Ha! Nope...I'm not pregnant...definitely enjoying being a momma to ONE baby right now and I want to soak up as much one-on-one time with her as I can. But that doesn't mean that I'm not thinking about how her labor, delivery and recovery went and what I would like to do differently next time.
- Since Natalie was born via c-section, I will have my next baby that way as well. Although a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is physically possible, there are many risks that go along with it and I don't think that Craig and I are willing to take those risks. After Natalie was born I was really struggling with having a c-section because I felt like an essential experience of motherhood and pregnancy was taken from me and I was sad that for my subsequent pregnancies I wouldn't have the experience of "am I in labor? Are these contractions? Should we go to the hospital?" But then I realized something...even though we will schedule a c-section date for Baby #2, that doesn't mean that the baby will wait until that date - he/she could come early! I will still have contractions and we will still be on Baby Watch...but the only difference being that we will definitely have a date of eviction.
- It's no secret that I really wanted a little girl as my first child. I'm not sure why it was so important to me - maybe because of the clothes, the prospect of playing dolls, having a little mini-me running around, the close relationship I have with my mother...probably a combination of all of those things. And with having my first child I had no idea of what to expect after the baby was born and so I wanted everything set up and ready to go in our house and in her nursery before her big debut. Next time around...I really have no preference as to the gender of the child and our plan is to not find out and to be surprised when the baby is born. What a fun image I have in my head about the birthday of number two - Craig and I in the operating room eagerly anticipating the doctor's words "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" How fun would that be?! And what a change of emotion from the birth of Natalie where I cried the entire time because I was scared and nervous and felt like a general failure! I know that people say "what about planning for the nursery?" Well, Natalie was three months old when she started sleeping in her room so I figure I have time after the baby is born before the nursery needs to be ready. During the pregnancy I can get things organized and ready - drawer dividers have no gender specifications and neither does furniture...it's either white or brown. I can go ahead and pick out bedding for either a boy or a girl and maybe even try to have a similar color scheme so that we can paint the room one color that would go with either bedding.
- The only people allowed up at the hospital before the baby is born will be my mother and Craig. Everyone else will be invited up after the baby is born and I have gotten settled in and am ready for visitors. I didn't do a great job of setting my boundaries in the labor and delivery room with Natalie and there were WAY more people in the room with me than I initially wanted. I think it goes along with my general nature of wanting to make everyone happy and not step on anyone's toes but I realize now that giving birth is the one time in a woman's life when she really does get to call the shots and not care if anyone's toes get stepped on...because the birth of the child is NOT ABOUT THEM. It's only about the mother, the father and the baby becoming a family. Now that I understand that and I have confidence in my needs and the needs of my baby and family I will have no problem setting those boundaries and sticking to them.
- I want Natalie to be the first person to meet the baby after he/she is born. After I am wheeled back to the LD room after delivery in the OR I want Craig to go get Natalie from the waiting room with our parents and bring just her back where we can introduce her to her baby brother/sister and have some quiet time as just a family of four.
- I guess this goes along with the above statement about setting boundaries and standing my ground when it comes to what is best for myself and my family...but there will be limitations on visitors when we are in the hospital and when we bring the baby back home. And yes...visitors include family members. Luckily most of my friends have children and understand how crazy those first few weeks are and were very respectful of our time and energy.
So far that is all I have but I think it's a pretty important list. There were a lot of undeclared and vastly differering expectations of accessibility and boundaries after Natalie was born and it has caused quite a bit of frustration, hurt feelings and general malcontent within the circle that surrounds our little family. I will own up to my part - I should have put my foot down and clearly stated what I wanted and what was unacceptable and not cared about hurting anyone's feelings. I know that now and will not make the same mistakes twice because my job as a mother is to do what is best for my child.