A friend described the three trimesters in order as ‘dreary, cheery and weary’, and I certainly found the middle one a lot happier than the first (though I’m still feeling great in the third too). Now that I’m most definitely into my third and final stretch, I thought I’d give a little round up of how lap #2 went. Spoiler alert: it was awesome.
The combination of no drinking, going to bed at a reasonable hour, taking my multivitamin and eating good food left me feeling full of beans.
Something about being pregnant has made me feel more connected to people – to my husband, to my family, to other mothers. A couple of weeks ago, I went to visit my grandma and she was telling me about how beautiful her home birth with my mum was, with her hand on my belly, and the baby gave her little thumps throughout the story. It was beautiful. I’ve found pregnancy recently full of lovely little moments like that – from strangers smiling at me in the street, to deep conversations with colleagues on their own or their partner’s journeys.
Thankfully, my appetite came back to normal after the severe restriction of the first trimester – everything has been back on the table since about week 13. I haven’t really had any cravings, besides my continued love for anything fizzy. I did have one day where I HAD TO have grapefruit, and bought and ate three. Then had the worst heartburn I’d ever had. Obviously.
I have been continuing with a mostly plant-based diet through my pregnancy. I’ll write a proper post on this later, but the short form is – there is no reason not to be vegan and pregnant, as long as you have a well-rounded diet and your prenatal vit contains B12. The reason I say I’ve been following a ‘mostly’ plant-based diet is that I have been much more likely to say “oh, screw it” if there is a bake sale on at work, or pastries in a meeting than I would have been before pregnancy. So, I’m continued vegan at home, and 95% of the time elsewhere, as long as there is no chocolate involved.
“Eating for Two” is definitely a concept of the past – the new guidelines suggest no extra food in the first two trimesters, and only an extra 200 calories a day in the last trimester. However, I think the odd piece of cake or extra spoon of peanut butter in my porridge isn’t going to do me too much harm, seeing as I’m saving the alcohol calories I would probably have been consuming before pregnancy, and I’m still just as active as before. I’m taking a full-spectrum multivitamin, and also additional calcium. My diet contains loads of leafy greens, plant-milks and nut butters, so I’m probably meeting my targets for calcium, but I would rather be safe than sorry, especially as any deficiencies would leach calcium out of my bones to give to the baby.
I get hangry very fast nowadays, so have little packets of nuts and seeds or dried fruit hidden in every bag, in my car, in my desk. Although, thinking on it, that’s not that much different to before I was pregnant, I just have an excuse now…
At about three months and onwards, everything started getting tight around my stomach. I don’t think I had a baby bump per se, I was mostly just really bloated. Fed up of trawling through my drawers for the things that felt comfortable, I packed away all my jeans and zero gravity SB leggings into the loft, and moved into stretchy skirts and dresses for weekends, and up a size in my work trousers during the week. I didn’t need to wear maternity clothes until five months, but there was a really uncomfortable bit in the middle, where I felt too big for my normal clothes and not big enough to invest in maternity.
I’m naturally a total cheapskate when it comes to buying non-sportswear clothes, so most of the maternity gear I’ve ended up with has either been from eBay, charity shops or hand-me-downs from friends. My one investment I bought new and quite early on was my maternity swimsuit, from the Next sale, as I was being chopped in half by my old one! You will have seen a LOT of it on my Instagram stories, if you follow there. Below is the difference between my 20 week bump and my 30 week bump – bit of change, and not just that they’re refurbishing the swimming pool!
Exercise and Sleep
As I wrote in my other post – I was absolutely on FIRE exercise-wise during the first two thirds of my second trimester – I swam my fastest ever mile at 25 weeks, I ran like a little trooper. I actually had more commitment to exercising during my second trimester than I have for months (including marathon training…). I would go to tap dancing class on Monday, running club Tuesday, two swims during the week and another run at the weekend. The reasons for this were twofold: firstly, I just felt so great and needed an outlet for my energy and secondly, sleep started to get a bit trickier and so tiring myself out thoroughly was the best strategy for getting a good night’s rest. Before I was pregnant, I slept on my front, which I obviously couldn’t do as the bump expanded, and sleeping on my side took a lot of getting used to. So, exercising myself sleepy was the best bet.
After about week 28, when I did the Women’s Running 10K, it started taking me longer to recover from runs, and my bump would ache for a couple of days afterwards. This has meant that I don’t want to go for two or three runs a week, as I don’t really get a day off from bump DOMs. I’ve swapped a run a week for an extra swim, and will just keep an eye on how long I fancy running for.
Although I’m approaching seven months pregnant now, I’m still not feeling too ‘third-trimester-y’. The only symptom I have really is acid reflux, which isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. I have slowed down a little bit, and I’m trying to be more mindful of my energy levels, as I go ten thousand miles an hour at everything, so it takes conscious effort to actually relax. The baby is so active nowadays, especially if I’m being still, so that’s an added incentive to have a little bit of a rest and connect with the bub.
Hopefully this feeling will continue for a little while longer! I’ll keep you posted. Any tips for staying comfy in this last bit much appreciated.