First Time Pregnancy vs Second Time Pregnancy

I haven’t blogged much about being pregnant but YES – LOOK, I AM! Currently 17 weeks / four months / 125 days pregnant, following IVF treatment, with identical twin girls.

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about, in the past few weeks, is how different my second pregnancy is, compared to my first one…

First time pregnancy – I knew exactly which foods I couldn’t eat, and was religious about avoiding them. Runny eggs? No way! Soft cheeses? Not for me!

Second time – I have a vague idea of the foods I should avoid, but keep forgetting. “Is feta cheese OK?” I must have asked Mr P at least 12 times. “What about prawns and smoked salmon?” The guidelines have changed a bit, too, which doesn’t help my confusion – we can now eat soft-cooked eggs which have the lion stamp. But I’ve even become a bit lazy about asking cafes/restaurants if they use lion-stamped eggs and have more of a “Meh! It’ll be OK” attitude and eat the odd thing I possibly shouldn’t with a shrug of the shoulders. (Needless to say, I’m not giving medical advice here, and you should always follow NHS guidelines, kids).

First time pregnancy – I worked full time in a magazine office, 9.30am-6pm Monday to Friday and beavered away, desperate not to drop any balls or compromise the quality of my work, despite feeling nauseous / exhausted / in later stages, like a whale.

Second time – I work for myself now and decided to SLOW THE HECK DOWN. During my first trimester, I worked shorter hours, I turned down meeting requests, said no to event invitations and took a lot of mid-afternoon naps. I definitely experienced less nausea this time around, compared to the last – could this be why?

First time pregnancy – I was so organised. I’m pretty sure that by four months pregnant, I’d already spent hours researching prams, car seats and cots. I’d started buying things from a baby bath to muslins, even though I wasn’t totally sure what muslins were for, and why I’d need so many.

Second time – I know I’ve got some stuff in the loft, I know I’ve got some stuff to buy, I know I need to do some research because there are so many new things available since I was last pregnant, but have I looked into any of it? Nope. Unlike last time, I know you can get by with minimal STUFF so while I will do some research and buy some new things, I’m not in a panic about it.

First time pregnancy – I had a fairly normal social life, you know aside from those first few weeks where I was green with nausea and incapable of doing much other than get to and from work every day. But once that had subsided, I went to the pub with my friends, I went bowling, I went to parties in Soho House, weekends away at Babington House – I think I was determined to prove that being pregnant will not change me.

Second time – I’m saying no to a lot of social plans. I’m just so tired and would much rather have my feet up on the sofa, watching Grey’s Anatomy, than sit in a pub drinking lime and soda, while my friends get slowly pissed on prosecco. It feels good to say no!

First time pregnancy – Every twinge I felt, in my stomach area, worried me. Is something wrong? I remember calling my midwife to tell her about a pain, to have her kindle explain it was probably a bit of wind.

Second time – I’m so much more relaxed. Even though I have a high risk pregnancy (both twins are sharing the same placenta, so there’s a risk of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, where one twin gets more blood than the other.) But I’m being monitored closely and feel reassured that any issues will be picked up on quickly. And there’s no point in getting stressed about it, right?

First time pregnancy – I pre-washed every item of clothing I bought for my baby. Before she even arrived, my house was covered in tiny pieces of laundry, hung up to dry.

Second time – I’m not sure I’ll bother. (Is that bad?) Not that I’ve been bought much, other than one set of babygrows. I imagine I’ll just whack them on the babies, straight from the hanger.

Me, five months pregnant in 2010, at Babington House

If you’re pregnant, say hi, and if it’s your second (or third/fourth!) pregnancy, tell me the differences you’ve experienced!



  1. Harry
    June 10, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    Hello! 8 weeks pregnant with my 4th, and I feel like I might die . Have awful food aversions and nausea, but no actual sickness.
    I think however many times you have done it, you forget the true horror of the first few weeks.
    Loving your Instagram, only just got it, and you’re one of my faves.

