This is all hypothetical, so I’ll just talk talk talk about how I plan on things to go and then later I’ll have to tell you what actually happened. BUT! Here is where we are with the thought process of the logistics involving a second baby.
When I first got pregnant the second time I was elated. It felt like Christmas. I was so happy. But then I also had crushing guilt. Kind of like the day we took Gabe for his first shots. I knew that we were driving him to the doctor, I knew that he had no clue at all. I knew that he would be shocked and cry, I knew it was something good for him, but I felt like a traitor anyway. Sometimes I feel like a traitor. Kamel and I made a decisions that will forever impact Gabe’s life and sometimes that feels really unfair. The pregnancy in and of itself completely changed Gabe’s little world because suddenly mom was on the couch a lot. Suddenly I was not fun or capable. I spent a lot of time on the couch. And Gabe was PISSED. He was mad at me for a while about it.
But! Siblings are awesome! Ya know, sometimes. And we’re doing a lot of thinking about being mindful of making sure Gabe does not feel forgotten once the newborn arrives. Fae will be bringing Gabe a balance bike, because she is SO thoughtful. And we have done a lot of prep with him about his little sister being in mom’s tummy. He knows her name is Fae. We have her minicrib set up in our room (photos of bedroom setups coming soon) and Gabe knows that it’s Fae’s cuna (spanish for crib). We show him her things, “This is Fae’s bunny” (thanks Sarah!) “This is Fae’s hat!” We take him to doctor’s appointments so he can hear the heartbeat and he asks “Fae coming?” So at least we are drumming up anticipation.
The plan for what to do with Gabe when I’m in labor goes like this:
When I start having regular contractions I will call my parents to either 1) Meet at our apartment if it is during the day while Gabe is at daycare and Kamel/Gabe/My parents will all meet us here. 2) Go and get Gabe from daycare if it is during a bad traffic time and Kamel just needs to get his ass home. or 3) Come and hang out at the apartment while Gabe sleeps if things happen in the middle of the night.
They will keep him for our duration at the hospital and MAYBE our first night home? Depending on how I feel, what time of day we have the baby, etc. I don’t want him at the hospital too soon because I don’t want to freak him out. I want it to be a happy thing meeting his sister, not a scary “What’s wrong with mama” thing. And to be honest, wrangling a toddler plus adjusting to a new baby does overwhelm me. I don’t know how I’ll be able to give each the attention they need especially in those first weeks. But maybe that’s just it – it’s the first weeks, the first few months, and then you figure it out, the baby is less broken, the toddler is less WTF-ing all over the place, and things get better? Either way, many have gone before me and seem pretty ok with it. So I have faith.
After that it’s wing-it central. Eventually the kids will share a room, probably. Depending on how long we are in this apartment. But until she is mostly night-weaned (down to one feeding perhaps), or until she out grows the mini crib (whichever comes first) she will be in our room.
When it comes to what I expect from my labor I have some ideas, but I am also very aware that anything could happen. Every baby, every pregnancy, every labor is different. How things went previously can only be a small glimpse into MAYBE what will happen the second time around. That being said what I HOPE will happen is:
- A fast labor based on my first being very quick.
- Not SO fast that I can’t get an epidural (and yes, I’m planning on it this time because the experience was so fantastic and I did not feel disconnected from it at all), but if that happens I know I’ll be ok.
- Vaginal delivery.
- The feeling of being NOT PREGNANT right after that is such an intense and amazing relief.
What I’m aware may happen is:
- A long labor because the world is mean and likes to remind you that you know nothing.
- Things happening that I do not/cannot anticipate. A complication with the baby, etc.
- The baby not turning in time (she is currently transverse, meaning across my stomach, not head down, but I’ll get more information on that on Friday at my next appointment) and needing a C-section. This I am, honestly, terrified of. And again I, honestly, would be incredibly disappointed if happened. Because my favorite part of this whole process is Labor/Delivery and this is my last I would feel like the universe was playing a mean trick on me, or making me trade a good experience for the girl I’ve always wanted. These are not rational and I know C-Sections can be just as awesome, lovely, meaningful experiences. Of course they are. But! It is something I’m very afraid of. Part of it is the UNKNOWN and part of it is being cut into.
I still have several weeks to go. And I’ll be chugging along, sorting baby clothes, gathering the last few things we need that I keep forgetting we need like nipples! and breast pads! And figuring out insurance stuff with getting a breast pump! I’m just a few weeks away from the every other week doctor appointments (Which is happening much earlier than with Gabe, but I’m cool with it). The end is near, but not so near. I wish it was nearer.
**If there are things I’ve left out, or if you would like more specifics please let me know. Photos of room set ups, how we are making space for another baby without buying any new furniture, etc. coming in the next few weeks.