How Pregnancy #2 Has Been Different (in a good way!)


It's still so strange to be able to say things like "the first time I was pregnant..."

I found out I was pregnant when I was only 4 weeks along (technically 2 weeks pregnant, but they start counting 2 weeks before conception because science likes to be difficult). The first ten weeks or so crawled by at the speed of a dying turtle. But the past few weeks have started to pick up, and sometimes I have to remind myself that hey, there's a baby in there!

I kept a weekly pregnancy journal for my pregnancy with R, and it's been so fun to be able to compare my symptoms and general feelings from two years ago with this second pregnancy. So much of it is the same as far as how the first trimester went physically (which I why I'm currently thinking baby #2 is going to be a girl), but there are a few things in particular that already have been so different in a really good way for me emotionally.

1. I have been able to control my daily anxiety better this time.
Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time during my first pregnancy being anxious. Anxious of a miscarriage, of the baby not kicking, of the baby not kicking enough, of a birth defect, of early labor, and on and on. I got really worked up for my prenatal appointments and counted down the days until my next one. 

This time, I still feel anxiety. I don't know how that would ever completely go away. I still get anxious before my doctor's appointments. But I have really been focusing on not letting anxiety control me, and it's made a huge difference, so much so that Jordan has even noticed and commented on it. It's not that I'm not nervous about things being okay, but I've realized that nothing I do can control how my baby develops and what is going to happen. I am focusing on enjoying being pregnant, being excited to meet this new baby, and being thankful to have the opportunity to carry another human. It's made this pregnancy so much more fun! It's also just been nice to know what the heck is going on a little bit more than last time. I feel like less of a newbie with doctor visits and symptoms.

2. I know I can survive labor, so it's not quite as terrifying.
Don't get me wrong. Labor was absolutely the most painful thing that has ever happened to me, and I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't scared of doing it again. When I was giving birth to R, I asked my doctor multiple times if I was going to die. I laugh about it now, but in the moment I was completely serious. It was so painful that I really thought it might kill me. 

Jordan and I never ended up taking a birthing class before I had R due to a scheduling conflict, but mostly it was because the mere thought of labor terrified me to my very core, and I would start crying if I even talked about it. It was The Great Unknown, and I had no idea what to expect. I know that no labor is the same, and I still don't know what to expect this time around, but I do know a little bit more about what exactly the words "labor and delivery" mean, and I know that the pain will eventually be over and I will be okay. I am excited that this time the idea of labor will not be this dark cloud hanging over my head until June. My plan is to basically just block out the idea that I'm even going to have to do it until it happens. Wish me luck with that one.

3. I am prepared for a newborn.
I'm not necessarily saying that I'm prepared to be more tired than I've ever been in my life. Or that I'm prepared for the midnight feeding sessions and the crying and the impossibility of getting the baby to sleep somewhere not on my chest for just one nap please. I'm definitely not saying I'm prepared to have a newborn with a toddler running around. But I've brought home one baby and kept her alive for a while, so I feel more prepared in general for bringing home another one. 

With R, I literally asked my mom what babies sleep in because I didn't know. I didn't know what to do when she had a fever or how to help when she had gas. Over the last year and a half, I've learned a lot about taking care of a baby, and I'm thinking that when this second baby comes home, it won't be such a complete and utter what-on-earth-is-going-on kind of shock.

4. Similar to #3, Jordan and I are prepared for a newborn.
Adding a baby to our lives really rocked our marriage. We were both so tired and got so stressed out when it was 2am and R was crying and we didn't know what to do. We had to figure out our roles and what worked for us. I know that going from one kid to two is quite a leap, so I am by no means saying it's going to be easy, but I think that Jordan and I are going to be a lot more prepared to add another baby to our family now that we've done it once before, and hopefully we can be a better team this time.

5. I know I can survive taking my baby to daycare.
If you don't know this by now, I'm basically am emotional basket case. I cry a lot. When it came to thinking about taking R to daycare, I broke down in full-on sobs. I could barely think about it without crying. We are hoping to put baby #2 in the same daycare as R, and that eases a lot of stress already. I know the people there, we like it, R did well, and most of all: I know I can do it. I'm thinking this will allow me to enjoy my maternity leave more instead of sadly counting down the days until I have to start back at work like I'm on death row or something. I (hopefully) won't have to tour daycares and call around and get on waiting lists because we will already have something lined up that we know has been working for us.

6. I believe that somehow, everything will work out.
Before we had R, I said things like, "I don't know how we are going to afford to have a baby" because I honestly didn't feel like we had enough money to pay for all the things we were going to have to pay for (not only diapers and wipes but big things like insurance and actually paying for my delivery). With baby #2, I look back and wonder how I thought we wouldn't have enough money for a baby because now we really don't have enough money.

I do wonder how it will all work out, and it stresses me out to think about it. But I don't for a second wonder if it will all work out, because I know somehow it will. God has provided for us, and so far that hasn't looked like me being able to quit my job. It hasn't looked like raises or bonuses at work for either of us. It hasn't looked like random checks in the mail or an inheritance in a will from a long-lost relative. 

It hasn't looked like anything, really, except that we pay our bills and buy food and tithe and still have a little money leftover at the end of the month to put in savings. And isn't that really all we need anyway?

