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After what we went through-I shouldn't want another one, RIGHT?!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

This has been a hot topic in our house lately. DS just turned one and it seems my whole family is like "so when are you planning for #2." It is so frustrating bc I feel like I am doing something wrong by feeling so unsure about when and if we will have another baby.


A little background......DS happened after "trying" to get preggo the first time. DH and I had only been married for a few weeks and did not have a long court ship. DH is 40, and 12 years older than me, which is why we didn't want to wait to long, and I was SO ready to be a Mama. Then DS was born at 28 weeks, more than 3 months early weighing in at 2 pounds and we spent 70 days in the NICU...Dr's can not explain why this happened so it is quite possible that it will happen again to me. It was VERY traumatic for me and honestly I don't think I have it in me to go through that experience again, I remember thinking that the only thing harder would be going through that experience with a toddler age kiddo. It would be terrible! I have been in therapdy for a while and suffer from PTSD, our NICU stay was terrible for a multitude of reasons. Anyway moral of the story is that I feel like we have worked very hard to have DS here with us today and we are happy to report he is happy, healthy, and just AMAZING joy.gif


What I am struggiling with is "wow, this would be it for me?" It is going by to fast. I am a BABY PERSON. I adore it. Even the sleepless nights, and not being able to take a shower, it honestly doesn't bother me, I adore it and I am sad to see DS growing up in some ways. People joke with me that God gave me a preemie bc he knew I would want a baby longer. He is one now and still very much a baby, barely crawling, etc.


Also DS has siblings. My husband has two children ages 10 and 13, so he will have the experience of siblings. Obviously not quite the same as say a sib who is 2 or 3 years younger, but he will have special people in his life and people he can call and say Mom and Dad are driving me crazy.


Also I work part time as a nanny for a family of a 4 and 1 year old and it is tough. There mom, and myself included feel like I can't give both of the children the attention they need. They are both so needy (in a typical way) and I am just one person. There mother says all the time that she adored BOTH her children, but she know totally thinks that having an only is a good way to go, and probably would have been a better fit for their family.


Sorry this is so long, just wondering how you mama's made the tough decision to have another or not.

post #2 of 6

I am having a hard time with this issue (of course, since I'm on this board!) myself.  I have a 2-year-old girl, who is my perfect companion and all that I could ever hope for in a child.  Like you, I had a weird pregnancy that ended in a mysterious premature birth (only one month early, thank G*d, and no NICU stay--thanks to the midwife who I think fudged her birthweight by one ounce).  I also gained a lot of weight, as much as five pounds a week toward the end (mysterious with a 5-pound newborn, but whatever), which made pregnancy difficult.  I also have a blood-clotting disorder which makes the pregnancy potentially very dangerous (depending on whether the child inherits).


But, our real reasons (mine and my partner's) for not having another one are not really to do with that kind of thing.  We are broke, so that is a big consideration.  Many people dangle the carrot of "but you can reuse everything".  However, we borrowed a lot to begin with, gave a lot away, and have a lot of girls' things which would technically be fine for a little boy but not ideal (assuming we have a good chance of having a boy next time around).  And I like to buy her special things sometimes and do special activities with her, and eat organic food, etc, which would have to be curtailed.  I know this seems pretty trivial, but money is a huge problem for us.  We already have to forget about things like owning our own home and other comforts--we don't want to make life too austere for our child.  I grew up in a very low-income situation, so I am speaking from a place that's not totally ignorant in that department.  It is true that in a lot of ways all you need is love and good intentions, but it is too stressful right now for us financially.


A more pressing fear is harder to admit, which is the fear of a special needs child changing the course of our family life.  We have some autism and other things on both sides of the family, and we are both getting older.  I am not saying this to devalue the wonderful, amazing kids who do have special needs and their amazing families.  I just have to be honest and admit that I can't really face it right now, and I think that every time you have a new baby, you have to be 100% willing to take that risk.  When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was willing--and at the present time, I just don't think I could deal and that isn't fair to whomever the new baby would be.  I know I would love my baby--obviously--but it has to be at a time when I feel ready for anything.  I had screening for Down Syndrome, which I would have again, but it was more to know...I wouldn't terminate.  And autism itself is, of course, something there is no screening for or even really predicting, and the rates are off the charts, especially in my state.  Look, I know this sounds strange.  I only mean it in the most personal and honest way.  Please don't be too judgmental about this fear, which is very hard for me to admit to because it just sounds weirdly selfish.  I'm really sorry if I have come off badly and I want to say how much I value the life of every child--that's why I'm sure that I can't have another one right now, because I might not be able to give him what he deserved, which is pure focus, attention, and resources--resources of time, money, space, energy, and emotional equilibrium, which I have to admit I do not have.  I honestly think that it is not selfishness, but instead self-understanding, that accounts for this feeling.  I hope I'm not wrong.


