My second trimester with baby number two
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be in the second trimester. I feel like I can breathe a little easier, knowing that the chance of miscarriage at this point is much lower than previous weeks. I'm starting to feel better symptoms-wise, too. Less queasiness and gagging, and just more like my old self. Except with a little baby belly.
This week I had my first coffee in months. I cut back on my (already modest) caffeine intake when trying to conceive, and then with the nausea I just haven't felt like it. The coffee I had was weak, as I want to gently ease back into my caffeine consumption, but it was really enjoyable. I do love coffee, and would drink 10 cups a day if I could. I'm now getting decent nausea-free blocks throughout the day, and have found a bigger variety of foods appealing. This week I made a few glorious salad bowls with leafy greens, legumes and tinned fish. I am finding, though, that the nausea can come back with a vengeance at various points throughout the day, so I guess I've got a little while to go until it disappears completely. Another food-related thing I'm experiencing is digestive discomfort, which is something that's super common during pregnancy but never bothered me when I was pregnant with Joan. These days I can't eat legumes or onion without having stomach pains afterwards. Peppermint tea has helped.
Towards the end of this week I had another appointment with my OB. This was a big one for me. At this point I hadn't seen the baby for almost three weeks, and while that isn't a long time in the scheme of things, those final weeks of the first trimester felt really crucial. Even though we had a wonderful 12 week scan, I wanted the reassurance that we had gotten through the first trimester. Thankfully, all looks wonderful. And when I saw my baby in my womb, busy doing its thing, I finally felt myself release those concerns and fully open myself up to the joy that was in front of me.
After recently seeing our babe and being reassured that all is well, I found this week to be so enjoyable. For the first time since we found out I was pregnant, I let my mind wander towards baby names and day dream about the transition we'll all be going through in October, as we bring a new life into our family.
My nausea continued to improve (though I was still gagging a lot) and my food intake started to resemble what my pre-pregnant self enjoyed - lots of quinoa, chickpea and canned fish bowls, carrot sticks & crackers with hummus, and roasted vegetables. I also got the urge to be more active. During my first pregnancy I loved doing Jessica Smith's prenatal videos, and I'm so happy to be starting them again. The videos are gentle and fun, yet still help me to build strength and stamina. My goal is to do a quick, 20minute pre-natal workout two or three mornings a week - either the cardio or weights video (for which I use 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas - ha!). Joan likes to join in and share my floor mat, which is fun - provided I've thought ahead & made her a snack to eat when she gets tired of dancing. I've also been going on more morning walks and listening to birth story podcasts while I push Joan in the pram.
This week I was able to sense more movement in my belly, which was lovely. I'd been feeling tiny flutters for a few weeks already (to me they feel like little pops in my belly), but very sporadically. At 15 weeks I still only sense the movements every now and then, but they're definitely getting stronger, which brings me such happiness and reassurance.
This week I started to get a lot of headaches. Like, every second day l would have one all day and night. I had my monthly acupuncture appointment (during the first trimester I was going weekly, but now it's dropped to monthly) and that seemed to really help. In fact, I didn't have another one until almost 19 weeks. Acupuncture also helped with my back pain (along with warm baths and massages from Ben), after I twinged it earlier in the week when making the bed. Another thing I began experiencing was sharp round ligament pain. It tends to come on when I've been on my feet for a while or if I move suddenly.
Food-wise I'm pretty much back to normal. My desire for McChicken burgers has disappeared and I now find myself wanting lots of fruit (especially kiwi fruit!) and berry smoothies. I've been eating quinoa veggie bowls and eggs, and I'm back to eating pasta around twice a week, which is normal for me (in the first trimeter I went off it, as I found the smell of cooked pasta sickening). I'm loving my bedtime snacks of fruit, cheese and crackers or vegemite toast. Getting into bed with a snack, hot water bottle & a show on Netflix is one of my favourite things to do.
