Finding out I was pregnant for the third time left me shell shocked. Unexpected and unplanned, I dissolved into tears due to fear—since I didn’t feel emotionally ready—and guilt—since I immediately felt selfish for feeling scared. I also felt like a vain cow for agonizing over the fact that I just lost all the weight from my two previous pregnancies. I felt that I finally had a routine set despite having two kids below seven years old–which now would definitely be thrown off again upon the arrival of the new kid. Talk about hormones—and seeming shallowness—taking over!
For many women (and gobsmacked dads) suddenly faced with an unplanned pregnancy, what I went through is a common experience—feeling overwhelmed and even confused as to how they will manage their time, energy, and, of course, their finances with another baby.
It may sound petty to some but these are valid concerns. Here are some tips to help fellow “surprised and shocked” moms-to-be like me cope.
Talk about how you are feeling - both positive and negative emotions—no matter how selfish or lame you may think you sound—with trusted friends or family members. They will definitely have little nuggets of wisdom to help you through it all.
Review and take charge of family finances as early as now – analyze your spending, make adjustments in preparation for the new baby. Budgets might need to be reworked so that you aren’t shocked come the day the baby is born.
Prepare your other kids – tell them about the impending shift in the family structure and how day to day operations and even finances will change. Talk to them in detail about how life will be like for them. Involve them in your pregnancy.
Ask for help - as early as now, determine what resources you will need to care for the baby. If you need a yaya, start looking for one. If you are hands-on or stay at home mom, maybe your in-laws might be willing to lend a hand in the first few months as well (maybe to help corral the older kids – haha!).
Keep your sense of humor – the general “inconvenience” of having a new child (peeing all over you, sleep deprivation, doubling as a 24/7 milk shop) is actually hilarious when you think about it—and I’ve been told that by other moms! All the fears an unexpected pregnancy brings literally melt away when you first see your baby smile. And I can’t wait!
Photography by Jun Pinzon
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