The Second Trimester with Baby #2

Time to chat all things second trimester. I know I’m a bit late since I’m already 32 weeks pregnant with baby number 2, but I wanted to share all of the ups and downs of the second trimester so I’d have it documented — for both myself and you!

So alas, here’s how things have been from week 14-28 of my pregnancy journey. Be sure to also check out my first trimester post, baby registry and ask a doula as references, too!

monique holding baby sidney in a kitchen

Mental health

Overall, my morning sickness lasted much longer with baby number 2 than with Sidney. Finally right around 15 weeks, I started to feel normal again and my energy picked up to the point where I was able to go on long walks again, work out consistently and eat foods for nourishment.

That being said, two back to back pregnancies have not been easy. I no longer have the luxury of sleeping in when I need it because I have a 1-year old who likes to wake up around 6am every morning (sometimes earlier!). AND I AM TIRED. I don’t have time to take naps because I’m busy working, prepping food for Sidney during his naps, or playing with him. He’s a busy boy, too! Always running around and hopping from room to room; it’s been an adventure trying to keep him occupied.

All this to say, I can confidently acknowledge that I am much more tired and have way less energy and pretty much constantly feel exhausted this pregnancy. By 9pm every night, I feel like I got hit by a train and it’s been incredibly difficult for me to stay motivated to prioritize work because sometimes all I need is a break where I put my feet up and rest for a moment.  I’ve been trying my very best to honor that, but the reality is that I spend most of my day on my feet and on the go, unless I’m writing (this is happening at 10pm btw!). Balancing rest and work is my biggest mental challenge. I feel the pull to create constantly; every entrepreneur’s dilemma, I think.

It’s interesting because last pregnancy, I felt a pretty severe depression during my second trimester and while I don’t feel it during this one, I do feel the heaviness and mental exhaustion of the pandemic weighing on me. I’m sure I sound like a broken record, because this isn’t just my dilemma, it’s likely many of ours right now, but IT IS HARD. I can’t really take Sidney anywhere and the weather has been brutally cold lately so getting outside is difficult. Plus, being pregnant while having another baby at my feet all the time and trying to handle two businesses, employees, admin work, creating and more can be taxing.

monique taking a mirror selfie

Thankfully, years ago I arrived at a good place when it comes to managing my anxiety levels. I’m able to pretty much be fairly level-headed about situations and truly understand that everything in life works out. This attitude has given me SUCH an incredible shift where I don’t seem to focus my stress on all the what-ifs of the future. That’s not to say that I don’t feel worried or stressed about my to-do lists, I just don’t let it takeover my thoughts and life to the point where it feels impossible to function. Trust me, none of this happened overnight. It took me YEARS of hard work to feel like my random anxious thoughts didn’t overwhelm me. And of course, a really good therapist, ha!

Most recently we’ve started to have Tony’s parents watch Sidney 1x per month on the weekends, which have been such an amazing break for us, and a way to reconnect. Plus soon, Sidney will start daycare 3x per week, which I think will be good for him socially and much needed for us once baby boy arrives.

Anyway, candidly that’s kind of where I’m at.

monique in a long sleeved shirt taking a mirror selfie

Feeling movement with baby 2

I found out that I have an anterior placenta with this baby, which means that the placenta is attached to the front of your uterus, making it more difficult to feel baby move. This was completely true for me as I didn’t feel him really start to move until around week 21-22. Even on my 20 week ultrasound I remember seeing him move A TON on the monitor but not being able to feel a dang thing! So crazy because Sidney was very active starting around week 16.

These days, this little boy is constantly moving and I absolutely love it. I can always count on him to jab me with his little foot or elbow.

monique lifting a barbell

My second trimester exercise routine

Before getting pregnant the second time, I was working out 5x per week. Two of those were strength training days and the other three days I rode my bike outside. Plus of course, I always do a ton of walking. I was finally feeling back to my pre-pregnancy strength before I got pregnant again, so it’s been interesting to adjust to training pregnant.

Since I think I’ve been more tired this pregnancy, I really tried to put less pressure on myself to exercise as much as I was pre-pregnancy, but eventually I started to realize that I needed something more. I was craving movement in my life, and not just from walking. I needed a good mood-boosting sweat, so in addition to training with Rae from Ladies Who Lift, I started doing Nourish Move Love’s YouTube workouts and have been LOVING them so far. Right now my goal is to work out 3-4x per week until baby comes. Sometimes I fall off track but just trying to do my best. Plus lots of walking if it’s nice enough to do so! GO AWAY CHICAGO SNOW.

What I’ve learned about pregnancy is that your body will adjust and change postpartum the way it’s meant to. I hope to give myself more grace this time around and take it a little more slow.

tony kissing monique on the head

Body changes round two

This pregnancy has been SO much different. At first, I lost some weight because I couldn’t eat anything, and then all of a sudden it seems that I started showing so much more quickly than the first pregnancy and gaining more quickly, too! Perhaps it’s because I’ve indulged a little more or because I’m working out less and stuck at home, who knows. Thankfully, I’m in a much better, more accepting mindset than the first time around when it comes to weight gain during pregnancy. Overall I think I’ll probably gain slightly more this time around, but I also think this baby will be bigger than Sidney so who knows. Hopefully he decides to come out earlier than 41 weeks and 3 days, hah!

Something I have definitely noticed this time around is how my skin has been noticeably more red and blotchy. It tends to annoy me but I’ve started to incorporate a Vitamin C oil that I think is helping, along with extra moisturizers. I plan on updating my pregnancy skincare blog post very soon, so stay tuned!

Another body change I’ve noticed is how much my boobs will randomly hurt. During my first pregnancy, they only hurt in the first trimester but so far, this pregnancy they’ve only hurt in the second trimester. In fact, a few weeks ago I woke up and I had stabbing pain in one of my nipples. SO RANDOM.

