Baby Number 2(17 Posts)
I've just discovered that I'm expecting my second child and am feeling a bit down about it. We wanted another baby and started trying in mid-Jan as I'm not getting any younger (I'm 36) but I didn't expect to get pregnant so soon. It means my two are only going to be 2 years apart.
I wish I could be excited but I just keep worrying about how I will cope. I found it really hard with the first, for about 6 months, and struggled as we don't have family nearby and my husband works long hours.
I also feel a huge sense of guilt for my first child. I feel like I haven't really got to know her yet, we have such an amazing relationship and I somehow feel I'm betraying that.
I feel so guilty for not being excited, I really want to be and don't understand why I'm feeling so down. It is a planned baby after all. My husband doesn't want me to tell anyone about the pregnancy yet so I don't have anyone to talk to.
Sounds like a perfectly normal reaction to me, its certainly how I felt.
I remember watching DD (then nearly 3) sleep a few weeks before DS was born and very tearfully wondering if I was going to ruin her life by having another baby.
Fast-forward 5 years - yes they scrap but most of the time they are best of friends and play wonderful, imaginative games that take over the whole house (turning it into Playmobil/Polly Pocket World ) It can be hard at times but they have gained so much more than they have lost by being 2 not 1.
As for the guilt, my Mum still feels guilty about having twins when I was two. I am 48! I also have NO recollection of there being anything other than 3 of us and there are 2 years between me and the twins.
Thank you feetheart. You've made me feel better.
I feel so guilty for the baby feeling like this, I know I'm lucky really and I know I'd be upset if anything went wrong with the pregnancy, so the baby is wanted. I keep telling myself it's just hormones and to try to enjoy the time I have alone with my dd before the next one arrives but when we're playing I just feel so bad for her.
Did having a second spoil the relationship with your first at all? How was it at the start?
Twins? Don't even put the thought into my head!
I agree with feetheart I think it is quite common. Your situation is exactly the same as mine was this time last year. We started trying in Jan 2010 and got pregnant the very first try (and I mean the first time we had sex, not just the first month!) It was such a shock and I felt so guilty for my 2 year old. I had really bad morning sickness right from the beginning and felt bad that I couldnt give him as much attention. I bought a book called "Twice blessed" which is about having a second, and it really helped me realise what I was feeling was normal. I really recommend it. Sadly I miscarried that child (and then felt intensely guilty that I hadnt love it enough while I had it!!) It took a year of complicated treatments to get pregnant again, which happened Feb 2011, and would you believe it I feel shocked and overwhelmed by the idea again! I had expected to feel elated and excited (loosing that baby made me realise how much I really did want a second child), but the fear far outweighs all the other feelings. After reading that book though and thinking back to when I was pregnant with DS, I think that as time passes the feeling of fear will disipate. I hope so anyway. I hope it does for you too, but until then, dont beat yourself up for feeling guilty. The fact that you are worrying about how well you will cope with two means that you really care about the kind of care your children get and that means you will be a wonderful mum to both of them. xxx
Your post made me cry, MummyAbroad and realise how upset I'd be if we lost the baby. I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I've ordered Twice blessed from Amazon, hopefully reading it will help. I do really care and want so much to be a good Mum.
Thanks to both of you for posting, I feel much better just for hearing that other people feel the same way.
MummyAbroad - hope everything goes well, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. All being well, we'll be due around the same time! Ditto your point on being a wonderful Mum
I am due DC2 in May, also much wanted and planned, and have one DD - I also feel have moments of feeling really sorry for poor old DD - now she comes first, soon she'll have to come second to the baby's needs etc etc etc. And I hated the sleep deprivation in the early months, and goodness knows how I'll cope with that plus a toddler to deal with. And also a bit of envy that I am about to "ruin" the lovely life the three of us have now - DD is now sleeping brilliantly, we can be loads more flexible on things like routines with her, we don't have to organise everything around her needs etc.
But I am reminding myself of all the lovely things about being a family of four - DD I think will be a brilliant big sister, and actually the baby will enhance her life, not detract from it, and so on.
How many weeks pregnant are you? It's easier to imagine the reality in a positive way now that I'm 30 weeks than when I was less than 12 weeks.
Hannah oh, sorry for making you cry! I hope the book helps, thanks for your kind wishes
Our second was planned but very much a shock if that makes sense (you don't expect it to happen quickly if it does - you expect it to take months).
