Why Second Pregnancies Are Nothing Like The First

by Erin Washington
Originally Published: 
Kay Lucien

I’m pregnant again.

With my first child, I googled endlessly, finally settling on a carefully choreographed picture of the sonogram nestled between a tiny lamb and baby booties. The lighting was just right and it took longer than I’m willing to admit in writing.

This time around? I posted a picture of my daughter in a big sister shirt. I did my civic duty and informed the population that our family is expanding. There was no clever tagline — nothing original about it. What a wasted opportunity, right? I mean, who does that? (The mother of a 2-year-old). With all of the cute announcements on the Internet, why not take the time to research the perfect one or at least do something original? (Because I’ve got shit to do, that’s why.)

Let me make it very clear that I feel beyond blessed with this second pregnancy. This one took a lot longer than with our first and I was even meeting with my doctor about infertility options. I prayed that we would eventually be able to add to our family and feel supremely lucky to have gotten to see another positive pregnancy test. While I’m ecstatic about the baby I’m bearing… I keep forgetting about it.

With my first child, I could tell people how many weeks, days, seconds, and Dairy Queen Blizzards I was into my pregnancy at any given moment. Everyone including the cashier at my grocery store was well versed on my pregnancy. “Oh, well I’m pregnant so….” “I probably shouldn’t since I’m pregnant”….”Oh, did you know I was pregnant?” (Um, yeah. You mentioned it.) I always knew what size fruit I was gestating and exactly what milestone my phenomenal fetus was hitting that particular week.

Presently, whenever someone asks me how I’m feeling, I pause for a second. “Fine…?” I answer, questioning, “How are you feeling?” This time around, my pregnancy is just not on my radar. I called to book a massage the other day and neglected to mention that I was pregnant. When I arrived sporting a belly, I had to cancel my appointment because there was no one available for a prenatal massage. I had forgotten to even tell them I was pregnant! With my first child, I would’ve led with that. “Hi. I’m pregnant …” and that was a week after conception.

It’s like it’s not happening this time. Until my body begins birthing this babe, my pregnancy is just not something I’m thinking about — a vast contrast to the person I was the first time around, who told everyone, everywhere, and typically when they weren’t asking.

With my first pregnancy, the days dragged on and it seemed like the next week’s milestone would never arrive. This pregnancy is flying by. I almost fell off the table when my doctor mentioned that I had started my second trimester (“Who did? When?”). I haven’t even taken a single bump pic. I look back through my phone from the first time I was pregnant and laugh out loud at how many belly pictures I have (from multiple angles) during the same week, early in the pregnancy. Those pictures started when there was no visible bump whatsoever, and ironically, this time around, my belly decided to “assume the position” during the first month, and there is zero photo documentation.

It’s like I’m not the same person who was pregnant the first time just two short years ago.

Back then, it was all about me. I’M pregnant. Look at MY belly. I was the star of the show. There wasn’t anyone around yet to share the spotlight and being pregnant was all I had on my plate.

My life is no longer about me. It’s about a tiny little spitfire of a 2-year-old whose needs (and let’s just say it, her wants too) trump my own. As I rock her to sleep each night, she stares up into my eyes, unaware of the tiny betrayal that is gestating just beneath her. It’s been her and me for as long as she’s been on this earth. How will she react when she sees someone else in my arms? The thought of her feeling left out or any less important knocks the wind out of me.

My love for my child is beyond measure. And that love is about to multiply. This second one is coming whether I remember that it’s happening or not.

That’s the thing with Second Pregnancy Syndrome… one minute, you forget you’re having a baby and the next, you’re stressing out over how your first born will react to it. Luckily, my doctor says I’ll be cured by late summer.

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