Monday, 22 February 2016

Why I Don't Want Another Baby

Why I Don't Want Another Baby

"You'll change your mind before long," is what everyone tells me.

Perhaps I will. I can't see into the future, after all. But right now, I have no intention of having another baby - no matter how many times people ask me when the next one will be, or how many times they tell me Marianna will be lonely if I don't lie back and think of England. (Well, Wales, let's be realistic here!)

It's not that I don't like babies. I wasn't entirely sure I did before I had one, but hormones and experience have worked their magic and transformed reluctant indifference to fawning delight.

It's not even that I don't like the idea of another baby. I had a brother and, vicious brawls aside, we got on wonderfully. We shared secrets, and kept each other company, and commiserated every time the other had a telling off to deal with.

If the science in Junior was real, I wouldn't have a problem with adding to our family.

Junior screenshot
Danny DeVito and Arnie in Junior.

But it isn't and I do.

Because I just don't want to be pregnant again. They say you forget the pain of childbirth, and perhaps you do. Marianna was delivered by cesarean section while I was under general anaesthetic so I really can't comment on it.

I do remember the nine and half months of constant worry though, knowing that if something was wrong it was all on my shoulders. I was the one who had to keep track of the baby's movements, and I was the one who had to be careful and sensible, and report any changes to a professional only to be told I was being silly and paranoid.

I do remember the feeling of relief that I was finally at hospital, finally about to be induced at 12 days overdue, finally able to give up sole responsibility for being able to tell if something was wrong.

I definitely remember the terror of being told something was wrong. Something I hadn't even noticed, and had absolutely no control over. The sickening fear as, minutes after being welcomed onto the maternity unit with smiles and jokes, I was rushed down to theatre and warned not to get my hopes up.

I remember my own terrible aftercare, and being left to my own helpless devices with nothing to occupy my time other than imagine all the worst case scenarios. I remember the incapacitating pain of my new abdominal wound, and the blind hysteria when I was told the baby I had seen for less than ten minutes had now had a fit and might not make it.


Marianna on NICU.

Marianna went for a check up with her consultant just last week, where he admitted to being amazed. That when he had seen her for the first time, following that fit, he hadn't thought we'd ever be taking her home from the hospital.

We were lucky, so astoundingly lucky. On that first day when the wonderful surgeon who had only the slimmest of hopes pulled out, in her own words, 'a little miracle' who was breathing independently. And on the next, when Anthony was taken aside and told to try and prepare himself.

I was lucky. I don't smoke, rarely drink, and for the entire pregnancy did everything by the book. I'm fairly young, relatively healthy; I was considered completely low risk. Yet I came close to losing my own life on the operating table.

It might be 2016 but childbirth still isn't safe. It still isn't easy.

For once, I'm going to be selfish.

I don't want another baby.


Marianna now
Marianna today.






42 comments:

  1. She's beautiful. I was quite traumatised by birth as well, the boy is nearly 5 and I still havent decided if I'm brave enough to go again. That and he was a horror ;) xxx #bigpinklink

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    1. Hehe, yeah, some days I just think I'd be mad to do it again! x

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  2. Yes you might change your mind. But you might not. Not everyone does as I'm sure you know so I guess you're getting pretty tired of hearing that.

    I did change my mind and went on to have two more 15 years after having my first(but I haven't gone through the traumatic time that you and your baby did). I think such a heartbreaking and stressful time would have put me off too.

