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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mom of the Month - Jessica Linscott

I'm excited to feature our June (belated!) Mom of the Month Jessica Linscott! She is a hard working and super dedicated single mama making sure her little handsome dude has everything in life that he needs. I love her ideas in this post.

Thanks, Jessica!


Images shared from Jessica Linscott

1. Describe your children in 3-5 words. How did you choose their names?  Crazy, amazing, energetic.
A group effort to compile all the boys names in the world and then his dad and I went through the list and finally agreed on Carter. It took about a month.

2. How old are your children? How did you tell people you were expecting a baby?
He is going to be 2 in September. I told my friends and family and did an announcement on Facebook.

3. How would you describe your pregnancies? How was delivery, birth and labor for you?
My pregnancy was about as easy as they can be. The last month seemed like it went on forever. I was induced at 42 weeks. 36 hours of labor, only got to 6cm, got an amniotic infection from the meconium when they broke my water, ended in an emergency c section. But I'd do it all again!

4. Describe yourself as a mom in 3-5 words.  

Firm, caring, realistic, loving


5. What type of mom do you hope your children think you were someday when they're old enough to tell you?   

I hope he looks at me the same way I see my mom now. She's selfless to the core, she never let us give up, she worked hard her whole life.

6. What things have you done as a mom that you're most proud of?

I am a single mom, I work a full time job and a part time job 2 nights a week. In the last year I've built and purchased a new home.

7. What have been the most difficult parts to being a mom?
Doing it on my own. I get frustrated sometimes when things aren't going the way they are supposed to, but I always try to step back and realize it will get better.

8. What is your favorite baby/child product(s) that makes your mom job easier?
The Rock and play was the best for infancy because I could keep him by me in the house when I couldn't wear him. Now that he's a busy toddler the radio flyer bike that looks like a stroller is my friend.

9. What advice about being a mom would you give to a brand new mother?  

It will get better and harder all at the same time. Enjoy each day, I wish I had snuggled more and done less for the first few months. Everyone makes it seem like you need to be a superhero but you don't, you need to just hold your baby and smell their head and kiss their neck, because soon enough they will be running around and being crazy and then you'll have time to do all the dishes. Some days.



10. What is a typical day like for you?
Get ready in the morning, daycare drop off. Pick up at 5 and go to the playground or a stroller ride. Make dinner, bath time, book and bed.

11. What 5 things would you like to do with your kids someday, if anything were possible and money no object? 
Disneyland, a safari in Africa, site seeing in Europe,  see the northern lights in Alaska and I'd take him somewhere to help children in need so he could realize that he's a lucky person to have all the things in life that keep him happy.

12. What are your favorite summer activities? 
The beach and the playground, especially the playground at fort Williams for the great running space.

13. Tell us a time where you felt like you failed at parenting... but then realized you truly had not failed, things worked out fine.
When Carter was about 6 weeks old I was at my parent's house and fell asleep on the couch with him on my chest, he rolled off and hit the carpet. Luckily my mother was there to insure his nose wasn't broken and he was just fine. I felt like the world's worst parent. I know it happens a lot but it made me realize I wasn't perfect, I'm tired and these things will happen. I never fell asleep with him on the couch again!

14. What makes you a strong mom?

Everyone always says to me "I don't know how you do it" I just do, I don't think about it. I do whatever needs to be done to ensure my son is happy and healthy, even if that means that I have to carry his limp sleeping body through Hannaford while I grocery shop (why do they always fall asleep at the most inconvenient times?)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

pregnancy after miscarriage: choosing hope versus fears

Being pregnant after a miscarriage has been very different than my first two pregnancies. With my first two, I was blissfully naive. I hadn't known someone at the time who went through a miscarriage. People didn't talk about it as much, or at least I had not noticed. I worried about that word, but it never really phased me beyond 8 weeks or so. I figured once we saw a healthy ultrasound once things would always be healthy and fine. I didn't fear the entire pregnancy. I did not worry about every little thing.

I wish this time around was like those pregnancies where I didn't worry. I hate that I have succumbed to fear throughout the ultrasounds. This is what being pregnant after a miscarriage has done to my emotions. It's unfortunate and unfair, and yet I'm grateful being pregnant. 

I've been afraid. Holding my breath at times. 

