Making the decision to have a second baby is a privilege, but it can also be quite stressful on mothers who have had a traumatic birth experience.
I wanted to write this post because I never really expected to struggle with the idea of having a second baby.
For this reason, I am hoping it might help other people in my position. I am not an authority on the subject and ultimately this is a personal decision, but sometimes it helps to know that other people feel the way that you do.
Deciding to have another baby is a big decision and I don’t think anyone can really predict how they will feel until they are in that very position.
I must acknowledge the fact that I know this is a very privileged position to be in. I understand that there are so many obstacles that can mean baby number two is not even an option or possibility and I don’t want to appear insensitive to that very difficult reality that many people face. This is a personal anecdote.
I’ll start by saying that I’ve always wanted three children. Long before I met my husband that was always my vision.
I was the kind of girl who always thought about having kids. I’ve been very maternal from a young age and as the eldest of five children I fell into that role in a sense.
Thankfully, my boyfriend (now husband) was on the same page and after a couple of years our son entered the world and lit it up completely. Life was brilliant and we adjusted well to life as a family of three.
In the past, I had assumed that small age gaps would be our preference, but time just passed, and our housing situation dictated things in a major way. We were renting and for that reason, things were always a little bit uncertain. We had seven house moves in total and it just never seemed like the right time.
Another huge obstacle for me was the fear of giving birth. I had a difficult birth on my son, and it left me feeling really terrified about the prospect of doing it again.
As time went on, the fear grew rather than lessened, which I did not expect at all. It was a huge obstacle for me, and I didn’t think I would be able to overcome it and welcome the idea of baby number two.
When trying to decide about baby number two, I think a huge reservation for a lot of people is the fear of change. That fear of change grew stronger as time went on in my case. I found myself with a four-year-old and a lovely stage of life where family members were literally fighting over minding him.
We could have as many date nights as we wanted, and we had a great routine. At the weekend, we watched family movies together, we ate out and we loved going away on holiday as often as money would allow.
The idea of disturbing that “life” felt really scary to me and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to that. Having a child of any age is full-on in its own unique way, but having a brand new baby and starting from scratch felt like a really huge decision. It would change things in so many fundamental ways and we would be back in the thick of it once again.
In our case, we made a decision through the art of good old communication. I had no idea how cathartic it would be to simply air my concerns and fears.
It completely lifted that fog that had been overshadowing things and I cried at the end of the conversation for all the right reasons. I was starting to wonder if it might be best to just leave things as they are, but when I addressed my fears and we weighed everything up, it was a unanimous yes from both of us.
I’m writing this from “the other side” - baby number two is five weeks old and the best decision we ever made. I also had an amazing birth and feel “healed” in that sense.
If you’re struggling with the decision you are not alone. My best advice is to talk about it in-depth and air any concerns or worries you might be having, because it really helps.