I have a 2.5 year old DS, and a 6 month old DS. I just found out i'm pregnant again.
first of all, HOLY SHIT. How on earth am I going have a 14-15 month old and a newborn?? I always said I wanted to have at least one more I just never expected it to be this quick.
All of the surprise out of the way, I do have some real concerns.
My body hasn't healed yet. I still have pain during sex in my perineum. Sometimes I get the pain when I'm walking too long or wearing DS too long a period of time. Also, I have been in physical therapy for coccyx pain related to my births. It hasn't really gotten any better. & I haven't lost any of the baby weight. I was just starting to exercise again. I have really been struggling with my body image.
I am still healing from the trauma of DS #2's birth. It was fast, extremely intense, and I ended up hemorrhaging and loosing consciousness due to blood loss. I said after his birth I wasn't sure if I could have another if i knew it would be like that. It was so hard.
Lately DS#2 has been VERY fussy at night. I know this could be for a large variety of reasons, but i am concerned about my milk supply during pregnancy. He is still pretty much exclusively nursing. He has been offered food a few times (we do baby led weaning), but has barely had any. Is there concern that my milk supply could be decreasing already?
And lastly, if anyone out there has had their babies this close, HOW DID YOU DO IT?? we don't have any room in the budget for a pp doula, or even a mothers helper, and I don't have any family nearby. (DP's family lives close but they don't help AT ALL, they believe it my obligation... but thats another post for another day...)
I have no freaking idea how I am going to do this! I have already given myself a pep talk that the next 18 months are going to be HARD. No way to get around that. I know the soonest I will get a tiny break is the January/February/March time frame as that is when I will be far enough along to feel good and not be feeling huge and done, my youngest will be able to sit up on her own and play well on her own but probably not crawling yet, and my oldest will be turning 3.
I know the next 10-11 months after that will be very hard again. I just realized today that if this baby comes 2 weeks early for some reason he will have the same bday as my current youngest! I guess I am currently trying to think realistically about what my life is going to be fir the next few years nd am working on being excited. At least I wont have much stuff to get.
how crazy that we are in the same situation!! i laughed out loud at "uterus twins."
I guess its about time that i have that pep talk. I'm still just settling into this news, I can barely think ahead about what's to come.
I think my main concern is getting through the pregnancy. I mean, as you know, my baby is a BABY. he's little. how can i possibly be preparing for another infant when i have a baby-baby? and working through all the pregnancy symptoms with everything else going on-- i can't even fathom it.
I guess on the positive side of things, I found out early enough that i didn't give away my baby stuff yet.
If you don't mind telling.. how does your partner feel about it?
I wasn't quite as close as you, but my first baby was just over 8 months when I got pregnant with my second child. I'm our family's income earner, and my H stays home with our kids. I was pretty freaked out, and still nursing, and bed sharing, etc. etc. I feel like it's easy to fall into the trap of worrying what your previous child will think about a new baby (in my experience, he will very quickly have no memory of life without a younger sibling) and worrying that the pregnancy will ruin your breastfeeding - I was told repeatedly that you can't keep bf'ing when you are pregnant, and well, clearly that's not the case. My dd kept nursing throughout. Having said that, when I was about 10 days away from giving birth (at 41 weeks) my dd suddenly pulled off the breast one night, and gave me a look and pointed to her crib and that was that - she never once asked or seemed interested in nursing again, and even when a new baby showed up and was nursing days just later, she seemed curious about the baby, but totally disinterested in the boob. (which was fine by me - lots of people have positive tandem nursing experiences, but I would have been overwhelmed). So I think there's no need to try to prepare your second child, and if you keep your nutrition up, your milk supply shouldn't be too impacted by another pregnancy.
