Comparing Pregnancies

Do you ever struggle with comparing?  Sometimes I think this is part of the curse. 🙂 As women, it seems so easy to fall into comparing, especially when it comes to motherhood and our families.

I don’t think pregnancy is an exception either.  We can wonder if we’re eating right, exercising enough, and resting enough.  Or we can just jump to feeling badly because we don’t do those things.

To be honest, I think comparing is one of our biggest joy stealers.  I don’t think God gave us the gift of pregnancy so we would spend our time comparing.  I think He gave us this gift so we could learn more about Him and enjoy the little life that is forming inside of us.

Though, sometimes we’re just accidentally really good at comparing anyway.  So I’m going to compare my first and second pregnancies for you. 🙂 Before I became pregnant a second time I was a firm believer that pregnancies would look similar.  After all, it’s still my body, what could possibly be different? Uh huh… (Insert: all mothers of multiple kids laughing.)

Okay, here we go.  Here are a few physical differences between my pregnancies…

First Pregnancy:  For starters, I gained 40 pounds and blew up like a balloon.  I laid on ice three times a night just to sleep my first trimester.  I thought I was dying of heartburn if I ate a Bell Pepper.  I didn’t really have any food cravings, occasionally had sciatic nerve pain, and wore a back brace once in a while.  Oh, and I was hungry ALL THE TIME.

Second Pregnancy: I’ve only gained 25 pounds but I’ve had really sore muscles.  I wear my back brace almost every day right now. I had morning sickness for the first 25 weeks, currently experience pregnancies headaches, and occasionally have Braxton Hicks contractions.   Peppers still kills me but I LOVE chocolate milk and ice water.  Overall, I don’t think I am as hungry as I was the first time either.

Apparently, pregnancies can be very different.  These are just the differences I had no control over too.

Here are some funny personal choices that were different…

First Pregnancy:  I tried to do EVERYTHING by the book.  I did pregnancy yoga, went to birthing classes, read weekly development updates, and took my prenatal vitamins everyday.  I tried to eat reasonably healthy and I planned out my hospital bag way in advance.  My favorite memory is walking around with a grabber that old people use to pick up things off the floor I couldn’t reach.

Second Pregnancy: I threw the book out the window. 🙂 I haven’t watched my yoga video once, I sometimes forget my prenatal vitamins, and I just started thinking about labor/hospital planning at 36 weeks!  I don’t go out of my way to eat healthy and I am training my little guy to be my “picker-upper.”  He gets me back through because he occasionally wants to play “horsey” where he rides on my back.

It’s safe to say I’ve handled my first and second pregnancies just a tad bit differently.  And, you know what, that’s okay.

At first, it was tempting to compare my second pregnancy to my first to make sure I was doing it “right.”  Thankfully, I became too tired to really think about this too much.  I didn’t really want to spend my time worrying about this anyway.  I wanted to spend my energy on enjoying the life inside of me and looking forward to upcoming adventure.  I would have become stressed and missed this joy if I focused on making sure I was doing it “right.”

Sweet mama, I know it can be tempting to compare your pregnancy to others or even to yourself, but you don’t need to.  God gives us the grace we need to make wise decisions for the seasons we are in.  So what if your pregnancy looks different than someone else’s or even if it looks different than your first one.  If your baby is healthy and growing and you are doing well too, then enjoy it.

Heaven knows we all have enough random aches and pains to deal with while being pregnant.  We don’t need to add to them by comparing.