My take on what the last half of the second trimester of pregnancy feels like (weeks 21 through 26)

Second trimester of pregnancy talk coming your way, and it’s a long one! And OMG, am I really in my third trimester? I knew this would happen, but after the first 13 weeks took forever to pass, the next 13 have completely flown by, and I have a feeling that will continue until we have a real live child in front of us. Wow!

Ashley at 25 weeks in Walnut Creek by A Lady Goes West

(Bumping in a loose dress at 25 weeks over the Fourth of July weekend in downtown Walnut Creek before a fine Italian dinner. Because carbs. And also, holding my favorite monogrammed clutch ever, which was an amazing gift from my Mom!)

What I’ve found with pregnancy so far is that it’s CONSTANTLY on your mind. You are trying to manage the changes in your body and stay healthy, you are consistently surprised by new weird things happening to you, you are attempting to prepare for the big transition in your life — yet you are also doing all the other things you need to do, like work, take care of your house, have a social life and be a friend/wife/daughter, etc. It’s a lot. People don’t really tell you how you will start to feel some extra stress from it all, and it can be pretty consuming — yet you can’t neglect the other parts of your life that have to keep moving forward too.

I wouldn’t say I’m totally overwhelmed, but I will say that the second half of my second trimester certainly welcomed a few more anxious and stressed emotions, which have remained. But anywho, let’s talk week-by-week breakdowns … 

If you need to get caught up first, check out these ones …

The last half of my second trimester of pregnancy (weeks 21 through 26)

And here’s the breakdown …

Week 21

I went to the dentist this week for a cleaning, and although my teeth were in good condition, and I have good “home care,” my dental hygienist said that my gums were bleeding significantly during the cleaning, which is a normal thing for pregnant women with increased sensitivity and hormones. So strange. She told me I should start brushing three times a day, instead of two, to combat the extra build-up of stuff from the pregnancy hormones. Okay …

Also, while at the dentist, as I was scheduling my next appointment for six months later, I realized I will have a little baby at that time. Like what will I do with him during my appointment? Fear set in. I had a crying episode later in the day worried about how I am going to raise a baby with absolutely no family around to depend on for anything, and no real clue who to reach out to as a babysitter. Uh oh.

Other than that, my bump got much bigger, and people in my group fitness classes continued to tell me how cute it was now that it was showing more. Oh and my lower abdominal round ligament pain I mentioned from the first half of the second trimester seemed to finally subside, which probably means that that initial tummy growth spurt ended. Thank goodness.

Another strange symptom that I found out was totally normal for pregnant women is having occasional blurry vision in which you get floating specks of sparkles that make it hard to see clearly. This happened to me a few times, and it was so strange, although temporary. My doctor said it was nothing to be concerned about. Pregnancy is weird. (Baby is as big as an endive.)

Shop Estilo clothing shoot flower dress by A Lady Goes West

(Pretending to be a catalog model at 21 weeks for a photographer friend and wearing a beautiful dress from the local Shop Estilo online boutique.)

Week 22

I’m very much a pregnant person as of this week — even more so than the week before. While I’m sure that some people in my group fitness classes who hadn’t heard the news had been suspicious of my growing body, I feel like all of a sudden at week 22, my bump became totally recognizable. In fact, everyone I would come into contact with who had recently seen me would remark how much bigger I had gotten. As of this point, I had gained about 13 pounds or so, which I think is pretty standard. 

Overall, my aversions were down, I had decent energy and felt fine. This was also an eventful week in our lives, as the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals title again, and I took my pregnant self to the winning Finals game at the home arena in Oakland, to the after-party late into the night and also walked in the parade later in the week through Oakland. Good times! 

And I can’t forget to mention another bizarre symptom that has been consistent — increased stuff in my nose. Like all the time. Ew. It’s a mucus thing and is a normal symptom for pregnant women. Sorry for the gross factor, but it’s real, my friends. The nose blowing and irrigation thing is happening on the regular. (Baby is as big as a coconut.)

