This past weekend my San Antonio family threw a little baby shower (and by little I mean only 75 people showed up), and it made the impending arrival of baby number two feel just a little more real. It’s been a quick pregnancy thus far, so it doesn’t feel like I’ve had much time to prepare mentally for this transition. These days I find myself either feeling nostalgic for Cora’s newborn days, longing to hold a squishy little one again, or I feel a sense of panic that we are in no way prepared for this. My parents have always said that when it came to raising kids (which they did six times over), you simply rise to the occasion. I hope Orlando and I can make it feel that blissfully simplistic, but there are still a few things keeping me up at night:
1. I’m scared Cora will go through a tough transition.
While we’ve been trying to get Cora on a better sleep schedule, she still ends up in our bed most nights. Once baby’s here, I know that’s going to cause a crowded bed to feel even more claustrophobic, so I don’t know how Cora will handle getting kicked out. We received the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet as a gift at our recent baby shower, so I’m hoping that perhaps we can use that as a compromise between cosleeping and a crib. Beyond just the sleeping arrangment concerns, Cora’s attitude towards her baby sister has been suspiciously wonderful up to this point. She talks about her all the time, tells me she’s going to help with the diapers, and constantly finds things at the store that, “We need to get for baby sister.” What if her warm and fuzzy feelings dissipate when she realizes baby sister is taking up a LOT of mommy’s attention? Or that she smells funny on occasion?
2. I’m scared I’ll take forever to get my groove back.
With Cora, I can remember feeling like I was just barely emerging from a deep, dark abyss at the end of her first three months. It felt as if we would never go anywhere again, I would never wear makeup again, and my postpartum weight wasn’t exactly falling off. It was really a full two years before I seriously committed myself to eating right, working out, and taking care of myself. What if it takes that long again? What if I never get my groove back? Everybody says it’s harder to lose the weight after the second baby, but I think I’m more worried about just finding myself again, much more so than the actual pounds. It may sound selfish, but I want to feel good about me again, and I don’t want to wait two years to do that.
3. I’m scared breastfeeding will be a struggle.
I’ve written about my experiences the first go around and how we were still able to end up breastfeeding until Cora was two. But the first few months were EXHAUSTING from a nursing perspective. And I was never able to build up a freezer stash, so it felt as though I was trapped with no way to sneak away for a few hours unless we resorted to formula. I hope this go around it will be like riding a bicycle, and I’ll have the confidence in my own abilities to be able to provide nourishment for my baby without feeling like it’s a huge weight on my shoulders. I have already stocked up on lanolin, though, because that stuff (this is my favorite brand here) was a lifesaver the last go around. And I know I won’t be nervous to breastfeed in public like I was in the beginning with Cora. I’ll totally be that Luvs commercial mom (watch it here if you have no idea what I’m talking about).
4. I’m scared about how I’ll balance work.
With Cora, I was working at my old agency and I had the standard three months of maternity leave to relax and focus on the new baby. What nobody tells you about owning your own business is luxuries like paid vacation no longer exist. If I want to take time off, something’s gotta give. I’m making arrangements to have help throughout my first few months of newborn life, and I’ve made a conscious effort to only take on projects that I’m extremely passionate about. But I hate to think that I’m going to be feeling pulled in a million directions, all while juggling a newborn and toddler. I want to enjoy getting to know my new daughter, and I hope I can find a way to balance that with my career pursuits. I’m blessed so far to have clients that understand, and I just hope I won’t let them down. And I’m planning on babywearing like CRAZY for the “fourth trimester” as it’s called, so I may have a cuddly newborn on my chest while typing out blog posts and hosting conference calls. I have this Maya wrap that is already washed and ready to hold the most precious little bundle. The joys of a working mama, right?
5. I’m scared I haven’t prepared enough for labor.
My Birthing From Within book is currently giving me the side eye from my desk. It’s been sitting there since October and I’ve cracked it open once. By this time three years ago, I had read it cover to cover, journaled about my feelings towards the delivery, and put some serious thought into my birth mantras. I know I’m getting ready to go through the most intense workout a woman ever experiences, and yet I haven’t put in the time yet to get my mind ready for that. An all natural delivery isn’t something you want to go into feeling unprepared, so I’ve got to start scheduling some time in my day to focus on it, take some deep breaths, and start believing that I can do this again. Not to mention praying that it goes faster this time. If I have multiple days of labor again I might have a permanent eye twitch afterwards.
Those of you with two or more babies, how did you handle the transition? What scared you? What ended up not being a big deal, and what was a huge adjustment? Tell me!
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P.P.S. The photo credit for the graphic is here.