When I was pregnant with Haines I pretended I was flexible on baby things but in reality I had my heart set on doing things a certain way. If you asked me if I was planning to breastfeed, I would say “Yes, if I can” but mentally I was screaming “I’ll be devastated if I can’t.” Now that we’re less than 3 weeks from welcoming baby #2, I’ve been thinking about the things I want to do differently and hope to do again.
This time I plan to…
Communicate more // I struggle very hard with communicating my needs. When pregnant and postpartum I struggle even with identifying my needs. These last few weeks I’ve felt at times I was struggle with all my many intense mama emotions, but when asked what I needed, I had no answer. It’s hard not to anticipate my hormones preparing to go out of whack and just how intense I will be feeling in the coming weeks. I’m not sure how I’m going to improve in this area but I am going to try to be proactive as much as possible with sharing all my craziness so even if I can’t identify what I need, maybe someone else can!
Have formula on hand // Yes, I want to breastfeed again. Yes, I would love to exclusively breastfeed for the first 12 months. But with two babies and work and life and sanity I plan to have a can of formula on hand. Supplementing with formula may allow me to breastfeed for longer. Knowing that Haines could be a healthy, happy formula-fed baby means knowing that I don’t need that pressure on myself.
Let’s be honest, I’m mainly into breastfeeding because it’s free anyways. I hope to start pumping fairly early, like week 2 as I did with Haines and will be slightly more aware of freezer stash this time around. I really like the freedom of being able to leave the baby with even if just for a short while and not worry about any feeding.
Try to get out of the house more // When I was on maternity leave with Haines, I always intended to get out of the house every day but it didn’t often happen. When it did, I felt infinitely better. I’m hoping as I will come into this maternity leave knowing how to survive baby outings, I will brave them more frequently. My tendency to isolate myself is a habit I have to break!
Ask for help // It is incredibly hard to ask for help. For the last three years I’ve been pregnant, a new mom or pregnant with a toddler and I haven’t felt very able to help others. Mentally and physically I’m out of whack and working with limited resources and it’s made me hesitant to reach out to anyone when I need a hand as I feel like I can’t repay it. I’m trying to get over that.
It’s hard to remember that this time is temporary and I have the potential to be a genuine, contributing member of society and my friendships again!
What I’ll do again (hopefully)…
Sleep train // We weren’t super intense about sleep training baby Haines but we started a few things early on and have stuck with it. Haines had a bed time routine pretty early on. I don’t want to make anyone jealous but it involves my beautiful singing voice. Now Haines tries to sing along with me which makes my heart explode. (He also stops singing mid-song to say, “Haines sing. Mama sing.”) Between 6 and 7 months we did a long weekend of cry it out. Cry it out blows but Haines has been sleeping through the night ever since. Hell yes.
Cloth diapers // I would really like to make it 12 months with baby #2 in cloth diapers. We’ll start the first couple weeks in disposables but then hopefully switch to a diaper service after that. Haines was in cloth about 90% of the time for his first 15 months. I’d love to do all cloth all the time but I do feel like using cloth at least some of the time helps minimize our environmental impact.
Make our baby food // Haines rarely ate store bought baby food when he was little. He pretty quickly transitioned out of purees regardless. This new little dude will obviously dictate what he’s into but making our own food wasn’t that hard and saved us money. I just got to be honest, I just liked making it.
Worry way more than necessary // Although I’m hopeful I’ll be way less stressed out as a second-time mom, I know I’ll still be a nervous nelly. Once we get through the first few weeks and I no longer have to be concerned about sepsis, that will be a big help. Still, every runny nose and cough are hard to be cool about when they come from such a tiny being.