Number two has jumped on board and instead of feeling ecstatic, you're feeling overwhelmed. Here are some second time around preggie facts to boost your confidence.
Congratulations! You’re pregnant… again. But with a toddler or small child to keep up with and a couple of years of sleep deprivation under your belt, chances are that although you’re happy to be pregnant, it’s not going to be the same full-focus experience you had the first time around.
Moms who have already had number two may look at you with nervous smile, knowing what’s to come – less sleep, less you-time and more worries. But, fortunately, there are 10 great reasons to feel good about your second pregnancy.
1. You know what to expect
This is the big one. Remember how freaked out you were every time you felt a little twinge, had a strange pain or experienced some random pregnancy symptom your friends hadn’t told you about?
Well, the good news is that you’re mostly done with that. You know what you can and can’t eat and you know what’s safe. Not only do you not have the time to stress about the little things, but you simply won’t worry in the same way.
2. The changes in your body don't freak you out
One of the really great advantages to a second pregnancy is that you already know just how incredible your body is, how adaptable it will prove to be and how far it can go (and still come back!). And although your muscles are more relaxed this time (this means that your bulge is likely to show earlier), it also means that you may not get the same ligament aches and pains you had the first time around.
3. You'll feel movement earlier because you know what it feels like
One of the best parts of being pregnant is feeling that little being kick, squirm, wriggle and hiccup as your bump grows. First-time moms usually only experience this from about the 18th to 20th week, but because you know what it feels like, and because your uterine muscles are more relaxed, you’re likely to feel those first movements and kicks somewhere between 16 and 18 weeks.
4. You have less time to obsess over every detail
Who are we kidding – you have less time, period! Being busy isn’t all bad – it saves you from the endless game that many pregnant women play of “what if my baby has a rare disease, what if I go into labour early, what if …”.
5. You are more prepared to meet your baby
Although you were no doubt excited to meet your baby the first time round, it was likely excitement tinged with nervousness and a healthy dollop of anxiety. Happily you now know how wonderful motherhood and that short, sweet window of infancy is, and you can really embrace and enjoy it without the same nerves about routine tasks like bathing and feeding.
“I was much less worried about silly things like the possibility of dropping my baby while bathing her and I enjoyed it more,” says Candice, mother of two girls. “I felt more sure about my abilities.”
6. You can share this experience with your first child
Those nine months will fly past, but as your tummy grows, you have a unique opportunity to talk to your child about their new baby brother or sister and see how they respond.
Clinical psychologist, trained midwife and author Jenny Perkel suggests on her blog: “Owning up to negative feelings, without judgement or rejection, is vital for children. Once they have expressed their worries and their unhappiness about getting less attention, they can move on to develop a real relationship with new sibling.”
7. You already have the stuff
Yes, we know – shopping for baby stuff is fun, thrilling even. But there’s something calming in knowing that you have everything you need. No more pacing up the aisles of baby shops feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice; no more agonising over which brand of nappies, bottles or wet wipes to buy – endless shelves of baby products don’t intimidate you anymore. And your bank manager will probably thank you.
8. You've realised how little sleep you actually need to (almost) function
One of the biggest shocks new parents face is the lack of sleep. But you’ve had a year or two (or three) to get used to operating on minimal sleep, so although you may not exactly be thrilled by the idea of those brutal first weeks, you know that you can – and will – get through it.
9. You already have home help
Contemplating a return to work or routine and finding the right childcare is difficult. You’ve probably already been down this road, your childcare is in place, you’ve been through all the first aid training with them and you’ve already established boundaries and routines that work for you.
10. You've been there before
Whether you’re hoping for a natural birth, a water birth or a c-section, one thing is true: you’ve done this before. The idea of the actual birth is daunting for many first-time mothers, and while you might still feel some nerves as your due date arrives, you know you can manage the birth environment, and you know that even though it might not go according to the birth plan you have, you’ll still have a beautiful baby at the end of it.