In the lead up to the birth of our baby girl, our second baby, I was terrified. Yes, all mums-to-be can be scared, to some extent. But I was next-level-beside-myself.
Siobhan pregnant with her second. Image supplied.
Why? Because when I gave birth to Harry, our now two year old, it was hell. I was huge, he was huge, I was really sick and it was a long, drawn out process. A few different complications along with an episiotomy equals OUCH.
It was a nearly 24 hour ordeal and when it was all over Harry was in special care before I even got to hold him on my chest, which was heartbreaking. My recovery afterwards was lengthy.
However, I shouldn’t have worried because guess what? Giving birth to our baby girl Aoife was VERY different.
My birth story with her is not remarkable (well, as non remarkable as births go). It wasn't particularly traumatic. It was actually not too bad.
Giving birth to her was like it should be. Not that there’s any way giving birth ‘should’ happen. But, for me, having her was like I always wanted it to be.
My point is, there are too many stories out there that scare the absolute sh*t out of mums to be. But if you’re frightened of going there again after a bad experience first time around, don’t be. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Here are all the ways my pregnancies and births were different.
My body was completely different
More weight gain the first time, a lot less the second (I can thank running around after a toddler for that!). Carrying wide and low the first time, like a bouncy beach ball and ‘all belly’ the second.
Just because you had a large baby the first time doesn’t mean your subsequent babies will also be big. I thought our baby girl would be similar to our boy – tall and heavy. Not so much. She’s the petite one of the family.
Siobhan's second, Aoife. Image supplied.
Pass the chocolate. Or was it chips?
During my first pregnancy, I was all about savoury fatty foods. The second time, it was sweets. And then it was dairy. And then pesto (I know, weird right?). My poor husband just couldn’t keep up.
Polar opposite births
Just like every woman’s body is different, so is every pregnancy and every birth story.
Our first didn’t have any problems in the feeding department. He would spend hours breastfeeding and chowing down his solids.
Harry just after he was born. Image supplied.
Our second is a fussy little thing. She had reflux for the first few months, and once we ironed that out we had to tackle solids – something that she still hasn’t mastered very well at seven months. Each baby brings their own set of unique challenges, both good and bad!