Posts Tagged ‘second trimester’

My Pregnancy: Week 27

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

My Pregnancy: Week 27Whether I believe it or not another trimester is in the books! It’s both a quick blur and mesmerizing that so much has happened in the last three or so months. The second trimester brought us through the tail-end of summer and the entirety of autumn. And as the highs of summer heat leave and the lows of winter arrive, I offer mostly highs and a few lows of this second trimester.

Goodbye early symptoms! Rejoice! This pregnancy the nausea stuck around an extra week or two. I was a little more tearful than usual during the first half of the second trimester, but that went away by week 20. I also recall being more tired than usual a few days here and a week there during this second trimester. I chalk that up to a bout of sickness that struck our house over a couple of weeks, raising two littles while being pregnant, and—you know—being pregnant. It takes effort to grow the babe and sometimes extra sleep is required. Overall though, nagging symptoms were relatively few and short-lived. I feel heartburn, aching back, and sleepless nights quickly approaching.

The comfort of the bump! The phase of “pregnant or too much lunch” ushered away by week 20, but the comfort of a small belly still existed through the second trimester. Hello maternity clothes and comfortable living. I know the third trimester will soon give me that beached whale feeling, unable to easily roll over or get off the couch.

It’s a girl! It’s a girl! The excitement of finding out the baby’s sex was the ultimate high of this trimester. I appreciate people who wait until birth to find out baby’s sex. I personally fall in the camp that thinks a surprise is a surprise and joy no matter when you find out. Again I exclaim it’s a girl! We were excited to know and fill in our family picture a little more and finally got to go through all those old baby clothes that filled totes in the corner of our bedroom.

In honesty I struggle to think of lows. The lingering symptoms for a few extra weeks, responding to people’s random comments about the sex of my child, and the awareness that this is our last time to have a second trimester come to mind when I consider lows. I must admit my body takes to pregnancy pretty easily and I try to just go with the flow when it doesn’t. I know not everyone experiences pregnancy this way.

Fears are the other thing that lingered but mostly dissipated with this trimester. In early weeks and months of pregnancy I lived well aware of miscarriage risks further accentuated given my previous work in hospitals around grief and loss. Those fears mostly went away. As each twenty-something week ticks away, the risks associated with premature birth also lower, day by day. In a few more weeks I’m sure those fears will mostly fall away to be replaced by common mild concerns around making it full-term, with the successful birth of both healthy mom and baby. None of these keep me up at night though. For all of this I am thankful.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and three. She enjoys the finer things in life, like compression socks and a full night’s rest.

Tags: week 27, second trimester, pregnancy, sex, gender, pregnancy symptoms, birth fears

My Pregnancy: Week 26

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Week 26The B-Bump. I managed to get through two pregnancies without knowing this terminology, but it’s a thing evidently. The evidence includes a quick Google search and a look in the mirror at my profile. Through the course of my adult life I bounced between a marathon-running size 10 and a less active size 16. In all things I’ve always had a waist that sat a little more trim around the belly button.

I even have a little bit of a b-bump when not pregnant. It’s how my body distributes weight. For me it comes alongside perks like the hourglass figure that I very much like. It’s unclear to me if all body “types” endorse the b-bump or if only certain “shapes” tend to distribute weight with this double curvature around the abdomen. Whatever the case, I’m left coping with a few feelings around the issue.

There’s what I will call the perfect belly media blitz–the preggo version of flat abs. It’s hanging on the wall of your OBGYN’s office, saturated throughout any magazine associated with pregnancy and parenting, and in every store that caters to preggos. It’s that “perfect” D shape— a round, snug, stretch mark-less belly. Don’t get me wrong. Yay for those of you who have beautiful pregnant bellies such as those. Most of the time I think my belly is beautiful, too.

I struggle when I put on clothes. Snug shirts just don’t fit in particularly flattering ways. I can say I am confident and proud of my baby bump, but my wardrobe of mostly flowing shirts rather than fitted tell another story. At 26 weeks, my B is growing out into the more traditional D-shaped belly that adorns advertisements. Many women keep their B through their entire pregnancy.

What bothers me more than the B part is the extra flesh that droops a little below my belly. Further Google searching tells me this is an apron. I must confess there must also be a little fat in there as it jiggles a bit when unrestrained by supportive clothing. For me it’s not a lot. In fact, it’s partly just my body shape and evidence of two previous pregnancies. It’s like a small mommy pooch while also pregnant. It is this little bit of jiggle that makes me avoid below-the-belly maternity pants as they are less comfortable. Those fitted shirts show my baby bump tapering off instead of quickly coming to an end in a D shape.

