having more children? age space of children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 12-02-2010, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 3.5 DS that the school thinks is on the autism spectrum and speech delayed. I don't know what his real diagnose is, maybe autism is right. He is a different kind of kid. In some areas he doesn't seem like other kids but in some ways he is much brighter just different. I love him to death and can't help but smile at everything he says. He is so happy and funny.

DD is 18 months and a handful (just like her brother was). She is speech delayed and I suspect she also has hearing loss and needs ear tubes like DS (her appt is coming up soon). She cries a lot, I suspect I am oversensitive to the crying (it seems to bother me mroe than other moms) and because she can not hear well is why she seems to cry excessively. She definitely has SPD and her sensory seeking behavior is tiresome.

 

We are a nurturing family and I feel like it takes more energy. We cosleep, use positive discipline, homeschool, breastfeed until kids ween on their own, cook from scratch, cloth diaper.

 

I want more children but think I must be crazy. A lot of days I am wore out, and DH points that out and says we should stop at two kids. I feel in my heart we should have another but am worried if we do I will be stressed out and the kids will suffer. Would a larger space between children help the stress level? My kids are about a year behind in development so maybe instead of having the standard 2 year spacing I should go with 3 years????

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#2 of 15 Old 12-02-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I have one ds, who is 7 and has autism and spd. Up until the last few months I wouldn't have even considered another child. I love my ds dearly, but I knew my limits and I knew another child would surpass those limits. Now? We are considering trying to add another child in the next year or so. Ds would be around 8 when another baby is born. For us, I think that age gap will be wonderful. DS is excited and really wants us to have a baby. Even a year ago I don't think we could have smoothly added a baby to our family. DS is in a completely different place than he was last year and he's light years from where he was at age 3!


Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#3 of 15 Old 12-03-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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I have a 5, 3, and 2 yr old.  Only my 3 yr old is special needs-hearing loss and some other mild issues-behavior, tone, etc.  As much as I love my youngest child, I truly wish we had waited to add to our family.  It has been an extremely difficult time juggling between the 2 of them-lots of therapy for my 3 yr old, lots of appts, as well as some issues with behavior that more than likely would have been lessened if there wasn't a younger child here.  We also would like 1-2 more children but will not have them until our youngest is at least 5 AND hopefully by then our SN kiddo will be caught up on all of his delays and we will have a better handle on the behavior issues(I think he is possibly bipolar but hoping it levels out once he is caught up and out of the terrible 3's.)


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#4 of 15 Old 12-03-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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My first 2 are 2.5 years apart.  Older ds has asperger's, younger ds probably has spd....trying to juggle the two of them was really really awful for the first couple years and it's still stressful for me.  My third child, dd, was born when older ds was 7 and younger ds was almost 5.  LOVED that age gap.  Still get stressed out some, but it was much better than the 2.5 year gap.


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#5 of 15 Old 12-03-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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DD1 will be 8 next month, DD2 is 4, and DS is 19m months, all have some SN. DS's pg was soo hard because of the girls and their issues. All the therapies and driving, lots and lots of driving, traveling across the state for evals, etc... DD1 has SPD, anxiety issues, and is quite  dyslexic. DD2 got very ill as a newborn and was left with lung damage, she was O2 dependent until 7 months of age, until this fall when we finally got her meds figured out she had been ill for most of her life. Now her only dx is *asthma* which really doesn't do justice to the hell we've gone through with her. eyesroll.gif DS was supposed to be my NT child, but we all know it never works out how we want it to, this week my docs mentioned he suspected mild cerebral palsy. The  exactly 2.5 year spacing I did between #2 and 3 was as close as I could handle with their needs being more, 3 years would of given us some breathing room which we just did not have. 

 

ETA: Just reread about your 18m old, maybe she is related to my 19m who spends most of his time crying now as well! He is also speech delayed as in nada along with mobility issues which along with the normal toddler frustration means the poor guy is just not a happy camper now days. Hang in there, I know how rough it is. I also find myself thinking of one more until the 3 screaming children in my house pulls me back to the reality that maybe now is not a good time. lol.gif


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#6 of 15 Old 12-05-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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Thanks for posting this.  Our only child DD with special needs is 2 yrs old, and I'm starting to think about another.   The replies above make me think we should wait a little longer!


