Now that I'm 29 weeks into my pregnancy, I thought it'd be a good time to jot down my memories of months 4, 5 and 6. (Read about months 1, 2 and 3 here). A lot has happened in the second trimester and I don't want to forget a single moment!
1. A noticeably bigger belly every week! This never gets old.
2. Wider hips and larger breasts. I'm officially a curvy woman and I love every inch of my extra cushioning. Bring on the low-cut body-hugging dresses!
3. Less greasy hair. I've noticed that I don't need to shampoo as often as I did before. I have very fine hair that usually needs a good wash every other day. Now, I can go a long time without sudsing up. Although I found this out the hard way - our hot water heater was out of order for longer than I care to admit.
4. Dry flaky skin on my face. The one annoying thing. It's been difficult finding a pregnancy-safe product that actually hydrates my skin and facial oils weren't cutting it. This lotion has worked the best so far, but I have to slather it on twice a day, in addition to coconut oil a few times a week. On the upside, I haven't had to worry about breakouts or blotting excess shine.
1. Fatigue: So strange, because everyone told me that the second trimester would give me a huge boost of energy. I'm still waiting for that boost as we speak. It's really hard to make it through a day without a power nap. Or a good lazy lounge on the couch. This has affected my productivity majorly over the last few months, which bums me out. I know I shouldn't, but I often feel guilty for resting. For not accomplishing more during the remaining days of peace and quiet. Then I tell my evil inner voice to lay off - I am growing a human inside my body for goodness sake!
2. Joint pain: My knees are not used to the extra weight. They creak and ache like I'm 80 years old. And sometimes after a walk, or while I'm washing dishes, I'll get shin splints - what's with that?
3. Swollen feet and ankles: There were a few days where my feet looked like marshmallows! It wasn't painful - just hilarious. I wish I took a picture, because they reminded me of pudgy baby feet. Hal and I got a good giggle.
CRAVINGS & DIET:
In the first 2 months of my second trimester, I ate a ton of fruit, berries and granola. Until I was told I have gestational diabetes! Yep, I failed the dreaded glucose test. That was an emotional day. I was in complete denial because my ego couldn't fathom how it was possible that I - a healthy eater, a regular exerciser, and a life-long vegetarian, could develop diabetes? After meeting with a GD counselor, I learned it has nothing to do with eating habits and everything to do with hormones in the placenta that block my natural insulin. So I should stop feeling guilty because there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. Phew! If not controlled, the extra sugar goes directly to the baby and he runs the risk of becoming overly large (which leads to birth interventions, complications and c-sections) and both he and I have a higher chance of developing diabetes later in life. Not cool.
So what does this all mean? I have to stab myself in the finger 4 times a day to monitor my blood sugar levels. I have to limit my carbs and pair them with protein or healthy fats. I have to spread out my food intake by eating 6 smaller meals as opposed to 3 larger ones. Thankfully, after a 7-day trial period, my numbers were low enough to reduce the finger pricking to just twice a week and avoid insulin injections. I still eat everything I want, just in smaller amounts with more strategic planning. I even get to enjoy a bowl of full-fat ice cream as my night-time snack, as long as I pile protein-rich nuts on top! So overall, gestational diabetes sucks. But it's manageable and not the end of the world.
1. Daily walks. I have a 20-30 minute route around my house that I absolutely adore. It involves my neighborhood streets, a park, a stroll along the waterfront, and a slightly inclined wooded trail.
2. Prenatal yoga. To save money, I've been practicing at home using Yogaglo. Jo Tatsula's classes are the best. I took her class in person when I lived in Santa Monica and her prenatal sessions are beautiful - more spiritually inclined, which I love. She makes it all about the connection between you and baby. I also started taking a class taught by my super talented friend, Summer Cushman - who recently came out with her own weekly audio-only class for $5 a month. They're not specifically prenatal, but they're gentle and restorative. Practicing without video is really special - more meditative and intuitive.
Most of my reading was done during the first trimester - but here are a few more books I've enjoyed since ...
I started the HypnoBabies home study course last month. It teaches you self-hypnosis methods to reduce fear during labor, create mental anesthesia, and provide a more comfortable birth experience. I'm fully aware of the power of the mind and although I don't expect a pain-free delivery, I think this will give me another set of tools to mentally prepare. The course is a lot of work - audio tracks, visualizations and meditations that need to be listened to every day. There's even a CD you can use while you're pushing your baby out! Which I'm not sure I'll be able to tolerate during the transition stage, but who knows? I've heard great stories from mamas who took the program, including a doula we interviewed who is also an instructor. She said her HypnoBabies mothers were much more calm and relaxed during birth.
1. Feeling Baby move for the first time. They started off as flutters, like butterflies. But not knowing what to expect, I contributed it to gas! Especially since my placenta is anterior (on the front wall of my uterus) and I was told I wouldn't feel his kicking until later in my pregnancy. But right around 19-20 weeks, while in Santa Fe with my mom, I felt him move every day. Mostly after meals. It's truly the most extraordinary sensation in the world.
2. The 20-week ultrasound. It was 2.5 hours long! Since my parents didn't have ultrasounds back in the day for me and my brother, I invited them to this appointment which was extra special. Baby definitely has Hal's nose and feet! The technician was able to account for all major body parts except for a few. So she made me move around and try some yoga poses to see if he would change positions. Nothing worked, so I had to return 2 weeks later! He was chilling in a lotus position and wouldn't budge - deep meditation?
3. When Baby kicks for friends and family. This happened on our recent tipi camping trip. Each of my girls got to feel him do a little dance. And in my 6th month, the movements have become much stronger. He kicked for my parents. For my Reiki teacher during a treatment. And for Hal when we lay together on the couch. I love when people rest their hands on my belly. I guess Baby must too!
4. Hal admiring my belly. There isn't just one moment that sticks out, but a collection of many. The larger I get, the more in awe he becomes. He's been such a sweet supporter of me throughout this pregnancy. Telling me how good of a job I'm doing. Loving my new body. As my belly stretches and expands, he makes me feel very comfortable in my skin. And as a hormonal woman going through so many physical changes, it feels wonderful to be marveled and adored by your man.
The second trimester has been mostly smooth sailing, despite the gestational diabetes diagnosis. I never thought pregnancy would feel like a full-time job! Especially since I have to monitor my diet so closely now. That, on top of the exercise regime, HypnoBabies audio, prenatal appointments, house preparations, nesting, self-care routines and plain ol' exhaustion, it's a lot to handle. And yes, I realize it's only going to get busier after Baby arrives!
But I'm trying not to let it overwhelm. There's just too much to look forward to. I thank my lucky stars every day to have the opportunity to bring this little soul into the world.
P.S. If you missed my first pregnancy posts, you can find them here: