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Have any of you first-time moms wondered how your second pregnancy will be different from your first? Well, friends, I’m finally finding out! I’m pregnant with baby #2 (another boy)! It seems like just yesterday that I finally felt ready to try for another child, and my prayers were answered. Now that I’m in my second trimester and feeling more like a human being than nauseated zombie, I’ve had a chance to reflect on how this pregnancy is different from my first.
As I was contemplating getting pregnant again, I did some research on some of the potential physical differences between a first and second pregnancy. I learned a lot. And that was helpful. But what I was really curious about was how my pregnancies would differ emotionally and mentally. Many others have written about this topic, sometimes hilariously, and here is my take.
Everything feels more consequential. I’ve been blessed with a child already. I know what I’m getting at the end of this conception and pregnancy journey. At the end of all of this, I get a whole human being with a spirit and personality. I don’t think I really appreciated this concept when I was pregnant the first time. Of course you “know” that you’re getting a baby at the end, but there’s no way you can truly understand what it means to be a mother until it actually happens to you. It’s abstract until it’s not.
Because I know what having a child feels like, especially after developing a relationship with him over the last three years, I found myself immediately attached to my unborn baby as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I loved this baby from an informed place, and every time we passed a milestone, every time we made it through another week of early pregnancy, I was overcome with gratitude. Everything feels deeper this time.
There’s no rest for the weary. During my first pregnancy, I was fused to my couch for weeks. My nausea was intense, I slept more than a newborn, and I tried to take on exactly zero extra responsibilities. It was challenging, but it was certainly manageable. This time, I’ve been chasing around a very active toddler in the throes of an infernal Texas summer with no school or camps in session to help me out. I’m shocked I survived. It’s amazing what reserves of strength and energy you can tap into when you have to take care of a tiny human.
Trying to keep your pregnancy a secret feels like a joke. I started showing almost as soon as I got a positive pregnancy result. My uterus was so thrilled to be relevant again, it was basically doing the uterine equivalent of jazz hands weeks before I felt comfortable announcing. To the point that random dads I know were congratulating me on my pregnancy when I was still trying to hide it. Thanks for letting me know you were looking at my pelvic region, SIR! At some point, I decided just to be honest about it and ask for help when it became available to me. It takes a village, people. It takes a village to survive your first trimester during a Texas summer. Truly.
I’m OK with the pregnancy extras falling by the wayside. During my first pregnancy, I diligently took bump progress photos. I wrote in a baby book. I lovingly wrote letters to my unborn child. This time, I’m double-fisting snacks and chasing my son as he rides his scooter through my house in his dinosaur underpants. This is not the mythical goddess-like pregnancy of old. This is real-life, hanging on by a thread, survival-mode pregnancy. And I wouldn’t change a minute of it! We’re keeping it real this time. My pregnancy feels lived-in and just part of my normal life. Sometimes I forget I’m pregnant altogether! It’s kind of a relief.
Can any of you moms of two or more relate to this? How was your second (or third or fourth…) pregnancy different from your first?