What I Did For Myself During My Second Trimester

I’m currently in my second pregnancy and on the tail-end of my second trimester, so I know what’s ahead of me. I also know the sweet, sweet treat of this trimester comes on borrowed time, because soon I will be too big and too uncomfortable to do much of anything except sit still, eat, and gestate. So, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the energy and mobility that comes with the midpoint of pregnancy, and have taken pleasure in doing things for myself during my second trimester (as time and energy permits, of course).

Of course, every pregnancy and every woman is different, so others may have completely opposite experiences in their second trimester, or in their pregnancies in general. I’m certainly not saying, or even suggesting, that anyone has to do the following things or treat their second trimester any differently, unless they want to. In the end, and especially when you're pregnant, you find what works best for you and you alone, and stick with it until it no longer makes sense.

However, if you’re anything like me, gearing up for those last 13 (more or less) weeks and the baby’s actual arrival, is slightly daunting, and a nice reason — OK, a nice excuse — to enjoy the time I have, while I can still enjoy it. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find that these next few months will be smoother than I remember them being my first time around, but I’m not holding my breath. My lung capacity is limited enough as it is. Either way, here are some of the highlights I’ve managed in my second trimester:

Indulged In Relaxing Things

I’m going to share something, despite the fact that it’s going to make me sound really nerdy. But we’re all friends here, right?

I like jigsaw puzzles.

There, I said it. Unfortunately, I rarely have the time to commit to a 1,000-piece puzzle these days, and I typically save them for once a year, in between Christmas and New Year when no one in their right mind wants to do anything other than stay inside. This year, however, it ended up being more like “between Christmas and Valentine’s Day,” because that’s just the reality of being a pregnant, working parent with a 2 year old. Still, I gave in to tradition because I need more reasons to sit down these days, anyway.

Pursued Things I'm Passionate About

On a personal note, I’m writing more fiction these days, a pastime I've enjoyed since I was a kid. I’ve also started to get more politically involved in my community, which has been awesome in completely different ways.

Am I going to have to take a break from both of these things once my baby arrives? Probably. Is that any reason why I shouldn’t use that glorious second trimester energy for something that, in the meantime, gives me life? I think not.

Made Long-term Plans To Keep Certain Things In My Life After Baby

Speaking of things that I’m passionate about, I don’t want to assume that just because this baby is only a few months away now, I’ll never get to revisit them. In fact, if my second child’s early months are anything like my first’s, I’ll be craving the chance to think about anything other than diapers and spit-up.

Yes, I know I shouldn’t assume the second will be like the first, but it gives me hope to think that I can revisit these projects down the road.

Found Time For Dates And Quality Time With My Partner

With a 2 year old in the house and another one on the way, my partner and I tend to stay in more than we go out, and we’re usually fine with it. However, the fact that the third trimester is upon us, and that our new baby is just around the corner, means we’ve tried to squeeze in a little extra time for each other since it might be a while before we’re able to again.

The added bonus? I’ve actually seen a movie in theaters recently, and am totally down to talk about La La Land if anyone has opinions they want to share, because I’m usually way behind when it comes to movies.

Ate Whatever I Wanted To Eat (Within Reason)

I’m still following all the rules, of course, I’m not talking about eating cigarettes and brie and liquor. I’m mostly talking about copious amounts of sweets and the occasional indulgent cheeseburger, because that’s what the baby’s into these days, and who am I to deny her?

Worked From Bed

I almost hesitated to share this one because I know not everyone has the chance to work from home. However, lately I’ve scrapped the desk (who ha time to sit upright, anyway?) in favor of the laptop on more than one occasion. I started doing this out of necessity during the first trimester, when lifting my head was a monumental feat on par with waiting until my partner spouse gets home to progress in the Netflix queue. But even after the nausea subsided, I’ve still opted to work horizontally for not other reason than the option is there.

Continued Napping Like It Was My Job

To be fair, there’s no napping quite like first trimester napping, which is one half-step above straight-up hibernation. However, second trimester napping is still a very, very important part of my week, and what pregnant weekends were made for.

Got Pickier About How I Dressed

This one may seem kind of frivolous, but it’s actually meant a lot to my mental state. I don’t want to say I’m having a hard time with my changing body and growing bump, but I also can’t say I’m enjoying it. As I’ve started showing more and more, and as maternity clothes have gone from “slightly more comfortable than my regular clothes” to “totally and completely necessary,” I’ve been more intentional about how I’ve dressed myself and my bump, because I feel better when I don’t have to to worry about how I look.

Shared The News On My Own Terms

I went back and forth on a Facebook reveal (the plight of 2017 pregnancy, right?) before I ultimately looped the news in with a personal essay I wrote on last month’s Women’s March. It was a super-personal choice, and one that I may not have been down for during my first pregnancy. This time, however, it felt right to include this to pair the news with something bigger than just me and my family’s personal updates.

On a similar note, we also eschewed the typical “wait until X weeks have passed” news when it came time to sharing with our immediate family because many of them live at a distance, and we couldn’t exactly time visits around that benchmark. Either way, we have no regrets, which is what I hope anyone would say about their second trimester.