When my partner and I started preparing for a second baby, I hoped the fact that I’d been through pregnancy and childbirth before would make the process slightly smoother. Thankfully, for the most part, it has been. There are fewer unknowns, I’m more familiar with the basic rules to follow, and I know ways to take care of myself (limit caffeine, no blue cheese, elastic waistband everything).
However, that’s not to say that there aren’t things that matter during your second pregnancy that didn’t during your first, because there totally are. I’m now older, wiser (well, sorta), and armed with a different perspective. Plus, now there's a 2 year old in my house, who is also, by extension, experiencing this process, too. In other words, my priorities (and the priorities of my entire family) have changed slightly.
Plus, enduring pregnancy when you already have a child is a totally different ball game. Gone are the days when I could hang out horizontally for hours at a time, with no other cares or responsibilities. Though, for the record, my partner has stepped in a number of times to help, so I can squeeze in a nap or put my feet up for a few minutes. Although, each time it happens, I find myself wanting to repay him in some way (hopefully, birthing this child will be sufficient). However, and regardless, the point remains: second pregnancies, while probably bringing fewer unknowns, can still have challenges of their own:
Preparing Your Child
If this second baby is on schedule, my son will be just over 3 years old when she arrives. As a result, my partner and I have spent lots of time explaining the concept of this new baby, letting him feel kicks, and showing him the new baby clothes we’re bringing him.
Needless to say, this was not a part of my first pregnancy.
How All The Feelings & Changes Compare
During my second pregnancy, I have spent a shocking amount of time trying to recall how I felt at the exact same stage during my first pregnancy. I’ve come to the conclusion that everything is happening faster this time around. I’m bigger, the baby’s bigger, and I felt kicks much earlier during this pregnancy than I did in the previous. The food cravings are slightly different, my moods are slightly different, and I feel slightly more prepared to bring this baby into our family. After all, I’ve done it once before. It’s not totally night and day, but perhaps night and early dusk.
Conserving Your Energy Because The Kid Outside Your Womb Needs It
I spend a lot of time sitting these days. While it’s hard to get up from a seated position, sometimes it’s all I can do to prepare for the next play session my toddler will inevitably request. If anyone has any ideas for how to engage him mentally and physically, from the comfort of my couch for more than three to five minutes at a time, please let me know.
Figuring Out Where All Your Baby Gear Is Packed Away
During my first pregnancy, we were figuring out what the necessary gear even was, then acquiring it in the most budget-friendly way possible.
Now? Well, now we're figuring out what we did with all that gear. There’s a particular corner of the garage that’s full of boxes and seems promising, but we won’t know for certain until we check them all out. And by “we,” I mean my partner, since he’s far more mobile than I currently am.
Making Sure The Older Sibling Is Cool With Sharing Their Old Clothes & Toys
Speaking of my son’s baby gear, I’ve noticed he sometimes seems really happy to see toys he hasn’t touched in, like, two years. This leaves his dad and I to do that delicate dance between letting him reclaim ownership, telling him it’s for the baby, or some hybrid of the two that emphasizes sharing and generosity and all those other things that Daniel Tiger talks about.
The Fact That Your Kid Ca Eat The Foods You’re Craving
Trying to get a toddler to eat fresh fruit while I have a mouthful of chocolate donut holes has not been my finest moment as a mom.
Realizing All Of Your Maternity Clothes Are Outdated
Or, if you’re anything like me, our clothes aren't just outdated but several years outdated. To my defense, most of my pregnancy wardrobe came from generous friends who were pregnant way more than two or three years ago. Bell bottoms and tie-dyed t-shirts are still cool, right?
Having A Very Thorough Childcare Plan In Place
My birth plan is still totally TBD. In fact, that reminds me, I need to check the computer and see if I saved it that first time around.
On the other hand, our plan for childcare during the birth is already set. Grandma’s been prepped and ready for weeks. It’s not that I don’t care what happens with this birth because, yes, of course I do. It’s that I especially care about ensuring my son is safe and secure and nowhere near the delivery room. I know many moms choose to share their birth experiences with current children, but I’m simply not one of them.