How can I make this decision?

28 posts / 0 new
Last post
kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85
How can I make this decision?

I am struggling hard with the decision to have a second child.

I wish I had someone to talk to about this. And by someone, I mean someone who's been here, done that. Someone who has no personal interest in the outcome of my decision.

Let me back up and give a little background. I am going to be 37 in June. I have a beautiful, perfect 7 yr old daughter and a wonderful husband. For the past seven years, I have held fast to my guns that I wanted NO MORE BABIES. But for some reason, in the last couple of months, I've begun to question my decision.

My pregnancy and delivery with my DD was textbook. No problems whatsoever, not even morning sickness. I even went into labor at midnight on my due date. My fear of a second child has nothing to do with this part of the process.

The part that I never wanted to experience again was the whole baby thing. I hated being at the whim of a tiny, helpless little thing. I hated nursing. I hated having to pack a suitcase everytime I wanted to run up the street. The majority of this attitude was due to severe post-partum depression, as I now know, but even now, as I type this, I have tears in my eyes and a knot in my stomach just remembering what I felt like. I felt like the most horrible mother in the world. How could I possibly be any good at all if I cringed every time I heard my daughter cry? Do you know how hard it is for me to even admit this annonymously? I know that most of you have the words "heartless bitch" going thru your minds right now.

Don't get me wrong. My daughter is the most important person in this world to me and I love her more than life itself. I would die for her. That's why it even enters my mind to consider a second child. I want a second child so that DD will have a sibling, someone she can hold on to when we're gone, someone she can grow up with and love as only siblings can love each other. I want my husband to have a son, at the very least the second child he's always wanted. And I know I would love another child just as much as I love my first one.

But I'm getting older. And I love the fact that my daughter is becoming so self-efficient. Do I really want to backtrack that far? Do I really want to do diapers and breastfeeding and carseats and baby bags and bottles and sleepless nights all over again? I'd be fairly close to 38 when I delivered, and that's betting I'd conceive right away. Do the math: I would be 60 before this child would be finished with college. And how about the risk of pregnancy at my age, and having a perfectly healthy baby? I'm terrified that I got too lucky the first time.

Back and forth, back and forth I go with this. My husband is no help. Yes, he wanted a second child, but says he's content with one. So he says it's up to me, I'm the momma, he'll support my decision either way. Thanks alot. I've prayed and prayed. Give me a sign, Lord. I wish I would just turn up pregnant so the decision would already be made for me.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I've been doing some research online. Right now I am taking bupropion (wellbutrin) for depression symptoms. The FDA lists this medication as a class B as far as it's safety level during pregnancy. What this means is that it is presumed safe for the developing fetus, but this presumption is based on animal testing only - no human testing has been done. According to my research online (gotta love google), a study monitoring pregnant women on wellbutrin vs. pregnant women on no medication shows that the percentage for birth defects or miscarriages was the same for both groups. However, there were more cases of heart defects in the wellbutrin group than the control group. Furthermore, wellbutrin does affect breastmilk.

So there's one more thing to ponder.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

Periodically, my DD plays the "I want a baby sister" card. In the car yesterday afternoon, she brings it up again. So I asked her, "What if you had a baby brother?" She said, "a brother would be okay." I explained that the process is not very simple...We can't just run to wal-mart and pick up a new baby sister. (She has a very basic understanding of how babies are made, but beyond that, the whole process is foreign.)

So later on last night, I decided to go for a walk by myself. When I got back, my daughter was distraught (sp?) because she missed me and she really wanted me home (I was gone 20min!) and on and on, hanging on to my legs. I said,"Now, you know that if you had a baby sister, Mommy wouldn't be all yours anymore. You would have to share Mommy." [Pause to let those wheels turn.] Very seriously, she says, "I don't want a baby sister." And that was that in her mind.

