I'm typing this while nearing the end of my third trimester and having had enough time to process my second tri fully. I can say for the most part your second trimester reflex the saying that it is the "Golden Trimester". You're pregnant but still able to move about, have your energy back and start to see and experience flutters and bigger movements of your baby. By this point you no longer feel like your sea sick and actually begin to enjoy food again! If you love to workout, you may even be coming back to some type of routine to feel some sense of normalcy. I had two hiccups (that's what I'm calling them) come about at 18 weeks and 26 weeks (at the closing of the second tri)...
Let's get into it...
SECOND TRIMESTER WINS & WOES
At the first week of the second trimester (13 weeks) I began taking Bonjesta, the anti nausea medication that basically saved me from feeling like total crap the majority of my days. I weaned off it by 17 weeks and it was a miracle to feel normal and not feel a lick of ick! I had begun working out little by little again at 15 weeks with Bodi's Pre & Post natal program by Elise Jones and safely felt I could enjoy fitness again. I was always cleared by doctor to workout, but they recommended that I do it when I truly felt well. Food finally was met with enjoyment and I didn't find myself having any aversions nor was the whole increased sense of smell making me gag at a moments notice. I even traveled to Chicago for my cousin's wedding and had a blast, pregnant who? lol So now I'm approaching my 18 week anatomy scan of the baby and got some news I was just not ready for...
I'm so grateful that at the 18month scan that the baby was healthy, thriving and meeting all the checkmarks that a baby at that time frame needed to be. I however was told that I had "Low-Lying Placenta". Meaning my placenta was position very close to my cervix opening. There is a more serious condition called Placenta Previa, which is when it is on top and depending on the severity, the mother and baby are now considered high risk. For those that don't know, your placenta is an organ attached to you and to your child during pregnancy and any ruptures can cause serious complications. If you have placenta previa, you are then to have a scheduled C-Section. For those who are low-lying, they have a chance that it could move up and correct itself, but only time will tell.
So here I am feeling defeated and anxious not knowing what type of birth I would experience. When the doctor came in to explain everything, I was most upset that I had to now proceed with extra caution with my physical workouts and physical ways of doing things in generally. Yes, in pregnancy you should proceed with caution in doing anything that can cause strain, but I was so pissed and emotional because the one activity I can't do full out is working out. Working out is my therapy. I had just started my routine again, feeling amazing during and post workouts and I now had to tone it down significantly. I also was just pissed at myself wondering, " wtf was the point of even being in shape". I look back and laugh at myself because still a body that was training everyday for a healthy quality of life, is still the body you want because it will work hard to protect you as much as possible under any circumstance. Which in my case has to be true because the doctor and nurses kept asking me if I had any bleeding or spotting and with my active lifestyle they were shocked I hadn't. *knocks on wood, still no sign of that this entire pregnancy. With low-lying placenta, I was now being considered "high risk". And would need additional appointments to watch the placement of my placenta. *Spoiler It has moved up BUT not out of the clear yet (almost!).
Googling all the things that can go wrong with low-lying placenta is not something I advise. Just take it week by week. Do not lose hope thinking it can't improve. I did get the app " What to Expect when Expecting" and you can join groups with other ladies who are birthing the same month as you. With that I asked and searched other ladies experiences and all were very comforting to read. The only positive of knowing the risks, is accepting the fact that there's a good chance of C-Section and knowing it's the best option for my baby's health and mine.
I'm not trying to be Superwoman and have always looked at pregnancy as something to be endured, lol a blessing but not easy. I know a lot of woman who LOVE being pregnant and have had the most relaxed pregnancies. My sister is a perfect example, with all three she was able to workout, be active and vaginally birth without any complications. Which I witnessed and was always amazed by how calm the room and experience actually was. I also know a lot of women who have not enjoyed their pregnancies at all, have had nausea there entire term, pre-term labor, placenta previa, preeclamsia and worse...
This "hiccup" was NOTHING compared to the actual one that knocked me off my feet in the last weeks of the second trimester...
Let me preface the situation with that as much as I proceeded with caution as the weeks went on, I was in the busiest time of the year for my business. I was careful not to proceed the usually heavy lifting that is in set building, basket building and with the pre/post natal barre, I wasn't using more than 2-5 pounders. The problem? Possibly the long hours and heat. Every November and December I design and assist in holiday photography sessions. The shoots happen on weekends with the occasional weekday add-ons. We were in our second batch of photo sessions ( Nov12-13) and it was particularly hot and humid.
I was hydrating like all day long, peeing all day long. I was sitting in between, snacking and doing what I thought was enough. That heat though and the fact that I wasn't supplementing water with electrolyte filled drinks like Body Armor or Gatorade plus long hours on my feet getting little children to focus in on the camera , may have done my in. We finish Sunday at 6pm, I was beat. I head home, shower, eat and both my husband and I had production days and were in bed by 8:30pm NO JOKE! An hour later, while scrolling on instagram and my husband already asleep, I begin to notice subtle period cramps. I knew right away that wasn't normal but was hoping it would go away. I then start breathing heavily because these cramps are now making my belly harden like a bowling ball and begin to feel pressure in my butt as well. I start measuring the highest points and noting the time on my phone and soon these 8 minute apart moments felt like 5, then 3, then 2. I'm either in labor or having miscarriage is what I'm mentally telling myself. It's no 10:10 and it's not subsiding and my husband who woke up with concern because he heard my breathing is trying to read what's going on. I was deep down hoping I was just being a little bitch and complaining about having pain from braxton hicks or gas or food poisoning. BUT the key thing here is if yo go through anything that is painful and not normal in pregnancy, do not waste time and get yourself to the ER!
