Weeks 13 to 27.
The second trimester is something most pregnant women look forward to. The lethargy disappears, the ‘morning’ sickness should be easing if not gone, and those baby kicks you have been waiting for begin! My second trimester was relatively smooth sailing, thankfully. The only time in my life when it is completely acceptable to be labelled as ‘boring’ is in pregnancy. I still experienced those common side effects such as morning sickness, back pain and constipation but it was nothing compared to what a lot of women go through. My major concern this time around is the possibility of a VBAC versus another C-section…only time will tell.
So, how did I feel?
Even though I have been lucky enough not to suffer from any severe pregnancy symptoms, I still experienced bouts of morning sickness into my second trimester. It wasn’t severe, but gosh I hate vomiting. There was one occasion in which I had vomited so hard that my face broke out in red dots! Thankfully they disappeared within a couple days but still! I vomited so hard I was popping blood vessels haha…what the?! I empathise with women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, I don’t know how they do it. I couldn’t imagine having severe morning sickness with a toddler in toe. I feel bad even mentioning my morning sickness now as I know how lucky I have been to experience minimal nausea in both pregnancies.
The constipation I had this time around was by far the worst pregnancy symptom I have encountered. I wasn’t actively taking stool softeners or eating food high in fibre…the outcome – disastrous. I won’t go into every disgusting detail but let’s just say that my experience resulted in an anxiety fuelled phone call to me best friend (who is a paramedic) and having her calm me the fuck down. It was so bad that I was minutes from calling emergency services…now that would’ve been a story to tell the grandkids haha. From that day forward, I made sure to add prune juice to my weekly grocery list and ACTIVELY take stool softeners. Around 50% of women experience severe constipation in pregnancy, I honestly underestimated how bad things could get in that department. My advice to any pregnant women out there is do not neglect your bowel movements! If you experience any constipation, talk to your doctor about it ASAP as no woman wants haemorrhoids.
Besides my toilet issues, my pregnancy in the medical world is considered nice and boring. I don’t have any major health issues and I am not high risk but; I can’t stop complaining! I HATE being that person that whinges and ‘milks’ the pregnancy train, but I can’t help it! This time around my belly grew a lot quicker AND I have a toddler to chase after. At the end of every day I beg the hubby for a massage to relieve some of that back pain and fight with the couch in an attempt to get comfortable. And is anyone else as emotional as I am? I don’t remember being like this when I was pregnant with Myla, but the silliest of things set me off into crying fits! A heart-warming news story – forget it; an image on my feed of an ill child – nup; an animal abuse story – hand me the Kleenex. I also go through bouts of self-confidence and self-doubt. I am confident in my ability to raise Myla, but then self-doubt rears its ugly head when I think about life as a mum of two. I can’t help but worry about how I will cope. As a mum of one I end 6/7 days completely exhausted. Where the hell is the energy to raise another child going to come from!?
Will a VBAC be possible?
In my second trimester I had my first hospital appointment. As I did with Myla, I am going through Mater Mothers Public Hospital. Private or Public is a personal choice, but after having Myla I am glad I didn’t pay the extra money for the private system. The differences are minimal, and if your pregnancy is straight forward, you’re barely there! When I was induced with Myla I was given a private room, moved to the same birthing suite as the private patients and given the best treatment a girl could ask for. Yes, I did have to share a room with one other patient once I gave birth, and yes, I didn’t have the same midwife/doctor throughout my pregnancy but it really didn’t bother me! The midwife I had at Myla’s birth was amazing! She made me feel so relaxed and even came to visit me and Myla in our room once we were settled. Midwives deserve a bloody medal.
I had my first hospital appointment on the 12th of February, I was 22 weeks pregnant at the time with my regular GP managing my pregnancy up until this point. At my first appointment we discussed:
- My medical history;
- Reviewed any blood tests and ultrasound results I had;
- Asked me a million medical and personal questions (the weirdest being if my husband and I were related, ick); and
- I spoke with a doctor about the possibility of a VBAC.
I went into my appointment expecting to be told that a C-section was going to be booked. With Myla, I was induced at 40+10 with my cervix only dilating to 4cm. The outcome was an emergency C-section due to my labour not progressing and foetal distress. I assumed that a VBAC would be a distant dream but the doctor said otherwise! I was told 70% of women successfully have a VBAC, the odds were higher than I thought! Basically, if I go into labour naturally then the chances of it happening are high, if they have to induce me it’s still possible but the chances decrease. In the event of having to be induced, it will be by the balloon catheter again, and they will break my waters. It is too dangerous to administer Oxytocin after having a C-section therefore it will be up to my body to contract on its own. If my labour doesn’t progress at a good pace then, all over red rover – off to the chopping block, literally. I pray that I go into labour on my own! If my body is forced into labour again I’m really not liking my chances. I have already been actively researching how to bring on labour. I invested in a gym ball and am planning on getting pregnancy inducing massages and acupuncture as soon as I hit week 37 amongst other things. It could be a complete waste of time, but I have to try.
Why do I care so much about having a VBAC over a C-section?
My main reason for wanting a VBAC is simply because I am worried about recovery with a newborn and a toddler. After my C-section with Myla my recovery was a breeze. I was mobile the next morning and feeling great! Major difference this time around, I now have a 12.5kg toddler that is going to want to be cuddled by her mama. Myla will already be adjusting to life with a baby brother, there is no way she will understand that mama can’t pick her up because she has to recover from major surgery. When I went into labour with Myla my mindset was, whatever will be will be. I didn’t care how I gave birth, as long as I had a healthy baby at the end of it. Well I thought I didn’t care…once I was told that I had to have an emergency C-section, I was absolutely devastated. I don’t know what it was/is, but not being able to naturally birth my baby made me sad. I felt like a failure, less of a woman. Aren’t our bodies made to do this? If so, why couldn’t mine! I’m trying not to let it get to me again, but when you flick on the TV and see a story about how children born via C-section are more likely to be obese and dumber, well…you feel like shit. I know these ‘experts’ are absolute fools but it still hurts.
All in all, my second trimester was pretty damn good. My feelings at this point are a mix of ‘come on baby, come out’ versus ‘I don’t want to my pregnancy to end’. I really do love being pregnant. This could very well be the last time, and that makes me sad! If I could afford a house with 10 rooms I’m telling you now, they’d be filled with kids. Oh how I have changed…but if this is my last, God has sent me a daughter and a son, and it doesn’t get much better than that!