Do you ever think, 'this is a big mistake'? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-05-2003, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
Banned
 
frogertgrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: location, location, location
Posts: 1,518
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In the last week here and on other boards (g-d knows why these topics come up...guess it's in cycles), I've read too many posts to count about child spacing and the significant, irreversible dangers and damage from too closely spaced children. Which translates, as far as i've read, into a major recommendation to have kids less than three years apart.

I've read the stuff by Eliot Barker on this at naturalchild (site adverts here at MDC), as well as the real life tales of horror and extreme suffering for families with closely spaced children.

I've read the immense relief of moms who discover they are not pregnant when they have a toddler under three years of age. Too many times to count that type of post, too.

And I agree with the admonition to not get pregnant 'too soon', space children at least three years apart to avoid psychological damage to the children. And to avoid mom ending up in lunacy and a marriage in shambles.

But here I am, pregnant and I will have children 2 years apart and I believe I'm just f-d. No other way to put it. And it's pretty much too late to turn back now although maybe i should have earlier on, based on what I'm reading lately!

So, anyone else pregnant who is going into close child spacing and thinking, 'this isn't going to work out'?

I feel like I just made the biggest mistake ever, quite honestly. I feel very sad in writing that, but I'm reading the words of wise, BTDT women and I can't ignore that they know what they are talking about. Or ignore that I am probably not enough of a mama to do what it takes and maintain sanity and a healthy marriage.

Thanks for any input.
frogertgrl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-05-2003, 01:25 AM
 
Viola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nevada
Posts: 22,549
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
When I was pregnant with my first, I heard something that said the best spacing for your children for the health of the mother was 18 to 24 months. Apparently this recommendation was based on a study and was related, I guess, to the health risks of pregnancy and childbirth. I'm not quite sure.

I had wanted to have my children closer together, but it's worked out to be an almost 4.5 year gap by the time the new one will be born. I've heard negative comments about this just from the perspective of that is too big a gap and the children won't be close. So I don't know what to tell you.

I figure a lot of people willingly get pregnant when their first is still a baby/young toddler. Some with one year olds at home are eagerly trying to conceive. Most of the kids in my family are no more than 2 years apart. There are plenty of moms in my LLL group with children that are less than two years apart. I do admit that I don't have the same issues as they have, having only one at this point. And by the time my next is born, there will be different issues. The biggest "problem" I've heard expressed with this spacing is with tandem nursing and the older child wanting to nurse as much or more than the younger one. Not being as patient and kind as some of these moms, I'm glad that this is a problem I won't have. Knock on wood, I mean, since I suppose she could go back to frequent nursing once the new milk supply is in.

When the topic of children spaced about 20 months apart came up after a LLL meeting recently, one of the mom's whose children were grown, but had been spaced that closely made the comment about having one's hands full. Now that I'm a mom, I can see how that would be difficult, but growing up this just seemed normal to me. My sister was only a year younger, one set of nieces was 2 years apart, another sister has children whose ages are 18, 17, 14, 10, 9 and 8. She wasn't into the natural type of parenting or breastfeeding, so that makes a difference, but I figure if you are having children close together, it's because you want it what way and I wouldn't worry about what others think.
Viola is online now  
Old 05-05-2003, 01:31 AM
 
Viola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nevada
Posts: 22,549
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Oh, I have to say that when I read the title of this thread, I was thinking that I do sometimes wondering if I'm making a mistake. My daughter just had her 4th birthday on Friday, and man, she is being a pistol lately. I'm thinking that maybe that having another is a mistake because they just turn into 4 year olds. :LOL
Viola is online now  
Old 05-05-2003, 02:31 AM
 
shelbean91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 9,290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
After dd was born, we knew we wanted another, but weren't sure of what spacing we wanted. We decided to just let it happen- we weren't trying- but we weren't not trying either. I got pregnant with ds when dd was 15 mos. It was 1/2 way through the pg that I started to worry about the close spacing- dd started hitting the 'terrible twos' and I already had diminished patience due to the pg, so I was irritable and felt like I was being horrible to her. She weaned on her own when she was 20 mos.

Ds ended up coming 5 weeks early- but was able to come home with me the day after he was born. They are only 23 mos apart. It took him 3 1/2 mos to learn to nurse and that was really, really, really hard. Without those problems, it would have been challenging, but not nearly as rough as it was. Now, he's 13 mos old, she just turned 3 and it's finally starting to settle down. They can play together somewhat- he adores her and she just loves him. If I could do it over again, I wouldn't change the spacing at all. I look at my dd today and think she would have a much harder time adjusting to a new baby now than she did a year ago. She doesn't remember a time without her brother.

We made it and I do feel like I'm shortchanging each of them on occasion, but I'm doing the best I can. They have to take turns and share and I don't regret it at all.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
shelbean91 is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 02:52 AM
 
Quirky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 11,770
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know, I've seen one poster in particular around here who seems to have an ax to grind about baby spacing without anything in particular to back her up other than her own opinion.

