Just three months ago I wrote a post about my thoughts on the first trimester and how it compared to my expectations. To me it seems like AGES ago, I was suffering from morning sickness and wondering when I was going to show. But alas, it is time to write about my 2nd trimester experiences, because I am now in the home stretch of this whole journey.
The way it felt to me was that everything that was supposed to happen once I hit 2nd trimester DID NOT happen until the last few weeks of it.
So here we go:
My 2nd trimester
Expectations: I figured that in the 2nd trimester I will finally start having a real belly that people can point at and say “She’s pregnant”.
Reality: I didn’t start really showing from the side until week 20 and from the front- until the end of the 2nd trimester. Obviously, my height had a lot to do with it, and so did the strong ab muscles ( my OB’s words, not mine lol). I can tell she’s getting progressively bigger and stronger, but I’ll see the bulk of her growing in the 3rd trimester
Expectations: Ravishing hunger that will make me want to eat everything and anything in my sight. And at the same time I also expected myself to have a good control over it.
Reality: I was both right and wrong. The hunger did come. It wasn’t the type where you are never full and want to eat eat eat. It was more like the fast acting hunger that from the second you realize you *might* be hungry takes over your completely and you need FOOD IN YOUR STOMACH NOW! This kind of hunger lasted only a few weeks and subsided really quickly and I had enough control to still eat healthy and reasonably. What came after was a craving for sweets. First, light cravings that could be satisfied with 1 cookie, but the more I was giving into it, the more it was taking over me. Just like with any healthy food management, the less you have the less you want, and visa versa. Well, I think I got to the point where I was giving in more than I was comfortable with (nothing crazy for an average person, but definitely out of my comfort zone). It didn’t help that everyone thought that as a pregnant woman, I needed cupcakes and chocolate and ice cream ( including my husband). Seriously, people need to get a clue and stop tempting pregnant women- it’s hard enough for us to see our bodies grow and to feel tired most of the time, the last thing we want is to have the temptation of numerous nutritionally empty but awfully tasty snacks around our house. I just think it’s cruel- Impossible to resist! lol Now that being said, by anyone else’s criteria I didn’t eat that many treats, but like I said I craved them more than was comfortable for me. Oh and btw, every single cookie or cupcake consumed above my limit has SURELY shown up on the scale. That one thing pregnancy doesn’t forgive – indulgences. So when I am complaining about losing weight (and I hope I don’t), remind me that it’s my own damn fault
Expectations: I had absolutely no clue what they would feel like. I kept getting cramps and my OB thought I was having BH.
Reality: It’s exactly what everyone and books say: Tightening of your abdomen. For me they have been painless so far.
Expectations: 2nd trimester means getting back to “normal” you, a TON of energy, nesting instinct kicks in, everything is hunky dory.
Reality: Well, my body didn’t seem to be clued into the fact that I had reached my 2nd trimester, because not only was I still feeling sick and heartburny, that well-touted energy was nowhere to be found. I was just as exhausted as before. And even when my nausea subsided, I was getting hit with waves of tiredness for weeks. It wasn’t until the third trimester that I started feeling more energetic.
Expectations: 12-14 weeks and you’re done was what I thought.
Reality: Haha! Well, for me it was 16-18 weeks, and then closely followed by wicked heartburn and nausea after eating more than a few spoonfuls of ANYTHING. So nausea or no nausea, the suffering continued for another 4-6 weeks after the end of the first trimster
Expectations: I was hoping that my terrible 1st trimester skin would clear up by the 2nd trimester when it’s no longer being bombarded by the hormones. I was also expecting the well known linea negra to appear some time soon.
Reality: My skin did clear up thankfully, but that was more towards the end of the 2nd trimester. However, 2nd trimester also brought an itchy rash- luckily it was nothing serious or permanent like PUPPS, but it still managed to annoy me for about 4-6 weeks. Also my whole upper body was all of a sudden getting covered in little broken capillaries. No linea negra as off yet.
