Second Pregnancies

Monday March 20, 2017

I’ve been waiting a while to write this post. (I have a minor obsession reading online think pieces by women about how their second pregnancies compared to their first.)

Now that I’m in the 3rd trimester, though, I have to say: it’s not what I expected. At all.

In the vein of “every pregnancy is different,” I had been anticipating different physical symptoms. Maybe I’d have heart burn this time around? Or maybe I wouldn’t get that weirdo insomnia? Nope. My symptoms have been practically exactly the same, nearly to the gestational week. Insane nausea, but no vomiting, between weeks 6-14? Check. Food aversions that lasted from 14-18 weeks? Check. Subchorionic hematoma in first trimester? Check. Round ligament pain necessitating a support belt? Check. Still able to run two miles/day in the third tri? Check. With the identical sometimes annoying shin splints? Check. Painful sleep in the second trimester that somehow miraculously goes away in the third trimester? Check and check.

I even had the same initial cravings (weeks 4-5) for meat and eggs that I had with my first pregnancy. Followed by the dairy and then stone fruit cravings. Even the broken capillaries in my face have returned in the same exact spots. It’s eerie.

But, in other ways, this pregnancy has been completely different. Listicle time!


With Bean, I was terrified and uncertain of what labor and delivery would be like, and had no idea how we’d manage a newborn. I was in absolute denial the whole time, and in no hurry for baby. Even at the achiest 9 months, I knew it was much easier for all of us with her inside than out.

With this baby? I’m impatient as can be. Give me that little sweet newborn fuzzy head.


2. On a related note: anxiety

With Bean, the entire pregnancy was surreal. It all happened so effortlessly and I believed the doctors when they gave us odds, which are usually drastically in your favor. This time around, I know what it means to have a baby living inside me, that I really really want to be living outside me, to be part of our family, and I’m anxious about every darn thing. The hypochondriac pregnancy. The stakes have been raised, in a way. I want this baby.



3.  Pregnancy is harder when you already have a little one at home

Yes, yes, the most obvious thing of all, but not one I’d considered. Going through first trimester nausea while having to still entertain, encourage, discipline and feed another person three times a day? Absolutely dreadful. And they always need to eat! Usually food that you can’t stand to be in the same room with! But you have to anyway, because starving a 3 year old isn’t an option, no matter how terribly sick you feel and want to spend the afternoon in the fetal position on the floor.

And now it’s the third tri exhaustion and Braxton Hicks I get from crouching on the floor playing with trucks. Sorry, kiddo, mommy’s gotta take to the sofa again. (Needless to say, even at 4, she has no patience for this. So she’ll take out some musical instruments and bang away and “sing me songs” while I recover. URGH, just let me reeessst.)


4. Nesting takes on new and exciting angles

With Bean, all our focus was on building a micronursery and stocking it and donating half of our possessions to make room for baby stuff. Now? We already have a micronursery; there are no parenting books to read this time around; few classes to take; we just completed our Baby Shopping List in 20 minutes because we either already have everything or know what products we want to use again.

Instead of twiddling my thumbs, I’ve spent Bean and Little Guy’s inheritance on Oxo pantry storage containers and refrigerator organizers. Baby will surely appreciate his mother’s refrigerator organization, I just know it!


5. Being pregnant around a 4 year old is hysterical

Finally, this pregnancy is much much funnier than my first. You know how pregnant women get offended when people comment on how huge they are? I have a little girl who daily tells me that I’m GETTING SO BIG, MOMMY. Thanks, kiddo. She also likes to tell me my bottom is getting bigger too. Thanks again, sweetpea.

I’ve also had to explain the reproductive process and provide information about the trip down the ol’ birth canal to a disbelieving 4 year old. A stork would have made more sense.

She also likes to march around showing off her own tummy (it’s getting bigger too, just like mine, and there’s a baby gorilla inside). She’s already insisted that the baby’s name will be Owen. “Maybe you can give him a name and then we can call him Owen for a nickname?”

Every random stranger on Muni knows about Baby Owen. And, as if it was up for debate, this is “her” baby. She even wants the baby to go to school with her, so she can keep an eye on him.

If pregnancy is 9 months of mental preparation to welcome a baby into your life, then a first pregnancy is 9 months of getting used to the idea of being parents. A second pregnancy, though, is 9 months of preparing a kid to get used to the idea of being a sibling. But, just like when we were first time parents, the upheaval is an abstract idea, which we didn’t truly understand until things were legit upheaved. The same will probably be true for Bean, but for now, all these conversations are pretty darn amusing.


How did your second/third/fourth pregnancies differ from your first? Did you have completely different physical symptoms, or was it more emotionally different like mine?

Motherhood, You

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