7 Ways A Second Pregnancy Is Different Than The First One


second pregnancyIt’s official, I’m pregnant with my second child and boy is it different. Between the worry over losing this pregnancy and the busy life of raising a toddler, I have to say this second pregnancy is just astronomically different from my first child.

There are some ways that I think are probably pretty common for all second and third and fourth time mamas. Here are seven ways this second pregnancy is different that have rung true for myself and many of my mama friends I’ve spoken to:

#1: I forget how far along I am.

My first pregnancy I was so ecstatic to be pregnant I was counting the days. “How far along are you?” someone would say, and I’d answer “oh 12 weeks and 3 days!” And they’d smile and look very confused about why I was so specific.

I checked my app daily to see if there was changes. Often with this pregnancy I forget exactly how far along I am.

“I’m in my second trimester? I think? Hold on let me check my app, oh crap I forgot to update it…. Hmm, give me a second…OH RIGHT I’m 14 weeks! Ha, right! I knew that. Totally did.”

#2: I don’t worry over every little thing.

I know now what issues are normal and what aren’t. What things I should check with my doctor about. Being nauseous a lot but not puking is normal. Being super tired is normal (I’m growing a human, that takes energy – duh).

Puking constantly and not keeping water down? NOT normal. Check in with your doctor because it could be hyperemesis gravidarum and you may need additional monitoring because it can be risky. I don’t worry when I’m a little crampy because I know that it’s likely my small ligaments stretching. But I know that if I see bright red blood it’s an immediately trip to the doc or ER.

I know that the first trimester is the most dangerous period and to be cautious. I have already had one loss, and that meant even though I didn’t worry about every little thing I did worry in general about one thing. For me that was raising pg levels. This pregnancy has luckily gone smoothly.

#3: I don’t kill myself trying to be the perfect pregnant person.

With my first baby I was so cautious. No coffee, no fish, no lunch meat, no meds. I was miserable. It’s hard enough to be pregnant, but try being pregnant and denying yourself things that often make life livable.

Yes of course if it makes you feel good to be extra cautious, do it!

But for me having a cup of joe in the morning is making mothering a toddler while pregnant much more sustainable. Taking the over-the-counter meds my doctor has approved has made my life immeasurably better. I’ve also not cried over not being allowed a sandwich yet (a real thing that happened with my first pregnancy) which is a huge improvement.

Don’t be me, be you. Do what is best for you with your doctor’s advice. I’ll be having Starbucks with my breakfast sandwich.

#4: I am not buying all the things.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I couldn’t wait to decorate her room. I was shopping for baby clothes by the time I was 8 weeks. I picked out her bed online and kept a running Pinterest so I could shop easier. I had a stroller far before the time I needed it because “there was a great sale!”

This time I’m like,

“Eh, let’s not buy stuff until the baby is like…here. We won’t even use the room until the baby is over 5 months so let’s leave it a guest room for now. We can just use Juniper’s clothes for the next one right?”

I’m taking hand me downs and reusing as much as possible. I’m a practical woman and have been down this road before.

#5: I’m bigger. Womp. Womp.

Yup, you heard it here ladies. Your body carries differently each pregnancy. My body apparently likes to look six months pregnant at 4 months. Every mama and every pregnancy is so unique.

It’s okay, though I may struggle with some body issues, which is totally normal. Truly I know that it’s fine that I’m bigger during my second pregnancy than the last time. My body just knows what to do. I’m stronger and more confident this time around. This brings me to my next point.

#6: My birth plan is much more relaxed.

I went into my first birth with such high hopes. In fact, they were naively high. A natural birth. No drugs of course! My mom had four natural births why wouldn’t I! I wouldn’t even consider what would happen if I needed a C-section. That wasn’t in my plan after all. I did all the right things: yoga, stretching, walking, and laboring at home. I went to classes and had music.

Then it happened: a traumatic long birth ending in a c-section. Nothing that I planned for occurred.

This time, my plan is get the baby out as calmly as possible. Accept that many things are out of control. I will have a doula to keep me calm and to remind me that any result is okay, and that I can handle it because I am strong. I have birth trauma from my first experience. That means this time the only goal is a calm mama and a safely delivered baby. I’m better at this the second time around because I know what can go wrong.

#7: I know this isn’t forever.

My first pregnancy felt like forever. This second pregnancy feels so much faster. Life hasn’t paused while I adjust. I was constantly counting the weeks until I was safe to deliver with my first. I thought for sure I’d go early! Joke’s on me. I was pregnant for 42 weeks with my daughter, so it felt like eternity.

This time all I know is I’m in my second trimester. Do we know the sex yet? Nope. We will do it soon though because I keep realizing it’s further along than I realized.

I’m too busy to feel the time passing. My toddler needs me to keep doing all the things I would do if I wasn’t pregnant.

Do I feel tired and swollen? Yep. But I’m in no rush to get to the next steps. This is likely the last baby I’ll have. Soon I’ll miss the ability to sit and think on what will be, instead of what was. Soon we won’t be a little family of three anymore, and life will be even more crazy.

This period of life is finite. I’m trying to enjoy it and not yearn for it to pass like I did with my first child. I’ll hold my belly protectively and breathe while knowing time is truly speeding by.

This isn’t forever. Enjoy it.

second pregnancy

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Liz McTan is an entrepreneur, blogger, singer/songwriter and above all a mom. On her blog The Redheaded Rambling Mama she focuses on the necessity of connection and establishing our own village. Liz also writes about maintaining a sense of self after children, and beating the illusion of perfect parenting we see throughout social media and keeping a sense of humor to stay sane. She is a proponent of traveling, protesting, and even attending festivals with your kids. Through her battle with post-partum depression and anxiety she has found a new sense of self and purpose in her writing and music with her band Echo Hill. You can read more of her work at www.redheadedramblingmama.blog or on her social media pages www.facebook.com/redheadedramblingmama and www.instagram.com/redheadedramblingmama