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  • Writer's pictureRita Winthrop

Second Trimester Update

I’m just days away from the start of my third trimester – how the heck did we get here? Its certainly hasn’t been what most would deem as a traditional second trimester – or traditional few months of 2020 that’s for sure. My first trimester wrapped up right around the start of the new year, and while things were fairly ‘normal’ through January and February, unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you know that by March, COVID-19 has really put a screeching halt to all things normal. We’ll talk more about that in a bit, but its certainly has made the last few months feel like they’ve been lasting years.

January 2020

The first few weeks of second trimester I was still experiencing a lot of morning sickness. Everyone tells you “just wait until the end of the first trimester, it gets better,” and if there’s one thing I’ve learned with this pregnancy (which I was not naïve to start with) is that every women’s body is different. A lot of the symptoms I was told I would get, I never have, and similarly, things that I was told would happen at certain time frames have really happened when they wanted to. The morning sickness, or all-day nausea, really lasted for another good 4-6 weeks into my second trimester. It was incredibly frustrating. I never got that burst of energy like everyone said that I would. While I was slowly being able to incorporate things like vegetables and anything with color back into my diet, it wasn’t until nearly week 17 or 18 that I really started to feel some type of human again.

Through that time I had also tried to really start working out – slowly, but surely I was getting back into the gym, but it really was hard for me to workout first thing in the mornings because even now, at nearly 28 weeks, I’m just so so tired first thing in the morning – which if you know me at all, you know that the morning time is my prime.

February 2020

I’d say by February I started to feel like a human again and was feeling more like myself. I’m pretty sure I shared in my first trimester post that this burst of energy that everyone says you get in the second trimester – or that you even feel better than your nonpregnant self – well then, they must never feel the energy I have felt a good portion of my adult life. Pregnancy, while in the grand scheme of things for me has been simple, has not felt better than before. I feel slow, and heavy, and tired. This isn’t to complain, only to share that the reality is that some of us don’t feel 100% while pregnant, and that’s OK too.

I’d also say that by February I was eating normally again, and the nausea finally subsided, and I was back to the gym 3-5 times a week. With the guidance of my lovely trainer, we made sure that I was still lifting those weights, but just being smart about positioning of my body. Between her and my doctor – they both reiterated that if I was doing it before pregnancy, I could do most of it during, as long as I was conscious of form and taking my time. So, heck yes, I was at the squat rack and lifting over 50lbs. (Obviously talk to your own doctor about what you should be doing as far as working out is concerned while pregnant – I’m not your doctor.)

March 2020

Just a few short weeks later though – the world stopped, or what felt like it. The virus was spreading across the globe, and it was slowly making its way to us here in the US. I remember the day – March 13, having a regular OB appointment, with spring travel for work just 10 days away, and my doctor told me that effective immediately I would be working at home, I would not be allowed to travel minimally for the next month, I was not to be around large groups of people. She’s an extremely laid-back doctor (which is why I picked her) and her concern due to the unknowns surrounding coronavirus and pregnant mamas made me stop dead in my tracks. As I write this, its April 19, and I’ve been working at home ever since. Shortly thereafter, everyone began working at home, and to be honest, I don’t see myself physically back at work until after my maternity leave at this point, if not longer.

Physically, I’ve been doing pretty good – Through the month of March, I was still working out as best I could at home, getting in walks on nice days. I was still kind of sleepy, but I had about one to two lovely months where I felt good. Emotionally on the other hand, come mid-March, the lack of anxiety that I had been feeling began to spike – not about the baby, but about everything else. When they say that the world sometimes hits you all at once, they aren’t kidding – so not only were we having a baby during a global pandemic, we also are trying to complete our second floor renovation (AKA $$$), Frank was told he would be getting a new job (a long personal story that I don’t want to get into), we’d have to buy him a new truck, all with the big unknowns of the world at large. The month of March felt mostly like one big panic attack. It felt like, as many of us were, losing control on the few things in our reality, and for the first time in my pregnancy I was worried. I was worried because I had no say in anything that was happening, I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough money, I was worried that I may have to go into laboring and having this baby alone without Frank or our doula if things got really bad (which let’s be real, could still be a reality.) And I was, and still am worried that I literally may not see anyone outside of my husband (god bless him) and this baby for the remainder of 2020. We all know how anxiety works – and a lot of time you end up spiraling. I spent a lot of March in tears.

For anyone out there who has been feeling the same, pregnant or not, your feelings are 100% valid, and if anyone tells you that they are feeling great despite the current world situation, its bullshit. I’ve had to separate myself from people, influencers, etc., who are telling you that things are great and OK – because while YES, most of the time they are, there is no doubt that so many of us are going through psychological trauma and grief. So unfortunately, I had to sit in those feelings – first literally, and then physically.

