Being pregnant for the second time is sort of like buying a particular wine you’ve tried before. You say confidently to yourself, “I’ve tried this before, I know how it is.” Only to find no wine is the same every time. The same goes with pregnancy, second, third or seventh no pregnancy will be identical to the other.
If this isn’t your first pregnancy you may find yourself wondering through your air of old-hat what will be different this pregnancy round, and honestly it would be impossible for me to sit here and tell you exactly what will be different, simply that it will be. For example, my first pregnancy was basically symptomless if you subtract the sixty pounds of basket-ball belly, and my second pregnancy has been plagued with back ache and fatigue. I know others who have had horrific first pregnancies only to have them sail smooth the second time.
What I do know is there are a few physical and emotional circumstances caused by multiple pregnancies that make certain differences likely to occur and that is what I’m going to share here, because being prepared for what to come always makes it easier.
Bigger and fatter, faster:
The first change I noticed with my second pregnancy was I gained weight and showed faster, however, as my pregnancy progressed I gained less than I did the first round. Explanation? In your first pregnancy your abdominal walls and uterus become ever so accustom to stretching as your whale of a size at forty weeks demonstrates, so unless your next pregnancy is a substantial amount of time after the first or last, these things have less stand up to the pressure and as soon as that baby starts growing, plop, pregnant bump. Your body also recognizes what the flood of hormones pregnancy causes are and responds accordingly with weight gain earlier than the first round when it went, OI! What is all this? What do I do?!? Bleoooorgh… *morning sickness* okay, so that may have been an exaggeration, but you get my point.
A difference in symptoms:
Now granted this paragraph is my hypothesis based on observation and I have no scientific proof to cite here below for your pregnancy reading pleasure, but I have noticed that women who tend to have major period fall out, I mean PMS from hell, tend to have more severe hormonal pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and nausea in their first pregnancy, and then their second pregnancy goes far smoother. Women who show little change during PMS tend to have easy pregnancies in general, and both women will show more physical symptoms depending on the time frame between pregnancies. Myself for example becoming pregnant when my current son was only four months could explain my backache and fatigue. How do I rationalize this observation?
I’d say that women who experience extreme PMS symptoms do so because of sensitivity to hormonal imbalances. These same women would probably see havoc when starting birth control also. Pregnancy being a big-time hormonal imbalance then would affect these women more severely and as their body becomes more accustomed less so the second pregnancy. The women who aren’t sensitive to hormonal imbalances notice very little pregnancy symptoms ever unless it’s due to strain on the body.
That’s a cheap crack at guessing how your second pregnancy may affect you physically, though only that first jab about weight gain is proven. Most women show about one month earlier in their second pregnancy.
Time flies when you’re catching spaghetti:
The second biggest change I’ve noticed in my second pregnancy is that time flies. My first pregnancy seemed to take ages, and this time POW, wow I’m twenty-how many weeks already? This seems to be a common theme among second pregnancies because well, you’re busy with the first baby still unless your second pregnancy is 18 years later.
Some women also feel guilty about this, as if they are less attached to the second baby because they didn’t write six journals and have five pregnancy calendar subscriptions. I would not say that this indicates less love, just less time to do nothing but sit around and think about how that baby is coming. I personally still kept and keep a pregnancy journal with my second pregnancy; I don’t think having one child means you won’t want to remember the special aspects of a second. Just as every pregnancy is different so is every child.
Emotionally speaking myself and to many other second-time pregos (I hear we’re called that) I’ve found that feeling that you may have less attention for the second baby is also common. As if you used all your good love on the first baby. After awhile this pregnancy apprehension passed. I realized that though, yes at times I wondered if my parents loved my older siblings just a touch more, I loved having siblings more than a touch and I always knew my parents loved us all regardless of which popped out first.
Just as you had fears and anxieties you had to work through on your first pregnancy, you’ll have a whole new batch for round two.
A fun finale:
As a last closing difference, which I can confirm now being a mom of three, is that second time labors are typically faster, easier and less painful. However I do know women who by far did not have an easier second labor, but there is hope, it was true for me.
Congratulations on another bundle of love and good luck.