We are first time parents. Our daughter is 16 months old and we've had a really rough time since she was born. We had no idea what we were in for.
It really has just been a combination of difficult factors, I had a complicated birth, she was a colicy baby, we later discovered she had multiple allergies we didn't know about (We discovered at 11 months she had a dairy allergy, and 15 months she's allergic to wheat, peanuts and egg too), which caused constant discomfort for her and guilt for us for not knowing what was wrong, family being far away with little outside support, difficulty with our mental health, sleep deprivation, lack of her weight gain, repeated infections/antibiotics, hospital stays, etc.
The vast majority of the issues have been sorted out. We are in regular contact with our family doctor and paediatrician, dietitians, etc. We're getting mental health help and generally feeling better supported. We're finally starting to feel like we're not drowning and are getting enough sleep.
All that said, we really can't imagine having another child and doing all this again. We both wanted to have multiple children and this has just completely dashed our dreams of a big family. We really just can't face going through the past 16 months again. I see people with more than one kid and wonder how they do it.
I wonder if everyone goes through this and I'm just weak and bad at coping. I really want to have more children down the line and I'm just so worried that we won't be able to do this again. My husband really is adamant he doesn't want another child, and I am grieving the loss of our dreams for a big family.
How do we get over the bad experience we've had and have other children? How do other people do it?
I've seen some comments about us disagreeing on having more children, or me not respecting his choice, and I just want to clarify that this isn't the case at all. We both wanted to have multiple kids, and we are both reacting to this situation very differently. I am respecting his choice and if it remains that way in the future then so be it. Now is not the time for more kids or fighting over how many we have, and we both know that.
This question really is just about my feelings, coming to terms with what we've been through, and working through our fears so that they don't drive our decision making regarding more children. The relational side of things is not really an issue at play here.