20 Sep Baby #2 Is On Her Way and Boy is it Different Than Before!
Wow! Is this pregnancy different from my first! Just the other day, I was walking into Shay’s school (Shay is my very active 2 year old) when a former student saw me and asked if I was pregnant. It actually took me a moment to remember and realize that yes, I am! I was concentrating on hearing about Shay’s new preschool curriculum so much that I almost forgot what other huge developments have been going on in my life. It’s not that I am not thrilled with the newest member of our family on her way, I just am not nearly as focused on this pregnancy as I was with my first child.
The first pregnancy was a time when my husband and I intently focused on my growing bump and together savored every moment. We had multiple trips to Buy Buy Baby and spent hours talking about what was to come. I also had a great deal of freedom in my schedule and the luxury to nap when I was not teaching and to take time for myself. Now, my time is divided between work and caring for my toddler. I’m realizing I’m not alone in feeling this way; as I talk to other second and third time moms, they help put my guilt to rest when they tell me this is just how it is after the first child.
I also start to think about life with two kids and get completely overwhelmed. At this point, my husband and I have gotten into a pretty good rhythm with Shay. Fortunately, he is a very structured little guy and wakes up around the same time every days, naps at the same time and has a steady bedtime routine. This has made daily life rather simple and predictable. But how is our new daughter going to fit into this routine? Again, I look to veteran moms for advice. They say the second baby just seems to adjust to whatever schedule the first child has created. Here’s hoping that is true!
Another aspect that seems different this time is my expectation of my impending labor. Yes, I am not even half way there – 18 weeks along to be exact- but I am already thinking about what is it come. For over a decade I have worked with the pregnant population as a Prenatal yoga teacher, labor support doula and Lamaze teacher, and I am blessed to have had many different experiences with what birth looks like. One would think this experience would bring me confidence. However, my personal experience has shaped some fears about birth that I didn’t have before. So, as I tell my students, look deep into your closet of fear, pull out the skeletons and really examine them ahead of time. Before Shay was born, I was pretty confident I would have the birth similar to the ones my mother had- fast and furious! Mine was anything but. It was a 42 hour journey to get my son out and 5 of those hours were pushing. As I recently told my midwife- the labor itself wasn’t that bad until my water broke around 8 cm, 35 hours into labor. The next 7 hours until I was fully dilated and during the pushing was like nothing I had ever experienced and was not mentally prepared for at all. Somehow, I was able to find a new level of deep determination and push forward to birth my son. With that experience behind me, I am facing the fear that this kind of labor experience could happen again. I have some work ahead of me to prepare for what is to come. Although, statistics tell us that second births (THANKFULLY!!!) are usually faster than the first.
For the past 12 years I have been immersing myself in the pregnant and postpartum community. In this time, I have learned so much from the generosity and teachings of students I have encountered. I would love for all the second, third, fourth time moms out there to share their experience and spread their wisdom. This is not just for my benefit, but for all the women out there facing this daunting change of another child coming into their lives.
Happy birthing to all!