So, second trimester, when pregnancy is explained as feeling “real”, and you will probably feel your best. Well, I got my dose of pregnancy feeling real in 1st trimester, and as for second trimester being this time to soak up and enjoy feeling good, well, if it is or did go that way for you, count your blessings. Some of us still haven’t discovered the butterflies during a peaceful walk in the park yet. If only I knew just how good I had it during my first pregnancy. One thing about my current pregnancy is that is has definitely shown me what I am made of, given me a whole new perspective of pregnancy and respect for the mommas that face tough pregnancies, as well as looking at pregnancy in a whole new light of beauty and spirituality, even without it being all rainbows and butterflies.
Second trimester is counted as weeks 13 through 25, sometimes people count the 26th weeks as 2nd trimester, tomato/tamoto.
My HG(hyperemesis gravidarum) didn’t clear up until after the 18th week, with occasional moments of nausea after that until about week 26. The worst of it was over though after the 18th week. Thank God and all that is holy, because that was miserable to go through.
During my second trimester there was a lot going on. My home sold, and our new home was finished being built. So although it was happy stress, it was still stress and a lot of work. We worked on our gender reveal videos, and that was fun, and the little flutters I began feeling around 10 weeks along became full blown big movements by week 18. I started learning what things made baby girl move more. So there were positives, but I felt like I was losing a battle numerous times during second trimester.
So if you read my first trimester recap, you know that I had to buy maternity clothes right off the bat. My belly popped right away, and with all the bloating that came with first trimester there was no holding off, unless I wanted to become a nudist. Nothing fit. So I bought a few things to get me through winter and early spring. My maternity pants were holding up pretty well, and it was still mostly cold out during my second trimester, so I thought, “cool, I will save my money, and not worry about it until I need some stuff for late spring/summer.” Wrong, my boobs had their own agenda. I went up two cup sizes and two band width sizes during second trimester. It happened over the course of a few weeks. I told my husband I need to go get a new bra, and so we went to the mall, then a few weeks later that bra was snug, my boobs were spilling over, and the underwire was cutting into the top of my growing belly every time I sat down. So we went again to the mall, and I realized I had gone up another size. My husband said, “no way you are 40 D. I have seen D cup boobs, trust me you are not the big.” I replied, “well what do I know? I mean I am the one trying on the bras, and see and feel how they fit, but you have much more experience than I do with boobs, so tell me what size I should be in.” He looked at me, without catching or probably ignoring my intended sarcasm and contempt for his comment, and replied, “eh, are you sure you aren’t a c?" Annoyed and walking off into the changing room, rolling my eyes, I replied,” yeah like 3 weeks ago I was a 38C, and a month before that I was a 36b, so keep up with it boob expert.” After not finding a bra that felt comfortable, I went with one of those elastic, soft, no wire bras that just come in small, medium, large, one color, and boring looking, but at this point I didn’t care. I just wanted to be comfortable, have room for fluctuating size, and it’s not like I am going to be flashing my boobs around, although this is probably the best they ever looked and been filled out. The granny maternity bra doesn’t do them justice, but oh well. Move over sex appeal, mamma needs comfortable right now. Since there is only one maternity store within like a 500 mile radius of where we live, I am not chancing buying a cutesy maternity bra online from one of those stores where the pregnant models look like they probably just ate an extra slice of pizza.
Hormones and Moods
Luckily this hasn’t been much an issue for me, even now as I am writing this in my third trimester. Sometimes I feel little more emotional about certain things, like a sappy online video, song, or puppy (insert any sappy/cute animal photo/video) video, but mostly my emotions feel in check. I have read that pregnancy hormones rival menopausal hormone changes, so if this is any indication of how I will handle menopause then it’s looking pretty good for hubby and me. Looks like he won’t have to move out into a shed in the backyard when I hit that time of my life.
Kidney Stones and a UTI
February 6th, I was about 17 weeks along, and found myself in the emergency room. For a day or two leading up to the ER visit I was starting to have a lot of pain on my right side of my abdomen/back. It became increasingly worse. I could barely move, or breathe. Everything hurt so badly. I couldn’t lie down, walk, it was awful, and it got to the point that I was scared something was terribly wrong with me and/or baby. We spent at least 5 hours in the ER. The doctor ordered a thorough ultrasound. They checked everything from my lungs down. It was awesome to see Clara for so long. She moved around a lot! She was a busy body, and reacted a lot to the ultrasound. Her feet were cute to watch; every time they came near to the placenta she would kick it. Like maybe it was tickling her feet, and she would kick. The tech said my placenta was bleeding quite a bit from her constant kicking that she had probably been doing for a while. I agreed as I often felt her move and kick there for a couple of weeks by that point.
