Pregnancy Update: Second Trimester Recap
There’s definitely a reason that all of your pregnancy apps and friends tell you to enjoy the second trimester…it really is THE BEST. I’m just a few days into my third trimester and can already see where it’s going. This post won’t be nearly as in depth as my First Trimester Recap because I just don’t have that much to report back on, which I guess is a good thing right? Overall I really felt great (basically normal) this trimester and am so thankful that I did because I know that’s not always the case. But of course, I have some less extreme and more temporary symptoms to share, mostly so that if you are experiencing the same, you know you’re not alone. I also have a few new supplements I’ve added in and some favorite products that have made this whole experience a lot easier for me.
My symptoms started to wind down around week 11 of the first tri, but as soon as week 16 hit, I really just started feeling normal aka energy and appetite were back, drinking water didn’t make me nauseas and I could workout whenever I wanted to.
I started taking these pictures with the “baby story” app at week 17 but I wish I started right away! Note to self for baby #2. There is no pic for week 27 because I was (distracted) on our babymoon…
SLEEP: I stopped sleeping on my back (or am trying to…) around week 20 with the help of my two favorite pregnancy pillows that I rotate between, the Boppy Side Sleeper and PharmeDoc C-shaped full body pillow. The PharmeDoc has a jersey knit cover which is SO soft. I went back and forth between the U and the C shape and never tried the U shape so I can’t speak to that but I do love that with the C you can tighten it to a small or large C and switch between facing the open part of the C or the closed part. There are a lot of options for positions. When I find myself waking up on my back a lot or want to use my head pillow, I’ll switch to the Boppy side sleeper. I have been waking up on my back a lot (and still am) but with the back support of both of them I’m never flat on my back and am always propped up somehow. These were really a game changer for me. The only downside is less (or no) cuddle time with Bry. Sleeping on your left side is recommended for optimal blood flow to the baby so I try to sleep on that side most but also sleep on my right side if I’m uncomfortable. I slept great for most of the second tri but started getting progressively more uncomfortable towards the end as my big belly was more in the way. Changing positions usually wakes me up because you basically have to carry your belly with you if you move from right to left or vice versa. There was one week that I didn’t sleep much for most of it and that caused some serious pregnancy brain.
KICKS - I felt baby move for the first time at 16 weeks and 5 days. I wasn’t sure at the time if it was her moving but I knew it was a “different” feeling . I realized it was her in the next few days when I started feeling the same thing consistently. I was relaxing on the couch (that’s when she likes to kick most) and it felt like there were little bubbles (almost like a soda fizzing) in my belly. They definitely weren’t “kicks” because she was still so small but it’s movement. It’s the BEST feeling ever and the best little reminder throughout the day when you’re at work and going about your daily life to feel her and know she’s there with you. Kicks got noticeably bigger around week 20 and started to feel slower and more like rolling movements towards the end of the tri.
ANXIETY - my anxiety is still way less than it was pre-pregnancy but I’ve noticed that I will randomly get it for a few days and it usually correlates with some type of hormonal change.
GLUCOSE TEST - I took this at 24 weeks and 6 days. If you do not want to drink the glucola which has a lot of chemicals and added ingredients to it, then ask your doctor if you can consume sugar in a different way. My doctor let me drink 11oz. of Kedem grape juice instead (one hour prior to the blood draw).
ACID REFLUX / HEARTBURN - about half way into this trimester, I started getting this burning sensation at the bottom of my throat. I don’t know if it’s technically even considered reflux because there’s no acid coming up (which I do experience once in a while). It’s a weird feeling, something I’ve never felt before. I thought it might have been from taking all of my supplements at once so I started spacing them out but it didn’t really help. However I have continued to space them out to optimize absorption rates after learning about it in my micronutrients class. Heartburn has been on and off, nothing too severe but I’ve noticed it more in the last few weeks of the trimester, again as my belly got bigger and started to compress my upper GI organs. Around week 24 was when I started feeling the “largeness” and discomfort of everyday things like bending down to put my shoes, or bending down for anything really which will immediately trigger heartburn now.
