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Deciding whether to go for #2 at 40


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#1 ceevee

Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:42 PM

Hi all (and apologies for the long post).  

I am 40, DH is 40 later this year and DS is 19 months. We're discussing whether to go for no. 2, and while I know 40 isn't that old in the scheme of things these days, I feel so tired already I can't imagine how I would cope having a newborn and a toddler!!

DS was a terrible sleeper as a baby, we had to go to Tresillian multiple times and my memories of the first 6 months are of me at home crying with a screaming baby and just wishing the days away.  I did have some PND (entirely brought on by the lack of sleep IMO) and some counselling through Tresillian.  DH also found things very hard and didn't cope too well either.  He is not very interested in having another following all this. He is worried about how our relationship would cope going through all that stress again.  

I am very torn.  I don't relish the idea of being pregnant but i know I would be happy to find out if I was.  I sure as heck don't relish the idea of having a newborn, but I don't feel like I am 'done' yet.  But the main motivation is that I would really love for DS to have a sibling, and feel like its really selfish not to try and give him that.  After all we are older and I don't want him to be left 'alone' when we are gone.  

I just don't know how to make this decision.  I think if I was 10 years younger I would just say suck it up and do it.  But being older carries all the risks and that scares me too.  

I am going to see a counsellor next week but would love any advice or experiences you can share.  

Thanks for listening.

#2 Kay1

Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:56 PM

Our first baby was a difficult newborn and it took us until he was 2 before we could contemplate having another. We did and their relationship is one of the best things parenting has given us. Our 2nd baby was actually even more difficult but it was not as hard for me because I knew it would come to an end. I was still exhausted but not as stressed.

Its a hard decision, Good luck!

#3 DJandJ

Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:06 PM

Reading between the lines OP it seems like you really want to, despite the tough time you had first time round. Would your DP be open to some counselling, to sort out stuff before having another baby? You'll be more confident, relaxed with second baby. Still lack of sleep etc but watching the relationship between little siblings blossom is awesome. Goodluck with your decision.

#4 Tesseract

Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:43 PM

I'm in a similar position so have been thinking about this a lot.

One of the things I've been contemplating is that I don't think people (you, me) should have a second child to give the other a sibling. What if they hate each other? It's entirely possible, happens all the time. Also, I'm an only child and I won't be alone when my parents die. My life is full of family anyway :)

All the best, hard decision.

#5 Sixx

Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:53 PM

In your post it seems like you really want this. I hope you and dh can work out what's going to suit everyone best
Goodluck

#6 balancing.act

Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:07 PM

We're thinking about trying for #2. Almost 40 for me. Younger for DH.

We're in a different boat though - DS1 was/is an easy baby/toddler.

Yeah, we have the odd tantrum but he was/is a great sleeper and has been doing 12 hours a night since he was 8months old.

What I'm scared of is that, if we go for #2, he/she will be the devil. I think perhaps DS1 has lulled us into a false sense of security....

Tesseract - Yes! A thousand times Yes! How many posts on EB are about issues and dramas with siblings? No guarantees at all. None.

Ceevee - it sound like you want to really give it a try. Maybe just really think about the reasons behind it and really understand them before making a decision.

Good Luck, whatever you choose.

#7 Sixx

Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:29 PM

View Postbalancing.act, on 21 May 2015 - 11:07 PM, said:

We're thinking about trying for #2. Almost 40 for me. Younger for DH.

We're in a different boat though - DS1 was/is an easy baby/toddler.

Yeah, we have the odd tantrum but he was/is a great sleeper and has been doing 12 hours a night since he was 8months old.

What I'm scared of is that, if we go for #2, he/she will be the devil. I think perhaps DS1 has lulled us into a false sense of security....

Tesseract - Yes! A thousand times Yes! How many posts on EB are about issues and dramas with siblings? No guarantees at all. None.

Ceevee - it sound like you want to really give it a try. Maybe just really think about the reasons behind it and really understand them before making a decision.

Good Luck, whatever you choose.

Having the angel first is good it tricks you by then it's too late and the decision is made and then there were two... Or more..

Edited by Sixx, 22 June 2015 - 11:16 AM.


