What is the ultimate, number 1 thing you have ever learned about pregnancy from personal experience?
In case you’re not that far enough along in your Motherhood journey to answer this question, if you ever asked me, I’d tell you that the biggest lesson I have learned for myself (because reading it on blog posts 40,000 times clearly didn’t prepare me), was that EVERY pregnancy is a first!
Yes, you read that right. I may be the same woman in the same body carrying baby number 2 or number 3, but you NEVER know what is going to happen or when or how it is all going to unfold or how it is even going to feel with each one. You just don’t know. Nothing. And nothing prepares you for what can happen either. Just because one things happens with one pregnancy that does not constitute what will happen with the next.
In this post, I elaborate what some of these differences can consist of, as they happened in accordance with my first and second pregnancies. I reveal how it affected me and how, as I result, I grew as a person in the process!
My periods have always been so consistent, that when for the first time, I went passed a few days without having it, was when I started to get excited. The test was negative, yet another factor that contributed to my suspicions was spotting (this happens to some women when implantation occurs). One week later, I got that positive!
With my second I also missed my period, but this time I got sicker than a dog! Before I knew anything myself, even friends and family were already commenting their suspicions among themselves! By the time I took the test and revealed the news everyone was like “I knew it! I so knew it. I was telling so and so just the other day, I think Nena’s pregnant”!
I took my first test at 4am so I could have the whole day to plan a surprise for my husband. When I saw that positive result (after months and months of trying) I just SCREAMED on the inside; repeatedly screamed while covering my mouth and staring at it! I couldn’t wake my hubby so I had to act as natural as possible that morning.
With our second, just like our friends and family, this time we just KNEW. So as I waited for the results to appear, my husband was there with me. Upon seeing the positive I just smiled and looked at my husband while pointing to it.
Telling my Husband
By the time I got off work the day I found out about my first, my husband had already texted me that he was on his way home!!😲 This was way extra early than his usual so I didn’t get to elaborate anything as extravagant as I had planned. All I got to do was rush to Target, get some baby apparel and display it in our room along with the test I took as well as a cute announcement I managed to make real quick on Microsoft Publisher.
With my second like I said, we were both there, so we actually got to live the moment together.
My Husband’s Reaction
At first, his reaction was so much happiness that he was speechless and just held on to me smiling the whole time, but barely even being able to breathe while attempting to digest the news of his life (he’d been weeping for a child of our own for some time already).
Just like he did with the second, he kept doubting the results, not really believe it was happening and then make me take multiple tests afterwards. It got really annoying the second time around because I really wanted us to be on the same page emotionally, so it felt like he wasn’t living the moment that I was and it highly frustrated me.
I created little cards with cute baby-friendly images and announcement quotes overlaid them. Some examples are as follows:
“Roses are red violets are blue, someone in pink or blue is coming in November to an uncle like you”
“Hmm…How do I put this, you’re going to be an aunt”
“Only the best dads get promoted to grandpa”
Easter was approaching so I folded all the ones I made and placed them inside plastic eggs along with a cute fluffy little chick.
With my second pregnancy I just googled announcement images and showed those to each of my loved ones individually.
With my mom, we face timed and I asked her if she had her phone because I wanted to “show her something funny” and to call the girls into her room so I could text it to her. They all got the news right then and there and my Mom was shocked and tears flowed right away!
I legit threw up for the first time just a few minutes after seeing my first positive. I think the level of nausea I felt and the weeks it lasted was pretty “normal”.
With my second, I was only sick like the first week but OMG did I find out what heartburn was with him!!
I have no memory of this whatsoever and even if it was anything special, probably only my husband would have remembered. But the only memory he has is the drastic personality change I made upon getting pregnant with my first.
I had to ask him when I couldn’t think of what to write in this section but then he reminded me that yes, I had indeed made a massive change in my attitude. I highly improved as a wife and as a person in general.
The first one was supposed to be kept a surprise until my husband’s cousin pestered me to an extent that got me fed up all the way, that I ended up blurting it out to him in an exasperated blow!
