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“I never imagined myself as a parent” | Mum of 1, currently pregnant with baby number 2

Your family

In our family there is myself, Becky (39), My Husband Clinton (42), and my daughter Thea (2.5 years old). We also have another little girl due in August.

Clinton and I are from the UK but we only met each other in NZ 6 years ago and got married here. We have both been in NZ now for around 8-10 years. Thea was born in Auckland hospital.

“I personally couldn’t have imagined myself having children growing up, busy lifestyle, holidays,
different relationships etc. Then meeting the right person, growing up, getting married, all that
changed.”

Journey to conceiving and pregnancy

First time round we conceived incredibly fast, and we were so naïve to it all.

Married on New Year’s Eve we had decided to try from that night and had Thea the following October 2019. I was 37 and Hubby 39. After Thea was born, we waited 18 months to then start trying again. We conceived fast again within the month of trying but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. At the 12-week scan there were complications, and a termination was required. The worst feeling ever and an emotional
rollercoaster! It then felt like an eternity trying to conceive again but in fact only took 6 months and we found out we were pregnant again in December 2021. I’m currently 28 weeks and due end of August.

How were your pregnancies?

First pregnancy we were oblivious to it all, took it all in our own stride and didn’t overthink about it
much. We were very relaxed about it all. I was sick for all of my pregnancies up until about 14 weeks, vomiting multiple times a day, seeing docs and a couple of hospital visits but then it got better. I wouldn’t say I have enjoyed any pregnancy really; we were excited about buying new things, thinking of names
and the arrival etc but that’s it.

This current pregnancy has been different since the termination, less excitement, more overthinking
and we are definitely more tired. Being pregnant and having a toddler is exhausting. It feels a little
more clinical this time, ensuring everything is OK. However, we do love the fact that Thea is now
aware and getting excited, she knows we are having a baby and talks about it all the time and is very
protective of me, very cute!!

Did you find out the gender of your children?

We found out the sexes as neither me nor my hubby have any patience.

Did you practice hypnobirthing, read books, use apps or use a pregnancy journal? 

I downloaded a couple of apps (pregnancy+ and flo) and attended the antenatal group with the 8-
week course and have made some great friends. We then just took advise from other parents and
fumbled our way through ever since.

Birth story

I was 6 days overdue. My waters broke at 6.30am and then a couple of hours later labour started. I found it incredibly painful and just wanted to get to hospital and have an epidural. I was told to wait at home until things progressed which felt like a lifetime. My midwife made a house visit and I was 7cms dilated and was then told to get to hospital straight away. On arriving at hospital around 1pm, I had an epidural which was amazing. However, everything then just slowed down. No further dilation, Thea was breeched, and I was then just monitored for the next boring 10 hours. I ended up getting an infection which had passed to Thea, and we went for an emergency c-section, which I was all good about. Thea was born at 11.11pm.

How was the first week?

I never experience baby blues and the first week just felt like a learning curve for myself and hubby,
just fumbling our way through baby life.

Your little ones

How did you choose your children’s names and do they have a meaning to you?

We looked on name apps, google etc and about 6 months pregnant came across “Thea” which we
both loved. A little bit different, a short and cute name. We would reference her as Thea Bear until
she was born. This pregnancy we are finding it a little harder to think of a name and one we both
agree on.

Tell us about the first few weeks with your baby

With not having family here we were relaxed with having visitors. We waited until we were home
from birth care, got settled and had a slight hang of things. It was maybe one to two weeks before a
few friends came round to see Thea. They brought lunch or dinner and none of them would stay too
long. Was nice to have some company and help/guidance from friends who already had newborns.

We didn’t feel any pressure and just went with the flow. My mum then came out for a few weeks when Thea was 3 weeks old which was great.

How did you find the fourth trimester?

Forth trimester was all good, me and Thea took to breastfeeding easily which was good.
Hubby and I just enjoyed our time together with Thea, learning new things, watching her sleep,
changed multiple nappies, and got used to the night-time feeding routine. We all slept in the same
room with Thea is a bassinet next to me. We just played each day by ear, some days were very
chilled and at home, then some days we would all venture for a walk round the local park.
We maybe started a routine with naps around the 4/5-month mark.

What were your must-have items, and what others were a waste of time/overrated?

Must haves

  • I wanted a good co sleeper bassinet, so we got the snuzpod which we liked.
  • A decent baby bath.
  • A baby wearer is a must have.
  • We found a white noise machine really helped.

Overrated

  • We also ended up with so many blankets and muslins which really didn’t get used that much.
  • I feel like there are a lot of gizmos and gadgets that new parents are told to get but really, they aren’t.

Is your parenting different to how you thought it would be?

I personally couldn’t have imagined myself having children growing up, busy lifestyle, holidays,
different relationships etc. Then meeting the right person, growing up, getting married, all that
changed.

We have a somewhat relaxed approach, listen to friends and family’s approach, tips, advise and then some online baby routines as we progressed through the months. Not sure there is much we would
change or do differently next time.

If you’ve had more than one child, how has each subsequent arrival changed your family, how did the other child/children adjust, and how did you find the transition?

We will let you know, next one due August

How does your typical day look? Are you a stay at home parent/juggling work/kindy? 

I was on maternity leave for 10 months and then Thea went to Nursery 4 days, and I had her every
Wednesday. She then went into nursery full time around 18 months. I now work full time, 2 days WFH and 3 in the office for a very flexible company. Hubby is self-employed so works full time but also has some flexibility. No parents or family in NZ so not having any family help can be a bit tough at times.

Relationship

How has having children affected your relationship, what challenges has it brought?

Yes, our relationship has changed, obviously we aren’t doing as much as a couple due to time
restraints and schedules. We try to make time for each other more and communicate better.
Being tired a lot has definitely had an impact.

Have you loved seeing your partner become a parent, has anything surprised you about their parenting style?

I have loved seeing the hubby become a parent, the way Thea responds to him, daddy’s girl, how silly and fun he is with her. I’m super surprised with how I have dealt with motherhood. I didn’t really think I’d have children or could imagine myself with them and I just love it, I’m obsessed with Thea and think we have a relaxed style of parenting that suits us, and we love it.

Tips & advice

What would your top 3/5 parenting tips be for a new parent?

  • Go with what works for you, your baby and family, everyone has a different style that works
    for them and no judgement.
  • Take help when offered, you may not get asked again.
  • Always ask for help also, whether medically, friends, family, support groups.
  • Take time for yourself when you can.

What is the most helpful advice you can offer to other parents and what advice has someone passed down to you that you’ll always remember?

Take each day as it come, there will be highs and lows but everything is manageable or solvable.
There is always someone that can help, make sure you reach out where needed.

If this has helped you, would you consider sharing your story to help others too? Please submit your details through this form. Whether your story is about trying to conceive, pregnancy, surrogacy, loss or parenthood, we would love to hear from you.

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