel quite complete, we always said we'd have 3 so when I had DS2 I didn't say goodbye to the feeling of being pregnant etc. Sounds silly I think but it means something to me!!

However, years on, our family life has changed and we now have medical difficulties with DS2 and I sometimes think that I'm pleased we haven't gone on to have another as it would be far harder to deal with hospital admissions etc. Doesn't stop me being broody though and feeling a little bit excited if my period is late.....

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