All right, that is super embarrassing but I feel like I need to put it forth.  I will say two more things: one, I would love to have a new baby...a little boy especially would really fill a spot in my heart.  In other life circumstances, I would be 100% on board with all the risks and joys and work of having a new baby.  I would love that, but I have to be realistic.  If I had money, time, a house, a permanent job, etc etc.  Two, I know that there are no guarantees in life and that my daughter is not invincible...she is a vulnerable child, whom I will do everything I can to protect, but I have to let her take the risks inherent to life.  That is a super hard thing for me to think about, and I am very aware of it.  It is also really hard to ignore the guilt that comes with having an only child.  In our group of friends and neighbors, who are all very nice, we are really seen as weirdos.  Not to mention how our own moms feel.


Anyway that was long but congratulations on your beautiful boy and good luck with figuring things out.  I know that the pressure to have a second is way more intense (and, for me, more embarrassing) than the pressure was to have the first, and it is totally a hard road to choose.  It's especially hard because one could logically change one's mind for a very long time, so it is always a kind of open door you have to confront.  Good luck to you with everything and thanks for reading my long and inelegant post.




Edited by DaisyO - 12/19/12 at 10:45am
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi Daisy O. You should not be embarrassed about admitting your fears. It is a real thing to consider and this should be a safe place to do so. I also hear what you are saying. When I was pregnant with my son, I really felt like I was up to the challenge of anything. I refused all genetic testing/screening because I knew in my heart it wouldn't change my mind about having this baby. Of course that was easy to say when everything seemed to be going along perfectly.


Then my son was born so, SO early and we had A LOT of concerns for his health. At birth we were told so many things ranging from he was at an increase for SIDS, cerebral palsy, may have developmental delays, and so on and so on. WE GOT SO LUCKY. With the exception of some minor respiratory issues, called BPD that required him to be o oxygen even after he came home, he is totally healthy and we are not expecting any health/development complications. I worry that I am being selfish by having another child. This baby will have a good chance of being born premature, which seems unfair to both the baby, and my current baby greensad.gif


So, it seems this decision should be pretty straight forward and yet it isn't. My brain says "please quit while you are ahead and just enjoy your son." and my heart says...but you always wanted to be a mother (you are good at it, most days) and you love every second of it, even the bad parts.


My husband is 12 years older, has two other children from his previous marriage and is ready to be done. He is leaving it up to me because he wants me to feel fulfilled as a mother, but I know deep down he would be happy to have our family size complete as it is now. Our marriage, while solid, is not an easy one for us and it requires us to put in a lot of effort, something that was very difficult when DS was sick and in the hospital and well as home as an infant and our relationship really paid the price. I have to keep that in mind too, I think it is more important for DS to grow up with BOTH of his parent's happily married than to have us get divorced but he has a sibling close in age!

Money is not a huge concern of ours, NOT that we are well -off by any means...but DH has a solid/secure job that is salary and really good health insurance. I mostly stay home with DS which is a bit of a sacrifice financially but is the only thing that feels right to us. Also by having just DS we would pretty much be able to support him financially with whatever he wanted to pursue. He has great grandparent's and while no one is loaded both are comfortable and would happily help us pay for hockey, dance lessons, etc.....things would be more difficult with two kiddos.


While that was long winded. Good to put it out there though. Thanks!!!

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

* bad, that was a poor choice of words, I don't feel there are any bad parts of mothering, just some that are more challenging!

post #5 of 6

It souns like you are unsure and that is okay! Even thuogh your husband is in his 40's if you are not even thirty you have plenty of time to decide! For now your child is still so young so maybe when they are older you will feel more clear. you don't have to decide now!

As for me I am 90% sure we will keep ours an only. But every family has different needs. If I had had him ten yrs agi ( I had him when I was 37) I may think differently but one kid is enough for me to care for! It is a lot of work and I also want to care for myself my home my husband and my husband has a demanding job- at any rate one is right for us we htink. Each choice has some sacrifices so if you are not sure just sit with it for a while.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

I agree with the just being unsure. I will turn 28 in a few months so I still feel like I have plenty of time. MY DH really wants a vasectomy, which is what started this whole conversation. Thanks for the input all! It makes me feel better to just feel "unsure" for the time being!

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