The 2nd trimester – what can you expect as you enter this phase of your pregnancy. Our guest blogger, Louise tells us how she is progressing and what you can expect.
The midwife appointment
James and I were very much looking forward to our first midwife appointment. However, we didn’t know what was going to happen so it was a little nerve-wracking. We were greeted by a midwife who explained that our midwife was unavailable. She asked us a few questions about how we are feeling, due date, diet, any problems. Then she asked if we would like to hear the heartbeat.
Hearing the heartbeat for the first time
I didn’t realise it was an option to hear the heartbeat at this appointment. I happily laid down on the examination table whilst the assistant got the ultrasound device ready. When James and I heard this quick and healthy heartbeat I was almost in tears. I already feel used to people asking me to pull my underwear down therefore I wasn’t as embarrassed this time. She also asked us if we made a decision about whether to find out the gender. and we happily said no, we have decided to wait.
I gave in and bought myself a pregnancy pillow. This is because, some nights I struggle to be comfortable, support my bump and head. I rarely go a day without some sort of headache and sometimes this hits me when I wake up. I have yet to find a comfortable position in bed around my moon-shaped pillow. However, as someone who is 18 weeks and in my 2nd trimester, I have plenty of time to still figure it out.
Being at home I am finding myself eating more which is good because my weight is slowly going up. I am continuing to eat healthily although some days I really need a skittle fix, or a chocolate fix or an ice cream fix and I’ve learnt (and read) to not ignore when you need something. I’ve told myself that if I have a chocolate day then the next day or two I stick to healthier snacks.
2nd Trimester – Prenatal Workouts
I am using a new prenatal yoga workout app called ‘Tone it up’. It’s a very American app but I love how the instructor does the workouts on the beach. I aim to do a workout at least once a day and have my yoga mat and my makeshift dumbbells (water bottles) and I always feel better after doing it.
I‘m wearing whatever I want at home so yes I am living in leggings, long tops, cardigans and sometimes dresses if I’ve slept well. Some mornings I find it hard to get dressed and wear anything but pyjamas but trust me, it feels good when I wear a proper outfit, put on my makeup on and brush my hair. It makes you feel a little more human and yes, you look a little brighter too.
Recently, the last few weeks I have found myself struggling with a few bits. On the rare occasion I go out for a walk, I found bending to tie my shoelaces is becoming tricky. Getting up from the sofa and the bed I have felt tightness in getting up straight. I’ve researched and read that I need to lean over to one side and push myself up.
Out and about
Living in Hertfordshire, there is plenty of green around us, so luckily choosing some nature walks come easy. Especially with James being familiar with the majority of the paths. I’ve felt warm and tired during these walks. For that reason, I would recommend taking some water with you, some sun cream, hat/glasses and going at your own pace.
Sitting outside in the garden for lunch has been a nice treat the past few days. However, I have noticed that I overheat rather quickly. One day I actually had a temperature for 24 hours after sitting outside. I’ve now realised that it’s comfier for me and the bump to just have the bottom half in the sun and to continue drinking plenty.
Some ‘2nd trimester’ exciting news! I felt the baby kick for the first time! I was laying in bed stroking my belly before bed and felt something although I wasn’t really sure what it was. So left my hand there and applied some more pressure. Then I felt it again! I even imagined/visioned the baby turning over. It was amazing and I gasped. I felt it again almost instantly and I burst into tears. The baby moved! He/she moved and I felt them! It was another magical moment. Unfortunately, James couldn’t feel anything but apparently he may not for another week or two. Since that Thursday evening, I’ve felt an occasional movement but always in the evening when lying down in bed.
I’ve done some research recently about reading/talking to the baby because from now they will be able to hear sounds and become familiar with voices. I’ve read that sometimes talking to the baby isn’t beneficial as they can sleep for up to 6 hours during the day. Talking to the baby when they may be asleep regularly can result in early sleeping problems. I have therefore begun to make a baby playlist on my phone of acoustic, slow indie songs such as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and a few other covers. My plan is to play this every other day and this way the baby will become familiar with these songs. The bonus of this is that hopefully once the baby is born if they become unsettled, playing familiar songs will comfort and reassure the baby. Let’s see if it makes a difference!
James and I have continued to work on the house, specifically the nursery room. We ordered a new rug to cover the laminate floor, a Moses basket which is unisex in colour, both from Wayfair. We have a few more things to arrive this month which is exciting. Giving the house a well-deserved spring clean and sort out has made it look fresh and clear and decluttered. James and I have begun to view the rooms differently – full of baby gear and this has motivated us to tidy. The vision we have for the nursery includes some plants and greenery as we know they are good for the air quality and have a nice feel to them. Will share a photo once the wall hanging pots have arrived.
20-week scan during COVID-19
I had my 20-week scan yesterday and it went really well. Understandably I had to go by myself, given the current circumstances but it was nice to chat with other expectant mums in the waiting rooms that are in the same situation. When I arrived at the hospital it was quieter than the last time I visited. However, there were still plenty of people going to appointments. The staff were, of course, covered up with face masks and gloves but all seemed fairly upbeat. There were signs everywhere of symptoms and new rules for the hospital. The waiting room in the antenatal section was transformed into something like out of a prison. Half the chairs were stacked against the wall and the other half were all spread out.
The sonographer explained the ultrasound would take longer than the last 2nd trimester scan as there were more checks to be done on the baby. She went into some detail about body parts and why they check the heart and the brain and so on. For me, lying on the table I just enjoyed looking at my baby. He/she had definitely grown in the last 2 months. I was mesmerised watching the baby fidget around the screen. The sonographer kept freezing the screen to take measurements of the spine, limbs, parts of the brain and more. When she ‘examined’ the heart you could see the 4 chambers pumping blood in and out and that’s when I started tearing up. I asked them how big the heart was at this moment and she said, ‘about the size of your thumbnail.’
Flood of emotions
As we were making good progress, I was asked to go to the toilet and empty my bladder. Before I went back into the room I let my tears come as I felt I just needed to cry. Happy tears of course but also sad because James wasn’t there. Once I had composed myself, we were able to continue with the tests/measurements and soon I was finished. I was given 4 different scan photos and sent on my way. Thankfully no other tests were required from me and I was able to see James shortly afterwards.
On Friday I need to have my flu jab and a whooping cough jab.
After that, my next appointment is at 25 weeks, so not long to go, at my local GP with the midwife.
Hopefully, the world is a little different by that time.
Hopefully, you found this 2nd-trimester blog post helpful. Are you having similar experiences? please feel free to comment below.
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