Accepting that one may be it
, Dec 21 2012 07:06 PM
29 replies to this topic
Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:06 PM
Thanks for reading, I realise this topic will have come up before.
I currently have 1 DD (2.5) who is the absolute love of my life. Motherhood is everything I thought it would be and more. I always envisaged a family of at least 2 kids, maybe even 4.
Then I discovered the reality of pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, compared to others out there, I know I was lucky. I fell pregnant straight away. However, I was not a pregnant woman that glowed. I felt sick, uncomfortable or in pain every day for nine months. As soon as I got over the morning sickness, I developed haemmoroids at twenty weeks that got progressively worse. At 38 weeks they were surgically removed. I then had DD by c section ten days later.
The haemmoroid surgery was the most horrific experience of my life. The pain was excruitating and it took six months to recover to the point that I could go to the toilet without pain. I obsessed over my diet as every bowel motion was such an ordeal. I had flash backs/nightmares about it for months. Fair to say, I have been terrified of being pregnant again ever since.
But over time, I guess I listened as people said, "every pregnancy is different", "maybe you won't get them again". My GP felt that we could do things differently to manage a future pregnancy and not to let that stop me having another child.
I saw my OB this week, and it wasn't a pleasant visit. Being back in his office just brought the whole experience back. Within 5 mins I was tearily asking what we could do differently "next time" as I could never go through that again. His advice was that he could almost guarantee I would get haemmoroids again, and that the only difference might be that the would deliver the baby first next time, haemmoroid surgery would come second. There is nothing he could do to prevent the haemmoroids getting to "surgery stage". Apparently this is "my journey".
Whilst my recovery was long last time, I haven't been left with any life long effects. He said I was lucky, and if I had the surgery again, I may be left with ongoing complications.
I was shattered. I felt I had a glimmer of hope for a more enjoyable future pregnancy and that has been dashed. I now have serious reservations about my ability to do it all again, though deep down I know I would love my DD to have a sibling.
I know there are women out there who risk their lives to have children, spend entire pregnancies bed bound, etc. etc. I just don't feel I can do that. I want to be the best mother to DD and enjoy every minute of her. If it was just a nine month pregnancy that I was "compromised" for maybe I could do that, but the recovery from haemmoroid surgery makes it a much longer and more miserable proposition. I have finally got my body right and to tempt fate by risking long term complications doesn't feel like I am doing the right thing by me or my family, even if it means we remain a family of 3 instead of 4.
So how do I make peace with just having one? How do I answer the constant question from everyone I meet as to "when I am having the next one?" Part of me feels so guilty for not being prepared to sacrifice myself for another, and then self preservation kicks in.
If you have got this far, thank you. Would love any advice you can offer.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:14 PM
I don't know if this is a silly question, but is the OB the best doctor to ask. Could you get a second opinion from a gastroenterologist? Maybe theres a way out of your dilemma.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:23 PM
So sorry to hear. I had a HG pregnancy then at around 20 weeks I too got haemorrhoids which were very painful.
I did read that surgery was a harsh procedure and terrible recovery and did not guarantee they wouldn't return. I tried every remedy known to man and eventually they receded.
I will only have DD because of HG and other reasons. But I am fine with that.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:33 PM
i was one of those on bed rest, high risk pregnancy - i spose its a pregnancy, i had a baby it lasted only 24 weeks.....
next time i need a stitch before we ttc then bed rest as soon as i get a bfp (if not before hand) and then its only fx that i go to 30, and that we have no complications, and that bubs is healthy....
we have made a (heartwrenching) decision that we are only having one
it breaks my heart... i want another one - the risks out way the end result...
im slowly coming to terms with it.
will be more emotional when i see my ob and say - considering my history, i hate the implanon - please remove all my bits...
im seeing a psych - maybe that would be a start?
Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:34 PM
Can't really give advice but I can tell you I understand. I had 2 awful pregnancies and PND. For this reason I won't have another one. Dh and I just wouldn't survive it. Perhaps I am different because I'm also not that enamoured with being a mother so stopping is as easier decision. Don't worry about what others say to you. They haven't walked a mile in your shoes. Make the decision that is right for you. I
Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:36 PM
I have a similar situation, but I guess it's a bit easier because I have 2 children already. My severe health issues ended when DD2 was born, however should DH and I have any more children, any future pregnancies could be much worse, and given that I had issues looking after DD1 while I was pregnant, there would be no way I could guarantee I could look after both girls if I fell pregnant again.
Like you OP, I always wanted more than 1 child, I wanted a big family, 4 kids, 3 at the very least. First pregnancy wasn't too bad, a bit of swelling that was closely monitored from about 28 weeks. Second pregnancy, I had no pregnancy-related issues, but other health issues that flared up which compromised my ability to care for DD1 (my mum had to fly down to stay for 2 weeks). It was during this time that I had to come to terms with the fact that this would be my last pregnancy. We can't bring ourselves to do it again, it wouldn't be fair to the girls.
TBH I still haven't come to terms with it. As DD2 has each milestone, I am happy and sad as well, as she is the last baby I'll have who rolls for the first time, smiles for the first time, crawls for the first time etc. I also wanted to have a big family because I grew up with lots of cousins, but both DH and I only have one sister each, and they are interstate, so our kids won't have lots of cousins, so I wanted them to have a few siblings instead IYKWIM.
When people ask if we're having any more, I just say we can't.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:54 PM
Hi OP, I've suffered from haemorrhoids since I was a teenager and there is a longstanding family history of them too (my Dad and brother have both had surgery).
My first pregnancy was ok but giving birth obviously changed all that. I've never been in your position of needing surgery though.
I suffered an injury giving birth to my second child and I won't be having anymore because of that. There is no way I could look after my two children if I was pregnant again and I couldn't go through the agony of being pregnant.
I'm not sure what you can do or how you go about explaining to people other than saying 'medical reasons'. I sometimes do say 'medical reasons' if I'm not in the mood to explain. It normally keeps people quiet.
I would definitely see a counsellor too.
All the best.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:03 PM
I'm so sorry you had such a difficult pregnancy with your DD. I'm going through a difficult pregnancy right now (emotionally mainly, but also physically) and I know when it comes to TTC again there'll be a lot to think about.
There's 2 things that I think are highlighted in your post.
1. Have you definately decided that you won't be going through pregnancy again? If yes, when people ask when is the next one just be straightforward and say "we will only be having one child" or something to that effect. You don't owe anyone an explanation as to why, that's your business. And you'll probably find a direct answer is enough to stop them asking.
2. If you're still deciding about whether to try again, I think it's perfectly reasonable to get a second opinion - both from an OB and a gastroenterologist. At least that way you'll feel like you have had a few specialists with a variety of experiences giving their opinion.
You never need to feel guilty for putting your health and the well being of your DD first. Good luck with your decisions and have a Happy Christmas.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:18 PM
Hi OP- I am so sorry this has been so horrible for you and puts such pressure on what should be an easy decision. My dad is actually a surgeon and gastroenterologist and is one of the first in Aus to start removing haemorrhoids with a surgical laser instead of scalpel.The difference in the surgery is profound- local anaesthetic, not general- day surgery, meaning you go home that day, little bleeding, much quicker recovery etc (there are many more advantages but can't remember off the top of my head) Is there anyway you can see if you can find a surgeon who can perform the procedure for you (should it happen again) or at least discuss the difference with this method? Maybe your GP might know someone to refer you to? Where are you based? I can ask my dad for some names of people who he knows can do it? He's on the NSW central coast if that is near you? Good luck and I hope this helps.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:40 PM
Can you afford a surrogate? You seem to be a perfect candidate.
Shattering your body completely is too much to ask of yourself.
