Well, for you email followers I’m sorry you received an unfinished draft version of this post! Bare with me as I make my way through this time of newborn sleeploss 😉
I wanted to compare these two pregnancies mostly because of how they were so drastically different. I think the other post was getting too long and too caught up in details… so here goes a fresh new try.
Pregnancy 1 vs 2
As I’ve written about before, I didn’t feel ready to be a mother when I became pregnant with my first; women in their 20’s aren’t encouraged to get married and start creating their families yet. The pregnancy itself was overwhelming – the changes to my body and the emotions… the actual concept of a baby wasn’t a reality for me until maybe the final trimester.
This pregnancy was planned, but coming right after a miscarriage, it was hard for me to feel excited about it at first. I think I was afraid to actually want this baby for fear I’d lose it. But it ended up being a peaceful, sweet pregnancy with very little stress compared to our first. Health-wise I think this was a much healthier pregnancy. The first time, we ate quite a bit of fast food, I gained somewhere between 45 & 50 lbs. This time we mostly ate homecooked meals – very healthy and low in sodium and fat… I gained 24 lbs instead.
Losing the post partum weight took almost a year for pregnancy #1, but I’ve lost all the weight already for pregnancy #2 because of only gaining 24 lbs. I lost 22 lbs in the first 2 weeks post partum after pregnancy #1, so my body is basically doing the same thing this time, it just had a lot less to lose.
Everyone’s body is different, sometimes the weight just comes off slower – don’t worry about getting it off fast just focus on your newborn and workout once your body is ready. Even though I’ve lost the weight, my body needs to regain the loss muscle tone that allows me to wear my old jeans again – its amazing that muscle actually weighs the same but makes you tinier.
One thing that truly helps is wearing the compression underwear found at almost any maternity store. Its basic underwear with about 5 inches of firm elastic waistband made to compress your belly back in, and helps speedup fluid loss. There are other options that work the same like a belly band wrap that you wear for a month to 3 months daily under your clothes.
This experience was just so much better in so many ways… my first son came a month early due to what my dr contributed to the immense stress we under at that time. My baby spent 5 days in NICU, and we were shell-shocked trying to care and do whatever we could for him. The NICU was great, but seeing him with tubes and an IV was so hard. Baby#2’s birth was ridiculously easy, the hospital stay felt like a mini vacation at a hotel – I even got a massage!
Post partum Emotions
I guess it isn’t surprising I fell into a dark place of post partum depression the first time. With the circumstances surrounding my son’s birth, we also ended up trying to deal with angry in-laws who wanted to let us know they didn’t approve of our boundaries we were trying to set up after the first couple of months.
This time it surprised me how much happiness and bliss I feel post partum… its like realizing how it should’ve felt the first time. I’m actually able to enjoy my new baby instead of feeling a constant fear and dread that something could be wrong. Post partum depression is tricky – if you notice that you don’t feel strong feelIngs for your newborn, or immense fear or anxiety, get treated immediately so that you can recover as fast as possible! That kind of depression was so intense I remember not being able to really register the sunlight – I love sunlit but it was like it didn’t matter, it felt gray. I remember being able to appreciate sunlight again after being treated… if you suspect you have post partum depression, you MUST take care of yourself – it is so sad how it can rob you of the joy of having a new baby.
These two pregnancies just couldn’t have been more different, I’m grateful for the experiences so that I can understand more of what women go through. If you’ve had a birth or post partum experience you’d like to talk about please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.