Pregnancy // Second Trimester Diary Part Two

April 07, 2019

I feel like it’s almost not worth writing much for this second part of the second trimester {weeks 21-17} as mainly I've felt so well and if I hadn’t looked down at my now rapidly growing bump, wouldn’t have really been able to tell I was pregnant! Which I feel so grateful for because I know it’s not smooth sailing for everyone and I’m still aware that the third trimester might change everything! But then I realised that actually there has been a lot going on and I really wanted to keep going with this little diary of the last few weeks to look back on one day. So I've shared all the highs and lows below, week by week, if that’s your kind of thing to read along with some general notes. And HOW am I into the third trimester already?!

// Weeks 21-22

Baby is as big as an endive {week 21} and a coconut {week 22}.

We went back for our repeat anomaly scan after the baby was lying in the wrong position to get all of the measurements the first time. This was probably the most serious scan we've had so far, of course for good reason, but we also had a really unfriendly sonographer who was very much just 'get the job done' rather than offering any pleasantries. Luckily after some more jiggling around, she could get the final measurement and sign us off. We were grateful that she could see the baby's sex, and was happy to write it down for us in a card.

In this time we booked our NCT classes, we'd emailed our local course rep back in January but at that time not many people were booked on so we wanted to wait a while to make sure we picked the course that was most suitable but also had most people in the same area to us {our friend had advised us to do this as the areas cover quite a wide range of postcodes and it makes it easier for meeting up afterwards with your babies}. When I emailed again this time, one course was already full but luckily the other course had the most similar postcodes to us so we quickly accepted and booked! I know a lot of people have mixed views on NCT, my husband was hesitant if we needed to go {and it's not cheap...} but all of my close friends who had had babies last year couldn't speak highly enough of the invaluable groups that they've met through it who they're still friends with now and have had so much support from. And I felt it was important for us to have a group of babies who will all be the same age so we're mainly doing it for the friends we hope to meet there. The course should be informative too and there's a breastfeeding specific class etc so I'm pleased that we've booked. Our course starts in May over a few evenings over a couple of weeks. 

My Mum and I went to the Baby Show at the Excel arena and whilst it was a lot smaller than I was expecting {without any nice small brands like I thought there would be}, it was really great for buying some things I'd had my eye on with show discounts so I'd recommend going just for this. I'm going to share a big post on everything we've bought so far for the baby soon, which I hope will be helpful.

Around the end of this time, I suddenly had a panic about not knowing what to do with a newborn and even silly things like what should they wear at night? So much advice seems to have changed since our parents had us that I'm not sure we could even rely on them for advice - although will be so grateful to have them around to help out {I shared this post on Instagram at the time - there were some really helpful comments on it}. I'm so grateful to the community on instagram for giving so much advice and reassuring comments/messages. In the end, whilst lots of people said there's no manual and you do just instinctively know, I ordered a couple of books that I read whilst we were away and felt a lot better about things. The Lullaby Trust are worth looking up for safe sleeping advice and also the Gro company have a handy chart with temperature/clothing recommendations. 

// Week 23-24

Baby is as big as a grapefruit {week 23} and a cantalopue {week 24}.

We spent this week in The Maldives! One last long-haul trip before the baby arrives. I've written about it all here {including talk about Zika}. I get asked a lot about how I've found travelling when pregnant and I'd say that I wouldn't really want to fly long-haul again now any further into this pregnancy {unless you'd be lucky enough to be flying business with more room to stretch out} because I found the flight home realllly cramped and my ankles swelled up, I couldn't bend down if I dropped something by my seat and my back started to ache. Whilst we were away it was amazing to completely relax and have that special time as just two but I made sure I took lots of time in the shade as was conscious that I didn't want to overheat and get the bump too hot and keep really well hydrated. I'm sure your midwife would give you advice on travel but you must make sure you wear flight socks as your risk of blood clots is at it highest when pregnant, even on short-haul flights. 

This was also the trip, and week, where we opened that envelope and found out that we were having a baby girl! I've written all about it on this post here which was fun to announce it to our friends and families back home and then announce it to Instagram too.

I felt like my bump really grew during that week, especially when wearing a bikini each day I suddenly noticed it SO much more than when wearing clothes. I would never normally post photos wearing a bikini but somehow, this bump has given me so much more confidence and a reason to celebrate my body and this growing baby. Such a special week away that I'm sure we'll remember forever.

// Weeks 25-26

Baby is as big as a cauliflower {week 25} and kale {week 26}.

