Is a second pregnancy different from the first?

We are delighted to welcome Lynette as our new baby blogger, as she is just over half way through her 2nd pregnancy and she has been reflecting on how different it is from her first. This is her story….

It has taken me four years to come round to having a second child.  Not because I don’t love being a mother.  Motherhood is the greatest gift I have ever been given, and my son is my greatest achievement.  The reason is quite simply that I have been too frightened.

I had a difficult start to my pregnancy with my son.  It was a really difficult time, living on a knife edge everyday as to what could happen.  We had arranged to have a home birth as the pregnancy had run smoothly after the initial 12 weeks.   However, after a long labour, an ambulance ride, forceps delivery and a retained Placenta our beautiful little boy was born at 10:07am on the 24th September 2011.  I swore to my husband that we would not be having any more children after the trauma from our son’s birth and the painful recovery. Why would anyone put themselves through that again?

Yet one day, something changed inside me. I felt completely different and I found myself wanting a second child.  My husband too wanted another child; yet he knew how badly the birth had affected me the first time that he was worried how I would cope this time round.   However, after the first month of trying we had conceived. I had no time to worry really as it had happened so quickly. We found out on Christmas day 2014. I didn’t quite believe it.  So much so that I sent pictures of the pregnancy test to my best friend to confirm that I wasn’t going crazy.  We were elated. I was desperate to share the news with the world.  But, I was nervous.  I knew of the problems that I had experienced with my son, and I knew there was a chance it could happen again. I don’t think anyone really relaxes until they have the 12 week scan, and then you only worry about the 20 week one.  Without a doubt, pregnancy is a rollercoaster of emotions.

Yet now, as I sit here and type this at 24 weeks pregnant, if I am honest, I find that I have less time to worry about things like I did first time round. Believe me, I still worry, it is in my nature. But with working full time as a teacher, running round after a 3 year old and being a wife and looking after a home, I sometimes forget I am pregnant.  If it wasn’t for the constant kicks and ever growing bump, I would swear that I wasn’t pregnant. I don’t have the constant hunger that I had with our son, I only have a bump rather than being chubby all-over this time.  Perhaps it is because we are having a little girl?

I am finding it difficult not to overload on Pink.  After we had our son, bizarrely we kept his clothes, but got rid of a lot of main items that we now need. Why, you may ask. Well, I was convinced that we would have no more children.  So now, at 24 weeks pregnant, we need to go shopping.  Luckily, we are off to The Baby Show at the NEC on the 15th May.  I have told my husband to be prepared to carry a lot of bags, as I know from my previous visit with my mum, when pregnant with our son, that there is so much to buy and so many wonderful people there to give advice (and freebies) that his arms could ache by the end of the day. I am particularly looking forward to seeing Sarah Beeson MBE, baby expert and author of The New Arrival and Happy Baby, Happy Family. It really will be all about family that day as my Mum, Dad, Son, Sister In Law and Nephew are all coming too. I want it to be an experience that we all can share together, plus they are extra hands to carry bags.

I find myself wanting to be involved in more groups and forums to chat to other pregnant mums this time round.  I am a huge supporter of the “Count the Kicks” campaign and all the work that they do.  I have asked questions on their website to their guest midwife and it’s nice to speak to other mums who have the same worries that you do.  I don’t feel quite so alone this time in my pregnancy. Or quite as mad.

I am nervous for labour, not because of the pain, because of course it hurts. (although The Rose Diaries founder insists that I need to embrace hypnobirthing).  I think I am nervous of the unknown, and that the complications I had first time round could happen again.  However, I remain positive and hopeful.  Both The Duchess of Cambridge and I had labours that lasted the same amount of time with our little Princes, and she has had a short labour with her new Princess, perhaps I could be the same.  Or perhaps I am just wishful thinking.  One thing I know for sure is that I won’t look as amazing as she did after the birth of our little girl.

But when I look at our little boy and think of the difficult birth, I know that every pain and every stitch was worth it. My best friend tells me I should embrace being pregnant, enjoy the glowing stage and worry less.

I know that we have been given a gift that so many people long for.

I know how lucky we are………

The best is yet to come

If only I’d known ….

For this particular post the Dad behind the Rose Diaries is writing in response to a question posed by the lovely people at the website Little Stuff. They have teamed up with Aptaclub, who have launched a brilliant new ‘Preparing for Birth’ app to support Mums through the last trimester of pregnancy. The app is designed to help mum stay organised through editable checklists and answer questions with tips and advice.

PrepforBirth_MyBabyAnnouncer2

 

So, the question being asked is ‘if only i’d known…..’

You know; those things that as you’ve gone through your parenting journey you’ve looked back with a grin and thought “If only I’d known…” In this case it will be answered by myself, from a male and new father’s perspective. so…here goes!

If only I’d known…the bath would no longer be a safe place to step into confidently, it is instead a deadly skating rink coated in the invisible remains of some sort of relaxing bath oil/cream/bomb used to help my heavily pregnant wife not get stressed.

if only I’d known… my bedroom would become an igloo one night and an oven the next. Fluctuating body temperature means you either wake up under a pile of discarded duvet next to a naked sweat bathed lobster woman or find yourself shivering,clinging to a corner of your quilt while the lobster woman has now turned into goosebump covered relation to jack frost.

If only I’d known…asking if we can find man-size maternity jeans for chicken and steak fajita night is NOT acceptable.

