They say the second trimester is a time of calm in the middle of your pregnancy journey. I believe it is, for the most part, true! While the second trimester isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, it is definitely the stage where I finally felt happy to pregnant!
Quite a lot happens in your second trimester. So I’m breaking it up into three phases that were each fairly distinct. And, of course, I’ll be sharing tips and advice on how to deal with the things the second part of your pregnancy might throw at you.
Phase 1 – The Transition
This concept that pregnancy is split up evenly in 3 parts is really just a construct we invented to make it easy to keep track and generalize. Your body will go at its own pace, regardless. I definitely noticed this as I was technically in my second trimester already, but still reeling from symptoms I had in the first. Basically my nausea and vomiting peaked during the two weeks or so of transition. Constipation, however, is basically gone! Yay! Bloating stuck around for a while longer, but not nearly as bad as in the first trimester.
One day, though, the clouds will break and the sun will shine through! The nausea and vomiting will be gone! Unless you’re very unfortunate…and it persists throughout your pregnancy. In which case, you have my deepest condolences.
Phase 2 – The Calm…with Interruptions
One of the best phases of pregnancy! You can finally enjoy most foods again, you have more energy to get stuff done (like preparing baby’s room!), and it’s smooth sailing until the third trimester! Ok, no. I lied. There are a couple things that will come up that are most unpleasant.
Aches & Pains – Chances are you’re starting to show that you’re pregnant. Well, guess what? It’s because your muscles are relaxing and stretching as baby gets bigger. Your boobs are getting biggers, your organs are getting pushed around, and along with that comes muscle aches and pains. You may even start feeling pain in your feet from standing too long or not wearing supportive shoes. These are, however, minor pains compared to what comes next.
Round Ligament Pain – That pain you feel across your abdomen, into your hips and pelvic bones? That pain that doesn’t go away whether you stand, sit or lay down? That’s round ligament pain. You might experience a few days of it. Unfortunately for me, one night it was extremely acute and I spent most of the night sitting in an arm chair. Crying. But it doesn’t compare to what comes next.
Heartburn – Never thought it would be such a big deal. I myself had never experienced heartburn before pregnancy. Well, the day it came, it hit me like a truck. Imagine getting stabbed in the chest with an invisible flaming sword. That’s what it feels like at it’s worse. I brought it upon myself, I suppose. We were watching a movie after dinner and my husband got snackish. He brought over chips and salsa.
Three tips to avoid to prevent bad heartburn are:
- eating late
- greasy food
- spicy food
So basically my husband set me up. I don’t know if I have felt worse agony in my life as of yet. I spent, yet another, sleepless night sitting up and crying. My husband even went out just before midnight to a pharmacy that is open late to fetch me Tums. I ate the limit for pregnant women (which is 9 by the way) and it didn’t even make a dent. It was too late. The volcano had erupted.
This was only one night though. Afterwards, the heartburn was much more manageable and my doctor even prescribed me something better than Tums, though Tums work great too most of the time.
Constant Urination – If your baby is like mine, they will enjoy cuddling on your bladder. Say hello to the toilet more times than you care to count! You will get frustrated, and yes you’ll notice that you don’t actually have to pee, but unfortunately your bladder doesn’t know any better. Any pressure on it can only be interpreted in one way. But don’t worry, the baby will ease up on it towards the end!
I swear, though, that’s the worst of it! Apart from about a handful of days where new symptoms hit you, most of this phase is super pleasant! In fact, I basically had the worst of it within a couple of weeks, and after it felt like weeks would go by and I had nothing much to report at all.
Phase 3 – Growing Bigger & Heavier
It’s really lame that your desire to prepare for baby grows as you become less physically apt to do it. I already mentioned the sore feet as your weight changes your center of gravity and puts pressure in places it didn’t before. You also become more breathless as baby pushes organs into your diaphragm. As the third trimester gets closer, you will go through another transition phase where you are very aware of how physically different you are! Sleep gets harder, sciatic pain is more easily triggered (boy do I get it bad when I bend over too much!) and your feet start to swell up. Oh joy!
Tips for this stage? Pace yourself. Figure out your limits and don’t push yourself, because a miserable mommy is no good to anyone. Get comfy shoes, learn some prenatal stretches, and keep doing what you do!
The Highs of Pregnancy
Just like in my First trimester post, I want to end on a positive note. Apart from the second trimester being the easiest part of pregnancy (with it’s own challenges of course) there is SO MUCH to look forward to during this stage of your journey!
- Seeing Baby – there is at least one ultrasound scheduled during this trimester (in Canada, unfortunately, it’s pretty much the only one) that is very detailed. They take a look at all major organs and measure to see that baby is developing in a healthy manner. This gives you a solid 15 minutes to oggle at your beautiful baby! It’s so cool to see the brain, the bones, the hands and feet! Yes, there is in fact a human growing inside of you!
- Finding Out Baby’s Sex – While not all parents are the same, Wayne and I were DYING to know our baby’s gender pretty much from the beginning. We even held a gender reveal party to share the exciting news with friends and family. The moment we found out we were having a little girl was so special for both of us.
- Feeling Baby – the privilege we women have of carrying new life comes with it’s special rewards. No one else but mama can feel the subtle flutters and pokes of baby’s first noticeable movements! It took at least 4 weeks for my husband to finally feel the baby kick, and now we can even see her move! Granted, I have a very chill baby, while others have crazy kickboxers. Still, I know what could possibly trigger my baby to start moving about, and I just love observing her movements!
- Talking to Baby – by the late stages of the second trimester, your baby can hear you pretty good! So talk or sing to your baby! Play music for your baby! For the record, there isn’t much proof that Mozart does anything to stimulate more intelligence in your baby. But experiment with the different genres you love! Maybe baby will love them too once they’re outside the womb.
- Preparing For Baby – as you start preparing the nursery, buying a couple of essentials, building your registry and doing research on baby products, it all becomes more and more real! The excitement just keeps building. A baby gets bigger, moves more, your mind and focus on your child grows. And your love for your baby grows along with it.
While I’m a bit sad the second trimester is over, due to how much more pleasant it was to the first, now I’m onto the my third trimester! And that means that my baby is almost here!
Read More: My First Trimester Pregnancy Journey
What was your second trimester like? Did you get to experience the sort of “calm” that most women seem to? Do you have any questions about the second trimester that I didn’t touch on? There is so much to talk about! So don’t be shy, leave a comment or question down below!