Second Baby: The Benefits of A Five-Year Gap

Waiting five years to have a second baby wasn't something I planned; it just happened that way. As it turned out, the large gap suited me well. Sure, there was a small learning curve to master regarding changes in the labor and delivery process. But for the most part, having an older child made it easier to handle my second pregnancy. My daughter was four-going-on-five when I told her she was going to have a younger sibling, and she couldn't have been more excited. There's no doubt my second pregnancy was special. Here's why.    

  • I had less time to worry about my symptoms. Okay, I admit to being nervous throughout the entire nine months of my first pregnancy. From morning sickness to labor pains, I feared the unknown. Like any second pregnancy, I now knew what to expect. Happily, busy days with my daughter occupied my thoughts this time around. At her age, she could carry on a conversation, she was potty-trained, and she was well on her way to forging her own friendships. Life was good -- and easier than it had been for a while.  

  • My first child was old enough to understand. Now that my daughter was more mature and had plenty in her own life to focus on, jealousy over the new baby wasn't a problem. Other than making arrangements for a babysitter during the labor and delivery process, there wasn't much we had to do to prepare her. We simply needed to engage her in the process. As soon as I saw the "Welcome Home" signs that she made to greet her new brother, I realized there were several small tasks she could do to feel special and included.  

  • It wasn't impossible to get the rest I needed. One of the biggest challenges of any second pregnancy is that there's less time to rest because you're busy taking care of another child. Because my daughter was five years old, I didn't have to carry around a heavy diaper bag, and I certainly didn't have to carry her. Even better, she understood that I occasionally got tired. If that meant spending some extra time watching her favorite show, coloring or solving a puzzle, we didn't sweat it.

Everything comes with some challenges, and a five-year gap in pregnancies is no exception. For starters, five years is a long time in today's fast-paced world of fashion. Truth is, my maternity clothes from the first pregnancy were already out of style. I also had to educate myself about some minor updates delivery process. None of this was a big deal, but necessary all the same. Today I can happily reflect on my five-year gap between pregnancies. It was a special time for all of us.    

by Lori Murray