I am asking myself this question a lot at the minute, and I can’t quite seem to answer it fully. I have written a post similar to this a couple of months ago, but nothing seems to be resolved I am going round in circles so I am hoping writing this might tip the balance. My heart is telling me one thing and my brain (and my hubby) are telling me another. There are many arguments it seems…
1. I have been adamant that I never wanted to have another child after Boo after the first week of Hyperemesis – I remember getting out of the shower (my only achievement of the day) and begging my husband to promise to never let me get pregnant again. I still remember that the sheer feeling of terror at the thought of having to feel as bad as I did, for as long as I did (and little did I know at that point I would suffer with constant nausea and vomit most days until Boo arrived at 41 weeks – the out of control vomiting subsided gradually at about 19 weeks). So why do I want another baby? To put myself, and my husband and Boo through that? I was incapable of looking after myself, I couldn’t look after Boo and my husband has to work. So surely another child is out of the question.
My head … definitely agrees, another pregnancy like that would be intolerable. But my heart… it points out medication, the fact that I might not suffer as bad this time, or at all… (though the odds are not in my favour).
2. Boo’s first year hasn’t been easy in terms of sleep, at 13 months she is still not sleeping through the night, though we are making progress, we were only able to drop night feeds in the past month or so and she still wakes several times a night (and likes to get up early). I feel like a zombie most days and even with daytime naps I still feel like I am so far behind sleepwise I may never catch back up. So do I really want to go back to that? A newborn, clusterfeeding, up all hours, unable to sleep during the day because Boo will be awake?
My head… I need myself, I deserve a rest, I need a good nights sleep ( or 10),
My heart… points out that not all babies sleep as little as Boo (who has always slept well below the ‘average’ hours sleep out of 24 for her age at every stage), why not tough it out as it won’t last forever, better now than to start sleeping through and have to go back to broken sleep again if we decide later to have another (maybe when the memories have faded a bit more and the sleep deprivation doesn’t seem that bad)
3. Boo’s medical issues – colic and silent reflux, not a great combination (well alone either is enough to drive anyone to tears) the made for long newborn nights, and long newborn days of carrying Boo around upright for the reflux, and weeks of trying different medication to find one that works, then there was the guilt of my tiny perfect baby is getting medication, worry over the side effects, guilt that maybe it was my breastmilk (irrational? maybe a little) Could we really go through that again, how would Boo sleep with a baby making all the heartbreaking noise she use to make, when mummy and daddy were trying everything they could to help her feel even a little better, just for a little while
My head … questions if we could cope with something like that again, it was heartbreaking, even the memories make me tear up.
My heart… chances are we wouldn’t have to go through that again, colic and silent reflux bad combination and even if we were unlucky we have dealt with it before and we can deal with it again. We have the little tips and tricks that helped (a little) last time we can use them again.
4. Would a sibling be best for Boo – My husband thinks that Boo would be better off as an ‘only’ child (not strictly true as she has two half brothers but they live in another country and they do see each other on skype it’s not the same as having a sibling in the house) Boo’s personality does seem to be quiet high maintenance, try as I might I cannot leave her to play for long, and she likes to have interaction from adults more than other children (but I am not quite how much we can take from all this as she is only 13 months old) I am not sure, I think a sibling would be amazing, I have visions of them playing together and being best friends – they could of course dislike each other and fight all the time, who knows?
My head … there is no way to know what would be best for Boo, we can’t live both decisions out and then make the decision with hindsight, you just have to make a decision and go with the flow, not amount of reading about siblings vs only children is going to definitively tell us what is best for us as a family.
My heart… I love my brother (though I do remember once telling him that his breathing annoyed me) and how sad would it be for Boo to miss out on a relationship like that? My husband and I aren’t going to be here forever and a sibling would be someone who would always (hopefully) be there for Boo, and Boo could be there for them.
5. Could I even cope? I don’t know some days how I cope with Boo, newborn days are a haze of lost sleep, sore nipples and crying, I can honestly say that as Boo has grown and learned to crawl and then things have felt easier for me, I couldn’t even leave the house for six weeks after Boo was born. How am I going to cope with breastfeeding a newborn and having an energetic Boo, how could I do all the things I did with Boo and then have the energy to look after another? Can I sign up for another year plus of breastfeeding (and no caffeine)?
My head… rationally you cope because you have to, noone can prepare you for having a baby, it’s a massive change, at least you are in some way prepared now for a baby and what it actually entails, coping with a toddler and baby? Noone knows until you are in that situation… sink or swim.
My heart … you cope because you have to, there are two tiny people who depend on you, you have help, your husband, your mum, your stepdad, your brother, your sister in law, your friends… and Boo. You are strong, you can cope with anything and you will.
6. Finally random thoughts… I have this image in my mind of Boo standing with her back to me, walking down a lovely path, green and trees and the sun shining, holding the hand of a smaller child, chattering away, and every time I think that not having another child would be best for the family, the smaller child fades and disappears and Boo is left standing there alone, no-one to chatter too and I can’t help by get upset. I know it’s irrational because Boo is never going to be alone, she has mummy and daddy, and lots of other family, it seems silly but I just can’t seem to shake this vision from my head.
My head… rationally asks if this is just natures way of making sure we all have lots of babies, this inexplicable need to have more children when the first reaches a certain age… the tick tock of our body clocks?
My heart… tells me that I can’t get this image out of my mind because deep down, all rational thoughts aside I do want another child, a sibling for Boo, and that some part of me is always going to regret it if we don’t, haunted by the image of a child that never was?
So there it is, my thoughts, running around in my head this past couple of months, crazy thoughts driving me crazy. I always feel better once I have made a decision, but this seems to be one decision I just can’t seem to make!
Any thoughts would be most appreciated because I am just going round in circle.