I wonder what that feeling is and then I wonder when I don't feel the baby moving as much. I wonder if things are OK. I won't eat certain things. I figure that's something I can control, so why not? I Google daily. It's kind of ridiculous, and my brain knows this to be true, but the emotional side of me (and let's face it, the emotional side totally takes over in pregnancies right?!) can't let it go. I am nervous that "something will go wrong," not being sure what that could be. I pay attention to terms I didn't think about before like gestational diabetes and placenta previa and hypertension, whereas in my last two pregnancies when I did the glucose screening test or when they checked me for swelling it didn't phase me, nothing could go wrong, those things were not for me. This time I'm hypersensitive to the what ifs and could bes. 


When I was no longer fitting into my regular clothes and decided it was time to take out the maternity clothes, I sat on the floor worried that I was "jinxing" things by taking my regular clothes out and having to put the maternity into the drawers. I thought something would surely "go wrong" now that I'd done this. I told my husband, who said I was silly and to just wear the comfortable clothing. 

Every ultrasound in the beginning, I held my breath. I closed my eyes the first few ultrasounds, not wanting to see something going wrong. Every doctor's visit for the first six months I needed my husband to be there with me. I couldn't face "whatever they were going to tell me" alone. My last two pregnancies I went alone for most of them, as logistically it was hard to have my husband there from work. This time, I needed him by my side. I didn't want to be alone if they told me "something's not right." The anxiety was real. And it wasn't made up, it was from past experience, unfortunately. 

I've Googled every single week what it will be like this new week in pregnancy, wanting to memorize the good things that would happen, as if by reading about them I'd make them so and our baby would continue to grow.

I had deadlines in my head. I needed to get past certain weeks in the pregnancy in order to feel better. The first, of course, was I needed to get past the date of my previous miscarriage. Then I needed to get past the weeks I knew others had had a miscarriage at, as if we could pass the negative points and all would be positive and OK. 

Then I had to see a doctor in the ER one time because I was having contraction pains early on. She told me that it was not a "viable pregnancy at this point." I hate the word "viable." Who says that?! Please don't say that to me. I wanted a badge saying "this mom has had a miscarriage in the past. Please DON'T use the word viable to her, as it will freak her out and scare her and take away all the little hope she's acquired the last few months." She told me if I were past 20 weeks I'd have been sent to a specialist to help stop the contractions and basically save the baby if possible, as it would be more "viable." So then I had to move past 20 weeks in my mind, in order to be OK. Then I read that premature babies can survive at better rates past 23-24 weeks... so I had to get to that point. It was like running a race. If I could just get to that next mile, I'd be closer to the finish line and more OK and able to relax. 

I want to be naive again. I want to unknow what I know. 

For me, pregnancy after miscarriage has been filled with fears and worries, mixed in next to excitement and gratitude. It's a strange place to be. I don't like admitting that, like perhaps it makes me sound crazy or ungrateful to be pregnant or something. Here's the thing though, I'm all about honesty, especially about anything related to miscarriages, as we don't talk about it enough. So here I am sharing with you that yes, I've been afraid for six months now. I'm going to be afraid until a baby is in my arms staring up at me asking me, "What were you so afraid of, Momma? I'm here and I'm OK." 

My purpose in sharing the fears with you is not to alarm you. It's not to make you worry about yourself or about me even. It's to share the positive side. The side of the story that is filled with hope and positivity and perseverance, just so you know you CAN get there. I'm getting there.  

I'm filled with worries, but I'm also filled with strength, courage and hope. I'm determined to enjoy this pregnancy. 

I'm taking a zillion pictures of the belly bump. I'm rubbing it with lotion every night, enjoying the feeling of my growing body. I'm taking moments to stop and feel the baby and share the excitement with those around me. I'm talking about the future. I'm trusting that I'll be OK, that I can deliver this baby safely, that we will have a baby here in our arms. I'm believing in the process. I'm praying tons and believing in God letting this happen for us this time. 

I'm taking a leap of faith, because that's all we have. That's what I've learned. What helps me ease the anxiety is to jump in with everything I have in me to believe that it's just fine. It helps me to force myself to believe it's OK. It helps erase the fears when I have hope instead. When I cling to possibilities of goodness, I'm surprisingly able to move past the worry and wondering. 

I bought a black and white polka dot skirt early on in my pregnancy. It's an XL, thinking that I'll get that big at the very end when I return to work and have to dress up again. I bought this skirt because it's a sign to me that I'm believing I'll have grown a baby, I'll still be pregnant, I'll get to the end and it'll be all good. This type of small act makes me feel more comfortable. 

