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Emotional Rollercoaster Second Trimester

As the second trimester rolls around, you are generally feeling much better physically.

As your belly becomes more obvious and you start to feel baby’s kicks, the pregnancy becomes more real for you, your partner and your co-workers. For most women, the second trimester is when they feel best - physically and emotionally. After the turmoil of first months, you have probably already managed to fit the idea of a new baby coming soon into your life. You might then be surprised to find yourself suddenly emotional in otherwise banal situations. Watching a TV drama or a documentary related to families or children, reading a book where a child gets lost or even having a minor misunderstanding with people around you may cause you to cry inconsolably. There are still some nagging worries that come about though, and some of the most common ones are mentioned below. That’s because pregnancy hormones and changes put a slight damp on your rational brain, while enhancing activity of the parts of the brain that process emotions. In other words - whatever you feel, you’re probably normal. We all have our own little peeves and crazy thoughts.
I’m afraid having sex will hurt the baby
During penetrative sex, the absolute furthest a penis can go is up to your cervix, which is closed tightly protecting your baby in your uterus. Rocking motions the baby feels during sex are no different from the ones she feels when you are exercising or going about your daily life. That said, you still may be thinking about the baby when you are being intimate. For some women, frequent check-ups that require vaginal exams may make sex feel different and somehow cold. In either of
these cases, try being mindful and concentrating on the task at hand and taking pleasure in being intimate with your partner.
I don’t feel like having sex
Every person (pregnant or with a pregnant partner) reacts differently to pregnancy - for some, it’s a total turn on while for others it isn’t. It is important to have honest discussions about how you are feeling - ignoring things will just make you feel more distanced and cause more problems in the long-run. Remember that there are lots of types of intimacy that can be fulfilling, from non-penetrative sex to cuddling and being close to each other.
I’m afraid of falling
Your belly is growing more and more every day and your centre of gravity is changing - couple this with weather conditions that make slips and falls more common and it’s normal that you’re afraid of
falling and hurting yourself. Being deliberate and slow when you are walking in slippery conditions or going down stairs can be very helpful in preventing falls. If you do fall, remember that your uterus is a thick muscle that is generally very good at protecting your baby, especially in early pregnancy. If you fall after the 24th week of pregnancy or fall and then experience bleeding, dizziness or anything else out of the ordinary, call your midwife or doctor to tell them about it.
I’m afraid because haven’t felt the baby move yet
When you feel your baby’s first wiggles depends on a lot of factors – in your first pregnancy you will feel these wiggles later and depending on where the placenta is, you will feel them in a different place. This is because the placenta is like a pillow that absorbs some of the movements. If you feel butterflies in your lower belly or even near your bowels, that may well be your baby. You will feel your baby’s wiggles usually starting around week 16, but you may only feel them for the first time around week 22. Rest assured, this is normal.
I’m afraid my baby will be sick or disabled
There are some things in life you can’t control and the health of your unborn baby is one of them. No number of tests or ultrasounds will make your baby healthier or put you at ease if you are really anxious about your baby’s health. Have a sit-down with yourself and your baby, tell your baby your fears (yes, say them out loud) and explain how much you can’t wait to meet her. If you’re still concerned, talk to your midwife, doctor or therapist.
I am having a conflict with my own mother
As your pregnancy grows, you start thinking more and more about your own family relationships, especially your relationship with your mother and how you were raised. You are not the same person your parents are and you are living in different times and likely in different circumstances - it’s unlikely that you will use the exact same parenting style your parents did and that’s ok. Sometimes it may be difficult for your own parents to really accept that they are going to become grandparents, that your choices in pregnancy, birth and postpartum are not the same as theirs and that you are a competent adult that deserves respect. Your parents may no longer be with you and that loss may be particularly difficult as you begin your own parenting journey. It’s important to deal with these feelings - an experienced therapist or midwife can help. Ultimately, our parents are just human
beings doing their best and having nourishing relationships with them (if this is possible) is good for us. If you have a history of family abuse, seek out therapy during pregnancy to deal with these complex issues and give yourself an easier start to parenthood.
People keep telling me horror stories about pregnancy and birth and it’s making me anxious
There’s something about seeing a pregnant woman that suddenly brings out all kinds of extreme stories about pregnancy, birth and parenting. While some of these are likely true, the majority of these tall tales are likely exaggerated. Just because something worrying happened to someone else does not mean it will happen to you. When you feel such a story coming on let them know that you only want to feel positive about your baby and your pregnancy, and you’d love to hear a positive story if they have one.
I am having really vivid dreams
Pregnancy is a time when many women have more vivid dreams than usual - and sometimes these dreams involve dramatic things happening to them or their babies. It’s hard to shake a bad dream
when you wake up, and sometimes you might think it’s a sign that something might be happening to you. Usually, a vivid dream about something negative is more of a call to find courage in yourself to do the best you can for you and your baby.

Take-away messages
• Symptoms of pregnancy become easier and women usually feel more energetic during the second semester.
• Start asking friends and family about baby gear and clothing you can inherit. Good planning makes this time much less expensive.
• Avoid having important conversations with loved ones when you are feeling hungry, tired or angry.
• When people start telling you negative pregnancy stories, stop and say “I know you care about me, but please, only positive stories.”
• Talk to your employer about what work will look like after your maternity leave and start making plans now to make it as easy as possible for you and them.

Try this
Keeping a pregnancy journal (no matter how regularly you will write in it) can be a great way to remember this part of your life later on and to share with your baby. Writing can also help you put your thoughts into perspective and deal with your feelings. You can use a journal to write
whatever feels right at the time for you - from what is going on in your life, to how you are feeling. Some journaling prompts can also include:
• I can’t wait to become a parent because...
• I’m terrified most of…
• Some things I’ve learned about myself in this pregnancy are…
• Some things I’ve learned about my relationship with my partner
(parents, family, friends) are…
• My greatest challenges in this pregnancy have been…
• My greatest joys in this pregnancy have been…
• In pregnancy I dreamt of...
• The most important thing I want to give / show / teach my child is..
• When you get older, I want to take you to… and show you…
• When I was growing up, I loved… and hated…
• I want to be a parent that…
• When I think about becoming a mother, I...
• Your mother, father, grandparents, my family and friends reacted with… to the news that I was pregnant
• I can’t wait to… in the first few weeks
If journaling seems daunting, try something shorter - writing a letter to your baby. You can write one for your whole pregnancy, one every month, or during each trimester. Be honest in your writing. You don’t have to show your child this when they are young, and when they are older all your experiences will have special meaning. Bits and pieces about your daily life, reactions, all these things are important. Remember to date your entries or letters, and put them in a safe place (if you’re using a computer - print the letters and sign them by hand).
This is a bit of your family history that your child will treasure.