5 Surprising (But Very Normal!) Things That Happen During Your Second Pregnancy
Your second pregnancy is an entirely different experience from your first. Gone is the ability to sleep whenever you want. You’re lucky to get a minute to yourself, period – there’s very little time to sit and relish being pregnant like you did with your first.
Having gone through pregnancy once already, I thought I had a pretty good idea what to expect during my second pregnancy. But there were a few things that caught me completely off guard. Here are 5 surprising, but very normal, things that happen during your second pregnancy.
1. Having a completely different pregnancy than your first
Truth be told, my second pregnancy was almost identical to my first. They were easy pregnancies, and my only real symptom was being completely exhausted.
My third on the other hand? It couldn’t have been more different. Between never-ending “morning” sickness and excruciating SI pain, I couldn’t wait for that pregnancy to be over.
Don’t be surprised if your second pregnancy bears little resemblance to your first. This could be a good thing – if you had a rough pregnancy last time – or you could be thrown for a loop like I was. Either way this is only the very beginning of your second child keeping you on your toes, reminding you that he or she is nothing at all like your oldest.
2. Forgetting you’re pregnant
When you’re pregnant with your first, you have all the time in the world to read your weekly baby update emails, research every symptom to death, and savour the experience of being pregnant. This is not the case with your second.
Don’t get me wrong, I still signed up for the weekly emails, and found more than my fair share of new and unusual things to Google. But for the most part, I had a been-there-done-that, don’t-have-time-to-worry-about-it-anyway approach to my second pregnancy. I was so busy chasing my first, it was not uncommon for me to completely forget about being pregnant.
3. Mourning the end of one-on-one time with your oldest
Depending on the gap between your children, you’ve probably had a good amount of one-on-one time with your oldest. He or she has been the centre of your world, and it’s normal to worry that the arrival of your second baby will upset the family dynamic.
First off, don’t feel guilty about feeling this way. This is a very normal feeling. I loved my time with just my oldest, and spent a lot of time those last few weeks cherishing every “last time” we did something as a family of three.
The truth is, your family dynamic will change – but it will change for the better. Yes, you may deal with some jealousy issues, and balancing the needs of two children can be challenging. But you will get to watch your oldest embrace their role as an older sibling. You will see the love grow between them, and understand why everyone told you that a sibling is the greatest gift you can give a child.
There’s also a good chance that you will find that you continue to have plenty of one-on-one time with your older child. Babies sleep a lot. I had a lot of down time at home with my toddler while the baby napped, and at the beginning it was relatively easy to bring the baby along on all types of outings.
4. Worrying more about childcare than giving birth
As a second-time mom, giving birth is no longer the great unknown that it was with your first. You’ve been there, done that, and have a pretty good idea what to expect.
What you haven’t done is navigated the birth process with an older child. Unless you have a scheduled c-section or induction, there are so many unknowns as you enter your final weeks. What if you go into labour in the middle of the night? What if you can’t reach your back-up caregiver? What if there’s no time for your back-up caregiver to get there, and you have to bring your older child to the hospital?
I can’t reassure you that everything will go according to plan, but I can assure you that people are generally very willing to help out with childcare in this situation. I had fast labours, and my parents (who were our primary childcare) live across town – I was terrified that they wouldn’t be able to get there in time. We had a few people lined up who were ready to jump in and provide back-up childcare if needed, and everybody was more than willing to help out.
5. Worrying that you won’t love your second child as much as your first
This is probably the most common fear when you’re pregnant with your second child: how could you could possibly love another child as much as you love your first? Now that I’ve been through it twice, I can tell you that this fear is completely unfounded.
You won’t love your second child exactly like you love your first. They will be a different person, and your relationship with each child will be unique. But I can assure you that you will love them every bit as much. That saying that your heart grows with each child? Absolutely true.
If possible, I fell harder and faster for my second and third children. As a second- and third-time mom, I was more confident, less nervous, and already knew what it felt like to fall in love with my child. I knew that the overwhelming love you feel for your baby when you first meet them is only the tip of the iceberg – from the moment I met them I was excited about what was to come.
Your second pregnancy won’t be the same as your first. This makes it excellent preparation for the arrival of your second baby, who is likely to be a very different child from your first – but is going to steal your heart just the same.