second time mother

Confessions of an Expectant 2nd Time Mother

Having a baby is a big deal, whether it be the first time, the last or whatever number in between. Deciding to turn your entire world upside down when expanding the family is one of the most selfless things a person can do, since raising a baby is not something that stops once they start walking. It’s a forever decision to be a parent and not one to be taken lightly. This is no different when becoming a second time mother.

pregnancy announcement

Going back a second time is daunting in a whole new way. I will admit for most of my pregnancy this time around, I have had the mindset that ‘It’s okay… I’ve done this before’. Even pregnancy wellness check ups have been a bit that way. Not just from my perspective, but health care providers too. It’s that expectation that once a parent, twice a pro.

But is it really that simple becoming a second time mother? 

As I am here on the cusp of what could be pre-labour, a lot of thoughts have run through my mind. Sure there has been that little bit of anxiety at the thought of giving birth again. While my first pregnancy and birth were relatively straight forward, it was extremely long and exhausting and my recovery was not so great for the first month. So yep, I’m actually dreading birth second time around because I now know how much it hurts. I hope all the statistics that it gets shorter and easier are true because the thought of another 24 hours of pain does not appeal.

And then there is the fact that we spent our first parenting experience in a false sense of security with a child that barely caused us any major parenting challenges. At 2.5 our daughter has always been a good sleeper, even if that means she is a night owl. She went down late but slept late too so broken sleep wasn’t much of a thing. She never got sick until she was past 1 and even then we can count all her illnesses on one hand and they have all lasted less than 24 hours each. She barely cried. She was an easy teether and just a happy kid right from the start.

We can’t be that lucky again!

So there is concern that this next baby will be far more challenging and everything our first was not. But that’s okay, because that’s part of being a parent. We can thank our lucky stars for an easy first time. Otherwise maybe we would have stopped at one…

Then there’s the guilt. While I know I will love my second baby just as much as my first, I feel guilty for my daughter that she will no longer have my complete undivided attention as she has had for the past 2.5 years. In that time I have been at home more than not, with her for every major milestone. She is very much mum’s girl and I feel devastated that I won’t able to hug her as often or share quite so many of our special mother-daughter moments.

second time mother

These moments between us will still be there, but sometimes they will be interrupted to attend to her new sister. She will need to learn how to share my attention and my arms, which is tough at that age. So yes, it’s crazy but I feel guilty on her behalf and for the things I won’t be able to give her as much of.

[Tweet “With parenting, it is truly possible to multiply by dividing – John Medina”]

Then there is the fear. I rarely stress but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. The first month will be okay with hubby home, but then he goes back to work. On night shift. Suddenly I’m not just juggling my needs and a baby’s, but a toddler as well. That’s 3 people to sort for meals every day instead of just fitting mine in around breastfeeding like I did the first time. Plus the thought of a toddler not wanting to go to bed while I have a crying baby who also refuses bed. I can only hold one at a time. These moments scare me.

gender reveal

There is sadness too. Growing a baby inside is magical. Nothing compares to feeling those movements from inside, whether they be little rolls, bouncing hiccups or even those painful big jabs. Despite the joy of holding my first daughter in my arms, I missed feeling her move from within.

But despite all of those emotions that are suddenly rolling around inside of me, making me want to cry and smile all at once, I remember that love at first sight when I first held my daughter. I remember the amazement of making such a perfect little person and watching her grow and develop before our eyes. I remember the milestones and how every single week something new seemed to be happening, and the joy that came with experiencing it.

one-love

So there is of course excitement at becoming a second time mother too. And I wouldn’t change it even if I could, regardless of what may be ahead of us in the next few weeks, months or years.

How did you feel in the lead up to becoming a second time mother or beyond?

28 thoughts on “Confessions of an Expectant 2nd Time Mother”

  1. Don’t feel guilty. Just leave everything else and cuddle your kids. Everything else waits. Kids grow too quick. (The washing does too but you don’t love that) But remember it’s ok to let someone cry for a bit while you sort someone else out! Oh and just breathe.

    1. Thanks Krisy. In my eyes you are super mum now with how full your hands are. I’ve always been one to put those cuddles before anything else and was able to do that completely first time around… and even now most of the time. I will just have to learn how to juggle ;) I am beyond relieved Lily is an easy child just in case the next one is not so much x

    2. Thanks Krisy. In my eyes you are super mum now with how full your hands are. I’ve always been one to put those cuddles before anything else and was able to do that completely first time around… and even now most of the time. I will just have to learn how to juggle ;) I am beyond relieved Lily is an easy child just in case the next one is not so much x

  2. I honestly found my second pregnancy and birth MORE daunting than my first. Because I knew what was coming up and I knew how much I had to lose if anything went wrong. PLUS there’s the added complication of your first born’s needs, etc. BUT the good news is that in the end you just get on with it, same as you did your first and that seems to be the awesome way of us mothers for life! x