Good luck on your journey, I can understand how hard it is. Before I had my son, if someone told me I was destined to have only one child, I would have though nothing of it. After I've had him, the thought of only ever having one makes me very very sad.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:51 PM
You poor love. I somewhat understand where you are coming from , being a HG sufferer myself. It is so awful when you want that child so badly but just can't face pregnancy. I also understand the flashbacks. I get that too every time I get slightly nauseous. I agree with the PP who suggested seeing a specialist regarding the hemorrhoids. Good luck. I really feel for you
Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:02 PM
My one piece of advice would be that there is no rush, and to go with your gut.
I have 5 years between my children because of HG and also severe postnatal anxiety with the second one.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:07 AM
I know this isn't really related directly to your topic, but as someone who may not be even able to have children, I've had to come to terms with the fact that I may not ever have children, or if I do manage to have children, it probably won't be the big family that I envisioned.
You just have to accept that due to uncontrollable circumstances, things turn out differently than you have planned. Cherish your one little girl that you have, you are so luck - some aren't even that blessed! And ultimately if you still can't come to terms with only ever having one child, I guess you need to decide whether you'd risk that awful physical discomfort again for more children, if that's what you really, really want.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:40 AM
I feel your pain
I too agree on getting a second opinion from someone more adept in that area, you may find a different outcome.
After a text book pregnancy things went very pair shaped. 72 hours of labour resulted in a c-section, severe pph and subsequently a hysterectomy :(Our dd will be 4 in April and I'd love that she had a sibling but it's just not possible.
I've had intense counseling and an incredibly understanding and supportive network of family and friends. I'm almost at peace with the hand we've been dealt.
It all just takes time.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:55 AM
It sounds like you are not quite ready to contemplate the difficult journey again.
I am heavily pregnant with number #2 after a battle with infertility. Fortunately apart from bad nausea for 3 months the remainder of each of my pregnancies has been straightforward but I had traumatic delivery which ended in emergency c-section after 3 days of labour with my DS. I didn't start contemplating another baby til DS was 3.5 years, and then the infertility issues arose.
As I await the arrival of baby #2, my gorgeous DS is now 6 years old and has just finished prep. I am now fully realising the benefits of a having a decent sized gap between kids. While I am on leave, he is at school and I can have naps and rest when I need to. He can help me when he is around. He was understanding when I was ill. And because his needs from me are more mental/emotional than physical now, I was still able to be a good mother while lying on the couch (i.e. I could still chat to him about his day at school, read to him etc., listen to him read to me, suggest which clothes he might like to put on that day etc. rather than struggling to meet the very physical needs of a toddler).
If your age is not too much of an issue, I would encourage you to wait a little bit and not give up - just wait and see how you feel. You may feel more able to cope with the battle in another few years when your DD is older and more independent.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:01 AM
Great advice libbylu.We can get a little fixated on the 'perfect age gap' can't we.Getting your rear problems sorted may take a while but when it happens you might be in a better headspace to make your decision.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:17 AM
I'm sorry you are going though this OP. I wouldn't close the door until I had a second and even 3rd opinion. Ask your GP for a referral.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:19 AM
I just wanted to say - you poor darling.
What an absolute nightmare.
Definitely get a second opinion from a gastroenterologist, so at least then you have all the information.
For what it's worth - after an unpleasant birth experience, being unable to breastfeed, a nasty bout of PND & finding chasing around after an active toddler utterly exhausting, I can't even contemplate a second one yet. I never thought it would be like this! Things do change when you know what to expect - but your experience sounds worse than most.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:52 AM
I've been strongly advised not to carry any more pregnancies due to SPD developing into osteo-arthritis in my pelvis. Despite the fact I have two children, it has been a very hard road to accepting that we are done.
I've tried being up-front and saying no more babies on medical advice to friends who have asked. Be warned though, some reactions are not always acceptance from others that you might be done. I had one person ask what exactly would happen to me if I 'really' wanted to have another? It became one of those horrid conversations where I felt I had to justify myself while being heartbroken
What I am saying is, that this is a decision between you and your partner after advice from health professionals. It can be very hard and I also suggest you get counselling to just help come into your acceptance.
