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Since originally publishing this post, I’m thrilled to share that I gave birth to a happy, healthy and beautiful baby girl!
Through most of my second pregnancy, I approached it similar to my first: trying to remain active, eat healthy foods, get sleep and listen to my body. However, there were a couple things I chose to do differently this time around.
Things I Did Differently With My Second Pregnancy
1. More Strength Training.
Well, I guess I should call it strength exercise since I’m not really training for anything… well, labor? I digress.
During my first pregnancy, I did a wonderful job at walking and prenatal yoga. I did some weights, too, but really focused on the others.
This go ‘round, prenatal yoga hasn’t didn’t really work out for me. There was nothing offered within a 40-minute drive from my house and I know myself: at-home options don’t hold my interest.
So during my second pregnancy, I switched up my cardio to include walking, stair stepper, bike and elliptical. I kept things interesting and wasn’t too hard on the same joints over and over again.
I also kicked up the strength training in large part to Jess’ prenatal workouts. I never knew how much I could do before and these workouts let me feel challenged without overdoing it.
Carrying Hailey around certainly helped, too, but I’ve a lot done more planking and total body strength to help aid in labor and recovery. At the very least, it got my endorphins pumping!
2. Loyally Taking my Vitamins.
I’ll admit, this didn’t happen my first pregnancy and didn’t happen at the beginning of the second one either. Why? I didn’t trust them. I questioned vitamin’s sourcing, their effectiveness and they usually upset my stomach, too. I figured I ate such a varied diet that I didn’t need them.
Well, then my energy began to suffer, cravings for meat intensified (remember that?) and I realized I might need a little support. I never expected the huge difference I would feel when I started taking my prenatal vitamins regularly.
My energy after I started taking the vitamins was much better than the 3 previous months, and symptoms that I didn’t even know were symptoms of deficiencies (like my sensitive tongue last pregnancy – a symptom of iron deficiency!) disappeared.
I started sleeping like a rock all night, I passed my glucose test this time with flying colors, my hair started growing faster and my lashes and eyebrows suddenly started filling in. Plus, my stomach didn’t hurt when I take them.
3. Not Obsessing Over Labor.
Last time I read so many books on labor, specifically natural labor. Hours upon hours of time were put into reading birth stories online, practicing my breathing and focus and preparing David to know his lines: No epidural, let her walk around, no monitoring!
Well, then I was 10 days late and had no choice but to be induced. I went natural for as long as possible, but Hailey was sunny-side-up and eventually I needed pitocin and an epidural (you can read the full story here: part 1 and part 2).
Trying to go natural this time takes more than mental strength. It also requires the stars lining up, going into labor on your own, the baby in the right position, etc.
I have the highest respect for women that successfully have un-medicated births (seriously, high fives mamas!), but I’ve also learned that what matters most to me is having baby girl arrive healthy and safe.
A method of arrival into the world or into your family does not make a woman more or less of a mom.
Plus, labor is just a day, then you have that whole ‘taking care of a newborn’ thing to do 😉
If you’ve had more than one child, did you do anything differently the second time around?
Laura @FitMamaLove says
It’s fun to hear how people change it up the second time with both pregnancy and parenting.
I did yoga the first time, but not the second, just because of childcare issues. I exercised more than the first time around just because our routine usually includes going to the Y everyday now.
I also gained a lot more weight! The first time I gained a lot of weight simply by listening to my body’s needs–I was hungry all the time! I kept it healthy, though. The second time, I was a lot more lenient in my diet and it showed!
Parita @ myinnershakti says
You are such an inspiration! I can’t wait to re-read all these posts sometime in the future. 🙂
I think overall I was definitely more relaxed my second time around. After a difficult first labor I had no expectations for my second one, and ended up being pleasantly surprised… it went exactly as I could have hoped – well, maybe a lot faster. Ha ha. I think, overall I ended up doing less exercise my second time around, however, and I wish I had been more diligent. Sure, I had a toddler to chase around, but I think it would have made it easier to “bounce back” if I had kept up on fitness.
