After having an extremely anxiety-ridden first trimester, I have to say the second trimester really is as good as most women say it is.
While I still have a week or two to go until I’m officially in the third trimester, I thought I should check in here because I said I would. It’s not that I have been too busy to write, I just honestly haven’t felt like it.
When we got back from New Zealand in February I started a new role at work as a Workplace Health Advisor (I’m working on a mental health and early invention/return to work program among other things), so I think most of the energy I devoted to writing about health and wellness on my blog has been diverted to my day job, which is a great thing. The extra pay has also meant I haven’t had to take writing or fitness side jobs anymore, so I have more free time at home to do whatever I want to do before baby comes.
It’s been really nice – most evenings I relax at home with Matt and the dogs, go to prenatal yoga, and read before bed (after YEARS of only reading non-fiction, self-help or fitness-related books I’m finally reading books for fun again), and on the weekends I work in the garden, go for hikes, see family and friends, go to markets, do short workouts, and go shopping for maternity clothes or baby items. All simple, relaxing and ordinary things that don’t always need to be documented on social media, which has been amazing for my mental health.
Right now I’m 26 weeks (or 6 months) along, and have a sizable baby bump! So far I’m just growing out front and am still able to wear most of my stretchy tops and pants (if they are unbuttoned), but I 100% prefer over-the-bump maternity pants. I’m pretty sure I will wear maternity pants long after baby is born.
So far I haven’t had any swelling, stretch marks, or melasma. My skin is the clearest it’s ever been and my hair is getting thicker. Yay for pregnancy hormones!
I wondered how I would adapt to my growing body after years of making fitness a priority, but I’ve been totally accepting of my new shape and enjoying every minute it — well, minus some of the more unpleasant symptoms of a growing belly like itchiness, sore ribs, bloating, shortness of breath, getting up multiple times a night to pee, acid reflux like crazy and not being able to get up without rolling over awkwardly. I’ve gained a healthy amount of weight, and for the first time in my life I’m happy to see the scale increase by a pound or so each week. (In case you’re wondering why I’m even bothering with the scale, I’m only weighing myself to monitor growth due to being high risk for pre-eclampsia, which can cause intrauterine growth restriction).
I definitely feel like taking yoga teacher training in 2017 to hone my self-awareness and self-compassion played a huge role in prepping my mind and body for pregnancy. If I hadn’t stopped in look inward, I wouldn’t have taken the steps I needed to to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea, which I needed to do in order to get pregnant. It’s funny how sometimes you do things for one reason — such as me thinking I needed to round out my fitness training background by teaching yoga as well — but that choice ends up helping you in other ways you didn’t realize you needed at the time.
I’ve been feeling baby boy move since about 19 weeks. Because my placenta is attached to the back of my uterus, I can feel every roll, kick, punch, flail and whatever else it is he’s doing in there all day. I can tell when he’s rolled over to face the front, as he beats me up just under my left ribs and down towards my right hip all day and night. I love feeling him move around, even though it’s starting to wake me up in the night. After all the stress we went through in April, constant reassurance that he’s okay at all hours of the day and night is fine by me.
I had a midwife appointment this week and all was well, my blood pressure is normal and my belly measured exactly 26 weeks. Later this month I’ll be going to the hospital for an ultrasound growth scan, just as a precautionary measure due to the pre-e risk.
Fitness and Food
Besides going to prenatal yoga classes once a week, I’ve continued to do two to three 20-30 minute workouts a week, which consists of just the basics using 5-8 lbs weights — squats with curls and overhead presses, lunges, rows, tricep extensions, dead lifts, modified side planks, etc. Could I do more and use heavier weights? Probably. But since I was doing nothing in terms of exercise in the months leading up to pregnancy, I’m playing it safe and doing the minimum. I also usually go on an hour-long hike with the dogs once a week, but definitely take it easy on any inclines since breathing is starting to get harder. My energy is good until about 3 pm, so as long as I can make time during the day to do something active I should be able to keep up my workouts until I’m too big and uncomfortable to do anything.
As for food, I’m eating whatever I want. My cravings seem to change every few weeks — at first all I wanted was cheese, ice cream and chicken. Then I was on a salad kick for awhile. Followed by Kraft Dinner cravings. Now I’ve settled back into my normal diet of eggs and toast or oatmeal, yogurt and berries for breakfast; some kind of cheese, veggie and avocado sandwich or wrap for lunch; cookies and cottage cheese as a snack; chicken and veggies with rice for dinner; and more cookies or ice cream for dessert. Thank god I passed my gestational diabetes test this week, haha! I’m starting to crave fresh fruit now, so I’m super happy the summer season is just around the corner so I can take advantage of all the fresh and cheap blueberries, raspberries, nectarines and peaches.
Overall I’d say I’ve been feeling really good so far and my body seems to agree with pregnancy. We’ll see how much that changes over the next few weeks!