Thoughts on Having my Second Child

35 weeks pregnant

I am 36 weeks pregnant, which means sometime in the next month Baby Sister will be here!

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 definitely not ready to go into labor. And for those who suspect they may be infertile, check out this content to learn more about infertility, its causes, and available solutions.

Um, not exactly an option at this point.

Since this isn’t my first rodeo, I know a little more of what to expect, both the very good and the very hard. If you have symptoms of chlamydia or gonorrhea, Pregnancy Resource Center in Portland is a place to get STI testing done.

First, the Very Hard:

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 nervous about my postpartum emotions. According to 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 also anxious about the newborn days. They 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 here’s the Very Good:

Since this is my second go-round, I know a lot more than I did the first time.

That moment a baby is born?

I know how deeply sweet those newborn days are. They go so fast. 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. I need to remember that my job is to just take the next step, savor every moment and enjoy the rarity of those early days. They are so sweet and go by so fast!

I’ve been doing a lot of nesting lately, both mentally and physically.

Physically, her nursery is all ready to go! 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.

I’m doing my best to declutter the house, getting rid of junk we don’t need and being 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. We even rented a dumpster to help with the decluttering process here. Our freezer is full of meals and snacks for those first few months and I am organizing everything at work for when I take my maternity leave. I even started buying Christmas gifts to help with the fall craziness!

I’m also doing a lot of mental nesting. Because I know how rare and precious these newborn days are, I want to simplify my life as much as possible. I am 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.

Instagram story tip: If you hold down a profile in the IG story line up, you can “mute” their story so that you don’t unfollow the person, but aren’t going through their videos with the others.

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, 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 know there’s so much to love. With every kick and movement inside me, I wonder what she is going to look like, what is personality? How will she be like her sister, and how will she be different?

I can’t wait to find out!

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