Pregnancy with your first baby is new and exciting. You’re not sure what to expect, or how to feel. You’ve had friends with horrible pregnancies and friends with perfect ones. You hope to be the latter, but who knows? As time progresses with your pregnancy, you spend all of your extra time researching and planning. You’re reading books and blogs. You’re on pre-natal boards chatting with other pregnant mamas, and asking every question you can think of. No amount of research is enough. Ever.
And then there’s the pictures. The monthly baby bump pictures that perfectly show your beautiful bump growing each week. All the way up to 40 weeks (or beyond). The pregnancy seems to last about 39 months because it’s all you think of every day, all day.
Then comes the second pregnancy. It’s very different. You have already been around this block so there’s a lot less to research and understand. You know the drill. Your time, instead, is consumed in other ways. Your focus these days is to keep the other tiny human alive and well. You’re chasing him, bathing him, feeding him, changing him, and nurturing him all day, every day. The baby growing inside of you is just happening. Fast and furious.
Occasionally you remember to take a bump comparison photo. Often times you can’t remember whether you’re comparing it to the previous month’s photo or to a photo from your first pregnancy. Nobody will know the difference, right?
And before you know it. The baby is here. Somehow this pregnancy lasted half as long as the first. Not really – but it will certainly seem that way.
It’s now that you’ll see the true difference between baby #1 and baby #2.
When your toddler was born you became a different person. Your previous “chill” persona somehow disappeared. You’re constantly anxious. Worried. Obsessive. And severely sleep deprived. This little man has changed you. You realize later that it was only temporary – but still. You didn’t realize how much your love for this little person would totally take over your life. You held your breath every time he sneezed. Stayed up at night to watch him breathe. You counted diaper changes. Charted feedings. Boiled bottles (and all 4600 parts). And analyzed poop. Admit it, you did.
Now comes your 2nd baby. Your little princess. Now that you’re a professional parent, this second kid is a breeze. Many of your actions remain the same. You’re co-sleeping with her, but you have learned to sleep when she sleeps. There’s no need to watch her breath (though you sometimes to because that face is so precious). When her binky hits the floor, you wash it in your own mouth. It’s fine – you’re building immunity. Store brand diapers work just fine. You even sold your home baby scale because you know she has latched and is feeding just fine.
You’re chill again. You have gained enough experience with the first, that the second is seemingly a breeze. Maybe she is just a more relaxed baby, or maybe you are just getting the hang of this mommy thing. Either way, you’re doing it and you’re doing it well. Whether you stay a little neurotic, or you become more relaxed all that matters is the love that you’re giving. That’s what those little ones understand and thrive on.
So, are you ready for baby #3?