Another issue I would face if I have another child is my childcare situation. I have been so incredibly fortunate because my MIL and SIL have always watched DD at no cost to us. There's no way we could afford to pay for childcare. Of course, now, with DD in school most of the time and with me getting off work at 4pm, they only have to pick her up from school and watch her for an hour on most days. But my MIL is aging, she's in her mid 60's and not in the best of health. My SIL just sent her only child off to college and is wanting to travel a little and do other things. Due to some fairly stupid financial choices, we can't afford for me to stay home (and I would love to!!). I can't be so presumptious to think that I could expect my MIL and SIL to watch a new baby.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

Wow, what a weekend. Saturday, DD and I went horseback riding with her Brownie troop. SO much fun!! I love this time in her life. We can do stuff together. She did great! No fears whatsoever. I am in awe of my child sometimes.

Saturday evening, the three of us went to some friends' home for a cookout and a little guitar playing (no talent here, other than listening!). This couple are about 2 yrs younger than DH and me, and have an 8 mo old daughter. My DD just fawned all over this baby. Made me a nervous wreck. I was hoping so badly that when I saw that baby, something would jump in my soul. Well, it did. It was fear. It was relief that I was thru that.

I cried during Mass yesterday. I went by myself (dd was not feeling so hot), sat on the front row as usual. (DH usually sings, so it's just habit to sit up front.) Well, Father Ted's homily is naturally about birth and rebirth and the innocence of children. It is Easter season, ya know. So he points out one of the younger kids to come up front. Little Samuel is the next-to-youngest of 11 children. His mother is my age. Father Ted asks us, "What do you want for Samuel? What do you wish for him in the future?" And I just lost it. I felt like the most selfish bitch in the world. DH and I are exactly the kind of people who SHOULD be having children, to raise and love and send out into the world to make it a better place. And the only reasons I don't want a baby are very selfish ones. Am I a self-centered, selfish person?

So I curled up in DH's arms last night and cried and poured out my heart. Can I just tell you that I am married to the most wonderful man in the world? He asked me the reasons why I wanted another child. I said, for DD to have a sibling, for him to have another child, and so I wouldn't have all my eggs in one basket (for lack of a better way to put it). He said, these are all reasons why everyone else thinks you should have a baby. Why do YOU want to have another baby? I said, I don't.

I don't. It came out of my mouth before I knew it. It is my gut feeling. But I have such a bad history with major, life-changing decisions, doing what I want instead of what I should. So naturally, my second gut feeling is that I'm wrong.

DH says I'm too hard on myself, that I'm taking on the weight of the world. Neither decision is right or wrong, he says. And even if there is one right decision, we will never know if we chose the right one because we can only take one fork in the road. You either do it or you don't. And either way, you're still gonna look back and play the "Shoulda-Coulda-Woulda" game.

See why I love him so much????

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I feel pretty good today. I went home from work early yesterday, so I had an afternoon to myself to get some grocery shopping done (yes I lead a cutting-edge life). I even snuck in a little nap. It wasn't hard to get out of work, since I looked like total hell after crying all night Sunday. But I feel a sense of peace today.

If I were about 5 or more years younger, I would do it. I would have another baby. But at this point in my life, I am settled in and happy and feel complete. My husband is right - the problem lies not in how I feel, but in accepting how others feel. I've never really been one to consider other's opinions of me, so this was a real eye-opening thought. I guess I'm more influenced by societal norms than I want to admit.

As I said yesterday, DH and I are the type of people who should have children. But there's alot of older children out there who need a home and parents. Would this be an option for us, I wonder? Would we be allowed to adopt even though we don't have any fertility issues? We live in a rural community, and our local children's services agency is always looking for foster parents. Would I be strong enough to consider this as an option??

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out my daughter's baby scrapbook and flipped through it twice.

Could we do this again? Would I be a better parent this time around? Or would it be the same as it was with DD...Mommy is always stressed out and she has no patience for those who need her the most.

How does anyone purposely make the decision to go through it more than once???

God, please help me see the right path. Point me in the right direction.

