Parenting is a wing it – make it up – learn along the way – kind of role. There’s no books, no YouTube videos, no nothing to get you prepared for what you’re about to embark on. (Okay so there is but really.. no amount of videos or books are going to actually give you an understanding to how it all works.) You get sick of people telling you this and that because you’ve heard it all before. Then BAM it hit’s you in the face like a ton of bricks. And then some. Okay so I think it’s safe to say I might be petrified of having another baby. I’m so put off the idea BUT you never know – I might just end up with sprog number 2. I would whole heartedly do everything different if I were to have another baby. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing because Isabella has turned out a bit wee perfect. With that being said, I can be a lousy mother. I moan, I scream, I’ve banged her head a few times on the inside roof of the car, and might of told her to F’off when she wouldn’t stop crying one time. (In my defence, she was too young to even understand or talk so that’s okay right?) But the experience is something you just have to live through and although we’re all in the same boat, us mothers – we really aren’t. We all experience motherhood in completely different ways, some of us love it and can’t get enough. (The crazy kind) And some of us just don’t know how to cope. (Me as an example) But I’ve managed to keep a little person alive for 2 years so I’m still celebrating through the tears, the scars and the laughter lines. What would I do differently with baby number 2?
I was a glowing goddess when I was pregnant. For everyone that knows me, you’re probably sitting there thinking, hang on a minute no you wasn’t. Well I look like an idiot right now. I felt glowing, my hair was growing faster than ever and my skin was clear. Next time round I definately would eat more and look after myself ALOT more. So the ‘eating for two’ is a complete fob-off. You’re not eating for two but I weren’t even really eating for one. and boy did I know about it. I didn’t feel hungry for months and as soon as I gave birth, I wasn’t feeling very well for a while after. My iron levels went downhill, literally. I almost was at the point of pre-eclapsia (And yes this normally happens before birth) I lost almost 2 stone during my pregnancy. Apart from that, I went by the book. I didn’t drink any apple juice (two words – projectile vomit) and felt very happy actually. Towards the end I did push myself a little hard so I would definately go more easy next time and spend a little time on myself – pampering and taking things slow.
Well now I know how it all works, from midwife appointments to the hospital, it would be a piece of piss. Ha, no I don’t think it would be any easier. I was lazy and had no energy to push so I cheated a little. Next time around I would completely take every moment in, maybe not take so much of the gas and air in though, because that got me high as you like. I loved the birthing pool, but now every time I have a boiling hot bath I have the urge to push. PLEASE tell me it’s not just me? Anyway, I kind of just wanted it over and done with – and due to almost passing out, I completely forgot Isabella was in the room for a few minutes after. I wouldn’t want that to happen. I want to cherish every second and take it all in. Then just sit there and stare at my newborn for hours after.
So I like to make out I made proper effort to try breastfeeding but the truth is, I didn’t want to at all. My maternal instincts took so long to kick in, she was latched onto the bottle before I could convince her otherwise. It broke my heart a little, because I thought that my maternal instincts may have kicked in if I just pushed myself. But it was so overwhelming that I needed my partner to do most of the feeds as I spent most of my time crying. Bobby actually taught me how to make formula and it took me 2 weeks to understand it. Also, any excuse to eat healthy for the boob.
Learn the basics
I looked at a few videos in my last few weeks of pregnancy, like how to change a nappy and how to make a bottle (still didn’t grasp this for what seemed like forever). And I couldn’t for the life of me understand why a baby would sometimes be in a vest AND a sleep suit and then other nights just a sleep suit. I know it’s obviously to do with being warm enough but I mean, I wouldn’t wear a vest with pyjamas. I just didn’t understand it. So I’d like to actually know my stuff when it comes to baby number 2.
I’m still yet to cook more. HOW embarrassing. I hated it from day one. I sat there wishing Isabella’s life away because I was SICK of powder, sick of boiling water and sick of sterilisation every 2 hours. I just wanted her to start on the solids! And then when it came round, I just wanted to hide under the bed until she was old enough to reach the cupboard and feed herself. I don’t know what it is about cooking, but it scares me. So yeah, I probably won’t cook more, they’ll be lumbered with what Isabella went through, sorry about that. That, or I hire a nanny.
Wishing her life away
That brings me to this point. I think we are all guilty of this. I used to say I wish she could sit up, I wish she could crawl, walk, talk and then call me mummy. And now I’m like ‘ please stop calling me for one god damn second!’ I don’t wish for her to be any older but I always seem to say ‘I wish, I wish’ which is something I definitely need to stop. It’s not until she’s going to school, I’ll realise that she’s growing up too fast.
We were pretty lucky in that Isabella never wanted to sleep in bed with us. The odd time I’d fall asleep with her on my chest and because she woke up every 2 hours on the dot, we were VERY exhausted parents. I was extremely worried Bobby would end up flattening her because that man wouldn’t even wake up through a hurricane. She managed to stayed in her Moses basket until 4 months until I couldn’t take it any longer. She hated it. Next time I would definately have a ‘next to me’ style crib. That as well as a sleepyhead and all the other expensive stuff that never bought the first time round.
Why oh WHY did I not have a sling?! I had a baby-carrier, which even at 4 months seemed Isabella to just hang out of it. I don’t think I was heavy enough to have her hanging off the front of me to be quite honest. The slings look much more comfortable and stable and I definitely think you could run a marathon with a baby strapped to you in one of those, what do you reckon?
I hate baby groups, always have done. but I think thats because I never gave them a chance. I didn’t want to hang out with the mums who just ranted about themselves and how their partner has a 9-5 in the city, so they can stay at home and feed their baby with organic bananas and go out for afternoon tea most days. theres nothing wrong with that, but thats just not me. I also didn’t want to just compare my child to someone else’s, I wanted to meet friends that wanted to talk about where they got their nails done and what tan they like to use – things that you talk about before you’re a ‘mum’.
I wish it was as easy as ‘not having postnatal depression second time around because I’ve decided I don’t want it’. These things creep up on you even when you do expect it. Becoming a mother with depression and then experiencing postnatal depression on top of that, was the hardest most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows now, don’t get me wrong but it has got a whole lot easier. I really hope that next time round, postnatal depression won’t be joining me. It’s hard to say, because my depression hasn’t fully gone away so who’s to say that PD won’t come back. I think that’s what scares me the most about having another baby. All I can do is stay strong, focused, positive and hopefully it won’t be joining me second time round. If it does, I’ll be ready. It won’t be easy but with the support of family and the knowledge I have gained with Isabella – I’ll be ready.
This of course is a hypothetical baby based on my journey with my first baba. There is no pregnancy announcement here, sorry!
What would you lovely lot do differently/have changed? Would love to know in the comments!