Pregnancy Update | 1st & 2nd Trimester

Hard to believe I’m on the last week of my second trimester! The first trimester crawled by but the second one went be so fast! Towards the end though, I was starting to feel it.

week4-25

How far along? 4 weeks on the left, 25 weeks on the right

How big is Baby?  The size of head of cauliflower.

Image result for week 27 cauliflower

Baby Developments: “At 27 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a head of lettuce. The average 27-week fetus measures 14.4 inches and weighs 1.9 pounds. But baby’s not just getting bigger—he or she is also getting smarter.
Inside your 27 weeks belly, baby’s practicing inhaling and exhaling with his or her rapidly developing lungs. And it’s official: Baby’s showing brain activity! From here on out, baby’s brain will keep getting more complex, turning that 27-week fetus into a real smarty pants.”
OB Appointments: My OB appointments are every 4 weeks. So far they’ve been good and uneventful. My blood pressure is usually around 108/60 and Baby’s heartbeat ranges from 140-160bpm. I am measuring right on target and my glucose appointment – to determine whether or not I have gestational diabetes – is next week, the first week of my 3rd trimester. Once in my 3rd trimester, the appointments increase in frequency.

Exercise? For most of the first trimester I kept up my exercise routine: Volleyball class Tuesday and Thursday mornings and working out for 30mins – 1 hour afterward. Once my sickness kicked in I didn’t workout or go to class as much. I anticipated that may happen so I registered to audit the volleyball class – I was able to participate but I wasn’t taking it for credit so I didn’t have to be there. Attendance was optional.
2nd trimester: I made sure to always take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.

Weight Gain? I don’t have (or want) a scale at home so the only time I check my weight is at my doctor’s appointments. The first trimester I didn’t gain or lose any weight. Actually I probably did both but since I was sick it balanced out in the end. Now that I’m halfway there my weight is up a total of 10lbs. I’m right on target for gaining the appropriate amount of weight.

I’ve never been one to care much about the numbers on the scale (hence why I don’t even have a scale). If you are eating properly and exercising regularly, your body will reflect that. If not, your body will reflect that too. I don’t necessarily need numbers to tell me that. Plus, I think I’d start obsessing over every pound if I had regular access to a scale.

It’s funny because when I stepped on the scale and saw that I had gained weight I was discouraged even though I was perfectly on track. I think it was just an automatic reaction to weight gain. Our whole lives society tells us that weight gain is synonymous with only bad things. “You’ve gained weight” has never been a compliment. So it’s a little difficult to reprogram your brain as soon as you get pregnant to think that weight gain = good. It was difficult at first but now it doesn’t bother me!

Sleep? In the beginning sleep was pretty rough. I’ve never had trouble sleeping through the night but as soon as I got pregnant (this was one of those clues) I could not sleep through the night. I’d usually wake up around 3am and be up for hours. Sometimes I may have been able to fall back asleep briefly before my morning classes.
2nd trimester sleep improved a lot. I was able to sleep through most nights. The most difficult part is just being bigger. It’s a whole ordeal just to turn from side to side.

Symptoms? In the first trimester I was hit with every symptom imaginable. My naïve pre-pregnant self though I knew what it’d be like or at least could imagine what it’d be like. But I was not prepared for it. I honestly didn’t think that I would throw up at all, let alone weeks and weeks on end. I had all the usual symptoms but the most notable were nausea, a bionic sense of smell, and tiredness.
Nausea: this was by far the worst. It didn’t hit until around week 7. For the first few weeks when I wasn’t nauseous, I was actually worried something was wrong because pregnancy felt too easy. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I started throwing up every. single. day. mornings mostly but sometimes all day. After a few weeks the nausea went away but I was still throwing up because my gag reflexes were SO sensitive. I couldn’t even take my prenatals. I had to camp out in the bathroom.. literally! I brought in a camping chair and blankets and set up a little place for myself. I would start getting ready for school, get sick, and then have to run to catch the bus so I could still make it to class on time. #pregnantincollege
Bionic sense of smell: exactly how it sounds. I could walk out my front door and smell the dumpsters. Upon opening the fridge I could smell everything that was about to go bad. I could smell everything that was cooked in the microwave just by walking past it (one of the clues I was pregnant). And it was only the bad smells. I would burn an candle and put it right next to my nose and nada.
Tiredness: this was also pretty bad. For the most part I was just too exhausted to do anything! I was usually asleep by 6pm. I remember getting through the front door and sitting down on the steps leading up to the rest of the apartment because I just did not have the energy to make it up there. If Simeon came in the door after me he’d have to push me up the stairs from behind. I’ve never been able to take naps during the day but as soon as I got pregnant, napping wasn’t so hard anymore.

I remember thinking multiple times “why do people of this twice?!” I mean the first time I can see.. you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into. But to do this to yourself again?! The response was always: you’ll forget about the pain and sickness. During my first trimester I would have never believed them. But now that I’m finishing up my second trimester I must say: as AWFUL as those 3 months were, it does get better. And the second trimester is as they say: the golden trimester. These past couple of weeks I’ve been getting a taste of the 3rd trimester life.

Food cravings? I haven’t had many cravings throughout the pregnancy. There was a time when Subway was the only thing that sounded good. I’m eating more sweets than usual. I used to NEVER eat anything sweet- I never really liked cakes, cookies, or brownies. Now during pregnancy I won’t seek it out but I won’t turn it down, either.