I personally think it has everything to do with what's right for you and your family, how you raise your kids, and the luck of the draw in terms of the personalities of your babies, and not a whole lot to do with what someone else thinks is the "right" amount of space.

My middle sister and I are 19 months apart and we certainly had a love-hate relationship when we were younger, fought like cats and dogs, and we're now best friends. We were competitive but my mom had enough love to go around. My mom was a lunatic sometimes but she survived. Her marriage didn't but as you know that had nothing to do with the spacing of her kids and everything to do with my dad! :LOL

My younger sister and I are almost 7 years apart, had a love-hate relationship when we were younger, and we're now best friends as well.

DH and his brother are 17 months apart, and wouldn't be friends if they met today, they're so totally different.

I hope you can find your way back to a place where you're confident and secure in your decision that this was the right time to invite a new baby into your family. Just as you probably wouldn't pay much attention to the critics who tell you that your child will be scarred for life because you co-sleep, don't vax, and extended breastfeed, you probably shouldn't pay too much attention to the critics who will tell you that your kids will be scarred for life because they're too close (or too far apart) in age.

Come visit the NEW QuirkyBaby website -- earn QB Bucks rewards points for purchases, reviews, referrals, and more! Free US shipping on great brands of baby slings and carriers and FREE BabyLegs or babywearing mirror on orders of $100+. Take the QB Quiz for personalized advice!

Quirky is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
Banned
 
frogertgrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: location, location, location
Posts: 1,518
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I laugh ruefully, amywillow, b/c I have yet to experience a 4 year old. So once again, I do not know how good I have it right now!

I hear ya on not worrying what others think. I am not worried about that, I'm worried that I won't be coherent enough to think! I picture us nursing all day and night, newborn asleep, I'm playing with toddler or trying desperately to help toddler be quiet for newborn to sleep, more nursing, changing diapers all the time, trying to eat, trying to go to the bathroom in time.

Like digging a whole new, deeper trench for my survival mode and settling in for a serious 'what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger' experience.

shellbean, thanks for your BTDT experience. It is super helpful to me. Especially about you not changing the spacing, if you could.

Jane, yes, I read through the axe grinding posts and honestly, the POV gives me pause! I can see how three years or more between children does yield a saner space from which to mother two. I followed the, what is it called...natural family spacing? I had PPAF at four months and was ovulating at seven months even though DS exclusively breastfed on demand, never had a fake nipple or didn't nurse every half hour at least. Still got pregnant with an exclusively breastfed on demand child. So, when writers on this subject talk about the 'natural' spacing that comes with non-supplemental b/fding, I wonder.

But that's another issue in the past now.

I would like to avoid setting myself up for failure and the deck looks mighty stacked right now. DH and I are trying to help me get my teeth cleaned and so far, looks like it'll be a while. Since birth, I haven't had a haircut/color, dentist appt., chiro, massage, read a book, or showered more often than every few weeks. DS cries and arches for me if I leave the room and it's been that way for sometime now so care for myself has gone to the backburner.

I love being with DS, but DH worries that if I go on the way we have, with little to no breaks and not much self care, I will burn out. And add a newborn to the current situation, and it would be impossible to go to the dentist.

I know DS will be older and maybe more agreeable to seperation from me later on, but I just don't want to count on it as I might be surprised. I thought that we'd be driving longer than fifteen minutes by now and that's not happening either!

I agree with you, alot depends on temperment of children and their relationship to the sibling. But I remember a few times, mamas contemplating ttc another child which would mean close child spacing and expressing their concerns and the feedback was mostly, 'you know yourself best. if you think that you wouldn't give enough to both children, then it's good to wait to ttc.'

And I always thought, 'that's true!' But I struggle b/c I have the same concerns but I'm on the other side of ttc now and don't have the luxury to say, 'yeah, it's better to wait if I think I'm not ready for that kind of chaos.'

Does that make sense?
frogertgrl is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 12:41 PM
bec
 
bec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 6,008
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by frogertgrl
I would like to avoid setting myself up for failure and the deck looks mighty stacked right now.
DD is going to be just over 2.5 when #2 comes along. If we had conceived right away, she would have been just over 2, so we had placed some thought into the spacing question. As far as the books go, I think that everybody has their own opinion about things. I don't think it means a whole lot, one way or the other.

I have one older brother who is 3 years older. We really did not get along well throughout our childhood and teen years. In fact, it has only been in the past few years that we have been close. My mom has said that she didn't want two in diapers, and that was the most compelling reason for her particular spacing. DH has a sister that is 6 years older and 3 years younger. He also has a brother that is 18 years younger! He is very close to all of them. While he has a different dynamic with his brother, there is no mistaking that they are siblings! :

My SIL had twin boys 9 months ago. Her oldest was 5. She has had a very hard adjustment period with them and her oldest. Part of it is the fact that she has two infants at once, but her oldest has also had a hard time adjusting to not having his parents' exclusive attention.

