Excluding the last few weeks, my second trimester has been pretty great physically which was a shock and surprise because I didn’t feel that in my first pregnancy. I felt really good for most of it! I had energy, I could eat pretty much any food without getting sick, my morning sickness completely left the building, I was able to move my body every day, and I didn’t have too many aches and pains until very recently.
In my last pregnancy, I could count on one hand how many days I felt even just a little ok and this time around that was definitely not the case. That said, per my doctor’s prediction, my third-trimester symptoms started earlier and hit harder in my second pregnancy. Here’s what has been going on:
But first, check out a recap of my first trimester if you missed it.
2nd TRIMESTER CRAVINGS
My first-trimester cravings list consisted of OJ, pickles, carrots/carrot juice, and soup.
This tri, I’ve been craving a lot of fresh fruit and raw veggies. I eat apples, berries, oranges, carrots, and cucumbers all day long, and I want salad with every meal. Anel bought a frozen fruit “ice cream maker” so he can make me sorbets at night to curb my sweet/fruit cravings. He found it from a Tik Tok ad and I’ve never been more appreciative of the app or him. He makes one with frozen bananas and berries that is what my dreams are made of.
I also discovered Olipop sodas and have found them to be a really nice afternoon treat or pre-dinner mocktail. I first bought them because I liked the cans, and have since developed a serious obsession. The lemon-ginger and strawberry-vanilla flavors are my personal favorites. What’s funny is that beyond the fruit and this soda, I don’t really want any other sweets. In fact, chocolate is one of my few aversions!
The most interesting craving I’ve had is for meat. I’m not a big meat eater and I don’t think I ate it once when I was pregnant with Amalia because the smell made me so ill. But about once a week now I want a burger or, randomly, BBQ brisket which is not something I’ve ever wanted in my life.
Because of Anel’s shingles for the last three weeks, we’ve been eating as many vegetables and nutrient-dense meals as possible to boost his immune system and they make me feel great too. You can follow along with my weekly meal plan this week here. It’s been nice to not have aversions to salads as I did in my last pregnancy.
ROUND LIGAMENT PAIN
In the last two weeks, I started developing pretty intense lower abdomen pain whenever I’d walk for more than 5-10 minutes. I’ve since learned this is round ligament pain and have taken a bunch of steps to help it and will be doing a full post on that because I’ve found so many great and helpful tips. Here are my top 2 for now:
- Belly band: My doctor and many of you recommended that I wear a belly band if I’m standing or walking. I got this one on Amazon and when I put it on for the first time, it gave me immediate relief. I’m now able to walk Boots again normally which is awesome.
- Stretching: There are a ton of free resources that you can find online and on Youtube to help with this pain, such as Spinning Babies. I reached back out to Janelle, my old coworker, who teaches The Egoscue Method (I first wrote about it here) and has worked with me over Zoom in the past for my lower back pain. In our first session, she helped me tackle my nightly hip pain, and the other day she gave me some exercises for the round ligament pain that have made a world of difference.
HEARTBURN & “THE PUKES”
With Amalia, I threw up almost every single day in my third trimester. I thought I was free of that this time around because I’ve been feeling so good, but “the pukes” as my daughter calls them, have arrived. I took Zantac daily last time around but it has since been recalled because apparently, it causes cancer, so that’s out of the question.
What seems to work the best is to eat really small meals every few hours and to never lay down or move too much after I eat more than a few bites. Even with that, I throw up at least once a week and it just hits out of nowhere. Pulling the car over to puke on the side of the road is especially cute. It’s become my signature move.
My friend Sarah suggested I take a supplement called DGL which helps aid digestion and coat your digestive tract. When I remember to take that before I eat, I never have a problem. And when my heartburn starts up, I take Hilma’s Upset Stomach Relief and it’s like magic. My doctor said Pepcid and Tums are ok too. I never leave home without Tums but haven’t gone for Pepcid yet.
EXERCISE & PT
I’m still walking with Boots for 30 mins/day (when the pain isn’t too bad) and working out once/week with one of Anel’s trainers but that’s about all my body feels comfortable with so I’m not pushing myself to do anymore.
