Thinking about having another child? Many moms find having a second child to be an entirely new experience, with feelings of guilt and sadness mixed into the joy, and everything from the pregnancy itself to the amount of bonding time with the new baby considerably different.
These contrasts evoke a lot of anxiety in women who are considering their second pregnancies, and especially in those who are already approaching the birth of their second. As pregnant member, Heidi S., shares, “My daughter is the light of my life and means everything to me. I’m not as excited with [soon-to-be-born baby] Anthony and I feel guilty for it. I have a week and a half until he gets here and I don’t even have his room set up yet. I’m hoping when he gets here all the feelings that I have for Elaina will be there for Anthony.”
Bridget R. confirms that the feelings remain complicated even after the new baby comes; she felt guilty having another child when her daughter was only 18 months-old and had to mourn the loss of so much one-on-one time with her firstborn. But there's more to the story. Yes, these feelings persist, but they do resolve. Here, moms who've made the transition from one child to two share encouraging news about the adjustment.
Your Love Multiplies
Jane M. and other members reassure that these fears everntually go away when you have your second child. “I was nervous too, but you will be so happy when you get that little baby in your arms and see just how quickly your love multiplies over and over again," says Jane.
Jodie R. felt the same. “Twenty weeks into my second pregnancy I still wasn’t sure [about having a second baby]," she confides. "It wasn’t till I found out his gender and started buying for him that I started to feel connected, slowly, [and] once he was born it changed so much. Thinking about it now, I've been more protective of him than my first."
Your family will indeed change forever with the birth of a second, say several moms, but you will adjust. For instance, daily activities will take longer, but Good D. reassures that you'll learn to multitask like never before. She figured out how to change her two year-old’s diaper while breastfeeding her newborn!
More profoundly, says Jennifer G., your older child may discover a new bond with dad or another family member to make up for some of the time she no longer gets with you. To maintain your own bond and to alleviate the jealousy your firstborn may feel towards your new bundle, a mom named Jillian advises making it a priority to still spend some special one-on-one time with her.
You'll Eventually Be Thrilled
A member named Fiona echoes Jodie R.'s assessment that a second birth can evoke emotions that are entirely new and positive. She was initially disappointed to find herself pregnant with another child, but tells Circle of Moms members that the birth itself “fulfilled and empowered” her.
Fiona also says that having another child allowed her to see her firstborn, a son, in a new light, as a “a gentle, loving, caring and accepting big brother with no jealousy or fear or concern regarding the new little person sharing his life." With the benefit of hindsight, she wouldn't change "a second of our journey," because the closeness in her two boys' ages has brought so many benefits.
Even if your hesitation, or other factors, result in a bigger age span, you'll no doubt eventually be thrilled to have added to your family. Christina F., who has a seven-year gap between her children, is delighted she didn't just leave it at one: “We have never regretted having a second — and a third.”