So there it is. Somehow feeling baby kick as I write about this makes me love my belly, in whatever shape, all the more. She reminds me to keep perspective. It would be most helpful if she would kick around the time I’m dressing and undressing to shower as those are the times that I notice and dwell on such things. Until then, I say bellies unite, no matter what letter of the alphabet you resemble!

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and three. She enjoys the finer things in life, like compression socks and a full night’s rest.

My Pregnancy: Week 25

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

My Pregnancy: Week 25It’s time to get practical. I’ve been feeling my way through all these weeks up until now. The most practical thing I’ve accomplished is sifting through old bins of baby clothes. Let’s get real, though. This pregnancy ain’t getting any longer and things need to get done. Month 8 will likely involve getting the house ready for baby, but there are things I can tackle now. If you’re preggo too, let’s see what we can check off our lists together!

Update or make a will. If you’re like me, with not much to your name, a simple online search for a template and your state’s requirements might suffice. If you have more to your name or just feel more confident with outside help, seeking out legal assistance is useful. Ask friends and family for resources, check with your or hubby’s work to see if benefits include access to a lawyer, or just pull out the old phone book. We have a template that we will complete, notarize, and file with our county clerk. We will then supply copies to our executor and the people we have chosen to take guardianship of our children in the case that anything should happen to us.

Pick out baby’s pediatrician. This time around is quite simple for us. We already have a doctor for our two children, and he will welcome this baby into his care as soon as we do. For those who don’t have kiddos yet, choosing your pediatrician now will save you stress in those first couple of days in the hospital. It’s helpful to nail this down as both the hospital and your insurance may need this information before baby can be discharged. Again, ask friends and family for resources. Check your local hospital to see if they hold an open house at any point in the year. You may be able to meet your doctor before baby’s birth. You can look online at reviews, though I usually take them with a grain of salt. Impassioned people leave reviews far more often than happy, busy people. I also suggest calling an office to see how long in advance you have to book an appointment. We finally changed pediatricians after repeatedly needing to book 1-2 months in advance due to the doctor’s full schedule.

Think about packing that hospital bag. If you’re having a no-complications pregnancy, you may not need to actually pack this bag yet. I haven’t. I do have an idea of what I will put in the bag though. With our first two pregnancies I overpacked. This time around I know a few changes of soft, stretchy clothes, a deck of cards, a light book, nursing pillow, comfy nursing bra, and two outfits for baby are all I really need. Hubby can grab anything else I need as he makes trips home each day. Things outside the bag include toiletries, camera, USB cord for my computer, my computer, and wallet. Ask your friends and what they found helpful to have in their bag and begin your list for when you eventually pack that bag.

Complete necessary testing. This may include a gestational diabetes screening, blood work to see if you’ll need a Rhogam shot, or further diabetes testing. Know these things will happen in the next few weeks and your appointments may take more time than usual or you may have to schedule an additional appointment.

Consider your birth plan and prep. Delivery is not moving further away. If you have interest in taking birthing classes, ask what your hospital or doctor or midwife’s office offers. If you have a particular birthing method you have researched and want to follow, like The Bradley Method, set up those classes now if you have not done so already. Also consider breastfeeding classes. I suggest reading about alternative experiences of birth. I planned on a natural birth. I am now planning on my third c-section. I think knowing the good and the bad about various types of birth can increase anxiety now, but may help you feel more at ease now and if you find yourself in labor needing to deviate from your plan. I recognize the difficult experiences many people have with epidurals, Pitocin, c-sections, and other hot-button issues. I encourage you to also seek out people who have had success with those interventions. I appreciate my first c-section as it likely saved my life and baby’s after 19 hours of labor when complications emerged. I will write about my birth plan with c-section in the coming weeks.

Take a deep breath. Really. Do it right now. You got this, mama. Repeat as needed.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and three. She enjoys the finer things in life, like compression socks and a full night’s rest.

My Pregnancy: Week 24

Monday, February 1st, 2016

week 24I have a bent toward minimalism. I previously shared my inclination toward being low-key and keeping minimalism or just plain practicality in mind when it comes to babies. I, of course, must admit my deep love of Target with its perky red walls, coupon apps, and tidy surroundings. My preschooler knows when we pull into the “bullseye store” an icee may soon arrive in his hands, a special treat. Walking its aisles on Saturday morning while hubby is hanging out with the kids at home brings deep, indescribable satisfaction to my soul.

Let’s get back to minimalism though. With the first pregnancy the excitement of it all is quite overwhelming. I am, to clear the air, very excited about this third pregnancy. It’s different though. The newness of everything isn’t dampened but rather more relaxed. Like my doctor said about this pregnancy so many weeks ago, it’s not my first rodeo. When asked what we “need,” I can say essentially nothing. Maybe some patience if you have some to spare. In general people are looking for more tangible things. At family’s request I put together a registry at the bullseye store for treats.

