You may be a veteran mom, but that doesn’t mean you know what you’re in for when it comes to having a second child. Here’s what you need to know.
1. There’s no perfect time. Just like there isn’t a perfect time to have your first child, there isn’t a perfect time to have your second. Regardless of when baby #2 joins your family, it’s going to be crazy, messy, and more than anything else, incredible.2. Know that, like everything with motherhood, you have no control. While it may have taken you years to conceive your first child (or no time at all), that may not be the case with your second. Having a go-with-the-flow attitude when trying to conceive your second baby will be good for your sanity—and good practice for when you have two kids.
3. Your second pregnancy won’t be like your first. When you’re pregnant with your first, you have the time to take care of yourself, because—hello!—no kids. With your second, you’ve got a toddler to run after, so don’t be surprised if those daily pregnancy smoothies you used to enjoy become more of a monthly thing this time around.
4. Nothing will be able to prepare your older child. Just like no amount of reading or classes can prepare you for a baby, same goes for your eldest. He will get through it and eventually love his little sibling, but it may be a bumpy start. (When in doubt about how to handle things, extra snuggles are always a good idea.)
5. You won’t be treated the same way you were the first time around. When you’re pregnant with your first, the world all but rolls out a red carpet for you and your baby-to-be. With your second? Not so much. Just like you may be feeling a little “been there, done that,” so does everyone else.
6. It’ll feel different. You may have felt absolutely awful with morning sickness the first go-round, but don’t let that scare you off from getting pregnant again. Just like no two children are alike, no two pregnancies are alike.
7. You’ll start showing earlier. While you may have been able to keep your first pregnancy under wraps for months, chances are, the same won’t go for your second. Two words: Flowy tops.
8. There will be times when you freak out. Even if there wasn’t a bone in your body that didn’t want another child, there will be times during your second pregnancy when you’ll think, “OMG! Was this a bad idea?!” Chalk it up to the hormones and the wild toddler you’ve got on your hands—but rest assured, everything will be fine.
9. You’ll probably feel a little extra weepy about your first. No matter how many years you’ve had to dote (solely) on your first, you’ll feel a little sad about the fact that it won’t be just the two of you anymore.
10. You’ll forget you’re pregnant sometimes. Yes, really. You can thank your oldest and the lack of sleep for that.
11. Your labor will be faster. Good news, mamas: Labor is often swifter with baby #2—so don’t go too far from home towards the end of your pregnancy.
12. You’ll be much more laid back. When you get pregnant for the first time it’s only natural to worry about (and Google) every little thing. Chalk it up to a lack of time or the benefit of experience, but you’ll be much more at ease the second time around.
13. You’ll be half as prepared. Before you went into labor with your first, your hospital bag was packed and the nursery was done down to the last stuffed animal. When it’s go-time with your second, odds are you’ll grab a toothbrush and your phone and be on your way. Also: What nursery?
14. You’ll wonder on numerous occasions how you’ll ever be able to love another child as much as your first. But once she’s born, you’ll see: Yes.