2nd Trimester Update: What I Am Eating, Decisions Made & TMI…..
As I sit here writing this I am now 28 weeks into this baby growing business, so it is time for an update. If you missed my last post with all the in’s and outs of the 1st trimester then click here for a wee catch up on all the gory details 😉
In this post, I am going to cover what I am eating, how I’ve been feeling and there will definitely be elements of TMI and actual real-life feelings as that’s how I roll. You ready?
Well, our 20-week scan told us we are having a…….BOY. I can’t wait to see what a mini Joe looks like!
How I’ve been feeling…
So is you may know my first trimester was grim, to say the least. It was like having the flu for 4 months solid (minus the temperature) and it went on for ages. I was still feeling pretty awful right up until 20 weeks. But have been slowly making progress and feeling less nauseous over time. I have to say in the last 3 ish week I have been feeling the most ‘normal’ I have felt in a while and constant nausea seems to have eased. I have even started to feel a bit of a pregnancy glow!
I have been able to eat more normally and even able to do some (super) gentle exercise in this trimester which has been so good for me mental wellbeing!! I no longer need to be in bed half the day and am back to eating sardines – so my world feels in balance once more. Alas, all has not been totally smooth running, my body seems to be falling apart in other ways but more than on that in a second…
Its only in the last 2 ish weeks have I liked (not loved) the whole ‘being pregnant’ thing, it’s not been the funnest thing I have ever done and feels a bit like a chore. But I keep on remembering that it’s temporary and that I am truly blessed to be in this crazy divine process. On the bad days, I snap at Joe and blame him entirely for knocking me up and swear that this will be my one and only pregnancy…..poor Joe! (And of course, to make it worse – he is a hero about it and in return will give me a foot massage or goes and buy me organic berries…)
The Sexy Symptoms
- Nausea – again this is pretty regular much lower key and it tends to only happen at 3-4pm now and is often helped by regularly eating
- Very Hungry – definite notices a change in my appetite! I would say I have a hearty appetite at the best of the time but have been eating a lot more than normal
- Vomiting – not vomited for a lonnnnnnnngggg time now – praise the lord!
- Constipation – this is still a bit on and off but if I keep up with lots of fruit and veggies, my probiotics, magnesium, and stool to squat on while I poop, it’s all good.
- Mild Fatigue – I am definitely more tired but it’s not too bad and most of the time I just need to sit for 30 mins and do nothing and then recuperate pretty quickly. I am in bed by 9pm most nights and sleep in til 7.30 so I am getting lots of sleep and haven’t really found the whole tired thing a big deal.
- Back and hip pain – this has been a new and unwelcome issue. My hips and back have always been a bit buggared but it has steadily gotten worse and is painful to walk and lie down (although has gotten slightly better post week 26). BUT with the help of a chiropractor its a lot more manageable.
- Hemorrhoids – maybe this is an overshare but I have dealt with hemorrhoids for the first time in life and boy they are grim. Thankfully with some natural remedies, they cleared but within a few weeks but talk about your body kicking you when you’re down……
- Pelvic girdle pain – not fun and pretty annoying. Still got some of this but I am no longer hobbling along. I did some acupuncture for this and it helps LOADS really reduced it in just a few sessions so highly recommend it for anyone else feeling like their vagina and pelvic floor has been beaten into a pulp…
The 20-week scan was pretty cool. I was contemplating having no scans at all due to the EMF of them but I decided against it and am glad I did. I didn’t realise how anxious I was about the baby not having a proper heart or arm or eye or something and having a wee nosey at it 4 heart chambers, kidneys and limbs did me so much good.
Figuring out what ‘kicks felt like! It took me a while to really feel them but I was sitting on a train right watching Graham Norton when I first noticed my belly change shape and baby kicks. Since then he has been kicking none stop!
Getting a belly. I have always carried extra ‘weight’ around my thighs and so having a growing belly is awesome and also totally weird. I keep of catching myself in reflections and being like ‘who is that?!” I thought I would freak out more about gaining weight and feeling like I am becoming huge, but other than feeling like the width of my arse and thighs has doubled in size, I seem to be ok with the change of shape for now.
Ohhh and buying maternity jeans! They are so comfy I am not sure I will ever wear trousers with a zip and buttons ever again ….thanks H&M!
Despite its aches and pains, I am grateful for my body in this process. It is sustaining an entirely unique human being with no conscious input from me – it’s phenomenal.
My home. I have officially opted for a home birth (if all goes well with rest of pregnancy) so I am grateful for our house with the space to have our family, use a birthing pool and stare into the fields. I am such a visual and sensitive person, I know that being in a calm safe place will help me to stay calm and I am so grateful that my home is that place.
