Monday, July 13, 2009

The Second Trimester


Doctors Appointments

There’s nothing that can really prepare you for your first pregnancy visit at your doctors office. On the one hand they tell you wonderful things “You are pregnant,” and let you listen to your child’s heartbeat and even show you your baby on screen, and point at its little beating heart, but on the other hand they take a lot of blood.
I’ve never had a huge issue with blood tests, my husband is fully capable of passing out at the sight of blood, but I’ve handled it fairly well. I’m anemic, so I’ve never given blood, but I’ve had a vial or two taken for my yearly physical before… yeah, this is more than a vial.
Try twelve various sized vials of blood. My veins suck by the way, so after a vial or two, I’d get poked in a new spot. They finally found a great vein to take blood from, on my hand!
After that visits are fairly uneventful. You go in, they weigh you, take your blood pressure, and temperature, and come in to discuss random bits of information every visit and ask if you have any questions. They’ll do one round of blood tests to see if the baby has any genetic abnormalities, and then you get to the fun visit, the twenty week ultrasound.
I love my insurance company/doctors office, but if they could just do ultrasounds at every visit, I would look forward to my appointments so much more. I love seeing my baby. The baby looks human at this ultrasound; unfortunately, my baby is human with a very specific set of likes and dislikes that it has learned to express towards kicking. Ultrasounds are not on my baby’s fun activity lists. My baby likes ultrasounds as much as it likes loud movies, barking dogs, my mattress, and fireworks, not at all.
We were able to see that the baby’s a girl (yay!) because all she was willing to do was flash and kick the camera. She very deliberately buried her head in my spine the entire procedure. We have some great shots of her little feet pummeling my stomach in an attempt to kick out the invading ultrasound camera thingie, but that’s about it for pictures, we have her but, and her feet.
So I had to walk around, move around, shift, and contort myself in fun ways to trick the baby into moving for just a second so the doctor could check on those pesky things like organ development. She’s completely perfect, and weighed/measured exactly what she should have at her twenty week mark.
One thing that shocked me was that babies are fast in the womb. She was darting around like a fish! I have no idea how they got pictures that didn’t just look like blurs, but it was amazing. My husband and I left the doctors office and went out to dinner to celebrate how perfect our little girl was, how active, and how amazing she was. It was unbelievable.
The ultrasound also helped us make a very important decision. Should we invest in getting one of those 4D ultrasounds, and having a little DVD, and lot’s of pictures to share, or would that just be wasting money? In our case, we opted not to get it. She made her preference clear, and we knew there was no way she would stay still for that adorable baby sucking on thumb picture that I wanted.
The next visit wasn’t as much fun. I was tested for gestational diabetes. To perform this test you drink something that tastes like the syrup used to make orange soda. Not orange soda, that’s less sweet, no, this is just the concentrated syrup. Then they take more blood, and then you find out if your diet has to change any more than it already has. Thankfully I tested negative.
When pregnant you call or go to the doctor for everything, just in case. I broke out in a really weird rash and visited, and had to be put on steroids to clear it up. I also was not allowed to use any scented products for the rest of the pregnancy. I stocked up on Aveeno soaps and shampoos, and my husband and I switched to Dreft detergent. So far, no more small red bumps, but man did they suck when I had them.
They started on my wrists. Little tiny red bumps that looked like heat rash, then they spread to my thighs, arms, and legs. They itched so bad that I scratched myself bloody. Nothing helped; I tried every remedy known to man, vinegar, oatmeal bath, and lotions, nothing worked. The only thing that gave me a modicum of relief was baby oil put on right after a bath. I would feel perfectly normal for an hour, and then the itching came back. Thank goodness for steroids.
One thing about steroids, if your doctor gives them to you prepare for super baby kicking. I swear she never slept for that five days, just kicked non-stop. Fun times


Pregnancy Symptoms

Kicking

My husband felt the baby move before I did. How many people get to say that? I was lying down, reading the latest Kelley Armstrong book out loud (my husband doesn’t care for reading, but he likes the stories) and my husband was lying next to me, hand on my tummy when he felt her kick. I felt her the next time she did it, and it was amazing.
It’s impossible to describe that feeling. It feels like those little things that hang onto glass windows with suction cups look when they’re being pulled off. Only it’s inside of you, and you’re the window.
My baby is so active, she moves around constantly, particularly at night. She typically does her aerobics routine between 1:00 and 3:00 am, I don’t mind though, it’s such a cool feeling, and if I ever don’t feel her kicking I get all freaked out and paranoid anyway, so really I’d much rather lay there and feel her all the time.

Weight

I didn’t gain any weight my second trimester. I was rather heavy set to begin with, and I lost weight my first trimester. The doctor was not concerned though; the baby grew at a great rate and was weighing in just fine. I think eating healthy and having time to eat healthy most likely meant my body was losing weight while gaining weight. Very strange, but nice, I didn’t have to buy maternity clothes my entire second trimester though. What sort of sucked was that no one could tell I was pregnant, but after hearing so many horror stories of strangers touching pregnant tummy’s maybe I should be grateful.

Complete lack of symptoms

The second trimester is kind of awesome. You find out the baby’s gender, you feel the baby move, and you still get fun cravings, but you don’t have aversions, morning sickness, headaches, or sleepiness to contend with. With the exception of the weird pregnancy rash, my second semester was completely uneventful negative symptom wise. If it wasn’t for the baby kicking, I wouldn’t have known I was pregnant.

