You’re pregnant! Again! You’re so happy! But wait … how will you cope? Can you even afford it? And oh-my-god will you love this baby as much as your first? Gah!
Between all the happiness and excitement, there’s probably also a myriad of worries working their way around your brain right now so let’s all take a deep breath and work through them together.
Will I love this baby as much as my first?
The love you have for your firstborn is incomparable. How could you possibly feel that way towards another child? You certainly wouldn’t be the first parent to worry about your second child being second best, but here’s the deal – your capacity to love isn’t limited. Your love is not a serving of cheesecake. Your firstborn isn’t going to get the lion’s share of the cheesecake, leaving any subsequent children you have with tiny morsels.
Once you welcome your latest creation into the world, you will gaze adoringly at her tiny little face, drink in her delicious smell and marvel over the fact that you made such a perfect little human – just like you did with your first.
Read more about pregnancy:
- Preventing pelvic floor injuries during labour: Kegels aren’t the only way
- Bodysnatchers: Your baby’s cells stay in your body (for the rest of your life!)
- Am I pregnant?: 9 things you can do to get through the two-week wait
How far along am I, again?
I’m willing to take a punt that when you were pregnant with your first baby, you knew how far along you were to the day. You were probably also counting down until you got a new BabyCentre notification alerting you to what piece of fruit or veg your little one was as big as (a lentil!), or what the latest growth developments were this week (fingers!). This time around? Not so much.
Are you 14 weeks? Wait. No, definitely 16 weeks. Ish. When are you due again? Don’t feel guilty about not immediately knowing exactly how far along you are at any given time; you weren’t running around after another child the first time around, so you had a lot more time to pour over your emails in anticipation – it doesn’t mean you care any less.
I feel much more tired this time around. Is that normal?
You might have had a wonderful pregnancy with your first, but are worried because this time around you feel bone-achingly exhausted. Does this mean there’s something wrong? Relax, feeling more tired during a second or subsequent pregnancy is completely normal. You are running around after another child, which is tiring in itself but also rules out the opportunity for any of those daytime naps you’ve probably been craving.
What’s more, you’re more susceptible to back and ligament pain this time around, due to all the relaxin (the hormone that helps get your body ready for childbirth) washing around your body, so take extra care when lifting your child.
Listen to registered midwife, Zoe Newton, share her tips on how to prepare for pregnancy mentally, physically and financially:
Will labour be the same?
Sound the good news klaxon because labour the second time around is statistically swifter than your first – hurrah! While every woman and their experiences will undoubtedly differ, first-time mothers are in labour for an average of 18 hours, while the second time mums are in labour for roughly just 8. This is because your body knows exactly what to do (from your uterus contracting to your cervix dilating) so is a lot more efficient.
On the downside, the postpartum cramping can be a little more painful. If you breastfeed, you’ll likely notice your uterus contracting as the hormone oxytocin (the one that makes you feel all loved up with your new bundle) is released. Ready for more bad news? Apparently, these after-birth cramps build in strength with every subsequent birth because your uterus loses more of its muscle tone.
Am I imagining it or is everyone slightly less excited for us this time?
Perhaps. But you wouldn’t be alone in feeling like the impending arrival of your second child isn’t greeted with quite the same fanfare from others as with your first. Once you’ve had one child, people generally expect you to have another. Hence their slightly underwhelmed reaction to your baby news. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean that people aren’t happy for you, they just aren’t particularly surprised.
How will I cope?
From all the rocking and the shushing and the nappies and the feeding and don’t forget about all the extra washing – there’s no getting away from the fact that adding another baby to the mix will mean lots more work, regardless of how old your other kids are. But as any parent of two or more kids will tell you, another baby also means lots more joy. Seeing your kids smile at each other or giggle conspiratorially for the first time is a moment you’ll likely never forget.