My second trimester. Here we are already! I’m 24 weeks pregnant as I write this, and am wondering where the last 4 months have gone. Time is really beginning to fly by.
I’d firstly like to start by saying thank you to everyone that responded to my first trimester post, announcing my pregnancy and detailing some of the emotions I had been experiencing. It was met with an incredibly positive response from everyone. Many of whom, simply thanking me for sharing.
That’s really what I wanted from this – to open a conversation, to let others know they’re not alone in what they are thinking or feeling. Pregnancy is different for everyone, but if we all talk about it more openly, it could help us all feel a little more ‘normal’.
So here we are, my second trimester. Overall I’ve felt much more myself over the past few weeks. My energy levels have improved, my nausea has stopped, and I’m back to feeling me again. I’ve been meeting up with friends more often, going for lots of nice dinners, and not falling asleep on the sofa at 8pm!
It’s been fantastic being able to now talk openly about my pregnancy with friends and colleagues. By having no more secrets, it’s felt like a huge weight lifted off me.
That’s not to say that this new trimester hasn’t brought about its own set of challenges though.
I touched on this in my previous post, where my anxiety had increased ten fold since becoming pregnant. Whilst my anxiety around aches and pains has subsided, I’ve still felt anxious before each appointment, crossing my fingers and toes that everything is still okay.
We unfortunately had a bit of a scare at our 20 week appointment. Whilst we originally had the all clear from the imaging consultant, I received a phone call later that day to say they had requested a second opinion on a grey area of the brain. As you can imagine, my mind was racing. What could this mean? Despite my midwife doing her best to keep my calm, I couldn’t help but think the worst. We spent one horrible weekend wracked with worry, until we saw a specialist in the Fetal Medicine Unit, who was able to tell us that there was in fact nothing untoward. Everything was as it should be, and our baby was healthy.
As we breathed a (huge) sigh of relief, she went on to say to us that although it’s difficult, we must try to stop worrying, and to start enjoying this time. Having her look us in the eye and tell us that this is the most exciting time of our lives, and that everything is okay, was a massive turning point for both of us. It was as if something clicked, and immediately we felt this weight of anxiety lift. Since that appointment, we’ve both been much happier and much more excited about what’s to come.
- Feeling movement for the first time
We had read that it’s common to feel small movements from as early as 16 weeks. However, I didn’t start to notice anything properly until around 20 weeks. It started with a feeling of bubbles moving around the top of my bump. This transformed into more significant movements of feeling like I was being flicked from the inside out. And eventually at around 21-22 weeks we started seeing movements through the skin.
We’ve found that our baby likes to go crazy mid-morning and late at night. Some days the movements feel much stronger than others, and on busy days I find myself thinking ‘wait, have I felt anything today?’. It’s funny because the thought of feeling movement like this used to freak me out! But now, the movements are reassuring. I find myself longing to feel it move.
It’s an incredible moment when you start to feel movement. I really can’t explain it in words. At our 20 week scan, we see our little one was moving its legs and waving its arms. It was amazing! (I should probably explain that we are keeping the gender of our baby a surprise, hence the use of ‘it’ a lot).
- Feeling much closer as a couple
I felt this in my first trimester, but the bond between us as a couple, feels even stronger now. Once my bump popped, we began feeling movement, and had that chat with the specialist, we instantly became closer in everything we do and feel. We’ve really bonded over the bump, and it’s been so lovely. We both support each other in everything we do, and are more mindful of how the other feels. We no longer bicker about silly little things, and generally both feel much more relaxed and content.
Whilst most of the physical and emotional changes are happening to me, it’s important to remember that this can be a super daunting time for the man too. It’s been really helpful for both of us to talk openly about how we’re feeling and put each others minds at ease.
- Feeling left out of social events
That being said, the partner is still able to go about their day to day with very little change. Not that Stew is always out, but I’ve felt myself having massive FOMO when he’s enjoyed a night out to celebrate a friends birthday, or a day with the boys watching football… I don’t even like football! I think I just miss being able to do these types of events as easily.
Whilst I’m still seeing friends regularly, it is different not being able to drink alcohol. I can no longer stay out past 11pm without feeling tired and restless. Not drinking at a birthday when everyone else is, can be pretty lonely. No matter how hard my friends try to not leave me out. It’s not their fault, and it’s not Stew’s fault. It just is what it is, and I need to learn to deal with it better.
I’ve always been a social butterfly, with lots of friendships groups, and always being on the go. Toning this aspect of my life down, has been one of the biggest challenges for me. And although it’s getting easier every week, it’s still something I’m learning to adjust too.
There are good weeks where I have lots of energy, have multiple plans and feel great – I’m trying more brunch spots than ever before! But then there are weeks where I may not speak as regularly to people, and the overwhelming surge of pregnancy emotions takes over me.
Just recently I felt like I was slipping away from certain friends, and I felt really low about it. I’ve cried more in this trimester than I think I ever have done in my life. But by opening up to said friends and talking things through with Stew, I was able to clear my mind and see things more rationally. Am I slipping away from friends? Or actually, are we just all super busy? Do I feel left out? Or actually, do people also just have a lot going on?
For now I’m blaming it on my hormones, as I’ve never been this type of person. But if there’s one positive to come out of it, it’s made me be a more open person. In the past I’ve tended to bottle up my thoughts and feelings. I very rarely confide in friends about anything too personal. I joke that I have a heart of stone. But actually, by not opening up to people, I’ve not helped myself in the fact that they may not think to check in on me regularly.
- Antenatal Classes
We decided against NCT, and instead chose an independant antenatal class group called Baby and Bump. With many locations all over London, and further afield, we found the classes suited us much better than our local NCT offering. Baby and Bump host 5 classes, 2 hours each in length, every Wednesday evening at one of our favourite pubs! Followed by a 6th session just for the mums, over Gail’s tea.
I didn’t really know where to begin with booking classes and ended up doing a Google search for ones locally. Baby and Bump were one of the first sites I visited and I instantly had a positive feeling about them. Something as simple as the design of the website and the ease in which it took to find all the information I wanted (including location, timings and price). It sounds silly but I was shocked at how difficult it was to find pricing information on the NCT website, and how to book onto our local class. Baby and Bump’s testimonials and social media also sold it for me.
If you live in London and are considering them, I would recommend booking sooner rather than later as they get booked up really quickly!
Similarly to my first post, I hope this proves useful if you’re currently in your second trimester, or about to embark on your pregnancy journey.