Hi Mama! So here it is. I’m covering everything from the classic hurting of your heart guilt feeling of bringing another baby into your family and disturbing everything your first baby knows, to how your body can physically feel the second time around.
On Instagram, when I asked what you wanted to know about my second pregnancy, the resounding question was how is this pregnancy different than my first. I also had some very specific questions trickle in that I also wanted to address for all of you to see and I cover those at the end.
Please know this is obviously just me, my thoughts, and my genuine heart and feelings spilling out. Everyone is different. All I can do is share my experience in hopes it helps even one of you out there not feel alone, feel encouraged, feel positive, feel hopeful, feel excited, and all the good things.
You’ve got this, mama. As always, I’m here for you.
I think to be able to grasp how I’ve mentally been feeling this pregnancy, you first need to understand my love for my girl. And that 100% will never be able to be expressed, especially in a brief post as a prelude, but just to get us on the same page – I’ll try.
“Gratitude was always at the forefront and that never wavered. Grateful for being given this child. Grateful to be able to keep a healthy pregnancy. Grateful to watch our dreams of growing our family with multiple children happen before our eyes.”
I LOVE being a mom. Mostly, I love being Bridget Butler’s mom. Bridget is all I know as mine and she is God’s gift to earth (and to me). I know every mom loves their child. But, I’m obsessed with mine. She’s almost 2 years old and the only time I have brought myself to leaving her overnight was 20 minutes down the road for 24 exact hours (she slept 14 of them) when she was finally 20 months old. I want to spend every millisecond with her. Drew has to push me out the door every 6 weeks or so just to get a manicure for an hour because I never want to leave her. I know most moms need to fuel themselves to be able to be the best mom they can be. And for some that’s work, going out with friends, working out, “me time” etc. I pass zero judgment on doing what you need to do to be the best mom you can be. That’s the norm. But for me, Bridget fuels me. Bridget makes me the best mom I can be. Bridget makes me, me. Being with her is my everything. We have a connection like no other and my passion for motherhood is burning. I am to my core passionate about everything motherhood. And most importantly, any and everything Bridget Butler. Moms may roll their eyes hearing this thinking that’s unhealthy of me or who knows what they’ll say to make themselves feel better about my strong endless love. But I don’t think it’s unhealthy. I think I’m lucky. I’m oh so unbelievably lucky to have that type of attachment with my girl. I think a select handful get to experience that kind of feeling, and I am grateful I am one of them.
“It’s truly amazing you can hope and pray all day long about what you wish for. But if it’s not meant to be, or the current timing isn’t meant to be, you can’t force it… this is our path, this is our timing, and this is what is meant to be for our little family. This is our time and the fact that it also aligns with God’s timing too leaves me speechless.”
So, now you can potentially imagine, my mental conundrum of bringing another baby into our family. Drew, Bridget and I have the best thing going for us. We have our routine, we’ve known it backwards and forwards since the wee early weeks. We’re a team. We’re best friends. We have such a groove going and I don’t take it lightly how thankful I am for it. We’re each other’s favorites. We’re each other’s everything.
So, now, let’s turn our world upside down and add someone else to the mix, shall we?
“I took Bridget with me to go buy the pregnancy tests and she pointed to them saying, “Baby.” And that confirmed I was pregnant weeks before we officially knew. Watching Bridget point to the baby on the box saying baby, my heart knew she knew.”
Let me make this crystal clear also (not that it’s anyone’s business). Baby Girl Butler #2 was 100% planned. My OB told me at my last postpartum visit after giving birth to Bridget, to give my body at least 12 months to heal from giving birth, replenish my iron storage, etc. So what did I do? Counted down to 13 months when we could start trying again and boom. Baby Girl Butler is immediately in our lives just like that. Bridget is an angel baby. She always has slept great, ate beautifully, never cries, only smiles, laughs at the top of her lungs, and has the happiest disposition to her core. How could I not want to have a million more Bridgets!?
I remember I bought the pregnancy test over a week before I could even take them because I was so excited and just knew I was pregnant. I knew I was pregnant right away with Bridget and I knew I was pregnant right away with this one. So I took Bridget with me to go buy the pregnancy tests and she pointed to them saying, “Baby.” And that confirmed I was pregnant before we officially knew. Watching Bridget point to the baby on the box saying baby, my heart knew she knew.