  2. Suzanne Arnold-Murray
    June 10, 2018 / 7:49 pm

    Totally relate to this post! I’m 16 weeks pregnant with my 2nd so just a week behind you :). I had a runny egg yesterday whilst at a garden centre, I didn’t ask about whether it was lion stamped as I thought it would cause a palapa and my priority was food! Also forget what I can and can’t have but figured as long as I’m not binging on the wrong stuff it’ll be fine, everything in moderation right?! I have bought nothing and probably won’t until my 20 week scan but I have a lot of stuff from my first pregnancy so will just get a few bits that I didn’t have first time around, my daughter has only just turned two but it’s amazing what has changed in both ‘baby stuff’ and advice from the NHS! Good luck with you pregnancy xx

  3. Claire
    June 10, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    19 weeks pregnant with no.3! This has been the hardest one yet in terms of exhaustion, aches and nausea (never actually been sick with any of the pregnancies thank goodness!) but I’m putting it down to having a 4 yr old and a 2 year old and working full time. Life is exhausting then I’ve added growing a human on top of it all!!
    You look fantastic!

  4. Laura
    June 11, 2018 / 5:09 am

    Having just had my first (five weeks in). The most useful thing I bought was massive Anais and Aden muslins, because you can use them as sleepyhead sheets, mop up stuff, shade them from the sun and swaddle the baby. They are also really cool.
    We had far too many newborn babygrows and we did not use all of them and hats….
    My top recommendations are snuzpods (or any cot by the bed), sleepyheads are handy for when you are near them and Water Wipes.
    We also have multiple carriers and I prefer the caboo, I bought a Ktan because the frugality has one and strugggled with it.
    We also have loads of gro bags but not yet used them. People keep sending them to us.
    Plus we got a doula to come round and give an extra hand as we have no parental support. Worth it for the naps.
    However, you have done it all before and you will be great.
    All very exciting!

  5. June 11, 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Not pregnant, but I remember very well how I just cracked on with it all the second time round. You have to don’t you – you already have a child to focus on, and a routine to stick to. Whereas first time I was so excited about it all I had my hospital bag packed at the first positive pregnancy test (almost)! I remember I couldn’t wait to buy maternity clothes – I had loads I was way too small for, way too early. So glad you’ve felt better this time round and been able to call the shots a bit more x

  6. June 11, 2018 / 3:53 pm

    Love this post Alison! I’m almost 30 weeks pregnant with my first baby conceived via IVF too and can completely relate to everything you mentioned from your first pregnancy… although I am surprising myself with out relaxed I am about it all.

    Wishing you lots of luck for this pregnancy and hoping it all goes well. Looking forward to seeing your journey!

    Hannah x

  7. June 12, 2018 / 8:14 am

    This made me laugh as I have bought feta cheese for lunch but haven’t put it on the salad yet, just in case! See you later xx

  8. Hannah Weaver
    June 12, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    Nice to see an old skool blog post Alison! The main difference I remember second time round was just not having the time to think about when they’re growling eyelashes/ fingernails/reach the size of a grapefruit etc as I had a toddler to focus on. First time round I could have told you every detail about what stage the growing baby was at.

    I’m intrigued about your IVF experience as I remember in your last blog post about the failed IVF cycle that it was your one and only shot at it?!

  9. Stephanie Turner
    June 12, 2018 / 9:28 pm

    Almost 30 weeks pregnant with identical twins too! Second pregnancy. Not quite sure on how to prepare 3yr old son for the changes ahead?!?!? Looking forward to following your story xx

  10. June 13, 2018 / 3:45 pm

    I loved reading this and published a really similar post yesterday- albeit I was a bit more dramatic and put my lack of organisation down to the fact i’m freaking out about becoming a Mum of two!!! Its good to see someone else who’s just as laid back this time round – and you have twins a coming!! 🙂 Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy xxx

  11. June 13, 2018 / 10:30 pm

    Ah yes, lots of similarities for me with this. I am pregnant with my third but also worked in an office for my first two pregnancies and although I often felt like curling up in a ball under my desk, I had to power through it. This time round, I am definitely allowing myself to have a little afternoon nap when needed, before heading off on the school run. There have to be some perks for being my own boss? 😉

  12. June 18, 2018 / 3:25 pm

    This post is SO funny! I have only had one so far, but I can already tell that next baby I will be SO different! I was so worried about every LITTLE thing, and now I realize how much those little things don’t matter near as much as I thought they did the first time!

    Once again, I loved your post and your blog in general, and I would absolutely LOVE to collab sometime! I have a baby clothing company called Declan Roe ( and I would absolutely love to hear what you have to say about it! Let me know what you think!

