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Worried about ttc after not brilliant experience with newborn last time

(19 Posts)
jamandjerusalem Tue 25-Aug-09 13:49:35

I have a 2yo DS and we're thinking about trying for a second child some time in the not too distant future...

But I had a bit of a tough time with DS when he was little - just had no idea what I was letting myself in for, DS was unwell when he was born and in hospital for a week, didn't sleep well until he was 9mo and I think I suffer terribly when I'm tired

Don't think I had undiagnosed PND but I definitely experienced anxiety like nothing I've known before (was always a fairly laid back person before). I got tested for the PND assessment but made sure I answered it 'optimistically' and even then they quizzed me. I would cry all the time, row with DH, couldn't sleep even when DS was asleep, terrified of doing anything in case it messed up DS and his routine.

I'd love another child and if I could fast forward to 2 I would! I'm just so worried about the little baby bit

Any advice? I know everyone says it's easier the second time round but I'm not sure I believe them...

boogeek Tue 25-Aug-09 13:54:14

Well I guess the one thing that will definitely be easier is that you do know what you are letting yourself in for this time! You also know that you are prone to PND-type suffering, even if you weren't properly diagnosed last time - there is no certainty that you will suffer so much again but if you do then hopefully you will be more able to accept some help this time around? And maybe you are better aware that routines can be flexed without disaster ensuing?
I don't know what to say to you. I certainly found that after the rigours of a toddler, a newborn was a breeze (as long as you feed them and keep them clean they are so easy: they don't move, don't answer back, don't demand biscuits...wink...)

rubyslippers Tue 25-Aug-09 13:55:13

hmmm

am 34 weeks PG with DC2

I had a horrid time with DS1 - he had bad silent relfux, never slept, screamed and cried a lot, was in hospital 3 times before he was 5 months old

what has kept me going this time, is that i kind of know what to look out for IYSWIM

i wouldn#t be worried about swaddling/dummies/feeding to sleep - all the things you aren't "meant" to do and i won't be able to be hung up on a routine as the new baby will have to fit in with our lives

in fact, am planning on co-sleeping for at least the first few weeks so we all get some rest this time around

i wasn't a lover of the new born stage - i adore toddlers also ...

thisisyesterday Tue 25-Aug-09 14:00:01

it might be totally differnet this time, no 2 babies are the same.
i had a stupidly easy baby first time round and then was hit with the evil-ness that was ds2 lol he was a nightmare and i hated, hated it, i treally feel like i missed out on his first few months because we were both so miserable.
then i had ds3 and lo, another easy peasy happy baby! thank god.

i know where yio;re coming from because i too was scared when pg with ds3 that he'd be the same as ds2. but i knew i wanted another child, and i knew i'd do what i had to do to get through it
forewarned is forearmed and all that

NotSoRampantRabbit Tue 25-Aug-09 14:00:31

jandj

I had an awful time with DS (4 years) and hated the newborn/baby stage if I'm honest. I was diagnosed with PND and experienced crippling anxiety. He was also poorly (reflux) and the constant crying was horrendous. I cried alot, shouted alot and ended up on AD's and in counselling.

It took a while for DH and I to start talking about number 2 and DD was born 10 weeks ago, just before DS's first birthday.

It is a VERY different experience. I am not so obsessed with her sleeping/routine etc. She is a much more contented baby despite being windy - I'm sure because I am more confident and relaxed. I bought a wrap sling and she spends alot of time asleep in it. She feeds really well (wheras with DS it hurt and he fed ALL the time).

And I think the most important thing is that when we have a bad day (and we do of course) I know that it will pass. DS starts school in a couple of weeks and looking back it seems like only yesterday that I was going through the hellish first year.

I'm looking forward to the toddler bit with DD - still don't love this early stage - but am fairly confident I will get there with my mental health in tact this time.

Good luck whatever you decide - they are tiny and dependent for such a short time and you will be more confident and relaxed.

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 25-Aug-09 14:01:15

I don't think it necessarily is always better second time around, it does depend on the child but it is true that generally you are more relaxed second time around. You know what to expect (even if you are expecting the worst), you are prepared and you have done most of the agonising first time nervous parenting.

Your second baby picks up on your more relaxed nature and I think this makes for a more relaxed baby.

