Second trimester of my first pregnancy: The Karate Kid

As I am entering the last week of my second trimester, I look back to it trying to figure out what stuck out the most about it. If during my first trimester things felt like an intense roller coaster of changes, these past 3 months have actually been serene.

It is said that, indeed, the second trimester is the easiest one. You are in between the hormonal/vomit storm and the Alien: Resurrection phase. You are still mobile and your energy is back on track. Plus, there are plenty of highlights to enjoy, especially if it’s your first pregnancy,

But let me detail each part of it, as I have experienced it.

Pump the Bump

During my first trimester I could easily get by as bloated or an avid beer lover. My bump was not so noticeable and I was shamelessly looking forward to the special treatment pregnant ladies get from everyone. Around week 20-21, I really started showing and was happy to see endearing looks on the street and to have strangers ask me about it. By the way, at this point we were already back in Spain, and you must know that it’s a very child-friendly country.

People bring their babies and toddlers everywhere, you can see kids playing in restaurants, hanging around with the adults until later in the evening and everyone is really excited about new babies and pregnancy announcements. Romania is pretty much the same, as we share the traditional family life, although I would say Romanians are a bit more strict with their kids.

Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

But back to the bump. Now, at 27 weeks, I can feel that it starts to get in the way and impact my body more and more. It’s getting harder to bend over and I have introduced a lot of maternity clothes or bump-friendly options. I can’t button any of my pants, so I use the hair tie trick or better go with elastic waists. But the superstars of my wardrobe are, by far, my summer dresses. My advice would be to avoid spending money on special maternity clothes and go for alternatives that you will be able to wear afterwards too.

Practicing non-sleeping

Another side effect of the bigger bump is tricky sleeping. Although I always slept on my side, being forced to only do that is surprisingly limiting. I miss turning on my belly and even sleeping on my back. To avoid tossing too much and to provide proper support, one would ideally use pillows all around. But it doesn’t work for me: 2017 is the hottest year ever recorded, I am in the South of Spain and we don’t have AC. No pillows for this bump, thank you.

More energy, more exercise?

I am ashamed to say that no, I haven’t exercised more. Heat is the biggest factor, because effort leads to dizziness really fast. With the increased blood flow and extended network of vessels, blood pressure can drop in certain circumstances. Dehydration is also noticed immediately and my body began bombarding me with Braxton Hicks contractions. In my case, they show when I walk or clean around the house, or when I am dehydrated. My belly turns hard all around and I get this tightening feeling, like having a rubber band ball in my stomach.

Hi, mommy!

The Karate Kid

One of the most exciting highlights of the second trimester is when you start feeling the baby move and kick. For me, this began around week 20 and it does feel like fluttering – butterflies in the stomach or popcorn popping. At first, you may get overly excited about gases moving in your bowels, but it’s an honest mistake.

Later, the baby really starts kicking and can be felt by the others too. Then you can actually see the belly move and you can tell where the baby’s head is by the asymmetrical bulging.

So what baby model did we acquire?

For some, including me, the baby’s gender is big news and I was super excited to find out. From the beginning of the pregnancy we have been talking about names and referring to it and somehow we inclined to think it’s a she. Which she is, my little amazon princess. Also, the Chinese gender chart was right, which prompted us to test it on our friends and family members. Our conclusion: the internet has different versions of the chart and only some are accurate. Finding out did not really influence any of the preparations, feelings or thoughts about the baby. But we did started calling her by her name and this made the bond stronger. We talk and sing to her and she responds with awesome low kicks and headbutts.

Well, these would be the major highlights of the second trimester, but I would love to write to you about the medical care I received in Spain, the food I have been eating and the nesting period. If you have any other curiosities, please let me know.

So long, grasshoppers, and stay tuned for more updates on the blog.