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I am new here, and I am so confused about being done or not If you read all this, thanks, if not, I Understand I am in a huge muddle and appreciate any advice or experience you care to share. Please bear with me, since below is the seesaw I am on about it all, and my feelings in this situation, background, etc.
I am a SAHM to a 2 1/2 year old DD who is a doll and a dream of a girl and everything I ever hoped a little girl would be. DH (38) and I (32) have been married for 8 years this August. We waited to have kids, and started TTC when we felt ready financially, etc. DD was the result Pregnancy wasn't bad, no major issues, I felt great and very active.
Our birth experience was a nightmare. I went natural, and I had already discussed this with my OB, birth plan and all. Unfortunately, my OB decided to push pain meds on me and scrap my birth wishes, even though I was handling the pain and not even making noise or having any issues. The entire 36 hour labor felt like a massive power struggle between him playing God and me trying to stick to my guns while being beyond exhausted and in pain. DH did not get very involved in this and stick up for me and I felt abandoned by him too. One of the nurses even finally had a fight with the OB and got him to back off. I have never felt so helpless, stressed, angry and frustrated in all my life. I ended up with a massive tear and a big episiotomy (OB's way of punishing me? I still wonder) Sex was agony for 6 months. We would try, and I would have to stop after a few minutes in tears of pain. I felt like such a failure and such a disappointment, even though DH was very loving and understanding and never pushed me. I wanted to be with him so badly, but it felt like I had raw flesh there, no amount of willpower could make me stick it out. All in all, I felt horrible after it all, like something so beautiful was so distorted and twisted into an ugly battle.
DH was one of 6, I was an only child. When we married, I agreed that I wanted 2 or 3, but now I am not sure. As an only, I have no clue how you manage multiple kids. It seemed easy as pie to tlak about it as a clueless newlywed, now that I have BTBD, I know how hard it is. When I think back on how little sleep I got and what a zombie I was, I just feel drained. I love playing with my DD, and I don't know if I can meet her needs, my needs, and a baby's needs without going insane. We are financially sound with her, with 2 it would be shaky. I like to have a nest egg for emergencies, and I hate living by the seat of my pants. I also want to be able to help her with college, etc, and I don't know if I could help 2. I guess I want to be able to give her the kind of helping start my parents gave me. DH did not have any help from his family, so he doesn't always understand that. My life was also always financially stable (not even remotely rich, but not living paycheck to paycheck either), his was rocky as a kid. He is more used to it, it makes me terrified. I cannot send my child to school with broken shoes mended with cardboard the way his mom did.
DH makes enough for me to stay home, but I buy our clothes at the Goodwill, make all our food from scratch, and raise our own chickens and fruits and veggies to stretch the budget. We do not have cable/dish or cell phones or other frills, other than high speed internet. This leaves us enough for occassional treats or extras, like ice cream out or a trip to the zoo. We have a contented life, but it is hard work. I'm not sure if I can pinch our pennies hard enough if we have another one, and I'm not sure I could even juggle the work I do now and 2 kids. I am so scared I will be a burnt out old woman before I hit 40. We haven't saved for retirement since she was born, other than his employer's contributions. If she stays an only, I can go back to work part time in 3 years when she is in school full time. That will help us a lot. If we have another child, I won't be able to go back until I am 38 or 39 and DH is 46 or so. Right now we are three paychecks away from real trouble. And a huge chunk of me is just in horror of undergoing another birth like DD's. I never want to feel that abandoned and helpless again.
But I keep thinking about what we would name another baby, and what I would embroider for her/his crib set and what the baby might look like. Part of me aches to think that this thing I got ready for throughout my whole life to this point, of getting married and having little babies, is over. I keep hanging onto DD's baby gear "just in case." And I wish DD had a sibling so that she wasn't the only living member of her immediate family when DH and I are gone someday. Part of me feels like I should just stop worrying about our future and money, etc, and take a chance, but part of me is too **** practical too. I feel like an awful wife, since I had said I wanted more when we married, as if I duped DH somehow, but how on earth was I supposed to know as a stupid 23 year old wet behind the ears newlywed how I would feel as a 32 year old mom? DH says he can accept it if I really want to be done, but I believe he will always have regrets if we only have 1. And that breaks my heart. I want so badly to give him what he wants, and what I agreed to, but I am so scared it will break me to do it. I am so scared I'll regret not having another one, but I am also scared that we'll have another one and then regret it.
I feel so very mixed up about it all, I can't get it out of my head, it just goes around and around: should we or shouldn't we, should we or shouldn't we. How did you ladies know when it was time to have another or be done? I am so tired of this merry-go-round in my head, of weighing pros and cons and going back and forth It is keeping me from enjoying life, I feel so torn and guilty and confused.
