dad loved you best
December 27, 2012 9:57 AM Subscribe
How did you decide when and if to have a second baby?
posted by anonymous to human relations (37 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Before we got married, my wife and I felt pretty committed to being childless, a commitment that grew weaker and weaker over time until our daughter was born last year. I'm head over heels in love with her; she's totally, absolutely perfect.
The pregnancy (which followed about a year after a very upsetting miscarriage at 2 months) was healthy, but it wasn't easy, with a lot of additional screenings and ultrasounds required to make sure everything was okay. In the end everything came out fine, but I think my wife and I are both a bit traumatized by that one-two punch: I feel a bit like we lost our baby once and nearly lost her a second time, and am a bit nervous about trying to push my luck again.
A chronic overthinker, I'm also a bit anxious about philosophical questions regarding having a second kid. I understand on an intellectual level that I will love the next kid just as much as I love my daughter once he or she actually arrives -- but for now all my thought processes are along the lines of "Well, I'd like for my daughter to have a sibling or two because I think she'd like that when she's older." That seems a bit instrumentalist towards a potential new person, for one, and two, how do I even know whether my baby will like having a sibling or not? Maybe she'll hate it!
I confess I'm also troubled by my sense (along the worries about health expressed in the previous paragraph) that I may be partially thinking of the baby as a "backup" in case anything horrible happens to my daughter, which again seems like a somewhat poor bordering-on-insane reason to bring another person into the world. Again, I hope and expect I won't feel that way when the new baby actually arrives, but for now it's something I feel as though I need to fight against.
How did you know you wanted to go through all the unpleasant mess of pregnancy and young infancy again?
And putting all that to one side: what is the optimal age to do it? Will two sisters born a year apart fight too much? Will a sister and a brother born three years apart have too little in common and find it hard to play together? What age differential will be best so that the second kid doesn't feel like they're always running to catch up to the first?
My wife and I are drifting towards our mid-thirties, so time is a factor too. Thanks for your thoughts.