That first time you read that positive pregnancy test, you jump for joy, and dive head first into the first trimester of pregnancy. It’s wild. You embark on a journey like no other you’ve seen before.
You feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, feel like your boobs have been used for punching bags, and you’re probably puking. All the while you’re thinking “no one prepared me for this!”
The second time you would think you’d go into pregnancy saying “Been there done that, this should be a breeze!” However, in my newfound experience in my second pregnancy…. that just ain’t true!
In full transparency, my first pregnancy was a breeze.
Not a hint of morning sickness, no aches or pains, maybe some sore boobs, but honestly my only real symptom was pure exhaustion. Exhaustion like I had never experienced before. Taking naps in my car on my lunch break and still falling asleep at my desk, and napping at home after work level exhaustion.
I expected that the second pregnancy would most likely be a little different, because as we know “all pregnancies are different”.
Well it started off different.
This time I knew. I knew before I even took a test. I told my husband, and one of my close friends that I swore I was pregnant a few days before I could test.
I was able to recognize the signs. My box of wine in the fridge suddenly went untouched…. and I had been having a glass every other night since covid hit because I mean that’s what you do in quarantine right? Suddenly I didn’t even wanna think about alcohol. That was the first weird thing I realized the first time around, before ever thinking I was pregnant. This time it was a giveaway.
I started craving orange juice. Immediately. I also started having vivid dreams, and I just had this innate feeling that I had a tiny little creature beginning to suck the life out of me.
Sure enough I tested the earliest day I could in my cycle and there it was… a second pink line.
Just like the first time there were tears, excitement, and joy! I expected my symptoms to begin sometime in the next few weeks and that I would be needing some naps very soon.
Boy was I in for a shock.
This pregnancy could not be more different.
Yes, I did get the giant wave of exhaustion…. but it was ten times worse…. probably because, Idk, now I have a toddler to chase?! Also naps?! What are those? So I began my first 3 months of zombie life.
SPOILER ALERT: the exhaustion didn’t stop past first trimester. Although, yes I am definitely LESS exhausted now that I’m in that blissful second trimester stage, mama ain’t got time to rest working from home, taking care of a 20 month old, and a house. Mamas, this just comes with the territory!
Next came something I was blessed beyond measure not to have dealt with the first go round: nausea. Boy was I unprepared for that.
From weeks 6-10 I spent nauseous pretty much all day. I lived on pizza, Mac and cheese, pasta and crackers and ginger ale. Even water made me nauseous. Also…. although it “went away” I’m 17 weeks along now and still experience nausea every once in a while… I even puked for the first time yesterday… what an unexpected turn of second trimester events that was!
Aches and pains came quite fast this time. Round ligament pains showed up somewhere around 8 weeks and have been more intense this time around. Headaches too! Headaches galore. Oh and back pain. I swear I can feel where I had my epidural!
That belly shows up waaay sooner too. I started showing around 8 weeks, and started really popping by 12. My husband and I actually had a good laugh comparing my 12 week pregnancy belly to a photo of me pregnant with my first at 17 weeks…. my belly at 12 weeks was larger this time.
That’s just how it goes. The body remembers what it went through the last time and starts preparing the womb a little quicker this time.
Besides the physical symptoms being different, so is the rest of the experience.
The first time around you read all the books, you check the apps daily to see how baby is developing, you make lists and lists of names. You spend hours dreaming up the most beautiful nursery. Your husband beams at you, and you beam back at him as you think of the little bundle of joy joining you soon.
This time you know from experience what’s going to happen to your body, and you’re lucky if you remember to check your apps once a week. I’m proud I know what week I’m in, but i couldn’t tell you how many weeks and days I am unless I find my app. Last time if I was asked how far along I was I could tell you down to the hour!
In planning the nursery, instead of searching the baby furniture stores for the most beautiful crib and furniture set, in perusing Facebook marketplace. You realize how little of the baby registry stuff you ended up using, and are just happy to have a place to put the baby.
People keep asking us about a name, and the truth is we haven’t even had time to really sit down and discuss it! While we’re just as excited about bringing this little girl into the world as we were our first, there’s very little sitting and and imagining what that will be like.
The truth is, the second time around you have a little one you’re already spending all your time focusing on. We’re so focused on her and her needs, feeding her, entertaining her, and keeping her alive that we have little time to discuss the new baby.
Something else I hadn’t experienced before was the thoughts every second time mama has. “Will I love this one as much as my first?!” “Is she going to love the baby, or resent her?” “Am I going to be able to handle two?!”
I’ve talked to so many moms of multiples, and they have all assured me that these thoughts are normal, and that yes I will love them exactly the same amount and that yes they will love one another. Also… my grandma had 10 children so surely I can handle two!
Pregnancy is wild no matter if it’s your first, second, or any time after. Your body reacts differently to each pregnancy. You may feel differently mentally as well. You may have completely forgotten some of the pesky pregnancy symptoms.
The truth is, pregnancy reminds us that we aren’t as in control as we think we are.
Whether it’s your first or second, it asks you to go with the flow. Just like motherhood, we have to adapt, change and let go of the control we wish we had and give ourselves grace during this time.
No matter how different your pregnancies are, the result will be the same. You will be handed this sweet innocent little baby, and your heart will explode into a million more pieces.
It doesn’t matter how prepared we are for pregnancy, or what it may throw at us. You’re a mama now, you can handle anything!