Thursday, October 15, 2015

The second trimester

Sailboat on Ulvikssjön in Stockholm  |  The second trimester on afeathery*nest  |

Like everyone said it would be, the second trimester was the most pleasant one of my pregnancy. The first one was uncomfortable, and now that I'm currently in my third I can say that it's also quite a bit uncomfortable, but the second? The second was very enjoyable.

About six weeks into it I had finally begun to show and apart from needing to dress a bit differently, I often forgot that I was pregnant until I passed a reflective surface. While I didn't notice the burst of energy, glowing skin and thicker hair that many women experience during the second trimester, just feeling normal was enough of a boon for me.

Towards the end of July, around my halfway mark, we had our second and final sonogram, known as the anatomy scan. We walked in nervously, but by the end we were smiling as the midwife pronounced the baby to (seemingly) be in perfect health.

We left the clinic in Östermalm and went straight to a baby store in Vasastan to begin trying out strollers and perusing cribs and other baby accoutrement. Over the next few weeks we began researching and selecting our baby gear, as well as birthing centers (we've since picked one that will allow me to have the water birth I always wanted!), and began the inevitable investigation into the requirements of our respective countries when it comes to registering our baby's birth.

Other second trimester highlights:
  • Making pancakes while singing and dancing along to a Spotify playlist when I suddenly became emotional over my bowl of batter as I remembered what I had read that morning: the baby could now hear and recognize my voice.

  • The first time I felt the baby's movements. It was during Week 19 and just after I had woken up but was still laying down. I had turned onto my left side and felt four very distinct "pokes", which made me laugh because I imagined the baby tapping me to let me know that the position I had just moved into was not working for him/her. But, it wasn't until the end of August, when I was a few weeks shy of starting my third trimester that R was finally able to feel his child moving inside of me.

  • Weekly physical changes, the most noticeable of which was the round ligament pain that began after the halfway mark. It's a very intense, acute, and somewhat searing sensation at the base of the abdomen, near the pelvic bone. I was a little nervous as I hadn't expected that, but Google, other mamas, and then my midwife confirmed it was just the stretching of my ligaments to allow for the uterus to grow. The pain wasn't exactly a highlight, but my ever-increasing wonder at how this all happens was.

My second trimester ended just as we headed down to Sicily, and now I'm squarely (and moderately comfortably) ensconced in my third. I can't quite believe that we're already at this point—the first few months seemed to go so slowly and now we're racing through autumn to meet our December baby.

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More on Swedish healthcare, prenatal care and giving birth in Sweden:

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One year ago: Postcard from Andalucía: Conil de la Frontera
Two years ago: Autumnal things: walks and more knits

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