If you’d like to follow my pregnancy journey from the beginning, I’ve written about my first trimester, but now as I enter my third trimester and I would love to capture some reflections from my second trimester. I also mentioned in my first-trimester post that my husband and I were on the precipice of a city to country move. I can happily report that I’m writing to you from my new home office with acacia and gum trees outside my window, with a family of cockatoos chatting very loudly about something that appears to be important!
These past 3 months feel as though they have gone at breakneck speed, which is a solid contrast to my first trimester that seemed to go on forever. I’m still catching up with the fact that I’m in my third trimester!
Thankfully my energy returned in time for us to move house. I’ve often wondered if folks feel so good in the second trimester because, in the first, you do a lot of resting, sleeping and forced to eat simply, and you get to reap all those rewards. My morning sickness lasted until week 18/19 but has slowly tapered off, so I consider myself very lucky!
On Christmas Day, as I sipped my tea quietly in bed at my mother-in-law’s home, the rest of the house was busy with movement; I got my first actual “love tap” from baby. The best way I’ve known to describe the sensation is popcorn popping really slowly under a velvet blanket. As my belly stretches, so too does my mind and heart. In the quieter moments on my yoga mat, before falling asleep at night or staring off to the trees, I feel a deep well of love and connection. My midwives have encouraged me to speak and listen to my baby, and like plants (fellow herbalists, I feel you’ll get this), they don’t speak back with words. More feelings, colours and impressions.
I’m also learning to navigate the new changes in my body. Heartburn presents itself if I eat too late in the evening or eat on the go and don’t take the time to digest…again, pregnancy is such a teacher of going slower! I’ve found keeping yogurt cups nearby with a 1/2 teaspoon of marshmallow root (Althea officinalis) stirred through alleviates it quickly. But as always, prevention is better than cure, so I’m making mealtimes very deliberate affairs. I’ve been enjoying Lily Nichol’s “Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition” and taking a lot of inspiration from French, Japanese and Korean pregnancy cuisine.
I’ve mainly craved summer salads, pate, ramen with rich broth, seaweed, and dumplings! This has been a very happy discovery – simply use Google translate in your Chrome browser to discover a whole new world of exciting food ideas from cultures other than your own.
After only being able to stomach baked sweet potato, vegemite toast, boiled eggs and frozen blueberries for 4 months, it’s been beyond exciting to eat with pleasure once again. If you’d like to take a peek at what my herbal and supplement plan has been, I’ve written another post on it over here.
Second Trimester Nesting
My nesting instincts have also awoken! As part of our interstate move permit, we had to undertake mandatory 14-day self-isolation. Luckily, we could do this at our new home, so nesting projects were given full attention!
You may not know that I was a nanny for 8 years, caring for kiddos from 4 months to 14 years old. When I was 16, I started looking after the kids in our street for pocket money, then through university and the first few years of setting up my naturopathic practice. One of the greatest gifts of this work that I’m receiving now is that I’ve had an up-close and personal experience of lots of different parenting styles, education systems as well as baby and kids products. I’ve mentally taken note of what I’ve loved and what’s resonated, so now I’m pulling on all that material from the mental archives. I by no means have it all worked out, but it is some interesting and practical starting material to work with! What I’ve found to be coming back:
Parenting Philosophy: Montesorri
I love the curiosity, independence and responsibility that I saw in kiddos who went to Montesorri daycare and schools. So I’ve been diving in headfirst to Dr Maria Montesorri’s work and finding it so very fascinating and complementary to my naturopathic philosophy. The philosophy is grounded in using our environment as another nurturing container for peace and calm, respect for babies and children and supporting where their natural curiosity leads them. I particularly love the emphasis on simplicity for newborns and new mothers. Some resources I’ve found particularly helpful:
- The Montessori Toddler & The Montessori Baby – Simone Davies
- The Montesorri Baby workshop – Simone Davies
- Hapa Family YouTube– fabulous tutorials to make DIY Montesorri mobiles
- DIY Topponchino – This is an easy to follow pattern by Japanese blog Fuwarico. A Topponchino is a lovely Montesorri concept.
Oh goodness, there is so much one does not need that marketing would make you think otherwise! I’m going for a minimalist approach and purchasing some things new and others second hand.
From my nannying days, I LOVED the quality and concept of Stokke products. Their products place a strong emphasis on keeping bubba cosy and close, along with designing pieces that adapt as your baby grows into a kiddo, making their products a wise investment, which to me, justifies the higher upfront cost. Luckily, we took advantage of an excellent Black Friday bundle deal, including their Sleepi Cot, Beat Pram, Tripp Trapp chair, and carrier. You could find all these second hand though!
Yep, we’re going to do it. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time researching “laundry science” to make sure this is something we can sustainably do with our greywater system – and I’m pretty confident we will be able to without me turning into a laundry slave!
When you crunch the numbers on buying disposables, starting with cloth nappies means you’ll break even by the 6-month mark. Couple that with less waste, the most gorgeous designs, a one-style nappy that will last from newborn all the way through to 3 years+ and breathable bamboo liners, it’s a win for us. Resources that helped with this decision:
- EcoNaps: Australian company based in Byron Bay. I loved the quality and attention to design subtleties. We’ve got ourselves 24 of these babies ready to go.
- Nappy laundry guides from What the Fluff University
- Washing routine from Bare and Boho
- Struckett – for dry pailing and soaking
Preparing for Parental Leave
As a small business owner who always knew that I’d love to have a family one day, it’s been something I’ve given a lot of thought. I am by no means an authority on the topic, and I’m sure that this will be an experience of “that idea worked in my head, but now I’ve got a little newborn I’m laughing at my past self”. But, I’ve had some fantastic role models who have done the balance in a way that I admire. My plan is to take 4 months away from teaching and practice to enter the cave of new motherhood from Samhain (May 2) to Imbolc (August 7). I’m going to run Moon School semesters on either side of this.
I’ve been using the creative energy of my second trimester to write on a daily so that I’ve got a nice stockpile of blogs and podcasts for you. I’ve brought on some amazing team members to help me prepare Nourishing Your Fertility and The Peace Protocol as self-paced offerings. Some resources I’ve found helpful:
- Kayte Ferris’s work at Simple & Season – I adore Kayte’s slow business philosophy and her focus on keeping your business simple, aligned and ticking along at the right tempo. I particulary love her Planning Kit, Campfire Blogging Course and her membership community, The Trail.
- Hailey Dale’s work at Your Content Empire – I love working with Hailey! She is one smart cookie, who is a genius when it comes to creating strategic systems. I’ve been using her content sprint methodology to help me write a backlog of material to share while I’m in the fourth-trimester cacoon.
Looking Ahead at the Third Trimester
Now that I’m past the height of summer both seasonally and in my pregnancy, I’m taking my cue from nature to start focusing my energy more inwards; continuing my yoga practice, finishing my hypnobirthing course, making plenty of time to be with baby, going on a babymoon to a local Japanese Onsen homestay and space for Orlando and me to take a moment before our world changes forever.
If you’re also pregnant, I would love to know how you found (are finding) your second trimester?