January 16, 2015 8 minute read
It seems like I just wrote my first trimester recap, but here we are in the third trimester looking back at weeks 14-27. I can’t believe I get to meet this little babe so soon! Here are some of my second trimester experiences.
Twenty-six pounds. TWENTY-SIX POUNDS. I was the heaviest (by far) I’ve ever been in my whole entire life at the 27-week mark. I’m extremely proud of my body’s ability to gain weight during pregnancy, but it’s still shocking to step on that scale and see the numbers rise by 1 or 2 pounds each week. Especially when you’re used to struggling to keep the weight on. The craziest part is that, in general, I’ve been maintaining my 80% healthy/20% indulgent habits. I’m hardly “eating for two” but it’s mind-blowing what your pregnant body can do with an extra couple hundred calories. PS This means I’m on track to gain around 40 pounds – oh boy.
I mentioned I had an achy uterus in the first trimester. Ha! That was nothing compared to the lovely round ligament pains I’ve been getting since around week 18. It feels like a big fat charley horse to the uterus. The only thing that helps is being able to curl up into the fetal position and wait it out. I’m starting to get reeeaallll nervous for labour because I’m clearly a wuss.
Also, my back hasn’t been too happy with my ever-growing belly. I’m sure the weight gain has a lot to do with it too – it makes sense that doctors always recommend you get down to a healthy weight to alleviate back pain.
I was without naps and sleeping 9 hours a night (with a pee break somewhere in that time frame) from 14 weeks to 24 weeks. Then things started to get all squished and this baby mistook bedtime for party time. Insomnia kicked in at 24.5 weeks and naps started up again at 25 weeks. But at 25 weeks my doctor told me that it’s OK to sleep on your back and your right side as long as you feel well (the common view is that sleeping on your left side is the only way to sleep during pregnancy). This was music to my ears because I was struggling to stay on my left side all night. I’d wake up on my back in a panic and, despite my aching hip, roll over to my left side again to spoon my body pillow. Plus, this little boy’s head is down on my left, and his feet are up in my rib cage on the right, so when I’m on my left side he’s turned upside down and he goes NUTS.
We had our detail ultrasound at 20 weeks! This was probably the highlight of the pregnancy so far. The last time we saw our baby was at 7.5 weeks, and he – yes, we found out we’re having a BOY – looked like a little blimp. So it was incredible to see that there was actually a human with a brain, a pulse, a heart, a spine, arms, and long legs (the technician said he’s got long femurs, but it’s not really a surprise considering his 6’6” father and 5’10” mother) in there. We also only got a cute photo of his hand and foot because he was dancing up a storm and facing in with his head buried in my pelvis. So no profile shot for us to put up on our fridge. But he did have one hand behind his head like he was posing – it almost made up for his stubbornness.
I felt baby start to kick between week 16 and week 17, and Aaron got a poke from him at 18 weeks – after a week of baby kicking, Aaron putting his hand on, baby stopping kicking, Aaron taking his hand off, baby kicking again. Ever since 21 weeks this little man has been kicking up a storm, I even managed to catch a really good kick session on video a couple weeks ago. At 23 weeks this wiggly babe discovered my right ribs. He doesn’t kick them; he finds their edge and then pushes with all his strength. It’s the most uncomfortable thing in the world, but also highly entertaining. I feel like he’s found a leg press and is just working to improve his vertical. He also likes to shoot his feet right up in-between my ribs, crowding my lungs and stomach. His favourite time to do it is when I’m sitting straight up right after I’ve eaten. I’m pretty convinced he’s going to have a wildly mischievous personality. At 24 weeks I felt baby’s hiccups for the first time, and every time they start I find myself feeling so sorry for him. If only I could drink some water and make them go away.
Baby also loves to ball up on one side or the other. I usually feel a slight pressure and when I look down it looks like I’ve swallowed a baseball.
Feeling this babe kick is seriously the most incredible feeling. It makes all of aches and pains and exhaustion and discomfort feel like nothing at all. I’m growing a human that is clearly having the time of his life in there, and that knowledge makes me beam with each stretch of my ribs (after a quick wince that is).
From the very beginning up until 25 weeks I got comments on how I was so small for where I was at in my pregnancy. Once I’d had enough I was prompted to write this article. While it’s been one of my most popular pieces, I’m not happy that I had the experiences to inspire its telling. Then I got to 26 weeks and because I have a small frame and am carrying a long boy all in front I started to get the opposite comments – now I’m big! Which, as weird as it is to have people ask if it’s twins or if I’m sure I’m due in April, I much prefer over “too small.” Except when I think about pushing this boy out…then I take it back.
I got the flu shot early in December, around 23 weeks. I went back and forth from October until December about whether or not I should get it. The controversial nature of it drove me nuts. I’ve never had one before, but when your body is housing another fragile life it changes things completely. I finally decided to do it when the CDC released their statement saying that this year’s vaccine would only protect around 48% of the people who got the type A strain (because of a mutation). You’d think that’d discourage me from getting it, but I have a scientific mind and so what sold it for me was hearing that I’d have a 48% chance of protection by getting it versus 0% by not getting it. I like statistics.
I got to take my glucose test at 24 weeks. I never though I’d hear myself cursing sugar, but this was the worst part of pregnancy so far. You get blood taken out of your right arm, you down the most disgustingly sugary orange drink (that can’t even be compared to flat orange soda it’s so bad) in 5 minutes, you sit for an hour in the lab, you get blood drawn from your left arm, you sit for another hour in the lab, and then you get blood re-drawn from the same spot in your right arm. All without food after a 10 hour fast, and only with tiny sips of water. Thank goodness I passed – no gestational diabetes, yay!
I was so much more active during the second trimester. While I couldn’t do quite as much, what with lugging around an extra 26 pounds, I was as close to my pre-pregnancy routine as I’d been since week 4. I ordered 3 DVDs off Amazon.com and those have kept me pretty consistent with my fitness. I also started doing yoga at Semperviva and have been going to their prenatal classes twice a week. The one on the weekend has at least 40 pregnant women who attend! Sometimes I just go so I can sit in a room with that many women going through the same thing as me.
This trimester has been such a vacation compared to the first, and enjoying in the kicks and the growth is something I’ll cherish for a long, long time. Now I’m 11 weeks away from my due date wondering how it’s possible that this baby will be ready for the world by then. Or more accurately, how we’ll be ready for him. As the second trimester drew to a close I noticed that pregnancy started to transition from mother focused to baby focused. That both terrified me and excited me. The nesting is now in full swing as we prepare for this sweet little boy. Bring it on, April!