Come the end of March, as if being in my house all day everyday wasn’t enough, I started to experience a painful pregnancy side effect: SPD pain. As your hips begin to shift open, that teeny little muscle on the front of your pubic bone, also begins to relax, sometimes, relaxes too much. It makes even walking painful. Standing on one leg (like to put on pants) excruciating. The worst part about it? The remedy is to rest. We all know how much I hate that. In the words of my doula (BLESS YOU BIANCA) it was going to take SPD and a global pandemic to force me to sit on the couch and rest.

I am thankful that through her help, my trainer and a bestie with lots of experience in sports medicine, that I’ve been slowly on the mend. Lots of pelvic strengthening exercises, yoga, keeping walks short, sitting down to do simple tasks, lots of ice, and a support brace and nearly a month later I am starting to be able to do leg workouts incorporating some type of weights. Its hard to think that I imagined my pregnancy that I’d be in the gym nearly every day, and between being sick, this pandemic, SPD pain, I’ve been working out in such a slow fashion compared to my normal.

April 2020

Its only 3 weeks into the month of April, and it feels like the world is so far from where it was. I’m in a lot better shape mentally, thank goodness, being forced to sit with my feelings and thoughts and recognizing that some days I just won’t be able to be productive like I thought is OK. I’m doing minimally a 20-30-minute workout at home and a 20-30-minute walk with Izzy everyday as long as its nice out. That movement has helped me mentally.

Physically – other than the SPD pain, I feel good. This baby is nonstop kicking which shouldn’t surprise me given mama and dad don’t sit still well either. Nearly any time I sit down I get some type of wiggles in there. Part of me is sad that no one else can experience this with me, like my family or my office of very excited coworkers, but then part of me is grateful that I don’t have to spend money on maternity clothes and I can rest all I need before this babe gets here in just a few short weeks.

I guess I’m not quite sure what I had in mind for how this post would go – but the reality is, is that everyone right now is taking a day at a time. We have to, right? I am grateful that I’m healthy and, on the mend, and that I am getting the time at home to prep for this kid a little bit. While our plans have gotten twisted and turned way more than just once, ultimately its teaching me patience, something I’ve been working on pretty much my entire adult life. And the reality is that I don’t NEED a baby shower, I don’t NEED to go to the store as often, we don’t NEED half of the crap that we think we do, so the best we can all do is take this time to take care of ourselves. We’ll get out eventually – and maybe even better than before.

Here’s to the third trimester in just a few short days.

Things I’m craving (because literally everyone is asking!): All things tangy – ranch, honey mustard, Wickles (if you don’t know what these are you’re missing out), mayo, smoothies, cold things (which is also super weird for me) lots of fruit, and MEAT. I guess this (mostly) vegetarian gal is going to have to lean into needing steaks and cheeseburgers for a while. I crave burgers more than I do anything else.

What I’m not into: hot beverages – really of any kind. Bras. Yes, I said it. What they don’t tell you about getting pregnant is not only does your cup size go up, but your rib cage can expand 2-4 INCHES over the course of pregnancy. Pretty much all my bras don’t fit due to my band size anymore, and yikes its painful. I just bought two new bras this past week and can report back for anyone interested. So far so good.

Lifesaving product: Clearly none of us want to get stretch marks, fingers crossed I don’t get them, but I’ve been trying a few different products all over my belly, boobs and bum pretty much since day one. Who’s to say if it’ll work or not, but there’s one product that truly has stood out for me. I’ve been using SunPotion’s Unrefined Shea Butter. Everything else I still felt super itchy and dry skin, and this shea butter, while its thick and you have to warm it up in your hands, has been so soothing on my skin. Highly highly recommend.

Symptoms I was told I’d get but haven’t yet: my feet are still the same size, I’ve had no swelling or restless leg syndrome. I get a little lower back pain, but honestly, I’ve always had a little because of my scoliosis. I also at 28 weeks don’t use a pregnancy pillow due to popular belief. I find that sleeping with a pillow between my legs makes my hips ache in the morning, and a regular bed pillow is enough to help me comfortably lay on my side. I also haven’t had any headaches. I can still touch my feet, put on my shoes, etc., and when practicing yoga can touch the floor no problem like before. I also am almost NEVER hungry. First thing in the morning is when I tend to eat the most, but the rest of the day, I'm picking - the ravenous hunger just simply has never hit at all. The belly is starting to be in my way more, but I guess in the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t been all that bad.



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