I always knew that I wanted to have more than one child. When my first son was about 2 ½ , my husband and I decided that it was time to add a second one into the mix. The age difference seemed ideal, so we tried, and we succeeded; rather quickly, I might add.
When I shared the news with moms of more than one child (my own mother included), I was told that the second pregnancy would probably be a bit different than the first. In fact, some moms told me that they couldn’t believe how much their second pregnancies differed from their first one. I smiled and shrugged, just like I did when I was offered advice and insight with my first pregnancy. I mean, how much different could my second pregnancy possibly be?
Well, I have to say that I was in for a surprise. While some of the symptoms with my second pregnancy mimicked my first one, there were actually a lot of differences between the two. Some of the differences were for the better, and some were way worse. As it turns out, the advice those seasoned moms gave me was actually pretty spot-on.
Moms who are expecting (or thinking about having) a second baby, here’s a look at 15 symptoms that are different with baby #2.
15 The Bump Comes Sooner
Most pregnant women can’t wait to see their belly pop. The appearance of that baby bump is proof that you are growing a little bean in that oven. During a second pregnancy, however, that baby bump can show way sooner than it did during the first one. Why? – Because once the muscles in the abdomen and the skin stretch during pregnancy, they never really go back to what they used to be. They lose their elasticity, which means that during subsequent pregnancies, you’re probably going to show much earlier. Your rectus abdomins muscles (the muscles that sit right over the belly) have already been stretched to capacity when you were carrying that first little bun. The pressure of the second baby and the increased fluid levels will make that baby bump pop a lot earlier when you’re pregnant the second time around.
14 The Swollen V
Sorry gals, but those lady bits might swell up when you’re pregnant the second time. While they can certainly swell during the first pregnancy, there’s an even greater chance that they will with the second one.
Why? Well, in any pregnancy, including your first, hormonal changes can lead to swelling in the nether regions. The increased pressure of the baby can also contribute to swelling. When you are expecting the second time, the likelihood that your woman parts will swell is even greater. That sensitive area has already had the pressure of one baby placed on it, and now it has to bear the weight of a second one, which can increase the risk of swelling. Usually, it isn’t a cause for concern; however, if you are experiencing discomfort or you think that something might be wrong, make sure you speak to your doctor.
13 The Misleading Contractions
Those practice contractions, known as Braxton Hicks, can start a whole lot earlier during your second pregnancy. You could start feeling several weeks before your due date, whereas you may not have had them until a few days before your due date the first time around, if you felt them at all (always make sure you talk to your doctor if you are experiencing contractions well in advance of your due date.)
What gives with the earlier Braxton Hicks? Well, your uterine muscles have already been stretched out by your first pregnancy, which means that they are more susceptible to experiencing the cramping sensation that is associated with those practice contractions. While Braxton Hicks can certainly be uncomfortable and bothersome, there is good news: they are a sign that you’ll progress through the stages of labor and delivery faster than you did the first time.
12 The Kicks Come Sooner
A lot women find that the feel their baby’s movements a lot sooner with their second baby than they did with their first. I know that I definitely did. I didn’t feel my first guy moving until I was about 20 weeks, but I felt my second little one moving around when I was about 16 weeks along. Why would you feel the baby moving sooner? Well, because you already know what they feel like, so you are better able to recognize them. During your first pregnancy, what you might have thought was your stomach rumbling may have actually been your bean moving around. When you’re pregnant the second time, you can easily differentiate between a tummy gurgle and a foot kicking or an elbow pushing into your abdomen.
11 The Bladder Will Disappear
With a second pregnancy, it probably won’t come as a surprise when you feel like you have to use the bathroom every 10 seconds. However, what may come as a surprise is how much sooner this symptom can set in.
With my first pregnancy, I remember going in and out of the bathroom non-stop, but not until I was well into my third trimester. During my second pregnancy, I was shocked when I felt like I had to use the restroom on an on-going basis so early on! The constant urge to pee hit about half-way through my second trimester, and it didn’t let up until I delivered! The doctors said it was because my bladder muscles were already strained from my first pregnancy. So, second-time expectant mamas; don’t be surprised if you’re running to the bathroom much earlier this time around!
10 Hunger Changes Taste
Pregnancy cravings are weird. Am I right? Out of nowhere, you have this strong urge to eat something, and it has to be satisfied, no matter what. Once, I woke my husband up out of a dead sleep at 3 am because I HAD to have a barbecue chicken sandwich. I kid you not. He got it for me, too! Thanks, hubs!
I had cravings with both of my pregnancies, but what I thought was really odd was how different they were. With my first one, I craved starchy foods; mashed potatoes, pasta, beans, bread (I at half a loaf of plain white bread in the middle of the night, not toasted, not buttered not jellied; just plain white bread.) With the second pregnancy, the cravings were completely opposite; I wanted nothing but sweets. Candies, ice creams, cakes, sodas... My sweet tooth was insatiable! I can’t help but wonder if that’s why my second son loves sweets so much. Hmm….
9 Think Mood Swings Were Bad The First Time?
The mood swings during a second pregnancy can be so bad that I think saying they are intense is an understatement. Not only did I have absolutely no patience, but my mood was all over the place when I was expecting the second time. One second I would be laughing hysterically, the next I would be sobbing like a newborn baby with colic; or I’d be happy as a clam, and then BAM!, I’d be infuriated about something completely trivial.
