Pregnancy // Second Trimester Diary So Far...

February 19, 2019

A pregnancy update of late. You can find my first trimester diary here.

Carrying on from week 12 in the first post...

// Weeks 13 - 14 

Baby is as big as a lemon {week 13} and a peach {week 14}

This was over the Christmas period and it was such a happy, relaxed time spent with family. I wasn't showing much at this stage but remember on Christmas day {after standing up a lot at a Christmas Eve drinks party the night before} having a really achey, painful lower stomach especially on one side. I couldn't wait to sit down/lay down to help relieve it. When I googled this, I realised that it was round ligament stretching pain and totally normal for this stage. In fact, that's something that's amazed me throughout whenever I've looked up symptoms followed by a week number, obviously it's not the same for everyone at exactly the same time, but mostly it's been really accurate and reassured me that all of these things are the normal stages and everything is progressing as it should be. I remember feeling slightly better about food at this stage, but also loving the fact it was Christmas and I could just eat cheese, pork {ham or sausage meat from the Christmas dinner} and chocolate all day long - which were my three biggest cravings. We had nice long walks and plenty of time on the sofa at my parents, soaking up what will hopefully be our last Christmas as just us two. I'm not sure next Christmas will feel quite as relaxed! {but of course, will be more special I'm sure}.

During this time, we had our first official NHS dating scan {it's normally at 12 weeks but with Christmas and a big backlog around our area, it was pushed back}, but we'd felt confident enough from our first, private, scan and harmony test to announce before this. Over that Christmas week, it was our second time seeing our little Baby Bee. We couldn't wait for this day, and it was literally the only thing that we left our village for over that cosy hazy twixmas time, and luckily everything was as it should be. The sonographer was so pleased with how relaxed our little babe was, just chilling out in there and kicking back. She told me that there was nothing really to note other than everything looked great. She worked out my due date and pushed me forward by a couple more days! Yay!  We then had another set of scan photos to be able to show relatives at a big family gathering the next day. The size difference in just a couple of weeks was amazing too. 

I had my first pregnancy pilates class, and remember feeling so privileged to be part of this new exciting club. We started the New Year, 2019, feeling excited that this will be the year that our baby would be born! I normally always feel a little depressed at this time of year after Christmas but this year felt really different, knowing that we have so much to come and that now I was past the first trimester, the real fun could come.

// Week 15
Baby is as big as a navel orange.

In this time, I definitely felt a bit more tired and my bump was finally beginning to grow. It hadn’t popped yet but my normal skinny jeans/jeggings had grown far too tight to be comfortable anymore and I couldn't wear my usual favourite Sweaty Betty gym leggings that sucked me in. And so it was onto the world of maternity shopping! Luckily with the Christmas sales, I was able to do a huge ASOS order with all spring/summer suitable maternity clothes that were reduced. For jeans and leggings that I was desperate for, I turned to H&M. I didn’t like the over the bump bands at first but then realised that they were really comfortable and would grow with me and since then have realised justtt how comfortable they are. 

I felt a bit run down this week, and came out with my first cold sore in years! I just felt constantly tired too. Up until this point I’d had a golden few weeks without sickness or tiredness where I felt really great. I still couldn’t complain but definitely realised the importance of rest and this growing baby that was doubling in weight each week at this point. And I didn't feel guilty having some lazy mornings staying in bed to work rather than forcing myself out to exercise. In fact, with everyone going mad for the usual January health detox, it was nice to feel really relaxed about food/exercise this year.

We were flying to California for a few weeks and I remember trying everything on whilst trying to pack, working out what still fitted and would last during our stay out there where I was sure my bump would pop by the end of it as I’d be half way by the time we got back. I had a midwife appointment, where we went through everything that had happened so far and she told me about vaccinations/blood tests I'd need as soon as we were back, telling us to look up hospitals out there/take our notes with us just in case. We took our notes but just ran out of time/thought we'd be able to just google a hospital should we need it once we were out there so didn't really pay it much thought. And then we flew out to California!

// Week 16
Baby is as big as an avocado {!}

My sickness has gone!! Over the past couple of weeks, I realised that I was suddenly craving so much more than I'd been able to stomach during that first trimester. Which also brought extreme hunger with it. I just couldn't eat enough. It was perfect timing for our trip to California, where food would be a big part of our trip. I just wanted everything and had this insatiable appetite. I felt so happy at this point, and felt really well for going away and enjoying our trip sickness/tiredness free and without a huge bump yet to be able to walk/cycle around.