Joe. I mean I mentioned him last time but I still am astounded by him. So whilst I am at risk of making you want to be a tiny bit sick in your mouth, he is worth celebrating. Mainly in helping me process how I feel. I am not a typical ‘I am so excited to be a mum and be pregnant …..give me all the baby chat and things’ kinda gal. I often forget completely that I am pregnant and feel like I ‘should’ be more engaged, connected or excited about all this. But he tells me that how I feel is just fine and that I am going to the just the right Mum for our baby boy. Phew. (He also is great at massaging my feet and washing the dishes, I mean how did I get this lucky??!!)
Food has been SO much more enjoyable this trimester. The first trimester I ate to stop me puking and wanting to pass out – now I can eat and mainly enjoy things again.
I have been able to make more foods from scratch like buckwheat bread, cookies, nut milk and even wanted to eat sardines – YAY! Food is such an important thing in my life and something I place a high value on, so being able to eat more normally has helped me feel like myself again. I still eat every few hours and am focusing on nutrient-rich foods, but also just going with the flow of what I feel.
So here’s an update of what I’ve have mainly been eating…
>> Fruit – even more than before especially berries, oranges and apples. I have been making lots of carrot and ginger juice with an orange added and that’s been helping when I feel super sick later in the day.
>> Gluten-free grains – I have eased up on these as I have been focusing on more blood sugar stabilising foods with fat and protein. But still loving me some porridge topped with peanut butter and maple syrup!
>> Eggs – I didn’t go off eggs totally but am back to eating them daily again mainly in a boiled or poached egg fashion and ALWAYS with a runny yolk – yum.
>> Sardines – I knew I was feeling better when I actually wanted to eat sardines! Tinned sardines are a great and cheap source of nutrients – especially calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and protein – they really are a pregnancy (and beyond) superfood.
>> Broccoli & cooked kale – I eat it most days and am loving it because it’s a great source of folate and fibre.
>> Home-made ice cream – I have been wanting more dessert type things and my instant iced cream is going down very well…..
>> Peanut/almond/sunflower butter – pretty much any type of nut or seed butter.
>> Cookies – that is how this recipe was born and I have probably made about 5+ batches of these in the last 3 weeks….
>> Nettle tea – I love this in the summertime as it is great for prevent hay fever but also a safe herb in pregnancy and it is really supportive of healthy liver function and in dealing with seasonal allergies
>> Buckwheat toast – ideally topped with sugar-free jam and almond butter or mashed banana or mashed avocado.
>> Nut milk – I feel like I am drinking tons of this but as I am feeling better I make it in batch myself every few days to keep costs down and the junk additives out 😉
>> Cookie Dough & Cookies – I have eaten a LOT of these. In both the cooked and dough form.
>> Juice – I have been craving more juice type things. Back in the day, I LOVED cordial and squash so instead, I have been buying some tart cherry juice extract (which has been shown to help with joints, reduce inflammation and help in melatonin production) and diluting that instead and that has been doing the trick!
>> Prawns – I have definitely had a bit of a thing for prawns….not sure how awesome this is as lots of prawns can be poorly sourced but hey ho.
Overall I think my sweet cravings have increased (I actually didn’t want many sweet things in the first trimester) but nothing crazy and I am meeting them with more naturally sweet options (want my go-to recipes then grab your eguide below).
What I’ve not been eating or gone off
>> Dairy – I have been really craving cheese and butter and milk and eating them more and thinking all was dandy. But then I started to get eczema on my face and I KNOW that for me dairy is linked to eczema. So about a week ago I removed it, except for my homemade ghee and goat cheese so I can still get some of the fat-soluble nutrients, and what do ya know my skin has nearly all cleared up….
>> Gluten – I was having small amounts of this in the 1st trimester but with all the pain from my wrist, hip and back I felt that this could be contributing to the ongoing inflammation. So I am avoiding it entirely again which is no big deal for me as I have been gluten free for ohhhhhhh 6 years now and have mainly been eating lots of buckwheat toast instead.
>> Alcohol – I still just don’t really fancy it, but if I go start do I will have a small glass of wine or G&T but generally it’s not something I fancy.
>> Beef – still not loving beef for some reason so focusing more on fish, pork and chicken
The Rules I am NOT following
(These are my own personal choices based on my research and gut feeling – always make your own informed decisions)
>> Avoiding egg yolks – I deliberately make my eggs runny and boil my eggs so they are soft.
>> Pate – I have made a batch of my own organic pate as I want to make sure I am getting enough vitamin A (from food)
>> Vaccines – I am (politely) avoiding them as much as possible and it is very much the driving force that has led me to hope and plan for a home birth. Whilst I recognise that you really can’t control or plan for what happens in birth, I would like minimal intervention as possible. And as for vaccines I have not been convinced by the research for things like flu jab or whooping cough so instead I am focusing on supporting my immune system daily. (Please note I don’t mean all vaccines, I will do my research on future vaccines and decide nearer the time)
>> Buying millions of things for baby – I am hoping to get away with buying very little for this baby. I have thankfully been given lots of maternity clothes and will beg and borrow things like a pram, car seat and wrap etc. The only things I think we will buy new are maybe a cot that will turn into a toddler bed – otherwise, I will bay or gumtree anything we need.