I bought a baby book and wrote in it. We talk about baby names. We discuss who could be the Godparents someday. I am creating a baby nursery in my mind. I've made a list of items we need to buy. I've gone through the baby equipment to make sure we have what we need for our little one. I've scheduled maternity pictures to document this beautiful time in our lives. I'm dreaming, wishing, imagining and planning. It's a wonderful feeling. And it makes the fears seem stupid, insignificant and like they are fading away with every week we get past in this pregnancy. 

You cannot possibly be fearful and joyful in the same moment. It's not possible to smile while harboring fear or holding your breath.  

I am choosing to be brave, to focus on the good. And it IS a choice. I have to force myself sometimes to not think about the dumb worries. But it's working. Hope is working.

It's taking a moment at a time. It's realizing you can't control things, so may as well plan as though things are working out all right. It's taking deep breaths. It's exercising, taking walks to keep my heart strong and body moving in the right direction. It's spoiling myself with treats like strawberry milkshakes and smoothies and Reeses peanut butter cups and massages. It's talking aloud every single time about the stupid worries in my mind to one or two people who I can trust not to judge me, but who also will ground me and make me realize things are OK. It's putting my feet up more this pregnancy, realizing it's OK and good to rest. It's writing and blogging and sharing my truths in hope that they will help another mom who feels alone in her feelings of fear, too.

It's accepting that it's normal to worry, but I will NOT allow the fears to consume me during what should be a wonderful time. It's forcing myself to let things go and focus on the positive. It's laughing it off even. 

"The odds are that we will probably be all right, odds are we gonna be all right, odds are we gonna be all right tonight." 
-Barenaked Ladies 

It's good to believe in something bigger than ourselves. It's good to focus on positivity. It's amazing when you can feel stronger than you did before. 

I went to my first two doctor's visits alone the last few weeks. It was kind of exhilarating, because I was choosing to believe it was OK and that I did not need my husband there to reassure me this time around. It's a good feeling to realize that you are OK.

It's so good to move to the other side away from the fear, toward believing in good. It's so nice just focusing on normal pregnancy things like where the baby's crib will go and what names we like and what the baby may look like. It's so good.

The fear is still there in the back of my mind. When I heard terrible news about someone who experienced the loss of a baby late in pregnancy, I couldn't breathe easily for a few days. I was uncontrollably crying, sad for them and worried for me and the life I carry inside my body. And yet, days later I was able to move from that place of fear, pledging that I cannot and will not be afraid for three more months of pregnancy, because that's not good for me and it's not good for the baby and I can't control anything anyway. 

So I'm choosing hope versus fear. 
And that's a powerful thing. 

I hope you, too, are able to move to this place of possibility and happiness in your pregnancy after a miscarriage someday. You can get there, I promise. And so will I. 


"And ... you're my favorite thing... oh the happiness you bring, oh it feels like I've opened my eyes again, and the colors are golden and bright again... it's a better place since you came along. Now I'm all right. Now I'm all right. Everything's all right." 
-Rachel Platten



Saturday, June 25, 2016

from 1 to 2: oh, the feelings you will have...

Bringing a new life into the world is an incredible feeling. It's amazing seeing the bond between your two littles, or at least imagining what that will be like is amazing. It's hard having the tougher feelings mixed in with these sweeter ones when you bring home baby #2. 

But it's SO normal. I want all new moms to two to realize this: you are NOT alone, it's very normal to have mama guilt to the extreme with two kids. It's normal to have anxiety, fears, worries, and concerns. It's even normal to dread how this change is going to impact your family. It's awesome if you don't experience any of these feelings, but it's normal if you do. 


I asked the Facebook moms what they thought about the feelings, how they worried, what made them sad even when expecting their second baby. I love the honesty here. I hope these responses help you feel more normal if this is how you feel.
  • Every time my big kid left the hospital I cried, I hated being away from him. 
  • Feeling like you want to just get out of the hospital and back to your big kid. 
  • Feeling guilty being physically split in two places, not being able to be in two places but wanting to be with two kids. 
  • It felt like a vacation being in the hospital for a few days and not having to do everything with big kid, trusting they were OK with family.
  • Whirlwind of emotions the first week.
  • Wanting to get home to the normal routine, start a new routine with four.
  • Wanting to leave the hospital early than they wanted me to leave just so I could get home.
It's normal to feel like you want to be home. It's normal to feel like you're leaving your first baby. Try to remember your big kid is being spoiled by whoever you left him with, and that's a GOOD thing, nothing to feel guilty about. They are barely going to notice things are different at first, and it's only for a few days before you're home and ready to be there again. Give yourself a break, have patience, and focus on your new little one who needs you also right now. You'll see SOON that you CAN be mommy to two kiddos. 

from 1 to 2 : getting out of the house with TWO kiddos!