We enjoyed our first few days in LA, and apart from the jet lag, I felt really well. It was then a few days later that we'd got back from a 6 mile round walk to the Farmer's Market {which I'd normally be fine with} which made my back ache. When I got back to the airbnb I went to the toilet, only to realise I was bleeding. I hadn't had any bleeding before in pregnancy, so was really shocked to see it. I'd spent the first trimester always checking and just hoping that I wouldn't see any, that by this point I kind of had stopped being prepared to see any and so was just so shocked. I immediately started crying and panicking, thinking the worst even though we 'should' have been in the safe zone after two scans and a strong heartbeat by week 16. We didn't really know what to do at first. I just wanted to call my Mum but with the time difference they were fast asleep and we didn't want to worry anyone until we knew what the outcome would be. I messaged both my friend F and E who were still up. We both googled it, of course. All of the forums seemed to say that as long as it wasn't accompanied by more heavy bleeding or severe cramps that it is quite normal. But should we go to the hospital now? Would it be nothing? Where should we go? How does the insurance work out here? I messaged two friends of friends who lived out here in LA to see where they'd recommend us going if we needed to, and they were such an incredible help.

After a while of laying on the sofa, there had been no more bleeding. We were due to go into downtown LA for pizza so decided to go, monitoring it and then we could go to the hospital in LA if we needed to at any point or go when we got back. We picked up the pizza, me now almost psychologically imagining that I had cramps, but there was no more bleeding. We got back home and slumped onto the sofa to start a This is Us marathon but something was nagging at me. I remembered the seriousness of the green card I was given when I was told that I have rhesus negative blood and that if I experience any bleeding, or trauma, I should go to a hospital within 72 hours to get an Anti-D injection {to stop my body producing antibodies against the baby}. I was due to have the blood test to determine the baby's blood type before we went away but was a week too early for it. Forums on google seemed to say that even with any light spotting, you should have the Anti D injection to be safe. So we decided there and then to go to the hospital. Luckily it was only a 10 minute drive away in Santa Monica and we drove through the pouring rain, me in my pyjama bottoms {!}. It was quite scary being in a different country and not knowing the system. But the emergency room that we went to was amazing. After a short wait, I had my own room in the ER where they came to take blood tests to confirm the rhesus negative and then wheeled me up to the ultrasound department for a scan. The worst part was that Ben had to move the car to another parking meter as I got taken up for my scan so he missed it. The sonographer told me she wouldn't be able to tell me any info about if she could see a heartbeat and that was for the doctor to do, I felt so upset still not knowing if everything was ok. But then, she smiled and turned the screen around {she'd told me that as a decoy just in case she was worried and it wasn't her news to break to me}, she was pregnant herself and about to go home for the day so was so so kind showing me the baby, who was kicking away happily. She even let me film it all to show Ben. She took lots of measurements for the doctor to analyse to try and work out what had caused the bleeding, then wheeled me back down to the ER where Ben was waiting.

The doctor came back in and told me that I'd need a shot of Anti D 'yep, you'll need a shot in the butt' haha classic America. And that my placenta was covering the uterus {placenta previa} which had caused the bleeding. She told us no sex {TMI?!} for the rest of the trip to avoid anymore bleeding, but not to worry too much at this stage as the placenta would likely move up as the bump/uterus expands. She said that the injection would cover me for anymore bleeding for the next six weeks, but luckily no more came. We were allowed home, I was so glad that we had gone as I had needed that Anti D injection. But gosh, the bill as we went to settle up was 3600 dollars {!}. Thank god our insurance, through our Natwest bank account, covered it all. It really makes you appreciate our NHS even more and I felt so grateful that the insurance covered it all.

// Week 17

Baby is as big as a pomegranate {!}.

I had a day of laying low on the sofa after the hospital scare, but after that it felt like the holiday well and truly began. The doctor even said that running was ok so I was pretty much back to normal for the rest of the trip. During week 17 we enjoyed the Californian sunshine and life on the coast. Again, that hunger {and did I mention my cake cravings before now? The savoury and sausage roll cravings from the first trimester had long gone but since week 15/16 I just HAD to have some kind of baked good everyday!}. was there and I enjoyed inhaling a few too many In-N-Out burgers. America is the best when you're hungry. Eating well, and keeping active, to stay healthy in between. One weird thing I experienced during this time were heart palpitations, especially at night when going to bed. Again, I turned to google {such a bad yet helpful habit} and realised that it's totally normal as your body produces and moves extra blood around.

My skin seemed to have really turned around since the first trimester where I had more spots than normal. Now, it was glowing and so clear. Thanks, baby! This was a real golden couple of weeks and we were so happy to be away and at a real perfect time pregnancy wise.

// Week 18

Baby is as big as an artichoke.