So I said with tears in my eyes " I'm so sorry, we have to go to the hospital", SHOUT out to my husband who had only a few hours of sleep from the night before who didn't hesitate and only comforted me the whole way through. That night in triage as I was walking in, there were a ton of ladies, all in for different reasons signing in. Which unfortunately meant it would take some time before I could get some answers. I also noticed that some of this cramping I felt was subsiding. So maybe it was a fluke? I was on monitors, check by ultra sound and everything for several hours after that and eventually told "looks like you were having Braxton hicks, you're good to go home but contact your OB and get check out again this week". Still kinda sore in my bottom, I was so embarrassed that I was I couldn't handle that pain... We made it home at 2a.m. and my husband had to be up at 4a.m. to work. I was planning on sleeping in, until The same thing happened but now it's 9:30 AM and these "cramps" were even worse than the night before. I called my OB office and they made an appointment for me to come in around 11am. I youtubed braxton hicks and contractions on breathing to help, things to help with pain, like a warm shower and then I found myself not able to stand or sit in certain positions. I tried everything and it was only getting more painful. My husband was aware, I had told my sister and asked her to take me to the doctors office because I didn't think I could drive.
Next thing I know the ladies in the office have monitors on me and my OB was now seeing that I was not having braxton hicks, but indeed in labor with 1-2 minute apart contractions and needed to get to the ER stat. The only thing my OB was happy about was the baby's heart rate was stable. So off I went and this time there was no wait for me, thanks to my OB, and they were expecting me. It had been less than 12 hours since I had seen some of the staff and this time they were possibly preparing me for and emergency c-section if the medication they had prepped didn't work within the hour.
Right away the usual drawing of blood, urine and then shots of Turbutaline one in each arm about an hour or so apart. After the first dose, the pain began to subside significantly. That was a promising sign. The babies heart rate remained strong and I was NOT dilated. All positives. They did however find keytones my urine showing possible signs of a UTI and heavily dehydrated. They didn't hesitate with the IV fluids and although the pain was less, I was still contracting significantly and with that I was going to be kept over night. They will not send a dehydrated contracting pregnant woman home. Since it didn't stop the majority of the day I was still at risk at delivering, so I was given additional medication to help boost the babies support. I got steroids to help his lungs mature and magnesium for cognitive support as well. Both meds burned as they went in, and this was my first official hospital experience as a patient. Fun times! I would proceed to be under watch for the next four days. Making sure I didn't dilate and the baby was strong and safely remaining in my belly. I was so blessed to have the best team take care of me at Baptist Hospital and make me feel as comfortable and safe as anyone could hope. I was then told I had to be on rest and zero stress physically for the remainder of the pregnancy, no travel whatsoever and had to outsource any work errands etc. Want to laugh? While in the hospital, I had been placed on hold for a healthcare commercial shoot out of town, where I was to be a patient in labor. I had to respectfully decline and go on maternity leave officially with my casting agents lol.
I spent the next two to three weeks recovering. I eventually got a UTI as well and was physically beat, like I did a million ab workouts. Coughing, laughing and urinating all hurt. I took to the app "what to expect when expecting" to see if anyone in the group had this experience. I also asked if they carried to term, I was so grateful to learn that there were other ladies who also had a similar experience and also carried to term and delivered healthy babies.
My recovery happened in the middle of Thanksgiving, so the grateful tears were on another level and I cannot thank my family enough for just being there. I truly am so lucky to have that, because I know everyone has different circumstances and for my husband and I in the busiest work season of all, they were incredible to step in.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER IS STILL THE GOLDEN TRIMESTER
The second trimester did indeed end with bang, the baby was healthy, I was safe and as each week progressed Into the third trimester I celebrated a lot more than I ever had. Pregnancy complications happen, sometimes we know the root of which and other times we just don't know. We just have to take even more care of ourselves and proceed with caution even more so than we think. Here's what I'm making sure I do on the regular and next pregnancy...
Electrolytes| Yes I was drinking all the water, I even had a high level of amniotic fluid in me when I was considered dehydrated, and even though that doesn't add up with dehydration, I'm making sure I'm supplementing the right way. Body Armor has a lot to offer in hydration. It's base is coconut water and OB's love it. So I'll down those each day just for extra protection.
Avoid High Temps| This is something you learn early on but if yo can avoid being outdoors on a hot humid day, just avoid it all together, or make sure you can take breaks from it. In Miami, it's hard sometimes, but this had me avoiding my warehouse space the rest of my pregnancy.
Stress Less| Physically and mentally do less! Coming from someone who is always on the go, it's way easier said than done. Next pregnancy there's a lot I'm going to be changing with work so I can avoid aggravating my pregnancy. Not worth the risk, and I rather supplement more leisure activities, even during our busiest work season.
I share this journey with you, because maybe, just maybe you needed the reminder to take a load off, or if for some unfortunate reason you find your self cramping, you know that it's ok to be proactive and rush your booty to the hospital. Always go in with the mentality that it's "Better to be safe than sorry". Also wanted to share my "hiccups" to let you know that there were positive outcomes from this and resolutions. Knowledge is power and to me is comforting.
Thank you for joining me on my second trimester journey! I'm currently a day away from 36 weeks and only a week from being officially in the " Full Term" stage! With the baby measuring a week ahead, I'm in a very safe zone, thank GOD!
Next installment of " 3rd Trimester | Pregnancy Journey" , coming soon. No hiccups, only random and normal symptoms, prepping the nursery, what I put as a must on my registry and packing my hospital bag!