Hello, friends! How is it the end of March already? I honestly can’t believe that I have officially made it to the first week of my third trimester. I feel so lucky that this pregnancy has been relatively smooth so far and has truly just sped by. I don’t really know what I was expecting from the pregnancy experience before I got here… maybe more discomfort or rapid, noticeable changes, but everything has been pretty minimal [so far] in the discomfort dept and the changes have all been gradual.
If you remember from my first trimester “bumpdate” post we surprised our parents with these framed photos of our pregnancy announcement. We asked everyone to open their gifts simultaneously over a group FaceTime call on Christmas Day (which fell during Week 14)! Keeping our pregnancy a secret was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. If you know me, you know I’m typically an open book and lying / keeping [my own] secrets is damn near impossible — haha! The secrecy totally paid off when we got to see our parents’ reactions! So much joy and excitement!!! I wish we could have surprised everyone with the news in person, but, you know… #pandemic. I will say that I feel so grateful to be going through quarantine in this era of technology… we may not be able to hug our loved ones, but we can at least see and hear them on video calls. I don’t know about you, but that helps to bridge the distance a little bit for us.
For the first few weeks of the second trimester I still didn’t have much of a baby bump to speak of… if anything, my tummy just looked like I had eaten too much Christmas dinner; it was definitely an awkward stage. 😅 While on one hand I was feeling impatient to see a manifestation of the baby I was growing inside of me, I was also enjoying the last few weeks of being able to comfortably sleep on my stomach (which is my absolute favorite position to sleep in and I will miss it dearly during the coming months!). I thought a couple of times that maybe I felt a little flutter of movement (which I guess is called “quickening”?), but I couldn’t really distinguish it from gas bubbles so I wasn’t entirely convinced that I had felt the baby moving.
By Week 17 a slightly more noticeable baby bump was starting to form and I quickly outgrew most of my existing pants seemingly overnight (RIP pre-pregnancy jeans! 😩). It was also this same week that I started using a belly balm to hopefully prevent stretch marks (which I know are linked mostly to genetics, but it can’t hurt, right?).
I first felt the baby move (for sure) during Week 19 on January 26th at 2:10pm just after eating an Evergreens salad for lunch. Our little babe must have liked my “Super Bowl” salad because I felt about 5 or 6 distinct movements. There was no mistaking it — that was definitely our baby moving around! Ever since that first experience, I’ve been feeling our baby kick, flutter, and twirl throughout the day every day and it’s been absolutely amazing. Every movement is a fun reminder that we have a little one on the way and I have absolutely loved feeling them getting stronger!
It won’t be the last time that I say this, but pregnancy is so wild.
During Week 19 my baby bump finally started looking like a “real bump” which has been pretty fun. Get back to me in another 20 weeks and see if I still feel the same way 😜, but for right now this little bump size is totally manageable and pretty cute.
We also found out the baby’s gender at our 20 Week anatomy scan, which was super exciting. Of course, nowadays you can find out the gender sooner than Week 20 via a DNA / blood test, but I thought it might be more fun to find out while actually being able to see the baby!! Thankfully, this scan was also done at the same imaging center that had done our nuchal translucency scan in my first trimester, so my husband was able to attend for the baby’s gender reveal milestone! It was so exciting and amazing to witness our little bundle and their growth! You know I cried with happiness which I would love to blame on the pregnancy hormones, but if you know me you know I’m already a pretty emotional human. 😜 I’m SO so glad that my husband was able to join me for the anatomy scan because of all of the precautions related to COVID I’ve been pretty concerned that he wouldn’t be able to participate in these kinds of baby update appointments (I am grateful for the precautions and they’re totally understandable, it’s just a weird period to be experiencing pregnancy for the first time). This particular scan also marked our halfway point before meeting baby, which will be around Week 40!
During this same time frame, we researched / determined our baby’s pediatrician and filled out our preliminary registration form for the hospital we will be delivering at. Being halfway started to make everything feel so real… how are we here already?! Didn’t I just take a pregnancy test?!? I feel like I say this a lot now, but it’s so crazy how time flies — even in a pandemic!
During Week 24 I did the routine glucose screening test to check for gestational diabetes. The glucose drink that they give you is basically super sugary water with flavoring — I think it comes in three flavors (Fruit Punch, Orange, and Lemon-Lime), but not every medical offices carries all flavors. For what it’s worth, my OB’s tech recommended the Orange flavor over Fruit Punch and in my super informal poll that seems to be a common recommendation among professionals and moms alike.
My test was NOT a fasting test, but yours may be… I’m not sure if it depends on the glucose drink or the type of blood test they do or what, but be sure to follow your OB’s instructions! My dr’s office recommended that I eat a high protein meal the day of the blood draw (my draw was early in the morning so I had a high protein dinner the night before). They also recommended avoiding any foods with added sugar, fructose, or foods high in carbohydrates (fruit, fruit juices, syrup, soda, energy drinks, bread, oatmeal, crackers, chips, etc.) which was tough for me because I typically like to enjoy fresh fruit, fruit and granola, or a fruit smoothie for breakfast so I ended up kind of unintentionally fasting that morning. 😅
My doctor also recommended refrigerating the beverage to make it more tolerable to drink, but advised not to freeze it or add any ice to it as that would change the drink’s composition (diluting it with water, etc). You also can’t eat or drink anything once you start drinking the glucose beverage, but you can resume eating normally after your blood is drawn. I basically ran to Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich and a tall iced coffee after my blood draw was over! lol You have to drink the whole bottle of glucose within five minutes (which I personally thought tasted like Gatorade or a flat Fanta? not my favorite, but it wasn’t nearly as horrible as I had been told), take note of the EXACT TIME that you finished the bottle and then be sure to tell the lab what time you finished your drink so that your blood is drawn precisely an hour afterward. At this point your body has processed the sugar and will indicate in a blood draw whether or not you have gestational diabetes — the results of this test will determine your care and diet for the remainder of your pregnancy, as well as into postpartum life.
