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Child Spacing

If you have more than one child, how did you decide when to have another child? Here's what our members said . . .

diaper pin  When my first born son was just six months old, I got pregnant! At first I was in denial, then I was depressed about the stress, late nights, double bottles and diapers, BUT then I woke up and realized . . . just how fortunate I was to be having another miracle grow inside of me. So many of my friends are still trying for their first. Then I was grateful from that point on. Originally, we had discussed waiting about 2-3 years between our children. But I am a sufferer of severe migraines, the kind of migraine that lands me in the hospital. The medications that I was given at the hospital interfered with "the pill," and voila . . . nine months later (and just 15 months between them) . . . our second baby, Jacob arrived! Although very demanding on everyone in the family, I am happy for the closeness between siblings that I believe will occur. They are both boys. Now a family of four, I don't feel that our first born will be the "center" of our affection. Everyone is important in their own role. He won't remember life without his brother. I am the last of three children and I didn't suffer because I didn't have "my own time alone as a baby." I am a happy well-adjusted adult. ( I think so, anyway.) It is not what I would have planned, but it will be wonderful. And I am happier everyday! I believe 3 things; 1. Everything happens for a reason. 2. A man may plan his steps, but the Lord decides his path. 3. We are all different and unique . . . what's right for me, may or may not be right for someone else. Happy parenting!

diaper pin  I wanted to have another child because I felt I was a good mother. It was such a longing to have a second baby. Little did I know that I would be having twins when I got pregnant the second time around!

diaper pin  After my daughter, Ashley, was born, I always knew we would have another child someday, but I just wanted to adore her for awhile. I was also not looking forward to another labor. We decided to wait about 3 years, no reason in particular, probably just stuff we had heard. You know how first time parents can be. Well, as it turns out, Matthew was born when Ashley was exactly 2 years 4 months and 2 weeks old. I only know that exactly because I was terrified of dividing my love. Ashley was my dream, how could I possibly love another child. I wish StorkNet was around then, because I didn't talk to anyone about it which only made it harder. Well, when Matthew came screaming into the world, and Ashley was brought in to visit, she climbed right up on the bed to look at him and smiled. She loved him from the start and her little face just told me everything would be okay. I was very lucky to not have any rivalry!!! (Although now at 7 and 5 they are making up for it.) We saved all of out baby "stuff" as Matthew grew out of it because I just couldn't part with it. We never really talked about how many children we would have, but I was very happy with two. Well, Ashley will be in 3rd grade this year and Matthew will start Kindergarten and Baby #3 will be here any day now. We decided sometime last year to have one more, a summer baby. But you can bet I wont part with my baby "stuff" again. As usual as D day gets closer, I am very excited about meeting my baby but am still not looking forward to labor. Since I already have a girl and a boy we decided to be surprised this time. The kids are old enough to be very excited and can hardly wait.

diaper pin  Having a husband overseas for 4.5 years did have a lot to do with the timing of our later children. We had wanted them close together but we are happy with the arrangement we have now. There is 3 years between each of them - they are currently 6 years, 3 years, and 5 months. This spacing gives each a time of being a much-loved baby, and allows them to feel secure in who and what they are and in our relationship to them. Then when the next one comes along they are in that period where they are establishing their independence anyway and are not so threatened. So far the two older ones are good mates, and we expect that the youngest will also be good mates with his brothers - they love him to death now anyway. We have found that this spacing works for us - but may not suit others. Our only concern is that we wish to have a fourth and this will mean about 8/9 years between eldest and youngest which we feel may be a bit much. Hopefully we will have a girl, and since it will be a gender change (we have 3 boys) this will alleviate this problem to some extent. Sadly we have one other constraint on the spacing of our siblings that we only realized recently - we can't afford another child until the second has gone to the much cheaper school system - I chose to work and currently pay 2/3 of my net income in child care fees so I cannot have more than 2 in full care - thus I will have to wait until my second son goes to pre-school (at 5 years of age) before I can have our last child. A pitiful reason, really!

diaper pin  I developed high blood pressure during my first pregnancy that did not go down after delivery so my doctor would not let me take the Pill. We tried several different kinds of protection, but didn't really like any of them, so we just didn't have sex during the "bad" times. Until one night when we'd both had too much to drink and decided that just this once it would be okay. Well, nine months later we became the parents of a healthy little girl. So my answer is . . . sometimes it just happens! When my children were 4 and 2-1/2 I decided I wanted a third child. After 16 months of trying I finally got pregnant and gave birth to another baby girl this past June. It just seemed like the right time. I didn't give it a whole lot of thought, just went with my heart.

