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Are you ever 100% ready?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
We would really like to have our children close together in age. DD is now 8 months, my desire to have another has just been growing since she was about 3 months. DH is very excited about the idea. Some days I'm anxious to be pregnant again, and some days I think it's the dumbest idea we ever had.

Is this normal, or is it a sign we're not ready?

We're planning to start trying when she's closer to 1. I had none of these feelings when we were planning our first, so it's unsettling. I had some experience with infants so I felt like I knew what to expect. However - I have not been around toddlers in a very long time. What if I can't handle a toddler and a pregnancy? I was sick for 16 weeks last time, then became anemic - I could barely move from the couch. If I can't take care of myself, how will I take care of DD?

Right now I work from home, and with 1 child it's totally manageable. I will take the first 12 weeks off from work, and then I'll have help at home (combination of family and hired help). So, I'm not overly concerned about caring for two (maybe I'm being naive? ), but the pregnant with a toddler part is terrifying. Can you share your experiences?

Sorry for rambling, you can see how my thoughts are all over the place on this...
post #2 of 27
Since your early PG with DD was difficult, I'd imagine you need to prepare for that again - whether it happens again with the next PG or not. Get a mother's helper lined up, or make 3-days a week plans to go to a family memeber's home or have them come to you to help, like if your Mom is close by and retired, or something.

Personally, I had a very easy PG and recovery with DD1, but I was adamant about not wanting 2 under 2. My girls are 27 months apart. This has worked well for us so far (DD2 is now 13 months, DD1 is now almost 3.5). I was very fatigued in the first trimester with DD2, but I hadn't had that with my first. So yes, my 21ish month old was watching TV, which I hated at the time but could do very little about since I was so tired and working FT, nights.

Of course, every situation is different, but if you can't arrange for regular help with DD1 and you're afraid about a difficult PG again, I'd hold off if it were me.
post #3 of 27
I have always been 100% ready, we have 3. Between 1 and 2, we held off because DD1 was so high needs that I could not of coped with another baby, we later found out that DD1 has some special needs so it did explain a lot. I am SOO thankful that we waited because DD2 ended up getting very ill as a brand new newborn, I basically had to ignore DD for 7 months while caring for her sister, she was old enough to fend for herself a lot. They are just shy of 4 years apart and it still was rough.

2 and 3 are exactly 2.5 year apart, I knew what I was getting into, I knew it was going to be rough. I was traveling for DD1's therapy, I traveled back and forth across the state during the entire pg. DD2 did not take well to the loss of my milk ( I always dry up instantly upon getting pg) and lost over 6 lbs in one month. DS is 9 month old now and it is still rough. Both the younger two are just recovering from RSV, both were in and out of the hospital/doc office at different times all last week. I am so exhausted after doing around the clock nebs for two children for 1.5 weeks now. It is just not just right now, if it isn't RSV, it is the regular flu or a cold, or someone is teething or grumpy because they aren't napping. I feel like one of my children are always crying because I can't meet their needs because there is another child. Having a bigger spacing just helps that, the older one doesn't need so much attention. This closer spacing I did just sucks.
post #4 of 27
Everybody's different as a parent, & babies are generally different; not helpful, I know, but I guess I'm trying to say, if it feels like the right time for you, it probably is. And vice versa.

We'd waited a long time before having children, & we were so thrilled with our first baby, I went ahead & started trying again when she was 6 months old - got pregnant right then, too! One advantage of a younger baby is, they generally still take naps! I sat on the floor & played with her a lot when I was pregnant, read books to her, & could still carry her in a mei tai until nearly the end of my pregnancy (she is a small child). On the other hand, she didn't start walking until her sister was born (14 months), so I basically had two kids that needed to be carried. And 2 in diapers; plus I did have to supplement DD#1 from 8 months on, as my milk supply reduced.

I think if I could do "do-overs", I'd have started having children when I was younger, & done a wider spacing, but it's all worked out, & I'm glad we have both our DDs; & the way it worked out, if we'd waited, that wouldn't have happened. And at almost 3 & almost 4, things are getting pretty good
post #5 of 27
Yes, I think you can be 100% ready. My DS1 and DS2 are 22 months apart. I love the spacing, am glad they're as close in age (and close friends also) as they are... but I was not really 100% "ready" to be pg again with #2 when we did that. Don't get me wrong, he was planned, but DS1 was only 13 months when DS2 was conceived, and I never really got a break for my body to be my own. I ended up nursing through my whole pregnancy, which at times was true agony, and tandeming after DS2 was born, because I felt like it was just too early to wean DS1 at 13 months.

