Long time no pregnancy update. Oops! Somehow the past eight weeks got away from me. To be honest, I was waiting until I had something substantial to share with you, and apparently that ended up being our 20 week ultrasound (which went great!). Today I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of the first half of my second trimester.
A lot has changed since my last update, most noticeably the size of my baby bump. Baby Boy continues to grow right on track and with that growth I have bumped out in a big way, especially in the past couple of weeks. This photo doesn’t really do it justice, since I am wearing a loose shirt. It is indisputably a baby bump and strangers have started commenting on it. Huzzah for no longer looking like maybe I’ve just gotten a bit chubby! I suffered from low self-confidence in regards to my body for the first half of this pregnancy, but looking truly pregnant these past couple of weeks has definitely helped me feel better.
The near-constant nausea I experienced throughout my first trimester finally lifted around 14-15 weeks, which has been a huge blessing. It’s not fun feeling sick all day! With those icky feelings waning, my appetite surged and I was able to eat basically anything I wanted for the next six weeks. That fun fest came to a screeching halt right at the 20 week mark when heartburn stormed in fast and furious.
My best defense for heartburn is a combination of thoughtful eating and carefully timed supplements. I find it best to eat mini-meals for the most part, with my largest meal at lunch time. I tend to eat two small breakfasts, about two hours apart, a larger meal for lunch, a small mid afternoon snack, and a very light supper. I don’t typically eat after 6 PM these days, because that’s when I’m prime for some wicked heartburn. Once it sets in there’s not much I seem to be able to do but wait it out. I also avoid certain food triggers like pizza and anything very oily or spicy. If I want something sweet, I try to have it during the first half of the day, as sugar (especially chocolate) is another heartburn trigger.
In terms of supplements, I take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar internally in the early afternoon. If I feel like heartburn may be an issue later in the day I’ll take a couple of preventative Tums before and after my last meal. I’ve also found that staying well hydrated helps a lot in heartburn prevention. It’s best not to gulp a lot of water all at once. I try to space out my water intake as evenly as possible throughout the day. These tactics have helped keep the heartburn under control for the most part. It’s still something that affects me on a daily basis, but it’s manageable.
I have had some food cravings and aversions so far with this trimester. For the first 6 weeks, I was really into fizzy water with lime (a no-no now with heartburn, sadly), pretzels with hummus, and cheddar cheese. My appetite changed a lot with the onset of heartburn over these past few weeks. Now I find myself looking forward to hot chocolate and cereal. Milk is actually known to help with heartburn so it makes sense those are things I’m craving right now. As for aversions, fish is definitely way out of the picture. I find myself less interested in eating any animal proteins unless they’re well disguised within my food. I’ve also been off eggs lately, which was something I ate daily during my first trimester when I felt too sick to eat much else.
One constant from my first trimester is how tired I continue to feel on a daily basis. I was hoping to have more energy as so many do with the onset of the second trimester but it just hasn’t happened. Oh well, every pregnancy is different! And I am quite fortunate not to have any major concerns so far.
I’ve also been on quite the emotional rollercoaster throughout this entire pregnancy. I don’t remember feeling quite so…hormonal (for lack of a better word) when I was pregnant with my daughter, CC. I’ve had some super down days, mostly in the last half of my first trimester and first few weeks of my second trimester. I can’t even pinpoint real life triggers, they just seem to come out of nowhere, which is why I refer to them as “hormonal” days. Fortunately, I’ve felt much more grounded and level these past few weeks. Hopefully that sticks!
Baby Boy at 20 weeks. He moved around a lot during the scan so we didn’t get the clearest photos, but just look at that face! He has his Daddy’s nose, just like CC.
We had our 20 week ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, which is the “big deal” scan where they measure every part of the fetus to check for issues. Since I will be 35 at the time of the baby’s due date (which is in early February – my birthday is in late January), I am technically classified as “Advanced Maternal Age” or AMA for short. This means I am subject to a few more in-depth tests, since there is a higher risk for issues at age 35 and older. My doctor requested I have a level 2 ultrasound for the 20 week scan, which they administer in the hospital with higher tech equipment and a specialist.
I was nervous about this appointment and not because I was worried that anything would be wrong with the baby. As anxious as I was about that with CC, it really wasn’t a concern for me this go around. This time I was more worried that it wouldn’t be like the scans I was used to in my doctor’s office, where the friendly sonographers talk me through everything and print out pictures of the baby as keepsakes. Since this test was in the hospital, I was expecting a colder, more clinical experience where I wouldn’t get a lot of information or get to see the baby.
I was pleasantly surprised to have quite the opposite experience as the one I had feared. We saw an ultrasound technician (my husband Don came with me) who first performed a transvaginal ultrasound to check the state of my cervix (all good there). Then, she spent about 30 minutes measuring the baby using an abdominal ultrasound (over the belly). She was super friendly and walked us through the entire process, explaining what she was measuring and how everything looked (again, all looked good!). She took about a thousand pictures for me to take home. After that, she left the room for about 10 minutes to chat with the doctor specialist, who then came in and did his own ultrasound for about 15 minutes. He was also super friendly and quite forthcoming with information. He printed us even more photos, including some 3D images of the baby’s face, and gave us a CD of the images as well.
It ended up being a very relaxeed and enjoyable experience and I relished being able to see our son for so long. He was quite the jumping bean, as I knew he would be based on how active he is in general, which is actually helpful for this particular scan where they want to measure every part of the fetus. Because of this, however, we didn’t get the clearest photos, but I love the images we do have to save for posterity. Baby Boy is measuring right on track with his due date and is in great health! I will return to the hospital starting at 36 weeks for a weekly stress test and ultrasound based on my AMA classification and due to the fact that I had a breech baby and low amniotic fluid with CC. I’m glad to be able to return to such a friendly place for these tests in the home stretch.
All in all, life is good. I’m doing well and enjoying my mama life very much. CC is a bundle of energy and such a blessing in my life. Baby Boy is healthy and quite active. I’ve been able to feel him move since 13 weeks. I started to be able to feel him from the outside of my belly starting around 20 weeks (Don got to feel him move, too!). One of the best parts of my day is noticing him kicking and taking a moment to hold my belly and talk to him. I love him so much already!
I talk more about the past eight weeks in this video if you’re interested:
I hope you enjoyed this update. I’ll be sure to check in again once I have more to share! I appreciate your kind words and support. I love sharing this journey with you!