Over the years I have heard people say how every pregnancy is different, and it’s not that I didn’t believe them, I just had no life experience to confirm whether that was a true statement or not. Now that I am 32 weeks along with baby boy #2, I can definitely confirm the truth of this statement, at least for me. I’m interested to know if labor and delivery will also be different. Jack’s birth was fast and furious and they say the 2nd comes faster…I can hardly imagine that being the case, but we shall see in about 8 weeks.
So how have my 2 pregnancies been different? Let’s start from the beginning.
1. Finding out I was pregnant. When I got pregnant with Jack, Ben was out of town (not for the conception of course), so he asked me to wait till he got back from his out of town job before I took a pregnancy test. It was the first month we tried to get pregnant, so I had no great expectations given how many of my friends have had fertility issues over the years. But I was late. 4 days late. And it was KILLING me to have to wait to take a test. Ben got home on the 5th day I was late and I finally got to take the test. It was a big fat positive, clear as day! When we got pregnant with baby boy #2 (still has yet to be named), we weren’t actively trying yet. We just weren’t preventing since we planned on trying in a few months. Well, we were on vacation and there were ample opportunities for me to have a drink–a wedding, 4th of July gatherings, family get togethers, etc. Since there was a small (I thought) chance I was pregnant, we bought a test. I wanted to know if I could have a few drinks when we went out of town with Ben’s family, so we tested early (truthfully, I had only had 2 periods since giving birth to Jack, so I wasn’t even sure what was early or late anymore, but I was pretty sure I was testing early). We got what I thought was a really faint positive when we got home from the supermarket. So we weren’t sure. 2 days later I tested again, and what do you know. Pretty clear positive. I was surprised. Apparently, Ben just has to look at me and I get pregnant.
2. Morning Sickness. With Jack, I literally had NO morning sickness. I threw up once and I don’t even think it was morning sickness. It was when I was 13 weeks pregnant, and I also had bled that day, so the doctor thought I was going through a big hormone shift at the start of the 2nd trimester. With this little guy, I began getting morning sickness at the end of the 5th week and it lasted until about 13-14 weeks. I threw up anywhere from 3-8 times a day and felt perpetually nauseous. It was truly the most exhausting summer of my life. Since I was entering the 2nd trimester right when I went back to work in the fall, I have to admit, it was the first year, I wasn’t sad to see summer over.
3. Gestational diabetes. When I was pregnant with Jack, I did fail the one hour glucose test but I passed the 3 hour just fine. This time around I wasn’t so lucky. I have gestational diabetes. Found out at 26 weeks, and am now testing my blood sugar 4x a day to make sure I regulate myself properly. So far, I have been able to keep my numbers in check simply by changing my diet a bit. It hasn’t been horrible, but it definitely sucks not being able to eat what I want while pregnant. I thought that was supposed to be one of the perks? 😉
4. Back and hip pain at night. With Jack, I did have some of this but it wasn’t too bad. This time around it has been horrible. I literally have nights where I might get 2 hours of sleep. Today I had my first prenatal massage (never had one with Jack), and let’s just say, I booked 3 more appointments between now and my due date on March 11th. I’m hoping it helps…at the very least it was quite enjoyable in the moment!
5. Effect of hormones. During my first pregnancy I got the “linea nigra” line (the dark line that forms on some pregnant women’s bellies) and I also got something called “melasma” which is a darkening of the skin. For me it showed up under my eyes and in one patch on my forehead. My linea nigra faded within a few weeks of delivery, but I STILL have the melasma brown patches from my first pregnancy. I was really worried that this would get worse with this pregnancy, but I haven’t gotten the linea nigra or any more melasma. Talk about weird, huh? It’s like I’m two different people this pregnancy. Well, I guess I kind of am…or at least these babies are two very different people. I wonder if this is a sign that they will be very different all around?!
6. Ability to rest. Well, this one is obvious and true of anyone having their second or third or fourth child. Once you had a child, you can’t just come home after work (while pregnant) and lay down. When I was pregnant with Jack, I’d come home, eat dinner, have a leisurely shower, and crawl into bed at 7pm and work or read or watch a show. It was glorious. I still get into bed pretty early, but it’s after working, playing with Jack, and putting him to bed. Let’s just say I’m a lot more tired this go around.
Mama’s adorable little stinker! Baby Boy #1!
The biggest difference? This pregnancy has humbled me. I have a hard time doing much more than going to work and coming home and putting Jack to bed. Ben has to take care of almost everything around the house because I get out of breath even bending over. This pregnancy has made me question how my friends with 4, 5, or 6+ kids have done this so many times. I wonder if they have easier pregnancies or if they are just tougher than I am. I suspect it might be a bit of both. My hope is to have 3 kids…but I will definitely say that this pregnancy has made me nervous for the next go around. I’ve been told my GD may be harder to manage since I’ll be older, and my back and hip pain will probably be worse too. My massage therapist is also a physical therapist (the one I went to see today) and she told me I should go to a PT after I deliver because I am so out of wack that I need to get my ligaments and muscles surrounding my hips and pelvis back into shape before I conceive a 3rd time. I guess this pregnancy has taught me that I have to take care of myself and guess what? I’m not 22. I’m 32. And there’s a difference.
For all you pregnant ladies out there or ladies who hope to be pregnant soon, may God bless you on your journey! It’s not always easy, but since I have already seen the fruits of my labor once, I can tell you…it is SOOO worth it.