You’ve probably been following my motherhood journey for the last 3 years. If not, here’s an update: I’m pregnant again. I’m due in September and I’m very excited about this because I now know what to expect. I learned a lot going through it the first time and I wanted to share what I’m doing differently (and not so differently) this time around. Please keep in mind that I am trying to have a natural birth with the least amount of medical intervention.
I’m not finding out the gender of the baby… again.
To my surprise, nothing has been a magnet of opinion like the fact that I am not finding the gender of our baby. My reasons are purely based on the fact that it is a huge motivator during labor and in fact did cut my labor time significantly. Not to mention the fact that, while the tech doesn’t confirm or deny what I think, I have a strong intuition on what I’m carrying. I call my baby by his/her name and bond with baby just as much as someone who knows for a fact what their baby is. I’m not completely in the dark as it seems. And I love that! I love the mystery of birth because it parallels my faith. So yeah, you can totally do it. You may not want to and that’s ok, but it’s not hard.
I’m only reading one book.
Last time, I read a few books on pregnancy, including the classic “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I found that the most helpful resource was a book recommended to me by my friend Ashley called, “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth“. It gives you a balanced perspective on childbirth with plenty of stories from other mamas as well as information on what happens to your body during birth. I’m not going to lie, Ina May is a pioneer on Midwifery so a lot of it is very “earthy” and “hippie” because she’s been doing this since the 70’s. However, her insight proved to be invaluable when it came to my first birth. I knew exactly what was going on, despite of my first birth being in the hospital. In my opinion, this book has everything you need to prepare your mind and body for birth.
Some of the wisdom I received during my first pregnancy was to explore chiropractic care. Many women swear by this as it lowers the possibility of having a C-section because it helps baby to get (and stay) in an optimal birth position. Having my hip & back adjusted on a regular basis has a positive effect on me. I’m able to move with ease because of it.
Hypnobirthing is a method of pain management during labor. It involves a mix of visualization, deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. I didn’t do any kind of method last time, I just embraced it when the time came. I had been interested in hypnobirthing but thought it wasn’t going to work for me until my friend Maria raved about it. This course goes hand in hand with the practical advice from Ina May’s book so it has been a perfect companion.
Less is more
When you do a baby registry for the first time, you are easily overwhelmed by everything that’s out there. And truly, you never know what you’ll need. This time around, I want my house to not look like the baby section at Target so I have minimized what we registered for this baby. We already have the things we really need so now it’s a matter of stocking up on diapers, wipes and baby care items (think body wash, lotion, etc..). We even downsized to a mini crib instead of a full one.
I’m focusing on the healing
I worked through my pregnancy and postpartum recovery with our daughter. I was so focused on bouncing back quickly that I neglected to embrace the weeks of healing. This time around, I’m taking a maternity leave and actually looking forward to doing nothing for the first week except to be with my baby. I’m not going to rush the process. I want to be present and to give myself attention while my body heals.
We are preparing our toddler for the change
And perhaps one of the most important things this time around is helping our toddler transition to becoming a sister. I did not grow up with siblings so this is foreign territory for me but I am optimistic that I will cultivate a friendship and bond between my children that will be inspiring. I’ve heard amazing tips on how to approach the first time they meet as well as how you divide the attention as a parent. But most of all, I know Alana was made to be a sister and she will blossom because of this new addition.
Baby Sign Language is a must
I absolutely enjoyed teaching Alana how to sign. It laid the foundation for communication and I only knew the basics like “eat”, “drink”, “more”, and “changing your diaper”. I would sign whenever I was doing the action after 4 months of age. She started signing back at me at about the 6 month mark. I credit this to the fact that she started talking early and even at 2 years of age, she has a wide range of vocabulary knowledge. I will most likely start signing sooner than 4 months to see if this baby picks it up earlier. I highly encourage mamas out there to try this out! It will make such a difference when your baby knows how to communicate needs before they can talk.
Baby is coming any day now! If you have any advice or suggestions to help us prepared for another baby, leave it in the comment below. Hearing from you makes my day!