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Differences Between My First and Second Pregnancy

I haven’t documented too much about my second pregnancy, and I guess I felt that I wanted to. Well, really, I just wanted to compare the two.

People always say that no two pregnancies are the same and I’m finding that journey to be so true in many different ways, so here are some of the differences between my first and second pregnancies.

Being pregnant right now, in June of 2020, is really strange. It’s very isolating with everything going on.

I have so many emotions I’m still working to process, but just taking it one day at at time. 

Ed can’t come to any of the prenatal appointments with me. And I never know what will happen when the time for birth comes.

Will I be allowed to have a guest in the hospital? Will I have to do this alone?

We don’t have family nearby, so what if he/she comes early and we have no one to watch Camryn? There’s just a lot up in the air right now that I’m trying to work on being at peace with.

But, that’s life with kids – unpredictable. 

Firstly, I always want to acknowledge those who are TTC or who want a baby and just don’t have one yet. I hold space for you in my heart, and I understand if this can be too painful for some to read. Please understand that is not my intention, I am just sharing my experience.

Looking Back On My First Birth Experience

I’ve been a little anxious this pregnancy, especially when thinking about the birth process.

photo of couple in front of Olde Pink House in Savannah
This is me 30 weeks pregnant with Camryn on our babymoon

Obviously, Camryn’s birth didn’t end up as planned (with a c section), despite the beginning of labor going extremely quick and then showing up at the hospital at 5cm dilated, and moving to 9 cm dilated within the hour. 

I asked for the epidural, and they ended up giving me too much. So much that my legs were numb for hours and throughout the pushing process, so we didn’t progress for hours.

Because it was pretty much time to push shortly after I got there!

holding baby after giving birth

Because of that, I’m a little apprehensive about getting an epidural at all. I think all the time about how things would have ended up had I not gotten the epidural.

Would she have been born an hour or 2 later, based on how quickly things progressed? Would the pushing process have been that much easier?

In the end, I have a healthy, happy little girl and for that I’m thrilled. And I’ve done some reflection on that birth (it wasn’t overly traumatic), just a little disappointing.

There’s a part of me that feels like I was robbed of the whole labor process. I did lots of the hard work (went into labor manually/naturally, labored at home, got to the hospital, got to pushing), but then things took a turn.

Differences Between First and Second Pregnancies

Armed with that knowledge, I’ve headed into this pregnancy with some additional new knowledge and research, and have so far handled things a little differently.

1. Pelvic Floor Therapy/ Chiropractor

Firstly, I’ve been seeing a pelvic floor PT – more about pelvic floor therapists for pregnancy.

She is helping to massage the C section scar, helping with a little of the diastasis rectis I had/have (which I didn’t even know about until recently), and helping me learn breathing and opening techniques for birth.

I’m also seeing a chiropractor. I did see a chiro during my first pregnancy and found it especially helpful for the sciatic pain I was dealing with.

Fortunately, I haven’t had that pain during this pregnancy (yet), but I moreso want to have things in alignment and my body opened as much as possible for birth.

mom and daughter eating fruit outside

2. VBAC Birth Stories

If you’re not familiar with a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after C Section), that’s what I’m hoping to have this time around.

UPDATE: I did it! Read about preparing for VBAC and my two home birth stories

The VBAC Link has been a life-saving podcast, filled with so many inspirational and motivating birth stories of women who had VBACs after one, two and sometimes even three C-sections. I also bought their course that I’m working through. 

Some of my other favorite birth podcasts:

3. More Strength Training

During Camryn’s pregnancy, I was in top running shape (I had finished the Ogden Marathon months earlier) and running felt easy and natural.

Things are different this time in terms of physical differences between the first and second pregnancies.

I am running a couple of times per week, but much more walking and running together. I think it’s because I’m just bigger in general and the impact is a little harder on my body this time around.

Funny to think – I ran almost up until birth with Camryn. I need to look back on this post on my tips for running in the third trimester

But, strength training feels great and is a key difference between 1st and 2nd pregnancy. In the first pregnancy, I mostly ran and wasn’t as strong as I needed to bem.

This time around, I joined a local mom’s fitness group that I was taking Camryn to with me a few mornings a week.

mom and daughter high fiving during workout

I really enjoy the effects of strength training on my body and I do find it energizing and it feels good right now.

4. So Much More Exhaustion

I’ve mentioned this before but I am SO MUCH more tired this pregnancy. So much more.

With Camryn’s pregnancy, I had one day of feeling nauseous (JUST ONE DAY), while the first trimester was filled with nausea and some recently, too.

But there’s something to explain the exhaustion I have now. Yes, I’m sure some of it is due to having a non-stop toddler to chase around, and lately, not having childcare like we used to.

hanging out with a busy toddler

But, it’s also just a whole other level of exhaustion I’ve never experienced – worse than the newborn days. It’s so paralyzing sometimes that I just have to sit down on the couch and close my eyes.

