Getting the baby’s nursery ready has been both fun and terrifying. On the one hand, I’ve loved scouring baby shops in search of Scandi inspired homeware. Monochrome decor and cute Arctic toys. But on the other, seeing it all there -in what was our spare room- really brought it home. Our baby is nearly there. And for someone so tiny, she requires a lot of stuff.
I’ve got another trimester under my belt -quite literally, I feel bloody massive!- and figured it would be good to post an update on how the second trimester went. My last pregnancy update (What I Wish I’d Known About The First Trimester) was pretty negative. And the past 3 months have been really lovely. Life changing. Character defining. Magical even!
Baby brain is real!
Although if I’m being honest, the past 3 months have also being hideously uneventful. I feel as though in comparison to my pre-pregnancy life, I do very little. Gestating is hard work. And really tiring. I find myself struggling to make conversation sometimes as I’ve got no news. Nothing to report. I accidentally find myself talking about stuff I’ve seen on the internet as if it’s happened to me. “I saw this amazing Tweet today”.
Baby brain is real. And operating on less sleep, with less resources definitely takes it out of you. I feel a bit like my internal monologue has gone from never shutting down. To thinking purely in emoji.
I find myself forgetting CSS rules I learned over a decade ago. Stuff which is engrained in me. Which I have written thousands of time. Or staring at words thinking they no longer look right. Seemingly having forgotten how to spell.
I know the next few months are going to go even slower. I’m so excited to meet our baby now and go between feeling terrified that in just 12 weeks I’ll be someone’s Mum. To wondering how I’m going to wait that long. As work winds down and I get bigger, time will drag but I’ve saved up lots of fun tasks for this period. Plus it will be Autumn. Which brings HALLOWEEN. If all else fails I can paint my middle orange and do my best pumpkin impression.
Showing – My Baby Bump
I started to show pretty early but spent quite a while in that awkward in-between phase. Where I just looked as though I had gained a few pounds. Not properly pregnant with a bump. But there’s no missing it now. My pre-pregnancy bottoms don’t fit and I’m pretty obviously pregnancy. I like my bump and weirdly think I’ll miss it when it’s gone. But thankfully I’ve not yet encountered anyone invading my personal space or patting it.
I was able to see her thrashing around, moving her little arms and legs.
Finding Out The Sex
As my husband couldn’t make the important 20 week scan, we decided to do a private one together. We went at 16 weeks which meant we were able to find out the baby’s sex. We didn’t have a preference either way, but were both curious. 9 months feels like such a long time, it was fun finding out something about our baby in the meantime. I’m really glad we found out, as doing so helped me to bond with my pregnancy massively. It just makes the whole thing seem so much realer.
Bonding With My Bump In The Second Trimester
The 12 week scan was such a relief. And I loved getting a glimpse of her. But at 16 weeks things were even clearer. I was able to see her thrashing around, moving her little arms and legs. It was a really amazing experience.
What I didn’t expect to see in an ultrasound, was her tiny face. We could clearly make out some of her features. Her nose, chin and mouth. Being able to see a photo of her so clearly, made me feel a huge surge of love. Until this point I was excited. Thrilled. But pregnancy felt so surreal. Seeing the little person who’s inside of me and knowing she’s ours and on her way to us was amazing.
I went from wanting a baby, to wanting our baby. Specifically that little person. I fell in love with her.
Whilst I have no expectations about who she will be. Or what she will be like. It made me feel a little closer to having her here with us. She has a name now (which I’ve almost accidentally written 20938123 times in this post!). And we’ve started to buy things, ready for her arrival.
I was completely amazed at how much they can see, when she is so tiny.
20 Week Scan
The sex scan was a lovely shared experience. And reassuring, in that I knew she was still in there. And seemingly ok. But the big one, was the 20 week scan. And I was terrified.
Also known as an anomaly scan, the 20 week scan looks at the baby’s development in as much detail as possible. Any major issues may be flagged up here.
The sonographer checked every vertebrae in her spine, every major organ and even her main arteries. She looked at blood pumping back and forth and checked the valves. I was completely amazed at how much they can see, when she is so tiny.
The scan went well and I loved having my Mum there to experience it with me. We could see the baby pounding the edge of my uterus with her two tiny fists. And her tiny foot kicking. Which was surreal to say the least.
Tossing and turning. Responding to our voices, loud noises and music.
One of the best things about the second trimester was feeling the baby move. I had no idea what to expect. Or what I should be looking out for. And initially wasn’t sure if what I was feeling, was even her. It quickly ramped up with intensity though and now there is no mistaking it. As I type this I can feel her kicking and pushing me. I can see from the outside, little feet or arms booting away. It’s strangely comforting and whilst I know I’ll probably be too tired and preoccupied to notice, I think I’ll miss it when she’s here.
The fact there’s a small person living and growing inside of me is so surreal. Tossing and turning. Responding to our voices, loud noises and music. Even hiccuping. If I poke her, she pokes me back.
Although I have to admit I turn to mush whenever I see the feet of her onesies.
Buying Clothes & Decorating The Nursery
Now it’s time to start baby shopping, I’ve found it harder than I expected. I feel strangely defensive of her and who she is. No matter how cute, I can’t bring myself to buy very stylised clothes. I just don’t know yet if she would like them. And I realise that sounds strange.
