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Second Pregnancies

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

Is it just me, or do people generally care a lot less about your second pregnancy? Even when total strangers ask me if this is my first, and I answer no, I see their faces drop a little. Like it’s any less exciting the second time around. Pregnant is still pregnant—the cool stuff is still cool. Feeling your baby move is every bit as magical the second time. The cravings? Every bit as awesome to give into. My belly is bigger, my curves are curvier, and—in case I haven’t mentioned it—the aches and pains are that much more painful too.

I loved being pregnant the first time—and while the second pregnancy has been much harder on me and my body, I am still cherishing this time in my life and all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things it brings. My second pregnancy may not be my first, but it’s definitely going to be my last—and for that it has its own special meaning.

A girlfriend once told me that after she had her second child, fewer people came to visit her in the hospital. Fewer people called and sent gifts after the baby was born too. I can’t even remember if I went to visit her in the hospital after her second was born… Are people really that less enthused?

I wondered what other things change with the second pregnancy. If you had a shower for the first one, do you get another one for the second baby?

Jews typically don’t have baby showers so I'm not as familiar with this—we generally don’t buy baby gifts before a baby is born, out of superstition. Most won’t even bring anything new for the baby in the house before it gets here. I don’t go to that extreme—in fact, I just ordered some new furniture and bedding for the baby’s nursery(!), but other than that I probably won’t stock up till we get a little closer to my due date. Which is what we did with Preston. But if I had had a shower for the first one, I don’t think I’d be comfortable with anyone throwing me a second shower—I wasn't all that comfortable at my own wedding showers, though I appreciated them very much. Baby showers are lovely occasions, though; I've been to a few of them, but never for a second baby.

With my second pregnancy, I’ve noticed people ask what I'm having a lot more…I guess that makes sense. People assume you’ll probably find out the sex with your second, especially if you didn’t with your first. (We did, did you?)

What have you found to be the biggest differences between how people treat you with your second pregnancy versus your first? Are people less excited? Or do you get the same level of attention as you did with your first?