There is something a whole lot more nerve wrecking about having baby number two and a whole lot more comforting at the same time. As the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss,” and this is true, since for Jaxon’s birth, we didn’t know what to expect and just took it step-by-step. When walking into that labour ward the second time around, you get butterflies in your tummy and suddenly see your husband turn a little paler in his face :)) Then the excitement sets in…
But like it is getting ready for any great adventure, it is best to be as prepared as you can be for the whole birthing experience, whether you are having a natural birth or a c-section, and I definitely felt more prepared the second time around. My mind was more prepared, I was determined to do my best to succeed at breastfeeding and I made sure I was more prepared for a comfortable stay in the hospital and start to my recovery after birth.
I was not comfortable wearing the usual pjs in hospital, like I did the first time around when I had Jaxon, they are always too big on me and the pants are usually too long for me, being as short as I am. I opted for comfortable leggings and flowy cotton tops from Cotton On the second time around. In the week before Ava arrived, my mom and I also took a drive to Parkhurst, enjoyed a lunch at Vovo Telo’s and visited The Yummy Mummy store. I was so happy to find comfortable nursing bamboo camis and knickers that I could wear during my stay in hospital and afterwards at home. These are one of the best buys I made and went back for more in my first weeks back at home. I still wear them now and recommend you get your hands on a few if you can.
You can also order online: yummymaternity.com
I am also not a fan of the standard or “usual” nursing bras you find in most baby retail stores, so I headed to Bras and Things, hoping to find something better and more flattering, which I did!
With my bag packed with all these “pretty things” that would make my hospital stay and recovery a little more comfortable, and all the other “essentials,” I felt more at ease, ready and excited for what was in store.
We also had a very different and certainly more relaxed experience leading up to the actual birth. After my water was broken, we went for breakfast at the coffee shop downstairs, I went for a long walk with my mom, climbed some stairs to get baby girl more ready to make her grand entrance and even had a good cry with my mom over how it was the last day it would just be “the three of us.” My husband was organized in playing some great tunes in the delivery room, replenishing me and my energy levels with vitamin water and jelly babies, and making sure I had some magazines to read while we waited for the contractions to get closer together. I think the first time around, you are all just far too nervous to think to do any of the above. But if you are soon to have your first baby, try do all of these things! You will feel calmer, more in control and filled with excitement. The time will also pass quicker and before you know it, your baby will be in your arms.
It is a good idea to make sure you have your vitamins or an energy tonic that you can take in the days straight after your birth. In fact, that evening after Ava’s birth, I had some of my energy tonic. It might have been in my head, but I am so sure it helped me in my recovery. I still take it now everyday, three times a day.
Now as for deciding when to have baby number two, as some of my amazing readers asked me to write about, that is a story only you can write for yourself and your family. I don’t feel there is a “perfect age gap” when it comes to having your second baby, there are pros and cons to every scenario. I can only share my experience and our story.
We originally wanted a three to three and a half year gap but felt ready to try for baby number two sooner. Jaxon was two and five months when Ava came along. I really feel happy about the age gap as they will be closer in age than we originally planned and Jaxon has just adjusted wonderfully to Ava coming into all our lives. By nature, he is soft-hearted and kind, so he is very loving towards his sister and wants to involve her in everything. Just yesterday morning she was laying in my bed and he was playing with his dinosaurs. He brought one of the dinosaurs and put it right next to her face and said, “here’s your dinosaur, Ava.” He is fully potty trained, is starting to undress himself and even tries to dress himself. We can leave him to eat his breakfast at the table on his own if we need to be busy with his sister and he loves to keep busy with his toys in his room … things like these has made it all a little easier for us to focus some attention on Ava, without feeling like we are leaving him out.
We named Ava when I was around 18 weeks pregnant. We had two names in mind, and for some reason he kept saying Ava with such ease and so the name just stuck. Every time we spoke about his sister, every time he looked at my belly, kissed my belly, every time we took him along to see the scans, we would always talk about ‘Ava.’ So when Ava came along, it was like she has always been here from the beginning.
Going for round two is still happening for us in many different ways… the burping, the feeding, the changing of nappies and so on… but more importantly in getting to watch our newest baby grow from month to month. This is something you never get tired of and could keep doing over and over…
We have loved every minute so far and look so forward to what’s still to enjoy. xx