Fill Me Up With Positive, Please

There’s no way around it, no way to avoid it, to ignore it. I can’t deny anymore that I’M HAVING A BABY VERY SOON. Very. Soon. All signs are pointing toward this kiddo’s exit.

I realized at the beginning of the week she must have dropped. The most telling sign? My boobs were no longer resting atop my belly as much as they were sagging to reach it. Bonus, I finally got a little relief from the non-stop kicking in the same exact spot for the last 2 months. She’s now moving around much lower. And the heartburn, though still pretty awful, doesn’t seem to be *as* bad and I haven’t woken up choking on my own stomach acid in almost a week. I also lost 4 lbs in the last week on a steady diet of Thanksgiving leftovers. What gives? Turns out there’s an old wives tale that you drop a few pounds before you drop the baby. The nesting instinct has kicked into high gear. I’m on some sort of energy high that’s keeping me from sleeping at night. The end is near. So, yay, right?

No. No, no, no, no. The list is not complete yet. We still have to install the carseat, check the birthing tub (which just arrived today) for holes, pack the hospital bags, her coming home outfit hasn’t arrived yet, her room still isn’t complete, the car is a DISASTER, the kitchen needs to be re-organized to make room for all the baby crapola to make it’s re-appearance, I need to clean the cover to the bouncy seat, I need to color my hair (for real, these grays are out of control), I need to dig out all my old nursing bras and sleep bras, I have things to sew, presents to wrap, and now I have a camera to learn to use (Wheeee!!! Merry Christmas-Valentines-Anniversary-30th Birthday to me!). ::Deep breath::

Okay, but beyond the list, what I think I’ve been using the list to try to hide, are actually all these feelings of terror. People, I REMEMBER TOO MUCH. Where the F is my momnesia? I remember the pain, the ripping, the ring of fire, the self doubt, transition, the chunks of flesh falling off my nipples, the mastitis, the colic., the sleep deprivation. I remember the very loud promise I made to myself and my husband while pushing that we were NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN. I remember it all. There is no blissful oblivion headed into it this time around.

And, even deeper than that, I’m scared I won’t be as lucky this time around. For as shitty as my recovery after delivery was, my labor and delivery were freaking text book. Sure, it was painful, but there were no hiccups, no glitches, most importantly, I made it through. What if I’m not that lucky this time around? Even worse? What if that wasn’t luck? What if that was the result of all the hours I spent preparing for Kendall’s arrival.

I was diligent about the Kegels, the relaxation exercises, the stretches, the squats the first time around. This time? I can’t remember the last time I did a Kegel (Okay, just now… and I bet you just did, too, because that’s how Kegels get you, you do them the minute you read about them or hear someone talk about them, don’t you? Or is that just me?), my “relaxation” techniques involve locking myself in the bathroom and hiding from the 2 year old, I haven’t stretched in months, I don’t spend hours sitting on my birthing ball and aligning my pelvis, I think I’ve done a total of 100 pelvic rocks this whole pregnancy. I did. not. prepare. And I really think, at the very heart of things, I’m beating myself up for this. I had the best of intentions to treat this pregnancy just like I did the last, but who the hell has time when they are raising a 2 year old to sit around doing pelvic rocks and f-ing rainbow visualizations??

It’s too late now to change things, though. I’m 37ish weeks along. This could happen any day. And I realized today that I need to stop focusing on the negative, stop seeing the list as half undone, stop dwelling on what I *haven’t* done to prepare. I need positivity, and I need it bad. I need your help. Please, please fill me up with positive birth and beyond stories, especially second time or more moms. Tell me I’m not screwing myself and my daughter out of an equally fulfilling birth experience just because I didn’t do 100 kegels every day or zone out to my hypnotic music for 15 minutes every night.

And, for the record, I *know* it won’t be the end of the world if things don’t go the way I’ve planned. I’m very flexible with my birth plan, to a degree. That said, barring any REAL complications, I fully expect myself to have another med-free birth and am looking forward to it (even knowing the pain that may come along with it). Please understand, this is the mind-set I have to be in going into this. I’ve done this before, I can do this again, and that’s that.

As for the plan, I’ll labor at home as long as possible. Hopefully this time around I’ll know a little better when my body is in full blown, active labor and we can get to the hospital when I’m a bit further along (last time I showed up at 2 cm, but I had K about 4 hours later because my labor progressed very fast after that). And yes, I’m going to a hospital, one that has a great history of working with midwives (I’ll have a midwife in attendance) and an awesome med-free birth track record. I’ll labor in a tub we are bringing, and I may very well deliver in the tub, too. We’ll just see how I’m feeling when that time comes.