Ashley at 22 weeks holding a birthday cupcake by A Lady Goes West

(Clutching sugar at a little girl’s birthday party at 22 weeks and wearing my favorite maternity dress ever!)

Week 23

This was the week when I could really feel the baby’s movement in my tummy. It started out mostly happening just after I would wake up, and then it also started happening after meals when I would be sitting on the couch. I didn’t know what the kicks would feel like, and they are ABSOLUTELY not painful at all, but sweet. And sometimes I can even look down and see the little kick from the outside of my tummy, which is awesome. Dave got to feel and see them too, and it was such a cool thing.

It’s not that I haven’t known realistically and logistically that there is a tiny human forming inside me, but the kicks make it so much more special. We call him by name and can’t wait to meet him! 

Also this week, Dave and I went to the OB for my general every-four-week check-up, and I was measuring fine. However, something a little scary happened, because when the doctor went to check the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler on my stomach, it was interrupted and irregular. He said that that can sometimes happen with smaller women (what? me? I’m far from small right now), and the doppler picks up both heartbeats and gets confused. So he had us move into an ultrasound room to check if everything was okay. It was totally fine. But still — I had a definite panic moment of concern that something was wrong with my little creature. Alls well that ends well.

I asked a ton of questions at this doctor’s appointment, and my doctor gave me the go ahead to drink kombucha with moderation. Woohoo! I brought in a bottle and he checked it out and said it looks safe, and that made me VERY happy, because I had been missing it! 

I started to feel my growing stomach getting in the way of things lately. Like it’s tough to roll over in bed, paint my toenails and lace up my sneakers, some of my pajama pants are getting tight, and well, I bump the tummy on stuff, because it’s just awkward and out there. (Baby is as big as a grapefruit.) 

(My little baby boy will have already experienced his first championship parade, because I got to walk through Oakland during the last half of the second trimester with him along for the ride.)

Week 24

This week, we did some very real parenting things. Dave added a new life insurance policy to his benefits. I continued to perfect our baby registry, including a second trip to BuyBuy Baby (where I’m registered) to talk about stroller and car seat adapters. I found a pediatrician and talked to him on the phone about vaccinations and circumcision (TMI?).

Dave and I also met with a potential doula and placenta encapsulationist (more information on both of these things to come, as I bet some of you are wondering what the heck they each mean. Long story short: A doula is a birth and labor counselor, who is by your side during birth to make sure your needs are met, and a placenta encapsulationist does just that — takes your placenta and turns it into pills for you to consume — and it’s not as gross as it sounds).

I also started digging into a real childbirth and child-raising book from the Mayo Clinic and started learning A TON. Like did you know that you only have to bathe your little tiny baby one to two times a week? That was news to me. Physically, the bump continued to grow and workouts got harder. Much harder. And I continued to eat carbs all the time, as well as nearly the same breakfast every single day shown below. (Baby is as big as a cantaloupe.) 

Toast and Rudy by A Lady Goes West

(Typical breakfast scene: sprouted toast covered in almond butter, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and a banana, with a little dog on the side. Un-pictured scoop of Greek yogurt and a mug of green tea sweetened with coconut milk and stevia.)

Week 25

The little baby kicks inside my tummy started happening more and more, and I love it. This week, I also started to feel some ill effects on my sleep, mostly because rolling over is very hard and uncomfortable, and I get sick of laying on the same side. 

Twice this week I found myself waking up in the middle of the night worried about birthing and raising a child. Like super terrified and unable to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. My latest concern is that I’ll end up having to have a c-section and be out of commission for a long time. I realize that these things happen, but knowing that I’ll have a doula by my side and will hopefully be able to set myself up for a safe and quick labor with some special pre-birth exercises that I’ll be doing starting in the third trimester too, does give me a small amount of comfort.