At another point the tech moved the transducer and baby girl rolled over onto her side, and it looked like she had her little head resting up on one arm, and the other hand waving around, giving us some sass as if to already say,” get out of here, this is my room!” We all laughed, because it was undeniable, her reaction, and it made my husband, the tech, and I all think the same. The tech said, “uh oh you guys are in trouble already. This little girl has some attitude to give already.” It was very cute, and funny, so it was a welcomed moment of smiles amongst the tension and pain I was in.
Turns out I was passing kidney stones and had a UTI. I was down for about a week. I treated it naturally, and only caved in to Tylenol and Ibuprofen about 3x. I try to stay away from meds during pregnancy, so I toughed it out a lot, but there were moments I just couldn’t anymore, and so I was thankful that at least I was going through that during a trimester that I could safely take those meds. My midwives were great about getting me in to see them as soon as I told them what I was going through and making wonderful suggestions to help me beat the kidney stones and UTI naturally. The combination of Uvi Ursi, D-mannose, probiotics, and cranberry worked very fast.
Respiratory and Sinus Infection
A couple weeks later at 20 weeks along I found myself sick again. I began throwing up, and then I felt like I couldn’t breathe or swallow. I had a terrible cough that wouldn’t let up, and brought me to vomiting a couple times, because I just couldn’t get it to stop. I got very little sleep. This went on for about three weeks. It eventually inflamed and tore some of my upper abdominal muscles, which at that point, because of a growing belly, had a long road ahead to recover and heal, because the muscles were stretching. I had to wear an abdominal binder around my midsection for support. The pain was pretty awful, every movement hurt, and standing up or laying down brought me to tears many times. Having to get up and down through the nights to pee was now not a nuisance, but truly a pain. There were many times my husband had to help me get up and down, and help me walk into the bathroom during the night. During this time my hips had begun to ache too, so I was also wearing a maternity belt. Real fashion statement, you know being halfway through my pregnancy, wearing two support belts, and not walking well.
Weight and what the World Has to Say About it
At 22 weeks along I weighed as much as I did when I went into labor with my first child. People thought I was much further along than I was. At times it was a bit irritating to hear comments about my weight and size. People constantly joked that I must need another ultrasound to make sure there was only one baby, because it looked like I was carrying twins or triplets. 99% of the time I felt fine to joke around but some moments I had had just about enough of the comments on my pregnant body. Pregnancy varies woman to woman, and even pregnancy to pregnancy with each woman. I love my belly though, and my little baby girl that is growing inside of it, so my heart was and is light about the comments I receive about my size, but yeah, there are times I would like to make some comment back to someone from the peanut gallery who so freely feels the need to tell me that I am huge. I heard all kinds of things, like, “ how are you going to make it, you are so big already.”
I guess it’s not as bad as it was when I was 21 and pregnant with my first. I was not even a big then. I had a normal to small bump up until the end, and really popped at the 8th month, but even then looking back was not that big, still people back then had something to say too. The worst was probably a table I was serving at the Olive Garden when I was waitressing there, mind you typically 12 hour shifts on my feet. I was 8 months pregnant, and I went to clear some plates from a table, and the guy sitting there with his wife pushed the plates to the far back of the booth they were sitting at, and laughed when I tried to reach them, and called me a beached whale. His wife laughed, but pushed the plates closer back to me. I was embarrassed. Young back then, and not nearly as secure within myself as I am now. If someone were to say something/do something like that to me now I would probably punch them in the face, and blame it on a burst of hormones. ;)
I have noticed that with this pregnancy no one has yet try to rub my belly. I mean outside of my husband and son of course. During my first pregnancy it seemed all my customers wanted to touch my belly and make comments without any invitation to do so. I love pregnant bellies, I get it, but unsolicited touching and commenting of a woman’s body is never okay. Although with this baby, I really am not around a lot of people. I work at home. Back then, with my first I was always around people, so I was subjected to more of that I suppose. Unrelated to weight was another subject that came up frequently with my first. I was young, 20/21, and I looked VERY young. I was constantly mistaken for a 16 year old well until about I was 26/27. I experienced so many thoughtless and rude comments during my first pregnancy. Mostly from women, actually if my memory serves me right, all from women.
I was constantly asked how old I was, and when I said 21, I can’t count how many times people called me a liar and asked me to prove it. I was told I should have an abortion, give the baby up for adoption, and that a 16 year old waitress shouldn’t be having a baby. Many women made the assumption I was that young, and opened their callous mouths before even asking my age. It was awful.