I’m going to spend however long I have left, be that 5 days or 5 weeks, trying to be positive about all this. There’s nothing I can do to change the past, only to change my attitude moving forward. Thank you so much for any advice or support you can give!

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
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  1. mama, you can do this!

    My last birth I was kinda in the same boat as you as far as not having as much time to focus on the upcoming birth. Sounds like you’ve done your homework on your choice of care provider and delivery local. Even if you haven’t conciously “prepared” your body is made to do this, has done this before and will remember. 🙂

  2. My advice: just breathe. =)
    As I said on twitter I had a bit of stadol with the first two and unmedicated with the third. Although, based on the third, I’m pretty sure they didn’t give me enough stadol to make one lick of difference with the 1st and it lasted about 15 minutes with the second.
    I’ll tell you another secret – I didn’t stretch, I didn’t really do anything to prepare! (Well, I did do physical therapy because of back issues and my therapist made me do kegels during therapy, so there’s that).
    I can also say my third birth was seriously amazing and wonderful and just perfect. Even though at one point I tried to climb out the top of the bed because they wouldn’t let me get off the bed. Ahem. And I remember the pain. And thrush. Oh my god. The thrush. And the blood loss that caused me to pass out several times after my first and at which point I wasn’t allowed to stand up for 24 hours. And it happened again with the second. And I remember the sleepless nights.
    I know you want the positive, and you may wonder where I’m going with this … where I’m going is, even with all of that, even knowing what was coming. Even wanted to seriously chop my husband’s you know what off during that third labor – the only one I was completely unmedicated with- it was beyond perfect. I loved it. I wish the other 2 could have been that way. It was amazing. And special. And I’d give birth again in a heartbeat if it could go the same way.
    I can’t not acknowledge the hard parts of labor because they were there. But. Truly. From the bottom of my heart. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
    I hope that helps you a bit! =)

    And also ((((hugs)))) Because I think everyone needs more hugs in their life =)

  3. You are tough and strong and this time, you are experienced! You’ve done it before and were a total rock star and you’re going to rock it again.

    Plus having the second child is easy, they say! My sister-in-law said her entire labor was a breeze for her second baby and the baby popped out in no time. Your body knows what it’s doing and that makes a big difference.

    (The visualizations and exercises turned out useless for me, anyway, although I did them religiously. So give yourself a break.)

  4. My BFF was the same with her first, prepared like a crazy person. She was off the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, doing it ALL. And the birth of her first? Extremely long, difficult and complicated. With the second, she has no time to do any of it, and labour was way easier.

    I do think those things help, but so does previously ejecting a real live person from your body via a very small opening. Your body KNOWS what is coming, it KNOWS what it’s doing and you KNOW you can do it, so it will be fine. I won’t say easier, because I can’t imagine it being easy at all, but it will be fine.

    As for all the post baby stuff? Well I’m still being traumatized by that, so I can’t help you there 😀

  5. obviously i am of no help in either the med free or second time around arena. but as your friend (one who loves you and misses you very much!) i just wanted to say it will be fine. with that being said? i would be (and someday will be) reacting to your situation in the EXACT same way. it’s probably why we get along so well 🙂

    you’re gonna do awesome! i’m sure the prep you did for Kendall helped, but it’s not *the* reason you did so well – you did it because you wanted to and are strong. you will be strong again. and like you said, regardless of how she gets here, she will get here and it will be beautiful.


  6. My first birth was relatively easy, all things considered. My second birth was much easier. This is fairly common. Most mothers seem to have shorter labours, and especially shorter pushing stages, the second time. Even though none of us, NONE OF US, are doing all of the visualizing and yoga and all that stuff that we did the first time. Because this time we actually have a kid already and we don’t have the time.

    It’s true that while I was pushing I kept saying, “I don’t want to do this. I realize I have no choice, but I don’t want to do this.” But then I did it, and my baby was born like 20 minutes later.

    When push came to shove, the fear and anxiety about my second baby vanished, and I did what I had to do. And it went well, and he was perfect and beautiful. I have faith that it will be the same way for you. I also have faith that if things don’t go to plan, it will still be perfect and beautiful in its way.

    You can do this! It will be great! And you don’t need to spend months preparing – your body’s doing that for you without your input.