FINDING OUT THE SEX
Expectations: We were waiting for the day when we could find out the sex of our baby. But it was more impatient childish curiosity than anything else. We had planned to have the reveal in a slightly less traditional way and had the u/s technician write it down on a piece of paper to be opened later.
Reality: You can watch the GENDER REVEAL video here. When it was time to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl, I got so much more emotional than I thought I’d be. At that moment I got hit with a realization that putting a name, a face and, let’s be honest, the right set of genitals on our baby made it so much more REAL that we’re actually having a baby. It was a very powerful moment!
Expectations: Hoping for none, but expecting some.
Reality: I know about 50% of women get their first stretchmarks in 2nd trimester, and luckily, I am not in that 50%. However, that is in no way a sign that I will not get them. It’s not like if you don’t get them in 2nd trimester they won’t be as bad ( ah! I wish). So I am hoping and moisturizing and praying to the pregnancy gods to let me survive this pregnancy without stretchmarks, but the truth is I won’t know until all is said and done and Alexis is here ( or sometimes after). So I’m doing all there is to do to prevent them, but trying not to think much of them, since well, I’ll either get them or not- not much I can do about it, except for moisturize and not gain crazy amounts of weight.
Expectations: I am prone to dizziness… At least I was a teenager. So I was fully expecting this one to show up
Reality: WHAT DIZZINESS? lol
Expectations: Leg cramps! Yes, I was definitely expecting those. I used to get them a few years ago at night and then they disappeared when I improved my nutrition.
Reality: Nada! Seriously! Not a single one.I’ a bit surprised. Of course, I religiously (and properly) take calcium and eat a varied nutritious diet, so I am thinking those two things saved me. The key to calcium supplements and calcium high foods is not to take more than 50% of DV, since your body cannot absorb more than 500mg at a time, anything you take over that will just go to waste. So I take a 500mg supplement in the morning, and then consume diary products at a different time of the day.
Expectations: So I thought since I was not emotional during the 1st trimester, it would hit me in the 2nd trimester.
Reality: Nope! Wrong again! I’m not sure why this particular symptom hasn’t gotten me. Maybe because we are doing everything we can to ensure a calm and happy pregnancy for Alexis’ sake, so I don’t have much to get upset about… Either way, my hubby is relieved that he doesn’t have to deal with a hormonal wife. I expect to start getting crabby once the back pain sets in and I’m in my last weeks.
Expectations: I was expecting gross horribleness, possibly throwing up, possibly fainting, and having trouble drinking the overly sweet orange liquid.
Reality: For some reason, my doc had me drink only half the bottle. It wasn’t all that bad. The first few sips were actually enjoyable, like drinking flat orange soda (I don’t like gas bubbles, so it was even better for me). By the end, it was starting to get very unpleasant. Afterwards, I took it easy, had hubby drive me to the doctor’s, got my blood drawn and instantly stuffed myself with a whole grain (fake-)chicken sandwich. So overall, it was manageable. It did wipe me out completely for the rest of the day, though.
And I never mentioned, but the results for blood glucose level came back normal at 89 (the threshold is 140)
Expectations: Bad sleep all throughout 2nd and third trimester. Fewer trips to the bathroom.
Reality: There was absolutely no difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester as to how often I have to get up to pee. It’s all the same: 3-4 times a night. Sleep got more difficult as the belly grew but as soon as I figured out comfortable positions supported by numerous pillows, in addition to a body pillow and a pregnancy pillow, everything settled down and I enjoyed every night of sleep
A few anticipated but missing symptoms
sciatic pain, swelling, round ligament pain, constipation.
Still expecting the first two in the 3rd trimester, along with back pain.
So there’s the low down on the 2nd trimester of a 1st timer. Overall, my 2nd trimester wasn’t that bad, but I’m definitely loving the third one better (for now).
How did your expectations differ from the reality of pregnancy the first time you were pregnant?
Was it easier or harder than you thought?
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