It’s been interesting being pregnant for the second time. I’m a little more prepared than I was before, but I’ve been thinking a lot about what it was like the first time around.
I felt like I was one step behind almost every step of the way. While we knew we were emotionally ready to have a baby and fit another person into our little family, we had no idea how much prep really went into simply being pregnant.
Our mentality before I got pregnant was, “We have 9 whole months to save money and get stuff together to be prepared for the baby.” In reality, you and the baby start needing things right away. While sure, the baby isn’t technically here yet, there’s so much to think about prepping for just the pregnancy. You have to figure out how you’re going to handle the days you absolutely cannot work because you’re feeling too sick. We don’t always think about things like the fact that you go to the doctor basically everyday until the baby’s here.
Throughout the whole pregnancy we were learning new things and constantly playing catch up for all the things that came our way.
Whether it was buying clothes to keep up with my rapidly growing body or trying to maintain my ever growing appetite, we had no idea how fast 9 months would really go by or how much really happens in that time.
PREPARING FOR PREGNANCY
Check on your insurance
This was something we did not do. Honestly, I kind of thought that health insurance and maternity insurance were the same.
They are not.
And not every insurance company counts pregnancy as a life event that qualifies you for off-term enrollment or additions to your plan.
Medicaid will take you on anytime of the year, but every state is different with their policies. Some may give you supplemental insurance for your maternity and others will have you either sign onto medicaid 100% or deny you coverage all together.
The point is, you really don’t want to be caught without insurance during your pregnancy. Maternity expenses are plentiful all on their own so definitely look into all of your insurance options when you decide to start trying, not after you’re already pregnant. For some, it may even be worth it to wait for the next enrollment period before committing to pregnancy, as weird as it may sound.
Whether your pregnancy is totally covered or not, you never know what’s going to happen. There are so many surprise expenses that can occur when you’re pregnant, whether it be health related or simply just unexpected expenses. Whatever happens, you want to be prepared. When it comes to your baby, there’s no waiting. If you need something, you need it now and you don’t want to be caught off guard if something happens.
Beyond unexpected expenses, you’re going to want help. You’re going to want to be home. Anyone currently in your household will deserve at least a week or two of a break to try and get used to functioning with no sleep. Having a cushion of cash at your disposal for whatever you need will help give you some piece of mind throughout the whole process.
Plan your wardrobe early on
With my first pregnancy, I was constantly trying to find clothes that fit. It wound up eating into some of our savings because, hello, we still have to wear clothes when we’re pregnant.
I was a hot mess of feeling drab and insecure because my body was weird and different and having clothes that sucked because I had to grab whatever I could find to have at least one thing that would cover my belly.
You’re only pregnant for a short amount of time, but it’s suppose to be a really special time. If you pre-plan your wardrobe, you’ll spend less time worrying about how you look and more time thinking about the exciting adventure you’re about to begin.
Get your diet in order
Do it now while you’re just thinking about being pregnant. There are so many reasons why.
You do not want to force down the healthy stuff when you’re in the middle of an intense craving for hamburgers and ice cream.
This docu-series on Netflix suggests that eating healthy in just the first two weeks of your pregnancy can effect your child’s life expectancy and immune system. Since you don’t really know if you’re pregnant or not until about week 4, it’s good to go ahead and eat the green stuff regularly just in case.
Eating healthy foods (for you and your partner) will increase your chances of getting pregnant so when you decide to have it kid, it won’t take so dang long to make it happen.
In general, healthy eating is a good idea. If you’re planning on getting pregnant anytime in the near future, it’s crucial.
Think about timing
While we don’t have a ton of control over when we’ll actually get pregnant, we have at least a little control. I’ve learned through both of my pregnancies that timing is everything.
With my first pregnancy, the timing was magically perfect. It worked out with our family’s schedules so everyone could be there and help/meet the new baby.
With this second one, his timing (okay, our timing) was not as great. We don’t live near any family (again, our fault) and we have no clue how we’re going to be able to time having someone here to be with the first baby while I’m giving birth to the second.
Most of my family is effected by school or have work schedules and other obligations so it’s really just hard to figure out having people in town, paying for hotels, while we wait for this guy to come out whenever he happens to decide to.
So, think about timing and what you’ll need when the baby is born. Will you need family in town to help you? Are there schedules you need to work around in order for everyone to be able to be there? Is your spouse effected by a particular schedule?
All these things are good to think about. Again, it may sound silly to plan your baby around things like school and insurance, but in the long run it’ll really just make your life easier.
Get control of your stress
When it comes to having babies, there’s not a ton you can control. They kind of just get here when they get here and that’s that. But with the little control we do have, it’s important to make sure we are making everything as easy and carefree as possible.
Stress and worry do nothing but harm when it comes to pregnancy. They distract you from what really matters most during that time, you and the baby. They put strain on the two of you and if you can avoid it, try to at all costs.
Make sure your environment and lifestyle are comfortable. That’s not to say that you should necessarily wait for that perfect moment to start having kids. There really isn’t a perfect moment besides knowing you want to have a kid. But there are little things you can do in any situation to calm the stress and add some comfort and ease to your life.
Keep your house a little cleaner, plan ahead, don’t wait to get things figured out and organized. Do what you need to when you need to do it and give yourself breaks as much as you can.
Baby having is hard work, but if you take the time to plan ahead and prepare yourself, that 9 months may not have to fly by in a haze of stress. You may be able to actually sit and enjoy the way things are right now while looking forward to everything that is to come.