I think once you have gone through pregnancy once, you automatically think that any other will pretty much hold the same experience for you. It’s easy to think that you’ll know what to expect, but I have been amazed at the differences that I have felt so I thought it may be of some benefit to share my second pregnancy differences with you. This is me being honest and real, as I always promise to be! In the hope that if you are thinking about having another baby will find some of these points helpful, or have been through it yourself and can relate to some of them too.
We know that pregnancy symptons can vary hugely from one person to another. I felt very lucky in that I haven’t experienced morning sickness with any of my pregnancies. In all honesty when thinking about being pregnant I guess I thought that the symptons relate to how your body deals with pregnancy, so I was slightly suprised to experience some of these symptons in my second pregnant that I hadn’t in my first. I thought they would very much be the same.
In my first trimester I found I was feeling light headed alot throughout the day. Upon researching this I found that this was extremely normal and is down to the increase in blood flow which can have an affect on blood pressure. To deal with this initially (whilst also running around after a toddler), I just tried to slow down my movements where possible so if I was bending down for example, I would do this gradually. I found this really helped.
I also experienced period type pains alot during my first trimester. Initially I found this quite worrying as it was something that I hadn’t experienced with my first, and I think feeling anything like that can naturally make you feel nervous. However, I now understand that this is completely normal: As described by Tommys “Mild stomach pain in early pregnancy (during the first 12 weeks) is usually caused by your womb expanding, the ligaments stretching as your bump grows, hormones constipation or trapped wind. It may sometimes feel like a ‘stitch’ or mild period pain.” Tummy pains are individual to each woman and I think if you are feeling concerned it is worth speaking to your midwife and getting them checked out.
I did find that I felt pregnant alot sooner second time around and definitely felt bigger quicker. I would put this down to not being in same physical shape as with my first, but I also understand that it is normal because of the changes from your first pregnancy: The utertus does not shrink back to it’s original size pre pregnancy, so it almost has a head start, with your ligaments and muscles having already been stretched before.
I think every pregnany comes with it’s challenges, and whilst some people seem to breeze through pregnancy and seem to be radiant and glowing, I must be honest, I haven’t found pregnancy the easiest or the most enjoyable. I have found it difficult having no control over my body in terms of how it feel and looks, and I have still found this with my second despite having already been through it. Different challenges that I have experienced this time around include:
- Tiredness: I experienced this alot with my first pregnancy and can’t say I experienced the second trimester pick me up, but with no time to rest whilst looking after a toddler this has definitely been more challenging. Whilst before I would take a lie down on the sofa when I got in from work, or have a lie in at the weekend when I needed it, that hasn’t been an option this time.
- Accepting that my body is not in as good physical condition. This is something that I have found challenging alot, because that good old friend called Mum Guilt tends to show up. I am sure many can relate. But when I found out I was pregnant with Little Bear I was able to exercise regularly, focus on eating as well as possible, giving my body plenty of rest whenever I needed it. But this time has been different as I haven’t been able to head out and do exercise, and due to tiredness I have definitely been reaching for the things that I wouldn’t have normally (chocolate… lots of chocolate!). Much of this I would say has been down to experiencing Coronavirus lockdown. I have ensured that I take my pregnancy multivitamins from the very start and have been strict with this.
- Pelvic Pain. This is something that I have experienced very early on in this pregnancy, which I didn’t experience any of in my first. This has to be one of my biggest challenges that I have found so far, as dealing with this whilst also looking after a toddler has not been easy, and at times it has stopped me or made it very difficult to do day to day things such as picking up Little Bear, standing to do the cooking, sitting and playin on the floor, walking the dog etc. I am currently receiving Physio to help with this which I would recommend to anybody suffering.
- Fears from first labour/birth. Being 24 weeks pregnant this is something that I have only just started to feel. Perhaps it is all starting to feel a little more real now? Yup..even second time round it still doesn’t quite sink in! My fears this time are very different, as I am entering labour and birth with an experience this time. I am starting to work on this through hypnobirthing and will be sure to share my experience as I go.
There is definitely less opportunity second time for “you time”, and this is something I noticed just the other day whilst taking part in a virtual pregnancy relaxation class: I don’t get to just sit and relax anymore, but I think it is incredibly important so perhaps taking some time to work out how I can do this is actually really important.
Whilst there is not as much time to connect with my unborn baby on one on one basis, it has been lovely sharing moments with Little Bear about the baby and him starting to touch my bump, and give cuddles and kisses to it.
There is definitely less time to prepare mentally, along with less physcial preparation needed to as it is very much already done having had Little Bear just over a year ago. This could argueably take away the excitement a little, as I remember walking around shops choosing the puschair, moses basket etc. But is is simply this time around about creating the excitement with Little Bear as well, and about pulling all of those beautiful things that we invested in back out of the loft and re-connecting with them.
I must admit that I have not been one to really feel a connection to my bump and my unborn baby. It is actually something I found very challenging to deal with with Little Bear as the midwives would ask me at my appointments, and people would comment who knew I was pregnant, but I just couldn’t seem to. I guess this is all to be expected and real given that I had no idea of what my life was about to become and how I would feel about this little baby that was about to born in to this world. Nobody can prepare you for those feelings can they, and personally, they are feelings that develop over time. So this time around, I can’t say I feel anymore connected, but I can say that I will take the pressure off myself to have all of these feelings that everyone talks about and expects you to have.
The worries from being pregnant first time I found are very much based around the pregnancy itself, things like are you eating the right foods, are you sleeping in the right position, what is labour like etc. With the second pregnancy I have found it to be so different, as the worries tend to be more about what life will be like when you go from a family of 3 to 4, how will I adapt? How will my eldest adapt and deal with not being only child? Will family take to new baby as well as they have done the eldest? Will i love them differently? Again, I think this is all completely normal and it would actually be strange if I didn’t mention experiencing these. The reality is, we had these worries with Little bear but we worked it out, we go through and we have come out the other end, so I know that is exactly what will happen with these ones.
An honest account
So there you have it, my very honest account of my pregnancies and how different it feels second time around.
I would love to hear how we all differ, so please feel free to share your experiences below, or if you have any questions, ask away!
Wishing you all the best no matter where you are in your own journey.