I didn't expect to get pregnant again as quickly as I did. I'm not complaining — there's a lot of stress and tears I didn't have to deal with as a result of this outcome. But the truth is it didn't give me a whole lot of time to process the idea that, once again, I was sharing my body for about 40 weeks and, once again, I'd be delivering a baby human and, once again I'd be run through the infant stage. It's a lot to think about! But there are so many reasons to be excited for a second pregnancy that kept me going, and even more I can recognize in retrospect.
I became pregnant again right around my first child's second birthday. So even though it hadn't been a particularly long time since the last time, in many ways my first pregnancy felt like a lifetime ago. So much had happened between my first pregnancy and my second, because babies are doing new things every single day. So it was daunting to know I was about to do it all over again, only this time with an extremely vocal, extremely needy soon-to-be older sibling in tow. How? How? I barely got through the rigors of pregnancy the first time.
Believe me when I say that it works out. Somehow, it really does work out, and it's going to be great! You're going to be great! So with that in mind, here are just some reasons to be pumped for that second pregnancy:
It Won't Necessarily Be The Same As The First Pregnancy
My first pregnancy was fairly obnoxious. It wasn't miserable — I didn't have to go to the hospital to get fluids and I was never in danger or anything like that — but I was generally uncomfortable and cranky. Any time an annoying symptom went away it was replaced by another annoying symptom, on and on and on until my son popped out. Nausea gave way to sciatica. Sciatica gave way to sleeplessness. You get the idea.
My second pregnancy was, to be honest, also crappy, but not in the same way. I didn't have sciatica, just balloon like ankles, for example. So who knows! Maybe your second pregnancy will be amazeballs. You never know! It could happen!
You Have *Some* Idea Of What To Expect When You're Expecting
Nothing can prepare you for pregnancy like a previous pregnancy. Yes, you can read about symptoms and you can understand what doctors appointments will entail and what labor feels like, but once you go through it you know know, you know? There's just so much less Googling, and that is awesome because no one should have to rely on Google for something as intimate and significant as pregnancy.
You're Probably Slightly Less Paranoid
All parents are going to be a little paranoid, of course. Some, depending on their disposition and previous pregnancy experiences, way more than others.
But generally speaking, the paranoia that comes from not knowing much about pregnancy is significantly alleviated during pregnancy number two. You probably don't research every morsel you put in your mouth (yes, Pam, you can eat animal crackers when you're pregnant) your definition of "heavy" changes when you realize you're going to have to pick up your older child at some point (remember when you second guessed lifting a particularly large pillow when you were pregnant with your first?), and you may even find you're more lenient about some things ("my doctor said this glass of wine is OK, so I'm going to go for it").
It'll Go By Faster
My first pregnancy felt like it lasted for about 47 years, because I had less to distract me from it and everything was new and therefore subject to questions and concern. But my second pregnancy? Sometimes I legit forgot I was gestating. And when I was well aware I was pregnant, a rambunctious toddler kept me busy and preoccupied, which could be annoying when all I wanted to do was sleep but by and large it was a pleasant diversion.
You Can Mentor A First-Time Mom
You go from being the one to ask all the questions to being in a position to answer them, and that's nice. It also feels a little redemptive. Like, "Yeah, I was a little bit silly my first pregnancy with all the questions and worries and smug declarations about my 22-page birth plan, but it's not just me and now I can help calm down other people and steer them in a good direction."
That Bump Really Is Adorable
I mean just look at it. It may be a pain in the butt (literally, if you have sciatica) but it's still pretty precious. And if you think it's cute on its own, just WAIT until the first time your kid touches it. All the happy tears, because OMG it's the best.
You Get To Pick Another Name
Some people hate this part of the process, but I love it. It's so much fun! Poring over baby name sites, jotting down every cool name you hear or see, looking up different names with significant meanings, checking out the family tree to see if you have any ancestors with jazzy names. It's a blast! Naming babies is basically my dream job.
More Cute Baby Stuff
This is the fun bit because there's a decent chance you'll get to reuse a lot of your big ticket items — crib, stroller, infant car seat, high chair, etc. — as well as things like clothes. So you don't have the practical or financial pressure to do a ton of important shopping, but you have a great excuse to get new fun stuff. Itty bitty onesies, cute toys, nursery decor. It's awesome! Who doesn't love getting baby stuff?! This is also an opportunity to take the old stuff out of storage and relive your first child's infancy and probably cry a little but, like, in a nice way.
You Can Learn From Last Pregnancy & Delivery
Yes, every pregnancy is different, but that isn't to say there won't be some things that are the same. So maybe now it won't take you weeks to figure out that soy chai lattes soothe your nausea. Perhaps you'll whip out the enormous body pillow sooner rather than later, and actually be able to enjoy a better night's sleep. And maybe, now that you've gone through one delivery, you have a better idea about what you want and don't want to happen the second time around. Maybe you thought you didn't want any painkillers, but now you want to love on that epidural ASAP. Maybe your OB-GYN was really not your speed, and you're going to switch over to a midwife. There is no educator quite as effective as experience.
You'll Know What To Do With An Infant This Time
Because the vast majority of us have absolutely no idea what to do with that first baby. It's a wonder we managed, to be honest. Second time around? Infants hold far fewer mysteries in their high-pitched, constantly hungry little bodies. It's a huge relief.
The Meeting Of The Babies
You guys there is no love you have ever felt that will prepare you for the love you will feel in this moment and yes it will devastate you in the best possible way I swear it OMG.