I would say the only real difference for me is #3. So much so that I seriously need to review some of my notes from birthing class since I’m almost 38 weeks. Maybe I’m a little too relaxed about letting things happen as they happen! I did have a natural birth last time, but I COMPLETELY agree with your stance. The stars aligned for me and I didn’t have to be induced, have back labor, any health concerns about baby during labor, etc. I’m planning on attempting natural again, but open to whatever happens. If that means I need an epidural or a C section to make sure baby comes out healthy, sign me up.
you look and sound great! The second pregnancy was definitely more taxing on me – I felt great overall but was MUCH more tired the second time around with a toddler. Bonus: best sleep ever! 🙂 And I definitely didn’t read or obsess over details like I did the first time around. That’s continued into Avery’s growth – like I haven’t really followed the 3-day rule when feeding her new foods, give her stuff from our plates, etc since she’s shown no signs of allergies.
That’s fun to hear what you’re doing differently this time around. I had a hard time finding prenatal vitamins when I was pregnant too. I ended up taking the Rainbow Light ones because they didn’t upset my stomach. I know it sounds stupid, but I hated taking more than one of the horse pills when I was pregnant and had such horrid morning sickness, so I nixed those brands right away. Lots of others hurt my stomach and made me puke and then I had to find one that was plant based and had good bioavailability.
Brittany Dixon says
Yes, I’ve learned so much about the importance of bioavability, sourcing and effectiveness. I used to be such a vitamin naysayer, and I never thought I’d FEEL a difference. It’s amazing how the delivery method of a vitamin can make such a difference!
I love reading your thoughts on the 2nd time around! I am more in health mode now, so I am going to take it easier on the junk food the 2nd time around. I don’t need ice cream EVERY day…LOL! I also hope to start some sort of strength training regimen soon, and hopefully I will keep at up during the next pregnancy. Right now my physical activity is limited to walking and jogging. And even that is a challenge to fit in while working full time, taking care of a toddler and running a household.
My first pregnancy was twins and this one is a singleton so that already makes things way different. #1 would be that I don’t have nearly the same amount of time to devout to this pregnancy as I did last time. I’m not reading the books or taking classes. Unless everything lines up perfectly, I’m pretty much having a c-section so I’m not too worried about labor. I’ve also learned that labor is just the means to having your baby in your arms. It does not define the pregnancy, the mama, or the baby. I’m much more relaxed this time around. I’m only stocking up on essentials. #2 Chasing 20 month old twins around has upped my activity level and I haven’t been gaining tons of weight. I’m also not getting as much sleep but still feeling good. Staying active has really helped my energy level.
Brittany Dixon says
20 month old twins and pregnant- you’re awesome! I’ll bet you are getting in a good amount of activity which is great. I’m so glad you’re feeling well, too!
More strength training is definitely something I plan to do during my second pregnancy. I focused more on running during my first and while I felt great throughout and after, I know strength training would have helped me recover faster and keep things tighter 🙂 You look great!
Brittany Dixon says
That’s exactly my thoughts- I focused more of running the first time and though I felt good, I think I lost more muscle mass and strength than I noticed. Hoping I’m keeping a bit more of it this go ’round!
My first birth was medication and intervention free, but my daughter was large! 9lbs 2oz!! She was sunny-side up and had an almost 2min shoulder dystocia. A tad dramatic, to say the least.
This time around I am really trying to control my sugar intake in order to(hopefully) have a smaller baby. Last time I GUZZLED orange juice in the middle of the night, not thinking twice about the amount of sugar I was taking in. I’ve cut out all juices and have replaced heavy carb breakfasts with greek yogurt, fresh fruit and nuts. Waffles, pancakes, french toast and syrups will have to wait until after April!
There’s still a reasonable amount of chocolate in my diet though 😉
Brittany Dixon says
Hey, good for you monitoring your sugar, mama! I know it isn’t always easy to control those cravings. Thus why I don’t keep chips and salsa in my house at all time 😉
Yes, yes, yes. I had to stop lifting at 24 weeks per my midwife’s advice, but I am tempted every time I’m in the gym to pick up a weight again. I know I’ll miss my muscles once I’m constantly holding, rocking, and nursing a newborn. Thankfully, I do still have a 27 lb. weight that needs to be picked up several times per day.
I feel the same exact way about labor. I’d love to go natural, but I really feel like it’s not in my control much. I feel like once you need pitocin, it just spirals from there. And if that happens again to me, that’s OK. Healthy baby, healthy mama is all that matters!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables says
You are awesome momma! I love reading your updates! I pray one day I will need to refer back to all these! xoxo
Katie @ Pick Any Two says
I too stopped strength training during pregnancy, and looking back I think I would have been better off if I kept it up. That’s one of my goals for my next pregnancy!
