Live from the Second Trimester

[The second trimester starts on week 14 and goes on until week 27.]

The second trimester is a roller coaster of its own.

At first, I couldn’t feel the baby – or at least I couldn’t decidedly tell my body’s doing from baby’s doing. I was so eager to feel the baby move, I would lie with my belly down in perfect silence and just pay attention to what was going on in there. No use. Until one day on week 16, I HAD TO eat curry, and that either made the baby very angry or very excited because as I was finishing a heavenly bowl of rice and red curry, I felt the first kick. Feeling the baby move was my lifeline because knowing baby was ok meant all the sleepiness, heartburn and discomfort was for a bigger purpose. This baby thankfully likes to move.

At week 21 we did the anatomical ultrasound.

Seeing the baby move, the heart beating, the little feet and hands was a mind-blowing experience. Did I cry? Yes. We also couldn’t help it, but finding out this baby is a boy. Honestly finding this out wasn’t that big of a deal to me – it only helped us narrow down to one column of names instead of two. It still took us almost three months after this to agree on a name. My fear of something going wrong subsided a lot, but I still had days of constantly worrying and getting lost in the search engine world. What did help me was something my husband said: “worrying too much is not going to help, it is only going to prevent us from enjoying the time we have with him however long it is.” Again, more tears. So I’ve been chatting with the baby every day, sending him goodnight kisses and wishing him a good morning.

My energy started to increase slowly, but I still felt like much of my autonomy had been taken away from me.

More energy and less “morning” sickness also meant more hunger. Adjusting to a new food eating pattern while my body is changing at a speed I’m not used to was very challenging. Not eating meant heartburn, eating too much in a single meal meant heartburn. Every once in a while I would eat the perfect portion at the perfect time and feel great for two whole hours. Win! While on the first trimester I barely put on any pounds, my weight spiked on the second trimester. Yes, the baby is growing, etc – but I also gained the ability to eat Cane’s fried chicken like it was a small afternoon snack.

Because I had increased energy, I got under the illusion that I could go back to my usual routine.

This, of course, resulted on carpal tunnel on both hands from mowing the yard, sleeping 14 hours straight after walking 18k steps in a day – you get the picture. Keeping a consistent exercise/movement schedule throughout pregnancy was way more difficult than I had imagined. I have to take it one day at a time. I got so busy trying to fit the most I could handle in each day that I started to become anxious, tense, and really not enjoy the present moment with this tiny growing baby. When I started to feel pain on my upper right side, it was a wake-up call. Developing gallbladder stones or worse, pre-eclampsia, was not worth the stress of trying to fit every social event on my schedule or keeping the house pristinely clean when my body needs to focus on growing a human.  This shift in my mindset happened very late in my second trimester. I started to do breathing and stretching exercises, as well as meditate every morning. When I needed naps on the weekends, I take them. Any extra activities are being kept to a minimum. Here is to hoping for a peaceful and uneventful third trimester!

How was your second trimester?

Ana is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Out of passion for learning, she started traveling to all sorts of different places. Fifteen countries later, she has now settled in Baton Rouge and works for a local architecture firm. Graduate school at LSU presented her not only with tools to advance in architecture but also with a deeper understanding of the culture and geography of Louisiana. It is a fascinating state, and Baton Rouge, as its capital, does not disappoint. Ana is currently starting her journey to a country she has never been to before: motherhood (except if you count a dog, a cat, and a fish). You can find her coming up with a myriad of house projects, trying new restaurants in town, park-hopping with her beagle, or enjoying a good movie with her husband.

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