So everything changes with a child. Everything changes again when you have your second. It's inevitable and crazy and fun all at once. And overwhelming.


Here are your REAL mom tips for getting out of the house after second child is around - and keeping your sanity while you do it!

  • Hannaford on the go - not having to go into a store!
  • Ordering as much as possible on Amazon.com 
  • Baby wearing = only way to get things done! 
  • At places like Wal-Mart, park next to the cart return area to simply put baby into cart in car seat, and then get toddler strapped into the front. 
  • Bring help with you to stores.
  • Leave the kids home as much as possible- change up the timing of when you go shopping, instead do it right after work before picking kids up at daycare or at night when everyone is asleep.
It's GOOD to get out of the house with the kids and for your sanity. Sometimes you just need a break from the routine. Just remember to pack, prepare, and think ahead. Things take twice as long now, at least, so be prepared with more snacks for big kid and extra bottles for baby. Make sure you don't forget about yourself: before I left the house ever with kids I would make sure I went to the bathroom, as I knew it would be much more difficult later when I was out and about with the kids to stop and take care of my own needs! Sounds silly, but it helps to think of those things ahead of time. 

YOU CAN DO IT.

Friday, June 24, 2016

from 1 to 2: bathing, feeding, sleeping with TWO!

These are some of the most common questions I see in the Facebook Mommy Stories group- how on earth do we bathe, feed and get two kids to sleep at once?! I remember having these same questions a few years ago myself.


Here are your best mommy-shared tips!

BATHING

  • Prepare everything ahead of time. Get all the washcloths, towels, toys, water ready, soap, etc. prepared before bringing kids into the bathroom.
  • Bathe them together- put the baby bath seat in the tub next to the big kid. Big kid can help with bathing sibling. With both kids in tub, bathe infant first while big kid splashing around, as infant will typically want to get out sooner to feed and change. Have clothes ready.
  • Could have big kid in tub, with baby in sink in same room, same time, with two people helping.
  • Bathe infant during day while big kid at daycare, then do big kid at night after daycare.
  • Divide and conquer- one parent bathe big kid in tub, while other parent bathe infant in kitchen sink.
  • Bathe big kids, get ready for bed. Then when they are asleep, bathe infant.
  • Using a bath seat for when baby is ready for sitting up is awesome.

FEEDING

  • Have a nursing / feeding bucket or bag of items your child can use when you're feeding baby. Books, coloring items, puzzles, snacks, etc. that keep them occupied. 
  • Don't think that just because it was hard feeding first child, that it will be the same way with second. You could get a great nurser or feeder the second time around. Be open to it. 
  • It gets easier with each child, learning to nurse.
  • Make it quiet time during feeding baby, like tablet, iPad, movie time.
  • "I had PPD and mommy guilt with #2, thinking about my first child. So I ended up formula feeding by 12 weeks, best decision ever made!" 
  • More confidence second time around, you know what to expect, you go into it knowing more.
  • Take a breastfeeding class. It's a helpful refresher!
  • Introduce a bottle sooner than did with #1. Sometimes that helps.
For me, my first never latched. I pumped for a year, crazy hard, and supplemented with formula. With #2, I went into it ready to conquer all who pressured me to breastfeed, ready to pump or use formula, whatever the case would be. I had a closet stocked full of formula I'd snagged free at the doctor's office. I never ended up using one single ounce of formula with #2. She breastfed at 10 minutes old and was a perfect nurser then on for a year! I never would have imagined it after the hardships we had feeding #1. So, be open to a sweet surprise that it could work out differently the next time around for you. 