Why are mood swings so intense the second time around? – Well, because you are not only dealing with all of those pregnancy hormones, which are enough to make your mood shift on a dime, but you’re also dealing with all whole different set of emotions. For example, I was so elated that I was having a second baby, but I was sad that my firstborn wasn’t going to be the only one, and that he wasn’t the baby anymore. The mood swings with my second pregnancy were downright insane!
8 Say Goodbye To Your Joints
Swelling, or edema, is a common side effect of pregnancy. A woman’s blood volume increases tremendously when she’s pregnant, and the effects of gravity can cause swelling in the feet and ankles. During the second pregnancy, swelling can be way worse. Why? – Just like your baby bump may pop earlier because your skin and abdominal muscles have already been stretched by your first pregnancy, the same applies for swelling. If you swelled during your first pregnancy, the skin around your feet and ankles have already stretched and lost elasticity, which means that you’re more likely going to experience even more swelling the second time around – and even sooner than you did the first time you were pregnant. Plus, you’re not going to be able to be off of your feet as much since you’ll be caring for your first child.
7 The Mornings Are Worse
I was fortunate enough to not experience any morning sickness with either one of my pregnancies. Many women aren’t as lucky, my girlfriend being one of them. She had nausea with her first child, but she said that it was tolerable. With her second one, however, she said that the nausea was so intense and hit at all hours of the day, she literally felt like she was sick to her stomach all the time. Of course, all pregnancies are different, and you might experience morning sickness with your first child and none with your second; but there is definitely a chance that you will have nausea with your second pregnancy, and it can be way worse. My girlfriend said that what really got her was preparing meals for her picky toddler who would only eat foods that turned her stomach. Poor mama!
6 Preparing For The Leak
There’s also a very strong chance that breastmilk may leak during a second pregnancy. If you are still nursing your firstborn child, leaking may not come as any surprised; however, if you stopped breastfeeding some time ago, discovering leakage while you are pregnant may be a little off-putting – especially if it is something you didn’t experience with your first pregnancy.
As you already know, breastmilk production begins in the weeks or months before the baby arrives. If you’ve already breastfed a baby, there’s a good chance that the milk you are producing could leak, as they’ve already been through the experience. Don’t be shocked or afraid if you find any signs of leakage; it’s actually quite normal, and generally it is absolutely nothing to worry about.
5 The Pain Doubles
Aches and pains are another part of pregnancy. I definitely had them when I was pregnant with my first son, and I expected that I would have them with my second one.
What really shocked me, however, was how soon those aches and pains came on. I’m talking, like, I was achy and sore before I was even showing! And no, I’m not kidding. The pain started in my hips when I was just about 12 weeks, and it got progressively worse throughout the rest of the pregnancy. It moved into my back, and then it spread up to my ribs! – My ribs, of all places!
Why the increased pain? Your body has already been stretched during the first trimester, and it doesn’t really go back to the way it was, so in subsequent pregnancies, the aches and pains can be way worse!
4 The Purple Dots
One of the most dreaded side effects of pregnancy has to be hemorrhoids. They itch, they burn, and they are just downright uncomfortable. If you had them during your first go-around, chances are that you’re going to get them again with your second pregnancy; but they might be worse, and they might develop sooner. Hemorrhoids are the result of swollen veins, and if they were already swollen, they’re more vulnerable to swelling again.
The best way to avoid hemorrhoids is to avoid constipation. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and that you eat a diet that fiber-rich diet (think veggies, fruits, and yes, prunes.) Also, try not to eat things that can bind you, like bananas, and don’t put off going to the bathroom; doing so could lead to constipation, which will compound the issue.
3 A Different Set Of Worries
While this isn’t exactly a symptom, it definitely should be mentioned that the concerns a woman will experience with her second pregnancy are likely going to be much different than the ones she had with her first one. When I was expecting my first child, I definitely had concerns, but they were pretty much centered on him. With my second guy, I wasn’t only concerned about him, but I also found myself worrying about my firstborn. I wondered how he would react to having a sibling, how the new baby would fit in, whether or not it would be possible to love my second child as much as I loved my first… And of course, if I was going to really be able to juggle having two! You’ll definitely have concerns with your second pregnancy, but they’re probably going to be much different than those you had with your first one.
2 The Eyes Won't Stay Opened
Yet another part of all pregnancies is fatigue, but during the second pregnancy, that fatigue is, without a doubt, way worse than it is during the first one. When I was tired while I was cooking my first little guy, I could easily hit the snooze button on the alarm or squeeze in a nice long nap on the weekends. With my second pregnancy, naps weren’t an option. My first little guy didn’t care that mommy was exhausted. He still woke up at 6am, raring to go, or came into my bed at 2am, after I had finally gotten comfortable and fallen asleep. The raging pregnancy hormones coupled with the exhaustion that comes with building another human being is all the more worse when you have another child to care for. If possible, ask someone else to care for your first little one so you can get in some much-needed rest whenever possible.
1 Patience? What Patience?
Pregnancy can make a woman’s patience go out of the window. The raging hormones, the aches and pains, the morning sickness, the fatigue, the worry, the need to pee every 10 seconds, the very fact that you’re sharing your body with someone else… It can all make your patience go by the wayside. I remember snapping on everyone and everything when I was pregnant with my first little dude; but it didn’t really get bad until the end. When I was expecting my second guy, I felt like my patience left me as soon as I found out that I was pregnant! I was so short-tempered and snappy that sometimes I annoyed myself! My poor firstborn and husband! I’m lucky that they still love me in spite of absolutely horrid attitude.