    #marvmondays

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    1. That's it. I'd never say 'never', but right now it's the last thing on my mind! x

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  3. Everyone is different & circumstances change. You may change your mind you may not. I always wanted 2 & have 2 but it doesn't mean I'm right. I always worried an only child would have no one to share worries/life/old parents/illness with. But families are all different & cousins/aunties/uncles can fill the gap of a sibling. I had a tricky 1st birth resulting in emergency cesarean & it did put me off a bit but I'm glad I went for number 2. #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

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    1. Growing up I always wanted 3! :) She has tons of relatives, so not much chance of getting lonely - even if she wanted to! x

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  4. Everyone is different & circumstances change. You may change your mind you may not. I always wanted 2 & have 2 but it doesn't mean I'm right. I always worried an only child would have no one to share worries/life/old parents/illness with. But families are all different & cousins/aunties/uncles can fill the gap of a sibling. I had a tricky 1st birth resulting in emergency cesarean & it did put me off a bit but I'm glad I went for number 2. #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

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  5. I am a mother of one, and people constantly ask my husband and me when we plan on our second. We don't! We are perfectly content with just one child, and so we've decided to keep things the way they are. My pregnancy was very challenging, and I'd also rather not do it again. I can't even imagine what you went through. I'm so very glad that all worked out for the best! #AnythingGoes

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    1. Yeah, it does grate a bit - especially when it's the third or fourth time that day! x

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  6. It's up to you and your other half to work things out between you and it's nobody else's business. The Tubblet is an only as well. If we pooled the £1 we got for everytime someone commented on this, I reckon we could have a very good night out!

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    1. It was very therapeutic to write about it - though a nice holiday on all the £1s would have been better! ;)

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  7. Oh gosh, what a horrendous experience you had. I can completely understand why you would choose not to have a second child. I had a horrible time of it first time, and although my daughter was ok thankfully, I was totally adamant I would NEVER go through it again. I'm not sure what changed, I think I put enormous pressure on myself because I was a lonely only child, (not saying to be an only child is lonely, we just lived in isolated places), and I knew more then anything I didn't want her to be on her own. I also knew how much my husband longed for another, despite him saying he'd support my any decision. Anyway, to cut a long waffle short, I ended up having my son just 22 months later, in a birth centre, in total control and it went a long way to healing me. Not suggesting you need to try that of course!! ;) You should look up the birth trauma association as they are fabulous. It is a genuine recognised condition and can be as awful as ptsd. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the #bigpinklink

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment - and for signposting the birth trauma association. I hadn't heard of it before but their website has been really helpful. I thought I was completely over it, but I've been dwelling on it a lot recently. Moreso than I'd even realised! x

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  8. Good for you, it's your business, your life. My friend doesn't want kids at all, and my wife is pregnant with our first. I respect her choice and she respects ours. And I respect yours. You're awesome.

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    1. Thank you! :3 It was so therapeutic to write, I always feel like a much more cheerful person after I've had a rant on the blog!

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  9. Oh wow, what a rough delivery. I'm so glad both you and she were okay!

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    1. Thanks hun, it was a bit different from the birth plan! ;)

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  10. I don't blame you after reading why. That said though, my two child birth experiences were totally different so the same may not happen again... effitfriday

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    1. Yeah, I'd be high risk now so I'd get the extra monitoring and stuff, but right now it's just too much to consider. x

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  11. Oh my after an experience like you had i don't blame you one little bit and it isn't at all selfish you have a family who need you as you are! If your instinct says no more then it's the right thing to choose. #KCACOLS

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    1. Thank you - Marianna keeps me busy enough at the moment anyway! x

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  12. Sounds terrifying, and I can understand your feelings. Even without the traumatic experience I feel similarly. I do have two and that was how many I said I wanted, but if it was just having more children, actually I would love more. But I don't want more pregnancies, with the HG I had before too. As I didn't start til my 30s, I don't want to spend most of the decade pregnant. I don't want to run the higher risks associated with pregnancies as you get older, when I have been fortunate to have two healthy pregnancies. &, as we didn't start young, and can't wait ages if were going to have more, having more would mean I won't get a chance to get back to work with any decent wages, &, while I'd happily stay home with more kids, that means we would never give them the life we'd like. So I think we probably won't have more, and I will try to get into a good career once ours start school. I think you jut have to do what feels most right to you. There is no right or wrong answer. #KCACOLS

