We found out we were pregnant with baby #2 in August of this past summer, right before Bryan’s 31st birthday. I remember being so excited but I also remember it being a really stressful time. Working, taking care of a toddler who we were potty training and dealing with first trimester fatigue and nausea was really hard. It honestly is a blur to think back on because I think I was just surviving day by day.
Things that helped the most:
- Having a supportive husband who let me sleep when possible
- Having my parents close by to help with Grace. It takes a village!
- Always having dry cereal or crackers on hand and never letting my stomach be fully empty
- Real ginger ale
- Sea bands
- taking gummy prenatal vitamins
If you are considered high risk for any reason I highly recommend visiting with your OB for a preconception visit prior to becoming pregnant. Bryan and I met with my OB before becoming pregnant with baby #2 and it really provided us with a clear picture of what the prenatal care was going to entail for this pregnancy.
A week or so into my second trimester the nausea thankfully subsided and my energy level returned to normal. I was happy to be just regular tired rather than the involuntary pass-out-at-7:15pm-before-my-toddler, exhausted. Because Grace was born at 35 weeks my OB considered me a “high risk” pregnancy. Grace did very well, and if you are interested you can read her birth story here. Babies born at 35 weeks typically do well, however it’s always best to carry to term. Babies born before 34 weeks are at the greatest risk for health problems.
The concern with my second pregnancy is delivering any earlier than 35 weeks. Unfortunately, the number one risk factor for preterm labor is having a history of preterm labor. At 16 weeks I began going to my OBs office for weekly visits. Every week I receive a progesterone injection (you can read more on the use of progesterone to reduce preterm birth here). Every other week my doctor does an ultrasound of my cervix to check cervical length and a quick ultrasound of the baby to make sure baby is doing well.
I started having braxton hicks contractions and pelvic pain around 20 weeks, neither of which my doctor was too concerned with. My contractions while I was working, averaged out at about 2 per hour, but sometimes as many as 4-5 per hour. My doctor made it clear that if I had 6 or more in an hour I needed to go to triage.
At my 27 week visit my cervix measured short on ultrasound. My doctor did a fetal fibrinectin test (FFN) and sent me to triage at the hospital to rule out preterm labor. Before even sending us off, she told me I would absolutely need to stop working, regardless of what happened in triage. Luckily the fetal fibrinectin test was negative, which meant I was unlikely to go into labor within the next two weeks. I was monitored at triage for a few hours and sent home with instructions to be on pelvic rest and not do anything more than light walking.
My experience with the weekly progesterone injections:
- The consistency of the progesterone is really thick and it takes the nurse 30-45 seconds to inject it all the way
- I usually experience what I refer to as the “progesterone funk” within 24-48 hours afterwards which typically consists of fatigue, headache and sometimes hot flashes.
- The site of injection is usually really sore for a day or so
- Although it could be non-related, my skin became really dry after starting the progesterone injections and I actually have eczema on my eyelids that usually flares the day after I get my injection
Third Trimester – so far
I started my third trimester off with phone calls back and forth with HR at my work and Bryan helping me get all the paperwork together for disability. The thought of staying home for the remainder of my pregnancy was strange. I worked full time up until my water broke with Grace and I knew it would take a couple weeks for the change to really sink in. My braxton hicks contractions definitely decreased once I stopped working but the pelvic pain persisted, and more recently has worsened. I’ve been having pain and symptoms very consistent with symphysis pubis dysfunction but will be talking to my doctor more about it at my next visit. I actually just ordered this belly band so if you’re interested to know how well it works, let me know and I’d be happy to share!
Every day in this trimester feels like a milestone and one step closer to making it to term. Each week truly feels long and scary but every Friday morning when I am one more week along, it feels like a small accomplishment worth celebrating. I’ll be very happy when I make it to 32 weeks and even happier if I make it beyond 34 weeks!
Every pregnant woman should be educated about the signs and symptoms of preterm labor, especially if you are high risk. I suggest reviewing them with your doctor in your second trimester and making sure you have a triage phone number to call if you have any questions.
Fun Facts About Baby #2
Due Date: April 20th
How far along: currently 29 weeks, will be 30 weeks on Friday
Size of baby: acorn squash, 15.2 inches and ~2.54 lbs. Although I could swear this baby is bigger than that.
Maternity clothes: YES!
Stretch marks: Not yet but this baby feels bigger than Grace did so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re coming soon. My favorites to rub on the belly are the burts bees belly butter and tubby todd’s belly oil.
Sleep: Terrible. Insomnia is a struggle. I’ve tried every pregnancy pillow out there and hated them all. I just use two king size pillows on either side and hope for the best!
Miss anything: Wine. And yoga. But I miss wine more than yoga.
Movement: Lots! Kick counts have been a breeze.
Food cravings: Sweets! Ice cream, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, strawberries. And burgers.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No, thankfully that passed after the first trimester!
Belly button in or out: out
Happy or moody most of the time: Hmmm I think my husband would say moody
Premature Labor & Birth Resources:
- The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- Mayo Clinic
- American Pregnancy Association
- March of Dimes
- Healthy Children (AAP)