Phew! With the first trimester behind me, I began feeling very much back to my normal self. Here goes! Weeks 14-27!
My Second Trimester Pregnancy, Week-by-Week
Oy- this was an emotional week for me. I was finally over physical symptoms of discomfort, but the new wave of emotional discomfort was starting to pile on!
In combination with COVID, not being able to travel (in order to cherish these last few months, pre-baby), and the shift in my hormones, I was beginning to cry at the drop of a hat!
I would be happy and perky all day long, but then at night time- it was like a switch! I would feel gloomy, sad, and start crying if my husband brought up benign topics that triggered an emotional reaction for me.
These emotions were definitely new for me. However, my husband handled them like a champ. He took them seriously, complimented my changing body, didn’t laugh when I would start crying silently, and started doing little things (like planning a local trip) to give me small glimmers of hope.
I did my best to turn to non-food solutions for my “down in the dump days” (like I discuss in the 12 Week Weight Management Program with the women I coach), and went through all of the emotional coping strategies that I teach. However, despite my best intentional effort at overriding the emotions, some days they were just too overbearing.
This week, I came to be more forgiving of my body and all of the changes it has been going through with the pregnancy. As my husband would remind me, these changes and hormone fluctuations are temporary; ride them out.
So that’s what I’m going to strive to do!
Overall, this was a pretty good week for me. My exercise stamina was heightened and I was even more successful at some of my running workouts that would have otherwise overshot my heart rate.
As a baby gift to ourselves (and to lift the depressing mood that came with the COVID pandemic), my husband and I invested in the Peloton bike right at the beginning of my pregnancy. The App features outdoor running audio guides which I definitely took advantage of this week since the summer weather was nice.
I actually booked a last-minute trip to Massachusetts to visit my parents, and really enjoyed starting my mornings off with a Peloton Run using the app.
I surprised myself!
I thought that a ~ 5 mile jog would wipe me of energy. However, despite the distance and the Run pushes, I was not only able to complete all of the workouts, but I was able to get through the rest of the day without feeling like I needed to take a nap!
Now, I will say… despite my energy and exercise being boosted, so was my appetite!
My dad would laugh at me because of how frequently I was eating. He’d joke and say; “You’re eating again, kid??” (of course, in a loving way). I’d laugh and then keep eating…
Even though I’d set an intention for the day to “stop eating after dinner (6:30pm),” inevitably 9:30pm would roll around and I would be back in the refrigerator drumming up something to eat.
You’d think that by finishing more food around 10pm, I wouldn’t be hungry first thing in the morning (ie: 6am). ERRRr. Wrong. Hungry.
I’d try to stave my hunger with lots of water and iced coffee (worth emphasizing the iced as hot was just not keeping my stomach settled first thing in the morning), but it wouldn’t work. Instead, I’d get headaches and a gnawing queasy feeling in my stomach. Not enjoyable.
Week 16- exactly FOUR months into pregnancy. It was pretty surreal thinking about being 50% of the way through… other than the baby bump that had officially started popping on my belly. I’m definitely looking forward to Weeks 18-20 when I can hopefully feel baby girl moving!
Being pregnant in the midst of COVID definitely has its stresses, but on the bright side, being pregnant comes with some pretty sweet traveling perks!
I bit the bullet and finally went on an airplane. Upon arrival to my gate, I’d politely ask the attendant if I could have a more socially distanced seat because of my pregnancy. Not only did they accommodate me, but they were doing it with excitement!
Never have I had an airline employee happily upgrade my seat with a big smile on their face. I wasn’t going to lie, I felt pretty special being a pregnant lady flying…
And for those wondering about how safe it felt flying around others, the airlines were only flying at 85% capacity, and I never had anyone sitting next to me or close enough to really be paranoid. I also brought sterile wipes that I used to decontaminate everything in my seat vicinity. I also brought hand sanitizer and made sure to use the restroom and wash my hands the second I deplaned.
