I really can’t believe I’m writing my second trimester recap already. Time has really flown by, and my honeymoon trimester was really pretty awesome. I had enough energy to launch my online boutique, do a lot of cleaning and organizing, and even go out and do some fun outdoor activities on the weekends. Sadly, we cancelled our babymoon to Charleston, South Carolina because it was a hotspot for the virus, and I didn’t feel comfortable flying on a plane with little enforcement of social distancing policies. We also had to cancel trips to Florida to visit family, which was disappointing for everyone involved. We haven’t seen my family in almost a year, which is making me long to move to be closer to family even more.
This trimester has been full of a lot of disappointments and cancellations in that way, but there’s always a bright side to everything. I have been able to stay healthy this whole pregnancy and the baby is doing great. I’m even on a leave of absence from medical school to make sure that I am not inadvertently exposed, which means that I have had lots of time to spend at home, reassessing my priorities and coming to terms with this big life change that is headed my way in the next few months.
Second Trimester Recap – Symptoms
Headaches and Hot Flashes
I had frequent headaches in the beginning of this trimester, but they kind of went away. I always felt better after drinking a ton of ice cold water. Before I was pregnant, I would prefer room temperature water, but now, because I’m hot all the time, I can only drink ice water.
I had a little bit of hormonal acne in the first trimester, but it wasn’t bad and it disappeared pretty quickly. When I hit the second trimester, it blew up. I had breakouts all over my face at first, then all over my chest, back and shoulders, just like it was when I was in high school. So many years have been spent healing my skin that having this happen to me at almost age 30 was a major blow to my self-esteem.
I wanted to wear all of those cute tank tops and tank dresses since my belly bump popped in the midst of summer weather, but I was so self-conscious of my skin. It’s a lot better now and the marks are fading, but it’s just really frustrating. And to add to it, all of the products that I know work to clear up my skin, I can’t use in pregnancy. My husband still thinks I’m beautiful, and though it is hard to believe that, I still appreciate the support.
In the first trimester, I was taking daily naps because I just couldn’t tolerate being awake for an entire day. I was so very lucky because this was in March and everyone was under the stay at home order. I would watch my lectures for school and then take a nap immediately afterward. The fatigue definitely let up in the second trimester. I remember telling my husband that I almost feel like I’m back to normal again! I was so excited.
There were several moments when I forgot I was pregnant in the early weeks of the second trimester, but that quickly changed as I progressed to the end of it. This last week of the second trimester, I have noticed that my stamina is not as great, and I need to sit and rest more frequently than before. I guess my window of unlimited energy is closing quickly, and I need to get stuff done as soon as possible.
Weight Gain and Back Pain
The last couple of weeks of the second trimester, I noticed how big I had gotten. I gained weight in my hips, thighs and butt, and my upper arms. Standing up for long periods of time also causes my back to ache. I would become stiff, and the only thing that would help is a warm shower or a hot pack on my lower back. The belly bandit I bought has been helping out with this, though. The weight gain is a little bit hard to swallow. I had been the same weight since high school and now, although I’m gaining appropriately, I am having a hard time accepting how heavy I am.
Everyday is a new struggle in finding something to wear that makes me feel beautiful, and not like a whale or a pumpkin. Part of the issue is that I refuse to spend a lot of money on maternity clothing, but the maternity clothes that I do have are flattering. This isn’t a real problem because I know intellectually that I’m growing a baby, and that weight gain is a normal and healthy part of the process. Emotionally, I am still struggling to accept the way my body looks.
I was pretty even-keeled during the beginning part of the second trimester, but I have been having weekly meltdowns as I enter the third trimester. I don’t know if it is the hormones, or the anxiety of not being ready as the baby’s due date quickly approaches, or the fact that all of this is happening in the midst of a pandemic. It might be all of the above. I am just trying my best to eat enough, sleep enough, and stay away from my husband when I am feeling edgy so that I don’t start unnecessary arguments.
I can’t believe I almost finished my second trimester recap without writing about this! The heartburn is terrible. It doesn’t matter if I eat spicy food or regular food, I get heartburn either way. I take tums daily now, even though I hate the taste of it. The heartburn has also affected my appetite in ways that the nausea didn’t in the first trimester. I am almost afraid to eat because I don’t want heartburn, and sometimes I don’t eat three full meals in a day.
I do supplement with Ensure because I have had problems with my appetite even before pregnancy, and it has helped to fill in the gaps. Of course, I take my prenatals daily. Otherwise, I try to eat three smaller sized meals and snacks, and I give myself grace to eat whatever sounds good, even if it isn’t exactly the healthiest. The struggle is so real.
Milestones and Doctor Appointments
The joy of feeling the baby move for the first time is indescribable. At first it was flutters, then it was full-on jabs. The kicking doesn’t hurt, it is just a strange sensation that catches you off guard. The anxiety of wondering whether or not the baby is okay kind of goes away, because feeling the baby move is pretty good reassurance. Although I saw the baby in the first trimester during my 11 week ultrasound, seeing the baby for the anatomy scan was amazing. We even got a bonus 3D image of our baby’s face, which is on the fridge for us to look at every single day. We are still deciding who he looks like.
The glucose test also wasn’t that bad. The clear lemon-lime glucola tastes like flat Sprite, and I was able to drink that pretty easily. I was so nervous about that. The disappointing part of this all happening during the pandemic is that I have had to go to all of these appointments by myself. On the bright side, I also found out that our hospital does allow one visitor to stay in the labor & delivery unit with the mom throughout the course of her stay, so Mark will be able to witness the birth of his baby boy.
We decided to register with Babylist because you can link everything you see on the internet, basically, with a chrome plug-in and add it to your registry. It also links to our Target and Amazon registries so that our families only need to look in one place to find all of our items. I started the registries during my first trimester, but I just finalized it to reflect the things we actually need. We already bought the stroller, the car seat and a bunch of clothes ourselves. Check out this post on saving money on baby gear to learn more.
I don’t think I’ve started full-on nesting just yet. I did start washing and organizing the baby’s clothes, but now they are just in a giant pile in the crib waiting to be put away. Everyday, I walk past the nursery and feel guilty for leaving it in the messy disarray that it’s currently in, but once my online boutique gets going, I will have more time to spend just focusing on baby stuff. The only thing I could count as “nesting” would be completely deep cleaning and organizing underneath the kitchen sink.
However, I think this is more like “procrasti-cleaning” and not nesting, because I was trying to avoid doing something else that I really needed to do. I have developed a compulsion to clean the kitchen every night before heading to bed, which is something I didn’t really care about before. Now, it just irks me to go to bed with dishes still in the sink.
Second Trimester Recap – Highs & Lows
-Feeling baby move
-Seeing baby’s face, fingers and toes
-Starting my online business
-Having a lot of energy
-The pandemic and its effects
Second Trimester Recap – What I’m Looking Forward To Most
I just want to meet our baby so bad! I feel like I can’t wait, but I also know that he can arrive whenever he wants to, and I am not sure that I am quite ready to be a mom to a newborn just yet. This must be a normal feeling, right? I need a few more months to be mentally prepared for birth and motherhood. We also can’t wait for the holidays, because this will be our first Christmas as a family of three, and Christmas is my favorite holiday.
I am nervous, excited, hopeful and overwhelmed all at once. In terms of the near future, I am looking forward to learning to embrace my growing baby bump. We are also going to have a virtual baby shower, and I’m not sure how that’s going to turn out, but I don’t want this pandemic to interfere with us celebrating and getting excited for this baby. He deserves to be loved on, regardless of the circumstances we’re in.
Let me know in the comments how your second and third trimesters went, and if you have any tips for expecting moms!