Pregnancy Journal: Second Trimester

Pregnancy Journal: Second Trimester


People call the second trimester “the magic middle” and in my experience, that is an apt description. I loved the past three months and am sad to see them go. I was able to exercise, enjoy pregnancy hunger, travel through Italy with my husband, dance at my sister’s wedding, and enjoy Baby J’s squirminess to my heart’s content.

As of my first week in the third trimester, I’m already beginning to feel large and in charge, getting out of chairs and bed is becoming more of a challenge, and I can’t make it through daily Mass without using the restroom three times. I cannot fathom gaining ~10 more pounds before November, even though I want it to happen so that my little one is nice and plump when he’s born. Pregnancy is crazy, y’all, but mine has been so easy that I feel almost guilty for sharing any “lows.” I know so many women who have horrible pregnancies and don’t get any “magic middle”; if you’re in that camp, please know that you’ve been in my prayers.

L'Osservatore Romano. 

L'Osservatore Romano. 

(Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase a title linked in this post from Amazon, at no additional cost to you, a portion of the sale comes back to me. Thank you!)

Second Trimester Highs: Feeling baby move for the first time (around 17 weeks) and then many, many times after that, our Babymoon in Italy (including meeting Pope Francis!), seeing the 20 week ultrasound, finding out he’s a boy, hearing the heartbeat at each appointment, feeling MUCH better in general.

Second Trimester Lows: Difficulty sleeping (mostly due to having to use the restroom every couple of hours), struggles with changes in my body, unsolicited advice/judgment from others about childbirth and child rearing, unsolicited horror stories about birth (seriously, y’all, I don’t need to hear about the ONE person you know who had a horrible experience giving birth without medication), anxiety about anatomy ultrasound and parenting in general, and pregnancy brain.

Second Trimester Cravings: still meat, meat, and more meat. Cheese. Veggies. Avocados. Quattro Stagioni Pizza (I ate three of these during our week in Italy). Greek yogurt. And after the first trimester, when I didn’t crave chocolate at ALL, my love for Trader Joe’s 85% dark chocolate is back with a vengeance.

Weirdest symptom: I seem to be able to hit higher notes than I was able to pre-pregnancy. My guess is that my diaphragm has moved up thanks to my expanding uterus. It’s kind of cool, I must say.

Exercise: I’ve been continuing my daily habit of brisk walks, coupled with some strength training (using kettlebells), lots of squats, and pelvic exercises to prepare my body for birth.

Reading list: Yes, I know this is a long list! I just love to read and learn, and I currently work part time from home, so I have lots of time to do so. 


The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy by Sarah A. Reinhard

The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Genevieve Howland

Finished during the Second Trimester:

What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing (Naomi Stadlen)

 5 million stars. This is the book that I will buy for every first time mom that I know from now on. It’s just THAT good. My fears about first-time motherhood decreased exponentially after reading it.

Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth: The New Mom's Guide to Navigating the Fourth Trimester (Dr. Jolene Brighten)

5 stars. Practical tips on the not-often-talked-about process of postpartum healing.

Meditations for the Expectant Mother (Helen Good Brenneman)

4 stars. Really sweet, and something my mom (and one of my dearest friends) read while they were pregnant.

Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success (Shawn Stevenson)

4 stars.  Sleep has been a longtime struggle for me, and after the first trimester fatigue let up, I was again having difficulty falling/staying asleep. I didn’t want to wait until after Baby J is born to establish good “sleep hygiene” so I bought this book at Wellness Mama’s suggestion, and it has made a HUGE difference in my sleep.

Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences (Dr. Leonard Sax)

 4 stars. I don't agree with everything Dr. Sax says, but this book is fascinating and a must-read for all parents and teachers.

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men (Dr. Meg Meeker)  4 stars, Another book that boosted my confidence, particularly about raising a boy.

Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother  (Beth Ann Fennelly)

 4 stars. Lovely and so readable.

Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children (Daniel A. Hughes)

5 stars. Not your typical “attachment parenting” book in the sense that it focuses on older children and not infants/toddlers.

In the Womb (Peter Tallack)

5 stars. Fascinating and detailed account of everything that happens while your baby is developing in the womb, complete with incredible photos of babies at different developmental stages. 

There you have it: my second trimester in a nutshell. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for Baby J and me throughout this pregnancy; I can't tell you how supported and loved I feel by the Body of Christ these days. 

20 weeks pregnant, and so thankful.  Erik Bello Photography .

20 weeks pregnant, and so thankful. Erik Bello Photography.

Two Sisters, Two Weddings, Two Stories of Hope

Two Sisters, Two Weddings, Two Stories of Hope

Body image, pregnancy, and keeping the eating disorder demons at bay

Body image, pregnancy, and keeping the eating disorder demons at bay