All You Need To Know About Becoming a Mother for the Second Time
The latest edition of our weekly feature, Scrummie Sunday!
Issy, known to her young family, and her Instagram followers as Mummy Scrummie is a Hampshire-based mum of two and brand rep for Catkin Toys. Every Sunday, Issy will be writing a guest blog feature, covering the parenting topics and issues that interest you! Have a topic you'd like to hear more about? Get in touch!
Becoming a Mother for the Second Time
You love life as a mum of one, and it’s just starting to feel like you might have found your feet with it; sleeping routines have settled down, and your small person is no longer completely dependent on you every second of every day; heck, you might’ve even had a night out or a Mummy Day to yourself, or even just a few hours of CBeebies-free peace and quiet. When, into that comfortable routine comes: Baby Number Two.
Whether it’s a planned decision or a lovely surprise, having a second baby can be a real cause of anxiety for many parents and, with my very own Baby Number Two having just celebrated his first birthday, I’m here to share my top tips on making the transition from being a one bubba woman to a happy mum of two!
Deciding if Two’s for You
If a second pregnancy isn’t coming as a surprise to you, you – like me – have consciously opted to have another baby. For me, the premature death of my mum, and the emotional rollercoaster my sibling and I went through as part of that, really cemented in my mind that I didn’t want my daughter to be an only child, I didn’t want her to be on her own dealing with everything adult life throws at you; I wanted her to have a little chum.
So, once I’d finally persuaded my husband that bringing another tiny person into our lives wasn’t a completely mental idea, we started trying for another Little Scrummie.
We tried for a few months before I fell pregnant (that’s a story for another time), I will say however that if you’re ‘aiming’ to fall pregnant at a particular time, you’ll need to allow yourself a flexible schedule because, unlike when you tried for your first baby, this time round you already have a small person waddling about, leaving you very small windows for romance!
Telling the Big Brother or Sister
Exactly when you announce your pregnancy is totally up to you, (I told my friends and family at about 13 weeks) but it is important that you think about how and when you are going to tell your first-born.
In our case, we told Little Miss Scrummie that she was going to be a big sister about a week before we told everyone else. Now, we were in the middle of a global lockdown at the time, so it’s not something we really had to consider, but do bear in mind that once you’ve told your child, they will want to tell everyone and their neighbour that “there’s a baby in my Mummy’s tummy!”, so if you’re still trying to keep your news under wraps, hold off on telling Little One.
As for how to break the news, again, this is totally up to you, and there are as many different approaches to this as there are to anything else!
We opted for a sort of build-up to the reveal, in the weeks beforehand we talked about how nice it would be to have a little brother or sister; and about other people she knew who had younger siblings. I suffered dreadfully (in both my pregnancies, but thankfully less so in the second) with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, so we did have to dodge a few “Why is Mummy so poorly?” type questions, but again; shielding during the Covid lockdown was on our side a little because it wasn’t just me that was stuck at home in their PJs feeling rubbish; everyone else was too!
When it came to telling Little Miss, we went with the classic “Mummy and Daddy have got some exciting news…” and we told her – and I think this is important – that there was a baby brother or sister for her, growing inside Mummy’s tummy; the point being here that we didn’t use the phrase “We’re having a baby” (or something similar) but instead related the situation to her: it was her baby brother or sister in there, she was involved and included from the start. And we carried this theme on as much as we could; for example, our pregnancy announcement was a photo of Little Miss, grinning from ear to ear, wearing a “Big Sister” T-shirt: she was a part of it, it was her news as much as anyone else’s.
I – along with thousands of other mums expecting during lockdown – had to go to all my antenatal appointments alone, including my 12 week ultrasound scan and the 20 week gender prediction.
So, 21 weeks pregnant, I waddled off to my ultrasound appointment, armed with a pen, paper and an envelope in the hope that, the sonographer would write down the sex of the baby, without first telling me, and that I could take it home and Mr Scrummie, Little Miss and I could find out exactly who we were expecting, together. But, apparently, as a matter of policy, they’re not allowed to do this (presumably in case of handwritten error?) and so I was told then and there that my son was bouncing around and playing with his willy and I, perched in the hospital car park, wrote “It’s a Boy” on the paper I’d brought with me, before tucking it into the envelope and levering myself into my husband’s car.
And so, once back home, and fortified with a cup of tea, my husband and Little Miss opened the envelope together and then we all knew that Littlest was “a brother, not a sister”; and we were all over the moon.
Preparing for Baby’s Arrival