I can say, from my own experience that 14-20 months has been the hardest for me with dd. She was in need of constant entertainment, only wanted Mama, and was very needy and clingy. Since that time, she has become more and more independant. I do worry about the sleeping (she doesn't sleep through the night yet), but am coping. It may be that you are going through that tough time right now with your ds.

As far as setting yourself up for failure. It's really good that you're thinking about it now. You can start to take steps to help alleviate some of the stress. One thing that has helped me enormously is having a Mother's helper. There is a neighbor girl (12yo), who comes over for a couple of hours twice a week. She plays with dd, giving me a break to do whatever I want. I'm usually at home with them, so can intervene if anything happens that she can't handle. DD does have a hard time seeing me leave her, though. I have found, however, that if she is the one leaving, she is fine. So, they usually start out the afternoon with both of them going to a nearby park for a little while. Then, when they come back, she's fine for the rest of the time. I'm really counting on this when the next one comes!

The thing I found most challenging when dd was born was bathing and eating. I don't imagine this is going to be any easier the second time around. Particularly with a toddler who will need to eat regularly lest I suffer the consequences! I really don't think this would be any different if #1 is any age younger than, say 6 or 7 when they could fix their own food. I have asked my Mom and MIL as a birth present to prepare food for me that is easy to freeze and prepare. This way, I will always have something quick, easy, and nutritious at hand for myself and my older child.

As far as keeping the house clean, I wouldn't worry about it. Or if you have well meaning friends, neighbors, or relatives ask you if they can do anything to help out, ask them to vaccuum, or do a load of laundry or dishes. Most people will be thrilled to be actually helping in such a practical way. This gives you time to spend with your children and not worry. You could also use this time (or when dh gets home, or if you have a neighbor kid helping out) to get a quick shower. When she was a newborn, I would put dd in her infant carrier, and bring her into the bathroom with me when I showered. I couldn't get a long one, but I at least got mostly clean.

I hope I've given you some ideas that will make things a little easier for you. I think there will be challenges with a 2nd that you didn't have with the first, and it doesn't matter a whole lot when you have the 2nd, there will always be something. There are pros and cons to having kids spaced close and spaced far apart. But if you are able to think ahead of time what those specific challenges are going to be, it will be easier to plan how to handle them.

Good Luck!


Bec

Mama to: Katie, Emily , and Abby
Not perfect, Just amazing!
bec is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 12:51 PM
 
ekblad9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Just a slingin'
Posts: 8,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
While parenting closely spaced children can be very difficult at times, esp. when you AP, I do not regret it for a minute. All of my children are very bright, well adjusted children. I totally respect the naturalchild website but the woman that runs it has only one child. I think it's the parent's attitude that makes all the difference. I've watched you, frogertgirl, on many threads and have often admired you as a mother. That said, I was always so sick and tired when I got pg that I wished it away every time (even between number 1 and 2 who are five years apart.). Hang in there and stay strong. I know parents whose kids are spaced plenty of years apart and don't hold a candle to half the mothers here with closely spaced children.

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

ekblad9 is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 01:21 PM
 
carrots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,292
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
after having dd#1 our midwife told us that, if possible, we should try to wait 2 years to get pregnany again. well, I got pregnant again when dd#1 was 18 m, had dd#2 when she was 26 m and have loved the experience. dd#2 is now 10m and have just found out that i am pregnant with #3. was this how we planned it? not exactly, but we are trying to keep our heads up. i am sure it will be a mad house, but i am looking forward to it. there are moments though since finding our about #3 that we think AWMY GAWD What have we DONE But they are strongly overshadowed by excitement and love
carrots is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 01:36 PM
 
mamaley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 6,212
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You know, screw what others say. Each family is so unique that I really think it's impossible for someone to correctly say that one way is best for most families. I know a family who have two girls exactly one year apart--she became pregnant when dd #1 was 2 months!--and their family is doing great. The girls are best friends, but very independent, and they're a happy family. I also know another family whose children are 7 years apart and they are also doing great.

I've been feeling overwhelmed lately too, although I don't think it has to with age spacing. It has more to do with finding balance in life, which can be tricky with children of any age.

Try to go easy on yourself, mama. It's normal to feel stressed, but I hope it's not because of ignorant messages you're getting from other people.
mamaley is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 02:03 PM
 
Touch of Sunshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
((hugs)) Stress doesn't change anything but your anxiety level(I should really learn to accept my own advice)

I've got 3 kids. The spacing was 2 yrs 9 months between first 2 and 2 years, 2 weeks betweent 2 and 3. All the kids get along fine. dd#1 was only 15 months when we found out we were expecting, and the due date was her birthday..lol.

We never had ANY problems what so ever with her. We had her involved with the pregnancy. she helped pick clothes, blankets. She rubbed my tummy and sang to the baby. She'd come in the tub with me and "play" with the baby, as this was when the baby was most active. She also decided that since there was a baby coming she was a big girl and refused diapers at 18 months. she is now 6 ys and has only had a bedwetting incident once, and it was due to being ill. The girls are close, they love eachother. DD#2 is a big girl and they are often mistaken as twins when people see them initially.

