If you missed my previous updates, you can catch up here:
My first trimester update was all doom and gloom, but I’m happy to report that in my second trimester I turned a corner and experienced a “re-birth.” In my second trimester, I had more energy (at least initially) and most importantly, felt like myself again. I more easily embraced my changing body and started nesting.
The fatigue lingered, but I started feeling better and the nausea disappeared. I felt my appetite increase and early in my second trimester I was craving things like pizza, bagels and ice cream – foods I rarely ate before – but those cravings subsided by the middle to end of my second trimester. I didn’t crave crazy food combos or anything out of the ordinary, but my aversions to seafood, dark chocolate and matcha persisted. My bump started growing and looking more visible. Although I was still napping fairly regularly, I could actually function normally in the world again.
We took a long-weekend trip to Miami where we officially announced the pregnancy to friends and the Internet. This was when we both started to embrace our new reality and David and I found ourselves talking more and more about the baby. Our excitement was growing as we anticipated the arrival of this little being – our daugther – with whom we were both falling more in love by the day.
But when we returned to NYC, things turned a corner. At week 17 I went for my first of two anatomy scans. I was a little nervous, but confident everything would be fine. It was a last-minute decision on my part since my doctor didn’t require one this early in the pregnancy but I decided to do it for peace of mind. I ended up taking a canceled appointment two days before so David couldn’t be there due to travel. On the day of and as the scan went on, the tech got quiet. Eventually, she explained she wanted to get the doctor (not my doctor – this scan was done at a different location and not at my own doctor’s office) to get some additional photos. The doctor came in and looked equally as concerned and finally they told me that there was a potential problem – what looked like a small hole in the baby’s heart. Looking back, her delivery of the information was alarmist as she rattled on about the worst possible outcome and jumped several steps ahead to amniocentesis and genetic counseling. In that moment, I was alone, shocked and terrified with no idea what questions to ask.
Our next step was to move our planned fetal echocardiogram (required because heart abnormalities are more common in IVF babies – making this news all the more difficult to process) to an earlier date and after a week of phone calls to my doctor and my family, endless Internet research and general stress and worry, we went in for the test at Week 18. Our fears were quelled when the doctor explained that while it was still too early to know for sure, if there were a hole, it was so small (and still unclear on the scan), that it would either close on its own before birth as the baby’s heart developed or would be so small that it wouldn’t cause any problems after birth. He reassured us that there were no other markers for any further developmental or genetic abnormalities.
With the scare behind us and now halfway through my pregnancy, these weeks were business-as-usual as I relaxed into the pregnancy with no additional and immediate worries or concerns, but I also knew I needed to start making some progress on my baby to-do list. We chose a doula, started a baby registry, reserached childbirth classes and enrolled in a breastfeeding workshop. We also got some long-overdue home improvement projects out of the way and decided on a name (which we’re waiting to share until after the baby is born)!
At week 22 we had our second anatomy scan followed by our follow-up echocardiogram and we were ecsatic that everything looked great. At week 23, the baby kicked for the first time and I felt a new level of love and connection to her. While I felt the first kicks in the early hours of the morning during a bout of pregnancy insomnia, since then David and I have been enjoying many sweet, quiet moments feeling her kicks together. This baby moves A LOT so I’ve been feeling the movements very regularly. During these weeks I experienced a few nights of sleeplessness (one in particular I slept a total of two hours) and I experienced the discomfort that is acid reflux for the first time. Though I’ve been able to manage it with what I eat and the occassional Tums, it may be one of the most uncomfortable and my least favorite part of this pregnancy so far.
We took took our Big Island Babymoon and then traveled to my hometown, Louisville, Ky., for a “gender reveal” celebration (click through to read how our plans for a gender reveal didn’t go to plan) – these were the last two times I’ll travel by plane during this pregnancy. I took – and passed – my glucose tolerance test, a test for gestational diabetes.
While I’ve been able to maintain somewhat regular activity levels, I’ve cut back a lot because my energy levels aren’t what they used to be and I get fatigued more easily. Napping has been my secret weapon and also learning how to do less in a day than I ever have – and be ok with it. I’ve also experienced some back pain while sitting and hip pain while sleeping but overall still feel mostly comfortable and mobile.
Still to come, a post on how I’ve been staying active during pregnancy and my workouts of choice as well as my pregnancy must-haves!