I had a really scary morning experiencing some bleeding and cramps. I actually wasn't *too* worried at first, knowing that it was a Tuesday and my midwife was in my local doctor's surgery so I called her, thinking I could maybe just pop there for a check up. But in her stern tone she immediately told me that any fresh bleeding means you have to call the maternity triage at the hospital, and that's when my panic set in. Ben got home at this point to me hanging up the phone whilst sobbing and so I called triage and drove straight over there. They were amazing, and it was so quiet at the time, we got seen by two midwifes including a lovely student, who reassured us that the baby was fine but they'd get a doctor to come and see me to work out what was causing the bleeding/cramps. At this point I had two doctors {one student male} and two midwives {including a student} crowding around me shining a torch to examine everything.... gah the embarrassment. But it's SUCH good preparation for all that's to come right?! And I was also really grateful for the students as it meant we learned a lot more about everything by listening to them being talked through everything by the senior doctors/midwives. The bleeding was coming from an 'ectropic cervix' which is totally normal in pregnancy for some women as everything grows and hormones/cells cause some bleeding and achiness. We also got to see our baby girl on a mobile scan unit and her opening her eyes at us, the doctor said 'that's one long baby that you have!'. Overall, thankfully all was ok and we left feeling so much happier and grateful for that triage which has a midwife on call 24/7 for any concerns. 

The next night we actually had our hospital tour booked in, so were back in the same unit! I was so glad that we did go for the maternity tour as it made me feel so much better about everything and really reassured me about the doctor led unit/the fact that they will always have capacity, a bed and midwife for you {something I guess the media has put the fear into me about with the supposed shortages/over capacity for the NHS} and the fact that the hospital seem really supportive of hypnobirthing and trying to make every woman's experience the best they can. I know that we still have no idea what will happen on the day, although have our preferences decided, but I still just feel so much better about everything now that we know about the system and how it all works, even down to parking and the fact the hospital is in a Deliveroo area ha! Hypnobirthing has definitely taught me that being prepared mentally for all situations will help hugely in keeping calm on the day with whatever happens so I felt like this hospital tour was a big part of that for me. It was definitely the time that I've felt most emotional so far thinking ahead to that moment when we meet our baby, and it feeling so surreal going around the hospital tour with other sets of parents to be. That feeling of being adults, of 'WE'RE GOING TO BE PARENTS'. And I think I teared up on our journey home just talking about birth and all that is to come, imaging the first moment where we'll meet our baby.

It wasn't all hospitals this week, I was invited to the House of Elemis for their signature pregnancy treatment, a massage over a heavenly beanbag. {This was kindly gifted to me by Elemis}. I was feeling a bit stressed at trying to fit everything in that week, I don't know about you but it always feels like there are a million things you should be doing instead of something indulgent like that, but actually I'm really grateful that I could take the chance to go and get pampered as I know it will be 10 times harder to take the time for something like that when there's a baby to take priority. Pregnancy massages can be a little awkward to get comfy when you can't lay on your front or back, but this beanbag made it extra heavenly. 

I was definitely noticeably showing by this point and suddenly took real pride in dressing the bump so that it could be seen rather than hidden. I think I've mentioned before how tricky I've found maternity dressing so far and do feel a bit limited and lacking in confidence with clothes right now, my maternity wear is all too big still or too summery and some big stuff just swamps you rather than showing off your bump. Most of my old tops still fit so I'm wearing a lot of these with my favourite maternity jeans and overalls at the moment but feel a little boring with lack of options and seem to wear the same few outfits over and over! Or I'm wearing some dresses over jeans as it's too chilly for bare legs just yet. I did buy one new Zara {non maternity} dress though, the spotty one at the top of this post which I love and fits a bump nicely in. As the weather gets better and my bump grows a bit more I'm hoping it will be easier. {see this previous post for my favourite maternity wear suggestions}.
There's definitely an art to dressing your bump though so it's shown off but not WOAH she's huge with too smocky things. 

// Week 27

Baby is as big as a lettuce {week 27} 

Whilst I'm still feeling really good, and keeping active, I'm definitely starting to feel more tired by late afternoon/early evening, especially if I've done a workout earlier in the day. This counts as the third trimester and I can definitely feel the difference already. My bump keeps growing and I start to notice it when I go to bend down or tie up my shoes for example.

A few other general, not specific to each week, notes;

// Since finding out that we're having a girl, I've had SO much fun ordering baby clothes and cute accessories for the nursery. Baby Zara, H&M and Gap have been my favourite high street shops for clothes so far. Although I need to start focusing on the plain white vests/muslin stock up now I've ordered a few pretty bits. It's been really difficult knowing what size clothes to buy for which season and not knowing how big our baby will be when she's born. Also, how do you know how much you need?! This post on Instagram had some really helpful comments if you're in the same boat although I still feel a little confused as everyone says something different/every baby is a different size! But we'll figure it out. And small brand wise, I shared this post on my Instagram for gorgeous companies I've discovered so far.

