How the second trimester went. All the body changes, appointments I found useful, symptoms, baby kicks and more.
MY SECOND TRIMESTER RECAP
It’s so crazy that the second trimester goes so fast. Everyone told me it would and they were right. Officially the second trimester is from 13-28 weeks. That first trimester is certainly slower. It drags as you get to that twelve to thirteen-week mark where you know all is going well. I shared my first-trimester recap back in this post if you missed it. Since I found out after six weeks that I was actually pregnant, the next six weeks felt very slow.
The second trimester, on the other hand, felt a lot faster. In spite of our unexpected situation that led to cancelling travel plans and finding ourselves in self-isolation.
OUR UNEXPECTED SELF ISOLATION
Before I get into the ins and outs of the second trimester recap, I realise I’d missed sharing that we had to self isolate in July. I certainly shared the situation on my Instagram and on my youtube channel but not on here. Essentially I was due to go on a number of trips within the ‘safe to fly’ second trimester window. Unfortunately, as the delta variant of Covid-19 hit Australia this winter, all of our plans changed.
First, I had two work trips postponed which I was so sad about. Later I had to cancel our trip to visit my best friend and her baby in Tasmania. We had booked to fly to see her via a few days in Adelaide to see my family. So we changed more flights to go to Adelaide for an extra few days and then come back to Perth.
As we landed in Adelaide, they announced that there was a local Covid case. So far, South Australia has been one of the states with few Covid cases. We thought we would be safe to visit. Someone who’d returned from overseas to Sydney before returning to Adelaide without isolating properly tested positive. Unfortunately, this meant that we went from the airport to my Dad’s car, to my parent’s house. And a day later? Back again.
The whole state went into strict restrictions then a lockdown that would have lasted a week. In reality, Mario spent the majority of the time we had there on the phone trying to change our flights. After many calls he got to book both of us on a return flight before the West Australian border closed. We made it home! The bad news was, despite not being anywhere near any of the outbreak sites, we had to self isolate in our apartment for two weeks. In the end, I got to see my parents for a day. And my brother for what felt like an hour.
Coming home, it felt like we were being punished for nothing. We were not able to leave our apartment at all. But it had to be done. We tested negative on both Covid tests. And were checked up on by local police twice at random to see we were home.
Mario was able to work from home, which made it not a total financial loss. As the weeks have passed, I can’t help but feel annoyed that I didn’t get to see my family much. Nor do anything in my hometown or take any of the other trips. The window for my going anywhere has closed now, so I am putting it out of my mind. My parents both got to feel the baby kick and saw me pregnant at least once, which counts for something.
Okay, so I was nauseous throughout the first trimester basically 24/7 but didn’t really throw up. In the second trimester, this partly went away. But I’d still feel reflux or nausea after I ate for an hour or so, usually multiple times a day. It wasn’t as bad, I feel like I’d gotten more used to it. Definitely annoying at times, but again, it’s all worth it. Certain foods make it feel worse and I notice avocado is one of them, so sad!
One bonus I’d heard so much about was how good you feel in the second trimester. Now, I didn’t feel bad as such but I didn’t feel great most days. At least not as good as I normally would while not pregnant. I had more energy for sure and did not have so many slow lethargic days on the couch. But again, I’d feel a bit sick, and couldn’t really do as much as I normally would day-to-day. This is largely because I have a separated pelvis (more on that below). This causes a lot of pain. I have to be mindful of how I move and limit how much I walk. I really miss my long walks!
At most now I can walk for about 15-20 minutes. But I feel the pain worsening as the day goes on. Twice I could barely walk at all. Though this happened after some busy days of errands after we had been in two weeks of isolation in our tiny apartment. I’ve worked out very little, though I should! The physio has given me some exercises to do which are safe for pregnancy and my pelvic issue.
All in all, I feel I am able to get more done. Particularly once we were out of isolation, I ran errands, had appointments and got more work done. I’ve been freer to finally shoot some content and watch as the bump grew!
THE GENDER REVEAL
We actually found out fairly early on what we were expecting, gender-wise. If you missed the Q&A and gender reveal video it is here on my youtube channel. I was so shocked to learn that my instincts were right! In general, it felt overwhelming and all finally real once we knew. Nausea had felt real up until that point but it all sunk in when I found out the gender.
SYMPHYSIS PUBIS DYSFUNCTION
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), happens when the ligaments that normally keep your pelvic bone aligned during pregnancy become too relaxed and stretchy before birth. I started to notice this pain after a long walk at ten weeks pregnant. Of course, as delivery nears, things are supposed to start loosening up. This, in turn, can make the pelvic joint — aka the symphysis pubis — unstable, leading to pelvic pain.
The most common symptoms are difficulty when walking and wrenching pain (as though your pelvis is tearing apart). The pain is focused on the pubic area, but for me, it radiates to the perineum too. The pain worsens when I’m walking and doing weight-bearing activities, particularly those that involve lifting one leg. Things like climbing stairs, getting dressed, getting in and out of a car, or even turning over in bed.
The hormone relaxin, which makes your ligaments stretchy for birth can do its job too well. Loosening the ligaments around your pelvic bone way before the baby is ready to come out. I’ve had to see a physio at the hospital a number of times. They check things out and give special movement tips and exercises. I was also given a brace to wear around my pelvis when I am walking or standing moving around. Then I had to order some compression shorts as recommended by the physio. Both of those certainly helped to decrease the pain but at the end of the day, I feel it. It gets worse from about 4 pm each day and I don’t notice it as much the next morning.
