Monday, August 12, 2013

MY FIRST PREGNANCY - 2nd Trimester


Everyone will tell you that the second trimester is the best, but you might think they’re full of crap for the first week or two. In my case, it took me almost a month. A friend of mine said she started feeling better at about 14 weeks, but I was still feeling exhausted all the time, though the nausea did start to dial back a little. It was pretty much gone by about 16 weeks and then I discovered that I loved food again (which was reflected in my weigh in at my doctor’s appointment when I had gained 6 pounds after having lost at every other appointment haha).

In addition to the nausea going away, I also got an energy boost. I was able to do some household chores again, was not only willing but anxious to get out and run errands and things. It was nice not to feel so tired that I felt drugged! However, with my newfound energy and love for food also came a few new and stronger symptoms.

The main one that got worse was the nosebleeds. It was no longer just bloody snot, but random bouts of “hey my nose is leaking bright red blood”. There was no rhyme or reason to when they occurred, I would just feel an itch or a drip like a runny nose and the tissue would come away bloody. My reading said not to tip your head back like you would a normal nose bleed, but to just shove tissues up there until it stopped (I suspect so the blood drainage in your throat wouldn’t trigger your gag reflex or upset your tummy when it’s already sensitive from pregnancy hormones), so that’s what I did…frequently.

The major new symptom was that I started getting what I call blood blisters (though I believe technically they’re just red skin tags). They’re harmless and painless and I’m told they’re perfectly normal, but they’re a little annoying. They range from just being little red dots that look like maybe a bug bite or something to little red blisters. The blister ones are a little off-putting, but again I’m told they’re normal and not to worry about them! They should disappear after the baby’s born, and I hope they do because by the time I’m writing this (37 weeks) they’re everywhere, though thankfully they’re mostly just the little red dots.

Other than that, the second trimester really is the easy one. You start getting a real belly, but it’s not in the way or terribly uncomfortable or anything yet, and you start wearing maternity clothes which is kinda fun. Maybe that’s just me, I kinda liked showing off my shape. I will say that maternity clothes ain’t cheap and it’s best if you buy in store so you can try them on. Comfort for the growing belly and changing body is key!

This is also the time that you should start talking about birthing classes. Talk to your partner about whether or not you want to take one and decide on which you want to take. Luckily for us, Greg was on top of this. We knew we wanted to take a class, but did not know when we should sign up. The one we chose was twelve weeks long, so it’s important to look into it early. Our class started at 22 weeks and went all the way to 34 weeks, so it’s not something to procrastinate on!

Doctor visits are still four weeks apart and generally pretty easy. They’ll take your blood pressure, get your weight, and then just talk to you about anything that’s up or if you have any questions. Towards the beginning of this trimester though, they do still run a few tests. They’ll do a standard blood test, just to check for Anemia really, and a glucose test. The glucose test is to see if you have gestational diabetes. On the day that you have that test, which will hopefully be in the morning, you’re not to eat or drink anything with sugar in it (so I had bacon and eggs for breakfast with water) and they’ll have you drink a special drink (I got the fruit punch flavor and thought it tasted kinda like Kool-Aid, so it’s not disgusting or anything). Then you’ll have to wait an hour, going through your appointment and everything and then waiting the remaining time in the waiting room. At the hour mark, they’ll draw blood. Then you can go on your merry way. Hubby and I usually went to IHOP or somewhere else that I could get something yummy and sugary as a consolation prize to the blood draw and in case I was about to be told no sugar. Thankfully I never had to receive news that I couldn’t have sweets!

Now, perhaps the BIGGEST moment in the entire pregnancy is when you feel that first movement from your growing baby (which is called quickening). This happens at different times for different women. Some literature will say that if it’s your first, you won’t feel anything until 18-20 weeks and if it’s your second or more, you will feel it around 16 weeks. That’s great and all, but some women report it at like 12 weeks even for a first timer. Some don’t feel it until 22 weeks. It all varies. I was so anxious to feel it, so when I felt three little nudges on my right side in my lower abdomen at 17 weeks, I got the biggest smile, a little teary eyed, and felt like shouting from the rooftop. I told Greg, and he came over, but naturally he couldn’t feel it yet. No one else can feel it from the outside for some time after you feel it, even if you think you can feel it with your hand (transference, since you know where you should feel it). It’s an amazing feeling. I heard it best put by a friend of mine when she said “it’s like your reward for making through the first trimester”.

Anyway, moving on from the sappy (though good sappy)! Besides all of the above, during the second trimester is when you start to really think - not just “what if” kinds of thoughts, but real practical considerations. Things like names you might like, possible themes for the nursery, where you want to register and what to put on it (or them if you register in more than one place), and maybe a baby shower are a lot of the big things. I’ve been talking about names for years, so it wasn’t a secret the one in the lead for us, but a friend of ours actually kept the decision private until the baby was born. It was kind of cool that way. I also like getting some input so that’s one of those preference things. You might drive yourself crazy with it though. We’ve settled on just a couple options, and I waiver back and forth between them every flippin’ day! The baby shower may be your plan, or (as is tradition) it might be something that your friend plans. My best friend and sister-in-law threw mine (even planned it more than three months ahead of time lol). Things to put on the registry are a mixed bag. Basics might be easy, such as the essentials, but anything gender specific or specific to whether or not you want to breastfeed or do cloth diapers make it a little more difficult. Same with planning the nursery.

One thing that would help with both is finding out the gender – which is the topic for the next article!

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