I’m halfway there with baby #2! These past 20 weeks feel like they have flown right by. One question that most second-time moms get asked a lot is “has this pregnancy been the same or different than the first?”. I’ve decided to share a comparison of my experiences thus far:
Last time– I had virtually no morning sickness when I was pregnant with Chase. No nausea, no vomiting, no dizziness etc.
This time– I’ve still been lucky enough to have very little morning sickness symptoms, but I do get slightly nauseated almost every other day.
Last time– Pickles and Ice-cream (separately of course). How cliche, right? And I had chocolate every single day. I was also a sucker for french fries. I didn’t have any serious food aversions, except sometimes I would get “pregnancy tongue” (when I’ll be enjoying a nice meal and the texture or flavor will suddenly be gross to me). Few things were more annoying than having a delicious, half-eaten lobster roll in Newport, RI go to waste. I also was very vigilant in adhering to the dietary restrictions for pregnancy. This meant no soft cheeses, no unpasteurized juices, no deli meat (risk of listeria), no sushi, no caffeinated coffee of any kind. I bought a book “What to eat when you’re pregnant” with the intention of eating really healthy…of which I read maybe 1 chapter.
This time– Carbs, crunchy cucumbers, anything salty and sweet. Similar to last time, I usually have food aversions mid-meal and have to stop eating whatever it is. As far as dietary restrictions, I’ve relaxed a bunch since the first time. I still stick to most of the rules, but if I’m craving a turkey sandwhich or pepperoni, you bet I will indulge.
Last time- As a first time preggo lady with a relatively slim frame at baseline, it took awhile for my bump to “pop”. I wasn’t actually showing until around 5 months. Most of my weight went to my boobs, belly, butt and arms. Towards the end of the pregnancy, my face became rounder also (which was so kindly pointed out by some people).
This time- After Chase, I lost almost all the baby weight, but didn’t quite tighten back to what it was pre-pregnancy. Since I figured we would probably try for #2 again in the next year or so, I didn’t bother shedding those last few inches of padding. Also, I was giving myself a headstart on the weight gain. So like most second-time moms, I “popped” much earlier, about 3.5 months into it. The first trimester frump is never fun since you’re retaining a lot of fluid as your body expands its blood volume- you don’t have that cute rounded shape to designate you as preggo. Instead you look like you’ve just eaten 5 burgers and 3 beers 24/7.
Last time– First trimester I felt so tired all of the time as expected. Building a body from a single celled zygote to functioning multi trillion celled human takes a lot of ATP (molecular energy). I would wake up feeling like I had 3 hours of sleep, was on my feet all day seeing patients and almost falling asleep on the drive home. I would take a daily nap after work before eating dinner, only to go back to bed.
I didn’t do too much exercise and was extremely careful about what I lifted since I heard horror stories about placenta abruption.
This time– Same feeling as described above, except insert a rambonctous 1 year old. After working full days, I come home to relieve the nanny and literally chase after Chase…which usually consists of me laying on the mat of his playroom and having him stack toys on top of me. If I’m lucky enough for my husband to come home early, I sometimes get a little 15 minute nap. And then it’s cooking dinner, feeding Chase and putting him to bed and his occasional middle-of-the-night wake-up. Bottom line: no sleep for the weary, not even for the preggo one.
As far as exercise, I try to keep it to a minimum given the amount of exercise that naturally comes with having an active toddler. 9 holes of golf and a few games of tennis are all I was able to muster thus far. I also have at 27 lb kid to lug around, strollers to get in and out of the car and groceries to carry. As the belly grows I plan to slow down a bit and delegate more to my helpmate (KJ, I hope you’re reading this).
Last time- Around 16 weeks, I started getting these fluttering feelings in the belly, almost like anxiety, but apparently the term is “quickening”. It can only be felt on the inside, so I couldn’t feel anything externally. My husband would get so discouraged when I would have him try and I’d say, “Did ya feel it?!”
This time- Now that I know what fetal movements are like in various stages of pregnancy, I was much more discerning this time around. As early as 12 weeks I was experiencing that flutter feeling. I found that if I ate something sweet or had something with a little too much caffeine, I would feel the summersaults in my belly…almost to the point of inducing nausea. At 20 weeks, I can always feel some movement after I big meal and sit/lay down since baby is metabolizing all that goodness I just ate.
Tracking my Pregnancy
Last time- With the excitement of this new human growing inside me, I wanted to know everything! I had the “What to Expect” app that would update me each week with our progress and the book to read more in detail. My husband and I would watch the weekly video of which part of the anatomy that was developing that week, what size fruit approximated the fetus and what changes I might experience. We looked forward to these Wednesday night updates! I would google everything, and keep track of my weight each week. I felt like I was the living embodiment of an amazing science experiment!
This time– I don’t know how many times I forgot that I was pregnant during my first trimester. People would ask how far along I am and I have to check the app because I honestly did not remember! What size fruit is it now?, you’re guess is as good as mine. When you have a toddler and working full-time, you have very little time to sit and think about much.
It’s definitely easier going through it the second time, when there is less fear of the unknown. There are a lot of women who have difficult journeys carrying their baby to term and I know how blessed I am to have had two relatively easy pregnancies thus far. Power to the mamas!