As with most big life events, some things seem to happen very slowly then all at once.
It feels like I’ve pregnant for a million years, but wasn’t it just yesterday I was in my GP’s office hearing the news? Apparently not – here I am at 32 weeks (I’ve taken a while to write this) and in single-digit weeks until The Big Event.
I loved every minute of my second trimester – there’s a reason it’s consider the best one. You’re over the morning sickness from the first, but aren’t so big like in the third that your bump is uncomfortable and stopping you from doing things like buckling your shoes, shaving your legs and sleeping through the night. (You also haven’t developed the classic ‘pregnancy waddle’ yet – trust me ladies, this is inevitable and you will think “who is that giant woman walking like duck and why does she look like me?” when catching sight of your reflection in shop windows.)
But more on that later – for now, here are all the highlights that the second trimester brought me.
This is the second part of a three-part series – for my reflections on my first trimester, click here.
NO MORE MORNING SICKNESS
Hurrah! The 24/7 nausea was getting pretttty draining. At 14 weeks it started declining and by 15 weeks was completely gone. Luckily that meant my food aversions (to vegetables, red meat and eggs) were also gone and I could enter a supermarket again without feeling like I was being suffocated by a thousand vomit-inducing smells.
THE JOY OF THE BUMP
I was really bloated from 8 weeks onwards – just a bite of apple or sip of water would balloon me. (I didn’t always mind though – I’m such an attention seeker, so sometimes I’d just rub my bloated stomach gently in public and enjoy all the old ladies smiling sweetly at me.)
My first teeny tiny bump didn’t appear until I was 13 weeks (although you’d need eagle eyes to spot it), and at 16 weeks I finally felt I looked pregnant instead of “just a bit fat”.
I didn’t think my bump was growing noticeably week to week, but that’s why progression pics are so good – when you line them up next to each other, you can definitely see it was 🙂
FINDING OUT THE GENDER
At our 20-week scan we found out it was a boy. We were both thilled, we want a lot of kids and there’s something about the oldest being a brother that I love.
(Also, about a month before finding out I was pregnant I dreamt I was having children with a boy first and a girl second. I also recently dreamt I went into labour at 37 weeks. Let’s see what happens – you heard it here first!)
The 20-week appointment was also extra special as my father in law was with us – the scan happened to be scheduled when he was visiting us from Australia for a few days. When the sonographer said “well, there are three generations of Westphal men in the room!” we all got a bit emotional (and I am not a crier).
I started feeling movement at about 22 weeks, once or twice a day for a few minutes at a time. (Of course whenever I told family he was kicking and they put their hand on my stomach to feel it, he would stop… #disobedientlikehisfather)
Initially it was the typical feeling of “flutters” or “popcorn in your stomach”, but as the weeks progressed it got quite strong. The best way I can describe it is like sitting in one of those massage chairs where firm rubber balls knead your back, but on the inside of your stomach.
THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER… OR NOT
Surprisingly, being pregnant is the most calm and stable I’ve felt in my entire life.
I know… what?
I was expecting to be *that* crazy emotional pregnant woman screaming at her husband to get her pickles and mashed potatoes at 2am. But I’ve been the opposite of that.
And this is not a deluded self-assessment (although it wouldn’t be wrong to wonder that) – I first realised it when my husband Ben pointed it out. I was surprised to hear this at first, but I realised he was right – I’ve felt clear, calm, grounded and even-keeled the whole time. (I kept waiting for this to change and to start bursting into tears randomly while watching toilet paper ads or something, but while writing this at 32 weeks that still hasn’t happened.)
Maybe pregnancy just agrees with me, but personally I think a huge reason why has been cutting out alcohol. Previously I was a big drinker, maybe 2-3 glasses of wine a night, and even going two days in a row without it was torture. (That many glasses may not sound like much at first, but when you consider it was at least half a bottle, suddenly it does.) For the record I don’t think a glass here or there during pregnancy would be a problem, and have zero judgement of others who would make that choice. But I’m an all-or-nothing person and it was like a switch just flicked, and I found it surprisingly effortless to stop drinking overnight.
THE PREPPING BEGINS
My second trimester came with the urge to start prepping – not ‘nesting’ (getting your home ready for the baby, e.g. setting up the nursery and decluttering) but approaching pregnancy, birth and motherhood like I was studying for the most important test of my life. I bought books, bookmarked blogs, subscribed to email newsletters, watched all the week-by-week videos and signed us up for birth classes as soon as I could.
I was in Type-A information overdrive and loving every minute.
Exercise in my first trimester was non-existent due to morning sickness, but in the second I got my groove back. I walked every day for at least 30 minutes (and double that on weekends), and did 3 regular yoga or pilates classes each week. It feel great to be active, especially as the Scottish weather was warming up and it was easier to be outside.
Weight. At the start of my second trimester I’d gained 1kg (2lbs), and by the end I’d gained 8kg (18lbs).
Energy. Lots of people talk about getting extra energy in the second trimester – I didn’t, but I also didn’t have any less at any point (even in the throes on morning sickness I wasn’t fatigued or lethargic, just nauseous).
- For preventing stretch marks – Burt’s Bees Belly Butter, Great Lakes collagen powder and this dry body brushing set.
- For a positive and natural birth – Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and The Positive Birth Book.
- To accommodate my growing thighs and butt bump – I shamelessly recommend maternity spanx to every pregnant woman. Flowy clothing made me feel 10 times bigger, so these were perfect to wear under tight dresses.
And that about wraps it up!
It’s taken me so long to sit down and write that soon I’ll be writing this for my third trimester… holy moly. Until then!