Hurrah! My headaches and back pain seem to have disappeared. I've started to feel quite faint, though. I've always been a fainter, since I was a kid. We've looked into it and it seems to be related to when I stand or sit for a long time - vaso vagal stuff. Eventually, as a nine year old, I learnt to lie down when symptoms came on, so as to not dramatically (and painfully!) fall to the ground. These days it doesn't happen often. I had a few faint feelings very early on in this pregnancy, and when I was pregnant with Joan, too, but with Joan it never became an issue. This time around, however, I've been feeling increasingly faint. I even had to pull over when driving on the freeway and lie down in the back seat. Not ideal! So I told my OB's office and they asked me to come in a week early for my check-up. My blood pressure was fine, as it always seems to be. I was told to just take it easy - sitting up slowly, etc. I'll also start on an iron supplement. I've always had to watch my iron and take a supplement every now and then to keep my levels good. And pregnancy is a time when it's common for your levels to drop. They're ok at the moment, and they were great going into this pregnancy, however I'll take a supplement every other day to keep them in check.
This week I officially booked in at the hospital where I'll be giving birth. Walking into the maternity unit and seeing the lovely midwives was so exciting. They're wonderful there, I feel like bub and I are in really good hands. 5 months seems like a long time, though people keep telling me it will go fast! I think they're right, especially now I've started to forget how far along I am.
In other news, my appetite has increased significantly. I'm continuing to snack between meals, and the portions of my meals have gotten bigger. That part is a lot of fun, actually. Oh, and halfway through this week I felt the baby kick from the outside. I couldn't believe it! Movements have been getting stronger and stronger, which has been so fun. Joan's placenta was in the front & blocked a lot of her movements, so I didn't feel much until later on in my pregnancy. I was also blissfully naive and didn't worry that she wouldn't be growing! This time around, my babe's placenta is at the back, so I'm feeling a lot more, and very grateful for it, as I definitely have moments where I worry if everything is ok. I especially notice the movements at night when lying in bed. Bubba seems to be really active around 9pm. I couldn't believe it when I put my hand on my belly and felt a kick - it was the best feeling! A few days later, Ben felt one, too. It's always such a special moment when your partner can feel movement, as it makes it even more real for them.
I had a pretty great week this week. I've continued to feel lots of movements, my faint feelings have subsided and I'm now only gagging when brushing my teeth. I did end the week with a major headache, though. And I've got some posterior pelvic pain (SI joint pain, I think?), which isn't super fun. I experienced this sort of back pain intensely with Joan, however only for two weeks (I believe weeks 30-32), then it just stopped! I did start going to the chiropractor during that time, so I may start that up again.
Getting daily reassurance from kicks telling me that there is indeed a baby in my belly has given me the urge to declutter and organise all my cupboards. This week I went through my wardrobe and packed a big bag of clothes for the op shop. I gave the space a good dust, clean and vacuum and popped up these IKEA hanging clothes things, which we bought for Joan three years ago (I had two extra leftover, which ended up being perfect for this babe). My wardrobe and bedroom are HUGE, so there's plenty of space for baby clothes and a change table. Then I headed to the kitchen and decluttered our kitchen cupboards and reorganised where the bowls and plates go, in an attempt to make it as functional as possible - anticipating one handed meal prep, and all. That was really fun, actually. Oh and I moved the furniture about in Joan's room (it's all very light) and gave it a good clean. I figure the more I can do now, the easier it will be later on, when I get big.
On the food front, I was really into hummus and avocado this week. Which isn't new, I guess. We also bought a bunch of kale and were loving on that all week long. Other than that it was same as usual - lots of fruit, quinoa, eggs, avocado toast and pasta.
This week I got to meet my friend's newborn baby, who at the time was just over two weeks old. Ooooh, he is divine! Seeing him made me so excited to meet our little love in October. This was the youngest baby Joan had seen, and I loved watching her take it all in. She continues to be intensely loving towards my belly. Her eyes light up when she sees it, and she wraps her arms around it to give the baby a cuddle and a kiss.
The kicks got bigger this week and we even saw the baby moving around. I could not believe it! I didn't see these sort of movements from the outside in my first pregnancy until I was further along. This time, being my second pregnancy and the fact that my placenta is on the back, I am feeling and seeing things so early, and LOVING it. Ben got to see the movements, too, which was wonderful, because they weren't just little kicks - bubba was really rolling around in there. I'm feeling a lot down low, which makes it easy to see.
There's nothing really different going on with food this week. I'm still loving my veggie bowls and pasta. Chocolate and coffee, too. In the evenings, if I have a chocolate craving I'll crack open some carob (which I actually enjoy!) to avoid the extra caffeine. I know that if I eat my usual diet, which is really nutrient-dense, I will be doing well to give my body and my baby what we need. Though I am taking supplements and making certain food choices for pregnancy, like more eggs, salmon and gelatin (see this post for more information).
