© Africa Studios/Dollar Photo Club
One day, when I was seven months pregnant with my second child, I found myself ugly crying over the pregnancy journal I’d bought to document her gestation.
Because it was blank.
I’d bought the darn thing back when we were just trying to conceive baby #2—you know, during that delusional time when I honestly believed I’d be able to do all the same cutesy things that I’d done while pregnant with my first.
There I sat, just a few weeks from my second baby’s arrival, with not a single page filled in.
So I did what any hugely pregnant and hormonal mama would do in the face of something making her feel incredibly guilty: I threw that empty pregnancy journal in the trash.
Then I reminded myself that just because I didn’t keep a week-by-week record of my second baby’s time in the womb doesn’t mean that time wasn’t memorable. There are lots of other ways to make your second (or third or fourth or whatever) pregnancy just as special as your first one.
© rohappy/Dollar Photo Club
5 Ways to Make Your Second Pregnancy Special
1. Find quiet moments to connect with your baby.
If you have a young child in your house, you know that “quiet moments” are hard to come by. My 3-year-old generally has one speaking volume: LOUD.
I quickly learned that attempting to bond with my inside baby while taking care of a boisterous, spirited preschooler would be no easy feat. So instead, I carved out a few quiet minutes after my son was in bed to simply sit still and connect with the life growing inside of me.
My baby often responded to the undivided attention by giving me an extra roll or kick or jab, which I just loved.
2. Encourage everyone—especially older children—to talk to the baby.
It’s easier to make your second pregnancy special once you accept that it simply can’t be the same as your first. It’s going to be different, and that’s ok.
In fact, those differences can actually be what make your second pregnancy wonderful.
For example, some of my favorite moments were when my then-2-year-old would talk to the baby in Mommy’s belly—sometimes even singing her songs or pretending to read her books.
Siblings connecting before they’ve even met? Those are some precious moments that only come with subsequent pregnancies. Soak them up.
3. Buy something new.
Even if the baby is the same sex. Even if you already have everything you need!
Part of the joy (and frustration, really!) of a first pregnancy is the incredible amount of stuff that must be purchased. The second time around is much easier on the wallet, but you also miss out on all the oooohhhh-ing and ahhhhh-ing over itty bitty baby gear.
So go to a store and pick out at least one new thing for your second baby—something your first baby hasn’t already pooped on or spit up on or left teeth marks on. It will be a fun experience for you, even if your baby doesn’t need or care about it.
4. Document your pregnancy in a way that suits your current lifestyle.
For me, that meant doing away with the week-by-week, write-down-every-detail pregnancy journal (ahem). Documenting your pregnancy—whether it’s #1 or #2 or #5!—is supposed to be fun, not overwhelming.
Ultimately, I ended up making a simple photo book with random pictures and funny captions from throughout the whole nine months. For some months, there are no photos at all. For others, there are several—but they’re mostly blurry iPhone photos. It’s not consistent or Pinterest-perfect and that doesn’t matter.
I still have a nice little book to remind me of my second pregnancy—no stress required.
5. Remind yourself of the miracle.
The first ultrasound. The first time you hear the heartbeat. The first kick.
These things get treated as much bigger deals the first time around—but truthfully, they’re worth celebrating each and every time.
So go ahead and make a big fuss over them. Just because you’ve experienced this miracle before doesn’t make it any less miraculous now.