Of course I gave up trying to do that with the second so we just randomly told everyone what we were having. Oh, and I almost forgot to say this, but for the first baby, I framed the gender reveal sonogram photo in a pink frame with the name and all and gave it to my siblings in a gift!
No issues with either pregnancy other than having gained unbelievable weight with my second baby. I got huge!! As a result I suffered so much back pain throughout my whole pregnancy.
Luckily, I lost 20lbs prior to getting pregnant again so now I actually feel awesome and healthy with this 3rd pregnancy (but we’re not talking about that yet, are we).
Cravings! Omg. With my first all I wanted was everything Italian. So anything from ravioli to pizza and pastas, etc. (Now I wonder if that’s why my daughter’s favorite food is Italian).
My second baby made me crave all things fresh and sweet. So things like smoothies, fruits, frozen yogurts etc.
Notice how (according to old wives tales) my first cravings indicated boy and I had a girl, and the second time around, my cravings indicated a girl and I had a boy.
(Want to check over 20 gender predictions I tried with my 3rd pregnancy and which ones were accurate? Check out this post, which includes the gender reveal!)
All I cared about during my first pregnancy was just enjoying it, being happy about it and buying baby stuff. So I never monitored my health, weight, diet, nothing. So I was shocked when I saw myself in our first family photo (one month postpartum). I’m like, really?? Why did no one tell me how I was looking?! It turns out, I went from 140 to 174.
With my second, like I said, it got so bad I suffered all pregnancy long with severe back pain. No matter what posture I tried to lay, stand, or sit on, the pain remained the same. My pre-baby weight with him was 150 and I gained all the way up to 190! That’s a 40 pound increase😲 (I am only 5’0).
Labor and Delivery
Let me tell you I had no idea what I was doing the first time or what was about to happen. Not knowing what real contractions were like, I was sent home once. By the time I returned was because the pain was almost unbearable and I was vomiting blood (I still don’t know why I vomited blood)! Then at the hospital when I saw a huge blood clot had come out I panicked and ask the nurse what was going on. That’s when she made me feel stupid. Anyway that lasted like 15 hours and other than the episiotomy I got, everything went well.
My second labor lasted about 10 hours and I had to push way longer than with the first I assume because of his size! 😂 I was like how was I carrying THAT for so long?! No wonder my back hurt so bad!
Hospital Night’s Sleep
My first slept all night from day one.
My second baby only let me sleep for FIVE MINTUES!!
(How each pregnancy changed me as a Woman)
You know how the tagline of my blog says: “Empowering the Stay-at-Home Mom to Reach Her Full Potential as a Woman”? Writing this post has made me stop to realize and acknowledge that having babies in and of itself is what has forced me to reach magnitudes I would have otherwise never experienced, both emotionally and physically (for the better).
Before my first pregnancy, I was a wild beast of a wife! Maybe because I came in with so much pain and trauma. But when I realized that I now had a small angel to provide a happy home to, I changed. Just like that, I stopped being self-centered, manipulative, arrogant, overly sensitive, you name it. It all just started to go away. I learned humility, gentleness, consideration, self-control, etc. And I am only developing these virtues more and more. You just have no choice when you’re a Mom.
My second pregnancy affected my self-consciousness so much. I had gained so much wait, I was still breastfeeding, I never got a chance to wear what I wanted after having my first before already becoming pregnant again. I was fat, unfit, and always tired. To tired to function as a good Mom, let alone as a Wife! I started to get moody and resentful of the ‘miserable‘ person I was starting to become. This is what ultimately made me get my act together, start making my needs important and pursue things for myself that would give me a sense of fulfillment. That is when this blog started and why it started.
In conclusion, my first baby brought a change in me personally and emotionally, when I decided to change how I reacted to situations and how I treated my husband, while my second forced a change in my physical well-being as well as my mindset, when I chose to take self-care seriously. I started a business, lost 20 lbs, changed my hair, started trying out clothes I had never gotten to wear before, doing things out of my comfort zone, etc. And let me tell you, I have never felt more alive and happy in my life. And it ain’t over, my friend. The best is yet to come 😉
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