SLEEPING

  • Feed baby while reading books to big kid. Then when baby asleep, take up to nap. Then head back down to get big kid to sleep.
  • Feed baby and put to sleep, while big kid watches TV, then put big kid to bed.
  • This happens when they get a bit older and you can get them on the same routine. It takes time, patience and working at it. 
I just want to put it out there that this all TAKES TIME. Be patient with yourself. You are caring for TWO humans now. That's not easy and it's not all going to get into sync over night. You're also going to realize you have two different people here... yes, they're related and came from you and similar. But they are different. What worked for #1 won't always work with #2. For example, my son took afternoon naps 12-2 religiously from a year old or so. My second wanted to sleep at 11:30 or so, sounds minor, but it's good to remember that all kids need different things and that's normal and OK. Go with the flow. 


from 1 to 2: caring for #1 while you are in the hospital

It's so overwhelming at times having a first baby, everything is so new. But I found with having the second child, there were ALL these things I had to think about that I never considered with #1. It started with the first doctor's appointment... we had to make sure it was during our workday because our child was at daycare and we weren't telling yet. Things you don't think about!


This is the same when you're heading to the hospital to have #2, what happens to your first kiddo? When I asked Mommy Stories moms they all had a variety of responses.

Here is who they left child with:
  • in-laws 
  • parents 
  • #1 at normal daycare routines during day and family picked up in afternoon
  • family, friends, siblings stayed at parents house
  • husband went home at night
  • a nanny
Note: I think it's SO important that your partner stay in the hospital with you when you have #2. I know it's so hard to manage that and rely on family members to take care of your big kid, but you NEED each other and that bonding time is so special with the second baby. Once you're home it's all hands on deck, tag team, one person on toddler and one person on baby. Typically it's you with baby and your partner with toddler at home. So the best bonding time and help to you is those first few days in the hospital. I think it's great to have your partner there. Also those with a c-section, you can barely move! It's nice having someone in the room to give baby to you when needing to feed, etc. The second time around the nurses don't bug you as much as the first, they think you're a pro, so having your partner there is helpful. 


Other tips for preparing to leave first kiddo at home while you're in the hospital include:
  • Putting a note on the fridge with details of how to put child to sleep, when they eat and how much and ideas for food items they enjoy, how the car seat works in the car, when they typically wake in the mornings, routine ideas, etc. It's OK to go overboard on this list, write it out - it'll make you feel better. 
  • Put important phone numbers on the fridge.
  • Set out the outfit you want your big sibling to wear when meeting baby at hospital. 
  • Go grocery shopping a few weeks before due date to ensure food your child likes is in the home. 
  • If sending your child to someone else's home, pack a bag with her favorite items like books they like to read, stuffed animals, etc. to make it more comfortable.
In the end, realize that you can't control or prep for everything - and that ends up being OK. The night before I went into labor with #2 (two days before scheduled C-setion) I had one last load of laundry to put away in my son's room so he had plenty of clothes while we were in the hospital. Well, that night I had cramping and was home alone and could not lift the bucket up the stairs. So I sat on the couch and figured "I'll get to it tomorrow." Well, we had baby "tomorrow." I also didn't get to write down a list of favorite foods and things, because I'd planned to get to it. 

And low and behold my baby boy was totally fine and content and happy and cared for while we stayed 4 days in the hospital with #2! Your friends and family will take good care of your big kid. I promise. And you'll be home in NO time.  







Thursday, June 23, 2016

from 1 to 2: when baby comes home: tips for getting through the beginning

It's hard to have a newborn around. And it's exciting all in one! Having a second baby can be overwhelming at first. Here are some ideas to help you manage. Thanks to the Facebook mommies for sharing :)

  • Get your older child on routine ASAP. Keep things normal, including sending to daycare most times so you can rest and be more ready for them when they come back in afternoon.
  • "It's OK to lower your parenting standards a bit" at first by letting your big kid watch more TV and sleep in longer or miss certain things. You get by, then it gets better.
  • Have meals prepared, groceries in the house.
  • Let people help you.
  • Buy all your child's favorite snacks and foods so it's easy for others to make food they will eat.
  • Rotate time away from baby and with big kid. Even if 10-15 minutes, your big kid will love the one-on-one time with a parent.
  • Let the older child be part of things with baby. Let them watch, help you, etc.

We found it hugely helpful for our big kid to be at daycare. He loved it, got spoiled, kept on his routine, and I got to rest and bond with baby at home during the day. I felt guilty for a second, but then realized he LOVED the attention he got there that I could not give at first. I highly recommend doing this to start off. It helps you physically heal faster so you can be out with your big kid again soon. It helps you emotionally bond with baby more so you're alone together. It helps you be rested a little and have more patience for when big kid comes home later and you can spend time together. 

