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Pregnant with second and horrified(8 Posts)
Hi there, I found out a couple of weeks ago that I was pregnant with a second child, and I've just made the leap from being conflicted about the pregnancy to purely bloody terrified. I reckon I'm about 6-7 weeks now, suddenly starting to show, and seriously wondering whether a termination might be the best option. I've been in touch with a counsellor but am unable to get an appointment until next week, and would love some words of wisdom from anyone who's been in a similar situation.
To give a bit of background, my first child is 4 and is one of the great joys of my life now...but although he was very much wanted, I had a pretty horrible birth and subsequent PND, my husband lost the plot entirely for about 6 months post-birth, and I found the year of mat leave hugely unenjoyable. My son rarely slept and seemed to be permanently unhappy for the best part of that year.
I've been fairly (not entirely) convinced ever since that I didn't want to have another child; my husband wanted one very much. He's now a very good dad, but was fairly useless in the early days, and he says he'd love to do it again and do it properly from the off. We were more careless than we should have been with contraception and although I have to admit to being excited when I got a positive test, the reality has very much kicked in!
I'm scared for all the following reasons: I don't, if I'm honest, enjoy babies; I don't want to go through a similar or worse birth again; I don't want to end up with more physical damage; I don't want crushing PND again; I don't want to threaten the nice family relationship we all now have; I don't want to be destitute with paying massive childcare fees again; I worry that we don't have enough space in our poky house. I realise this all makes me sound awful and that many of my friends would dearly love a baby, but I can't help but worry that this would be a huge mistake.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has come out the other side of similar worries...through whatever means! Thanks in advance for any advice x
Hi royal, I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling so scared, it can't be easy.
Your post instantly reminded me of a close friend of mine who had a horrific first birth with her ending up in ICU. She didn't bond with the baby for at least six months and although it was missed at the time she later realised she had PND for the first two years of her childs life. Her husband is a doctor, and basically just told her to get on with it.
Fast forward three years and she was pregnant again. She knew what to expect and was able to manage the situation better. Due to what happened with her first birth she was able to have a c section, and although she was terrified she said the first moments when she held her second child were very different to the first time round - she bonded immediately with the baby, and didn't get PND either.
I'm not saying that that's what would happen for everyone, but I just wanted to let you know that it is possible for things to be better second time round. I'm afraid I can't help with the financial side of things, you just have to go with your instinct. I know it's expensive having children, but if you do decide to go ahead then I'm sure you'll find a way to manage.
Thank you, it does help to hear positive stories. I do think that the birth and hospital stays afterwards might have been a big contributor to the PND. I think I would probably also push for a c section if going ahead...no way am I doing an induction again! Thank you for your reply.
You sound just like I did after my son was born. Didn't have a good time at all. Left with PTSD. I gave myself every reason under the sun to not have another. Don't want anymore physical damage, don't want a worse birth, I don't want to do it again, I don't want another traumatic time and I assumed that I could suppress my want for another baby. I told everyone 'No'. I did suppress it for about 3 years. Realised it was still effecting me though, sought therapy and arranged for a birth debrief to actually find out what happened and why. When I worked through that I realised some of my fears about certain things had gone but obviously it wont take away the trauma I suffered. I know what issues I would want raised during labour now.
I found out I was pregnant a second time and was shitting myself. I immediately started watching home birth videos and videos of talks by Ina May Gaskin, started to get my head around it, getting excited for a nice birth, then I ended up losing my baby between 10/11 weeks on Christmas Eve. I feel empty now. Someone told me 'But you know what you want now'. I am actually hoping to start trying again for another baby that I NEVER thought I would even think about having. But I think now if I don't have another I will always live with 'what if' for the rest of my life. I live with birth trauma and now the sudden loss of my baby. Both the hardest things that I have ever gone through.
What I'm saying is sometimes the things that happen in a previous birth either wont happen again or you can work through them so you have some sort of control, or atleast know, next time. Ina May Gaskin is good. If it's the baby you want but not the birth, she talks a lot of sense. I say that because your initial reaction to a positive test was excitement.
Of course, though, it is your choice. If it really is what you decide to do, then make sure you know for certain. I always thought that if I got pregnant again, I would think about a termination. But my heart just wasn't in it, I knew I wouldn't mind a second but really didn't want to end up in the same boat as last time so just left it at that until I suffered a MC. Now it's all I think about.
I probably haven't helped at all. I hope someone comes along with some better advice. I just wanted to say that your mind can change when it seemed/seems impossible at the time.
I'm so sorry to hear about your MC, ayria. I hope you are getting some support through your loss.
That's useful to think about - I have had a couple of small bleeds and have felt inexplicably anxious about MC given that I'm not sure whether I want to have the baby. I really need to get a clear head on this one...I'd been offered a counselling appt at lunchtime today but thought i couldn't take it as it's my first day back at work. I may have to find a good excuse for calling in sick /working from home and keep the appointment. I'll look into Ina May Gaskin as well...thank you.
I hope that things work out for you x
Sorry to hear you are suffering and frightened OP. I think you can be very proactive this time around as a previous poster said. I have had three kids and each birth was very different, in my first I lost of ton of blood due to an internal tear and it was very touch and go. This was after a very long labour. None of my subsequent births were as traumatic.
You can do many things. First of all getting your DP fully on board, have him come to the midwife appointments and start planning what will happen not only at the birth but the first 12-24 months after the baby is born. Could you get a nanny/au-pair/mothers helper to give you very practical help with the two little ones when your husband is at work? Have a plan with your midwife and GP so they can monitor you closely for PND. There are so many ways that you can plan and change this birth and early years from the first experience. Plan to have a kid free day each week for example when DP has the two and you have a day off - whatever works.
Christ a year off with a baby would be too much for me. You know you don't have to take anymore than the 6 week minimum? Plus your DH can take the 12m parental leave now instead as the law has changed.
Yes, husband has said he'd be more than willing to do part of the parental leave. I just can't quite imagine how that would work...first child was pretty much attached to my boob for a year, and I was still sobbing in a corner at 6 weeks (and months, tbh...).
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