I’m not expecting her to pop out and for us to ‘just know’, or for her to tell us. But buying clothes for someone who hasn’t been born yet is a hard task. There’s a lot of blue and pink in shops. So everything we’ve bought so far has been quite simple and neutral. I’m looking forward to picking clothes for her when she’s here. Although I have to admit I turn to mush whenever I see the feet of her onesies. Newborn babies are so tiny.
We’re now looking at decorating the nursery. And have gone for a neutral colour scheme. With lots of cute decor. Hunting for nursery decor has become my favourite thing to do when having a lazy hour on the sofa.
The biggest thing we had to get sorted was our pram. Before I was pregnant I assumed a pram was a pram. A thing for pushing the baby around, with wheels. I wasn’t ready for travel systems. Hundreds of brands. And finding a pram which would work for us and all our requirements. It’s a minefield.
As it would turn out, buying the pram was pretty stressful. But not for the reasons I expected!
Buying A Pram (& Random Fainting Episodes)
We went to a Mothercare event to buy the pram as they gave a 10% discount and had various baby talks going on. It was funny being with so many pregnant ladies. The store was fairly full and everyone milled (waddled) around.
If I had to faint somewhere, Mothercare was probably the best place.
We found a shop assistant and she took us through everything with the pram. Pretty normal. Although I did feel I had been stood on my feet for a while and was feeling a bit uncomfortable. She took us over to the till to buy it. And that’s when things got really weird.
I felt suddenly super hot and short of breath. I tried going for a little walk. But went back to the till and just knew I had to sit down. I draped myself over the counter and the staff noticed something was wrong. The rest is a blur but a member of staff pulled out a chair from behind the till for me. My hearing disappeared. And my vision was replaced with bright white light. Next thing I knew, I came to on the floor. On a cot mattress (which was surprisingly comfortable) in a sweaty heap. I had fainted.
A lovely woman was holding my hand, taking my pulse. As it was a baby event, a midwife had been there. And she had helped put me on the floor. If I had to faint somewhere, Mothercare was probably the best place. Although I was completely mortified.
Someone suggested I had got over excited about the pram. I can be dramatic at the best of times. But have to admit that would be a stretch even for me! A huge makeup haul? Maybe.
it’s time to start thinking about things like birth plans and hospital bags
Pelvic Girdle Pain
Another one to add to the list of things no one tells you about pregnancy. Lugging a baby around hurts. And can cause lots of problems. I’ve developed SPD, or Pelvic Girdle Pain. Which in a -non medical- nutshell means your legs, bum and bump hurt a lot. Just a quick walk around the supermarket is enough to aggravate it. So I’ve been doing physio and wearing a really sexy support belt.
Being less mobile only adds to the boredom factor. But there’s only 12 weeks left to go. I’ve been thinking of ways to spend my last weeks once on maternity. Constructive things like completing my Pokedex and watching that series of Nurse Jackie I never got around to finishing.
The third trimester means it’s time to start thinking about things like birth plans and hospital bags. Next month we have our antenatal classes. And before I know it, I’ll be on maternity leave. It’s exciting to be in the final stretch.
As a child I used to passionately loathe Sundays. The shops would all be shut (I realise that makes me sound ancient, but in fairness I grew up in a little Welsh valleys town). And nothing good would be on TV. I’d play outside but it’s Wales, so it was probably raining. Oh and Sunday marks the last day of the weekend so school the next day. Rubbish.
However as an adult, Sundays have a whole new purpose. Sundays are the perfect chill day. A time to reflect on the week ahead. Get stuff ready. Maybe cook a veggie roast and definitely have a long bath. In the hustle and bustle of the week, it’s hard to find time for self care.
But on Sundays, that’s about all I find time for.
A lot of things scare me about having a baby. As I progress further through my pregnancy, the obvious issue of childbirth looms in the not-so-distant future. I appreciate it’s the most natural thing in the World. But at the same time, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about it.
Like everything when it comes to being a parent, my fear isn’t really even for me. I know that whatever happens to me, I will have a very important job to do afterwards. I can’t put starting Motherhood on hold for a few days, whilst I recover. When she’s here, she will rely on me for everything. And I can only imagine how overwhelming those first few weeks for us will be. I don’t want a traumatic experience to make that time harder.
And so I worry. What if I can’t do it? Will the pain be too much? What if I don’t have the energy to get it done?
It’s got me thinking. What is my limit? What is the absolute most I can endure? I mean, I’ve traveled by Mega Bus to London. Sat through The Hobbit in the cinema. And once saw the Venga Boys live ‘in concert’.
But what would be a step too far? What has pushed me as close to that edge as I’ve experienced?
My stance on blogging about pregnancy is still as of yet undecided. I imagined when it happened for us I might make a new category on my blog. Or even start a whole new blog dedicated to it. What happened couldn’t be further from that though, I stopped blogging all together.
Now I’m in the second trimester, pregnancy feels a lot more like I imagined. Everyone knows and is excited. We’ve started buying things. I’ve had several scans and can listen to the baby’s heart beat at home.
I thought about ignoring the first trimester. Instead just posting the odd update about incidental things like the nursery. But I think that would be missing an opportunity. I know at times I felt quite lonely and would trawl the forums looking for someone else feeling the same (bad idea incidentally, but I’ll come onto that later). There’s a lot of information out there about how you might be feeling, but it’s not all relatable. This is my honest account of the first trimester and what I wish I had known before.