I felt a little nervous going into our 20 week scan. I was insanely excited - and not too worried because I had been feeling so much movement - but there's always a chance they'll find something that may indicate the baby isn't developing optimally. Thankfully, though, all looks well with our little one. After our scan the three of us we went out to celebrate with burgers and fries. After our 8 week scan 11 months ago in June last year, I had planned to take Ben and Joan out for burgers to celebrate, but that was when we discovered our baby didn't look to be developing and we'd likely end up miscarrying. Needless to say, with that heavy news and having to go immediately for blood tests, I didn't feel like a burger. This time, I felt so incredibly happy and grateful to be sitting and dipping chips into sauce with my two loves, and a third little love in my belly.
My appetite continued to grow this week, which was really fun. My meals are a little bigger, but mostly I've been bulking out my snacks. I've been snacking on lots of fruit (fresh, as well as preservative-free dried apricots - I love them!), nut butter toast, cheese and crackers, and berry smoothies. I also keep date bars in my bag for when I find myself out and about and ravenous. Joan loves them, too.
Symptoms-wise, I've generally been feeling great. The nausea and dry-retching only comes on if I go too long without eating or if I haven't been eating enough protein (low blood sugar stuff). My energy levels are good and I'm loving my prenatal YouTube workouts, which I'll do maybe 3-4 times a week. I like feeling strong and fit, especially when my body is growing a baby.
This week we went to Sydney! Ben and I timed our work commitments and turned it into a little family getaway. My mum came, too, kindly offering to come up and look after Joan while I had my meeting. We did a tonne of walking, which was actually super exhausting. Even at this point in my pregnancy, I am finding I cannot be on my feet for too much of the day without really feeling it.
Symptoms-wise, at one point this week I had a bad headache, and I also had some gas that was really painful, but that was it. How do I explain this gas situation... it's not farting-style gas, just gas in my stomach that doesn't go anywhere. It's hard to describe, but I get it occasionally. We were eating out a lot, including spicy food, so that probably caused it. Gentle belly massage and peppermint tea help.
At the end of this week I got the flu vaccine. I wasn't going to get it, but then my OB said the flu was pretty nasty this year and that if I ended up getting sick, I'd kick myself. And she's right, I would, so I got it done. Man, my arm ached for some time afterwards! And a got a headache, which they said might happen. But that's all.
I'm now starting to notice my baby's movement patterns. They're always kicking around 6am, 12 or 2pm and then in the evening, like 9pm. I notice movements at other times throughout the day, but those three times I just mentioned are when I sense the most activity. And when lying down in bed at night is when I really get to watch him or her rolling around and kicking. It's magical.
This week I developed a sudden and strong craving for baked goods - banana bread, doughnuts, crumble, cookies, cake, all of it. So I've been trying to fit some baking into our week. My days with Joan are fairly structured at the moment - I have set work days when my parents and MIL look after her, and this term we've been doing an activity two mornings a week (bush playgroup and dance class). Plus, I work on the weekends while Ben is with Joan. So there aren't many days with leisurely blocks of time to be spent baking. Though we did manage to make banana bread and blueberry crumble, which is possibly Joan's favourite dessert, even more so than cake! And by cake I mean icing - she's really only in it for the icing. Anyway, those cravings have been fun to satisfy.
On a weird (but not really weird, it's totally normal during pregnancy) note, my stomach seems to be getting hairier and hairier -mostly fine hairs all over, with a definite trail of darker hair down the middle. Interestingly, though, my linea nigra is yet to show. Lastly, I found myself out of breath a lot this week, even when reading Joan a book on the couch. It's a weird feeling!
Joan has been more wakeful than usual, and oomf I am feeling it. It's giving me serious flashbacks to the sleep disruption days with her. These days, all I have to do when Joan wakes is cuddle her and she goes back to sleep (and I just remain beside her for the rest of the night). It's going to be so different with our new babe, and though I am really excited for it, I am also VERY aware how hard it is. Though who knows, maybe we'll have an easy, independent sleeper this time? Ha ha. I'm not counting on it.