#8 ceevee

Posted 22 May 2015 - 07:42 AM

View PostDJandJ, on 21 May 2015 - 10:06 PM, said:

Reading between the lines OP it seems like you really want to, despite the tough time you had first time round. Would your DP be open to some counselling, to sort out stuff before having another baby? You'll be more confident, relaxed with second baby. Still lack of sleep etc but watching the relationship between little siblings blossom is awesome. Goodluck with your decision.

DJandJ you have hit the nail on the head, I do really want to, but I'm scared.  
DH says he will (reluctantly) come to counselling (why are men so afraid of it??)
Yes would definitely be more prepared for the second, and have the support networks firmly in place.  

Thank you for helping me clarify how I feel!

#9 ceevee

Posted 22 May 2015 - 07:50 AM

You all make some good points, thank you.  As for the sibling thing, I guess there are no guarantees about anything.  Why does anyone go for a 2nd (or more) child? Why is the sky blue.... agh.  

So the question is what do you do when one of you wants to and the other doesn't? How do you reconcile that?  One thing I have learnt is that if you are not both 100% on board then it will be incredibly difficult.  DH is a great dad and he loves DS to bits, but he is very organised tidy and routine based and he does not embrace the chaos.  

Balancing.act - having had the devil baby first (though he is very good now), I have to be prepared for the second one to be the same - if only you could pre-order a good one!!!

thank you all.  I'll see how we go next week.

#10 Teds

Posted 22 May 2015 - 08:01 AM

OP you could be me... But I turn 42 soon. We decided no more because I already only just cope energy wise with one and DP reckons he will be left raising two while I nap. I would dearly love another despite this but we made a decision no. I know my arms are empty, but I also know what is best for our family, even if I get sad at times. But this is my story and I hope you and yours can come to the right decision for your family.

#11 Kay1

Posted 22 May 2015 - 08:07 AM

My dh did not want number 3 which caused a lot of sadness for me. But when number 2 got to age 3 he suddenly came around. he is not that into babies and their chaos and dependency but he loves when they get a bit older and their personalities really start to come out. It may be harder because you are on a tighter schedule due to age, good luck!

#12 halcyondays

Posted 22 May 2015 - 08:27 AM

I found the second much easier, but was a bit younger than 40.

I had decided that DH was slow to catch up to the changes required when a baby arrives, and had already decided to have a lot of help in place such as a night nanny if needed a couple of times a week so I could catch up on sleep, that I wouldn't perservere with breastfeeding if it made life enormously difficult, and a mother's help several afternoons a week to entertain the toddler and help with laundry etc.

All this, of course, is only possible if you have the finances, but I guess, being older, I had more time to save up!

There are many ways to make it easier to have a baby. Daycare for the older one so you can rest a bit during pregnancy is another that comes to mind.

#13 madefromscratch

Posted 22 May 2015 - 08:34 AM

ceevee, your DH sounds like my DP from the perspective of the chaos.  There's hardly a day when I don't hear about our 'old life' of tidyness, organisation and fancy meals cooked for him.  We're similar ages to you and your husband and have one bad sleeper (still at 22mth, after Tresillian).  Whilst I'd love another baby, I've recently decided that it would break me and would be the end of our relationship.  My DP does very little parenting and I have no family nearby so I don't have the support I would need.  It breaks my heart, especially when I see DD playing with littler kids, she loves them, but I know I can't do it.

I hope you and your DH can come to a mutual decision through counselling.  I wish you and your family (whatever size it is) the very best.

#14 Muffintop

Posted 22 May 2015 - 09:30 AM

I could have written your post. I'm 38 this year and DS is 2.5. I always wanted two kids but now I'm conflicted. DS is a 'challenging' kid, wonderful but definitely not easy and still not sleeping well. I suffered terrible anxiety during pregnancy and when DS was tiny, and I'm just starting to feel a bit better, but now I'm anxious about being anxious - feel like I'm going crazy some days and this scares me about another pregnancy and newborn.

Didn't mean to hijack, I'll be following this as I'd like to hear other people's stories and how they made these decisions. Good luck with yours OP.