So to be yet another woman putting this out there…
It is NEVER okay to comment on a woman’s age or size, pregnant, fat, skinny, it is not your business. It’s her business. I understand if you are a person that is close to someone that may have an eating disorder or something, and you are concerned, there is a time and place for concern, but that is not what I am talking about. I am referring to the assholes that think it is okay to put a woman down for her size or make fun of her. On that note, it is not okay to be sexist towards a woman either, or comment on how great her ass is. If you are her partner/husband, fine, but strangers, you truly have no righto be commenting on anyone else’s body.
Okay, I won’t go off on a rant, but with that said, to those of you that have commented on my size during this current pregnancy, I am not mad at you. Like I said, 99% of the time I can roll with the comments/jokes, and make them myself at times. I love my belly, and welcome it, because my body is accomplishing an amazing miracle right now. This is just a friendly PSA to suggest that we all just remember to keep our mouths shut when we feel the need to comment on someone else’s body.
One last little story on unsolicited comments that is actually funny. During this time, around my 20-22 weeks’ time, somewhere right in there, I was volunteering with a crew filming a show at a retirement home. An elderly woman came up to me when I was photographing the actors, and asked me if I was pregnant. When I smiled and replied yes, she quickly said, “Oh thank God, because if you weren’t..well..” Like I said in my first trimester recap, young kids and old people just don’t have filters. Some people don’t. I laughed at her response. Just because people shouldn’t judge you, doesn’t mean they won’t, so we all have to learn to roll with the punches, and keep a light heart too. We can’t go around living life every day with a politically correct stick in our ass either.
Need some pointers on what to say to a pregnant woman, here are a couple:
Okay, oaky, off to the next fun stories of second trimester.
Leg cramps and Plantar Fascitis
During this time around 22 weeks I began getting awful foot and leg cramps. So not only was I wearing two belts around my belly and hips, but being on my feet was starting to prove to be a difficult task. Around 18 weeks I had my first undeniable leg and foot cramps. I was trying on a dress at the maternity store, and my legs knotted up, my toes straightened out, and I couldn’t move, stand, walk, or sit. I was doing everything I could to not yelp and cry out. The knots in my calves were so large the attendant at the store looked at me in fear, a panic over her face, and asked if there was anything she could to help, and that she had never seen someone have cramps that bulge out so badly. It was relentless and ongoing for about an hour. My husband had to drive 20 miles to come pick my son and I up from the mall and drive us home, leaving one of our cars at the mall overnight, because I could not drive. It only got worse after that.
Before you wonder if I was doing all the recommended things like vitamins and minerals, yes I was. I was and am taking large amounts of magnesium, I take calcium, eat foods high in potassium, drink water, etc. I am used to cramps, pain, and plantar fasciitis. I have had thyroid problems and fibromyalgia for many years that have put me through the wringer, but it is definitely more intense during pregnancy.
So at 23 weeks I was shooting for a children’s theater; Taking rehearsal photos, building my own set to take portraits of the kiddos in costume, and also taking the performance photos. I was on my feet a lot. I love what I do, and love volunteering with this theatre, but it was hard on me. My husband helped me as much as he could. I seriously can’t say enough good things about how much my husband has been there for me. He helped me a lot through that week. To boot, the week before the play, we had been starting to move into our new home. He did the majority of that on his own. I unpacked, but the move itself, he was loading and unloading the moving truck on his own. I helped where I could, cleaning here and there, and putting things away, but I was sick, and could barely stay on my own two feet. He was so strong for the both of us during those weeks.
Currently I am 31 weeks along, and for the last two months he has rubbed my achy feet just about every single night, even when he works late and comes home tired. I don’t even have to ask him. He does it out of the kindness of his heart, because he knows how tired and sore I am, and wants to be there for me. My love and appreciation for him runs deep, and I can’t imagine going through this pregnancy and my aches and pains without him, because there have been times I just felt like I couldn’t take another moment of pain anymore, tears rolling down my face, trying to be strong, and I just couldn’t anymore, and he has been there for me each time I just can’t do it anymore, just feel like I am giving up, and I panic and the intensity is all too much and I get anxious. He kisses me, tells me I am beautiful, and asks how he can help. I am blessed by him, and I hope that every woman could be so lucky to experience such a loving man during their pregnancy and marriage. We aren’t perfect, but throughout this pregnancy he has been a rock for me.
Downstairs: Peeing, Kegels, Shaving, and Pubis what?
So in the first trimester you get to experience the need to pee like every 15 minutes. I will say it slows a little, like a little during second trimester, but just as I thought I was going to enjoy not having to go pee all the time, I realized I wasn’t in the clear from bladder symptoms or the ladies hygiene section at the grocery store. Nope, ladies, if you have been pregnant you know what I mean. A little laugh, cough, sneeze, or worse little baby starts to kick low, it’s all over. You are going to experience peeing yourself, or in the least will have dribbles. My darling little girl sits low, and kicked very low during second trimester. There were times I swear it felt like her little feet would just come right out of my vagina. Between her kicking low and bouncing on my bladder like a trampoline, and the colds and spring allergies I get, well, panty liners and keeping extra undies with me became a priority.