So far, I’ve gained ~ 8lbs (I started at 150 at the beginning of my pregnancy). I’ve fallen off the bandwagon a bit with exercising and have been munching more mindlessly throughout the day and at work. I feel like I’m starting to lose definition in my legs and arms, so it’s back to the Peloton Bike and BeachBody workouts to get my body toned up again!
This week, I had another OB appointment. I met with one of the APP (Advanced Practice Practitioner’s) and she was great! She took so much time explaining what to expect during my 2nd trimester of pregnancy and she even mentioned that I may be able to feel the baby kicking and moving soon.
My husband was post-call from his night shift and had to miss my early morning appointment, but I was able to take a video of her heart beat:
Looking For Inspiration During Your 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy?
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COVID didn’t hold me back from a spontaneous girl’s trip to Scottsdale, AZ with one of my best friends!
Despite the 108 degree weather, we lounged poolside, went for hikes, had a glamorous spa day, enjoyed cozy breakfasts in our AirBnB, and explored the food scene around town.
On the way back to the airport, I actually felt Baby Girl move! It felt like butterflies in my stomach- a feeling that felt different from my baseline, wasn’t painful, but was likely related to her squirming around =).
At my last OB appointment, it took a bit of time for them to find her heartbeat, and one of the comments from the APP was that I could have an anterior placenta (meaning- the placenta lies in front of the baby). Sometimes this can make detecting the baby’s first movements challenging.
Since that moment in the car, I hadn’t been convinced of feeling her again, but that was okay!
This week, I also began feeling like some of my pelvic ligaments were starting to stretch. When I would go from sitting to standing, I’d feel a heavy pressure in my pelvis and a stretching sensation when I’d try to straighten into a standing position.
Jogging on the treadmill was definitely not helpful…
I had begun transitioning my exercises to lower impact or lower intensity workouts to keep my body safe and to listen to what it was trying to tell me.
Yikes! Carb cravings hit me like a brick wall after dinner this week!
I had been fairly active early in the morning one day and tried everything I could to prioritize healthy fats and proteins, but despite my best intentions, the carb cravings came out of nowhere and wouldn’t stop.
I tried everything- drinking water, brushing my teeth, going for a long walk outside- but nothing seemed to abate it.
Eventually, I just gave in and ate mindfully.
I allowed myself grace and forgiveness for having this moment because to be honest- I had been eating really healthy and clean for my entire 2nd trimester. My body would handle adjusting to it!
From the weight standpoint, I was up 9 lbs at this week, which was still within a healthy and normal range for being roughly 50% through my pregnancy.
I started building back weight training into my exercise routines because I began feeling like my legs were starting to carry some of my extra weight (with loss of my tight tone that I had pre-pregnancy from all of my HIIT workouts).
Overall though, I have come to love and respect how my body has been changing.
As crazy as it sounds, I would sometimes forget about pregnancy because of how good I was feeling!
Well.. until it came down to putting my clothes on…ha!
This week was our anatomy ultrasound! As a first time mom, I have to say that watching your baby on a TV screen in an ultrasound room is very surreal.
For me at least, it had been really hard imagining exactly what it was I was doing as a mother. The fact that I have been growing, building, and creating vertebrae, lungs, diaphragm, CSF fluid, femurs, fingernails… everything… was mind blowing!
And yet, there she was- on the big screen- squirming around! The fact that my body has the capacity to build a human being is seriously CRAZY to grasp.
I know, I know… for those who aren’t moms or aren’t pregnant, it’s a statement that may sound a bit cliche.
I always thought it did.
“Yeah, yeah. Crazy process, I know.”
But it’s truly an extraordinary thing our body has the capacity to do.
If you’re trying to become a mom, or are currently pregnant and are waiting for your anatomy ultrasound, the second you see your beautiful baby squirming around when the ultrasound tech pushes on your belly with their probe, will flood you with emotions and love for your little gummy bear.
It sure did to me.
And the best part? The visitor restrictions for our hospital were lifted so my husband was able to attend the appointment with me!
