We’ve hit the final stretch over here. I am in the third trimester & we’re counting down the days until we meet our baby boy! Today I am taking time to reflect on the last three months & sharing a second trimester recap with you all. If you missed it, you can catch up on my first trimester recap & my first trimester essentials.
Second Trimester Recap
After having experienced the first & second trimester + a little taste & idea of what the third trimester will hold, I can see why the second trimester is often referred to as the honeymoon stage of pregnancy. While it wasn’t all sunshine & rainbows, compared to those early weeks of feeling nauseous & beyond exhausted, it was a vast improvement. In today’s second trimester recap, I’m going to break down symptoms I had, what I used to help, & some of my second trimester essentials for you all below.
Restless Leg Syndrome: I’ve never really experienced this before, but later in the evenings or as I was trying to fall asleep I started to get RLS. It really just feels like you want to get up & walk around or move to relieve the sensation. I found that putting my legs up on the wall (while wearing compression socks) every single night before trying to fall asleep was basically a cure all for this. I put my legs up for about 15 minutes while I read & unless I can’t fall asleep for a few hours after for other reasons I’ll touch on below, this almost always prevented RLS.
Swelling: I know this will only get worse, but everything feels swollen. I’ve been wearing & sleeping in compression socks each night to try to minimize this. I’ve noticed a lot of fluid retention in my face, so I’ve been getting monthly facials with lymphatic drainage & using my gua sha each morning to try to keep the pregnancy face at bay. There is only so much you can do to help this one because it’s inevitable when you have 50% more blood & fluid racing through your system while pregnant.
Pregnancy Insomnia: Ah, probably my least favorite. I’ll be really tired, go through my entire night time routine the same as every other night, & then lay in bed unable to sleep for HOURS on end. I’ve noticed it’s much, much worse when I’m not at home & we’ve been out of town. Otherwise, it seems to hit sort of randomly. A common response from people is that it’s preparing you for when baby arrives, which is slightly infuriating, because I’m trying to get as much sleep now ‘while I still can’ (another annoyingly frequent thing people like to say). I wish I had more advice on how to help with this one, but I just go through my nighttime routine of skincare, keeping my phone in the bathroom & not near by, diffusing some lavender essential oils, putting my feet up on the wall with compression socks while reading, & sleeping with my pregnancy pillow. If I’m struggling even more, I’ll get up & turn on a meditation or some noise from the Headspace app which really helps.
Bathroom Issues: From peeing at least once an hour to going days without a BM (sorry, all pregnancy posts are going to be TMI… I feel like that is a given) to the point of pain, there are all sorts of bathroom issues that have persisted. I will say that after an almost week stretch with no luck for a BM, I took some medicine, drank some prune juice, & started taking my probiotic again every morning with breakfast which really helped. I haven’t had an issue since I implemented this routine again!
Breast Pain: I touched on this in my first trimester recap, but ‘breast sensitivity’ makes it sound way more chill than what I’ve experienced. I will say, as it’s warmed up outside, this has gotten 1000% better for me. I knew it was related to the cold weather & me being cold natured, so I’ve only had this as a real issue at the beginning of the second trimester when it was still consistently cold outside & on a handful of times on other random cooler days.
Sensitive Gums: This comes & goes, but every time I floss my gums are sensitive for the next day or two. They seem to bleed just about every time I floss, too! I’ve upped my mouthwash usage, which seems to help a little, but otherwise this one isn’t too big of a deal in the grand scheme of things to me.
Congestion: I seem to be unable to kick the congestion & wake up every single day needing to blow my nose. I’m certain that all the allergies this time of year don’t help, but normally that time comes & goes. This has been pretty consistent throughout pregnancy. The only relief is sleeping on two pillows so my head is propped up, which isn’t always the most comfortable for my neck, but we gotta pick our poison.
Shortness of Breath: I legit get out of breath doing anything– talking, standing up, etc. I noticed I did an Instagram story video but without talking & you could hear me breathing heavily standing up & holding the phone. haha. Workouts have definitely gotten more challenging, but I think continuing to do them consistently will only help in the long run!
Discomfort: It is much harder to get comfortable at night now. I use a pregnancy pillow, which is a life saver, but I still am not a fan of sleeping on my side & feel like my shoulders & hips are constantly aching. I’ve noticed a major decrease in core strength, but have been doing these pelvic floor videos every other day which seem to help a lot! Staying active & doing yoga + pilates or going on walks when the weather allows also seems to really help. As the belly grows, it can be uncomfortable at times & is just a lot to process with your changing body + finding clothes that fit + all the other things that come along with it. However, compared to the feeling of nausea in the first trimester, this seems like a cake walk so far. I’ve also noticed some Braxton Hicks contractions, which seem to subside if I move around or switch how I am sitting or laying.
