Going back for seconds? You (and your body) have been through pregnancy before, but somehow everything is a little bit different the second time around. Here’s how:
1. You can’t keep it a secret for long
Remember how you waited until you were exactly 12 weeks pregnant with baby #1 before you did the Big Tell? There was the cute announcement video on Facebook, the sonogram photo on Instagram, the gender reveal party! The whole world seemed to cheer with delight. But then you fell pregnant with baby #2, and since your body’s done this before, it got a bit carried away with things, like popping at six weeks and immediately draining you of all vital signs of energy. Even your brother-in-law can tell you’re pregnant. And this is when you realise that …
2. The world doesn’t get very excited
Of course everyone is really happy for you, but it might be in a more distracted, offhand kind of way. Your mum might even make a strange comment like “so soon!” Don’t be downhearted about it. We make a fuss over first-time-mums because we know the beautiful, challenging, exhausting path they’re about to head down – and they don’t. Second time around we know you’ve got the wits, courage and bravery to do it again. And we’re secretly very proud of you.
3. You lose track of the weeks
With baby one you probably read those weekly baby update emails diligently. You knew exactly which week your baby’s eyebrows were growing. You had Up the Duff permanently sitting on your bedside table. It was a long, slow discovery of the miracle happening inside you. But then something weird happens with the second baby. Time speeds up, or disappears completely, so you just don’t have the bandwidth to track the weeks. All you know is the due date, circled in red on the calendar, which mostly inspires one feeling …
4. You fear the end
Since you’ve gone through labour or a c-section before, you probably have some visceral memories of birth. Ask any mother, and she’ll have a birth war story to share. So while first time around you planned and daydreamed about the perfect natural birth you were going to have, this time you know exactly how complicated, messy and unpredictable it can be. This might provoke some panic attacks. But at least you know how to breath deeply now.
5. You eat anything
Pregnancy one: you put the pregnancy food rules on the fridge and vow no piece of sushi will ever pass your lips. And you stick to it. You really do. No wine, processed meats, deep-sea fish, unpasteurised cheese (sob). It all gets thrown out. But when pregnancy two rolls around, you’re done with rules. You know your body, and you know what feels right. You have a few sips of wine now and then, you eat sashimi (from good restaurants), and you have the occasional coffee. Because life doesn’t stop when you’re pregnant this time. And it feels good. This is what it must have felt like to be pregnant in the seventies.
6. You stop worrying
While a million little worries kept you awake during your first pregnancy, second time around you might find you sleep deeply and soundly, because you know this is your last chance to curl up uninterrupted for a long, long time. You’ve also turned off all the anxious self-talk, because if you learned anything with baby #1, it’s that worrying about stuff is a gigantic waste of time.
7. You’re stronger this time, and you know it
Having your first child is kind of like walking through fire. It’s painful, and life-changing and you get a few new scars. But having that second child is a whole other ring of fire. And you’re up for it. You’re a different person now. You can survive on four hours sleep, and you know how to comfort a sick toddler while managing your own morning sickness. And the best part? When you have that second baby, you’re going to find a whole community of mothers waiting to give you a massive high-five. Because creating two human beings is damn amazing work.
Are you pregnant with your second? How are you finding it?