Somehow it has already been another 10 weeks since my first trimester update and plenty has happened since then! I am in my 24th week of pregnancy and have just about one month left in the second trimester. While the beginning of the pregnancy seemed to drag on, it now feels like time is speeding up!

So what’s new in the second trimester?

Some time after writing this post on gender predictions, we did get confirmation of my gut feelings that this baby is a GIRL! It still feels like a miracle after two boys and a family full of nephews that we be blessed with a girl, but it’s true– our daughter Sadie is on her way.

Speaking of Sadie, she’s a mover! I started to feel whispers and flutters of movement SUPER early around 14 weeks. Since then the movement has increased to the point where it is easily felt and seen from the outside. Having a posterior placenta (against the back wall of the uterus) and a stretched belly from two previous babies means this little one is NOT hiding… but it’s fun and comforting to have that constant reassurance that she is alive and well.

The beauty of the second trimester is that it’s common for a lot of the pregnancy symptoms that made life harder to fade away, and I’ve definitely felt more energetic, and less nauseous the past few months. My meat and coffee aversions disappeared, and eating a balanced diet has become easy again– except for the cravings of course! I’m finding it harder to balance my desire for snacks, carbs, and sweets, especially at the end of the day when I’m exhausted. A week or two ago I realized that at those moments I’m mostly eating for comfort, which is not exactly a healthy habit, and so have been trying to be more conscious of eating when hungry, and staying super hydrated so I don’t mistake thirst for hunger.

In my previous pregnancy I kept track of my weight gain obsessively because I was so set on trying to avoid having a large baby (though I know that my first son’s size did not determine the outcome of his birth) so that I could achieve a vbac. This time around, I haven’t been paying too much attention to it as I’m just feeling overall much more relaxed. So when I got to my midwife appointment last week feeling totally chill and just happy to be there, and suddenly learned that I have gained almost 10 lbs in the last four weeks, the tears just started flowing. Why was I crying?

I was crying out of exhaustion– I had just spent the previous three days as a lone parent while my husband was out of town, and it was my first morning “off” without them.

I was crying out of surprise– I was in no way expecting to go to that appointment and have an “issue” to discuss, however small or uncomplicated.

I was crying because discussing weight gain triggered fear– though I have felt more relaxed about it this time, I was suddenly facing that huge giant of fear about being unable to deliver this baby that I encountered with my unexpected Cesarean birth in 2013.

I was crying because I’m pregnant– and really, do I have to give any other reasons?

The beautiful thing about midwifery care is that there was not a hint of judgement in that room and I knew it was a safe place to let all of those emotions flow. I wasn’t criticized. We talked about some healthy changes I could make (limiting sugar and incorporating more exercise) to keep things on track, and we discussed the reality that weight gain in pregnancy is not always linear. When I left my appointment the biggest thing my midwife stressed was that I needed to take some time to care for myself that day, as I was obviously at a low point for stress and exhaustion.

It’s been a week since that appointment and I have made some changes that overall have left me feeling healthier, more energetic, less stressed and better able to cope with life in general. Sometimes we have to reach a low point to recognize that change is needed, or to reach out for help and encouragement.

Here’s to the second trimester! I can’t believe how soon we’ll be in the third!