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The Second Trimester of My Third Pregnancy

The Second Trimester of My Third Pregnancy

To document my journey through my third pregnancy, I started journaling as soon as I discovered that I was expecting another baby. I have shared the first trimester of my third pregnancy, and here I share the second trimester.

Week 14

May 23, 2017

Today I am thirteen weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am nearing the end of week 14 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a lemon, measuring about three and a half inches from crown to rump and weighing approximately one and a half ounces. My early pregnancy symptoms have lessened. Although I still sometimes feel queasy, I feel nauseated less often. I still have an overactive gag reflex when I brush my teeth. I am also still feeling on the more tired side. Overall, however, I am feeling pretty good.

With my first two pregnancies, I lost weight during the first trimester due to morning sickness, both nausea and vomiting. I am happy to say that I have not lost any weight this time around and actually gained a few pounds by my first prenatal checkup. I started at around 108 pounds and was at 111 pounds by two weeks ago. My current goal is to gain about a pound a week from now through the end of my pregnancy. For a women who begins a pregnancy at a healthy weight, the recommended overall weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds. I gained about 31 pounds each with my first two kiddos. I hope to do the same with my third baby.

Although my nausea during pregnancy is subsiding, I have been experiencing quite a few food aversions. I have never been a huge meat eater, but I really cannot stand most meats right now. All the baby seems to want is dairy products. I have been consuming a lot of milk, cheese, yogurt, and pudding lately. To add some extra calories to my diet, I have been adding half and half to my whole milk, which also gives me healthy dairy fat and protein. Chocolate pudding also settles my stomach and gives me some much needed calcium. I also like to pair cheese with fruit for a healthy meal or snack. I also add some bread or crackers for my grains, so, while I am eating hardly any meat, I am eating a pretty balanced diet. My main goal is to consume enough calories each day.

In addition to eating enough, I am also trying to drink more each day. With my first pregnancy, I had a pretty severe urinary tract infection. I had no symptoms until I began peeing blood. My midwife put me on an antibiotic, and I recovered quickly with no additional problems for me or my daughter. However, the experience has made me quite aware of staying hydrated. Every time I go past a McDonald’s, I go through the drive-thru to pick up a large unsweet tea. My hubby does the same on his way home. I also try to drink extra water throughout the day in addition to my milk and cream. With hot summer weather approaching, staying hydrating is becoming more and more important for me and my baby!

Week 15

May 31, 2017

Today I am fourteen weeks and six day pregnant with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 15 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of an apple, measuring about four inches in length from crown to rump and weighing about two and a half ounces. I have not yet begun to feel any recognizable fetal movement yet, but I did not feel my daughter until week 22 of pregnancy and my son until week 19 of pregnancy. For the most part, my early pregnancy symptoms have dissipated. I no longer feel nauseated most of the time, and I gag much less when I brush my teeth. My appetite has improved significantly. I am, however, still feeling more tired than usual and am fighting the ever-persisting battle against seasonal allergies during pregnancy.

May brought some rather unusual weather. Although some days were warm and spring-like, most were cold and nasty. The weird weather is wreaking havoc on my moderate to severe seasonal allergies. I also had a cold at the beginning of the month, which made my nasal symptoms and coughing worse than usual. Hot summer weather is finally on the way, which means more plants blooming and more pollen. My nose is constantly congested and/or runny. I have been sneezing a lot and coughing more than usual for this time of year.

When not pregnant, I use Flonase daily to combat all but the worst of my nasal allergy symptoms. The nasal spray, however, is category C drug, and I am unwilling to take the risk of using the medication during pregnancy. When pregnant with my son, I tried switching to cromolyn sodium, or Nasalcrom, which is a category B drug, but the allergy medication offered me little relief. This time around, I am sticking to regular old Benadryl, another category B drug. I can take the systemic medication only at bedtime because Benadryl makes me sleepy, so during the day I simply cough, sniffle, and sneeze. But at least I can get enough relief from my allergies at night to get an adequate amount of sleep.

Week 16

 

June 7, 2017

Today I am fifteen weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 16 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of an avocado, measuring four and a half inches from crown to rump and weighing about three and a half ounces. I am still waiting to feel some recognizable fetal movement, but I did not feel even the slightest kick from my daughter until week 22 of pregnancy and from my son until week 19. I am hoping that I will feel some sort of movement sometime soon. My family and I have not made the big announcement yet because I am still a bit too nervous. Feeling baby move would put me more at ease.

