You may be surprised just how different it is to be pregnant a second time. My first pregnancy was relatively pleasant after a somewhat awful first trimester (fatigue and morning sickness). However, with my second now I’m certainly feeling more fatigue, more stress, and generally less excited about another baby.
Consider also, the relatively small gap between my children (my son will be 1yr and 4months on my daughter’s due date). Life is rather busy and I’m feeling the guilt of not having the time/energy to make a pregnancy journal and all those sort of things that I did with my son. I don’t want my daughter to feel left out or unloved.
These experiences are based on my own, personal experience in my second pregnancy. Of course it can be very different depending on factors like how much support you have from your partner or extended family, the age of your first child, and whatever other variables influence how much free time and support you have and the kinds of decisions or preparations you need to make for the new arrival.
- You probably won’t document everything; Keeping a pregnancy journal will be more of an effort with time restraints, will probably also be less detailed, if you decide to keep one at all. For me personally, we’ve had so much going on that I’ve decided to start keeping a memory journal after our daughter is born (or at a time when I’m less overwhelmed with things to do) to record milestones etc.You may feel less connected to the baby; because you will be preoccupied with childcare or other responsibilities, you may find there’s less time to sit and focus on the baby’s movements and bond.
- You know what you’re in for; you’ll probably do less research, less reading, you’ll also in general, feel less excited and probably be preoccupied with your first child. There’s less of that excited anticipation of something new. At the same time, there’s less fear – you’ll probably worry more about the siblings ability to handle a new baby rather than your own.
- Your concerns will be different. With your second, you’ll likely be reading about very different topics than you did with your first. These will probably include how to introduce the new baby to their older sibling, avoid jealousy and generally focus around the sibling relationship.
- A lot of the lead up to birth will be around preparing the older child for their new sibling and trying to get them a little less reliant on you. Especially if they are still young. This might include moving them into their own room, potty training, etc.
- You’ll probably feel guilty about all the above.
- You’ll be smarter about shopping. From the first time around, you will know your preferences. You will know what did or didn’t get used. You’ll do less product research and have more of an idea what you need. So, I’d say the second child tends to be cheaper in regards to baby items. You can also (hopefully) reuse your first’s stroller, cot etc.
- If you didn’t upgrade your car before your first baby, you might consider doing so now. if you have a standard 5-seater you’ll easily fit a second car seat, but you might want to consider your lifestyle and if you have enough storage space in your car. We have a hatchback, and baby seats in the back really limit the cars boot space (as we can no longer fold the backseats down to expand the boot). If we need to take a stroller, the boot is pretty much full at that point, leaving very limited space for shopping etc. We will probably hang on to our current car until/if we have a third child. It’s very fuel efficient, doesn’t have any mechanical problems (despite being over 10 years old) and it being a great no-fuss vehicle is worth a bit of the inconvenience of it being slightly too small for now.
- With an expanding family the other thing you’ll want to look at is your home. While you might be able to have one kid in a studio or 1 bedroom home, with 2 a small home will be feeling crowded. While this wasn’t an issue for us (we already have a 3 bedroom home), something to consider if you’re still in a small space.
- You start showing earlier; with my first i didn’t show until about 25 weeks. With my second i started showing around 13 weeks and certainly have a more prominent belly this time around. All those abdominal muscles are pre-stretched so you’ll have an earlier and bigger bump.
- The fatigue will be worse. Especially if your gap is small.
- You’ll probably manage morning sickness better, if you found things that worked in your first pregnancy.
- You may not even realize you’re pregnant at first. With my son, I took a pregnancy test at about 5 weeks gestation, with our daughter, it wasn’t until week 7 or so.
- Although I haven’t experienced for myself yet, they also say that birth tends to become shorter with subsequent pregnancies. As my first labor was only 4hrs, I have my concerns about not making it to the hospital, if I am not scheduled for an induction this time around.
In all, I am feeling a bit a guilty in this pregnancy. I feel like I won’t be able to make my daughter feel as special as my son. However, this is just me projecting my own feelings onto an infant. My perception of how to love is very different to that of a newborn baby, whose first understandings of love will be from their parent’s physical closeness and touch, the warmth of their parent’s bodies, and the sound of their mother’s heartbeat. A baby wont care much about what toys they have or the clothes they wear, and all these extra things.
How was your second pregnancy different? Let me know in the comments.