Anyway, like I said, I'm glad they're close now, the spacing is great for them...but it was HARD having a 22 month old and a newborn! Also, it was hard on my body physically having two so close together.

This time around, I'm pg with #3... this one and DS2 will be 29 months apart. I feel like that spacing is much more doable. I don't feel bad about weaning DS2 halfway through this pregnancy (probably when he's at 2 years), I am ready to do all the pregnancy stuff again... I think this time I was 100% ready. Last time, probably 75 or 80%. It's made all the difference in the world!
post #6 of 27
Every time I've gotten pregnant (and both times were planned; the first was after a year and a half of trying and some IF intervetions) I've had feelings of "what the hell was I thinking, what have I gotten myself into?"

I think you just decide. And then you do it. And then, when it's too late to change your mind, you deal with that decision.
post #7 of 27
A few things to think about:

Babies are VERY, let me stress that again, VERY different than toddlers/older children. It is difficult to predict how your child will change/develop in the next few years...

Family dynamics change dramatically with every additional child. It's impossible to predict how your child will respond, BUT ALSO how you will respond to the increased demands on your time.

Best wishes to you in your family planning!
post #8 of 27
DD1 and 2 (NB) are 25mo apart. It is much harder than I anticipated! I think a few more months spacing may have been a little easier.
post #9 of 27
Originally Posted by Adallae View Post
Right now I work from home, and with 1 child it's totally manageable. I will take the first 12 weeks off from work, and then I'll have help at home (combination of family and hired help). So, I'm not overly concerned about caring for two (maybe I'm being naive? ),
my kids are 19 months apart, and the pregnancy was the wasy part! It was also the short part. It was just a few short months, but the next 3 years were a very long blur.

Having experience with one baby doesn't mean you have any idea what another baby would be like. My first baby way easy, my second was high need.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of your responses! It's good to read about so many different experiences and perspectives.

I think I'm overthinking this, as I have a tendency to do...throughout the day I keep trying to imagine how a second child would fit into our activities. For example, what will I do with a toddler while I'm nursing the baby? Or what will I do with baby while I'm changing or bathing the toddler? I've never been around a family with two very young children (none of my friends have kids), so I have no frame of reference.

Thank you for pointing out that there is no way to know what the next baby will be like, or even what DD will be like in the coming years. It's much smarter to focus on the reasons we want another baby, and stop trying to figure out every detail. We'll deal with it when we get there, right?

Interesting that no one seemed to really like the closer spacing...is there anyone who liked having 2 under 2? Would you (did you?) do it again?
post #11 of 27
I had 2 under 2 and at the time it nearly killed me!!!! my 2DD's are 15mo apart and they are 2 and 3 now and it is getting really good but it was rough for the first 2 years tbh
post #12 of 27
Originally Posted by Adallae View Post
For example, what will I do with a toddler while I'm nursing the baby?
She'll do whatever she wants. For my DD, for several months she would lay just out of my reach and tantrum the entire time I nursed her sister (I was very willing to tandum nurse). Then she decided that wrecking the house was more fun -- pulling things out of cabnets, taking all the books off the shelves, etc.

Many babies wean themselves when mom gets pregnant because the taste of the milk changes. It's isn't that they are really done nursing or happy about weaning, it's just that something they liked that nurished them is now icky.

Or what will I do with baby while I'm changing or bathing the toddler?
It's esp. fun when the toddler is poopy and the baby is crying.

