Now that I've had two babies and with a zillion mommas around me pregnant with another child, I am reflecting on what I'd do differently if I were pregnant again in the future or in the hospital with a newborn. Hindsight is 20-20 afterall, so we can think more clearly in the absence of hormones and sleep deprivation.
After our first child I made a mental list of things I swore I'd do the next time around with baby #2. I'm happy to say I did these things and would do them again with another baby someday because they helped sooo much:
-Take a video of our newborn in the hospital and then within a week at home.
-SLEEP when baby sleeps. I did this! It made my recover go so much faster the second time around.
-Ignore lactation consultants and do what works for us with nursing, bottles, etc. Advocate my needs for myself.
-Send baby to nursery even for two hours to get some sleep. This made my recovery go better also.
-Be present, all the time, not worrying so much.
-Keep baby with me and do skin-to-skin immediately after C-section, instead of waiting at least an hour after birth to try nursing. This worked wonders and made me feel so much less anxiety than I did with my son's birth and he was taken away for an hour with my husband while they stitched me up.
Here are a list of things I'd do differently the next time around.
What about you? What would be on your list?
-Take a picture of our new family the first day in the hospital, all looking pretty and at the camera. We do not have a good picture at all of my husband, son and I with our new daughter. It was taken fast by family and just didn't come out nice at all. Then I see couples or families all smiling at the camera nice and I want a picture like that!
-Take a really good picture and video of the first moment my kids meet their new sibling. I don't have a good picture at all of my son meeting his sister for the first time. Again, taken too quickly. I wish nobody had been in the room except for us when it happened, too. We had some family there and I wish it had just been us so we could have taken our time and gotten a good picture.
-Take a picture of my newborn in the bassinet in the hospital - but take it from above, standing up so I can see how little the baby was in that thing. I found this on Pinterest recently and want to take one someday. Clearly my husband would need to do that.
-Take video of my belly when the baby moved around and kicked in it. I so tried doing this, but it didn't come out right. I saw a video like this recently it's sooo cool. I want to remember that feeling someday when I no longer get pregnant again.
-Take video of me pregnant, dancing preferably with my kids. How funny would this be? I took a zillion videos the year I was pregnant with my daughter, yet none are of me in it pregnant with the big old belly or of my son kissing the belly, etc. I'd love to have taped that.
-Take a picture of my belly every month in the same shirt the whole pregnancy just to see it grow. I took a picture of me every month, but in different outfits. I do think it'd be cool to do it in the same shirt like I've seen people do before. Takes some practice and diligence. I'll give it a try someday.
-Not tell people early like we did with the last two by 8 weeks. I'd wait longer and enjoy the time to ourselves. When pregnant with number 2 there were sooo many comments, lots of them annoying or negative, "Another one? Wow, you don't know what you're in for!" so I think the next time around I'd wait longer before telling anyone we were expecting, just so we could enjoy that high of knowing about a baby on the way to ourselves a little longer.
-Wear a Bella Band earlier! Never knew about these wonderful contraptions until the very end of my second pregnancy.Are you kidding me?! I was mad at all pregnant women I'd ever known before my second pregnancy for NOT telling me about this thing! My sister-in-law gave me one and I was in heaven! No shirts went down low enough, my belly was always hanging out. I totally intend to get a few of these next time around, too. It helped with lower back pain. Every pregnant woman should have it!
-Ask for physical therapy WAY sooner and even treat myself to massages. I asked for this in my 9th month, but it took forever to actually get it set up, I went maybe two or three times before baby arrived. I would ask for this ASAP, like back in month 4 of pregnancy when my sciatic hip pain was terrible.
-Have more time just us with our newborn before allowing guests in to see him/her. I didn't do enough staring at the baby with peace and quiet, totally focused. I am sooo excited to share our new baby with family and friends that we invite them in quickly after the babies are born. I think the next time we'll spend an hour just us sitting there, staring at this new person, being just us, before we invite our other kids and family in to meet the baby. You never get that time back.
-Have my husband stay out of work longer to enjoy that time. It goes by so fast, it should be enjoyed by all of us together. He was out for weeks after my son was born because he changed jobs. Financially that was not good, but otherwise it was wonderful having him home and bonding with our son. After my daughter, he was home a week... yet 5 of those days were spent in the hospital because I had a surgery. We got home on a Friday and he went back to work Monday, so really he was not home much. Next time around I'd see if we could plan it so he's home a full week out of the hospital, or at least going in half days or something. Dads don't get enough credit for what they go through too when a baby is born. They deserve some time to bond with baby, help out mom and care for siblings, while resting themselves if they can - they're up at night, too.
-Have someone take more pictures of ME sleeping with baby. I have a zillion of my husband sleeping with our daughter and our son as newborns, because to me those are the sweetest pictures ever in the whole world. And yet I don't know that I have a single one of me sleeping with them. I need to tell my husband to take some of these. Next time around I think I'd stage one at least so I have it!