Second Trimester Recap
I’m excited to share my recap of the second trimester of my first pregnancy! This post includes everything from how my diet has been, my symptoms, and more.
I cannot believe I’m in the third trimester and that we’ll be meeting our baby in April! It still feels far away, but really it’s not at all. So much has happened in the past three months. I’ve fallen more and more in love every day, my body has changed and keeps doing amazing things that I never even imagined it would, our baby has grown a bunch, and my day to day life already looks very different than it did before pregnancy. So, I wanted to give an update on the second trimester! What’s working for me, struggles, symptoms, and more!
First, I wanted to note a few things…
- If you missed my first-trimester recap, be sure to read that first! There, I talk more about fertility, getting pregnant, first trimester symptoms like nausea and food aversions, and more that I won’t be addressed as much in this post.
- Pregnancy is a hard topic for so many for a myriad of reasons. If you’d rather skip any pregnancy content from me, I 100% want you to protect your energy first and foremost!
- I am not a doctor or a pregnancy expert in any way. None of this is medical advice. This is my own journey, so please always consult a doctor for your own needs.
Anatomy scan & gestational diabetes test
We did our anatomy scan at 18 weeks which all came back great! I also did my gestational diabetes test around 26 1/2 weeks and passed.
My birth center did the test a bit differently and allowed me to pick a fruit juice of my choice rather than drinking the sweet drink that most OB offices give out, so I was very grateful for that.
Finding out the gender
We did the sneak peek gender test around 10 weeks, but I was not great at administering the test for myself, so I was iffy about the results. However, we confirmed at our anatomy scan that baby is a boy! I actually always wanted to be a boy mom and always felt like I would have boys, so I was thrilled. Baby boy does have a name, but we’re waiting to share it until he’s born.
Traveling in the second trimester
We went on our babymoon to Leavenworth, WA at 22 weeks, and it was an absolute dream! The flight wasn’t that bad, and the tickets were cheap enough to be able to book much better seats so I would be more comfortable. I felt like traveling with Daniel during this period was perfect. I wasn’t really nauseous anymore, and I had decent energy to walk around town.
Here are a couple of tips I have on taking a babymoon in the second trimester:
- 22 weeks was a sweet spot for me! I went and met Daniel on a business trip in Key West when I was 27 weeks and it was already pretty uncomfortable. It was hard to sleep, harder to move around, and the weather took a bigger toll on me.
- Go somewhere that you can walk around a lot… preferably not too crowded either. I’ve been trying to walk often and Leavenworth was perfect for walking around while not overdoing it. I certainly wasn’t skiing or anything like that, so having a chill place to stroll was super necessary.
- Opt for somewhere where you can eat out a lot. We got a room with a full kitchen in case I wanted to cook, but I really just wanted to relax on our babymoon. Typically, I bring things like cans of tuna and lunch meat to eat, which I haven’t been having during pregnancy, so having places to eat out was huge! Do some research on where you’d like to eat out, and take that into consideration! Leavenworth, WA was great, and places like Austin, Portland, etc. all have great healthy food scenes.
Though it’s not always the case with every person, I’ve been blessed that my Hashimoto’s has been very manageable during my pregnancy. I’ve worked closely with my doctor to make sure it stays that way, but I have not had any issues.
Here’s what I’ve been doing…
- Working with my doctor and keeping my midwives in the loop. My midwives are amazing, but thyroid management still needs to be handled with a doctor. I continue to stay in communication with her.
- Testing often. As my doctor recommended, I’m testing about every 6-8 weeks. Luckily, I’ve had no issues and have only seen my numbers normalize more as I go.
- Taking my prescribed medication. I don’t like talking about what I take here since everyone is so different and I don’t want to confuse anyone that’s earlier in their journey to take what I do as a standard rather than listening to their doctor’s advice. I’m not a doctor and my journey is still my own, and by no means perfect. But know that I do take medication.
- Keeping my diet nourishing. I talk more about my diet below!
Managing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder after struggling for years and found a lot of healing in therapy. Using the tools I learned in therapy, I’ve been able to really experience a lot of progress. However, pregnancy brought up a lot for me.
Being responsible for the growth and well-being of a brand new person brought along a whole new set of triggers that I wasn’t even recognizing yet. My OCD mostly manifests in “checking” and checking related compulsions. I found myself doing things like checking expiration dates over and over, checking the temperature of meat multiple times, checking pregnancy advice on the internet non-stop, and even new issues pop up with contamination fears and compulsions.
I didn’t even realize what this behavior was at first, but I was really struggling. When my husband brought it up to me, I started to put the pieces together and went back to what I learned in therapy. Awareness of my mental illness has been huge for me and combining that with the tools I’ve learned in therapy, it’s definitely gotten more manageable in the past several weeks.
However, I do not have it all figured out and can only assume that actually having baby boy may very well bring up a lot for me all over again. I’m thankful to have a good therapist (info linked it the post above) who I can turn to for more support if and when I need it.
