Why is My Second Pregnancy Harder?

Ten years ago I never would have thought that by this time in my life I would have been married for six years with a two year old daughter, let alone about to deliver my second child in less than two weeks. Trying to explain to people the difference between having your first and second child can be difficult, as I find myself complaining about all of the negatives of a second pregnancy versus the positives with my first pregnancy.

Second Pregnancy Harder

And then I feel awful, not having the same excitement as I had with Ava, but then I justify it with "I already know what's going to happen, how my body will change, what delivery is like; I just want Baby Girl #2 (BG#2) to hurry up and join us!" But at the beginning, I remember everyone kept saying that the second pregnancy is much easier than the first - So why is my second pregnancy so much harder than my first?? Maybe they meant the second delivery was easier...... So, what's so different? Let me explain.....

My Stats

As I currently share this with you, I am 37 weeks, 5 days along in my second pregnancy! My first pregnancy I gained 21 lbs with a start weight of 105 lbs, and currently I have gained 20 lbs with a start weight of 108 lbs, with a scheduled induction for May 31st. Both pregnancies were (will be) induced at 39 weeks. 

 

Nausea & Heartburn

Yes, I had a little bout of nausea with Ava, but it only was for less than a week total and only led to a little dry heaving. Same with heartburn, occasional pop ups after meals. It's a whole different ballgame with BG#2 though... I'm talking about 9 weeks of severe nausea, starting around week 8 of the pregnancy, even with medications. If I hadn't have recently resigned from my job, this nausea would have forced me to. All day sickness, no appetite, and what's worse is that it would become more intense in the evenings when my husband and Ava were home. I spent the majority of time in bed or on the couch, and Ava no longer asked for me, I didn't put her to sleep or do baths, nothing. Thank goodness for my amazing husband and him being such a wonderful daddy....I truly don't know how we survived during that time.

Heartburn has also plagued me much more this pregnancy, but not until the third trimester, only when going to bed, and none of the tips, tricks, medicines, etc. helped. When it comes, it hangs around for about four days then disappears as I nervously wait for the next surprise visit.

Restless Legs

Why would our bodies do this to us?!?! What a horrible thing to have to suffer through... restless legs.... If you have never experienced it before then just imagine getting that sudden urge to move or stretch your leg (or wrist/arm/etc.). Now imagine that urge coming on every 15 seconds or so, for multiple hours sometimes...every night.....  This is what I have been going through with my second pregnancy, mostly in my third trimester. My restless legs, occasionally with restless arms, occur when I first lay down and try to sleep for the night. I tried all of the tips and hints I could find, but no luck. I can only wait it out, and when it's really bad then I just get up and walk around so I don't disturb my slumbering husband. The only thing that MAY have helped recently was me taking an iron supplement, BUT it's hit or miss. Most nights I get restless legs, and treasure the few nights in between that I don't get them.

Hip and Joint Pain

The last two weeks have been fun since my hips and tendons are widening and stretching in preparation for delivery. Yes I had some pain associated with this process during my first pregnancy, but not like this! At night, when I try to "steamroll" over in bed (switching from one side to the other), it feels like my hips want to snap in half, literally! I have to take a few extra seconds of rest between each turn to handle the pain. I can no longer stand up and put on a pair of pants without it feeling like my leg is going to rip away from my body... I have to sit down and put them on my legs, then stand up to finish! Also, I recently busted out my old wrist guards that I used from old repetitive wrist injuries as my wrist nerves/tendons/joints or whatever have started acting up again. Last night a Tylenol didn't help the situation at all, and I don't take Tylenol during the day because it masks the discomfort, I feel better, start trying to accomplish some chores around the house, then pay for it dearly when the meds wear off and the pain punches me in the face!

Belly Band Use

I didn't own a belly band with my first pregnancy, and a friend gave me one this time around so I decided to use it. About a week ago I began feeling "front heavy" and was experiencing pain in my lower abdomen from stretching muscles as my stomach began to drop down. What a life saver this band has been! I can now walk around and do dishes, or vacuum, without it feeling like my stomach is going to rip off the front of me! I also used it last night for the first time; it helps support that added belly weight as I'm rolling over and today I feel much better overall. I use this Medela Post Partum Support band right now, although it says post partum. It's comfy and doesn't itch even when I wear it all night.

Stretchmarks

Where did they come from??? With my first pregnancy I was lucky enough to only get one, and it was between an old belly piercing and my belly button, forming the shape of an "x." So now, in the last two weeks, I am getting these purple lines across the bottom of my belly, about 5 right now....I've read that stretchmarks are hereditary, so why did I get them now and not with the first? Still pondering this mystery and how I 'm going to eliminate them after delivery..... Any suggestions?

Fetal Movement

BG#2 is out of control with her movement! Ava  was never this active, I still thought her little movements were cute and desired more... Not this time around! BG#2 was active from the beginning, and now when she kicks or punches it ROCKS me and makes me jump! She's one of those babies where you can see all of the movements, from her pushing her butt out and giving me a lopsided belly, to little bony parts gliding across, to kicks that vibrate the bed. My cats are confused about this movement and no longer sit on my lap in fear of getting a concussion from one of her kicks, while my husband rarely touches my belly anymore without me forcing him to since he gets grossed out. I keep telling my husband that by the time we deliver, her movements will look like a horror movie, with her little features being easily seen as she tries to explode out the front of my belly instead of the correct exit! Yes, I love that she is healthy and active, but DANNNNGGGG.... can't wait to hold her in my arms instead!

 

And... those are the main differences between pregnancy one and two. Much different! I'm very curious about how the delivery will go on May 31st (or sooner!) and soooo excited to meet my new baby girl, so stayed tuned for the delivery comparison post!

Do you have any experiences to share about your pregnancies? Please comment below! 

Happy Parenting! 

Mindy Sullivan