I took the oh so fancy pee on a stick test the very first day I possibly could. I remember I sent Drew out early that morning to go fill up my car with gas (which is hilarious, because he’s never taken my car before to go fill it up with gas. But he did, no questions asked – thanks, babe.) While he was gone I took the test and saw the positive and of course instantly was through the roof excited and so happy and couldn’t wait for Drew to get home and show him! So I went downstairs and patiently waited the all of 10 minutes or so for Drew to get back and instantly started beaming and whipped out the test and we hugged so big and were so excited for our dream of growing our family coming to fruition. We were giddy with joy. And then as quick as a light switch, after the happiness celebrating, I started crying (not happy tears) worrying about Bridget and if we made the right choice.
“Bridget fuels me. Bridget makes me the best mom I can be. Bridget makes me, me.”
SO MANY QUESTIONS GO THROUGH YOUR MIND:
- Should we have waited longer?
- Did we do this too soon?
- It’s so nice being in our easy flow and routine right now. We’re in such a great place and fun easy stage with age. Are we about to mess this all up?
- How is my first going to feel when she has to share us? Will she still feel our love?
- Will my heart grow enough to have enough love for both?
- Will my second get enough of my time since we won’t be given the same bonding opportunities as my first did?
- Will I still be able to love on my first enough and still show her how much she means to me?
- Will we be in total chaos?
Every time I asked Drew these questions, his answer was always an unequivocal no to anything negative. He never has wavered from excitement and joy and it’s the cutest. Must just be a mom guilt thing.
“And I know without an inkling of a doubt, once our girl is here and we instantly fall head over heels and get past the madness of learning life with 2, I will tell myself how crazy I was for ever feeling anything otherwise. I know she’s going to fit perfectly into our family and this is a dream come true. I know we won’t be able to imagine life before her.”
Also, the second time around you honestly just don’t have time to really think about being pregnant because you’re so consumed with your first baby. When I was pregnant with Bridget, I thought about being pregnant every second of every day with the biggest smile on my face. Second pregnancy, you’re just so immersed in your regular life with your toddler that you don’t have time to just sit there daydreaming about your pregnancy so I feel like periods of time go by without you even remembering you’re pregnant. That sounds crazy to say, but it’s certainly not at the forefront of your mind, that’s for sure. And if/when it is at the front, then you want to soak up every second you can with your first knowing your sacred days with them being your only are limited.
A huge mental positive is you don’t feel rushed at all to do anything because you feel like you have everything already. (You don’t and of course you will buy more. But, you do have a ton and you do buy drastically less!) You also know how to be a parent already so you feel a sense of less of a learning curve coming your way. It’s a great feeling! Yes, you hear from literally everyone that every kid is different, their personalities are different – you’ll hear if one kid took this pacifier the next one won’t – if one kid took this bottle, the next one won’t – so all of those stories aside, overall, you feel like you know how to successfully keep a human alive and already feel a sense of security. I also have felt absolutely zero anxiousness about the arrival of our sweet girl. Your first pregnancy you’re anxiously wondering how he/she will decide to make their debut and all the what ifs can go through your mind. This time around, the closer and closer it gets, the more and more excited I get! Zero nerves!
“You know how your body feels pregnant. You know your norm. You know what happens during pregnancy to your body. You know the do’s and dont’s. Your body knows how to be pregnant. You know how to be pregnant.”
Also, pregnancy in general the second time around, kind of going hand in hand with been there done that with parenting, same goes for pregnancy itself. You know how your body feels pregnant. You know your norm. You know what happens during pregnancy to your body. You know the do’s and dont’s. Your body knows how to be pregnant. You know how to be pregnant. You know your doctors. You know what to expect with prenatal visits. You know you’re capable of l&d. All of that makes it nonchalant mentally too – in a good way.
With all of that said, here I am, under 1 week until full term and I am SO SO SO EXCITED for baby girl to get here and for our lives to change for the best! Maybe it’s the nesting that kicks in. Maybe it’s the hormones since it’s around the corner. But I have zero questioning in my mind anymore. Zero hesitancy. I only have the purest excitement! I truly am ecstatic and counting down the days so joyfully. Funny how that works. And I know without an inkling of a doubt, once our girl is here and we instantly fall head over heels and get past the madness of learning life with 2, I will tell myself how crazy I was for ever feeling anything otherwise. I know she’s going to fit perfectly into our family and this is a dream come true. I know we won’t be able to imagine life before her.
