However many times you have been pregnant I think there are alway going to be slight differences , but between your very first and your second those differences seem to be more apparent and much more major. From the differences in your own body and how it copes the second time round, to your lifestyle through a second pregnancy; there are some major things that come as quite a surprise when you initially think “Oh I’ve done this before I know what to expect”!
Now before I begin I have realised this may come across as a negative or warning post of some sort; but that was not my intention! I have just found that there are some major differences I had not considered… but in no way does it lessen the magic of having a second child!
Already having a child
A no brainer you may think… but actually this one comes a bit of a shock as it has an unexpected effect on your second pregnancy that you just don’t think twice about while you are trying to conceive.
The most obvious one is time; instead of basking in your pregnancy glory you are having to keep to that tight family schedule which means possibly rushing to and from nursery, play school or school, extra curricular activities and playdates whilst no doubt managing a day job and a household (we will talk more about that one later)
The physical and mental load is a lot greater during your second pregnancy by just already having a child and this can be a huge strain on your body and mind.
Tiredness I have found is MUCH greater, not only because there is very little opportunity to grab a nap as you have a child at home with you to look after but also due to the mental and physical strain from running around after your child; potentially having to carry them around too.
This can all have a very detrimental effect on our stress levels during a second pregnancy; and unfortunately except from trying your best to exercise breathing techniques, listen to calming music and practice yoga, there is not much you can do!
Its not like you can magically make your child fall asleep so that you can have a break every now and again! If you are ducky enough to have family and friends round you can, though, ask them to look after your little one so that you can chill for a bit, childfree.
How your body copes
I personally was under the impression that as my body had done this all before it would cope relatively well with being pregnant again with little issue; however I have found that actually my body is not as supple and much more susceptible to aches and pains.
They say that as your stomach and ligaments have already stretched out the first time to accommodate your growing baby and uterus so the second time around you find yourself showing a lot more rapidly and as your body isn’t as ‘tight’ as it once was pre babies the aches and twinges are more fervent.
All of this, we must bear in mind, is down to the person of course, but personally I found that pre any babies my weight was at its lowest in my adult life so the weight I put on with my first pregnancy wasn’t as noticeable as it is this time. That is all down to me being bigger pre pregnancy this time around so mic weight gain is much more noticeable (This COULD also be down to the difference in gender which I will discuss…)
Possible Gender Difference
As with every old wives tale this one is negotiable, however I have found a few of the myths surrounding gender differences affecting pregnancy to be true.
My first pregnancy was with a boy and I was lucky enough to suffer very little whilst carrying him; this time around however, the sickness was like I had never expected. I was finding myself running for the toilet and sometimes even having to clear vomit from the stairs at the times when I didn’t make it!
They say that if you are carrying a girl then the female hormone level is what makes you more susceptible to sickness. This was the first tell tale signs that told me that I was carrying our first daughter.
I only had one severe craving during my first pregnancy which was avocado; it apparently carries a lot of folic acid which obviously my body was needing. Second pregnancy with our little lady has brought a plethora of cravings!
Mainly for carb based and sugary foods like tortellini (this is the only thing I could stomach through my worst sickness), baked potatoes, Kraft Mac’n’Cheese, blueberries, strawberries, pastries and ALL the chocolate!
Luckily I was kindly sent a few sample bars of this amazing chocolate from TradeCraft for Mothers Day which even appealed to my husband, who doesn’t usually like sweet things! He did not get much of it though of course… don’t try and take chocolate from a craving pregnant lady!
I fell in love with the quintessentially British branding and the flavours are just delectable. PLUS they are fair, organic, sustainably sourced and the best bit I thought… total recyclable and compostable packaging (We have a compost bin in our new garden so I was very excited when I saw this…)
This could be a direct consequence of the difference in weight gain but I have definitely found that carrying a girl has made my bump a different shape. The old wives tale attached to this is that carrying a boy is clear by the purely outward shape of your bump whereas carrying a girl tends to be more of an ‘all round’ affair. Scientifically also the hormone difference in male and females means that weight will more easily be gained when carrying a girl; much like when you are on your period.
Possible Life changes
Of course this will be different whatever your life situation but for us there was a MAJOR difference in my first and second pregnancies in terms of where we were in our lives!
I have mentioned once before in my ‘opening up’ post that my husband is not the biological father of my first child; he however was a very good friend and our love grew during my pregnancy and as things did not work out with the biological father (due to many reasons that were not at all very pleasant but have now, finally, three years down the line, settled) we decided to make a go of it and move in together at the end of my pregnancy to our first little flat. My husband was there during the birth and has brought up my son as if he was his own ❤
We have since been married and now are proud owners of our own little home!
We found out we were expecting our second child soon after our honeymoon and it this time around it was an intentional and planned affair we were prepared and so so excited for our future together. this is by no means saying that I was not excited about my first pregnancy but at the time I was living with my Mama and dealing with hide, unthinkable things from the biological father which to be honest left the future of me and my unborn baby very uncertain… until my man in shining armour came along of course!
If you have found that you are not renting anymore and are a homeowner with your second pregnancy, like us, you will have found that the mental load is much greater as a direct consequence and also the necessity to get decorating before time runs out!
With my first pregnancy I was told countless times to watch ‘One Born Every Minute’ to ‘prepare’ myself for what was to come… but i knew better than this and was aware that every birth id different and your body and the midwives will guide you through what is best and most safe for you and your baby. I felt no need to unnecessarily scare myself by watching a programme that might do exactly that!
As beautiful my intentions were with my first birth, I was not exactly how I had planned, but that was ok; the outcome was what was safest for me and my baby. I started off very tranquil in my birthing pool with my playlist on in the background and I had decided to only use gas and ai; everything was very serene. Unfortunately little mans heart rate was getting alarmingly low and we had to be whisked round to the maternity unit and I gave birth to him assisted and with an episiotomy; not ideal but I’m a trooper and was out of the hospital and back to the comforts of my own home by the afternoon!
I think due to this rushed and unplanned ending to my first birth, however much I know that there was no other option in the end and it was the safest way to deliver my little boy, I am now worried as I know the huge potential for things to go awry…
There are so many things that can happen during birth that just cannot be predicted and now I am aware of this, my worries surrounding birth are much greater this time.
One of the BEST things about a second pregnancy is that if you are a hoarder like e you can rest easy in the knowledge that most of the vital things that you need for a baby are sitting in your loft ready to be revitalised!
Unlike the first HUGE list of things that you need to buy and prepare, the bulk of it you will have from last time!
Also, personally, I have found that I have learnt things from my first pregnancy, birth and newborn life that have given me the knowledge i need to not have to overbuy things that I really don’t need and know what is really essential.
I definitely have got to know where to find a bargain and not overspend unnecessarily on seemingly expensive baby items (I will be writing a while post on where/how to frugally prepare from your baby in the coming weeks so lookout for that one!)
I think the main purpose of this post is to highlight the need for understanding that as Mothers we need more support and rest during a second pregnancy, and to know that that is ok!
It is also a very personal view on my own second pregnancy so please feel free to discuss your own views and the differences you have found between your first and second pregnancies in the comments!
*items gifted for review.