One of the questions I’m asked most frequently these days is if my second pregnancy is any different from the first. They could NOT be any MORE different! Although I feel and look different this time around, the major change is my overall outlook on my pregnancy.
Breaking the news to my husband and family. When I found out I was pregnant with our first child two years ago, I told my husband, parents, and sisters (with the exception of one) in person. I had my husband come home from work (I told a small white lie) because I wanted to share the news immediately and wanted it to be face-to-face! This time, other than my mom (who I was with when I took the pregnancy test) and my sister who lives next door, I broke the news to everyone over the phone – even to my husband who was at work!
Books, websites, resources. Hours after telling my husband two years ago, we were in Barnes and Noble buying a handful of pregnancy books. These (along with a few key websites and an awesome day-by-day pregnancy guide-book that a girlfriend sent me) were my bibles for the next 5-6 months. The books were always by my side and I read and studied whenever I could – I wanted to know every single detail of pregnancy that I could. I knew the baby’s current size, weight, developments, skills, etc. Ask me how big Pumpkin is right now. The answer? I honestly have no idea. It’s not that I don’t care how big he/she is or what developmental stage he/she is up to – but there are different priorities right now in my life right now. I know and remember what I need to in order to have a safe, healthy, and successful pregnancy. The size of the baby (and fruit/vegetable comparison), while the highlight of my week for pregnancy #1, is no longer my focus these days.
Perception of time. Time seemed to go very slow when I was pregnant with my son. I think since I was reading about each day and what changes were occurring to my body and the baby that it made each day/week of pregnancy feel like an eternity. I was always looking ahead and anxious to begin the next phase. I am 22 weeks and have no idea where the last 4+ months went. The idea that I am past the halfway point is mind-boggling to me. My days fly by because my time – and mind – are preoccupied with a fun-loving, active, and energetic 16 month year old little boy. I no longer have the luxury of sitting with my feet up and relaxing for hours in the afternoons like I during pregnancy #1. I’m also in NO rush to have two little ones around. I’m excited to give birth and grow our family, but at the same time, I am enjoying having one child to focus on. There is no need for me to look ahead these days.
My family. During pregnancy #1, I received daily phone calls from my parents and sisters – checking in on me and seeing how I was feeling. Every conversation usually started with How are you feeling? It’s hilarious because there have been more than a few occurrences so far where one of my sisters will say something that shows she momentarily forgot I am pregnant – For example, when we were out to brunch for Mother’s Day, one of my sisters offered me some of her cocktail to try. After I refused repeatedly, she asked Why don’t you just try it? What’s the big deal? When I responded with, Umm, because I’m pregnant? she couldn’t stop laughing – she had completely forgot that I was pregnant! It’s not that they don’t care or aren’t excited about my pregnancy and baby #2 – but they, like me, are more focused on what is in front of them now – my son, and having already gone through a healthy and successful pregnancy, the need to constantly “check-in” is not as important.
The need to plan. With baby #1, there was a ton of planning that needed to be done – deciding on baby furniture, strollers, registering for all the baby items, selecting a doctor, thinking of names, etc – all had to be fit into a few months time. It’s not that I’m not planning anything with baby #2, but all of this is already taken care of – we don’t need any more baby items, we still have our list of names we used for baby #1, we will be using my son’s furniture, and we have a doctor. So in reality, what sort of planning really needs to happen for a subsequent baby? Not much, in my opinion.
This has nothing to do with not being excited or caring about baby #2. Actually, in some ways, I am MORE excited this time around because I know how amazing giving birth to a child is – I get giddy when I think about holding a newborn in my arms again, watching him/her sleep peacefully in my arms, knowing all the amazing memories that are yet to be made with him/her.
But, I’ve been through pregnancy. I remember the important information – what I can’t eat, what pains/cramps are normal and not-normal, how to breastfeed (I spent hours reading and studying various breastfeeding books). The truth is, 95% of my focus right now has to be on my son. Baby #2 is safe and sound in my belly. I am eating healthy and staying active and doing everything I need to to ensure that I give birth to a healthy baby. My focus will shift accordingly when baby #2 is born. But right now, I have a 16 month old who sits on my lap and wants me to read to him or stands by the front door with his shoes in his hand, anxious to go out and play. THIS is my focus these days. THIS is what makes the days fly by.
Did you experience the same feelings during your subsequent pregnancies? Did your third or fourth (or more!!) pregnancies go by even quicker?