Entering into your second trimester of pregnancy is a very weird and special time, I have discovered.
During your first trimester, the first exciting rush of finding out you are pregnant is also usually accompanied by a host of pretty severe symptoms – nausea, exhaustion, hormone-fueled emotions, etc. You get that first sonogram of a jellybean to look at. But it may also be a time in which you don’t necessarily tell everyone around you that your are pregnant, but have this little secret you are carrying around.
People refer to your second trimester as the “glory days” of pregnancy – when most of the bad symptoms are gone, and if you have waited, you finally begin to tell people.
But for me, the second trimester began as weird period of suddenly feeling somewhat disconnected from the pregnancy. Most of my symptoms (which while unpleasant) were now gone, but so was their constant reminder of pregnancy. My body had not begun to change much yet. It was too early to feel internal fetal movements. And it was way too soon to begin assembling a crib. I had weeks to wait before the next sonogram. And there were moments where I had to reassure myself this much-longed-for miracle was still really happening.
Well, a couple of things that I discovered by chance really helped me to feel better during that time, and gave me a chance to feel really connected to my baby, and have a little fun. So I wanted to share them. If you are an expectant mama, or a friend of one, here are a couple suggested purchases (gift suggestions) and activities to consider:
A Fetal Doppler Machine
This might sounds like something only the very rich buy, but I assure you, these little machines are so fun for an expectant mama. You can find basic fetal doppler machines just like the one your doctor will use for quick exams, for about $30 and free shipping with a quick Google search.
It is so fun to catch the sound of that little fast heart beat, and listen to it at home. The one catch is – you have to make a promise to yourself that you will only use the machine for fun, and not as a way to drive yourself crazy with worry. Babies at this stage are very small, and moving around in a large ocean of water. There will be moments where you are unable to locate the baby (heartbeat) with your $30 plastic home-use machine. You cannot allow yourself to freak out every time this happens. You have to promise yourself you will take a breath, go do something else, and try again later. if you can adhere to this, these little machines can be such a fun way to connect with your baby, for both you, your partner, and friends too!
A Sonogram Album
After you get those first little black and white images of a jelly bean, you will know how special they are. The thing I didn’t realize is that they give you a bunch of them though, in a long print out, and you may not exactly know what to do with them. At that point, we still weren’t telling everyone after we got the first set, and so I couldn’t just hang them up on the fridge, and I didn’t want to leave them in my purse to get smushed. So, what to do? I found an answer in this album!
This pretty little thing was inexpensive, available on Amazon Prime (2 day delivery!), and a really nice quality (part of a whole set of books and albums you can buy at Macy’s or Buy Buy Baby). It fit the sonogram photos nicely after I cut them apart. It was also small enough to slip into my purse and protect those images.
Most of all, it gave me a chance to do something special with those early images, and continue it for the rest of the pregnancy.
A Trip to Buy Buy Baby (or another baby store)
My wonderful sister in law (who is now mom to a 3 year old) insisted on taking me to Buy Buy Baby as soon as I started worrying about all the “stuff” we were gonna need. We went to the biggest store in the area. I thought it was going to be overwhelming, but it was actually super fun and had the opposite effect. It made me feel like I had a clearer picture of what we needed, what we didn’t, which brands I liked, etc.
Even if you don’t have a large budget, and it is way too soon to start actually buying baby items, going to a store and checking out all the baby stuff can be a super fun way to connect to the baby and next chapter that is coming really soon!
I got to start a registry, and use the fun “registry gun.” And I started really seeing this little baby in my head – using the baby bathtub, wearing onesies, swaddling her, combing her hair, and pushing her around in a stroller.
Strollers – I have to admit – were the part I was finding most overwhelming! Having read a few blogs online, I quickly realized this was going to be our biggest single purchase, and also the most detailed in terms of options. Buy Buy Baby not only had every single stroller in the store, they also have an obstacle course, so you can push around the strollers on grass, pebbles, etc. and get a feel for them. I have to admit, this was sort of my favorite part!
I totally recommend grabbing a friend who is good for laughing with and hitting a store for the fun of it.