Monday, 9 June 2014

The Right Time For Another Baby?

Before I delve into the topic, I will warn you that this post consists of a lot of word vomit, my emotions on a plate and its a bit jumbled and repetitive, but that is exactly how it is in my head, I have been writing this for about 2 weeks now and after getting teary and upset from re-reading it, I had a few days off from writing it and decided to finish it off today, so its not constructed in my normal writing tone, its a bit bleeugh but it's something I wanted to share, and my god I hope i'm not the only one who feels like this!

Ahhh the good old topic of baby no2, when is the right time to have another? Should you wait a few years or try straight away? Perhaps you want a big age gap, maybe you want them super close together, its your choice, isn't it? It seems as soon as your first child hits their first birthday (or even before), the initial reaction from others is 'oh time to have another one', i've always been polite with my answer, laughing along and saying 'ahh we're fine with just the one at the moment', but now that Abbie is coming up to 2, i've been feeling a little well, upset, almost angry with the pressure..I don't know why, I cant put my finger on it, but all of a sudden, i'm stressed, scared and anxious..

Before we had Abbie, we decided we wanted lots of children, hence one of the reasons we wanted to start at a young age. The idea of having lots of little ones on Christmas Day, jumping on our bed and getting super excited was such a special image in our minds.

After having Abbie, I suffered with depression and major anxiety, it was probably the hardest time in my life, and Ben's, anxiety doesn't jut affect the person involved, its the people surrounding it too, but I suffered, terribly. To the point where I didnt leave the house for 3 months, I didn't get dressed, I didn't eat, which resulted in me going down to 8 stone (underweight for my height), I would panic at the slightest noise that Abbie would make, my heart would race, I would have multiple panic attacks a day, I would cry on and off, I would be stressed probably 21 hours a day, the other 3 I was trying my best to sleep, I didnt want to be here anymore, parenting hit me like a brick wall, the lack of sleep, the insomnia, just about everything, I thought i was prepared, I thought i'd know what to do, but as soon as she was born, I forgot it all. I had this tiny baby who needed me, and I suddenly felt like a failure..

Don't get me wrong, there were amazing moments, moments I will treasure forever, the first smiles, the newborn snuggles, the content little faces when she was feeding, the giggles, the first steps, everything like that makes it all magical and I couldn't imagine my life without her, she is amazing and beautiful and perfect, she is completely worth everything I went through, I just don't want to go through the bad stuff again..

I've asked myself many times, do I want another baby? Am I ready for everything again, what if I'm not prepared, what if I get ill again, depression and anxiety is not easy, especially with a newborn what if i cant handle it again, I don't want to be how I was before, I don't think I would get through it, even with all the support, I'm petrified of feeling out of control and having panic attacks again, petrified of not being able to cope and scared to go through everything again..

I then think of Abbie, I would love nothing more than for her to have a sibling close to her age, I see her at the park and out and about with other kids and she wants nothing more than to play with them and gets so excited when they start playing back! The idea of her having no-one to play with or that she can go to when she's older with things that might be a bit embarrassing to tell your old mum, I want her to have a sibling, I really do, even right now, id love her to be a big sister, and i've been called selfish for saying I'm not ready, so should I put aside my fears and the fact I'm not ready, just so Abbie can have a sibling? Ive seriously thought about that, whats a few years of super hard work of parenting and dealing with anxiety again when it gives her a best friend, someone she can rely on, someone she can look out for and a person who will play with her...

I'm sure people think I'm finding excuses, but Abbie has just started sleeping through the night at 20 months, we co-sleep too and I just don't see how she would stay asleep when a new baby is crying right next to her! Maybe when she's in her own room and sleeping well and stuff, I might feel different, but right now I get full of panic and anxiety when I even think about it..

So what do i do?

Suck it up. Do it for Abbie, do it for the rest of the family, you know what you're doing this time and you can spot the signs of PND straight away and get help for it.

Wait a few years. Wait for Abbie to be at school, that way you have the daytime to spend looking after the new baby without the stresses of an energetic toddler on top of that..

Accept the fact that maybe you're just not cut out for more than one child. 

Maybe i'm meant to have one, I can give her all of me, without the risk of the anxiety and depression coming back, I can afford to give her more than if we had more than 1. I can relax and not worry about possibly having to go through it all again..

My heart is pulled in so many different directions, just as I decide on what to do, I think of something else, I don't know what to do, it makes me so sad, i'm suppose to have a big family, lots of little ones, it was there in my hopes and dreams for the future, why do I now suddenly feel so different.

There is another option...something I have thought of every now and then, but something that needs a lot of thought and consideration before even contemplating going for it. 


Maybe its the idea of having a new baby that scares me, those night feeds, the crying, the sleep deprivation, the refusal of naps etc etc..As much as I can see myself with a little baby again, the cute little noises and all the firsts, I am instantly eased when I think about having a toddler again, they can communicate with you, they can tell you what they want, what they don't want, how they feel etc, no anxiety, no depression, no panicking. And in return I will be giving children the family they have always wanted and deserve, thinking about the happiness I would be giving them just makes me feel so good and its something I would do over and over again! As I said, its been a thought so I've not looked into it completely, I know there are lots of other things to think about, I know a few people who have been adopted and they all have such different stories, some good, some bad, some who wanted to find their birth parents, some who didn't, others who suffered with bullying from other children and so many other things. Its definitely something I would consider and want to research further. 

So when is the right time for another baby? Who knows. But for now, I am happy, I have a healthy happy little girl and a wonderful supportive partner who, although wants lots of babies, completely understands my worries and is beyond supportive. For now, we are happy as a family of 3, really happy, so we will continue to enjoy our little family and if we decide to have another baby, we will, if we don't, we are grateful for the fact we have our daughter and will give her everything she could possibly need, in love and in a family.

3 comments so far

  1. I don't think I am well placed to make too many points from your post hun, I think the only person who knows the answer to your question is you xx

  2. I had to comment on this post because obviously it was a hard one for you to write. I think ultimately, deep down, you will know when is right for your family to have another baby. And if you decide not too, then you would give your little girl everything she could possibly want and need as a family of three. Having a second baby is just as scary/daunting as making the decision to have your first baby, as this time you have another little person to consider. Considering what you went through in those early days, it is a decision that you will have to think about a lot and I think that makes you an amazing Mum. You shouldn't feel pressured, just ignore people who ask, people are inconsiderate of others feelings without meaning to be sometimes I think. x

  3. Jess, just wanted to leave a comment to say well done for being so honest about the pressures that you and probably a lot of other Mums feel. Personally, I think that deep down you will know when you are ready, if you do decide to have another. xx


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