"EDIT: Or maybe it's not a "refresh" but simply: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/13.0/releasenotes/
"Restored background tabs are not loaded by default for faster startup" , is that it? can I still disable this though? "
(It seems like, basically, your new tab isn't actually loaded at all until you open it up.)
Tools->Options->Tabs-> uncheck  Don't load tabs until selected.
Tools->Options-> General -> uncheck  Don't load tabs until selected
here's another website:
To change this you would need to change the setting for all restored background tabs, not just duplicates:
Go to Firefox Menu \ Options \ General
In the Startup section, un-tick ‘Don’t load tabs until selected’ and press OK to finish – tabs duplicated by TMP in a new window should now load and display automatically.
If the ‘Don’t load tabs until selected’ option is ticked but greyed out, change the drop down option ‘When Firefox starts’ to ‘Show my windows and tabs from last time’ then un-tick the ‘Don’t load tabs until selected’ box and change back the ‘When Firefox starts’ option to whatever it was before – then press OK to finish.