If you read this far, thanks. Sorry it was so long, but it is messy and I couldn't condense it. Thanks for an insight you can share.
Oh sweetie, I understand! My DH & I have one daughter, almost 3, and I, too, am a SAHM. We're doing alright on one income, as well as gracious help from family at times too. But add another mouth to feed and we feel we'd be strapped too. We would prefer to live a little more comfortably and be able to give our daughter whatever we can, take her on vacations, maybe private school, etc. With two, we just couldn't do that.
Also, I hear you on the zombie thing from the baby days. That whole first year was HARD. My DH & I still clearly remember it all. I had PPD as well. We don't really want to relive it.
Every once in awhile, we talk about some baby name we like or we've had our moments of, "Should we just rip the bandaid off and go for it?!" But that lasts for a day or two. Truthfully, we are done with one. We are content. Maybe we're too cautious or practical or heck, even a wee bit scared, but honestly, we know what we can handle. And we know that we don't want to struggle, be it financially or emotionally.
Feel free to PM me anytime, hun. I can so relate to much of what you described.
I'm so sorry you have such conflict about this. All I can really tell you is that when I had my two, I was going back and forth between whether I really wanted another or not, and now with my third, I KNOW I could not handle another without completely losing it! I love him, of course; he's just one of those high-maintenance kids. I actually have NO itch whatsoever to have another. I'm looking forward in anticipation to when my youngest is more independent so I don't have to do so much for him or watch him like a hawk if we're out somewhere. Most of my friends have children that are out of the preschooler age, so I'm looking forward to getting there myself.
For me it was cut and dry.
Why exactly is it that you might want another and is it really a good and logical reason? To give your daughter a sibling? To make your husband happy? Or because you really feel your family is not complete? And if you have guilt about your husband, talk to him more about it. Maybe that might help you sort out some things.
Hi and thanks for responding
It helps to know that I am not alone in this boat!
Mostly I think that my confusion/indecision lies in A. not knowing if I could handle 2 kids since I was an only, and don't really have a personal experience to go on at all, and B. I hate worrying about money all of the time and am afraid that having 2 kids would put us in a risky place. I love babies and there are times that I ache to have another one of my own, but then I get all practical and the cons start to outweigh the pros. Amanda, I totally hear you on the "Should we just rip the bandaid off and go for it?!" thing, sometimes this is exactly how I feel! But then, as with you reality sets in and I get all practical again.
I guess I am lucky that DH and I are young enough that we have some time to decide. Maybe I would feel differently if DD was in school full time and I had all day (while she was at school) to be a mom to a new baby, instead of being mom to a non-napping toddler and an infant at the same time (YIKES!) all day Also, my parents have discussed moving close to us when they retire this year, and that would be a big factor too. Right now DH and I live 4 hours from our families, so we are on our own unless we hire help. Having my mom nearby would be a Godsend if we had another child.
DH and I still have a lot of talking to do and a lot of figuring. I keep wishing that I would have some sort of sign, or feeling, or whatever, that would help me resolve my mind, but it has yet to happen. Spring is coming, and that always makes me feel like nesting, LOL, so I guess that is why it is plaguing me so much at the moment
Thanks ladies for listening, and for helping out
As for the financial stuff, only you can decide how comfortable you are there. I've always heard that if you wait until you're financially ready to have a baby you'll never have one and I believe that's true to some extent, but you do have to be responsible about it too which it sounds like you are. I also believe that there are ways you can make it work. I decided the second my first was born that I couldn't go back to work and although we had just bought a house where we needed two incomes, I decided I would find a way to make it work and I did.
As far as taking care of two kids at once, I think every mom has that fear before the second one comes. And it is a big adjustment, but it is completely doable. I'm sure it all depends on the person, but I have three that are all 18 months apart and as hard as it is some times, other times are just pure joy listening to them play together, learn together, and just be together. My two girls are best friends, they do everything together. And they absolutely love their little brother to pieces. Sure they fight at times and I want to rip my hair out, but the good times definitely outweigh the bad. In some ways I'm sad that we are done and I won't have the chance to give my little guy a brother, but he loves his sisters so much I think he'll be okay.
Only you and your DH can make this decision, but I wanted to let you know that all of your fears are completely normal for any mom going from one to two, so I wouldn't let that necessarily stop you. This probably sounds weird for the "Done Having Children" board, but I just wanted to say that your fears are completely normal and if you really want it, you will find a way to make it work.