First pregnancies are incredibly different from second pregnancies according to most women I know. There are so many factors at play with the second pregnancy — you have another child to care for, you already know what to expect and you might be a little less excited about all the changes your body is going through. I know it was that way for me. The second time around, I was a little jaded but also, experienced. It made my reactions for all those pregnancy milestones just a bit different:
1. The reaction to a positive pregnancy test is not the same.
Whether it’s a little less excitement and maybe waiting a few hours to tell your partner or a little more excitement because you know what’s to come, it probably won’t be the same as it was the first time. For me, it was mostly remembering just how long nine months without wine would be. All The Ugh.
2. Maternity clothes come out at the last possible moment. Or, immediately.
Either you wait as long as humanly possible to wear your old maternity clothes, or your belly pops immediately and you can’t wait to reunite with your fave maternity jeans. For me, it was the latter.
3. You don’t assume every gas bubble is the baby kicking.
With my first baby, every time I ate chili, I assumed the aftermath was my child kicking. With the second one, I knew better and didn’t tell the whole world that the gas bubbles I had at 13 weeks were baby movement.
4. You already know those cutesy maternity shirts won’t work with Pregnancy Boobs.
You know those maternity shirts with the pre-determined boob slots? Kind of like work-out tank tops with built-in bras? Yeah, most pregnant boobs don’t work in those sweet little tops. You know this now.
5. You milk offers for help for all they’re worth.
With the first, you may have tried to carry things on your own or open doors for yourself. Now? With another kid to deal with, you take ALL the help that is offered. No apologies. Know better, do better.
6. No pregnancy journal this time.
You think of how not often you look at the insanely detailed journal you kept with the first pregnancy and decide not to bother this time around. You’re probably too busy stopping your toddler from shoving Pop-Tarts in the Blu-Ray player anyway.
7. You don’t know to-the-day how far along you are.
With my first baby, I could tell you by weeks and days exactly how far along I was and also, let you know what size my baby was in relation to pieces of produce. For the second, I was just proud to have remembered the likely day of my last period so I could help the OB determine a rough due date. I mean, did it really matter? They hardly come on their due dates anyway.
8. No obsessive belly pictures plastered on social media.
I never did belly pics myself but I’ve seen moms in my Facebook feed with the cutesy signs and the weekly chronicling of their growing belly through photos. I just saw a friend who did this with her first post a picture of herself six months along with her second — to announce the pregnancy. It was like she had just thought to tell other people. And that, my friends, is a second pregnancy in a nutshell.
9. You know how to really pack a hospital bag.
With my first, I brought several bags. Like, possibly even a suitcase. With my second, I brought the bare minimum because I knew the hospital would provide a cadre of free baby booty that I would be stuffing into my luggage. Take the diapers, the cool mesh panties, the little hats — whatever. As a second-time parent, budgets matter to you in a way they may not have before.
10. No crazy nursery decorating. Possibly, no nursery decorating.
My poor son. He is five now and his “nursery” is still not finished. I was caring for his toddler sister while pregnant and just had no fucks left to give. He had a place to sleep and a few items of clothing and that was good enough for me.