I thought with a toddler in tow this pregnancy might flight by, but it seems to be doing exactly the opposite! Perhaps it’s because I already feel as big as I was with Lu, or perhaps it’s because of some other physical issues (which I’ll explain later), but I feel like these weeks and months are draaaaaaagging and I should be farther along than 26 weeks by now.
I won’t complain too much, because as excited as I am to meet this little bug, I’m just as content soaking in my last few months alone with my first baby…and all the shut eye ;).
So how did second trimester go?
If I could label this pregnancy with one word, it would be PAIN. Pain, PAIN, PAIN.
I don’t mean a figurative pain…I have literally had a pain in my butt, hips, and, umm, lady bits for weeks now.
With L, I developed this same pain much later in pregnancy, when I had only a few weeks left. It can be debilitating, locking my right hip up suddenly in the middle of walking somewhere so I have to hobble and limp to my destination. It gets worse if I sit for long periods of time and includes weakness in my inner thigh and groin area. I’m no doctor, but I’m guessing the pain originates from that lovely hormone relaxin that we moms develop during pregnancy, which helps us to give birth and breastfeed. Some women can produce too much or be too affected by it, which can result in extra loose ligaments…and pain.
I couldn’t fathom working 3 more months with this pain, so I requested a physical therapy appointment and have been sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair at work. I think that’s something that’s changed with this pregnancy, I’m more keen to advocate for myself as far as health choices and issues, which feels nice!
Otherwise, physically, I feel pretty great most days. Some second trimester heartburn has kicked up, but not nearly as bad as with L. My nausea and vomiting has nearly disappeared, although I still have to take diclegis to fend them off and I’m still slightly queasy some mornings.
I’m so grateful for baby boy, but I’d be lying if I said these days aren’t filled with a soft pulse of dread for the end of the “Time of Lu”. My babe and I are so, so close: she rarely lets my husband do tasks for her like change diapers or run baths without a fight and she’s always asking “Mommy can you play with me?” She’s my little side kick and my best friend, and I’ve cried more than once thinking about how our relationship will change.
I fear resentment from her part if I can meet her needs right away because baby needs me, or just a general loss of closeness because I simply can’t give her undivided attention. I fear resentment on my part toward her or baby for taking my time away from one or the other. I fear resentment between partners because of lack of help or quality time together.
My fears are coupled with a tendency to not bond as much with baby during pregnancy. I’m not ashamed of this, it happened with Lu too but as soon as she was placed in my arms I was head over heels. It’s just hard for me to conceptualize that immense love when I haven’t met the little guy yet. Meanwhile, Lu is here in flesh and bone, so naturally my thoughts revolve around her adjustment.
When I feel sad about our forthcoming shift in family dynamics, I remind myself of the glimmers of how beautiful it’s going to be, as well. Lu voluntarily kissing my belly and declaring, “Ugga mugga, Bingo” (where my Daniel Tiger fans at??). Retrieving small baby items from store shelves for baby. Daydreaming out loud about how she’ll hold him and feed him and share her things with him. I know she’s just going to be the best big sister, because she already is.
Besides these common thoughts and feelings a mom-to-be might have, I’ve been keeping careful track of signs of anxiety or depression flare-up, and, unfortunately, they are popping up. Specifically, I find myself experiencing the obtrusive thoughts and abnormal fears that kept me constantly on edge with Lu. Replaying a terrible scene of her running from a building into traffic again and again, or rushing from my shower because I envision her choking on her cheese crackers on the sofa so vividly I’m sure it must be true. When L was small, I kept my hand on her belly while she slept for months because I was so fearful that she wasn’t breathing. When fearful thoughts start interfering with your regular life, that’s when they are becoming a problem, and I’m fortunate to recognize this in myself.
I’ll be seeking out help, shortly to try and keep these thoughts from snowballing into a full-blown postpartum episode…but I hope to have grace for myself if that’s what turns out.
Finally, I’m struggling with body image during pregnancy. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have read that I had a terrible instance of unintentional body-shaming at work recently. As someone who has struggled with positive body image my whole life, it’s hard to watch myself gain weight with little control. I constantly have an internal voice telling me that everyone must be looking, pitying me for being the fat pregnant woman.
I’m not telling you this for pity, that doesn’t typically help anyone. I’m telling you that it’s normal and ok to not enjoy your body’s changes during pregnancy. I’m telling myself that, too.
Luckily, this time I have Lu to work toward body acceptance for, and the knowledge that it won’t always be like this and I can work toward weight loss and fitness goals (or not!) after squeezing this nugget out of me.
Now, andiamo friends, into third trimester!Now, excuse me while I go pack my grocery tote full of snacks for the day and hug my first baby one more time!