Second pregnancy? Is THIS how you feel?

Being pregnant for the second time is SO different, like way more different than I could have imagined. And the weirdest part is that I’m now sure most of it is in my mind – or at least in circumstantial differences affecting my perception of the journey!

This week alone I’ve been talking a lot about how different this pregnancy is: how I feel much bigger than at this point last time, that baby seems nowhere near as acrobatic yet (Matt had felt Florence from the outside by this point, I’m sure he has little to no chance of feeling this little Avo for weeks yet!), I’ve been feeling more generally tired and ‘more pregnant’ – achey, heavier in my pelvis etc too. I’ve spent a lot of time comparing them, and perhaps if I’m really honest, feeling some disappointment in the fact that things aren’t just as last time, especially the lack of big movements already – I really really loved feeling Floss dancing about and have been quite impatient to reach that point again.

So last night I dug out my pregnancy book from with Florence (sorry Avocado, no you still don’t have one… another difference right there, second baby is treated in a much more laid back way with less time to be spent focussed on them, or even worrying about finding a better name than Avocado for them!) and found it HILARIOUS to see how similar my experience actually seems to be.

The bump photo is actually very similar to where I’m at now. The emotional mess Matt is having to put up with this week, he was definitely feeling the brunt of this time last pregnancy too; and oh my goodness – the craving for warm puddings with cold custard/cream… all I’ve wanted to eat every evening this week is sticky toffee pudding again!! Even the heart rate at this weeks appointment was near on identical.

So why the heck does it feel so different? Obviously everyone will have their own reasons for feeling like it but I think the big ones for me are:
– Being WAY more tired generally than last time. We don’t often get full nights of sleep still here and starting off pregnancy from a place of increased tiredness can surely only amplify that feeling, and we also know that it affects our perception of pain/sensations within the body, perhaps explaining the seeming increase in aches?
– Our family / personal life is in a different place this time, unfortunately my grandma has been suffering various health complications recently which is naturally adding to my emotional state, plus keeping me super busy with travelling to see her etc. I’m also working two jobs which require different energies from me. Last time life was generally quite chilled and we were able to find much more downtime to recoup from work etc.
– I’m also sure nature plays a role in helping us forget some of the aspects of pregnancy to lure us back in for round two (or more!). A lot of the things I’ve found hard this time I had sort of forgotten I went through last time until they crop up again – the migraines for instance, I felt like the only happened for a short while early on with Flossie but my book tells me otherwise…

So after realising last night that actually a lot of how I’m feeling / perceiving this pregnancy is based around my mindset and interpretation, I hopped in the bath to take some time to connect with my definitely less wriggly, but perhaps similarly sized bump, and to make a conscious effort to try and stop comparing the two events so much, at least not in a negative way. Yes they are both pregnancy, but they are two completely separate events in my life, and I’d urge you to also take the time to appreciate that if you’ve been feeling like I have. Instead I thought about the things I’m grateful for being different this time:

– Feeling so so confident already in my ability to navigate my pregnancy and further birth – I had only just heard of hypnobirthing at this point last time, now I’m sharing that knowledge with other local couples and loving it.
– I have an amazing gang of supportive friends around me. I’ve found my parenting groove and have surrounded myself with likeminded, awesome women who I know will  be there at any time of need. Last time I *thought* I knew what to expect and how I would parent, then it hit me like a shit tonne of bricks when that wasn’t what happened! It took me some time to find my own feet and others to support me in that journey.
– We are sharing it with our daughter – and that is properly, properly magical. She’s old enough to understand a lot of what’s happening and coming, and her drive to be involved is so endearing. I know seeing her with her sibling is going to be one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.

I’m sure there’s loads more and now I’ve switched myself into looking for the positive differences, they’ll drip through to me daily, whilst I enjoy this different pregnancy of this different, tiny, human being, growing safely within me.

 

Steph offers private hypnobirthing courses and group pregnancy relaxation sessions in the Southend area. You can book here or find out more about her lovely self here.

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