Note: I intentionally chose this title versus “Comparing My Second Pregnancy With My First” because this isn’t my second pregnancy — it’s my third. I’ve shared about our miscarriage in December of 2015 here on curiouser & curiouser before, but wanted to point out that distinction in language. Whenever a provider asks how many pregnancies I’ve had, I’m quick to answer three, but then explain that I just have one child. It just doesn’t sit well with me to discount that first pregnancy and baby.
But let’s jump into how this pregnancy is different — and also the same — as my experience being pregnant with Maggie. First of all, at this point in my pregnancy many things are very much the same as they were when I was pregnant with Maggie, except that I’m relatively certain the heartburn is much, much worse this time around. I’m SO OVER IT. (In re-reading this blog post I wrote at 26 weeks pregnant with her, I realized my symptoms this time around are identical. That post also helped to remind me that I’d experienced dizziness during my pregnancy with her that I suspected was tied to the medicine I was taking to control heartburn. Sure enough, when I backed off the Prilosec this time around that dizziness went away. Thanks, past Anna!)
That said, there are certainly some differences this time around. Some of those might be tied to this strange pandemic year we find ourselves in, and others would likely be the case with any pregnancy once you have a kiddo.
In my first trimester this time around, I struggled a LOT emotionally. I felt steady and calm throughout my pregnancy with Maggie, but this one started out pretty tumultuous. I found myself crying easily (NOT typical for me) and feeling all over the place as far as mood and overall self confidence. It made me worry this whole pregnancy would be burdened by those extreme emotional issues, but thankfully they subsided around the 14-week mark and I began feeling much more like myself hormonally.
Another difference is how fast this pregnancy has gone by (somewhat due to the strange nature of time right now in general, I’m sure), and how unmarked by milestones it’s been. During my pregnancy with Maggie, Kevin and I attended a 12-week birth class, which had us thinking about the pregnancy and our upcoming parenthood constantly. I was working in an office and was around people more in general, so I was more frequently reminded of my pregnancy and talked about it so much more with others outside of our family. This is a strange time to think about having a baby shower or sprinkle, so we probably won’t have one. We’ve dragged our feet on any prep around the house, and are just now retouching the crib and getting ready to move Maggie into a new room so we can make her current room Baby Boy’s nursery. All in all, it feels much less eventful. (This isn’t a bad thing — we are SO excited to meet this baby boy — but it’s definitely a difference.)
I didn’t have another child to take care of last time, either, which makes a huge difference! Down time is relatively non existent, and I felt like I had so much more space in my life when I was pregnant with Maggie to take Pure Barre classes, to go on leisurely walks, and to read and listen to podcasts about pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Obviously having gone through it once before I know a ton more this time, but I also feel like I could use a refresher in a few areas. After all, it’s been nearly four years since I gave birth and since we had a newborn at our house!
I also have to admit that comparison sneaks in from time to time, especially with women going through their first pregnancies on about the same timeline as this one for me. Comparison has long been a struggle for me and, even though at this point it’s more of a distant echo versus a front-and-center voice in my head (SO grateful for this shift!), it does still make an appearance from time to time. But seeing other women who have more time to stay active during their pregnancies — or have so much more time to prep the nursery or take birth classes and just seem so PLUGGED IN and ready — can make me feel insecure if I’m not careful. Then I remind myself that this time around my life looks so different, and I’m doing just fine. (Along those lines, I started virtually seeing a therapist during my first trimester when I was feeling SO all over the place, and have continued to meet with her throughout my pregnancy. It’s been great to have her to process all of these feelings with — the hard and the exciting — and meeting with her has been something that’s made this pregnancy feel more real and present from early on.)
Something unexpectedly sweet about this pregnancy has been Maggie’s interest and involvement. I knew she would be amazing as a big sister, but didn’t give too much thought to what she’d be like during my pregnancy. She LOVES talking to her baby brother, singing to him, telling him about things they’ll do together, and more. Watching her bond with him before he’s even here is precious!
We had a great team surrounding us for birth prep and support last time, and the same is true this time as well. We’re working with Novant Midwifery again (although all the providers are new since I was pregnant with Maggie!) and with the amazing team at Natural Baby Doulas. I’m seeing a new chiropractor this time around (Dr. Melissa Mueller at Burke Street Chiropractic) and highly recommend her if you’re looking for chiropractic support. I plan to teach Pure Barre classes through the end of January and take classes as long as I can. They help me feel like I’m preparing my body for birth and postpartum by keeping it strong and active. I’ll give birth at Forsyth Medical Center again, which will be great. We had a wonderful experience there with Maggie’s birth. I also plan to visit Ruth Spaulding at Touch of Serenity Massage Therapy in Greensboro a little later in my pregnancy. She’s the best around for prenatal and induction massages!
More than anything, I’m grateful for what’s been a relatively easy and healthy pregnancy so far. Kevin and I are at the point where we’re getting SO excited to meet this little guy and to get to know him. That part of parenting with Maggie — recognizing her individuality from birth and getting to watch her personality unfold right in front of us — has been so magical. We get to do that again with a brand new person!
If you’re currently pregnant again after having been pregnant before, I’d love to hear what your experience has been like. Has it been different? Much the same? Please share in the comments!