My allergies seem to have gotten worse over the past week. My nose is congested and runny at the same time. I should buy stock in Kleenex because of all the tissues that I am going through each day and night. I am also having problems with my contacts because my eyes keep getting itchy and irritated. I have been wearing my glasses more often in the evening, which is saying something. I am not a fan of glasses, but sometimes my eyes bother me so much by the end of the day that taking out my contacts is a huge relief. I am also taking 25 milligrams of Benadryl every night to relieve my nasal allergy symptoms enough to sleep. During the day I am pretty much out of luck because Benadryl makes me sleepy.

In addition to my ongoing and worsening allergy symptoms, I have also been experiencing more headaches. With my first pregnancy, I had lower back pain pretty early on. So far during my third time around, I am feeling physical fine overall. However, I have had a couple of pretty nasty headaches. I prefer not to take pain relievers while pregnant, but my headaches have been so bad that I have taken a whole or half a Tylenol a few times. The medication did help get rid of the pain. Despite my few headaches and constant allergy symptoms, however, I am feeling pretty good overall and am eagerly awaiting my second prenatal appointment in two and a half weeks.

Week 17

June 14, 2017

Today I am sixteen weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning that I am at the end of week 17 of pregnancy. I am in my second trimester. My baby is now the size of a potato, measuring five inches from crown to rump and weighing about five ounces. Much to the delight of my older daughter, the baby can hear the sounds in his or her environment including my voice as well as the noises of my digestive system and heartbeat. Adipose tissue develops under the skin, giving my third-born his or her chubby baby fat.

As with my first two pregnancies, most of my early pregnancy symptoms have disappeared or waned. I am no longer nauseated most of the time. I was feeling a bit ill to my stomach the other night, but I add some Ramen noodles and felt better. I am still have trouble with my overactive gag reflex when I brush my teeth. Flossing is okay again, but I still cannot brush my teeth for a full two minutes. I also gag sometimes when rinsing. My sense of smell is still increased, so I cross my fingers that my son will need a dirty diaper change when my husband is around. Otherwise I hold my breath and change him as quickly as possible to keep from throwing up!

One new symptom that I have noticed is dryer than usual skin. My skin is typically sensitive, so I have to moisturize year-round. Usually in the summer, however, the humidity means that I do not have to use as much lotion. However, I am finding myself feeling dried out and itchy. Instead of putting lotion on at night after my shower, I find myself reapply multiple times throughout the day. I also have to put more lotion on right before I go to bed or my skin feels stretched out and irritated. During the second trimester of my second pregnancy, I also experienced extremely dry lips that not even my toughest lip balm could alleviate. So far my arms and upper back are bothering me the most this time around. Perhaps I should buy stock in lotion now! As my belly gets bigger, I know more of my skin will get more and more irritated.

Week 18

June 21, 2017

Today I am seventeen weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 18 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a bell pepper in length, measuring five and a half inches from crown to rump and weighing about seven ounces. I am now in my fifth month of pregnancy. My baby is now big enough that I should begin feeling fetal movement soon. I did not feel my daughter until week 22 of pregnancy and my son until week 19. I am hoping to feel some recognizable movement soon. I am also eagerly awaiting my second prenatal appointment with my midwife on Friday.

Although I no longer feel nauseated a lot of the time and my heightened gag reflex hits only when I brush my teeth, I have been experiencing more headaches. I have to be especially careful about lying down on the couch too long. If I start feeling tired and try to lay down during the day, I usually sit up with a terrible headache. Poor posture can cause headaches during pregnancy, so, if I am feeling tired enough to rest, I wedge myself into the corner of the couch so that I remain upright. Although I can take half a Tylenol to rid myself of the pain, I have found that prevention is a lot easier. Even if I am super tired, sitting upright instead of laying down during the day has seemed to prevent further headaches from developing.

In addition to headaches during the day, I have also been having a worse time than usual with my allergy symptoms over the past week. Due to the mild weather over the winter, allergy season was predicted to be worse this summer. I agree. I usually take half a Benadryl at bedtime, which helps me breathe well enough to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the medication wears off after four to six hours, and then I find myself waking up because I am drowning in my own mucus. Earlier in the week, I was having such a terrible time that I had to get out of bed and sleep upright on the couch for the rest of the night. I keep plenty of tissues on hand, but I cannot stay awake all night blowing my nose.

My increased allergy symptoms also seem to be affecting my headaches. Because I am not getting enough uninterrupted sleep at night, I feel more tired than usual during the day. As a result, I find myself wanting to lie down on the couch in the afternoon. However, I know that lying down will give me a headache, so I keep busy by doing household chores or playing with my two kiddos. By bedtime, I am more tired than usual, but, because of my nasal allergy symptoms, I have another difficult night sleeping. I know that I have been a bit more cranky than usual, but I am way more tired than normal. I just keep crossing my fingers than I will finally get a good night’s sleep sooner than later.