MATERNITY CLOTHES + EMF PROTECTION FOR BABY - some of my favorite brands are The Sleek Bump - I get so many compliments on my below the belly pleather pants that I wear to work and actually feel sexy in, the Ingrid & Isabel line at Target for cheaper options, my black AG Secret Fit Belly Maternity Jeans which are over the belly, so comfy and I wear a few times a week, and my uniform which is black leggings (the Align from Lululemon non-maternity are my fave) + soft cotton maternity tops from Gap. I also wear my Belly Armor Embrace Belly Band to work every day (unless I can’t with a specific outfit) and use my Belly Armor Belly Blanket at home to protect the baby from EMF exposure and radiation from cell phones, laptops, etc. Right now there’s not a ton of research on the long term effects of EMFs but with the amount of time I spend on my devices, I certainly don’t want to take any risks. I also put my phone on airplane mode while sleeping.
APPETITE + WEIGHT GAIN - my appetite has come a long way from the first trimester. I still don’t really have any severe cravings (other than a 7 week chocolate binge I went on where I had to have chocolate every day, but stuck with healthier forms such as cacao hot chocolates or dark chocolate). My aversions to seafood went away gradually. I still don’t want to go near frozen shrimp but I’m good with most other seafood at this point. I am still eating a decent amount of dairy (full fat greek yogurts for breakfast) but not craving cheese as much as I was first trimester. Some days I’m very hungry and others I’m not. I almost always eat 2 brazil nuts pretty much as soon as I wake up (or after my celery juice if I’m doing that) just to get something in my stomach asap + it provides the daily requirements for selenium. There are also random nights where I wake up starvinggg in the middle of the night. Towards the end of the trimester, I noticed it was harder to eat bigger meals because I was getting full quicker. By the end of my second trimester I had gained 19 pounds which is a healthy amount. This is different for everyone. I noticed that I had some weeks where I literally woke up feeling bigger every day and other weeks where I didn’t feel like my belly was growing. I also noticed that during the “growth spurt” weeks I felt the baby kicking less. **You can read my other post here for more on holistic nutrition and eating habits during pregnancy.
SELF CARE - my favorite self care practices are seeing my chiropractor, Dr. Kyle Klim, once a week (we also hired him as our doula, yay!), working out, having my husband massage my feet when they hurt after being on them all day, drinking my pregnancy teas, rubbing coconut oil with essential oils on my belly (I add 1-2 drops of geranium when my belly is itching or if my belly button hurts + it helps with stretch marks) and drinking kombucha out of a wine glass.
WORKOUTS - I’m continuing to do the same thing I’ve been doing which is barre classes, pilates reformer classes and walking on the treadmill. I try to jog on the treadmill but can only last a few minutes before my legs start to feel weak and achey so I end up doing intervals. I also used to walk on an incline uphill but think that either that or my jogs were making my lower back hurt so I’ve stopped. At my classes, I’ve stopped doing any ab movements that contract my upper abs due to my diastasis recti which is basically the splitting of my upper ab muscles to make room for the baby. I realized I had this at 24 weeks but looking back I could see the “doming” of my abs pretty early in the first trimester but didn’t know what it was. When I first started working out while pregnant, I never wanted to brace my core because mentally I felt like it would squish the baby but looking back now, I think that not bracing it could be what contributed to the diastasis recti. Although I’ve stopped ab specific movements now, if I do any movements that require the core, I brace my upper abs and since I’ve started doing this the diastasis seems better. As I moved further into the trimester, I started to feel like I could do less and less in my classes (no abs, nothing on the belly, nothing that makes me uncomfortable or compresses the stomach in any way causing heartburn) but I’ve pretty much just done my own thing during any moves I can’t do. My “own thing” = stretching, using the time to pee or hydrate, downward dog, opposite arm and leg lifts on my hands and knees, and at barre I’ll do pushups on the barre instead of on the floor.
CIRCULATION - I noticed that my hands were blue-ish 3 or 4 times. It was very weird…the first few times I thought it was from my jeans or something. They looked like dead hands. My doctor confirmed that it is circulation related which makes sense as I’ve had circulation issues in the past (my hands got frost bite in Iceland after being in the cold for 2 minutes!) and because your blood flow is moving away from your extremities and towards the baby. He said that it’s common in pregnancy and not to worry. Luckily it hasn’t happened much more. Also, skin is very veiny, especially on my chest around my (still) growing boobs.
UTIs - I’ve had two so far in the pregnancy. Again, something that is common. I don’t know if they ever fully manifested but as soon as I felt the symptoms I did a natural protocol which you can find on my instagram post here and it worked! No antibiotics. If you go to the doc, they will likely put you on antibiotics.
SUPPLEMENT UPDATE (these are in addition to the other 5 supplements that I started taking first trimester):
Thorne Vitamin C & Standard Process Zinc - added these in for flu season instead of getting the flu shot
Increased Magnesium dosage (from 2 every other day to 2 every day at night which stopped my charlie horses while sleeping)
Thorne Vitamin D - the dosage on the bottle is 2 drops but I take 8. Everyone is vitamin D deficient! Especially in the winter.
