30 November 2018

5 Things I Did Differently in my Second Pregnancy

My second pregnancy is over and Hadley has been here for three weeks (did you catch her birth announcement and one week update as a family of four?), so I thought I would share some of the things I did differently during this pregnancy. For me, although symptoms wise my pregnancy with Hadley was almost identical to my pregnancy with Willow, emotionally, mentally and physically, it was very, very different.

A photo for a feature on things I did differently during my second pregnancy


001. I USED A BABY JOURNAL AND FORGOT TO FILL IT IN
I decided that this time, it might be nice to fill out a weekly baby journal and I actually even bought one in the New Year sales well before we got pregnant or even spoke about having another baby. For the first 18 weeks or so I really enjoyed sitting down each week and filling it out, but then I started to forget or miss a week and filling it became really sporadic. I've tried to fill in the gaps with what I can remember, but I've definitely not been as dedicated to filling it out as I hoped to be!

002. I FOUND OUT THE SEX OF OUR BABY AND DIDN'T TELL ANYONE
We found out the biological sex of our baby at our 20-week scan and didn't tell anyone except Willow, my dad and three of my friends. We found out for Willow; we wanted to help her transition into her role as a big sister and felt if she knew whether she would be having a little brother or a little sister, know their name and talk about them as more than just a 'baby', it might be easier for her to understand and visualise how life might change, whereas she might not fully comprehend a baby she cannot see growing in my tummy.

We were, of course, overjoyed when we found out and I did wonder if I would want to shout it from the rooftops, but I have never had the urge to reveal it publicly - even though I was asked, frequently, over social media comments and direct messages. To us, the biological sex of our baby was not important. It did not change the excitement or love we had for them, we do not believe gender is important or something we need people to validate for us or our littles and knew if we announced the biological sex, it would be seen by the majority as their gender being solid and unchangeable.

That is not the belief system we hold, particularly myself, and on a personal level, I felt it'd be pretty hypocritical of me to make a big fuss of the biological sex when I champion gender equality and accepting all genders in society.

Don't get me wrong, I love watching/seeing 'gender reveals', but it's just not for me.

003. I DIDN'T FOLLOW ALL THE ADVICE
I didn't remember to take my prenatal vitamins every single day because when you're already running around after a toddler and working, baby brain on top of a busy life makes you hopelessly forgetful. I didn't sleep on my left side every single night, because my right side is way comfier. I didn't get my hospital bag packed early, in fact, I left it really, really late. I didn't 'eat for two'. I didn't take advantage of free dental care during my pregnancy (but plan to during baby's first year). I didn't apply my body creams and stretch mark oils, practically ever. Everything I felt was a 'must do' with Willow, I pretty much didn't bother with this time around.

004. I DIDN'T GO OVER THE TOP WITH BABY SHOPPING
I mean, I bought lots of cute new baby outfits and indulged in sale shopping, because although we are happy for baby to have a lot of Willow's hand-me-downs when it comes to clothes, bedding, toys and books etc, it is nice for them to have some of their own nice new bits, but other than that, I really didn't get pulled into the marketing ploys this time around.

It actually felt good to be able to walk past the latest 'must have' baby items or skip the popular 'baby events' at supermarkets knowing that I didn't need every product recommended and I didn't need to buy so much it barely gets used. That said, I do think it's fair to say this was influenced by keeping literally everything we had for Willow, as we knew we would want to grow our family and it seemed sensible to just pop everything safely packaged up in the attic 'for next time'; even if our baby had been a boy, they'd have worn florals and stereotypically 'girl' clothes.

005. I DIDN'T PANIC ABOUT LIFE WITH A NEWBORN
Even though I've struggled more with anxiety and depression during this pregnancy, I didn't worry about life with a newborn again. I didn't panic about how we'll manage, what we'll do when we're so exhausted and sleep deprived we're hallucinating or what we'll do if we run into any number of newborn woes.

Yes, we've been exceptionally lucky with Willow from birth through to now, yes, Hadley could be the exact opposite to what we're used to with Willow - but we know what to do, we know how to parent well and we are confident in our parenting. I don't have any worries about how we'll cope, other than getting the juggling act down to a good routine of toddler and newborn life in one, which is more just an 'OK, how are we going to work this out?' thought than a worry.

I think, in general, when you've already done this parenting lark once, it feels a lot easier going into it the second time around.

What did you do differently in your second pregnancy? Do you have more than two littles? I'd love to know much things changed from your first to your last!

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