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First Pregnancy vs Second Pregnancy and Back to Back Pregnancies

So I thought it would be cute to have two babies close in age. That’s why just a few months after I had Valentino, I got pregnant again with baby #2.

These pregnancies couldn’t be any more different. During the first one, I felt sick for the entire 9 months. I pretty much checked out of life. I was lucky that I could do that, leaving my husband to do all the work and household chores. I would just lay in bed all day and all night and sleep 18 hours a day. I dreaded being awake because of the pain…..my head would throb, the room would spin, I would see white stars everywhere, and I wouldn’t be able to stand for more than a few minutes without fear of fainting. And the nausea was so severe that I couldn’t even brush my teeth without throwing up. I had food aversions to everything except for apples, oranges and toast. The heartburn was so bad that I would wake up at least three times in the middle of the night choking on it. Oh and I gained 65 pounds and blew into a balloon and became so fat that I couldn’t even recognize myself. Just think of the worst hangover you have ever had in your life and intensify it by 100. That was how I felt for 9 months. It was THAT bad.

Even though I felt like death, everything medically was on point. Everything with the baby was ok and we were both healthy. We did have a few blood clot scares though, as I made the mistake of flying to California during the second trimester. I thought it would be okay, but after the flight back my feet blew up like balloons and it would hurt to walk on them. I had to get numerous ultrasounds done but in the end everything turned out ok.

But as soon as I laid eyes on Valentino in the hospital, I thought, oh I am totally doing this again!! All that misery was SO worth it. I would do it over a million times actually. No big deal.

val_fairfax_hospital

So a few months later I got pregnant again. This time around I feel much better. I am able to take care of the baby and cook and clean and walk and take showers without worrying about fainting. I am so excited to be able to do normal things again. I’ll still vomit here and there, but it’s nothing compared to the first pregnancy. During the second trimester I felt great. I had all this energy, life was good. The most annoying thing was not being able to travel. So naturally we were invited to three fabulous weddings in California, Italy, and London. And I couldn’t go to any of them. Law of the Universe.

During the second pregnancy I had a few scares. One was failing the glucose tolerance test. They sent me back for the second test and thankfully the results came back normal. Another scare was them finding an echogenic focus on baby’s heart. The doctor said it was probably nothing but I was worried because this time around we refused to get the nuchal transulcency test done (the one that checks for down syndrome), and having an echogenic focus may be an indicator of down syndrom. I freaked out, but still knew that I wanted the baby regardless of any disorder. Thankfully at the next ultrasound appointment they said the focus went away on its own and baby looks fine.

While it’s great to have two kids so close in age, back to back pregnancies kind of generally just suck. I was lucky that Valentino was a great sleeper and easy going, and that I felt much better during my second pregnancy. But not everyone is that lucky. I know a few women who’s subsequent pregnancies got worse and worse, which makes it that much harder to care for your baby or babies.

One issue I had with back to back pregnancies was pelvic pain in the third trimester. Bad pelvic pain in addition to the normal aches and pains are making me crazy. It hurts to walk, get in and out of bed, and especially turn over. Turning over in bed sends sharp pains to the pelvis that are so bad that I scream. The doctor said this is a side effect of having back to back pregnancies. Apparently this is because after you give birth your pelvis needs time to shrink back, and if you get pregnant again before it has time to shrink back then you’re in for a lot of pain. I know of a woman who had this pain so bad during her third pregnancy that she couldn’t even walk. She had to be wheel chaired around. Yikes.

Another big issue with back to back babies- WEIGHT GAIN! This is the worst of them all. I am now OBESE. I don’t recognize myself….and I struggle fitting into a size 18 dress. I gained ten sizes and 70 pounds. After this baby is born I really need to get rid of all this weight. Whenever I look at my old pictures I want to cry. Did I really look like that? How did I turn into this obese person?? Now I just avoid taking any pictures because I just can’t handle seeing a double chin, flabby arms, and stretch marks everywhere. Whenever I look in the mirror I want to throw up. It’s sad. I can’t wait until I’m postpartum and can begin losing weight.

If you are thinking of having back to back babies, don’t let this post scare you. Even though I’m in a permanent exhausted state, and even though I can barely walk and am super fat, I totally feel like all this is worth it. I’m giving baby Valentino not only a sibling but a best friend, someone he can grow up with, play with and love. I just love that they will be so close in age.

I just want this baby out already. I cannot wait to meet him <3

About: Leila Rahmanian and Salar Rahmanian

Leila Rahmanian is married to Salar Rahmanian. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have three wonderful kids, two boys named Valentino Rahmanian and Caspian Rahmanian and a beautiful daughter named Persephone Rahmanian.