If you've been pregnant once, you might think you know exactly what's in store for you when round two comes around. But it can actually be a whole different ball game, as Carrie Underwood is finding out.
"It's definitely different than the first time," Underwood told Entertainment Tonight at the 2018 CMT Artists of The Year ceremony in Nashville on Wednesday.
"When they say every pregnancy is different, it really is. Just different symptoms," said the country singer, who has a 3-year-old son named Isaiah with husband Mike Fisher. "I feel like this one is just a little harder on my body for some reason. But it's been really good." Underwood—who revealed she had three miscarriages prior to this pregnancy, which she announced in August—added, "I'm squeezing myself into whatever dresses I can squeeze myself into."
Yep, every pregnancy is different, and many people find the second can be more difficult than the first.
First off, your circumstances and priorities have shifted. You're busy running around after baby number one while you're pregnant with your second—and balancing pregnancy and parenting at the same time can be exhausting.
This, in addition to any other life changes that occurred since your first pregnancy (like a change in job), adds extra stress to your plate that may be felt in many different ways. “It’s harder on your body,” Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, previously told SELF.
There are also a few physiological reasons that the second pregnancy may feel tougher than the first.
The way your body is changing and the hormone fluctuations that occur can vary between pregnancies, as women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., previously told SELF. This can make them feel different as well.
Second pregnancies can also progress a little more quickly than the first because your body is already familiar with the physiological responses that are coming. “It goes through the routine much quicker than with your first pregnancy, where your body is really trying to figure out what’s going on,” Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and director of minimally invasive gynecology at The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, previously told SELF.
Some people also appear to be further along at an earlier stage in their second pregnancy. This is because the abdominal muscles were stronger during the first pregnancy, keeping the uterus inside the pelvis for a bit longer. “With the second baby, the muscles have been stretched so the uterus pops out faster,” Yvonne Bohn, M.D., an ob/gyn at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., previously told SELF. “It gives women the appearance that they’re getting bigger, faster." You don't necessarily gain more weight with baby number two, Dr. Greves said—it just appears that way.
So, just know that your second time around may feel or look very different from your first—and that's totally fine.