A Hopeful Second Trimester Recap
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The Second Trimester Was Probably The Easiest…
And that’s no surprise! Most experienced mothers always say the second trimester is the best part of pregnancy. Your symptoms decrease, you start sporting a little baby bump, and you get to see the first images of your new babe.
This article is the second in my pregnancy journey series. You can also check out my Brutally Honest First Trimester Recap, where I struggled with mental health and body image.
The First Ultrasound!
I don’t think I will ever forget the black and white image of that tiny human twisting and squirming inside of me. Though slightly grainy, the clarity of that tiny head, body, and flailing limbs instantly sent tears to my eyes. The baby was moving around like crazy!
The first ultrasound was when things got “real” for me. I was instantly hit with an overwhelming sense of responsibility, joy, fear, love, amazement… all the emotions. I was so moved that tears began rolling down my face and soaking into my cloth facemask. Because of the pandemic, I had to do all my ultra-sounds alone. At my second ultrasound, I specifically requested a technician who could record video so that I could show Dusan more than just a few photos.
The What to Expect App (And Book)
I found the What to Expect App extremely helpful. Especially as a first-time mom. Yes, seeing all the fetal development stages and 3D renderings of a baby in the womb from conception to birth is cool. But what I really found helpful was:
- The list of pregnancy sysmptoms and body changes to expect week by week.
- The bite-sized videos covering everything from nutrition, to sleep positions, to the science of what’s happening inside you.
- The community articles from other expecting mums. I joined a group with the same due date month as me, and hearing what they were thinking and experiencing made me feel less alone. Many of them had great advise for first time moms too!
The What to Expect When You’re Expecting book is also a great read. It covers basically everything you need to know, and prepare for, if this is your first pregnancy. I’d say use it as a starting point, make note of things you didn’t know but also things that may not work for you. I’ll circle back to the “things that may not work for you” in my third-trimester post.
Building a Registry
There are loads of registry options out there. If you have the What to Expect app, they will outline a few of the most popular options. I personally went with Amazon’s baby registry, for a few reasons:
- It’s easy for everyone to access and use, especially during the pandemic while we all needed to social distance.
- They offer a 10 – 15% discount towards the end of your pregnancy for many of the Amazon-hosted products. (10% for non-Prime members and 15% for Prime members.)
- You can also add items from any other website, though you need to install their Amazon Assistant browser app to do this.
Here are a few of the items on my registry:
Decrease in Symptoms
Thankfully, the first trimester symptoms began to subside. Enough so that Dusan and I were able to travel a little bit! And I was able to start working out again, albeit at a very reduced rate from when I wasn’t pregnant. Motion sickness was still very much a thing. Anti-nausea bands helped a tiny bit for car rides and airplanes.
Not Really Showing That Much?
Everyone’s body throughout pregnancy is different! For me, I still was not showing that much in the second trimester. Even by the end, I didn’t have that distinctive baby belly. It was more like my entire torso was thicker and fuller at the front, like I had extra padding from my rib cage down to my hips. It seemed that my uterus was expanding more up into my rib cage than out from my belly area. Some suggested it was because my abs refused to move, which happens to some women. When I was filming my pregnancy reveal video, I had to ask Dusan to take the video multiple times because I wanted to try pushing my belly out more haha. I’m sure that I confused multiple passers-by when I would place my hand on my abdomen and beam. They must have been thinking, “My, that lady certainly is proud of how many burritos she ate.”
People constantly told me “wow, you don’t look pregnant!” But by the third trimester, I finally popped and started sporting the obvious baby bump. This inevitably came with sharp, painful tearing sensations in my abs. But I will save those details for my third-trimester post.
Boy or Girl?
Finding out the gender was one of the most exciting moments for us as a couple. Again, with the pandemic going on, my husband wasn’t allowed to attend any of my pregnancy appointments or ultrasounds. I opted for the NIPT blood test that scans for multiple health conditions but it also reveals the baby’s gender! You can do this well before the anatomy scan that comes later in the second trimester.
I nervously called my OBGYN’s office and sure enough, they had the results of the blood work back! I put the receptionist on speakerphone so that my husband could listen to the results. When she announced the gender, I literally screamed so loud that our cat fell off the windowsill!
We kept the gender secrete until the third trimester. But you can finally see my gender reveal video on Instagram.
Prenatal Workouts: The Belle Method
I signed up for the full 4-trimester Bump Method Online workout plan from The Belle Method. There are so many options when it comes to guided, pregnancy-safe workouts, and you can even find some free ones on YouTube.
What I like about The Belle Method is that it’s made in partnership with pelvic floor health experts, and you’ll notice that Nikki will explain loads about the pelvic floor throughout her workout routines. I found the workouts easy, with some trimester-appropriate challenges. Plus, each trimester’s workout sessions are available as one continuous video and broken up into individual videos per move.
I believe the intentional focus (and education!) on strengthening the pelvic floor has helped me physically prepare for birth in ways that are often overlooked. For example, I’m writing this article at 36 weeks pregnant and have had absolutely zero issues with bladder control or constant peeing. However, most women in my pregnancy group cite this as one of their top complaints! Nikki also takes time to explain how bones, muscles, and ligaments start shifting in the second trimester. Her Bump Method routine helps pull your body and posture back into place. I always notice that I feel more balanced and lengthened after her routines, which kept me coming back to her videos fairly consistently.
Mucous, Mucous, Mucous!
By the second trimester, I began producing enough mucous for two adult human beings. Charming! This would wake me up in the night because it was difficult to breathe. And my mourning ritual started to include 2 – 3 tissues. Oh, and nose bleeds. Nose bleeds on top of mucous.
Finding a Pediatrician
Living in Toronto, I knew that finding a pediatrician would be a challenge. It’s a big city with a growing demand for anything relating to baby and child care. I think it took me about 2 weeks of searching, emailing, and reading reviews before I found someone whose practice would be a decent fit. (And didn’t have hundreds of angry Google reviews about chronic overbooking.)
My advice: start your search early. It’s not something you want to leave to the last minute since you’ll need to have a pediatrician available as soon as your babe is born.
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Only one trimester left to go!
I’ll see you again in my third-trimester re-cap. I hope you’ve found my honest experience helpful, but leave a comment below if you have any tips for those in their second trimester.