Why I am reluctant to have a second child

Although I love BattleKid to bits and think a sibling for him would be lovely, I’d like to share with you why I am reluctant to have a second child.

It took BattleDad and I a long time to come round to the idea of having kids and when we did we said we would love two. It didn’t matter what gender but with each of us being one of four, we thought two children would be an ideal number for us. We were lucky to fall pregnant quite quickly and we had a lovely, problem-free pregnancy too. I enjoyed bring pregnant and it really was an easy one.

However, the same can’t be said of BattleKid’s birth. I have touched on the subject before on the blog. I went into labour naturally on New Year’s Day 2014 at 6.30am, 3 days before my due date and coped quite well at home using my hypnobirthing techniques for a few hours before going to the hospital. We were 3cm dilated so chose to stay and I managed without anything for a while longer before requesting gas and air.

By about 5pm the birthing pool room became available so we moved there and getting into the warm water was lovely and gave instant relief although I kept the gas and air! I continued on gas and air until I felt it was time to push and this is where things got harder. I’d been fine until then but for some reason things didn’t progress as they should have. After what I believe was two hours BattleDad stepped in and requested I be seen by a doctor as, unknown to me at the time, the midwife had lost BattleKid’s heartbeat on the monitor twice and BattleDad was getting worried about both of us.

It transpired that BattleKid had got his head stuck between his shoulder-blade and my pelvic bone and no amount of effort from me was going to get him out. We were rushed to theatre where the doctor asked if she could try to get him out with forceps before going down the route of a c-section. We wanted our little boy out safely so quickly agreed and thankfully he came out, aided by an episiotomy.holding hands

My recovery from the episiotomy was not smooth sailing as I’ve explained before and as a result it’s left a mental scar on me with regards to having any more children. It took me four months to feel somewhat near normality and this hindered my early days with BattleKid. I couldn’t do alot or go anywhere for long as I just wasn’t physically able. It has left me feeling like I’ve let BattleKid down by not doing more together in those early days. I see people enjoying their month old babies on social media and wish that could have been me.

My birth experience has left a big scar on me mentally which has really put me off having a second child. The traumatic birth experience coupled with a really long and slow recovery process is not one I wish to relive. I know not every birth is the same but I fear it would be repeated.

Then there are other things to consider like how BattleKid would react to a sibling and how I would cope with two on my own during the week when BattleDad is in work. I know there are a lot of mums and dads who fly solo with more than one child but I am 38 already and am in a constant state of tiredness with a lively two-year old, that I am not sure I would be able to do it all again. Then there is the cost aspect. We have indulged with BattleKid as you naturally do with your first, but I wouldn’t want a second child missing out on things BattleKid had because we may need to be more careful with finances.

I love BattleKid with all my heart and am so grateful we have a happy, healthy, lively, noisy little boy and part of me doesn’t want to share my love with another child. That may sound selfish or unnecessary, and I know parents of multiple children love them equally but you can’t tell me they don’t have a favourite who might get 1% more love than their brother or sister.

Friends of ours recently announced they were expecting another baby, and while yes I admit there was a little pang of want for another, it soon evaporated when I thought about giving birth and recovering afterwards.

BattleDad did say he had the same pang and I’m sure he would jump at the chance of us having another child but I am the one who would have to give birth and then look after two on my own from Monday to Thursday and it is hard enough now with just one. I really am not sure how I would cope with two.

It is lovely to see BattleKid playing in nursery with other children or when friends bring their children to ours and they play together. This does make BattleDad and I think a sibling would be nice but for now I am reluctant to have a second child.

And I am not getting any younger!

Cath x

24 thoughts on “Why I am reluctant to have a second child

  1. Ah I can relate to this Hun. I’m sorry you had to go through such a traumatic birth. I can’t imagine loving another human as much as I love Arj either but I guess we’d find a way! I’ve always wanted Arj to have a sibling too so he’s never lonely but I too have my reservations!xx

  2. Sounds like you aren’t 100% decided yet.

    So sorry you had such a traumatic experience. I too had a horrible first birth, but had a very simple quick delivery on my second. Don’t get me wrong I was very worried it would be as bad again but I used the Gentlebirth programme (Gentlebirth.ie) and it really helped.

    Managing two is hard work there is no doubt about it, but you seem very capable and organised so I think you’d be fine.

    Maybe you should try writing a blog on the benefits of having two and see how that makes you feel. My two are 2.5 and 9 months now and watching them interact makes everything else worth every second.