We also felt guilty about our DC1 but made a huge effort that he wasn't upset. Wigeon - I know what you mean about the demands of a new baby but we totally didn't feel the baby's needs came first above his. Sometimes he had to wait while I dealt with the baby but sometimes we told the baby that she had to wait - even if it was just waiting 5 minutes for a feed while he showed me his picture.
We made real effort that he wasn't pushed out (I intentionally wasn't holding the baby when he visited the hospital and the baby was ignored by all visitors until they had kissed him first. He got npresents not the baby). We were probably a bit OTT about this and of course we love our DC2 very much but I can say hand on heart we had absolutely zero sibling rivalry - none at all so I do think it's worth thinking about that sort of thing in advance.
Hannah I just wanted to let you know that I read your OP and really understood what you were saying.
We got pg with #2 pretty quickly (16 month gap between them) and I felt so guilty for DD1, she wouldn't get mummy to herself anymore when she was little more than a baby still herself.
Now DD2 is about 9 months and I can see that two close together is amazing, they are starting to be able to sit together and play. DD1 adores her baby sister and DD2 looks around the room for DD1 if she can't see her, its so sweet.
You aren't going to damage your relationship with your DD, you will have the joy of seeing her build a relationship with her sibling though and its wonderful. I see a different side of DD1, where she isn't the baby and she wants to care for the baby, so if anything I feel I know her better now than before.
It has been hard with a smallish age gap, I won't pretend otherwise. I don't have any family to help out and DH travels roughly every fortnight, making things a little tougher but it really has been manageable. Lower your standards of what you want to achieve in a day and you'll be happier!
I also felt the same when I first found out I was pregnant with DC2 (DC2 planned but not the timing - we were going to wait another 4 months before starting to try!).
I felt so guilty for not being excited, felt so bad for DC2.
I think it didn't help that DH wasn't over the moon, and that I didn't have anyone to share it with - when I was pregnant with DC1 there were 2 close friends who were also newly pregnant who I told, and also my sister who got pregnant a couple of weeks afer, and we would catch up most days on symptoms etc and generally shared our excitement.
But as time went on I began to get used to the idea and started to be happier about it. The 20 month gap between DCs which initially worried me has become less important to me as time has gone on. I think the turning point was at 11 weeks when I spilled the beans to my NCT friends and they were so so excited for me, and talking about it all made it feel better.
I would say by the time we had the first scan I was as enthusiastic as anyone is with the 2nd (bearing in mind you know what you are letting yourself in for this time!), and definately now I am over half way through.
So hopefully your feelings will gradually change with time too.
Personally with hindsight I would have told a couple of people who would be enthusiastic about it earlier, even though my DH like yours wouldn't want me to (he doesn't have to know!!!)
I've felt loads better since sharing my feelings and hearing that you have felt the same. It's also good to hear that some of you have survived looking after two and are here to tell the tale!
GiddyPickle - yes, this one was planned but happened so quickly, I thought we'd be trying for at least 6 months or longer, like last time. My body clearly remembered the drill! Thanks for the tips for avoiding rivalry, I'm very keen to do whatever I can to avoid making DC1 feel like she's being pushed out.
Good luck to Wigeon and ohbabybaby, hope all goes well!
I have exactly 2 years between my first 2 (literally 24 months and 1 day) and my son's very first word was his big sister's name! Before mumma or dadda even - it was Anna! Anna! with pointing
Even though they are girl then boy they are very close and play together lots (they fight too - but get on more) and I think having to learn to share mummy's time is a good thing personally! I agree DC1 need not come 2nd to the new baby - I just stuck DC2 in a sling and life continued to focus mainly on DC1's activities - all a baby needs is love. closeness, food, warmth and to be kept clean, toddlers need more in terms of focussed attention and activities etc.
I think I felt subconscious guilt about DC2 as I had some awful dreams about things happening to DC1 during my pregnancy, but never felt consciously guilty even though she did watch rather more TV than was ideal in my first and 3rd trimesters and when DC2 was newborn! We also moved house (and country, and language...) when I was 6 months pregnant and I felt bad about giving her so much change at once, but I made a big effort to start a toddlers group straight after the move, take her to the playground every day etc. and not to stop doing that after DC2 arrived (despite c-section).