Week 19

June 28, 2017

Today I am eighteen weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 19 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a large heirloom tomato, measuring six inches from crown to rump and weighing about eight and a half ounces. My little one’s arms and legs are now in proportion with the rest of his or her body. I had my second prenatal checkup with my midwife on Friday. I weighed 116 pounds, up five pounds from six weeks ago, and the baby’s heartbeat was a healthy 155 beats per minute. The baby was also super active! The midwife had to chase him or her around for a few minutes before finding the heartbeat for more than a second!

Allergy season has been terrible so far this year, so, when my midwife asked how I was feeling, I honestly told her that my only complaint was my increased allergy symptoms. My husband happened to mention that I was not taking Flonase at the moment, which significantly helps relieve my nasal allergy symptoms. To my surprise and delight, my midwife told me that I could start taking the medication again now that I am in the second trimester. She said that the concern with the nasal spray is during the first trimester. Now that I am halfway through my pregnancy, I can safely use Flonase again.

I have been using my Flonase nasal spray nightly before bed since my prenatal appointment last Friday, and I can honestly say that my symptoms are getting better. While I am still more congested than usual, I have not woken up drowning in a pool of my own snot the past couple of nights. I have also been able to take less Benadryl at bedtime. Instead of a whole pill, I can take half a dose. As I have mentioned before, Flonase is a category C drug while Benadryl is a category B. Category C means that the medication has not been studied during pregnancy. However, the nasal spray has not been found in the plasma of breastfeeding mothers, meaning little to none gets into the blood stream. Consequently, Flonase is probably safer to use while pregnant. Plus, breathing and sleeping are extremely important for a pregnant mother, so, for me at the moment, the benefits of using Flonase during pregnancy outweigh any risks.

Finally, I am pretty sure that I felt my third baby moving for the first time last night. At my prenatal checkup on Friday, my midwife thought that I might have an anterior placenta because she heard more of me than of the baby while chasing him or her around my uterus. She cautioned that I might not feel movement for a bit longer. However, while sitting on the couch last night, I felt some little bounces in my lower abdomen below my belly button. As with my son, I seem to have felt my third baby move for the first time during week 19 of pregnancy!

Week 20

July 5, 2017

Today I am nineteen weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 20 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a banana in length, measuring six and a half inches from crown to rump and weighing about ten and a half ounces. He or she has begun the next phase of growth and development, packing on the pounds and the inches over the next twenty weeks or so. Although many health care providers will recommend a second trimester ultrasound around week 20 of pregnancy, I have chosen to opt out for my normal, low-risk pregnancy with the consent of my midwife.

Now that I am about half way through my pregnancy, I must admit that I am still a little bit in disbelief. Unlike with my first two pregnancies, I have yet to experience any back pain. My uterus is about level with my belly button now, so I do look pregnant. I have also felt some more little bounces in my lower abdomen, which I am sure are the first movements of my baby that I can feel. However, aside from feeling way more tired than usual, I do not feel “pregnant” like I did the first two times. I figure that, because of my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, my body is all stretched out already, thus the lack of overall body aches and pains.

I am finally sleeping a bit better now that I have been using Flonase nightly for almost two weeks. I am down to only half a Benadryl at bedtime, and I am no longer waking up halfway through the night drowning in my own mucus. Aside from getting up once or twice to pee, I am sleeping almost the entire night. I say almost the entire night because I am still woken up fairly often by my toddler. However, for the most part, I am sleeping much better at night again! I am so glad that my husband mentioned my not using Flonase to my midwife at my last prenatal checkup. Otherwise I would still be sleeping miserably.

Week 21

July 12, 2014

Today I am twenty weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am at the end of week 21 of pregnancy and at the halfway mark as an expecting mother. My baby is now the size of a carrot in length, measuring seven inches from crown to rump and weighing about three-fourths of a pound. My baby has begun to look a little less skinny as layers of fat accumulate throughout his or her body. My uterus now extends above my belly button, and I definitely look pregnant now instead of just a little pudgy around the middle.

Common symptoms during week 21 of pregnancy include acne, varicose veins, dry skin, stretch marks, increased appetite, heartburn, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, constipation, backache, and bleeding gums. I have been experiencing dryer than usual skin for quite a while now. Although I put lotion on at least once a day, if not more, I still feel dried out, itchy, and irritated. My face is also feeling dryer than usual, especially my cheeks, but I have to be careful about which moisturizers I use because I am also breaking out with pimples more often. I had two painful pimples — one on my cheek and the other on my chin — over the past week.