I had a hard time with DC1, we didn't want a second for a couple of years. When we did get around to it, we ended up with the most placid, easy going, happy baby ever. Now, whther that is down to DC2's temperament and just luck, or related to muy state of mind I don't know, but I can tell you that it doens't need ot be the same

smile

NotSoRampantRabbit Tue 25-Aug-09 14:02:19

DS's 4th birthday not 1st!

jamandjerusalem Tue 25-Aug-09 14:32:34

Thanks for your stories, I'm glad I'm not alone (hoorah for mumsnet ). Ok, so I guess it's something that I won't know until I go for it, and I just have to believe that things will be different, at least slightly better next time. I think it's the sleep, and bfing, I'm most worried about seeing as those were the aspects that really got to me last time. Also worried any dc2 might be poorly at birth too, which was terrifying and the worst week of my life

It's funny, I remember when I was pregnant speaking to someone who'd just had a second child who talked about how it was almost worse the second time because you knew what you were letting yourself in for. I thought she meant the birth! hmm

lynniep Tue 25-Aug-09 14:55:03

hey jamandjerusalem, just wanted to say no, you arent alone.

I was pretty similar. DS was a traumatic birth and was in SCBU for 8 days. When he was born we didnt know if he'd live or not, no one could tell us, and we didnt know if he would be brain damaged - he's not smile - but we were ultra sensitive about his development until he was discharged at a year old.

I didnt bond with him - possibly because I didnt see him when he was born and when I did he was all wired up and didnt look like a newborn, more like a sick old man with tubes coming out of everywhere. I felt nothing for him for a long time, probably a form of PND, but I didnt want to discuss it so only DH knew how I felt. When we did get him home, he was a terrible sleeper - he didnt sleep through until gone 2, and even now he's an early riser.

So fast forward and I'm now 29 weeks. Wasnt planned but wasnt hindered in any way either. And whilst I've distanced myself from this pregnancy and not paid much attention to the baby like I did for the first pregnancy (actually, not much choice, DS takes up all my time) I'm more confident about the outcome.

I figure - what are the chances of this one being seriously ill at birth as well? - what are the chances of him being as bad at sleep as DS? - what are the chances that I dont bond? (and even if I dont for a while, I know what it will be fine in the end - not everyone falls in love with their newborn). I'm pretty sure that chances are it will all be ok. Not great - I'm not that naive! but fine. Manageable.

I'm more confident with babies now (had barely touched one before I had DS), I'm less of a soft touch, and am not stressed about BF - I'd like to BF this one, but if not, well hey ho, no big deal. I'm not saying I enjoy the baby bit, but I think I will deal with it this time without so much stressing/panicking.

An I reckon you can too wink

jamandjerusalem Wed 26-Aug-09 11:24:55

Thanks, lynniep. You are the voice of reason Those are all really fair assumptions to make, and I think it's great that you have thought everything through and come to the conclusions you've reached.

I will take strength from that. And wish you good luck with DC2, I think you'll be fine too

funtimewincies Wed 26-Aug-09 11:49:41

Ds1 - horrible first year, made worse by attempting to do everything 'right'.
Pg with no.2 and determined to go much more with the flow and not beat myself up over every little thing.

Oddly, I'm really looking forward to this one arriving and the newborn stage even though I've got a better idea of what it might be like smile.

Good luck with the ttc!

lynniep Wed 26-Aug-09 14:39:32

Cheers for the good luck J&J.

I also should have said that I'm prepared this time around. This is a good thing. Whilst as I said above I'm optimistic, I'm more than just a little aware that something may go wrong. And therefore I'll be able to cope this time. A healthy baby will be like a bonus!

Last time it was a major shock - I had an almost perfect pregnancy and I was full term when he was born, but whilst I was prepared for the giving birth bit, I wasn't ready for the drama/trauma that came with it. It had never crossed my mind that there might be a problem, so I went from happily watching TV at home at 10.30pm, to lying in a maternity ward at 3pm with no baby and no knowledge of how he was.

I had no clue about anything last time. This time I'm armed with knowledge wink

lynniep Wed 26-Aug-09 14:40:43

I meant 3am in that last post btw - he was born in under 3 hours!

jamandjerusalem Thu 27-Aug-09 13:31:59

Poor you, Lynniep, that sounds terrifying

It was a shock for me too, I was happily waiting for DS, one day old, to be discharged after an overnight stay in hospital, and REALLY eager to get home, when the doctor said there was something wrong with his breathing. DS was whisked away for x-rays, blood tests and a lumbar puncture, before being diagnosed with pneumonia and spending a week in hospital on iv antibiotics. Horrible.

But like you say, what are the chances of it happening again? And if it does, we'll know what to expect, and that we'll get through the other side

lynniep Thu 27-Aug-09 15:56:30

Oh that is awful too j&j - being ready to take your healthy new baby home, and then some doctor coming along and just trampling all over your joy (not dissing the doctor there - thank god they realised!)

I know so many people with birth stories that, shall we say, did not live up to their expectations. But none of them have said they wouldnt do it again and the ones that have done it again have been fine.