  7. Oh I can symptahize – I felt the same way with DS2.

    Trust your body, trust your baby, and trust the timing of it all. In the meantime, stop washing everything from the carpet to the drapes and rest! So much easier said than done, right? 🙂

    As for labor, I had 2 med. free births, both went as planned, and the second was shorter than the first – better than the first (better hospital)! You have the vivid memories of the first delivery, but I think having NO memories to compare your expectations to is even harder (as with your first baby). So don’t worry about the pain, the burning, you survived before and you will again.

    With breastfeeding you have the experience as well, you know what feels normal, what isn’t, where to ask for help, and when to ask.

    Just breathe and remember that everything you have done will serve you well, and before you know it, it will all be over and you will be riding that natural birth high and holding your baby girl:)

    Best of luck with it all!

  8. oh girlfriend, i have been you … only i was 40 weeks along – have you read my birth story? i was packing my bag while i was in labor – why? because i’m a huge procrastinator and while i’d been having contractions all day, i had no idea i was really in labor!

    install the car seat and everything else will fall into place – i never took a birth class with either kid but i did all the other stuff to prepare for Sydney – with Myles, it was just the opposite – i did NOTHING to prepare for him – no Kegels, no visualization, no pelvic tilts, no birthing ball – NOTHING! and he basically fell out of me in 2 pushes – you can totally do this and now your body knows EXACTLY what to do!

    my advice? relax and do what you can – what doesn’t get done can wait – oh, and don’t labor at home too long – unless you want to give birth in your car! 2nd babies come faster than the first!

  9. Ok I have only had one birth and it was med free. But. Hear me out. I did not do all the visualizations because when I did Id pass out and I didn’t do the squats because my hips were crazy bitches from 18 weeks on. My theory is that those things are helpful but mainly they just give new moms something to do to stay occupied and feel like you’re preparing for the utterly unpreparable. You are not the deer in headlights mom waiting to find out what all the fuss is about. You’ve been there and you did it and you can do it again.

    You totally have this. End of story.

  10. Ah, you sound just like I did! You can do it. As a good friend told me, “You, my dear, will be just fine.”

    I had such a good birth experience with my first that I was sure the second could never live up to my expectations. But, it did. My second labor and delivery was very different than my first, but I did it and had two natural births.

    My second was with a MW in a hospital too. I think it’s so cool you can bring a tub and even deliver in it if you like. We had tubs in the room, but no water deliveries allowed.

    Good luck!

  11. Big *hugs* Jill! I haven’t had a second child YET but I’m sure everything you’re feeling is normal. With M, we delivered at a birth center and I did Bradley classes but I never did much “practicing” after that other than cover my ears when I heard people talk about “pain”. Being naive and oblivious worked really well for me and my med-free birth. Don’t worry.

  12. So my first (3.5yrs now) was 4hours, first contraction to birth, 2hours contractions, 2pushing, vacuum extraction, big episiotomy, lots of stitches, all med free at 37weeks, my water had broken hours earlier with no contractions so I was already in the hospital. He was 7Lbs8oz 21.5in.
    my daughter (10months now) was 1/4 the time, seriously. I went to the hospital with contractions 2-7mins apart after labouring at home, just figured I should go because they were hurting more… I’d been at home about an hour. I got into the hospital asked to call my doctor and said I had to push. The nurse assured me she could do it and my doctor broke all kinds of traffic laws to get there on time- and did- I didn’t even get a gown on, she was born within 20minutes of arriving at the hospital. About 1.5hours total. At 40w5d. She was 7Lbs12oz 21in and med free too 🙂
    Nursing was easier, I had no engorgement or major discomfort, but I nursed my son until just over 18m so the nurse said that was probably because I got pregnant so soon after nursing that it never really went back to normal.

    It will be fine! Second is easier, your body has been through it, and you know you can get through it which makes it easier mentally. Just leading up to it is kind of scary… lol.

  13. That is how kegels work:)

    Baby number two was a bit worse to think about because it wasn’t a shock anymore- but it was also better because it wasn’t a shock.

    I was paranoid the week before baby2. I had a list of everything I didn’t want to go wrong. From little things like a nosebleed during labor ( Long story short – on top of everything else my pregnancies love to give nose gushers.) to sparing everyone’s life. I still have that list. I laugh and I actually am grateful that I took it seriously enough to care that much.
    In a way your freaking out is a testament to your love. And that tells me baby number two might not be the perfect experience but you will look back on these times with happiness that you chose to go through with two.

    I found adjusting to two the toughest. My post partum was enhanced with demands of two children, it was tough to juggle the newness…but when he turned one and started playing with my daughter…when they became best buds…when they entertained each other so I could nap…well, it pays off in various ways.

