Jenna von Oy’s Blog: Plan B-A-B-Y

09/25/2014 at 05:00 PM ET

Celebrity blogger Jenna von Oy is getting ready to be a mama of two!

Best known for her roles as Six on Blossom and Stevie on The Parkers, von Oy is also a musician who has released two albums. Her book, Situation Momedy, will be released by Medallion Press in 2015.

von Oy, 37, wed Brad Bratcher on Oct. 10, 2010, and resides in Nashville with her husband and five dogs.

The couple are parents to daughter Gray Audrey, 2, and are expecting their second child — another girl! — in early November.

You can find her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @JennavonOy, as well as posting on her weekly blog, The Cradle Chronicles.

In her latest blog, von Oy explains why she’s soaking up time with her toddler — and not stressing over getting ready for baby.

Jenna von Oy Blog
Courtesy Jenna von Oy

I’ll admit that I’ve been a bit more casual about preparing to give birth to my second daughter.

At this stage of my pregnancy with Gray, I’d registered at the hospital, completely painted and decorated the nursery and taken assorted birthing classes with my husband.

I had newborn diapers stockpiled and coming out of my ears, and I’d already purchased the perfect “bringing baby home from the hospital” outfit. Or two. Or five. I had my somewhat overzealous “to go” bag filled to the brim, and I’d stashed it in the hall closet for safekeeping.

I wasn’t just making progress; I was thoroughly prepared. And by “thoroughly prepared,” I mean that I could have gone into labor during any number of catastrophic, cataclysmal conditions, and had all bases covered. I could have birthed a baby while floating down the Amazon on a driftwood raft lit only by tiki torches, as long as I had my well-stocked, super-sized “to go” bag along for the ride.

Now ask me what I’ve done thus far for the impending birth of my second daughter … The answer is short and simple: nothing. Unless, of course, you count the fact that I’ve located my nursing bras. Which, I suppose, would be somewhat more notable had they not been holding vigil in my underwear drawer all along.

To be clear, my lackluster efforts aren’t to suggest I’m not equally excited to meet this new little bundle of joy who will be gracing us with her presence sometime before mid-November. I’m absolutely over the moon about her arrival; there’s no casual indifference about it!

It’s not that I’m too exhausted, or hell-bent on procrastinating like I’m studying for a college physics exam, or in denial that the sleepless nights are in our very near future. It’s not even that the novelty of readying for a baby has worn off. It’s that chasing after a 2-year-old has made the time go by faster than I can say, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”

I’m only a month away from giving birth, which sort of snuck up on me. You know, in the beautiful and treasured way that only a wriggling, hiccupping, bladder-kicking, uterus-expanding, belly-monopolizing baby can. And I know she can technically decide to make her appearance at any time, so I suppose I ought to start buckling down!

But first, there might as well be a blog about it.

During my first pregnancy, each month that passed felt like a year. As with a watched pot that never boils, the constant countdown of a pregnancy makes it seem interminable.

I waited for every milestone like it was the second coming. Every punch and jab was a much-anticipated novelty that never wore off (which is still the case, if I’m being perfectly honest), and each day brought fun new ailments that made me crack open the What to Expect When You’re Expecting guidebook.

I woke up each morning thinking, “What can I do to lay the parental groundwork today?” I was energetic, mildly jittery, and perpetually restless. In other words, I was a typical, soon-to-be first-time mom!

But how does one truly get everything in order for a second child, when they are still marveling over the first? I mean, who has time to paint and prep a nursery when there are tea parties to be had? Or silly songs to sing? Or books to read about llama drama and hungry caterpillars? Or Frozen to be watched for the thousandth time (this week)?

Jenna von Oy Blog
Courtesy Jenna von Oy

Moreover, who has time to rearrange the drawer of newborn clothes, when you can snuggle with the 2-year-old that’s right in front of you instead? I’m suddenly finding myself in the “there’s no need to rush, so why stress?” camp. Up next: “Kumbaya” and S’mores by the campfire.

If the nursery mobile isn’t hung or the crib blankets still need to be washed, we’ll manage. Moreover, I don’t imagine the baby will be disappointed that we were a bit slow in getting our act together. It will all fall into place eventually, right?

Or so I’ve convinced myself.

Perhaps my mellow approach to baby #2 is because I’ve relaxed into my parenting. Well, as “relaxed” as a micro-managing, type-A woman can be. I’d like to think that I know a little something about what to expect now, so there isn’t quite the same heightened level of pre-baby activity. There are always new things to be learned, but the curve isn’t nearly as steep.

