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Pregnancy

my second trimester with #2

January 26, 2022

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I can’t believe the second trimester has come and gone already! This pregnancy has gone by so much faster than my first. The second trimester is often referred to as “the sweet spot” because your first-trimester nausea has subsided, your energy returns, you look pregnant with a visible, obvious bump, and your loved ones know you’re pregnant.

Why, yes, all of the above is very sweet. What most books and pregnancy apps fail to mention is that all of the above is true but with many exceptions if you’re pregnant and also caring for tiny humans. Sharing some insights and truths to what it’s like to have a second viable pregnancy, how we’ve been preparing Jack for the transition to big brother, and products I couldn’t live without.  

SYMPTOMS

I learned early on in this sweet second trimester is that many symptoms of pregnancy happen earlier in your second pregnancy than they do in your first pregnancy. My midwives and friends warned me of this but it didn’t really sink in until it was happening.

Here’s a list of symptoms that I had with Jack late in the third trimester but came earlier in the second trimester with #2.

  • Low back pain
  • Aches and pains in feet and calves
  • Shortness of breath after doing simple tasks
  • Frequent bathroom trips in the middle of the night
  • This is a fun one – LOTS of movement from this baby. Active and moving nearly all day long. Jack moved at an expected rate for pregnancy but his brother is so much more active. And active so much sooner!
  • The bump is larger, sooner. Check out this side by side! I think they look so similar even though they are five weeks gestation apart.

Here’s a list of symptoms I never had with Jack that are brand new to this pregnancy.

  • Charlie-horse leg cramps in the middle of the night
  • Back pain so bad, I couldn’t stand or sit (happened several times over Christmas)
  • Vivid and bizarre dreams every night. I had a dream that Jack won the Rose Parade because he designed a float shaped like Woody and Buzz. UH WHAAAAT.

Despite how hard it has been navigating all these symptoms and taking care of a toddler, I am forever grateful to be experiencing it all. There is a healthy, happy baby growing in my healthy body. That is the greatest gift.

PREPARING JACK

Our little boy is going to be a big brother. It’s something I never really thought about until we began planning for another child but now that it’s a reality I think about it all the time.

Jack just turned three and I am so glad the boys will have a three-year age gap between them. Jack understands so much more than he did, even six months ago, plus he’s incredibly observant. He notices my belly growing, he understands his “babbbeeee broooyer” is in my belly, and he will kiss and pat my belly to say hello to him once in a while.

Now, does he really know what’s about to happen? Of course not but it’s comforting that Jack is a little older, independent, and responds (somewhat well) to things that are already changing in his life. For example, he understands when I explain why I can’t pick him up, when he needs to be careful of my belly, and most recently he helps me pick up stuff off the floor when it’s too hard for me to bend down to get it. He seems to be enjoying being my “little helper” and I’m hoping this continues when his “babbbeeee broooyer” is born.

Here’s a few fun items and tactics that have helped us prepare Jack:

  • Baby Belly book. There are only illustrations, no text, so the parent can really narrate how you want your child to understand this transtition.
  • Acknowleding Jack’s new role by attaching helpful, thoughtful behavior to the words “big brother.” Example: Jack now takes off his hat, boots, and jacket and puts them away on his own when we get home from an outing. I’ll acknowledge him and say “Thank you, Jack! I appreciate you putting those away without me having to remind you. It helps me so much. You’re going to be such a helpful big brother.” He smiles and replies “Yeeeah!”
  • When he’s excited to show us a toy or a book, we ask him if he’s excited to show that toy or book to his brother. He says “yep!” but we’re not quite there on sharing our toys or books just yet. That will be a transition when the time comes!

I know that no matter how much we prepare it will be a massive change for him. I have very few expectations and I’m hoping there will be more highs than lows. It’s a big deal and I want J to know we are right there with him to love and support him through the transition. I truly can’t wait to be Mom to the Harris brothers.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY MOMENTS

Cravings

  • Turkey sandwiches (don’t judge, I heat the meat just to be safe!)
  • Wine. All I want is wine which I never wanted in my first pregnancy. It’s so bizarre. I’ve had a few sips here and there. Despite my craving it still doesn’t taste good. My social drinking FOMO is real!
  • Chocolate covered graham crackers. So random! A local market makes them fresh at their bakery. They are the sweet treat I didn’t know I needed and now can’t live without.

Habits

  • Hot baths with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil. At least 3-4x per week to soothe the aches and pains.
  • Prenatal Pilates at The Pilates Hub in Seattle. I love yoga and teaching prenatal yoga, and adding this strength building workout for my muscles, core, and pelvic floor has been so valuable.
  • Prenatal Massages and Acupuncture. Most insurance providers will cover these during pregnancy and they have been critical to my phsycial and mental well-being.

Must-Haves

  1. Erbavia Stretch Mark Cream for the belly.
  2. HATCH Down Girl for foot and leg pain relief.
  3. Eberjey Gisele Sleep Shirt. Made of Tencel and modal for comfortable, cool sleepwear.
  4. All Birds Womens Wool Loungers for easy slip on shoes that are incredibly comfortable and water resistant for wet, Seattle weather.
  5. Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream because I wake up 2-3x a night and I’m a human living in a pandemic. Love this day + night eye cream to help diminsh dark circles and fine lines.
  6. PharMeDoc Organic Cotton Pregnancy Pillow. I accidentally purchased this pillow thinking it was just a pillow case for my (old) pregnancy pillow, but turns out it was the best accidental purchase I ever made. This orthopedic pillow has improved my sleep and body aches since I got it a few weeks ago.

So mamas, does any of this feel true to your experience? What advice would you give a mom who’s about to make the transition from one to two kids?

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