One Born Every Minute
Pregnancy the Second or Third Time? 4 Things You Need to Know
If this is your second, third, fourth or beyond pregnancy, then I don’t have to tell you that this pregnancy is probably nothing like your first. To start, your first pregnancy gets all the attention. By the second or third time, folks give you that ‘been there, done that,” or “What? Pregnant again?” kind of vibe. Yet, even if you’ve been pregnant before, you have no idea how THIS pregnancy will be, because anyone will tell you, no two pregnancies are ever the same. In fact, the streets of the mommyhood are littered with stories of the old bait and switch of pregnancy experiences. That is, you have the most picture perfect, no morning-sickness, no vomiting, no swollen-feet, perfectly glowing pregnancy, followed by a twenty-minute labor, two quick pushes and not a stretch mark to be found. You walk out that hospital thinking, yeah, I could totally do this again.
Except your next pregnancy is completely, totally, and utterly not like the first one.
Your second pregnancy is a beautiful time, but it will definitely be nothing like the first. Your body, friends, family members, strangers, dad-to-be and even you will react differently this time around. Don’t be afraid. Each pregnancy you have (if you plan to have more) will be its own separate miracle, here’s some information and tips on how to love you and your pregnancy this time around.
1. Less Me Time. This is one of the biggest challenges. With a little one in toe and depending upon how far apart your children are, your first priority is no longer yourself. During the first pregnancy you may have had time to go off and pamper yourself- get your nails done, join a prenatal aerobics class- now you may be struggling just to find the time between taking care of your child, house and job. This can even affect your eating habits or leave you stressed and exhausted; take a step back and schedule in at least 15 to 20 miutes just for you.
2. Stranger Danger. I don’t know why, but strangers have been known to comment on the age spacing of your children. When I was pregnant with my second child, lots of people I didn’t know asked me how old my first child was. When I told them she was four years old, they would feel a need to say things like, “Oh, that’s a good gap” or “Good for you!” as if I needed commendation or cared what they thought about my reproductive time line.
3. Go Team Go! During your first pregnancy you probably had a slew of people to pamper you, strangers showered you with warm accolades, and the father to be was gushing for months. Be prepared if this time around is not as big of a deal for friends and family, especially your partner. Dad may appear to be less interested and stressed about the additional financial burden. In many families, having two or more kids raises the inevitable question of whether it’s worth it (not just financially) for someone to continue working or to stay home with the kids.
4. So, your friends and family may not be as excited about your second pregnancy, but the truth is you may not be either. This is normal. You may be wondering if you can love this second child the same as the first. But trust me, each child will amaze you with their own talents and characteristics, and you will love them no more or less. It is even normal to feel sad to give up something you’ve treasured such as the bond with an only child. If you are feeling a little disconnected from this pregnancy, start taking childbirth classes again to help increase your emotional involvement and attachment.
If you’ve had more than one child, how did your pregnancies differ?