Being pregnant the second time around – I am currently in week 30, eep! How time flies… – I’m yet again humbled. Humbled by this miracle and incredible honor that is creating and carrying a new life. Amazed by the changes my body is going through. Pregnancy truly is a blessing and, also the second time experiencing it, it hasn’t lost any of the magic. I’m still overwhelmed though by all the feelings that are washing over me… Such an emotional rollercoaster! Gratefulness, excitement, anticipation, happiness, curiosity, incredulousness and also fear, all in one day. I guess I know “the drill” of being pregnant from my first pregnancy with E. So we do know what to expect (when you’re expecting), and we know how it is to welcome a new baby. How sudden the love is and how big and altering the changes it brings with it. We know a lot, yet…
It doesn’t mean we’re any less excited the second time around! And while we do believe we’re “experts” in caring for a baby, there is also a new set of emotions, that’s hard to explain… Probably best described with worry and fear. Fears around being parents of two small children.
Will I be able to do both our girls justice as a new mom of two, or will E fall short? My beloved girl E, who is still kind of my baby, whom I was able to dedicate all my time and energy to. Who has strikingly grown into a real girl over the past couple of weeks. Will she love baby girl – or will she be jealous of her, maybe even resent her? Will we be able to guide her to grow into the role of a loving, tender, caring big sister? Will the two girls have a strong bond, growing up? And of course, the classical fears: will baby be fussfree, sleep well at night, drink from boob AND bottle (super important for me, given our history with E being a “bottle rejector” from day one to date), or will she – god forbid – be a cry-baby? So many – new – worries this time. Messing with my head, this newness of being a second time mama. Also, so much curiosity. Will baby 2 look like E (who is such a spitting image of her dad, with her brown teddy eyes), or will she surprise us with yet another look of her own? It would be so fun to have a brown-eyed and a blue-eyed girl… My thoughts are lost in daydreaming.
So many things are uncertain, and as I try not to let worries consume me, I know for a fact that there will be enough love in this house to spare. Enough love for all four of us. It will be enough.
What’s different, too, is the obvious lack of time you have to think of yourself during pregnancy 2.0. With one demanding toddler lady to keep me on my toes, day and night and with work and all the other big changes currently happening in our lives I will be sharing with you shortly (exciting times!), “me-time” has become this obscure, obsolete and inexistent thing. Inexistent. Almost like a myth. Or a good joke. “Me-time”; yeah right, haha. Yes, the first time around, pregnant with E, I remember celebrating every single day with my belly. Going for solo lunches, indulging in luxurious mani-pedi sessions (almost on a weekly basis) and massages, purely for the treat. I remember listening to soft music for hours on end, thinking how this will be E’s song and how this will probably shape her taste in music already. Whispering to the belly, lovingly, holding long conversations with her, promising the little inhabitant all the love in the world, telling her everything I know and everything I believe in. All my secrets were hers.
A lot changes the second time around. Time is often short as a mama, and I’d rather spend it playing with E and soaking up all the “exclusive” time and every tiny little “last” we still get to have – just the two of us – than updating my nails to immaculate perfection. Although, NB, I do slightly resent the state my feet are in, in all honesty (dry skin, brittle polish). I just can’t get enough time and moments with my big little girl, who amazes me everyday, fills my heart to indescribable proportions and teaches me so much about the world. It feels like the importance is there, in enjoying the moment, with her. Every moment. It’s a bit of a pressure, really, yes, that I put upon myself. Because every moment matters.
So… With time being short and all, I’m glad that pregnancy 1.0 has taught me a least some things. And that I don’t start at zero again. This is actually quite a relief. I know what is truly important and necessary, the routines that worked for us, the things we truly need in our lives with a baby and what products we really love on a daily basis. And also what the essenatials in self-care are. Because it is limited to that: the absolute necessities and the essentials, during 2.0. No more extras. Stripped to the bare minimum.
My only proved and tested, sworn by and much loved self-care and beauty pregnancy routines that have made it into pregnancy 2.0 being: massaging my belly with the Weleda Schwangerschafts-Pflegeöl (or Stretch Mark Massage Oil). Not only does it smell divine, with sweet almond and jojoba oil as a base and precious oils of rose, neroli and myrrh unfolding a delicate perfume. The scent also brings back the fondest memories of my pregnancy with E. Only natural ingredients help protect your skin and support it through the changes your body is going through. I believe that hydrating the extremely demanded and stretched out to the max belly skin is mandatory. If all else fails – and I mean anything above basic hygiene like showering and brushing teeth and on days where make up and unfrizzy hair is a only wishful thinking – I still take the time to massage in some of the oil onto belly, hips and my (now back to curvy) bottom. Just this tiny morning ritual gives me the feeling that I’m in control.
And I actually benefit from this little baby belly massaging session on multiple levels. It does leave my belly looking nice and glowing (which is a bonus during bikini season). And I do believe that the fact that I have no stretch marks whatsoever from E and also until now (fingers crossed it will stay that way!) with baby girl 2 is thanks to the fact that I have used the Weleda pregnancy oil, religiously, both times around. I must have used 4 or 5 bottles with E from start to finish and am now well into my third bottle. Another reason I love it so is because it’s the one minute I dedicate entirely to myself and actually do something just for me, just this once. And then, always looking for efficiency and synergies, it’s also the best opportunity to connect with the baby. Whispering “you are already so loved, baby girl” as a mantra, every morning. Even if it’s the only thing I’ll consciously talk to her during the whole day, then at least I made sure that one moment counted.
Last but not least, E often wants to “help” and join in. She loves slathering the oil onto my belly (very generously and sometimes not all too gently, ahaha) and massaging it in with her little fingers. She could have a future as a masseuse extraordinaire, no doubt. It’s the sweetest thing how she will end the ritual with a kiss on the belly, saying “Ziao, Baby!”. Oh my heart… It makes me leave my fears and worries behind (for a bit) and actually makes me trust in fate and our future as a family of four. E will no doubt be a wonderful, sweet and loving sister to the little miss. So I guess I can be a mum of two. We’ll just figure it out, together, as we did the last time around…
I’d love to know… What are your go-to products and routines during your – first or your second – pregnancy, and why?
And as a short excursus: I’m also planning on using the Dammmassageöl – a bottle already sits on my bathroom vanity – but I guess not before week 34 or so. The last time around with E I didn’t need to think of anything perineum related as we had to go with a planned C-section. But this time around, I’m fully dedicated and actually hoping for a natural birth (fingers crossed I’ll live to tell the tale..!). So perineum care is a topic that can’t be avoided, right? What are your experiences?
Thank you Weleda for sponsoring this post.