Once my report came back that she was healthy and growing like she should (88th%), I was able to relax a bit and then get excited for my upcoming baby shower!
My extended family threw me a beautiful baby shower in Wisconsin.
Between the baby becoming more active with kicks and punches (that my family could now feel on my belly), the gift of seeing my family while staying socially distanced, the amazing food, desserts, and bounty of gifts… our little family of 3 felt SO loved!
If you’re shopping for some cute maternity dresses, I had great success shopping online at Pink Blush. The dresses were quality material, stretchy, comfortable, and affordable!
This week, my husband and I braved COVID, and boarded a plane to California for a little baby moon and anniversary trip (catch my blog post here!). To be cautious of exposure, we planned our trip around California National Parks and spent our time at AirBnBs that had fully stocked kitchens so we could order food To-Go for privacy at home.
When we arrived at LAX, we loaded into our rental car and made our way to Joshua Tree National Park.
We stayed in this incredible inflatable Igloo (with attached house) in the middle of the desert.
The following morning, we got up right at sunrise to sneak in a morning hike. Despite being 21 weeks pregnant, I made it through a 6.5 mile hike on the Panorama Loop Trail!
We brought 3L of water and drank every drop (as well as having lots of protein bars handy) and made it back in time before the heat really kicked up a notch.
We then drove north to Sequoia National Park and hiked another 9 miles the following day up to Moro Rock and along the Giant Tree Trail.
We could not believe how lucky we were with the weather during our hike! Everything was shaded and the temperature hovered at 75 degrees!
Having this sun protection was KEY in me surviving the long hike.
After two full days of hiking, we enjoyed some refreshing soaks in the rivers where our AirBnB was located- just 10 minutes outside of the park in Three Rivers, CA.
At first, I was a bit nervous about soaking in mountain water. But, I figured with the natural current pushing the water along, the chances of me developing an infection or cervicitis was probably minimal since the water was crystal clear and not stagnant.
Looking For Inspiration During Your 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy?
Or, Know Someone In This Stage Of Pregnancy?
Finally settled back at home, it felt nice to welcome routine back into my life. However, I think I jumped straight into doing-all-of-the-things the first day I was back and left myself feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Not the best way to start a week.
The next day, I allowed myself a break. I unplugged for the day, purged my pantry, got back on my Peloton bike, and reset my mindset.
I decided to reduce my intake of dairy and processed carbs like bread and snacks and immediately began to feel like my energy was stabilizing, my bloating was going down, and my weight gain was significantly stalled.
I prioritized clean vegetables, proteins, and fruits.
I skipped the unnecessary beverages like the occasional juices or nonalcoholic drinks and instead drank unsweetened almond milk and water.
Overall, this week was all about getting my body and mind back on track.
Still getting my sweaty Peloton workouts in!
On a separate note- my belly button has officially changed from an “in-y” to an “out-y”!
Unfortunately, despite wearing compression stockings, my varicose veins were really getting more pronounced- especially on my feet.
Work had been busy with long days standing in the operating room, so I ended up buying a lower extremity elevation pillow off Amazon to reduce my swelling and veins after getting home from work.
I started feeling like the veins in the arch of my foot were throbbing even just standing or walking around the house.
Rather than battling knee high compression stockings on my days off of work (and also in the middle of summer), I bought ankle brace compression sleeves that I could wear at home.
These especially came in handy while I was riding (or just finished riding) my Peloton bike!
Another shower, here I come!
This time, my destination was Massachusetts to visit my parents, old neighborhood, and visiting sister, brother-in-law, and nephew!
In full transparency however, I started becoming very squirrelly about traveling on an airplane.
I took my N95 mask with me (that I had from work), asked for extra space on the plane(s), wiped down my airplane seats and tray tables, and kept a solid 6 feet from other travelers at the airport(s).
Because I was traveling to Massachusetts, I had to collect a COVID test within 72 hours of traveling. Thankfully I tested negative, and returning home, remained asymptomatic (phew!).
