Part 1

Q: How does your 2nd pregnancy compare to your 1st?

I have been amazed at how different this second pregnancy has been from the first – both physically and emotionally.

I absolutely love being pregnant, and I have an easy time of it. From the feeling of a tiny human growing and moving inside of me to the “pregnancy glow,” pregnancy simply amazes me. Through both of my pregnancies, I have not had to deal with many of the undesirable symptoms that some mothers-to-be endure; I have experienced no morning sickness or nausea, no back pain or other muscle pain, and although I am often fatigued it is only annoying, not debilitating. When I got pregnant with my second I knew what to expect of pregnancy and hoped that my body would react similarly to the first pregnancy. And for the most part, it has! There has been, however, some minor yet noticeable differences.

  • My 1st Trimester: Whereas I did not develop any sort of baby bump during these early weeks with my first pregnancy, I did with my second. Hiding the bump became a daily task, and sweatshirts quickly became my best friend.
  • My 2nd Trimester: I was not surprised with my second pregnancy when the acid reflux and anemia that I experienced the first time around returned. Although annoying, these are both controllable with medicine and supplements do not taint my positive outlook on pregnancy as a whole.
  • My 3rd Trimester: I am larger despite similar weight gains in both pregnancies. When pregnant with your second child your body remembers the first pregnancy and accommodates accordingly. This results in many mothers, including myself, “popping” sooner and getting larger than they did with the first.Despite the larger midline, I am able to sleep better this time around. Perhaps I am so exhausted, not able to rest as much throughout the day because on top of working full time I have my son to take care of, but at night I sleep like a baby (a colloquialism, by the way, that any parent knows is NOT ACCURATE!).
  • Emotionally: I am so much more relaxed with this pregnancy than I was with the first. The nursery is not yet ready and I am okay with that. I do not fear labor and delivery. The baby will come, ready or not, and life goes on. So different is my mentality this go around than it was with the first, when I had a diaper bag packed, organized, and ready to go by week twenty. I’ll be lucky if I can even locate said diaper bag by the time my second son is born, and I’m totally at peace with that. Pregnancy is a wild ride, and I love every second of it.

Q: Did you face any challenges breastfeeding your 1st baby that will prepare you for your 2nd baby?

YES! While some women take easily to breastfeeding and the process is extremely enjoyable, a true bonding experience, a good word to describe my one year of breastfeeding and pumping is “persevere.”

My firstborn initially had a shallow latch. Due to medical reasons, he had to spend the first week of his life in the hospital, and since my husband and I stayed at the hospital with him I was lucky enough to have lactation consultants on hand at all times! I seriously don’t know what I would have done without these patient women, who took so much time teaching me and coaching me through the process of nursing and who physically helped my son latch correctly.

When my son was a few months old he began to require more and more milk, and he enjoyed this milk at a faster flow rate. He only seemed to enjoy nursing first thing in the morning and once in the evening and would prefer the bottle the rest of the day.

Despite pumping three to four times a day (each session lasting about a half-hour), I found myself unable to keep up with his demand for milk. I quickly became an exclusive pumper, a title which I maintained for six long months. No longer nursing in the morning required me to pump even more than I had been before, and I found myself attached to the pump about five times a day (each session lasting about a half-hour).

Despite my challenges, however, I MADE IT! I made it to the one year mark because I wanted to, because I was dedicated to it, because I persevered!

I now have some strategies under my belt, knowing what works best for me and my body. I recognize that my body may react completely different to son number two, and I am prepared for those differences. I also am putting less pressure on myself this time around, knowing that supplementing with formula may be necessary and that this option is also OKAY! After all, I also have a preschooler to take care of, and he deserves my time just as much as the baby does. Do I really want to spend all of that time pumping? I can’t fully predict what my breastfeeding journey will be with my second son, I can only prepare and relax knowing that everything will work out just fine.

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.

To Read Part 2 Click Here!