Deciding to TTC with large space between siblings? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 10-01-2010, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all! My first post here so a little background to the question.

I married young (18) had a son at 19 and a daughter at 21. We divorced not long after and I ended up dating a guy I had been friends with since my young teens.

Well, that was 6 years ago. We bought a house together 2 years ago, originally planning to get married shortly after. The house ended up taking more money than we thought (new roof, new boiler, etc...) and we are finally getting married this coming May. We've also been talking about TTC right after we are married (I want a spring baby this time so the timing works out perfectly).

I do REALLY want another, I didn't think I would but seeing how amazing he is with the kids, and finally feeling really and truly settled, is bringing out major baby lust.

Hesitation comes from two places though. First is the big age gap. If I were to get pregnant next summer that would put my kids at 10 and 12 when the baby is born. We have both said if we decide to have a kiddo, it would be only one. It feels to me like that child would basically grow up as an only child and I'm just not sure how I feel about that. I've always said I think siblings are important, but maybe my mind is changing? I'm also not sure how my kids are going to feel about having their lives so strongly impacted. I don't really want to ask them either since a) they can't keep a secret and we wouldn't want everyone to know and b) that seems like a lot of pressure to put on a kid, deciding if they want a sibling or not, even if it wouldn't be 100% their choice.

The second issue is I feel like I'd be starting all over again. I love my kids and I love their ages. I see friends with babies having to lug stuff all over, deal with temper tantrums, aches and pains of pregnancy, etc... Sometimes I envy them and sometimes I'm just thankful to be past all of that. I've got my own stuff I do now that is definitely not baby friendly, dog training and motorcycle riding. Motorcycle riding would definitely have to go for the foreseeable future and at the very least I'd have to stop attending training classes with the dogs (classes are during the day when kids and DF are at school/work). I could still train on my own but a lot of the fun for me of training dogs is the social aspect.

I'm also not sure how I'd deal with my current job and having a baby. I work as a vet tech, 3 days a week, doing a 12 hour shift. We work straight through with no breaks (aggravatingly totally legal in NJ) . Having an exclusively breastfed baby is VERY important to me and I'm not sure how to make that work. I looked up LLL in this area to get support but the meetings are of course only on the days that I work.

Basically it boils down to this, my heart says YES! My brain keeps saying, why? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

Alexis, mom to DS 11/99 DD1 01/02 and DD2 09/23/11.
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#2 of 2 Old 10-02-2010, 12:22 AM
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I can't really help you on the why because ultimately you have to have your brain and heart agree! LOL But let me say, deciding to ttc our son even with the big age gap between my 2 DDs (they are 10 and 8 and he is 2) was the best thing we ever did. It is so less stressful than having to chase a toddler while dealing with a newborn.
You have mini-parents that instead of being jealous and throwing sudden tantrums will actually change a poopy diaper, or at the very least, grab the wipes that you forgot in a drawer, or get you a glass of water while you are nursing or make their younger sibling a sandwich so you can nap while the baby is napping!! Just making sure they enjoy helping is big so they don't suddenly feel burdened by the process.
I was also young with my first 2 - 23 and 25 so to have a child at 32 was so much easier. I was more patient, knew what to expect and was able to enjoy even the sleep deprived, nipple sore, back to diaper changing moments, because I knew/know how quickly the baby moments go by and found it a lot more fascinating watching the personality develop. I was also more educated on breastfeeding and vaccination and had this great online community for support!
The cons to all this is that, it is tougher to bring a busy toddler to the older sibling's various school or extra curricular functions - plays, swim meets, road trips....but none of that outweighs the good - at least for me.
Good luck with your decision!

OH! I wanted to add, that it is truly a joy to see the reactions of my older girls to raising a child from a baby. It is one thing for you to tell them what they were like as a baby, and the stuff you had to do, and of course the oldest one was still too young to remember the middle one as a baby because it was just a 2 year gap...but to have them actually witnessing the process and the nurturing and having them teach their baby brother how to say their name, and their reaction the first time he says it....priceless.

Jenn (36), wife to DH for 13 years, DD1(13) , DD2(10) and DS(4)

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