#15 JustMyGirl

Posted 22 May 2015 - 09:55 AM

I had my DD at 40. terrible as a newborn, poor sleeper, PND. I have been certain ever since that I could not risk having another. too scared of what it could do to my mental health which is still a bit fragile.
My DH has wanted another but I'm now nearly 45 so he knows the ship has sailed. My DD constantly asks for a baby sister and I patiently explain that some kids don't have them. I have had moments of guilt but speaking to friends who are only children has put my mind at ease - none of them felt shortchanged by lack of sibling.
I guess I'm lucky that I feel so certain of my decision. Also easier in our situation since it is me not DH who is adamant. It's a bit harder to 'twist a woman's arm" than the other way around.
I would be cautious of pushing your DP into something like another child if he is sure he doesn't want one. But if he's just on the fence maybe you can discuss coping strategies or compromises that would make it possible?
Good luck with making this difficult decision.

#16 zaza5

Posted 24 May 2015 - 08:59 AM

hello - I was very much motivated by a sibling which came when I was 41, DD1 came when i was 40.  That first year was really hard going.  I have no family near me and have never worked so hard.  If I had known what I was going to go through, I may not have done this.  A lot of pressure came to the relationship which wasn't great as DD2 is hard work.  Nearly 5 years on, all is good and the two of them are great friends.

I will say that I would have loved a third, but the feelings for that were not as strong and so I let it go.  DH was not keen given the pressure from DD2.  And I knew he was right.  I think my desire for a third was motivated by happy thoughts of all going well, when we know that there is reality whiich differs.  As hard as it was to accept, I just knew the reality would most likely be nowhere near the dream.  It is that tension between the heart and the head.  This time, the head prevailed.

And can i also say I know plenty of only childs out there thriving.  One in particular, has hoards of friends and makes them easily. His parents travel a lot and so he has learnt.  And I have a sister who is entirely different to me and we don't get on well.  So no guarantees of siblings working out.

Ultimately you have to do what makes you the most comfortable.  I wish you lots of clear thoughts.

Edited by zaza5, 24 May 2015 - 04:25 PM.


#17 Natttmumm

Posted 26 May 2015 - 08:00 AM

I had a similar experience with number 1 - it was just tough going. DH and I were youngish but that made no difference to be honest it was just plain hard work. Awake all night, crying all day etc etc.

For some insane reason when DD1 hit about 9 months and had a good week or 2 we decided to try for number 2. The girls are 21 mths apart. I thought it would be really hard and i wouldnt cope but DD2 was the best thing that could have happened to all of us. She restored our faith in a parenting abilities. She was a crusiy, sleepy, non crying baby - one of the ones that sleeps all night from birth (i didnt believe that was possible). She was a delight and DD1 adored her. The toddler and baby days were ok for us - it got harder once they started to compete and fight but thats another story.

DD2 was so easy we ended up with number 3.

Edited by Natttmumm, 26 May 2015 - 08:01 AM.


#18 ceevee

Posted 26 May 2015 - 10:44 PM


View PostNatttmumm, on 26 May 2015 - 08:00 AM, said:


For some insane reason when DD1 hit about 9 months and had a good week or 2 we decided to try for number 2. The girls are 21 mths apart. I thought it would be really hard and i wouldnt cope but DD2 was the best thing that could have happened to all of us. She restored our faith in a parenting abilities. She was a crusiy, sleepy, non crying baby - one of the ones that sleeps all night from birth (i didnt believe that was possible). She was a delight and DD1 adored her. The toddler and baby days were ok for us - it got harder once they started to compete and fight but thats another story.

DD2 was so easy we ended up with number 3.

I love this!! "restored you faith in your parenting abilities" that sounds amazing! Oh but if I could have one of those babies....

Counselling went well.  She said there is no way you can make it a rational decision, it has to be an emotional one, that's the bottom line.  Then you make it work.

But meanwhile in an interesting development DH came back from his work trip and said he was willing to give it a go.  Counsellor said make sure he is happy with the decision for himself, and not just saying it to make you happy.  So I've put that to him and ball is back in his court.  

Meanwhile I am still flipping flipping flipping, but there is hope!!!

