Confession: Being pregnant with baby #2 is a very different experience from baby #1
When I found out that I was pregnant the first time (after the shock of my utterly unplanned pregnancy had settled!), it was nothing short of amazing.
I was a goddess, creating life in the most magical, masterful, mysterious way.
Seriously, being pregnant the first time around is BLISS. Everyone encourages you to pamper yourself and take it easy. You're frequently told you are glowing and gorgeous and majestic (OK, maybe I made up the majestic part, but you know what I mean!).
It really is such a delightful time of preparation. You read all the book, sign up to every newsletter, every discussion forum (Hello @DueInDecember, love from @MadeForMotherhood!) and pregnancy blog, you take naps, get massages and spend every spare moment trawling the shops (and entire internet) for the most beautiful, organic, limited edition baby clothes ever created.
Carrying Baby #2 is a liiitle different.
For starters, there is a lot less of the "You're a magical vessel carrying a miracle". Now you're just a mum having another baby. (Like; yawn, how normal!) Also, no one will tell to rest your feet or take a nap, as they realize you got a toddler at home, meaning big fat chance of any alone time at all. I mean, you'll be lucky to get to pee in private, never mind lay our head down for a fully fledged nap.
As for the Glow? On Baby #2 it is less virtuous diet and hormones making you all lovely and luminous, and more just sweat from running after your toddler and being 15 kilos heavier than you were a couple of months ago.
And it didn't end there, my friends. Here are, in fact, ten more ways being pregnant the second time was a whole lot different to when I was expecting Baby #1:
Baby #1: When you are pregnant with your first baby you are a glutton for information. You will devour books on all three trimesters, pregnancy super-foods, baby names, ancient birthing rituals (what was I thinking?!), baby sleep techniques (such a waste of time and money!), how-to guides for making baby food and books on preparing your relationship for a baby. You name it, I read it,
Baby #2: The only book I read when I was pregnant the second time was a picture book about Mickey Mouse and his Clubhouse birthday party.
2. Ultrasound pictures
Baby #1: Ultrasound picture was admired by all of ones friends and family (online and in real life) before being proudly framed and displayed on our bedroom wall. (As well as a duplicate picture stuck to the fridge door, you know, just in case the framed one was stolen if the house was broken in to. (I was pregnant and paranoid, clearly).
Baby #2: Forgot to even show other half picture, and found it a week after my appointment, crumpled up in the bottom of my bag with some pink hair clips and a selection of Hello Kitty crayons. (Disclaimer: It has since been framed and is hanging next to his sister's!)
3. Weekly update e-mails
Baby #1: Sign up to every newsletter known to man so you can keep a running update on what size fruit the baby correlated to (which I thought was so cute and not at all annoying the first time around).
Baby #2: Had no time to even check e-mails, never mind ponder over what week baby went from kumquat to kiwi.
4. Pregnancy Awareness
Baby #1: When I was pregnant the first time, my pregnancy consumed me. I thought about being pregnant pretty much non-stop and I talked about it incessantly. My poor family/friends/co-workers probably wanted to punch me in the face after having to feign interest in ancient birth rituals and the benefits of perennial massages for nine whole months.
Baby #2: “Oh yeah … I guess I’m still pregnant.” Seriously; when you already have a toddler, it's hard to keep track of time and the current state of things.
5. Maternity clothes
Baby #1: Could NOT wait for my belly to pop so I could finally justify splurging on some actual maternity clothes. (I felt they literally shouted Hello World, I am pregnant!")
Baby #2: I bought ONE pair of maternity jeans at eight months when I could no longer squeeze into anything else I owned. Other than that I just made my normal clothes work – I mean, who wants to spend that amount of money on clothes you will never want to look at again?!
Baby #1: I worried about EVERYTHING. Measles, meningitis, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other developmental and mental disorders. I worried the baby wouldn't like me or latch onto my boobs or that I wouldn't automatically feel all that baby love you are meant to feel. I worried about kidnappers and cats and crazy flesh eating bacteria and pretty much anything else you can think to worry about.
Baby #2: I worried about sleep. Or, more so maybe, the potential lack of it...
Baby #1: I eat food that was so safe, so organic, so local, so clean I drove everyone else around me bonkers. I tried to not give into cravings and crazy urges and refused to even take a sip of Champagne for one of my best friend's wedding. I was a Virtuous Fertile Goddess, and was not going to pollute my baby with anything un-pure or potentially damaging.
Baby #2: I tried to be good (when I say tried to I mean, like, thought about it briefly), but also stuffed my face with sour worm sweets, Caesar salads and pretty much whatever I got a sudden craving for.
8. Excitement level
Baby #1: People are SO excited! With my first pregnancy people just seemed to freak out with excitement — especially the future grandparents. I was creating the miracle of life inside of me and apparently that is worthy of being seriously fawned over.
Baby #2: “Oh … you’re knocked up again?” It’s not that people weren't happy for me when I was having my second baby… they were. Just less hysterically enthusiastically so. Like a more subdues euphoria.
9. Parenting expectations
Baby #1: Sweet, sweet naivety. During pregnancy one my thoughts were mostly consumed with visions of dressing up my little bundle in adorable outfits and snuggling together on the sofa. Parenthood stretched out ahead of me like one gorgeous Pinterest board of loveliness and sweet Kodak moments.
Baby #2: "You can do this!"
Baby #1: The first time around I took a ton of “bumpdate” photos (weekly + a session with an actual photographer!) to document the beauty of pregnancy.
Baby #2: In every photo from my second pregnancy I have my arms full of my little girl, meaning no-one can even see that there is a bump there.
How did YOUR pregnancies differ? Join in the conversation with us on Twitter at @Herfamilydotie