When you do something multiple times, you likely know how things are going to go by the 3rd time. Am I right?
Unfortunately, pregnancy is not one of those predictable activities that you know exactly what to expect. Each one is unique and unpredictable in its own way.
We know this thanks to countless articles telling us that every pregnancy is different. I’m here to add to that and say it’s true! My third pregnancy has been different in ways that I never expected and I knew I had to share the unexpected differences in my 3rd pregnancy with my fellow mommas out there!
Here are 7 unexpected differences in my 3rd pregnancy!
1. Sharing the news feels different.
When you set out to share the news of your third pregnancy, something seems far less sensational.
The first pregnancy announcement is generally a huge shock, and you’re busting at the seams waiting for the 2nd trimester to tell the world. People are thrilled to hear your news and start asking when is the gender reveal and the baby shower.
By the second pregnancy, people are still excited for you and they kind of expect it. Married with two kids is the American dream right? If you don’t have another right away, people will start asking you when you will!
Then the third pregnancy happens and while your family and friends are thrilled for you, it’s less sensational. And that’s okay!
There will always be the people that ask why you wanted more. Are you trying for a boy, if you have two girls? Was it an accident? So on and so forth. Luckily, no one has said anything like that…to my face.
2. You start showing sooner.
Hello, baby bump! By your 3rd baby, your uterus is like, “Don’t worry! I’ve got this momma!” With each pregnancy, you definitely start to show sooner.
By the third time around, your abdominal muscles have been stretched out a couple of times, so your body knows what to do. It starts making room for the baby pretty early on making it more difficult to conceal.
Here’s my 12-week bump comparison with each pregnancy.
3. You may gain weight faster.
Just like with showing sooner, there’s a good chance you’ll gain weight faster with your third pregnancy. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up gaining more, but it may come on a bit quicker with each subsequent pregnancy.
For starters, you may be starting your pregnancy at a higher weight than your first or second. (This isn’t always the case!) But if you have a small window of time between pregnancies, it can be hard to get back to your pre-baby weight.
After your first pregnancy, you also have way more to deal with. You already have a little one and likely a husband and a home to take care of making eating healthy hard while growing a human.
Another reason is that every pregnancy is different! No two pregnancies are the same, so you’re likely to gain weight at a different rate. Like I mentioned above, you start showing earlier because your body carries the baby lower which can lead to a different type of weight gain.
Personally and I know this isn’t the case for most women, but with each pregnancy, my nausea has decreased. I had almost constant nausea that started at 6 weeks and lasted until 17-18 weeks with my first. In my second pregnancy, I dealt with nausea for weeks 6 to 11. During this third pregnancy, I didn’t deal with morning sickness at all really! Occasional nausea, but that’s about it.
That lack of nausea meant I didn’t lose any weight at the beginning of my pregnancy, so I started gaining much earlier. No matter what, just know that your body is doing the work it needs to in order to grow your baby!
4. Time flies by
This unexpected “symptom” in your 3rd pregnancy may be a bit of a no-brainer. I mean, you’re busy chasing after two other children! Each pregnancy has gone by faster than the one before.
The first pregnancy seems to drag on. By the end, you may go on maternity leave a bit before your due date thinking that baby may come early — and likely does not.
During the second pregnancy, you are chasing around your first child busy taking them to activities and play dates. You know to expect to go longer or maybe you have a scheduled c-section or induction based on your first birth.
Once the third comes around, you’re possibly wanting time to slow down. Okay, maybe not quite that fast. But your other kids are involved in activities, school, and whatever else they have going on. You’re taking them to practice and running around getting everything they need making your pregnancy go much faster.
5. Your body starts hurting early on.
For my third pregnancy, I started experiencing mild sciatica pain at 14 weeks. 14 weeks y’all! With my first, it was closer to the end of pregnancy, and even with my second, it wasn’t until later in the second trimester. 14 weeks seemed early!
Needless to say, it’s continued to get worse from there! Each subsequent pregnancy takes a slightly harder toll on your body.
Not only has your body been stretched out before, but you’re also older. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth. Your older stretched-out body doesn’t handle pregnancy the way it did the first go around.
The best thing you can do to get your belly and back support brace, rest when you can, get massages and listen to any advice your doctor has for you!
In fact, check out these 3rd trimester must-haves. They’ve been life savers for me, and I started using several in my first and second trimesters this third go around.
6. The hormones are no joke.
Let’s be real, hormones are intense every pregnancy. I just feel like mine get even more intense with each pregnancy.
Not only do the hormones themselves seem heightened with each pregnancy, but the emotions and worries also grow each time you add a baby.
