So, when I wrote this we were over 39 weeks. With Baby #2.
How in the WORLD did that happen?!
I feel like I was just writing a post sitting in my old sewing room with the warm summer air blowing through the windows on 3 sides of the tiny room, about preparing for our first baby. Now there’s going to be two?!?
*cue animated hyperventilation emoticon* (They really need one of those).
These last 8 months have been filled with massive house renos trying to get ready for baby girl, (deja vu!) birthday parties, holidays, more major house renos, two different appraisals of said renos, two funerals for 2 of the sweetest in-law Grandparents you could imagine, lots of nausea, exhaustion, tears and arguments, inability to find a single girl name we liked, and finally at 37 weeks we bought clothes for her and at 39 weeks, I was still waiting for diapers to arrive.
*cue animated hyperventilation emoticon* (Again).
So what do you do to prepare for Baby #2? Here are a few things I’ve tried that might be helpful to you, too.
#1 Prepare your heart
It might feel like you can’t possibly love a child more than #1. Like, is this little one going to be harder to love because your heart is just so full from your first? Every Mama I’ve talked to with more than one has reassured me, (even without me bringing it up!) that just like the Family Circle comic, you don’t divide your love between your children, you multiply it. Instinctively. Calm your heart by knowing just like you bonded with and adore your first, you’ll bond with and adore your second too. It’ll be different, of course, because your time and attentions are divided differently now, but it will still be beautiful and so wonderful. 🙂
#2 Do a refresher on what you want out of your birth, postpartum, and for your baby
Are you having a home/birth center/hospital birth? Doula? Water birth? Do you want interventions or no? Do you want baby to have the Vitamin K, or Hep B shot at birth? Who do you want involved in your labor, birth, postpartum? Where or who is going to have responsibility for Baby #1 while you and hubby are preoccupied with labor and delivery?
We are planning another home birth, with our midwife and doula from our first. I do not want interventions, other than natural pain relief, comfort from having women there that have been through it too and the support of my dear hubby. There are many things that need discussed and decided ahead of time so that in the moment, things can go as smoothly as possible.
#3 Get ready physically and mentally
Do you have baby clothes, nursing supplies (breast pads, nipple butter, nursing bras/tanks, pump), diapers, burp cloths, pads for postpartum, and a plan for if you struggle with nursing, or postpartum depression? Make a plan.
I am nervous that I will suffer with nursing problems again and PPD, but at least this time I have an arsenal of info from going through it the first time. Checking for tongue and lip ties (and correcting them early on if so), cutting out pasteurized dairy, sugars and most importantly (for me) gluten, Angel Baby Nipple Butter, lots of rest, and high quality Lecithin for nursing problems, and a lot of the things listed in this and this post for PPD.
#4 Affirm yourself
You’re a good mama. You’re a good wife. You can always do better, but you’re important and needed just as you are. God doesn’t make mistakes. He’s blessed you with this baby for a reason and even if it feels overwhelming and impossible, ALL things are possible with Him. He promised never to leave or forsake you, and that you can do all things through the strength He provides through His Son, Jesus. Don’t fear.
I know there are a lot of lists out there more in depth than this one on how to prepare for Baby #2. I’ve gotten a lot of advice from other moms – put your toddler somewhere safe he can play and then sleep when baby sleeps, try to set a nap and bedtime so that you can have quiet time with the new baby while #1 sleeps, cherish the moments with #1 while #2 sleeps, etc. That is all important, but I wanted to touch on some other points. Mama, it’s so easy to discount and beat yourself up, especially with crazy pregnancy or postpartum hormones flowing through your veins (believe me, I know), but please don’t do it. Your husband needs you. Your babies need you. Your family needs you, and God needs you to do your part in the plan He has for you and your little’s lives. So, two points – don’t go building yourself up so much that you think you’re a goddess (you’re not), but DO make sure you know that you have an important place in this life and without you things would be very different.
So Mama, relax. Enjoy the time with your first sweet one, and enjoy the kicks and hiccups and growth of your second love inside. Cherish all the little moments, because they are so fleeting. And Mama, give yourself a break. Don’t push it, we only have this one life, these few moments with our loved ones. Enjoy them, love them, give them memories of a happy Mama and wife. I’m so in the trenches with you, trying to be those things. <3