Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Second Trimester

My Belly has been growing and growing! The above picture was from around week 20. Here is what I look like now, around week 24...

I can't believe that I ever thought I was big before! And I still have so much growing to do!

So how has my 2nd trimester been? Well, I can't say that I've felt 'amazing,' 'full of energy' or like I could 'take on the world' or even 'super horny' that I was told by others I would experience during this time. I DO, however, feel much better than when I was in my first trimester; the nausea is gone, I usually have more energy, I don't need naps as severely. This trimester seems to be speeding by, and is full of change, excitement, and, yes, pain.

Let's start with the negative:

Gaining (more) weight! I feel HUGE and I know I'm not even close to being so yet! But I can definitely feel the pressure of the extra weight I'm carrying around, especially when I stand, bend over, or work on my feet for long periods of time, like during my housecleaning job. I wear mostly maternity clothes, except for a few large, flowy shirts and sundresses. And thank god my bosses ordered me maternity shirts at Trader Joe's! I felt like I was going to pop out of my shirt before the stretchy, cozy, low-cut shirts arrived!

Need more (and better) sleep! While I may tend to have more energy, I still get tired easily and can't handle as much physical or standing work as before. I often feel drained after work, especially at my cleaning job (which is in the process of finding my replacement, pronto!) and sometimes need a nap. However, I noticed on days when I took a nap, I would be restless when it finally came time for me to go to bed for the night! I would toss and turn until finally falling asleep hours later. Before I was pregnant, I could get away with taking a nap and sleeping less at night because the combined hours made up for a full night of sleep. But now it seems I need a full night of sleep, regardless of an earlier nap, or else I feel like crap the next day. And I never can seem to go to bed early enough. I feel best-rested after at least 8 hours of sleep, but my average is between 6 and 7. I have been trying to make improvements, though, to help me sleep better. First of all, I've cut out naps unless I absolutely need them. Secondly, I turn on a small fan next to my bed. The white noise helps me fall asleep faster! Lastly, I sleep on what Spencer and I call a fort...

Sleeping on a fort! I slowly started feeling more and more aches and pains during sleep as my 2nd trimester went on. It started out with neck and lower back pain. I put a pillow between my knees. No help. Used a thicker pillow for my neck. No help. I finally fished out an old memory foam pillow that usually HURT my neck, pre-pregnancy. But it turned out to be just what I needed. The curved neck support and comforting memory foam must have been what I needed to help align my neck, spine, and lower back. But after about a week, the pain started up again. My neck finally seemed fine, but my spine and lower back seemed in need of support. So little by little, I began building a fort, adding more and more pillows when my body would 'get used' to my present set up. I had my special neck pillow, a pillow between my knees, and a pillow to hug, so I wouldn't roll forward on my belly and my spine would stay aligned. Then I added a body pillow behind my back, so I wouldn't roll backward. Then I propped up my neck pillow with another pillow. Then I added cushioning beneath my side/lower back.

But then the worst pain yet started: pain and slight numbness in my hips/butt. From what I've read, it's either sciatica or my loosening joints and ligaments causing my hip/butt joints to pop out of alignment when I sleep. So I began adding even more. I now sleep entirely ON TOP OF pillows (I don't touch the mattress at all) as well as being surrounded by them, my neck supported by 3 pillows total, and by body hugging a special 'pregnancy pillow.' I still toss and turn a bit and get that horrible hip pain every now and then, but at least it's manageable!

Itchy! My stretching skin can get so itchy! Especially my boobs and belly. While I don't lube up every day like I should, I do rub my entire body down with pure coconut butter every other day or so, and it seems to help a little.

Sweaty! I have never been a heavy sweater, not one bit. And when I do sweat, I still smell great...that is, until I got pregnant! I've read a few things here and there that this can happen, so I guess I'm normal. I've been trying to switch to all natural deodorant, but they honestly just don't work under normal circumstances. And under pregnant circumstances, not even chemical deodorant works! And it's not even that I'm sweating a's that I'm sweating up a stink! Sometimes I swear I smell like a taco bell! But for the past week or so I've tried the natural deodorant from my work, based on a co-workers high opinion. And despite my skepticism, it seems to be the best yet! And while it doesn't exactly STOP me from sweating, it sure has been keeping that taco bell funk at bay! Phew!

And what's so good about the second trimester?

My Belly! While gaining weight sucks, I love this big, round belly I've got growing. It's such an amazing little miracle to witness happening inside my very own body! I am so surprised every time I look at my reflection. I feel like my belly gets bigger every day!

Feeling the baby move! This is my favorite by far! It felt like I was never going to start feeling baby move! Around my 17th week, I started wondering if what I was feeling was baby moving, or just gas. Being skeptical, I discounted everything as being 'just gas' until just after my 18th week; movement could not be passed of as my imagination much longer! The first BIG baby movements happened just before my 20th week; Spencer and I were sitting on the couch, and Spencer was playing guitar. Baby started bumping like crazy! I could even slightly feel it from the outside of my belly! The movements grew stronger and stronger, and now Spencer can feel them too, if he is patient (baby likes to hide once you put a hand over her!) Sometimes baby moves so much, you can see my clothing bounce!

Starting the nursery! We've started moving our office, art, and music stuff out of our second bedroom and putting our things elsewhere (while still trying to maintain a clutter-free and stylish look to the rest of our apartment) and preparing for our future nursery. We haven't gotten anything in the way of large baby furniture, but we have gotten quite a lot of early gifts from baby's Great Grandma Donna, and we've also received a few wonderful hand-me-downs from Spencer's boss, so it's nice to have the room to put it all in. We already have a nursery theme in mind: pink, lime green, cherry blossom, and owls! Grandma Donna sent us beautiful crib bedding and nursery accessories in a cute pink and lime green cherry blossom pattern! I'm so excited to start decorating!

Getting Excited Despite any discomfort, I get more and more excited every day. We are going to love the crap out of this baby, and I can't wait to bring her into this world!

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