I get a lot of questions about how this pregnancy is different from my first. It's a good question that I'm often not very good at answering. But, here is my best attempt:
For me, the biggest difference between Pregnancy #1 and Pregnancy #2 is this: It's not really that big of a deal. Sure, you're creating life. Yeah, people ask how you're feeling more often, check in to see how everything is going. But, no one is fawning over you like they do the first time around and you're not nearly as nice to yourself.
During a first pregnancy life becomes consumed by the fact that you're pregnant. You buy books and actually read them, check every ache and pain online, pay close attention to your body, your doctor is thorough with you at appointments, you take classes on CPR and breast feeding. You register for gifts and your family and friends throw you parties. Unexpected gifts are delivered to your front door, hours are spent at Pottery Barn Kids and Buy Buy Baby trying to find the perfect glider, rug, and car seat. The expectations on your day to day life are pretty low. "I'm pregnant" becomes a perfectly acceptable reason for why the laundry doesn't get done, you order in five nights in a row, and your husband takes over bathroom cleaning duties. You go to prenatal yoga, treat yourself to a fruit smoothie, take a nap.
And then the second time around... Well, you're already a mom and - guess what - your kid still needs to be fed, clothed, and entertained. You're still expected to show up for work (whether outside the home or taking care of your child all day), be a parent, and keep relative order in your life. No presents arrive on your doorstep. Sure, people think it's neat that you're pregnant again, but they're not waiting on the edge of their seat for news on how you're feeling or how they can help.
Eventually you get to the point where you're counting weeks left instead of months. You buy a yogurt and the expiration date is actually after your due date, which puts you into a tail spin. All of a sudden you realize that you're actually having a baby, so you go to the store and try to remember what you need. Pacifiers, bottles, baby wash. What else? You can't remember that stuff, because the first time you were given a list and someone else bought you all these things and you opened them while everyone looked on and explained exactly why you needed it and what you'd do with it. Now you walk up and down the aisles, staring at the baby products. It's only been a couple years, but it's a foreign land. You may actually spend five minutes considering whether spending $10 extra on a 100% all natural baby wash vs. 98% natural baby wash is worth it and whether you would have even considered exposing Baby #1 to the 2% of chemicals (for the record, I always choose to go with the more natural product).
You're still lifting your kid in and out of car seats, fighting him on the changing table, leaning over the crib, and chasing him around to get his coat and shoes on... Things you would never have imagined doing last time. Really, you don't think pregnant ladies should lift more than 20 pounds? Well, I've got news for you... You're going grocery shopping, stocking up on random things because it makes you feel better to know for certain that you'll use four boxes of pasta even if you have no clue whether you should stock up on new supplies for your breast pump.
You assume you already know everything, but as time starts to run down, you realize you're just as clueless as you were the first time. Well, that is, if you're me.