As soon as I entered the second trimester, I felt the nausea slowly disappear. The nightly urge to throw up also dissipated. Specific scents that I found intolerable have lost their effect on me. I’ve heard it said that the second trimester is generally a smoother time than the first and last but is it, really?
This period during my pregnancy was the time when I traveled a lot. This was also the period that coincided with several business trips on Greg’s side. On the week that he had to be away for a client workshop in China was when I was also experiencing severe pain in my pelvis due to UTI. The night before he left, I cried buckets forlorn about the idea that I’ll have to deal with the situation by myself. I was mostly hesitant because of how unfamiliar unplanned doctor visits are for me in Germany and how urgent situations are handled here. Thankfully, the week that he was away I managed to make my way to the doctor without a hitch. Greg’s sister, who’s also a doctor, helped in soothing me by advising the same as my doctor: take more water than usual. I also took my mother’s advice and started wearing a pregnancy belt for moving around. After a few days of staying in bed and overdosing in ginger tea, cranberry juice, and water, everything is back to normal.
I was in my 22nd week when we traveled to Italy. This is where I saw myself balloon. I went from carrying a cute cantaloupe to a basketball all in a span of two weeks. My renewed energy, although still not as high as before, was enough to power through walking around humid Sicily. The only downside was that my feet got so swollen and my back started to ache at the end of the day that we always made sure to be home by 9 pm.
Contrary to my decreased appetite on the first trimester, the second trimester saw the return of my appetite and more. Everything tasted extra good. Perhaps to make up for the previous depravity and pickiness, my returned appetite came with a vengeance. I soon started enjoying sweet and creamy food. I gravitated towards bread (e.g. Poschweck from Nobis in Aachen), all kinds of pasta on white sauce, cakes, and dark chocolates. It was no surprise, yet still devastating to see, that I doubled my monthly average weight gain come doctor’s appointment time. Of course the excessiveness came with a hefty price. I hope that it’s not yet too late to take a step back. After all it can be doubly challenging to give birth if the baby has gotten too big.
The best thing about the second trimester was my sense of smell getting back to how it used to be. Things that used to revolt me became tolerable again. For a while, I stopped visiting coffee shops and making the morning coffee because of how nauseous it made me. It was a relief to return to that old routine of savoring the smell of coffee beans being ground and relishing the awakening scent of pure coffee as it rises up to the carafe.
Other than the revitalized sense of smell came also the return – although not as it was – my energy. I felt less fatigued and didn’t need to pause for power naps anymore. Much of my duties are fulfilled again. Oddly, it felt good to be making something else in the kitchen after a stretch of time subsisting mostly on bland food.
Even though minor, I enjoyed how lustrous my hair’s being. Even my sparse lashes have become fuller now. I also noticed that my skin has significantly cleared up. Maybe these can be attributed to the fact that I am now less exhausted and have been getting better sleep. Or maybe the hormones. Whatever the cause, I am glad that I get to experience the ‘pregnancy glow’ that eluded me the first three months.
This trimester was not smooth-sailing all the time, but I did not expect it to be. The discomforts were tolerable and minor compared to the beautiful memories made during this time. The places I saw, the unforgettably indulgent Italian food, and most importantly the quality time spent with my husband are all highlights of the trimester that was. I see my body gradually changing, signaling a new season of my life. There are good as well as bad times but I’m learning to roll with it. Onward and upwards to the final stretch!