I actually cannot believe how fast each week goes by when you are pregnant, I didn’t get to do a 1st trimester catch up as I was still very much not feeling well. I spent most of those days lying on the sofa with a bucket in front of me watching day time TV while I tried to work out if I could handle making anything to eat. I think I survived on Frijj milkshake, apple slices and cheese, not the best diets in the world but I can’t begin to describe how terrible all day morning sickness is. When you are throwing up 3 – 4 times a day and constantly feeling sea sick 24/7 for months it’s exhausting. Depending what website you use the trimesters seem to be calculated differently but I’m counting the 2nd trimester from weeks 14 – 27.
Now onto the 2nd trimester, or better known as “the honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. As today marks 26 weeks, the last week of the 2nd trimester I feel it’s a good time to recap on the last few months. I think I was short changed a little since I didn’t immediately feel better once I hit that 14 week mark. I was still feeling quite up and down with nausea until around 18/19 weeks in fact but It was a lot more manageable than the 1st trimester days.
What they tell you will happen
They (aka websites and the general public) tell you that soon as you hit the 2nd trimester you’ll bloom and morning sickness should subside, the days of being sick will be behind you. Almost like a magic switch is flipped the babies placenta takes over hormone production and yay you should be well on your way to happiness.
What actually happened
I would say this doesn’t happen for everyone, I know some people who get sick the whole time (thank goodness I didn’t). For me it was more of a slow progression to feeling less nausea and vomiting days reduced with longer timeframes between each episode. I was still being sick though up until around week 17 and still feeling sick up until week 18 so I just don’t think you can know how things will go until you get there.
The pregnancy pop
What they tell you will happen
You should start to find your uterus grows larger and you might find you put on 3/4 lbs a month, be prepared to embrace maternity clothes! Baby movements and kicking should become more obvious.
What actually happened
I think this actually happened pretty textbook for me, I slowly grew a round bump around week 16 which became a definite baby bump at week 20 (one I could no longer suck in). That awkward stage in between baby bump and “is she just eating too many doughnuts” was a bit annoying as maternity wear was really too large but normal clothes were starting to get too tight. We went away when I was 19 weeks until 21 weeks and it was quite clear by that stage that I was pregnant, as the proper baby bump developed over the holiday. That was nice since all the staff then started to ask how I was doing and I could wear my maternity holiday clothes I had picked out. Each week since then I’ve just continued to grow and grow, which I think will keep happening now until the birth.
Movement wise I definitely started feeling movements at the start of the second trimester but at first they were really faint, almost like stroking feeling from the inside. While we were away I got my first proper whack, very strong and very different to the light kicks I felt before. Towards the end of the second trimester the frequency of the kicking has just increased, In fact it’s rare not to feel her kicking away in there over a period of ten minutes now. Lots of body flips, rolls, pushing and movement going on all the time where as before it would be maybe one or two strong kicks every hour now it’s 1 – 5 kicks every ten minutes. The only time I don’t feel something is when she’s sleeping and then music, talking or a sweet treat gets her to wake up.
What they tell you will happen
You should start getting your appetite back, eating more yadada..
What actually happened
I’m so pleased to say my appetite did eventually come back, it wasn’t until 19 weeks when we were away that it came back properly. This was a major relief as food repulsed me during the 1st trimester, in fact my husband had to order our food shopping online as I couldn’t even think about food. I would have happily just not eaten (he also had to cook all our meals), but things did improve slowly. As the nausea faded the appetite came back and was in full swing by 19 weeks, I was making the most of our all inclusive food at the resort thats for sure! This baby seemed to take to it well, every day her kicks got stronger with the increase in food coming in. I have noticed my appetite is starting to become a little more subdued now though, as there is less room everywhere I tend to eat but not feel that hungry or total polar opposite “feed me now I’m starving!”.
Generally speaking the 2nd trimester has been pretty kind to me, sure I’ve been tired, had leg cramps, ligament pain (possible SPD?), times when I felt like I couldn’t breathe however I’ve generally been able to get out and about. When you’ve spent months stuck indoors it’s amazing how freeing just being able to walk outside without throwing up can be. It’s a shame too that I missed quite a few events that I would have liked to have gone to while I was still in the nausea phase.
Typical 2nd trimester symptoms I had were:
- Sinus Headaches – Grr, I really dislike these as paracetamol doesn’t seem to hit the spot like I know ibuprofen would. But I’ve found a hot compress seems to give relief, so I don’t even mind getting these now.
