Mummy stuff, Pregnancy

To breed or not to breed

Baby one more time?

Some time ago, I wrote a post about how, with the birth of my first and so far only child, any broodiness had left this weary body of mine completely.

And despite about a million people telling me so, the longing, yearning, all-consuming desire to reproduce has not set back in. There is, however, a very distinct wish to add to the family. Yes, I want another child. I just don’t want another baby.

I can see myself with two children; I think it would be brilliant for little L and also for the balance in our family. I just can’t see myself being pregnant again, let alone spending my nights awake, nursing a newborn. The thought of it alone makes me rub my red-rimmed eyes.

I remember feeling exhausted and isolated during the first year of motherhood. Whilst my biggest challenge consisted of steering a Bugaboo with one hand and clinging on to a Starbucks paper cup with the other without covering either the baby or myself in cafe latte, my old friends’ lives just went on. Dinner parties, career changes and social gatherings still all happened – without me though. It took me a long time to find new routines, find time for myself and for Big M and me as a couple. It also took me a long time to find out what I wanted to do with my life, having just stepped off the corporate ladder.

I don’t want to jeopardise any of these things. And let’s be honest, newborn babies, no matter how gorgeous they are and how good their little newborn heads smell, have the turning-life-upside-down potential of a nuclear catastrophe.

The good thing though is that when you are in the eye of the hurricane, it doesn’t feel like a complete blow. Well, at least not all of the time. Nature in its wicked way will have you flying high like a kite on all sorts of hormones (at least until their levels crash down after a few weeks – and your mood with them) and you’ll be feeling blissfully outer worldly. Coming to think of it, it might also be extreme sleep deprivation that creates this effect; I am not sure and more than unwilling to test this here and now.

About ten months ago, I had a conversation with Big M along the lines of the above. We declared our relationship to be pregnancy- and baby-free for exactly another year and then just go for it. Close our eyes and jump. I guess I hoped for that crazy broody feeling to come back, to stop me questioning what feels like the right but also the most difficult thing to do. Only two more months to go till D-day. Argh.

36 Comments

  1. Hiya, I am in the exact same spot — both my hubby and I are also only children so one part of me says it would be nice for my daughter to have a sibling and the other part knows what it’s like being an only child…it ain’t that bad! But our timeline is almost the same….Monique

  2. I loved moments of the baby time, but overall it was such isolating, difficult, exhausting work that I can totally, TOTALLY agree with this. I would love to have another, but I am a tiny bit nervous about that first year!!

  3. Part of me thinks it would be nice to have another child, but the boy didn’t sleep through the night until he was gone 2 and now that he’s just turned 5 I feel like I’m getting some of ‘me’ back, and I’m not so sure I’m prepared to give that up.

  4. Mamabearuk says

    I totally know how you feel. Everyone in my mummy circle of friends, and I really do mean everyone is either pregnant again one year on or planning to be very soon. I can’t quite get my head around it. And am thinking at least 3 years age gap but not sure why and who knows how I’ll feel then. L isn’t even difficult, well no more than the normal one year old behaviour.

  5. beyond says

    commenting first time.i love your blog.

    i dont have any such worries because i already have THREE.

    but yes,the idea of getting pregnant again(accidently,ofcourse)FREAKS ME OUT:)

  6. For what it’s worth and knowing that things are different for different people – but I found no. 2 much easier to handle than no. 1 Granted, she was an easier baby but part of it is that a) you’re used to sleep deprivation and it doesn’t hit you so hard and b) older sibling is THE attraction and will entertain baby. That total focus on mum that I had with my first was never there with my second. I could get stuff done, and had more me time than I ever had with just one.

    I’m totally broody, but for me (my) age and not wanting to go through pregnancy again are just non negotiables. The third instalment of the first year wouldn’t phase me at all having just been through it.

  7. Second baby is definitely easier and you are a natural mum! You never know it might happen just when you least expect it and in an unplanned way *ahem* Xxx

  8. Hello

    I’ve been reading you blog a while and wanted to comment on this post to share my experience.

    After my 1st I never felt broody for another, that feeling just never came – but in my case I knew that I definitely did want to have more than one child and had an idea of the age gap I thought would be nice so I just went on that. And the arrival of my No.2 has been wonderful – I love him immensely and, as someone said above, it was so much easier than the first time (even though he was a terrible sleeper for the first year). He just sort of slotted in to our lives.

    In fact I’m now pregnant with my third…

  9. I feel your anguish, and it’s so hard to work out the right thing to do, to listen to your heart, body and soul, when you’ve a family to consider. I’m sort of peeping around the door from that darkness you describe so well, and having moved out of London to the middle of nowhere a year ago now, I felt it even more. I guess it’s all about communication and keeping the channels open and if baby no 2 is coming to you, so let him (or her) and go with it!