Of course I worry about a birth defect or an expensive NICU stay or labor complications. I worry about SIDs and developmental problems and proper weight gain. I worry that I'll have the same pumping issues I had the last time and not be able to have enough milk.

But I don't worry about how my life is going to change. I don't worry that I won't be a good mother. I don't worry that I won't be able to bond with my baby or that I won't love him or her. I was scared of that once, but I'm not anymore. And that's the biggest thing that is different this time.

Baby Bum #2, we already love you so much and can't wait to meet you.

*This post was based in part on one I wrote during my first pregnancy: The Fear
erinhzauner said...

Spot on with the not worrying as much part. I found myself not realizing that a month had gone by when it was time for another appointment, and I think I was because I wasn't as nervous. Glad you are feeling better with #2!

jaime said...

My second pregnancy was so different. It was harder than the first, and I also forgot how far along I was many days. :) It was a strain on our marriage, but it ended up working itself out (we weren't planning on a second child, and she ended up being the best thing that could happen to our family.)

Pregnancy is tough! I wish we were given a year of paid time off after the baby arrived!

Rebecca Jo said...

It just shows how a little bit of knowing gives you so much more confidence. It's so funny to watch first time moms to old pros ;) It continues on even after baby is born

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

'science likes to be difficult' hahaha. i tried to explain that to KC and he was like.. what?
i am pretty sure i will be a nervous wreck, but like you said, there's nothing that you can do. i will try and remember that. i like to research and plan, so i have read lots - of course, nothing compares to actually being pregnant and taking care of a baby, but i am hoping by over planning i will feel less anxious about it all. i'll let you know how that goes. hahaha. the money thing is the thing that stresses me out the most. we don't make a lot as is, and the insurance and actually having a kid is terrifying. it would literally be cheaper for me to fly home, have the kid, and fly back. but who wants to fly super pregnant and then fly with a newborn? blah. but i'm still considering it. haha.
i'm glad you are worrying less :)

Heather @Lunging Through Life said...

I'm with you! I definitely have less fears this time around and time is just flying so much!

Rach said...

So I just sent you an email, but I'm still commenting here because who doesn't like to see comments? :) Enjoyed this post!

Erin LFF said...

I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying this pregnancy a little more this go around. I totally understand the anxious feelings, I definitely counted down to every doctor's appointment while I was pregnant too. I hope that when it's time for another baby I'll feel more confident in myself, my body and ultimately in God that everything is under control :)

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

I worry about affording a second baby ALL the time... and we're not even trying yet.

Danielle said...

I'm so glad your anxiety is better this time! And glad you are feeling more sure of what to expect. I imagine that's one of the scariest things about being pregnant the first time.

Jenny Evans said...

You're right, you're going to do great. I always had a lot of fear of labor (just in case anyone thought I had 6 kids because I enjoyed the birthing process so much) until I decided to do things differently with #6. I read a lot - the books about the Bradley Method were the most helpful for me - and by the end I was actually getting excited about it. As far as labor goes it was the best I could have expected and I owe it all to the fact that I was calm going into it. Hope it goes smoothly for you, too!

StephTheBookworm said...

Great post! I'm glad you're feeling more at ease and prepared this time! I'm hoping that for our next one, I feel less anxiety too. With Caleb, everything made me so worried. And labor and delivery? Don't even get me started haha! I was petrified of it and I'll be petrified next time too. At least we both know we can make it through lol.

Courtney said...

Great post! I felt a lot of the same things the second time around as well :)

Audrey Louise said...

I'm glad things are a little less stressful and a little more fun with Baby #2. That seems to be the case for second-time moms- I'm glad you're no different! These 9 months sound like a fun time to prepare and spoil R and adjust to being a family of 4.
I love that they'll be in daycare together hopefully! I feel like that might help them bond as siblings as they grow up!

Tienna said...

As I'm in the home stretch of Baby #2 (3w1d left woot woot!), I have to say, #2 is all around way more difficult physically (not getting to nap every single day this time around has taken it's toll #canigetanamen!), but way easier emotionally. Of course I'm terrified that our #1 will feel neglected considering she's been our whole world for nearly 2.5 years. But I'm also excited because #1 is super excited for #2 to get here. But I'm with you on the anxiety part - I KNOW I can keep a newborn alive. We know how to handle the situations that just come up with new babies. Yes, it will be harder in so many ways. But I also know the love at the end of it is absolutely worth it. :) But yeah, I do miss sleep. And we still have a few weeks before 2 arrives. Sigh. :)

Laura Darling said...

I'm glad you have more peace of mind this time around!

Maria said...

I'm so happy that you are taking control of the anxiety, because I know first hand of how it can rob you from the joy that you so want to feel during pregnancy. I felt so lonely during my first trimester while everyone around me celebrated our baby and all I could do was smile and nod, because I was so stricken with fear and worry about well, everything. Luckily, that has subsided and I'm so so excited now. Anxiety is such a jerk.

Umm, so what DO babies wear to bed? ;)

Also, when is your anatomy scan? Soon, right?!!

Carolann Chambers said...

You're already an amazing mother to R and your next baby is going to be just as lucky to have you for his or her mom. The unknown is so scary. I'm really glad that things are going better for you with pregnancy #2! And you're right, it will all workout.