I had a hard time starting this second trimester review. I feel like I remember being newly pregnant… and then all of the sudden I was in the third trimester. What happened to the middle?!
Unfortunately I was still plagued with the nausea and vomiting that I experienced in the first trimester. For “most people” this subsides in the second trimester, and I kept expecting it to…. waiting for it to... so badly wanting it to, needing it to. Although I was still throwing up many times a day, every damn day. My mom experienced morning sickness during her first pregnancy with me, but not during her second pregnancy with my brother. When I began feeling unwell around 6 weeks of pregnancy, I remember her telling me that she was sick until she was about 6 months. In my head I believed that I’d be feeling much better way before I then, but when I threw up on the day I turned 6 months pregnant, I admittedly felt pretty darn sorry for myself. I think that’s why the second trimester was such a blur. I so badly wanted to live in the moment (this precious, fleeting moment), but I was in survival mode... caring for a busy toddler and just trying to get through each day.
As I discussed in my first trimester review, no one really knows for sure why some women suffer from morning sickness, but my best educated guess is the hormonal factor. I watched an episode from the wonderful series Mama In The Making by a fellow fertility nutrition specialist, Rochelle Serna. She shared her insight about how to know when your body is ready for another baby. The 4 factors to consider were sleep, nutrition, the emotional component, and hormones.
Sleep: Lack of sleep is a stress on the body, which can lead to imbalance and hormonal disruptions. Is your current little one now sleeping six to eight hours of consecutive sleep a night?
Yes, he was!
Nutrition: Pregnancy and breastfeeding are big demands on a woman’s body and they can place quite a drain on nutritional stores. Have you given your body sufficient time to rebuild?
Yes, I was very conscious of my postpartum health and I mindfully replenished myself as my son slowly and steadily self-weaned!
The emotional component: Our emotional wellbeing plays a big role in our physical wellbeing. Are you feeling ready to welcome another baby, both personally and as a family?
Yes, I had baby fever badly!
Hormones: As Rochelle mentioned (and I knew)… this is extremely important. I felt great! Compared to the sleep deprived stupor that I had been in for the first 1.5yrs of my son’s life, I felt balanced and vibrant. Although looking back with the clarity that hindsight provides, I’m able to fully realize the intense hormonal shift that my body must have been under when entering this pregnancy. After my son completely weaned, my first postpartum cycle returned the following month. I waited to see that it was regular (it was), so we tried and successfully became pregnant the following cycle. Each of those (weaning, the return of the postpartum cycle and conception) all carry a massive hormonal load for a woman’s body.
Other Second Trimester Events
Feeling baby move
I felt the baby’s first flutters extremely early this pregnancy. I first felt my son move at 18.5 weeks, but I felt this babe at 13.5 weeks! I think it was the baby’s way of saying, “Hang in there mama, this is all for a good cause’.
Thankfully my aversions were not nearly as severe as they were in the first trimester. They started to fade and I could tolerate a much wider array of foods. Women with morning sickness are often reassured the baby will get all of the nutrients it needs, regardless if they are able to keep food down or eat a well balanced diet. While that is comforting, I also know that those nutrients are coming from a mother’s stores and that depletion can increase your risk of postpartum anemia, depression, osteopenia/osteoporosis, and a whole host of vitamin & mineral deficiencies.
I usually don’t consume much dairy, but I craved kefir mixed with frozen blueberries. The passionate craving for oranges that I experienced during my first pregnancy came back again. I was also able to enjoy eggs, which I was grateful for because not all pregnant women like the smell or taste of eggs when nauseous.
At the very end of my second trimester, around 26 weeks, I started to have stretches of feeling a bit better and became hopeful that there was a light at the end of tunnel. Even though much of this pregnancy has been a challenge, I am still so entirely in awe of the extraordinary process. I just have to be honest about this journey, which varies slightly from the feeling of being a glowing pregnant goddess the first time around. I’m grateful that I was able to experience pregnancy bliss, and in some ways I’m grateful that I’ve been able to experience the flip side of that as well. I have to believe that there’s a wonderful little gem of a life lesson in here somewhere. Whether there is or not though, I know that there’s a wonderful little gem of a human at the end of this, and I just can’t wait to meet them.
OH baby bump updates
See first trimeter bump updates here