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Challenge: Bringing Home Baby: What Do You Wish You’d Known?

Second-baby lessons: I’m going to make all new mistakes, and that’s OK

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(Editor’s note: Jenna wrote this post the day before she gave birth to her second daughter, named Quinn Lily.)

I’m about to welcome a second baby into the world. Our first, Harper, now 17 months old, is a gift. We know it, we acknowledge it, we do NOT take it for granted. The kid was sleeping through the night by 4 months old, still naps twice a day, understands that electric outlets, table corners and certain drawers are off limits to her and sticks by those rules. She smiles when we ask her to pose for a picture (which is impressive since I’ve taken no less than 87,000), she happily eats lamb and liver and chicken and fish, and sometimes she’ll even say a faint ‘poop’ when she… well… when she poops. She may… MAY… have a slight iPhone addiction, but we’re working on that. She asks for nanas when she wants a banana, and refers to her best friend Aerin as Ehbeh, which, for a kid who only knows a handful of words that all rhyme with baba, is pretty impressive.


(Jenna and Harper at 4 months, one of the 87,000 photos.)

To us, the kid is perfect.

So how do we run the exact same game plan to make another one just like this one? Is it possible to retrace 9 months worth of pregnancy? Let’ see:

Workout. Check.

Eat relatively well. Relative check.

Try to get some sleep. Half check.

Work long hours. Bold check.

Think about the pregnancy every second of every day. No check.

And that was the difference. Life tugged me in so many different directions this time around that I barely had time to sit and think about this little one growing inside me. With Harper, a minute didn’t go by when I wasn’t consumed with the pregnancy. (I talked and blogged and Tweeted and probably spoke to no less than a thousand moms about what to expect.) This time around, I didn’t start planning and really thinking about it until we pulled into month 8. And that’s because we had to map out logistics.

But now comes the tricky part… the unknown… how in the world do we wrap our heads around the fact that in a matter of days (or hours based on the Tae Bo routine my unborn child is putting on right now [Ed.’s note: Yup, it was hours]), we will be adding a variable to our well-oiled mix? What if this next one is a terror? What if she doesn’t sleep in the crib we got her? What if she’s anti-breast feeding? What if she’s resentful of the 6 spicy meals I indulged in over the last 9 months or the time I did abs when I probably shouldn’t have?


(And baby makes four… luckily we’ve got Lester Holt to babysit)

Before we had Harper, parents would look at us with big sappy eyes of envy telling us how they missed the spontaneity that comes with not having kids… going on vacation on a moment’s notice, going to the movies without worry of a babysitter, sleeping in on the weekends. Now that we’ve adapted, changed our schedules and worked a baby into our crazy busy lifestyles, we’re going to do it all over again. And once again, those sappy-eyed parents of (now) 2 are quick to let us know how good we’ve got it with just one kid for just a little while longer.

So what’s the takeaway? Same as it was the first go-around. Steph and I listened to every piece of advice that came our way before Harper was born and then quietly sat back and enjoyed being first time parents making first time mistakes and collecting first time life lessons. And now we’ll do it again... we’ll figure out quickly how to be second time parents, with all that comes with that beautiful title.

Someone once gave me great advice when it comes to life: make as many mistakes as you want along the journey, the key is not to make the same ones twice.

Here’s to you, baby number 2, can’t wait to meet you. LOVE, mom.


Jenna Wolfe, Stephanie Gosk and baby Quinn

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