Other things? This week I became a VERY pregnant looking person, and a light little line has officially formed down the length my stomach, which I was expecting to happen. What hasn’t happened yet? My belly button is still totally normal, but rumor has it that it will become an outie. Weird. Oh and by this point in pregnancy I had gained about 16 pounds, which I think is standard. I hadn’t used a scale in so long, it’s sort’ve fun to get on the scale in the morning now and continue to see those numbers go up. Fun in a weird, not a fun way, of course. 

One more thing about this week: I went onto our hospital website to register for childbirth classes and found that all but one of the few we planned to take were totally full until after my due date. I had heard that we could wait until around 7 months to book classes, but apparently in the busy Bay Area, that’s not the case. We signed up for one general class that we aren’t excited about and were unsuccessful in finding the appropriate classes offered anywhere else. Darn! (Baby is as big as a cauliflower.)

Ashley at Crafts by A Lady Goes West

(Things that I liked at 25 weeks and still like today: ice cream and this loose summer dress.)

Week 26

By this week, I had nearly completed a very early phase of nesting, in which I read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and then proceeded to purge and organize our entire house, starting with my own closet. I sold things on Poshmark, gave things away and donated things to a local church, and boy did it feel good. (More details about what I learned in that book here.) And I honestly felt compelled to do it, so I think it must be the hormones in me. I also started a little “baby boy” section in a closet, where I am collecting all of the gifts I’ve received thus far and hope to get those arranged in our make-shift combination nursery soon.

Nonetheless, this week, Dave and I officially decided on a doula, and we also attended the hospital tour to check out the place where I will give birth, which was rather scary. I can’t even imagine what that whole process will be like, but eventually I’ll find out. 

I started ordering a few new-mom accessories for myself, like a diaper bag, some nursing bras and nursing tanks and a lot of comfortable pajamas, because I threw out and or have grown out of many of my old pajamas. And did I mention I started wearing a pair of Dave’s pajama pants this week as well as one of his sweatshirts? They are comfortable, and they are now both living in my drawer. I never would have imagined I’d be one of those pregnant women wearing her husband’s clothes … but hey, boy’s stuff is nice and roomy!

Other than that, I had a lot of baby kicks and a growing bump this week, but no other major changes. I haven’t experienced any Braxton Hicks contractions yet, nor has my belly button moved to an outie — so I know I have some rather pleasant pregnancy symptoms left to discover soon. Oh and I had another growth spurt in weight and will have officially gained 20 pounds total by the end of the second trimester. Geez. Is it the baby or the ice cream? Because the ice cream has definitely transitioned from a weekend indulgence, to an every night event. It’s just so darn hot outside, it’s not my fault. (Baby is as big as a kale.)

Ashley at 6.5 months pregnant by A Lady Goes West

(And then there was a big bump! Sporting a very pregnant physique at 26 weeks, but surprisingly, still wearing some non-maternity Fabletics tanks and Lululemon leggings.)

My last half of the second trimester likes …

Pressed Juicery freezes by A Lady Goes West

(Ice cream every day, and yes, Dave is eating it more often now too!)

My last half of the second trimester aversions …

  • Occasional sleep troubles
  • Getting off the couch
  • Getting out of the bed
  • Leaning down to pick things up
  • Getting too full of food very quickly
  • Being hungry
  • Broccoli (sob, as this used to be my favorite)
  • Tight sports bras (all of my older sports bras are WAY too small now)
  • Not eating sushi and not drinking wine
  • Not being able to go hard in workouts
  • Having trouble tying up my sneakers because of the bump
  • Summer heat sucks, especially when I start to feel my thighs rub together

My last half of the second trimester workouts …

HARD! I officially taught my last BODYPUMP class as a pregnant instructor during the last week of my second trimester. While I know that many women continue to teach longer than that, I felt it was time for me to give it up. I still plan to attend BODYPUMP classes and teach Bootybarre classes, but I felt like I was starting to need some extra modifications — such as doing ALL push-ups on my knees and reducing my weight in other moves — and I just didn’t want to be leading a totally packed class of 50 BODYPUMPers while doing the bare minimum. It’s my choice, and everyone can make their own choice. (And I talk more about that in this post.)