What exercise has looked like
Right before I got pregnant, I was in a nice workout routine and feeling good! I was focusing on classes that were mostly power/speed and focused on getting my heart rate up like kickboxing, boot camp classes, etc. Then the first-trimester hit and I was down. I couldn’t even walk around the house without throwing up!
By the time I started feeling better, my midwife was a little concerned about me jumping right back into the fairly higher energy workouts I was doing before that weren’t necessarily what I wanted to be focusing on in pregnancy. I wound up starting pilates but found myself having to modify too much to justify the cost. So today, I’m focusing on light hand-weight and bodyweight exercises at home (like squats, lunges, etc.) and lots of walking! My midwives told me that it’s really important to get my pelvis moving and just focus on building strength and stamina for birth, so those are working for me right now.
What my diet has looked like
Lots of folks have been asking if I’m eating AIP while pregnant, and I am not. I had a lot of reintroductions before I was pregnant, and I’ve found myself tolerating more foods since I’ve gotten pregnant.
As mentioned above, many women (but not all women) do experience remission of autoimmune issues during pregnancy, thus I’ve been able to tolerate more foods as a result. As far as figuring out what I could and could not tolerate, I really just listened to my body. Grains and dairy were calling my name and I’ve never had serious issues with a lot of these things in the past, so it was worth it to me to try.
However, it’s very much worth noting that my diet is still fairly similar to what it was before. I am very aware that autoimmune issues can seriously flare after pregnancy, so I’m not eating everything under the sun by any means as I know my body doesn’t handle that well.
Here’s what my boundaries look like right now…
What I’ve been able to tolerate that I don’t usually have…
- Cheese. Especially Gouda and babybel cheese. I am obsessed and eat it daily.
- Seeds. I usually don’t eat a lot of seeds but am regularly eating things like flax and chia.
- More grains. This opens up a lot of opportunities for things like gluten-free bread, etc. and has been the biggest change for me.
What I still currently avoid in my diet
- Cows milk & yogurt (still gives me issues)
- Egg whites (though I eat yolks often)
- Canola oil and all other seed oils
- Many tree nuts (I have an allergy to most nuts except for almonds)
- Too much caffeine (I only drink decaf coffee and have a caffeinated tea on occasion)
Here’s some of what I’ve been eating most often…
I tend to just eat whatever for breakfast and eat a lot of what you’ll see below for breakfast and lunch. But my favorite “breakfast” type meal is a breakfast sandwich with bread srsly sourdough sandwich buns, scrambled egg yolks, sauerkraut, bacon, and pesto with a side of fruit… yum!
Lunches & Dinners that I eat often
- Ground beef, rice & broccoli (I loved this combination in the second trimester)
- Shrimp tacos (I actually weigh out the amount of fish I eat each week to make sure I don’t exceed recommended amounts)
- Salads with sardines
- Butternut bison chili (in my cookbook)
- Italian chicken nuggets & tenders with nomato sauce
- Chicken teriyaki
- Gouda and babybel cheese
- Bread srsly or Siete tortillas with almond butter and jam
- Simple mills crunchy cookies
What I really focus on with my diet…
- Getting lots of water
- Hitting my daily protein goal of 80g minimum
- Getting veggies daily
- Giving myself some grace and letting myself enjoy food as I always do!
What my second-trimester symptoms have looked…
I covered this more extensively in my first-trimester recap, and man… my nausea was bad. It started to taper off maybe around 18-20 weeks, but I still went into the first-trimester throwing up fairly often.
I talked about my decision to take doctor recommended medication for my nausea (details in the first-trimester recap linked above) because it was at the point where I had episodes where I could not keep any food or water down early in my pregnancy, and I was heading towards a hospital bed fast at that rate. I had one particularly bad day where nothing would stay down and I was dealing with serious hunger cramps and dizziness… which is not okay. I accepted the conventional medicine help, and though it didn’t erase my nausea (I was still puking around twice a day) it did make it to where I could keep down enough food and water to keep me somewhat stable… even though I still wound up losing 10 lbs in the first trimester. However, I was super stressed about still needing it as I moved into the second trimester.
I had days around 15 weeks or so where I would try to taper off the nausea support (with my doctor’s support) but would find myself spending the next day in bed, unable to move around and unable to really eat anything. My midwife told me that it was much more important for me to be getting movement and eating a healthy diet than spend all of my time worrying about being free of nausea support, which I really needed to hear. I was told that some women need nausea to support their entire pregnancies and have healthy babies!
I continued with the support I needed until about the 18-20 week mark. It was still rocky for several weeks, but the fog did eventually lift and now I only have very rare occurrences of nausea that are mostly triggered by car rides.
Fatigue and trouble sleeping
“Enjoy sleeping now!” is something I hear a lot being pregnant, but honestly, that stopped before I got pregnant… haha! I did have a few weeks in the second trimester when I was sleeping really great, but then I had others when I had insomnia and was getting up multiple times to go to the bathroom.
