I’m sure many of you will be in the same position as me right now. Pregnancy through Lockdown. A very ‘different’ birth during Lockdown. And safe to say, I’ll not be doing it again during Lockdown, thank you very much!
But now that we’re settling into our amazing life as a family of four, I thought I’d just do a little note on my thoughts, and for those who are possibly considering bringing baby number two in to your world. Because, although it’s beautiful to sit back and watch my two babies together - and at times, my goosebumps have goosebumps – it makes me smile even more knowing we never actually planned for this at all!
In fact, neither of our boys were planned. Yes, we fly by the seat of our pants at times!! Finding out we were expecting our first was a bit of a shock. And then actually getting used to life with a little man in tow blew us away! Oh, and another thing - as soon as he had arrived, I was adamant that was it. I was NOT having any more!
But, you know, you soon get into a routine, and any strange pregnancy cravings are all forgotten! Sure enough, as the first 18 months passed, we started to notice our little man was watching other children playing together, and we felt a bit sad for him, being on his own. It was like he was missing out on something, being the only little person in the house.
We didn’t go straight ahead and think ‘now is the right time’. We just put it out there to the Universe (with maybe a hint of inspired action, of course!) and we are now blessed with his little playmate – all of us healthy and happy.
So, how about you? Did you nail it first time round? Was your first born that dream baby? Did you sail through your pregnancy and have everything planned down to the millisecond? Fantastic! And I am sure you will be just as organised preparing for baby number two. But I would still recommend taking some time to ponder on you, your life, your family and how things may change! Trust me, life with baby number 2 is different!
Preparing for Baby Number 2
One of the most obvious differences, which I’ll mention first (and clear the elephant from the room) is being tired! You are bound to feel more tired. And, if you’re like me, you’ll probably even forget you’re pregnant at times. Although your body is going through the same changes, you now have an existing child to add to the mix. You’ll be running around, feeding, entertaining, and thinking for that little person at the same time as going through the same flow of emotions, aches and pains and baby brain! You might have gone back to work and are trying to continue as you did first time round. Just call for as much help as you can – I did!
You will probably show earlier and feel the movements earlier than you did before. Your body remembers what it was asked to do before, which may make things easier. It’s just like ‘muscle memory.’ Listen to me! If I went to the gym more, I might really appreciate that phrase. But it’s what I was told, and I’ll go with it!
Don’t just assume that you know everything there is to know about the pregnancy and birth, just because you’ve been there before. Afterall, no two people are the same, no two children and no two births. I was a lot more laid back this time (and would have been even more so if it hadn’t been for a certain Pandemic!) and felt like we had it all covered. One of the benefits of the two so close is that there was less upheaval with preparing the house, nursery, baby furniture and baby ‘stuff.’
Oh, and another great thing about second time round is labour is nearly always shorter. Again, thanks to the body knowing what to do! But there is a little downside though, and that is that the after pains are a bit more err ... noticeable.
You soon forget any negatives about pregnancy number one though, and ‘Mum-To-Be Mode’ kicks in all over again!
How do you know when you’re ready for Number 2?
Like I said, it was more the feeling that our little man was missing out on a playmate that made us think about another baby.
Advice is not to go for it too soon though and, to be honest, I don’t think I could have done. Some do, but medical guidance is to wait at least 18 months. There’s something cute about having children close enough that there are 2 little people in the house with similar demands, who can entertain each other – in their own way! And I don’t think I’d leave it too long in between either, otherwise your life gets into a routine and even you forget how it feels to be doing night feeds and nappy runs in the middle of the night!
There’s just over two years’ difference between our two and I’m pleased we’re doing it now – it just feels right.
What and when to tell Baby Number 1?
Some friends asked their first child if they wanted a brother or sister before the deed had been done – not sure I dare! In the words of the song “kids say the darndest things” and one of my friends told me her nephew had replied he was “fine thanks. I already have enough toys to play with!” It always brings a chuckle, especially now, as he is the most adoring big brother to his little sister.
There’s no right or wrong time to tell them they have a sibling on the way. But I would say it’s best to leave breaking the news until you are through the first few months, just to be safe.
Who knows how they will react when they find out? They may want to be snuggling up to your tummy ready to feel those first precious movements, or they may feel left out and sad they won’t be the only child anymore. One thing’s for sure though, there will always be enough love to go around!
So, although neither of our boys were planned, and life with baby number 2 is different, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Having them both, with the timing we had, just seems to fit perfectly for us.
I hope you feel the same when the time comes, and remember, you’re never alone.