It has been a while since I gave you all an update on how my AIP/Paleo pregnancy has been progressing. My last update came at the end of my first trimester and recapped the absolute craziness that those first 14 weeks had entailed. I am still overwhelmed thinking back on those months and all of the changes that happened so quickly both in our lives and to my body! However, I have now entered into the third trimester, believe it or not, so I decided it was time to give you all a recap of how the second trimester went.
Physically, the second trimester was fairly easy. However, we used that to our advantage and had a very busy summer. We celebrated my sister’s wedding, made two trips up north to visit family, I spent a week in Texas, and the hubby went on three work trips one of which took him to Guatemala. The summer is also a busy time for me, as a nanny, since all of the kiddos are home from school. Each day was jam packed and I needed every extra bit of energy I had to deal with the schedule and the 90 degree weather!
In contrast to the first trimester, the second trimester was easy in terms of diet. As soon as the morning sickness subsided I was able to easily go back to my pre pregnancy diet, which was AIP with a few reintroductions. I removed the white rice I had added in during the first trimester and ate a fairly normal amount of food. The only thing that got added was an extra snack before bed to help stabilize my blood sugar over night and keep me from waking up at 3am. I added kombucha back in, after abstaining during the first trimester, and I started drinking THIS pregnancy tea once a day to help prepare my uterus for birth and add in a few more good nutrients. All in all though, there were no big dietary changes to report, I didn’t have many cravings and all was well. I have still had consistent hormone-induced acid reflux though, which I have managed with medication, as I did in the first trimester.
Physical Self Care:
I didn’t have lots of physical complaints in the second trimester. Right at the beginning of the second trimester I had some hip and back pain, but that was managed through regular visits to the chiropractor. I have seen the chiropractor every two weeks throughout my pregnancy, which I would recommend to every pregnant woman. It helps tremendously with back pain and hip pain and it is a must for helping baby get into a good position for birth. I am carrying this baby very low so my pelvis and my hips easily get out of alignment and I don’t know what I would do without chiropractic care. I also take regular Epsom salt baths, which help to ease sore muscles and also help with my sleep. In terms of exercise, outside of running after 4 kiddos every day, I mostly walked for exercise. I tried to do at least three 4 mile walks each week around our local parks.
The big second trimester medical event was the anatomy scan ultrasound. I have declined most ultrasounds during my pregnancy with the exception of ones used to check on the baby after some first trimester bleeding, but we did consent to this ultrasound since it gives the doctor’s good information about conditions that could impact the growth and delivery of the baby. We had this ultrasound at 19 weeks. This is typically where people find out the sex of the baby, but we declined finding out and decided to leave it as a surprise for delivery day! It was fun to see our little sweet potato on the screen, but it looks like he or she may be fairly strong willed since the little darling spent most of the time trying to hide and escape from the ultrasound wand. As a result, our one take home picture is of the baby doing a back flip… That being said baby passed with flying colors and looked healthy as could be!
It was around this point in the pregnancy that we made the decision to switch obstetric practices. Having an autoimmune disease has shown me the importance of advocating for myself and has shown me what a big difference having the right care team can make. After spending half of our pregnancy with my original practice I knew in my heart that I needed a different care team. I originally chose to be seen by midwives because the midwifery model of care emphasizes the importance of limiting unnecessary interventions, focusing on a well balanced lifestyle, and trusting women and their bodies to do what they were designed to do. My pregnancy has been very low risk so far and I am a good candidate for this type of care. That being said, just like all OBs are not the same neither are all midwives and it became clear to me that my original team of midwives was taking a much more medically and fear driven approach than I was comfortable with. As a result, I switched to a different practice around 23 weeks and have been very pleased with our decision ever since. I will be honest, this process was a pain, but it was well worth it and it reminded me again of the importance of self-advocacy and following your gut when it comes to who you trust with your care.
Because our summer was so busy we didn’t do tons of baby prep, but we did attend a class on water birth, which is an option that our hospital allows, we had a wonderful family baby shower, and we started setting up some of the baby’s things like the crib! We also used what little spare time we had to do some cleaning out and organizing around the house so that things weren’t too cluttered for baby’s arrival.
Overall, I would say the second trimester was much more similar to “normal” life than the first trimester. I felt well most of the time. My energy level was ok, although I didn’t get a big burst of energy like some do. I was able to keep up with AIP no problem, I had normal pregnancy weight gain, the baby continued to growth well and with some good self care I felt fine most days. That being said, the first few weeks of the third trimester have been another story entirely, but that is a post for a few weeks from now!