Thursday, 14 March 2013

5 Second Trimester Essentials I Couldn't Live Without

Last week I started a little series on the essential items I couldn't live without during pregnancy. We started with the first trimester: those nerve-wracking 12 weeks where you have to keep schtum whilst feeling like you're going to throw up and worrying about every tiny symptom before finally getting to see your little bean on a black, fuzzy screen.

Get round to the second trimester and all of that seems perfectly worth it. You get to tell people your news, you're hopefully starting to feel a bit brighter and healthier and you get all the excitement of having scans and beginning to feel like it's a bit more real (your growing waistline will probably reinforce this feeling!).

So, what could I not live without during the second trimester?

1. Support Network
One of the best things about the second trimester is getting to make that all-important announcement. You might have kept it top secret up until now, or shared with a few close friends, but now you can shout it from the rooftops! And with that announcement, comes a whole new network of people who can advise, support and get excited. 

It's funny, one of the hardest things for me was making the announcement to my wider circle. We had told our families and close friends, but making it public knowledge felt strange. I enjoyed having a special secret, just a few of us, I was worried that if everyone knew it would somehow become less special. On the flip side, gaining this support network meant that I could ride on the back of other people's excitement for a while. 

The thing about pregnancy is that it is exciting, but it is impossible to maintain the same level of excitement for nine months straight. At this point, you've had up to 12 weeks to get used to your news (and to start worrying about it!), but all the people you tell? It's brand new to them! I loved walking into my office and telling my colleagues! All the smiles, squeals, hugs gave me a renewed excitement and if anything, it reinforced my own excitement and made it all the more special! So, yes, those close confidants from your first trimester are special, but never underestimate the importance of a wider support network who will help you get excited every step of the way!

2. The Bible
Ok, so if you're a Christian, or person of faith, then the word of God is pretty essential for life in general. And to be honest, for me it was pretty essential for the first trimester, just as much as the second and third. But if you do have a faith then you'll want to be anchoring your life in what God says. 

Your life is about to change dramatically. Your marriage is about to change. Your finances are about to (drastically!) change. Having a baby is all about change, change and more change. So if ever you needed to trust God on anything, it would be now. Find out what God says about you and remind yourself daily. It makes a difference. 

When that bank statement comes through the post bearing bad news? Know that God provides your every need. 

When you're feeling overwhelmed by what is ahead? Know that God will never give you anything that you can't handle. 

When you're trying to make some major life decisions about where to live or work? Know that God has promised to direct your paths. 

Feeling alone and unsupported? Know that God has promised to never leave you or forsake you. 

Write these things down. Stick them to your mirror or the fridge and declare them over yourself every morning. And remember one of my favourite quotes:
3. Tena Lights
For those little 'Ooops!' moments... enough said. (Remember your pelvic floor exercises, ladies!)

4. Baby on Board Badge

If you live in London, as I did for my first two trimesters, and you use public transport, do yourself a favour and get a Baby on Board badge. It is amazing at how insistent people are about giving up their seat for you if they know for sure that you're pregnant.

Granted, it doesn't always work - Londoners still have an amazing knack for staring at the floor, their phone, Kindle or hands in a bid to avoid eye contact, so likelihood is, they haven't even noticed you with your bump and badge. But most of the time, once people have clocked you, they will give you a seat.

In the second trimester, under a coat, your bump might not be as apparent to others as it is to you, so help them out a bit and get yourself a badge. It avoids all manner of embarrassment! On more than one occasion I had people who were standing up on the tube ask me if I needed a seat. I didn't, but appreciated their concern, and I did wonder what they were going to do if I said yes!

You can get your badge by contacting TFL direct (you can't buy them from anywhere else). It's free and they take about three days to arrive. All the info is here.

5. Pen & Paper

Pretty pastel handmade notebooks, available from here

The second trimester is when you're still busy with work but you have a million other things running through your head: Appointments to keep, questions to ask the midwife, things you need to buy, people you need to speak to, bills you need to pay off before baby arrives, budgets to make, possible baby names etc. etc. Combine that with a touch of the baby brain, tiredness or caffeine withdrawal and you will fail to remember everything!

To combat this, as if you need an excuse to buy yourself some pretty stationery, buy yourself a special notebook with a pretty matching pen. And write EVERYTHING down. It will make you more productive, a better employee and you'll feel in control. Make lots of lists. You never know when you might need to refer back to something!

So, there's your second trimester survival kit. Stay tuned for the third and final trimester... which I'll hopefully have lined up before baby decides to make an appearance!

Any other second trimester essentials you want to add to the list? Comment below!

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