A first pregnancy is a magical experience, and nothing can quite match the ecstasy when the pregnancy test kits reads ‘positive’. The anticipation, exhilaration and expectation from the first pregnancy is matchless. Though pregnancy is beautiful no matter how many times you feel those fluttering kicks, when you are pregnant for the second or third time, you know the journey and will be more at ease. You will not be jumping around the house every time there is a twitch in the belly. You are more stable in your approach, more at peace with the changes and more in control of your pregnancy. We would say, that the second time you are pregnant things are plainly different, not ‘bad’ but plainly different.
We have summed up some of the differences, do share your experiences and comment if there is something we have missed.
12 Ways Your Second Pregnancy Is Different From The First
- The books will be missing: When you get pregnant for the first time, you tend to horde and read every pregnancy and parenting book that you come across. Hell, you also try to be an ideal parent by following all the advice that is penned down for the first few years as a parent. Any blog, journal, magazine that has something related to pregnancy will be picked up and the information absorbed. But when you are pregnant for the second time, with a toddler in tow, you are less likely to have the time (or the energy) to read. Unless you’d count those thousand pictures that you show your toddler in a single day, there is not pretty much that you’d be reading much.
- Ultra-sound pictures: The first ultrasound is special like none other. You’d not stop looking at those little arms and legs and nose. You and your spouse will look again and again at those images and bask in happiness. But when you are pregnant for the second time, the scan images will either remain in your bag, or in the toy basket of your older child. You might not even find time to re-look at them with your spouse, or trace the jawline with your fingers. When you would remember to have a look at the picture, you’d find that your 3 year old has already scribbled on them with his set of crayons. Yeah, that.
- Belly Pictures: Unlike in your first pregnancy when you and your partner clicked weekly and monthly belly pictures, it is likely that your second pregnancy will just cover one maternity photo-shoot. With a toddler in tow, who is going to find the time or even the camera for clicking those belly pictures. Skip that! If you made a whole album for baby 1 to show him how you looked when he was inside, there’d be pictures of the baby 1 crawling on momma dear to show baby 2.
- Diet: The first pregnancy comes with a huge list of what to eat and what not to look at. You’d be very careful with the food that goes inside, and watch the portions. If you love wine, you’d not even taste a sip even if you are in Paris. But with the second pregnancy, you’d be laughing in the face of eating rules. Not to say that you would be putting your baby at risk, but surely you wouldn’t mind digging into some sushi at a reputable place. The caffeine won’t be missing entirely, but will be limited. And you would be eating more, keeping up with running around your toddler. You don’t really feel the need to follow any of the myths or traditions as much as you followed first time.
- You are more aware: A twitch here? A move there? With the first pregnancy, you are likely to grab the phone or turn to Google for anything and everything that happens the first time. Was that gas or the baby moved? How can I get rid of nausea? The list is practically endless. But when you are pregnant for the second time, your attitude would be something like ‘I know this one. Been there, done that’. That also means you are more confident of what and how to handle your pregnancy.
- Gender revealing games: The first pregnancy, a woman wants nothing than a healthy baby. So though it is fun to indulge in the gender guessing games, there is no huge preference. With the second time pregnancy, though a healthy baby would be a top wish, yet you’d have a preference for a gender. Like if you have a boy already, you may want to have a girl this time. This means that you will be interested in gender guessing games and would also be pinning your hopes on your preferred gender.
- The emails: First time moms are eager to subscribe to a dozen weekly pregnancy newsletters. They know what fruit corresponds to the baby size at all times. When they do not know the fruit that the e-mailer claimed is the current size of the baby, they’d go all out and see it first hand to know it. With the second time around, you may not even remember your week or month of pregnancy, leave alone the fruit. However, you would keep up with the e-mailers just so as to know what’s happening, but a Facebook update like ‘My baby is the size of a coconut today’ isn’t happening!
- Fears and apprehensions: With your second pregnancy, you would not get anxious at every little thing that happens. A rash would just be a rash, a shampoo would just be used to washing hair. You would be more in control and your worries would be at rest. You are likely to feel more confident this time, and there is a good chance that you would be happier not raising the alarms often.
- Baby nursery: Remember the way you shopped for the baby nursery the first time around? From the blinds to the sheets and the crib and what not. With the second time, you would care less for setting up a nursery, because you would realise that babies don’t really want cute nurseries! Besides, who has the time?
- Choosing names: While the first baby was given his name after many careful name-storming sessions, the second baby’s name choosing would essentially be based on the first baby’s name. You may want a rhyming name, or name with a similar meaning, or something that goes with the first baby’s name. Essentially so. You see, the whole name-finding strategy has just changed!
- Guilt: You first child is the apple of your eyes, rightly so. You put in every single ounce of your energy into keeping up with his needs, his antics, and his milestones. When you are pregnant again, your body will not permit you to be as active. You would need sleep, you would need your own time and you will simply be at a loss of energy. Add to that the hormones that are at play. It is pretty obvious that you will get into feeling guilty over not being able to spend as much time as with your baby 1 as you would want to.
- Shun advice: Unlike the first time when you pondered over all welcome and unwelcome advice from friends (and strangers), the second time will be different. Don’t mind when you find yourself telling a fellow woman “This is my second time, I know” when she bombards you with any unsolicited advice.
We can already sense the second time mommies smiling and nodding, while the ones who are planning a second baby are wondering “Is that so?” Add in what we missed! A mother’s love for her children is always the same, no matter how many kids she has!