3 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me about a Second Pregnancy

Pregnant mom with toddler
Image via Alison Lee

My firstborn was 20 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. I did not give much thought to how physically and emotionally different it would be from my first pregnancy.

It would make sense that it WOULD be different, seeing as this time around, I actually had a child to look after. I do wish someone had told me just how different things would be.

Here are three things I wish someone had told me about a second pregnancy.

1. It is physically challenging

When you have a toddler, you can expect to get physical. There will be a lot of lifting, whether for practical reasons or for play. There will be a lot of getting down and getting up off the floor, when he wants to play cars or blocks or puzzles. There will be the uncomfortable act of trying to fit into his single bed when you're putting him down for a nap and he wants to cuddle first. As your belly grows, it gets harder. I'm still amazed I managed to lift my 30 pound child around up until I was nine months along.

The plus side is I managed to stay fairly fit with all this physical activity! 

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2. It gets emotional

This really hit me in the second trimester: the reality of bringing a second child into your cozy unit of three; the mind-boggling idea of juggling two young children; the fear that your heart may not love another child as much; the apprehension that your firstborn may have trouble coping with the idea of a baby who will take mommy's attention away from him. I admit, sometimes the anxiety swallowed me whole. I had to remind myself to breathe and know that I could and I would get through it.

I can tell you now that I know I can juggle two children under three, I can love another child just as much, and that my first son loves his baby brother fiercely.

3. Take time for yourself

When you have two children, you will marvel at the fact that you used to think you were busy and had no time to yourself. Truly, when there is one child to care for you actually will be able to carve out time for yourself and you absolutely should. Now with two children, it's still doable but more challenging if I need to take some time to myself to run errands, or just do something nice like get a pedicure.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're pregnant and caring for child. Pregnancy itself is exhausting and emotional. Couple that with the day-to-day commitments of life and making sure you're looking after the needs of your firstborn, it can all seem too much. Do remember you need to look after yourself and your baby. Ask for help. Take time for yourself. Sleep as much as you can. Eat well. Enjoy the one-on-one time with your firstborn. 

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Most of all, remember that you can do this!

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3 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me about a Second Pregnancy

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, she traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison is a former blogger (Writing, Wishing), and her writing has been featured on Mamalode,On Parenting at The Washington Post,The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, andDrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists ... More

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14 comments

  1. Profile photo of Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Thank you I thought I was the only one thinking all that but I don’t get much help lol only free time I have is when both my baby and toddler are at my mothers every third weekend lol cuzz I let them take turns staying the night with there MeMaw lol she is a great help. I found out I was pregnant with my second child 13mon after my firstborn turned 1yr. But sadly it was to much for my emotion and brain to handle all the anxiety and crazy thoughts in my head so I was diagnosed with post Partom depression and bipolar disorder. But after I got my depression medications I started to slow down and not freak out cause I was so over whelmed and I never slowed down at the hospital figure after labor if I can move I’m going to move and play with the new life I created lol. But now my fiancé is starting to help out more I think he sees me under stress and let’s me relax and sleep when I really need the sleep. But thank you for sharing this post.

  2. Profile photo of Lichelle Lichelle says:

    Thank you so much for this article! It put into words everything I have been feeling. I found out I was pregnant with our second child around a similar time to you, and I could not explain the extreme fatigue and anxiety this time around compared to the first. Thank you for making me feel normal!

  3. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    Your older child will love helping out with the baby – congratulations!

  4. Profile photo of gloing12 gloing12 says:

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  5. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    That’s a good age spacing! Good lucK!

  6. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    Yes, 2 year olds are exhausting, aren’t they? You will love seeing your daughter with the baby though. And seeing the baby adore his big sister will make your own so full. Congratulations and good luck!

  7. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    Ruby, it’s absolutely doable and you will LOVE when you see your son interact with the baby. It’s special and amazing, and you will know you gave them both a gift of each other. Good luck!

  8. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    Congratulations Erin! It’s amazing, isn’t it, this motherhood-to-be thing?
    I had to stay positive during what was a rather difficult time, both physically and emotionally. At the end of the day, it’s worth it. All of it.

  9. Profile photo of acoats621 acoats621 says:

    We currently have a 4 month old and my husband wants to have another baby within the next couple of years.

  10. Profile photo of joymommy joymommy says:

    I have a 9 year old and am pregnant again. Wow this is a whole new experience.

  11. Profile photo of Rigney15 Rigney15 says:

    My daughter is 2 1/2 and I’m 34 weeks pregnant with our son. I couldn’t agree with your points more! I actually called my dr one time to complain about how tired I was. Telling her I was never this tired before. Then she heard my daughter in the background and asked if I had any other children. I told her I had a 2 year old and she said, I quote, "that’s your problem". Not that my daughter is a problem but when Iw as pregnant with my daughter I only had to look after me and my dog. It’s a whole different story looking after a two year old and being pregnant!

  12. i don’t know if i’m having another child but every woman have to go through stuff and we just have to take stuff the easy way

  13. Profile photo of RubyTusdae RubyTusdae says:

    Thank you for this! My son just turned two and everyone keeps asking if we will have a second. I want him to have a sibling but all these fears you mentioned, I have!!! I know it is doable, if others do it so can I. It is just very scary. I know we are waiting until after March because I have a wedding to stand in and it requires travel, but after that we are contemplating it. Thanks for this!!!

  14. Profile photo of ErinF ErinF says:

    I’m currently expecting our first; I’m feeling pretty confident about this one, but already anxious about going through a second pregnancy–particularly about dealing with this fatigue when I have a baby/toddler to care for (the cats give me enough grief!). I like the positive perspective here, especially staying fit from the physical activity of caring for a toddler!

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