My Pregnancy Journey – Part 2: The Second Trimester
Most people talk of the second trimester as being the best part of your pregnancy and I agree with them- for the most part!
My second trimester was awesome from about week 17 onwards however I experienced some unexplained heavy bleeding in the 13th week and was rushed to the ER. Much to my relief our bub still had a strong little heartbeat. My obstetrician advised me to take it easy for a few weeks (which I did and during this time I formed a slight obsession with Grey’s Anatomy).
I still had my morning sickness and fatigue until around the 17th week then all of a sudden I woke up up and I felt as though I was no longer pregnant (except for my tiny growing bump!) I felt 100% normal again (woot!). My energy was back, I was eating normal foods and I felt amazing.
My favourite part of the second trimester was beginning to be able to feel little flutters in my belly as bub was getting bigger. For me they started around 16 weeks and began with what felt like popcorn popping in my belly or tiny bursting bubbles, then over the next few weeks turned into soft little kicks. It is such a beautiful time in any pregnancy and is very reassuring to feel bub moving around. I found that once I started feeling the kicks many of my fears and anxieties about my pregnancy began to fade.
The manner in which time fly’s by continues to blow me away, the first 12 weeks seemed to go much slower and I think this was because we were still keeping our baby news a secret from the world. Once your news is out be prepared for time to rapidly speed up! Plus your bump grows bigger and bigger each day which really begins to makes the experience feel even more real!
We had a scan at 19 weeks but we decided that we did not want to find out the sex of the baby as we want to keep it a surprise. It is making our experience so much fun as my husband and I play around with names and talk about all the possibilities of this tiny little human growing inside my belly.
Due to a lovely little hormone called relaxin my muscles and joints have begun to loosen in preparation for birth (if you are currently pregnant make sure you are careful exercising as this can cause you to overstretch and injure yourself). For me this been causing pain in my hip joints whenever I do normal activities, even simple activities such as vacuuming or walking- which has been incredibly frustrating at times. However this has led me to the biggest lesson in my 2nd trimester and that has been that it is ok to slow down. For someone who usually moves at a very fast pace (usually juggling many activities at once) this concept has been very difficult to grasp both mentally and physically. In the end I am grateful that I have begun to listen to my body. Please don’t be too hard on yourself during this time, rest when you need to and know that everything that needs to get done will get done in good time. The most important thing is having a healthy you and a healthy baby- remember its tough work growing a baby so be kind to yourself.
Something that I did not expect in the second trimester was the fact that I began to feel Braxton Hicks contractions around week 16. If you are not sure what these are, they are like mini practice contractions that don’t hurt. Apparently every woman gets them during pregnancy as Braxton Hicks help to strengthen the uterus, however most women don’t feel them until late in their third trimester (if at all). At first this was really scary as I was not sure what was happening but my obstetrician assured me that it is completely normal.
If I can recommend a few things if you are currently pregnant or are planning to be, I would say the following are my top tips:
-Invest in acupuncture, my acupuncturist has been amazing especially with helping me with the pain in my hips.
-Purchase a Belly Bean pregnancy pillow. I was gifted a pillow from a gorgeous friend and it has been an absolute godsend in helping me to get into a comfortable position with my growing belly!
-Invest in comfy maternity undies and ditch the underwire bras- I purchased bonds maternity bras (a few sizes bigger to accommodate for my rapidly growing boobs) and they have been the best.
-Don’t go over-board with maternity clothes- again my gorgeous generous friend gifted me a few maternity singlets, a pair of tights and a couple of simple maternity work dresses and I can honestly say I have only bought one pair of additional work pants and 2 work tops and I have basically lived in these as well as looser fitting clothes that I had in my cupboard. I remember when I started to grow I was absolutely freaking that I would have nothing to wear but the time has flown by so quickly, that I recommend buying only a few staples and that should be enough to get you through. I am now so glad that I held off from buying too many clothes as it just would not have been necessary.
-Rub coconut oil on your skin to avoid stretch marks, it has been working really well for me and stops my skin feeling itchy with all the stretching that is happening. I use it on my belly, breasts and bum/ hips.
-Keep yourself hydrated, make sure you drink plenty of water. I can’t seem to get enough water this pregnancy so I always have a bottle close by.
-If you feel you need to rest- do it! Nanna naps are the bomb.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog post about my experiences in my second trimester, thanks for reading about my journey… I’m almost on the home stretch and I look forward to creating a blog about my third trimester.
If you missed what I wrote about my first trimester you can read that here http://healthybellyhappymind.com/pregnancyfirsttrimester/
If you have had similar experiences or have any questions I would love to hear from you. Comment below.