  3. I must admit second time round I was a bundle of nerves. Which wasn’t really unlike the first time for me! I loved being pregnant, such a beautiful thing but all the ‘what if’s’ scare me ALOT. Hence why I’m stalling on having a third, my heart says yes, but my head says no! I also worried about my Son who was 6 when my next Son was born, but despite a little sibling rivalry at times, they have a beautiful relationship. And surprisingly the rest just falls into place.. I wish you all the best for the upcoming birth of your daughter xx

    1. Thanks Danielle. The age gap would have been one bonus. 6 year olds can be a great help. I wanted 3 til this pregnancy came and knocked me about a bit so I’m thinking just 2 but newborns have a way of changing your mind again :)

  4. I was terrified and felt overwhelming guilt…but it does all vanish once the bub is there….It’s like travel – while an idea, all the cons loom high in your mind, but once in transit, what’s not to love?

    1. That’s a great perspective Lydia. We are weighing up the travel thing for next year at the moment as well haha so many considerations. It’s reassuring to hear I’m not alone with that guilt feeling and it will pass. Can’t stop hugging my girl right now!

  5. Everything will work itself out as you create a routine that works for all of you while hubby is working night shifts. What amazed me was meeting my youngest and instantly I loved him the same as my first. There i was worried I didn’t have enough love to go around. So funny looking back on it now. You will do beautifully Holly. Much love to you all and cannot wait to hear the news xx

    1. Thanks Sue. That’s lovely to hear and others have said the same, which is why I so love the quote I included. That love at first sight part of parenting is amazing. I still remember seeing Lily the first time and being overwhelmed by the love that was already there xx

  6. You know what? You totally can hold both at once! It’s hell on your back, but you’ll develop awesome biceps ;)

    Good luck Holly, can’t wait to hear your news xx

    Stopping by for #TeamMM today :)

  7. There was only 18 months between my first two so I think my second pregnancy went by in a whirl as I was so busy! And because my daughter was three weeks early I stopped work on the Friday and had her on the Sunday – not even any rest for me beforehand! Enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy and savour every moment that is yet to come – it’s going to be magical!

    1. Whoa Kristy, that would have been intense. My first was not long after I finished work either but this time I’ve had plenty of time now that I work from home. Thanks for the reassuring comment too x

  8. Obviously I haven’t done it yet but I know a few friends who have and the feeling guilty part is totally normal. I feel half these things just contemplating number 2 {although I had a really difficult pregnancy and a newborn with heaps of allergies and colic so it freaks me out that it’ll happen again}.

    1. Hopefully you will have a few less challenges next time. This has been my worse pregnancy but better at this end than my last 2 weeks last time of horrible pelvic pain. My other mummy friends with 2 or more say the same too… But then your heart suddenly expands :)

  9. Oh Holly – I am so excited for you. I think the second time around I was nervous because I knew what to expect with the birth and I was a little sad at the thought of my firstborn relinquishing his baby title. But I was also beyond excited at getting to do it all over again. I am stand by for news hun and I hope everything is quick and easy for you lovely xx

  10. Hi Holly, your lovely post brings back many memories for me, my 2nd child is now 12! But you never forget the conflicting feelings of overwhelming love for both your children and the balancing act of making sure they each get what they need. My first ‘baby’ is 14 now and I’m learning everyday about how each child needs to feel loved in different ways! Good luck!

    1. It’s so lovely to hear a perspective when the kids are big kids but still such an important part of a mum’s life is making sure they know they are loved. A mum’s role never finishes… Even if the kids have kids of their own. We don’t truly appreciate it until we become parents ourselves I think. I just got a mum check in message from my own mum :) x

  11. Oh Holly, I totally get this! I felt and thought exactly all of these things before I had Zee. I remember breaking down 3 days before I went in to be induced and confessing to my doula that I had the biggest sense of fear and guilt weighing on me in regards to how Punky was going to cope, scared that she would think I didn’t love her anymore, fear of how I would cope with two once Dave went back to work (2 out of 4 of his shifts each week were 12 hour night shifts) and fear about being induced. The funny thing was, that once I had confessed all of this and how I had been feeling, I definitely much better. The fear was still there, but it felt bearable and in the end, everything worked out fine.

    Yes, there were definitely hard days, and days when I wanted to just run away, but it was nowhere near as bad as what my brain was expecting. You are going to kick-arse as a Mum of two! xx

    1. Thanks Kylie. So nice to hear others thoughts were so similar. And yes the night shift with 2 kids still scares me but at least it’s a month away til I’m on my own. Even dropping my big girl at mums to go to hospital felt so bad but she has been good. Kids awe more resilient than we give them credit for. I’m still giving her extra big squishy hugs my arms aren’t occupied with her sister :) x

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