I hear you on the shower and eating thing. I'd bring the baby in her carseat intot he bathroom so I could shower. When that didn't work anymore, i just brought her into the shower with me. She showered with me until she was 2 1/2 yrs. She still want's to come in with me, but we moved and the shower is small..lol.. so she goes right after me and showers while I'm dressing. While I'm showering she is normally sitting on the toilet yakking my ear off..lol. Eating can be a trick, especially with other little ones to feed. This is where slings are nice. I can use one hand to just about anything, the sling eases that. For myself, I rarely had a chance to sit down, and unfortunately dh was under a depression for the first 18 months of dd#2 life, he didn't interact alot, so I kept lots of fruit and cut veggies ready to go. I also discovered the crockpot during this time. It was a life saver. Stole a few mintues in the morning when baby was content to sit and "talk" with her siblings and would through something to do.

My brothers were 10 1/2 months apart. Mom said it wasn't much different from twins. infact they were thought to be twins once both were walking and through most of their lives. She did alot for both of them, one potty trained a little earlier and one later but at the same time. There were bad days, but she had bad days with me..lol.. and they were both in school full time when i came along..lol.

Spacing is what you make of it. Keeping one quiet so the other can nap, I never worried about it. Just kept them busy so they didn't physically touch the baby. Baby was used to the sounds around her, them giggling playing even hollering, neve disturbed her, it was "normal" background noise for her.

Try not to overwhelm yourself. There is no right age spacing. I feel it's how you deal with it that makes or breaks it.

I'm currently expecting baby #4(we hope), and when/if this happens, there will be almost 5 years between #3 and #4. I'd have liked them closer, but it wasn't meant to be. Play the cards you're handed the best you can. no one asks more than that.

And insanely, I'm hoping for a #5(shhhh.. don't tell my dh, he'll freak out on me, since #4 hasn't even arrived yet..lol)
Touch of Sunshine is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 04:08 PM
 
joesmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wherever Joe is!
Posts: 3,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
hi! your op made me sad, because it seems like you were happy & excited to be having your kids close together, until reading here that some people think that is a mistake.

i have only one child, he is four. and i am sure if i asked for advice i would hear plenty of people say that i am doing him a disservice by not "providing" him w/ a sibling.

the point is, there are no facts top back up the perfect age difference between kids. you can only get opinions from mamas who are doing their best in their particular situation.

my sister has two boys, the older one will be 5 in june & his brother will be 3 in oct. they are real good friends, the older one helps the younger one a lot. of course, they fight too, but...!

my sisters & i were born in '73, '75, & '77. my mom planned to have us close together & never regretted it. we fought sometimes but we are all close now. in fact my middle sister is going to have her 1st child in dec. so joe & my nephews will have a new cousin to love!

try not to worry. i am sue you will take one look at your sweet baby & never look back!

love, jenny
joesmom is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 04:11 PM
 
marisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 1,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just found out that I am pregnant with #2 this morning. The baby is due the day before my son's 2nd birthday.
I am really worried about it too, but I know many moms with more than one child who have survived and seem to be doing just fine. My son is a total mama's boy, and likes to sleep on my stomach. I'm wondering what he is going to do when my tummy is too big to lay on!!
I imagine he will have some adjustment issues. I'm not looking forward to it. But if we can just get through the first year, I think he will really enjoy a sibling, as I can tell he gets lonely for a play mate sometimes. We never would have chosen to have children two years apart, in fact, I had just decided to wait until he was three to have another. But, who knows, this may work out better in the long run, you never know.
marisa is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
Banned
 
frogertgrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: location, location, location
Posts: 1,518
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you all so so much. I read your words hungrily, let me tell ya! Thank you for your encouragement and affirmation of this working out somehow, someway.

I see that my OP has made the homepage of mothering.com. Gulp.

ekblad7: if anyone knows about the nitty gritty toughness of lots of kids and closely spaced it is you! You know how many of us on this board ask, 'how does she do it?', right? Thanks for your kind words.

I don't know if Jan Hunt writes on this issue at naturalchild. I know she is highly respected and one of 'Ask the Experts' here at MDC. Elliot Barker is the one person I have read extensively on this issue and I believe he has three kids? Anyway, just wanted to cut Jan some slack if somethings are being assigned to her that are not her's.

carrots: you go, girl! Wow. Congrats on the pregnancy and please post your survival tips.

mamaley: yes, you're right about feeling overwhelmed and that's easy with a child of any age. I am so tired being pregnant, it kicks my butt and makes it hard to be patient and confident. I try to communicate how touched-out I am to DH, but he just is hung up on 'what happened to our sex life?' Poor guy. He knows I got pregnant via sex, but can't figure out why pregnancy made sex go away for now.

