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Thoughts on when to have a second child

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#1 FretfulMum

Posted 03 April 2016 - 09:49 PM

Hi all,
I would love my son to have a sibling however my first pregnancy & subsequent early arrival of my son was extremely traumatic. I am torn as I would love to have my children close together in age but am frightened of having the same experience second time around. My son was in hospital for nearly 3mths & had feeding difficulties for 6mths. He had 2 hospital admissions in his first year, has cerebral palsy & of course all the usual ongoing follow ups for premmies. I also worry how I would cope with a second child especially if they were born premmie too. As I had severe pre-eclampsia my obstetrician says the risk is lower with subsequent pregnancies plus I will be medicated from early on to lower the risks. I would love to hear your experiences & how things have gone second time around. How have you coped with 2 children? Should I wait until my son is older (school aged)?

#2 Genabee

Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:04 PM

I am sure others with more experience than I will post, but all I can say is when it feels right.

My DD will be 5 in a few weeks, just in time for number 2 to arrive. I could not have contemplated it before now. I had a difficult pregnancy first time round (including prolonged hospital stay), she came a bit early and the first three years were really hard as she had ongoing health and sleep issues. To be honest I was pretty much done at one.

We went back and forth about having a second and never really made a decision. This one ended up coming as a bit of a surprise. I guess some things are meant to be. There will not be a third however, and we have taken steps to ensure that.

DD is very excited to be a big sister and has lots of plans for her baby brother. She has been very involved from the start and I anticipate she will continue to be. I am expecting she will go through the normal sibling jealousy phase once the realisation of what babies do and don't do kick in, but she is also in full time school which hopefully will soften the blow -and has been a god send to me!

Once again I've had a pretty awful pregnancy and we are anticipating another earlish arrival. So for me, the 5 year gap has been ideal. Any closer together and I would have lost my mind. She understands a surprising amount for a little person which has made some things a lot easier to deal with.

#3 triangle

Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:25 PM

I had pre eclampsia (but not prem) for my first pregnancy. First labor and delivery was difficult but baby was ok, no hospital issues etc. Second pregnancy was straightforward in that sense. I'm no expert but from my own research it seems pre eclampsia In second pregnancies is less common, although it does happen. The only risk I had for pre eclampsia was first pregnancy. I was young, healthy weight, etc so no major risk factors.

When my eldest turned 2, it was like I instantly knew I was ready for another one. Prior to that I knew I wanted a second, I'd always imagined I'd have my kids close together, but I just knew I wasn't ready. Physically, and mentally/emotionally.

I guess In your position I'd possibly consider how much extra intervention and support your son will be needing for his cerebral palsy (if any).
But siblings are a wonderful thing and if you think another child is right for your family I'm sure you will make it work. If you're not ready yet though, there is no perfect age gap and unless you have concerns about delaying a pregnancy that sounds reasonable too.

#4 indigo~

Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:42 PM

I had placenta praevia with my first, which resulted in 5 weeks bed rest as an inpatient, multiple large scary bleeds, emergency c-section delivery under GA and DD arriving early at 33w5d. She spent 4w in special care, and fortunately was healthy, just early.

Due to my age (40 when I had DD), time wasn't on my side and I started trying for my second when she was not more than around 12mo. Obstetrician said it was very unlikely I would have the same issues again...

Whaddaya know, placenta praevia again plus placenta accreta. 4w bed rest as an inpatient prior to DS's arrival, multiple large scary bleeds, emergency c-section under GA plus hysterectomy (took uterus, cervix and one ovary). DS had made it to 33w6d, so one extra day than his sister had. Deja vu with 4w in special care, but again very fortunate that he is essentially healthy, was just born early.

21mo age gap between my two and while it's a bit full on at the moment with a 3.5yo and a 21mo, it is lovely to see them so close. Had time been in my side, I probably would have waited longer though.

It was very hard being away from my daughter while in hospital on bed rest. She was so young and didn't understand why mummy wasn't at home and she had to leave me behind when she left the hospital after visiting. Very hard. Then when my son was born, I was backwards and forwards to special care so even though I was home, I wasn't able to spend the time with her I would have preferred after being away for so long. That period sucked, I won't deny. Plus I was recovering from the c-section and hysterectomy, pumping around the clock etc.

