A guide to second-time pregnancy (Spoiler: it’s not easy!)
Remember when you fell pregnant for the very first time? Suddenly it was like you became this holier-than-thou unicorn creature that must be nurtured and protected at all costs. You were to rest and be fanned with palm leaves at all times, fed grapes (read: chocolate ice-cream, salt & vinegar chips and two-minute noodles) and you dared not lift a finger around the house.
Or so it feels like when you fall pregnant for the second (or subsequent) time and you’re looking back on that first round, where you thought you knew what tired felt like. HA! What a glorious naive little thing you were. Oh ignorance really is bliss.
Flash forward to the harsh reality that is, pregnancy while parenting or PWP as we like to call it.
You see, when you fall pregnant again, of course everyone is excited and over-the-moon at the news, “Oh little Timmy will be such a great big brother,” they say. “How wonderful, now the real fun begins,” they say. And then they go home and forget all about you until nine months later when the baby arrives.
But what of those nine months? Well we’ll start with the good news.
Of course the most obvious good news is that YOU’RE PREGNANT! And this is a wonderful, joyful, amazing, incredible, not to be at all taken for granted thing that we are over the moon about.
*Please don’t get us wrong here, being pregnant is an absolute blessing but this is a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek look at PWP ok.
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The second good thing is that the nine month wait seems much more manageable, if not – almost feels like it goes too quick!
The first time around it felt like you were counting down every single one of the days, desperately checking your app to see what size your baby was that week and how your little one was growing and developing. Well this time ain’t nobody got time for that! When you’re chasing after a toddler or getting older kids off to preschool/school you might suddenly realise it’s been days since you’ve even thought of the poor little sesame seed growing away inside you (sorry little sesame seed!) Maybe this is why they say second and subsequent children tend to be more independent than their older siblings – because they were running their own race in there from the get-go. And then suddenly you’ll wake up one morning and you’re past the half-way point and are already the size of a whale.
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Which leads us to our next point – that bump won’t be hidden for long!
I remember clearly the first time around, desperately waiting and hoping for a bump and to start looking pregnant. You take so many bumpies (another thing missing from round 2) and you think your stomach is huge – until you’re pregnant the second time and your bump is rearing to go by about nine weeks (at least this time people don’t think you’re pregnant straight away, they just assume you’ve let yourself go…) but by 14 weeks people are already asking “how much longer you have to go” – yep, not even joking.
And so with that big bump coming in hard and fast second time around, so to do all the joys that come with it – think back pain (clingy toddler who suddenly needs to be carried everywhere also doesn’t help), sore boobs, needing to pee every 6.7 seconds, uncomfortable sleep, tiredness, so much tiredness… you get the idea.
You will never be more tired than you are when you are PWP
Especially if your kids aren’t great sleepers and especially if you’ve got a smaller age-gap. Think: a toddler with energy to burn, who still wants to be carried 90% of the time, and chased around the park/pushed on the swing/occupied the other 10%. If they’re still in a cot you need to lift them in and out, if they’re not toilet trained you need to lift them on and off the change table (or chase them around the house trying to wipe their butt) to change their nappy.
And not to mention the rough nights, if you’re lucky enough to have a kid that sleeps through the night that’s amazing: pass Go and collect $200*, but if not we’re sorry but it’s not good news. Either way, if it’s not the kids waking you up, your bladder most certainly will.
*Yeah you don’t get $200 but you have a child who sleeps through the night which is basically like winning the lottery.
And those glorious things called toddlers? Why do they always seem to be auditioning for UFC
…and you become an unwilling human amusement park. You’ll probably find yourself saying the phrase “please don’t head butt/kick/knee/bodyslam your little brother or sister” much sooner than you thought you would have to, unless you have older kids who are (hopefully) past this phase.
When you fall pregnant your toddler also seems to acquire a sixth sense ability to know exactly when you are at your weakest, most tired, most vulnerable point to suddenly need to be held/carried/entertained/rocked/fed…
Speaking of food, poor sesame seed is often living on a diet of half-eaten Vegemite sandwiches, popcorn and chicken nuggets – again, sorry sesame seed!
But while the pregnancy might be tough (and we haven’t even covered off those poor souls who suffer from severe morning sickness or other debilitating conditions during their pregnancies too – our hats go off to you mama) there’s something so wonderful and extra special about going through it all again. Knowing that little Timmy will be a big brother to the little sesame seed growing inside of you, imagining what they’ll be like together, the bond they will share.
Sure there’s fear about the whole newborn phase again, the sleepless nights and breastfeeding and that little thing called labour… But ultimately now that you’re a mum you know that you are actually a badass warrior superhero who can do anything that is thrown your way and you’ve totally got this.
Jessica Bosco Follow +
Jessica is a writer, editor and professional wrangler of two boys. Working in women's lifestyle publishing for over 15 years she has written about everything from fashion and beauty to royal weddings and true crime. These days she loves helping parents navigate pregnancy and the early years of raising little ones...
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