Well, I made it through the first trimester, and everything I had read said, that the fog would lift, your energy would return, and the nausea would disappear. So I counted down the days until the glorious second trimester…and well, week 12 or 13, depending on what Pregnancy website you decide to trust that day, was not the magic number. In fact, I can’t recall if there was a magic number for me, but what I will say is that things began to improve half way through my second trimester, and that was enough for me.
Today, I want to share about the lessons I learned in my second trimester, just as I shared the lessons I learned (through the challenges) in my first trimester.
Lessons I learned in my second trimester:
- I shared this one in my first trimester lessons, but it bears repeating…do NOT compare yourself to other pregnant women! Some women never feel sick, while others feel sick for 40 weeks. Some run half marathons seven months pregnant, while others can only walk 20 minutes around the block three times a week. Some women drink coffee and not wine, while others drink wine and not coffee. DO what makes sense for you, and what will ultimately bring you joy—because one thing I know for sure, a joyful spirit is really all your growing baby really needs.
- Everyone wants to share their story about pregnancy, birth, what they did and didn’t do during pregnancy, and the list goes on. Listen to them with compassion and an open heart, but remember, your story is your story.
- Cuban mothers (and I realize I will soon fall into this category) are especially, hmm what is the best word here, intense? What I mean by that is they are intensely loving, caring, and generous. And while there are moments that every Cuban mother freely shares her opinion about your registry or your birth plan, or she buys the entire Toys “R” Us (“cause you can’t beat a Going Out of Business Sale…) to set up a nursery in her own home, remember that it always, always comes from a place of love…even though to an outsider it may appear to be a little much with a hint of crazy. I am preparing myself to be this type of crazy because even now, I can already begin to sense the intensity of the love a mother feels. My mother loves me more than words, and I know full well that her grandchild will be smothered with all the love and more.
- Your body knows exactly what it needs so trust those cravings. I have never been so in tune with what my body is in need of than in the recent months. There were weeks where all I wanted was strawberries, kiwis and oranges, fruits that are filled with Vitamin C and are hydrating. I trusted that that is exactly what my body and my baby needed. Then there was a week that all I wanted was chocolate, and though I tried to stay away from sugar, I trusted that maybe my body needed Magnesium, a mineral found in chocolate. Then nights, I knew I needed red meat, I was sure my body needed Iron. Recently, I have been really craving cheese and yogurt, something I didn’t eat a whole lot of pre-pregnancy, but I have listened to my body, knowing that it is probably craving Calcium for baby and me. Every time I craved something different or new, I would do a quick Google search on what nutrients or minerals are found in that specific food, and I was always amazed to see that it was filled with all this good stuff that is crucial in pregnancy. And while this is a lesson I have learned in pregnancy, my hope is that I can take this one into life after pregnancy.
- Document that first kick because it is something you will cherish, and even when you are glad you are no longer pregnant, you will miss the kicks, jabs, rolls, and hiccups that keep you up at night.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
A Cuban mother in action.