So last year there was a Fifty Shades of Grey baby boom predicted, Im not sure about that, but certainly here at BabyNatal there has been a baby boom this year! So many of our teachers (I have honestly now lost count!) are expecting or have just welcomed little bundles themselves!
Something which is integral to our BabyNatal teacher training is about being able to reflect on our own personal decision making and what different factors have influenced the choices we made. Certainly being a teacher becoming a parent again is an interesting dimension, and with this in mind four of us sat down and had a think about what this meant for us this time around…
So let me introduce you to:
Have you found out the sex of the baby? Why?
Laura – No,because I haven’t had my 20 week scan. I most definitely will find out the sex. I can’t wait to find out a bit more about the little person growing inside me. Also I’m nosey.
Steph – Yes. Dean & I were quite keen to have a little surprise this time around, but it became clear to us that it would help our children (aged 4 & 3) in their bonding to know the sex, so we found out. No regrets though as its always a surprise!
Mel – We would love to know! Mainly because my husband already has a 22 year old son and we have a 6 year old son together who would love a baby brother to complete the set. But the baby has been shy so far in all the 3 scans we’ve had (though the sonographer said “maybe a girl”).
Kate – No, we didn’t find out with our first so we already have lots of neutral items and didn’t feel we have to worry about being prepared. Also with our first my husband told me the sex and we would like to do this again. I feel it is a nice way for him to get a ‘first’ after all I get all the first kicks and movements, the scans and heartbeat we got to see and hear at the same time, but this way he gets to find out before me and announce it. Plus it’s another role he gets during the birth and obviously it’s an important one as I wouldn’t be happy if he told me wrong!
Has this pregnancy felt different from your first? How/why?
Laura – 100% different. On the plus side I am so much calmer, my morning sickness has been alot less. On the downside I am find my bed more appealing at the end of the day and my back is aching more, as having a beautiful toodler does take its toll. Although I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Steph – There have been similarities & differences with both my first and second pregnancies. This time around I have had more pelvic pain which is proving the most challenging aspect.
Mel – I think it’s felt the same – although it’s been 7 years since my last one so I may have forgotten. I was really tired at the beginning and starting to feel tired again now. And I seem to pick up all the bugs going round.
Kate – Yes. I think the main reason is having a baby/toddler already, my day is taken up balancing work, BabyNatal, Housework and looking after him, I don’t get spare time to rest like last time. Also with my first everything was new so I spent a lot of time checking and question all those little things, this time I’m trusting myself a lot more. I have also noticed kicks and movements a lot earlier with my first I didn’t feel anything until 23 weeks, where as this time it was as early as 14+5.
Are you anxious about the same/different things this time around? Like what, if anything?
Laura – In my last pregnancy I was worried about practically everything from the birth, to being able to feed to being judged ,to what if I don’t love my baby? I think for me the unknown really frightened me and I was really unsure of my own abilities. This time round I know I can do everything and I know my husband can support me through any challenge (true rock), so I guess my main concern is how having another baby will effect my son. Will he be happy with a baby in the house? Will I be able to divide my time between my boy (and my husband)? Will he know how much I love him? Will he try to feed the baby leftovers when I’m not looking?
Steph – I was definitely very anxious about my birth the first time around, which I’m not now. The second pregnancy, my biggest anxiety was about leaving my little boy while I went into hospital to give birth, but as we are planning a home birth this time around, that shouldn’t be an issue. I am confident in my ability to give birth, but there are always some nerves! I’m expecting the most challenging bit being getting used to getting two children, a newborn and myself ready in time for the school run!
Mel – I’m not as anxious this time around about the health of the baby as I know I’ve already carried one healthy baby, though I would never take that for granted. Plus the baby’s almost constant moving is reassuring if not tiring! But unfortunately at the moment I still have a low lying placenta so I’m feeling anxious that my planned home birth may not happen.
Kate – I don’t think I’m anxious about anything to do with the pregnancy or baby. My main concern really is helping my little boy understand and cope with all the change and transition, and also making enough time for them both once baby arrives.
Are you intending to do anything different with your baby this time around than you did last time?
Laura – During my pregnancy first time around, I really just did as I was told. I didn’t really know much about my options and certainly during my pregnancy didn’t have the confidence to argue with the professionals. It took me a long time to home in on my instincts, but when I did that is when I was doing the best I could. I think this time I will be very much in control when I give birth and I am already listening to my instincts. I think I have now seen a lot of babies and parents and one thing I know is that they are all unique. I don’t know if I will do things differently, probably but for the specifics I’ll let our baby guide us. One thing I do know is that I have a massive arsenal of choices and knowledge which will help.
Steph – Yes I think so, for a start, we are planning to birth our baby at home! Im very excited about allowing them to enter the world straight into a loving and calm family environment, where our children can be a part of the experience if they choose. There are some other things which we are also planning to do differently, such as to exclusively use reusable nappies and wipes.
Mel – Yes, planning to be more relaxed about feeding times, and sleep times and not listen to other people’s advice. (Not having my mother-in-law living with me this time should help with that!) I also plan to use a sling more and we will be using a bedside crib to enable us to practice safe co-sleeping making night feeds easier.
Kate – I don’t think I will do much different to what I did first time. I will probably babywear a little more that would because of practicality and having two children this time. I would also like to feed for longer, last time I felt I began combining formula and breast a bit early due to a lack of support from my Health Visitor. This time I know to trust myself a lot more.
Do you think becoming a BabyNatal practitioner has/will affect your approach to parenting? How?
Laura – The first weekend of training was such an eye opener for choices and that I was fully within my rights to say “hold on this is our pregnancy this is how we want it to go”. Every session I teach I’ve learnt something new from the couples I’ve met, from babies that don’t wear any nappies to putting wipes upside down so they don’t dry out. I’m no longer scared of the question “oh, why are you doing it that way?” I know that every family is different and so am I. I am more confident and know I not only have more knowledge, but I have a team BabyNatalers ready to answer any question with 10 different options when ever I need it. My approach as parent hasn’t really changed but I do now have the confidence to be the mum I’ve always wanted to be (with the odd day here and there of getting it completely wrong).
Steph – Through my work with the whole Natal Company I never stop learning and thinking about how I incorporate new knowledge, perspectives and skills into my parenting. What I am very confident about now is about doing what feels right, not bowing to peer pressure or other people’s opinions. As a first time mum I was anxious about how to look after and be responsible for a baby, but now that is something I’m very at ease with!
Mel – Definitely! I’ve learnt loads more about the concept of the “Fourth Trimester” and will work hard to honour those precious first months for the baby AND me and not rush to get back to normal like I felt I should last time. And I’ve also learnt loads more about modern reusable nappies so am beginning to get quite a stash of cute cloth nappies!
Kate – I think it has helped with building on my confidence of looking after babies. It has also given me a few ideas of things that I could do a bit different, i.e. bathing/top and tailing.
Thank you to our lovely teachers for giving us a little insight to their pregnancies, we wish them all the best with their journies and look forward to hearing lots of exciting news 🙂