If only I’d known… At 3 am on the morning of our home (water) hypnobirth the tap adaptor would decide not to stay on the tap.

If only I’d known … Our midwife/mother in law/anyone I could think of wouldn’t answer my calls to tell them the baby is coming, meaning we had emergency midwives that couldn’t find our rural location, meaning I deliver my baby myself.

If only id known… I’D HAVE TO DELIVER THE BABY MYSELF.

If only I’d known…that when people tried to warn me I’d be a bit tired they actually meant I’d closely resemble a homeless zombie man-creature unable to shave or remove my comfy ‘lounging’ trousers for the entire first 2 weeks.

If only I’d known…the horrendous outcome of leaning back on the sofa and proudly holding my new baby girl aloft above my face right after 5 oz of breast milk has just been consumed. This, along with removing baby from shoulder during the burping process and peering into her mouth ‘looking’ for burps… is alot like peering down the barrel of a shotgun … foolish.

If only I’d known…more on burping babies.

If only I’d known … I’d have such a capacity to love something so unconditionally and totally, even at 12 midnight, 2am, 4am…

If only I’d known .. not to rub my tired eyes BEFORE checking my finger nails and hairs on my fingers after the 3am nappy change in the dark.

If only id known… my partners breasts would turn into Pamela Anderson’s and I am not allowed to touch/look/comment/discuss them, unless its in a paternal way.

If only I’d known … not to try and put on one of those babysling thingys on my own with no one else around to help get me out of it, partner arriving home to previously mentioned homeless zombie man creature wrapped in a spotty pink sling is not going to impress her.

If only I’d known ….

This post is The Rose Diaries entry into the Aptaclub ‘If Only I’d Known…’ competition

Water Birth – 25-Apr-12

Birth Story by Sarah J ….

“I had a hypnobirth at home, in my own living room, in a birthing pool, only my husband and the midwives were present.  There was a student midwife also who attended and this was her very first birth – she was absolutely amazed.
The early labour wasn’t as straight foreword as I’d hoped as I had had 6 days of early, latent labour and pretty much constant contractions for the whole 6 days.  They stopped for the odd hour but it was pretty gruelling – these contractions were fairly strong in my back and would last up to 60 seconds but would not get any closer than 6-7 minutes apart.  Due to the long latent phase, I had started to doubt myself whether I could actually do the hypnobirthing and whether I could maintain a relaxed state for long enough.
When labour day arrived, I woke up and thought my waters had broken in the early hours, these were slightly tinged red and so the midwife had suggested I go to hospital but came and assessed me first, the fluid had started to run clear by the time she arrived at my house so agreed that I was OK not to go to hospital. Throughout the day, the same contractions I’d been experiencing for the 6 days continued, and even stopped for a few hours, so I was very frustrated, as my waters had broken there is a 24 hour window for a home birth otherwise there is a risk of infection and delivery has be done in hospital.  However, at 6.30 pm I experienced a pop and a gush and my main waters broke – again they appeared to be tinged with blood so it looked like I may have to deliver in hospital.  By the time the midwife arrived the fluids were again running clear and my contractions had quickly got to 4 minutes apart and lasting 60 seconds.  It was decided that everything was fine and that I was ok to go ahead with my home birth and my husband began filling the birthing pool.
By the time the second midwife arrived, the surges were now very powerful.  I was managing the surges really well using my hynobirthing ‘up’ breathing techniques, I don’t quite know what happened.  I didn’t do anything consciously, I never needed to use any of the birthing or relaxation scripts to help to get me into the ‘zone’.  David and I had done a lot of practicing, every day for the last few weeks, we had practiced the relaxation scripts, to help me get into a deep state of relaxation, and help with the breathing up to assist the opening of the cervix.  I found that as soon as I needed them, my body just took over, on arrival the midwife commented how calm and relaxed I was and how I was handling the surges incredibly well.  I was assessed internally at around 9pm and was found to be around 5cm.
I was not aware of a lot of my surroundings, I was just so deeply relaxed and concentrating on managing the arrival of my little baby, I was just aware of a deep sense of calm excitement and I couldn’t wait for the arrival of my little girl.  The labour progressed really well, and while I was concentrating deeply during the surges, I was still able to talk and communicate effectively with the midwives and my husband when needed.  The pool was ready just in time, I entered the pool at around 10.30 and began to experience much stronger surges, but instead of feeling more pain, I was able to relax more deeply and found myself getting more excited with every surge as it meant my baby was getting closer to arriving.  The relief of the warm water was incredible, its like any existing tension in my body just disappeared.  The increased power of the surges told my body that my baby was on its way and I automatically began breathing my baby down, visualising my baby making its way through the birth canal, I used a visualisation of a powerful water fall to help ‘see’ my baby coming down through the canal.  I don’t recall having to use any strong pushes and I didn’t experience any strong sense of pain.  It wasn’t exactly easy but it was actually quite enjoyable.
The midwives had given me no coaching, they didn’t tell me when to push or how hard etc, they just allowed my body to do what it needed to do, and nature took over.  I was aware that the midwife was telling me that the baby was crowning and that if I reached down, I could deliver my baby.  I reached down and just a second later I was lifting my own baby gently to my chest.  She was perfect, quiet and completely calm.  It was the most beautiful, awesome experience I could ever have imagined and the absolutely perfect welcome to the world that I had dreamt of for my baby.


Esmae was born at 11.54pm on Wednesday 25th April 2012.”