  13. Kim
    June 19, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    I’m two weeks behind you, also with twins from IVF. This is my first pregnancy so I’m still freaking out a bit, but all the while trying not to get too carried away – if IVF has taught me anything it’s not to get your hopes up! That said I’m trying to enjoy every moment as I know how lucky I am to have got here. Hope you’re feeling a lot more perky now you’re well into the 2nd trimester – I’m still waiting for the nausea to subside!

  14. July 2, 2018 / 3:57 pm

    As I read this I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my third baby (although the first with this Dad) and the differences from the last two are HUGE. Not only in what I’m paying attention to, but also how I’m feeling physically and all the advice and guidance that has changed over the years. Maybe I should put some of it down to be older too!

  15. July 20, 2018 / 1:19 am

    Thank you for this great comparison of your pregnancies. It interesting how polar opposites some things are and how some are so similar. I always wondered how different each pregnancy differs. And the fact you remember so clearly is amazing. I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone my pregnancy. lol 🙂

    What advice would you give to other twin mothers?

  16. Annette
    September 4, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    I am so happy for you Alison. After discovering your podcast a couple of months ago (only the second podcast I ever listened to and now I am hooked!) I have been devouring every episode. They make my 20 minute walk to work something to look forward to. I really identified with your longing for a second child (my daughter is 5 1/2 and we have been trying for about 3 1/2 years to have another (9 rounds of Clomid, 2 missed miscarriages and one failed round of IVF – we were doing PGS and both of our day 5 embryos were abnormal so we didn’t even get as far as the embryo transfer). You have given me hope (even though I have a few years on you)! Best of luck for a happy, healthy pregnancy and safe delivery of your precious, precious bundles. Hope to join you in second motherhood one day soon.

  17. October 21, 2018 / 3:35 pm

    So glad I came across your blog! Currently 27 weeks pregnant and this post is so true.

  18. April 10, 2019 / 8:40 pm

    Great comparison of 1st-time pregnancy and 2nd time. Appreciating your efforts.

  19. April 15, 2019 / 7:42 am

    Thank you for sharing this! can still remember my first two pregnancies like it was yesterday! Both were not as easy as the other but both were exceptionally fast!

  20. June 28, 2019 / 6:54 am

    This high intensity workout takes you through 12 exercises (jumping jacks, abdominal crunches, press ups, plank, squats, lunges etc). Training at high intensity with very little rest in between each exercise (apparently!) makes this workout the equivalent of a 30+-minute traditional resistance-training session.

  21. June 28, 2019 / 7:02 am

    I tell you one thing I am 26 years old and unmarried. I just heard pregnancy complication to other women the same as telling you. I decide i just born one baby.

  22. lisa
    November 20, 2019 / 7:01 pm

    This high intensity workout takes you through 12 exercises (jumping jacks, abdominal crunches, press ups, plank, squats, lunges etc). Training at high intensity with very little rest in between each exercise (apparently!) makes this workout the equivalent of a 30+-minute traditional resistance-training light filter

  23. January 8, 2020 / 1:59 pm

    I love this! Will hopefully *fingers crossed* be pregnant with our second in the next few weeks and I have a feeling this is exactly how it’s going to be for me too lol. Epecially with pre-washing all the baby clothes…who has time for that with a toddler?

  24. carry
    January 9, 2020 / 2:06 pm

    Oh my goodness, wow, Jen. I had no idea. so thankful for your friend who knew how to recognize dehydration! And that you are cancer free. I’m hoping the 2017 scares will end here for you. That was a lot to go through. and yes, PTL for 4-year-olds. Ha!nursing class essay helpers

  25. January 11, 2020 / 5:33 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience! Despite my 1st and 2nd pregnancies being fairly close together, I also found that I was much more relaxed with the second. We also moved interstate in my third trimester and bought a house, so maybe I was just more distracted!

  26. lisa
    January 18, 2020 / 4:52 pm

    Our daughter is an LCMS southerner at CUI. (She may be the only one-hahaha;). I have shared your blog with her and that you will be in her town. I hope y’all cross paths. We are from North Carolina where my husband is a second career LCMS pastor. Everything about your blog is inspiring and your perspective is refreshing;)Best Lice Comb

  27. September 2, 2020 / 12:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I just had my first baby delivered via c-sec and I do plan to have 2nd and maybe even more…I do hope it gets better as I was quite an anxious first time mom.

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