Differences between first pregnancy and second pregnancy

Differences between first pregnancy and second pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first kiddo I introduced a series on this blog called “Mommy Mondays” which were all pregnancy and motherhood posts so that I could share the many things that were coming up in pregnancy and the experience, but not overwhelm readers with all things baby. I didn’t know how I was going to handle blogging about this pregnancy. Mostly, I haven’t handled blogging at all this pregnancy until very recently! I still don’t entirely know how my pregnancy will play out here on the blog, except that today (a Monday) I’ve decided to share a bit about my second pregnancy. 

When pregnant the first time around I took photos each week of my growing bump, I had project after project in preparation for the baby’s arrival, and I was soaking in all things baby at the time. This second baby has been a whole other ball game. 

The differences between my first pregnancy and my second pregnancy

I’m now almost rolling into my third trimester of my second pregnancy. This pregnancy, especially in comparison to my first pregnancy, has been… well, rough. I was told that each pregnancy, like each child, can be very different. For me, this has been very true. Some ways that things have been different:

Differences between first pregnancy and second pregnancy

After the birth of my first son. I’m currently pregnant with my second son, and this pregnancy has been a whole new ballgame!

1. I’m less scared about birth, but more scared of those first few weeks and months with baby.

The first time around I was very frightened of the birth experience. I didn’t know what to expect, even though I had read the book cover to cover! I had watched multiple documentaries in preparation. I had taken classes. I’d learned breathing techniques. I had a detailed birth plan. Even with all the preparation, and confidence in my knowledge of what was supposed to happen, I was very scared about the “what could happen” bit of it all. My birth plan didn’t go completely as planned, and it was an incredibly LONG birth, but now that I’ve been through it, I am not as scared this time around. Heck, I made it through that one! What I am really scared about are those first few weeks and months of having the baby home.

Before having my first child I was thrilled by the idea of bringing my little bundle of joy home from the hospital. I would handle any scary thing that birth would throw at me just because I knew in the end, I’d have a cuddly little baby that I’d love more than anything.

Well, the first few months with my first son were very difficult. First, no one told me what to expect in the first few days of postpartum. I didn’t expect the continuous contractions to keep happening or how they would make me feel. I certainly didn’t expect to have a physical and emotional reaction to my baby crying. (Or, lets be honest, ANY baby crying.) Then there was the fact that my first child was a difficult infant. He didn’t sleep. Nursing was difficult. There were health scares. It was hard. I’m wavering a bit now thinking about going through those days again, especially because I will be going back to work much earlier with this kiddo than I did with my first. While I know that I can handle birth and I’ll bring my loved baby home with me, I’m less excited about those first few weeks than I was with the first child.

Finally, I’m scared of getting postpartum depression again. I never want to feel that way again. I’m working with doctors and will be working with counselors in efforts to hopefully avoid going through those months again with this second child, but I also know that it can happen and does happen.

Differences between first pregnancy and second pregnancy

Me at 25 weeks in my second pregnancy. I’ve gained more weight this time around, and I feel that it has made things harder.

2. I’ve gained more weight.

I’ve gained more weight with my second pregnancy than I did my first. I feared that I would have this problem in this pregnancy and what it would mean for my body and my pregnancy. I’m still afraid what it might mean.

There are three major differences between my first pregnancy and my second when it comes to my pregnancy weight gain— my age, my activity level and my resources.

Age: I’m now 4 and half years older than I was with my first pregnancy. Over the past few years my ability to bounce back from weight gain has diminished pretty steadily. (Part of this is due to the discovery that I have hypothyroidism More on that later.) I don’t know that my age has made a huge difference in my weight gain from my first pregnancy to the second, but I do feel that it has made a bit of a difference.

Activity Level: When pregnant with my first child I used public transportation to go to work where I walked for 5 miles a day. I wore a pedometer in those days and averaged 12,000 steps daily. In addition to all of that walking, I would work out three days a week. I worked approximately 30 hours a week and spent most of the rest of the time working on projects, keeping up the house and hitting the gym. I was not fit by normal means, I weighed 191 when I got pregnant with my first child, but I was active in my day to day activities. Now I work at a desk, I commute 2 hours a day by car and I then go straight to work on my computer at home. I rarely have the chance to hit the gym as I am gone approximately 12 hours a day and then work more when home. I probably average around 2,000 steps on a good day nowadays. It isn’t so much that I don’t value fitness. It is more that I value having a roof over my head and am working the best I can within my situation. Can I do better some days? Yes, for sure. The change in activity level is likely the biggest difference in my first pregnancy weight gain to this pregnancy.

Resources: My first pregnancy I was part of a medical study for overweight pregnant women. The study postured the idea that overweight women (women whose BMI put them in the obese category) should not gain the recommended 11-20 lbs of weight and instead shoot for no weight gain at all in pregnancy. I’ve avoided talking about my experience with this study because I do not want people reading about it and thinking that it is healthy to not gain weight at all in pregnancy. The recommended weight gain in a pregnancy is important for the health of the mother and baby. The study was specifically trying to see if overweight women could have a healthy baby while gaining no weight, and if the lack of weight gain could help in preventing many of the weight-related high-risk scenarios in late pregnancy and birth. Nearly all the women in the study (including me) gained weight during their pregnancy. But those participating in the study gained less than those who were in the control group. The study may end up changing weight gain recommendations for obese women in the future, but currently the recommendations are still the same 11 to 20 lbs.

