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!