You’ve peed on the stick, the timer on your phone is ticking down the seconds, and those familiar lines start darkening before your eyes. It’s positive. You’re expecting your second child! In a flash, you experience a flood of emotions.
Chances are you sucked in a deep breath, tried to slow your racing heart, and maybe gave an audible squeal (of panic or excitement, hard to tell). Finding out you are expecting another little one is a moment you will never forget. Here are 10 thoughts every mother has when expecting their second child, and, hopefully, you will feel less alone on your second pregnancy journey.
1. There’s No Way I Can Love Anyone as Much as I Love My First Baby.
When doing an unofficial poll of this question among my family and friends, this was the most common thought. And I get it! Your first baby changes your life in a way you can’t even comprehend until it hits you in the face. (At 3 am, pacing the floor, begging your little angel to please sleep.) The excitement and love you have for your baby are unmatched by anything else. How could another human compare? Is it possible to feel the same unimaginable love for another baby? I am happy to confirm that it is possible and that when expecting your second child, your heart multiplies, not divides.
2. How Will This Affect My Relationship?
This is such a valid thought and one that is inevitable. Yes, your relationship will change like it undoubtedly did with your first baby. Now expecting a second child means double the coordinating, double the dinners, and maybe double the diapers. As you and your partner settle into your new routine as parents of two, your relationship will also change.
While it may be easier said than done, prioritize your relationship just as much as you prioritize attention to your little ones. Schedule a trusted adult to spend an hour or two with your children so you can sneak away for a quick adults-only date. Recharging your relationship battery will allow you to feel rejuvenated and ready to return to the kids feeling refreshed (relatively speaking) and prepared to take on the next challenge. Start this routine now in pregnancy so that when the new baby comes along, you will already be in the groove.
3. How Can I Ever Divide My Time with Two Kids?
With one baby, your time and attention are entirely undivided. You have a sole focus, and that is to dote on your child for every want and need. With another baby in the mix, that time needs to be split in two, and it can bring both logistical and emotional challenges as you figure out how to accomplish this difficult feat best. When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I remember having panic-stricken thoughts where I knew it would just be a cacophony of cries while I tried my best to tend to everyone. As difficult as it can be to remember, remember that it’s okay if one of your children cries for a few minutes while you tend to your other child. You are only one person, and while moms are multitasking masters, sometimes some things must wait.
4. I Wonder How My Son/Daughter Will Be with the New Baby?
This all-too-common thought can be an emotional one. I was so excited when thinking about how my older son would handle the arrival of a new baby. But I was also curious and even nervous. Would he be rough with the baby? Would he regress and revert to bad habits to seek my attention? While this certainly can depend on the age gap between your first and second child, you can bank on the likelihood that you will see the full spectrum of interactions between your children. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
5. What Am I Going to Do Differently with Baby No. 2?
This thought played a loop in my head during most of my pregnancy while I was expecting my second child. I found this thought to be two-pronged: logistical and emotional. Logistically, there was so much that I knew I would be doing differently with the arrival of my second baby. You’re much calmer the second time, and you know what to care about and what you cannot lose sleep over. Emotionally, it’s somewhat of a different story. I knew I wanted to save every second because I had already experienced how fast it all goes. Wanting to soak up every single cuddle and crying about how fast it’s all going, even when the time feels like it’s standing still, is a special type of crazy.
6. How Will I Take Care of a Child While Dealing with Morning Sickness and Maybe Postpartum Depression?
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, we all know how awful it is to be out of commission because of morning sickness and pregnancy exhaustion. During your first pregnancy, if you felt sick, you could lay on the couch all day and night and order takeout until those cravings were satisfied. With a second pregnancy, you still feel just as sick, but this time you have a tiny human running around you and demanding your undivided time and attention.
Postpartum, this feeling of dread can feel so real. You are recovering from birth, have your first child who needs attention, and a newborn is waiting not so patiently for you. Be kind to yourself, use screen time if you need to, and remind yourself that this is temporary. Survival is the name of the game these days. Get through any way you can.
7. I Don’t Know Where to Start.
An overwhelming feeling can hit you like a ton of bricks when you find out you are expecting your second child. You may have felt like you are just getting the hang of this whole parenting thing, and maybe you are killing the mom game. Enter a newborn, and all your carefully laid routines go out the window. You’ll need to readjust some things with the arrival of number two. It can be stressful trying to figure out how to handle two of everything; in reality, you just do. It’s a sink or swim mentality, and it all gets done. Remember to work as a team with your partner to make sure you divide and conquer. Checklists can be so helpful to make sure you have everything you need before outings, and before you know it, you will be handling two of everything like a pro.
8. I Want This Moment to Last Forever (After an Hour of Uninterrupted Sleep)
Expecting the arrival of your second child can be such a bittersweet feeling. If you are having a rough pregnancy, you might wish the months away, desperate to hold that baby in your arms. If you are one of those unicorn mamas who thrive while pregnant (seriously, what’s the secret?), you may be saving every second and enjoying the ride. Once the baby gets here, you are desperate for sleep, yet you have those well-meaning people in the grocery store that remind you, “you are going to miss this one day.” Well, yes, I will. But I also miss my bed and sleep and a hot meal. All of which can be true. However, with your second child comes the knowledge of how fast everything goes, and a nostalgic piece comes with that.
9. I Know What to Expect.
Pregnancy the second time around can be a tricky thing. On the one hand, you know more this time around, so you might be worried more than you were during the pregnancy of baby number one. On the other hand, there is an element of peace and comfort that comes with pregnancy number two that allows you not to sweat the small stuff so much and enjoy the ride. It can be stressful white knucking every prenatal appointment and milestone during pregnancy. Celebrate the wins, and remember that once the baby is in your arms, there is plenty to worry about there, too. Take this moment of calm and savor it!
10. Oh S***
As exciting as the news can be, it also triggers the panic button. The toothpaste is out of the tube; this is happening. The financial aspect of another baby can be daunting, and there are so many logistical things to work out. Childcare, being a working mom, needs of other children, health concerns. The list doesn’t end. This thought is so normal and familiar, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby or aren’t excited. So many things are about to change, but remind yourself that this is exactly where you should be.
The arrival of baby No. 2 can bring about many thoughts for expecting mothers. Regardless of the thoughts racing through your mind, remind yourself that all are valid. You are human, and pregnancy and motherhood are one of the most daunting experiences of your life. Be gentle with yourself, and don’t be shy in seeking support from your loved ones and even professionals. Having your brain full of these thoughts proves that you are already the best mama for your little ones.