My mother-in-law and I were talking yesterday about how different it is when you have your first baby as compared to your second baby.
Now, obviously, I haven’t actually had a second baby yet. We lost Riley early on in the pregnancy, and while Riley holds the “second baby” spot in my heart, Chelsea will be the second child I actually get to bring home.
But even not having her yet, it just feels different. I’m insanely excited to meet her, to match a face to the little ball of punches and kicks and twists and squirming that I feel on a daily basis. That’s the same. But everything else feels different.
I know what I really need and what I don’t. Diaper Genie? Nice, but not necessary. Wipe warmer? Briana lived without it. Baby powder? Nope, doctor says not to use it. Butt Paste? BUY TEN! So much if the advertising and marketing I see aimed at pregnant women makes me smile, because I remember fretting over what I actually needed and what I didn’t, and ending up registering for EVERYTHING in hopes that someone more experienced in the world of motherhood would figure it out for me.
I know what to expect during labor. I know I will survive labor. I know that I will forget the pain the moment I make eye contact and feel that little baby in my arms. I know that once I meet her, the world will fall away for an hour or more, and I will drink her in and love her and promise her the moon.
I know more than I did when I was pregnant with Briana.
I know that breastfeeding was a struggle the first time, but I also know that I have learned a lot and done a lot of research and created a breastfeeding support network for myself for this next go-round. I know that it’s what I want to do, and I am determined to make it work. I have armed myself with any and all knowledge that I can, and I am prepared in a way that I wasn’t the first time. I’m ready. I’m expecting difficulty but have a plan in place to push through it!
I know how to be a mom.
When I brought Briana home, I had never cared for a newborn, or even for a baby less than about 8 months old. I had held a newborn for maybe twenty minutes at a time, a few times in my life. I hadn’t ever changed a girls diaper. I didn’t know how to calm a fussy baby. But I learned so quickly. It just felt natural. And now, with another on the way, I am not frightened of bringing my baby home. I am confident and capable. I’m feeling very…powerful…in my role as a mother. I feel like being a mother is just what I was always meant to be.
I am a bit nervous about how Briana will receive her sibling, but I think that’s a normal worry, and I’m also confident we will handle the transition in whatever way we need to in order to make it work!
Another conversation my mother-in-law and I have had a few times is about the actual labor process. How, the first time you’re so scared, you just agree to what the doctors and nurses tell you to do without much argument, even if you don’t feel 100% confident that is the route you want to go.
I was happy with my hospital birth. I felt like I was well-taken care of. But the more I talked to other women and read birth stories and did research, the more I realized that although I had been happy with my birth experience, it wasn’t the experience I wanted for my second. I needed something different.
I have also become very disenchanted with my current OB. I don’t feel respected by him, I don’t feel listened to, and I feel very much as if I am being treated as a child. So I am switching providers, and also (pending a consultation on the 11th) going to a birth center and giving birth with a midwife instead of at the hospital with an OB.
I am very excited. It just feels right. I feel like I deserve to be listened to and treated with respect by the person I have chosen to provide care for me and my unborn child. I am not a child to be chided and shamed, I am a woman who has done all this before and is just looking to know that I and my baby are healthy.
Anyway… Rant over I suppose. I will keep you all posted about the birth center and midwife.
But in the meantime, just know, I’m feeling ready to bring the newest member of family into the world, ready to bring her home, and ready to expand my heart to make room for her.