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  13. Oh my goodness! That sounds so utterly and terribly frightening! I don't blame you.
    You have one very beautiful daughter and if that fulfills your life and your family then that is the perfect number of children for you. #KCACOLS

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment. x

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  14. First of all you're not selfish - given what you've been through you're incredibly strong! And I can't say I blame you. Although my experience was no where near as bad as yours, I had a horrendous labour and for a long time I was thinking there was no way I'll ever go through that again. I accept now I will because I'd like a sibling for Josh but two is where I'll stop. At the end of the day we are the ones who go through pregnancy, labour, risks and endless hormones and emotions! We deserve a medal! Good on you for being so honest - loved this post xx #KCACOLS

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting! And, yes, I'm all for a medal! :D

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  15. Oh what a cutie! I can completly understand why you feel the way you do after that experience, I am sure it is only natural to not want to risk going through a similar experience again. At the end of the day it is up to you and time will only tell what happens x Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

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  16. Marianna is a beautiful little girl and those eyes...:) To be honest I could understand why you wouldn't want another baby at the moment, you all went through a traumatic time together. But if you don't want another bambino then that's your prerogative. I am always getting the same questions now that Amelia is turning two and its becoming a little annoying. Most people will say 'you can't just have one' etc but why can't I! We were faced with difficulties trying to conceive and I don't know if I could go through all that heartbreak again, it takes the toll on someone. I am just so grateful to have been blessed with a baby! Thank you for sharing your story! #KCACOLS

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    1. Thank you! :3 Yeah, it seems like everyone wants to know when the next one will be coming... I have more than enough to deal with one just now! :)

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  17. I can totally understand why you would be reluctant to go through another pregnancy after such a frightening time with Marianna. I find it incredible that people are still ignorant enough in this day & age to ask about subsequent babies. There are so many reasons why a family might want to (or have to) stop at one child and none of them are anybody else's business. So glad that you and Marianna both pulled through your traumatic experience.

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting - it really does seem that once you have one, all anybody wants to know is when the next one is arriving! x

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  18. I completely agree with Robyn's comment above...it's bad enough when people ask if you're going to have children when you don't have any, but it seems almost fair game when you've got one to be asked constantly about another. Very strange. I'm so sorry you had such a terrifying experience, and, although we do hope to have another child, I am dreading pregnancy. We all have lots of factors on which we make our own decisions and that's just it they are our own decisions, noone else's. Enjoy enjoying your family lovely Jess and thank you for sharing your story #KCACOLS Lucy at occupation: (m)other x

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting hun x

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  19. I'm so sorry you had to go through that terrifying experience!I don't blame you at all! If you think this is what you want it is of course fine as it is your decision. I get very well what you are saying. My birth experience with Bella was very traumatic too so I was very scared of having another baby although I new I wanted more. I always wanted to have 3 children but this will never happen. I have 2 and I certainly know that the baby fabric is now closed. It is bloody hard to be pregnant and then to give birth. Plus at least you are not back to your normal life after they are at school so it is about 4 years of constant demand for each children. Actually I think the worrying is for ever! LOL Great post! I enjoyed reading it. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! :-) x

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    1. One of my work colleagues says the first 50 years is the worst for worrying about your kids... Lol! x

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  20. Mums are damned if we do, damned if we don't! You have to make the decision that's right for you - anyone who can't respect that needs to mind their own business! #KCACOLS

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  21. Oh wow, what an experience and I completely understand. My second birth was traumatic (so was my first for that matter) my second was life threatening to me as well. Why take the risk of leaving your children motherless? The heartache and the worry. Who is anyone to judge something so personal.

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, it feels like you're the only one sometimes x

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  22. You're an amazing mom! I respect your decision to do what is right for YOU and YOUR FAMILY and it drives me crazy that people think they can go around telling you that you're wrong, or will change your mind, etc. If you do eventually, that's your business too! And either way, Marianna is a beautiful little girl with an amazing mom. :)

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    1. Aw, thank you! :3 It was just really getting me down, though writing about it did me a lot of good, I think!

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