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How Pregnancy is Different the Second Time Around

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I always heard that the second time around in pregnancy can be so different from the first. At 33 weeks pregnant, I now know why. Not only do you not have time to even think about taking a nap (one of the most important tasks during my first pregnancy), you have no time for anything other than running the house, educating your toddler and trying to grow a little human inside of you. All while worrying about 3,245 different things.

Of course you adore your child, well, children. But whether or not we like to admit it, the first baby is a completely different experience from the second. I remember being pregnant with B (our first). I felt like everything was a must-have, must-do, must-read, must-learn, must-buy. I was in baby heaven. This time around, simply put: I don’t have the time. I still adore my growing baby girl, and I cannot wait to meet her. She is the cherry on top for our family. We feel so blessed, but let’s be honest: it is different. And it isn’t as a bad thing as society and marketing ads make you think.

At the beginning I felt like I was being a bad mother to my baby. Why don’t I have the time to even begin her scrapbook like I did for B? I should make more time to sing to her and read to her and talk to her more, so she recognizes my voice. I mean, I felt so guilty. Until, I took a step back and said, “It is OK.” Life changes and our schedules change, and I am here trying to run a household and raise an amazing boy to one day be an amazing man.

At the same time that I am making a human.

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So I took a step back and tried not to be so hard on myself. It is OK, mommies. If you are there, believe me I understand. I, too, felt guilty. But your baby doesn’t know she doesn’t have a belly photo every week with a funny caption and a fruit size comparison in the amazing detailed scrapbook you have yet to even begin for her. Truthfully, your baby doesn’t care. All that matters is that you are taking care of her and doing the best you can.

This time around I am wiser (or so I like to think!) about what truly is important. About what I need to do, to read and to buy. And also what I don’t. With B, of course, everything had to be brand new, best brands, best everything. From super-expensive strollers to ridiculously expensive crib bumpers, brand-name baby bottles that I had about 15 of. Did I mention the 8 towels I had for him? (FYI: you just need two or three.)

Here comes the wiser part. This second time, I bought a double stroller from Craigslist, an amazing stroller but at a fraction of the price. Yup, it is used but, to be honest, I couldn’t bear the thought of spending $700 on a new one. Our baby girl’s crib bedding? A hand me down from her cousin. It’s a gorgeous bedding set for sure. But she didn’t need a $500+ crib bedding like B did. And her highchair, play-pen, Bumbo and walker? All hand me downs from her big brother. This makes me feel wiser and more like an experienced mom.

I know one day I will be missing that moment. For now, I am his world and the funniest, best person in the world. I like it that way.

As far as all that money we are saving? We will put towards her and her brother’s education. A much wiser idea right? Right.

I was talking to my husband about this, and I said, “What did we do with all that time before we had B?” We truly couldn’t come up with a really great answer. I mean, we went to work, came home to eat, watched TV and had our hobbies. Then what? When people advise newlywed couples to take advantage of their days and nights, because things change, they're right. These days I feel like I don’t even have time to pluck my eyebrows.

Honestly, just before I started writing this I said to my son, "I need some mommy time so I am going to go upstairs to do my nails and have alone time." That lasted 7 minutes. He ran upstairs and jumped on the bed, told me how beautiful my nails look and how he loves the color I am painting them. He told me he wants to paint his nails blue, because blue is for boys. So, yes, those alone moments are rare.

Though life is running at a faster pace, and I barely have time for myself with one child, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

But that’s the beauty of it all. And the bittersweet part is that it goes on by so quickly. I know one day I will be missing that moment. For now, I am his world and the funniest, best person in the world. I like it that way. I will enjoy him, alone, as the only child for a few weeks longer. And then life will get even busier, but I know I have these memories with him and only him. The boy who introduced me to the biggest love I could ever feel. Because of him, I am able to be an experienced mom and an even better, more wiser mom to our sweet new baby girl.

So, yes, it’s different. But it’s a good different. It is more of a “things that really matter” different. And I am happy to be able to realize that and not be so hard on myself. I don’t feel guilty any longer because scrapbooks, expensive baby items and 4d ultrasounds are not what my baby needs.

She just needs me.

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Though life is running at a faster pace, and I barely have time for myself with one child, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. There is no better feeling than seeing your baby grow into a little human, with his own personality, feelings and traits. Even when he ran up here and “interrupted” my me time, I still loved it. I loved that interruption, because it really is no interruption at all. To him, he just wants to spend time with his mom. I reminded myself that one day he will be more into his friends and forget about spending time with me, and I must enjoy the now. The crazy, hectic, loud, little time for anything but B.

And I am so happy to be able to do it a second time around.

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