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#7 of 15 Old 12-05-2010, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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bump

thanks everyone so far. we are waiting until at least next summer so there would be a 3 year gap between the younges and a 5 year gap between oldes and new baby. I'm not sure if that's enough of a gap? 

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#8 of 15 Old 12-06-2010, 06:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverview9 View Post

bump

thanks everyone so far. we are waiting until at least next summer so there would be a 3 year gap between the younges and a 5 year gap between oldes and new baby. I'm not sure if that's enough of a gap? 


I think that really depends on the kids, their special needs, temperaments, ect. With my son, I wouldnt have dreamed of having another baby when he was 3. He was nonverbal, had tantrums/meltdowns from h*ll, and would have been a danger to an infant. He would have been put in harms way as well because he was/is a runner. At 3 it was so bad I didnt feel confident I could have kept him safe while 9 months pregnant or with a newborn. But other families who have kids who have different special needs may feel different! Ds is now 7 and started asking about 6 months ago for a baby. He is in a much better place now and I have no doubts that we could safely add in another child. Another concern we had was- if we had another child and he/she had special needs, could we deal with that? When ds was 3 the answer would have been no. today we feel more confident that we could.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#9 of 15 Old 12-06-2010, 06:41 AM
 
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I want to add to Steph's post and say it also depends on *your* situation as well.  My oldest (7) has autism, my middle child (3 years 10 months) has Reactive Attachment Disorder, selective mutism, and significant social/emotional/behavior/processing issues, and my youngest (23 months) has selective IgA deficiency and FPIES but is neurotypical.  All of them also have multiple food allergies.  (The oldest is my biological son, the middle child was adopted from Vietnam as an infant, and the youngest is my biological daughter, and wasn't quite planned, but things turned out very well with her. :D )  Because I stay home full time, plus I have a background in working residential care for profoundly autistic adults, I am usually pretty good at keeping everyone safe, enriched, etc.  I go out with them to the zoo, safari, store, library, etc. with very few problems, and everyone's safe (it takes a lot of extra planning, for sure).  I absolutely could *not* do it if I had to work...I know that for a fact.  There is absolutely *nothing* wrong with working...I just know that if I worked, I would have to find specialized childcare for the kids, plus specialized schooling for them, and find someone to take them to their various therapy and medical appointments and it would be impossible.  If I didn't have background training in non-violent crisis intervention, I'm not sure I would have been able to handle the major meltdowns and rages, especially out of my 3 year old (well, last year...she's mellowed out quite a bit in the last 6 months). 

 

The really interesting thing is that my 3 year old has *never* targeted her baby sister.  She has targeted other young children, but never her own sister.  Her sister is her best friend (her words, not mine) and they are very close...in age and emotionally.  Having a baby sister is the best thing that ever happened to my 3 year old...having a typically developing sister has actually has helped her improve 20000% emotionally, socially, and behaviorally.  I am not sure how that happened at all, but it did. 

 

Our oldest never had a problem with either of his sisters as babies.  As the 3 year old went from a baby to a toddler, he did have quite a few issues adjusting to the fact that this baby now moves around and takes his things.  The two of them have such similar issues, that they are *always* butting heads.  But I almost wonder if it's because he's 4 years older than she is, combined with the fact that emotionally and socially, he's still several years behind.

 

I will be honest and say that the biggest issue we have is that our neurotypical toddler spends a *lot* of time in therapy waiting rooms.  Every Tuesday she is there for 4 hours straight while the other two have therapy sessions, for example.  However, I do plan ahead and bring a bunch of things (a portable mini sensory bin, some small games and learning activities, drawing activities, books, etc.) so that she has her own fun things to stimulate and entertain her for those hours.  (And the other issue is that she's immune compromised...we can't just rely on waiting room toys and activities even if they weren't boring to her because they are often fairly germy).

 

So, we balance it, and I think we do it quite well.  But there are a lot of things that worked out in my favor so that I was able to make sure they all got the therapies and education they needed (the oldest goes to a montessori school and the younger two will be homeschooled), and I personally have the experience in an environment of multiple special needs individuals...  For some families, it would absolutely.positively.NOT be a good idea to have children as close in age as mine, but for us, it works out really well.  The first 6 months after a new child came home was really rough, but I think it is in every family to some extent.  Now, things flow pretty seamlessly for the most part.  There are some times where it's a bit chaotic or loud or crazy, but it works for us. 

