The second trimester began characteristically with more anxiety, though the moment I got through the 13th week, I felt I could breath a small sigh of relief!
The first thing the internet told me to do was go and tell my GP, if you read my other pregnancy posts you’ll know it was a GP that told me I was pregnant the first place but having been in shock at the time, I hadn’t really asked her what to do next. Mr S and I decided it was was probably best to revisit the doctor’s surgery and officially tell them… living in Central London, I don’t actually have a personal GP, I go to a local medical centre so I booked an appointment at the Maternal Heath Clinic.
Other blogs I’d read had told me this initial GP visit could be a bit anti-climatic but personally I found it reassuring as we met with both a nurse and doctor who alleviated me of lingering worries and helped advise on next steps. Finding out at 11 weeks meant I felt ‘late to the party’ but the doctor reassured me that most appointments schedules kicked off at 12 weeks and as we’d already had two scans and the Panorama test, we were still ahead of the game.
Mr S and I had already decided we’d be having the baby privately meaning our next step was to choose a consultant and hospital for the birth. Again living in Central London meant we had several hospitals to choose from with at least four being only 10 – 15 minutes drive away. I won’t dwell too much on what led us to choose how we wanted to have the baby, where and who would be delivering as everyone has very personal reasons for making their choices and I don’t want to sound like I think people are wrong or right! But anyway we put a lot of research into choosing hospitals, visited for ourselves and met with the midwives.
Our first meeting with the consultant was a long hour and a half in which we discussed everything baby related including my diet and exercise. I also had my blood taken, and blood pressure and I was weighed, given my maternity book and we were sent on our way.
And how was I feeling? Well one thing I definitely wasn’t feeling was pregnant… I think by now we were at around week 14 and the tiredness had mostly subsided, I had a little nausea in the morning but was fine after breakfast and I didn’t really have craving or food aversions, I just wanted light and healthy food. Physically I didn’t look much different, my boobs were a little bigger and I’d actually gone up two cup sizes but my stomach remained the same. Of course, it was far too early to actually feel the baby which at the moment was the size of a pear so at this point, it still felt hard to believe I was actually pregnant.
Weeks passed… and I got to week 16 still symptomless and looking the same as ever… I almost missed that reassuring nausea! It had been four weeks (four weeks felt like an eternity) since seeing our little one on the ultrasound screen, floating and flickering around with his little hands and feet waving… and my anxiety levels were getting very high. Was something wrong? I counted down the days to our 16 weeks appointment, very keen for the reassurance and when the day arrived, I was so nervous that my blood pressure was very high in my initial checks.
The consultant could see my nerves and didn’t mess around! She did the ultrasound nearly as soon as we stepped into the office and there he was bobbing around happily in his amniotic fluid and totally oblivious to his mum’s anxieties in the outside world.
After the ultrasound the doctor sat me down and explained why I didn’t have any of the bodily changes I’d been expecting. Which was of course reassuring and I hope reassures other ladies who are in the same boat … spoiler alert, I didn’t start showing until 22 weeks and now as I write this at 24 weeks (though I’m now publishing at 27 weeks) I can still hide the burgeoning bump if I want to and I haven’t needed maternity clothes. Anyway, after the reassuring chat, I had my blood pressure taken again and it was all normal, which I knew it would be once I’d seen the baby. Then the doctor talked us through his measurements and explained that everything was exactly on point as it should be at 16 weeks.
Feeling reassured and with more lovely scan pictures to add to my collection, we headed home happily chattering about future plans and popped into to M & S to buy him a little gift. Every time we had an appointment I felt a little less anxious and more confident about telling people but I was still far from ready to announce it on social media.