  10. I agree that pregnancy can be hard and the first year of a new babies life can be as you said lonely, scary and isolating, but things are not so extreme when you have a child already. At least you know what to expect, which may be the problem lol. We are hoping for a baby brother or sister for Oscar before I am too old (41 just now), but I in no way glided through pregnancy and early motherhood on a cloud of blissful happiness. Its a case of weighing up the pro’s and the con’s and as sweet as your husband is, he isn’t going to be the one doing it, so listen to your own instincts.
    V
    xxx

  11. FrenchCaro says

    Hi there and thank you for your blog. I totally shared your feelings about not wanting to be pregnant again (I hated it both times) and not having enjoyed so much the first months with a newborn. However as said above, it’s definitely easier the second time. I believe that this is because you know more what to expect and also with an older kid at home, you just cannot surrender your live to the baby’s needs, you sort of get her to adapt to the family needs instead which actually works better for everyone! And here I am with 2 kids, the younger barely 11 months old, and feeling broody again (but I suspect this time it has a lot to do with me reaching my sell-by date and knowing that this is my last chance at having another baby..)

  12. Well if only I could relate to Baby #1:) You’ve done such a magnificent job with Little L. Baby #2 is bound to be just as angelic and gorgeous. Go for it!;) x LZ

  13. You’re right, a newborn does blow your life apart – I think that having a bigger gap, where the other child is more self sufficient does help though – our two were far too close together. That said I don’t want to leave it too late before we (if we can) have a third – the trouble is that once you come out of the fug it is far harder to go back in than if you have never left it!

    I’ve never felt broody as such but I’ve always felt our family our have three children and I’m chasing that dream still – you have to what is right for all of you, it’s never an easy decision

    With love x

  14. I really understand this feeling related to the second child, honestly my racional and logical side say Yes, will be good for my daughter she will have someone else in life, my mind says No, one its enough and I dont want more work neither tighter the budget. Im getting old and I have 1 year to get preg, so I need to decide soon. I would say no, because I dont want it, but in the other hand it will be good for my child and my husband is dying for more kids, burt I pretty sure he can survive . its a very difficult decision OMG!!!!!

  15. Been there, that’s for sure. Whatever feels right to you, go for it. It can be a very difficult decision, and when I think of pregnancy and the early days, well, you said it all too well in your post. That’s why we stopped at two kids. But, my son, our second child, is such a gift (as is our daughter). And, he and his sister are so wonderful together (even though they have their moments). Best of luck to you on this journey.

  16. I though this was an excellent and very honest post. I think children and babies are amazing and wonderful but also am terrified of the change and think more people should speak about it. You are a super Mummy, that much is definite- and things have a way of working out xx

  17. I completely understand this! I can’t bear the idea of being pregnant again and while I think I could manage the baby the years, the toddler years fill me with dread. I’m sticking at one 🙂 xx

  18. Aconfusedtakethatfan says

    Ooh, I am in my bed feeling rough but wanted to comment! I wasn’t ready to try again for two years, but I have to say agree with the others. As you have already made the transition from independent career girl to mum of one and you just don’t feel the same isolation the second time around. I was nowhere near as lonely as I had my little friend, eldest daughter, for company. Plus you don’t notice the lack of social life as much as you have already sacrificed it for baby one. The life you have created for yourself now is just about manageable to keep going, the odd social event etc. You are more confident with baby two so able to leave them more rationally! But it is yours and natures decision to take. I am with Emma above. Love the newborn phase, toddlers are a struggle!

  19. I’m always amazed at how many people get pregnant “willy-nilly”… I too always agonise over the issue… 😐 And I’m definitely the kind of person who likes children more once they’re over the age of 1 🙂 but I have to say that I enjoyed my second son’s babyhood a lot more than the first time around. I think that with your second baby the shock to the system isn’t as big… So just jump and go with the flow, it’ll be fine 🙂

  20. Such a personal decision, and so different for everyone! But I do have to say that my no 2 was much easier…

    I would love to meet up sometime! Would be great to see you and hear about the latest and your new neighbourhood!

  21. Listen, I’m not overly broody either, but I’ve found myself in this pregnant situation and I’ll be excited if you join me. That newborn smell will be something to look forward to. I am constantly hearing the shrieks of little babies while out to dinner…. and I think, what have I gotten myself into?

  22. Pingback: Fab Brunette » Blog Archive » Wine Time! (oh wait, add an “H” after the “W”)

  23. I heard some mothers saying that they want another child, but does not want a baby. There is a way out to these mums, who do not want all the papmers stuff. That’s adoption of a little boy or girl. But majority of mums would consider such way out as even bigger challenge than give a birth to own child.

  24. I’m so glad to have read this.

    Nearly a decade after our first meeting, my slow-off-the-marks fiancé and I have agreed to start our family within the next two years. For us, the issue of careers – his in law, mine in publishing – has always provided a distraction, a pleasing diversion, from children and the fact that our option to have them may be no option at all.

