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Anyone read the Guardian Family piece today about having a second child?

(83 Posts)
alittleteapot Sat 04-Jul-09 12:22:11

Gist of it is she fell out of love with her first born straight away when second child born and had to work really hard to get he love back.

Made me cry! But I am 26 weeks pregnant with second child and crying at anything.

Did it ring bells with people? I'm already nervous about my how it will affect my first child when no 2 comes along but this was another angle on it that freaked me out a bit!

emkana Sat 04-Jul-09 12:25:50

I wouldn't call it falling out of love, but your relationship with your first born changes considerably, that is for sure.

whereeverIlaymyhat Sat 04-Jul-09 17:34:08

I'd say she's talking rubbish if anything i felt the 2nd one had to earn it's stripes and that didn't happen until she was 12 months old, DD1 and I carried on our love affair and DD2 sort of watch for a year before she joined in.

MrsMattie Sat 04-Jul-09 17:38:43

Rang bells with me.

I didn't 'fall out of love' with my first child, but he did look suddenly enormous and just wasn't my baby anymore. Plus I was totally unprepared for the reality of living with his extreme jealousy of our newborn DD and my reaction to it (to get very, very cross with DS a lot, uncontrollably so, actually).

We plod along, though. It gets easier. I'd have anothe rone grin

OmniDroid Sat 04-Jul-09 18:01:37

Rang bells with me too, though very like MrsM it was mainly about the toddler suddenly looking enormous (I had a home birth, my DS went out as my little baby and, two hours later when I'd given birth, came back as some hulking-great-danger-to-the-newborn), and my sudden anger with him about all kinds of things.

The love thing - it was baby DD got the short end of the stick at first, I was so paranoid about being unfair to 3 year old DS that I was very quick to put the baby down, let her cry etc. sad

Bleatblurt Sat 04-Jul-09 18:15:38

I've just read it and it has rung bells with me also.

I think my poor DS1 also had it hard as my DS2 was stillborn so when DS3 arrived (and DS1 had only just turned 3) I was totally smitten/over protective/completely wrapped up in DS3. It was like I was enjoying my DS3 for him and also for all those baby moments I'd missed with DS2.

My poor DS1 was a high energy, rough and tumble lad and I found myself just wanting him to leave me alone to enjoy my new baby. blush

Even now 19 months on I find myself looking adoringly at my DS3 and sighing with irritation with my DS1. I REALLY try to be fair and make sure DS1 gets lots of affection. But it's hard when you have one child that doesn't know how to be cheeky and rude and the other is a stoppy, shouty 4 year old.

I figure it'll even out soon enough. DS3 will be the stroppy, hard to handle toddler and DS1 will be older and less of a handful and he'll get all the smiles while his wee brother gets the sighs.grin

belgo Sat 04-Jul-09 18:18:32

She's not talking rubbish hmm. Everyone talks about difficulties bonding with your second child, but no-one ever talks about how you can feel that the bond with your fist child disappears when your second child is born.

I was totally unprepared for those feelings and felt very very guilty. I had to work hard at getting those feelings back, and in retrospect I probably had some PND.

Pyrocanthus Sat 04-Jul-09 18:21:04

It was spot on about the firstborn looking huge and pale and smooth compared with the little, red, wrinkly one. I did struggle with tiredness and coping with their sometimes conflicting demands, and with my good-natured, easy DD1 becoming much more demanding and attention seeking. I often felt I was reaching round and over the baby to get to DD1, and not just physically.

DD1 didn't like it when I left DD2 to cry for her benefit, but I did cling on to a bedtime routine for no. 1 - DH was left holding the grizzly baby, waiting for her evening feeding marathon, while I read to DD1 and cuddled her (and sometimes fell asleep with her).

I never fell out of love with her, but I don't think those first months with the pair of them was my finest hour as a mother. We muddled through, as you do, and came through it all right.

I suspect the author's experience was at the extreme end of a fairly normal situation.

Laquitar Sat 04-Jul-09 18:25:00

I 've seen the article. No, didn't happened to me although i was fearing it.

But i had very small gap between them and was tiring so i guess you could say that ds1 'lost out' as i was tired and less patient?

Because of this feeling i was -as Omni- more likely to leave newborn to cry and pay attention to ds1.

bronze Sat 04-Jul-09 18:27:04

Oh my goodness. I had thought I was the only one. Ok I was never that extreme but with everyone around me asking will I love my second as much as my first I was feeling incredibly guilty wondering why I had 'gone off' my first.
I've since discovered I hadn't at all. It was just like Butterball described and now the two year old dc3 is the one I struggle with and ds1 is a sweetheart.

It sounds like this needs to be talked about more often and openly

bohemianbint Sat 04-Jul-09 18:29:23

This is interesting. I didn't fall out of love with DS1 but our relationship did change. Hard not to when DS2 as all placid and happy and wants me all the time and DS1 is a stroppy, daddy loving, mummy hating demon.

I have had to work hard to try to be fair to both of them and I appreciate their different personalities now. Would also have more. Not bloody yet though!

mummiesnet Sat 04-Jul-09 18:30:32

Is there a link to the article please?

belgo Sat 04-Jul-09 18:36:19

I've just read the article and it really does describe my experience.

I had had no problems bonding and loving dd1. I had such a good experience of motherhood - the birth, breastfeeding, everything, that just 19 months later I was doing it all again.