Interesting that no one seemed to really like the closer spacing...is there anyone who liked having 2 under 2? Would you (did you?) do it again?
god no, and I wouldn't wish it on an enemy.
post #13 of 27
Yes, I think you are being naive. I don't mean that to be rude but having a toddler and a baby is very different from having one baby. Your baby is not mobile yet. How will you handle it when you have one running away while you're trying to nurse the baby? How about having two in diapers? How about older one still wanted to be rocked to sleep while baby is screaming? I had my two older kids 21 months apart and I wouldn't do it again if you paid me. When I conceived I thought the older would be much more independent than he was. Instead I basically had two babies, two in cloth diapers, two needing all of me all the time. When I had one baby I thought I was just the world's best mom. When I had a toddler and a baby I thought I should be checked into the funny farm! Having one is like having one, having two is like having ten!! Seriously. My second and third were over three years apart and that was soooooooo much better. Number two was potty trained, going to preschool, much more independent and able to help out. I am now a firm believer in letting the first baby be a baby for longer before pushing them out of that position. JMHO.
post #14 of 27
Mine are 20 months apart, and I would have given anything for them to be even just 4-6 months further apart.

DS was 12 months when I got preggers, and weaned shortly after. He was so young, and I had planned to tandum, but he just wasn't game. I am really sad it didn't work out and it was especially rough when he got older, asked to nurse and couldn't remember how.

Having two run in opposite directions is insane. I didn't realize how judged I would feel and how much flack I would catch from other moms for DS' misbehavior. They were right of course. With two young, still hitting, still impulsive little ones in different parts of the playground I couldn't be next to both of them at the same time.

In the early months, there were so many tantrums and so much television watching. No "special basket of toys" or anything else helped keep DS occupied so I could nurse DD.

Having two only one year apart in school will be ok, but a year apart in college is going to be super expensive.

It is hard to realize just how little 20 or even 24 months is. So much happens developmentally right around then in impulse control, language, reasoning, etc. By 30 months, both my kids were much more manageable.
post #15 of 27
We are foster parents, so we have had 2 seven months apart (7mo old dd & nb dfd) and 2 exactly one year apart (dd 13 mos, dfd 1 mo). The seven month difference was hard for many reasons & we don't regret it at all. The one year difference was actually pretty easy! DD was already night weaned & was only nursing once per day by around 14 mos. She did not learn how to walk until almost 14 mos, which was hard for a while, but you just deal. Both kids were such easy babies in so many ways. I told everyone that God was nuts when he made the 2 - 3 year age gap b/c 1-yr gap was so easy! Dfd left us just as she was turning 4 mos & therefore getting easier, but nothing we could do about that (went home to Mom). DD will be turning 2 when dd2 is born. The only time that is hard during pg for me is 1st tri. That is an absolute nightmare. DD watched a LOT of tv during that time b/c I was so sick & tired. I felt immense guilt over it (up to 3 hours per day!), but I had to survive. I told dh that if we make another baby, my hard condition is that we will get child care help for 1st tri b/c I cannot neglect my children again, esp two of them. He is absolutely fine w/ that.

DD is a v laid back child, not the jealous type at all. She loves babies & other kids so I don't anticipate problems between the two. I am 1000% ready to welcome this new little baby girl into our family & expect sheer joy (w/ some difficulties thrown it, too, of course). Dh and I are v relaxed & confident parents & we have done 2 before, so we know to expect strife. As for how you get things done, you just do! I got a routine going pretty quickly b/c of feedings and nap times. Infants are bathed in a baby tub in the nursery, so dd would play in there or the next room. If she hung onto my legs & cried, well, she just had to cry for a bit. Dfd enjoyed sitting in the bouncy chair, which was good b/c she spent time in there watching as I did things for dd. You sit cross-legged on the floor w/ a baby laying in your lap while you play w/ the older one. You have to adapt, so you just do.

Having two who can actually run around will be much different, but it's always gonna be different no matter what. Going from one to two is v v hard (harder than going from zero to one), but you survive. I am v much looking forward to having two littles again
post #16 of 27
Originally Posted by Adallae View Post
Interesting that no one seemed to really like the closer spacing...is there anyone who liked having 2 under 2? Would you (did you?) do it again?
I had to respond to this again - although it was hard on me and my body at the time (I'm the one above with boys 22 months apart), knowing how wonderful & special it would be now, YES, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I think the hardest part for me was having to go back to work when DS2 was 8 weeks old. (DH is a SAHD, so he was in good hands, but oh how terribly I missed him!!!) I think it would have been easier on me if I had been a SAHM at the time.

