I thought time was weird last time, but being pregnant during a pandemic adds a whole new level. I’m somehow well into the third trimester & could have a baby before the end of this month. THIS month. Don’t know how that happened! I’m sure I’ll reach the point where everything slows to a crawl any day now, but for now I feel like this pregnancy has flown by (while also being pregnant forever). Hope you enjoy this little second trimester recap, brought to you by my love of bullet journalling.
Weeks 13 to 28
- Week 15 – Dec 16, 2020: Announced to my team & work, and then later on social media. I changed my background in our Teams meeting to a photo of Anni holding an ultrasound picture. It wasn’t super obvious though, so I had to put the photo in our chat instead. They were all pretty excited. As with last time, we got lots of congratulations on social media & a few surprise revelations as well.
- Week 19 – Jan 13, 2020: Anatomy Scan. Thanks to COVID restrictions, N couldn’t join me for the anatomy scan this time around. They did give us a USB with photos though. Everything looked great on the scan, which is always a huge relief. I had a student start the ultrasound & she was great, but baby fish was a bit stubborn so a more experienced tech stepped in to get the rest. Luckily, she managed to get all the measurements they needed (although it took a while) so I didn’t have to go back for more appointments like last time.
- Week 20 – Jan 20, 2020: Midwife appointment. This was my first time meeting part of my new midwife team. My previous midwife, Alissa, transferred me since she’ll now be away around my due date. I was sad to not get to continue with her (she’s amazing!), but I really like both my new midwives. They had a student helping at this appointment – I’ve had a lot of students so far this pregnancy. They’ve all been great. It took her a little while to find Baby Fish’s heart rate because they were moving around so much, but she got it eventually. I was measuring right on track and my blood pressure was good too. I learned that I have an anterior placenta, which explains why I’ve been feeling fainter kicks.
- Week 22 – Feb 4, 2021: I was feeling lots of kicks at bedtime so I asked Nathan if he wanted to see if he could feel them too. He could! It’s fun that he gets to experience more of this stuff this time.
- Week 26 – Mar 3, 2021: Gestational Diabetes Screen. I booked an early morning appointment, hoping it might be quieter so I wouldn’t have to sit around a bunch of people for an hour. Unfortunately, this kind of backfired since a lot of people who need blood work drop in in the morning. They’ve expanded their waiting room into the mall though, so it wasn’t too bad having to sit there. I had another student, but she wasn’t able to get the draw she needed (sorry for my tiny veins). Overall it went pretty smoothly, and I didn’t feel too gross afterwards.
- Week 27 – Mar 10, 2020: Midwife appointment. I met my other midwife at this appointment & went over my glucose results. They came back great. Despite my love of sugar, I don’t have GD. We talked about dTap (whooping cough vaccine) and group B strep. When the student midwife went to listen to baby’s heart rate this time, they kept pushing back. It was pretty funny. I was still measuring right on track and BP was normal, so overall good appointment!
The most striking change in the second trimester is definitely the baby bump. I still find them fascinating, even though it’s the second time I get to experience this. I was already showing before the start of the second trimester this time, but since we don’t go out much, no one really saw me. I’ve been documenting the changes every week though & I love being able to look back on these silly cell phone photos, especially since we don’t plan to do this again.
Both this time & last, I felt like the second trimester is a free pass in terms of symptoms. The fatigue passed around week 15 & I felt a bit more myself again. Both pregnancies have been relatively easy. I know isn’t always the case, so I feel pretty grateful for that.
Energy: My energy levels returned to mostly normal a few weeks into my second trimester. I still find I’m more tired than my pre-pregnancy self ever was, but I’m not struggling to get out of bed every morning like I was in my first trimester.
Lower Back Pain: I had some mild back pain last time, but this time has been much worse. I guess I can blame my new geriatric status for that. 😉
FOOD: AVERSIONS & CRAVINGS
My pregnancy love for sugar is still going really strong. N does a double take every time I reach for the bag of candy I inevitably picked up on my last grocery run. We have a treat almost every single night. I even went so far as to bake 48-hour cookies one week (I love cooking, but have never been much of a baker. Too much measuring!). This baby has been fueled by bread, cheese, donuts, ice cream…all the quick carbs basically. (I was the same with Anni – I think that’s just how my body copes with pregnancy.)
COVID really changed so much about this pregnancy. I had to put a lot more thought & planning into things that were normally an easy yes. A couple of of those types of decisions that popped up this trimester were the Gestational Diabetes Screen & dTap vaccine.
Gestational Diabetes Screen
Numbers were pretty high when it came time to booking my glucose test so for those who are considered low risk for GD, the test was optional. After talking to some friends who deal with the potential side effects of unmanaged GD, I decided to do mine anyway. From what I understand, there’s no real way to know for sure you don’t have it without getting a test & it can be really serious if you don’t manage it properly. I booked a test for an early Tuesday morning at one of the labs that I knew had good spacing in their waiting room, & although it was quite busy, it felt relatively COVID safe.
Right towards the end of my 2nd trimester, we also talked about the dTap vaccine. In Canada, they now recommend it for all pregnant women, to help protect their babies from whooping cough until they can get vaccinated themselves, around 2 months. I got it last time (I was long overdue for my booster & so was N, so we both got it) even though it wasn’t part of the 2018 recommendations in Canada. Since we’ve all been isolating so much with COVID, they haven’t seen as much whooping cough this year, so my midwives told me it came down to my preferences.
Ultimately, I opted to get it. It’s really easy to make an appointment through Public Health, & I know I want to give myself the best chance of feeling comfortable seeing friends & family once baby is born. Whooping cough is just one less thing I need to be worrying about in postpartum. & there will certainly be plenty of other things to worry about since we’re still in pandemic mode.
FAVOURITE PART OF THE TRIMESTER
Kicks & movement are my favourite part of the second trimester. I felt them earlier this time around, probably because I knew what to expect. They’re so reassuring & weirdly wonderful, especially as they get more frequent & predictable with time. They also never stop being strange.
Anni came up with the nickname Baby Fish, & I’ve really loved watching her start to interact a bit with my growing bump. She’s not always super keen, but when she is, it’s adorable. I can’t wait to see her as a big sister.
LEAST FAVOURITE PART OF THE TRIMESTER
I never thought about being pregnant in a pandemic, & I certainly didn’t expect things to still be as bad as they are at this point in my pregnancy. I feel grateful that I got to experience pregnancy in a non-pandemic world first (I’m sorry if this year or last was your first pregnancy – it’s not fair!). & with Nathan being in California most of my pregnancy last time, there are many things that just felt normal for us (his absence at most appointments was disappointing, but he missed a lot last time too). Overall, I haven’t felt as much anxiety around general pregnancy this time, but I wonder if it’s because I’ve done it before or because I’m too busy worrying about COVID. It’s tough to say. In general, I feel like pregnancy is pretty good to me & we have a lot of privilege when it comes to protecting ourselves & Anni from illness. I don’t want to complain, but I still want to acknowledge the fact that it has been a more challenging time.
HELLO THIRD TRIMESTER!
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a little insight into this stage of pregnancy. Thanks to Cassy Joy from Fed + Fit for the great idea – I so loved following along with her recaps. You can expect a final recap for my 3rd trimester (& maybe the 4th?). & I still have plans to blog about so many things outside of pregnancy & parenting too. This is just so much of my reality right now &, as usual, I have far too much to write about & not enough time to get it out.