So if you read my blog about the first trimester then you’ll be pleased to know that things got a lot better. So much so I am naming this trimester the ‘magical’ one. Whilst the first trimester was full of nausea (this did carry on into the second trimester but we won’t dwell on it), strange changes to the body and hormone imbalances; this one has been all about magical milestones and a change of mindset.
So here we are 31 weeks pregnant, with just a couple of short months left to go. I am still below my pre baby weight (weird right) and my bump has finally arrived. But what have been my favourite and not so favourite bits?
Best bit #1: It’s a girl!
Before I got pregnant I always thought I wouldn’t want to find out the sex of the baby before it was born, but as soon as those two lines appeared I knew I wanted to know. We decided to get an early scan and surprise our family with a little reveal over a lunch at home. I loved the reaction and being one of three girls myself I knew my sisters and Mum were going to be especially excited. Poor Dad though! I think finding out the sex has really helped with the bonding process and also with preparing myself for what is to come, so I am really glad we did it.
Best bit #2: The 20 week scan
This was such a fun experience as the baby really looks like a baby at this point and you get to see all the little limbs and even fingers and toes if you are lucky. We also had a really lovely sonographer at ours who explained what every little blob on the screen was and why she was measuring it. This massively puts your mind at rest, so if in doubt, just ask. We also found out the baby has super long legs, just like her Dad, and is doing some hilarious yoga pose in our 20 week scan picture.
Best bit #3: The baby boom
During our second trimester we were lucky enough to find out that even more of my family and friends were expecting. It’s so nice to not be on this journey on your own, as believe it or not pregnancy can actually feel quite lonely. I now have 3 of my cousins and 2 super close friends going through the experience at the same time, which is lovely. Means we also didn’t need to book onto NCT classes to meet other couples as our maternity leave weeks will be full of baby dates with people we already know and love.
Best bit #4: The tiny little kicks
There really is nothing quite like it. I felt my first little kicks at about 20 weeks and they were so faint I wasn’t even sure they were kicks, but then there were a few more and a few more. I had felt a bubbly, popcorn sensation a few times on and off from 16 weeks, but nothing as obvious as the first little fist pumps from inside your belly. It’s like there is a little person just poking you saying “Hey Mum, I am here!” It was also really reassuring, as the tumbleweed period between the nausea ending and the movements starting can feel like a lifetime with no reassurance that your baby is ok. Those little wriggles and punches all just make you feel confident that your little one is doing ok in there.
Best bit #5: Hypnobirthing
During the second trimester we started our hypnobirthing course. I have been documenting it throughout the four week course and will put together a few more blogs about it too, but I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. Meeting Kate and spending time learning more about the changes, the birthing experience and the choices you can make has made me feel really empowered. Within two weeks I went from frightened about giving birth, to actually being quite excited about what our birthing story will be.
Now, it wouldn’t be an honest blog without the not so fun bits.
Not so fun bit #1: Separation anxiety
Anyone else get this? Joss went away a couple of times during the second trimester and whilst I always miss him if he heads off anywhere, we have always been a couple that still very much have our own lives. We have both been away numerous times without each other and it’s never been an issue. Not when pregnant though! I have never known anything like it.
I am not a needy Wife at all and I like to think that I am quite chilled when it comes to him doing whatever makes him happy, but when he went away this time I was riddled with separation anxiety. It was absolutely horrible, I just wanted to cry all the time. I also worried that something would happen to him and that our Baby wasn’t going to ever meet him. And whilst I know these were all irrational thoughts and he was going to be fine, I just couldn’t shake them from my mind. It was a really weird feeling for me and not something I had ever experienced before. The joys of hormones aye?
Not so fun bit #2: Managing my health
Lots of women have ongoing health conditions that mean they have to have consultant led care during their pregnancy and I just happen to be one of those. I have hypertension (high blood pressure) since I was about 21 and whilst I have been poked and prodded many times to find out why, it appears I am one of those strange people that has it for no reason at all.
However, because of this I am at a higher risk of pre-eclampsia and so have to be monitored a bit more carefully. We have had lots of extra appointments and growth scans since finding out I was pregnant and I also have the Low PAPP-A hormone, which is nothing major but it calls for a bit more monitoring. And whilst this is absolutely not the worst bit of pregnancy at all, as so far myself and Baby have been healthy, it always comes with an extra bit of worry and as a first time Mum you have plenty of that to go around already.
I also struggled with the unknown. What does Low PAPP-A mean? Why do they want me to be induced? Should I opt for a c-section? What happens if my baby doesn’t grow how she should? But the best thing I did was not only turn to Google (everyone does it, let’s not pretend) but also make sure I asked my midwife and consultant any questions I had. It sounds silly, but sometimes it can feel silly to ask too many questions. I soon had to get over that and ask away!
And what about the random stuff!
Random stuff #1: Nesting!
Oh my god it’s so real, along with baby brain. I always thought it was just something people said when trying to be all cute “Aw you are nesting” - but it actually happens, its real! Poor Joss has been subjected to more DIY in the last 3 months than he has in the last 3 years and I have found a new love for flavoured antibacterial sprays (Method sprays to be exact!) How sad!
The moment I realised how real nesting is, was when I was on a chair in my kitchen having emptied the entire contents of all our cupboards, clutching a bottle of rhubarb antibacterial spray, scrubbing the insides. Never in 29 years have I had the desire to clean the insides of cupboards like I did that day. I also cried because Joss didn’t want to move the microwave to a different location in the kitchen…
We have since completely redecorated the downstairs area, our hallways, the nursery and thrown out bags and bags of stuff. But has the nesting been fulfilled? Probably not…
Random stuff #2: Baby brain
Now this is one I really didn’t believe in, but my god I have it so bad. Unless it’s written down I will not remember it, I stop mid conversation and totally forget what I was saying, I walk into rooms with no idea why I am there. It is madness. I am more concerned that people keep telling me your normal mind doesn’t return after the baby is born. Am I destined to have porridge for brains for the rest of my life?
Random stuff #3: Bump envy
Now this is a silly one, but I am yet to be convinced that other people don’t get this. In the first trimester you mostly just look like you’ve eaten a big dinner, but as you reach the second trimester and beyond you want to start looking more pregnant. I kept looking at my belly thinking that nobody was going to know I was pregnant and I just wished it would be bigger. I am pregnant with lots of other people and they all seemed to have big bouncy bumps and I didn’t. I was super jealous. The bump has well and truly arrived now, but it took a while. It’s so silly really, but I am sure others must have felt this way too?