No, I’m not pregnant again. Yet. Just to clear that up! But we do plan on it sometime in the semi-near future, and I’ve been thinking about what I want to do differently now that I have some “experience,” so to speak. Some of these I planned to do the first time ’round, and life got the better of me, so I guess we’ll see how well my willpower (and memory) holds up during round two!
1. Plan! When we first decided to try for a baby, there was no consideration given to time of year, finances, housing, nothing. And I got pregnant so quickly there was no time for reconsideration! We’re actually talking now about what time of year we want to have another child, whether the finances are there or not, and where he or she would sleep, among other considerations.
2. Begin taking a prenatal vitamin, eating healthy and exercising before we even start trying. The first couple of months are crucial to a baby’s development, and many women don’t find out they’re pregnant until two or three months along. I want to give my baby the best start possible.
3. Enjoy every precious moment now with my son and husband.
With a second child, my time will be even more limited. I think there must always be a special connection with a firstborn, but I know it’ll be hard for him to understand why mommy can’t give him her whole attention all the time when we have a second child.
4. Take even more pictures! Remember to take a weekly “belly picture” – I was very inconsistent with this the first time and really regret it. At the same time, don’t forget to keep taking regular pictures of Cai as he grows and changes so fast into a little toddler!
5. Keep doing those prenatal exercises – especially Kegels!
They might be a cliche, but I can see now how they help. I’m a fan of Yoga and Pilates for relaxation and flexibility, too. Also, hopefully if I exercise throughout, I’ll drop the baby weight quicker and gain less in the first place. It’s a happy thought, anyway!
6. Sneak in every nap possible, especially if I’m as tired with my second pregnancy as I was with the first! I know this will be even harder with a toddler, but I promise myself to sleep when Cai sleeps, and ignore the death wails of dirty laundry, dishes, toilets and floors. They’ll survive.
7. Take time for me. I know, all you moms out there are laughing. But I’m serious! The only way to remain sane through the ups and downs and pregnancy – and I imagine this is even more true with a toddler – is to make time to “recharge” my spiritual, emotional, and mental batteries.
8. Trust God that He knows what’s best for both me and the baby, and let things progress on God’s timing, not mine. I’m not sure I regret inducing labor with Cai, but I’ll always wonder if it would’ve gone differently, been less painful or a little smoother, if I’d waited a little more patiently.
9. After giving birth, let the nurses keep baby in the nursery for the night!! This was a tip almost every mom told me before I had Cai, and I thought there was no way I could “abandon” my baby, and surely I would be a terrible mother if I didn’t want my precious bundle of joy right next to me every minute. Looking back, I realize that that’s the last opportunity for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep I would have for months! Of course, I’ll ask the nurses to bring baby to me to nurse (no formula or sugar water), but he/she is not going to sleep any better in the bassinet next to my bed than in the nursery!
10. Relax and enjoy every moment. Pregnancy is an amazing, life-altering time, and I want to appreciate each and every new thing, everything that’s different from the first time and everything that’s similar. Every pregnancy is one of a kind, and it doesn’t last forever, even if it sure seems like it at about 8 1/2 months! I think I may print this list out and keep it nearby when we decide that it’s time to try for another precious little one, to remind me and keep me on track.
Is there anything you’d add to my list, things you would do differently with your second (or third or fourth…) pregnancy? If you’ve never been pregnant before, what are some goals you have for your first? I’d love to hear your opinion!