Pregnancy: the second time round
Here we go again – I’m pregnant for the second time.
I’m ecstatic and feel very privileged but was in complete shock at the news for the first few weeks. I didn’t feel pregnant – until I took the test and then it was like an instant body transformation just from seeing those two blue lines.
I wanted to journal a bit more this time about what it feels like so I can reflect back and remember it as I know from experience how blurred everything becomes the further into pregnancy you get.
Pregnancy: my first trimester…
The first thing I have noticed this time round is that my breasts are very tender and seem to be growing quickly. I don’t remember this from last time but my husband said he did! The beautiful bra’s I had treated myself to for earning my first month of profit in my business a few months ago have gone to the bottom of my draw as they no longer fit, sad times.
My tummy in the evenings takes on a shape and life of its own. I’ve been calling it my food baby in my Pregnancy class for the last couple of weeks but secretly I know its not. I must be experiencing lots of wind or able to feel the movements of my digestive system more as it feels like baby movements. Several health care professionals have told me it can’t possibly be baby yet, but several friends have also said they felt their second baby moving a lot earlier than their first.
I feel nauseous and my appetite has dwindled to nothing. The look and smell of food if I can see it or am cooking it really does not help. If I buy food already cooked it’s better but that is proving rather expensive.
Last time I craved salt, this time it varies from day to day what I crave but mushroom chow mien, chip butties, dorito crisps, olives, take away in general, coco pops – anything bad for me diet wise seems to be on the list and yet all the foods I loved when younger bizarrely, were my go to diet.
I’m slightly gutted as I was eating very healthily before I got pregnant but the increased sense of smell and the altered sense of taste I have through being pregnant means the sight of green vegetables makes me want to vomit and don’t bring lemons near me!
The need for nana naps in the afternoons and at weekends has returned ten fold. I get very tired very quickly – this could be diet related but also I’m sure it is because my body is busy growing a tiny new human. So I’m resting when I need to – something I don’t remember doing much of last time.
My first midwife appointment I rocked up to by myself this time. A whole hour and a half later I left somewhat disorientated and feeling like I was a pin cushion. I really did not remember so many questions and tests from my previous pregnancy five years ago. It was an ordeal to say the least and not in the positive sense I’m afraid.
I’ve never been great with needles but three attempts and still nothing to show for it left me feeling very deflated and like I was a failure? Very random those feelings I acquired from that scenario. I also had a load of 1:1 Pilates work that day and felt extremely rough after the epic length of appointment.
My first scan date seemed to come round very quickly where as last time it seemed to take an eternity. I attended with my husband convinced it was too early for our scan and sure enough my instincts were right and I had to go back a couple of weeks later.
The scan itself was incredible although the pressure from the ultrasound head on a full bladder was mildly uncomfortable to say the least. If I didn’t need a wee before it, I sure did after it! It was lovely to see just one little baby and not two as I had slightly feared. Seeing the movement of its arms and legs was magical and gave me a feeling of euphoria.
I noticed in the first few weeks of my pregnancy that my muscles seemed to get a lot tighter after teaching two – three Pilates classes in a day. My calfs and quads were particularly tight and I have been teaching these exercises for weeks. I started to stretch a little more and it seems to have reduced now. Just an observation but again I don’t remember this from my first pregnancy it must be linked to the increased blood volume that pregnancy brings.
It’s funny in the first few months how you feel so wretched at times especially first thing in the morning for me. You are convinced everyone knows – but obviously they don’t. How could they? It’s bizarre then when your little boy starts telling people you are pregnant when you haven’t even told him yet. I think it correlated with two mums in his class having babies and bringing them in for show and tell – so he got it in his head we were having one.
Telling our little boy was interesting. He was tired from a full week at school. At first the news was met with a melt down of how he didn’t want a new baby as babies are boring, ha ha. Then after he had got over the shock he has actually come around to the idea and is super excited that he gets to be a big brother. It was very sweet getting him to tell family members and I’m so pleased he is now happy about it.
Pregnancy: my second trimester…
I’m thrilled to write that my second trimester has been a wonderful experience. During my first pregnancy this is where things started to go wrong. I discovered I had a low lying placenta, a breech baby and kept fainting and feeling extremely short of breath on exertion all the time.
This time, things are very different. My baby is positioned head down and so I’ve not experienced any fainting or shortness of breath – hurray! I feel physically stronger due to my Pilates practise and my body feels fitter and is coping with pregnancy life well.
I know that I won’t be having any more children after this so I am enjoying every moment of my ever expanding bump and not getting to concerned about how much quicker my tummy seems to be growing this time round.
At around 20 weeks I definitely felt the effects of my round ligament stretching and although it felt like a deep lower tummy ache – I did not experience pain or the feeling like my abdominal contents were going to fall out onto the floor.
I actively used my trans abs each time on the school run, climbing stairs, walking and when ever I felt the need. The feeling quickly passed. Last pregnancy at this stage had me in tears and I took a trip to the women’s health department at work where I was given a belt to help me walk better. No such need this time round. That belt has stayed firmly in my drawer.