Overall, it has felt debilitating mostly, as the pain is so uncomfortable. It prevented me from doing much walking, which at times also led to more back and hip pain. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone! But it doesn’t hurt our baby nor lead to permanent damage. So I just have to accept it and try not to let it get to me. All in all, I just feel so grateful to be pregnant. And for our baby to be healthy! So I just take it all as it comes, good and not so good.
FLUTTERS AND KICKS
At the beginning of the second trimester, I was eager to feel some kicking. From memory, I felt at about 17-18 weeks. Though I did feel one or two random ones earlier but wasn’t sure if that’s what they were. I certainly know now, as there are a lot of kicks going on all the time! At our second ultrasound, the technician mentioned how active our baby is. Even with the midwife through the heartbeat doppler, she could hear moving around and kicking. One reward after our isolation fortnight was the second ultrasound. It was very reassuring to know everything was going well. And that our baby had begun to put on more weight which looked super cute in the 3D scans. The nose and ears are adorable!
We have graduated to seeing the kicks and feeling them all the time now! Along with the rolling motions as our baby moves and turns. It’s one of my favourite things. I just love it!
Not being able to walk much has felt crippling. Walking is such a big part of my day, boosting my mood often and clearing my head. I also like to walk with people at times, so it can be a social thing too. Apart from a few workouts, yoga and arm strength training, I’ve not moved a whole lot.
I felt like I began showing early but the bump only really popped around the eighteen-week mark. Our baby is sitting quite high so I expect the bump to drop a bit later. So far I’ve gained 5kg. Mostly I notice how much my hips have widened. This happened early due to the relaxin hormone coming in strong early on. I’m essentially wearing one size up in dresses. And have had to size up to a medium for any pants or skirts to accommodate the bump.
My nose has bled every day, which is annoying. I’ve had to blow it about once every half hour. I had my flu shot, then whooping cough vaccine without any dramas. I waited to find out more information and do some research about the Covid vaccines. The advice had been from ‘you should be fine, it’s up to you’. During my second trimester, the advice became ‘you should get vaccinated’. So, I booked in as soon as I had that confirmation from our midwife and doctor. The first vaccine I felt nothing afterwards. The second I am due to have on the 24th of September, so time will tell.
My gums have still bled a tiny bit more but I have gum disease which is common in pregnancy. I have to be on top of flossing and brushing.
My sense of smell has stayed strong, but I’ve avoided things that made my stomach turn.
At night I’ve had some trouble sleeping thanks to the heaviness of my hips. I have slept on either side, preferring the left. A few nights in a row I’ve had insomnia, which is frustrating but I take it slow the next days.
Craving wise I seem to want more sweet stuff than I usually ever would, I even ate doughnuts! The plan is to cut back on this and cut out any gluten again from week 28. I’ve let myself enjoy other foods that I normally avoid but I’m noticing that it doesn’t make me feel great. Still, I balance it with loads of vegetables, some fruit, I avoid dairy mostly and caffeine. Yes, I still have constipation issues, no, I don’t love that. haha.
SEEING THE PSYCHOLOGIST
Without going into specifics, I was recommended by my midwife to see a psychologist. I booked in at the King Edward Memorial Hospital as part of my care. There were things I had never spoken about to many people that we talked through. The appointments helped me understand what had happened to me, years ago. And how it has since come up for me in the years following. Again, I don’t feel ready to share publicly. But now I know I have PTSD which has had ongoing effects on me throughout my life so far.
It also put into perspective some points about how I’d like to raise my children. Namely, protecting them at the right times while educating them on some things they will encounter out in the world. I was oblivious to a great deal and did not understand what I’d gotten myself into. Essentially, we will look at ways to express that there are people from all walks of life. People who can potentially bring anger, violence and so on into a situation. It’s hard for me to explain on the blog but I am glad to have had those sessions.
My psychologist identified that I have a general anxiety disorder. Though I have learned how to get a handle on this naturally. We created a document for any staff in birth that I wish for certain procedures to be communicated etc. This is very reassuring for me. I’d been nervous that if transferred from the birth centre to the hospital I’d have no control. And likely have staff touching me without knowing what was going on etc.
After giving birth, I will revisit with the psychologist to see where I am at. I think is going to feel reassuring once again. It was very confronting to bring up my experiences which were traumatic and difficult to admit had happened to me. But, knowing I am in a good place, ready to move on to this next chapter, feeling safe and supported, I am glad to have spoken about it with a professional.
One day, I may feel ready to share my experiences with more people and potentially open up here. It took me over seventeen years to speak to a professional about my experiences. I feel freer in doing so. I’ve spoken with only a handful of people about it having bottled most of it up for almost two decades. Are you wondering if a psychologist might be beneficial for you? I can only say that it made me feel more empowered and have a greater understanding.
MOVING INTO THE THIRD TRIMESTER
It’s all going to be happening in the next few weeks and months! I am already looking at one VERY full calendar! There are classes, appointments, plans for moving and more to come. We shall see how I get on with the third trimester changes too. I do feel like I have plenty to organise, read, research and do! Wish me luck and I can’t wait to keep sharing with you!