The Second Child Syndrome


When Robin and I found out we were pregnant with our first daughter, Nora, I could barely contain my excitement. We had been trying for around 6 months and had been anticipating the day for much longer. I had already planned out how I would tell him I was pregnant with an elaborate scheme that involved a wrapped present patiently waiting in my closet for that positive pregnancy test.

Willow Tree Baby
My wrapped gift was this Willow Tree statue.

I couldn’t contain my exciting news and we immediately called our family, texted our friends, etc. (so much for waiting until the end of the first trimester!). I’m pretty sure at least 50 people knew within the first couple of hours of our positive pregnancy test.

I took pictures of everything…the positive pregnancy tests, weekly photos of my belly, pictures of the nursery in progress. EVERYTHING.

Nora pregnancy picture
36 weeks pregnant with Nora
positive pregnancy test
That positive pregnancy test we had been waiting for!

I started collecting baby items right at the end of my first trimester and I had a list a mile long of DIY baby projects that I wanted to complete before she made her arrival. I painstakingly picked out nursery colors, sewed pillows, organized baby clothes, and researched baby items. I read a pile of books and signed up for email updates on my baby’s weekly progress.

Nora nursery
Nora’s nursery all set to go
DIY burp clothes
My DIY burp cloths
Hand painted Lamp Shade
I had painted a lamp shade for her room

All of this sound familiar? The pregnancy and birth of a first child is such an exciting time and filled with so much joy and excitement as you experience the gift of a life growing inside of you. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely difficult moments, but overall, it is an amazing time!

Fast forward 18 months after the birth of Nora to when we find out we are pregnant with our second child (our little Maggie is set to arrive in just a few weeks). What has this pregnancy looked like this time around?

I recall taking a test one morning after having a hunch that I was indeed pregnant. After seeing the positive on the pregnancy test, I happily came downstairs to tell Robin the good news. No big reveal. No hidden gifts in the closet.

We call our family the next few days to tell them the news. We also let some of our friends here in Burlington know. Did 50 people know hours after we are holding that positive pregnancy test like last time? Nope.

I have yet to take an intentional belly picture (except for some family/maternity photos we just took with BirdieLou Photography). Somehow I just haven’t found the time or the inclination to do this.

I haven’t made any crafts or completed any DIY projects for this baby. I’ve had different ideas, but honestly, keeping up with Nora and growing this little one inside of me has kept me busy enough.

I haven’t cracked a baby book and I’ve bought just a handful of things for this little one. Since we are having another little girl I can use most of what we already had (which is great!).

I haven’t given much thought to what size fruit my baby is this week or what exactly is going on in their development (although I still get the Baby Center emails).

When I stop and think about all of this, I start to feel a little guilty. It seems like baby Maggie has gotten the short end of the stick just because she is the second little one to come around.

But then I realize that all of these things that I haven’t done don’t reflect on how much I love Maggie or how excited I am for her to join our family. The excitement when I feel her move, or when I imagine what she will look like or who she will turn out to be are just as real and powerful as they were with Nora. There is still an intense feeling of joy at the thought of bringing another little one into this family that creates an overwhelming sense of blessing and privilage that I feel of being able to be her mommy.

BirdieLou maternity

Are things different the second time around? Yep. That’s just the reality.

But do I cherish this little life growing inside of me any less than the first time around? Absolutely not. Maggie is a precious gift whom I love deeply, in spite of my lack of DIY projects and belly pictures 🙂

Previous articleNo Makeup? No Problem! Just Kidding.
Next articleCrafty.
Nissa Sutphen
Nissa is the Large Events Coordinator for Twin Cities Moms Blog. She was the previous owner of BurlingtonVT Moms Blog before moving back to Minnesota with her family in November 2015. She loves spending time with her husband Robin and her two daughters, Nora and Maggie, and is excited to welcome some testosterone into the mix with the impending arrival of her first son in March 2016. She loves traveling and exploring new places with those she loves, getting lost in a great novel, and dance parties in her living room.


  1. I loved reading this! This is exactly how I felt with both of my girls too. It was hard to imagine loving another little girl as much as I loved my first but when Kyla arrived the love was overwhelming. Her room is still not put together all the way (and she is almost three months old) but there is definitely no shortage of love! I think with my first pregnancy I thought everything need to be “perfect”. Pictures taken weekly, room decorated meticulously, and everything done and prepared for her. This time around I was able to just enjoy the process and now enjoy being a family of four. I know you will do the same. 🙂

    • Liz,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this and could relate! Yes I definitely think I felt a lot of the same pressure with Nora of things needing to be perfect. It really is liberating to realize that you can love your little ones without needing to have everything perfect and in order. Can’t wait to be a family of four! And your little girls are too precious! 🙂

  2. I can totally relate to everything you said.

    The upside – for me – is it’s actually relieving to be spared the constant nagging fears and worries and stresses that I felt during my first. Even though pregnancy the first time was joyful and fun and exciting, it was also very challenging because I thought every odd phenomenon was a sign of impending doom. This time around I’m feeling very zen and collected and unphased.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here