One Born Every Minute
A Second (or Third) Pregnancy is NOT Like the First
Your first pregnancy gets all the attention. When you're pregnant the second or third time, people give you the "been there, done that," kind of vibe. Good luck even getting a real baby shower! LOL!
But having your second, third or fifth pregnancy can bring on new feelings and fears. On one hand, you know what pregnancy and childbirth are like, but you also worry because you also know that no two pregnancies are ever the same.
I'm speaking from experience here. I had an enviable first pregnancy: Never vomited. My skin glowed. My hair grew long and thick. I gained the recommended weight. No "cankles." I was dancing at a dinner party three days before I went into labor. My water broke while I was actually in my doctor's office and exactly on my due date. That gave me enough time to stop at the Wendy's drive-thru for a light snack of chicken nuggets (mama's gotta eat!) before heading to the hospital. It was a beautiful pregnancy story.
But then came my second pregnancy.
And let me tell you, I was definitely a victim of the pregnancy bait and switch. A second or third pregnancy has its own set of challenges.
Remember, in your first pregnancy, you had all that timeto pamper yourself with manicures and pedicures, read every pregnancy book cover to cover and then back again, you may have had a few pregnancy massages or a prenatal aerobics class here and there. The problem with your future pregnancies, is that you have another little person (maybe more than one) to take care of. And whether that child is one year old or nine-years-old, she still needs you.
As a result, your good eating habits may slip, you may have less time to find those cute clothes that made you feel fabulous, your feelings about your appearance may waver, and you may be neglecting yourself more than ever before. It's harder to get that extra rest when small hands are tugging at you to wake up.
You are constantly torn between the baby you have and the one that is on the way.
I remember my second pregnancy as nine months of guilt. I felt guilty that I didn't have the time to obsess over my food intake the way I did with my first. I felt guilty that I wasn't reading and talking to the baby as often as I did with my first. With my first baby, I could recite what body part was developing on any given week. During my second pregnancy, I had trouble keeping tabs on how many weeks pregnant I was.
My best advice is to devote five or ten minutes every day to thinking only about and planning for the new baby--even if that means taking some time before you go to sleep. Try to be as organized as possible. Get help from your partner, friends and family to do fun things with your other child (not that he feels he is being sent away because of the baby) that give you some alone time to nap or do something relaxing.
Savor small moments of solitude and reflection, and most of all, don't worry. Everything will be just fine.