During your first pregnancy, your emotions revolve around the changes coming into your life and relationship. Fast forward to the next pregnancy, you still have those same worries as well as how the new baby will affect your first baby. Then you get to the third and you have two children, a partner, likely a home, and possibly pets to worry about while you’re at it!
If you happen to be pregnant in 2020 (like me), you have the added stresses of COVID-19, quarantine, social distancing and so much more added to your plate.
A combination of raging pregnancy hormones, familial worries, and stresses of life just adds up each time you get pregnant.
7. You don’t really need any more baby things. Or at least, that’s what you think.
If you’re like me and have one of each gender, your initial thought is that you don’t need anything at all! You have baby boy and girl clothes along with all the gadgets that came with those babies. Who needs a shower or more baby things?
At the same time, you find yourself wanting new things. As you start to go through your old baby items, you’re realizing how many outfits are stained or that the seasons are completely off. Maybe you need new covers for your breastfeeding pillow or Doc a Tot.
You don’t need anything big like a crib, swing, pack n play or toys. But if your friends and family want to throw you a shower or sprinkle, just say yes. I realize that you “don’t need anything”, but the second you start going through things you’ll wish that you had a few new things.
Remember, every pregnancy and every baby deserves to be celebrated, so accept it if it’s offered to you!
It’s harder in different ways than the first two.
The moral of the story is that by your third pregnancy, even if you think you’ve got it all down, it’s going to be unexpectedly different. It will be harder in some ways and easier in others.
You kind of know what to expect, but your body, emotions, and baby will likely throw you some curveballs along the way. You just have to take everything that it throws at you with grace. At least as much grace as a pregnant woman can muster!
These unexpected differences in your 3rd pregnancy are likely to be different for every woman. Most of all, it’s just important to know that in the end, it’s going to be different.
Just for fun, here are a few of my pregnancy posts from my first two!
Trimester by Trimester Guide to Traveling While Pregnant
My Dinosaur-Themed Baby Shower
28 Week Compare & Contrast – Pregnancy 1 & 2
Time to weigh in mommas, how have your third (or even second) pregnancies been unexpectedly different?
Let me know in the comments!
I can totally see how things can be so different with the third baby; but such a huge blessing none the less.
Oh yes! I wasn’t suggesting that it’s wasn’t a blessing. Just trying to help other mamas know that their bodies may handle pregnancy different by the third and that’s okay!
I’m about to get pregnant for the third time via IVF. I’m trying to get mentally prepared. My first was conceived the old-fashioned way and the hormones hit me like a train. My little girl came with nausea, extreme tiredness, and my boobs hurt so much I couldn’t lay on my stomach from the start. With the second pregnancy via IVF (twins) it was a different story. No nausea, not much tiredness, no soreness, etc. There’s definitely something to IVF. You get to ease yourself into the pregnancy because you gradually start taking hormones instead of being hit all at once. I can definitely do without the injections, though. Ouch! Thanks for the article, getting excited!
Im 38 and this is my third child but 6th pregnancy. I’m 7 weeks and already poking out. My back hurts already, and I’m so tired and I’m already struggling to get out the bed lol. I even feel myself wobbling when I walk, I just pray it’s only one in the oven..lol. However, I am excited and ready to break the news. We decided to wait until after the first trimester because of previous miscarriages!!
I’ve just had baby #3 two months ago so this totally resonates with me! Also thought third time round I’d 100% know what I’m doing this time haha but still clueless!
I’m so glad that I’m not the only one! I realized from the beginning that even though I thought I’d know what I was doing I really didn’t!
Great things to know! You would think by number 3 you’d have it all figured out lol. I’ll keep this in mind if we decide to go for number 3. Thanks for sharing
I know right? It’s crazy how our bodies handle pregnancy differently every single time. The biggest takeaway I’ve learned this pregnancy is to just go with it and cherish the time before it’s gone!
My 3rd pregnancy and labor was my longest and it threw me for a loop! My 1st two babies were born early. My 3rd was born on her due date. My first labor was 9 hours, my 2nd one was 4, and my 3rd was 13. I know that 13 hours is still relatively short, but after a 4 hour labor, 13 hours seemed like an eternity!
That is so crazy! I’ve heard that the 3rd baby tends to be the “wild card” birth! My other two were both inductions after 40 weeks. My labors with pitocin were incredibly similar. Both 7.5 hours with labor not progressing until after my water broke. I’m interested to see what happens this time. Praying I go into labor on my own!
Did you feel extra Intense pain in 4 hrs delivery.my first delivery pain was like for 2 days
Ooo 5 & 6 scare me but I think I’m also ready for all that! Lol I’m looking forward to the time flying by at least
5 and 6 are definitely intense, but worth it all for the end prize! 🙂
Also being older was no joke.
There is 7 years between baby 2 and 3, so there were a few big things I needed.
