On second thought, is baby 2 a wise choice?

Michelle - posted on 12/29/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am the mom of a beautiful one year old. Having Lauren was tramatic. Long story short she was born with a birth defect that caused complications during her bith resulting in an emergency c-section. She was in the NICU for 29 days and on day two of returning home I began to feel the effects of postpardum depression. I sought medical help and within three months had life under control. Our original plan was to have no less than two children. We wanted them close together so that they would be close growing up. I am an only child and was always lonely growing up, and I don't want that for my children. After hating life for the first six months of Lauren's life, I am finally happy (and without medication). So happy in fact that I agreed to the idea of having baby 2. And have even gone so far as to have my IUD removed. Now I am FREAKING OUT! I had a c-section 12 months ago, aren't I supposed to wait 18 months? I got postpardum bad the first time, isn't it worse the second time? Lauren's birth was so tramatic for me I have suffred PTSD reponses several time upon walking into the hospital where she was born. Can I really have a c-section again? A part of me feels like if I failed the first time to have a vaginal birth, should i even attempt it a second time? A part of me wishes I was capable of truely letting go and saying, "Here God, I can handle what you have in store for me." But I don't konw if I believe that. It took one year to be happy again with my life and after one month I throw it all away on baby 2? I cry as I type this as the once exciting idea my husband I happily shared is now shadowed in doubt and worry.

Is there anyone one else out there that has gone through this? What should I do?

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Elfrieda - posted on 12/30/2012

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It might be a good idea to wait a bit longer. Like Gigi says, even waiting another year will still keep them close together. My sister and I are 3.5 years apart, but we've always been very close. (since she was about 2 years old, I didn't have much use for her before then!) I just had a baby and my son turned 3 one month after she was born. I love it that he can take care of himself more, it is already really hard with two, I can't imagine if they were both in diapers, the older one still needed lots of help with eating, playing, etc.

Just because you had "the plan" doesn't mean you need to stick to it when the situation changes. It doesn't mean it was a bad plan or that you failed, it just means you're re-evaluating and making choices that suit the circumstances you are in now. I hope you have a serious talk with your husband and see if you can both agree on how to proceed.

Anecdotes in case you like that sort of thing: my cousin had her sons 18 months apart, and although I don't think the emergency c-section was terribly traumatic for her, the following months definitely were. He screamed basically non-stop until he was 5 months old. And yet they had another one right away! Because it was The Plan. She told me that they're 5 and 6 now, and she just feels like she's recovering now that they're in school. She likes how they are so close and can play together on the same level.

Personally, I don't think that's a good idea. I'd rather enjoy the present rather than hoping for something in the future. I also had a colicky baby, and we waited much longer (3 years) to have another. This means that it's not possible to follow The Plan that we had, which was hoping for 4 kids but before my husband turns 40. I think we'll only be able to have 3 now. But my children can have parents who aren't constantly stressed out, and we can enjoy the early years, not just survive them.

But it's a choice, you need to decide what's important to you, and maybe get some counselling so that you can have strategies to keep from being frightened by the memories of last time.

Gigi - posted on 12/30/2012

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In my opinion you should do what you are comfortable with. If you don't feel ready for second child, then spend some more time and think about "why" and if there is something you need resolved before you have another child. Give yourself another month or set time and try to go past those issues. Go to the doctor and talk to him about wait time after C-section and your chances with post-partum depression and options for birth. Also take into the account that pregnancy takes plenty of time itself and that you might resolve some of these fears during that time.
You mentioned that it is important to you that your children are close to each other in age, but in my opinion even if they are 3 years different it not a big deal as long as you are ready for the birth and happy with your choice.
I don't know your whole birth story, but one difficult birth does not necessarily mean that the second one is going to be the same.

Michelle - posted on 12/30/2012

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I haven't gone through as much as you but my first birth was pretty traumatic. My (ex) husband even said we wouldn't have any more after watching the first one. Needless to say we did go ahead and have another.

All I can say is that each pregnancy and birth is different. Maybe chat with your doctor about your concerns before falling pregnant and they can talk you through all the risks.

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