Feeling the baby move has to be the best, and biggest, highlight so far. I'd felt the very first little popping bubbles on the plane out to California, but as the weeks went on, started to feel vey real movement - especially so during our time in Palm Springs. It was incredible and made me cry more than once at how real this was all feeling. I seemed to notice it more when I was laying down/relaxed and just loved feeling it. I took, and shared, my first bump photo, above, this week. It was still almost unnoticeable in most of my clothes, I got to the point where I thought 'are you ever going to pop?!' and wanted it to be noticeable in the street. But equally appreciating this time where I can still see my feet and walk comfortably. I did have some more stretchy/growing aches and round ligament pain on either side but mostly just felt really great during the rest of our trip. Excited by the thought of our upcoming 20 week scan and reaching the halfway point. I remember looking in the mirror thinking 'maybe I do have this pregnancy glow after all' feeling nice about my hair and skin, but I think it was probably partly the sunshine and feeling tanned that help too!

Having that time away just gave me so much time to really think more about everything and everyday I think I just woke up happier and happier everyday, feeling so grateful to get to experience all of this so far and hopefully beyond.

// Week 19 

Baby is as big as a mango.

When I got home from California and out of wearing bikinis most days and back into my regular bras, I realised how they didn't fit properly anymore and the underwire was really digging in. To the point that I was driving one evening and had to pull over as my ribs/chest felt crushed from this bra that was too tight at the front! Oops, I really shouldn't have delayed maternity/bra shopping like Mother of Daughter's recommends in her book. Cue an emergency order, no more underwire for me!
I went to see my midwife on getting back to talk about what had happened in America {she was actually not that concerned at all and said we'll wait to see what the UK scan shows next week, apparently it's hard for the NHS to process other hospital systems/notes etc} and I had my whooping cough vaccination and a blood test for the rhesus negative check for the baby's blood. {which subsequently got lost in an admin error oops, but that's another story!}. In these midwife appointments we get to listen to the heartbeat now which is something nice amongst the horrid needles!

I generally felt really well at this point, enjoying feeling the baby move each day {mainly at night just as I was about to go to sleep}, because my placenta is at the front, I won't feel as much movement as some yet but it's still really lovely to feel it move, sometimes it feels like it's having a party in there. I think the only thing I'd add for this week is crying a lot more easily and being more emotional.

// Week 20

Baby is as big as a banana.

The official half way point! And our 20 week anomaly scan. I had been looking forward to this scan for weeks to see our baby again and to look at everything in close detail, a few friends had said to me how much they enjoyed this scan. We also wanted to get the baby's sex written into an envelope to then decide at a later date when/if to open it {we already have a letter in a drawer from the harmony test results with the gender on but wanted extra confirmation from the sonographer haha!}. But then as the day approached, I suddenly felt incredibly nervous just hoping everything would be ok. This is a really in depth scan where they check that everything has developed as it should, they look at the four chambers of the heart, every part of the spine, the brain etc etc. I think it would always be nerve wracking, luckily a family friend who works at the hospital was doing it for us so it was a really lovely experience and as soon as we saw the heartbeat again and went through, everything looked as it should so I relaxed into it. But the baby was a nightmare position wise to get a look at everything in the order they'd normally do it in. A couple of times I was asked to lay on my side to see if that shifted anything, and then push my hips up in the air on the bed and jiggle from side to side to move the baby around! But to no avail, I'm hoping that it's not an insight of our baby's future stubborn personality! They were either moving around too much to be able to get proper measurements or were curled up/back to back. Time had run out by this point so we were told we'd need to come back within the next couple of weeks to just finish the last little checks, but everything looked well thankfully. I didn't really enjoy the scan all that much as it was so awkward throughout, but I'm hoping that this next one will be more straightforward and I can actually take it all in more and enjoy seeing the baby for what might be the last time on a screen before birth! Another really good piece of news from the scan was the fact that my placenta has moved far enough away, still only the minimum 2cm required but enough, for me to not be at risk of placenta previa now or bleeding. Hooray!

This week we booked a John Lewis nursery appointment to go through car seats/prams/cots and then had our first hypnobirthing class along with Ben getting on with the nursery renovations. All of this baby admin made everything seem even more real, and it's like we got to the halfway point and realised we should really start getting ahead with everything as time goes so fast. I think I'll share more about all of these things in a separate post as this is getting really long and I want it to mainly be about pregnancy so far.

I've had a couple of times recently where I've felt suddenly really faint if I haven't eaten enough {even if I've eaten lots just a couple of hours or so before}. I had it in John Lewis the other day and then in Oxford at the weekend, it's usually fixed by sitting down for a bit and eating something. I've always had low blood pressure, so it could be that, or when standing up/walking for too long or if I haven't eaten for a while. I think I need to keep snacks with me at all times!