Take it a day at a time. Do your best. Things are different now. It's going to take everyone time to adjust. Be patient with yourself but also your big kid. It's a fun change, but also can take some time to figure out.







from 1 to 2: location location location for the second baby

This is a question that comes up a lot on the Mommy Stories Facebook group- where to put a second child logistically and physically into the mix with a first child.

Some moms shared that the new child slept in the parents' bedroom for up to six months. Others shared they moved the big kid into a new big kid room, so baby could have original nursery. Others kept big kid where he was and just moved crib out and nursery items out to a second room to start over.

It all really depends on your home, lifestyle, age of children you already have, etc. to determine how you're going to fit #2 into the mix.

Some get very concerned with moving #1 out of the crib so they have it ready for the second baby. I always caution moms about this, as when you move the first child into a toddler or other bigger bed it typically means that they don't sleep as well as they did previously since it's a change in routine. You will WANT them sleeping when baby comes! So think this one through... if your first is not crawling out or getting out of crib just yet, leave them there... baby will be in your room probably for a few months anyway, which gives you even more time to move your first into a big bed if you need to. Baby also could sleep in a pack n' play if necessary until big kid is out of crib for a few more months. Take your time, it will all work out!

As for car seats: some like baby behind passenger seat to see better in back, some like in back of parent some keep baby in middle with toddler on the side. It depends on your child. I would never have had the baby next to the toddler in the middle because I was afraid he'd toss a toy or book at it accidentally. I had the baby behind driver's side, as it was easier to get baby out that way for me. I made sure I had a rearview mirror in the back with baby so I could see that they were ok. I never needed that with first child, but having two back there, I just wanted to be sure all was all right. I had my bigger boy behind passenger seat. It was easy to pass things back to him also.

It all depends what works for you, that's what I've heard from moms in the group. So do what works, and be patient with the big kid with whatever changes you're making. 

from 1 to 2 : must-have items to put on a registry

These are some must-have items moms shared with me that they think moms expecting a second child should pick up or add to a list.
  • nursing to do buckets - toys, books, coloring etc for toddler
  • basket of healthy things for mom to eat, too busy with toddler, so this is helpful 
  • double stroller
  • baby carrier so hands free
  • wine and coffee!
  • swing or bouncer seat that can move around the house, because 2nd baby put down a lot more than 1st
  • new round of burp cloths or bibs that got stained with #1
  • new bottle nipples
  • new pumping supplies
  • another monitor or video one that switches between two kids
  • baby bath seat 
  • more utensils, plates, cups, bowls because soon two will be using them 
  • more sippy cups 

I found the baby bath seat to be SO helpful! 

Also a new diaper bag that fit TWO kids' stuff in it. My son was only 2 1/2 when we had our second, so he needed pull ups and potty training supplies, spare change of clothes from getting messy, snacks, etc. so we needed a bigger bag that held everything, and typically a backpack helps the most since you need your extra hand free to watch toddler or younger child. 

What else was a must-have item on your list? 





from 1 to 2: anticipation, worry, excitement: we're having another!

I remember what it was like expecting my second baby not too long ago. I was overjoyed excited, we planned it and were super happy to add a sibling to our little boy's life. But I was also worried at how this would change things for my sweet boy and me and my husband as a little family of three. I worried he'd hate the baby. I wondered how we'd do everything we did with #1, when another was around.

I know I'm not alone. SO many moms are having their second babies these days and writing in the Mommy Stories Facebook group about it, so I thought I'd revisit this topic and post more on the blog this summer for ideas, suggestions and tips so you know you aren't alone.

This new series "From 1 to 2" will hopefully help ease your fears if you are starting out toward the journey of having your second one. But also I'm all about honesty, so we'll tell it to you straight also, which honestly I find helpful in the end to prepare you for this change.

Enjoy!


When I asked the Facebook group mommas what moms feel when adding a second child to the mix, they shared the following:
  • excited! can't wait to do this again
  • guilty for the first kid, having to share, will I love them the same?
  • worried- about finances, how will have time with first kid and partner etc 
  • worried I was ruining #1's life and wondering how he'd do sharing me
  • will I have energy to care for two kids?
  • wondering if we should have waited longer to have a second?
  • how to divide my attention 
  • how will I have time to spend quality time with first
  • will I ever get enough sleep?
  • will I keep my sanity? how?
  • where do we put another? space?
  • daycare costs are a concern
When I was pregnant with my second, I wondered about a lot more than even having the first one. Part of it was EASIER. You know a lot more the second time around. Part of it was scary as you don't know what it's like to have TWO of them!

