It’s currently 4am, and I am 39 weeks + 4 days pregnant with my second child. This isn’t ideal, as I need to be sleeping as much as I can before my world gets turned upside down by sleep deprivation!
Instead, I am anxiously wondering if the 5th February will be the day we meet our little princess, and do I have everything ready? – almost. I have a couple of things to add to my hospital bag, and tons of ironing to do, oh yeah and a new house to get in order (we’ve been in less than two weeks!).
I then started thinking about how overwhelming it can be when you’re pregnant for the first time. My best friend is currently 24 weeks pregnant (so exciting!) with her first, and she has so many questions, and it has reminded me of all the emotions you go through with your first (btw you second pregnancy is far less exciting and a lot more exhausting when also running around after a toddler, working – and stupidly moving house at the same time).
Given I am wide awake, I thought I would use this time to jot down some of my thoughts / tips for first time mums-to-be
- 1. Once you know you’re pregnant, live with the idea for a while. If it wasn’t planned it can take a little time to get used to it, and get your head around all the changes happening / going to happen.
- 2. Tell people when you feel ready, I don’t agree with waiting till the 12-week mark, if you are comfortable making your announcement sooner do so. Sometimes this is needed if you have overwhelming tiredness or morning sickness, and need some extra support.
- 3. List all your questions for your midwife appointments, as once you go in there, you will be bombarded with info, and I ended up forgetting everything I wanted to ask. I found my husband asked more questions than I did. I would highly advise taking your partner or a friend to each appointment if you can for this reason. Don’t be worried about asking stupid questions, you need to make sure you cover everything.
- 4. If you exercise regularly, carry on with your normal routine. I was advised to stop some of my classes, and I was so worried after that, I never went back the gym. I found this wasn’t the best advice. With my second pregnancy, I just spoke to a PT at my gym, and advised how I should adjust my routine through-out my pregnancy, and I continued to go the gym till I was 28 weeks, and I felt so much better. I wish I had even carried on a bit longer, but running around after a 3 year was enough to keep me on my toes.
- 5. Read lots of books and go the cinema. Two things I never get time for. When I do have time to myself, I want to spend it with my husband actually talking to him or going out for nice meals, not sitting in silence watching a film. I took for granted how simple, but lovely a cinema date was until I could never go anymore.
- 6. If you are in a couple, make sure to spend as much quality time together as you can. As post-baby, it will be hard, you’ll both be shattered and overwhelmed. Even though you live together, you’re so wiped-out you can’t even muster a simple conversation. I missed quality time – which sometimes was as simple as being able to enjoy a meal together, without having a baby attached to my boob!
- 7. Most importantly, you’re in control of your body. You know when something isn’t right, you will start to know your baby before they’re born, their patterns of movement etc. When you visit a hospital for scans or appointments or labour, you’re not ill, you’re strong and healthy, and your body was built do this. You’re going there for support, not to be fixed.
Finally, ENJOY! The first pregnancy is special, every day is new, every movement is exciting. Remember how incredible your body is for producing another human being, and make sure you rest, and relax. The feeling you have when the baby arrives is nothing I can explain, and its something I can’t wait to experience again.
I am sure lots of mums have other tips or suggestions, so please feel free to add them in the comments section! I would love to know if anyone has any for second time mums!!
Good luck to anyone who is expecting!