Overall, I'm still just marvelling at the fact I'm getting to experience all of this and just loving every second. Every week brings something new, or a slightly bigger bump, and it still feels like the biggest privilege to be a part of this new 'club' and getting to look at buggies/hearing everyone's excitement as they see or hear that I'm expecting. It's just the nicest bubble to be in. There are times that I worry about things and the future, but mainly I'm just beaming and so excited. I think it helps that I'm really lucky to feel so well so far. I know that that could change as I get bigger and further down the line too. But for now I'm just enjoying it all <3.

// A note about exercise during this time;

- I've still been running a couple of times a week, which I love, but am keeping it down to 30/40mins max compared to an hour that I used to do a few times a week and now feel lucky if I've done just one or two a week. The biggest issue is feeling like I need to pee when running, which never happened before I was pregnant or during the first trimester. I won't need to as I leave the house, yet as soon as I'm running and everything's bouncing up and down, I'm suddenly desperate to! I just take walking breaks when I need but I love the feeling of keeping my cardio up, albeit not at all where it used to be, and listening to music to get the endorphins flowing.
- Now that I'm back from our trip, I'm back to going to a pregnancy pilates class once a week which helps to support your back and maintain good stability around your pelvis and hips with a growing bump along with staying connected to your body, core and pelvic floor. I don't feel like I get half as much out of it as my regular old pilates classes because it is gentle and more restrictive {you can't lay on your back or work your abs for example} but it's a nice class to do to keep mobile/flexible and also it's really lovely to be surrounded by other pregnant women at all different stages. We've just set up a Whatsapp group too which is nice to know a few more local mums to be in this area.
- I've started personal training, in small group sessions twice a week, which I'm loving so far as they know what I can and can't do but can still challenge me with weights/exercises I wouldn't normally do at home.
- During my time in California I was using the Bumps and Burpees program which I really recommend, you don't need any equipment and it takes just 20 minutes. I used to do these a couple of times a week just to feel like I was staying active/trying to keep my muscles awake and toned.
- Still walking everyday to get our 10,000 steps. Even if some days this is all I do, I feel like at least I'm keeping active which is still really important to me.

// A note about food/cravings;

I'm still just so happy that I can eat everything again without feeling sick or gagging. It's so funny to think that I went completely off vegetables during those first couple of months. So I'm back to trying to eat as well as I can in terms of getting lots of good nutrients in and eating fish a couple of times a week on top of my regular diet. But my biggest 'issue' - although I'm not even really calling it an issue as I'm just not too worried about changing it right now - are the cravings for sugar! I just want sugar, specifically baked goods everyday and allll the chocolate/sweets. I'm pretty relaxed about it as I'm just thinking 'I'm pregnant, is it that bad?' but maybe I should try to cut down a little just for health reasons really. We'll see how that goes! Other than cake, banana cake specifically, I'm not really craving anything specific. Just enjoying everything and anything really. Oh, and I'm just really really hungry all the time so just trying to eat when I feel like it, even if that means a second breakfast. Especially so if I've exercised that day. I also try and eat breakfast before a SGPT session now as I know I'll feel weak energy wise if I don't and starving, whereas before pregnancy I never used to eat before exercise.
I haven't felt like I've missed out on any foods, there are actually very few things that the NHS advise against these days. I think the only thing I can't eat that I'd want to is parma ham {although you can if you either freeze it first or cook it}. I've had a few messages from people on Instagram amazed that I'm eating things like seafood and parmesan, but actually these are both allowed which I'm super pleased about. 

There's so much more I want to talk about so I'll share a pregnancy essential's list that has helped so far and will talk more about stretch mark oils/maternity clothes/books/hypnobirthing/our John Lewis Appointment/choosing a buggy etc in a new post soon.

Would love to hear if you're interested in me sharing anything else about this all so far, and how your second trimester is going/your past experience.

Thank you, as ever, for reading and following along on this journey with us.

R <3 xx

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  1. Your post is like reading my own experiences written by someone else! I was due to present some artwork out in the Middle East (which I was really excited about) but found out shortly before it was getting booked that I am also rhesus negative with a rhesus positive baby so would need the anti D injection in case of bleeding. They also don’t recommended travelling to non eu countries so I decided to cancel the trip. I’m so glad I did as on the dad I was due to fly I woke up with spotting so ended up going into hospital for the injection. Had it in my arm and was absolutely fine, no pain and no more spotting since. I also found out at my 20 wee scan the placenta is low to the cervix 6mm away rather than the 10mm they wanted to see at that point which might account for the bleeding (plus the fact we did squats in my pregnancy yoga class the day before which I now know is not recommended with a low cervix). Like you they said it would likely resolve itself and I will have another scan at 36 weeks to check. Anyway, love reading your journey especially since we seem to be within a few weeks of each other. Can’t wait for the builders to finish the extension so I can start nesting in earnest! (Insta: Whirlligig).


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