If I work out in the morning, I usually feel more energetic throughout the day but I don’t always have the energy to do that.

I’m also working on drinking more water and just got an iron supplement as recent labs showed my iron was a little low too – so I’m sure that is contributing as well!

All in all, I’ll be happy when I’m not pregnant anymore.

running during second trimester of pregnancy | Bucket List Tummy

5. Skin & Cravings

With Camryn, I experienced a lot of hormonal skin breakouts and acne on my face and even back. I haven’t had any of that this time around, which has been much more pleasant.

I couldn’t really use anything topical when pregnant anyway, so I kind of just had to deal with it. 

Also, let’s talk about FOOD. With Camryn, I had cravings (mostly carbs) and fresh fruit (mainly oranges or anything in the citrus family) and fruit. This time, there’s not really any cravings.

In fact, even though I never thought I’d say this as a foodie dietitian, much of the time, food is just “meh” and nothing at all sounds good. So, I have to just eat something (which usually ends up being bread/carb based), and staying on top of my homemade electrolyte drinks for pregnancy.

My salad intake is probably at an all time low because I don’t crave veggies at all during the day.

We do include them at dinner because they do help with that slow pregnancy digestion and I ordinarily do like veggies. We use alot of these tips to get toddlers to eat veggies.

grilled cheese on panini maker + fruit

Easy meals are getting it done, but I am looking forward to getting a LOVE for food back post-pregnancy. 

6. Trying to Plan for Maternity Leave

My business is also in a different place now than in my first pregnancy. Naturally, the business has grown in the past few years so I’m trying to figure out what maternity leave will look like.

As a freelancer/consultant, I obviously don’t get any “paid” time off, but it is important for me to take some time away from work to spend with the new baby and handle this transition.

I may be doing little things behind the scene and writing here and there when I can and feel like it, but I don’t see myself developing any recipes or taking photos or anything like that.

sunning during pregnancy

I’ve taken on a few new clients, but plan on stopping new client visits soon so I can wrap up client sessions by early August.

I’ve also worked really hard on developing a few products for my ideal clients (maybe, you!) that is meant to bridge the gap to provide some help when I can’t be working 1-1 with people (this ebook and also this course). 

Physical Differences Between First and Second Pregnancies

For me, it’s held true that I “popped” and showed earlier for my second pregnancy, in comparison to my first.

I’ve been running less (part of this is just due to the discomfort of getting bigger, quicker) and doing more strength, so my body definitely looks different.

I also have another child to care for, which means less time for myself!

So, that’s about where I’m at right now, at 28 weeks. 

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  1. I wanted to share with you! I was a C-section, and so was my older brother, and then the Lord gave my mom 3 ‘VBACs.’ And they were all really good births! 🙂

  2. Hi! Thanks for sharing!

    I’m 30 weeks into the second pregnancy, and my first kid is 5. Found your site trying to find comprehensive advice on running during 3 semester (I’m trying to do 2-3 miles every couple of days, with luck), but have that fatigue too, spiced with the let-me-lie-here-in-piece moods. Wasn’t like this 5 years ago =(

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the term, well, to the possible extent, and best wishes to your family!

    1. Hi Kate! Thank you for stopping by. I totally get the swings between motivation to run and not run 🙂 Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

  3. I was soooo sick and nauseous and could barely keep food down for 4.5 months with Aubrey. It honestly makes me scared to have another because of how sick I was. I also was beyond exhausted for the last trimester so I can’t imagine being that tired and also having to take care of a toddler. So hard. I hope that you are all doing well in spite of all of the insanity. I don’t have as much time to comment and read blogs anymore but I still love to check in when I can 🙂 Hope you guys have a lovely week.

    1. Hi Heather – so glad you can occasionally check in. I totally get it with finding time to read blogs with little ones – so difficult!

  4. Thank you for sharing your pregnancy story. It really helped me personally to hear that you were having a lot of fatigue and just a general desire to be done with being pregnant. My pregnancy was so exhausting and filled with nausea and pain that I was afraid of becoming pregnant again after my delivery; for years. Most people who share their pregnancy stories have them chock full of nothing but joy and it is always really hard to read, because even though I know better than to compare, sometimes I can’t help it and I feel as though my difficult pregnancy was my fault somehow. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing the not so great parts too.
    And congratulations on the second pregnancy! My SIL gave birth recently and they let her have one person there with her, but the person couldn’t leave the room. Hopefully you’ll have childcare for Camryn and your husband will be able to be there with you. Best of wishes for all of you.

    1. I’ve heard that from other women as well, the fear to become pregnant again. I think this one will linger around a little longer than my first pregnancy (which seemed much easier on all accounts). Thank you for sharing your thoughts!