This time around, I’m not buzzing with undue impatience and apprehension. In other words, I don’t have the kind of nervous energy that might propel me to clean out the freezer for the fifth time this month, or stock up on a pantry full of toilet paper, or bake chocolate chip cookies for everyone in a 10-mile radius. (Though the latter may disappoint a neighbor or two.)

It certainly helps that we already have everything we need in our possession. And I do mean everything! Thanks to the wonderful gifts we received from our family and friends at Gray’s baby shower, we are fully equipped with every baby-related item we could possibly want for our new little girl. And that’s an understatement. There’s even a closet full of clothes that would make the Olsen twins jealous.

At some point soon, I’ll need to scour the attic for the newborn onesies and give them all a good laundering. I’ll locate the bibs and burping cloths, install the infant car seat, and dust off the baby bathtub.

For now, I’m getting Gray transitioned into her big girl bed, so she has time to acclimate before her sister commandeers her old crib. (So far, so good on that one!) We’ve also scheduled Gray for a “Tots on Tour” of the hospital where I’ll be delivering, because we want her to be as involved as possible. We are making sure she shares in the excitement, so the transition won’t feel quite so drastic.

Thankfully, Gray has no shortage of enthusiasm over meeting her sibling. She often asks me, “Is my baby sister ready to come out yet?” and rubs my tummy like she’s waiting for the genie to be liberated from the lamp. It’s incredibly endearing!

I encourage her to speak to her sister as much as possible, as I’m a firm believer that bonds can form even while baby is in the womb. It’s neat to see Gray taking ownership of her new role as big sister, frequently declaring vows such as, “Mommy, I’m going to share my toys with my baby sister when she gets here,” and “I’m going to let her sleep with me in my big girl bed.”

Of course, she’s in for a rude awakening when there’s actually a tiny, crying human in the house, but … I couldn’t be more excited that she’s excited!

A neat side benefit is that Gray has really stepped up to the plate in the independence department lately. She’s learning to rely on herself a little more, rather than expecting me to do everything for her. She puts her toys away without being asked, and every now and then she lets me know she’s going to go to play by herself. Sometimes I find her quietly flipping through books in her reading chair, or drawing pictures at her little table.

She’s discovering that playtime by oneself can be fulfilling, and I’m thrilled for her. Learning to spend time alone can be cathartic and inspiring! I keep an eye on her from a distance and, of course, eavesdrop on the hilarious conversations she conducts with her stuffed animals. She likes to wax poetic about the importance of their naptime, and why they shouldn’t jump on her bed. (Score! My words really ARE sinking in!)

I also recently overheard her sweetly talking to her baby doll as if it were her sister. She was dressing her in some frilly get up, and offering to make her milk and Cheerios. I’m not sure how patient Gray will be while she waits for the baby to get big enough for that sort of quality playtime together, but I definitely have a proud big sis on my hands!

In some ways, welcoming a new little girl is nerve-wracking. Sure, on the surface we have everything we need, but it’s not just about the material objects.

A new baby brings unfamiliar challenges and distinct experiences. Of course, that’s part of the fun of having another child, and we look forward to it immensely! However, it’s tough to look beyond the example we already have running, and laughing, and gabbing (oh, the gabbing!) in front of us. It is nearly impossible to envision a daughter other than Gray, even though we can appreciate that no two children are exactly alike.

Jenna von Oy Blog
Courtesy Jenna von Oy

I don’t expect to be able to truly wrap my head around that concept until our little one has arrived and, while she and Gray will undoubtedly have some sisterly similarities, I suspect this little girl will bring a whole new type of sass along with her.

It’s strange to picture another child nursing, or smiling up at me with sleepy eyes, or snuggling in my arms, but I look forward to embracing her uniqueness; she will be her own exquisite, enchanting, breathtaking self.

I don’t wonder IF I’ll love her, but rather how I’ll love her differently. And there’s a tremendous amount of beauty in that anticipation!

Suffice it to say we may not have the house arranged or the nursery organized yet, but we possess all of the love needed to welcome home our new family member. Our hearts are overflowing and ready for her arrival and, in the whole scheme of things, everything else is secondary ….

Until next time,

Jenna von Oy

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Showing 14 comments

Iman on

You look amazing! I hope the rest of the pregnancy goes well.

Mommytoane on

Love the blogs. I think with a second or third or forth you know what to expect. You know what things are really neccessary and you realize that there IS indeed time before the baby comes. November is still a bit away. Still plenty of time to get sheets washed and onsies located. I can’t wait to hear the news of a baby sister for Gray! Congratulations!

Anonymous on

I enjoy your blogs so much. You are so eloquent in your writing, and you and your family seem so loving and endearing. I wish you all the best for a healthy and happy new addition to your family. Thank you for all your warmhearted posts. It’s very refreshing to hear such nice family oriented stories when there is so much craziness in this world.