How I’m sleeping

Well the peeing all night long definitely isn’t helping, but overall sleep is just off. My cat wakes me up at least 1x per night because she’s insane and if I’m not waking up to the cat or to pee, I wake up because I’m too hot or too cold. I can’t win. I also recently started getting those horrible charlie horses you get during pregnancy, so I’ve been mindful to try and stretch and stay on my feet as much as possible.

I do have a pregnancy pillow but decided to ditch it this time around and just use a body pillow that I stole from Tony’s parents house. It’s super comfy but I know I haven’t used it properly if I wake up with back pain, which ususally is a good indicator that I’ve been sleeping on my back. For me the biggest thing that helps with back pain is movement, especially going on a 2 mile walk. It does WONDERS for me. Oh and warm baths and a heating pad.

bag of binto vitamins

Prenatals

I’m still taking my Binto vitamins on a daily basis! Binto vitamins are tailored to your needs and body. You just fill out a survey online and then get your results based on your goals. They have regular women’s multi-vitamins, but also have focuses on prenatal, pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. The vitamin packages start at $35/month and are directly delivered to your doorstep. They’re also gluten free, vegan-friendly and preservative free.

Right now I take the Binto prenatal vitamins which include a prenatal with DHA and a probiotic. All good stuff. You can read more about my pregnancy supplement routine here.

If you are interested in trying BINTO, you can use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ for 20% off your first order!

Cravings & aversions

I still continue to eat a bagel basically every morning, just as I did with Sidney. I’m obsessed with the Dave’s Killer Bread bagels right now. After I got over hating everything in my first trimester, I didn’t really have any cravings. I would occasionally want a really good sandwich from Potbelly, but once again, I really dislike the thought of certain foods and am never really in the mood for anything too particular. I also hate pizza and burgers, which are ususally my go-tos when I want something comforting.

What I do continue to LOVE is fruit, especially cold Honeycrisp apples and fresh pineapple. Can’t get enough! And seriously, baking a new batch of cookies every week. I have to make my lactation cookie recipe again soon!

Also, completely in love with Spindrift again. It’s my favorite and I drink it every single day! The sparkling water is amazing.

monique and baby sidney cheers-ing with two drinks

Maternity clothes

So here’s the deal, I’m basically living in loungewear, cozy sweatpants and leggings this pregnancy. I don’t go anywhere anymore (thanks COVID!) so it would be very unnecessary for me to buy anything non-essential unless I can wear it outside of pregnancy. Here are a few things I’ve been loving:

Faithfull the Brand dress in white: I got this dress for my maternity shoot and absolutely LOVED it. So beautiful.

Madewell maternity jeans: these are amazing. The only maternity jean I own!

Lululemon align leggings: there is a reason that a lot of pregnant women rave about these leggings and it’s because they are incredible. I still am wearing my same size because they’re so stretchy. Since I love them so much, I invested in like 5 pairs! I also wear them post-pregnancy.

My mom got me these joggers from anthro and I love how soft they are. I got a M and they run a little big but are perfect for the bump, plus they have a drawstring. And here are another pair of cozy sweatpants I love to chill in.

Long sleeve workout top: pretty much the only top I workout in when it’s cold out! I have so many colors and love them all. I do go one size up to accomodate for the bump.

Lululemon sports bra: truly the only sports bra I wear these days. So comfy and stretchy for the growing ladies!

H&M maternity bras: these are the BEST nursing/maternity bras. I’m telling you — so soft and comfortable. Pretty much the only bra I wear now.

What I’m looking forward to in the third trimester

The first time I was pregnant, we did SO many things during my last trimester, everything from hypnobabies, a prenatal class through our doula, a baby CPR class & a breastfeeding class through our hospital, and belonged to a centering pregnancy group which met for two hours every two weeks. IT WAS A LOT, but it also really helped prepare the both of us and I think that was critical. Going into motherhood completely blind would have been a bit too much for me, so I do think it was important for us to anticipate what was to come, and especially, for Tony to be involved.

This time around, my focus is on decorating Sidney’s new room so that we can move the new baby into his old room, getting a bassinet, organizing/cleaning ALL the things aka nesting, resting up before baby comes and buying a few cute new newborn outfits. Mostly I’m just trying to keep my head above water over here.

monique holding baby sidney on the kitchen counter

What I’m doing differently this time around

One of my goals is to plan on having a lactation consultant set up BEFORE I give birth and head to the hospital. I remember breastfeeding being completely overwhelming and I worried SO much about if Sidney was latching correctly, if he was getting enough, if I was making enough, when/if I could pump and more. It’s SO stressful. In fact I think around day 4 or 5, I spent 24 hours awake with him because he was completely attached to my boob cluster feeding and I didn’t know what was wrong with me or him because every time I pulled him off my boob he would cry; I felt like such a failure. Turns out, he needed to cluster feed to encourage my milk to come in — and it did, but damn do I wish I would have had a resource at my fingertips.

This time around, I’m not taking any chances. That’s definitely one piece of advice I would give other mamas who plan to breastfeed: find a lactation consultant ahead of time! Trying to google things at 3am is never fun and you definitely won’t need the added stress. It’s better to be prepared, and because each and every baby is so different, you never know how they’ll latch, etc.

Shop my pregnancy favorites & recommendations

Head over to the Ambitious Kitchen shop to see everything I recommend during pregnancy & beyond. I’ll continue to update as I go! You can also see all of my previous pregnancy posts here.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our baby registry, pregnancy books I’m reading and my hospital bag checklist.

I hope you loved this little life update. Feel free to drop a comment below with any questions or any product recommendations you might have! xo.

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