Preparing for Baby {This Time}

I am officially just eight weeks out from the birth of baby #2. But based on my level of preparedness, you’d think I just found out I was pregnant last month. From the time I started announcing my pregnancy, people started telling me that preparing for baby #2 would be completely different than preparing for baby #1. And I couldn’t agree more. Here are some of the major differences I’ve been facing.

Preparing for Baby #1 Vs. Baby #2

Pregnancy tracking:

When I found out I was pregnant the first time, I immediately downloaded no fewer than four apps, bought two books, and started writing in the pregnancy journal my husband bought me. I wasn’t great about taking a weekly (or monthly) photo, but I did make my husband take a snapshot of my growing bump at least a couple times each trimester. Every Sunday we’d snuggle up and read about what size fruit or vegetable our little bun in the oven was that week, and all the amazing ways he was developing in utero.

This time? Someone asked me the other day how many weeks I was, and I literally had NO idea. Was it 29? Or 32? Or maybe 30. I had to go back to my desk and count backwards from my due date to figure it out. Every once in a while I’ll log into the app to see what size he’s comparing to now, but there’s no schedule around it and definitely no consistency. And the only semi-bump photo I’ve taken was the annual anniversary photo I make my husband take with me each year. But even that is a picture face on, so you can’t even really see the size. Based on all that, I bet you can guess whether or not I’ve been writing in a pregnancy journal this time around, too.

Ivory family 2016 for print

 

Gender reveal:

We didn’t find out the gender my first pregnancy, and having my husband be the one to tell me “It’s a boy!” will go down as one of the single most special moments of my life. I loved that surprise, and I fully intended on being surprised for #2, too. But…as we got closer and closer to that 20-week ultrasound, I started to cave and talked my husband into just finding out. I wanted to be able to prepare better if the baby was going to be a girl. And, I just wanted to know.

We had a small surprise gender reveal party for our family, and knowing the gender ahead of time has saved us from wasting time trying to agree on a girl’s name and wasting money on purchasing “what-if” girl items. And I know that when my husband says “It’s a boy!” for the second time, it will be just as special, regardless of if it was a surprise or not.

Nursery:

When preparing for my firstborn, I was so excited to get the nursery put together. I spent hours {okay, more like days} on Pinterest trying to make it the perfect, gender-neutral space. My husband and my father-in-law spent a weekend painting the room exactly like I wanted, after I tested no fewer than five different shades of gray. I made them paint the ceiling yellow with a yellow border and bought all matching bedding and curtains.

Knowing the gender this time, you’d think I’d be ready to REALLY go overboard in creating my nursery. Nope. This time, I decided why go through that all again? I’m moving my toddler to the guest room next door (paint color is staying beige as it already is!) and we’re reusing the nursery that I worked so hard on two years ago. I bought a second crib (because I’m so not ready to have an uncaged toddler) and figured I’d buy him a set of new sheets and eventually decorate his room….some way.

The perfect nursery

Birth plan:

I put a lot of thought and research into my birth plan for my firstborn. After an unsuccessful induction and subsequent c-section (FOUR DAYS after we started the induction, might I add…), that birth plan was completely thrown out the window.

For baby #2, I considered a VBAC for less than a day before I asked my doctor to move forward with scheduling the c-section. I have several friends who have had successful VBACs, and all the power to them! I just don’t want to risk what I went through the first time at all. Plus, my recovery after my first c-section was really pretty easy (considering it’s major surgery!), and I am hopeful I’ll have a similar situation this time.

Overall:

Overall, this pregnancy has gone SO much faster than my first. I wonder if women who have three, or four, or more kids just blink and their pregnancies are over. Because that’s about how quickly I feel like this is going. There hasn’t been TIME to think about being more prepared. I still need to pull out and wash my newborn clothes, and I should really do some meal prep so my family can eat something other than pizza those first few hazy weeks (or months). I also want to savor every moment with my son as an only child and make memories with him before his world is completely rocked in a couple months.

So I’m not worried or freaking out. I know firsthand that the baby won’t sleep in his room for at least the first couple months. Furthermore, NONE OF US will even really remember those first few months, so if everything isn’t perfect, we’ll survive.

What’s the Same?

One thing that isn’t different, aside from this being baby #2, is I am completely ecstatic to meet this sweet little one who has been jumping around in my tummy for the last seven months. I can’t wait to see his face and introduce him to his brother, who is going to be the most amazing big brother. I can’t wait to grow our little family by another baby, and I can’t wait for the chaos that lies ahead.

Ready or not, here he comes!


 

Natalie Ivory is a University of Iowa grad who grew in Traer, a small Iowa town. She spent time living in Des Moines and Dayton, OH before relocating back to Cedar Rapids where she’s lived for 6 years. She loves her job in marketing/communications at ACT, Inc and is pursuing her MBA. Natalie has been married to Greg since 2011, and their first son, Leo, was born in the summer of 2014, 7 years to the day after they first met. Baby #2, George, was born in October 2016 making them a happy little family of 4.