How my second pregnancy is different from my first

Yes, we're having another baby :)

I am currently in my 20th week, which means that we have officially crossed the half way point and everything with our second SON (yup, looks like we're going to have a house full of rebellious boys) looks healthy and wonderful so far.

Isn't it funny that even though you technically know that chances are good that everything is fine with your baby, you always do still worry a bit that something could be wrong. At least I do... so when the anatomy scan last week came back perfectly healthy showing a happily moving little baby boy with all his limbs attached, I was beyond moved and happy. 

Felix will be just a couple weeks over 2 by the time his little brother arrives.

Felix will be just a couple weeks over 2 by the time his little brother arrives.

The three questions I've been getting the most are these: 

1. Does Felix understand that he's getting a sibling? 

2. Were you trying to get pregnant? 

3. How is your second pregnancy different from your first?

 

Here are my responses (in case you are curious, too;)): 

1. Does Felix understand that he's getting a sibling? 

I am not sure. During our morning family cuddle sessions, I often take his little hand and put it on my belly and say things like "Your little brother is in there" or "You're going to be a big brother soon." But honestly all he wants to do is jam his little fingers -correction, his whole fist- into my belly button and laugh lol

But then, on the other hand, he has been more attached to me recently and while I know that this could just be a developmental thing that would be perfectly fitting for his age, I do sometimes wonder if deep down he knows that he's about to get some competition.

 

2. Were you trying to get pregnant?

I think this is such a funny/odd question, especially when it comes from people I don't really know very well. It's kinda personal... but since I am pretty open about this stuff, I am honest: yes, we were ready for baby #2.

I breastfed Felix until he was around 14 months and so I didn't get my cycle back until after I had stopped (NOTE: this does not apply to everyone. Many women do get their periods back despite breastfeeding, so you can NOT rely on breastfeeding as birth control!). 

Once I did get my period for the first time, I immediately pulled out my thermometer and began recording my waking temperatures so I could track my cycles again.

I wanted to make sure that my hormones were coming back balanced and healthy after my pregnancy with Felix. I used to have a Luteal Phase Defect which means I had insufficient progesterone as well as low thyroid hormone (both make it much harder to get and stay pregnant) and I wanted to make sure that my hormones were coming back at the level of health I had gotten them to before I conceived Felix. Plus, I wanted to know when I was fertile so that we could family plan accordingly (yes, you can tell all of that and so much more just from tracking your cycle! Amazing, right?).

Anyways, I was so happy and relieved to find that my cycle had returned healthy and strong.

That being said and to answer this second question, if you are tracking your cycle and know your fertile window, you cannot really not either be trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid pregnancy, so in our case, yes, we were ready for another baby to join our family ;)

 

3. How is your second pregnancy different from your first?

While I love this question and wish I had some sort of dramatic story for you, I gotta be honest and tell you that purely from a physical perspective it's not that different. However, there are some subtle differences that I am going to share with you:

 

  • Overall comparison: I am lucky to have felt pretty good with both pregnancies so far. With Felix, I had no nausea, a very minimal amount of fatigue, and my only real craving was steak and hamburgers. I had low blood pressure and so I'd get dizzy pretty easily (in fact, I passed out twice standing in line at the airport... which ended up getting me rushed through security in a wheelchair... sweet;)).
    In this pregnancy, I felt a bit nauseous for about a week or two in my first trimester, I was way more tired (also because I am chasing a toddler instead of going to prenatal yoga this time around), and my only intense craving is for orange juice (just writing this makes my mouth water). I still get dizzy, but haven't passed out in any convenient places (yet). 

 

  • Here is what's the most different physically: since this is my second pregnancy and my body has already been through one pregnancy (or maybe just because this baby is different or will be bigger), my belly is growing MUCH faster, I started showing much sooner, and I am gaining weight much quicker. While I was barely showing by week 20 in my first pregnancy, I am definitely visibly pregnant now. My body is like "Been there, done that. I know how to get there." 

    I can also already feel baby boy #2 move around a LOT already. I didn't really feel Felix move until I was about 23 or 24 weeks pregnant, but this little one has been dancing salsa in my belly for at least two weeks already.

 

 

  • The biggest differences, however, are mental and emotional:

Mental - In my first pregnancy I could tell you at any moment exactly how many months and days I was pregnant. I was totally focused on it, went to prenatal yoga and acupuncture and read everything I could about pregnancy and what was happening developmentally. 

With my second pregnancy, I almost forget sometimes that I am pregnant (which is getting harder as my belly grows;)), because I am so busy with Felix. I have started to intentionally carve out time now to connect with my second son, rub my belly gently and tell him about what an amazing and loving world is expecting him. Sometimes I wonder how I will actually have the time to care for two children, when I occasionally find it hard to find time to connect with my second little man while he's still in my belly and doesn't need much. Time will tell, I guess.

Emotional - I remember going through a grieving period in my pregnancy with Felix that my twosomeness with Raz, my husband was coming to an end (at least for a while). I had to feel the sadness about not living in a world where we could just take care of each other, be each other's absolute #1 priority. Weirdly enough, once I allowed that sadness to wash over me, I was overcome with deep gratitude that I get to be in a marriage with my soulmate, where the foundation is made up of such deep caring and unconditional love for each other that I was grieving its absence before it had even arrived. In a way the sadness I felt served as a reminder of what I had and so I could and can appreciate it even more.

In my second pregnancy, I am less (still a bit) grieving the upcoming changes to my marriage (I do anticipate there being some, but am hopeful that the big transition in how we function in our marriage occurred when we became parents the first time), but what I am grieving now is the upcoming end of two years where Felix was my absolute #1. Before I became his mom, I never thought I could love anyone the way I love him and so I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for soon having to remove some of my attention from him. I feel guilt for making him move on into the role of the older and therefore more independent brother. Of course I will do my absolute best to not forget that he is still a baby who needs his mama as well, but I am also very realistic about the fact that I won't be able to attend to him the way I do now. When I feel that sadness or guilt, I try to remind myself that I am also giving him the biggest gift in the world: a brother that he will have for his entire life! 

 

Alright, I think I hit the main points. I hope you found this interesting in whatever stage of pre-motherhood or motherhood you are in. Maybe you can even relate to some of the things I describe or you have other thoughts. I'd LOVE to hear from you in the comments underneath this post. 

So much love to you, especially if you are thinking of getting pregnant, trying to conceive or are a mama yourself. I know what you are going through love.
 

XOXO
 

PS: What that also means is that I am going to go on maternity leave in June for a 3-4 month period at least. That means that if you've been waiting to work with me privately, now is your chance!

Whether you have been trying to conceive but haven't been able to, trying to figure out how to balance your hormones naturally so you can experience a healthy pregnancy, or if you are currently pregnant or a new mama who needs some support -physically/ hormonally, mentally or emotionally, I would love to invite you to fill out an application to work with me.

Once I get your application, we'll schedule a free 30 minute consult so we can determine if I am the right coach for you. If you are struggling, know that you don't have to walk this path in isolation. There is help, there are great resources and wonderful tools that can make a world of a difference. I had these resources and I would love to share them with you. Apply here.