I was in the part of the study that were encouraged to try to not gain any weight during our pregnancy. I was watched by a team of doctors, I received several sonograms to measure my son’s growth, I turned in a weekly food diary of everything I ate to a nutritionist and I received a lot of coaching on food and fitness throughout my first pregnancy. I gained 4 lbs in my first pregnancy and I did avoid the weight-related high-risk pregnancy and birth complications. I’ve gain 7 lbs so far this pregnancy, which is putting me right at the recommended weight gain for obese pregnant women and my doctor is not worried, but it has been hard for me to deal with as I started out heavier with this pregnancy than the last. I feel that it has affected my overall feelings of the pregnancy and my health.

Differences in my health between my first and second pregnancies

Swollen ankles have been a common thread throughout this summer. OUCH.

3. I’ve been much sicker this pregnancy.

I had a few issues with my first pregnancy that are really regular and normal for most pregnancies. Still sucked at the time and people who hadn’t had those fairly normal pregnancy symptoms thought I had it really bad, but overall, pretty regular. This pregnancy I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, had the flu, have had 4 infections, had pre-cancerous skin cells removed in surgery, have fallen twice and had incredibly bad edema and pain when active. It has been a whirlwind and a lot of medical bills to boot. Some is to be blamed on having a toddler at home coupled with the lowered immune system that comes with pregnancy. Some is weight related.

Thankfully, through all of this, the baby has been growing well and doing great in all the tests and utlrasounds. Also, I haven’t had to be hospitalized or had any big labor scares, so I count myself as pretty darn grateful.

The only clothing I've bought my son so far and I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy!

My second son currently has three onesies to wear. Not quite the wardrobe he will need in Mid-November!

4. I’m a lot less prepared this time around, but I also am not worried about it.

I had everything planned and prepped before baby number one came along. Everything was purchased, saved, cleaned, packed and prepped weeks before his arrival. Frozen meals were stacked high in our freezer weeks before his arrival. Random closets were organized just in case I needed to get something from them in a hurry. Heck, his name was picked out years before pregnancy even came into the picture. This pregnancy, even though it too was planned, I am prepared for nothing. I have no name picked out. I have no baby items (we gave away most everything because we weren’t planning on having another child for sure until fairly recently) and haven’t really prepared too much so far. The room isn’t prepped. Our house is basically an unorganized disaster. I have no ideas on what I want to do for birth this time around. And, I have a mountain of things to accomplish at work (and here on the blog) before his arrival.

I also am not worried. Something about doing this the second time around makes it all just a tad less stressful. I know that we will get what we need to have. I know that somehow work and everything else will work itself out. We have started to prepare a bit more as we are hitting the third trimester. I signed up for Honest diaper bundle boxes a few months ago and have already stocked up on diapers and wipes to last us some time. We purchased a larger car and planned for daycare arrangements for when I go back to work. I’ve checked in with my insurance to get a breast pump and plan our financial costs for the birth. There is still a lot to do, think about and purchase. But, for the most part, I’m still not too worried about it. (Check back with me in a few weeks though!)

Reasons I'm more excited about my second pregnancy than I was my first

All the cool moms know Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

5. I think I am even more excited about this little one than I was my first, and partially, it is because of my first.

I was excited for my first son. All that planning and preparing was in my excitement of meeting my first child and all the adventures that we would have. Somehow, I think I’m even more excited about this little guy and I think I owe it to my first son. I know how amazing he is and I know the fun and adventures we have. I am excited about sharing that with a second son. In addition, maybe because I am an older sibling, I am excited to see the relationship between my first and my second grow into a life long (hopefully) friendship. I can’t wait to introduce him to all of the traditions we have. I can’t wait to see his personality develop. I simply can’t wait.

Differences between first pregnancy and second pregnancy

Lots of differences in growing kiddo number two, but one thing remains the same… I’m totally in love.

Overall this pregnancy has not been my favorite of the two. I’ve struggled a lot about him not feeling the love because we aren’t preparing as much or there aren’t as many photos of his mom while pregnant as there were when I was pregnant with his older brother. I’ve struggled with him not feeling as important because I’m choosing to go back to work earlier or because we didn’t have his name picked out for ages like we did his brother. I’ve struggled with health and happiness during this pregnancy. We’ve struggled with money and time this pregnancy. I’ve struggled.

However, I’m already so stinking in love with my unborn little one. I’m ridiculously excited to introduce him to his brother and his father. I can’t wait to see him in the arms of our families and friends. Mainly, I can’t wait to snuggle close with him (as I’ve done a million times with his brother) and sing him a special song that he knows is his song from me.