Yes! Age plays such a huge role in this! I was in my 20’s when I had my first and my mid-30’s now for my 3rd!
I am on my 3rd pregnancy right now! (Well 3rd viable one, 4th pregnancy technically) And I agree about less nausea and everything hurting from an early stage. The only difference for us is, we thought we were done after 2, got rid of all our baby stuff, and then a couple years later, changed our minds. Whoops! LOL
On the plus side, you can have a baby shower and get all the new gadgets! I feel like so many new things have come out over the past couple of years!
I’m only a mom of two but I have heard some similar sentiments from my best friend who has 3 kids.
This kind of made me a little sad! Super interesting read and it’s good to know these things going into it – I just had my first, but we’re looking to have more soon ;P
All of these are so true! I’m only at baby #2 sp far but everything was so different from the first time. Love all the preggo pics you’ve included in this post…beautiful!
Thank you for the post. I’m having my third and I’m definitely getting and experiencing symptoms sooner. I thought maybe I just knew what to expect- nope its real haha. I also have no worries because I’m a little older and my plate is already full but its what I call a Happy Stress.
I enjoyed reading this thank you. I am newly pregnant with baby 3 my other two are both girls aged 3 & 2. For me the nausea is so much worse for this pregnancy. I think maybe it’s due to tiredness running after two crazy toddlers. I also feel like I’m so bloated and I’m only 6 weeks along! Praying all goes well with this pregnancy and my third (and final!!) C Section.
Praying for a safe pregnancy and easy delivery momma! It’s crazy how the 3rd pregnancy can still throw you for a loop even though we’ve done it twice already!
Same here! This will be my 3rd c-section. My nausea is crazy, along with a LOT of bloating & gas. It’s possible that I might have GERD, so that’s not helping at all lol. This article was a great read (even in 2022).
True story, pregnant with number three and oh mamma is it different. I never had morning sickness with the first two or swollen feet. I literally just took the home pregnancy and all day nausea, with swollen feet.
8 weeks with #3 right now and it’s completely different from my first 2! Thank you for making me feel less alone. I’m already showing and trying to keep it in for another few weeks will be hard! Feeling a lot less energy with this one but it’s probably because I’m older now (42). My 2 boys are 10 and 8 so it’s time to start all over! Wish me luck! I’ll definitely need that baby shower! lol
That’s so exciting! You are not alone at all. I gained weight so much faster with my third. I think age and our bodies already knowing what and how to do this is a big factor! It’ll all even out in the end. I ended up only gaining a couple pounds more with my 3rd! OH and girl, you definitely need that baby shower! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any support!!
Thank you for posting this. I was worried about – really big belly earlier than my first two, minimal nausea (is baby ok?), and weight gain earlier. Glad to know it can be normal.
Appreciate you posting this! I’m preggo with our third and REALLY was thankful for your comparison photos at 12 weeks with each of your kids. No matter how many people have told me that my body will show sooner… it’s still hard to accept and comprehend how sooner I’m showing at 11 weeks. I’m in way better shape this pregnancy, thanks to CrossFit, and losing 35 lbs prior to getting pregnant this time… buuuuut my stomach is HUGE already. Good to keep hearing it’s alright, nothing is wrong with my body gaining quicker this time, and it’s all to just keep me on my toes. Also agree that my nausea has decreased with each pregnancy… maybe it’s because we’re too distracted with the other two kids running around?!
I’m on pregnancy number 3, and it’s way more intense than my first two. For starters, my morning sickness is the worst it’s ever been! I hate everything and can’t keep anything down, even water. And my morning sickness got worse with each pregnancy. My first, I was sick tge first 4 months. Baby number 2, nearly my whole pregnancy, and I developed food aversion. Now, with this pregnancy, it’s worse than the first two combined!!!!!! I am miserable. I’m resting as much h as I can, and taking everything one day at a time.
Hi Amy! I am so grateful I came across your blog post. Although I am so excited to be expecting my third, I’ve found myself processing this pregnancy in a different way than with my first two! As you mentioned my body changed faster, my hormones having me feeling more sensitive than my other two pregnancies, and then there’s COVID!! As with anything motherhood, it feels so good to know I’m not the only one. Thanks for taking the time to make sure mommas feel seen & affirmed!
Thank you very much Amy…I am suffering with my 3rd unexpected pregnancy. You encouraged me to face it..
hi disu, my third pregnancy was a huge surprise consider i have had all the covid vaccinations and booster and yes we will get through it just experiencing symptoms so much earlier than my first two pregnancies and cannot stomach anything at present.
With my third pregnancy I am so tired all the time. After walking in the sun for a half hour I need a nap. It’s so strange to me. It’s hard having no energy. But love this post. Feel like there are others who feel the same pain as me