There is just something magical about a first pregnancy. You’re experiencing so many firsts and on the verge of life in a whole new world. You read all the books and spend hours upon hours daydreaming of what your little one will look like or be like. You are filled with an anticipation that will likely remain unmatched for the rest of your life.
And then you do it again . . . you find yourself pregnant with another baby and things are noticeably different. It’s not a “bad” type of different, but it’s certainly different. I’m living that reality right now, and I was curious to explore just what it is that makes a second pregnancy so different. I think I’ve come up with a pretty good list, but I’m curious if other people will find these to be accurate. Are there any you think I missed?
9 Ways Your Second Pregnancy is Different than Your First
First Pregnancy: Reading ALL the books
When I was pregnant with our daughter I read everything about pregnancy and birth that I could possibly get my hands on. If it were remotely related to pregnancy, I’d read it: books, blogs, message boards, birthing classes, and more. I was convinced that knowledge is power, and I wanted to know everything humanly possible about what was going on in my body and what was going to happen during birth so it didn’t freak me out as much as it all happened.
Second Pregnancy: Reading zero books
Unless reading 293,309,398 picture books to my toddler every day counts, then yeah, I totally haven’t read a single book. I have read a couple of blog posts, but that’s about it. Part of this is because I just don’t have that much time to read in general (#toddlermom), but the other part is because I just don’t feel the need to have as much knowledge, plus I already remember the basics. Perhaps I’ll pick up a birthing book to jog my memory before the time comes, but let’s be honest: even that probably isn’t going to happen.
2. Food Choices
First Pregnancy: Eating as healthy as humanly possible and avoiding all the foods on the “no” list
My first pregnancy I was religious about getting enough water and eating healthy foods. I packed loads of veggies and fresh fruit to munch on at work and cut out caffeine right away. I also never ate frozen yogurt or lunch meat or sushi or over easy eggs or soft cheese. Basically, I didn’t eat anything on the “no” list, which is SO many things.
Second Pregnancy: Cravings rule my diet, and what’s on that “no” list again??
Don’t freak out, but I still drink coffee (ahem, because I have a child), and I couldn’t resist eating some cookie dough the other day. I also realized that most soft cheeses in the U.S. are actually pasteurized, so I’ve had a little of that, too. But these cravings for ALL THE CARBS are pretty much ruling my life, so there haven’t been many days that I’ve found myself snacking on veggies this time around. All in moderation, right?? 😉
3. Pregnancy Awareness
First Pregnancy: You think about being pregnant all the time
When I was pregnant with our firstborn, pregnancy talk and pregnancy thoughts consumed me. I thought about being pregnant pretty much non-stop, and I talked about it incessantly. My poor friends probably wanted to punch me in the face after having to carry on endless conversations about epidurals and baby carriers for nine whole months. Plus, I had a solid collection of new baby-related Pinterest boards that I added to daily.
Second Pregnancy: “Oh wait, I’m pregnant.”
Honestly, I often forget that I’m pregnant. I’m quickly reminded when I catch a glimpse in the mirror, when I take my daily prenatal vitamin, or when our daughter asks if “there’s still a baby in my tummy” numerous times each day. I’m working from home and chasing after a toddler this time around, so I don’t really have as much time to sit around and just think about being pregnant. Sometimes I wish I did, but overall this definitely makes the second pregnancy go by a lot more quickly. And also, not a single Pin this time… so far.
4. Excitement Level
First Pregnancy: People are SO excited!
With your first pregnancy people freak out with excitement — family, friends, co-workers, they ALL seem pretty pumped. People want to talk about it all the time.
Second Pregnancy: Old news… been there, done that.
It’s not that people aren’t happy for you when you’re having a second baby. They are. It’s just not the same though. The excitement level is much more subdued and people don’t ask about it as much. It’s fine, because you also aren’t thinking about your pregnancy as much the second time, but it’s definitely a different feeling.
5. Maternity Style
First Pregnancy: Cute maternity dresses, heels, and overall stylishness
With my first pregnancy I made a real effort to be a cute pregnant lady to the very end. I was working in an office environment, and I wore cute dresses, accessorized, and did my hair and makeup. I even wore heels for the majority of my pregnancy (until the last couple months, which happened to be June/July so all bets where off in the swollen feet category)!
Second Pregnancy: I’ll just live in yoga pants and sports bras, thanks!
I cannot even fathom wearing heels right now. Let’s just say that my maternity style this time around will be far more “casual.” Working from home makes a big difference, too, so I’m fully prepared to stay comfortable in my yoga pants and maybe just wear my husband’s sweats when things start to get ugly. Honestly, I’m just thankful to make it out of the house with my toddler and two matching shoes most days.
6. Pregnancy Knowledge
First Pregnancy: Knowing what size fruit your baby is at all times
I remember getting e-mail updates and knowing all about what was happening with my baby developmentally at any given time, as well as what size fruit she equivalent to. First pregnancies are full of helpful information like that.
Second Pregnancy: Second guessing how many weeks along you are
No joke: I seriously had to double check how many weeks pregnant I was the other day. This time around my best friend is pregnant at the same time (SO AWESOME) and since it’s her first pregnancy she keeps mentioning the fruit size thing, so I did just look it up out of curiosity and apparently my baby is the size of an apricot this week. Good to know.
First Pregnancy: Worrying about everything
I WebMD’d my pregnancy ailments like it was my job with baby number one. Weird rash? Oh, no big deal…I’m probably just dying. I worried about what nail polish I used and the lipstick I wore and was hyper vigilant about using hand sanitizer and avoiding eating food out of cans (beware the BPA!).
Second Pregnancy: Let it gooooooooo!
While I still try to be generally healthy and buy products that are natural and chemical-free, I don’t stress out about it. Plus, let’s remember that I live with a three-year-old germ machine.
8. Nursery Decor
First Pregnancy: Creating a beautiful nursery
I agonized over creating our daughter’s nursery and spent quite a bit of time making it just right with hand-picked items and tedious DIY projects. I researched everything from cribs to drawer organizers and obsessed over every little detail.
Second Pregnancy: Realizing babies don’t really care about nurseries
Baby number two will be welcomed home to that same exact nursery, no changes needed. I mean, it’s done. And once big sister gets settled in to her new big girl room, I don’t see why I’d start all over on the nursery again.
First Pregnancy: A mile long “need” list and various registries
All that first-baby excitement includes a baby shower (or a few) to help you gather the seemingly endless amount of baby gear that you’ll need. Last time I spent SO MUCH TIME comparing reviews and consumer reports on gear, toys, diapers, you name it. We spent hours setting up registries and browsing through every single baby store that exists. Luckily we didn’t know the gender last time around so we were limited to neutral shopping sprees or I think I’d still be buried in baby clothes.
Second Pregnancy: Time to empty the storage room
If we have to find room to store one more piece of baby gear in our house, I will most certainly lose my marbles. In fact, the thought of getting all that baby stuff out of storage and somehow putting it into the same place that our toddler toys now live…makes me a little frantic. So, no shopping this time, mmmkay.
Even though every pregnancy is a precious miracle, the experience for Mama can be totally different from one to the next.
If you’re a BTDT mama, what was one thing that was very different for you the second time around?
This is perfect, I feel like it is describing my life! My first is 2.5 years old and he never seems to run out of energy. Makes me forget sometimes I’m having a second.
I’m glad I’m not alone, Abbi!!!