Pregnancy is weird. I mean, really! I’ve always dreamed of being pregnant, feeling the baby move, having the “glow”, and honestly all of that is amazing, but there’s a whole lot more that women either forget or don’t share because it’s just strange. I had a lot of symptoms in my first trimester that I didn’t expect. And there were some symptoms in my 2nd trimester that were just as weird as my first. Some symptoms I’ve had through the entire pregnancy, others came and went with my trimesters.
All I can say is that pregnancy is different for every woman and every baby. I don’t think there’s 2 pregnancies that are exactly the same based on my experience with many pregnant women in the past 5 years. But that being said, I do want to help prepare any woman entering her 2nd trimester with possible symptoms she may experience. Mine may be different, similar, or exactly the same as yours, but just remember if you are ever concerned to call your Dr.’s office and ask.
So here’s my weird symptom list for Trimester 2!
- Appetite picked up – my appetite in my first trimester decreased greatly. Once I made it to about month 5, it picked back up to normal.
- Gag reflex – This started around week 9 and continued until about week 20. It was terrible. I never vomited over any smell or food in this pregnancy, but I did feel like gagging ALL the time. It would come if I was talking to a friend, walking in Wal-Mart, driving down the road, singing in church, etc. Any moment at any given time had the potential for me to feel gaggy. So I used candy such as Jolly Ranchers and the Preggy Pop sour candies to help combat the dry mouth and gagginess.
- Happiness – sure I had my emotional moments, but overall I was super happy. Not giddy, but just contented, happy, joyful. I never felt like I “glowed” due to my complexion turning red and pink, but I definitely felt the “glow” radiating from overall happiness of pregnancy.
- Sciatic nerve pain – This one followed me through the entire pregnancy. It started as early as 8 weeks and never stopped. I called my doctor around the 11th week and asked about it because I was hurting so badly and had to limp sometimes to accommodate it, but the nurse reassured me that it was normal. She said even though the baby was tiny, my uterus was not and was growing bigger. She also said depending on where the baby was in my uterus, that could affect my sciatic nerve as well.
- Indigestion – Again, this one started early and never left. I had about 3 weeks of relief but have been taking medicine almost the entire pregnancy just to deal with it.
- Stretch Marks – These babies hit me out of nowhere. I was 28 weeks when my husband and I flew to Texas for Thanksgiving. We didn’t have a full length mirror to where I could see the changes my body was going through at home. So when I got dressed in front of the mirror one morning and saw how large my belly was, and all of the stretch marks I had gotten, it was quite a shock. My husband had never said anything about them, and since looking down I couldn’t see them, I had assumed they hadn’t appeared yet. This was the first time I felt truly self conscious about my looks and battled body image insecurity. This eventually went away as I came to accept this was totally normal and that my body was busy making a beautiful little person.
- Baby bump pop – I waited and waited for my belly to actually look like a bump so people wouldn’t look at me and think I was overweight. It literally popped out of nowhere around 6 months, and every other week or so it would pop a little more.
- Itchy Belly – thanks to my skin stretching, my belly got itchy. It’d hit out of nowhere and once I started scratching I had to scratch the whole belly. Lotion every day has helped with this, but even still I find myself having an itch I need to scratch on my belly.
- Feel the baby move – I didn’t feel my baby move until the night before I turned 20 weeks. I suppose I had been feeling him move way sooner, but even with everyone telling me what baby kicks felt like to them, it never seemed to be what I felt. Partly because I have IBS and tend to be extra gassy anyways, I always figured it was gas moving around in there. But once I felt those 3 knocks back to back close to my belly button, I knew the baby was moving and I never had a doubt again. And trust me, once I felt all the different ways he was moving, it made everyone’s descriptions make sense: butterflies, bubbles popping, tightness, etc.
- Congestion – my nose stopped up. Not with mucus or anything, but the tissue swelled. I’d blow my nose and within minutes felt like it was closed again. It made sleeping harder and I drooled all the time because I had to breathe through my mouth. Sorry ladies, but I’ve heard and read this is a common one and worse in the 3rd trimester (which it is).
- Tingling in wrists and ankles – This one I didn’t expect. Around 5 months I noticed that I couldn’t pop my wrists or ankles without them tingling to the point of hurting. I would be working and try to stretch my ankles as I sat at my table and the tingling would hit. Sometimes it felt like fire running from my ankle to my big toe. My doctor reassured me this was normal and due to the increased blood flow. It eventually went away a few months later.
- Energy cap – so my entire family was ALWAYS telling me not to push myself, to make sure I was resting and taking time for myself. Well, one weekend we had an extra day off for a holiday at work (I’m a K teacher) and I went and went and went, pushed through the day even though I was getting extremely tired and wanted a nap. The next day was a teacher work day (no kids), and I felt like I could barely go. The very next day, which was the first day the kids came back, I ended up leaving work early because I felt so bad. My blood pressure was up, and I felt so sluggish I could barely go. I went home and slept for almost 4 hours. I skipped church that night to rest and took another hour nap around 7:30. Woke up at 9 ish, then went back to bed around 10. It took me almost an entire week to recover from pushing myself past my limits. I realized then that when my body said to rest, I had not choice but to listen to it.
- Emotional about my body – I didn’t expect this one, and I truly believe it’s because I didn’t have a full length mirror to watch my body grow as my baby grew. But I couldn’t really see my growing belly until I was 29 ish weeks. Y’all, it was a MAJOR shock to me when I went from only seeing my body from looking down to being able to see ALL of me. I finally saw all the stretch marks, how large my belly was getting, how full my figure was becoming. It floored me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being pregnant (not the 9th month though) and this baby has been so good for his mommy, but it was a very hard adjustment to see just what was happening. It took me probably until month 8 or 9 to really accept it and find it beautiful again. It wasn’t anything that anybody ever said to me, because everyone was always sweet and gave me compliments, but it was my own opinion of my changing body that I had to accept. Now, being 17 days away from my due date, I find my body (while changed) much more beautiful as it has truly done it’s job in protecting my baby boy, and it’s equipping itself to take care of him when he’s here. Truly, the woman’s body is a miracle!
So all in all, lots of things happen to our bodies when we are pregnant. And ultimately every woman’s journey is different. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things, and several symptoms are the same as they were in my first trimester (if you want to check out that post HERE), but it’s true that the 2nd trimester is the best! Energy comes, you look pregnant, you feel pregnant and feel the baby, and you just feel good! Good luck on your journey Momma!