When you’re an OB-GYN and have kids of your own, you often relate to parents on a personal level. One such example is when moms ask me, “Does it get better with the second pregnancy?” I always tell them, “From what I know, yes.”
I have four kids, so from my experience, the second (and third and fourth) pregnancies go by much faster. Along with understanding pregnancy a little bit more, you also have another child, so you’re busier. You aren’t as consumed with the changes that pregnancy brings because you have a child to focus on. Which can be a good thing.
With the second pregnancy, you know what to expect. You can anticipate the things you’ve already experienced, both with mind and body. And by knowing that, you’re potentially able to curb some of those first-time jitters and enjoy the pregnancy more.
But, you might also have a moment of panic. You might wonder how you can balance having more than one baby to care for, how you can love them as much as they deserve, and how you can have enough time with both of them.
I know I worried about this once or twice, but the worry isn’t worth it. Don’t give in to these moments of panic. As someone who’s been there, I can confidently tell you: You can do it.
Once you deliver, you’ll realize you’re amazingly better at taking care of a baby the second time around. Not that you weren’t great at it before. But now you’re a pro. You’re better at listening to your instincts. You’ve done this before. And you’re going to be great at it again.
Plus, you’ll have the help of an older sibling. I was amazed at the love my oldest had for his baby sister. He adored her. They adored each other. Not all the time, of course. But watching them interact brought incredible joy to our family.
That said, I found it beneficial to spend time with each child individually. When we had two, my husband would spend time with the new baby while I went to the library with our two-year-old. That one-on-one time was great for me.
If you’re expecting your second (or third or fourth or fifth), don’t panic about your ability to parent. You’ll be better at it after your first. You’ll be more confident in your choices and trusting in yourself. You know what’s right for your kids. Just listen to your instincts.
Going from zero to one is a big leap. After that, it’s all baby steps.
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