While my heart beats strongest for simplicity, I also like giving others the opportunity to celebrate in this pregnancy. I think celebrating in pregnancy does not require gifts, and many of them agree. But gifts are fun, and I don’t want to take away from their chance to give in the way they enjoy. Plus we don’t have many pink or purple things that the boys wore. Adding a few of those to our collection is useful to replace the “little buck” and other gender-specific clothing we paid forward to another family.

This minimalist bent also comes out in my excitement of it all. I don’t do big sex or gender reveals, intricate pregnancy announcements, or overly creative portraiture to capture my growing belly bump. Again, I’ve nothing against people who invest their time in these endeavors if they bring satisfaction and enjoyment to their hearts. All those things make me feel very tired. Hubby and I announced our first pregnancy to Facebook friends by changing our profile pictures to a snapshot of a bottle of Preggo brand spaghetti sauce. Most of them knew anyway. Done.

This also speaks on the subject of milestones. Maybe I’m now speaking not so much of minimalism as familiarity. As we’ve been pregnant before we already know most of the ins and outs of it. My pregnancies have all been typical or “normal,” so I refresh my mind each week by scanning an article on baby’s development this week. Otherwise though, I find my thoughts pretty chill. I remember staying up late with the previous pregnancies research single strollers, then double strollers, car seats, cloth diapers, carriers, and more. In part, I don’t have to do that now as I’ve already done that legwork in previous pregnancies. Now the word that comes to mind is abide. I am soaking in the presence of this baby in all the most wonderful ways I can, biding my time until this last little one arrives.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding joy in the simple kick in her belly, the tightening of her waistband. 

My Pregnancy: Week 23

Friday, January 29th, 2016

week 23Hubby is a fantastic dad to our boys. Pregnancy looks different for him though. This has been the case for all three pregnancies. Baby’s kicks are consistent and somewhat predictable but still soft and not predictable enough. We’ve talked about some of the struggles he’s faced in bonding with the kids and what has helped.

Feeling the baby move is “really cool,” says hubby, but it became something special in the final two months when kicks were strong enough to leave bruising on my internal organs (at least it felt that way). We’d lie down to sleep with my belly to his back which helped him, without effort, feel more of my belly until babe would eventually kick hubby. Cuddle time for us as we drifted to sleep and closeness with baby. Two birds with one stone.

Hubby went to very few appointments in our previous pregnancies and that continues with this one.  Taking off work for such routine visits seems unnecessary when we need to save those days for after baby arrives. He did have one day off though, and going to the appointment was special for him. Seeing the doctor and our routine, which is the same old routine to me, was special for him. Dads also have a relationship with the doctor or midwife that is unique and can be nurtured more or less depending on everyone’s willingness to participate. Hubby still recounts the moments before our previous babe’s birth where he and our doctor “psyched themselves up,” as hubby gowned up right outside of the operating room.

He’s taking note of the bonding he gets to do with our boys as I become more pregnant and continuing on after the birth of #3. I’ll breastfeed, just as with the other two, so his opportunities to bond while feeding are less often. With our first babe I attended a university class one night a week, so he always had that one night to one-man the evening. He still recounts it as a special time for he and our oldest. With babe #2 I took the effort to sometimes get up and pump in the night while hubby fed the babe a bottle. To me this appeared very inefficient as one of us could be asleep, but I recognized the importance of this effort to my hubby and babe. It was their time, in the quiet of a night or two a week, to get to know each other.

This time around we may build in a time when I get some special time with our boys out of the house while he gets to bond and one-man the afternoon with baby. Hubby will be bonding plenty with the older two, especially in those early weeks after my c-section and living with a newborn. The boys will get plenty of his attention while our baby girl gets mine. Me getting away from baby from time to time is important for our other children too though. Even if it’s just to the playground down the road or a trip to get an ice cream cone and laugh at silly conversation.

Last, I have spoken numerous times on the topic of sex and gender as related to this pregnancy and our baby. Now that we know she’s a girl, we both are processing the information in different ways. I’m trying to give him space to do that however he needs to. He’s nervous about having a baby “different” than him but also excited to have a little girl. For me, she seems so familiar but I am conflicted sometimes about the world I’m bringing her into (a sexist, misogynistic one) in a way that did not hit home when I was pregnant with our boys. We talk about these thoughts, fears, and excitement we both hold in different ways. The end result in almost all of these situations is more bonding with the babe, our boys, and each other.

Annie is a mom of a toddler and preschooler who like to give baby a hug and kiss each day. Meanwhile mommy is bidding goodbye to seeing her feet while standing up.

Tags: week 23, second trimester, pregnancy, baby bonding, dads, family, sex, gender