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Am I mad to even contemplate a second child? Help please!

(53 Posts)
artyjoe Wed 03-Oct-07 11:48:06

I was told 12 years previous that I couldn't have children, due to several new factors I tried again and now have a wonderful 2.5 year old. She is truly fantastic and I still cry for joy when she smiles and tells me she loves me...I also want to murder her when she's throwing herself on the floor screaming for 90 mins...although thankfully these are less frequent.

The main problem is I 'think' I'd like another for all the usual reasons, don't want DD1 to be an only child, we are old parents so she may be left in the world earlier than most, the love for this child is so immense surely it would be fantastic to have another...have had to come off the pill for various reasons and have no contraception choices left except to try for a baby or the to have or not to have is the question.

My daughter, wonderful though she is, still doesn't sleep through the night often. Last night was a 2am wake up and started her day at 5am...this is very usual for us. So I'm worried about the fact I've not slept for 2.5 years really and had a diabolical pregnancy, 8 months of total hell, and realise I could have exactly the same again, coupled with 2 nightly wake ups from DD1.

My husband and I are very strong in our relationship and he's very supportive, he's also a stay at home dad and I work from home so we live happily together 24/7 and our DD goes to nursery 3 days a week, finances are fine, but I have a lot of work stress.

I read threads on here about siblings hating each other and fighting and I'm just wondering if a second would be a blessing or a nightmare.

Part of me just wants to flip a coin but that can't be right either! I don't know what to do but with the contraception issue a problem, we really need to make a decision.

If I fell pregnant tomorrow my DD1 would be 3.5 years so the sleep thing could be better..but we thought that when she was 2!

My husband worries about when they are older and are going to different clubs, spreading time, shopping with two, etc and also that they might hate each other or that DD1 may stop being the fantastic child that she is.

Any advice or opinions? I don't know anyone who has 2 kids believe it or not, or older parents, I'm 37 and partner 46)...we don't have family so would be doing this with just the two of us.

edam Wed 03-Oct-07 11:52:21

Will watch with interest as we only have one, would vaguely like another, and are roughly the same age.

The people I know with two would discount all the stuff your husband worries about - I think it's normal for parents of onlies to think of these things but in practice I can see it works out. Are you only children yourselves, or do you have siblings?

The sleep thing - you are going to have to do something about it anyway, even if you stick to one. It sounds really bad.

edam Wed 03-Oct-07 11:53:01

Last line sounds a bit harsh, btw, I was intending to sympathise!

Lulumama Wed 03-Oct-07 11:55:18

i agree with edam re the sleep issue.. it needs sorting regardless of whether you stick with one, or go for another.

if you are both home based, and can be flexible, then taking to different places and clubs is less of an issue, also once your DD starts school you will most likely meet other parents and will be able to do rotas and things

which will you regret more: having another baby or not having another?

artyjoe Wed 03-Oct-07 11:57:00

Hi Edam, the sleep thing is a problem, but we've tried everything, read endless books, had sleep consultants in, the lot, it is much better now than it was, I kept a journal and the average amount of wake ups were 11 times so once or twice is real progress for us.

It's mainly that DD1 really is the joy of our lives...which makes me want to protect her and not have more, and at the same time have possibly another who will bring double the joy and love...but will they, or will another ruin's hard, hard, hard, and I have no comparisons with other people.

I do have an older sister but we are not close (we share rubbish parents unfortunately) and my husband is in exactly the same position.

mishymoo Wed 03-Oct-07 11:58:57

I only have one DS but would love to have another. My DH is not really of the same opinion most of the time although he knows my feelings on it, and I guess/hope we will try for another one when he starts school. I also don't want him growing up being an only child.

I think if you both really want another one, and it's not too dangerous for your health, then why not!

I wouldn't worry about the kids fighting - that's all part of growing up and at first she will be resentful of the baby but will learn to 'accept' the new addition to the family!

The sleep thing is normal and will eventually get better, my DS is now 2.3 and still has his odd wakeful nights. It's funny but your body does get used to no sleep and at least you have a very supportive husband so not everything is left down to you.

I really hope you sort this 'dilemma' out but deep down I think you know the answer! wink

artyjoe Wed 03-Oct-07 11:59:40

Hi Lumama,

Your question...which will you regret more: having another baby or not having another? ..

This is the problem! I will regret having another if it spoils the personality of our first child...I'll never know if not having another was the right decision or not as I am riddled with fear...but also hope that we might bring into the world another wonderful human being...I know I need a rolling eye smiley now but that's how we both feel blush

tutu100 Wed 03-Oct-07 12:01:12

Artyjoe I am ni a very similar situation to yourself. My ds is 2.4 and has only in the last 2 weeks started sleeping very well at night. He goes to bed fine but we were regularly woken 1 or 2 times a night and then he would want to get up between 5 and 6 am. He's not being naughty he just doesn't seem to need much sleep.

I wuold love another baby but dp is unsure due to the sleep problems we have with ds and the fact that I had a difficult pregnancy with him and I'm likely to have another difficult one.

