Preparing for baby number 2
I'm over a week into my 3rd trimester and feeling all over the place as we start preparing for baby number 2. My emotions and to-do list couldn't be more up & down. I'm excited and anxious to be a family of 4. Some days I feel totally ready with everything we already have and other days I feel like my list of things we need to get or do just keeps growing.
Talking a little bit about this with so many of you has definitely helped me realize how normal all of these feelings are. It made me want to write this post because so many of you are dealing with these exact same ups & downs. Let's be honest, we're more ready than we were as brand new parents, but no more prepared than we can be with a brand new baby. Each baby is different and will come with different needs, lessons and experiences that you can only learn from as you go. That's just parenting in my eyes. Plus, now there are two babies and only two of you. Totally different ball game.
I have fear of the unknown (just like a did with Addison), excitement of the change to come, scared for our routine as a family of 3 being gone, but overall so so happy & ready to welcome this new life.
Emotions Coming in Hot
There are moments where if I sit and think about what life is going to look like in the next couple months, I slightly freak out.
When will I have a moment for myself?
How am I going to keep my relationship with Addison as good as it is now?
When do I sleep?
Am I ever going to be able to get any work done?
Will Addison like his baby brother or sister?
Is Addison going to resent me for paying attention to his brother/sister?
What happens if Kirby goes back to work at the office shortly after? (he's been working from home now for almost 1 year!)
I wonder if baby 2.O will sleep as good as Addison did?
Will breastfeeding go as smoothly?
How will Addison react when we bring the baby home?
The list goes on. I know in my heart all will work out. Faith & trust in God's plan is all I can have. However, I want to keep it real with you & share some of the many things that rush through my mind on a daily basis. You're not alone in your anxieties preparing for baby number 2. As crazy as ours days can be with a 2 year old little boy, we have a pretty good thing going. We've been living the same daily routine for some time now and it terrifies me for when the baby comes and the switch instantly flips.
When Addison was born, we felt so prepared until we literally got home from the hospital and all knowledge went out the door. You jump into pure survival mode and live minute by minute. It's a beautiful mess. Of course, I know we will get though this. As I analyze my feelings, I think I'm most nervous for not having those little moments to sit in-between the madness like we did with Addison. As he goes to sleep, the baby will need to be fed & changed (on repeat). Plus, someone has to entertain our busy toddler in-between making sure the babies survival needs & love our met. Even though I was exhausted with Addison as a newborn, I could pump and sit in peace for an hour when he slept. Knowing that our days will never end for a few months is extremely daunting.
Looking at parents of 2 right now, all I see our superhero's. Never ending, all giving, running on empty superhero's who somehow are making it all work into one daily schedule. Having faith we will be those parents soon, but also being real knowing it's going to be a big blackout for a few months as we find our groove.
15 weeks | 22 weeks | 26 weeks
Plans for a VBAC
I've spoken a little bit about this with some of you, but wanted to go more into details as I've had some emotions pop u over the past couple weeks. For those of you new to following me, our birth story with Addison went nothing like we planned. All worked out & luckily we were both healthy through the weeks to follow. As we move into a new birth plan that's 100% opposite than what we had with Addison, I've started to feel nervous & hopeful all at the same time.
Planning for a VBAC seems easy enough until you think about all the things that could go wrong. What happened in Addison's birth was less than a 3-5% chance. So even though the percentage of my uterus bursting is below 1%, I'm still freaking out a bit. I didn't really know my fear existed until a couple weeks back when I just broke down crying to Kirby terrified something bad might happen to me or to baby. I'm going for a VBAC confidently because the reason for my emergency c-section with Addison had nothing to do with me. I'm hopeful that with our plan to be at the hospital as soon as my contracts start compared to being at a birth center, will give me every opportunity to be monitored in case anything seems to be off with baby. Even with all that planned, I'm still weirdly waiting for it to all blow up in my face. I went into Addison's feeling confident & ready until everything fell a part.
I don't like to talk negatively about his birth story because I have a healthy little boy, I was in good hands and I bounced back from a c-section really well. However, being put under & on so many drugs, in & out of drowsiness the day my son was born is a mix of emotions to say the least. I've come to terms with a lot of what happened, but still question choosing a natural birth. Sometimes blame myself for not having an epidural and unable to remember so much of those early moments after he was born.
Going into this birth, I plan to get an epidural and hope for the best with a VBAC. If a c-section is necessary I'm excited to be able to experience it completely different with not having to be put under (even though I have this weird feeling of, "what if I have to be put under again?"). Fear is a really thing going into any birth, but being confident in your decision no matter what is so important. It will be such a different experience for Kirby and I with going to the hospital, getting an epidural and being monitored in hopes of giving birth vaginally. I made it to 8 centimeters with Addison. So we did go through a lot of the labor process together in a very a natural way, but it will be so interesting to see how this all plays out with it just being so different.