When I asked moms what they *thought* it would be like, they shared these ideas:

  • I thought it would be like twice the work... but it's like 10 times the work as having one kid!
  • It's so much harder than I could have imagined.
  • I wasn't ready for the guilt. I always feel I'm split between kids.
  • More laundry and less time for housework. I can't get it all done.
  • "I think one thing people don't tell you is to be gentle to yourself; you're going to feel overwhelmed at first and that's ok! It is taking me longer than I anticipated to find ny groove with two, but I'm starting to accept that."

One mom shared, "I couldn't fathom how I could possibly love another human being as much as I did my first. This scared the crap out of me. I swear now that when you birth a child, you birth the love you need, too. I was also afraid my relationship with my first would change and we wouldn't be as close. I think that kind of happened as my second child came out demanding my attention. "
😢

Moms used these words to describe having two children:
  • Busy, fighting, exhausting, amazing, love
  • Crazy, loving, memorable, magical, frightening
  • Chaotic, exhausting, phenomenal, tenderness, precious
  • Exhausting. Overwhelming. Wonderful. Temporary. Love.
  • Beautiful, chaos, challenging, adjustment, love
  • Overwhelming, unbalanced, full, roller-coaster, happiness
  • Hilarious, never quiet, adventure, energetic, fulfilling
  • Busy, sweet, overwhelming, intense, full. 
  • Easy, fun, love, wonderful, balanced
  • Craziness, precious, interesting, exhausting, amazing 
  • Twice the smiles, laughs, & love
  • Husbands make two kids, three.
  • More work but more love
  • BOYS, STOP "Kung-fooing" EACH OTHER!
When I had my second, I called it a beautiful chaos. That was my phrase for two kids. It was amazing seeing the bond between my children happen pretty quickly and develop in different ways over the next few months and years. But it was chaos for quite some time... a type of chaos I was not used to with one child and that slightly doesn't go away... but gets easier to manage and better to handle. 

You learn to get used to the changes, you roll with the punches and find patience with yourself and your kids. I SWEAR it gets easier! 

I found that after my first child it took us 6 weeks to 12 weeks to feel slightly normal. With my second child, it took double that - 12 weeks to 6 months to feel normal again and into a great routine. You get there though, you DO, just take your time. 



tips for surviving the 3rd trimester in the SUMMER

Third trimester + summer heat = me going all crazy wondering how this is going to be this time around?! My first two children were winter/spring babies so just first trimester in summer heat. I get too hot in the winter...so summer, let's see how it goes!

I asked the Facebook group for some good tips on surviving the heat in the end of pregnancy. Here's what they told me. Hope this helps someone else!
  • stay in the AC
  • stay near water
  • keep hydrated 
  • avoid salt to decrease swelling
  • have a positive mindset: you can do it
  • milkshakes and ice cream
  • good excuse to sit around and relax 
  • dress for the heat- lighter items
  • decaf iced tea
  • feet in kiddie pool
  • popsicles 
  • frozen fruit 
  • smoothies
  • extra sun protection - hats, larger sunglasses, more sunscreen, shaded areas outside, and umbrellas 
  • comfy chair that you can get in and out of 
  • being in water helps decrease swelling and helps you feel lighter with gravity 
Ice cream is a must! 


I'm already realizing I need more water than normal, which is nuts since you already need more water than typical when pregnant. It's refreshing though so I add lemons, strawberries, blueberries, etc. to the water to taste a bit different. I keep water bottles with me everywhere - car when I'm going places, in my bag when I head to doctor's visits etc. 

I'm also realizing it's ok to find some shade and ignore the sun tan a bit this summer. I feel cooler and relaxed in the shade sometimes so that helps. 

Exercising first thing in the morning is helpful if you're still up for doing that ;) Take a brisk walk in the early morning - like before 8 a.m.! Or stretch, do inside yoga or fitness videos. It's too hot to go outside and workout after that. 

Put your feet up, mommas! It's allowed :) 

HAPPY SUMMER!