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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

surviving pregnancy... the 2nd trimester

I loved the second trimester! I was happy, had tons more energy, didn't fall asleep everywhere we went, and actually wanted to be more active. I didn't feel sick anymore- literally a few days after 14 weeks and the beginning of the second trimester it was like a light switch flicked off and I no longer felt sick to my stomach all the time. It was a great feeling!

I know I was a lucky one though. I know not all people stop feeling sick in the second trimester. If you aren't lucky like this I know there are medications that are safe to take to take away the nausea, so ask your doctor about those.

I remember also this was when I was really showing, really appeared to be pregnant. I loved that feeling! I loved seeing my belly grow and starting to feel the baby move inside. However, I know I'm rare in enjoying the growing baby bump experience. I know many friends who did not enjoy this part at all, who dreaded getting bigger and no longer fitting into regular clothes, having to buy all maternity items. If you find yourself in the latter category, know that it's normal not to enjoy every second of this experience. Pregnancy has tons of ups and downs, so whatever you are feeling it's OK. Just know that while you are growing bigger, you are doing it for a purpose- to grow a baby. You are not getting "fat," you are building a bigger place for the baby to live. That's quite a job.

Tips for getting through the second trimester:
1. With all that new energy, be careful not to use it all up! I remember the first three months I was exhausted, didn't want to do anything at all, so then when I finally felt better it was like I wanted to make up for lost time and do everything and anything. Don't do that! You still need to rest and take care of yourself. You are growing another life, afterall! Take it easy!

2. Check things off the list! While I caution you to rest as much as possible, I'm also saying to start doing those things you want to get done before baby arrives now in this second trimester, because once third trimester hits you will again have zero energy, feel too big to move around, and won't be sleeping as well at night so you'll again be exhausted. So get the baby registry finalized, make your list of baby shower invites and give to whoever is throwing you a party, start the baby nursery if you can, start washing baby clothes if you have them, buy diapers and wipes, pack the hospital bag, talk about your birth plan, visit the hospital for a tour and possibly a class, etc. Don't do this all at once, but start planning to check off those to-do list items now.

3. Talk about it. Whatever you are feeling these next couple of months - nervous about reaching your third trimester, which means labor and baby's arrival; a surprise shower that you are dreading the surprise moment of; having no clue if you'll be a good mom or what the heck to name your child; hating your new curvy and big body; feeling so tired you can't stand it... etc. - talk about it with a friend, you husband, your doctor... Pregnancy causes hormones which cause emotions that are crazy. Don't deal alone. Seek someone to listen!

4. Take some pregnancy pictures! OK I know many of my friends absolutely refused to get pictures done of their bellies, and again I was not the norm when I begged my husband to take a monthly picture of me all throughout my pregnancy as well as had my good friend and photographer Beth Wallace take some pregnancy shots of me... BUT I totally encourage people to take some pregnancy photos during the second trimester. You are gorgeous, glowing skin, so happy it shows everywhere, and again gorgeous in your new body. You should capture this state forever on film because you can and won't get another chance at this. I recently framed a picture of just my big belly and my hand with my wedding rings on it and put it up in my living room in a frame with other pictures of things like my wedding day, my siblings, our engagement, etc. - things that make me happy. Knowing I carried a baby in my belly definitely makes me happy. It's something to be proud of. Again, I know so many are just not comfortable with their growing bellies, so I totally do not judge you and definitely understand that you won't want pictures done. If you are hesitating though and at least sort of interested in taking some, my advice is to try it out!

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