I’m suddenly feeling very pregnant. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve confirmed my maternity leave dates or that the clothes that fit me right up to the end of my last pregnancy are already a little tight or that we’ve planned our pre-baby trip to IKEA next week (you get free food if you go between now and 14 April) but I’m definitely feeling great with child. I’ve still got a while to go (I’m only 24 weeks) but my thoughts are turning to those first few months after the Child was born and how I’ll soon be going though it all again. A lot of the things I did last time I’m likely to do again (FYI I still think Location Location Location and Dawson’s Creek are excellent night feed viewing) but there are certain things that I absolutely definitely almost certainly probably won’t do as a new mum the second time round.
1. Exclusively breastfeed
I might as well start with the big one. Last time I exclusively breastfed the Child. Physically I was the poster girl for it – the Child took to it, I had little pain, the latch was fine, my milk production was good blah blah blah but emotionally I found it very very difficult. I felt I completely lost my independence and control over my body with no chance to escape. We tried to introduce a bottle from three weeks but the Child was having none of it. She liked her milk like I like her men – human with nipples on. We tried everything. I mean EVERYTHING to get her to take a bottle (yep even that. And that. Oh and that other thing you’re about to suggest) but she didn’t. At seven months we gave up and went straight onto a sippy cup. I say ‘straight’, it took us five months to get her to drink milk from it. When I gave up breastfeeding the week before the Child’s first birthday I wept with relief. This time I’m still planning on breastfeeding but we’re giving Bubba T2 one bottle a day from day one. Hopefully of expressed milk but if that doesn’t work out then formula it is. I know breast is best for Bubba but sanity is best for Mumma and that’s what I’m aiming for.
2. Google everything
When I was a baby my Mum’s Google was a Home Health Encyclopedia which said things like ‘nits are a result of filthiness’ and ‘pre-marital kissing spreads communism’ (or maybe I go those mixed up). But for me, Google was King Baby-Rearing. The amount of time I wasted Googling “why does my baby cry” and getting annoyed when people on forums answered “because they do” was ridiculous. Now I can’t pretend that I won’t look up random things at 2am but at least this time I know that sometimes babies do just cry without there being a reason, or sleep longer than usual without being ill or don’t blink for long periods without growing up to be a sociopath.
3. Brag about sleep
Lately Facebook Memories has been throwing up a lot of old statuses where I humble brag about the Child sleeping. They usually start with “I know no one cares and it’s probably a one off but…”. Turns out birthing a child turns me into a bit of a twat sometimes. And I know I was only posting them because I was lonely and desperate for any interaction that didn’t involve wiping sick out of my hair but still…twat. Luckily this time I have my blog to fill the void so those first few months are going to be fun for you.
4. Put pressure on myself
The only person expecting me to make a three-tier Victoria sponge for an NCT coffee morning or cross-stitch a sampler or scrapbook the first year of my child’s life is me*.
5. Dress Bubba T2 in outfits
Onesies or naked. Those are the only outfits this baby is seeing this side of Christmas.
6. Not drinking alcohol
For some reason last time I got it in my head that you couldn’t drink when breastfeeding. Wtf? Of course you can and I will. I’m not saying I’m going to get myself down to Yates and drink flaming Sambucas off a naked torso (ah the student years…) but I’m not going to deprive myself of a glass of wine come Friday night. With a toddler and a newborn I know I’ll deserve it!
7. Offer advice
Now as number 3 has established expelling life from my vagina can lead to some questionable behaviour. I could literally slap myself for the amount of times I unleashed unsolicited, unwelcome and unnecessary advice on someone whose baby was 30 seconds younger than mine. This time I’m keeping my mouth shut and doing what I do best – smutty innuendo and sarcasm.
8. Rush through the milestones
Why was I so keen for my 10 month old to walk? Why? This time 18 months until those first steps sounds good to me.
9. Work until the bitter end
Last time I finished work at 37 weeks pregnant and I still felt like I was ducking out early. This time I’m done trying to prove that this bump doesn’t change anything and if anyone wants to question my commitment they can go shove their idiocy up their shriveled sphincter. This is my last pregnancy I want to enjoy the last couple of months of it from the comfort of my own couch.
10. Welcome all the visitors
When the Child was born I was so determined to prove that I was coping that it felt like I ran an open house for the first few weeks. This time I’m running a strict 20 minute visiting policy unless they bring cake, clean my bathroom or tuck me up in bed with a gentle kiss on the forehead.
So there we have it – my list of things I won’t be doing as a new mum the second time round. How do you think I’ll fare? I might revisit this post in six months and see exactly how many of these I avoided. I suspect my success rate will be low!
*all projects attempted by me at various stages of maternity leave/ lunacy