There will be days when you may feel sad. That's fine and normal. So is anger, so is grief. There will be times when you think you're fine with it and then circumstances catch you unawares and it comes flooding back. There (hopefully not) may be people who expect you to justify your family.
Like all the hard stuff in life, we have to work through it and move forward. Look to the positives and accept what is, letting go of that potential for regret and enjoy the now.
All the best on your journey forward, whatever shape it comes in.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:59 AM
Also wanted to add, a gastroenterologist might not be your best route.
A Colorectal surgeon or proctologist would be more specialised.
I can give you a proctologists details if you are in Sydney.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:59 AM
OP, I know how you feel.
To cut a long story short, I was born with a bowel abnormality and pregnancy is risky for me.
I have a 5 year old girl and I wish more than anything that I could have another one exactly like her. She was a gorgeous baby and a sweet toddler and (PND notwithstanding) I've loved every stage of motherhood.
But now that she's a kid, I'm even more besotted with the things she does and says. If it's possible, I love her a bit more every day.
Because I love her, I won't risk another pregnancy. I'm risking more than my health and if something goes bad, it affects her not just me.
Plus, what I have in life is pretty wonderful by anyone's standards. I have a lovely family. We're all healthy and I love the dynamics of a family of 3.
I think there's a risk in spending so much time dwelling on what you don't have, that you lose sight of what you do have. I know at times, I've dwelled on my misery of not having another baby that's it's spilled over onto my relationships with DD and DH.
I've reached the conclusion that I owe it to more people than myself to appreciate the good things I have right now and not dwell on what ifs, as they aren't good enough. The reality is my family is good enough for me, and I need to keep sight of that.
And each day, it is becoming a bit easier.
As PPs have said, take some time to make this decision. Get other medical opinions and don't pressure yourself into making a decision within x months. If you take the steps to make a well thought out decision I think you're less likely to regret it later.
But if you decide that you don't want to risk another pregnancy, then don't. It's lovely being in a family of 3. It may not be what you had in mind, it might be even better.
Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:12 PM
Thank you so much for your replies and sharing your stories. It has really helped to know that I am not the only one in this situation. Everyone around me seemes to do pregnancy/birth so easily - I'm sure that isn't always the case, but that is how it seems on the surface.
And yes, I am incredibly blessed all ready with my DD. I just want to cherish every minute with her.
I will speak to my surgeon before making any final decisions, and seek counselling as well I think, to ensure whatever my decision, there are no regrets.
Thanks again, you have really put my mind at ease.
Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:57 PM
No real "acceptance" advice, but.... I'm only having one pregnancy, but a number of children through permanent care (fostering). For me, I have to come to terms with only having the one pregnancy, but I have more than one child. Would that be a consideration for you?
Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:31 AM
I'm so sorry to hear bout your pregnancy ..I'm in a sorta same spot but mine is with age I'm 40 in June and have decided not to try anymore after that..we have a nearly 4yr old but took us 3 long yrs to concieve him and its been 3 yrs and counting to trying to concieve the next one..dh is fine with just our son if that's the way it's meant to be..I'm starting to accept its just the three of us..I know my heart breaks for our son not having a brother or sister as my both dh and I have siblings...I still have a few months left but after all these yrs have to accept its not gonna happen again for us..best of luck xx
Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:58 AM
There are a lot of reasons not to have two children other than those you are feeling.
For starters, imagine having two that do not get along. I had this in my home and I can tell you that 10+ years of constant squabbling does nothing for your mental or physical health - or theirs. The second child suffered terribly.
It is just mindbogglingly dull and painful and frustrating and you spend a LOT of time wishing you could do personality transplants or just never had more than one. When you have one, they can pick their own sisters and brothers from their friends and you can have those kids over a lot and experience the joy of children who get along.
Not saying that your children definitely wouldn't get along, but it's definitely a consideration. People always assume siblings will be a boon for each other. Not always true.
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