Milestones,  Pregnancy,  Spring,  Thoughts

Life Lately (Pregnancy) Update: Second Trimester

Happy May! This week I’ve entered the third trimester. With less than three months until our new baby joins us, things are starting to feel very real around here and I figured it was time for a bit of a life and pregnancy update.

I was very lucky to spend the beginnings of my 2nd trimester at home this January and February as it was exam period during the height of the highest COVID spike we have seen yet in Czech Republic, and hide I duly did. Fortunately the situation has looked better and better, as we are no longer dark red on the map and cases are lower than they’ve been since October (for now).

Starting Week 13 (when I felt a lot more normal), I’ve consistently kept up my yoga practice to today, practicing the normal 2-3 times per week as time allows, with YogaGlo. I’ve been practicing with them since 2015 and continue to be very satisfied, especially since I love their wealth of prenatal classes and was excited to dive in. I’ve really been loving the classes especially from Carole Westerman and Jo Tastula, among many others. I hope to keep up my practice in some shape or form all the way up until delivery!

In the early Week 20’s things were a bit touch-and-go there, right around the time I announced, actually. I felt really slow and could definitely not walk at anything resembling a normal pace due to ligament pains (like a side ache in the front) until I discovered the wonder of magnesium supplements and finding a happy medium. Initially I took a huge dose daily which definitely helped with the pains, but I found that it also may have contributed to diminishing hunger. Now I take one every other day and things are going much better… even though I still must walk a bit slower than usual.

One thing that has been very surprising at the end of the second trimester was the increase in strength of fetal movement. Little Man has been active! Ten weeks ago, feeling movements was more like “aw, cute” and some days at the end of the second trimester it was like “OOF! Go to sleep!”. Any time I haven’t felt him in awhile, all it takes is for me to even think that thought… and he moves on cue as if he’s read my mind. I’ve been thankful for that!

As for names – still undecided. Just when I think we’ve settled a 100% on one… doubts start creeping in and there are one or two others that I really like, but it’s fair to say it’s quite narrowed down definitively to our top two or three. There are a lot more considerations naming a child while living abroad, including whether their name should be easily pronounceable or recognizable in our current country, so we are sticking with names that are somewhat known here or at least very easily learned and won’t have any issues with specific consonant sounds (like too many r’s or the unpronounceable th).

Something else soon on the horizon: maternity leave! The Czech Republic mandates an early 6-8 weeks before the due date that the mother would finish at her job. Unofficially, I will be on maternity leave from mid-May only because it’s the end of the semester and I will have finished my full-time workload by that time. Looking forward to having the time in the third trimester for getting things situated, cleaning, resting and taking online birth and post-partum courses.

Little Things: As mentioned in the last pregnancy-related post, I’ve been on the cautious side with most things… just in case. Little to no caffeine, no chemicals (nail polish, hair dyes, etc), and really careful about everything I consume or put in and around my body, generally erring on the side of caution with every little thing. Boy, do I miss a good cup of matcha or jasmine tea, though! Only in the last week have I started drinking a few herbal teas again (specifically nettle-based for the vitamins) although drinking more and more water is always the goal. Looking forward to starting a red raspberry leaf tea regimen soon, though! (it’s delicious) Weight gain has happened in fits and starts – one month almost nothing, the next month the nurse did a dramatic double-take at the scale! Despite the aforementioned caution, I have been feeling really relaxed and that may have manifested in good vibes and outcomes so far.

Maternity clothes? For me that just means a couple pairs of jeans passed down from a friend and any and all oversized clothes I already blessedly own. Really looking forward to warmer weather and just wearing dresses!

As you can tell (above photo and all the boxes behind me painting a very apt picture of our life right now), home improvements have kicked into high-gear. We started in January with the purchase of some much needed furniture pieces for our living room, and slowly moved into baby purchases (stroller and crib, check! cloth nappy set, check! loads of clothing for months 0-6, check!) and now finishing up organizational purchases and tackling any little tasks that we wouldn’t have time or energy for later. We live in, essentially a large one bedroom flat split up into three massive rooms and have for the past nine years, and we feel satisfied here, so we’re figuring out how to situate everything and make space for a new little person joining us in our bedroom, as we plan to keep the living room the, well, living and doing space and the bedroom always as the quiet retreat. This means reorganizing almost everything, finding new storage solutions and repurposing our own closets. Please wish us luck on this venture!

As I head now into the third trimester, I’m feeling quite good these days (and big, and taking up more and more space), a few struggles getting shoes on and off and huffing up stairs – getting from point A to point B hits differently now. As the weather gets better and there are more things to do in the spring in summer, it’s a constant temptation to take part or not in various events (such as festivals, trips, concerts, boat trips) that arise. Doing these things later into the third trimester is such a grey area and mostly has to do with level of comfort and safety – it’s a tough call, sometimes. Supposing by the time July rolls around, I’ll be keeping things close to home and doing last minute things here, but I’ll be out and about while I can!

One last thing: I have to say this pregnancy has felt surprisingly very normal so far. There’s been no “mama brain”, totally normal sense of smell or taste, no particular food cravings in the second trimester at all, no feeling over emotional (yet), and everything besides the belly, of course, has seemed to stay its normal size. So coming in to say, these things are not a given. You truly never do know!

Thanks for following along – it’s happened a lot lately that I have lots to write about but drafting posts with photos is so time-consuming (I can see why everyone just defaults to Instagram) However, a couple very Czech posts coming up in the next few weeks. Enjoy this beautiful beginning of May!