Marriage and the Second Trimester

Hero

As I wave goodbye to the second trimester and look ahead (with a mixture of excitement and trepidation) at the final stretch, I wonder at where the past 16 weeks have gone.  In the last few months we became home owners, discovered the sex of our little bump and slowly adjusted to the reality that all of this is really happening.

Although commonly thought of as the smoothest stage of pregnancy, the second trimester for us has not been without it’s fair share of ups and downs.  In preparation for this blog post, I took myself back to the end of our first trimester.  Reflecting now on what I had written just a short season ago, I am amazed at the change in myself – and I’m not just talking about the expanding bump at my waistline…

Preparing for the practicalities…

As some of you may already know, the minute we found out we were pregnant, Andrew and I thought this would be the perfect time to claw our way onto the property ladder.  Through blood, sweat (mostly Andrew) and tears (mostly me), we managed it; and now we’re settling into our very own modest home.

Now, whether the nesting instinct has kicked in a little earlier for us, or whether we’ve just lived with the magnolia personality drain that comes with rental homes for too long, we’ve wasted no time in putting our own stamp on this house.

The idea is that most of the house will be ready to settle into family life, with little need for any major DIY projects once our little one is born.  Sounds great in theory – the only thing we didn’t consider was the physical strain on myself.

Albeit feeling fully back to normal after my 12 week morning love affair with the toilet bowl, the second trimester still didn’t ease up much on the energy front.  Somewhat frustrating when you have a list as long as your arm of things you want to tick off each weekend.

Forced to take a slower pace, we’ve been plodding through and remarkably the house is really starting to come together…

diy

corner-seat

Well.. almost…

 

Next step – venturing into a whole new world…  Navigating our way through babygrows, bibs and breast pumps, this whole new shopping experience has actually been a lot of fun.   After-work cocktail date nights have been replaced with late night runs to Mothercare, test driving prams and making friends with the resident giant giraffes (as you do!)  Roll in an impromptu dinner at the pub next door and that much needed us time seems to have pleasantly crept up on us… more about this later…

mothercare

 

Preparing for birth…

As I’m sure is the case for many women, birth has always been a subject I have approached with much caution and anxiety.  Upon discovering we were pregnant however, the fear seems to have subsided somewhat. I don’t know if that is an acceptance of the inevitability of things, whether my pre-natal yoga classes are smothering me with zen, or whether I’m just in denial and blocking out any thought of how our little pudding goes from wriggling around my stomach to wriggling in my arms.

Something that is incredibly important to me, is Andrew’s role in all of this.  Yes, I know it’s sort of all about me, and all the midwives I’ve seen so far have hardly given him a second look (which pains me every time).  At the end of the day this is my body, but I strongly believe this is our birthing experience.  We started this journey together, and I want to make sure we welcome the next chapter of our marriage just a strongly together.

This is just one of the reasons why we are looking into hypnobirthing as the main technique for our birth.  As well as having great relaxing attributes for the birthing mother, hypnobirthing (from what I’ve read) seems to give the birthing partner (in our case, Andrew), a defined and very integral role in the process.  I like the idea of doing this together.  When we stood at the alter and promised to be together through all of life’s hardest and joyous moments, I figure that means more than simply wiping my brow ever now and then.  So in a few weeks we’re off to hypnobirthing class to find out what he can do to help the process along, keep me calm, and encourage me with kind words and gentle touches…

We’re in this together.  We always will be.  So together we will bring our daughter into the world…

 

Preparing for parenthood…

Daughter.  Yes.  We are having a little girl.  We had discussed very early on our mutual desire to find out the sex if we could.  It seems this is a topic more up for debate than I had realised.  A lot of people we spoke to were curious as to our decision not to keep it a surprise.  But for us, finding out was a way of bringing us closer together; so we could start to dream, and bond together as a family.

I will never forget the moment we found out.

Unfortunately the sonographer at our scheduled NHS appointment was unable to determine the sex due to our pudding’s unwarranted modesty and tightly closed legs during the scan.  Since we were so desperate to know, we decided to book a private gender scan instead.

After numerous delays, a change of venue and a change of date and time later, we were ushered into a cosy room and I lay on the bed and pulled my top up obligingly.  No sooner had the scanner touched the cold gel on my belly, the sonographer announced matter-of-factly, “yep, she’s a girl.”

I cannot, and will never be able to, describe the emotion that consumed me.  So I’ll let this picture speak for itself… (fyi, we were thrilled!)

emotional

Knowing that a beautiful baby girl is bouncing around in there – prodding me when I drink something a little too cold, and snuggling into the enveloping folds of my uterus as I shift position on the sofa – has been the single biggest factor to understanding the journey we are embarking on.

Picturing our lives together, watching her grow in my mind’s eye, wiping blood from her grazed knees, and later, tears from her broken-hearted eyes, I can see how Andrew and I will fall into parenthood with the same natural rhythm as we fell into married life.  It’s just right.

And it excites me.

Throughout these past few weeks I have often caught myself watching Andrew, whilst he’s been busy working on the house, and without even realising it, telling our little pudding just how much I love her daddy, and that this humble, honest life and love of mine is all I could ever want for her…

Remembering each other…

Amidst all of this physical, practical and mental preparation, it can be easy to forget about each other.  The hardest thing, by far, so far in this pregnancy for me has been the dwindling intimacy in our relationship and making steps to actively bring our focus back to each other during the process.

As we discovered back in the first trimester, we both need time to process the changes individually, but we’re also aware we need time to reflect on those changes, and the ones to come, together.

With hormones bubbling into a toxic mix and emotions running high on both sides, pregnancy can take its toll.  The main thing we have come to realise is that we need to make time for each other.  No matter how much work is needed on the house, or how physically exhausted we are, we need to drop tools and spend quality time together.

But how exactly do you date your husband, whilst you’re pregnant?  Well so far we’ve managed, a night at the opera, a dinner date with friends, car boot sale bargain hunting, many many movie nights in, and (perhaps my favourite) a simple McDonald’s on the promenade.

dates

Above all, we’ve come to appreciate the need to communicate how we feel.  Whether it’s my new found insecurities as every pair of pyjamas I own seem to have shrunk in the wash (some of which actually have as bad luck would have it!); or whether it’s simple words of acknowledgement or appreciation for a hard day’s diy-ing, making time to just talk to each other about whatever is on our minds always brings us closer together.

I know the next few months are going to be hard.   I know it’s going to take it’s mental and physical toll.  But I also know that with Andrew by my side, we will get through it and we will bring a precious new ray of light into the world, and into our hearts.

And so the countdown begins…

26-weeks

How are you finding the second trimester, or can you remember anything that stood out for you?  Did you find intimacy difficult amidst all the biology and the hormones?  How did you and your partner keep your relationship strong on the build up to your new family lives?  I’d love to hear from you below or on Twitter @LoveinMindBlog.

Hannah

2 thoughts on “Marriage and the Second Trimester

  1. Nesting is the greatest!! 🙂 I’ve been getting TONS of house projects done in nesting mode. Unfortunately, some pregnancy side effects haven’t been letting me complete them as quickly as I’d like 😛

    1. Tell me about it! I took a full week off work to get the nursery done and with all the fatigue I managed just one lick of paint and and a couple of sewn felt rabbits for a mobile! 😛

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *