When I started this blog I promised myself I wouldn’t fall into that huge statistic of bloggers who eventually quit because they stop posting content. But this pregnancy has been a busy one! In the last two months alone we’ve traveled to four different weddings in three different states (yay Kevin/April, Joe/Lauren, Kenny/Kim and Bobby/Jenna!), moved out of our apartment and bought a house.
I’ve hesitated to blog about my pregnancy because I know every woman is different. No pregnancy looks exactly the same, so sharing my experience feels strange. But sitting here at 30 weeks, I feel like this pregnancy has flown by. I want to make sure I document my experience and in the least bit, help out some friends who might find this helpful one day.
Instead of recapping my first trimester, I want to jump right into my second. For starters, your first trimester flies by. I found out I was pregnant around week five, which left me only eight weeks to adjust to symptoms. Not to mention, doing it all in secrecy.
It wasn’t until I moved into my second trimester (week 13 to 28) that my symptoms were alive and well and pregnancy began to feel real. Here are some of the biggest symptoms I experienced:
Exhaustion. This, without a doubt, has been my number one symptom this entire pregnancy. What I didn’t get in morning sickness, my body made up for with exhaustion. You have to limit yourself to only 200mg of caffeine (one cup of coffee) each day. During my first trimester I cut it out cold turkey, but couldn’t stick with it. Moving my body every day and exercising as often as I could (3-4x week) certainly helped. This entire pregnancy I’ve been drinking at least one gallon of water every day, which has helped me combat bloating and swelling. Eating nutritious, whole foods, too.
Soreness. During the first trimester my breasts hurt so much. That was actually the most obvious sign for me. The soreness continued into my second trimester on and off. My breasts, my hips, and even my pelvic bone (I have to take calcium supplements for it). During your second trimester your uterus will grow to the size of a papaya. As in, too large to fit inside your pelvis. As your uterus grows, it is pushing organs out of their usual places and putting tension on surrounding muscles. So yeah, ouch.
Ear blockage. This is a weird one. But throughout my second trimester (and now my third), my ears would randomly get plugged. Pregnancy changes can cause the swelling of the nasal lining, which connects to the ears. This would drive me crazy during client calls or social gatherings, when I could hear my voice and breath echo in my head. No matter what I could do, I could never get my ears to pop. Over time my ears would just go back to normal, but sometimes it would take hours or even days.
Belly pop. I can’t remember the exact week, but I think around week 16 my belly “popped.” During the first trimester you’re pregnant but might not feel pregnant. It’s also an awkward time because you’ll start to notice weight gain, but nobody tells you about this stage. You just feel fat. “But you’re glowing!” OK. But it doesn’t feel that way. I will say about halfway through my second trimester I noticed my stomach getting rounder and harder, which made the pregnancy “belly” a bit cuter and more manageable.
Weight gain. For anyone who has achieved significant weight loss in the past, this is a tough one that no one talks about. Yes, you will gain weight. Yes, being pregnant is a blessing. But it’s still hard when you step on the scale at the OBGYN and see numbers you haven’t seen in years. So many side effects of pregnancy can leave you feeling less confident. Based on my body, my doctors wanted me to gain anywhere from 20-35 pounds. By the end of my second trimester I gained about 20 pounds, so I’m right on track. Your body is an amazing vessel and it will do what it has to do to grow your healthy baby. So I’m learning to love myself and my body during this new season. Be gentle with yourself.
Tight clothes. As my second trimester progressed, tighter clothing started to feel uncomfortable. I tried to push off buying maternity clothing as long as possible, but soon enough anything around my belly started to feel uncomfortable. Lucky for me it was summer, so maxi dresses became my new best friend. My first few purchases were workout leggings and nursing bras. My best advice is to shop slowly and invest in good basics. Yes, you don’t want to waste money on expensive maternity clothes. But you don’t need to be miserable, either. Invest in some pieces that make you feel good.
Baby kicks! This was my favorite moment of my second trimester. Every woman is different, but I was so anxious to feel the baby. I started to feel little flutters around week 21, then full kicks during week 22. In the weeks following, his adorable little kicks became full on kung fu hustles any time I was sitting or laying down, especially after eating. Yeah, 3am dance parties. It took James an extra week or two to feel the kicks himself, but it’s such a magical moment when he finally could feel it. We’ll remember that forever.
Slowing down. In August we packed up our itty bitty apartment and moved into our new house. This occurred during week 23 and was a real moment for me. I realized my endurance was not what it used to be. While James and his good friends handled the heavy furniture and major lifting, I loaded up our car with little, miscellaneous things and lighter boxes. Loading, unloading. Packing, unpacking. Bending over and walking up stairs. Taking trip after trip back and forth. Looking back, I 100% overdid it. My body was sore for days after our move. I had to be patient with myself and slowly unpack over weeks, one box per day. While I had scaled back on my Crossfit workouts and weight lifting loads, the same had to be said about other activities in my life.
Insomnia. Or, just trouble sleeping in general. Halfway through my second trimester I started to feel uncomfortable. As your belly grows and you feel kicks, finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult. I also found myself waking up at least 2-3 times every night to pee. Usually when I would stumble back into bed I would find myself restless, thinking of all the things I need to do, make a list for, prepare for, worry about, etc. Sleeping can be miserable, to say the least.
Here are some tips on what helped my symptoms, all of which I continue to use in my third trimester:
- Drinking a lot of water (my gallon-sized water bottle, linked here)
- Sleeping at least 8 hours/night and napping when necessary
- Pregnancy pillow (linked here
- Moving my body throughout the day (workouts and/or dog walks)
- Nursing bras (goodbye underwire) and underwear (Motherhood Maternity has great, affordable basics)
- Maternity clothes – shop slowly, but invest in good leggings, basic tees
- Slowing down and giving yourself grace (household chores, to do’s)
- Try not to compare yourself to other women and their pregnancies
- Phone dates with friends
- Maxi dresses
- Face masks
- Prenatal massages
OK – that’s it for me and my second trimester. If you’ve been through a pregnancy before, I’d love to hear what your experience was like. What were your symptoms and what helped? 🙂