I LOVED my first pregnancy! Yes I had hip pain, yes I had heartburn and insomnia towards the end but I loved every minute still and really felt a glow! So this time round I figured it would be the same again and I really looked forward to it…
However in reality things couldn’t have been any different!
I recently watched the hit movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and laughed my socks off at the Elizabeth Banks character, Wendy, especially her speech at a mother and baby / pregnancy convention, in which, looking very disheveled and in her assistants oversize clothes that she has had to nab last minute due to peeing herself back stage, she confesses to the audience and her husband in front of her: “I’m calling it. Pregnancy sucks! Making a human being is really hard. I have no control over my body or my emotions. Carebear, I’m sorry, all I want to do is punch you in the face!”
Unfortunately, this time round that has pretty much been my experience! Although I haven’t wet myself yet!
We have to be realistic… pregnancy affects us all in different ways and no one pregnancy really is the same.
So, with this in mind I thought I would share my 30 tips for things you should know second time round. These are taken from my own experience and comments made by the 20+ other second time mummy friends of mine who have this year gone through, or are going through their second pregnancy!
1.) Yes your second pregnancy can be totally different!
2.) The tiredness can be so much worse, especially if you have another young child to run around after – Multiply it by 10… or maybe more! It’s not fun as you chase a small child around and around the house as they shout “I didn’t want to put my coat on!”
3.) You don’t get as much chance to rest or nab 40 winks, in fact even at bedtime you probably won’t sleep!
4.) This can make you more irritable and less tolerant and therefore your emotions can fluctuate rapidly! (cue the sheepish rather scared looking husband or partner making a hasty retreat!)
5.) If you didn’t have morning sickness first time you can still get it this time… oh boy can you! Again, no fun lying down to avoid being sick while a toddler bounces on the bed next to you at 7.30 in the morning!
6.) If you did have morning sickness first time you could be in for a respite second time round… You lucky thing if so!
7.) Your stomach and pelvis muscles may not be as strong as the first time round. This can have an effect on two different areas….
8.) Your pelvic floor could be a lot weaker! depending on how much you practice those exercises! More chance of oooops accidents as in Elizabeth’s case!
9.) Your pelvis and hips could be a lot weaker, which could mean an increased chance of symphysis pubis dysfunction (PSD) or general hip / pelvic pain so do any strengthening exercises that you can!
10.) This makes carrying or chasing another young child around a lot harder and tiring… especially when they are having a temper tantrum in the supermarket and you are frog marching them under your arm out of the store with onlookers observing!
11.) Your stomach “pops” a lot quicker second time round so you do show more
12.) This can make it harder to hide until your 12 week scan so more thought required!… there’s only so long you can blame the cake!
13.) You are so busy with your other child that you don’t get to think about the growing child inside you as much
14.) You are likely however to feel those first few kicks a lot earlier than last time, that is still, for me, a lovely feeling!
15.) The magical feeling you had first time round doesn’t necessarily happen this time. It can kind of feel like… yeah… been there before… what’s new? The excitement will probably come closer to your due date (or so I am hoping!)
16.) You won’t necessarily be flicking through the pages of mother and baby or all the pregnancy books for tips. It’s ingrained on your mind FOREVER!!!!
17.) You won’t be trawling the shops for all the baby essentials as your house is likely to already be overflowing (even with those novel ideas that seemed such good ideas at the time but were never used!) However admittedly I have come across a few fab new products that I may have to invest in (just call it the shopaholic in me!)
18.) You won’t be gazing at your tummy in wonder and getting excited at every movement, but you may (MAY) get the occasional moment to recognise and take it all in! These are still special moments.
19.) You may be so busy you don’t get your scan picture out at every given opportunity… probably to the relief of everyone around you!
20.) People may not seem as excited at your impending arrival second time round, it was all so new and exciting first time but with another child taking centre stage (and possibly other siblings / relatives) others, like yourself, just don’t have as much time to stop and think! (They too are probably chasing your toddler who is still shouting “I didn’t want to put my coat on!”)
21.) You may feel more anxious second time round as you know more about any negatives that can happen and exactly what to expect! Are they going to utter that frightful word episiotomy or will you have that uncomfortable bowl movement moment again mid labour?!
22.) OR you may feel a lot more at ease second time round knowing what to expect and feel that it will be a breeze! (Like Brooklyn Decker’s character in the movie, Skyler, who sailed through her pregnancy and labour)
23.) If you had the pregnancy glow first time round don’t bank on it being there this time!
24.) If you didn’t have the pregnancy glow first time you may be in the lucky minority and fell on top of the world and glowing with health this time! If so just don’t stop by to tell me about it! Thank You!
25.) You don’t get to see your midwife as frequently therefore you may want to be more aware of your body and bump to pick up on anything that may not feel right. Even my midwives have said they should see people more frequently but I guess that’s NHS cuts!
26.) You could very well be apprehensive as to how your existing child will feel and react (this may of course be amplified if the tantrums are still in full swing!)
27.) You will need to decide how to tell them of their new baby brother and sister (do you choose a story book, show them the scan picture or sit down and have a table summit with them?!)
28.) You will wonder if they really understand or are taking any of it in (if they look at you nod and ask for cake… the likelihood is… they don’t quite understand!)
29.) Your existing child may start reacting to the impending change they feel is coming and their behaviour may change…. not always for the better! (or it could be that your hormones and tiredness make it all seem a lot worse and it is in fact your own behaviour that is changing and the rather bewildered child looking at frazzled mummy really is innocent!)
30.) This takes you back to the beginning of this rather delightful list… extreme exhaustion and lack of tolerance… hence the reason that it’s highly likely your glow is less likely to make an appearance second time round!
Pregnancy second time round? It can be one big circle of fun!
BUT… would we change any of it?…… NO! Because at the end of the day, when we hold our new bundle of life in our arms, all the chaos and craziness that came before it just pales into insignificance…