One of the first things people always ask me when they find out I am having a girl is, "So have your pregnancies been different?" The short answer to that is a firm yes. There are so many ways in which my pregnancies have been different, but a lot of them are not huge differences. And while I'm going to attribute some of the differences to the difference in sex, I'm also going to say that age, circumstance, and experience have a lot to do with it as well.
I will say that one of the biggest differences has been that when I was pregnant with Caleb, since I was a first-time mom, everything was a big deal. I worried about everything, and my pregnancy was basically all I thought about. When you have a child outside of your belly already, you don't have the time to focus as much on your pregnancy.
Belly Shape & Size
With Caleb my belly was pretty big, and it was high and wide. I felt short of breath from very early in my pregnancy with Caleb, and he stayed high up right up until I was in labor! This pregnancy, my belly has been way lower from the beginning. It's also not as big. My stomach did bloat right away with this pregnancy, but it ended up leveling out. Since my belly doesn't protrude as much, I definitely feel more movement from her than I did with Caleb.
With Caleb, I lost weight in my first trimester, then gained weight steadily throughout the rest of my pregnancy, with a total weight gain of 24 pounds. With this pregnancy, I have gained a whopping total of... wait for it (and don't hate me, please)... FIVE pounds. I'm actually almost embarrassed to say it, because most women who have been pregnant roll their eyes at me. At first I chalked it up to the nausea I experienced in my first trimester. But then the nausea stopped and I just didn't gain weight. I think there are a few factors at play here, including the fact that I was very active, what with chasing around a toddler, and working all the way through my busy season as a photographer. I've also not been able to eat very large meals during this pregnancy, and have been congested through most of it - which has definitely given me a decreased appetite.
With Caleb, I barely had nausea. I had terrible sciatic pain in my first trimester, then it went away when I started using a pregnancy pillow. I had terrible heartburn all throughout my pregnancy with Caleb. I also had minor swelling with Caleb, and my nose definitely widened some. My feet grew, too!
Like I mentioned above, this time around, I had nausea through the whole first trimester. I have had sciatic pain on and off throughout my pregnancy, usually when I spend too much time on the floor for whatever reason. I've had some heartburn with this pregnancy, but more often when I let my stomach get too empty. I've also had no swelling, and no changes to my nose or feet (praise Jesus!) yet!
This has been where I have experienced the biggest difference. My thoughts this time aren't consumed with a new baby. My thoughts are consumed by Caleb. I had more feelings of guilt this pregnancy than anything else. At one point, when Caleb was really sick with Roseola and battling high fevers every day for over a week, I was exhausted and on the verge of tears. I called my mom and told her, "I feel so guilty because I keep forgetting I'm pregnant, and all my attention is going to Caleb." Her response made perfect sense to me. She told me, "The one in your belly is taken care of. Make sure you take your vitamins and drink water, but don't stress over that baby. The one that's not in your belly needs you right now, and he can't take care of himself. Let go of the guilt and do what you need to do." And you know what? She was 100% right. The moment I let go of the guilt and reminded myself that that baby in my belly WAS perfectly cared for, I was able to be a better mom to Caleb.
Those have been the biggest differences I have noted during this pregnancy. I have thus far been blessed with very healthy, very easy pregnancies, for which I am eternally thankful.
Did you have big differences between your pregnancies? I'd love to hear about them! Share in the comments below!