Each pregnancy is special, but additional pregnancies after the first are not quite the same. I’m currently pregnant with baby #2 and have observed several differences between first and second pregnancies. Those of you who have experience multiple pregnancies will likely relate, and those thinking about adding to their brood – well, here’s what to expect.
1. You Pop Out Faster
Unlike your first pregnancy which you may have been able to hide until the second trimester, with your second you pop out faster. Supposedly this is because your muscles are already stretched. As a result, you’ll see your tummy sticking out within the first three months and everyone else will, too.
2. You’re More Calm
The old saying, “Been There, Done That” applies. It’s no longer a mystery what you’re going to experience during your pregnancy so you take things in stride. Instead of worrying about setting up the nursery six months beforehand, you remind yourselves to eventually “bring up all that baby stuff stored in the basement.”
3. You’re More Tired
During your first pregnancy you probably experienced the fatigue that naturally comes with being pregnant. With the second, it’s taken to a new level. That’s because you already have another kid who doesn’t really care you’re lugging around a bowling ball in your tummy. Your eldest still wants to be fed, played with and taken to activities, and as a result you are just more tired all the time.
4. You’re Less Obsessed
With my first pregnancy you may have kept a pregnancy diary that recorded every doctor’s appointment, ultrascreen photo, baby’s kick and other milestones. Any aches or pains and the OB-GYN was immediately called. You probably read books about pregnancy, attended child birth classes and researched just about everything. This time around, you don’t have the need to obsess, and you just can’t, because of the next item…
5. You Have Less Time
You may have been one of those moms who took pictures of her baby every week for an entire year or kept a baby journal which was diligently updated with every milestone for the first few years. This time there’s just less time with already having an older child around. That’s why second kids often “get shafted” when it comes to having as many photos as the first, but that’s just reality.
6. You Experience a Different Social Life
With the first pregnancy you still have a social life. You meet up for “Girls Night Out” with your single gal friends, and the only difference is that you have a tummy sticking out. Social life when pregnant with #2 may consist more of daytime play dates with local moms. Going out at night means either hiring a babysitter (costs add up quickly) or having the night end early because you know your first child is going to wake up at 6 am with the roosters.
7.You Spend Less
If you saved everything from the first baby, you already have all the baby gear, crib and toys needed. If baby-to-come is of the same gender, then you also already have clothes. Either way, you probably don’t have to make any huge purchases like furniture, swings and car seats.
8. You Have Less Expectations for Husband
The first time around you probably made your husband attend your OB-GYN doctor’s appointments or made him read one of those books specifically for new fathers. This time around, you may not be asking him to miss work to go to appointments, and even if you did he probably doesn’t want to go unless there’s an emergency.
9. You Forget How Hard It Is
Remember the first three months you went through due to major sleep deprivation? The crying that never seemed to stop and 3 a.m. feedings? Or is it all like a hazy, faint memory? If we remember these first few months of bringing baby home in great detail, then people would probably be more hesitant to have another kid. But with time we forget and instead focus on how your eldest is asking for a baby brother or sister. It’s good that we forget how hard it is.
10. People Ask Different Questions
No matter what number pregnancy you’re on, people will ask the typical questions: “How far along are you?” and “Is it a boy or girl?” When you’re pregnant the second time, people ask additional questions like, “Do you want a boy (girl) because you already have a girl (boy)?” And if you tell them you’re fine with the second being the same gender as the first, they often don’t quite believe you for some reason. They also ask, “So are you going to go for your third?” and you’re thinking “Just let me get through the second.”
I suspect with third, forth and more pregnancies there are even more differences like people asking, “Was the third planned?” and “Isn’t it expensive to have so many kids?” That’s what my friends tell me who have multiples kids. But that’s a whole other story. For now, I’m just focused on #2.
What other differences did you experience between your first and second pregnancies? Share your thoughts in the comments below!