Sorry you and your family had such a rough start, OP. I think you need to go into it with awareness that you may have issues again, or you may not. It's just the risk you take, if you want another child. Sounds like your Drs will be all over it, monitoring you, so that's positive.

#5 Mcc1985

Posted 04 April 2016 - 02:58 PM

Although I am no help to your topic at all, we are currently in the same position and wondering when if ever to have another.
DH and I were adamant that we wanted no more children but as she made her way to 2 and all of the adorable personality comes through it makes me want another more so so she has a little friend to grow up with, age wise I'm not too phased whether it be now or school age it's just whenever if at all hubby is ready.
While I took it all quite hard hubby is still too traumatized to even think about it.
Our daughter was born at 27 weeks weighing 659grams due to me becoming severely ill with pre eclampsia, my husband was sat down before surgery and told that there is a high chance that our daughter And I could not survive due to the severity and that has haunted him ever since.
We are absolutely blessed with tour amazing little miss but more than anything I would love to be pregnant for 9 months and try a VBAC.
Good luck, and if/when you do decide I wish you all the health for a full pregnancy with no complications :)

#6 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:15 PM


Edited by :::, 23 April 2016 - 10:56 PM.

#7 FretfulMum

Posted 04 April 2016 - 07:50 PM

Thanks so much for your responses! Its good to hear your stories/experiences & that I am not alone in my anxiety over having another (potentially premmie) baby. I still have a few years up my sleeve, so after your words feel like I can wait another year & see how I feel then. Maybe I will just magically 'know' at some point in the future that I am ready again! Sometimes I think I just want another baby so I can experience a more 'normal' pregnancy & birth experience & 'make up' for the past experience. Also maybe having an older child would be easier if my second baby arrived early or I had to spend time in hospital. Thanks again for your advice!!!!!!😘

#8 Chan80

Posted 05 April 2016 - 10:37 PM

Hopefully you will know when the time feels right. I just wanted to add that don't be set on a normal pregnancy.  Hopefully everything goes fine but don't set yourself up for disappointment. I felt very ripped off after number 2 that I never had a normal pregnancy after having 2 bad pregnancies and prems.  Stay positive of course and good luck!

#9 opethmum

Posted 05 April 2016 - 11:10 PM

*trigger warning*

One of my mates who was in a similar position and had a severely disabled child had another when there child was 3 1/2, she absolutely adored him. The relationship was absolutely beautiful to witness, her smile when ever she was near him was absolutely wonderful. She also had another sibling born 2 years later and again she lit up the room with her smiles. Her life was enriched all the more by having siblings. The sibling relationship, yes was different than the average relationship, but it was beautiful. She suddenly passed away last year.

So I would have another child if you wanted that all along, it can be greatly beneficial to your child, there will be a meaningful relationship between them and do not underestimate the power of love and their own ability to communicate in their own way too. It is totally normal to have feelings of trepidation at the thought about having another one. Each pregnancy is different and the good thing is now you have an OB who is more than willing to help you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery as much as can be expected. You have valid concerns and perhaps some counselling maybe beneficial to sort your way forward with your issues.

I did not see an age but if you are at the upper end of the scale, the time is now and I would not delay much more because as you no doubt know falling pregnant may take time and you might have issues second time round.

Good luck and I do hope if you decide that having a sibling is what you want, I wish nothing but baby dust and I hope you fall quickly.

#10 libbylu

Posted 05 April 2016 - 11:46 PM

I had a difficult first delivery and a baby with some extra needs. As it turns out the second one had some extra health issues (short term) too. I am very glad I didn't have them close together. We didn't start trying until the first one was three. We figured a four year gap would be manageable. As it turns out we had some difficult conceiving and ended up with a 6 year gap, which has worked out just fine!  At 4 plus they are somewhat independent and can be at childcare or kinder for a few days a week giving you one on one time with your new baby and time to rest when the baby rests (even more so if they are 5 and at school) rather than trying to deal with an active toddler while looking after a new baby - which is something many people do but was my idea of a nightmare!
The down side is that they will have different interests based on their ages for a period of time (2 year olds and 6 year olds may have different ideas of a fun day out) but this gap lessens with time.

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