Congratulations, mama! Deciding to have another babe is a HUGE and EXCITING step for every family, but it definitely comes with a whole new set of challenges. Being pregnant the second (or third, fourth, fifth...) time around can seem impossible, but by following a few tips, hopefully, we can make it a little easier on you!
Expect the Unexpected
So this isn't your first rodeo. You've got a pretty good handle on what you can expect when you're pregnant: bloated, tired, moody, sick, and a whole other host of glamorous symptoms. But just because with your last pregnancy you weren't sick until 8 weeks, doesn't mean that you won't be with this babe. Be willing to roll with the punches of this baby, and switch things up that aren't working. If you decided to go no caffeine with your first pregnancy, but are getting mad headaches this time around, don't hesitate to drink something that will give you a little relief. Even something like trying a different prenatal (or taking it at a different time during the day) can also help if you're feeling sick. Taking all of the physical and emotional changes that come with your new pregnancy, you have to add in the factor of having a little one to take care of at home. You'll be learning to accept the groggy, sluggish version of you during your first trimester, and accept that a walk to the park might need to be replaced with a drive. If you're getting yelled at by your toddler to reassemble the race track they purposely broke for a fifth time, it's okay to take a few seconds locked in the bathroom to get yourself under control! Probably. That's what I tell myself, anyway.
Take Some Time for YOU
Just like the the first time around, you need to make sure you're doing your best to take a couple of breaks during the day to relax and actually feed yourself a meal, and not just snack on Cheez-its that your kid decided to throw off his plate. Having kids at home and trying to find a minute to take it easy may seem laughable to a lot of mamas out there, and I totally get it! Our kids need our attention and love, and they make it very clear when they're dissatisfied when we slack. But be willing to change up your routine a little to make sure you're taking care of you and growing baby. Turn on your little one's favorite show, and sit them down with a snack for a few minutes so you can lie down and rest your eyes. Ask a good friend to babysit during the day when you're dealing with the
morning all-day sickness. Don't stress to make sure you've got a stellar dinner on the table at the same time every night, but cut yourself some slack and order pizza if you've had a tough day, especially if the thought of cooking any sort of protein is making you want to hurl. Get to bed as soon as the kids are down so you can try to get as much sleep as possible while you can!
Make Some Time for THEM
Try your best to make some time for your kids when you're having a good day. If you're not feeling sick, make a day of it, pack a lunch and some snacks and head to the park. If it's the weekend, take the whole family out to the movies or to the zoo. Do activities that show your kids that they're still important and loved, and that you're still their mama, too! Spend some extra time reading together before bed, or just snuggle and watch a movie when they're willing to sit down for 10 minutes. Getting that extra love in before the new baby is good for them AND for you. It's also a good idea to start introducing your kids to the concept of a new baby early on in the pregnancy. Start using terms like "brother," "sister," and "baby" often to make sure those aren't completely unfamiliar terms. If this is your second babe (like mine is), make sure you're explaining to your child that you're growing a new baby, and that soon they'll get to share their toys and have a friend riding with them in the back seat. The younger your kids are, the less likely they'll actually respond to any of this with recognition right away, but the hope is once babe comes they'll recognize what you've been jabbering on about for nine months.
Daddy is a HUGE Help
Our husbands thought that we were a lot to handle the first time around, well welcome to baby number two, darling! When you've been chasing around a toddler all day, and they've been loved, played with, and fed, you're not being a bad mama if you ask him to do the bath and jammies while you lie down for a minute. Daddies are a mama's best friend, and you'll be overwhelmed with gratitude when you see your main man hop up to your little one's yelps on Saturday morning, after telling you to stay in bed for a few minutes. Feel like you're having trouble getting everything done that you could when you weren't expecting? That's normal. You're going to feel like you're not doing enough and doing too much all at the same time. That's what your partner is there for! Let them know where you're struggling, and ask for help when you need it. Having a growing family means everyone is pitching in to make things work, so communication and love are key to making sure you, your family, and your growing babe are all happy and healthy!