Comparing my pregnancies

I've always heard how different pregnancies can be, especially going from your first baby to your second. It's definitely been true around here, and in general, this pregnancy has been harder on me. 



I've definitely grown faster and showed earlier this time, although I've learned to embrace it.  


My first trimester morning sickness was much more consistent this time, and I've noticed more third trimester reflux. I feel like I've had more aches and pains, especially in my lower back, but that's probably a combination of it not being my first pregnancy and me not exercising as regularly.

I didn't have any many cravings this time. I remember my cravings for peanut M&Ms and Icees last time, but I think especially during my first trimester this time, I had more aversions to food. 

I've said for a few weeks now that Ariana was my karate kicker, and this baby has been more gentle for the most part. She's been moving A LOT the past couple weeks, but I find it's more rolls than kicks.

I also feel like I have had more intense Braxton Hicks contractions this time around, although I can't remember if I had them and didn't know it last time, or I didn't have them as much. They are known to be more common in subsequent pregnancies. 

I wrote a blog post a few months back on my headspace throughout this pregnancy, and I think getting those thoughts out helped me tremendously!


I mean, first things first. Obviously the pandemic has changed the pregnancy experience for thousands of women. It was strange to spend so much of my pregnancy working at home, and with so few people seeing me on a regular basis and my growing bump. (That's one thing about video meetings - that webcam can hide a lot, ha!) It was peaceful in a way, yet isolating in a way. 

I'm grateful that my husband was able to join for both of our scheduled ultrasounds during the pandemic, although it take take some extra effort. When it was time to schedule my first ultrasound, I chose to have it done at the hospital. When I realized they weren't allowing any guests at the time, I called my doctor, and she was able to refer me to another facility that was allowing one guest. I was so grateful that we were both able to see our baby for the first time and get the comforting news that everything was looking normal and healthy.



I remember that Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina the weekend Ariana was born in 2018, but thankfully, we didn't go through any major storms in Louisiana that year. 

This year, we got the brunt of hurricane season and I experienced Hurricane Laura while 13 weeks pregnant and Hurricane Delta while 20 weeks pregnant. I got a great 20 week workout helping to clean up the fallen tree branches in our yard after Delta, although being without power was not pleasant for any of us. 


Keeping it all in perspective, I'm grateful that our home wasn't damaged, that Ariana and I could spend the night at a relative's who had power, and that our power was restored after two days (and our Internet after a week - I have never been so grateful for hotspots!) So many people had it so much worse than us -- whether they were pregnant, new parents or not.



Having a miscarriage makes it hard to want to share a pregnancy announcement early. When we announced our pregnancy for Ariana back in 2018, I was so excited to share our news publicly once we had passed the first trimester. 

This time, I think I was nearing 22 or 23 weeks before posting anything online, ha. From simply not seeing that many people, there was also always something going on that made me want to wait. It felt weird to post a pregnancy announcement when everyone was preoccupied with hurricanes. Then with National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in October, I wanted to be sensitive to everyone grieving their own losses.

In a way, waiting that long to announce anything made it seem like the first half of my pregnancy lasted forever, while the second half has flown by.



When I was pregnant with Ariana, I scaled down my yoga practice but still went every week, and went swimming often that summer.

Since she's been born, I've never gotten back into a steady exercise/gym routine. And combined with the pandemic, I had not been working out much at all. At least during the spring, I was getting lots of neighborhood walks in. And with a very active toddler, I haven't been able to stay very still in general.


It's honestly taken me until my third trimester to get my butt to the gym, with a mask, on a regular basis. And I'm so, so glad I'm doing it. Even just the handful of swimming afternoons at the heated indoor pool and the few yoga classes I've attended have done so much to make me feel better physically and mentally.

Exercising while pregnant isn't about fitness goals for me, but rather focusing on feeling better mentally and physically. Yoga really helps with all of the aches and pains of pregnancy, and swimming is the best for decompressing, especially when I feel extra puffy.



Oh, how overeager and Type A I was when preparing for Ariana. I remember how hard I worked to have the nursery complete before she was born. I started packing my hospital bag a month and a half before my due date. I curated a hospital playlist over the course of a couple months (and I don't think I listened to half of it in the hospital.) I eagerly read the weekly updates in my pregnancy apps. I always had questions ready for my OB appointments. I made sure we had a maternity photo shoot, lol.

This time, I feel like I've been going with the flow a little more. I remember enough from last time that I don't have as many questions. The nursery is basically staying the same (Ariana will move into a big girl room later this year, so we're making updates a little at a time.) I've refined my hospital bag packing list, but have only packed the baby's clothes so far.

It also helps that we saved so many items to use for a second baby, so our needs list is pretty minimal. We've been collecting some hand-me-downs to take care of what we didn't save.

And I'm pretty sure any maternity shoot this time around will be getting my husband to take a few more photos in the backyard, ha.



I have said it for three years now. I find it so hard to choose girl names. I was about six months pregnant when we chose the name Ariana, and then chose her middle name about a month later.

I am now nearing 35 weeks pregnant, and we still have not settled on a first name for the baby. And no, I do not plan to wait until we meet her to pick a name, ha. Yes, I am putting pressure on myself by telling myself I need to just pick something in the next week or so. We've narrowed it down to about four or five contenders, and just need to sit down and make a decision already.

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