I have also begun experiencing some discomfort in my neck. I typically carry around tension in my neck and shoulders. My husband will rub the knots out for me. The other night when I had a terrible headache, he went to rub my neck and remarked that I had way more knots than usual. The tension in my upper body is not only uncomfortable but also causes me more and more headaches. Fortunately a little neck massage and half a Tylenol alleviate the pain enough for me to fall asleep at night. I also usually wake up feeling better neck-wise and headache-wise in the morning.

Week 22

July 19, 2017

Today I am twenty-one weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 22 of pregnancy. My baby is the size of a spaghetti squash, measuring between seven and a half and eight inches from crown to rump and weighing about one pound. My baby has begun to look like a miniature newborn and continues to respond to both sound and light. I am in my sixth month of pregnancy already, which truly astonishes me! I have gained about 12 pounds since conception, and I should gain about one to two pounds per week from now until I give birth in November for a total weight gain of twenty-five to thirty-five pounds.

My biggest complaint of the week has again been headaches. Monday before lunch time, I began feeling some minor pain in my head. As the day wore on, my headache got worse and worse. By evening, I was in an incredible amount of pain. My husband tried rubbing my neck, shoulders, and upper back, and he discovered that my muscles were full of knots. He got some of the knots out and the pain subsided a bit. However, as soon as he stopped, the full blown pain returned quickly. I went to bed that night with a throbbing pain in my head that did not full go away until morning. I even woke up once in the middle of the night with some residual pain.

I was warned by my midwife that I might start feeling some round ligament pain earlier than I had my first two times around. The pregnancy hormone relaxin has begun to relax the ligaments in my body in preparation for the birth of my third baby. However, I have not really experienced any pain aside from the occasional horrible headache. I am guessing that, because of my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, my body is already so stretched out that I may not feel as much discomfort during my third pregnancy. Unlike with my first two kiddos, I have not had any lower back pain. Overall, I am feeling pretty good physically for being half way through my pregnancy.

Week 23

July 26, 2017

Today I am twenty-two weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am at the end of week 23 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a large mango in weight, measuring about eight inches from crown to and weighing about one (1) pound. Amazingly, I am in my sixth month of pregnancy! Week 23 also marks the earliest that my baby is viable, meaning that, if born now, although extremely premature, my third-born would have a 25% to 35% chance of surviving.

By the end of week 23 of pregnancy, I should have gained between twelve and fifteen pounds, and I have gained about 12, so I am right on track with my weight gain. To get enough calories in my diet, I have been adding half and half to the milk that I drink during the day and to my bowl of cereal in the morning. One tablespoon of half and half contains about 20 calories. I typically use about 1/4 cup of half and half, so I am getting between 80 and 100 much-needed extra calories in my diet. I am also drinking a nutritional drink once or twice a day, which gives me even more calories plus vitamins and minerals. As with my first two pregnancies, healthy weight gain is a major concern for me this time around!

Overall I have been feeling good over the past week. I have not had any more horrible headaches like the one last Monday. My neck and shoulders are a bit stiffer than usual, but I do tend to carry my tension up high, and pregnancy definitely puts a lot of pressure on the body. My belly button is protruding a bit, and I absolutely look pregnant now instead of pudgy in the middle. No one questions if I am expecting anymore. Now that I am halfway through my pregnancy, the word is totally out that I will be welcoming my third baby into the family later this fall.

Week 24

August 2, 2017

Today I am twenty-three weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am at the end of week 24 of pregnancy. My is now the size of an ear of corn in length, measuring about eight and a half inches from crown to rump and weighing one and one-fourth pounds. My baby will continue to gain weight steadily at a rate of about six ounces per week from now until birth. My uterus is the size of a soccer ball and now reaches about two inches above my belly button. I am still amazed that I am already in my sixth month of pregnancy. My due date is Thanksgiving, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that my third-born stays put until November. I am eagerly awaiting my third prenatal checkup with my midwife on Friday.

Over the past week, I have noticed two new minor symptoms. First, I have been having a few digestive issues. Digestive problems including constipation, diarrhea, and gas are all common complaints during pregnancy. Symptoms are typically caused by hormonal changes as well as the extra pressure that a growing baby puts on the intestinal tract. My uterus is now almost all the way to my stomach, so I am not at all surprised by my tummy troubles. I have been combating my digestive issues by drinking plenty of water (unsweetened tea actually), eating more fiber, and eating smaller but more frequent meals.

