They call it the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. If you’re thinking a mix of missed flights but amazing hotel room views of paradise, I guess you could say that’s spot on! Here’s what I’ve experienced during my second trimester, from the peaks to the valleys and everything in between.
I’ve previously covered the first half of my second trimester, when I was at the half way point (or 20 week mark) of my pregnancy. Just in case you haven’t had a chance to skim through that post, I’ll recap a smidge here for those of you playing catch up.
Connecting With Baby: I’m thrilled to tell you that since our little squirmy baby has grown bigger, it’s been really fun interacting and connecting. I felt the baby’s first movements around 16 weeks but it took until 19 or 20 until they were pronounced and regular. Since then, I’ve had a lot of fun poking and talking to baby and getting little reactions. This child regularly puts on little song and tap dance routines (jazz hands!) too. The other night I swear I felt the baby’s wrist and hand do some sort of high five on my palm. It was incredible. The movements have made me much more confident and excited.
Mobility Issues: Another improvement! By week 19 I was in so much pain that walking from my couch to my bedroom upstairs was a near impossible task. I was depressed about being stuck sitting all day and just in a massive amount of physical pain. I started seeing a chiropractor for adjustments that now I’m doing moderate hikes and walking up to two miles a day! I resumed my normal workouts at the gym as well! Unfortunately, baby is resting on a nerve so I’ve also had some major discomfort (err… alternatively numb, burning or stabbing sensations) on my left outer thigh for the past 8 weeks. I wouldn’t trade it for nausea, but after a long day it’s kind of rough.
There’s also the fact that my center of gravity and size are changing too, so sitting and standing are becoming a little more… cumbersome? I’m just glad that I only have another 10-14 weeks of this!
Self Esteem Woes: I’m not the kind of person that regularly feels guilty. I like my choices and the results so I don’t sit around “feeling bad” about something I’ve done very often. But I do sometimes feel a little guilty about not loving every second of being pregnant, mainly because of self esteem issues. This was a post all it’s own a month or so ago, so I’ll let you dig in there if you want.
After I posted that piece, a friend emailed me and mentioned society’s unspoken demands to maintain thinness while pregnant. To only gain weight in the belly. To bounce back quickly. Some might say stretch marks are beautiful, but they’re always photoshopped out of photos. We (society) say pregnant women are beautiful but we only see images in the media of certain kinds (read: thin models/actresses) of expecting women. I guess this is a huge can of worms to open up and extends beyond just pregnancy, but it’s something I’ve become a lot more aware of lately.
Gaining weight has been hard for me emotionally and on the rare occasions I’ve brought it up, someone always says “you’re pregnant!” (with a tone that denotes I’m foolish/crazy/whatever) Well, yea. I know that. I’m thrilled to be pregnant. But it’s a big change in a very short timespan and even though it’s all for the health of the baby it’s hard to wrap my head around. And weirdly, it’s not my changing size, its the number on the scale. Which means it’s a great thing I don’t have a scale in my home and I really need to dismiss that number as a measure of the health of my pregnancy and just let my midwife worry about it. (Side note: During a time in my life when I felt super healthy and beautiful, I only looked at a scale twice in two months!)
In short, if you’re loving your belly one day and feeling large and not so in charge the next, you are absolutely not alone. You don’t HAVE to love being pregnant every day, especially the days that are a physical challenge or an emotional one. When I grasped I could let go of that, I actually felt a lot better. We don’t expect ourselves to love everything about the way we look and feel every single day of our non pregnant lives, why would we put that kind of pressure on ourselves for nine months?
Maternity Clothes: If I were to do it all over again, I’d be a lot better about spacing out my budget - and saving more for the tail end of my pregnancy. I already feel like my maternity jeans/pants/shorts are too snug to feel comfortable and am glad I didn’t buy anything too expensive there. I’m getting the most use out of my navy and black knit dresses and interspersing the pretty goddessy numbers to keep things interesting (for myself). Luckily my friends have sent over boxes of their maternity clothes which is like shopping for free! Once we’re done having babies, I’ll definitely do the same for other pregnant gals!
As the weeks tick by, I’m going to focus mostly on comfort and do my best with outfit photos. I’m working to not feel beholden to the blog and to keeping things fresh and new every single day - it’s just not a priority for me right now. When I feel pretty and like something, we’ll take photos and for the days I’m chillen in my gym shorts and a sports bra, I’ll just spare you (or will i?!?! mwhahahah) Thanks for being so understanding and supportive about this!
Random Good Stuff:
We hired a doula! For those of you unfamiliar, she’s a birth assistant who will help Adam and I at our home before we transfer to the hospital and then be there for us as a supportive ally once we’re there. I feel REALLY good about my care providers (my midwife and backup OB) and am so happy to be in good hands.
We met with her for the first time recently and can I just say that I love women who love birth? There’s something about the positive energy and vocabulary that gets me so pumped about labor and delivery! After meeting and talking with our doula I feel more connected to my own body and more confident in my choices (she doesn’t push you one way or another, she just supports what you’ve chosen!). We’ll meet with her in our home another two or three times before labor to solidify our plans. Our homework for our next meeting was to list 30 positive affirmations about myself (challenging!) and to create a list of things that bring me joy and comfort (donuts, binge watching Netflix, Adam playing guitar, foot and shoulder rubs, petting/snuggling the fur kids, walking around the block, mint Oreo ice cream, a clean house, arranging flowers, etc). Once we’re into active labor we’ll get on our merry way to the hospital which is just a couple of blocks down the road!
We had another ultra sound! This time, it was such a happy, wonderful experience. We could both immediately see the outline of the baby and even got a wave of that lil tiny hand. I swear that child was smiling in there too! Everything looks healthy and we were so so happy. Baby is a bit bigger than expected and they’ve adjusted my due date by a week - although Adam and I are getting into the habit of thinking of our birth month (a window of two weeks before and after the estimated due date) as a way to trick ourselves out of being coo coo as that EDD approaches. I was two weeks late as a baby and I have a feeling that Sept 8th might be the actually day. I also think I’m having a boy (we don’t know either way) and Adam thinks it’s a girl! I walked away with those little silhouetted scans I was hoping for on my first ultra sound and all in all, it was just an awesome experience.
Baby Showers! I never had a true bridal shower before I got married so honestly, I’m really excited about getting together with my friends and family and getting things for the baby! I had my first shower with the women of Adam’s family and while opening presents in front of 20 people was a little overwhelming, I felt so loved and happy about what’s around the corner.
The Nursery! Our nursery is really starting to come together! Here’s what I had planned for the room initially and I’ve made a couple changes from our starting point. Right now the walls and ceilings have been repainted, I’ve conditioned the floors, picked out a different rug and made window treatments with my mom. I’ll definitely do a full post with photos down the road.
Things are definitely starting to feel more and more real with each passing week. I’m focusing a lot on enjoying where I’m at, being in the present moment and spending time with my husband while it’s just the two of us. Summer is my favorite time of year and I don’t want to wish it all away, but it also blows my mind that we’ll have a child before the fall.
Finally - I want all of you to know (especially those of you who’ve written me privately) that I really appreciate the positive support you’ve shared as I share so much of myself during pregnancy. It makes me want to share more and help to normalize some of the unspoken side effects of pregnancy. It’s different for all of us but at the same time, we’re never alone.