Watch this space....

#19 BoysGalore+1girly

Posted 26 May 2015 - 10:54 PM

You will never regret the children you do have only the ones you don't

#20 gc_melody

Posted 26 May 2015 - 11:03 PM

A slightly different experience here.

I had my first at almost 41 and my second at 43. They're 18mo and 3yro now. I am incredibly tired. More tired than I care to admit but I ask other Mums who are younger than me and they are just as tired. Parenting can be exhausting no matter what your age I think.

If you have supports in place, then you're ahead already to where you were when you had your first. The other thing is that I didn't find having a second child to be as much of a shock or adjustment as having my first. I like that they are going to be developmentally close together and they are great buddies right now. That may change, or it may not. The only downside for me was that I thought DH would step up a bit more with the added workload. He hasn't. So essentially, I am chief maid, chef, cleaner, carer, comforter and anything else thrown into the mix. But I know it was the right decision for us to have a second child.

If you want to and your DH does too, then go for it. All the best with your decision.

#21 indigo~

Posted 26 May 2015 - 11:09 PM

Great news, OP!

I was 40 when I had DD and 42 when I had DS. They are currently 2yr8mo and 11mo. I had always wanted more than one, and being a solo mum, I didn't have a partner's wishes to take into consideration.

My first was a very needy, anxious baby and has always been a very poor sleeper. My DS has a much more easy going personality.

They're chalk and cheese in personalities. It does kinda help in that I can see more clearly now that many of these issues are just 'luck of the draw' and not a reflection on my parenting skills.

I won't sugar coat it though - it's tough having 2 close together (21mo between my two) and also being an older mum. I'm so tired. So so tired. Did I tell you how tired I am?

But when I see them interacting, it just makes my heart sing. I was driving DD to daycare this morning and I could see them looking at each other in the back seat and grinning at each other and it makes it all worthwhile. I understand there's no guarantee they'll be close growing up or as adults, but it's pretty great so far. Yes, they will have argy bargy already over a toy (toddler takes toy from baby, baby hangs on for grim death and growls at her), but they seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company.

Wishing you all the best!

#22 ceevee

Posted 27 May 2015 - 10:03 AM

Funny story.  I went to visit my friend the other day who is my age and recently had no 2.  Our toddlers were running amok and bub just got put in his bouncer and sat quietly in the corner watching everything.  He barely sleeps in the day, only catnaps, but he was perfectly happy.  

We were laughing about how anxious we were about no 1 sleeping, and the 'poo diaries' we used to keep for every nappy, feed, sleep etc.  she just doesn't have time to worry about that stuff anymore.  How liberating!! Lol.

#23 indigo~

Posted 27 May 2015 - 07:52 PM

I used an app on my phone for my first, recording feeds (how long, which boob), naps, nappy changes, the lot. I'd pore over it, looking for patterns, issues. Hilarious! I have no idea about any of this for no2. I just go with the flow. I couldn't even tell you where he sits on the percentiles. He looks OK to me.

#24 IamtheMumma

Posted 27 May 2015 - 08:55 PM

After being adamant that DS was my last baby and no way in hell do I want to do the newborn, breastfeeding nightmare/ screaming baby phase again, I find myself looking at DS and know I'll be having another. DP, who was a reluctant father although very in love with DS, commented that DS should have a sibling to grow up with. DS has older siblings but they'll be out of the house before he starts school.

I'm 40. Another child may not be on the cards but I'll give it a go.

#25 IamtheMumma

Posted 27 May 2015 - 08:59 PM

View Postindigo~, on 27 May 2015 - 07:52 PM, said:

I used an app on my phone for my first, recording feeds (how long, which boob), naps, nappy changes, the lot. I'd pore over it, looking for patterns, issues. Hilarious! I have no idea about any of this for no2. I just go with the flow. I couldn't even tell you where he sits on the percentiles. He looks OK to me.

Hehehe yes. DS is baby #4 for me. I do actually need to keep an eye on his growth because he's in the low percentiles but I only weigh him every other month. I'm also not fussed that he's not having regular solid meals or that I'm waiting 3 days before trying a new food. He gets what he shows interest in.




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