I Lived. I Learned: Completely New Mom the 2nd Time Around

Did your birthing and parenting views evolve or change completely with each pregnancy or birth? Mine surely have — like a complete 180!

live and learn

I am 31 weeks pregnant and it absolutely amazes me how much I’ve grown since my first pregnancy. If I were to meet myself from three years ago I would not recognize myself. I would probably turn my nose up at this person I’ve become… and pity her. This is one reason I refuse to judge other for most anything ( other than murder etc. ) because I really truly never know if or when I’ll be in that persons shoes. Even if I’m sure it will never happen.

During my first pregnancy I was the spokes person for all things natural. I planned a home-birth that would take place in an inflatable pool in our bedroom. I planned to nurse forever if my child wanted. Hubby and I took natural birthing classes and ordered natural laboring books from Amazon. I was going to make all baby food from scratch, organic of course. We ordered the best cloth diapers and didn’t even think of decorating a nursery for Ari, we would co-sleep of course.

I could go on but you get it.

The reality of it all was that I ended up with a footling breech baby and had a c-section. I nursed for 2.5 years not by choice exactly. Nursing was the only way Ari would sleep and he refused the bottle and pacifier. This lead to me not getting sleep which exacerbated the postpartum depression I was diagnosed with… Yeah.

We co-slept — still do. Not by choice, he’s almost 3.5 years old. Bed-sharing is the only way I can sleep otherwise I’m still up multiple times during the night to console Ari, on top of getting up to use the bathroom a few times and not being able to sleep well because sleep and the third trimester don’t go well together.

And the cloth diapering was a joke but they work very well in the kitchen, for cleaning up random messes.

Basically, all my natural wonderful plans failed me. Not only because they didn’t work out but they became a source of bondage for me. No sleep, no “me” time because my kid had to eat, no time to spend with hubby etc etc. the depression mounted. It was a disaster.

I’ve lived and I’ve learned and based on what I’ve learned from my past experience (yes I understand that each baby is different) I’m sticking with what I’ve learned.

I’m opting for another c-section this time. Lets call it a CBAC (Cesarean Birth After Cesarean)

Why? Because that was the best part of my entire pre-natal and postpartum experience! One day in the hospital, only took Motrin for the little pain I had, was walking up stairs once I got home and my scar healed beautifully. Last but not least I got one healthy baby whose apgar score was a 9.

So why would I not want to have another c-section? Yes, I understand what they say about natural birth the benefits etc. but Ari, other than his night wakings — seems to be a very healthy boy!

I have no plans to nurse. At all. We will order a German made organic grass-fed formula for baby  (hey I still want baby to have the best I can offer) I will offer baby a pacifier in the hospital and I will be a fearless formula feeder.

Why? Because I lived. I learned.

Nursing Ari was bitter-sweet. More bitter than sweet. It was a great source of pain physically and emotionally. Having to lay with him latched on each and every time he slept during the day and all night! I remember being in a dark room for 12 hours while he slept, mostly attached to me. I’d attempt to sneak away and he would cry. Remember, I had postpartum depression and anxiety, and most of my anxiety revolved around Ari and his sleep. Everything I read stressed the importance of a baby getting enough sleep to grow and develop properly.

Other issues were having NO help with night feedings, not being able to leave the house because I was also his pacifier and he would cry. Worrying that I was harming my child because I had to take antidepressants while nursing was a great source of guilt and… more anxiety.

I can’t …no. I WONT take a chance at any of this happening again. I intend to begin multiple supplements after baby is born to fight depression as naturally as possible and maybe a prescription if that’s what I need. I want to be able to go running without worrying about my milk supply because running has been proven to increase endorphins… hence fight depression. I want to be able to take care of my mental health as naturally as possible without the guilt and anxiety of hurting my baby, and that needs to include being able to have the ability to implement self-care. Self-care was something that I used to believe was only for selfish moms, now I believe differently.

I want options: to ask for help feeding at night or to go out with Hubby or to the grocery store alone if I like. I want to be able to sllllllleeeeppppp!

We will not be bed-sharing. While it works wonderfully for many families and I do miss Ari being close to me when he sleeps in his room — sometimes for about a minute :). I know that I prefer laying in bed at night reading a book with hubby.  Our relationship has been on the back burner these last 4 years and I want to make it a priority the same way I’ve made parenting a huge priority. Reading aloud to each other before bed was something that we both really enjoyed before Ari took over his place in bed.

We aren’t cloth diapering at least not at first but I will make organic baby food most likely or maybe I’ll buy it.

The point is I lived, I learned and I am making these decisions because I want what is best for myself and my family. Last time around it was all and I mean ALL about baby, big mistake. My mental health is at the top of my priority list.

Once you’ve had a run in with postpartum depression or any depression for that matter you do whatever you believe you need to do to avoid meeting it again. I never want to see death as a peaceful option ever again . Who knows maybe I have a bit of PTSD from that time in my life. It’s entirely possible.

One beautiful thing that has come from this is that I’ve learned to trust myself to speak up for what I want to go against the grain. To accept people looking at me sideways because of my choices. MY choices. I don’t think I had the strength or courage to make my own choices the first time around. Many of those choices were made out of fear and because I wanted to fit in with the majority that surrounds me. Not again.

So did you how did you change (if at all) from baby 1 to 2 to 3 and beyond?

PS. You know that saying, “You have to do what’s best for you”? It actually means something to me now. I actually believe there is more than one right way.

Fulfilled Living, Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, Pregnancy
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