Preparing for Baby Number 2 To-Do List
I decided to add this portion on-to the blog post halfway to help you & halfway to help myself. I've done little things here and there to prepare, but plan to crack down the next couple months. We don't have a huge amount of extra space in our home so I haven't wanted to fully bring baby things out until we absolutely need too. Once the nursery takes form, I'll have that area as a storage hang out for the bassinet, swing, etc.
Start with the basics...
Prepare your bassinet & newborn sleeping situation
Finish the nursery
This is necessary for me. I know some people wait as most babies sleep in the parents bedroom for the first few months. With this being our second I thought, Oh, I will totally wait and just let me office be my office for as a long as possible." Yeah, no. I'm not that person. It's making me anxious with not having it done now let alone when the baby is brought home. I'm just someone who has things in order, maybe too much, but that's me. You need to go off your gut for what's going to make you feel most at peace when the baby arrives.
Go through all those baby bins packed away full of clothing and start washing.
I know this is going to be a project, but it's so important to look through what you have so you can be prepared with the things you might need to replace or rebuy. Wash all the baby clothes you have & make sure the seasons align. Maybe you had a winter baby & now are welcoming a summer baby - chances are you'll need some new newborn onesies to make work for the weather.
Sterilize the baby bottles and breast pump! Find a storage spot for them that makes sense in the flow of your kitchen and be prepared for whatever this new baby might need right away.
The night we got home with Addison was a total mess. He had been in speciality care and I was an over-producers. We never thought we would need my pump right away and had zero clue on how to use it. Being overly prepared for whatever God throws you will definitely give you peace of mind.
Buy new baby pacifiers
Clean out your existing highchair
Check your newborn carseat & get it prepped in the car.
Make sure all latches are still safe and clean everything out. Depending on the age range of your babies and upgrade may be necessary as most carseats are only good for 5-6 years.
Wipe down all the a baby toys and start to figure out/set up a system where they work within your home
Again, we have a small space. I don't want to take things out too early, but I've been brainstorming how things will be set up when the time comes. I'm sure at the beginning of April, I'll start bringing some things out to help get Addison used to all then changed instead of bombarding him when the baby comes home. Finding space for the swings, a separate basket for baby toys and all the snuggly blankets, burp clothes, etc. will need to make sense in whatever set up you have now.
Double up on a new monitor for babies room
This was actually the first purchase we made for Baby 2.0. We simply bought one more camera to add onto the monitor we already have. It's nice to know we can toggle between the two rooms easily. Some of my friends buy two totally different cameras for each room - you just need to do whatever works best for you & your home.
Add onto your single stroller or buy a double one
We have the Uppababy and bought it originally knowing we wanted to have more kids. It's a splurge, but we were happy with being able to add onto it easily whenever our family expanded. With having a baby right before the weather warms up, we plan to purchase the extra seat and extenders to add on. I've also heard great things about the Mockingbird stroller which is very similar to the Uppababy, but half the cost.
Do a refresher course on how to use your baby wraps & carriers
Amen for Youtube!
Sign you & your husband up for a newborn refresher. It can never hurt to sit through a couple hours of someone reminding you all the in's & out's of what's to come (again).
Pack your hospital bag
For us, this is going to be a very different bag. With going to the birth center initially with Addison, we were only supposed to be there 6 hours. We ended up at the hospital for 5 days! Luckily my little sister brought an entire bag full of stuff that saved us, but I plan to do lots of research in the next month to prepare my bag & will make sure to share! For all you first timers - I did a post before Addison sharing what I brought in my hospital bag & will still plan to use some of that! With having a c-section I didn't end up needing everything, but it's good to be prepared.
This was huge for us the first time! It was so nice having a ton of meals sitting in the freezer ready to go whenever we needed. Seriously can't stress this enough. If you do plan (or hope) to breastfeeding, let me tell you, you are hungry all.of.the.time. Having a meatloaf ready to pop in the oven is a saving grace. Simply search 'freezer meal prep before baby' on Pinterest & you will have plenty of options to search through. Also, use your extended family to help - most moms/Grandma's love cooking a meal for their kids & grandkids!
One recipe I can't stress enough if you plan to breastfeed - lactation energy balls or what I like to call, Booby Balls! I ate multiples of these in the middle of the night and you can easily freeze them! It's one of my most popular Pins & a super simple recipe.
Declutter your home
This isn't top of the list, but kind of! Another human is going to take up space. Get rid of things you don't need, donate clothes & toys, home goods - whatever you can. Empty a draw for baby bottle storage, etc. Catch on filing paperwork in your office or back up your computer with all those amazing memories with your first. You're going to need the space and not have the time soon enough. Be honest with yourself & realistic. It seems silly, but you'll thank yourself later.
Communicate with your first that change is coming & talk about it all the time.
We talk about baby sister/brother daily and Addison is as excited as he can be without maybe fully understanding what's to come. Communicating with him has been a game changer and he understands more than we know.
Of course, I'm not making one this time around, but you can check out the baby registry I made for Addison! We used and loved almost everything on it.