Shares

When Ameli was two days old, I was asked if I’d have another child. Unequivocally, I said yes. I was on such an oxytocin high from my home water birth, I was capable of anything. And besides, my newborn had been asleep most of her life. And I had people around to help with food preparation, house cleaning, and my husband was off work to help with the baby.

Two weeks later, of course, my parents left, and my husband returned to work. And my daughter stopped sleeping so much. And the oxytocin wore off, only replenishing when I breastfed.

Here we are, almost 14 months later, and I’ve had the, “so when is number two coming along” question so many times, I’ve lost count. My husband has even commented a few times now that another little one would be nice. A playmate for Ameli would be nice. Little comments like that.

I’ve had people deliver opinions varying from waiting till Ameli goes to school, to asking why I didn’t try again immediately.

The thing is this: I don’t know.

I know in my heart that I would love another child. I know in my head that I would prefer a small age difference in the hope that they can grow up and be friends like my sister and I are. I know for certain I would love to labour and give birth again. But I also know that I am rather terrified of pregnancy. Being as ill as I was last time would be horrific, especially with an enthusiastic and energetic one year old to care for.

Then there’s the one year old. For 13 months, she’s been the center of my world, of her daddy’s world, her aunty’s world and that of the rest of the family. If there’s another one, would that dilute the love and attention Ameli receives? Would it change the way I feel about her?

Obviously it would halve my time with her. How will she cope? What affect would it have on her long term?

There are so many questions I find myself asking.

Yes, some will say it’s not fair to a child to have no siblings, which I agree with, but then I think about the life I can give Ameli, versus the life we could give two children. With one child, we can be transient, we can go where the wind blows us, we can give her the best education, send her to university if she wants, do anything for her.

If there are two, things change. Isn’t it unfair to Ameli to practically take these opportunities out of her hands?

So many questions, and so afraid of making the wrong choices, because these have life long consequences.

Does anyone have any advice for me? Different insights and things I’ve not thought about?

Categories: On Mama's Mind

12 Comments

The Baby Number Two Question

  1. One of the beautiful things about mothering more than one child, I’ve found, is the reality that love for one or the other isn’t lessened due to “sharing”. Love just doesn’t work that way. It grows to encompass all of the your children and how it’s expressed grows and changes as well.

    True, you will not be able to give all of your undivided attention to Kyra. That’s not a bad thing, though, because not only will she learn in a healthy fashion that she is not the center of the universe but in exchange, she will be gifted with someone to love unconditionally as well. Being a big sister is just as special as being a mother, in it’s own way and my oldest and I are closer for it. Not only that but 2nd and more children are just different. Right now, your whole world revolves around this one little person. But she will be part of the “revolving” when number 2 comes along. The rewards are innumerable, I assure you.

    But as others have said, there is no reason to rush into it until and unless you are sure. I just wanted to reassure you that having more children isn’t likely to be something that your daughter resents you for, lol.

    1. Wow Rebekah! If I had any doubts left, your comment would have me grabbing honey and heading for the bedroom 🙂 Thank you for such a great comment. I’m inspired and excited now 🙂

  2. As others have said you will know when the time is right but there is no perfect age gap so no need to rush into things while you feel so unsure. There is 3 years nearly between my two boys who are now grown up and are very close friends although they spent most of their childhood arguing!

  3. Only you can know the answer to your question – I agree that a person can give an amazing life to one child in terms of education and opportunities, I also agree that kids need siblings – we are asking the same questions as you. There is no right answer.

    There was a study done in the UK recently to say that only children are more content as they don’t have to deal with competition, squabbling and fighting with siblings etc. and will have all the attention – does this make for a good “team player” in the real world, I wonder…

  4. I was very ill during my pregnancy and swore I’d never do it again. Now, all I have to do is look at my son and I want to have another baby. We must be programmed to feel that way because I know I have neither the time, nor the strength for two children right now!

  5. For me it’s a no-brainer. We will absolutely have at least one other child. I couldn’t bear for Zelie to be an only child, and i love the thought of a house full of children. I don’t think that having more than one ever ‘dilutes’ your love for them – although obviously it does impact the time you can spend with each. But in lots of ways that is a healthy thing allowing them to grow their independence and learn to share.
    But – I didn’t have a difficult pregnancy, so I appreciate your concern. I will go ahead and aim for a 2 year age gap, but I am dreading the tiredness and trying to work part time plus cope with energetic toddler. It will be a challenge indeed.

  6. Time is fleeting. With or without #2, you’ll never enjoy #1 as much as you wish before she’s off to school anyways. #2 will make you all different people. that’s what new people do. for me, I consider what age difference does on the experience in the long term on relationships. as a conclusion though, i think you’ll be fine either way! 🙂

  7. I couldn’t imagined having grown up without my 2 brothers. My little boy is 4m now and I would definitely like another one before he is 2yrs. I know it will be hard, but it is what is right for me. Only you can answer that question I’m afraid. Kyra would definitely have an adjustment period if you decide to have another baby, but she would get used to it and in the long run she probably would like the idea even more then being an only child. 🙂

  8. I can’t offer any advice I’m afraid but wanted to comment as I am having the exact same issue at the moment. BB is 20 months today and I feel like it is nearly time to have another but I’m just not sure at the same time. My heart is saying yes because I want her to have siblings but my head is saying wait a little longer.

    As for the pregnancy, again not a lot I can help with, but this is also my main concern with having another baby and a toddler to look after, but if you have family around then that will help.

    Whatever you decide it has to be right for you. Children adapt so I wouldn’t worry about Kyra, she has had all the love and attention she needs and will continue to get that even with a sibling x

  9. Oh I HEAR you sister! I have had hyperemesis through six pregnancies. I have carried four of those past 12 weeks. I have carried three of those to term. My three living children were all born at 42 weeks gestation and I was STILL BEING SICK! My pregnancy history is pretty horrendous.

    Honestly, parenting plus pregnancy is the hardest part for me. If it wasn’t I suspect I would have more children than I currently do, and would have no question about having another. I also wanted my children to be close, and I tried to believe that *this* pregnancy I would be healthy, and every time was heartbroken to have the same issues.

    I still want another baby. But I just don’t know if the time will ever be right to do parenting plus pregnant again. 🙁

    (hugs)

  10. Well with three kiddies I can certainly say that you should only do it when you emotionally ready as it not only take alot out of you emotionally as you tend to miss out so much on your first childs life (well maybe its just cos I had twins… 2nd time around) – but in the same sentence it gave her so much of a better bond with her dad as she was her mother’s child until then.

    And even now almost four years down the line they all suffer to some degree of jealousy over me! What a difficult thing for a mom.

    So trust your instinct and wait until you and your partner are ready, cos he will play a very important role as you try juggle two small children. And even though its really really hard work it is amazing watching sibling interact with each other!

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