Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I would do differently

I just recently found out that I have another niece or nephew on the way. How exciting for our family! It got me thinking (along with a touch of baby fever), what would I do differently with baby #2? I'm sure a lot of women think of these things, but if only we could control all of them!

I surprised myself with a considerable list so far and I'm sure I will still think of more down the road (when I'm actually planning for #2). Keep in mind that these are not from regrets, just improvements I would like to make after learning so much with my first.
  1. I will get a Midwife. With little E I had an OB, but with no doubt in my mind I will switch to a Midwife next time. I like the idea of going through the pregnancy with 1 or 2 midwives that work together and having them there with you on the day of birth too. With my OB, it was just whoever was on call from the clinic that day. I had a great OB, but the connection and assistance I needed just wasn't there.
  2. I will find out the sex. We kept little E's sex a secret, but we both strongly felt he was going to be a boy. It was important for me to keep it a secret for our first child, but the suspense nearly killed Hubby. I don't know why but I don't think we can do it again!
  3. I will do pre-natal and post-natal yoga. I wanted to with my first pregnancy but didn't get around to it. I was extremely active, running and walking throughout my pregnancy, but wish I had practiced the stretching and breathing techniques of yoga.
  4. I will go to the hospital later (if I can control this). I wanted to wait until the last minute with little E but there were so many things happening that I was unsure of in my early labour including consistent contractions. Next time around I will be more aware of how my body works and I'm sure the Midwife will also help with that. No more walking marathons around hospital halls - I'll do that in the comfort of my own home or neighbourhood next time, thank you!
  5. I will leave the hospital earlier (if I can control this). I felt like I was in jail after being held there for almost 48 hours. I was repeatedly told that I was doing well so there really was no reason why I should have stayed. It also took us what seemed like forever to have little E checked and approved for discharge. I wish I could have been sent home earlier to recover in the comfort of my own home.
  6. I will stick up for myself. Since it was my first birth I was relying on the nurses a lot for guidance. After I gave birth naturally, little E was laid on my chest briefly but then whisked away to be bundled up. I was then cleaned up and transferred to the Mother-Baby Unit. Once I got there, I asked for assistance in breastfeeding, but the nurse assured me that another nurse would be in shortly and once all the paperwork was done. Over two hours later, I was finally nursing little E for the first time. I was frustrated and should have stuck up for myself and demanded assistance to nurse him earlier.
  7. I will accept help. I tried to be too independent and should have let family and friends help when offered (in those first few weeks especially).
  8. I will look more seriously into cloth diapering. I was too intimidated by cloth diapering first time around - but I will definitely be giving it my all next time.
  9. I will purchase a quality baby wrap carrier. I had a Hotslings and Baby Bjorn and they were very handy but I will invest in stretchy wrap like a Moby or Hub a Bub or something similar.
  10. I won't drink milk or eat dairy products when baby is born. That way I can phase them in to my diet to see if they are affecting the baby and not go through all the trouble I discussed with little E in this post and this follow-up post.
  11. I won't try to be perfect. I won't try to do everything by the book. I know now to do what I believe works for me and the best that I can.

Something that I want to be the same is to give birth naturally again. I believe I can, but I understand that it will definitely take more courage and preparation next time. I have forgotten the pain, but not the experience - and I know now what to expect. I felt invincible with little E's birth and although I was well informed and prepared - I was extremely naive because I had not experienced it yet. Experience can be a good thing and a bad thing I have come to realize. My Mom agrees and I think of her as an expert after giving birth 11 times!

Baby #2 isn't in our immediate plans so I have time to ponder and dream about these things. For now, I will just send my best wishes to my brother and partner with their baby #2!


  1. Having a midwife will take care of 1, 4, 5 and 6. With the midwife you can labour at home for as long as you like, even birth at home if that is what you want (my firend did it twice). after a good delivery and if everyone is fine, you can leave the hospital after 4 hrs under midwifery care. and they never leave your side so they help with the breast feeding immediately. unfortunately i had to have a c-section because the jellybean was breech, but he was still under midwifery care and we had the 6 weeks post natal care as well. awesome. and what better way to end each check up than with a hug!

    and one last thing. your mother had 11 kids?!?! holy moly!

  2. Thank you. This definitely reiterates exactly what I was thinking. My sister-in-law had a natural birth for her first too but she had a midwife and although I am happy with the ways things went - I wish I had a better experience with 4,5, and 6 like she did. I also love the post-natal care they offer.
    And, yes 11 kids. 7 boys and 4 girls. No twins.
    And just in case you're wondering - I'm only interested in a couple more - not 10 more :)

  3. What a great post!
    I had a GP as a compromise between a midwife and an OB (worked well, especially because midwives can't follow twin pregnancies)
    I love my baby carriers, cloth was WAY easier than I expected and I TOO cut out dairy before the babies were born because of my experiences with Kiernan and it turned out to be the best decision. Didn't go over well with the nurse I had when I wouldn't give the twins regular formula when they were jaundiced and my milk supply wasn't up enough yet, but that's an entirely different story ;)
    Also, my doctor and I agreed (before finding out I was having twins) that I could go home right away after the baby was born - I SO wish I could have skipped the hospital stay entirely the second time around. Oh well ;)

  4. Thanks Lara. I would love to know if your first still has a sensitivity to dairy or did he grow out of it? I've written a couple posts on my dairy trials with little E and beginning to wonder if he will ever grow out of it. Did your twins have the same thing?

  5. I wanted to use a midwife and have a home birth...but my husband strongly disagreed. I never thought to have a midwife in a hospital setting. That probably would have pacified him. LOL. And cloth diapering is awesome!back when I used them for andre they did not to my knowledge have the pick up drop off program they have now. you dont even have to wash them before you send them out! they drop off clean ones. I managed my own...ALOT of work

  6. What a great post! There are plenty of things that I did do differently between DS and DD and even more that I would do differently if we were to have a third. I'm leaning home birth, something I never would have dreamed while pg with #1

  7. I had an OB the first time and had a c-section. I went with a midwife the second time and it was wonderful -- I don't blame my OB in the least for the c-section, but I was able to have a VBAC, I laboured at home for two days, I left the hospital a few hours after Eve was born and then the midwife visited us at home -- it was fantastic. Also, not trying to be perfect -- a world of yes.

  8. Thanks for sharing your stories ladies. I love hearing that you were succesful in your attempts to do things differently with your number #2's. It gives me hope!

  9. Births for me were very different for numbers 1 and 2 though some differences were by choice and others just happened. I wanted an epi - no luck. You can choose some things, but as you know, the baby may have other plans...

    With my first, I wanted to get out of the hospital as soon as I could and left after the requisite 24 hrs. With number 2, I wanted to stay as long as I could to have the peace, quiet and assistance that I could get there rather than be at home with a 22 month old and all my post-partum anxieties.

    And imperfection is a good goal too! I pride myself on that.

  10. I'm doing cloth diapering with Sarah and it's great! Rumparoos are my favorite...hands down. and we dry ours on the line to save on the electricity bill...really hasn't changed the cost of hydro very much at all.