A lot of people say they had tons of energy in the second trimester, and I don’t think I ever got hit with a crazy burst of energy that lasted any significant amount of time. Fatigue started to pick up towards the end of the second trimester and has hit me hard again in the third. Baby is super active in the middle of the night and wakes me up a lot… but that’s for the next post!
Mostly, I just take it easy and try not to push myself. Growing a human is a lot of work and I’m honoring that and giving my body what it needs while still trying to be as productive with other work as I can as I prep for maternity leave.
Sometimes I’m crying, sometimes I’m euphoric. Overall, I am very happy… it’s just up and down some days.
Feeling the baby move!
This isn’t really a symptom, but it’s a common question and my favorite thing about pregnancy. I felt baby move early on. I had my first tiny flutter around 13 weeks. It felt like baby rolled and hit my belly, so I was sure it wasn’t gas. By 15 weeks, I was feeling tiny taps, and then by 18 weeks, I was already seeing my belly move!
Every week, the movement gets stronger and changes just a bit. It started out as mostly kicks, but it evolved to feeling more stretches, wiggles, head bumps and rolls. He’s very active and always responds to me drinking topo chico! He also responds to listening to podcasts sometimes. Once I got into 26-27 weeks, he got big enough to respond to belly rubs. Now, I can rub my belly and he’ll wiggle or kick, which is my absolute favorite thing in the world.
In the second trimester, he was most active at night, but he’s consistently moved here and there throughout the day. Sometimes I didn’t want to go to sleep because I didn’t want to miss feeling him move!
Round ligament pain
The round ligament stretches to make room for baby during pregnancy, and I started feeling it in the first trimester. It definitely picked up in the second and I had a few really bad days and episodes with this. Here’s what helped…
- Getting a belly band. I wear it around the house every once and a while and it helps!
- Seeing a chiropractor. I started seeing a webster certified chiropractor, Dr. Tara, at my birthing center and it really helps! She helps with my round ligament pain, my neck, and my ever-shifting pelvis right now.
Pregnancy heartburn is not like normal heartburn. The causes are not the same, the remedies are not the same, and for me, it hurts so much more. Your anatomy literally changes during pregnancy, and some level of heartburn can be unavoidable for many. It’s nowhere near as simple as “oh, just don’t eat tomato and you’ll be fine!” I wish it were or I wouldn’t be having any issues!
It doesn’t matter what I eat, when I eat it, etc… some days it’s just crazy gnarly. I’m not doing Tums as corn starch really doesn’t agree with me, so diluting apple cider vinegar in water does help take it down a few notches. Regardless, it’s just hard… but it won’t last forever!
Dry and bloodshot eyes
Around 20-23 weeks I had a horrible bloodshot spot in my eye that really freaked me out. As a food photographer, I do not mess around with my eye health… I need these eyes 😅 I scheduled an appointment with an eye doctor immediately and he said he saw some minor irritation and dryness but nothing serious at all. He suggested I try and wear my contacts less often, and that actually did the trick! I do tend to have issues wearing my contacts whenever I have my period and have always attributed it to hormone shifts, so it all follows really.
My old glasses were crazy beat up so I went and got new glasses from Warby Parker as a pregnancy gift to myself that was quickly becoming a necessity. Self-care move of the decade was getting glasses that actually look good and aren’t so scratched up that I can’t see out of them.
All that to say, my eyes were fine and dry eye can happen. Luckily it was an easy fix!
Bleeding gums and nose bleeds
Bleeding gums is a pretty common symptom with pregnancy, and I used to get nosebleeds when I was a teenager and my hormones were more volatile. My nose bleeds aren’t out of control like they were when I was younger… they’re extremely light, but it’s noticeable regardless.
Another common pregnancy symptom. Forever blowing my nose right now.
What I’m looking forward to in the third trimester…
- My baby shower! I’ll share a registry post soon.
- Maternity photos. You guys know I’m extra and want some killer maternity photos. Let’s hope I can find some vintage that fits!
- Finishing the nursery. We’re almost there! I’ll share more about this too.
- Taking birthing classes. We already started this and took a CPR class too.
- Interviewing doulas. I didn’t have my heart set on having a doula, probably just because I didn’t know a lot about them. Once we started birthing classes, Daniel and I both decided we really wanted the extra support, especially since this is our first baby and we plan to do it naturally at a birth center.
- Prepping the blog for maternity leave. The average recipe blog post takes me 6-8 hours to complete from start to finish, and I post around 3 a week most of the time. I just can’t keep up with that schedule with a newborn, so I’ll be prepping content for several weeks so I can take maternity leave, but the blog won’t miss a beat!
- Stocking my freezer. Freezer meal week is coming soon!
- Feeling more baby kicks, rolls, wiggles, and hiccups and getting to bond with him more and more every day.
- And finally, meeting our sweet baby!! My due date is April 16th… but it’s up to him when his birthday is! I mean, unless he comes way too late and my midwives have to induce… but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there!
Thank you for reading my second-trimester recap!! Looking forward to sharing more 🙂