I slept a lot less. And laid on the floor a lot more while my toddler ran around me.
I love these changes. I also didn’t worry too much about labor the second time around, and willingly took an epidural much earlier. I was so comfortable I laid around watching Keeping up with the Kardashians before pushing for 20 minutes.
Katie Zell says
I am Kristine Zell’s sis-in-law and have been stalking your blog for years now. I’ve loved following your pregnancy as I am 26 weeks prego with baby girl #3! Since I am only going to have a 3 yr difference between my oldest and this one (yup, I have one in between, too!) this pregnancy has been a completely different experience. I’ve felt fantastic but also haven’t had much time to focus on this precious babe. Such is life with littles! 🙂
Good for you for listening to your body and I look forward to hearing how little H reacts to being a big sis! Speaking from a mom of two girls right now, it’s so so SO fun!!!!
Brittany Dixon says
Ahh- hi!!! Kristine and I have chatted about you a few times and it sounds like we’d be good buddies 🙂 I know what you mean about not having time to focus on the baby on the way. Sometimes she will kick me hard and I feel like it’s her way of saying ‘hey mom, remember me??’ 😉
I just know it will make finally meeting her sweet face that much more exciting and overwhelming.
So happy for you and your three awesome girls. How lucky they will be to have each other and be so close in age! So glad you’re feeling well, too; it makes such a difference!
You have that whole pregnancy glow thing going on! Pregnancy looks good on you!
Ah, I’m so torn with this whole vitamin debate. I read articles saying they are a scam, then I read another about how only certain ones are scams and then my head spins and I cannot decide. All I know is that by the time I’m pregnant they better have an effective, all-natural, and safe GUMMY prenatal because swallowing those horse pills is going to be struggle for this girl and her gag reflex 😉
Brittany Dixon says
I was flat out on the anti-vitamin side. Seriously. I didn’t trust them and didn’t think I needed them. After just 2-3 weeks of taking Shaklee’s vitalizer I could FEEL a difference, which blew my mind. Seriously. Maybe I was too high on my horse, but I thought I ate so well that I didn’t need anything and was shocked when I got pushed off my high horse- haha.
I know vitamins are such a personal decision. I know I never would have been convinced without trying them for myself. To each their own!
Do you know if Shaklee has samples of those vitamins? I’d like to try them, but it’s such a huge cost investment up front and I need new clothes too! (hehe)
Brittany Dixon says
One good thing about pregnancy is not having to think about new clothes- haha! Hopefully people don’t mind that I wear the same 4 shirts on repeat.
Samples aren’t available, but like everything with Shaklee, there is a 100% money back guarantee. The vitalizer is the grandaddy in my opinion because it offers so many nutrients, but depending on what your interests/needs are, there may be a different combo that best suits what you’re after.
Want to email me with more of what your looking for or hoping to feel (more energy, better digestion, a good multi, etc) and we can chat more about it?
I was more relaxed but also spent more time getting informed about a natural delivery in a hospital setting. My first birth was an unplanned c-section due to breech. I was induced for no medical reason, my doctor just scheduled it for his own convience right after my due date. He forgot to check the baby’s position prior to inducing me, so I was in labor alllll day and ready to push when they realized, opps!, baby is breech.
This time around, hell no was I going to let that happen. I read about VBAC’s, and about what rights a laboring woman has to refuse things. For example, I knew I was safe to wait for induction up to two weeks past my due date and refused to schedule anything until I was almost 42 weeks pregnant. I also switched up doctors and found a practice that was supportive of my desire to have a VBAC. I ended up going into labor 10 days past and had a successful unmedicated vaginal delivery. Sooo much easier than a c-section, I would do it over a thousand times. I’m 6 weeks postpartum now and am in a such a better place both physicaly and mentally compared to last time. Wishing you luck in your labor and delivery this time around!
Brittany Dixon says
Oh my gosh, Paulina, that’s incredible! I know VBACs can be really tricky and I think it is amazing that you did so much research and had a wonderful experience this time. My main ‘goal’ if I could call it that would be to avoid a c-section if possible because I hear the healing is so tough.