Because, really, both of my boys were "easy" babies, and now, at ages 3.5 and 21 months, they're amazingly close! Best buddies! Truthfully, they are so close, and DS1 doesn't really remember a time before DS2 was born... so no real jealousy issues there. Of course, it was a long road to getting here, but I feel that I've been so blessed by the way things turned out that if I could do it all over, I wouldn't do anything at all differently.

The spacing between DS2 and our next baby will be 29 months. That was partly because I wanted slightly bigger spacing to allow my body to recuperate, and also because I'm finishing my dissertation this summer, and I don't want to have to go back to work right away again after this baby is born (because I know I won't be able to!). So I guess this time they'll be a bit further apart, but still a lot closer than many people choose to do.
post #17 of 27
I think it will be hard no matter what, and you just have to adapt to the circumstances.

You never know what is going to happen - you could have another baby right away and it has a super easy going personality and will happily hang out in a swing or a sling whenever you need to tend to a toddler. Or you could wait another year or two and have a high-needs baby that doesn't sleep, hates the sling, and you can't put down for a moment.

I only have one child (for now) but I also run a small home daycare. Every time I have added a child into my care I go through a period of really hard adjustment wondering what I have done to myself and thinking that maybe I should just throw in the towl and go back to banking. But I stick it out and after a little while we all adapt and get into a routine and things get a lot easier. I am not trying to say that having a daycare is the same as having your own, but I believe that the adjustment of adding children to your family would be much the same. My DD is the youngest still, so it is like I have built a family in the reverse order.

Now that I have six kids here most days I look back and remember how "easy" it was when I only had four. Your perspective changes.

And whenever times get really tough, I remember my poor mom. My older brothers are only 10.5 months apart (yes, you read that correctly) and she was only 20 at the time. My dad was of the oldschool "I'm a man so I work and you take care of the babies" variety so she was on her own for the most part. If she could survive that, I've got nothing to complain about. (And if you ask her, no she wouldn't do THAT again. I was a "surprise" seven years later.)
post #18 of 27
Wait until your LO is walking and see how working from home is for you.

Not to belittle parenting an infant, because it is hard, but the time from 3 months to walking was a pretty easy time where I'd gotten into a groove and there were no big surprises.

You remember that first steep learning curve with a newborn? Yeah, that happens again when toddler-hood strikes. The learning curve isn't as steep, but toddlers are also less tolerant of mistakes than newborns.

And they're taller, with longer arms, and nap less.
post #19 of 27
Ive been seeing this a lot on here, so this isn't really directed at you, but maybe for you and anyone else wondering this same thing. I have to say i really don't understand moms with a 6 month old who are thinking of trying to have another. My two are 2.75 years apart and it was just about right in terms of the first one (a girl) being potty trained and able to understand that you need to be gentle with babies, etc. I was a surrogate and carried twins starting when DS (kid #2) was about 20 months and it was really hard to provide for his needs with being so tired and huge--and my pregnancy was pretty normal, not requiring any bedrest or anything. so i've been pregnant with a two year old, and then again with a 4 year old + 20 month old. I really can't understand WANTING your kids to be closer together than 20 months. I have two friends who accidentally got pregnant when their first was still a baby--so both have kids 13 or 14 months apart and they will tell you that first year was HELL.
Its like wishing twins upon yourself. it may sound romantic but the reality is really hard.

Like pp have said, a baby is very different from a toddler. Your pregnancy will be totally different because you won't get to rest and nap as much, etc. you'll have a baby who can't understand "don't run away from me" when you're huge and 8 months pregnant.
I don't mean to sound rude or like i know everything or anything, but i can't wrap my head around actually wanting to be parenting a 9 month old baby and pregnant, and then having a 17 month old baby and a newborn. omg, that sounds like hell! lol. that's just me, though. and i know when that baby bug bites you'll do what you want to do regardless of what i say!
post #20 of 27
I tried to get pregnant when each of my kids turned one. I have them all at 36 weeks too. I have a 3.5 yr old, a 22 month old and a 4 week old. All boys. And I love it and am begging DH into a 4th. He doesn't want to because he works looooong hours (like 6 days a week and 12 hour days) and he wants to have more time to spend with them. I understand that and obviously if he doesn't want another one we won't but I love the chaos and it just gets better as each one gets older.

However, I'm a SAHM too, if that makes a difference.
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