Despite my anxieties about traveling, I had a BLAST spending quality time with some of my family and old friends and neighbors.
Baby Ariana sure is growing! And she is DEFINITELY loved!
Yup- we decided on her name!
Ok you guys… varicose veins are NO JOKE.
The ones in my feet had now gotten to the point where they throbbed and ached constantly throughout the day. I had to wear ankle / knee high compression socks all the time to give them relief.
The second I’d take them off, the veins would become super engorged.
I’d find myself having to walk or stand pressure offloading to the sides of my feet to offload weight on my arches.
On a positive note, I had been feeling GREAT from reducing my intake of dairy and processed gluten.
So far, at almost 26 weeks, I was up 15 lbs.
From the workout standpoint, my goals were to hit the Peloton for 30-40 minutes per workout at a moderate to high intensity.
These workouts were definitely making me drip with sweat!
On days when I wanted to incorporate strength training, I would do 20-30 minutes on the bike, and 20-30 minutes of moderate to high intensity strength training.
Wearing an abdominal binder to help with pelvic support when lifting weights was a huge relief. I was able to continue to lift similar weights (for certain moves) that I could pre-pregnancy, but other moves required dropping my normal weight down by 5 lbs. to help reduce the amount of abdominal straining it was causing.
Here’s the abdominal binder I wear. I had actually cut off one of the panels off in order to wear it more comfortably in my lower abdomen / pelvis (to prevent it from riding up).
Super proud moment this week….!
I ran a mile.
Well, it was more like a jog, and it took me way longer than normal, but HEY! I’ll take it!
I felt the repercussions of the high impact from the treadmill linger a few days after, but I loved how being back on the treadmill was making my body feel.
I finished my workout off with a 30 minute leg workout and was able to lift my normal weights.
I had a follow-up OB appointment this week where I explained my main concern to be my varicose veins- especially in my right foot.
After looking at my leg, my OB prescribed thigh high compression stockings. His concern was that the ankle / knee high socks would encourage pooling of blood in my veins that would eventually cause a back up to my pelvis.
It wouldn’t end well, he hinted.
This week, baby Ariana sure did show off her dance moves!
Especially at night when I was able to get my feet up. It almost felt like she was doing somersaults in my belly the way she was moving around so actively inside.
This week, I noticed my weight staying pretty stable. No significant ups or downs.
Overall, I’m at a steady 16+ lbs this far into the game.
My belly button has definitely started protruding out more noticeably in my clothes, and I feel like my belly is getting bigger and has been projecting outwardly more.
I’ve also begun to have right-sided sciatic pain.
Thankfully, the pain has just been localized to my sacroiliac joint without radiation down my leg, but it’s definitely most noticeable when I go from the seated to standing position.
My belly has also been getting in the way of day-to-day activities. Being able to bend over – especially to put on my compression stockings- is becoming more and more challenging.
This week, I had to take my oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) back at my OB’s office at the lab.
I was dreading this drink because I had heard horror stories of women feeling nauseous and sick for the entire day after guzzling the pure sugar cocktail.
I wasn’t sure how to approach this test.
I didn’t necessarily need to fast prior to my appointment (which was first thing in the morning at 8am), but I fasted anyway knowing that I would be chugging 50g of sugar in one quick sitting and would count the drink essentially as my morning breakfast.
The Glucola drink basically tasted like flat orange soda. Surprisingly, I didn’t get sick from the drink, and my lab-work (thankfully!) came back with a glucose of 118.
As long as your glucose is < 136 during this OGTT, you’re in good shape.
While I was at my OB appointment, I also had a urine sample and blood work drawn. They tested me for urinary tract infection, syphilis, and anemia / signs of infection. All were clear! They also poked and prodded me with my Tdap and flu vaccines.
Looking For Inspiration During Your 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy?
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That’s A Wrap!
So there you have it! My second trimester pregnancy, from weeks 14-27.
- Did you have similar symptoms?
- Different symptoms?
Comment below this blog post and share your story!