Food aversions? Yes. During the first trimester, almost all food could fall into this category. Anything with a strong smell or anything that was cooked and filled the apartment with its aroma would make me sick. I can probably count on 2 hands the amount of times I cooked during the first trimester. Coffee was a major aversion for the longest time. I’m not a coffee drinker anyway but smelled soooo bad!! Simeon was a rockstar and would occasionally brew his coffee out on the deck. I’ve been able to tolerate the smell now. Now, about the only food aversion that stuck around is ramen.

Mood? For the most part my mood has been pretty good. (I’m sure Simeon might have a different opinion.) There were a couple moments of break downs- throwing up, no sleep, and being sick and tired for months kinda wears on you after a while.

Queasy or Sick? Yes, all throughout the 1st trimester but not anymore!!

Best moments: Simeon felt Baby move! Baby was kicking pretty hard one night when we were relaxing by the fireplace. Simeon put his hand on my stomach and he felt Baby kick for the first time in Week 17! It was so special.

I think the baby was on jetlag, too because there were almost 3 days where I barely felt any movement. I was starting to worry because I would usually feel Baby after eating but wasn’t able to. I started trying other things to get Baby to move- drinking carbonation, eating a cold popsicle, laying on my stomach, poking my stomach, and even shining a flashlight on my stomach (I read that works)- but nothing! Finally when I was telling Simeon about being worried about it and we were praying together, Baby started moving 🙂 I was only 17/18 weeks so I was lucky to feel baby as early as 15 weeks.

Telling family was a pretty special time too – everyone is so excited!

We got 4 ultrasounds and got to see Baby 4 times! The last one was 3D/4D and we got lots of pictures from them.

Towards the end of the 2nd trimester, Simeon is able to feel almost all of Baby’s kicks. It’s such a special time – Simeon and I will be sitting down together and when Baby starts kicking I’ll grab his hand and put it on my belly. We don’t know what he’s trying to communicate so we just make it up 🙂

Worst moments: Going to the bathroom all the time. The baby is positioned in such a way that walking makes me have to go to the bathroom. Even if I have nothing in my system! This made walking around Stockholm difficult because there are little to no free public restrooms. We had to time our coffee shop breaks just right.

Being sick while in school and battling with 2 schools to let me graduate– things were pretty hairy up until the DAY BEFORE GRADUATION.

End of 2nd trimester pelvic pain and soreness. It’s so painful to stand up and walk from a sitting position. I can’t walk right away, I have to give my body a minute or two to adjust or I feel like my pelvis will give out and I’ll be on the floor! I’m hunched over like a little old lady. I started seeing a chiropractor and applying kinesiology tape – same-ish concept as a maternity belt – as an attempt to redistribute the weight. I’ve experienced a *little* relief but at least it’s not getting worse. Thankfully my back doesn’t hurt!

What I miss? Taking medicine for colds, putting on socks without sound effects, being able to bend over, and sleeping on my back. In the first trimester it felt like a long list of “No’s” but now I don’t care what I have to give up for my little baby, feeling his kicks are worth it.

What I’m looking forward to? Holding our little baby!! It’s hard to explain but I feel like I’m already bonding with this little one. I think Simeon is too but not on the scale that I get to so I can’t wait for Simeon to be able to hold him and bond with him.

Agreeing on a name. Simeon and I both have a name that we like.. but they aren’t the same name.. We still have a few months to work it out but each passing day solidifies our own choices in our mind. As a joke I started calling the baby by the name I want and Simeon did the same for the name he wants.. Simeon said, “Well, I guess we’ll just see which one he responds to.”

Milestones? We found out baby is a boy! I can’t explain it but I KNEW this baby was a boy from pretty early on. #mothersintuition We actually found out at 16 weeks but didn’t tell anyone until our anatomy scan ultrasound at 20 weeks.

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Just like I KNEW this baby was a boy, I KNOW the name I’ve picked out is the right name for him.. I can’t explain it – it just came to me.. I just feel it.. But Simeon’s not buying it.

Quotes & Stories: As this post is already fairly long, I’ve created a separate post for all the fun quotes and stories of this pregnancy. Check it out here!

Simeon’s Thoughts: Simeon’s thought are so special that they also get their own post. 🙂

Non pregnancy related things: We are house/apartment hunting! Our one bedroom apartment has served us well but we are looking for something else. At this time there aren’t many great housing options – that haven’t been turned into college student housing.. Now we are looking for a bigger but cheaper place to rent once our lease ends in May so we can save more for a house.

I graduated!! A few days after I finished my final class I got a job and started working full-time. I’m an Office Services Coordinator (fancy way of saying Receptionist) at a tax/accounting firm. It’s a seasonal position during tax season so the timing is perfect! The only difficult thing is that Simeon and I are now on opposite schedules but it’s only temporary.

All in all this second trimester has gone by so fast. Even with the pain and pressure and the inability to get out of bed or off the couch without help, I’m really enjoying pregnancy! I park in the “for new and expectant mothers” spaces at the grocery store and feel no shame. Feeling the kicks every day is a big plus and makes it all worth it. I always have my little buddy with me. I can’t wait to meet him in person 🙂

BABY_15

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5 thoughts on “Pregnancy Update | 1st & 2nd Trimester

  1. messerly218 says:

    Oh Natalie this post is precious. You described it so well. Pregnancy can be very challenging at times, our bodies go through huge changes, but there are special things as well. I laughed at “putting socks on without sound effects” haha! And I love that you are Simeon were praying and that’s when you felt baby move. God is so good. Meeting your baby is literally one of my favorites things in the world, I’m so excited for you.

    Like

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