- Can’t breathe – This must be a combination of low iron and organs being crushed, I’ve only had one little panic moment where I ended up calling my doctor to check. But now I kind of accept that either I need to up my iron or change my position to allow my lungs to expand more.
- Leg cramps – Haha! I got these before pregnancy but wow they happen a lot more in pregnancy, in fact I can probably bring one on just by bending my legs in a certain way while lying down. However I know how to stop them in their tracks so even these don’t bother me, as long as I stop them quickly I don’t get aches for days.
- Increase in Energy – Energy wise things have definitely improved since the 1st trimester, although I do feel more tired at times again now. Perhaps that’s something to look forward to in the 3rd trimester, not that I mind.
- Braxton Hicks – These are definitely strange, I think I must be feeling them as basically your whole stomach area tightens up. It’s not painful but just slightly uncomfortable, very weird!
- Dizzy moments – Had a few of these, quite used to them back in the days where I have other health issues. They don’t bother me much, you just have to remember to stand up slowly!
- Baby Brain – I don’t know why I try and remember things anymore, I had no idea this was truly an issue but serious even if you have a great memory before pregnancy it can still hit you.
What haven’t I had?
- Sleep problems – Well I’ve been able to sleep fine most nights, mostly due to my body pillow and air conditioning. My husband has just had to deal with my air con habit in the depths of winter here, seriously pregnant people get hot! I’m like some kind of mobile hot water bottle.
- Stretch marks – Oh I’ve been lucky so far I am expecting to end up with some though since I’m just not that lucky. I’m also pretty terrible at remembering to using bio oil or the creams I have stocked up in the cupboards.
- Moodiness – Now I’m pretty sure my husband would agree that I haven’t had much moodiness so far, I think it’s mostly down to my stress free lifestyle. If I had more to deal with then I would probably be up there with all the other raging pregnant ladies, I did get slightly frustrated that the cheque machine wasn’t working at the bank though! Doh.
- Back pain – I was really expecting this since I have a back injury, my physiotherapist told me I would most likely have problems with pregnancy. Maybe I’ll be talking about my poor back in the weeks to come, but so far no problems here
The big anatomy scan
One of the big milestones of the 2nd trimester is of course the anatomy scan, the big scan which gives you a much better indication of whether things have developed as they should. Getting to 20 weeks was really great, we already knew the sex of our baby at this point (as we booked a private scan at 16 weeks) so our thoughts at this time were focused on whether we had a healthy baby. I had to wait until 21 weeks as we were away but it was worth it and she had grown so much since the 12 week scan.
Of course one of the main highlights of the 2nd trimester has been finding out the sex of our baby which we did at 16 weeks, which was great. I also asked at the anatomy scan for them to just check. We’ve now been able to call her by her name since which is lovely.
It has been nice to see the progression through scans from 8 weeks all the way to 21 weeks. We were going to do a 3D scan but my placenta is anterior so there’s no guarantee that she wouldn’t be hiding behind it (which she was at the 16 week scan we had). It’s quite amazing when you look at the 8 week scan how humans are made and in such a short space of time.
Shopping and nursery preparations
We wanted to wait until the anatomy scan to start any big shopping, just in case the scan highlighted any issues. As such this trimester has meant a lot of shopping. I would compare shopping for a baby much like shopping for your wedding, Pinterest has been my favourite buddy again and I’ve been cooing at all the lovely things on Etsy. Suddenly you start writing lists, planning, organising in summary some of my favourite things to do. I’ve really enjoyed every part of the baby shopping experience!
Not all of the shopping has been for the baby, I invested in a pregnancy body pillow and that has to be my favourite item. I truly don’t think I would have slept this well without it. I’ve been using it since around week 16 when I began to notice hip pain while sleeping. So important that it travelled with me to Antigua and back! I know it works as I slept on the plane without it and woke up much more uncomfortable.
So if you’re wondering whether to spend the money, it’s definitely worth it on a good pregnancy body pillow. Good sleep is something that you just can’t put a price on when pregnant and everything aches.
What am I looking forward to?
Overall I have really enjoyed this trimester but I’m looking forward to hitting 30 weeks now as that seems like the next milestone in my head then 37 weeks which is full term. I get the feeling things are going to just keep getting less comfortable, already it can be quite testing when you are being kicked in the ribs! I’m starting to feel quite off balance and heavy fronted, which given that she now weighs 1 2/3 lbs means that there is quite a lot of expanding to go still.
I’m also looking forward to starting antennal classes shortly, plus the increase in all the midwife appointments as this makes time go a lot faster I think. Although I am not looking forward to having to do the glucose test next week nor the blood tests that I have to have all the time!