As mentioned above, I also got back into The Egoscue Method which has been a lifesaver in the last two weeks. I was doing it regularly over the summer for back pain and posture and now it’s almost completely eradicated my hip and shoulder pain which I didn’t think was possible.
BODY CHANGES & WEIGHT GAIN
At first, it completely freaked me out when I hit the same weight as my final 1st pregnancy weight at 26 weeks, but I’ve come to terms with it now. My doctor wasn’t worried in the slightest and said I’m still measuring at a healthy weight for my height, BMI, and age so I’ve really been able to let go and just accept it. I’m eating relatively healthy foods, moving my body as often as I can, and while the weight might be harder to lose later, I know it will happen and somehow, for the first time in my life, I’m just not worried about it.
This baby is sitting very low which makes me feel like I have to pee 5 minutes after I just went and is also a big reason for the round ligament pain. What’s nice about the low belly, however, is that breathing issues aren’t terrible. I still have to catch my breath at the top of the staircase, but the baby sitting low allows my lung some more room.
My sleep has not been great. My belly is just so big that it’s hard to get comfortable. I sleep with my pregnancy pillow but every time I turn over I wake up to move it so, while it’s not ideal, it’s also not terrible. I’m also at the point where I’m peeing three times/night. It feels like this child has his body pressed up against my bladder at all times.
I take magnesium before bed to help with sleep, digestion, and muscle cramps, and it really helps to calm me down since I can’t have my usual CBD and melatonin.
My nesting kicked in out of nowhere last week. I realized that we hadn’t bought this kid anything, and I went into overdrive, making lists and hitting up friends who might have hand-me-downs. While we have most of the big, expensive stuff (strollers, car seats, crib, bassinet) leftover from Amalia which is really nice. I also had a dresser that was perfect for a changing table! But we don’t have any of the small stuff so I stocked up on all kinds of things like diapers, wipes, swaddled, bottles, nipple cream, a monitor (the one we used for Amalia sadly broke), blackout shades, and a noise machine.
I spent a few hours organizing his drawers last week so we have newborn and 0-3 sized onesies, PJs, and outfits washed ready to go when he arrives. Friends and family have given us so many hand-me-downs that are either brand new or look like new that I’ve only had to buy a handful of clothing for him.
The nursery design is done and I think everything has arrived except for the wallpaper, glider, side table, and bookshelf so hopefully, I can get everything up and ready to go in the next month.
It’s all coming together!
I haven’t been very up and down in this pregnancy and don’t cry as much as I expected, but the other day when I realized that we only had 3 months left, I was close to a panic attack for the first time in a long time. And when I panic, I organize. Hence the aforementioned nesting. I wrote about it in more detail in this post I wrote about all of my fears surrounding a second baby, but my anxiety stems mostly around whether or not I’ll have PPA again this time around and it terrifies me. I’m working through that in therapy but it’s hard to get out of my head.
So my main emotion is anxiety with a twinge of sadness of having less 1-on-1 time with Amalia, but my heart has started to get fluttery at the thought of meeting our baby boy so I’m holding onto that feeling as much as possible when the others pop up.
Night sweats: My night sweats from the 1st trimester are still here. Every single night I wake up soaking wet 1-2 times/night. The sweat isn’t sticky or gross, it just feels like I jumped in a swimming pool, and I have to change my shirt at least once a night. Super fun! I also have to change our sheets almost daily which, if it weren’t so annoying, would actually be funny.
Braxton Hicks: I thought that the contractions I had at the end of my last pregnancy were BH but it turns out it’s a totally different thing than what I was experiencing (which was early labor contractions). BH contractions just feel like a tightening in the belly and if I push myself too hard during the day or don’t drink enough water, I get them for about 20-30 minutes until I rest with my feet up.
Good hair & skin: My favorite physical symptom of pregnancy is the glowing skin and thick, shiny hair. If only I had somewhere to go and someone to see!
Baby kicks: This isn’t a symptom but I have to note that this baby is a kicker. He kicks hard and he kicks often. It’s fun to feel him most of the time, but not at 3 am!
Phew, sorry for the long-winded post but there has been a lot going on in the last 3 months in this body of mine. I still can’t believe that in 3 months more, I’ll have a baby boy. It’s so wild.
Photos by Julia Dags.