Just like that, I'm almost 28 weeks pregnant! My belly is officially huge and we are getting so super duper excited for baby boy's arrival around February 1st.
The first trimester was definitely tough for me, both mentally and physically. I started to feel drastically different around 15 weeks and by 16 weeks I *almost* felt like myself again. The nausea, fatigue, indigestion, food aversions, and depression were nowhere to be found. It was a magical time!
All of the sudden I felt inspired to work again, even more inspired than I usually do. Having the energy to blog and the creative juices to create content (and help with the restaurants, of course) felt so reassuring. I'd heard that the second trimester is often the sweet spot before getting uncomfortable in the third, so I tried to make the most of it.
We're currently renovating our master bathroom which is attached to the on-suite area where we're going to put the nursery. We're also adding a closet for allll the stuff that comes with having a baby (our house has no basement and next to no storage). Once that's done at the end of November, I'll actually start getting furniture and putting together that sweet space!
- Kicking: I first felt the baby kick around 18 weeks with just a light flutter. As the weeks passed, he started kicking constantly, and we're still in awe of it! Now his kicks are super strong and it's crazy.
- Heartburn: I was so relieved when the horrible indigestion (namely burping and bloating) faded, but it came back with a vengeance aorund the middle of the second trimester with a new friend--heartburn. I don't think I'd ever had heartburn before being pregant. It came in waves versus being constant, but there were days I took antacids several times. My stomach felt like it was on fire 95% of the time, no matter what I ate.
- Increased Appetite: I am constantly hungry. And constantly eating. I had virtually no sweet tooth in the first trimester, which is very unlike me. Now I typically have two breakfasts and multiple sweet treats a day!
- Sciatica: I dealt with some really bad sciatica in this trimester that would flare up for days and then go away. All the sudden I'd be walking and I'd get shooting pain really low in my back and more-so in my glutes. I got acupuncture for the first time and I think it provided a lot of relief, unless it went away on its own! I did two sessions.
- Leg cramps: Hooooooly moly. Around week 23 I got the most insane leg cramps at night that would then carry on throughout the day. One night while I was sleeping I was woken up by two consecutive Charlie horses. I foam rolled my legs, tried to up my water intake, and made smoothies with coconut water. They didn't last long, luckily!
- Shortness of breath: This one hit me like a ton of bricks. If I had a dollar for every time I told Jeff "I can't breathe," I'd be a rich lady.
- Sore boobs: There was a lot of tenderness toward the end of the second trimester, which isn't surprising since those as well are getting much bigger in preparation for baby's arrival!
denim dress | sunglasses | Keds
I'm so happy to report that I've been feeling excellent mentally. Whereas early on I felt unexplainably overwhelmed with sadness, I've felt really great ever since! I am a bit nervous about giving birth in the height of Covid and bummed that having visitors might look different early on with our little guy, but we've all learned to adapt and make the best with what we've got.
I found out at my 18-week anatomy scan that there's a chance I have placenta previa, vasa previa, or both. I had never heard of either of those conditions so at first I was really overwhelmed. All I wanted to know was if the baby would be okay!
The doctor went on to explain that I may have a low lying placenta and marginal cord insertion, which oftentimes clear up as pregnancy goes on and are not very serious even if they don't.
Vasa previa on the other hand is a rare, more serious condition where blood vessels are exposed that should not be. This can endanger the mom and the baby if not caught early. From what I've read, women with vasa previa may go on bed rest in the third trimester and deliver via induced c-section a bit earlier to avoid natural labor.
After getting over the initial shock and tears, the doctor assured me while baby is totally healthy and in the 60th percentile, these potential conditions mean I'd need to be monitored more often than normal. She scheduled me for another ultrasound in 10 weeks (when I'd be 28 weeks), which I actually have next week.
To prevent bleeding, the doc said no sex, horseback riding, or anything inserted vaginally. Luckily I have not had any bleeding or pain, so I'm hoping that these potential issues are resolved at my next ultrasound!
I'm still taking Garden of Life Raw Prenatal (I get the 180 count that lasts two months) and Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA since the prenatal doesn’t contain DHA. I only take one of the DHA pills a day (each pill has 240mg) since that meets the 200mg daily DHA requirement. Nordic Naturals also has a Vegan Prenatal DHA if that’s of interest!
I've been able to be really active in the second trimester, pretty much as active as I was pre-pregnancy, which feels great! I try to work out 4-5 times a week, which is a combination of Butcher Shop reformer pilates classes, Unmeasured virtual barre classes (like a hug for my body), Les Mills Body Pump/Grit/"Anything Goes" circuit-style classes at The Fitness Loft, or just a long walk outside.
I've had to get creative in the classes during the abs section and with certain moves like burpees that no longer feel good, but I typically just do my own thing. Oh and I can't run for longer than five minutes. I'm not much of a runner anyways, but it's definitely the last thing my body wants right now!
It's important to me to stay active and be as strong as I can be for delivery, plus it does wonders for my mental health.
Thoughts on Weight Gain and Body Changes
I'm including a note about this because the question of getting used to a growing body seems to come up a lot among readers. I don't own a scale, so I couldn't tell you the last time I weighed myself prior to pregnancy. I actually found it fascinating getting weighed at the doctor and seeing how much my body was changing! The female body is nothing short of amazing, and I truly feel so lucky to be growing a human in my belly.
Yes, of course it's an adjustment getting dressed sometimes and nothing fitting except yoga pants (bless Align leggings), but that's more physical than mental discomfort for me personally. I knew going into pregnancy that I'd be likely be gaining around 30 or so pounds and I was prepared for my body looking and feeling very different. There are plenty of days where I feel like crap, and that's ok. I don't expect or need to love my body all the time.
