It's common knowledge that all pregnancies are different; I am definitely aware of this! My biggest hurdle this time round has definitely been sickness and nausea - something of which I didn't experience during my pregnancy with Aoife.
After finding out I was pregnant this time, I knew that there was so much that I wanted to do differently. With my first I generally went along with what was right for other people and didn't put myself first.
The main difference that I have chosen to do with this pregnancy is to not announce the gender, I would love to have a proper surprise but I have absolutely no patience and I also figured, depending on the outcome, it would give me a chance to start sorting through Aoife's old clothes. We actually found out not too long ago if we are team pink or blue and I cannot wait for everyone else to find out in August.
When it comes to maternity leave, last time I left work six weeks before my due date and took fourteen months off. This time my last shift falls on the day before my due date and I will only be taking ten months off.
I'm looking forward to having some one on one time with Aoife during the few weeks leading up to the birth. As I work part time this will make things a lot easier for us to enjoy her time being an only child and prepare her for being a big sister.
Next, the birth itself. With my first I ended up staying in hospital for almost three days on the most uncomfortable bed known to man. All I wanted to do was go home to my own bed and to have a bath.
This experience made me desperate to have a water birth in a midwife led uni next time round.
So, not that "next time" has come round, after a lot of research and a lot of persuasion, I have finally been allowed a home birth by my husband; I am still adamant that he is more worried about ruining the carpet!
Obviously as I am not even at the half way point yet, anything could change to not allow me to have the home birth that I want. If this were to happen then I will deal with it then but right now I am loving reading other women's home birth stories and deciding which pool to rent.
There are also plenty of changes that I will be making once the baby has arrived.
One of this will be in regards to visitors. As my husband has some time off this time round, I want to focus on enjoying and adapting to life as a family of four for the majority of his time off.
When we do start inviting visitors I don't think I will do it in "bulk" like I did last time; one or two hour stays and small groups will be the way to go this time.
Once my husband goes back to work I can start working on a routine with two children; something I'm strangely looking forward to.
When it comes to babywearing, I will be honest in that it was something that I used to roll my eyes at. However, I have recently seen it in a whole new light; it helps with bonding and as I will be hands free I will be able to deal with the toddler more efficiently.
A lovely lady on a sling group very kindly offered to gift me one of her stretchy wraps which I cannot wait to try out.
One of the biggest differences this time round is that I am determined to establish breastfeeding. Personally, I do believe that fed is best; my daughter was formula fed and she is thriving.
I knew that there was always a high chance that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed my daughter so I did stock up on formula and bottles. My suspicions were right and my milk supply never came in. Deep down I was devastated that my body wasn't able to feed my child like it should. I felt like a failure as a woman and as a mother, but I had to push on and get on with things.
Not too long ago, I found notes from the breast augmentation surgery I had seven years ago to see mentions of "constricted breasts" and "insufficient glandular tissue". After doing some research, I discovered that this is linked to lactation failure. I recently found a fantastic support group who have given me the hope that I may still be able to breastfeed this time, even if it is only one feed a day and topping up with formula for the rest.
However, I am not getting my hopes up; there is still a very high chance that it won't be successful but I am willing to try.
Lastly, but by no means least, is a baptism. Our daughter was baptised (something of which I am still not happy about to this day), but this baby will not be. I am a complete Atheist who is married to a Catholic so you can only imagine the conflict that a baptism caused the first time round.
I begrudgingly respected my husband's wishes and allowed for Aoife to be baptised; this time my husband has been happy to respect my wishes to have a naming ceremony instead.
I do not believe with forcing a religion on a child when they are too young to understand what it is about. As our daughter is also not attending a Catholic school we do not have to worry about them attending different schools.
I've already been scouring Pinterest for naming ceremony inspiration!
I would love to hear what things you did differently after your first pregnancy!