What was different for you in your second pregnancy compared to your first? Or, if you are a sibling, what things did your parents do for you to make you feel special and appreciated?

Toddler Style: My Casual Cool Three Year Old

Toddler Style: My Casual Cool Three Year Old

Do you want to know what is really strange for me about being a mom? It is the fact that after 28 years of not having a child, I can’t really remember my life before my son. That is sort of difficult to explain. It isn’t that I don’t remember life pre-motherhood or that I don’t cherish that time as well. He is just such a part of me now that I can’t imagine my life without him. He has changed me in so many amazing ways, and yet I’m still the same person.

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

 

I haven’t posted about my kiddo much in the past year because I’m finally seeing his little personality and have been unsure if I wanted to share it on my blog. He has his own personality that is no longer just a reflection of my husband and me, but is just him! In the end I finally decided that I will abide by some personal rules when posting about him, and if and when he decides that he doesn’t want to be featured on my blog I’ll respect that. Currently he loves the camera. If you can’t tell by these amazing shots taken by Macey from Moments by Macey.

Casual Cool Toddler Style – Hiding the Threenager

At three years old we are dealing with a variety mood swings. Sometimes this little guy will be the most polite and amazing child. Brian and I will look at each other with “what in the world happened to him?” Other times it is FIT city. From everything I’ve read from mothers and fathers of 3 year olds… we are right on track.

The day we took these photos with he was on his best behavior. You would never had guessed that just hours before he had thrown an epic fit because he didn’t want to nap and then another epic fit because he didn’t want to wake up. By the time we got to the wall and had a bunch of balloons he was the happiest and sweetest kid on the block. He loved his casual cool toddler style look, making sure his hair was just right in the mirror. But, really… it was all about the balloons. Man, balloons are amazing.

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Boy Clothing - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

 

Outfit details: (affiliate links may be used) 

High top two tone shoes via Old Navy // Skinny Jeans via Gap // Chambray Rolled Sleeved Shirt via Old Navy // Vest via a three piece set from Burlington Coat Factory (Similar via Amazon) // Tie was a gift (Similar via Amazon)

 

 

Happy Birthday to A Well Crafted Mama: Thoughts on Motherhood

Happy Birthday to A Well Crafted Mama: Thoughts on Motherhood

Today is my mom’s birthday! Everyone say, “Happy Birthday Mom!”

Thanks, y’all!

Anyways, in honor of my mom’s birthday I thought I’d share a few things that I have realized about my own mother only AFTER becoming a mom myself. (Mouthful.)

Motherhood Realizations

Thoughts on Motherhood: What I Realized about my Mom After Becoming a Mom

    1. She had NO clue what she was doing. My mom was 19 when she had me. NINETEEN, newly married, and with an infant. I was 28 when I had my son. I had done years of being a babysitter and nanny. I’ve changed hundreds of diapers and cleaned up throw-up and messy diapers. I’d been married for five wonderful years. I knew NOTHING when I had my son. Motherhood, while wonderful, was a huge slap in the face. I thought I was prepared. I thought I was READY. I found out I was dead wrong. But, more over, I suddenly realized what my mother must have felt at nineteen, with a new husband, and a fat, screaming baby. I seriously don’t know how she made it through that year or how she went on to have 3 more kids!
    2. She lived in a different world. First off, I should say that my dad was a good dad to me. He later had to be a single dad while my mother was working on her health. He is kind, caring, and so GIVING. That being said… he and my mother lived in a time where women cooked, cleaned, reared children, AND tried to have a job. Not saying that some people are still like that today, it still happens. That was the world my mom lived in. I could not have done the past two years without my husband. He is great at sharing the working, cleaning, and cooking as well as helping with our son.
    3. She made up parenting as she went. My mom had her mother and a few other mother friends to talk about things like discipline, developmental stages, and more. She wasn’t completely without resources. But, she didn’t have the resources that we have today. When I freaked out because my son’s gums were black from teething I just had to google. She had to worry or go to the doctor’s office and wait. When my youngest brother was born sick and unable to process formula, breast milk, or milk she had no online group of moms going through the same thing. She was alone in a sense.
    4. She left for our own good. My mother was sick when I was in elementary school. She needed hospitalization and more help than she could get at home with four children. (This part is her story and not mine to tell, so I will leave it at that.) But, she left us. I didn’t understand it at the time. I resented her for some time after. But, she left for the well-being of me and my sister and brothers. It wasn’t easy. And, it was incredibly difficult on my father. But, after having my child and having a bout of depression soon after… I realized not only WHY she needed to leave, but how HARD it must have been.
    5. She will ALWAYS be my mom. I used to get annoyed when she would baby me or try to tell me what to do. I got cranky when she did something I deemed “embarrassing.” But, after having my son, I could see myself doing the same things someday. He isn’t ever going to have a time in his life when I don’t look at him and remember what it was like to give birth to him or to snuggle in bed with him as he is falling asleep. My mom is always going to look at me as both a grown woman and her first baby girl.

Anyways, thanks mom. Thank you for the whole birth thing. Thanks for the above realizations. And, thanks for being my mom.

 

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