Touch of Sunshine: thank you for the real life examples and encouragement to play the cards I've been dealt. I love that you want five kids. I always said I wanted five and then realized that meant more than a concept, if I am serious.

joesmom: yes, my enthusiasm for this pregnancy has dampened with reading stuff lately and it makes me sad, too. But then I think I should face that this will be super hard to prepare myself. As if, right? Can't really prepare that much. How cool with you and your sisters. It keeps coming back to me that one's attitude is what matters. Your mom never regretted it and it sounds like a very positive experience for everyone.

marisa: Congratulations!!! I worry about the adjustment issues, too. ANd I do hear that things get better after the first year. Of course, my neighbor has two boys, two years apart, and she told me, 'it gets easier after the first six months, when the baby starts sleeping through the night.'

Huh?? My 15 month old has never slept through the night once! I just nodded and smiled.

I know I need to line up help but we have no family options and don't trust anyone we've met so far. DH is working more than ever and will be traveling to Europe frequently and I know I need help if I'm alone with two and our awful, hyper barking dog. Something will have to give. I just don't want to hand off DS to someone knowing it is super hard for him. We are going through such a clingy time as it is right now...if DH takes him on a walk, DS cries and points backward toward our home the whole time until he is in my arms again. It's wonderful to be so attached and wanted, but makes for only five minute breaks a day. (I come here when DS sleeps, always with boob in mouth!)

I think I'll line up some at-home services as much as i can during pregnancy. Housecleaning. Home massage. Home hair color would be ideal! So I can be near DS and not stress.
frogertgrl is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 04:58 PM
 
kykarraliv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Originally from MT now living in UT
Posts: 204
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi from Mama of one big family! I can honestly say that child spacing has very little to do with happiness in the home. I have children spaced from 2 years apart to 7 years apart. When this baby is born I will have an almost 18 year old, a 15 year old a 13 year old a 4 1/2 year old and a 27 monther. My sisters 5 shildren are all about 18 months apart. She planned it that way. Between the 2 of us we have almost every type of pesonality under the sun. From my own experience spacing of the children makes little difference on my or the children's sanity I have children who are extremely close and children who have conflicts. And these relationships will flow from extememly close to conflicted and back again. There is no perfect spacing and no horrible spacing. Relax and enjoy your pregnancy and your new little one
kykarraliv is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 05:12 PM
 
hoffmas5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have never posted here before, but couldnt resist when I saw that headline!!!

My children are 11 & 1/2 months apart. My daughter is 23 months & my son is 11 & 1/2 months now. I was really scared, I didnt intend for it to happen that way. I had preeclampsia with the first pregnancy & didnt even have a chance to fully recuperate before I was pregnant again & soooooo tired while trying to enjoy my firstborn. I fit all the "requirements" for LAM & so thought I couldnt get pregnant, exclusive bf, nursed day & night, no pacifiers??? Guess fate happens! As time passed I realized it could be a wonderful thing if I believed it. I swear they think they are twins, neither knows of a time when they werent both here. I guess there are good & bad points both. In my head it seemed to be really, really difficult & overwhelming, & sometimes it truly is. My son (baby #2) was a very difficult & sickly child, he couldnt nurse (major sucking problems) & we went thru oral motor therapy to help his suck & he had severe vomiting from 2 days after birth on. My ped kept saying it was just reflux & we listened for 6 months as he prescribed new drugs & upped dosages. Finally we gave up & sought an allergist on our own & had him diagnosed with severe food allergies, I cleaned up my diet & things have been much easier ever since!! I have to say those complications made it insane at times, but without them I think it might have been too easy!!
So the point is, hang in there, there is no looking back now! Its done, just enjoy it & make the best of it & dont beat yourself up for not being perfect. We are all just doing the best we can. The more we realize this, the better we will become.
Also, just a tip, what worked best for me was to let my daughter do whatever i was doing. She loves copying me, she nurses her piggy (fav stuffed animal), changes their diapers, mops floors, washes dishes in a little tub with a splash of soap & water on the floor next to me (then we use the spilled soapy water to mop the floor with!!), when we go out she pushes the baby stroller with me. etc

My husband & I catch them in the back seat of the car holding hands with each other & giggling all the time & we know its perfect this way, no matter what anyone says!!!

Stephanie
Mother to:
Paige 6-8-01
Aidan 5-28-02
hoffmas5 is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 05:21 PM
 
kristenburgess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 1,742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My dd is 17 months today and we're expecting our next little one in about 9 weeks, putting them around 19 months apart.

At first I worried a lot. And now I still find that there are times that I'm anxious about it: two under two, dd is not sleeping well and still very mama-centered, and on top of that, dh will be away on military duty for approximatly the first two months of baby's life! It's somewhat overwhelming.