I would just like to go for it there is so much in life you can not plan for. Your dd may be sleeping so much better in a few months time, but equally if not then if you have another baby you'll probably be up with them, so her sleep pattern might not be too much of a problem. (At least that's what I tell myself).

Good Luck in your decision making. I am still trying to convince my dp to try for another one, but I am 10 years younger than you so I have more time.

nailpolish Wed 03-Oct-07 12:02:23

i have 2 girls andthey love each other more than anything elsein the whole world

thats all i can say

Lulumama Wed 03-Oct-07 12:02:50

we had a similar dilemma

had ds, emergency c.s, i was traumatised, years of PND, he was the most fantastic baby and has never really given us any trouble. and for a long while we felt how could we push our luck, we;d never be that lucky twice and we had such a great child, so why not just stick at that?

but i knew that if i never had another baby, i would certainly regret that deeply, so in the end we took the plunge, when DS was 5, and we have a lovely DD who is 2. all worked out, i had a much better birth, no PND, and we are sure it was the right decision.

yes, DS was a bit peeved at first, but he got over it, and it has brought out a lovely, caring and nurturing side to him, he plays so nicely with her and is very protective of his little sister.

mishymoo Wed 03-Oct-07 12:03:19

sorry, the sleep bit didn't make sense in my last post. I meant to say that my DS was like yours in terms of not sleeping through the night and has always been an early riser but in the last few weeks, he has started to sleep through - he is in nursery 4.5days per week and only has about a 1.5hours nap during the day and I find if he has anymore, he doesn't sleep through! Does your LO sleep much in the day?

nailpolish Wed 03-Oct-07 12:04:11

and having asecond child will certainly not "spoil" the personality of the first child

artyjoe Wed 03-Oct-07 12:05:09

Hi Tutu100, you sound exactly the same as me, but with age on your side!

I hadn't thought about sharing rotas with other parents, so that might solve some of the worries regarding spliting time between two for clubs etc...another fear is that I want to remain married! I have had one divorce and don't want another, so our evenings are important to us, albeit it just sitting watching films together...but I'm assuming that most clubs are finished in time for kids to be in bed by 8pm anyway...I hope I'm not being naieve in that!

I am really hopeful that we'll crack the sleep thing before another arrives, if not, I'll do the one option left to us which is for me to move out and for night nannies to come in!..possibly :-)

Bramshott Wed 03-Oct-07 12:09:03

Artyjoe - all these agonies are normal!!

My DD1 has always slept well so I can't help there, but we agonised for ages about whether to go for another, mainly due to health problems I had in first pregnancy.

DD2 was born when DD1 was 4.5, and it's the best thing we ever did! She's 6 months now and they love each other so much (DD1 told us the other day "I do love you and Daddy, but I love DD2 the best"). I had no recurrence of health problems, and the lack of sleep was so much better the second time as we were more confident parents, I fed lying down at night etc etc.

It's all personal, but I know I would have regretted it if I had let fear stop me having another baby.

artyjoe Wed 03-Oct-07 12:11:21

Thanks nailpolish, that is reassuring. I don't know if spoil was the right word to use, but I don't want her to feel resentful or left out or anything other than 100% adored by her parents I suppose...although I also think that because we are so in tune with these fears we'll probably overcompensate to ensure that doesn't happen.

There is a large part that believes she'll adore a new brother or sister and will enable them be wonderful too...but then I also have visions of her holding a pillow over the babies face hmm I realise both of these are extremes of course and there is probably a more realistic middle ground to be had...but those aren't the visions I have!

With regards to naps during the day, when she's at nursery she get around 1hr but at home we've eliminated them, unless she's very obviously tired...then we'll take her for a drive and she will go for about 1hr or 90 mins.

Moomin Wed 03-Oct-07 12:11:54

Dd1 was 4 when dd2 was born 2 years ago and I have to say that it has made her personality even better - she's so kind and considerate towards dd2 (esp when dd2 doesn't deserve it) and it melts my heart to see dd1 developing into a fantastic big sister. I think the age gap has really worked well for us - it wasn't planned and we certgainly didn't anticipate having to wait 2 years to conceive dd2, which is what happened, but it's worked out brilliantly. Dd1 started school at the time dd2 was born and although I was anxious that dd1 would think she was being 'pushed out', she absolutely loved the stimulation of school and has thrived.

Having babies isn't an exact science, and there's no saying whether it will make your life harder or easier or whatever, really. All I know is that, when we thought there wouldn't be a dd2, we weren't that worried about dd1 being an only child; but when dd2 arrived, it did actually make a huge difference to the family dynamic - it was tiring (dd2 has only slept through a couple of times!) and more chaotic. But it's also the best thing we ever did. Dd2 adores her sister (most of the time) and it's lovely to see them together. Who's to say whether they'll be bosom buddies when they're older? I hope so, but it won't be the end of the world if they're not.

crokky Wed 03-Oct-07 12:13:09

artyjoe - may I ask about your pregnancy? For me, that is the issue that most stands out as I had a shocking pg with DS and am now 12wks through again (DS is 1.5). I don't know what your complications are, but mine are hyperemesis firstly and then later on my liver packs up & I have to deliver a borderline prem. I have really needed a lot of support during this pg as I have been unable to look after DS or myself as I have been so ill. If you think you can get through another pg, I would say the rest of your worries are fairly normal.

