Gestational Diabetes & My Second Trimester
Before you get pregnant it's easy to make assumptions and judgments. Once it happens to you though, and once you're a ways into it you realize that's gotta go out the window. At least for me. I've realized that there truly isn't any RIGHT way to handle your pregnancy or no single experience that can define it for everyone else.
Some women say they felt amazing and loved being pregnant, and while a part of me thinks there's some mother nature amnesia at play, I do believe that's a valid and possible experience. On the flip side, for some women, it's absolute hell and I can also very well believe that. For the majority, I think it falls somewhere in between. There are good days and bad, phases that are fun and phases that suck, moments when it's delightful to take advantage of "eating for two" or using your pregnant status to get a seat, and other moments where being the only sober one at the wedding with aching feet isn't so fun. There are times that feel sexy and beautiful, and there are times that you just feel like a cow.
In being pretty open on IG about my experiences it means I've gotten a ton of amazing messages from other women about their experiences. Some very similar, some not as much. I know that although I've done my fair share of complaining (it's in my DNA and I'm pregnant) I will say a lot of my pregnancy has been totally manageable. That said I wanted to share with you guys a few thoughts on the second trimester and finally give you the details on how the gestational diabetes test turned out.
First up, I will go ahead and confirm I do not have it. I'm definitely thankful for that but I have also heard that having it isn't a huge deal, it usually involves a few more doctor visits and a modified diet but that it too is totally manageable.
The worst part of the experience for me was the 3-hour test, oh and the completely monotone nurse who delivered the results IN SNAIL SPEED over the phone. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if they do this stuff on purpose, they HAVE to know you're on the other line hanging on to the edge of your seat, right??
The way this test works is like this: sometime between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy you go in and drink a really sugary little 10oz drink then wait an hour and have your blood drawn. If the results come back normal that's it, you're all clear. If not, you have the 3-hour test. This includes fasting for 12 hours, having your blood drawn then drinking a doubly sugary 10 oz drink and continuing to fast for 3 hours while having your blood drawn once an hour.
When I got the call that I would have to do the 3-hour test I burst into tears. I think it was a combo of being pregnant and starving & thirsty all the time so the idea of not eating or drinking for 15 hours was particularly terrifying (not to mention I still drink my morning coffee so HELLO caffeine headache) combined with the hormones and the slight concern of having the condition. It took me an hour or so to come down but once I did I realized it was going to be one shitty day and then I would move on. The truth is as I mentioned it to other women, ones who had done the same thing they were like "OMG I forgot how awful that was" - see, mother nature's amnesia.
The good news is I'm all cleared but it was an unpleasant morning and it definitely was a good reminder that so much of this is out of your control.
Second Trimester Thoughts:
Usually, the second trimester (weeks 14-27) is considered the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. In many cases the morning sickness subsides, you start showing which is fun, you feel the baby move, you get your energy back if you lost it. I definitely have enjoyed this phase for the most part, but there have been tough moments along the way.
Health & Exercise:
The good news is my appetite for healthy stuff like salads fully came back around 17 or 18 weeks, phew!! I was able to start cooking again and despite eating a slightly less strict diet than pre-pregnancy I've been able to be "good" pretty often.
I still had a really sensitive nose so some neighbor construction drove us out of the home for a couple of days (the smell of staining floors is just really wretched), and mostly I've been dealing on and off with really bad SI joint pain.
This is really common in pregnancy and basically due to the fact that your joints and ligaments get flexible and loose during pregnancy so your body can expand for baby. Unfortunately, that also means stability is compromised and adding 20+lbs of weight right on top of that spot can cause excruciating pain. Some women are lucky and don't get it or have mild cases, for me not os much. I had big plans to workout and be super active but I have had to pull back a lot. I'm still exercising but it's constantly being modified to make sure I don't throw my back out.
In addition to the SI joint pain, I've also had a skin tag start growing (eye covering monkey emoji). So thank god I once saw an episode of Kardashians where Kim had this happen so I wasn't totally freaked out but I have always had a tiny little one in my right armpit but it has grown! Apparently, they can be easily removed and aren't dangerous but sometimes it hurts! Anyways just another odd tidbit about pregnancy right? And lastly um did you know that you can sunburn much more easily when pregnancy? Learned that one the hard way!
UPDATE: I got cleared to have the skin tag removed and made an appointment and on the day of my appointment it shrank and fell off. What the heck?? lol.
The Fun Stuff:
The fun stuff though has mostly included feeling (and seeing) him kick. He's quite a wiggle worm but goes in phases. He is definitely more active when I'm still or laying down, but the movements happen at all times. Sometimes it's more towards the surface where you can actually see my belly poke with a punch, sometimes it's internal and it feels like he is kicking towards my spine or worse "down there". And then the weirdest one is that a few times a day I feel either his head or butt or back roll. What I mean by this is that if I'm laying down or sitting sometimes there will be this hard mass of pressure that moves usually from my left side to my right, just below the belly button, very slowly and then sort of goes away. Thinking it may actually be Braxton Hicks?
During the 20 week visit, you get to see all of their body parts during the anatomy scan and that was pretty crazy, plus my baby shower (and my drip) are squeezing right into the end of trimester #2 so that's a win!
Below, in no particular, order are a bunch of pics taken during this trimester for your viewing pleasure! But before you get to that a few resources:
- If you too suffer from low back pain (especially SI issues) check out this video on how to use a tennis ball & foam roller for some great releases
- I have recently co-developed a pregnancy and postpartum fitness app - check it out
- Click below to shop all of my favorite maternity clothes which have come in V handy in the second trimester!