My husband kept talking so much about how well I was handling pregnancy during the third trimester. Partially because I’m one of those people who read about feeling sick, and then feel sick, we were both very concerned about me being pregnant, because I’m a baby. So I think a lot of his bragging on me is just gratitude, but I’m careful to draw the line when he compares me to other pregnant women.
“Honey, to hear other people talk about being pregnant, it’s like it’s this horrible event, you’re handling it great. I think those other women are just drama queens.”
I point out that unlike most other women, I’m not working. The few weeks that I was working during my pregnancy were really rough. I think a huge part of the pregnancy symptoms (for me anyway) go away if you can just get enough rest. Also, lots of those other women have kids already. I’m younger, and I’m not them. Every pregnancy is different. I’ve lucked out so far, but tomorrow could change everything. Also, the second trimester is supposed to be the easiest. That kind of sucks actually, because no one takes women seriously during their first trimester because they’re “barely” pregnant. Well that’s when your body is adjusting the most. My first trimester, while still not terrible, was fifty times worse than my second. The second trimester was nothing. If any guys are reading this out there, listen during the first trimester, don’t brush off complaints. A woman’s body is going nuts that first few weeks, the second trimester its kind of gotten used to being pregnant, the third trimester is… special, but I’ll get to that later.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Moving


I’m going to divide my second trimester up a little more than my first, because so much more happened my second trimester. On a personal level, and on a baby developing level.

The first month of my second trimester was insanely busy. I had to give notice to my apartment complex, get everything ready to move in with my in-laws for a few months, and get a storage unit for all of our things, then help pack, and get everything moved into storage.
On top of regular moving stuff, we also had business moving stuff. I gave notice to the business landlords, gave notice to my customers, and had to do without employees after April 1st so I wouldn’t have to deal with a partial payroll quarter. Thankfully, without the preschool to worry about, I had lots of time to handle everything while my husband prepped for finals.
We cut store hours to just after school, and open weekends the second half of April, and only allowed crafts that could be completed that day. No more pottery painting. Our work-in-progress pieces were held at a friends shops so people could finish them (after giving customers plenty of notice) and we managed to sell what was left of our inventory, our kilns, our wheel, our shelves, and tables and chairs. Every item sold. We were actually kind of lucky. There’s a lot of other business that couldn’t make it this year that didn’t fair as well as we did, and no matter how sad it makes me that we lost the shop, I know that it really worked out a lot better than it could have.
I had a fun shower/going away party with my employees and friends, and when I got home I cried… a lot. I didn’t want to move, I loved my apartment, I loved my shop, and I loved my life here. Unfortunately life isn’t perfect, and things change, so at the end of the month, I turned off my open sign for the last time, looked around my empty store, turned in my keys, and the husband and I moved in with my in-laws.

I love my in-laws. They are the kindest, most generous people I know. I cannot thank them enough to taking us in for the summer. My mother-in-law is almost more excited than I am to have a baby on the way, and I liked the chance to talk to her and go through baby albums over the summer. I love her husband (still not sure if I should call him my father-in-law, my husbands father died when he was twenty, before he met me, but not by much, so he’s my husbands step-father, except I’ve never heard him referred to as his step father, just by his name. He’s super nice, I just have no idea what to call him, and it’s a sensitive issue for my husband. Will my daughter refer to him as Grandpa? Or just by his name? I have no idea…) he’s just the sweetest man I’ve ever met (outside of my husband that is) and I’m beginning to get along much better with my husbands youngest brother (now sixteen).
We didn’t get along very well at first, or maybe we did, and our not getting along was all in my head. My husband used to hang out with him a lot, and then we started dating, and he got promoted at work, and he started school again, so he didn’t spend as much time with his youngest brother. I felt bad about that, and partially responsible. Maybe it was all in my head, but I feel like he felt the same way about me, that I was in the way. Later, once my husband and I were married, and he would visit us over the summers, I was way less tolerant of any rude or immature behavior. The age excuse didn’t work on me, because he wasn’t that much younger than I was. My husband adopted the same outlook, where he used to brush everything off based on how young his brother was, and I think there may have been some resentment there. Now, at sixteen, he’s the same age I was when I met his brother, and I feel like we have more common ground. I remember being sixteen very well. It’s nice to get along.
The middle two brother’s though… I have no patience for them. They are both extremely immature and manipulative, they are 23 and 21 respectively, they both live at home, they both treat their mom like crap, and they both do illegal things that I just don’t abide by. One of them is physically handicapped, and I feel terrible for him, but that doesn’t make the temper tantrums he throws when his mother doesn’t buy him cigarettes and more ok. He’s physically handicapped, not mentally handicapped, breaking things when you’re angry isn’t appropriate for a five year old, much less someone who can legally buy alcohol.
My mother-in-law is nice, maybe too nice, because I would have booted them both out years ago. So while I enjoyed a summer of rent free living, and hanging out with my mother-in-law, and childhood friends (it’s nice going to your hometown for awhile), I also had to deal with police being called due to domestic disturbances as everyone downstairs screamed and shouted at each other, and broke things. My youngest brother-in-law, my husband and I would hang out upstairs away from the drama, but it was still very stressful. I was glad we were only staying three months.
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