Being pregnant for the first time can be exciting and all-consuming. Many first-time moms are free to devote their whole attention to the coming baby, to the extent that most even obsess over what fruit or vegetable the baby resembles. This mom's viral video explains how different your first pregnancy is from all the rest — because everything changes when you already have children at home to focus on.
Esther Anderson, the mother behind the popular blog Story of This Life, posted a video on Friday that sums up the differences between baby number one and those who follow. In this three-minute-long video, viewers see two parallel experiences: that of a mom going through her first pregnancy and one going through her third. Both moms are played by Anderson and mimic her own life — she is a mother of two with one baby on the way.
Among the differences portrayed in the video are attitudes towards medical appointments, food restrictions, and baby clothes. Unsurprisingly, the first-time mom has a lot more time and energy to devote to her pregnancy. She color coordinates her daughter's closet, has a "baby pregnancy journey book" and boasts a wholly clean and put-together maternity look. The veteran mother, on the other hand, is planning to dress her coming baby in hand-me-downs, deleted the pregnancy tracking app that she once downloaded, and has a trashcan taped around her neck so that she can puke and parent at the same time.
Her video has since gone viral, and for good reason. This is a common experience. Anderson isn't the only one who has pointed out the differences between first and subsequent pregnancies. The Huffington Post broke them down by trimester. In your first trimester as a new mom, HuffPost said that you suffer morning sickness gracefully, praising your body for the miracle it is performing. The second, third, or forth time around, your morning sickness is amplified by the overwhelming exhaustion that comes with raising children while pregnant. There is nothing graceful about it.
Your second trimester is also experienced differently depending on how many children you have, according to HuffPost. The exhaustion is still there — sometimes even more so. The difference is first time moms may have the option to nap and combat that sleepiness, while moms with children in the house are too busy chasing them around the house to catch any Zs.
The first time a new mom goes through the pain and suffering that is the third trimester, HuffPost reported that she may try to savor every little ache and kick out of fear that she'll miss being pregnant once its over. There is a whole different kind of fear that comes with the third trimester once you already have kids: the fear of caring for a newborn while simultaneously looking after little ones. As if you didn't have your hands full before.
Of course, additional pregnancies are still exciting and awe-inspiring times in a mom's life. It's just that she doesn't have quite as much time to stop and marvel at the miracle of life — mostly because she's busy dealing with the aftermath of that miracle. High priorities for first time moms, such as bump pictures and nursery preparation, may fall to the wayside for the mom who has done it all before.
While a veteran mom may no longer have the exciting "newness" of pregnancy, there are certain benefits that come with it not being your first rodeo. For one thing, you're spared the compulsion to read every parenting and baby book on the market. Aside from a quick What To Expect When You're Expecting refresher, you likely got your learnin' on the first time around. And sure, maybe people aren't beating down your door to congratulate you on your pregnancy like they did last time, but honestly — who has time for the company?
Anderson ends her video with an important caveat. The only thing that both of the moms in the video agree on: "I can't wait for her to be here." Whether it's your first or your fifth, there's nothing like the anticipation of meeting your little one. So, enjoy the ride regardless of how many times you've taken it. It truly is a miracle.
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