    1. You are right hun, I’m not 100% decided but I know time is fast running out with my age. I guess my hopes are that if BattleKid stays an only child that he won’t be lonely. I had 3 sisters and although we fought like cats and dogs we still were there for each other, still are now. Thanks for mentioning the Gentlebirth. Although I am in the UK I’ll still look into them. So thanks x

      1. I’m in the UK too – I just used the tracks and read all the stories on the FB group. There’s an app now too.
        It’s a pain about time running out…wouldn’t it be lovely to have luxury of a couple of years to decide?

  3. Completely get where you’re coming from. No way I could do it again. I do worry she will be lonely but Mark is an only child and reassures me he never felt lonely so that’s something (he doesn’t want another which also makes the decision easier). I wonder if it would help you to talk to someone who deals with traumatic births? Might reassure you, if you’re undecided?

    1. Thanks Tara. It’s reassuring to hear what your hubby has to say on being an only child. I never thought of speaking to someone professional about it. Might look into that xx

  4. I had a tough birth, on all 3 if I’m honest. Go with your heart, I say. The old saying about being lonely isn’t even close to true, a child will never be lonely when surrounded by love xx

  5. I can really relate to the way you feel. I have a son (1.5 year) and I go back and forth on if I want a second one. The idea of a sibling for my little man is great, but my hubby and I had to go through a lot just to get pregnant and then I needed a c-section birth. All of those details certainly impact any decision! I think you’ll know soon enough if the desire for another outweighs another birthing experience or not. For now simply enjoy the beautiful blessing that you do have! And remember, there’s nothing wrong with having no more than 1 child.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. It’s still all up in the air for me right now. I cherish our son every day but I’m in turmoil over a second x

  6. Let me give you a reassuring tip: the second time around is nothing like the first! Not only have you done it before and know what to expect, your body is used to giving birth which can make a huge difference. My first birth was horrendous (two and a half days), whereas my second was over in less than 2 hours. I felt awful after my first and totally fantastic after my second. It took me 3 weeks to go outside with my first, but only 2 days with my second. I’d say go ahead and have another baby!

    1. Haha thank you Alice. I really appreciate your comments. I know every birth is different and it’s so nice to hear about your positive experience second time round xx

  7. I completely understand. I had an horrific birth experience with R, and suffered badly mentally and physically for a while afterwards. It really put me off having another (I’ve always wanted three), but seeing R get on with other children we decided to go for it and I opted for an elective c-section. I can’t begin to describe the difference this time, although frustrating with healing the actual “labour” was brilliant. It’s hard in the week as it’s me, R and F four days a week. It’s early days but the less complicated labour has left me feeling stronger mentally and R has adapted well (he has his moments, usually when F is screaming for food). Don’t put pressure on yourself, or allow anyone else to, but don’t be put off, it can be different second time round! S xx

  8. I’m still unsure too, the thought of defrosting two and none working terrifies me, but I couldn’t do one at a time as I know if it took financially I’d not afford a third but if they come as a pair I have no choice! I’m also a little worried of what happens if they both work, what if they both have additional needs like Z can I cope with three? It’s hard, there’s so much pressure on parents. If Z wasn’t an ivf baby I’d be done, I’m happy with just Z, but knowing there’s two little people waiting for me put that added extra pressure

  9. Hi Cath,

    I totally get what you are saying, i gave birth to my 8lb 13 oz baby boy in 2013 by emergency section after 16 hours of labor, which i would describe as traumatic, barbaric and down right sadistic….. i then suffered ptsd because of it and post natal depression, like yourself i hated the 1st year and feel so guilty because of this, but i now know it was not my fault. After months of fighting with the baby goo i gave in and went for number 2, due in 5 weeks time (little girl) this time. I however talked things through with my doc in the hospital and told her under no circumstances would i be going through any kind of labor again, i know psychically and mentally that i would not be able for this and the odds of a c section after a long hard labor would be quite high, so please god our new princess will be delivered by elective c section in the next 4-6 weeks. My son is really excited about getting a little sister, took him a while to come around, but now he is happy with it.

    Whatever choice you make will be the right one for you, your life, your body, your decision.

    All the best

    Janice x

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and for commenting. It really does mean alot to me. I’m glad you were brave enough to try again and that you’ve had your wishes respected by your doctor. Sending you all the best wishes for your new arrival xxx

  10. You can’t help the way you feel, no matter how irrational it is. There is no reason why another labour would be the same. I’m not sure that any two are ever quite the same?! But it is understandable that you would be scared to take that risk. It’s obviously something you’re still struggling with after all these years and I really hope you have seeked counselling of some sort to help you? As for the parents of more than one child must favour one chick over another, I can promise you that is just not true! Parents do not have favourites! Love only multiplies with the more children you have, it isn’t divided x

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