Perhaps it's because I now work from home, perhaps it's because I've been through it before, or perhaps it's because I've had the pleasure of seeing my son go from newborn to infant to toddler already. Whatever the reason, my second pregnancy has been much less stressful than my first. According to other women on what changed during their second pregnancy, I'm not alone.
Of course, there have been some smaller differences, too. For example, my immune system seems more out of whack and my cravings are different this time around (on a related note, if anyone has any desserts and sweets lying around that you're not going to eat, please feel free to send them my way).
I suppose it's also worth mentioning that with an active 2.5 year old boy in the house, I've got to be more careful with my actual bump now, too, especially given his recent proclivity for jumping and climbing on people (I know and trust me when I say: we're working on it). Though, he's also been willing, on more than one occasion, to touch my stomach and hug the baby, which is my new favorite thing ever so it all evens out. So, with all that in mind, here's what other moms had to say on the topic:
"I was far less preoccupied with my second pregnancy than my first. With my first everything was new and I didn't have a toddler to distract me from just sort of dwelling on all aspects of being pregnant. With my second, I couldn't just hunker down and gestate. I had a 2 year old who didn't care how pregnant and tired I was: he needed me to take care of him."
"It was similar to my first, which isn't always the case for everyone, but with a toddler at home and working full-time, it felt more difficult. In the end, it was worth it because the delivery was much easier. And that's all I'll say."
"The second pregnancy was wonderful and maybe, in a sense, relaxing. The first one, I was really, really excited, and it was such a learning experience. The second, you know you’re already the luckiest person in the world for having your first baby, and you and your partner get to see your current child and know you’re doing it again. It’s magical, in a different way and you’re bringing it to your whole family — both parents, and the older child experience it."
"I had a different baby daddy with my second. So the entire experience was completely different (for the better). I enjoyed the pregnancy 1000x more and wasn't as stressed as I knew what I was getting into, but his stress levels were high as it was his first round, ha ha."
"The exhaustion and self doubts were significant with the second, whereas the first was just exciting. The doubts were from a place of, 'I'm barely able to be the mom I should be because of the exhaustion and sickness, was this selfish of me to do to my first child?' But also knowing how fast it goes, all of it, got me through those doubts quickly. It's just so much bigger emotionally because you know things you didn't know the first time around."
"Physically, I was much more nauseous with number two. Overall, though, I enjoyed my pregnancy with number two so much more. I was not worried. I remember being terrified of speed bumps early in the pregnancy with my first, because I thought they could harm the baby. I had none of those silly worries. There was this sense of 'I got this, I know what to expect."'
"I worried constantly that I wasn't 'as excited' with my second pregnancy as I was my first. I was constantly doubting my ability to love the second as much as my first."
"For me, on the positive, I was a lot less sick with my second pregnancy so that was a blessing. I could actually eat dairy which led to major ice cream binges. Negatively, I had a ton more pelvic pain and could barely walk by the end of the pregnancy. It probably didn't help that she was almost 10 pounds at three weeks early!"
"I remember being able to take naps with the first one whenever I wanted. With the second one, you have to entertain the first one, so naps were nonexistent. I remember being a lot more tired."
"I'm almost 10 weeks in, following a miscarriage. I had a perfectly normal and easy pregnancy that I totally took for granted the first time. This time... I'm so paranoid. I can't remember enough about that easy pregnancy to be sure all my symptoms are the same, though the miscarriage is recent enough that I mostly think this is different from that. But first time I just floated around unconcerned about whether there was really a fetus there, this time every little sign and symptom is under my analysis, but I feel completely in the dark about what's going on in there!"
"Pregnancy number two has been much more enjoyable! No morning sickness, and a lot more energy. That might be due in part to the fact that I have a 20 month old running around who frankly does not understand that I might be exhausted and I've little time to think about any exhaustion! The only major change for me was the fact that my body changed/grew dramatically. I am 7.5 months pregnant and look ready to pop. And, some days I feel that way too! It all comes flooding back but I am a much happier pregnant wife and mother than I was with my first."
"Still going through that second pregnancy and barely entered second trimester, so I can only speak to the first half experiences. The biggest difference is I had an idea of what symptoms to expect and when to expect them so I could at least mitigate through proactive measures or just include in my planning, for example, I knew I'd be completely exhausted and suffering from migraines at some point over the holidays and into January so I avoided making too many plans and just caught up on rest as much as possible. Who knows what the back half of the pregnancy will bring, but I do know I'm going to make sure to see a chiropractor and an acupuncturist whenever my body starts to feel like I may need it."