We’ve all heard it said that every pregnancy is different, which is so true! Not only does every woman experience pregnancy a little differently, but each pregnancy may also be completely different.
After having three pregnancies, I can attest that each one was unique from the symptoms to the timelines.
My bump appeared faster
With my first pregnancy, I was able to hide any physical changes much longer. I did not look pregnant until close to twenty weeks. With the second, my stomach seemed to ‘pop’ weeks earlier and with my third, it was nearly impossible to hide the changes even in the first trimester.
The pains started sooner
The first time around, I started experiencing round ligament pains and sciatica at fifteen weeks. Not everyone experiences these pains and fifteen weeks seemed very early, but with my second and third pregnancies, they started almost immediately! Thankfully I knew what they were and sought pelvic floor therapy for some relief and symptom management.
I had less energy
I’m not sure if it was being years older, getting less sleep overall, or having another child to attend to already but in my third pregnancy, I felt devoid of energy through the whole nine months. I did not get the second-trimester energy that was promised and I certainly was not in the gym four days a week in the third trimester like I was during my first pregnancy.
It was easier to accept the physical changes
With subsequent pregnancies, it was easier to acknowledge and accept everything that was expanding and changing in my body. The first time was scary as I had no idea how my body would react or handle pregnancy. The next time, I knew exactly what changes to expect to see in my body and I also knew that I could trust it to return to some resemblance of itself once it was over.
I was excited to share with my older child
The first time around, it was just my husband and me sharing the excitement and the planning. The second and third times, however, we had our older son to share it with! He loved to listen to the heartbeat, talk about fruit sizes, and plan for the baby’s arrival! We looked at photos of babies in the womb, discussed placentas, and even talked about how the baby would come out. It was such a special thing to share with him and see it through his eyes.
I was more relaxed about labor and birth
While one birth does not predict another, the second and third times I had proof that I would go into labor naturally and on my own when my baby was ready. Waiting was still hard; like being dressed for a date who forgot to give you a time. But because of my experience the first time, I knew exactly what I could expect and what my body was capable of! I knew that laboring without any medications would be strenuous, but I also knew that fighting the process or being fearful only made it worse. I was able to relax and surrender to labor and all it brought with it.
No matter what your pregnancy is like, your body knows what it’s doing!