Back at the end of my first trimester, I wrote a post about the things that no one tells you about it! Well, I’m now past my second trimester and into my third, and whilst I felt more prepared for the second leg of my pregnancy there were still a lot of surprising things that I just didn’t expect.
Although the second trimester is much more talked about than the first, it’s still important that we communicate with one another, and most importantly that we make sure that everyone realises that there is no right way to be pregnant!
If there is one thing I’ve taken from the last few months of my pregnancy, it’s that I simply cannot compare myself to other people during their pregnancy without doing my head in. That being said, here are some of the most surprising things that I found in my second trimester that might just make your time make a bit more sense…
1. Most of my symptoms went away
At the start of my second trimester, I was convinced that everyone had been lying to me! All I had heard about was this magical second trimester energy that was meant to suddenly appear, and that my morning sickness would be a thing of the past.
Well, for the first few weeks of my second trimester that didn’t happen. I felt like crap still and my energy levels were, if possible even lower. However, it was like someone flipped a switch at around 18 weeks and my energy, motivation and sense of well-being really did shoot back like magic!
Where I had been sluggish, fog brained and exhausted, I was now working at double speed and getting things ticked off my to do list as though my life depended on it! It felt incredible to be back to my normal self again and it really put it into perspective quite how much the first trimester had taken out of me.
The moral of the story is, that if you’re into your second trimester and waiting for your energy to come back, there is still hope! For many women that isn’t the case, but keep your fingers crossed, stay hydrated, eat well, get plenty of sleep and hope that you get dealt the a good hand for your second trimester!
2. I didn’t feel the baby kick for ages
Every app, website and even my midwife told me that I should start to feel the baby kick at around 16/17 weeks. That was a load of crap in my case! I’m carrying incredibly low, and my placenta is located on the front of my uterus which I think probably contributed to my lack of feeling…but I didn’t feel anything significant until I was around 20 weeks!
As you might imagine, that was a major cause for concern because I didn’t feel ‘normal’. I was convinced that there must be something wrong, and my anxiety at the prospect of miscarriage was still through the roof. If you’re in a similar situation and haven’t felt any movement yet, try not to worry.
Come 20 weeks I was finally able to feel my boy kicking around in there and since then those movements have only gotten stronger. I can now keep track of patterns and feel like I have a constant companion in there. If you are worried though, speak to your midwife because it is much better to be safe than sorry! Lack of movement or reduced movement is important to flag, so don’t feel silly for checking that your little one really is doing ok!
3. Baby movements didn’t feel anything like I thought they would
I’m not entirely sure what I actually thought my baby kicking would feel like, but one of the most surprising things about my second trimester was discovering that it’s a lot more than a prod in the stomach. At the start, when you first start to feel movement it really is true that you often can’t distinguish between the baby, and whether you need to fart.
As the kicks become more regular and stronger, however, you’ll definitely be able to tell. For me anyway, there are so many different kinds of kicks. There are the strong ones that push my tummy out (those are the ones that Rob can feel on the outside!) and they feel much like I would have expected. However, there are also the sharp stabbing kicks down into my hips or up to my ribs, and the incredibly uncomfy kicks that seem to shoot right through my vagina!
At first, it’s fair to say that a lot of my baby’s kicks were a little bit unpleasant, and that upset me at first. I felt torn between how happy I was to feel them and the sheer discomfort. As he grew though the uncomfy kicks seemed to get less frequent and I was able to embrace all his movement.
The changes in pressure as he shifts position are another kind of movement that I wasn’t expecting, but love to feel now that I’m in tune with what it means. As your baby starts to move, I encourage you to spend time really getting for understand the movements and how your own body is feeling.
Don’t feel discouraged if it’s uncomfy at first and don’t feel bad for wanting it to ease off occasionally! Getting in sync with the physical movements and how your body reacts to them will go a long way in helping you to truly enjoy and embrace your baby’s kicks!
4. I didn’t ‘pop’ as early as everyone else
One of the most difficult things to come to terms with in my second trimester was my horrible bump envy! I simply didn’t look pregnant like everyone else and it killed me.
This was particularly difficult before I felt movement, as there was nothing making me feel pregnant and it was hard for it to seem ‘real’ to me or my close friends and family! I would see other women who were much less far along than me, with their gorgeous round bumps and I would feel almost angry at them which was totally unfair.
Being a slightly bigger girl, I felt like that was to blame, but I would see women even bigger than me with beautiful bumps, and as horrible as it seems…that was even more upsetting. It took me a good few weeks to understand and accept that my bump would come when it was ready and that it was simply a case of my body doing what was comfortable for it.
Carrying low definitely played a part, and even once my bump began to show at around 25 weeks I never developed that classic round tummy that we are trained to expect during pregnancy. I love how my tummy I developing now and have more than embraced its shape, but that wasn’t easy.
If you are busy comparing your bump to other people’s like I did, try your best to get some perspective. As long as the baby is developing well, that’s all that matters. Wanting to look like the woman on the front of your pregnancy magazine is both unrealistic and unhealthy unless of course, that is how your body works naturally!