I wish my husband had a uterus, then this would be a no-brainer.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85
kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

So my daughter evidently has been polling her classmates about little sisters. When I picked her up from Grandma's on Wed. afternoon, she promptly informed me that she has decided she does NOT want a baby sister, "because Matthew has 3 of them and says they're nothing but a pain!"

Have I said what an incredibly cool kid she is??? I love to watch her when she thinks no one is around. When she got home yesterday afternoon, she was a little miffed because her mid-term report from her teacher was all A's except for writing. So she gets a piece of paper and pencil and lays down on the floor, on her tummy, propped up on her elbows, and practices her handwriting. No one told her to do this. She has decided for herself that she needs practice on handwriting so her grade will be an A next time. My little perfectionist.

Anyway, I sit back and watch her. I love the way she swings her skinny little legs back and forth, curling her toes with their chipped blue polish. I love how her blond hair is pulled back in a disheveled ponytail that she did all by herself. I love that furrowed brow as she concentrates on improving her handwriting. Sometimes I just want to soak her up, to absorb all the little things she does, because I know I'm going to blink my eyes and she'll no longer be my baby girl. She'll be a 14-yr-old who knows everything and hates her mom.

Is this my problem? I'm scared of my baby growing up? Even if I had another baby, that baby would grow up, too. [SIGH.]

But the overwhelming love and pride I feel when I look at my daughter...Nothing beats that incredible feeling. I gave birth to that little girl. I helped make her what she is. I try to imagine what it must be like to feel that way about 2 or 3 or 4 kids. Wow.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I had a profound thought yesterday. I love my daughter, but I hate parenthood, and that's OKAY. I have beat myself up emotionally over this, thinking that I was somehow disloyal to DD, or didn't love her enough because I felt like this.

[WARNING: I'm gonna rant here. Do not read any further if you think you might be offended because I'm getting it off my chest.]

But you know what, I'm tired of feeling guilty. As women, we are constantly bombarded by the media, our family and our friends (and complete strangers for crying out loud!) about the virtues of motherhood, how incredibly enriched and complete our lives will be when we have children (always plural!), and how it will be the best thing to ever happen to us...blah blah blah. I had visions of a beautiful, perfect little family, DH and I falling in love with this little angel, living happily ever after...I poured over "What to expect the first year" and every other childcare book available, and I felt confident that I could handle this new life, and would enjoy being a parent.

Well, I don't know about you, but I felt nothing like any of that crap. I felt like someone had come in and dropped a bomb in my life, then left me standing there to figure out how to pick up the pieces. Everything that I knew about myself changed. I was no longer a person, an adult. I was a MOTHER. I gave up my body, my freedom, my sanity, my sex life, my friendships, my hobbies, my career plans, my spontaneity, my sleep, even my cute little two-seater car (no room for a car seat!), ...basically my entire life as I had ever known it. Where was THAT chapter in "What To Expect"???? Did anyone tell me it would be like that? No, not even my own mother, who is my best friend in the world. People who were already parents would get that "you're-gonna-get-it-now" smile, and they might even tell you that your life is about to completely change. But no one ever tells you what it's really like. You know why? Because we probably wouldn't do it.

And the sad thing is, I suspect alot of parents feel like this (I know most of my girlfriends do!) but we are so conditioned to think that parenthood is the be-all end-all most rewarding thing we will ever do that we are afraid to admit how really awful it really is. And when we do talk about it, we always say, "but it's all worth it."

And to a point, it is worth it. But if someone had given my pre-parent self a glimpse of what I would be like after the baby, I probably would've seriously considered not doing it.

Now, having said this, and before you get all wadded up and start sending me hate mail, I would not go back and trade any of this for my daughter. None of us would!! In the long run, kids really are worth every bit of the suffering and sacrifice. But why can't we be more honest with each other about how hard it is? How bad it can get sometimes? Why are we made to feel guilty if we don't fully enjoy every stinking minute of the process? It doesn't make us love our kids any less, or make us bad parents.

If anything, it might make us better parents.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85
Here I am....AGAIN...

