I've always heard that each pregnancy is different, and I have to admit I would roll my eyes a bit. After all, no matter if it's my first or my tenth, I'm still going through the process of carrying a baby, right? While there haven't been any monumental changes during this pregnancy compared to my first, there are a lot of smaller things that actually are quite different...and here is my list so far. It's the one post I'll do on the physical things until the birth, so don't worry.
First Baby: I had a few early symptoms, and one night, Sky and I were up until past midnight, talking about "what if?" He finally told me to take a test, and I yelled for him to come and see the results. There was hugs, kisses, and there was lots of shock on my part.
Second Baby: I had some faintness a couple days before, and then felt the rest of what I felt the first time. I told Sky that I should probably take a test. A day or two later, I did after Millie went to bed, and was less surprised but still a bit overwhelmed and very excited.
First Baby: I felt Millie first kick just a couple days before the ultrasound at 18 weeks or so.
Second Baby: I was told I should be able to feel this baby sooner, but even though I thought I may be feeling movement around 14 weeks, I didn't feel that first definite kick until 18. The midwife told me it was because of the way the placenta is positioned this time (anterior).
First Baby: I had a only-noticeable-to-me bump the first trimester, but seemed to go from flatness to roundness fairly quickly, and definitely looked pregnant by 20 weeks.
Second Baby: I looked puffy only a couple weeks after finding out, but it (mostly) disappeared and then reappeared as a little roundness. It feels much bigger than it looks, but I'm really right where I was the first time around- I actually weighed less at the beginning of this pregnancy than I did the first time.
First Baby: Sky held my hand during the ultrasound and we watched amazed.
Second Baby: Duty calls. So while Sky is gone with the Army, a friend in town offered to keep me company during the ultrasound. It was still amazing, and I called Sky about it afterwards.
First Baby: Just a little morning sickness, lots of migraines, no interest in food except for a few cravings here and there.
Second baby: A lot more morning sickness, some migraines, and no interest in food again.
First Baby: Craved chocolate milk (the pre-made kind), lots of pancakes, and, towards the end, strawberry cream cheese. Couldn't stomach any Italian food, which is usually my favorite. Just the thought of lasagna made me almost lose it.
Second Baby: Not as many cravings but I have a few more months to go. I like fruit earlier, and drank grapefruit juice and Sprite cocktails when I felt especially nauseous. Can't stomach meat too often, especially sandwich meat and bacon. Right now, root beer and V8 juice have been hitting the spot.
First Baby: Slathered lotion and oil on daily. They say it's all genetic, but I only got a couple stretchmarks (and only at the 39th week, gosh dang it!), and they're hardly noticeable.
Second Baby: Slathering it all on again! Fingers crossed on this one.
First Baby: Saw my family practice doctor for the pregnancy and first year of Millie's life.
Second Baby: I heard wonderful things about the midwives at my hospital, so I'm seeing them this time. The first one I met (and the only male, thank goodness) was British and a dead ringer for Ringo Starr. I met a lady that I really liked last time, and I have an appointment this week for yet another (our hospital has patients meet every midwife so they will "know" the person on call during birth).
First Baby: Found out we were having a girl and proclaimed it to the world immediately. I don't remember keeping the name a secret for very long, if at all.
Second Baby: We're fairly certain this is our last baby, so to do something different, we decided to not find out the gender this time. I think the only thing that could even come close to topping the indescribable joy of meeting your child would be to have that sweet surprise, too. It's strange for me to feel kicks and not know who is kicking me, though. We have a boy's name picked out, but we're back and forth on girl names.
First Baby: Regular deodorant.
Second Baby: Extra-strength deodorant. Enough said.
First Baby: Received a "One Line a Day" 5 year memory book to keep track of Millie's daily happenings. I've written in it faithfully every day.
Second Baby: Hoping to get one this time, too. I don't want to do anything less for this baby.
First Baby: I worried all the time that something would be wrong, that she wouldn't be kicking enough- anything in the realm of possibility scared me. I've never felt so protective in my life.
Second Baby: I don't worry quite as much since everything with Millie was fine, but I still do occasionally. Pregnancy makes you so aware of how much this little life depends on you. It's probably good that I just don't have time to worry as much.
First Baby: No matter what I was doing, who I was talking to, etc., the only thing running through my mind was, "I'm pregnant. I'm pregnant. I'm pregnant." It was impossible to not think about it.
Second Baby: I constantly forget. Not in big ways, like taking medicine I shouldn't, but chasing a two year old around doesn't give me a lot of time for quiet reflection! Even so, it's just as special this time. The calmer evenings when I feel those little kicks are really valuable to me.
Education and Help:
First Baby: Watched "The Business of Being Born".
Second Baby: Watched "More Business of Being Born". (For the record- they are not movies I necessarily agree or don't agree with- it's just interesting stuff.)
First Baby: Sky and I took a childbirth class, but weren't mature enough to keep straight faces through it. I could tell you the story, but it's probably not worth the time it takes to type!
Second Baby: Not a chance.
First Baby: Hired a doula, meeting with her a few times before labor. It was amazing to have someone else to be there for me, especially after being surprised at how little the nurses actually checked on me.
Second Baby: Met with a doula in January, but because she is more experienced, her fee is more than double that of my first doula (discounted- normally, it's triple). Not looking forward to a birth without one, but it may end up that way.
The end of 9 months:
Both babies: Having gone through these things once before, I can say that I don't look forward to labor any more than the first time- maybe less, to be honest. It's scary for me, and it's not easy. But more than anything, I cannot wait to feel that overpowering love and amazement when I get to hold my baby for the very first time. Love at first sight would be an understatement. There isn't a feeling on earth like that moment. And any difficulties along the way are worth it after that first cry.
Updated- first published as a guest post on My Life as a Sailor's Princess.
If you have a few kiddos, did you notice differences between pregnancies?