First Babies vs All the Others
Sep 19, 2020
Motherhood feels new and exciting with each baby you welcome into your family. There's always a bit of a learning curve as the family makes room for a new member. As we were reflecting on our own experiences (Steph has 3 kids & Cort has 4) we realized that many of the things we worried about (our bought- haha!) with our first baby were very different from what we did for baby #2, 3, 4, etc. How many of the things below can you relate to?
1. We noticed we had (or wanted) SO many more gadgets with our first baby. Can you relate? Everything from a bottle warmer to a bottle drying rack, wipe warmers, the diaper Gene, and even those special baby towels and washcloths.
We were joking that you may even own variations of the same product! Take the bassinet for example...there's a co-sleeper bassinet, a pack n play, a portable bassinet or Moses basket. So many options! BUT, what you come to realize with subsequent babies is that they live & grow perfectly without all these things.
2. News flash: your baby isn't going to get much mileage out of those "fancy" clothes. We had baby Nikes, totally posh Janie + Jack outfits, and a lot of those things only got worn a couple of times before they were outgrown. What WILL get worn a ton are sleepers and onesies.
3. We were far more strict about following the "rules" during pregnancy with our first than we were with later pregnancies. No sushi, no cookie dough, no lunch meats, no hairspray, no hair dye, no nail salons, no FUN! :)
With later babies, it occurred to us that women in Japan eat sushi while pregnant (you just have to avoid certain types of fish that can be high in mercury), that heating lunch meat to steaming kills any potential listeria bacteria, and that sometimes you just have to live a little & treat yo self.
4. Your pregnancy journals and baby books might become a little sparse with each new addition- usually because you are so busy chasing kiddos! We definitely took way more preggo photos with our first, but we think it's because we were still doing hair + makeup everyday. When you already have kids at home, sometimes showers don't always happen let alone makeup...so maybe that explains fewer pregnancy photos? Also, keep in mind that the baby shower page may be left blank if you've already had a baby of that same gender.
That said, it's definitely worth the time and effort to document things WHETHER YOU HAVE MAKEUP ON OR NOT! The days are long, but the years go by so quickly...you are the mother of your children and you are beautiful to them. Give yourself some grace and get in those pictures!
5. Despite your hopes and wishes, your cute belly bump will take a while to show with your first. That doesn't seem to stop most mamas from running out at 10 weeks and purchasing all the cute maternity clothes! Bumps typically appear for most first-time moms in their 5th month of pregnancy.
When you get pregnant again though, your bump starts to show much sooner! Your body is like, "oh, this again?," and then it all hangs out. Not every woman looks forward to seeing her belly grow, so you may have mixed feelings about it the second & third time around.
6. Announcing you're pregnant is often a bigger production with your first. Surprising the grandparents, planning how to tell your spouse, gender reveals, etc. Down the road, it's not that you aren't thrilled to be expecting again, it just seems that those moments- especially telling your spouse you are pregnant, become a little more intimate. And that can sweet and special too!
7. Your pelvic floor is healthy and strong with your first, allowing you to have control over your bladder. If you aren't careful in caring for and strengthening your PC muscle after the birth of your first baby, you may find that you have less bladder control with later pregnancies. Things like jumping on the trampoline or laughing too hard may be a challenge!
8. You might think you don't need to take a birth course with your first baby...and then you give birth and realize how much you DIDN'T know or how much you wished you had more control over things. When you get pregnant again, if you didn't already with your first, you are likely to want to take a birth course so that you can go into that experience feeling more confident, prepared, and knowledgable.
9. You might be slightly addicted to birth forums and anxiously researching things like, "what happens if I DON'T sleep on my left side during pregnancy?!" or "what the heck do contractions feel like?" with your first baby. You may watch birth videos endlessly, trying to imagine what it's all going to be like.
With your 2nd & 3rd babies, either through research or through experience, you already know a lot of those things and so you spend a lot less time in forums and on YouTube. That's not to say that you don't worry about stuff, but your worries might look a little different. Instead of worrying about whether your baby will latch properly, you might be worried about how you're going to handle caring for yourself, a new baby, and a young child. Either way, your confidence grows as you continue on your motherhood journey.
10. Many first-time mamas tend to give birth at a hospital and go along with everything their provider tells them. You look at your doctor like, "Well, I don't know what I'm doing. I've never done this before. And clearly they do. And so everything they say must be gospel truth."
This was certainly the case for Stephanie, and it took her having a bad birth experience with her first because she went along with everything her birth team told her for her to realize that she had SO many more (and better, safer) options for birthing. When you're pregnant again, you are far more open to birth outside of the hospital, recognizing that it may be a good option for helping you have the birth YOU want- not the birth your provider wants. You feel a lot more confident telling them "no" if something doesn't jive with your parenting or birthing desires.
11. You get WAY more unsolicited advice and unsolicited birth stories (usually not great ones) when you are pregnant for the first time. We feel women do this because they think they're being helpful- you're lower in the pecking order because you haven't given birth and they have so they feel obligated to share their experience. But sharing a traumatic birth story is often a coping mechanism for processing their experience.
We hope you ALWAYS feel comfortable- no matter which baby # this is for you- speaking up and inviting people to share their birth story with you only if it's uplifting. You will get less unsolicited advice and stories with your other pregnancies/babies, and you also get more confident in dealing with unwarranted comments.
12. When pregnant with your first baby you have a lot more freedom to do whatever you want. Nap when you have downtime, jump in the car and go on a date with your husband. Do you ever look back and think "We had so much free time and we didn't always take advantage of it! We had it so good!" LOL
It's certainly more challenging to do these things when you have cute kiddos at home. While we sometimes miss the intimacy and quiet of it being just the two of us, nothing, not even the exhaustion, would ever make us wish for a life without our babies.
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