Are you a first-timer? A newbie to pregnancy? Here's a little secret: This, right now, is the best it'll get, expecting-a-baby wise. If you go on to have baby number two (or three, or more), it's simply less...exciting. If you wondering what's so great about feeling nauseous and having hemorrhoids, let us help you count the ways your first pregnancy rocks.
1. You Can Nap
Exhaustion hit you hard? You can rest when you get home from work. Heck, sleep till 11:00 am on the weekend and stay in bed all dang day if you like. Enjoy the heck out of all those zzzs, because they'll never be up for grabs again. "That's what I missed most during my second pregnancy," says Eileen Wilde Brackenbury, a mother of three in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. "My toddler certainly didn't care that I was extremely exhausted during the first and third trimesters of my pregnancy—with twins, no less. He needed my attention and energy. And I desperately needed a nap."
2. You Get Showered!
When you're expecting baby numero uno, the celebrations and the accompanying gifts are major. There's the friend shower, the family shower, maybe even the office shower. (My mother-in-law kept begging me to register for more, more, more so all the guests would have something to buy.) There's a real cake and a diaper cake. Friends design you funny/sweet/charming/ironic onesies. There are tearfully sentimental baby heirlooms being passed down to you. Soak it all up, sister, because unless there's a giant gap between your first pregnancy and your second, or baby number two is a different sex from baby number one, chances are that no one will be throwing you a party. If you're lucky, your co-workers might order a bagel platter for the conference room before you're off on maternity leave. They'll call it a shower, but it's really just an excuse for everyone to make sure you'll actually be returning.
3. You Pin to Your Heart's Content
Ah, the baby nursery. Has your quest for the perfect mobile gone on for a month or more? Does your potential rocking chair have its own Pinterest page? Are your dream crib sheets $75? Don't be embarrassed—that's what first pregnancies are for. Fluff that nest now, because you probably won't give as much thought to a second baby's room. "The first nursery was fancy, pretty, well thought out—and expensive," says Amy Reed, a New Jersey mom of two. "I was on Etsy for hours looking for the ideal decals. And I spent probably 20 more over the course of several weeks getting those darn decals in the perfect spots with no air bubbles." Once baby number two came a knocking, there was no time—or money—to do the same. "My second got a hand-me-down crib from a friend and a used changing table from Craigslist," she says. "And as far as decorating, that poor kid didn't get a single picture up in his room until he was 4 months old!"
4. You Can Go On a Million Dates
If you want to, you can have a date with your spouse every single night. You can decide on a whim, "Hey let's get dinner at the fancy place with the too-expensive appetizers that has a subliminal no-kids-allowed vibe." If you were determined, you guys could actually see every single movie out right now. All of them. You and yours could even take a just-the-two-of-you weekend trip, planned on a whim. When your only kiddo is in your womb, the whole date-night world is still open and available to you. Take advantage. (Heck, I went on a double date the day before my first son was born and the day of, mild contractions throughout my meal and all.) Yes, it can be pricey and yes, you are tired, but it's only going to be more expensive once your baby arrives (read: babysitters).
5. You Actually Look Forward to Birthing Class
Birthing class may seem like a drag, but here's why it's not: You and your partner get a set time every week where all of your attention is squarely focused on the massive and amazing change that's about to happen to you. You connect with each other. You connect with other couples in the same boat. And you connect with the little life growing inside of you. By the time baby number two is on the way, you might not feel like you need a birthing class—or you might just feel too busy to take one.
6. You Relish the Excitement
When you tell your family you're pregnant for the first time, there are tears of joy. (How many YouTube videos capture this amazing, weepy moment?) When you share the news with your best buds, their squeals of excitement can be heard three cubicles away. For baby number two, they're still happy for you, of course, but ... "You never really get the same over-the-moon reactions from friends and family when you tell them you're pregnant for the second or third time," says Lauren Silverman, a mom of three in Brooklyn, New York. "When I was pregnant with my third a co-worker actually asked me why I was pregnant again!"
7. You Actually Want to Buy Maternity Clothes
Unless you've got a same-size friend who's already a mom, chances are you have to buy maternity clothes—like, a lot of them. You can pop into Target or Destination Maternity and buy a new wardrobe, guilt-free. With baby number one, you have a free-to-shop pass for your growing bump. Which is a good thing, because you'll likely be recycling those maternity jeans and tanks for each and every pregnancy after.
8. You Can Binge-Watch Everything
Netflix surely was invented for first-time pregnant women. "I have very fond memories of watching back-to-back episodes of Friday Night Lights all afternoon long when I was pregnant with my first," says Kristyn Lewis, a mother of two in Washington, D.C.. "This wasn't an option when I was chasing a toddler around the second time." Me? I binge-watched Felicity while marooned on the sofa with third-trimester exhaustion. Two kids later, my marathon viewing has moved till after the boys have gone to bed. Netflix: From mom-to-be savior to a mother-of-two's demon sleep-stealer.
9. You Experience the Kindness of Strangers
A pregnant lady gets a lot of smiles from strangers. She get seats offered to her on the bus or the train (well, usually). People ask how you're feeling and genuinely care about the answer. This doesn't go away with subsequent pregnancies, but it might taper off a bit. When I started showing with my first, my local sandwich shop would give me a free cookie with my lunch, "for the baby." (Awwww) Second pregnancy: Big smiles, no cookies. My friend Julie noticed the change, too. "When I was pregnant with my first, I'd get a seat offered to me on the subway all of the time. Later, when I was pregnant with my third and had two little kids in tow, people would just look up at me and give me look of mild pity, but never a seat," remembers the Brooklyn mom of three.
10. You Take Those Cute Weekly Belly Pictures
Do the fancy time-lapse video of your belly growing. Please! Scrawl how many weeks along you are on a chalkboard and pose with it for your monthly bump picture. Pose often. Capture that beautiful belly on Instagram now. Because, honestly, there will be little to no evidence you were ever even pregnant with baby number two—except for the stretch marks.