Hey everyone! So, as you can tell from the title, I'm super excited to announce that I'm pregnant with baby number two. I have so much to share with you all! While I am sharing the 4 things I’m doing differently with baby number two below, this is one conversation you’ll want to grab your earbuds for!
- How we found out (and how I shared the news with Adam)
- The timeline we are looking at with our due date and the age gap with Colin!
- An update for how this first trimester has been (it’s been way different!)
- Two journals I am using this pregnancy (linked here and here)
- My fun pregnancy cravings
- Baby predictions 👀
Again, I really encourage you to tune into this fun celebratory episode! Below, I’m going to share the 4 Things I’m doing differently with baby number two this pregnancy!
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:
1. I’m holding birth plans much more loosely this time around
I am probably not aiming for a birth center birth this time, although I'm actually not sure yet. So, basically, during my last pregnancy, I was determined to have an unmedicated childbirth at a birth center. I did all my prenatal care with the birth center and was very committed to that plan without realizing it. However, my dream and vision got shattered when I went past my due date and had to be induced. The birth center informed me that I was no longer eligible to give birth there. It was unexpected, although now I understand that it's common to be risked out of birth centers. I acknowledge and respect why the midwives made that decision. But in that moment, it was really upsetting, and it made me realize that I wasn't as flexible with my birth plans as I thought I was. Looking back, I really did have that mentality that it was “birth center or bust”.
I also had an interesting fear at the time that many of you can probably relate to - not just the fear of giving birth, but specifically giving birth in a hospital setting. I know some of you listening can understand this. Some of you may even have the opposite fear, feeling more afraid not to give birth in a hospital as hospitals are considered safer. However, leading up to my ultimately hospital birth, I had the mentality that hospitals are not the ideal place for giving birth. I felt that a birth center or home birth would be safer for me. Now, I am navigating the possibility of having a hospital birth again and working through the mentality that made me uncomfortable initially. I believe that this resistance played a part in my longer labor experience.
Let me also just say this: everyone has their own preferences when it comes to birth stuff. I almost didn't want to include this in the podcast because there are so many opinions around how women give birth. But now, having gone through it once and considering different plans from what I originally thought, I have so much respect for the choices women make when it comes to giving birth. There's no right or wrong birth plan or goal—it's all about what you want and need as the mom-to-be.
My labor last time
However, based on my previous experience, I had a really long 44-hour labor. And when I say 44 hours, I mean I was actively in labor for that entire duration, with various interventions like induction, Pitocin, my water breaking, sleep-inducing drugs, and eventually an epidural. I even came close to having a C-section, and there may have been other interventions that I can't even recall.
Despite the challenging experience, I've learned a lot and can now reflect on it with a positive outlook (although it felt very traumatic at the time and took a lot of time to process). For me, I realized that for future births, I need to be more flexible and not hold on tightly to my birth plan. I want to approach it with an open mind, understanding that things may not go exactly as planned. As of right now, I've completed the first trimester of my pregnancy, and I still haven't decided where I will give birth. I'm seeing an OB-GYN and am initially planning for a hospital birth but I could still see my mind changing later!
I want to approach this pregnancy and birth from a different mindset. Instead of fear, I am choosing to pray and seek what kind of birth God is calling me to and what aligns with my current season and needs. I am enjoying the process of exploring different options rather than feeling pressured to have a specific birth plan. I remember I was so worried about getting an epidural the last time, but the truth is it worked well for me last time, and I may consider it again, possibly opting for a walking epidural with lower doses so that I can still move around.
While I understand that not everyone has a positive experience with an epidural, mine definitely was. In fact, Adam remembers me saying that I want an epidural every day. So I might do that, and I might now. This time, I am embracing the uncertainty and openness, and am enjoying holding my birth plan more loosely.
Working with a birth doula
I also wanted to note that I'll have a birth doula with me, regardless of my birth plans. I'll be working with the same person I did last time. Sometimes people think having a doula is only for unmedicated births, but I believe a doula is invaluable for both medicated and unmedicated births. So, I'll definitely have one again and it’s something I encourage every mama to consider!