Confession – I have mainly been spending money on myself!! With regular chiropractor appointments and acupuncture and even higher standards of what I am eating yet with less energy to make it – my money is mainly going on me! But I am totally ok with that….
Home birth – I have spent some time thinking about this but knowing myself, my history and my strengths and weakness, I think my body will feel safest at home. Birth is based on one big hormonal cascade and stress/fear hormones can get in the way of ‘birthing hormones’ doing their job as effectively.
I hate confrontation and am super sensitive so the idea of being in a location surround by lots of people, other birthing mommas, nurses, doctors, equipment, noise, smells, stresses me out. I used to work in a hospital and I find them ugly, smelly and sterile places to be so not exactly the place I want to be for this private, natural and spiritual marathon/endurance event. Plus I don’t see birth as a primarily medical event (mainly as I am fit healthy and low risk), its a natural one that women have done for many many years.
But who knows right? I am truly not attached to either outcome. My birthing goal is for me and baby to come out alive and well and I know that birthing in a hospital can 100% be a positive experience – so I am going to have my plan and preference but ultimately go with the flow 😉
Eco-friendly nappies – Ideally, I am going to go for reusable ones but I have also found some disposable one that biodegrades in 6 years (Baby spice also founded the company…..total Spice Girls fangirl here!).
I wasn’t convinced of the whole reusable nappy thing due to the amount of energy and chemicals used to wash and dry them, but learning more and more about how much nappies fill our landfill honestly makes me sad. I am responsible for the land that my children will live in and I can ignore that, no matter how much I want to. ALSO, I learned about how much crap is in disposable nappies – so many nasty chemicals that basically just sit on your babies skin from day one. And we absorb the up to 80% of what touches and goes onto our skin so that was the final clincher for me.
Hypnobirthing – While I know there is lots I cant control about birth there are things I can do to prepare for this endurance event. So like an athlete I am taking my ‘birth training’ as seriously as I took my half marathon training. While I am adopting different training approaches I knew that hypnobirthing could be helpful in training my brain and breathing and so far it’s been great!
Placenta encapsulation – I have found a lady who is trained to do this, managed to convince Joe that it is NOT something he will want to do himself (to save us money of course!) and feel very sure on wanting this done. There is no scientific research backing this up, so its an intuitive decision.
Pregnancy Pilates – I am all about working my pelvic floor and trying to repent future incontinence!! I do some sort of pilates 2-3 a week – again its all part of my ‘marathon training’ 😉
Creating a 5th Trimester plan of action – I might write about this in a separate blog but I have been reading more and more about the importance of deep nourishment and recovery in the (what I call) the 5th trimester (most other people call it the 4th trimester but I see the 3 month prior to conception as the 1st trimester). I haven’t spent much time prepping baby clothes, thinking about a baby shower (I totally forgot about this but thankfully my sisters are on it!) or event thinking a lot about the birth. I have been focusing on the 90-day post party and what systems can I set up to ensure I am fully nourished – mind body spirit and soul. I have started to create a postpartum plan of action that will go up on the fridge and talked to my husband about it, found a local specialist in breastfeeding, pelvic floor, pilates, herbs and more in case I want or need their support.
Yay, I have been able to do some exercise again! Albeit limited due to hip back and pelvic pain but it still good.
So I have been doing the following:
- walking – at the field near me almost daily (weather depending), I can’t walk far but I still try to do something.
- bouncing – on my rebounder, this has been great for my sore hip as it’s low impact and a good way to gently work my pelvic floor…I just have to make sure I pee before I bounce and bounce very gently!I
- pregnancy pilates and yoga – this has been great and really helped me feel more sane and help with my pelvic girdle pain
- squats and push-ups – I do these against/with the kitchen worktop and feels good to move.
Making sure you have clothes you still feel nice in. I bought a pair of jeans as soon as didn’t feel comfortable and have been visiting charity shop regularly to add items into my wardrobe that make me feel less like a thrust turkey…
Have a babymoon! We went to Turkey for our first packaged all inclusive, adult only holiday – IT WAS AWESOME!
Tart cherry juice and sparkling water! Great for it anti-inflammatory properties and supporting relation production and feels a bit like Ribena but without any sugary crap or additives!
Most unhelpful advice/reactions
Everyone telling me how I going to feel. Like ‘you won’t want to use cloth nappies once the baby comes’ or ‘you won’t have the energy for that’ or ‘just watch what happened to your diet after the baby comes’…
It’s not that I disagree with what people are saying, as I obviously have NO IDEA how I will feel postpartum or when this baby is in my arms. But I hate feeling trapped by other peoples assumptions or values. I want the freedom to navigate this my own way and in my own time and with the space to express my values….and weird hippy choices!
So there you have it! And I would love to hear from you – would you like more baby or pregnancy content here on the blog? Let me know in comments below.
Are you joining me for my Beat the Bloat Workshop & 5-Day Challenge? We get started too so click below to join us!
>> Kicks off Wednesday 27th June <<