As soon as I found out I was pregnant for the first time I signed up to heaps of online parenting forums and bought at least three birthing books.

Every week I would excitedly check on the progress of my unborn child, and I loved tracking the size of a foetus to food. My baby went from a pea to a watermelon - how delightful!

I relished being pregnant and felt like Mother Earth herself. When I started feeling kicks I was filled with such joy, I'd grab the nearest person's hand to feel my belly and get a taste of this miracle.

I carefully avoided deli meats, soft cheese and sushi. I spent hours planning her nursery, hand-making wall-hangings and co-ordinating all the colours.

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Towards the end of my pregnancy, I noticed a couple of twinges of sciatica - but nothing serious.

This gushy mum-to-be was gone the second time around.

I had no time to examine and chart the progress of this pregnancy.

My first daughter was almost two-years-old, and I had such awful morning sickness from the second baby that by the time toilet training the first rolled around, she thought the toilet was used to stand in front of and 'cough' into.

Mother Earth my bloated, lumbering backside.

From early during my pregnancy I had such severe sciatica it kept me awake, a toddler that wouldn't let me rest and I was a hot mess.

"Why is the pain so bad?" I asked my midwife. She told me that any little twinge I felt during pregnancy number one I would probably experience earlier in my second and more severe.

All I wanted was for this pregnancy to be over.

Things changed even more when my second child was born, and I know this is true for some friends, too.

I spent ages cooking and pureeing organic food from scratch for my first, but stuff from the jar was good enough for number two (it IS very convenient).

My first-born's baby book was full of anecdotes, photos and mementos. With my second, I had to trawl back through Facebook to remind myself of the key moments - when she started crawling and when she took her first steps.

Of course this doesn't mean I love her any less than her sister. It just means I was busier than ever and just doing my best.

I got a big dose of reality after number two was born and felt guilty about how smug I had been with number one. I didn't believe other mums when they said, "just wait until number two comes along". But they were right. Having a second child is a game-changer.

In a lot of respects it's much harder than having one, especially if there is a small age gap.

But it's so worth it.

When my youngest, now two, calls her big sister her best friend, my heart swells. When my big girl pain-stackingly helps her little sister put on her shoes I'm nearly moved to tears.

I wouldn't change a thing, no matter how much shut-eye I've missed over the last five years.