2. I’m finding out the gender earlier
Last time, we decided to wait until the 20-week ultrasound to learn the gender. I didn't really consider finding out sooner or using extra tests or ultrasounds. I was patient and enjoyed the anticipation, wondering and discussing with Adam. This time, however, I'm more eager to know. We're thinking about buying the "SneakPeek" home gender test. I do have some hesitations about the process, as it involves drawing your own blood and mailing it back, but it promises to provide results within a day. I might still change my mind, but currently, the plan is to buy it after I finish recording this. With the SneakPeek test, you can find out the gender as early as six weeks. Since I'm already past that point, it's just a matter of deciding whether we want to wait another 10 weeks or go ahead and find out early at home. I'm really excited about the possibility of finding out the gender early so I’m sure that’s what I will do!
3. I think I will take a shorter maternity leave, but won’t jump back to “full-time” as quickly
So, I've been thinking about my year ending in February because that's when I'll start my maternity leave. Last time, I started my maternity leave two weeks before my due date, but Colin was a week late, so I had three weeks of going crazy waiting for the baby to come. Anyway, this time I'm planning to start later, closer to my due date
Last time, I was off the grid for about 3.5 months, including the two weeks before Colin's birth. After that, I only worked around 5-8 hours a week for another two months, sometimes even less. During that time, I only had one meeting with a team member. But besides that, I was really off the grid.
With Colin, we didn't have any outside home childcare until he was 14 months old. So it was harder to work while taking care of him. Adam and I were tag teaming it - he would take care of Colin while I worked, and vice versa. We also had some family come in and help.
This time, we plan to do a similar thing with childcare. Our plan is to not have any outside home childcare, besides me, Adam, and family, until the baby is at least 10 months old, maybe even waiting until 12-14 months like we did with Colin.
So I'm going to be entering my “kind of a stay-at-home mom, but still running a business that does a lot of revenue and has a lot of stuff to manage” era again.
And I did it once, and I'm excited to do it again. I really hope to fully embrace the out-of-office vibes this time and soak up the newborn phase while taking care of myself. This might be our last baby; we're unsure if we'll have more than two more children. With our first child, the newborn phase was challenging, but having the time to focus solely on taking care of myself and our little ones made it easier. I'm excited to experience the end of pregnancy in winter and start the postpartum season in spring, when we can go out for walks without it being too hot. I'm oddly looking forward to the postpartum season because, despite the difficulties, it brings so much joy and sweetness with newborn snuggles and new discoveries. So, I plan on taking around three months off again, completely off.
So basically, this time, I won't wait until my due date to stop working, so I won't go stir-crazy. After the three months, I'll likely work around five to ten hours a week, possibly increasing to fifteen, depending on Adam's availability, after around three to three and a half months.
Changes in my team before baby number two
My business has changed a lot since Colin was born. The team has also undergone significant changes during that time. When I was postpartum with Colin, I had two main team members, along with my exceptional podcast editor. Now, we have three team members, including the podcast editor, and we've also added some other contractors.
It's definitely a different vibe now. My team has grown in wonderful ways, and they are now doing a lot more than before. In the past, I used to be the only person in my business who knew how to do certain tasks. However, after going on maternity leave for five and a half months, I realized the importance of having other people who can handle those tasks as well. I'm happy to say that I'm in a much better place now, as I'm no longer the sole person responsible for everything.
How this maternity leave will be different
First, this time, we're not moving. Last time, when Colin was just four months old, we went through the process of moving houses. It was a huge undertaking, especially with a newborn. We had numerous appointments for him, including feeding therapy for his tongue tie. We were incredibly busy during that time. If we hadn't been moving, I probably would have been able to work more. However, at the time, it was necessary for me to take a few weeks off to pack and settle into our new home, while also taking care of Colin. It felt good to have that break from work. This time, I'm looking forward to not having to plan another move. We'll be comfortable and enjoy a cozy winter before embracing the spring postpartum period, which I'm truly excited about.
