When you repeat an activity three times in a row, chances are you know that activity inside and out by the third replay.
This is not exactly true when it comes to pregnancy. Morning sickness, the possibility of a C-section, and even maternity clothes. None of these is a done deal.
Even though the biology is the same for all pregnancies, every time is a unique adventure. Here are 10 unexpected third pregnancy differences I’d like to share with you.
Your own experience might be a little different or mostly similar. How about we compare notes?
Breaking The Big News, One More Time!
When I told my husband that I was pregnant that very first time, it was a little festival for two.
Telling our family and friends was just as big of a deal, and we kept getting phone calls every day until the baby came.
Breaking the news at work was challenging, as I was apprehensive of looking less professional. As it turned out, that went so well in every way.
In my third pregnancy, telling my husband and everyone I knew seemed much less sensational.
Work will certainly be different. I’m on maternity leave now, and that holds a little bit of suspense. But I know that I’ll figure it out eventually.
Gaining Weight… Fast!
Back in college, I had an ideal athletic figure. I remember that with a lot of nostalgia now.
In my first pregnancy, I gained weight fast. This is a bit unusual for first-time moms, but I broke records back then! I didn’t lose it quickly, but eventually, I did.
Fast forward a few years later, I became pregnant again, but only noticed it 9 weeks into my pregnancy.
I’d just returned to work, I was studying for my diploma, and my hands were full with caring for my toddler.
I didn’t gain much weight throughout that pregnancy. Maybe I was too busy?
Third pregnancy body differences are quite evident. It comes with a few functional and biological challenges.
You already have two kids, a partner, a house, and maybe a job to take care of. There are all these social obligations, kid’s school, extracurriculars, and a million other things.
Do you have the time or energy to cook and eat good food? Can you free up a couple of hours for exercise? I’m not so sure about that!
Mother nature also gets a bit funny with you. Your uterus, lower abdomen muscles, bone density, and whole chemistry is altered. Your body changes during pregnancy significantly!
Not all women are affected by the third pregnancy in the same way. And even if you change in a big way, you can still reverse the effects. But first, it’s best to understand them fully.
Noticing That New Third Pregnancy Body
Pregnant women check themselves in every mirror, shop display window, and pretty much any reflective surface they can find!
Sometime around the second trimester, you’ll notice that you didn’t just gain weight.
You gained voluptuousness! If you initially had regular curves, you’ll develop into an evidently feminine shape. If you were well endowed prior to pregnancy, you’re heading to a Kim K. body fast!
This is primarily because of the abundance of hormones pumping through your veins. It’s also your body’s way of caring for the little baby inside it.
It’s a preparatory technique for the upcoming birth process and subsequently nursing your child.
Here’s a fun fact: Many couples report a huge improvement in intimacy during that second trimester!
You’ll also notice more stretch marks, possibly a few blemishes on your face, and maybe some varicose veins here and there.
That’s all quite normal for your third pregnancy, and especially around the last trimester.
That Feeling Of “Been There Done That”
Well, you have actually been there and done that. More than once. But still, third pregnancy is different.
You don’t need to read a million books or watch a gazillion videos to know what to expect when you’re expecting.
Morning sickness doesn’t come as a shock to you. You know how to deal with moodiness and fatigue. And you certainly know that this twitch in your tummy is your baby kicking.
Knowing what’s really going on is comfortable. It removes the anxiety and stress from the equation. What’s left after that is enjoying the ride.
Third-time moms are also seasoned shoppers. By now, you know the best clinics, doctors, cosmetics, clothes, and all sorts of pregnant-woman needs.
This saves you time and money substantially.
Realizing It’s Actually Labor
I had the real Braxton Hicks contractions in my first pregnancy. These are rhythmic pains that feel like they’re going to escalate into a full-on delivery.
However, they eventually subside and the pregnancy continues. I couldn’t tell whether it was labor because I hadn’t yet experienced it.
Labor is a huge mystery for women who haven’t really been through childbirth. What you see in movies is often screams, and other women often just say, “It was horrible!”
Yet, women get pregnant again and again, so how bad could it be? And why couldn’t the Braxton Hicks contractions I had be the green light of birth?
After a couple of deliveries, of course, any woman can tell the difference.