Another symptom that I have noticed recently is restlessness in my legs, especially when I lay down to sleep at night. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is an uncontrollable urge to move the legs to relieve crawling, tingling, burning, or similarly uncomfortable sensations. Movement brings immediate relief, but the sensation usually returns as soon as movement stops again. When my legs start feeling restless, I have found that tightening my muscles and holding for as long as possible helps bring some relief. Getting up and doing some exercises that tired out my leg muscles also usually helps if the tightening trick does not work. RLS is just another uncomfortable way that pregnancy has found to interfere with sleep!

I have also been feeling a lot more fetal movement lately. As I sit on the couch typing right now, I can feel some bouncing sensations in my abdomen. My third baby also likes to kick me as soon as I lay down to sleep at night. I sometimes have trouble falling asleep because of the all movement. I often have to move around a bit to find a position in which my baby is not as active or at least pokes me from the inside less. However, I definitely prefer a super active baby over a baby who worries me from lack of movement. My daughter and son were both very active, and my third-born is following in their footsteps!

Week 25

August 9, 2017

Today I am twenty-four weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 25 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a rutabaga in weight, measuring between eight and a half and nine inches from crown to rump and weighing one and a half pounds. He or she is now looking more and more like a tiny newborn. His or her skin is becoming opaque instead of translucent, and layers of fat continue to deposit beneath wrinkled skin. The reproductive organs are fully formed. If I peeked inside my womb right now, I could tell whether I am having another son or daughter. (My oldest insists that she is getting a sister, by the way!)

My family and I attended my third prenatal checkup last Friday. I weighed 121.5 pounds according to the scale at the office. My home scale says 124.6 pounds. I have gained between 15 and 16 pounds so far in my pregnancy, which is the right amount of weight for week 25. My uterus measured 24 centimeters, which is also right on track. The baby’s heartbeat measured approximately 145 beats per minute. As with my first two times around, my current pregnancy is therefore progressing quite nicely without any complications.

I am happy to report that I have not had any headaches over the past week, and my back is still feeling good. My skin continues to be more sensitive and drier than usual. My belly is also starting to itch a bit, especially at the top above my belly button. However, having my abdomen become itchier than usual around week 25 of pregnancy as the skin stretches to accommodate my growing baby is a common complaint this far along. I simply make sure to apply extra moisturizer to my baby bump at least once a day and always after taking a shower. If I start getting extra itchy, I use a little oil on my belly as well.

All in all, my pregnancy is progressing quite uneventfully. I am still in that nice sweet spot of pregnancy between the nausea of the first trimester and the body aches of the third. I am also happy to say that August has so far been a lot nicer in the weather department than July. Temperatures are more tolerable, and the nicer than usual weather has improved my mood considerably. I am so ready for fall but will accept August weather in the 70s and 80s. Here is my hoping for another three uneventful months of pregnancy and that my third baby keeps baking until at least the beginning of November!

Week 26

August 16, 2017

Today I am twenty-five weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 26 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a zucchini in length, measuring a little over nine inches from crown to rump and weighing between one and two-thirds and two pounds. My baby may respond more enthusiastically to sounds like my voice and music and may even move to the rhythm of music. If born now, he or she would still be extremely premature but would have roughly a 90% chance of survival. My uterus is now well past my belly button and will begin pushing on my ribs soon. I am in my sixth month of pregnancy.

I have been feeling pretty good over the past week. However, one side effect of pregnancy that I have been experiencing is a change in my vision. I have worn corrective lenses since I was in fifth grade. Pregnancy hormones can decrease tear production, causing eyes to feel dryer than usual. My eyes sometimes feel dryer than usual by evening. However, I have also noticed that my vision is worsening significantly. Pregnancy-related vision changes may continue until after a woman stops breastfeeding. My son is still nursing a bit each day, especially at bedtime, so no wonder I am squinting more and more to read anything more than a few inches in front of my face. I also have the font size of my computer set to 125% so that I do not have to strain as much to read my screen. I will definitely be needed a new prescription when I run out of my current batch of contact lenses!

Other than squinting to read, I am at that nice sweet spot in my pregnancy. I have yet to experience much, if any, back pain. My nausea has almost completely disappeared. I can even brush my teeth fully without gagging halfway through most nights. I am also feeling a lot of fetal movement now. My third baby really likes to start kicking when I lay down to sleep at night. Whenever I am sitting still and working at my computer, my baby also likes to get a little rowdy. My two older kids love trying to see and feel the new baby move!

Image Credits

The Second Trimester of My Third Pregnancy © 2017 James and Heather Johnson

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