Time is flying by at the moment, so I thought I’d do a general overview of the second trimester! I’ve shared some specifics of symptoms and food cravings/aversions in separate posts so you can read about those things there.
My mum and sister bought me a My Bump & Me book to fill in as the weeks went on, so I’m looking back in that to remember the highlights to mention here!
Sickness dominated the second trimester! Thankfully my energy levels got a little bit better, but I was throwing up basically every night, even with the help of anti-nausea tablets. I had also been feeling almost motion sick throughout the day, which the anti-nausea tablets took away thankfully, so they were working!
Due to my PCOS bringing heightened chances of miscarriage, Tom and I chose to approach pregnancy with a sense of that potential reality in place, which I shared about in my last “story” post. We agreed not to talk about names until at least 12 weeks and the end of the first trimester. When we started discussing, we settled on a boys name very quickly, but struggled to agree for a girl. At week 14 I did some online shopping buying our first baby clothes – I figured it was time to let the excitement begin building.
At 15 weeks I completed some bloodwork for genetics testing, which was quite daunting. Each week was a celebration that the pregnancy was progressing, so the idea of genetics tests coming back with some kind of diagnosis was scary. The genetics testing is completely optional but identifies if there are any “birth defects” such as chromosomal abnormalities – which can range from life-altering to life-ending diagnoses for the baby. We decided that we wanted to do the testing so that we could be prepared. We were supposed to hear back within a week or two, but I figured as long as the midwife wasn’t reaching out, there wasn’t anything to be said, and it was only in our 20 week scan that we were actually told that all the testing came back “normal” and from the scan it was clear the baby was growing as expected. But I’m getting ahead of myself there talking about the 20 weeks scan…
The next thing I did was started to research must-have baby items and begin compiling a baby registry. I asked my friend who gave birth to a son during my 15th week if she could make a list of all the things she actually used in the first six weeks so I could have a good idea of what was actually necessary from all the lists you find online.
Weeks 16 & 17 I wrote in my milestones section that I thought I was seeing a bump, but it could be bread or crisps…. by 18 weeks I was confident I had a baby bump and transitioned into my dungarees/overalls maternity uniform.
At 19 weeks I actually went three days without any vomiting. It was quite a milestone week – I made a note that I cooked four times and helped with the dishes. Tom took over all housework from about week 9/10 because I just couldn’t stomach it. Exhaustion and nausea dominated everything so being able to contribute cooking and cleaning felt like such a big step!
Back to that 20 week scan now! We were so excited for this scan as it was the first thing that Tom was allowed to accompany me to. It was also our first visit to BC Women’s, where I’ll be giving birth. All the Covid protocols were very reassuring and everything felt very safe! Knowing that I was scolded by the sonographer in my first scan for not drinking enough, this time I came with a fuller bladder. We told the sonographer that we did want to know the sex, though she confirmed what we had predicted – that she would be unable to tell us but if she would tell us when she was in that area. Thankfully I had a midwife appointment the next day where they would confirm our thoughts!
The scan was awesome. We didn’t get to hear the heartbeat but on the screen we could see the heart moving, we saw the face, lungs, brain and skull, legs, spine, yawning and grabbing feet, but the legs were firmly closed! The songographer revisited the spot three times to confirm the sex, on the second time she wrote XX on the screen, where on previous frames she wrote things like Leg or Spine, so we had an idea… (Tom knew XX was female, I just knew it was chromosomes…) Half way through, she told me to go and empty my bladder as it was too full, then she had another look between the legs before then printed off a bunch of images. She took them to a senior sonographer, who then came in and said she just wanted to double check the sex as the image wasn’t totally clear. She scanned around, seemed happy and our original sonographer gave us the images and sent us on our way!
It’s a girl! Tom filled me in on the fact XX is female and we quickly sent photos to our families with the news. The next day the midwife confirmed our suspicions and said that ultrasounds are 80% accurate with sex, so it was very likely we’d be welcoming a girl. My word, did that make it all feel a lot more real!
It was around the same time that I started to feel little wriggles. It mostly felt like a fish flopping around in my stomach – pretty weird really! But great to feel the presence of her along with the sickness that continually confirmed I was still pregnant…! Even the sickness slowed down at this point with it being every few days now rather than every day. Hallelujah!
At 22 weeks we were hesitantly settled on a name. In week 23, I went on a little shopping trip to buy some more baby clothes, and was starting to feel more myself with a bit more energy.
I went a full week without throwing up, AND wanted to eat chocolate for the first time in ages.
At around week 24 we went to look at strollers/pushchairs/prams – mainly just to figure out what we were looking for. One thing we learnt very quickly was that we’d need something that would work with Tom’s height! The one we had earmarked as a possibility turned out to be a big no no as Tom kicked the bar with every step. So we knew to keep that in mind and decided which one we wanted to go for. The lady in the shop that helped us was ace. She gave us this gravel filled bag thing which is the weight of a large baby so that pushing the stroller around felt more like it would with a child inside, and she made Tom properly take the stroller around the store to really test it with his gait. We left a good review for the store online because of this and ended up with a $20 gift card so you know – it’s nice to be nice! ha
Tom felt the baby move for the first time in week 25 – yay! So great to be able to share that with him. Also lots of friends started giving us a bunch of baby stuff they were finished with or to borrow while we needed it which is awesome and meant I could cross things off my registry before even thinking about shopping or a baby shower!
My nausea mostly calmed down by 27 weeks, just with the occasional vomming sesh here and there…
By the end of the second trimester I was feeling a lot more whale-like – everything was trickier: I can no longer squeeze through spaces any more, my presence is definitely felt, especially in our tiny kitchen, it’s pretty much a one person place now; turning over in bed and getting comfortable is an effort; I’m getting up to go to the loo in the night more; a stranger in the lift told me I obviously didn’t have long to go… lots of little things making me feel very pregnant!
My baby shower was being planned, I had my maternity photo shoot, and I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes! All of which have had or will have their own posts – so click on any links to read more!
That takes us swiftly to 30 weeks so I’ll leave it there for now!