Some of my friends could actually tell when exactly their baby was coming, so they didn’t rush off to the hospital until the sequence started.
Third pregnancy labor differences are mainly in the way the water breaks and the dilation of the uterus.
Checking Third Pregnancy Different Symptoms
I never missed a routine checkup throughout my first pregnancy, and it wasn’t just to do the necessary tests and scans.
Every month I went to ask my doctor about all the different things that were happening to my body.
Sometimes I related simples issues that turned out to need more attention, and the opposite is also true.
What I imagined was a big deal, often turned out to be a passing inconvenience. We read a lot about being pregnant, but the real deal is usually more interesting.
The repetition of an event often decreases its sense of urgency. But pregnancy follow-up visits are important throughout the first, second, and third trimesters.
Prenatal and antenatal care are simple measures you take to ensure your well-being.
Taking good care of your baby starts with taking good care of yourself. So those hemorrhoids that you missed the first time, tell your doctor about it.
And the annoying back pain or heartburn, don’t ignore them. Get the right treatment and fix them.
Taking Care Of The Kids
Telling your kids that they’re going to have a new baby sister or baby brother is harder than breaking the news to anyone else.
Kids are prone to thinking that they’ll be replaced and phased out by the new baby. They’d be excited at first, naturally. But you should know what they might be thinking.
Age difference plays an important part in smoothing out the inclusion of a baby in the family. Older kids tend to be happier with the new arrival, and even share in its care duties.
Younger kids may be a little more apprehensive of the event. Especially if they depend on you for their transportation, studying, or bedtime stories.
You’ll need to make the transition seamless and natural. Your partner is your biggest asset in that regard – he should level up to be a third pregnancy different father.
Becoming Chummy With The Gynecologist
Doctor-patient relationships are often civil. This formality often dissolves over the years and multiple pregnancies. Your doctor becomes a friend of the family, and that’s so sweet.
When doc sees my kids, she feels proud and involved. And she often reminds them that she held them in her hands before anyone else!
We have several photos of her carrying my babies, and we all truly cherish that relationship.
Some things need time to build, and this is certainly one of them. Some women change their doctors as they move to another city, or because they feel more comfortable with someone else.
The closeness and bonding still happens. So enjoy it, and feel free to reciprocate these warm sentiments with a good doctor.
Who Needs More Baby Things?
With two kids in the house – or more if you had twins – you certainly have a surplus of baby stuff. I like using the little onesies for all my kids successively.
They’re like a family heirloom. There are a few knitted jackets I made that I can’t part with. Ever.
I enjoy seeing my kids wear items that now carry a memory.
These aren’t just garments, and even though it’s practical and economical to pass some items through the ranks, I find the sentimental value much more valuable.
Naturally, I replenish with new garments. I like to give each one of my babies their own individuality as well. Besides, baby-stuff shopping is such fun!
Some baby necessities demand being reused, like the stroller, baby monitor, and car seat. These cost a hefty sum the first time around.
Then you just fetch them out of storage and get them ready for baby number three.
Getting To Know My Big Family
With three kids of varying ages around the house, a mom feels more like a matriarch! Mothers have maternal muscles that grow along with the size of their families.
There’s a lot of humor in what I just said, but there’s also some truth. Managing a full house and being present for all your kids is hard work.
Teens have different needs to that of toddlers. And a new baby on board can make every pair of hands in the house full.
The prospect of an expanding family is sometimes scary and sometimes exciting. Mothers of three are often powerful and resourceful.
And that’s what they’d like the whole world to see, especially their kids.
There’s a hidden part of that picture though. Mothers are overwhelmed most of the time, and a third time pregnancy could feel like climbing Mount Everest in a summer dress.
Postpartum anxiety can catch up with the toughest ladies, so it’s best to be prepared and take some precautions.
A good support system goes a long way. Plus a high degree of organization, and a higher degree of acceptance that your system won’t always work!
So Much More To Say!
This is not even the half of it. Pregnancy is a major event in a family, and an epic time in any woman’s life.
I was hoping to be a veteran after having two kids, but I have to admit that these third pregnancy differences took me by surprise!
Here’s an encouraging story. A friend of mine has five kids, and she shares my exact same sentiments.
There are things we know and things that we still have to learn. Well, this not-being-too-sure keeps life interesting!