The second trimester is known to be the easiest and the next few weeks passed pretty uneventfully, though I did develop night-time nausea which I found was best combatted with a light and simple dinner and some dry crackers or biscuits before bed. Regular followers might have noticed there was very little travel in March as at this point I’d slightly lost the will and had started nesting. You may have seen in my Instagram stories that we were redoing our bedroom… but what I didn’t tell you was about the changes that we planned for the spare room that would become the nursery. At this point we’d bought very little for the baby apart from a few cute outfits and cuddly toys cos we were so excited but once the nursery is done, we’re planning to get shopping.
I realise all this talk of anxiety is making me sound like I’m not enjoying pregnancy, I guess these updates are more about the extreme feelings of pregnancy when for the majority of the time it’s actually been uneventful for me. I always thought I wouldn’t enjoy pregnancy with the discomfort of getting big, the tiredness and inability to travel as much and eat certain things. But it’s been quite the opposite, apart from aches and pains and the occasional nausea, I’ve actually really enjoyed pregnancy. I feel like I’ve been nourishing my body more, sleeping better, clearing out my flat and seeing more of my family and friends. Pregnancy also give you a brilliant excuse to go to bed early, avoid lifting heavy things and gives a break from gruelling work outs!
Of course I was nervous for the pending 20 weeks scan – it’s the biggie where the sonographer examines the baby’s anatomy in detail to check for problems and if you don’t already know, many people find out the gender at this point. We had our twenty week scan at the Portland as our doctor advised that this was best done by a different pair of eyes and then she would follow-up on it a few days later.
The scan takes a long time as the sonographer looks at the baby in minute detail which is rather thrilling and we had front row seats to see every element of our baby. It was a huge relief to be told everything looked good and I really felt like we’d past a major milestone. Not only was the baby looking good but we were now at the half way mark and everything just felt a little safer. It was actually the next day that I headed off to Jersey on a press trip, which was good fun and with nothing else in the pipeline, I realised it would be my last press trip for a while. Though I still had a few personal trips with Mr S to look forward to!
I thought I’d finish off by telling a few things that helped me out in the first half of my second trimester in the hope that they help you too!
The classic – What to Expect When You’re Expecting – it’s a large book so I thought I’d skim read through bits and then read the important parts but I found myself reading it quite thoroughly. It’s very comprehensive regarding pregnancy, birth and the first few months with the little one. Plus a surprisingly easy read.
The Day-by-Day Pregnancy Book – is a big hard back book detailing your baby’s development and how you can expect pregnancy to progress day by day. I enjoy having it on my desk and referring to it every day to see what’s going on.
How to Grow and Baby and Push it Out – A friend bought this for me and it was a really fun and chatty easy read – I read it really quickly. Despite being informal it’s full of useful information as it’s midwife and mum of four Clemmie Hooper.
I love having everything digital and I have two apps which I check every day. Pregnancy + gives you a daily blog post plus it’s a great way to keep on top of your pregnancy timeline, log photos, list baby name ideas and keep track of appointments and other important things like your weight. One of my favourite tools is seeing how big the baby is compared fruit, animals and sweets. As I write this I’m 24 weeks (as I publish I’m 27 weeks) and he’s the size of a papaya! I love it when it gets to the beginning of a new week as not only am I one step closer to meeting my baby boy, but I also get to see what size fruit he is! Ovia is my other favourite app and it’s very similar to Pregnancy + but I still like checking both for different daily articles and tips. I also check the What to Expect app but on a slightly less regular basis. This is great as it includes videos too.
As we don’t agree on names, Mr S and downloaded another app called Kinder… it’s like the Tinder for baby names. You swipe right if you like the name and left if you don’t so that you build up a list of names that you both like.
Though it is rather pricey, I’ve been loving Mama Mio skin care. I’ve been using the Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Oil followed by Mama Mio Fragrance Free Tummy Rub Butter in hope avoiding stretch-marks but as these are generally genetic, I’m really just hoping for the best.
Clothes-wise I’m still sticking with my four dresses that fit plus I bought a few other things for my trip to Geneva. I bought from the standard range rather than maternity and just got the size up thinking they’ll last me for now!