How is a Fourth Pregnancy Different from a First Pregnancy?
How Is a Fourth Pregnancy Different?
Remember your first pregnancy? How you were bursting to announce the news? How you bought every baby book you can find?
Yeah, I remember mine too, and it was definitely different from my fourth pregnancy (officially it was my fifth, but that’s a different story). I can just remember now how new it all was! How exciting it all was!
But after having three kiddos, things certainly do change.
How a First Pregnancy is Different from a Fourth Pregnancy
How is every pregnancy different? Let’s explore:
Exhaustion from a first pregnancy is almost cute. “Oh, let her rest! She’s growing a baby!”
Exhaustion from a 4th pregnancy is expected. “Of course you’re exhausted. You have three other kiddos to take care of!”
Morning sickness in a first pregnancy is respected. “That smell offends you? I’m so sorry! I won’t make that food again!” Or “Aw, why don’t you go lie down!”
Morning sickness in a 4th pregnancy is brushed off. “Sorry, but you have three other kiddos, and your toddler doesn’t care what his diaper smells like. Aren’t you used to this by now?”
Announcing a first pregnancy is met with cheers. “Your first baby! How exciting!!”
Announcing a 4th pregnancy can also be met with cheers, but also the following reactions of your large family : “You mean you meant to have another baby? Where will you keep them all? Time for a minivan!”
Your belly grows slowly for your first pregnancy. During your first, your body is stretching out and growing for the very first time. It’ll take some time before an actual pregnant belly appears.
After that? Your body already knows the drill. You’ll show sooner for your second, sooner for your third…and way sooner for your fourth. At least, in my case… When I was 14 weeks I looked like I was 18-20 weeks!
Buying all the books is a must for a first pregnancy. This goes for apps, too. You want to know everything that is happening every day. I mean EVERYTHING. Your body is growing another human, for goodness sake!
After the second or third pregnancy, you kinda forgo the books. I think I did read mine for my second, but by the time I had my third, I knew all the words on every page… By my fourth pregnancy, I took them out once, and that’s about it.
You expect to deliver on your due date or very near it for your first pregnancy. I mean, after all, the doctor gave you that date, so it must be right, right? In some cases, pretty close. In my first pregnancy, I delivered 10 days before my due date. Very healthy 7 lb baby.
In my second pregnancy, I delivered 3 weeks early. Very healthy 7 lb baby. In my third pregnancy, the baby tried coming at 35 weeks and then I delivered at the hour before my 37th week. Very healthy 7 lb baby.
In my fourth pregnancy? I was nearly at the end of my 38th week before she arrived.
Bottom line? My body knows when the baby is ready. I knew better to plan for a baby a little earlier than expected, but knew anything could happen.
You panic at the first sight of a stretch mark and buy any cream you can find in your first pregnancy. You may have never had stretch marks before, and then when you get pregnant for the first time and your skin stretches, oh boy!
By the time you have your fourth pregnancy, you’re darn proud of those stretch marks. Hey, your skin grew and kept that little baby safe inside of you. It had nothing to do with the donuts or ice cream you craved…
You can’t wait to ask your doctor or midwife about everything during your first pregnancy. You have so many questions! You might even go into your appointments with a list in hand, ready to get some riveting answers. Hey, it’s your first time, so ask away.
By the time you have your fourth bun in the oven, it’s the doctor asking you the questions. “Are you sure you’re okay? No questions again?”
You can’t wait to buy maternity clothes for your first pregnancy. Pregnancy clothes are just adorable, and they can grow with you. You want to buy them all for your first pregnancy!
After that, you realize how expensive they can be…and you search for ways to make regular clothes work (hint: they can!). By the time you have your fourth pregnancy under way, you have a nice collection of maternity clothes, both maternity and not maternity, that will get you through nine months just fine.
You want to buy all of the most popular baby products and gear with your first pregnancy. They are just so cool! Bouncy seats that play music AND vibrate? YES! Cute little animals that hold the baby’s pacifier? ADORABLE!
By the time you have your fourth, you know what’s a necessity and what just takes up space. (But seriously, baby carriers are a must when you have multiple little kids running around!)
You can devote all of your time to growing your baby in your first pregnancy. You read or sing to your belly. You take your prenatals, you exercise, you drink your water…
By the time you have your fourth pregnancy underway, there are three other kiddos who want your attention and need your assistance. Sure, the baby in the belly will hear your voice, but often he/she will get a taste of what it sounds like when Mommy has to clean up spilled juice in the living room for the umpteenth time that day.
