As a first-born child, I've always thrown out the "first born, first loved" line to imply that I'm the favorite, but as I enter these final weeks of preparing for baby #2, I'm realizing more and more that the first child experiences a lot of things differently than subsequent children. That's not to say that they are loved more or are better (though clearly I am), but I'm realizing what an advantage it is to be the first born child, even just in utero:
1) The shock and awe-
Pregnant the first time? Every twinge, pain, and feeling is over analyzed and Dr. Googled to the extreme because, you know, something could be wrong. The second time around you either are pretty sure you know what you're feeling or you're too busy to think about it much, let alone research the possibilities.
2) The baby shower-
Kid #1: gets hundreds of outfits, more baby gear than the parents could ever use, and a lavish party to celebrate his/her impending arrival.
Kid # 2: gets some random gifts when you find out the gender and perhaps at holidays. Now, obviously there will probably be more gifts once baby is here, but there is no where near the showering of gifts and focus on this second child.
3) Mom takes better care of herself-
Pregnancy # 1- Mom takes it easy, naps often, and worries about eating all the right foods to make sure this unborn child doesn't come out with 3 arms and half a nose.
Pregnancy # 2- Mom is so busy taking care of Kid #1 that she often forgets to eat, or if she does eat it's leftover cold toast or whatever can be scarfed down straight from the refrigerator (no, just me?)
4) The worry-
This goes along with #1, but the first time around you worry about everything: Having the right baby gear, baby proofing your house, decorating the nursery. The second time around you realize that those things aren't all that important, and besides your just too tired to worry about them anyway. Things will get done at some point and if the baby needs something, then you'll go out and get it... also he'll be sleeping in your room the first weeks (or months) anyway, so why worry about him having a room all set up?
5) Overwhelming attention-
Okay, so this is more of an advantage for the mom. The first time around a pregnant woman is coddled and babied by everyone around her. She's told to sit down, relax, and let others take care of things. The second time around she's an old pro, so everyone just laughs about how they manage it all and leave them to their own devices. Yeah, there's some helping out, but nothing like the kid gloves that came out the last time.