I was so concerned about making sure I got the timing right on drinking the glucose and getting to the lab appointment on time that I foolishly did not hydrate and the lab tech (who I have had for all of my previous blood draws and is so nimble and gentle) had a tough time with my veins, which was totally my fault, not hers — learn from my mistake!
*Pro Tip: Remember to drink LOTS of water before you take your glucose.
Thankfully, my results came back normal so baby and I don’t have to worry about GD which is such a major relief!! I am feeling beyond grateful for an easy pregnancy thus far.
During the same week, on March 1st at 6:05pm, my husband felt our Baby Girl kick for the first time! We had just finished watching the scene on Friends [Season 1; Episode 9 “The One Where Underdog Gets Away”] when Ross is singing to baby Ben in Carol’s belly and they all feel the baby kick for the first time. What fun timing, Baby Girl! 😊
Once we found out we were having a girl it made it so much easier to make decor and clothing decisions. My plan is to have a mostly neutral nursery with touches of a gender color… in this case: shades of dusty rose / mauve (for a boy it would have been navy blue)! I’ll be sure to share a full blog post with all of the products we end up using in her room! I’ve only ordered a few things so far, either “essentials” (like onesies and crib sheets) or items that are limited edition prints or colors that I wanted to be sure to get my hands on before they sold out! Everything else we want and need is just sitting in my e-cart waiting to press PLACE ORDER.
I haven’t really been able to start nesting and putting Baby Girl’s nursery together just yet because we’ve been debating whether or not we’re going to do the flooring project that we were planning to do last year (LOL, remember this post?). According to our flooring guy, wood is currently backordered (assuming that’s a supply-chain issue related to the pandemic) and his team is scheduling out like ~8 weeks so I’m fairly certain that the flooring project wouldn’t be completed in time for Baby Girl’s arrival.
We’re also considering a possible move to the suburbs… if that ends up being the route that we go I really don’t want to sink more money into this house by doing the floors if we’re just going to be moving (and we won’t see a return on that investment because a developer will likely purchase the house just to flatten it and use the land to build an Apodment on, so putting new flooring in seems extremely wasteful, especially in that instance). There’s nothing like having a baby to force you into making major decisions and fast! haha
Ideally, I’d like for everything to be settled by the time Baby Girl arrives, but at this point who knows what’s going to happen. Moving after she’s born wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but juggling new parenthood + lack of sleep + frequent feedings in addition to moving or dealing with a flooring project just sounds like a special level of hell. Even though I’m feeling frustrated about the situation and super unsettled, if there’s anything I’ve learned in my 30+ years of life it’s that everything always works out the way that it’s supposed to so I’m going to try my best not to stress over it too much. 🙈
This was taken on the first day of my LAST WEEK in my second trimester! Baby Girl has been moving a LOT so it’s fun to feel her twirling throughout the day — I love talking to her and can NOT wait to meet her in just a few months!
I received my routine TDAP vaccination (for Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) at my 28 Week OB appointment which made my arm super sore for a couple of days, but thankfully I didn’t experience any other side effects.
In additional medical news (as of March 22nd), Washington state has included pregnant women in the current phase of COVID-19 vaccination eligibility! While I think that’s amazing and I am very eager to get my doses of the vaccine, my Primary Care Physician and my Obstetrician had both originally advised me to wait to get my “jabs” until after delivery so I was planning to wait (but this was in November 2020 with limited vaccine data).
I asked my OB at my 28 Week checkup if her stance had changed at all or if she still recommended that I wait and she told me that since more vaccine data concerning pregnant women and newborns has become available she has been advising all of her pregnant patients to get vaccinated (that is, if they feel comfortable; she said she also felt fine with me waiting to get the vax until post-delivery if I wanted to). After the OB appt I reached out to my PCP to see if her practice or the associated hospital were offering the vaccine and while she said that [unfortunately] they were not, she did tell me that she agreed with my OB’s advice re: vaccination during pregnancy so I feel very comfortable signing up to get vaccinated ASAP. I will have to wait two weeks since I just got my TDAP vaccine, but I can’t imagine that I would be able to get an appointment within that time frame anyway.
Every body and pregnancy is different so please discuss your coronavirus vaccination options with your obstetrician before independently signing up for one. It can’t hurt to get advice from a medical professional for something this important, especially with someone that knows your medical history.
I wonder what the third trimester holds in store for us…
Thanks for following along on my pregnancy journey, friends!
Feel free to ask me any questions in the Comments section if you’re looking for any additional details!
Sending hugs —
Hi! What are you using for you palmoplantar hyperhidrosis while you are pregnant?
Natalie Riendeau says
Thanks for your question.
I actually have a whole blog post coming this week on that topic — I’ll be sharing by Friday! 😊
Natalie Riendeau says
The post went live today! https://natalieinthenorthwest.com/2021/04/09/life-with-hyperhidrosis-pregnancy/