Preparing for Baby #2

35 weeks pregnant

I am 37 weeks pregnant, which means any time in the next few weeks this baby is expected to arrive! Pretty crazy.

When people ask me if I’m ready to have the baby, my answer is normally:  Yes? I’m ready to not be pregnant, but I’m not ready yet to enter the crazy, sleepy world of having a newborn.

Um, not exactly an option at this point.

Because this isn’t my first rodeo and it was only 16 months ago that I was in the exact same position waiting for L to arrive, I know a little more of what to expect and am doing my very best to prepare for our lives to change yet again.

Preparing Physically

I really thought L would arrive two weeks late (as a lot of first babies do), so when she came a week early, I was shocked. We hadn’t packed any bags, there were baby clothes I still needed to wash, and our house was pretty dirty because I didn’t want to do any deep-cleaning until right before.

This time, I’ve been tackling so many home projects and cleaning chores early to get everything ready. Her nursery is all set. I moved L into her new “big girl” room at the beginning of July and am working on getting all of the baby clothes sorted and ready to go in the existing nursery. Since I’m having another girl, I have hardly purchased anything and plan to reassess her wardrobe as she grows since their birthdays will be opposite seasons.

Our freezer is full of meals and snacks for those first few months and our pantry is stocked with non-perishables. I even started buying Christmas gifts since I knew this fall could potentially be crazy and our budget may not look as nice with two kids.

I’ve prepared much better at work and a lot of the projects I’ve been working on are wrapping up or already nicely delegated to other coworkers. There’s still a lot of little things I want to get done in the next week or so, both at home and work, but if I went into labor today I would feel much more prepared than I did last time.

I’m doing my best to declutter the house, getting rid of junk we don’t need and be strategic about the toys and play areas we have so that L is entertained and has plenty to occupy her when the new baby arrives. I put up a ton of lists up in my kitchen and have slowly been checking them off each day. I still have a lot left to do, but plan to work my way through these cleaning lists in the next few weeks. In case you’re curious, here are the things I have up by my pantry:

^This weekly cleaning list is free download from Day Designer. It’s been hugely helpful to stay on top of the weekly cleaning tasks in our home!

^ I used this Simply Spring Cleaning check list to cover the deep-cleaning and decluttering tasks I wanted to get done.

^ I made my own lists of Summer Bucket List items (almost checked them all off!), some specific things I want to get done before the baby arrives, a list of foods to make for the freezer, J’s personal to do list, and then the menu for the week.

Having these lists visible in the kitchen has been very helpful in getting them done! I plan to continue to use the meal planning list, bucket list and monthly cleaning schedule in my regular routine after the baby is born, since those should be helpful to keep up with regular tasks.

Preparing Mentally

Mentally, the preparation has been a little challenging. I was naively ignorant of what was to come last time, but this go-round, I keenly remember all of the hard parts of having a baby and am a little more anxious as I approach her due date.

I’m not yet ready for labor (is anyone though?). Somehow this baby has to get out, and no matter the route or timing, there will be pain involved. Is she going to be early like L was? Will I have to pace at the hospital like I did with L? Will she come really fast or will I have time to get an epidural? These are all questions that can turn me into an anxious mess if I’m not careful.

I’m also nervous about my postpartum emotions. Those first few weeks with L were hard emotionally. Like clockwork, I would turn into an hormonal mess every afternoon and evening. I was afraid of being alone, yet no one could help me get out of my baby blues funk. It was awful!

I’m a little anxious about the newborn days, too, although this time around we know a little more of what to expect. Those early days are filled with so many changes and so much sacrifice. We have worked so hard at developing a routine that works for us now, it will all be disrupted soon with baby sister’s arrival. Nursing, feedings, swaddling, changing, sleepless nights.

I’m nervous how this whole two-kids-under-two thing is going to go. On top of caring for and managing a developing toddler, how will I care for a newborn?  L is still a baby herself, how in the world am I to care for the needs of more than one?

But for all of the anxious thoughts, there are so many things I am looking forward to.

That moment a baby is born and they place you on your chest? Pure bliss.

I know how deeply sweet those newborn days are. Very hard, yes, but so sweet, too. And they go so fast! This time I know there will be an end in sight: to the sleepless nights, the baby blues, and the newborn snuggles. We will eventually find our “parent sea legs” and get in a routine. I know this! It will just take some time. My job during is to just take the next step, savor every moment and enjoy the rarity of those early days.

Because I know how rare and precious these newborn days are, I want to simplify my life as much as possible. I am quieting down my life by saying no to commitments, unsubscribing from all promotional emails and reducing the people I follow on social media. Social media can be such a trap for comparison and envy, and I want to really protect and savor the newborn days by reducing as many triggers for envy as possible. So anyone who talks a lot about fitness or is going on exotic trips or is trying to sell me something, I am unfollowing or muting from my feed. “Keep your eyes on your own paper” as they say.

And just one last word on this topic: maybe my social media feed being pregnant or having a baby is a trigger for comparison and envy for you. If that’s the case, please unfollow me as well! No hard feelings over here. I know there are so many who long to be mothers or had a miscarriage this year and seeing pregnancy or newborn photos will just remind them of your loss. Social media and this blog is basically my baby book and one of the very few ways I can document these fleeting days when the girls are young, so if seeing pictures and updates is hard, please feel free to unfollow. :)

Most of all, though, I’m so eager to meet her!

I know some people wonder if they can love their second child as much as they do their first, but that is one worry I have not had with this pregnancy. I love her so much already and just know she’s going to fit into our family perfectly. In fact, the day that L was born I had a very strong sense that our family wasn’t complete and I had more children who I hadn’t yet met. (Maybe that’s why I got pregnant again so fast? Ha.) I’ve been savoring these last few days with just L as the baby and am so excited to see these sister grow up together.

With every kick and movement inside me, I wonder what her personality will be. How will she be like her sister, and how will she be different? I daydream about what she’ll look like and if her cry will be similar to L’s and if she will be born with hair and what kind of weather we will have on her birth day and what new joys this stage will bring. We will find all of this out so soon!

  • Vicki Dunbar

    I love this. My daughter is going thru the same thing as you, however, she does not have the same support like you, which saddens me, but I hope my being there for a month after the baby is born will bring some peace to her chaotic life.