Baby resolutions and reflections seem to be going around right now. There was a post on API Speaks of 7 Resolutions for Baby Number Two and a fabulous list of things you should know before you have your baby (Must read #8!) on MiP. Sebastian is now just over seven months old and I can think of several things I would do differently with my next pregnancy and birth.
1. Gain less weight. As I have just hit the halfway mark for baby weight loss, I can’t help but think that this could easily be all of the weight. I intended to only gain 20 pounds during my pregnancy and started off well – First trimester nausea resulted in me losing weight. Cue the second tri and I suddenly had my appetite back. I also developed a cute little bump. I theorized that every extra calorie must be going straight to that round baby belly and that my fetus must be huge. In reality, Sebastian was born at 7 lbs 2 ounces and I had gained a total of 40 pounds. As fun as it is to indulge, it would have been more fun to eat less, work out more and as a result be more comfortable at the end of my pregnancy and happier with my body soon after.
2. Hire a doula! I probably would have ended up with an epidural either way, but I would have loved for someone to have stepped in first and suggested a birthing ball or the tub – both things my hospital birthing center provided. At that level of pain I couldn’t think to do anything other than pace the room and my husband was tired and freaked out. I did communicate well with the hospital staff and loved the way I was treated (with the exception of one strange nurse who gave me the reach-around to check my stitches post-partum) but someone looking out for my birth experience would have been awesome.
3. Buy post-partum clothes in advance! I don’t know why I thought I would be able to get out of the house with a brand new baby to go shopping of all things. The only things that fit me after baby were old pajamas and work out clothes. Maternity clothes do not necessarily fit after birth! I will not be popping out baby #2 without first stocking up on comfy nursing bras, leggings in a variety of sizes and cute XXL tops.
4. Have a blessingway. I first heard the idea of a blessingway on TFB blog and I love the idea, especially the idea of everyone bringing a bead to be strung together and worn while the mother is in labor (See hers here). I had two baby showers before Sebastian was born but I think that a blessingway is appropriate for every child (not just the first, as showers tend to be for).
5. Live tweet the birth! I didn’t want to tweet during Sebastian’s birth because I didn’t want to announce to family until he was born. In my hormonal state, I was convinced that people would show up at the hospital and bombard me with phone calls (despite the fact that I went into labor at 4am). Looking back, I wish that I would have tweeted and TwitPic-ed the whole damn thing. It would have been great to look back at what I was thinking and feeling during labor as well as to get some encouragement from my tweeps. (I do like that I saved most of the newborn photo posting until after close friends and fam had seen Zeb in person.)
6. Save more money for my Mat Leave. I am self-employed and (stupidly, so stupidly!) assumed I would be able to keep up with work while caring for a newborn. WRONG. Luckily we don’t rely solely on my income, but our finances are still reeling from that lack of planning. Next time around I am definitely going to begin building a solid safety net as soon as we start trying to conceive.
Overall, while my experience with Sebastian wasn’t negative by any means, for my next baby I will strive to plan ahead a bit better and try for a greater sense of community throughout my pregnancy, labor and birth.
Before you ask, we are probably going to start TTC for our second child when Sebastian is 2 or 3 years old. Ideally I would love to adopt a baby at some point if money allows. (Both my husband and dad were adopted as infants and adoption is close to my heart.)