I've heard good, bad, and ugly on having them closely spaced. But when it comes down to it, I'm so excited about meeting my new little baby and nursing again (dd weaned at 14 months, I feel a lot of guilt about that, though I wouldn't say it was a bad weaning). I'm excited to see how dd reacts to her new sibling, she loves tiny babies. I know it will be tough. But I also know I'll take it one day at a time. I'll spend a lot of time on the floor, I'm sure, and a lot of the baby's time will be in the sling, I'm sure. There will be a lot of adjustment. But I firmly believe that my husband and I were meant to conceive both of our children when we did and they were meant to grow up with this spacing. It will influence them in positive ways, it will influence them in negative ways. But the same would be true if they were 3 years apart.

I take one day at a time now, I say a lot of prayers. I try to prepare dd as much as I can, and I try to prepare myself as much as I can. I hope for a lot of help in the early weeks, I hope my hubby will at least make the birth and the following 8 weeks will go by quickly. I just have faith in myself as a mother. I continue to work hard on my own growth so that I can parent my daughter well. Every inch I grow for her will benefit both her and the new baby, so I focus on growing and mothering her.

One practical thing I'm doing is making sure she's comfy playing with Grandmommy and Granddaddy, as well as one of my girlfriends, and with a 13 year old from church, all of whom will be able to spend time with her after the birth just playing with her while I tend to the baby.

I've made a list of things to stock up on like frozen casseroles, paper plates, etc, to make the first few weeks simpler. Beyond all of that, I don't know. I've made it this far, and I have faith I'll make it through the next 18+ years!

~Kristen

Kristen, Loving my family heartbeat.gif Sweet DH, C 11, A 9, B 7, G 4, H 1, C newbie!
2ndtri.gif Free Healthy Pregnancy & Natural Birth Series, click here!

kristenburgess is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 05:46 PM
 
maguire708's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My brother and I are 3 1/2 years apart and it was AWFUL! A 3 year old is old enough to do things for herself, old enough to make it easier on the parents, old enough to feel entirely displaced by a new baby, and old enough to remember what it was like to be an only child. My parents did everything they could think of and even had my brother and I in couseling for sibling rivalry and nothing helped - now that we're adults we're JUST learning to be friends.
I think that 3 year spacing irecommendations are entirely based on th needs of the parents and NOT on the needs of the children! Everyone I know who has closely spaced children comment on what good companions the kids are! I also hear how the first year with "2 in diapers", etc. was really "hard" but then the discussion always seems to go back to what great friends the kids are and how the younger one learned everything faster because he or she was trying to keep up with the older one... my husband's nephews are 16 nonths apart and are great playmates (they're school age now), a friend has 2 girls 13 months apart and they're great friends (they're almost 20), and my 1/2 bro and sis are 18 months apart and are STILL good friends even as teenagers who graduated high scool last year!
I wanted to have my kids 2 years apart but my son is almost 15 months and we haven't conceived again yet
maguire708 is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 06:36 PM
 
mamaley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 6,212
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, take back everything I just said...after reading Maguire's post I'm feeling like the original poster!! :

Actually, reading Maguire's post reminded me of a lot of the insecurities that I have about how my son is going to do after the baby is born. I probably should have addressed these in my previous post instead of written what I wrote, although there is truth there too...I worry how he's going to adjust, about having enough time for the two of them, about him not feeling as connected to us after having to share us with the new baby.
I guess all I can say is that we're in slightly different situations, but I totally see where you're coming from.
mamaley is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 07:02 PM
 
Kirsten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Washington state
Posts: 5,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, I am very in love with the four year spacing of my first two but not sure if I am one of the "ax grinders" mentioned in earlier posts.... Baby #3 will be here end of the month and dd2 will be 2 and 3/4 years old then so we'll see how that spacing goes.

I think there are pros and cons to every conceivable spacing and that the personalities of the kids of course factors in a great deal. Four years apart worked well when my sister and I were growing up - and so far it has worked well for my two girls (now 6 and 2) but I can't say that closely spaced kids are destined for trouble. I would try not to let what others say worry or upset you. What's done is done and at this point I would just forget the naysayers and focus on being positive.

No matter what the spacing, I am always thrilled to hear that a child will become a big brother or sister (maybe I am an "ax grinder" on the sibling thing.... ha ha!) so congrats to you and to your dh and ds - it will all work out. I would suggest looking now for people who can help you, who you can learn to trust to play with ds - even if you are home - just to spend baby time or wash clothes or whatever. Can you join a MOMS Club? I really like mine - it is a great sanity saver. Or PEPS? That was wonderful too. Through both of these, I made some great friends and the kids (well mostly the younger one as the older one is in school during most of this stuff). If you want more info on the clubs, PM me and I'd be happy to get it to you.

Re: marriage - well, my kids were my chosen 4 years apart and poor dh didn't know what to do with the lot of us when dd2 had 24 hour colic and I went post partum... So you just never know! It will all work out just fine. Try to take time for yourself - for a haircut or a dinner out with a girlfriend. Your kids will be ok with your dh - even if they cry. I am not as AP as most here but I really think if we (as moms) are happy, the whole family is better off. I understand being in tune with your child's needs but for me, I can't mother worth a darn if I am burned out. Also try to find a way to go out to dinner or a movie with dh once a month or so. You can trade childcare with friends if a high school sitter isn't something you're comfortable with yet (though it is a wonderful thing when you get to that point!)