 

So, that's my long way of saying that even if you think your children can handle a sibling, you have to make sure that *you* can....I was in a therapist's office for my older two's therapy session a week after having a c-section with my youngest.  The special needs life doesn't take a break.  You have to make sure that you can still balance therapies with a new baby (although the newborn time was pretty easy for balancing...baby was in a sling sleeping or nursing through every session. LOL!).  The more children you have, the more you have to balance.  But it's entirelly possible depending on your own circumstances and personality (I am actually fairly decent dealing with stress and intense situations since that's what I used to do for a living...I'm pretty sure I'd be bored with zen-like calmness. ;) )


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#10 of 15 Old 12-06-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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My DS is 4.5 yrs and is neurotypical.  My DD is 20 months old, with anoxic brain injury, trach,g-tube, dev. about 4months.  I have had flashesofwanting another baby, but the reality is that we could not handle that as a family.  It is not just having another child, it is the pregnancy, delivery, and new infoant part, while maintaining the schedule.  We are done. 


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#11 of 15 Old 12-07-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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The point for having kids for us was to enjoy them. Right now you arent. There is no reason to jump in and have another child in 3 years.

 

We have waited 6 plus years to have another one...probably will be closer to 8 years before I actually have one. The reason being is that I needed to give the kid sI have already as much of my time as I could.

 

I have 2 sn kids, 1 more who has a cleft palate (2 who have clefts in total). And even tho we want another one, I am glad we are waiting until I know I can mentally handle another child and be able to enjoy it.

 

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#12 of 15 Old 12-07-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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I also wanted to say, I had thought I spaced out my kids perfectly. They were going to be 18 months apart, the older one would be potty training while I nursed the baby.

 

Reality was this: The baby was 5 weeks early and had trouble nursing ........and my older one..... she was non mobile, non verbal and had seizures.

 

It was like having twins. I had a 30 lbs 16 month old and a 4 lb 2 ounce newborn. Neither walked, neither could tell me what they wanted and I had to carry them both all the time.

 

 

 

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#13 of 15 Old 12-07-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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My son with autism was 7 1/2 when my daughter, who is neurotypical, was born.  For the first 5 years of his life, I swore I would never have another child.  He has developed so much and is doing so well...I finally got the baby bug again!  Our spacing has been wonderful for us.  There's no way I could have done it any earlier.


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#14 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 09:55 AM
 
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I have a 4 year old NT boy and a 16 month old SN daughter. Right after DD was born I was desperate to get pregnant again. I kept trying to convince my husband that it would be the best thing for her and for our son. Some experts have said that having a NT kid right after a SN one helps the SN kid develop. We had agreed to have a second child more for our son's sake than us actually wanting two kids. We thought it would be better for him to have a sibling. Now that sibling would likely require some form life long assistance, and I felt it was not fair to him to put that responsibility on him alone when we were gone. I had all these ideas. I think part of me was also trying to quickly replace the child I felt I lost. The daughter that would grow up and get married and have kids. As that reality shifted I really wanted to get it back. After a year of therapy and doctor appointments and not sleeping, I realized that the last thing we need is another child in our lives. I got to a place of acceptance, that this is who we are and what our family looks like. I could not imagine going through another pregnancy and newborn year at this point. I work outside the home as well, and just the scheduling of it all is so hard. The last point is that if I had another SN child, it might kill me. So that was the final decider. DH and I are not young either, so waiting 5 or so years would put us both too old by our standards. I will say that the 2.5 years I have between my son and daughter worked fine for us, but he is a pretty independent kid and did not have any problems adjusting. 

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#15 of 15 Old 12-13-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabohl View Post

My first 2 are 2.5 years apart.  Older ds has asperger's, younger ds probably has spd....trying to juggle the two of them was really really awful for the first couple years and it's still stressful for me.  My third child, dd, was born when older ds was 7 and younger ds was almost 5.  LOVED that age gap.  Still get stressed out some, but it was much better than the 2.5 year gap.



That is pretty much exactly like us.  DS (oldest, 8 in 2 days) is autism spectrum, older DD (5) will be starting OT soon for sensory issues, and baby DD (10.5 months) has no known special needs yet, but is a bit behind on gross motor skills.  Older 2 are 2.75 years apart, younger two are 4.5 years apart.  I liked the 2.75 year gap in some ways as those two seem to be better able to play together and do things together, but it is nice to have older ones all potty trained and able to do a lot for themselves now that I have an infant again.


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