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The Second Trimester – The Glow – Sort of…

Ah, the second trimester! It felt this time round that the second trimester arrived a little late. Still feeling nauseas at 16 weeks, I thought maybe this was going to be a nightmare pregnancy of never-ending exhaustion and sickness. Then 17 weeks came around and voila! The glow arrived! Well… sort of…

My nausea passed almost overnight and the fogginess and exhaustion of the first trimester slowly started to fade. I could finally work again without struggling through every minute of every day. I could walk from room to room without a wave of nausea. My bucket? Well, finally there was no need for that!

My belly started growing at quite a rapid pace. I tend to carry quite big, but I got a lot bigger a lot quicker this time around.  Getting bigger has its up’s and its downs. The biggest down for me is the heart burn. During the day it is mostly ok, but I have to be really careful of the quantity of food I eat in the evening. If I eat something heavy or have a big plate of food, I am pretty much guaranteed to wake between 00h00 and 03h00 with major heart burn. Sometimes it feels as though my food is travelling back up instead of down. It is awful! Sleeping on my left side definitely helps. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t sleep on my left side the whole night.  The relaxin hormone makes my shoulder ligaments stretch too much.  Staying on one side too long ends up feeling like my arm is going to fall off. Ah, the joys of pregnancy.

Speaking of the relaxin hormone, during my first pregnancy I really struggled with a lot of hip pain during my second and third trimesters from my body stretching. This pregnancy I have been lucky enough that my hips have been absolutely fine up till now. With the third trimester just a week away, I am sure the pain of my body stretching and preparing for the birth is not a long way off.

The other not so nice part of the second trimester is the wind. Not as bad as the first trimester (I might as well have been called “Mrs. Burpalot”) but definitely more wind than normal. It is also a lot harder to be elegant about the wind. As a child, I was always taught to release wind silently. Well… that might work sometimes during pregnancy, but there are occasions where it is just not possible as my husband is amusingly discovering.

The best part of the second trimester is finally being able to feel my boy moving inside of me.  There is nothing quite like it. I remember when Kai was born, I was so happy to have him with me but for a few months after I felt a bit empty inside. It is really such a blessed time to be able to experience that again. This little boy growing within with all his bumps, kicks and punches already feels as though he has a little personality just waiting to be welcomed into the world. For me, it is from this bonding and feeling my boy inside that I feel the pregnancy glow comes from.  Yes, the hormones make your hair look great, your skin is glowing and you have a gorgeous baby bump, but nothing makes me glow as much as feeling, discovering and loving my beautiful boy bouncing around in his home in my belly. For me, that is the glow!

A few tips for the second trimester:

  • Spend as much quality time as you can with your other children if this is not your first pregnancy. You have the energy now and this one on one time with your other children is precious.
  • Eat smaller meals more often rather than big meals. It will really help with the heart burn.
  • Sleep and lie down on your left side. If you are like me, you may need to rotate to your right side to give your ligaments a break, but it really can help with the heart burn.
  • Savor these moments of the first bumps and kicks in the second trimester while your baby is still a size which is comfortable.
  • Go bra shopping. Your breasts are likely a lot bigger, and your old bras may no longer fit. Treat yourself to something nice. If you want to save some money, you can buy your feeding bras now and wear those during your pregnancy. They will be much more comfortable that wearing standard bras.
  • Rest when you need to. Not always easy if this is not your first or if you are working full time. If you have a little one, see if someone can take them out for the day so you can have some time to process all that is to come and just to rest for a while.
  • Start thinking about what will be needed when your little one arrives. It is much easier to set things up when you have the energy of the second trimester. If you want to set up a nursery or space for your little one, now is the perfect time. When you are into your third trimester and start to get heavier it will become a lot harder especially if you are expecting a summer baby like we are.
  • Let your other children feel the bumps and kicks of their sibling. It makes the whole experience of becoming and older brother or sister real for them. Our little Kai giggles his head off if he feels his brother kicking. It is a magical time!

Let us know how you are doing in your second trimester. What has your experience been and what tips would you give to other moms? It is great for us to all learn from each other.

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