I have this great “One Line a Day” journal that my cousin gave me for Christmas 2015. I started filling it in January 1, 2016, and it goes for 5 years, with 5 years worth of lines for a given day on the same page. You can use it to look back and see what you were doing/thinking/feeling that day over the 5 years. When I lost Jacob, I seriously considered throwing it out. I thought: “How will I ever be able to look back at my entries about him and not be miserable?” I’m so glad I didn’t, because (1) I will always think of him and sometimes that will be very sad, but it’s not like a journal is the only thing that will trigger me; and (2) it’s helpful to remind me of little events and milestones during my pregnancy with him that I might have forgotten. Sometimes, though, I come across an entry that is just a knife to the heart. Like yesterday’s happy declaration of “halfway to meeting baby Jacob!” Oh how very excited I was. Because of my previous miscarriage, it wasn’t until about that time that I truly began to experience hope and joy in my pregnancy with Jacob. Although I had heard stories of stillbirth and other things that could go wrong later on, and I did have those fears until the very end, starting at 20 weeks, I did start to feel just a little bit “safe.” More than that, I started to really enjoy being pregnant! For most of the rest of my pregnancy, I was really really happy in a way that quite likely I never will be again.
Using my memory, my journal, and my calendar, I’ve pieced together the highlights of Jacob’s second trimester. It’s definitely a time I want to remember fondly, as my sweet baby boy grew so much.
- I began to feel a few movements, which by the end of the second trimester had become frequent and consistent movements. I was blessed to be able to feel Jacob very early. I remember thinking I felt him as early as my 13th week, but having no experience with that sensation, I wasn’t sure until later on. I wish I had recorded the first time I was certain I felt him move, but sadly I didn’t. On February 29th, I did write in my Journal that Jacob was moving a lot while we were out to dinner :). I was 19 weeks then. Jacob was such an active baby all the way through the end of the pregnancy, and I just loved feeling him move around.
- I bought and started wearing maternity clothes.
- I had doctor’s appointments on 2/24, 3/17 and 4/8. 2/24 was our anatomy scan and we were so thrilled to get a good report. Erik was less than thrilled (read: super embarrassed) with how clear Jacob wanted to make it (over and over again) that he was a boy! Apparently daddy didn’t think it was too cute that Jacob wanted to keep flashing his boy parts to a room of daddy, mommy, and a female ultrasound tech. Of course, the two women in the room just thought it was hilarious. Literally half of the sonogram pictures we have are of his privates because that’s all he wanted to give us a good look at. Thankfully he did cooperate enough that she was able to get all the other measurements and everything she needed by the end.
- We traveled to North Carolina in March. Erik and I took a few days for a combined babymoon and 30th birthday trip in a small town in the mountains of Western NC. We enjoyed great food and I got spoiled with some shopping and a spa day. We also joined my family to celebrate Easter and my 30th birthday (which happened to fall on Easter). I ate so much sugar (jelly beans, chocolate, a cupcake…) that I was actually worried it was bad for Jacob…he was moving around like crazy! I remember asking my mom if she thought I should make myself throw up so he didn’t get too much sugar and she (understandably) laughed at me…I decided to just drink a lot of water instead :).
- I started working on Jacob’s registry. This was so overwhelming to me, and I was so thankful for other moms who made recommendations and let me look at their registries, and especially for my cousin who literally walked me through Babies R Us and told me what we would (and wouldn’t) need. I would have been lost without her!
- I made two trips to Labor and Delivery in my second trimester (oops!). The first one was while down in North Carolina. This was so crazy. I woke up the morning after traveling down there to severe (read: worst I’ve ever experienced including contractions & post-csection) abdominal pain. After describing it to my doctor on the phone and following her instructions, I drove to the ER. It was a 40 minute drive and I was literally in so much pain I could not sit still in the car…there was not a moment of let-up and words really cannot describe the level of discomfort. Much to my surprise they said “you’re 24 weeks? you have to go to labor and delivery” (i.e., the last thing you want to hear). Clearly I’m not embarrassed easily because no one is requiring me to tell this story to the public, but after Jacob being checked extensively, it turns out it was a bowel issue! It was just crazy because I never had any of the constipation issues women often experience during pregnancy…except that one day when it was very, very severe. An osteopathic doctor was able to do this massage on my belly over my intestines to get them moving again, and within 5 minutes all of my pain was gone, and I was completely fine. It was seriously the most ridiculous ordeal, but I was very, very glad for the outcome.
- The second L&D trip was because, silly me, I tripped over uneven pavement while walking and fell. I landed on my side but sort of rolled onto my belly, so it was best to get checked out. Thankfully everything was fine, but this visit came only a week after the first (although they were in different hospitals in different states) so I was feeling pretty silly by this point and resolved to be more careful going forward. I do feel compelled to add though, with all of the sad loss stories I’ve read and all that I’ve learned about a mother’s intuition, I feel very strongly that NO woman should EVER feel silly about going to L&D if she has a pregnancy concern after hours. You’ll feel way worse if you suppress your concern and something bad happens later (whether related or not), and it’s always better to just go. That is what those nurses and doctors are there for. And no nurse or doctor made me feel silly at all…that was all my own shame.
- We enjoyed collecting items for Jacob’s nursery and thinking about how we wanted it to look. We painted and bought the first art and furniture and put a lot of thought into creating a room where we and Jacob would be happy spending a lot of time.
Despite those couple of L&D scares, the second trimester really was a time of joy and bonding with Jacob. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that time and savor it
more, even if it meant re-living the eventual outcome. Our time carrying our babies on the inside really is so, so special.