I’m also feeling so much more at peace about taking maternity leave this time around.
Last time, I was really excited about it, and I'm glad I did it. If you're thinking about taking a long leave as a business owner, I can say it might be challenging for your business in some ways, but it's absolutely worth it. I wouldn't change it back for anything. However, during my leave, I was nervous about becoming irrelevant. For example, will technology change too much? I remember that while on leave, both Basecamp and ConvertKit, the software I was using at the time, completely changed their interface in just a few months. It felt really difficult coming back in many different ways. This time, though, I feel more at peace with whatever will be, and I'll never regret taking this time off.
4. I am resting more and nesting more
You would think that having a toddler at home more than at daycare while being pregnant would mean there's no time to rest and run a business. But surprisingly, I feel like I'm actually getting more rest compared to when I was pregnant with Colin and didn't have any other kids to care for. It's probably out of necessity because I've been feeling worse this trimester than the first trimester with Colin. When I was pregnant with him, I didn't take a single nap throughout the entire pregnancy. I just kept going like the Energizer bunny, working on various projects and not getting enough sleep.
I mean, gosh, I created Booked Out Designer during my second trimester of pregnancy: created the whole course, launched it, everything. And that was so fun.
Taking more naps
I'm not usually a natural napper, but lately, I've been taking a lot of naps, too. Last night, even after Adam and I put Colin to bed, we were reading when I suddenly fell asleep for two hours. After waking up, I watched some TV before going back to bed. There have been plenty of times when I've chosen to nap instead of working on my trip during free time. Currently, I'm napping a lot, especially during the first trimester. I've had days where I've spent more time than expected just lying on the couch, using a heating pack to relieve back pain. Allowing myself to rest feels quite luxurious, and I'm enjoying it. So, if you're pregnant and feel like you need a nap, go ahead and take one.
Nesting during this pregnancy
I currently in full-on nesting mode. It's funny because last time I didn't start feeling this way until much later in pregnancy. Initially, I focused on preparing my business for maternity leave, which I've already started but now I'm mainly focusing on getting our home ready. Recently, I completely reorganized our fridge, freezer, pantry, Colin's playroom, and even his bedroom. I sorted out all his clothes that are too small and got all the newborn baby clothes ready. I have everything organized really well. I recently reorganized everything, including our gift bags. Previously, they were all in a giant tub in our guest room, but now they are neatly sorted by type in magazine holders on a shelf. We have separate sections for baby shower gift bags, Christmas gift bags, birthday gift bags, and more. I have several other organizing projects that I'm excited about, such as reorganizing our kitchen cabinets, Colin's toy closet in the living room, another cabinet in the living room, and some items in my office.
I'm getting organized and feeling excited. As mentioned, I'm oddly excited about postpartum, specifically about preparing my postpartum freezer meals. Here’s the link to the blog post where I share all my favorite freezer meals, along with prepping tips, supplies, and tricks.
There's also a change in my nesting routine this time around. My office will be relocated to the third floor to make room for the nursery. So, the room currently serving as my office will be transformed into the baby's room. On the third floor, there's a playroom that opens up to a bedroom and an attic space. I'll be using that bedroom as my new office, despite the two flights of stairs to reach it. I'm definitely getting a mini fridge upstairs, so I don't have to go downstairs every time I need water or something. Anyway, I'm excited to move my office to the third floor and set up a nursery again. It'll be really fun!
I hope you enjoyed this post where I start preparing for baby #2
Thank you for being here. Let me know if you want more podcast pregnancy content this time. I'm undecided if I'll do trimester episodes like last time, but I enjoyed recording them. I'd love to hear
if you're interested. I'll definitely do maternity leave planning episodes and share new tips and tricks. I know how helpful that is for fellow business owners and soon-to-be mama’s!
Thanks for celebrating with us!
Announcement photos by Alli Campbell Photography
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Listen to Colin’s Birth Story in Episode #148
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Check out my post with my favorite postpartum meals here
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August 29, 2023