    I adore children – my sister is ten years younger and affectionately teases that I am her ‘Second Mummy’ – but was diagnosed, in my mid-twenties, with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Since then, there have been many tears – emblematic, I think, of a grieving for the family I may struggle to have.

    We will try for our first baby and take it from there…

    One, none, or ten – the choice to have further children must be one that suits you and your existing family. As such, it’s important to observe your own instincts, your own voice, and not those of friends or peers – group pressure is very seductive, after all.

    The honesty with which you write is thrilling.

    Good luck,
    Sarah x

    http://stylesouk.wordpress.com

  25. Hi.

    I just stumbled on this post when having a little nose around your blog, which I love by the way!

    I am usually a bit shy about commenting, but just had to say that I thought your to breed or not to breed post is fab! I am not in any position to even consider having another baby as it is just me and my 5 year old at the moment, but I often wonder if I would and have to say, I feel exactly the same as you have described above.

    I was never one for getting broody before my son and very rarely find that anyone else’s little bundles of joy stir up anything resembling broodiness nowadays, but I also like the idea of (someday) having another child.

    Anyway, I am sure, as with all these things, it will work out just as it is supposed to… Good Luck.x

  26. Those early baby years go by in a flash. Take the long term view. In a few years time you will, God willing, be a family of four with the early baby years long forgotten 🙂

    Having said that, we’re really contented being a family of three and have no plans to add to it (it helps that I was an only child and had a very happy childhood as an only).

  27. Simone says

    An interesting post.

    My husband and I are both one of three children and I knew I never wanted just one child. I honestly think children do better with siblings, I personally hate the thought of being an only child. I now have 2 children with 4.5yrs between them and probably would have had another one if I hadn’t started having them so late 🙂

    Each to their own of course….but (and I may be blissfully ignorant and naive here!)….I don’t think anyone regrets having a second baby. It IS easier 2nd time round without a doubt……and it’s a truly wonderful thing watching your children interact.

    I am totally biased in favour of you having another baby clearly 😉 X

  28. You said it so honestly I think. Oftentimes, motherhood can feel like one of those experiences where you just close your eyes and jump. I grew up an only-child, who wanted a big family, because I saw that my friends had siblings they knew they could always rely on and when their parents passed, people who would still make up their friendship and support network no matter what happened. I still think that’s important, but three kids later I am still adjusting to a household with so many competing personalities! I never really had to share my space, so this is new – thing is though, it has probably evened out what I needed to know about giving, sharing and acceptance. Leap … and don’t look back!

  29. I’m going to go against the flow here, my 2nd baby was a much bigger shock to my system than my first. But my 1st was an angel baby (and slept!) and my age gap was 19 months which I found to be really tough. That said, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    I will say though that every child is different and as long as you are not expecting to have a repeat of child 1 then you’ll be well prepared! xx

  30. Thank you for this post. It was as if I was reading my own thoughts. This is a decision we alone can make. I would love another baby, but the thought of those 3 a.m feeds along with the isolation you speak of, makes me feel otherwise. I do not want to have another baby, just so that my daughter has a sibling. Its not fair on me and definitely not fair on a little baby. We are lucky to have a healthy beautiful little girl. Time to be content with what we’ve got and let things take their own course. Thanks again for this brilliant bit of writing.

  31. I work from homeand have a 4 year old boy that I hope to give a sibling to one day. However we recently started looking after my niece who is 1, 4 days a week and it has confirmed for me that I do NOT want another child right now. I think my children are going to have a10 year age gap. Firstly I don’t like that I can’t give my son all the attention he needs and secondly I do NOT like not having time to even eat let alone think properly with 2 kids around. I am sure it is slightly different when you have 2 kids of your own but it has certainly put me off!

    I do hope though that one day the broodiness comes back for me too.

  32. It really is much easier second time round. Harder in one way, because you have a demanding toddler as well as a newborn. But much easier because you have experience and confidence. And because you have a better grasp of the time-frame. With your first, you just see “babydom” stretching ahead endlessly. With the second, you know that “newborn” is only a few weeks, that smiling will come soon, that weaning is just round the corner, that crawling and walking happen very fast. It feels very different. In my experience.

    I’ve also thought that in future years, no-one ever regrets having had another baby (or perhaps it’s just taboo to say so), but people do regret NOT having had another one.

  33. LOL I”m kind of where you are except it’s the quandary over whether or rather not so much whether but when to have number 3 …. and yup, that whole can I go through pregnancy again thing?!

    You’re lucky that at least you and the OH have had that conversation and come to some kind of mutual understanding of when to just go for it. I do think when it comes to making babies, it’s way too easy to over think and over agonise, but really it’s all about nature taking its course. And siblings are lovely 🙂

  34. I don’t think I really had that crazy broody feeling for children, but we just decided we wanted to have children together, the time was (about) right and we went for it. Its the best thing we ever did. If we’d met when we were younger, I’m sure we have a whole brood (and I’d look a lot worse for it too no doubt!).

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