The focus on weight gain is yet another indication of our culture's preoccupation with thinness. I've never trusted my body more than I do now. Our bodies pre, peri, and postnatal should be celebrated!
There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: Ahhh, how much I adored this unique book. Thank you to the reader who recommended this to me. It's not your typical pregnancy book. In fact, I'd encourage everyone to read this for a perspective shift, kids on the way or not. It centers on the philosophies of Scandinavian parenting and how critical spending lots of time outdoors year-round is for all of us but especially for raising resilient little ones.
This book made me go on a walk on a cold, rainy day---something I never do. In Sweden and Norway, children are raised spending a significant amount of time outdoors engaging in free, creative, messy play during all seasons (with the proper gear, of course). Rather than skipping recess due to the rain, the kids all have rain boots.
Scandinavians are big fans of letting kids be kids and encouraging as much imaginative, independent, outdoor play as possible versus pushing accelerated reading and academics early on. They have some of the best reading scores in the world, but they don't learn to read until they're seven. The entertaining story line about the author's two little girls and their time in the US versus Sweden paired with lots of research made this such a winner for me.
Bringing Up Bebé: This was the first book I read, and I really loved it. It's another entertaining storyline that amusingly explores why Parisian moms seem so much more calm and have babies "doing their nights" by three months. (Excellent, government-paid daycares with gourmet food and generous parental leave don't hurt!)
French parents are very big on respect and raising independent and curious versus entitled kids, which I really aspire to do. This book has tons of relatable, valuable tips for parenting that I know I'll come back to. The only part I didn't like was the diet culture talk.
Moms on Call: I just started this one, and will likely be using it as a resource later on closer to birth. I've had a lot of friends recommend this book in order to prepare for the first six months, like how to get baby on a schedule and promote healthy sleeping habits for the whole family.
Taking Cara Babies Newborn Course: This is a course, not a book, but I've heard amazing things about this with regards to setting baby up for great sleep. I actually added this to my Babylist registry!
long sleeve top | leggings in "pine" (use code HUMMUS for 10% off) | slippers
Favorite Maternity Clothes
- I've mentioned before that I live in Lulu Lemon's Align leggings. I got a size up and they've been awesome.
- P'tula is a new to me local brand with a line of maternity leggings, and they've been such a life savor! They're extremely comfortable and I love the colors. I have black, pine and napa purple. Use code HUMMUS for 10% off! I often get asked about sizing, so I wear a size S if that's helpful. I also have this super cozy black pullover and camo half-zip that I love.
- Love these maternity side panel raw hem skinny jeans, which I've come to prefer over the over-the-belly kind. They do fall down a bit after a while...you can't win 'em all!
- I'm still in love with these nursing bras that I wear solely because they're so easy and comfy. I also just this three-pack with removable straps because I needed more and I love them!
- The best ever pregnancy pillow. I affectionately named him Sid and I fully intend to use him post-pregnancy, too! Soooo comfy cozy.
- RenewLife Heartburn Stop is a great natural alternative to Tum’s when heartburn comes on strong.
- I use this belly oil when I remember, which these days is like twice a week. I am very prone to stretch marks but haven't gotten any on my belly yet, so we'll see!
Questions? Thoughts? Got a pandemic baby you want to tell me about?! Leave a comment!
If you liked those first two books, you’d also like Achtung Baby. We are doing it all wrong here! Outdoorsy, independent kids, and babies who sleep through the night is where it’s at!
Alexis Joseph says
Yesss! Thank you!
I have a three month old and another book I would recommend is Parenting without Boarders. It is similar to the first two on your list but it looks at multiple different cultures and how they parent in comparison to how we parent in the US. It was really eye opening for me and I loved reading it.
Alexis Joseph says
That sounds right up my alley, thanks so much for recommending!
Jan Brulz says
Your update on the baby was so inspiring to read. I am a Mom and Grandma and a retired teacher ( I still do sub because I love to see the kids). Your words were so lovely and I really enjoy following your baby journey. You look so darn cute in the pictures that you posted. I know you and your husband will be great parents, and the love that you have for your baby boy is beautiful. I have two sons and the bond that I have with them is so special. Being a grandma to my grandson and granddaughter is amazing. I so enjoy this part of my life. I am sure that your parents are very excited for your little boy to enter the world. Continued good health and happiness to both you and your husband:)
Alexis Joseph says
Awwww thank you, Jan! Your sons and grandkids are SO lucky to have you. I can tell you're just the sweetest soul! My parents can't wait for the baby 🙂 We're all just so excited. Thanks a ton for your continued support and love!
I have so loved your trimester recaps, Alexis. I am in the first trimester now (not due until June!) and I am experiencing all those "fun" physical and mental feelings! I hate that you struggled with nausea and depression, but it's just so uplifting to have a little more reassurance that it is normal!
Alexis Joseph says
I so appreciate your encouragement, Ann! And CONGRATS! How exciting. I hope you're feeling great and I'm so glad this content is helpful!
I’m so excited for you and your hubby!
Alexis Joseph says
Eeee thank you tons, Linda!
You are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience. It's very enlightening, and I commend you for taking it all in stride. You continue to inspire me, friend.
Alexis Joseph says
As are you, friend! Thanks so much for reading and for always being here. You inspire me!
Love all of this! I am 34 weeks along and found myself nodding along with this post 🙂 You look radiating and I have that pregnancy pillow and its heaven! :):) Congrats to you
Alexis Joseph says
Isn't that pillow a game changer? You're so kind--congrats on your little one and thank you for being here!
You look gorgeous pregnant.
Alexis Joseph says
That is so kind, thank you!