That being said, my workouts have continued in quantity, and I kept up with five to seven workouts a week. I only lifted weights twice a week over the second trimester, which is a big change from my constant goal of three resistance sessions, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to fit more in during the third trimester. I also continued to teach Bootybarre twice a week, which still feels pretty good on the bod.

Overall, I feel tired much faster, my heart races during workouts, I get out of breath, and I absolutely have to make some changes. I am no longer doing crunches, am limiting the amount of planks that I do, and I officially only do push-ups on my knees after demoing toe push-ups in my last teaching session of BODYPUMP the last week of the second trimester.

Working out is tough, but I will try to keep a regular routine for as long as I can throughout pregnancy, even if more of my sessions turn into walks instead of anything else. My hope is that maintaining this routine will give me at least a LITTLE bit of an edge in childbirth and recovery. Fingers crossed! My favorite workout moves currently: lunges, squats, bridges, isometric moves at the barre, and light upper-body exercises like biceps curls and flys. 

Ashley at MNT Studio by A Lady Goes West

(Pre-barre class smiles while attending an event in San Francisco at 26 weeks.)

My last half of the second trimester sleep …

I would say that I’m doing my best to get almost nine quality hours a night, wearing my slumber mask in a dark and super cold room. However, I’ve had a few nights in which I’ve woken up around 3 a.m. and been unable to go back to sleep for a long time, and I’ve heard this is going to be my new normal. Not to mention, I get up usually two times during the night to go to the bathroom, and the process of rolling over and off of the bed is very taxing. It’s weird, but so taxing. 

I still love my sleep and have no problem getting to sleep at night after I get in bed, so let’s hope that continues.

Overall thoughts on the last half of the second trimester of pregnancy …

Well, it’s safe to say that I went from being “sort’ve pregnant” to VERY pregnant in the span of the last six weeks. Not only do I look very pregnant, but my mobility has decreased a bit too, as expected. I am getting increasingly excited to meet our little boy, but also nervous at all the life changes about to come our way too. This part of my pregnancy saw the biggest increase in overall stress and emotions for sure. And I detail all of that in this post about doing enough.

I’d love to get our nursery set up, but we have had to do some major moving around of things to make our two-bedroom townhome appropriate (way more to come on this subject soon), so that whole situation has been top of mind. However, I have two lovely baby showers coming up the first week of August, and we’ll get to work on purchasing everything else we need in the next few weeks.

Overall, it’s a blessing to be pregnant (as you know from my very long story of how I got here), and I’m taking every day as it comes! Thanks for reading, my friends!

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Check out my other posts on pregnancy here

Questions of the day 

What’s something you are excited about happening in your life in 2017?

If you’ve been pregnant, how was your second trimester?

20 Comments

  1. Girl the anxious and stressed emotions are just starting! I laid my 15 month old down for a nap and we went to sleep so fast I was panicking something was wrong. Did he have something in is mouth? Is he breathing okay? I can only imagine it gets worse. All the sweet hugs and kisses make it all worth it though! =)

    1. hhhahah I can only imagine, Bethany! I’m getting my first taste of parenthood before he even arrives with these thoughts!! But, we’ll figure it out! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for saying hi, lady!!

  2. I think that your dedication to keeping a routine with regards to working out (even though that may change with regards to what you are actually doing) is a great idea. It will help with the stress and anxiety by providing you structure, as well as keeping your body healthy! So excited for you, Ashley (and Dave!)!

    1. Totally, Susie! I can’t imagine a life without SOME form of physical exercise, so I know I will continue no matter how hard it gets. It’s good for the body, but even better for the soul! Hope you had a great recharging weekend, my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. First of all, I hope you’re having an amazing time on your Baby-moon. And I can’t even imagine all the emotions and thoughts running through your head. We have lots of friends that have kids with no family around and they say you just make it work. And I know you and Dave will. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Patricia! Totally! Lots of people do it without any family around, and we will definitely figure it out and make it work. It’s all a new adventure and learning experience! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great day and week, my friend!

