Thursday, April 18, 2013

The 2nd Trimester: This is what I know

Everyone asks for pregnancy updates and photos. I am sad to say that the title picture in this blog post is the only belly pic that I have taken to 18 weeks gestation. I am 22 weeks along as of this posting.
With my other two pregnancies, I took photos weekly starting at about 8 weeks. It's not that I am less excited about this baby, I am just darn busy. Too darn busy to hunt down the Fella, persuade him to take a picture, pose, and then persuade him to take it 4 more times because my arm looks fat or my eyes are squinty. 
As far as updates, this pregnancy has been so blessedly uneventful that I don't feel like I have much to say. No hyperemesis gravida, no major discomforts. The big news, the only "event" of the pregnancy so far, came about two weeks ago, when we learned that we are having our second baby girl! We are so overjoyed at this news! I will concede that my "mother's intuition" was totally off on this one. I was absolutely positive that this baby was a boy. So positive, in fact, that I cornered the Fella the night before the ultrasound and forced him to finalize a boy's name with me. Ha! Imagine my surprise when the tech typed "girl" on the money shot!
The Facebook announcement:

As I'm reading back over my post The 1st Trimester: A Survival Story  I realize that although there is nothing to "survive" right now, I do have some tried-and-true opinions that have made things easier.
So here's what I know:
  • The chiropractor is a must! Find a good one (preferably one certified in the Webster Technique and/or one that specializes in prenatal chiropractic care). Don't wait until things start to ache. I had nearly debilitating sciatica with my second pregnancy, and so I started visiting the chiropractor weekly at 12 weeks during this pregnancy. I have only felt twinges of sciatica this time, as opposed to the severe pain I was in by this point in my last pregnancy. Even if you aren't having any aches or pains, chiropractic care during pregnancy is noted to help the baby's position during labor and delivery and make the birthing process shorter and easier. 
  • Eat tons of protein. While your body can do a lot to build your baby without your help, it absolutely cannot do so without protein. Guess what? If you don't take in enough protein in your diet during pregnancy, your body will "steal" it from your muscles. This is why many pregnant mamas feel tired, weak, and flabby during pregnancy. You can gain the recommended amount of weight (or less!) and still end your pregnancy with little muscle tone simply because of your protein intake. I never really knew the importance of protein with my first two pregnancies and I credit this dietary change with how great I feel this time around!
  • Trust no one. your doctor/midwife. No matter how many times you have done this, everyone has advice. Most of it is bull. Sorry to the know-it-alls of the world (including myself). Oh, and Google is not a substitute for your provider's advice and knowledge. Google any possible pregnancy question and you will undoubtedly get contradictory answers, all of which will sound perfectly credible. And don't even get me started on those online message boards....
  •  Eat high fiber foods daily. You know why. If I have to tell you are not a pregnant woman or a mother. Yeah, it's an unpleasant topic. But staying...ahem...regular will help you feel more comfortable in so many ways.
  • Last but most important: Live your life. I will hop onto my soap box here and say it. I absolutely cannot stand hearing phrases like "I can't do that, I'm pregnant" and "I'm going to stop ______ while I'm pregnant." or "You can't expect me to ______ while pregnant." Unless you are filling in these blanks with smoke crack or do Jager bombs or go bungee jumping, pretty much whatever the [safe] activity is, if you could do it before you were pregnant, you can do it now. House work, yard work, car washing, road trips, vacations, camping, water-park-going, the list goes on and on. Please don't send me hate mail detailing your high risk pregnancy. I'm not talking about the exceptional situations here. I am talking about the typical, low-risk pregnancy. Go ahead, live your life like you lived it before. 40 weeks is a long time to live in a bubble. Just sayin'.

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