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6 things I’ll do differently with my next pregnancy

Posted on | April 27, 2011 | 13 Comments

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.

Newborn Sebastian in his 'Coming Home' outfit

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.)


13 Responses to “6 things I’ll do differently with my next pregnancy”

  1. MummyinProvence
    April 27th, 2011 @ 4:16 AM

    What a great post! (Thanks for linking me up Mama … but still can’t find #9)

    I totally agree with watching my weight next time – that jar of nutella is NOT something my in utero baby “needs” and YES to the clothes!!! I wish I’d bought some postpartum clothes in advance.

    I love the idea of a Blessingway – it’s such a beautiful concept.

    I think I’d do some maternity photo’s next time – proper ones, not the snaps we took each week. I feel bad that I didn’t do it when I was pregnant with BiP … oh and maybe do a belly cast! I wanted to do it but then couldn’t work out what to do with it once I’d done it …

    Great post!

  2. Naomi
    April 27th, 2011 @ 5:49 AM

    I had 3yrs 1m between my first and second children. It was a nice distance I think.

  3. Tiffany
    April 27th, 2011 @ 7:42 AM

    I can’t even begin to think of having another! But I was a high-risk pregnancy (apparently I’m insanely hypertensive) & I had to do an emergency c-section at the hospital. If that wasn’t bad enough, through the entire pregnancy I had to watch what I ate. I stuck with mostly fruits & veggies as much as I could, but this girl loves her french fries, ketchup & cheese. I gained 60 pounds!! All that after I had lost 30 just before getting pregnant & had finally gotten to my goal weight & tossed away all my ‘fat’ clothes & bought a whole new wardrobe (which is still sitting in my closet & rotting because with this new birth control, weight is not coming off!!!)!! Frustrating! Also, I couldn’t tweet or do anything with my phone in the hospital, which was frustrating as well, because I had no signal whatsoever! While my entire experience wasn’t quite a nightmare, goodness, it could have been better. So thinking about another one??? Oy. You are a stronger woman than I am. :)

  4. Jessica
    April 27th, 2011 @ 10:29 AM

    Great post. I’m currently pregnant with #2 (due in less than 2 weeks!) and really the only thing I have done differently is learn more. I took a childbirth class with my first, but didn’t listen AT ALL, so when they took my epidural away from me with hours left of laboring to go I had no coping skills at all. I took a hypnobirthing class and I’m going to be using my mom as a doula – because I hate meeting new people, lol, and definitely would not feel comfortable with someone in the room that I had met only months before. But yeah, for those of you who aren’t socially handicapped, a doula is an awesome idea.

  5. Janine @ Alternative Housewife
    April 27th, 2011 @ 2:04 PM

    Haha, OK fixed that to say #8.

    We did a belly cast and my husband painted it. It still isn’t hanging yet but I am so glad I did it. It is one of those things I typically wouldn’t have gotten around to, yanno? Out of character for me to actually get it done.

  6. Janine @ Alternative Housewife
    April 27th, 2011 @ 2:07 PM

    Well, I romanticize the idea of pregnancy when really it was the peace and quiet and laying about that I loved. I have a feeling that pregnancy while chasing a toddler won’t be quite so idyllic.

  7. Maria
    April 27th, 2011 @ 3:22 PM

    Thanks for the insight Janine – more things I will have to consider when the time comes :)

    xoxo Maria

  8. Danielle
    April 27th, 2011 @ 4:41 PM

    LOVE this! I know there are a ton of things I want to do differently if we decide to have another baby thanks for sharing :D

  9. Erin
    April 27th, 2011 @ 7:51 PM

    I want to say that I wouldn’t gain as much weight but girl, I was soooo hungry all.the.time. No nausea here. I totally indulged and totally paid for it in how much I gained too. I think I would have been more assertive with my doctors though, as I think that contributed to my c-section.

    Your Seb is an adorable newborn :) I’m with you on the time between kids too. I’m deffo not ready right now, for reals.

  10. Morgan
    April 29th, 2011 @ 3:56 PM

    I love this post. At the start of my 8th month I’d gained just over 20lbs and thought I was on track to gain just 5 more, but I gained 20 more! I’ve lost all but 15 and I know it’s all the icky unneccessary icecream weight I gained in my last weeks. I would NOT have ate 3 bowls of icecream every day during my bed rest! I also would have exercised. I didn’t exercise AT ALL and I think it would have made me feel better.
    I’m excited for baby #2 because I was SO nervous during my pregnancy about my life changing, losing my identity, whether I’d be a good mom, etc. This sounds crazy, but I was actually afraid I wouldn’t love my baby! That is one thing I definitely won’t worry about next time!
    I think I have to write my own post inspired by this one. :)

  11. Janine @ Alternative Housewife
    April 29th, 2011 @ 6:18 PM

    Working out is a big one. I remember thinking it was too time-consuming, which feels like a fucking joke compared to the amount of time I don’t have to workout now that I have a baby. I was miserable my last few weeks and I am sure I would have been more comfortable if I had stayed in shape.

    I love your post! Your take on c-sections is interesting and forced me to be more open-minded.

  12. Betsy (Eco-novice)
    April 30th, 2011 @ 3:17 PM

    Yes, yes and yes. Minus the twitter. I had a doula with my 2nd (not my 1st). Best money I ever spent. I love your new comment profile pic (whatever it’s called). And your “EC fail” pic is awesome — except, if he actually did pee in the potty, I would call that EC success! Regardless of the spilt pee.

  13. 10 things I wish I’d done differently | Mummy in Provence
    May 5th, 2011 @ 12:50 PM

    [...] been thinking a lot about the past year. I was reading The Alternative Housewife’s list of 6 things she’d do in her next time which inspired me to make my own list.  Isn’t it amazing how hindsight is 20-20? I came up [...]

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