    My hubby was due for a vasectomy after our first, then I said after our second. I WAS DONE! Pregnancy does not like me ( or recovery) But then I had 2 miscarriages- one that was like labor- and I realized it’s all perspective. We decided to do one more. I don’t know where I would be without my third. He gave me an excellent pregnancy, recovery and even labor. It’s always worth the sacrifices. Motherhood is tough. It takes strength, unselfishness, and constant patience. I fail every day…But I also succeed in various ways everyday.

    You will too. Your little one is alive, happy, fed and clothed. That’s pretty good for a preggo’s days work. If you can do that- You can do anything:)

    You may not love it at first- But I promise it will pay off. Eventually sleep and time will balance it out:)

    I was unprepared and I did great considering. In the wise words of John Lennon ‘All you need is love” Honestly, as long as you have that to give your baby will be just fine…even if she has to be wrapped in a jacket to go home. Don’t sweat it. Go watch a feel good movie, cuddle up with your other one and watch a movie. That is probably the best thing you could do for your baby to be:)
    Good Luck.

  14. Maybe this will help you a bit: your second labor should already be easier than the first because your body already went through it once, so you already have a headstart this time.
    Also, just reading through your “rest of the story” is very similar to mine. I had a med-free labor, big baby, and the worst tear you can have (OUCH). I was threatened with the same “you do NOT want me to have to catheterize you”, but finally a nurse came in who told me to lean forward on the toilet, and the pee just came and came. Did anyone have you try that?

  15. I had two med free births. The first was I prepared for months and was ‘ready’. I ended up with 34 stitches (in and out). 22 months later, my son is born, med free. I broke my husbands finger while holding his hand and pushing. I was very laid back during my second pregnancy. We knew we were having a boy after a girl, so I made sure to have a supply of boy clothes, but other then that, I too was in denial that I was having another baby so close to the first. But the second labor went quicker, I needed no stitches (and he was much larger then his sister, but I had a better doctor). My daughter-in-law just gave birth to her second child, a boy. Got to the hospital at 9:10, he was born at 10:04. Same thing, very laid back during the pregnancy this time. She was also med-free for both deliveries (after losing twins at 20-weeks four years ago, she has had two successful, full term pregnancies). You are totally normal. You’ll be ready and your daughter will be perfect. Moms are always ‘ready’..that’s why we have weird things in our purses–snacks, wipes, scissors, pins..because we are always prepared. Give yourself more credit. You got this, girl.

  16. Baby#1: OB/Gyn. Induced. Epidural. Spinal Headache. Nightmare.

    Baby#2: OB/Gyn. Spontaneous. Med Free. (ahem, not by choice. Got to the hospital @6:58, daughter was born 7:12)

    Baby#3: Midwife. Spontaneous. Med Free. ::patsselfonback::

    You KNOW yourself. You know your body. You know your daughter. It’s all about the “team” you surround yourself with, and your ability to roll with the punches should your carefully crafted plan go to shit:)
    I definitely remembered how painful the delivery was going to be by Baby#3, but I actually ‘remembered’ it being MUCH worse than it was.

    As for the after: the chaos is about the same, just more spread out! It’s like a triage situation: “are you bleeding? are you dying? then you can wait. Scream away, sweet child. Tire thyself out.”

    You’re already more equipped than you think you are.

  17. I have had 4 med free births at a hospital with a midwife, and my last birth was in a special birthing tub. It was the easiest birth, the water is amazing and takes a lot of pressure off your pelvis, I didn’t need any stitches after, and I did nothing to prepare for this birth besides keeping up with my 3 children. You can do it, your body is made for this!

  18. I’ve only had one baby, but in my limited experience the most important thing is the support system of people you surround yourself with during labor and delivery. And you have that covered! You have a midwife, a great hospital and Scott, who sounds like he was an AWESOME coach when you had Kendall. (Compare to my dear husband, who FELL ASLEEP SITTING UP during my labor.)

    And, like the previous poster said, all you need is love! And you’ve got it. Even when it manifests itself as stress and anxiety, deep down, it’s all love.

  19. Looks like I am pretty late, but I am in the exact same boat as you only about 10 weeks behind ya.

    My husband keeps asking if I am doing Kegels…so I do them right when he asks and that is about it…

    I have the same fear about birth #2 since I have not done yoga AT ALL for this birth. We are going to take Bradley refresher courses which will either make me really paranoid about all the stuff I am not doing, or they will help, I am not sure??

    I appreciate all the previous commenters’ encouragement – I need it too!