Things that weren't so great were that I definitely don't think my body was back to pre-pregnancy (or even first pregnancy) shape. I was really emotional and hormonal in my second pregnancy, and I was exhausted from trying to work full time and parent full time every weekend (I think I was a bit in denial). There was a lot more crying than I usually do. I overdid it with walking and things like lifting and carrying firewood, and carrying around my kid, and I paid for it, big time, with super bad hemhorroids through much of my third trimester and a generally much less happy perineal area (including brutal roids) after the birth. I freaked out a bit on the first day I was home from the hospital, and my partner had gone to work (we needed some income) and I realized I was on my own with a 17 mo and a newborn and my body felt just awful. I had a panic attack and started crying hysterically and couldn't get out of bed. thankfully my mom showed up, and my husband came home for the next couple of days. I think some of it was coming home too early, some of it was the post-partum hormonal blues, and some of it was just not recognizing what the hell I was up against, until I was actually up against it.
BUT - it got better, waaaaay better. Granted, I didn't also have a 2.5 y.o., but just think, that 2.5. yo will be 3, and 3 year olds are actually helpful! They like to get bum cream, and diapers and wipes for you. they entertain their smaller sibling. The can play playdough for at least 15 minutes. I found that my coping strategy was to seriously reduce what I expected to do each day, to find a play group that I could take my daughter to, and I downloaded Finding Nemo and my 17m.o. had enough of an attention span that I could get the baby latched and happy until dd got bored with the movie, and then we could read books while I nursed. It's not easy for the first few months, but when those kids are a tiny bit older, it will be awesome to see how close they are.
Good luck, mama! Keep the faith, and remember to put your foot down about doing anything that will potentially damage your body during pregnancy, because you need that body for birth, and for after. I read something about a 5 days in bed, 5 days on the bed and 5 days around the bed plan for postpartum, and that was one of the smartest ideas I had ever heard - especially for a third child. and as for your partner, if this is your last child, at least it is getting it over with more quickly
Thanks for your input and sharing your experience. It's nice to hear someone who has been in a similar situation.
I am definitely still in shock.
I am concerned though that my ilk is already drying up. I posted about it on the BFing board, but i've been counting wet diapers and theres not enough. I can barely pump anything, which i know alone isnt a good indication of milk supply, but in addition to the other issues it does give me cause for concern. And also, DS has been incredibly fussy lately, especially at night. I am not sure how much he is eating, and I am really concerned that hes not getting enough.
One of my main concerns, is my risk for pregnancy and post-partum depression. I was depressed for most of my last pregnancy. While the circumstances were a bit different, we were moving, my partner was out of work, and our relationship was really unstable amungst other problems, I still am at risk for it. But i was pretty devastated when i found out i was pregnant with DS#2.. it felt like a horrible time, I was still in school, and it was truly unexpected. I feel like i have handled the news of this pregnancy a bit better. I always knew i wanted another baby, so hopefully that will ward away some of the depression i fell into last time. However, my PP depression with both my boys has been terrible, but even more so with my 2nd. I just recovered to a bit more normalcy in the last month or two. before that i was in a really bad place that serirously effected my day and my relationship with my children as well as my partner. So i am definitely concerned about that and how to navigate through that should it happen again.
Its great advice though to be careful with my body. Its a nice way to frame it that i need this body to take care of people after the birth. its easy to get in the mindset of "i'll just deal with it later," but i definitely want to limit hemorrhoids as much as possible!!
Thanks again for your input :)
Good luck, GoMamaMel. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, but it also sounds like notwithstanding all of that, you are a strong woman and have a positive spirit - as well as a realistic view of challenges ahead. For the bf'ing, do you drink milk or get much in the way of animal fats? Everybody has different dietary beliefs and things that work for them, but I think that keeping high/full fat milk and dairy products, as well as stuff like animal fats in your diet is really important for keeping up milk production. I totally have no scientific data to support that, but my anecdotal observation has been that women who are drinking soy milk, or skim milk, and who avoid stuff like butter, red meat protein, full fat cheese and yogourt tend to have more trouble with milk supply. Just a thought I know a lot of people would disagree with that.
Anyway, hugs, and I wish you the best. you seem really self-aware, and I am hoping that you have family supports and a good doc you can turn to for help, if needed.