March 10, 2022 - 6 min read
March 10, 2022

Why My Second Pregnancy is Different Than My First


I am pregnant with baby #2 and it feels like a dream come true.

This time is different though. The days are shorter and it feels like time is moving faster than I imagined. I remember so clearly with my first pregnancy those tender moments I spent holding my breath as I stared at my belly waiting for kicks. Reminding my husband, every week, to take a quick snapshot of my growing belly. I couldn’t miss a week. Everything was new and exciting as I counted the days and proudly recited them when asked how far along I was. “24 weeks and 2 days!” I would respond, as if I were an innocent child enthusiastically counting the days until my next birthday. My attention was focused on one thing.

With our first, it took us 12 long months to finally have a positive pregnancy test.

Even longer if you include the months of discussions on when would be the perfect timing to start a family, preparing with genetic testing, blood work, and checking off all the medical concerns to naturally conceive a healthy baby. Why all the testing? We had a few too many friends with some very heartbreaking experiences that gave us the knowledge that doing some of this prep work really just couldn’t hurt. The sad thing I didn’t realize at the time was it was taking away from the mental time I had decided I was ready to become a mom, making any challenges beyond that feel like eternity. Hindsight is always 20/20.

That year leading up to our good news was filled with months of disappointment, IUI/IVF consultations, testing, and an HSG procedure.

Every time I’d get my period, I’d cry. I remember every month feeling like something was wrong with me or us. It was this horrible feeling where you plan for events in your life to happen in a certain way and you finally decide you are prepared for it and then it just isn’t working out that way. The vicious cycle of feeling in control, knowing when you’re going to ovulate, optimistic and then bam, your period comes and you are depressed for a moment and then you realize this will be over soon and I’ll know when I’m ovulating again. Okay, I’m back in control – lets try this again. 24 hours a month, 12 times a year – those chances just don’t seem that high. I prayed so hard for this baby. I always wanted to have a family and be a mother.

Fast forward to March 2020, we had been on lock down at home due to COVID-19.

I’d been doing a bit of yoga and working on balance. Maybe that helped, maybe not. You make yourself nuts thinking about what will help you get pregnant and what will prevent you from getting pregnant. Eliminating certain foods or drinks, obsessing over diet and exercise – all the things. I had an HSG procedure the month prior. There was a small blockage on one side that was able to be cleared with some extra and intense pressure. Maybe that helped, maybe not. We were winding down on our last months of trying to conceive naturally. We agreed the next logical step was to  begin the IUI process in the coming months.

Tristan, my husband, had PCL surgery on his knee in mid March. A few days later, my worst nightmare occured. I woke up to my husband telling me he couldn’t breath and needed help. For those who don’t know him, saying he needed help may have been the toughest words he ever had to say to me. It’s just not who he is. He is the person who helps others. When he needs help, no one hears about it. I rushed him to the hospital, grabbed a wheelchair and said goodbye, not knowing what would happen next or in the coming days. I remember being so alarmed that I wasn’t allowed to accompany him into the hospital. Before COVID, it was unheard of to not be allowed into the hospital with your significant other, but this would soon become our new “normal”.

Hours went by and fear set in. I couldn’t imagine my life without this man – my confidant, my life partner, my best friend – in every essence of the word. In short, they were able to stabilize him and get him breathing comfortably. 3 days later, I was able to bring him home. He ended up having bilateral pulmonary embolisms, over half a dozen blood clots in his lungs.

Parent’s Magazine did a story on “10 Most Annoying Things People Say When You’re Trying to Get Pregnant”.

I can relate to more than a few of these. Particularly #1, “It will happen quicker if you relax and stop worrying.” I always believed you can’t force yourself to not worry or stress. There has to be an extreme event in one’s life to “de-stress” someone whose anxiety is preventing their body from operating as it should.


Maybe it was my husband’s near death experience and the overwhelming relief that he survived, maybe not – but miraculously in April 2020 I would receive my very first positive pregnancy test. It was beautiful. Holding that test and shaking with tears, I stared in the mirror in disbelief and at the same time was rejoicing inside with relief. Baby, I’ve been praying for you.

With my first pregnancy, I was nauseous but thankfully that resolved before my first trimester was over, at around 9 weeks.

I felt my bones ache and my skin stretch, lots of round ligament pain, as my body was taking on something it never did before. I leaned on other first time mom friends for everything. Texting them often and picking their brains about my anxieties. I nested, I studied baby registries as I created mine, and I spent a lot of time creating a warm and prepared home to bring our baby into. My #1 craving was cold pineapple.

Now in my second pregnancy, as time races by, I focus less on the exact number of days pregnant I am and instead, I am overcome with a general sense of gratitude and peace.

Paired with that, however, is a lingering feeling of guilt. My attention is on my strong and willful toddler as I watch him experience the world for the first time each day – my baby that I prayed so hard for, growing up quickly before my eyes. My lack of alone time robs me of those quiet moments where I can stare down and wait for that “hello” flutter from my growing baby inside of me. It took us 4 months to have a positive pregnancy test this time, which compared with our prior experience of trying, was an absolute blessing. Tristan and I both bought each other pregnancy tests for our 3rd wedding anniversary. He was convinced. I wasn’t as sure. I’ve learned to remain less hopeful and that way when it is what you wanted so desperately deep down, it’s that much sweeter. Less room for disappointment. Low and behold, it was positive! #2 was on the way – a dream come true!

We didn’t endure all the testing this time and as I quickly approach my 3rd trimester, I feel less anxiety and generally experienced this time around.

The overwhelming “newness” isn’t there and I’m not sure if I will even make a baby registry. My nausea, however, lasted for 20 weeks. Are the wives tales true or am I just not giving myself any time to let my body recover? Or is it both? Who knows, but now that I have an experience to compare it to, it is different.


Just as with my first pregnancy, the emotions are overwhelming.

I still hold my breath as the cold ultrasound wand glides over my belly, waiting for the sound of that familiar quick, swooshy heartbeat – a sound that will always fill my eyes with joyful tears and give my racing heart an immediate sense of calmness.

As the days go by, I can feel my heart growing bigger as it makes room for the swell of love I already have for my second baby.

My house is ready, with hand-me-downs anticipating the familiar warmth of a fresh baby to wear them, our stroller and infant car seat awaiting their arrival, and our muscle memory excited to rock and soothe our sweet baby when he or she arrives earthside.


Written by

Image of Gabrielle Iorio Sylk

Gabrielle Iorio Sylk


Gabrielle Iorio Sylk is the founder of Bumpdate. She is a mother, wife, and caring friend. Gabrielle uses her tech background and innovative skills to foster Bumpdate’s growth and bring people together during the most beautiful and challenging times in their lives. She lives on a farm in New Jersey with her husband, son, daughter, dog and the many woodland creatures who live in their backyard.



  1. Barbara Sylk

    Am amazing story of love, family and honesty. ❤️

  2. Crystal Ashourian

    I love this ❤️ I’m so happy for the three of you!!!

  3. Ashley kagiavas

    That’s such a beautiful story girly! Your amazing! 💙🤍

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