Moomin Wed 03-Oct-07 12:14:50

oh and also, dhand I are closer than ever. Both dds are in bed by 7.30 every night and we have plenty of quality time together alone, and withth girl Seeing my dh with his girls makes me so happy and proud.

<embarrassing hormonal gulp>

<or barf>

which ever you prefer!

artyjoe Wed 03-Oct-07 12:17:43

Hi Bramshott, you are right, it is just fear and I hate that it's playing a huge part in our decision making process.

Maybe if I hadn't had the 12 years of believing I couldn't have children it would be different, but my heart aches at the thought of having either decision impact on our DD negatively.

I hate the thought that she may be alone in the world but I see kids in the supermaket hitting each other and screaming at their mum, one running away from the trolley, while the other goes in the opposite direction and the mum doesn't know where to go...obviously we all hope this isn't going to be us, but what if it is? And of course what if they hold hands around the supermarket and hug each other all day, I'll be denying her that if I make the wrong decision.

Am I being silly?

Canadiandream Wed 03-Oct-07 12:22:25

artyjoe - i totally empathise re many of your concerns as we have just decided to try for #2 but I feel agonies of guilt every so often about ds and how it will affect him. things maybe to think about:

- your daughter could turn round to you in a few years time and ask why she doesn't have a brother or sister (my nephew is an only child of single mum with no chance of having a sibling and he (now 7) is gutted at being an only child)

- imagine the joy of looking at your two children playing together and loving each other

- when they are grown up they will have each other to complain about you to!

- you worry about your dd not having all your attention - but a subsequent child never has all their parents attention (ok, this one for me just makes me feel bad for my un-born second child!)

Anyway, good luck whatever you decide.

artyjoe Wed 03-Oct-07 12:23:53

Moomin, the picture you have painted is exactly what I'd love to achieve, and sometimes believe it would happen that way for us. Of course I am assuming I could actually fall pregnant again, I may not, but we need to assume I can in order to make the right decision.

Crokky, my pregnancy was bad, but nothing like yours by the sound of it. I had 6 days of bliss and then I started to bleed. I was sick for 17 weeks, nauseous for the rest of the time. I kept having protein and high blood pressure so Tuesday night was always hospital night. My knees packed in so that made things awful and I developed severe SPD which practically crippled me and led to a C section. The SPD was the worst as for 3 months just getting up to go to the loo was a horrific experience...but we have got a bed now that sits you up and we will get a commode to save my legs for those wees in the night...I was too proud for the first one, but I'm not going through that level of pain again if it can be helped.

Canadiandream Wed 03-Oct-07 12:26:25

last thought - having a child is (imo) a deeply irrational thing to do if you consider all the implications!!

So, don't rationalise it, just go with what your heart says!!

You love your daughter so much - you will feel exactly the same about your next child so you'll feel double the love!!! That's got to be a good thing!

PeachyFleshCrawlingWithBugs Wed 03-Oct-07 12:28:10

FWIW i have 3 and two don't sleep for medical reasons..... and I'm pg again! So not sleeing dosn't prohibit another child ime although also ime, ds2 (NT) didnt sleep wella she copied his brotehr, and when we gound we were ex-ectingd s3 we were a LOT more motivated to get it sorted LOL!

Two for shopping isn't too bad- you hve 2 hands, its not a bother. now three... wink

As for the clubs, you just sort it. really yu do, sometimes its a pian, sometimes its impossiblea dn tehy ahev to learn to compromise- that's a GOOD lesson though!

The 8 months of pg Hell I can understand, but not knowing what you went through in aprticular- I ahd hyperemesis then eclampsia with ds1, and trhe hyperemesis was much better controlled and the eclampsia non-existent, so it could be a lot btter.

Bramshott Wed 03-Oct-07 12:28:13

Artyjoe - the truth is you won't know until you do it. No-one can promise you that your kids won't be the ones fighting in the supermarket, but you probably can guarantee they won't be doing that 100% of the time. I don't know anyone who has had another child and then later on thought "I wish I hadn't" iyswim!

Moomin Wed 03-Oct-07 12:28:32

I think you're over-analysing a bit maybe? It's understandable, but sometimes you have to take the plunge and give yourself the chance to embrace life. I can understand if you've had negative experiences from your own childhood that might have an effect on the way you view families and sibling relationships, etc.

I'd also say don't look at other people's kids as an example of the way you will be - everyone is completely different - parents and children alike. If everyone didn't have a second/third child because of how it might upset the first-born, there'd hardly be any families with more than 1 child! I did worry about the effect it would have on dd1 (it's just natural) but once we made that decision to ttc for dd2, it was just a 'given' that she would probably grow up with a sibling. Our lives are all the richer for having dd2 with us now.

But that's the whole thing about parenthood - no-one knows how it's going to be really - you just take the plunge and jump in!

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