I had the "flat" or even panicked feeling this pregnancy (now expecting number 3, with a 3.5 year gap from DC2) despite the fact this baby was very much wanted too - I had really talked DH into number 3 tbh and it is this time I have felt "oh no, what have I done" and that I am potentially messing up the nice dynamic we have now, and that the gap is too big and I should have given up on thoughts of a 3rd when DH was dead against it when I wanted to start ttc when DC2 was only one, rather than going for it when he came around to the idea so much later...
You can't win with age gaps in some ways, but I honestly think 2 years is excellent (and I moved to a new country where I barely spoke the language and new nobody at 6 months preg, DH also is out of the house 12 hours a day for work and used to work away a lot when we first moved here, and the only "local" family we have are his parents - local being an hour's drive away).
You can do it and you will manage fine - a 2 year gap is lovely and children gain so much from having a close in age sibling!
I was exactly the same when I found out I was expecting my second (I'm due in September, the day before my dds second birthday)
I panicked that we wouldn't be able to cope and that my little girl would feel pushed out. I've now had my scan and feel so much better, actually feeling excited and thinking a two year age gap will be nice
It's nice to read this thread and see I'm not the only one to have these feelings, maybe it just is scarier the second time now we know what we've let ourselves in too!
I have 2 years between my first 2. Then had a gap of 4years before dd came along then had a 15m gap, then a 14m gap, yes I'm mad
I totally understand how you feel, it is daunting and you are bound to feel guilty for not having as much time as you would like with your DD but honestly she is going to absolutely adore having a little baby brother or sister. This baby will bring you even closer as a family.
Within a week or 2 of new baby being here you won't be able to remember them ever not being part of the family
Being a parent is hard, there are always ups and downs but the good far outweighs the bad. Oh and if you do find you are having a hard time tell someone, ask for help etc. Not doing that was one of the worst mistakes I ever made!
Hannahwales you have cheered me up. I have joined mumsnet just to reply.
There will be about an 18 month gap between my 2 and I feel more guilty about DC2. DC1 was and is spoilt rotten by everyone but I worry DC2 wont be shown the same level of affection. Not just by family but by me too.
DC2 wasnt planned in fact I cried when I found out. I didnt enjoy pregnancy the first time and had a hard labour. People say you forget but I have vivid memories. I adore DC1 and I know I will adore DC2 as well but it wont have as much of my time as Dc1 had. That time was needed as it took time for me to truly bond. I find it hard to explain as I've never said this to anyone I loved her but she was strange to me, I breastfed and did the things they tell you to do but I found the first month or two of motherhood mechanical. All you seem to needed to do was feed, burb and change them!
I worry that I wont have enough time to dedicate to DC2 as DC1 will still be demanding my time. Those fears show themselves now as I already have everything from my first including a proper nursery all I need to do is sort DC1 into a proper bedroom which I'm currently decorating and will have to buy new furniture for. So it already feels like DC2 is neglected a little. I know its irrational but I've been struggling to shake the feeling.
Its so good to see I'm not alone. Thankyou x
Hannahwales - I was so glad to read your message and realise I am not alone. I am 6 weeks prey with my 2nd. Again it happened v quickly which we weren't expecting (I am 35). I feel awful for my daughter (14 months). I didn't want her to grow up an only child but I can't get excited about this pregnancy at all. I feel so down.
How are you feeling now - 3 months on?
I felt the same when pregnant with my second. My age gap is 4 years 4 months & I had all the feelings of guilt etc. They also thought that my 2nd baby had heart problems so we had to go back for repeated scans etc. I just though I had ruined by first sons life & kept getting upset thinking if my new baby had heart problems & needed surgery how could I be at hospital with him & home with my oldest little boy?!....It was a dark time, but luckily my 2nd son was perfect & I went to hospital after breakfast, gave birth & was home in time for tea & the whole bedtime routine!....
DS1 loves his little brother & DS2 idolises his big brother, yes they have a fall out now & again, but the bond between them is amazing! It brings tears to my eyes how amazing they are together & I sometimes think what DS1 would have missed out on if we didnt decide to have baby number 2.
I asked my son recently if he could remember a time when it was just him & he could, I asked him how he felt & he said 'he was lonely' when it was just him!....I am now expecting our 3rd (& last) baby & I cant wait to experience it all again....
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