Good luck and don't worry!
Kirsten
Kirsten is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 07:04 PM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
i think it's totally normal to worry how a second child will fit in to your family. i think all mamas do it -- how will the older sib get along with the new one, how will i ever get anything done around the house, etc, etc... i'm pg now and dd will be about 2 & 9mo when the guppie is born. it just sorta worked out that way. in some ways i would've liked to have had them closer together 'cause i'm far apart from my bro and sis in age and we're not particularly close, but, really, i think it's the kids' individual personalities that determine whether they'll be emotionally close, not the number of years between them.

for some practical tips, a mama i know who had a pretty emotionally high needs (some might say clingy) ds told me when her second was born she just put the new one in the sling and ignored him for the first 6 mo while she interacted with the older sib. of course, she didn't mean that literally, but i plan on taking that road this time around and getting some good use outta my sling! my dd is pretty attached, too. not much of an explorer right now, but she will happily play on the floor by herself now. i don't think she did when she was 15mo, though. that was a while developing. i think by the time your new one is born you may find your ds is much more independent.

also, as far as having a hard time taking a shower now, have you tried letting the tub fill up and letting ds play in the water while you bathe? up until recently that's the only way i could get myself clean.

take heart that millions of mamas and lots of attached and loving mamas here have done the two year spacing. it will all work out for all of us!

Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 07:19 PM
 
Kirsten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Washington state
Posts: 5,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, I am very in love with the four year spacing of my first two but not sure if I am one of the "ax grinders" mentioned in earlier posts.... Baby #3 will be here end of the month and dd2 will be 2 and 3/4 years old then so we'll see how that spacing goes.

I think there are pros and cons to every conceivable spacing and that the personalities of the kids of course factors in a great deal. Four years apart worked well when my sister and I were growing up - and so far it has worked well for my two girls (now 6 and 2) but I can't say that closely spaced kids are destined for trouble. I would try not to let what others say worry or upset you. What's done is done and at this point I would just forget the naysayers and focus on being positive.

No matter what the spacing, I am always thrilled to hear that a child will become a big brother or sister (maybe I am an "ax grinder" on the sibling thing.... ha ha!) so congrats to you and to your dh and ds - it will all work out. I would suggest looking now for people who can help you, who you can learn to trust to play with ds - even if you are home - just to spend baby time or wash clothes or whatever. Can you join a MOMS Club? I really like mine - it is a great sanity saver. Or PEPS? That was wonderful too. Through both of these, I made some great friends and the kids (well mostly the younger one as the older one is in school during most of this stuff). If you want more info on the clubs, PM me and I'd be happy to get it to you.

Re: marriage - well, my kids were my chosen 4 years apart and poor dh didn't know what to do with the lot of us when dd2 had 24 hour colic and I went post partum... So you just never know! It will all work out just fine. Try to take time for yourself - for a haircut or a dinner out with a girlfriend. Your kids will be ok with your dh - even if they cry. I am not as AP as most here but I really think if we (as moms) are happy, the whole family is better off. I understand being in tune with your child's needs but for me, I can't mother worth a darn if I am burned out. Also try to find a way to go out to dinner or a movie with dh once a month or so. You can trade childcare with friends if a high school sitter isn't something you're comfortable with yet (though it is a wonderful thing when you get to that point!)

Good luck and don't worry!
Kirsten
Kirsten is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 07:33 PM
 
Mamasquared's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi All:
I'm new to the Mothering forums, and this is my first post. I'm 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant and feel compelled to respond to this as I wait for labor.

My sister and I are 3 years apart almost to the day. She was born 6 days before my 3rd birthday. I never had a problem having a younger sibling - my mom made sure that I knew I was still special. But my sister always did and still does hate being the youngest. We are now 32 and 29 and further apart than ever. My sister has wanted next to nothing to do with this pregnancy - my first.

I also don't think being three years apart was any easier for my mom. For her, the differences in our personalities and her own work and marriage situations effected her more than anything. And, her marriage has not survived - though it did survive both of our childhoods.

My partner and I want at least two kids and talk often about how close to have the second one. Based purely on her own observations and gut feelings, my partner thinks closer together is better. She is the second of 7 girls, with 18 years separating the oldest and the youngest. They have every possible age range between them, from 2 years to 5 years. When you have that many, the spacing doesn't seem to matter.

I think when it comes down to it, each family has to do what is best for the whole family and trust their instincts.
Mamasquared is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 07:43 PM
 
Carolinamidwife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 7,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, if it's any consolation I also wonder if I have made a huge mistake and mine will be a little better than 4.5 years apart. We had hoped for a 5.5 year space but nature had other plans! My sister and I are 5.5 years and we could not possibly be closer. We had no rivalry because we were not after the same things. On the other hand I have heard dozens of people who are all pleased with their particular spacing so I think it all just depends on the family.