It's six months later and I am still struggling with this. Why can't I let it go?

My brother told me last week that he and his wife are trying again. Their youngest will be 9 in February, the oldest will be 11 in April. The question of having a second child has been in my mind for many months now, and this bit of information just stirred it all back up again.

I tried to talk to DH last night. He refuses to talk about it. He says that I'm wanting him to make the decision for us, and he won't do it. He says it's fine with him whatever I decide. Damn him, so it's fair for him to make ME decide by myself?!? What I can't seem to make him understand is that my feelings on the subject are VERY MUCH influenced by what HE feels!! He says he's beginning to think I do this to mess with his head. He says he's gotten to the point where one child is just fine with him, then I do a complete turn around on him. So much for coming to him when something is bothering me. It's been an issue in our marriage that I clam up when I'm upset and I don't talk to him about things. Well, I go to him for help and this is what I get.

I'm so scared. I feel so overwhelmingly unsure of myself. I feel so alone. I can't take on this decision by myself. I need him, dammit! Don't do this to me, just because you think I will blame you if we make the wrong decision!!!

It would be so much easier if I were just eaten up with baby lust like I was the first time. There was no decision. I just KNEW it was the right thing to do. Why don't I just KNOW this time??

Whywhywhywhywhywhywhy?!?!?

I think I'll just go have a nervous breakdown.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I was a weepy mess yesterday afternoon. Why am I feeling like this? My husband evidently did not realize how upset this whole thing has been making me feel. He curled up with me on the bed and we talked a little. He said he wants a little time to think about how he feels about having another child before we decide what to do. He does have a point...I've been thinking about this for months, whereas he has only been aware of my doubts for a week or so. I have conditioned him to not even consider it a possibility, so he hasn't given it one bit of thought in a couple years or more.

He did suggest that I go ahead and stop the pill. (YIKES!) That way, if we decide we want to try again, my body will be ready. We can use alternate protection until we make a decision.

When we got pregnant with Mackenzie, I had been off the pill for several months. I had not been in a long-term relationship for a few years, and I was using condoms anyway, so at the time I thought it pointless to mess with my hormones. THEN, I met my soulmate. I knew within a few days of meeting him that he was THE ONE. He was the man I wanted to be the father of my children, the man I wanted to grow old with. I'd never been so sure of anything before, nor have I since. Incredibly, he felt the same, and as crazy as it sounds, we started trying to get pregnant right away. After only knowing each other 4 months, we were expecting a baby. (I like to compare it to putting on a blindfold and running toward the edge of a cliff.) Miraculously, we made it through and our marriage survived.

In retrospect, I know this was a huge contributing factor in my difficulty with adjusting to motherhood. I was not only learning to be a mom, but I was getting to know a new husband. (For future reference: NOT AN IDEAL SITUATION.)

This makes me think that it really would'nt be as bad as the first time.

Oh, yeah, and my brother's wife called me last night and said they were not pregnant, and would probably not be trying again. She said that she has been trying to talk my brother into having another child for over a year, but the minute she thought they might be pregnant, she was terrifed and thinking, what in the #$%& am I doing?!? Yeah, me too. What the #$%& am I doing??

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I was supposed to start a new pack of pills yesterday. I didn't.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

Stupid me made the mistake of thumbing thru "What To Expect The First Year." God, how did we ever make it thru her baby years without maiming her? DH says it's a good thing that I was already pregnant before I read it the first time. He's right.

Why do I only remember the bad parts? Why can't I be like most women and just melt at the thought of babies? I read "Down Came the Rain" by Brooke Shields today. It was like she was telling my story. I'm so scared to go through it again. I don't want to EVER feel like that. And I don't want to lose myself again. I am just now getting back my individuality. Is there a happy medium out there somewhere?

Is it as traumatic the second time around? Or is it worse, because you know what's coming?

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

God, I'm such a whiner. (This observation comes as I read thru my previous entries. Admitting I am a whiner is the first step on the road to recovery, according to my Whiners Anonymous Handbook.)