I want to make it very clear. I never struggled mentally about being pregnant or was down or truly worried. For the sake of being completely open and honest with all of you I’m just sharing all the raw emotions I felt along the way from my heart. Gratitude was always at the forefront and that never wavered. Grateful for being given this child. Grateful to be able to keep a healthy pregnancy. Grateful to watch our dreams of growing our family with multiple children happen before our eyes. It’s truly amazing because you can hope and pray all day long about what you wish for. But if it’s not meant to be, or the current timing isn’t meant to be, you can’t force it. I remember feeling when we got pregnant with Bridget right away how overwhelmingly grateful I was that what we hoped for was also meant to be. And knowing that happened again immediately the second time as well, just shows me yet again, this is our path, this is our timing, and this is what is meant to be for our little family. This is our time and the fact that it also aligns with God’s timing too leaves me speechless.
Everything physically has been almost spot-on super similar with my first pregnancy. So much so that I knew it was a girl well before we officially knew it was a girl. I just knew it. My body was screaming girl based on how comparable the first trimesters were. I’m talking I found out we were pregnant at 3 weeks & 5 days pregnant and at 5 weeks to the day I told Drew it was a girl. My body knew it and I just knew it.
I do feel like getting sick this pregnancy was more brutal because I had a toddler to run after and still be active with despite having my head in the toilet and being totally and completely drained. Your first pregnancy when you’re sick you can nap immediately or at least instantly rest and take it fairly easy. But not with when you already have a child. And at the beginning of my first trimester, Bridget wasn’t walking yet, so I was still carrying her everywhere and exerting even more energy. (Even though once she started walking midway through my first trimester, I then had to exert my energy on keeping up with her.) The point is, getting sick this time around certainly felt worse on me but not because I got more sick this time around, just because I was already a mom juggling a toddler and being pregnant at the same time. It takes it out of you even extra! Thankfully the nausea lasted just a tad into the second trimester (just like it did with my first pregnancy).
Basically ditto above. I was way more tired the first trimester of this pregnancy because in addition to the exhaustion you already feel being pregnant rapidly growing a human being, add a toddler to the mix in addition. And you can’t just take a nap the second your body needs a nap (unlike I was way more capable of the first pregnancy). Thankfully your energy comes back second trimester just like it did with my first pregnancy.
With my first pregnancy, I went into preterm labor at 33 weeks. I had felt 100% amazing prior to that day – no discomfort or any warning signs. Meanwhile, here I am less than 1 week from full term and knock on all the wood – haven’t gone into preterm labor. Yet, I’ve been very uncomfortable on and off very regularly with contractions since 23 weeks. Like, have to lay in bed for a couple days discomfort. Like, Drew and I cancelled our babymoon to Arizona discomfort. So there I was last time with zero discomfort until the day I went into preterm at 33 weeks, and here I am this pregnancy uncomfortable with contractions for almost half the pregnancy, yet haven’t gone into preterm – or at least have gone weeks after what I did with Bridget. Ironic, right? I’ve been closely monitored since my contractions started, given my history, and thankfully all is well. I’ve had zero interventions done, zero medications or preventatives prescribed, no bed rest, nothing. Very thankful my body has stayed strong! (For those who aren’t familiar with my preterm scare with Bridget, we did make it to full term. I delivered a happy, healthy, perfect baby at 38 weeks & 2 days. She came all on her own that day and we welcomed her with open arms knowing we were past the 37 week threshold).
I have gained the exact same amount of weight with both pregnancies. Like, literally exactly and at the exact same weeks. At 33 weeks with both I had gained 18 pounds. Now, I’m hovering 20ish.
With both of my pregnancies, I’ve experienced no other symptoms other than the ones listed above. I’ve had no indigestion, swelling of any body parts (including feet after standing), glucose issues, blood pressure issues, anything.
“You’ll show earlier and get bigger sooner with your second pregnancy because your body has already stretched out before.”
Not with me. I’ve shown the exact same way at the exact same pace. I definitely didn’t show any earlier and have yet to get bigger than before. I’m not saying this is a myth for everyone, just saying it is for me and can be one for you too.
“Baby sits lower your second pregnancy and with more pressure.”
Bridget sat extremely, extremely low and this baby is sitting very very low too. I wouldn’t say at all this one is sitting lower, just because I’m not a good judge of that since my first sat so low. Doctors will also say you’ll feel more pressure in your lower uterus this time around due to how low your baby can sit the second time. For me, I have certainly felt more pressure this time around.
“Your body knows what to do the second time around.”
I believe this.
“Your labor is half the amount of time, you push way less and birth is easier.”
tbd. Obviously I don’t know yet seeing as I’m still pregnant.
