It seems as if time is running away with me at the moment – not only is it the end of one helluva year but I only have 3 odd more months of carrying this little monkey in my belly. The second trimester has come and gone as fast as that second helping of pudding on Christmas day (it was the baby OK?!).
So many of my friends told me that this middle bit of pregnancy was the “honeymoon phase” and they were so right, besides getting larger every day, it’s been pretty darn good! Look, pregnancy in general is not for the faint hearted (we will get into that a bit later) but so far it’s been smooth sailing and there has been very little for me to complain about (just don’t tell my husband I said that). So here are a few of the things that I experienced during month 4, 5 and 6 of carrying around Mini Mimosa as she has been dubbed by a few friends.
- I need control and I need a plan so there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I wasn’t going to find out the gender of our baby. In fact I asked at week 12 for the doc to have a peek, sometimes they can tell that early but it’s not always 100%. If you missed the big pink announcement, we are having a girl and we couldn’t be more thrilled! There are so many frills and shades of pink happening in her wardrobe its actually a bit crazy. But where’s the fun in holding back right?
*If you’re a bit squeamish, maybe give the next two points a skip*
- Some things become a bit more difficult. Sleep for one becomes a bit more of a challenge. I don’t use a pregnancy pillow or anything like that and I sleep solidly though the night but it does take a bit longer for me to get comfortable since I can no longer sleep on my stomach (for obvious reasons) or on my back (it can block blood flow to baby). I’m not sure if there is an eloquent way to say what I want to say next so I’m just going to come out with it: pooping. Pooping becomes more difficult. There, now it’s out in the open. Those good ol’ hormones are to blame for this frustrating (and time consuming) problem – they make the muscles in your bowel relax and so they become lazy and sluggish, meaning your food doesn’t pass through your intestines at the speed that it used to. Add to that the fact that your ever expanding uterus takes up all the space where your gut usually is, and you have the makings of the perfect storm. It’s not a fun time people. My only advice is to make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water every day and make sure that your diet is rich in fibre (but not too rich as this can have an adverse effect). If you seem to be having a really tough time, my doc said that a sachet of Movicol once a day would sort me out, and it did. Obviously just check with your doctor first!
- Bodily fluids flow more freely. This is another icky one, sorry, I’m going to try warm up to the icky-est of the lot slowly. Of course we all know that you tend to run to the bathroom more often as baby gets bigger and starts jumping (literally) on your bladder. I thought that was it, but oh no, no one warned me about these other bodily secretions that seem to double up. Your gums can start to bleed when you brush them – I got a huge fright the one morning while I was brushing my teeth and my toothbrush bristles were pink all of a sudden. I’ve been told that it’s very normal and nothing to worry about. Something else I noticed that was in excess was mucous, as in mucous inside my nose. In the beginning I thought I was getting a cold but nope, after I did some reading, its a very common pregnancy problem. The final thing that I feel like I should really warn you about is this (again, I’m just going to come out and say it), excess discharge from uh, down there, is a very normal thing to experience. So, if you have never used panty liners before, best you stock up because they will come in handy. Don’t get me wrong, its not like you need to run to the bathroom every hour on the hour, but there is definitely more of it and if you aren’t prepared, it can ruin a good pair of knickers. Don’t confuse discharge with thrush – if there is an itch down there, get it checked out by the doc (don’t just go to the chemist, quite a few medications for thrush are contraindicated to pregnancy).
*Okay, icky-ness over*
- It will happen overnight but one morning you will look in the mirror and get a shock – there will be a proper baby bump there! It definitely wasn’t there last night, but there’s no doubt you’ve popped. It’s exciting and pretty soul destroying at the same time. Exciting because you finally look pregnant, not just like you’ve eaten one too many Big Macs. Soul destroying because it means you’ve picked up weight and that scale does not lie. It’s my worst part of my monthly doctors visits – stepping on the scale. I’ve been very, very lucky and have only picked up 2kg in 26 weeks so far, despite baby’s weight being perfect and me feeling huge (it’s a bit mind boggling to be honest) but I’m convinced my time is coming and one morning I’m going to be as large as a house. Weight is a very touchy subject for most women and so picking up weight (even though it’s for a good reason) can be a very emotional thing. People are going to say that you should give yourself a break and that you’re pregnant so you really shouldn’t worry about it. You are going to want to hit them. In the face. With a chair. And you know what? I give you permission. It’s never fun picking up weight, but at the same time, try keep things in perspective – you’re growing a human! If you aren’t eating excessively for two and if you are eating healthily (obviously Christmas doesn’t count), apparently the weight should be relatively easy to get rid of.
- While we are on the topic of food, I thought cravings were a bit psychosomatic. I was 100% wrong. All I have wanted to eat for the past two weeks is chopped up tomatoes covered with Himalayan salt and then smothered with hummus. It’s so weird but I’m just going with it.
- I left this point until last because it is the absolute best – the first time you feel your baby kick. At first I wasn’t really sure if I was feeling anything, it just felt like gas bubbles to me…until I knew that they weren’t. Somewhere around the 22 week mark I felt a full on kick, there was no two ways about it. It’s very special but still strangely weird. Dan felt her kick for the first time on Christmas Eve and I think it was even more special for him than it was for me – it’s almost like their first connection to their child.
All in all, the second trimester has been great – yes, bending down to pack the dishes away in the bottom cupboard is a bit more tricky and my clothing choices have shrunk (while I have enlarged) significantly, but in the greater scheme of things there hasn’t been too much to complain about. I have this sneaky suspicion that the third trimester is not going to be as fun – I don’t know how my stomach is still going to get larger, it seems impossible and I have started to feel very heavy and just blah the last few days, especially with this ridiculous heat. Guess we will just have to wait and see…