DH's fave pastime lately is surfing Ebay. He likes checking out all the cool classic cars that he can't afford. He showed me one last night, I think it was like an '81 mustang or something, and was just going on and on about it, like he was trying to talk me into it. Just this past Tuesday he spent 165.00 on a pair of shoes (WTF???) and then took us out to dinner last night, bottle of wine and all, spending over $80. Granted, he got his comission check this week, and it was a good one (by our standards, anyway), but it still freaks me out. So anyhoo, he's going on about what a great deal this car is, and I just looked at him and said, "There is no way we're having another kid. You like spending money too much." (I said it in a light-hearted way, but I was not joking.) He fires back with,"If we had another kid, I wouldn't have money to spend, so you'll have to have another to make me stop!" (Also said in a light-hearted way, but was he also not joking?)

I keep wanting to bring it up, to talk about the matter in a serious way, but it never seems to be the right time...not to mention, I'm a chicken $#*& to even talk about it. I still don't know his thoughts on the matter. It's been a week since our initial conversation. Do you think a week is long enough to stew on it? I don't want to be pushy, especially since me constantly bringing it up is gonna make him think I'm pushing for a "let's do it". But I just want this to be resolved in my mind, one way or the other.

I have battles going on in my head all day. I don't want to have another baby for the wrong reasons. I want to have another baby because it's what we WANT to do. Do I want to? Or do I just WANT to want to? (confused yet?) The only think I know I want for sure is to not make the biggest mistake of my life. What I need to know is which one is the mistake, and that's impossible to know. (My crystal ball is in the shop.) I am more scared of making the wrong decision than I am of actually having another kid.

OMG, I'm whining again.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

DH and I had a nice, long talk last night in bed. It's wonderful being married to my best friend. He has this way of making my burdens so much lighter. Just being able to tell him how I feel about it lowers my anxiety about the whole thing. He says we should just relax, go with the flow and see what happens. I'm stressing too much over it (UNDERSTATEMENT) and I need to just set it aside for now. I'm trying to rush a decision that I'm not ready to make. Whatever we decide, whenever we decide, we will know we've made the right decision.

We also talked about what it was like when we conceived DD. I sometimes feel like I sorta pushed him into it...He laid my fears to rest last night and said he had felt just as strongly about it as I did. He said, "Whatever hormone we were flying high on at the time, I was flying just as high as you!" I told him how I felt after she was born, about feeling worthless, subhuman, ugly, fat, unworthy to be a parent and wife...And I also told him that going back to that scares me more than anything. I can't go to that place again. I've never really gone into too much detail with him about the ppd because I tend to get really upset and cry whenever I talk about it. (Yeah, I did a bit of crying last night.) It felt good to talk about it, to make him understand just a little bit of why I'm scared.

Wanna hear something funny? Just talking to him about my fears and anxiety over the whole thing made me feel more confident that I could do it again.

He truly is my soulmate.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

double post

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

***WARNING: TMI***

We had unprotected sex on Saturday. He said, "Are you sure?" I said, "Let's just go with the flow, like you said."

I am strangely calm. If I think too long about it, I get that almost-fell-backwards-in-my-chair feeling.

If IT happened on Saturday, then I would be due about July 22.

Just go with the flow. Just go with the flow. (my new mantra)

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I've been off bcp's for ten days now and have noticed some changes. My face now regularly has a zit somewhere on it at all times; I usually get one or two zits a month or less. My sex drive is on the increase. Usually, I could live without it and not really miss it. However, since I stopped the pill, I really enjoy it and look forward to being with DH. Hell, I've even instigated it once or twice! [GASP!] My mood also seems better (could be the sex?LOL!). Some other changes I've noticed may or may not have anything to do with getting off bc. I've been feeling a heaviness in my uterus for the last 3 or 4 days, which could be from my body gearing back up to lay eggs. Also, I've noticed a change in bm's...like pooping gravel lately! (sorry, TMI, I know.)

