Second Trimester Update: Baby #2
Time for a second trimester update! I just started my third trimester last week, so here’s an overview of how things went the past three months. Warning: it’s a doozy!
(In case you missed it, here’s my first trimester update!)
I started feeling significantly better in the second trimester. If you remember, I was nauseous and exhausted during the first while also trying to watch Miles and move halfway across the country. I’m so glad that I started feeling better because that was rough.
This baby is definitely lower than Miles was, so things have just felt heavier as time has gone on. With Miles, I had a lot of pressure further up in my lungs and ribs, but now things just feel heavy lower down and I start to feel something like a stitch in my side if I walk too far or too quickly.
My tailbone also started giving me issues, which was new with this pregnancy. I sit on the floor a lot to play with Miles, and I think I was sitting weirdly for awhile because I started having sharp pains in my sacrum when I would get up or switch positions. I’ve tried to be more mindful about my posture when sitting and not exerting myself too much and that’s helped it calm down some, but it will definitely flare up if I do too much.
For this next part, I’ll talk about the physical news I received at my 20-week ultrasound and then go into more detail later when I talk about how I’ve been doing emotionally.
At my 20-week ultrasound, they also had to do a vaginal ultrasound, which I thought was odd because that’s usually only done at your first visit when they confirm your pregnancy. Because of COVID, Neil wasn’t able to come with me, which was disappointing, but we’d been through this before so I didn’t mind too much. After the images were taken, I was asked to wait in a waiting room — something I also thought was odd. I started to worry that there might be something wrong, so I started texting Neil.
My technician soon came in and let me know that the doctor had reviewed my images and I was able to go and talk to her. I was led into an empty room with an iPad on the table, which was where I virtually met with a doctor. She informed me that I had complete placenta previa, which is a condition where the placenta completely covers the cervix (where the baby needs to come out when it’s time). She said the only thing to change right then was to add some extra iron supplementation in case of any bleeding, and that we were going to schedule another ultrasound in 8 weeks to see if my placenta had moved away from my cervix during that time.
I’m writing this at the start of my third trimester, which is also when I got my updated ultrasound, but I think it’s important to let you know the results of that 28-week ultrasound as well since the next part likely developed during my second trimester as well.
(after a good cry in the car at my appointment)
My placenta hasn’t moved, and I’ve developed another complication as well. Known as placenta accreta, part of my placenta has attached itself to the wall of my uterus. Usually during labor, the baby is delivered and then the placenta, which peels off like Velcro (for lack of a better analogy). In my case, part of the placenta is attached more fixedly and trying to get it off could cause massive bleeding. It’s a life-threatening condition, but we are hoping that since it was caught now and not unexpectedly, we can be prepared for it. I have another follow up in two weeks to discuss more of a plan. All I know right now is:
- the baby will need to be delivered before she comes to term
- if they can’t separate my placenta from my uterus, I will need a hysterectomy
- the longer the pregnancy goes, the more risk there is of “tremendous bleeding” which could require hospitalization, transfusions, etc.
I’ll be sure to update you guys as I know more. If you follow me on Instagram, I have a whole highlight saved just for fun stories about my placenta – ha.
This pregnancy has been so different than my one with Miles in terms of exercise. When I found out I was pregnant was when things started to really shut down because of the pandemic. Neil and I did at-home workouts for awhile, but I started to lose motivation because I thrive from working out with others, plus I was starting to feel really sick and worn down.
We moved to North Carolina and stocked up on equipment for our shed gym. That all took awhile, so I wasn’t really exercising during that time either. Once we got into our house and set up the shed, I got a little more consistent with workouts, which was also around the time that I got the previa news. I was told I could continue exercising, but wanted to err on the side of caution and not catch 100 lbs down in a squat and put that kind of pressure on my pelvic floor. I cut back on things again and really only walked around and chased Miles.
I did go on a lot of adventures with Miles, though, during this time. We went to see sunflower fields, pick flowers, hike on the river, and lots of things outside because it was during the summer and I had missed nature so much living in Chicago.
Since the accreta news, I’ve been told that I can really only walk for exercise. I’m trying to take things really easy to avoid any strain that could potentially cause bleeding. I’m listening to my body and not trying to push it unnecessarily.
My appetite came back, but not for the things that I’ve been loving for years. I used to eat eggs and drink kombucha daily, and I haven’t really wanted either despite getting my appetite back. I will randomly buy kombucha if I’m in the mood and I’ll eat eggs if I order them somewhere or they’re made for me, but the thought of cooking them makes me feel sick.
- Diet Coke
- White toast with butter and jelly
- Single serving cereal cups (Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, etc.)
- Too many sweets
- Caffeine — affected me way more than normal
Well, things started out well and slowly got harder with each subsequent visit. I went into this pregnancy with one wish — to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean). After the previa news, I knew that that may not happen, and I worked on accepting that in case that’s what I was told at the 28-week follow up (it was). I’m not really upset that I’ll need another c-section, but after having no desires with my first delivery experience except an epidural and a healthy baby, it was a bit of a disappointment.
That disappointment really paled in comparison to the new accreta diagnosis I got, where I risked possible death, hysterectomy, and other issues. I’m good at turning off emotion when I need to, so I was pretty blank-faced when receiving the news from the doctor, who kept asking if I was OK or if I wanted to call anyone. It wasn’t until I got out to the car and called Neil that I really broke down. It’s a lot. I’m working on learning more about the condition — one that I had no idea about until I was told I had it — and just trying to stay positive when I can until the next appointment.
I will also have to switch from the midwives that I’ve been seeing to the OBs, who are thankfully in the same practice. One positive is that I learned the difference between the two after deciding I wanted to see the midwives because I’ve had a normal pregnancy in the past (ha), so I understand why I need to switch and I’m grateful that I have that option.
On top of my own personal health issues this pregnancy, the world is just a lot. I know I don’t have to tell anyone reading this that. The news is something I try and limit myself to a once daily summary and that’s it because taking everything in is just too much, something I know too well from multiple breakdowns and a virtual visit to my therapist in Chicago. So much personal life change, the world, and my physical health have had a big impact on my mental health. I certainly don’t mean for this to come off so negative, but it’s what’s been happening. There’s good and bad days, and I’m doing a pretty good job of doing what I need to do to make sure they’re balanced.
I’ve also been working on how to prepare Miles for a sibling, thanks to this post I wrote based on all your suggestions. I’ve felt torn because I love our time together and I don’t want it to change, but I’m also excited for another baby. It’s hard for me because I’m not someone who feels particularly connected to a child when it’s inside me, so it feels like a lot for me to change our lives so much for someone I’ve never even met. I know everything will work out and I’ll love her like I love Miles, but it’s hard when I have no idea who she actually is. Until I deliver, I’m just making sure that Miles and I get lots of one on one time (this is also important after she’s born) and go on lots of adventures.
Overall, I’m OK. Some days I’m fine and am only affected for minutes. Other days it feels like there’s a shadow looming over me. But, this is life. I know myself, I know my triggers, and I know where I need to go to get help. I’m doing what I can and taking care of myself, which is all any of us can really do day to day. Thanks for coming on this journey with me and being here. Lots of love to all of you and I’ll be sure to keep the updates coming. 🙂