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Alas, we made it through the second trimester. As the baby’s due date approaches, I get more and more overwhelmed with what I have to do to prepare for her arrival. Finding the time is difficult. But hey, at least I have some energy!
Now in my 28th week and my third trimester, I can reflect easily on what was great and difficult about the second, and how it differed from the first. If you haven’t read my first-trimester symptoms, read it here.
1. Energy Returned
I didn’t have an ounce of energy in my first trimester. And when your work depends on you being able to stand for hours on end and merchandise the floor, it’s impossible to get your tasks done. About a couple of weeks into my second trimester, I noticed it was easier to wake up, get ready for work, and actually work. It hasn’t all returned. Having somebody suck the life outta you can honestly drain you. But it was loads better than before.
2. Guilt and Control
I love to work, and I love my job. And not being able to do the things I could normally do was slowly eating at my self-confidence and self-worth. Even with my energy back, I still couldn’t maintain my work ethic like I used to. I was having to work on my feet for a couple of hours, and then work at my desk for a couple of hours. Not an unreasonable routine considering, but having to ask for help was like swallowing glass.
I’m a merchandiser, so I have a vision in my head of what I want my sales floor to look like. And I’m one of those people that get bored of the way something looks, and have to rearrange it so it’s fresh and pleasing to the eye.
I never considered myself a control freak. In fact, I always thought of myself as a pretty laid back; a go with a flow kinda gal. And maybe being pregnant has changed that. But I don’t want anybody touching what was mine, because, for some reason in my crazy head, they aren’t going to do it right.
Clearly, I couldn’t do all the work myself, but I was too stubborn to ask for help. And then I was guilty because things that I normally would have been able to do on my own wasn’t getting done. It was a vicious cycle.
3. I learned the Sex
If you hadn’t read my wives tale article, you can read that here.
I was telling everybody it was a boy. I had it in my head that I was meant to have a son. I’ve had his name picked out for years. Since I was a teen. So you can imagine my surprise when I lifted the lid off my gender reveal box and saw a little pink elephant and pink onesie.
Honestly, I had no clue. But I am SO EXCITED. I want a little girl with hair as lovely as mine. I want to show her pictures of her grandma and me in pink “pussy” hats. I want to show her that we don’t need her father.
AND I GET TO SPOIL HER WITH PINK!
4. She Looks More Like a Baby
My 18-week ultrasound was miraculous. I wish I could have recorded it. But her body was finally in proportion to her body.
5. I Feel Her Move…Often
Her activity went from occasionally; something I could only feel, to OMIGOD SHE’S TRYING TO CLAW HER WAY OUT. Not joking, homegirl is moving every minute of every day. I have recorded her so often, I’m sure my social media is sick of it! But of anything pregnancy related, I am most fascinated by this.
She has her own mind, her own thoughts. Already! She’s already sick of me when I get too loud or when I sing. She dislikes it when my mother’s chihuahua sits on my stomach.
One morning as I woke, willing myself to roll out of bed (it’s an effort, believe me), she stretched out her little arm and kept it extended. Her hand was so defined as it protruded from my stomach, I was able to gently grab a hold of it. With tears streaming down my face, I held onto my daughter’s tiny hand until she slowly retracted it and my stomach smoothed out.
She also has the tendency to stomp on my bladder or crowd my lungs. Both are uncomfortable sensations. I haven’t peed myself yet but boy have I been close. You can’t exactly feel the baby step on your organ; you’ll just experience your bladder no longer capable to hold your urine any longer. Even if you relieved yourself five minutes ago, you’ll have to do so again.
The same goes for my lungs. I can’t feel her fist punching my air sacks, but I will suddenly lose my breath or go into a coughing fit because she’s actually knocked the air out of me.
6. Itchy Stomach
The stretch marks have appeared and I can’t seem to stop the itching. They have appeared on my hips and around my belly button in nice red stripes. And the scar from my surgery completely flared up in a rash as it too stretched. I’m using Bio-Oil to help soothe the stretch marks and provide moisture, though it doesn’t seem to work. Modern mothers have suggested coconut oil, but the thought of having a food based oil on my body when it’s humid and 100 degrees disgusts me.
I’ve used Cortozone 10 on my surgical scar and that’s pretty much stopped the itching and healed the rash. I’m going to try and use it on the stretch marks and see if that helps them any.
(Update: It doesn’t!)
I am no stranger to headaches. I had a sensitive nose before I was pregnant so strong smells or perfumes could set me off. I also have terrible eyesight so headaches would appear from wearing my glasses/contacts for too long, or when my prescription expired. And of course, caffeine withdrawals whenever I decided I was too good for coffee.
With raging hormones and caffeine not allowed, the headaches were monstrous. And daily. It made looking at a computer unbearable. But after consulting my doctor, she said a small cup a day of black coffee, with a Tylenol chaser would clear it up. Plus, lots and lots of water. And it did.
This was an early second-trimester symptom. I still get headaches about twice a week, but I follow my doc’s advice and I’m good to go.
8. Crampy and Restless Legs
They cramp at night when I’m asleep. It doesn’t matter how much water I have during the day. When I’m resting, they are not.
A Charlie Horse during pregnancy is unlike any pain I have felt before. And I have had tattoos, surgeries. One time my mother ran over my feet with an SUV. All I could do was writhe in pain while I tried to massage the tightened muscle. This has only happened once, but I have to make an effort to avoid it nightly.
Towards the end of my second trimester, I’ve noticed my legs and feet fall asleep very often. It doesn’t matter the position I’m sitting in. If I’m in it too long, they’ll fall asleep. My only recommendation is to keep shifting. Which isn’t hard because I’m uncomfortable all the time.
This was the most problematic symptom of them all. Before I was instructed to take daily iron pills along with my prenatal pills, I was constantly having dizziness and episodes where my body would get overwhelmed. I would get light headed, a loud roaring in my ears, and ridiculously clammy and sweaty. The episodes wouldn’t last long, but they only way to pass them was to lie down on an ice cool surface (usually the concrete floor of the stock room at work) and relax my heart rate.
When I mentioned it to my doctor, that I was worried I had gestational diabetes, she told me it was probably not the case because I would be having these episodes after every meal. She tested me for orthostatic hypotension by testing my blood pressure after I lied down, sat up, and stood. And although there was a difference in blood pressure, it wasn’t enough to worry her. She then drew yet another vial of blood from me and stated she was going to test me for anemia.
Since then, every time I’ve gone in, they draw blood to test me again. So far there hasn’t been much change, and my only treatment is too take iron supplements which I’ve purchased from CVS. Although it causes me minor nausea, I’ve noticed the episodes have completely vanished. And if I forget to take them for a day or two, the episodes return.
I’m only days into my third trimester and I think it’s safe to say the second has been the easiest so far.
The vomiting was the worst part of the first trimester and I’ve only been ill a couple of times in the second. I was happy and I felt gorgeous with my small bump. I was flirty and willing but being single and knocked up didn’t afford me a lot of opportunities. I didn’t get to experience sex in the second trimester, but what I remember from the first trimester was pretty decent even with nausea.
I’m already experiencing symptoms of the third trimester: Pressure on my cervix, swollen ankles and feet, and lots of hunger.
BUT I’M SO HAPPY AND I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET HER. The pains, the aches, the mood swings; it’s all going to be worth it.