I have a friend who desperately wanted a vbac after a traumatic first cs in hospital which took her a long time to recover from - she ended up with two vbacs - both home births - both 'easy' (well as easy as labour gets) and both confirmation that it doesnt always have to be bad.

So yes, we can do it grin

bevlin Mon 31-Aug-09 19:35:59

Im 22 weeks PG with 2nd and very nervous too.
Had loads of worry and problems right through pregnancy with DS which I think began me on a steady decline of anxiety. He arrived 3 weeks early by emerg section then 6 days later I was finally discharged with 'oh, you were a group B Strep carrier, results just came back so watch him for signs of menengitis etc over next 3 months'.....More anxiety. He stopped breathing at 2 weeks old and I spent a night in hosp with him. Then he had reflux but health visitor was a complete fanny of a woman and doctors not much better - Had him down as possibly allergic to milk so even though the BF was a horrendous nightmare that got worse not better, I had to do it excusively for 5 months before a clever doc at Sick Kids said, no, he has reflux and colic, here's some medicine......and the screaming (his and mine) finally stopped! When did I stop being anxious, oh about 6 months ago, DS 2 years 3 months!!
Im so in the same boat as you from the nervous about newborn point of view but I agree with everyone else 1) we will be more clued up 2) You just can't have 2 the same! That theory is actually driving me to almost excitement about having a new baby grin

Joeymac Mon 31-Aug-09 21:13:19

I had traumatic labour resulting in emergency section with DS (thankfully he was all OK healthwise) and don't think I bonded with him very well. Feeding didn't go well either perhaps due to the birth. Like you J&J, I answered the Edinburgh PND test very positively but couldn't stop crying for sometime after the birth and hated the first 8 months - health visitor thought I has post traumatic stress from the birth. Think I was also really so shocked at the change from my old life which I was totally in control of and was all about me - kept feeling I wasn't achieving anything and was desperate to get back to work.

Despite not bonding well at the start, I was actually really concerned when pregnant with DS2, that I would be able to love anyone as much as I did my first. Anyway 2 years after DS1, DS2 was born and I had a great VBAC birth and an instant bond. I have enjoyed him as a baby so much more as I'm so much more relaxed (think the toddler bit with DS1 has really broken me in) and as a result of me being more chilled out I think he's a more relaxed baby. I've honestly found it a breeze second time around and wondered why I found it so hard the first time.

Just relax into it - you've done a good job with DS1 and now you'll do an even better job with DC2 cos you know what to expect. Just don't be too hard on yourself about books, milestones and what you're achieving in the day, etc - think that's often the problem with us all first time round

Bexybear Tue 01-Sep-09 10:56:45

Goodness there are quite a few of us with similar experiences of this...

I too had hideous traumatic birth (and probably PTSD). DS stopped breathing at 3 days old and diagnosed with reflux, cried all the time, appalling sleeper for 2 years. I didnt sleep either and had undiagnosed postnatal depression and crippling anxiety till DS was 3. Still having counselling.

DS now 5. I am just pregnant and absolutely terrified so not sure i can offer advice Jam!
Whats keeping me going is that...
I will recognise PND and get help/take drugs if i need it
I will prioritise my sleep over everything
I will make more demands on DP and others
I now have strategies for managing anxiety (EFT)
Reading all these posts and hoping/believing it cant possibly be as bad second time round!

But really looking forward to this ones 3rd birthday!

countrylover Tue 01-Sep-09 17:17:40

J&J - I could have written this post a year ago....in fact I did write a post when I found out I was pregnant with DS2 saying how utterly petrified I was of going through it all again and by 'it' I mean the first two years of the babies life.

DS1 was born with a heart problem and was in intensive care for three weeks. He was taken from me after my emergency c-section and as a result I didn't bond. I had undiagnosed PND and PTSD for two years. I had chronic insomnia for over eighteen months and I honestly thought I was loosing it at points.

The thought of going through it again terrified me so much that I had to have counselling which is when I was diagnosed with the PND and PTSD.

Anyway to cut a long story short DS2 was born four months ago and the experience couldn't have been more different. It has been magical, amazing, heart warming and everything it tells you in the books it should be....so different to last time.

I'm not talking about the birth as such as that was still traumatic in it's own way but more the newborn stage. I've loved every minute of it, even the sleepless nights. hmm The difference is that this time you know everything is just a phase and they're only little babies for such a short space of time.

Everyone told me it would be easier second time round and I didn't believe them but honestly it really is....I promise. The only down side is that it makes me sad that DS1 didn't get this much love or have such a calm and relaxed mummy when he was little. He got the bum deal!

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