    I can’t wait to hear about how it goes for you, I know it will be great no matter what! Also, fingers crossed on the birthing tub – I labored in the water with my first for an hour or more and it was GREAT. Really does help manage the pain!

  20. I also did not experience momnesia after the birth of my first. In fact while I was puking my guts up and parked on the toilet losing everything in my stomach that I wasn’t throwing up I made a point to tell myself that it was horrible and I never ever ever wanted to do it again. My L&D with my daughter was also textbook – I took a Bradley class, practiced relaxing, kegels, the whole 9. I had an awful tear, 1,000 stitches and a hell of a time breastfeeding. I almost quit at least 15 times the first week. It didn’t get better until about 3 months in.

    My pregnancy with #2 was a bit more difficult without the luxury of lounging on the couch all evening and sleeping in on the weekends. Duh. I did take a Bradley refresher class but the was pretty much the extent of my L&D preparations. The best decision I made was to deliver at a local birthing center with midwives as opposed to a hospital/OB situation. I labored (and delivered) in the water and dude, it was like night and day. My son was transverse and despite that the contractions were much easier to work through. It wasn’t a picnic (as my midwife said, there’s a reason it’s called “labor” and not “vacation”) but having been through it before made such a difference.

    My labor was much shorter by about half and I only pushed for maybe 10 minutes. And pushing – whoa. I was much more controlled – no “oh my gosh get this thing out of me” full steam ahead style pushing. And consequently, I didn’t tear at all. I don’t know if it was the water, the midwife or just luck but I can tell you it was perineal massage because there wasn’t any of that going on in the months leading up to the birth.

    Everything has been easier. Nursing, getting back into our routines, losing the weight, etc. You CAN do it. I promise.

  21. I won’t belabor what we went through, I’ll keep it short: 3 weeks early ZERO preparation, no clean clothes for self or baby, no car seat, etc. EVERYTHING WAS FINE. It all worked out and I have a very lovely (if annoying at 2 yo) child out of it. All the prep in the world can’t make you ready. You just have to take it as it comes. It will all be fine and you’ll have great stories to tell us once you deliver.

  22. You’ll be fine !! Sometimes I think the anxiety, anticipation, and waiting is worse than when it actually happens.

    Mine were a bit different from your experience being C-sections, but I will say that the first one seemed so surreal, like a dream, like it wasn’t really happening. Then, the second one was more calm and had much more of a “real” feeling if that makes any sense.

    I think you’ll do great, and handle 2 kids like a champ !!

  23. 1.) I totally did a full set of Kegels while reading this.

    2.) I’m scared shitless now after reading this but I have to think our bodies know what to do considering women have been having med-free birth since before written history.

    I wish you the best birth possible and can’t wait to read about it.

    I’m going to go back to my first timer bliss now.

  24. I think you remember it all because you blogged it all. That blogging will really screw you over sometimes.

    And as you are well aware, I have no advice. At all. So I will say good luck, and I’ll be praying for you lots! I’m sure you’re going to be just fine. You are a rockstar, after all.

  25. Oh Jill. I can completely relate to the “I’m not ready. Nothing is done!” mentality. That was me with #2. You know what? Everything was fine.

    I promise you. Like, super DUPER PROMISE you that your baby girl will be born and in a few months you will read this post and laugh at yourself. Because everything, whether it’s a textbook med-free birth or not, will work out as it should in the end.

    I am not a med-free mama. But I know you can do this. I KNOW IT. You’re one strong woman who knows what she wants for herself and her baby.

    Go get ’em!

  26. I had my little one a whole month early – we barely finished the nursery but that was about it. I still had things to buy, a house to clean, a freezer to stock full of meals. I had a plan but this baby had a mind of his own. Yes, we were at Babies R Us the day after I gave birth but it all worked out – even if it wasn’t part of my plan. Your birth will be amazing, can’t wait to read your birth story!

  27. I never did any of that with either of my babies. I had my second when my first was 16 months, so there was never any time with him. And you know what? His birth and labor were a MILLION times better than hers. With hers I went into the hospital at 4 am, and had her at 906 pm. With him? Went in at around 430 am (I KNOW! My babies like to disrupt sleep AND on the weekends too) and had him at 730 am. And I didn’t have everything done on my list, but it didn’t matter anyway. It all got done eventually.

  28. I had a baby last December and I have a toddler about the same age as yours. I understand what you are feeling and know that the holidays add a whole new level of stress to the anticipation of having another baby. I, too, was still filled with memories of all the things that went wrong and broke my heart about my first delivery (c-section…) And had a to-do list a mile long that – in the end – even though I went into labor a week after my due date, was not completed.

