Preparing for Baby No. 2 and It’s Not What I Expected


I’m eight weeks from my due date with our second child and have started getting the “Are you ready?” question from people. I got this question during the third trimester with our first child as well, and my answer was always, “No!” And the last part was always said internally: “…and I’m terrified.”

The first time around…

With our daughter, I had no idea what to expect. What would labor be like? How do you even hold a newborn? Will I be able to breastfeed? How will she sleep? How will I manage with weeks of interrupted sleep? Will I have that “You’re what I’ve been missing my whole life” feeling? What do you do all day with a newborn anyway?

I’m Type A, so to compensate for my extreme lack of knowledge about newborns, I researched. We took birthing classes and newborn care classes. I devoured parenting books and blogs, and I read every single post about newborns in the Facebook mom group I’d joined. When I got overwhelmed by those things, I added more to our baby registry (extensively researched, of course!).

By the end of my second trimester, I had the entire nursery designed down to the smallest detail. By six weeks away, almost everything was in the nursery, and I was beginning to organize clothes into drawers and the closet. Our daughter’s room was, and still is, the best-designed room in our house.

I figured if I didn’t know what to expect, a perfectly decorated nursery would make it look like I did.

We, of course, survived those first weeks and months, and it had very little to do with my gallery wall in the nursery. That experience puts me at ease this time around for many of the things I was anxious about last time:

  • I am eagerly anticipating newborn snuggle-naps this time around (which I didn’t know about before).
  • I’m not scared about labor.
  • I know that we will figure out feeding and sleep for this baby just like we did for our daughter.
  • I am anticipating being surprised (again) at how hard it is to operate on only a few hours of sleep yet still making it work.

But, surprisingly, the answer to “Are you ready for the baby?” is still, “No!” 

The second time around…

The only furniture in the nursery is two bookcases, and they need to be moved out into the new office. I have zero things purchased for the walls. The car seat is in the attic. I have four outfits for the baby (we’re having a boy this time, so I can’t reuse most of our daughter’s items). We do have a pack and play and a bag of newborn diapers leftover from when our daughter outgrew them…somewhere.

What is even more surprising than this Type A momma’s lack of preparation this time around is my lack of anxiety about it. A completed nursery with a dresser fully stocked would be nice to have, and we’re working on that. But even if our second child arrives before we’re completely ready for him, we’ll make it work. That’s the real lesson we learned with our first: you make it work.