You probably just read my second trimester recap of symptoms & are thinking that it sounds like a lot. However, they are generally small things that compared to how I felt early on feel like things I can totally handle. A few days in a row of pregnancy insomnia can be a little hard when trying to be productive & feel good, but maybe it really is our body & mind’s way of prepping us for what is to come, as annoying as that may be.
Some really cool things about this trimester were feeling kicks & hiccups for the first time. It really makes it start to feel more real! It’s also nice being out of the scary first trimester when you’re a little anxious something may go wrong & you’re more likely to lose the baby. On that note, I have a personal update about my own second trimester & pregnancy below.
A Personal Update
When I shared that we were pregnant, the question I got asked the most was ‘How long were you trying?’ I know it’s such a curiosity people have & with so much I answered because I am here to share my life with you all. I’ve touched on this a bit before, but I shared with some hesitation, because I know it can cause a comparison game & everyone’s story is so very different.
We were very lucky to get pregnant during our second month of trying. I know so many people may hear that & compare their own journey, particularly if it’s been a challenge. I want to share a bit more about my pregnancy & some history that may help serve as a reminder that when we compare without knowing the full story, which is usually the case, it is such a disservice to ourselves & others. While it may sound like our beginning on the path to parenthood was easy, the middle has had it’s own challenges. I heard on a podcast the other day about someone chatting about the messy middle. We hear about people’s beginnings & we think we know the ending (although, do any of us really know full outcomes just yet?), but we so often forget there is a messy middle.
The second trimester has been nerve-racking because I have a condition with my cervix we’ve been monitoring. In my early-to-mid-twenties some abnormal cells were found in my cervix during a yearly paps test. Long story short, when they tested them they turned out to be precancerous. They tried to remove them in the least invasive way, but couldn’t get all the abnormal cells so they ended up having to do a conization surgery or a LEEP. I had to be put under (the only time I ever have or have had a major surgery) & remove two or three small cone shaped portions of my cervix to get all of it out. I went back in regularly for a year & then quarterly for another year to check to make sure it didn’t come back & luckily it hasn’t. My doctor told me at the time that this could lead to some complications when pregnant, so fast forward about eight years & here we are.
A conization surgery removes parts of your cervix, which can lead to an incompetent cervix. Nice name, right? This basically means that the cervix can fail to stay closed during pregnancy. There are obviously a lot of risks associated with this! It could result in loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy, preterm labor, & other concerns. I’ve had an ultrasound at each appointment to check it. I kept having a lot of people say they were jealous I was getting an ultrasound each time, but in reality it was to make sure that my cervix was still closed as it should be. If it had begun opening prior to 28 weeks, then I would have had to have a surgery to close it called a cervical cerclage. Luckily, this did not happen & I obviously did not spontaneously lose the pregnancy. Both of these potential risks have caused some added worry, but we just took it an appointment at a time & were relieved each time they said all looked good & focused on the positive that we got to see our baby boy more often!
This could still lead to an early delivery of our little one & could pose other complications for any subsequent pregnancies. However, so far so good & we are grateful for that.
I share this just to remind everyone that we don’t always have the full story & we all have our challenges & struggles even though they may look very different & may come at different times in our journeys. This applies to all aspects of life– not just pregnancy & is so important to remember so we don’t fall into any sort of comparison game, which is always easier said than done!
We’re praying that all will continue to progress with good news for us! I’ll go in every two weeks for the next few weeks just to keep checking that all looks well. Since I know preterm delivery is more likely to occur for me I am being extra prepared & already have my hospital bag almost fully ready & have been working on postpartum essentials & getting everything organized. I also wanted to do as much of this & decorating the nursery as possible in case my energy goes away during the third trimester!
Sorry for such a long post on my second trimester recap. There is a lot to cover every three months! You all sent in some questions that I will answer on stories today, so be sure to tune in there! As always, feel free to message me & ask anything though. I’m an open book. Clearly! I’ll have up posts about my hospital bag & postpartum essentials I’m stocking up on soon. If you are a mama to be & need some ideas, you can check out the post I wrote that outlines our baby registry. I was very thorough to try to make it a great resource for all of you expecting mamas. If you’re an experienced mom & see anything I missed, let me know. Also, LMK if you have any other requests! XO
Thank you for the recap! Hope you’re well! ❤️✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
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