Still pregnant! The second trimester felt full of exciting milestones for us. We finally shared the news with extended family and friends, we went on a babymoon, we received great results from baby’s anatomy scan (which was a huge relief to me, not that anything had been wrong to begin with, but I’m a worrier), we found out baby’s gender and shared with our family, I finally stopped having food aversions, I simultaneously started sporting a cute little bump- so many good things!
When did I pop? Justin says 22 weeks, but I think 20. We went on a babymoon at 20 weeks and by the end of the weekend my bathing suits didn’t fit anymore. Ha! PS It was also our anniversary, hence the complimentary champagne that we never actually broke into.
What were my second trimester symptoms like? I consider myself very lucky… my symptoms have been super minimal and really manageable throughout pregnancy. My food aversions lessened immensely in the second trimester, but I still had this weird lingering issue where nothing sounded appealing per se. If you asked what I wanted to eat, nothing sounded good, but if you put it in front of me I would eat it because I know I should. A midwife mentioned it might have been my slew of food aversions from the first trimester still lingering a bit. This eventually went away around week 24. Aside from this, I’m also really burpy, especially after eating dairy. Oh and excessively emotional. I can and will cry at any given moment. That’s it! Feeling great otherwise!
What’s it like being pregnant in a pandemic? Not so bad! It’s a bummer that I can’t see family and friends more, but has been so nice to have the flexibility to work from home. Especially in the first trimester when I was super sleepy, I was grateful to be able to take naps when I needed and get my work done later without the stigma I might have felt in the office around ‘normal hours’. It’s also really nice to be able to snack and eat fresh meals from my kitchen. It’s kind of weird that I video conference all day long and nobody sees my belly or even knows I’m pregnant unless I tell them. Justin has been allowed at all of my appoinments since switching to the birth center, which has been fantastic! And I’ve never ever had a stranger try to touch my belly, which is of course kind of nice. I think the major stressor has really been thinking about baby + pandemic, rather than pregnancy + pandemic. Trying to make decisions about what’s right when it comes to visitors after baby arrives is definitley a pain point for us.
When did you feel the first kick? 18 weeks! I wasn’t sure at first because we were in the car and that early on I really had to focus on it to feel anything, but as the weeks progressed it happened more and more frequently!
What types of supplements am I taking? This sparked a ton of interest on Instagram, but I want to remind you that supplements are very specific to each individual. I’m happy to share what I’m taking, but please consult your care provider to make sure you are supplementing properly for your body! After the first trimester, when my food aversions and stomach seemed to settle, I started taking a prenatal, a prenatal probiotic, 5,000 IU Vitmain D3, Omega 3’s EPA & DHA, and Vitamin C. I also occasionally take elderberry syrup since its flu season too!
How am I handling nutrition now that my food aversions have settled? Protein! Lots of protein! Protein is proven to support baby’s brain development and is super important to incorporate throughout pregnancy. I’ve never been a big meat eater, but I’ve been learning to add protein into every snack and meal as best as I can. Some hacks? I try snacking on nuts, nut butters, hemp and chia seeds, yogurts and cheese. Smoothies are always an easy answer, although they seem to not settle well with me personally. I’ve also gone back to cow’s milk instead of almond! Number one food lately though is cheese. I put cheese on everything- eggs, apples, pears, you name it. I also generally try to avoid snacking on high glycemic foods alone since it can spike my blood sugar. That’s where the apple and nut butter or pear and cheese come in handy.
Am I back at exercising yet? I took a serious break from any type of exercise aside from walking in the first trimester. I was just too exhausted! Come second trimester, I slowly started re-incorporating workouts… after all, finding that motivation again is not easy. I’m not super educated on what is and isn’t safe during exercise, so I try to avoid anything high-impact, no jumping, twisting or laying on my belly either. Typically pilates, low impact training, and yoga are good choices that don’t require too many modifications. I aim for 2 or 3 classes a week between 20-30 minutes each. I’m still walking a ton! We walk probably 2-3 miles a day to get outside and enjoy the sunshine as a family.
Did we do a gender reveal? Yes! It was SO much fun! I’m really glad we waited until the anatomy scan to find out and even more so that we waited to reveal with our family. It’s fun to announce your pregnancy after the first trimester, but I felt like by waiting until the anatomy scan for baby’s gender, we had a second wave of excitement to share! We had the ultrasound technician put baby’s gender in an envelope for us and we immediately went to the craft store where we picked out a boy and girl confetti popper. We brought them both to the cashier and gave her the envelope, explaining that we didn’t know baby’s gender and were trusting her to put the right one in our shopping bag. She was super excited to be involved- we turned around so we couldn’t watch her and then both opened the poppers later that night via video call with our family. What a great surprise!
Any maternity clothes recommendations? I have a few basics like leggings and long sleeve t-shirts from Motherhood Maternity. I love these 3/4 sleeve shirt dresses from Target. I’ve also been wearing my Lululemon leggings after hearing from a few different people that they won’t stay stretched out after. I also bought this pajama dress at Target for nursing and it’s been comfy for maternity as well. Plus these nursing bras that I’ve been wearing now because my bras don’t fit anymore anyways.
Am I scared? After sharing that I’m planning on a natural birth, a few friends asked if I was scared. I’ve never thought of fear as an emotion around birth and labor. I’m excited! Which is a good thing since a lot of what I’ve read is around the idea of staying calm and confident in your body to ease labor. A positive mindset is essential! I’m also not entirely set on a natural birth. Although it is my plan A and would be totally beautiful, I’m not the type to be stuck on a certain ‘vision’ and if things change and the healthiest way for baby’s birth to occur is a c-section, I can handle that too. I’m just aiming for a safe and healthy birth for precious little babe!
Resources. We spent a lot of time educating ourselves during the second trimester. We watched Taking Cara Babies online newborn class. I read a Hypnobirthing book that completely changed the way I view labor and birth… surprisinlgy not about hypnosis at all, but moreso on the anatomy and psychology of labor. Justin started reading The Birth Partner. We watched a free 7 hour Childbirth Class I found on YouTube via TMC Healthcare, Mount Sinai Parenting Center’s free Caring For Your Newborn video on YouTube and multiple random informative breastfeeding videos on YouTube. One of my midwives also mentioned Spinning Babies to me! I believe there is a book available for sale, but there’s tons of valuable free information available on their website. I started these exercises at 24 weeks, but have read that it’s great to start as early as possible on this series of positions that can help encourage baby into the proper position for a smoother birth.
Interested in reading more about my first trimester experience? Check out the blog post here.