Overall, I feel really good right now. I've been working out 2 or 3 times a week for the last six months or so. My weight is where it should be. I've been taking a multi-vitamin and extra calcium every day. I haven't smoked a cig in almost 18 months, and I've been cutting way down on alcohol consumption. I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been in my adult life.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

Not alot new. AF should make her appearance sometime next week, assuming I had a half-way normal cycle. This is my first time off bcp's in 7 years, so only time will tell. Of course, if I DID have a fairly normal cycle, I could be pregnant and not even know it. We haven't used any bc at all since I stopped the pills, and we've been dtd pretty regularly. I am feeling very calm about this, and that really surprises me. I might even be a tiny bit disappointed if AF shows up. (SSSHHHH...don't you dare tell anybody, they will call you a liar! LOL!)

I told DH that if we do this, he gets night shift. (He's up half the night now as it is, and I swear that man can fall back asleep in less than a minute!) I find this only fair! If I go thru 40 weeks of pregnancy and 18 hours of labor, the least he can do is get up in the middle of the night, right? With DD, I breastfed until she was almost 3 months old, so I didn't have much choice but to get up. I tried pumping a bottle so dh could do the night feedings, but I dreaded the pumping almost as much as the nightly sleep interuptions. If there is a next time, I will more than likely formula feed. Don't get me wrong, I whole-heartedly agree that breastfeeding is the best way to go, and at the very least, I would bf the first few days for the colostrum. But I also believe bfing was a big contributing factor to my ppd. I did not deal well with the fact that I was bound 24/7 to my infant, and that she would starve if I was away from her more than a couple hours. (It is pretty terrifying if you really think about that.) Right or wrong, I am not one of those people who thrive on being needed; I have accepted this about myself.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I've set up a blog and copied my journal entries to it. I'm not sure if I will continue posting to this journal now that I have the blog. I'm sure I'll still lurk around here, though!
http://www.scaredymama.blogspot.com/

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

AF showed up last night, a few days early. Yes, I feel disapointed.

So I guess this makes today cd2?

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

CD8. AF is FINALLY gone...'Bout time that **tch hit the road!

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I've been keeping my blog updated, but I've neglected this journal!

My bbs have been sore and tingly all week. Sore is not unusual, other than it's normally only for a day or two. However, tingly is unusual. The bra feels a tad tighter today, but it is freshly-washed so maybe I haven't stretched it yet, lol! Hmmmm.....

I remember this part from when trying to conceive DD...the dreaded wait for either af or bfp. I have over-analyzed every little pain and tingle I feel, convinced it's a sign that I'm pregnant. Geez, I need to relax.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant. No BFN yet, but it's still a little early.

I guess my decision is made, huh?

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

I started my period last night at 10 pm.

I called in to work today. I am devastated. I cannot stop crying. WHY????? I didn't even want to do this a couple months ago!!!! What the hell is wrong with me??? I was soooooo sure. Turns out, it was just the worse PMS I have ever experienced.

I can't do this. I can't.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

Here we go again. I'm pretty sure I o'd either yesterday or the day before, so now I'm in the famous 2ww. DH was very concerned that I would be as upset this time if we don't get pg. I explained to him that the reason I was so devastated is because I was so sure. I had never experienced pms to that extent before so I was convinced I was pg. What I didn't think about is that I've been on the pill for the last 7 years, so I've pretty much had no pms at all. This time around, I'll be a little wiser and a little less likely to jump the gun.

We've decided to try for six months, this being month 2. I still wonder if we are doing the right thing.

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

9DPO according to fertilityfriend.com. It was at this point in my last cycle (day 25) when AF showed. I've been crampy and my bbs hurt. I expect her any time now, but my temp was still up this morning.

Do ya think I should move this journal to TTC? Or am I still in denial?

kkreations01's picture
Joined: 04/13/06
Posts: 85

10DPO and a BFP. I posted a pic on my blog.

Guess I'll have to skip the drinks on New Year's Eve, huh?