5. The things I worried about totally changed
It’s a strange thing to admit, but becoming a parent doesn’t really scare me too much. I think I’ve come to accept that no one knows exactly what they’re doing when they first start out and I’m confident in the support I have both from my partner and my family on both sides.
However, just because the idea of being a parent doesn’t fill me with fear, that’s not to say I’m not bricking it! In my second trimester I’ve starred to obsess about the smallest things….things that I had never even considered before! Some of the things that have had me freaking out are totally legitimate, such as whether I know baby CPR, but some are just silly.
For example, I had a total meltdown to myself about whether or not my baby would recognise me when he is born! It’s totally normal to have irrational fears and anxieties during pregnancy when everything is heightened because of hormones and simply because you’re going through a massive life change!
I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that some days I’m just going to be a blubbering mess about the most stupid things and that’s totally ok.
6. Time started to move really, really fast
When I first found out that I was pregnant, everyone told me that pregnancy drags. I was, therefore, expecting that my second trimester would take forever, and whilst I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever I also feel like it has gone by in a flash! I’m suddenly 7 months along, just a couple of months away from bringing a life into this world, and it has just crept up on me. That being said, I am under no illusion that this speed is going to keep going.
The last couple of months will, I’m sure, drag like crazy because I am already so impatient to meet my little man! I want him to stay in there as long as he needs to but at the same time I am dying to hold him in my arms and Mr H and I to become parents. I almost feel like I had had more time to enjoy my second trimester to the fullest, before reaching the slow and uncomfortable third stage of my pregnancy!
7. Dreams got super vivid and very specific
Ever since finding out I was pregnant, my dreams have always featured me as being pregnant. I have always been a strong dreamer and have had a lot of control and memory of my dreams for as long as I can remember. All I can say is that pregnancy dreams are like being on acid every single night!
The strange thing that I’ve found towards the end of my second trimester is that my dreams have switched from always being about pregnant me to featuring my baby a lot more. It’s obvious to me that my dreams are channelling some of my underlying anxieties about motherhood which is, in turn, helping me to acknowledge the things that I am worried about.
For example, in a lot of my more recent dreams, I’m breastfeeding my baby (often in very strange situations) and my subconscious is zeroing in on specifics such as how the baby latches on and what my nipples look like! This tells me that breastfeeding is definitely up there on my list of stresses, and helps me to know what I need to educate myself on between now and when the baby is born.
I’m not saying that all of my crazy pregnancy dreams are anything to do with what’s actually going on, but if you’re like me it’s important to take note of them all so you can identify any patterns or recurring themes as you sleep.
8. My self confidence took a real knock
I’m sure that this is something a lot of pregnant mums can relate to. In my first trimester I was full of this new found respect for my body, and I still totally am.
However, I have also begun to feel those old anxieties creeping in about my self image and what my body will look like after birth. I’ve always had bad stretch marks on my lower tummy, and was prepared for them to get worse during pregnancy. That being said, it’s still tough to see the dark red welts making their way up my stomach a little more every day.
I love what my body is doing, and most of the time I can appreciate my stretch marks for the sign of motherhood that they are, but I have my weak moments like anyone else. It’s an ongoing battle, as someone who has always suffered from self image issues, but I am doing my best to focus on the incredible thing that my body is doing instead of what that is doing to my body.
9. My appetite went through the roof
Having spent most of my first trimester barely eating for feeling sick, my second trimester saw the return of my appetite in full force! This also meant that my super healthy attitude went out of the window for a while. Looking back I can see that I stopped focusing on the healthy side of eating and simply focused on feeding my appetite!
I’m not going to beat myself up for it, but I am making a big point of focusing more on my nutrition going into my third trimester. If you’re struggling with healthy eating during your pregnancy then talk to your midwife or at the very least your family and friends to ask for support. Whether it’s them making sure you do a healthy weekly shop, or simply encouraging you to make better choices I’m sure it’ll help.
For me, I made the point to my partner that we needed to eat better for ourselves and the baby, as we had in the first trimester, and we have no started planning our weeks out much more effectively and gone back to ordering our weekly shop online. This has enabled me to eat better and save money, so it’s a win win!
10. I was able to really start bonding with my baby
By far the best thing about my second trimester has been how much I’ve bonded with my baby. Both Mr H and I have really begun to appreciate the reality of becoming parents and it is beyond exciting!
The best moment of my whole pregnancy so far was when Mr H was finally able to feel our baby kicking. It symbolised the moment where we transitioned from me being pregnant to us experiencing it as a couple. That’s not to say Mr H hadn’t been incredible before that, but it became so real for him at that moment and that made it so special for me too.
Bonding with my bump had been incredible and I can’t wait to discover an even deeper connection throughout the end of my pregnancy and to finally meet him at the finish line!
Remember, if you are ever worried about your baby’s movements or your own health during pregnancy then call your midwife! Don’t stress about making a fuss. It is always better to be safe than sorry! You can find a lot of information about why this is so important on the Kicks Count website.