AKK on

I had my first daughter in 2012 and my second this past April. I could have written this blog post before my second was born! I didn’t truly prepare until probably two weeks before she was born. It all worked out though- all they really need is a blanket and a boob/bottle! It is easier to be more laid back with the second because you know what’s coming next. Good luck and enjoy!

jt15 on

“I don’t wonder IF I’ll love her, but rather how I’ll love her differently.”

I LOVE that! Such a beautiful way to express the sentiment all soon-to-be-second-time moms feel 🙂

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy 🙂

Jay on

Such a sweet blog post! I love the idea of the “Tots on Tour” hospital tour to make Gray feel involved. Before I went into the hospital to have my daughter I made my son a “Big Brother Kit”, nothing fancy just a canvas bag that I ironed the letters on with his name and his new big brother title. Threw in some mess free colouring sheets, a small puzzle, snacks and a little doctor’s kit for him to use to check out his new baby sister. It kept him busy while visiting at the hospital and made him feel super important.

Monica on

So true. I think I was 8 months along with my 2nd when one day I suddenly thought, “Oh sh*t! I might want to get the nursery ready.” I was just too busy being mom to my little 2 yr old to worry- as you’ve said. We didn’t find out the gender for either so I dug out all the gender neutral stuff we had, put together the pack n play in my room and that was about it. My older daughter was also excited for the new baby and that made it all the more special. The one thing my pediatrician recommended was that my older daughter get a gift for the new baby and the baby get a gift for my daughter and they exchanged them in the hospital. It worked out wonderfully and helped my daughter appreciate the baby a little more- who doesn’t love a present? Another suggestion from my then 2 year old- have a birthday cake in the hospital for the new baby. Cause it’s not a birthday without cake. And what mom that just had a baby doesn’t want cake? Good luck and enjoy every minute. I have 2 girls and wouldn’t want it any other way. But that could change when they hit teenhood! 😉

Courtney on

Your blog rings so much truth for me as well. My first daughter was 2 1/2 when my 2nd daughter was born. With my first I was prepared to the hilt! My 2nd came unexpectedly 2 weeks early and her room still had furniture to put together and I hadn’t even packed a bag for the hospital! BTW, don’t count on your husband to think of all the things you’ll need at the hospital, oh like deoderant… But of course our 2nd turned out just fine and we all survived and are living happily ever after… maybe a little sleep deprived though.

bree on

We had to move when I found out that baby girl #2 was on her way (Seriously 800 sq/ft, it was tight with 3 of us, there was no way we could make it work for 4!!) So that was a pretty good way of getting us to sort clothes and set up the nursery (when we moved in the walls were highlighter green, they didn’t last long!!) But even with that shove we didn’t really do anything other than paint until less than a month before she was due and when we did do everything we had my parents over to watch E and we did EVERYTHING in one go.

I tried picturing L countless times before she was born and all I could see was E when she was a baby 🙂 I have two beautiful little girls but with the exception of their big blue eyes they don’t look anything alike!! And while they are both loving and caring they have totally different personalities as well.

Can’t wait to hear what Grey’s baby sister is named, love the name Grey so much.

Momto4boys on

Another great blog post Jenna! And I can totally relate to what you’re saying. You’re ready, but you’re not ready. And you’re right, it does all fall into place and once you’re back home with her, within a week you’ll barely remember life without her. One thing I want to say, I nursed all 4 of my boys and yes, it does help that you’ve already done it once, you know what to expect. Just remember, it’s still painful at first and not ‘easy’. You’d think with my 4th time nursing it would be a breeze! Nope, the first 2 weeks are always tough, but I know you’ll stick with it and of course, it’s so worth it when you see that full bellied, milky, sleepy baby up against your skin. Love. Best of luck to you!

Heidi on

I picture you with a little Esme, Amelia, or Eloise…

Wishing you all the blessings that come with two, and try to relax if Gray decides she wants the crib or anything else for herself …it will only be temporary! She’s already used to sharing mommy and daddy with the dogs 🙂

Anna on

I am in the exact same boat! Two year old girl, with another due on Nov 21st. I could have written this exact same post, I relate to it so much!

Truthfinder on

Sometimes I read your blogs with “laughter through tears (I’m sure you all know where that quote came from: Steel Magnolias). Having never had a child and wished I had, motherhood looks, reads and feels so special through your words. I just want you to know that those of us who didn’t have children enjoy your loving and often funny stories of motherhood and child rearing. It makes me feel a part of the “magic.” So thank you for that…

Anna on

She looks good! Kudos to her things going smoothly.