I’ve heard people say that the second pregnancy is worse than the first. Others swear that the second pregnancy is easier because you know what to expect. From my perspective, the second pregnancy isn’t easier or worse – it’s just different.
For all the moms who are trying for a second baby or just found out they’re pregnant again (congrats!), here are 9 ways that your second pregnancy may be different than your first:
You won’t track your pregnancy as closely.
When I was pregnant the first time, I downloaded all the apps I could and every week I faithfully read all about my growing baby (and body). If anyone asked me how far along I was, I immediately responded with the week and the day. I read tips about healthy foods to eat and the foods you should stay away from. I bought special cream to avoid stretch marks. I shopped at Pink Blush Maternity for the best pair of leggings and tops to accommodate my growing belly.
This time around I’m lucky if I remember my own name. I’m so busy chasing after my toddler that there are days I forget I’m pregnant. I lift things I shouldn’t, I barely check my apps and I live in the same pair of sweatpants for days at a time. I eat what I want and yes, I’ve had a hoagie or two (toasted of course).
Exercise is a thing of the past.
The first time I got pregnant was two months after running a marathon. So naturally I continued running through most of my pregnancy. When I could no longer run comfortably, I walked. In fact, the day I went into labor I had just gone for a two-mile walk.
Now my exercise is carrying around my 15-month-old and making sure he doesn’t knock over prized valuables. My longest walk of the day is usually to the mailbox. I’ve tried to be active but every time I jump on the treadmill, my son seems to know and wakes up immediately from his nap.
You’ll feel sicker.
I didn’t have morning sickness the first time around. So I was expecting that I would feel fine this time too. Not the case. I never actually got sick, but I felt nauseous around the clock. Smells got to me and I couldn’t even look at a piece of chicken until 14 weeks. My body craved carbs like bread and ice cream and rejected anything healthy.
I’m not sure why the second time around has been so rough for me – I’m assuming some of it has to do with those pesky hormones. Yet I have some friends who have felt great the second time around. Everyone’s different and hopefully your second pregnancy will be morning sickness-free!
You’re more tired.
This one makes sense. Not only are you growing a human being, but you’re raising one too. My son is constantly moving and is hitting the dreaded temper tantrum stage. I’m so exhausted by the end of the day that it’s all I can do to stay awake past 8:30 p.m. Not to mention, I’m running my own business. All of those things combined have left me feeling spent. I have to remind myself everyday to take it easy and give myself a break.
The aches and pains strike sooner.
I had a ton of heartburn during my first pregnancy and – surprise, surprise – it’s back! Only this time it’s happening a month sooner. The solution? Make sure to eat 4 hours before bedtime and prop yourself up as much as possible. I sleep sitting straight up and it’s helped a lot.
I also experienced back pain sooner and carpel tunnel (a new thing for me this pregnancy). I’ve been forcing myself to take naps in the afternoon and prop my feet up, especially if I’ve spent a lot of time on them. The carpel tunnel comes and goes but I try to sleep on my side with my arm elevated and that seems to help.
You’ll pop more quickly.
Everyone told me you show sooner with the second pregnancy and I have found this to be true. I was in maternity clothes by 13/14 weeks and was showing by week 16. Now I’m almost 24 weeks and feel like a beached whale. I’m also starting to notice some mild swelling in the ankles/feet.
This may not be the case for everyone, but if you’re getting bigger sooner – embrace it. It’s tempting to look at yourself in the mirror and critique your appearance. Try to avoid this at all costs. You’re creating life and it’s beautiful. You’re beautiful. Ignore anyone who says otherwise.
You’ll feel the baby move sooner.
This baby moves constantly. I started feeling movement around 16/17 weeks and discovered I have an anterior placenta (which means the placenta grows in front of the uterus and the baby).
Expect to feel movement more quickly this time around (and those jabs may feel like full-fledged kicks very soon!). This was the fun part for me – I love feeling the baby move and it gives me comfort to know things are progressing the way they should.
Your hormones will be off the charts.
This may not be true for everyone, but it certainly was for me. This whole pregnancy I’ve been ready to snap (and my poor husband usually takes the brunt of my wrath). I’ve felt on edge and I’ve broken down in tears. I’ve felt depressed and experienced a lack of motivation. My emotions are on a constant seesaw.
Not much you can do about this. Hormones are hormones. The best approach is to focus on taking care of yourself. Get sleep, eat regular meals and take a mommy “time-out” if you need it.
You’ll compare this pregnancy to your first.
At 10 weeks, I went to my OBGYN appointment fully expecting to hear the heartbeat with the Doppler. I heard my son’s heartbeat at 10 weeks and even though I knew it was a little soon, I was expecting the same for this baby.
The OBGYN tried her best to find the heartbeat. After five minutes, she gave up and took us into a separate room for a quick ultrasound. I laid there for what seemed like an eternity while she stared at the screen, saying nothing. My heart caught in my throat and I was convinced we had lost the baby.
Thankfully, all was well. The baby’s position made it difficult to hear the heartbeat this early on. At the anatomy ultrasound, I would learn that I had an anterior placenta, which can make it difficult to hear the heartbeat until 12/14 weeks.
The lesson here? Try not to compare this pregnancy to the previous one. Every baby is different and your body will act differently too. Go in with no expectations and it will be a whole lot easier. I know, I know…easier said than done!
How was your second pregnancy different from the first? Leave a comment below!