  4. I can’t imagine all the emotions that go through your head as you’re body is nurturing and nourishing your beautiful little one inside. It’s so amazing to see how the little one grows each week and how it changes your body and emotions. <3

    I'm really excited about a Europe trip later this year!

    1. Hi Emily! No way — a trip to Europe? Amazing! I studied abroad in college in Florenece and have ALWAYS wanted to go to back Europe one day. Where are you going???

  5. Ah this was so fun for me to read. I have had so many of the same experiences! Like how am I supposed to work while also thinking 24/7 about this baby?! I love your recs for nursing bras and pants. I also am having the gum issue and am reading Mayo Clinic! You gave me a great idea to meet with a pediatrician over the phone. That’s something I will need to start looking in to! Thanks for always being honest in your posts ? Enjoy your babymoon!

    1. Hi Alexis!! I was SO surprised that my pediatrician called me directly from his cell phone, after I contacted his office to see if he was taking new patients. It made me know that he was the right choice. I bet you will find one that is willing to even meet with you in person if you want. And it’s so fun that we’re on this journey around the same time! YAY for babies and babymoons, and surviving the rest of the tough stuff! Thanks for saying hi, lady! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. My sister had some major dental issues with my nephew, but thankfully my mom works in the dental industry and assured my sister it was totally normal (and got her in for some extra cleanings and care).

    I’d never heard of the vision stuff before though. From your description, it sounds like an ocular migraine (which don’t always come with a headache). I used to get them regularly and now just get them on rare occasions – even without the headache they’re never fun and always annoying.

    Enjoy your babymoon! Santa Barbara is great (though as a Ventura native, I’ll biasedly say heading just immediately south to Ventura is worth it).

    1. Hi lady!! The good news is that my weird eye situations have not been associated with headaches, thank goodness. But I have NOT heard the term ocular migraine, so good to know. Thanks for the info. And how convenient about your sister having dental issues and had the luxury of your mom for help! Thanks for reading this one, my friend!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope all is well!

  7. Hi Ashley- I hope you’re having a fabulous Babymoon! So fun! I have had 3 pregnancies and the 2nd trimester was my favorite for each! My baby is 3 months old now. Its definitely hard to turn of the brain during pregnancy – so much to think about! You look beautiful and radiant in all your pictures. Good luck!!

    1. Hi Liz! You are a pro after three pregnancies heheh! Although I bet they were all a little different! Congrats on your newest little bundle, lady. And thank you SO much for reading and saying hi! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Glad your doing well but it sounds like your really pushing the limits on harsh workouts, why not switch to Yoga and Pilates Mat for the duration. its kind to your body and your growing tummy. Pilates will always serve you well . Fun post . However that business of eating the placenta, so gross, seems overkill like a hippie dippier idea that is the new “in” yuppie baby thing- YUCK and yes TMI I almost puked . So unnecessary. I would table that and say no thanks.

    1. Hi Lexie! ahahaha — sorry to cause you some disgust! I know how gross the placenta thing sounds weird — but it’s a lot cleaner and simpler and more widely done that you would think — and it comes back to me in pill form. I will get into it more soon — you can shield your eyes from that post hahah! And with the workouts — I’m definitely done with the tough workouts now and focusing on less intensity!

    1. Hi Emily! I have a feeling that early second trimester will have been my favorite, but we shall see — as I have this third one to get through ehehhe! And nobody likes the dentist, that’s for sure!

  9. I’ve had 3 babies, and I’ve always felt that lack of sleep and interrupted sleep during pregnancy was your body’s way of preparing you for what was to come after the baby was born. For me my sleep always improves after baby was here, surprisingly. My bladder always got me up way more times in the night than the baby did. Granted, baby had me up longer, but it was so much easier to sleep after that watermelon sized child was out of me.

    1. Hi Christine! Good to know! And I agree that the trouble sleeping with pregnancy is probably just to prepare you. I like hearing different experiences from everyone — so thank you for sharing yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

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