diaper pin  I decided before I even married that I wanted two children, 3-1/2 years apart, and that's the way we did it.

diaper pin  I have 2 girls and they are 20 months apart. I knew before either of them were born that we wanted our kids close together, for sure two years or less. I'm in my early 30's so I wanted to get it done and over with, I'm not getting any younger and we wanted our kids to be old enough to be out on their own when we hit retirement! We were lucky it worked out that way, a lot of our friends wanted the same thing and are still trying to get pregnant.

diaper pin  I was very practical about planning my children. My husband and I are very blessed since it has never taken us more than a month to conceive any of our three children - so once I felt that I could cope with another baby and I looked ahead to see if it would be good for me and the baby if I was to get pregnant at that time we went ahead. For example: my first baby was very colicky and a dreadful sleeper so I did not even feel like trying for another baby until she was at least 18 months. We would have gone ahead then but we were living in Bermuda at the time and I did not want to have a baby in the middle of summer and have to tell my 2 year old that we couldn't go to the beach because of the baby! Also I had a Christmas vacation in England planned and I had felt very sick with my first pregnancy and I did not want to have to deal with the busyness of a holiday and Christmas while feeling so dreadful . . . so we delayed getting pregnant and conceived while on holiday avoiding my feeling sick and a summer baby! Number three was planned in much the same way! I would definitely advocate the 2 1/2 year gap - the older child/children are potty trained, may be in preschool a couple of mornings a week giving you time with the baby and perhaps most importantly they can talk about what is going on and can understand what is happening. I'm sorry to go on for so long - hope this is useful.

diaper pin  I think the second one came when all of a sudden I realized how big my first son was getting (he was 3). He now has a 16 month old baby brother whom he adores. Now here's the really tough question. When/if does number three come???

diaper pin  Nature decided for us. I had three years of secondary infertility. So there is a five year gap between the first two. Nature decided next time as well, got pregnant while on the pill. Two years and 3 months between 2 and 3.

diaper pin  We wanted our firstborn, a boy, to be between 2 1/2 to 3 years older than the next baby. This way, I wouldn't be taking care of two babies in diapers, with bottles, etc. Our son will be 3 in September, and our second baby is due in November, so he will be 3 years and 2 months older than his sister. He is now potty trained and able to help me with so many things, plus he's looking forward to seeing his baby sister!

diaper pin  Our daughter is almost 9 years old, and our desire to have another baby started when we realized we no longer had the "baby" to care for. We thoroughly enjoy watching her grow & become independent, and we feel the time spent was extremely rewarding. As she progresses into pre-teen and beyond, we will still have a younger child we can nurture as well as offer our daughter priceless insight into the ups & downs of parenthood. It is very exciting to have 2 children of such different ages yet the span isn't too long that there won't be any interest.

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diaper pin  By the time my daughter was four years old, I yearned for another bundle of joy. My daughter had grown so fast I missed not having a baby. Moreover, I am an only child so it is very important to me to have at least two children. Unfortunately, around the time my daughter was four, the timing wasn't optimal for a new baby because I was between jobs and attended graduate school full time. I attempted to conceive anyway, but miscarried the summer of 1997. Several months later I conceived again, but by that time, I had a good job and was finishing up classes. By the time I was a few months pregnant, I had my degree and 10 months on the job!

diaper pin  I always knew that I wanted at least two children. I didn't want my oldest to be an only and thought that even if she grew up hating her sibling(s), that could change when she got older. My husband was not as thrilled with the thought of having a second. He did not want me to go through another high risk pregnancy and the fear of early loss. He thought that we had somehow managed to achieve perfection with one child, so why tamper with it? It took a lot of heavy duty negotiations, including an unplanned pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage and a vow to try again to get what I wanted. My other concern was that there be several years apart between my children. I wanted to have my older daughter potty trained and in preschool and later camp so she would have the equivalent of a life of her own before it was taken over by the baby. As it turns out, my daughters are 3 years 2 months apart. My older daughter was potty trained by the time her sister arrived, she had just finished her first year of preschool and was going to day camp that summer (sister was born in June). This for us has been the ideal age difference. They fight but they are very close. My older daughter had decided that she is going to teach her sister as much as she can. She likes to think that she is the mommy and not me and boss her sister around and her sister does chafe under the rules. I know too many only children who have everything they could want and more and my daughter will ask me how come I can't buy her this or that just like her friends who are onlies have. And I tell her that she has something that they might never have--a sister to share their lives with. She likes that explanation. My brother once said that the best reason for having a sibling is that at least someone else will understand how horrible and mean your parents are. I think he was right on that one.

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