Pregnancy second time around is not necessarily a simple, straight-forward walk in the park. What you experience may be completely different from your first pregnancy. That was certainly the case for me. The major differences I noticed included...
When I discovered I was pregnant
- First pregnancy - I had no idea I was pregnant until quite a way into my first trimester. Yes, my period was late but that's normal for me. I started to feel very sick during the day, but put it down to being dehydrated (the country was in the grip of a heatwave at the time).
- After one week of feeling this way, I went to the doctor who advised I take a pregnancy test. Despite my husband and I actively trying to conceive, the thought of taking a test hadn't entered my mind. We dutifully trotted to the chemist's, bought a test and went home. Needless to say, the result was positive. The doctor confirmed four days later that I was about nine weeks pregnant!
- Second pregnancy - I knew straight away that I was pregnant with number two. My husband and I had only just started trying so thought that a confirmed pregnancy might be a few months away. But, one month in, I became very protective of my stomach. I have to suffer the London Underground during rush hour to get to work and I just wanted to shout at people to give me space because I was pregnant. I didn't take a pregnancy test for another week or so and, when I did, it was no surprise to me that it was positive.
- At my booking-in appointment with the midwife, it was estimated that I was about five weeks pregnant. The strange thing was, just a couple of days before, I swear I could feel the baby kick and hiccup. It felt like little bubbles bursting inside my womb and I just know it was the baby. I think my body was super sensitive second-time around.
- First pregnancy - I had no major cravings, apart from an increased liking for Monster Munch, but I did develop a severe aversion to Chinese food - my favourite takeaway of all things! I couldn't even think about it without feeling sick and looking and smelling it made me feel worse. It took me months before I could even think about eating a chow mein.
- Second pregnancy - I enjoyed the taste of Monster Munch again but, unlike my first pregnancy, I could eat anything I wanted. In fact, the more I could eat the better!
- First pregnancy - My morning sickness would stay with me all day, becoming worse around mealtimes. If I didn't eat at recognised times, the sickness would get worse making me less likely to eat, which would make me feel worse...you get the picture. It eventually left when I was 15 weeks pregnant, after making a vicious last stand.
- Second pregnancy - My morning sickness was not consistent; some days I would feel bad, other days I would feel absolutely fine. I never needed to be physically sick and a glass of water and small snack was enough to keep any major sickness at bay.
- First pregnancy - Sophia's heartbeat sounded like a galloping racehorse.
- Second pregnancy - Dexter's heartbeat sounded like a chugging train.
I'll go into the details of my two births at a later date but, in a nutshell...
- First pregnancy - Sophia arrived very quickly on the evening of her due date; it took around two hours and forty five minutes. However, I experienced complications afterwards with the placenta. I lost a large amount of blood, nearly had to have surgery, had a blood transfusion and left hospital armed with a supply of iron tablets (as well as my baby of course!)
- Second pregnancy - Dexter was much more laid-back. We went to hospital five days early because I had experienced some bleeding. I was examined, told that I was in active labour and got ready for what I thought would be another quick delivery. Seven hours later, nothing had happened. When Dexter decided he wanted to be born it did happen very, very quickly. But, all in all, my labour this time around took about nine hours in total. With no complications, thankfully.
Now that they are with us and I can see them develop, their different personalities are starting to shine through.
- Sophia - She is quiet, listens and takes everything in. As a baby, she was never overly vocal but now she is finding her voice more and more. She can be very particular about things but is so affectionate and loves looking after her cuddly toys, especially Barney, her favourite teddy bear.
- Dexter - He is such a chatty baby, always squealing and babbling. He hates sitting down and, despite being eight-months-old, will simply refuse to do it nearly all of the time. He wants to be on the move and is desperate to crawl. If this is anything to go by, he'll be much more of a 'hands-on' person and act first, think later.
I love how individual my children are. They amaze me every day in different ways. I can't wait to see how they both grow and change. One thing that I do hope though is that no matter how much they might be different from each other, they will always love, value, cherish and protect one another. As their Mum, that is my wish.