I RECEIVED FROM YOU:
On Instagram I asked if you had any specific questions you wanted me to cover in this post. Of course, the biggest question I got was the overlying question of “how is this pregnancy different than your first?” Hints – why I’m writing this long-winded post in the first place. In addition to that generic question, here are the specifics I got asked.
“How do you stay so fit during pregnancy? I’m 10 weeks with my first and feel so pudgy!”
First of all mama, I know you must be absolutely beautiful, radiant, and glowing! Congratulations on expecting your first! There is simply nothing better than motherhood, it’s indescribable and I can’t wait for you to join the club! Expecting your first is such a special, special time and those firsts that first year are so so sacred. I’m so excited for you!
I appreciate your compliment. I think your own personal body has a lot to do with how your body handles pregnancy. And you just have to give yourself grace knowing you’re growing a happy, healthy human being and that’s the MOST important factor all of pregnancy! Of course, you also want to feel your best and it sometimes can be a struggle. With both pregnancies, I eat pretty healthy and just continue following my norms and don’t do anything different. I don’t eat for 2. You only need like 300 extra calories (and that’s at the end of your pregnancy, it’s supposed to be even less earlier on), and that’s really nothing. I don’t count calories at all (never have and never will) but just sharing I think “eating for two” is a crutch. I believe in 80/20 when it comes to your eating habits. 80% of the time I eat healthy, 20% of the time I don’t. I don’t hold myself to any sort of strict regimen at all and I never ever beat myself up if I indulge galore. I believe your body tells you what it needs (always – but especially when you’re pregnant) so just listen to it. That goes for both eating and exercise. If you feel like getting out and moving – get out and move. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown workout – listen to your body. Never, ever push it. My first pregnancy I ran until 33 weeks pregnant until I had my preterm labor scare and then stopped. This pregnancy, at 23 weeks, I started contracting and becoming really uncomfortable and haven’t been able to even go on a walk of the neighborhood. I miss being active, but I know I need to listen to my body and am doing everything I can to keep baby healthy.
“Are you using the same baby things for #2?”
100%! It’s so nice the second time around because you already have SO much stuff! And especially since we’re having another girl, I already have all the pink girly things galore so I don’t need to buy a gender neutral or opposite gender color – totally just busting out all the pink – all of Bridget’s old clothes, baby bows, swaddles, toys, bouncers, etc. In regard to products, I’m using everything the same brand I used with Bridget. It’s so nice knowing what you already love! With that said, of course you hear every baby is different – so maybe what worked for Bridget won’t work for #2 and we will just have to see. (But gosh I sure hope it does that would be nice, right!?)
“How to handle being pregnant with a toddler.”
Gosh, this was tough at times for sure. There were times I felt like I was back in her newborn stages following the rules of “nap when baby naps” and taking advantage of that down time – because you won’t get a lot of it with a toddler around. I’m not going to lie, it’s exhausting and hard that first trimester (and at the end)! I also have let her watch more tv lately than I’m proud of at the end of this pregnancy just making her cuddle and relax with me so I can take it easy and listen to my body, yet still getting to love on her and give her the attention she deserves. Plus, I want to soak up every minute I can with her while she’s my only. We’ve had lots of pj days at home. I think I’ll look back and appreciate these downtime days at the end of this pregnancy with her while our time with her being my only is quickly fading.
“I’ve only gained 10 pounds and am 35 weeks – people are judgemental. Do you feel that too?”
While I can’t speak to healthy and unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy, that’s between every individual and their doctor, I will say I can relate to the judgement for “being small during pregnancy” from others. It’s one thing to receive a kind compliment from someone saying how great you look and know they’re being genuine – I appreciate that. It’s another thing to be told with an obvious very judgmental, rude eye, “you’re so tiny…” “you don’t even look pregnant…” “how far along are you again…?” “…and baby is healthy?” and so on and so on. There have been countless people and encounters that make me feel very uncomfortable commenting on my “small size” during pregnancy. But I just have to tell myself they don’t know anything about how healthy baby and I thankfully are, this is my body and how it reacts during pregnancy – and my doctors say everything with my slow weight gain, slow showing belly, perfect blood pressure, perfect blood sugar levels, perfect iron levels, and perfect growth scans are great. I think it makes people feel better to try to put people down for being small, just like people like to do for being large. My doctors will be the first ones to tell you “I’m very small and petite” and they “can’t believe I’m about to give birth” and reminisce on how I instantly snapped back right after I delivered Bridget – but none of their comments are judgemental – it’s more of a disbelief, shocking thing. As long as my doctors and my family aren’t judgemental, that’s all I care about. They’re the ones who know me and know everything is perfectly healthy at every check up.
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