    But it was all a big fat fairy tale anyway!!!! Even tho my house was still a mess, my car a wreck, my toddler still hadn’t weaned from nursing (turned out to be a good thing when I was engorged,) my in-laws stayed too long, and I had another c-section I didn’t want…it still turned out beautifully. My son was happy and healthy and for 2 or 3 weeks after he was born I didn’t even notice all the things I hadn’t done. And about the time I started noticing them, I had the energy to go ahead and tackle them while both my kiddos were napping. So it all got done eventually.

    You’re the greatest! You can do it. Enjoy. Smooches. 🙂

  29. Here’s my story:

    I whoops got pregnant when my daughter was nine months old. My second pregnancy was so much harder and ten times as stressful. We didn’t even order a crib until I was 36 weeks (great planning, right?). I was exhausted, had nothing done, and had a toddler who wanted to be in my arms all the time. Not to mention that my first labor was 36 hours of hell and I was terrified. I think I was more nervous the second time because of what happened the first time. Like you, I remembered every second of labor and really didn’t do any prep.

    I went into labor early Tuesday morning and had my baby less than 12 hours later, 4 hours in the hospital, and 8 pushes. 8 PUSHES!!!! It was so much easier and my recovery was as well. My toddler? She fell in love with her new sister the moment they met. Sure we have rough moments but a toddler and baby is SOOOOOOOOOO much easier then being pregnant and having a toddler.

    You can do this, the baby won’t care if you have more on your to do list. Honestly, once she’s here you won’t care either. One way or another the important stuff will get done and the unimportant stuff will remain unimportant.

    My experience taught me that it’s so much harder to enjoy pregnancy the second time around because of the kiddo who demands you attention. It also taught me that motherhood the second time is twice as sweet.

    Hang in there mama!

  30. Your so lucky, I knew I pregnant with my 2nd before I missed my period and well ummmm I didn’t have a text book delivery and I have been freaked out since I peed on the stick. So you got a nice 6-7 months of not being freaked out. I went through the first trimester weird dream phase freaked out. … I am going to have a planned c-section I am still afraid I’ll go into labor early and just try to go vaginal at the last min.

  31. <——-Mama of 3 here!

    It will be ok. I promise! I freaked out a little more with each child. The first i was so ready and prepared. The 2nd (who is only 13th months apart from his brother) i was freaked out and totally not prepared. My youngest son…hahaha! I was a mess. Panic attacks, crying, worrying my self sick. I got the birth i wanted (which is on my blog from last november) at a birthing center with little to no complications. In the end it was all worth it and everyone is doing fine. It is completely normal to worry and be scared. But i promise that no matter how unprepared you are you will be fine and so will baby.

  32. Thank you for this post, I am also pregnant with my second and I too feel like I am nowhere near as prepared as I was for my first. All the healthy eating, kegels (and I laughed out loud because sure enough, I did one as soon as I read that part!) and preparations seem to have gone out the window this time. My son is only 9 months old and like you said, who has time for all of that with a rambunctious little person running around?!

    I have recently talked (more like whined) to a couple women I respect very much about how I almost feel guilty that I haven’t given this pregnancy the attention I did with my first and have horrible fears of it affecting this child. With my son, I talked and sang to him, daydreamed about what he’d look like, how his bedroom would be decorated and pretty much spent the majority of my time focusing on the little life growing inside of me. If it weren’t for the morning sickness reminding me this time around, I would completely forget I was pregnant most of the time!

    Because I am going through the same though process as you at the moment, I can’t predict how it will be when your daughter is born or if all the unpreparedness will end up having any effect at all. But I can say this, from reading all your posts and seeing the genuine love and devotion you have for your son and baby girl…you are a great mommy! Just like how your daughter will be different from your son with her own unique personality and how your relationship with her will be special, her birthing experience will probably be different and special too. That is one wonderful thing about pregnancy the second time, even if you vividly remember all the pains and horrors of delivery and recovery, you can undoubtedly say you know from experience it is all worth it for that amazing little human being who will capture your heart completely!

  33. Try to look at your lack of momnesia as a good thing…

    Remember the sleepless nights? The bleeding nipples? The mastitis? The complete lack of “you time?” The baby blues? The feelings of OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE THIS WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA panic?

    The worst part of all of those things was that you had NO IDEA what to expect. Sure, people tried to tell you, but you never really knew. You never really do know until you’re in the thick of it.