I think anytime you are adding a new member to the family it is normal to feel trepidation. Change is scary but it always works out in the end!

{{{hugs}}}

Amy

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
Carolinamidwife is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 07:44 PM
 
Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kenmore, Washington
Posts: 6,956
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that whether the spacing of two kids is a "success" has lots to do with the personallity of the kids and a little to do with the parents.
I don't think you can order up or change the personality of a child...so just have them when it works for you and what comes will come.

Homebirth Midwife biggrinbounce.gif

After 4 m/c, our stillheart.gif is here!

Jane is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 08:16 PM
 
Faith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
frogertgrl~

I didn't have time to read all the replys, but I just thought I would toss out my experience. My DD was born when my DS was 2 years and 9 days old. I do not think he was in any way harmed! Allthough I do completely understand being wary of the unknown!

Since he was so young, he did not have the ability (as older children would) to realize "if mommy wasn't nursing the baby, she would be able to do XYZ with me." KWIM? He was happy just to hang out doing whatever. At that age, I think he was still very accepting of things just as they were.
So it was not like he had to adjust very much, if that makes sence.

Now, since they are so close in age, it is like they are best friends most of the time. I can sit here and type happily while they play happily together. I don't know what they would do without each other!
On the other hand, when I was growing up, I had two brothers. One was two years younger than me and one was seven years younger than me. The older one and I 'grew up together.' We remember things we did and all that. All the two of us remember about the younger brother is giving him bottles and him bothering us! There was just too much of a gap. We are closer to him now that we are all adults, but back then it was a big deal.

Also, I think most women get their AF back at about 14 months postpartum. So that IMHO is nature/fate/God saying this is a good time time to get pregnant again. So, most siblings would be born about 2 years apart naturally, and I think that says something.

Of course you know this, but since you allready know the baby is coming, you might as well just try to relax and look forward to it. I don't mean to sound preachy or anything, but in my life it is the things I worry about the most that I later realize were no big deal at all.
Faith is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 08:54 PM
 
~*max*~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Where The Wild Things Are
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Frogertgrl, I have to agree w/the the other mamas who posted about how great it is having kids close together. My first two children are ages 3 and 1 1/2, and I wouldn't change it for the world! They absolutely love each other & have so much fun together. It is so heartwarming to see the two of them holding hands, playing ring around the rosie, etc.

I am currently pg w/#3 - and am going throught the same feelings of trepidation that you wrote about. We planned this pg so the children would remain close in age, but now that I am feeling so horribly sick all the time it is hard to be positive. I know in my heart that we made the right decision, but sometimes my head tells me not.

Thank you for posting this. Everyone's responses have been helpful for me too.

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
~*max*~ is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 09:13 PM
 
QueeTheBean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Phillies Country
Posts: 2,146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by mamaley
You know, screw what others say. Each family is so unique that I really think it's impossible for someone to correctly say that one way is best for most families.
So true! I hear all kinds of things about spacing, and I say phooey! Everything has good and bad, and nothing will be perfect. I worried to no end when I was pregnant with #2---and mine are almost 4 years apart. My older one really came through for me--they seem to know somehow. Some days are hard, but that was true when I only had one child (and when I had none, for that matter). Wait til you see them playing together and loving each other. My baby actually shakes with excitement when big brother comes in the room.
QueeTheBean is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 09:19 PM
 
QueeTheBean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Phillies Country
Posts: 2,146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oooh--forgot to say this, too.

When I was born way back in the dark ages, my folks also had an almost 1 year old, 2 year old, 3 year old, and 4 year old. That's right--for a few months, they had 5 children under the age of 4. We are now 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39 and still very close. I roomed with my #4 sister in college!

Good luck!

Having two kids is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes twice the work, but also twice the fun and love and happiness.
QueeTheBean is offline  
Old 05-05-2003, 10:06 PM
 
delphyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I read your post I couldn't help but feel empathy for what you're dealing with. I'm 13 weeks and 1 day along with #2 and my dd just turned 1 year less than a month ago. I firmly support attachment parenting but with both dh and I being in the military, I've had to compromise on more things than I care to. DD had to wean at 61/2 mos because I had to lose weight too fast and I dried up. I'm hoping I won't have to go that route again because I really feel that it had a big impact on her.

#2 is due in November and dd will be 19 mos. Personally I am both glad and apprehensive about the spacing between them. My sisters and I were all exactly four years apart and we still talk about how much we couldn't stand each other. Peace was not to be had in my childhood home until one of us left and it was me that did the leaving. I always regretted that I was never friends with my sisters and that still comes through today because it is difficult for me to make and keep female friends.

I'm glad for my children because they will have never remembered a time without each other (and I'm going to work very hard to make sure that is a good thing ) but I'm also apprehensive because of the effect it will have on me and my dh. We have demanding jobs but I'll be out of the military in 24 mos.

I'm excited about having another sweet baby and curious about the future. I just wanted to let you know that there's another Mother right there in the trenches with ya! Take care
delphyl is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off