Pro-Moms Probiotics - it took me a long time to find the right probiotic because I was specifically looking for one with the lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus reuteri strains which wasn’t easy
We’ve changed Baby A’s name at least 50 times but we have it now and it’s so exciting once you finally do and can start calling her it. It gives her more of an identity. We tried other names for about a month or so but they didn’t stick.
Babymoon + Breech Baby - this is a MUST. We went back and forth on where to go, for how long, etc. and had so many excuses (not enough vacation days, the cost, the flight times, bad timing with work…) but decided to go far away (to Maui!!) and for a long time (6 full days, 10 with our 2 days each way of travel) and it was the best decision. I will do a full post on the trip details but it gave us a much needed break from having no time ever (Bryan’s long hours and commute to the city + me focusing on school in most of my down time) to relax and reset and have some quality alone time before things get even crazier. So far I haven’t had linea nigra (the dark line around your belly button) but I did notice on this trip that I was starting to get it which I’m assuming was from the sun. It never fully developed and I don’t really see it now that I’m back. Another weird thing - I shaved my legs before the trip and it’s not about a week after the trip and my leg hair has barely grown back. No clue what has caused this but not gonna complain about not having to shave, especially since it’s getting a lot more uncomfortable to reach those lower areas! Baby was in the breech position at my anatomy scan but flipped to the natural head down birthing position at week 27 after one day of snorkeling on the trip (I know because I felt kicks for the first time at and above my belly button after swimming that day and then the doctor confirmed it the next week).
Sinus issues/congestion have been consistently on and off for me throughout the pregnancy. My natural remedies are in my first tri post but I also added DoTerra Breathe oil (I diffuse it and plug one nostril and sniff it into the other) and Sinus Orega spray (it burns but really helps).
Week 13 - felt a lot of stretching/pinching
Week 15 - growth spurt week
Week 16 - noticed I felt VERY normal, like no more lingering first trimester symptoms at all. Also felt like I “popped” this week and started wearing maternity clothes.
Week 17 - had round ligament pain and was so scared that something was wrong, I almost had Bry bring me to the hospital and was crying because I knew something didn’t feel right but didn’t know that it was normal to get round ligament pain around this time. So if you feel sharp, achey pains that make it hard to walk or even move (mine were lower left side but also wrapped around to the back), it’s likely round ligament pain. I drank a LOT of water, slept on my side and put a warm rag on the area for some relief.
Week 19 - felt very tired this week (first trimester kind of tired) for the first time since the first tri. On the up side, my skin was noticeable more clear and many people told me I was “glowing” …so yes the pregnancy glow is a real thing :)
Week 20 - anatomy scan!! So exciting to get to see so much of baby (we got to see her yawn in action which was pretty cool). Make sure to bring your husband, partner or a friend to this appointment to enjoy it with you. Also, I didn’t realize this was the last ultrasound for a veryyyyy long time (I haven’t had one since and might not have another unless I go past my due date or have any other complications) so make sure to get a lot of pics printed. I’m choosing not to get a 3D ultrasound because of the high amounts of EMF exposure/radiation, as tempting as it is.
Week 21 - lower back pain started
Week 24 - this is the week that some discomfort started to settle in (hard to bend over, charlie horses in the night, reflux and heartburn, itchy belly, pinching in my right hip, feeling larger and squished overall). I stopped wearing booties to work and switched to flats and I haven’t had much lower back pain since. I also am consciously tucking my hips so there is no arch in my lower back and sitting on a ball instead of a chair when possible.
Week 25 - pregnancy brain kicking in (showed up for my workout class wrong time, twice + left the stove on + left random lights on + felt not as alert while driving + set alarm for wrong time to wake up, multiple times). I think this was partially due to the fact that I didn’t sleep well + had nausea (mostly AM) randomly resurface for the week. I also had night sweats return this week which I haven’t really had since first trimester (woke up dripping sweat, especially on my chest) but all of these symptoms only lasted that one week so I’m assuming there were some hormonal changes happening.
Soooo I guess I had more to report back on than I thought. It might seem like a lot, but all of that said, I’m truly enjoying every second of this pregnancy and couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come. I’m thinking about doing my third trimester post around the week she’s due (unless she comes early) because I know I’m going to have a LOT to say, and then another post after about the birth so stay tuned!