    That means the worst part isn’t going to his you this time. You’re not going to have that OH DEAR LORD THIS IS THE REST OF MY LIFE feeling, because you’re going to actually *know* that in a few weeks, it’s going to get a little better, and a few months after that, even better. And soon you’ll be sending them both off to college and spending 24/7 in some sort of swanky day spa. (That’s how it works, right?)

    As far as all the preparations go… Those are the luxury of the first time mom. My guess is that they’re more a psychological distraction technique than anything, and Kendall has gladly taken over that portion of your birth prep process. Your body was made to do this, you’ve done it before, and by almost all accounts, it’s supposed to be at least a little bit easier and faster the second time around. You may not have been “practicing,” but your body remembers what to do. It is no longer a rookie.


    You’re gonna be fine.

  34. I will reiterate what everyone has been saying! You can do this! And probably without all the preparation that having K took because you already know what you are getting into. The pain of natural L&D won’t be as shocking this time.

    My SIL just had her 2nd baby in Sept. Went into labor around midnight and her son was born at 2:36 AM that same night. 2nd babies come quick! Don’t know it this will reassure you or scare the crap out of you further… =)

  35. I don’t think there is a mother on this planet that had as much time to prepare for baby #2 as they did for #1. Pfft, I could barely remember that I was pregnant b/c I was so busy (although my ginormous belly measuring 6w ahead reminded me. And the lack of wine.)

    L&D with #2 was a breeze. I heard it would be and I counted on that… it’s the only thing that kept me sane. Although I was 6cm dilated (for 3 weeks) when I went in for my induction at 39w, it literally took no time at all to get to 10cm and then I may have pushed once (maybe?) and my 9lb 3oz baby was out.

    After the first baby, it’s always harder b/c you know EVERYTHING. Ignorance is bliss with #1. But you’ll be fine… use what you’ve learned and you’re body will just know what to do b/c it’s done it before.

    It will be easier mama. Just keep that in mind. You’ll get through it and you’ll have this beautiful baby girl as your reward for being so strong.

    As I told myself right before having #2… “get it together woman!” =)

  36. Jill, you are psyching yourself out! You can totally do this, and odds are you will not have the difficulties you did last time. Maybe you need to go back and read my birth story again. 😉 You’re going to rock this and you are going to seamlessly move into being a mom-or-two. Dude, if I can do it as easily as I am while dealing with the separation / loss of the husband /suddenly-single-mama factor… you can do it too, with your amazing loving Scott!

    XOXOXO… stay positive! I am CERTAIN that is the reason my VBAC/L&D went so smoothly, painlessly, and beautifully… I trusted, no, KNEW it would go that way. It’s all about MINDSET, girlfriend!!!

  37. You will be fine. You have a positive birthing attitude and that will see you through it. I hhave only birthed one baby and didn’t do any of the things you mentioned. I had a med-free birth outside of the hospital. It’s all in your attitude. You are either going tto do it or you are not.

  38. I think it was with my 3rd that I really wasn’t that prepared. I did remember all the pain, and when the labor started, I really didn’t want to relax and let it happen. I know I was trying to keep the labor pains at bay in my head. Now, with the first two I had pretty fast labor and deliveries, and I wholeheartedly expected this one to be easier. However, I think I really was fighting it, and when the doctor told me I wasn’t progressing, I knew I had to just let it happen. There was a shift in my brain, I stopped resisting, I let the contractions wash over me and do their job, and yeah, the pain royally sucked. But then she was born like 15 minutes later when they were expecting me to go several more hours. So, remember not to fight it. Find your focus, relax, and let it happen!

  39. You’ll do great! Your body has already done this and to me that is half the battle!! With my second I woke up at 2:30 with MAJOR contractions and by the time I got to the hospital at 2:45 I was 7cm dilated!! How does that happen, I have no clue because I sure as shit can’t believe I slept through 0-6cm. Baby came by 5 and the recovery was WAY more efficient too. I was up and showered 5 hours post partum and actually got to wear my cute jammies I bought for the occasion. With my 1st I was so sore that no number of ice diapers came close to helping me and I never made it out of the expandable hospital undies and acre sized pads for two days.

    Anyways, sorry for rambling! I’ll be hoping for a healthy and speedy delivery for you!

  40. If it makes you feel better, my friends just had their second baby and their first will being turning 1 around Christmas. 🙂
    I can’t offer any advice since I’ve only had one. But my 1st time pg friend keeps asking me about delivery and how awful it is. I told her after laying there for 22 1/2 hours, after getting induced, the 3 different vacuum attempts to get him out, the fevers, and the 3rd degree tears I forgot about it once we were both back in my room together.
    You’ve totally got this!