Using my own muscles for support definitely has worked better than the passive belt. If you have ever needed to wear a maternity belt during pregnancy you will recognise the instant relief they bring but the short term gain is quickly out lived. The belts reduce our bodies natural lower tummy muscles from being active so a few weeks down the line we can experience more aches and pains. Sad times. Work your core ladies if you do fall into that category.
The nausea subsided thank goodness and the smell of cooking certain foods like raw meat and onions became much less intense. This made life so much more bearable and pleasant again. I even managed to start eating almost normally.
I was left with a huge sugar craving of particularly chocolate and slipped back into my old ways of eating a bag or bar a day. It was amazing how quickly and easily I developed these sugar cravings and also how difficult it was to curb them afterwards.
I’ve continued to teach my Pilates classes without to many difficulties. Setting up all my equipment takes a little bit longer as the bending down to put all the mats and pads out gets a little harder due to the bump. I love the strength, flexibility and core stability I feel from practising my Pilates. I’m tending to use it a lot more functionally for walking, stair climbing, wet washing carrying, etc and it has definitely helped counteract the bump pulling me forwards.
Working for myself and not on a busy elective orthopaedic ward this time round has also been a huge benefit and help. My business has been the busiest it has ever been and I am so grateful for all my work. Somehow I’ve managed to maintain a balance but have definitely rested more at the weekends and some evenings. I feel more in tune with my body’s needs this time round and actively listen to it and give it what it needs.
My baby is a lot more active in this pregnancy. Bump moves around freely whenever and however it likes. With my first pregnancy, my breech baby did not change position from 20 weeks and so movement was side to side rolling and not a somersault, back flipping kind of way.
Sometimes it catches me off guard but I love having such an active baby and watch in wonder and awe. As I’m such a tiny frame when baby moves I feel it completely and it sometimes can stop me in my tracks at times.
The funniest feeling is having many tap dancing sensations on my cervix and pelvic floor! The low lying placenta I had last time must have cushioned these sensations as I certainly don’t remember feeling like a limb was going to appear down below. It’s a peculiar sensation but one that I have now got used to.
It’s a great reminder to practise my pelvic floor exercises which I’m doing religiously three times a day using the squeezy app. They are definitely working as even with some huge sneezes, crossing busy roads my bladder has been coping brilliantly.
To finish my second trimester off in style we flew to Australia with my husband and little boy. I got to meet my brother and his wife’s three week old little boy and have Auntie cuddles which was super special. He is so adorable and a content little baby – I am in awe.
Pregnancy…my third trimester
My third trimester has been interesting. As I write this section I am now 39 weeks with potentially one or three weeks to go. I finished teaching my Pilates classes at 36 weeks and continued with 1:1 work until 38 weeks and I can honestly say I am shattered!
I’m feeling the fatigue again.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been waking a lot at night – not due to discomfort or even needing a wee. It’s mainly because I’m thirsty, hungry or just literally wide awake. Our bodies are so clever at preparing us for night feeds and coping with less sleep so I expected this to happen.
Looking after a five year old, doing the school run, helping at school, running my own business and juggling home life has been interesting. It’s no wonder I’m exhausted. Time to retreat away now.
I also feel like my third trimester has been a battle.
Physically its getting tough – bending down to put on trousers and shoes is very interesting with a big baby bump in the way. I recommend sitting down to get dressed if you are also feeling like this. It helps a lot.
Constantly dropping things, feeling clumsy and forgetting how much your bump has expanded and bashing it on various doors is getting frustrating. It’s so interesting if I do a body scan with my eyes closed I do not physically feel my bump there. From a body awareness point of view that might explain a few things.
My brain power has definitely depleted. I often have word finding problems and find myself unable to articulate what I mean which makes me annoyed with myself which then makes it even harder to say what I mean! The joys of pregnancy, hey.
I’ve read an amazing book called The Positive Birth book and I can not recommend it highly enough if you have any worries or concerns around birth. This book is the bees knees and is so empowering with the information you gain from it. It allows you to realise what birth choices you have and can actually request.
I’ve often felt like I’m lead down a rabbit hole at my hospital appointment and overwhelmed with scary statistics that it’s quite hard to challenge or flip these bits of information round. They are also very one size fits all which when it comes to birth, ladies and their circumstances this just doesn’t make sense that we are put into these boxes.
If you are feeling frustrated by the system read Milli Hill’s book. It is amazing!
Words to describe my third trimester are heavy, shattered, lacking energy and fear of the unknown.
I would have loved to write a glowing rosy report following on from my last entry but in reality pregnancy is NOT a bed of roses for many of us. I would guesstimate it is a small minority of ladies who sail through without complications.
For any pregnant lady having a similar experience to me – I totally get it.
Stay strong, know you have choices and birth rights and don’t be afraid to voice them and question normal practice in your area.
Let’s take back some control.
Next month I hope to write to you all about how my birth experience unfolds so watch this space.