I’m so happy for you and am so glad to hear you’re recovering so well! Thanks for sharing <3
Ashley M (never)homemaker says
Heck yes sunny side up club . . . I honestly don’t know if I could do it again w/o drugs, especially knowing now how it feels to basically tear into two hahaha. I love seeing what your second timers are doing. I already know there are certain things I’ll do differently with my next pregnancy! So, thanks for sharing!
It has been a few years but I don’t remember having time to dwell on my second pregnancy. Working in an OB GYN office, I could listen to our sweet girl’s heart beat every day–although at that time I didn’t know she was a girl. But I do remember that I requested the epidural as soon as possible instead of waiting until I was dilated 7-8 cm. Much more fun that way 🙂
Jess @ Blonde Ponytail says
You are doing amazing! I love reading about the comparison between your 2 pregnancies!
With #2 I was much more flexible with everything in pregnancy. With delivery, things progressed much quicker. I delayed my epindural & once I succumbed to the pain & had the medicine I went from 3.5cm to having the baby in 1hr 45 min! Try to relax this time & listen to your body : )
Erin @ The Grass Skirt says
You look adorable! I am also being better about taking my vitamins this time around…probably because they made me really sick during my first pregnancy. I must have tried 5 different brands!
With my first I was very uneducated. So I didn’t take any prenatal vitamins. But with the second I did.
Also, was more active with baby no 2.
Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food says
Baby’s position makes such a difference! Hunter was sunny side up too, back labor + longer labor. Zoe was anterior – more manageable contractions and faster labor… get on those hands and knees girl!
Kate @ Indulgent Wellness says
I had a desk job when I was pregnant with our first (also named Hailey!) but my consulting lifestyle and chasing a 2.5 year old through pregnancy #2 meant that I was naturally more active and had much less water retention and swelling. Baby Sister Audrey is now almost 1 month old! Labor, delivery and recovery were easier the second time around and I hope it is the same for you!
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Hmmm well the second time around I was lazy as can be. I was high risk so I saw my Obgyn every week and was on bed rest. Once I reached 37 weeks I switched care over to my home birth midwife. That’s a challenge because it’s hard to find an OB who will be willing to support this but mine was great. She thought I was crazy but wished me luck. I did this for my first baby too. She was born at home after 40 hrs and she was not in position. Very hard labor but I’m proof that if you can tough it out and give your body time it will be ok. The second baby came and labor was intense from start to finish. Only 12 hrs of labor this time though. He was posterior so after I was fully dialated I had to walk for a few hours to ease him down more (HARD). In the hospital they always try to get the baby out the second you get to 10cm, but babies are sometimes not ready yet. In BOTH my cases I was fully dialated for hours before the pushing started. It’s very common in natural births. With my second I was really trying to use the power of positive thinking. I was exhausted with both. It’s funny when I hear Moms say “it’s a good thing I did ……. because I wouldn’t have had the energy to push” because that’s not how the natural chemicals in the body work. Yes you are exhausted and yes it feels like you’re going to pass out. I even passed out between contractions because I was so tired. But something happens when it’s time to push. Your body released a surge of chemicals and you are awake and ready. It’s crazy but it’s what our bodies were created to do. We must trust the process I suppose. I honestly never thought there was any way I’d make it through either labor and somehow you just do. I was really against getting an epidural because of the opioids it’s made with. It’s really surprising how hard labor is. It truly lets you know what you’re made of. In all honesty I felt weaker the second time around. I was more tired and the baby had more fetal distress. He also had the cord around his neck which I’ve learned is very very common. I think it always sounds scary when people talk about all these “complications” but what people don’t realize is that they are very common. Thank goodness we have modern medicine though because some of these preemie babies would have never stood a chance. It’s amazing!
Mrs Champagne says
Only American woman are obsessed with natural labor. In France, 90 % of the women take the epidural, it doesn’t make them less of good mothers and baby mortality rate is lower than in North America. Suffering doesn’t make you a better mom.
I agree with core workout and vitamins. I’ll add:
– watch my diet and not gain too much because one year after I still have baby weight to lose, I wasn’t careful enough. 1 more kilos = 4 on the knees so it becomes hard on you.
– make freezer meals for the 3rd trimester and 1st days with Baby
– not obsessing about a birth plan
– wear a support belt for the back.