  41. I didn’t plan an unmedicated birth with my daughter. I went into it with an open mind and got the epidural after 24 hours of back labor. BUT I did read and focus and meditate and whatnot.

    With my son I didn’t do all that. But I DID go into it KNOWING it was going to be natural. And it was. And during, it hurt like hell but then there he was on my chest and OH the pain was gone and the sky-high hormone love fest was there and I couldn’t wait to do it again.

    I didn’t take classes for my son’s birth, but I did take some time to center myself and relax and let go of my fears. It is definitely not too late for you to do that. The thing is, and you know this: no class or previous birth or anything can fully prepare you anyhow. Your second birth will be different than the first.

    If you want to read my birth story (homebirth), it’s at this link:

  42. What!? There’s no momnesia the second time around? I think you just helped kill all my thoughts about wanting a second baby, haha. In all seriousness though, you are going to be fine and you will do great!

  43. I have a VERY positive 2nd time mom birth story (home water birth). I can email it to you! What’s your address? I have to say, the 2nd time around everything is easier. Labor, delivery, baby care, breastfeeding, paranoia, etc. It will be beautiful and wonderful! You don’t NEED to do all the things you did with your first pregnancy. You are giving your son and daughter a wonderful gift, being siblings. It’s different when you aren’t totally focused on one little person, but it’s awesome because you are giving them a lifelong friend and companion!!

  44. If this is any encouragement I just had a friend who had her second baby a month ago. And her labor was all of 14 minutes. I *think* I remember hearing that second & third and so forth babies come quicker? Someone correct me if I’m wrong?

    But don’t worry I think that as a 2nd time around you will know better then anyone that being prepared to labor is really just understanding you’re going to want to murder someone. If you’re prepared for that everything else will just fall into place as it will.

    So your hospital allows you to bring your own birthing tub? That is really incredible. I’m not pregnant with my second yet, but plan to be by spring and I think this is a great option.

  45. I can not thank you all enough for all these wonderful, supportive words of encouragement. It means the world to me, and you all have truly helped me feel so much better going into all this. I wish I had time to reply and thank each one of you individually. Please know I appreciate each and every one of you.

  46. I am sure everything will go great. I just had my 2nd child a month ago. I was so nervous about having a rough recovery again (repeat c-section) and not being able to handle life with two children. I am so happy to be able to say the 2nd child is easier overall. I am so much more confident in my parenting skills. The biggest thing is I have learned when to pick my battles and when to let go.

  47. Coming late to this post – but I just wanted to say that I *just* had my second baby in October, and was really, really worried about not having prepared for another med-free labor (and with the added stress that I was planning a VBAC).
    When contractions finally started, I had enough time to remember how I dealt with them the last time, and when I started doubting my ability to deal with them, an hour later I was pushing – the doubting period *was* transition for me.
    Especially if you dilated so quickly the first time, it might not be easy-peasy, but sounds like it’ll be quick. Good luck – I’m looking forward to reading another birth story from you!

  48. Is it totally normal to be freaking out! I went through Bradley Method classes with my last 2 children (and 2 husbands). I was NOT a well-behaved student as far as exercises, kegels, etc. I just wanted to say…


    Your body will remember all the things you need it to remember. You’ll do great!

  49. You can do it! I just had my second baby 7 weeks ago and the labor and delivery was so much better the second time around. You know what to expect and you have the confidence going in to it that your body can do it, best of luck! Can’t wait to hear the good news 🙂

  50. I spent approximately 1 hour preparing for the birth of my son. Srsly, I couldn’t have been more unprepared. My only birth plan was to be given drugs when I asked for them and be handed the baby right after he was born. I was blissfully ignorant and in fact, when the nurse told me it was time to start pushing, I panicked and told her I hadn’t quite prepared for that portion of the labor. Still, after 8 hours of labor and less than 1 hour of pushing, I had a healthy baby and zero complications. Unless you count hemorrhoids as complications. Which I do, but even then I only got one 🙂

    With no preparation, I had a great labor experience (albeit with drugs once I hit about 6 cm) and everyone came out the other side happy and healthy. I think your body will do what it’s supposed to do and you don’t have to feel bad a) about not preparing and b) veering from your birth plan in order to do whatever you think will be best for you and your baby.

    You’ve done great, you’ll do great, stop worrying and enjoy these last few weeks when you can spoil Kendall with single child attention!

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