If you are reading this you are one of two things: Pregnant with number two or you are contemplating it. (well you could be neither and just love my blog posts )
I googled this a few times when I was expecting for the second time and did some ridiculous online quizzes that told me nothing. So I’ve come up with 5 questions we all ask ourselves when we’re thinking of having another baby or worry about when we are already pregnant with number two.
1) I already love my first born so much, will I love the second as much?
Yes! And ladies, your husbands worry about this one too. You will love this new little baby as much as you love your first, but you will love them differently. Loving them differently allows you to love them just as much. Once you birth your baby via section or vaginally, you will fall in love all over again with your wee babe.
2) My kid already drives me insane a lot of the time, how will I handle two?
It’s hard. I won’t lie. You will be exhausted and pulled in so many directions. My suggestion? If you have an older child that old enough for preschool, send them to preschool. If you have the cash flow enough to still do daycare, do daycare. I’m not saying to do this full time, but it will give you a much needed break a few days a week so you can bond with your new babe, and get a nap in.
But there were points when our oldest drove us nuts and I thought, OMG I’m going to have to do this again?…AND deal with another child? WHAT DID I DO?! But you know what? My oldest is my baby’s favourite toy, and the first time your baby laughs at your oldest… will make your heart melt. It’s worth it. Remember that if your oldest child is sleeping through the night, you will have to get sleep deprived all over again, starting over with a newborn is hard—did I say that already? But if it’s any consolation? My first was a very spirited baby (aka—he didn’t sleep, and drove me batty for the first 3 months) and my second is an “angel” baby. He sleept well from the get go, and is generally a low maintenance baby. Your life is also different the second time around, you’re already used to having no—or very little of—social life, I was also used to functioning on very little sleep. I coped with becoming a mom the second time MUCH better. The first time I questioned everything I did, this time, it felt natural.
3) How will my older child adjust? is there anything I can do to help them adjust?
There is no way of knowing. I made sure we read a lot of books about getting a baby brother/sister. I always told my son that there was a baby in mommy’s tummy and that in summertime he was going to get to meet the baby. So as the seasons changed he would ask if it was summer yet so he could meet his brother etc. We also made sure that when he came to the hospital to meet his brother that I was not holding the baby when he came in and I asked him how he was doing first and then introduced him to his brother after catching up with him.
I took the pressure off approach, asking my oldest if he wanted to touch/kiss/sit near his brother and didn’t pressure him when he said no. He said no for a good 6 weeks. I also made sure there was still mom and son time alone—albeit to the grocery store… My husband was also a huge help with my oldest, he made sure to still take him out and make him feel very special. All in all we had very little issues adjusting.
The best part of having two? My oldest son made my youngest laugh for the very first time, my little baby just LOVES his older brother—its all the entertainment he needs.
4) My labour was a horrible experience the first time around (for any number of reasons) will this one be the same?
To be honest?! I was empowered at first thinking my labour couldn’t possibly be longer/worse than with my first. Everyone told me that second time labours are MUCH shorter. LIARS! LIARS! I’m not bitter at all (ok, I’m lying), my first labour was 23 hours, epidural, episiotomy etc. My Second was 28 hours, no epidural, but both times I had second degree tearing. BUT I’m the exception to the rule. Most second timers have a fast labour, the second pumpkin’s second time was so quick, that she almost had her daughter in the ambulance, her poor hubby didn’t even make it for the birth—he was trying to arrange child care for their eldest daughter. But I also had a midwife versus OBGYN the second time—MUCH better in my opinion.
On the plus side? I recovered much faster than the first go around. I probably had the same amount of stiches etc. But I also wasn’t pre term, I had a midwife, and a private room! I was able to have a shower right afterwards and it was heavenly! I also took hypnobirthing the second time around and I had the opportunity to do a fear release exercise with the instructor because of fears I was holding to from my first labour. It really helped me put the right things in perspective.
5) My pregnancy was really bad last time around—will it be the same?
I’m a big proponent of “no two pregnancies are the same.” My first was uneventful and I had a horrible labour, my second pregnancy was event filled and I still had a horrible labour. BUT both kids were healthy. I was more active in my last pregnancy, went for more chiropractic treatments and I was able to have a drug free intervention free birth. I barely took my prenatal vitamins this time around (shhhh don’t tell anyone), I ate things I shouldn’t have (the dreaded hot dog) and my child was still ok! One thing different I did was take off from work at 35 weeks. I was scared that having had my first son at 36 weeks I was going to go earlier or at the same time my previous pregnancy. I basically relaxed all of my 36th week of pregnancy. And I really enjoyed myself those weeks off without baby and just “me” time. If you can do it, I’d recommend it. I was so relaxed and got to accomplish a lot of things I didn’t get to while working and the first time, having DS at 36 weeks was a surprise, we had nothing ready. This time I went into labour at 39 weeks 6 days, I had everything ready. It was perfect.
So the bottom line? It’s hard to have two, but the best gift you can give your oldest “baby” is a sibling. There is nothing sweeter than seeing them laugh and play together.