This time the birth was a lot harder, with a substantial amount of blood loss that I didn't realise at the time. I fainted twice in the first week but insisted that I was fine and tried to get back to normal.

Whenever I looked at dd1 I just did not see my daughter. I no longer felt like her mummy. She played up no end, and I struggled to cope with her behaviour and I felt absolutely terrified by my feelings, or rather lack of loving feelings. I had no idea that this could happen, no idea that I could feel this way, and I felt so guilty. It took about a year before the fog lifted and a lot of effort to feel like dd1's mother. I had always loved her; I just could not feel that love, the bond was still there I just could not see it.

I absolutely totally adore her, and fortunately after my third child's birth, I have had no depression and no problems feeling bonded with any of my children.

They are all the most precious things to me.

belgo Sat 04-Jul-09 18:36:59

here

Laquitar Sat 04-Jul-09 18:37:40

But i was just thinking. Some mums are better with babies, some better with toddlers and others with school age children.

So even if you don't have second you would go through a tough phase with the toddler anyway?

Gosh, i don't know if i phrased it well and make any sense....

belgo Sat 04-Jul-09 18:40:03

It's not about going through a tough phase with your toddler.

It's about something - hormones, depression?- impacting on your feelings towards that toddler, however they behave.

EyeballsandherSunburntNorks Sat 04-Jul-09 18:40:16

Goodness, I really don't like the sound of this at all. Not pg with dc2 yet but planning soon and this is putting me off now

<off to read article>

belgo Sat 04-Jul-09 18:42:42

Eyeballs - it didn't put me off having a third child and all has been great this timesmile.

Noonki Sat 04-Jul-09 18:52:57

I look backa nd realise I placed expectations on DS1 so high (for example I got so very cross and him for hurting the new born . big scratch on face. But he was only 19 months old so only jsut not a baby himself)... I smacked him for that (a never repeated event and the thought makes me cry still)

But my love for him never has changed just my expectations.

If anything it took me longer to bond with DS2.

Talk about any weird feelings you have, I did and it made soooooo much difference.

Noonki Sat 04-Jul-09 18:52:58

I look backa nd realise I placed expectations on DS1 so high (for example I got so very cross and him for hurting the new born . big scratch on face. But he was only 19 months old so only jsut not a baby himself)... I smacked him for that (a never repeated event and the thought makes me cry still)

But my love for him never has changed just my expectations.

If anything it took me longer to bond with DS2.

Talk about any weird feelings you have, I did and it made soooooo much difference.

Noonki Sat 04-Jul-09 18:52:59

I look backa nd realise I placed expectations on DS1 so high (for example I got so very cross and him for hurting the new born . big scratch on face. But he was only 19 months old so only jsut not a baby himself)... I smacked him for that (a never repeated event and the thought makes me cry still)

But my love for him never has changed just my expectations.

If anything it took me longer to bond with DS2.

Talk about any weird feelings you have, I did and it made soooooo much difference.

Mintyy Sat 04-Jul-09 18:53:05

When my second (ds) was born, I fell a little bit more in love with my first (dd). I felt horribly guilty about being in hospital for 5 days for the birth and I missed dd terribly. She was wonderful towards ds, never hurt him, was a bit jealous but of course we expected that. Really, I didn't take much notice of ds for the newborn stage. If anything I felt a little bit indifferent towards him (yes I loved him of course) but he absolutely definitely did not take the shine off my feelings for dd. So, op, not everyone feels the same way on the birth of their second child, there's nothing to say you will feel like this journo.

malfoy Sat 04-Jul-09 18:55:10

Hi OP, I haven't read the article but just wanted to say that I read Rebecca Abrams book just after I had my second child. It was dreadful. I found the book really depressing. It said all sorts of things I didn't want to hear about having two children.

Ohforfoxsake Sat 04-Jul-09 18:55:46

Yes, your baby turns into a toddler over night (only 14 months between my two, so that was a bit of a shock), but having number 2 didn't compromise my love for DC1 in anyway. Quite the opposite, it was DS2 I struggled with out of a massive sense of guilt that DS1 wasn't 'my baby' suddenly.

Hindsight has shown me it was all a load of bollocks. DC1 is still my baby 7 years later, as is DC2, 3 and 4. The only ongoing fallout is that I feel a bit unhappy with myself for wasting that precious time carrying round that negative guilt, which was unfounded and unnecessary. Really there was nothing to feel guilty for whatsoever.

It came and went and my bond with DC2, although it was a slow-burner to get that 'rush' we sometimes/never get, but I certainly wouldn't be hanging onto it a decade later and asking any of them about it.

And don't ever, ever, EVER let anyone else's experience put you off Eyeballs. If nothing else, you can at least be aware that there could be a change happening, which will help with the shock of it all.

Bloody maternal guilt.

PinkTulips Sat 04-Jul-09 19:00:42

i had the sensation of dd suddenly seeming huge and awkward but tbh i think things actually inproved with regards to my patiance and tolerance once ds1 was born. during my preg i found dd very difficult to handle as i was huge and uncomfortable and she was a tiny toddler needing lots of physical work so i was constantly angry and snappy... once ds1 was born i was more able to deal with her and was so proud of how good she was with him i honestly loved her even more.

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