Fourth Pregnancy Stories
Okay, okay. You know I love it all any way, no matter how different my fourth pregnancy is from my first. On the bright side, I have definitely been down this road before and can totally handle it all with my hands tied behind my back and blindfolded (no, really, the toddler has taken me hostage….).
Tell me: how was your first pregnancy different from a fourth pregnancy? How were they the same? I’d love to know your fourth pregnancy stories!
Dandi D says
This is my fourth pregnancy, but I only have one living child, so this one is kind of stressful for me!
I hope your pregnancy goes well!! Best wishes!
Rachel Alba says
With my first pregnancy (even though it was 42 years ago, it seems like yesterday) I was young and still cute and had such pretty maternity clothes. I was also working till my 4th month. My husband was so proud and patient with me.
My second and last pregnancy, a few years later, I was still a little heavy from the first one, so my husband didn’t think I was so cute anymore and had less patience with me. My first child was 3 years old and it was in the summer and the hottest summer every. I didn’t have as much patience with her either, which I regret till this day. I had cheap clothes, mostly hand me down from other people and I was as big as a cow. The similarities was that both babies were born early; my first baby was three weeks early and my second baby was 10 days early.
When my water broke with my first baby, my husband was a nervous wreck and sat there and stared at me till it was time to go. Than you had to have the pains 5 minutes apart before going to the hospital. When my water broke with my second baby, it was at night and I woke my husband and he said, “oh, ok”, lol and wanted to go back to sleep. But, both babies were loved just as much and now we love all 3 of our grandchildren just as much.
You and Aidan are great parents, God knew what He was doing giving you 4 children. Gob bless you and your beautiful little family.
Many blessings to you, Aunt Rachel
Things were very different back then, weren’t they? I never experienced my water breaking. I can totally see Uncle Frankie falling back asleep, lol! It’s just so from the excitement of the first time around.
Tiffany Schmidt says
With my first, I questioned everything. With my second, I was surprised to find out just how far along I was when we went for fetal age (definitely a surprise and a bit of denial.) with this one I’m asking a lot of questions again, but or different reasons. This is our rainbow baby, and I’m as concerned about everything as I was with the first. So it’s come full circle for me.
As or baby stuff, I’m not sure, there have been some amazing strides in baby gear since seven years ago. We’re trying to figure out what we actually NEED though first, then maybe something cool or cute 🙂
I know what you mean about being nervous about a rainbow baby. I did forget about the questions I asked in the beginning, when it was still new! I hope your pregnancy goes well!
lisa g says
My first preg was hectic n exciting. Ate nothing but organic foods. Lol. Ended up with a cs. I read a million books with my first 2.i knew i didnt want another cs. Got my vbac. By my 3rd i had to buy all new books since i had given them all away. And knew i wanted a midwife. Ended up on bed rest.
Now with my 4th. I know he’ll come early. I know not to skip my blood pressure meds. And just take it easy. Im carrying high so at least i can walk this time around. I thought id be carrying this one in my knees. Lol
You never know what to expect, right? I was surprised that I needed a c-section for my first too, since I otherwise had a healthy pregnancy. He was just looking up instead of down and had a big head, both of which were out of my control!
I hope your 4th pregnancy continues to go well!
Amber Ludwig says
I have only had one (two pregnancies) but I wasn’t the average first pregnancy mom!! I didn’t read any baby books because they freaked me out!! I can imagine that by my second or third (Im not planning a fourth for us) that I would be a lot more relaxed…. but who knows!! I feel like my anxiety stems from my health and my miscarriage and the health of my baby…. I would hope that it would fade but lord knows Im still an anxious person regardless lol!! Does the worry ever stop?? Nope!! Cuz I still worry about my son now and he’s out of the womb 😉
Oh, it’s totally okay to worry. Baby books can be scary, that’s for sure, since you never really think about anything negative happening!
Best wishes with your little guy!
Jennifer Heintz says
I only had one pregnancy, and was blessed with my daughter. She however had three children, with basically back to back pregnancies. A fourth one would not surprise me. The differences were quite noticeable between the 1st and the 3rd. Especially how quickly her belly grew!
Mai T. says
Such an interesting post! I’d never have the chance to tell the difference since I don’t plan on having kid. However, a woman’s body is amazing.