// Nesting has seriously kicked in. That in built sudden desire to get everything ordered, wanting to get the nursery complete, wanting to tick everything off our list of house/garden jobs knowing that we're on a serious deadline now. It has caused me some big teary meltdowns that my poor husband has beared the brunt of {and constantly reassured me that it will all get done and we've still got enough time}. We do still have time, but I think subconsciously I'm aware that lots of people have told me how hard everything gets towards the end of pregnancy so if I can sort and organise as much as I can now whilst I still feel energised and well and mobile enough to bend and fold and shop etc. I guess I also just want to have some time at the end to properly relax and enjoy the summer weather as maternity leave rather than a frantic last minute stressful time where we're trying to finish things up until I'm due. 

// I think my hormones have definitely changed again over the last couple of weeks, from the tell tale annoying chin spots to that feeling of overwhelm and crying so easily. It's definitely a rollercoaster of emotions! But mainly still just pure happiness and awe at experiencing the magic of pregnancy. 

// It's such a special time that everybody comments on, from our butcher noticing that I've got a bit of a bump to a neighbour doing a double take and then the happy, excited conversations that you get to have with everybody about when you're due. Everyone asks how you're feeling, there's definitely a real happy bubble around pregnancy that's really lovely. 

// And I just LOVE being pregnant and experiencing everything. I can definitely see why some people get addicted to pregnancy and having so many babies! It definitely helps that I've had it lucky so far with this baby, I've heard that each pregnancy can feel SO different so maybe future ones would be completely different if we were to be lucky again in the future.

// Feeling the baby move has to be one of the best sensations ever? At a midwife appointment she asked if I'd been talking to the bump yet as studies show it can help with their brain development. So since then I've made a conscious effort to start to talk to the baby and sing a few lullabies, the idea being that if you then repeat those when she's born, she'll recognise the word pattern and feel calmer. Isn't that just the most amazing thing? I've started to get used to her patterns of movement and have even had a couple of times being woken up in the middle of the night by her kicking. I just want to feel her move all the time as it makes me feel so much less anxious. The worst is when you panic that you haven't felt her for a while, it definitely does give you such a panicky horrible feeling. But then she'll kick again and I'll feel relieved. {if you're pregnant and reading this, obviously it goes without saying to make sure that you follow the guidance from the NHS in your notes about tracking movement and when/who to call if you're concerned about anything}. It's amazing when friends and family can start to feel the kicks now too and get really excited when she's moving.

// My blood test came back as the baby having the same blood type as me! Which means no more Anti-D injections will be needed for this pregnancy, woop. 

// I need to pee almost alll the time. Luckily not at night, that subsided after the first trimester. But especially if walking or running even if I don't 'need' to go, my poor bladder and pelvic floor. Must remember to keep going with the exercises to keep strengthening it. 

// I'm trying to sleep on my left side, or at least a side, as much as possible. I get that panic in the middle of the night if I wake up on my back! The BB Hug Me pillow is really good for helping keep me comfy on my side.

// Exercise wise is still pretty much the same as I wrote in the last post although I'm cutting down my running even more these days and definitely need to wear my bump support if I am running. I'm trying to be content with lots of walking to stay active, a pregnancy pilates class a week and a small group personal training session. I should do more really including more toning work but I wake up most mornings feeling STARVING hungry so just tend to want breakfast rather than exercise. Growing a baby is the most important work right now and I'm sure I can resume everything I miss once the baby's here. In saying that, I have done a couple of spin classes recently because I had credits to use at an old gym and wanted a little extra cardio! 

And just like that, it's onto the third and final trimester! Where is time going?! I want time to slow down, and speed in in order to meet our babe, in equal measures!

It feels like this next stage is where we need to get really organised/start practicing our hypnobirthing/get going with NCT. Eeek! 

Hope these posts are helpful if you're going through a similar thing.

R <3 xx 

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  1. Please remember that if parents can't afford NCT courses, there are payment options to pay by instalments and people on certain benefits get reduced rates. If it's still not an option, there are plenty of support groups offered by NCT to all parents, regardless of whether they attend an antenatal course or not or whether they have joined as members, and most of these are free or relatively low costs, with charges/donations set low to cover costs mostly. They are a really great way to meet other new parents in your area so it's worth checking the NCT website for more details. These groups are generally run by volunteers and take place in a range of settings.


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