The Logistics of Two

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.

17 thoughts on “The Logistics of Two”

  1. As the older sibling I have honestly never, ever considered my parents choice to have a second child as unfair. Even when I put my adult brother up for sale on Twitter on Saturday. Mike is part of me and my life would be completely different (and probably less complex*) without him.

    *Obviously caveat that enfants unique such as yourself have incredibly rich families lives. Just different.

  2. I am the oldest of 6 siblings…. my mom was a happy woman having kids!! no hard feelings… it is part of someone’s nature.

    Everything is going to be just fine 🙂

  3. My second baby was (giant and) also transverse until near the end, and it was *awful*. Literally thought my abdomen was going to split open until he moved. I did try one of the suggestions from the spinningbabies website, and he did move that first night. Come to think of it, that’s when he moved from head up to transverse. In any case, I hope your baby girl moves sooner than later. I know besides being physically painful, it was stressful because of the added “threat” of a c-section I didn’t want.

    And yes to: “it’s the first weeks”…”and things get better.” Mine are 23 months apart and, though I have no recollection of that early time beyond what’s in photos, I suspect that’s how we did it. They alternately play and bicker now at 2.5 and 4.5, but truly I don’t know what they’d do without each other. I’m so excited for you to see that sibling bond between yours. It’s really amazing to watch.

  4. I am the oldest of four and my younger sister and I are only 15 months apart. I don’t remember life as an only child and never felt like I was being cheated or it was unfair that I had siblings. (Although as a preteen I used to have this fantasy that my parents divorced and I went to live with my dad and everyone else lived with my mom. But that’s just life as a dramatic preteen).

    It sounds like you guys are as prepared as you could be with all the not knowing!! Do you feel you are more prepared for helpless-infant-newborn time? That it’s going to be easier bc you’ve done it before or harder bc of having a toddle??

    1. I feel like we succeeded so well the first time because I went into newborn timez expecting to be tired all of the time, expecting to have a few shit months and knowing absolutely nothing else. So we completely adjusted to what Gabe needed with 0 parenting hopes and dreams or tactics, and no clue how anyone else did it. THAT BEING SAID, I’m nervous that even though I’m trying trying trying to remember that every baby is different, I fear we’ll go in like “oh we know how this works” and then we’ll get a baby with colic or one that never sleeps or with some reflux issues or or or or and I’ll be totally thrown! Because we had an amazing system that worked… for… Gabe. And it’s human nature to fall back on what you know and what worked, except it’s totally irrelevant. :/

  5. I was six years old when my brother was born, so old enough to have a taste of the sweet only-child life and to treat my baby brother like he was a very fat, bald doll. With the big age gap, we didn’t always get along while growing up, but we are very close as adult and I absolutely love having a sibling. It never even crossed my mind that my parents were being unfair to me by having a second kid. Even if things aren’t always smooth for Gabe & Fae, in my micro experience it’s totally worth it in the end!

  6. I was about to tell you C-sections are not so bad, because they are not… and then I got to the part about them being awesome lovely experiences and I snarfed my water, because I wouldn’t go that far 😉 But seriously, I was terrified about them, and they’re actually not really scary at all. In case it comes up, remember that feeling like you have control is—studies show—the #1 way you will emerge feeling ok about it. Asking for time to decide (even if it’s a second) and deciding on your own is key. And if she doesn’t turn, you’ll have time to wrap your head around it. Basically, just do what you can in advance if you have to, to not feel disappointed… I think that’s far more devastating to people than any of the actual C-section stuff. I also assume you’ll be fine, because you had an easy labor last time.

    As for seconds… well, let’s hope it all works out, right? No idea.

  7. Part of how you will survive those first few weeks is letting others cook for you!! Can I set up meal train for you?

  8. I’m in the same boat, but a few months behind you (I have an almost 2 yr old and am 12 wks pregnant.) I know that eventually, she will love having a playmate, but I am so nervous of how the first few months will go… I’ll wait and see how it goes for you! ha.

    As for c-sections, I’ve heard they’re not so bad when they’re planned. My daughter was breech, but I had a dr who was comfortable with breech births, so I went for it. I ended up still needing the c-section, but because I knew all along that there was a good chance it would happen, I was more mentally prepared. (I do not recommend this method, btw… just book a section if baby doesn’t turn.)

    Thanks for sharing so much about the logistics of having babies as well… I’m a lucky Canadian, where it is so much easier financially to have a baby. You US mamas have got a lot on your plates!

  9. If the baby remains transverse, you might discuss the possibility of doing an external version. That’s when the doctor tries to manually turn the baby from the outside. If it works, then you just have a regular labor and delivery. If not, you know that you did what you could and you plan for the best C-section possible.

  10. Hi Lauren,
    I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago through the magic of the Internets. I wanted to chime in here because my two-year-old was frank breech so I ended up needing a scheduled c-section. I don’t know what it’s like to have a vaginal delivery, but here are a few things that helped me wrap my head around a scheduled delivery. I hope they help!
    1. I made sure to clear it with my midwives/doctors/partners that after delivery he was to get the opportunity to hold/snuggle the baby with skin-to-skin contact for a bit before they cleaned her up so and before I came back from the OR so that she would still get some good parental bonding.
    2. We attempted an external version that was not successful and terribly uncomfortable and painful. The c-section pain was less than the EV pain. But, I did feel better knowing we tried everything to get her to flip. I wouldn’t do another EV, but it was helpful for me at the time.
    3. Buy control panel granny underwear – they will be your friend afterwards to help hold stuff together around your incision.
    4. Ask if they can put your pulse ox monitor on your toe (no toenail polish) instead of your hands so afterwards you’re able to snuggle the baby without having it on your hand during the 60-90 minutes of close monitoring post-surgery.

    All of this is, really, to say that it wasn’t too bad. At the end of everything I had my baby and was able to cuddle her within minutes of delivery and it was still a special experience. With it being scheduled ahead of time it was nice to be well-rested going into it and have that sense of excitement and being in control of the situation so if you end up in a similar situation know that it’s not horrible. Good luck!

    1. Welcome Jenn!! I hope you my writing keeps up and convinces you to stick around haha. And thank you SO much for this information, stuff I would have never thought of!

  11. So I am IN IT with this just now- daughter is 18 months and son is 4 weeks.
    You not only can do this with two, you will ACE it and it is one million times easier than I feared. I promise your head is making it much worse than the reality. Promise.
    I had grand plans to try and make things as easy as possible on my daughter, enjoy my time in the hospital as much as possible and generally have the nice quick easy labour I thought I was getting. (And I did, with the exception of the 5 days of prodromal labour before hand.) I only stayed in hospital 24 hours despite my ‘stay and get some rest’ plan because I just wanted home to my family and then my daughter got Roseola the day we came home from the hospital and had a hideous fever and all my plans for gentle adjustment went to crap.
    This is totally not a “you’ll see… Don’t make plans” comment but rather a ‘a mere 4 weeks down the line that is a distant memory and it was hard but we survived and everything is fine’ comment. We still have occasional bouts of jealousy but they are cancelled out by kisses and cuddles and “MY baby” and the house is mostly clean and we all eat and sometimes I don’t smell of milk. It’s all manageable. Tough, but manageable. Even in a tiny LA sized apartment.

  12. Lauren! Somehow I am so far out of the loop with the whole blog reader thing but miss A was transverse from weeks 37-39! She did turn though… Due to nothing I did. My midwife told me ‘it’s like a fishbowl in there!’ Esp as my first was giant (9lbs) and she was so little in the end (7lbs3). Lots of room to swim around ;). Anyway I was terrified of C as well but as it turns out, no need!

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