Joan has become super interested in the birth. Every day we have check ups on the couch with her toy doctor's kit (which was mine as a child!). We've only read her one book about babies, which isn't even all that detailed, and yet she knows so much about it. She asks a lot of questions, which I answer honestly, and I guess she's just taking it all in. She knows the baby comes out of my vagina. She knows that the baby moves down and out, and what noises women make as their bodies do this. It all seems really normal to her and not scary at all, which is nice. She's fascinated and keeps asking if she can see it happen when it's time for our baby to come out. She's even asking to cut the cord. If she continues to be interested and wants to attend the birth, we will try and make it happen, provided the circumstances all align. My mother will be there, and can talk her through it and take her out of the room if need be. I have a feeling, though, that it'll all go down at night when she's asleep.
Lots of quinoa and veggies this week, as that kind of food continues to satisfy my needs and give me lots of energy. I've also been doing more workout videos. It's like my body is craving the movement!
This week was a fairly busy one, in terms of work and general life stuff. For the first time this entire pregnancy I found myself forgetting I was pregnant, as I was so distracted. I had another appointment with my OB and got to see the babe again, which is always such a treat. I got the script for my glucose tolerance test (to see if I have Gestational Diabetes), which I'll do in a few weeks. Other than that there's not much to report. Everything is going really smoothly and this week just flew by!
Ooomf, I have been feeling exhausted. I find I get SO tired in the afternoons. When this happens I try to go outside with Joan and just sit on the sidewalk while she plays in the fresh air. It's good for us both and makes us less cranky before dinner. I am definitely counting down the hours until she's asleep and I can nestle into bed with Netflix and a snack.
The birthing books came out this week! I'm starting by re-reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. Last time I don't think I read the birth stories that come at the front of the book - I think I skipped part to the advice section. So I'm really happy about that, because it means I have pages and pages of stories to devour.
Food and movement have been the same as usual this week. Though I have't been quite as hungry as previous weeks. Just one slice of toast is doing it for me, with eggs and lots of greens. Most days, if I'm not having a quinoa bowl, I'll have something like the picture below for breakfast or lunch. We started our bathroom renovation one or two weeks ago, which is exciting, but this week I started to really miss my bath. After darting around the house getting dinner ready and tidying, all I want to do is stop, lie down and soak in the tub. How good are baths when you're pregnant?
Hurrah! Our bath is in and we can use it while the rest of the bathroom is finished up. It is HUGE. Joan and I easily fit in together and barely touch each other. My evening baths have been so enjoyable - really relaxing and rejuvenating, even with Joan requesting that I pretend to push the baby out. Yes, bath time is apparently when we do our most thorough baby checks. She will assess my breasts to see if the milk is coming in, and then spreads my legs and tells me to push. It's the funniest, sweetest thing.
This week I got back on the baking bandwagon. We made cookies, banana bread AND brownies. I freeze a lot of it for future snacks. If you have any recipes you love, that you think might make good breastfeeding snacks, please send them my way! I plan on doing a lot of cooking and baking in early October.
At the end of this week I had my glucose tolerance test. Not the most pleasant way to spend a morning, but I'm fine with blood tests and to be honest, I don't find the drink unbearable. I don't like it, but it's fine. It reminds me of the super sweet lemon cordial I used to make as a kid when mum wasn't looking.
My goodness, the final week of the second trimester. Three months to go! Perhaps less! Joan came two weeks early, so we'll see what this little love does. Though I have a feeling I'll be getting past 40 weeks this time. Maybe we'll end up having a November baby?! Though I do fancy an October birthday for him/her, as that's the month my brothers and mother were born. By the way, I totally think it's a he.
This week I got really into porridge and salad sandwiches (with gherkins!). Joan and I also visited the beach, which is close to our home, and it got me so excited for summer. Not just for the warm weather, which i am CRAVING, but to bring our new baby there and have some lazy beach days. I'm actually looking forward to the slower pace of life. The night waking, not so much, but not working and taking our days hour by hour - yes, please!
I passed the glucose test, and at the end of this week I had another appointment with one of the midwives at the hospital. She gave me the Anti-D injection (I'm O negative and Ben's B positive, and the injection helps manage that so my body doesn't reject a positive baby). Joan and I got sick this week (just foggy heads, headaches and chesty coughs), which forced us to slow down. I hope it doesn't linger too long. I know it can take a while to get over these things when you're pregnant.
My belly feels SO big now. I am just in awe of it. I never love my body more than I do when I am pregnant. Though I am wondering, how much bigger can I possibly get?!