This month our mum-to-be is encouraging other pregnant ladies to savour the second trimester…
Apparently, because this is my first baby, I’ve got a long torso, and according to the midwife I’ve got some good solid stomach muscles (it’s the first time anyone has ever said that to me – I’ll be dining out on that for years), my bump was very slow to ‘pop’. I didn’t start to show until about 23/24 weeks. After the all clear at the 12 week scan I was desperate for a bump so that I actually looked pregnant. I’d put a tight top on, push my stomach out and then proudly saunter in to the front room to show my husband. Who would instantly burst my bubble with “no, you look the same”. With the lack of bump and the lack of symptoms in the second trimester, I was wondering what all the pregnancy fuss was about.
The second trimester is glorious (for most, I’m sure lots of women would beg to differ): minimal symptoms, no sickness, uninterrupted sleep, no heavy bump to carry around and even, for some, an abundance of extra energy. This trimester is a winner. I should have sat back and savoured every second. But as I crept in to week 28 (with an actual bump showing, yippee!) things ramped up a notch. Our bodies are incredible things that work on internal clocks and cycles that we can’t even begin to fathom. How did my womb know that at 28 weeks and one day I was officially in the third trimester and therefore it was time for the ‘fun’ to start?
Day one of the third trimester I noticed my skin was very itchy, and tiny little pimples appeared all over my arms and legs. The next day they had spread a little more and by the third day I was a walking dot-to-dot. After a trip to the doctors and a quick test to make sure my liver wasn’t failing (cue a day waiting for the results and regretting all of those pre-pregnancy weeknight G&Ts) I was told I had ‘PUPPS’ – a pregnancy related itchy rash that affects about 1% of women in the third trimester. Interestingly 70% of those 1% go on to have a baby boy – men, always a frustration!
Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done about PUPPS, and I’m assured it will go after I’ve given birth. This wasn’t a symptom I’d ever heard of before but as I’m slowly learning the list of third trimester symptoms is ever-growing and everything is normal. By ‘normal’ I mean that it’s something the midwife/doctor would have seen time and time again, even if you’ve never heard of it.
To put you in the picture, I’ve had a few weeks of severe PGP
– pelvic girdle pain if you’re wondering, yes it is as sexy as it sounds. Then, there’s the sciatica in my right bottom cheek – that’s been going on for about three weeks now and has turned my walk in to a waddle. The latest treat this trimester has thrown at me is heartburn, which no amount of Gaviscon seems to cure and it likes to really kick in at about 4am, keep me awake for a few hours and then subside ten minutes before I have to drag myself, and my painful right buttock, from the comfort of my bed.
So, as I head in to my 36th week of pregnancy, aching, slightly swollen, itchy and sick of being awake most of the night, I encourage any second trimester ladies to cherish these lovely weeks and don’t be concerned when the third trimester rears its ugly head and throws everything it has at you, along with the kitchen sink. Just double check all is okay with your midwife and know that it will all be worth it in the end. I understand almost none of the symptoms are permanent. Especially the waddle. I hope.