Second time around, I am going into this whole experience with so much more knowledge than when I was pregnant with Baxter. And, well, knowledge is power – right?
I will not allow myself to feel bullied, judged or pressured into anything. I’ll have my tin of formula in my hospital bag if I’m having issues and my baby is hungry. I won’t question my decision for a moment. I will give breastfeeding a go but I will not allow myself to get consumed by bad feelings, pressure and the potential onset of PND.
I’ve come up with a few points that I need to remind myself of when times get tough.
Don’t be so hard on me
High expectations often result in disappointment. Be strong, stick to your guns and don’t allow yourself to get pushed around.
Accept help when offered, even if they don’t do it the way I do
I am the biggest control freak and I NEVER accept help when asked. It’s just not in my nature — I am always the first to put my hand up to help others but when it comes down to people offering help, I always say no.
Listen: Rebecca Judd reflects on what she learned during her pregnancies. (Post continues after audio.)
Have an open mind when it comes to breastfeeding
Don’t put so much pressure on me. Same as above; I am sticking to my guns, I know what I want and what I won’t allow. I want my baby to be healthy, happy and not hungry. If it all works out, awesome. If it doesn’t, well, I tried.
Don’t buy so much shit
So many clothes didn’t get worn with Baxter because I went crazy (everybody does with first babies, right?). At least his sister can rock them. The flip side is because we did buy so much crap for Baxter, we didn’t need to buy too much for his sister.
Enjoy those first few weeks
We know it’s going to be shit, so let’s try and enjoy them. It really is scary how quickly those weeks go so embrace the fourth trimester in a haze of sleep deprivation and hormones.
Try not to compare them
The births, the kids, everything. They’re two totally different children and will no doubt act it, so don’t be disappointed if one doesn’t sleep as well as the other (this is a legit fear as Baxter is the bomb sleeper).
Don’t freak out during the adjustment period
Baxter isn’t going to be impressed with the new family member (nor is the cat) so I need to give him time to adjust and come around to the idea that he now has this little bundle to help me protect.
It’ll no doubt be a bit shit for a while, but they will love each other eventually, right? Don’t sweat the small stuff; what will be will be.
Spread the love
Remember to give equal amounts of love to both kids. While the new baby is going to need lots of attention and will be very dependent on me, don’t change how I am and have always been with little B.
Don’t feel pressured with visitors
This got me last time. I knew people wanted to meet our new addition, but I put a lot of un-needed pressure on myself to keep the house clean and was still finding my way with establishing feeding, which didn’t help as I wasn’t comfortable with getting my boob out in front of friends/family in those hazy first few days.
Listen: You're pregnant, so now what? The Bump podcast looks at what to expect. (Post continues after audio.)
Take care of myself
Know my limits. You know your own body better than anybody and if things don’t feel right physically or mentally, talk to your midwife or GP. With a history of anxiety/depression and PND with my first, I’ll be kept a close on eye on this time around and I know what to look out for. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re struggling.
I know there will be plenty more that I’ve forgotten about and will learn on my journey to two under two (oh my God).
Bear with me while I learn to not lose my mind.