Speaking of downstairs, this is also the time when Kegels start becoming increasingly important, if they haven’t already. Even with Kegel practice, leaks still spring. I learned about the importance of Kegels back with my first pregnancy, and I did them then. This time around I looked around for a “tool” to hopefully help make Kegels more effective. There are some options out there, Jade eggs, Yoni eggs, and the one I came across, a Kegel master. It looks like a sex toy, but this thing is pretty cool. It has springs in it, and can vary the amount of resistance. It’s like vaginal weight lifting. For pregnancy, from what I have heard and read it’s a balance of doing Kegels, but not too much, because it’s also just as important to know how to relax that area for childbirth. So strong pelvic floor muscles are important, and so is learning to relax those muscles. However, after I have my little darling girl, my Kegel master will probably come in handy to helping get everything all back to normal in my nether regions. One thing I don’t want to end up with is a leaky, weakened bladder, or any other pelvic area problems that last throughout my life. And in the paraphrased words of Jenny McCarthy from one her mommy books I read many years ago, “Belly Laughs,” which is hysterical to read, I would prefer to not have sex feel like it’s someone throwing a hot dog down a hallway when I am healed up from birth and engines get revvin’. Her imagery never left my mind, and now it probably won’t leave yours. Hahahaha!
During this time around 23/24 weeks I began having more intense pain in my pelvis. It came on prior to, but not as intense until about this time. All of the sudden it was like walking, going up and down the stairs in my house, getting in and out of the car, and worse moving side to side in bed was terribly painful. I had no idea what was going on for weeks. It felt like someone kicked me in my vagina, or something. I mean like the popping and cracking, and pain real low and up in my vagina, ugh, it was and is still an issue in third trimester. I never experienced this in my first pregnancy. So after a few weeks of this new symptom I started Googling. I came across a problem some women face during pregnancy called, Pubis Symphysis. I started seeing a chiropractor shortly after, and although the chiropractic care has helped with lessening the intensity of many of my aches and pains, this is something I can’t seem to find a way to improve on. I’ll just leave it at this; I didn’t expect my vagina and pelvis area to hurt until after I have my baby. So many things I didn’t know 12 years ago with my mostly easy and uncomplicated first pregnancy that I am discovering during this pregnancy. Yay me! When I say I am always open to learning new things, well the universe took my words a bit far during this pregnancy.
As for shaving, well by the end of second trimester it had become more like training for American Ninja Warrior. Seriously, with all the bending, hunching, lifting my legs up, twisting, or even trying to sit on a chair in the shower, has become like some weird athletic attempt to have smooth legs, and now that I can’t see my lady parts, all I have to go on is muscle memory, or giving up and saying, “oh well, until we meet again.”
What was I just saying? No, honestly it was on the tip of my tongue. Where did I put that? Huh? I don’t know, I forgot, again. All phrases that are common every day for me and mostly my son and husband think is funny when I can’t recall something. I am so used to being the one that remembers things, and now I am like, “guys, please help me remember this or that.” “Sure, honey, okay, mom.” But it rarely works out, because my guys are like most guys and don’t remember half the things I say. One more thing to keep a light heart about. It can get frustrating having mush for brains, but it’s better to just accept it, and do the best I can to have routines for some things, and expect that even with routine I will probably forget.
So if you have come this far in reading, then you can probably assume I haven’t been getting much exercise. I try. But typically a walk around the block is as good as it gets, and the trips up and down the stairs in my house. I joke around and tell me husband that my cardio is turning over in bed. Until you have a human cramming your lungs and stomach upwards, a huge belly, aches, cramps, and fatigue, then you probably don’t get that, but my heart beats a bit faster every time I roll over in bed, and my breath shortens a bit. Oh and don’t forget the added task of keeping a body pillow between my legs, that just adds to the cardio of rolling over. Between shaving and turning sides in bed, I would say I am getting my damn cardio and yoga in. haha, well that guy at the Olive Garden may have been an asshole for calling me a beached whale, and although I didn’t feel like one back then, I certainly feel like one during this pregnancy.
Well this about sums up second trimester. I have lots of other thoughts about pregnancy in general, things I have been learning, and the changes between who I was during my first pregnancy and this pregnancy, but I will save those for another time. I had hoped to keep up more with writing and vlogging during this pregnancy, but if you made it this far reading into my experience you probably get why I haven’t had the time or drive to keep up with documenting every week or even every month.