Second Trimester Survival Guide

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Now that I'm solidly into the third trimester (whew!) and beginning the final countdown, I thought I'd share those little things that helped get me through the last few months — just like I did for that horrible first trimester. The second leg of this gestational journey was a helluva lot smoother than the first — thanks largely to the nausea subsiding substantially (though not entirely). But I did begin to feel symptoms such as legit aches, swelling and I started growing — visibly growing (as you can see in my Knocked-Up Chronicles) — which presents its own set of problems.

The second trimester was pretty smooth for the most part, and I was largely able to resume my nose-to-the-grindstone work life and though we still don't go out frequently, I was able to muster up more social time (thank goodness). It was also a very eventful time for us personally, as we had a couple of baby showers (as a result of the generosity of some seriously wonderful people in our lives), I traveled for work and gave the closing keynote at ShareASale ThinkTank and we got married! We managed to fit a whole lot into a relatively short time, which is good because I've heard that the third trimester can be a real doozy as far as energy depletion and the need to nest — so better to get all that ish out of the way beforehand.

1. Book Light: Y'all the second trimester insomnia is REAL. Aside from having to get up to pee a bajillion times every night, I'd be wide awake for hours for no discernible reason. I read a couple books on my phone, but I also decided to start digging into Harry Potter, so I got this book light so I could read in the wee hours. Best decision.

2. Maternity Leggings: I kept hearing that maternity leggings are like the most comfs thing ever, so once the foldover leggings I wore during the first trimester started getting uncomfortable, I took the plunge. And boy am I glad I did. They really are the most comfortable thing ever.

3. Liz Lange for Target Maternity Tank Tops: There's a very good chance I'll rock these tanks well after #babything is born because I love love love them. I have two of the washed colors (glorious blue and tropic green) and a black one and I wear them almost on the daily. They're just long enough to cover my butt with leggings, which is my preference, and they're loose enough to be comfortable while still being lightweight and flattering.

4. Tuft & Needle Mattress: This, right here, has been my saving grace, my godsend, my everything. We had been sleeping on a foam mattress I bought at Ikea four years ago, and the hip pain that comes with pregnancy was hardcore. Then, like angel rays shining down, Tuft & Needle reached out to see if they could send me a mattress. UH, DUH. It's seriously the best thing that's ever happened to me. So comfortable, and while I still have some hip pain, it's not nearly as bad. I don't think I've ever slept on something more comfortable in my life. 

5. Palmer's Coconut Oil Body Cream: I'm under no illusions that stretch marks can be prevented … nor do I really give a shit. The way I figure it, whatever's going to happen to my body is going to happen and all I can do in the mean time is try to take care of myself the best I can. One of the things that has been happening is super itchy skin. I love Palmer's cocoa butter products (I've used the face oil and the lip balm for years), so this was a no-brainer to help with my itchy skin. And I love the way it smells.

6. Roku Streaming Stick: For years, we've been operating off one single Roku streaming device, and have just been moving it back and forth between rooms at the beginning and end of each day. But with my lack of energy comes a lack of being able to bend down and disconnect / reconnect continuously, so we broke down and bought this handy little device that just plugs into the back of our TV. Now we have streaming in both rooms and I don't have to fuck with a bunch of wires and cords, which is amazing. Since we've been spending so much time at home, it's really been a boon to our comfort level.

7. Topo Chico Mineral Water: It's a fact that knocked-up ladies have to drink a bazillion gallons of water every day. I've never been much of a soda drinker, so water is my go-to anyway, but just drinking regular ol' water can get boooorrring. I love Topo Chico because it's crisper and the bubbles are bubblier than any other kind of seltzer water, plus it comes in a glass bottle — my preferred vessel material. It just feels more refreshing. I've been downing at least two of these a day, and it's a great departure from your run-of-the-mill H2O.

8. T-Shirt Dresses: I'm a little weird about buying clothes for myself — I hate spending lots of money, and I want to make sure I'm going to get tons of mileage out of anything I do buy. I stick to a lot of basics — tank tops, dark wash jeans, T-shirts, summer dresses that can easily be layered — so having to revamp my wardrobe to accommodate #babything is a struggle in and of itself, especially when I have to take into consideration appropriate clothing for weddings and work trips. But T-shirt dresses make that headache non-existent. They're loose, comfortable, flattering and I can totally rock them well after he's born, so I don't feel bad about plunking down money on them. I scored this one from Target, this one from Kohl's in navy stripe and got a gorgeous royal blue one that I wore for our wedding from a shop downtown. I love them, and I didn't even have to venture into the maternity section for them.

9. Montessori from the Start”: After much consideration and discussion with parent-friends, we've decided to take the Montessori approach with #babything, especially in regard to our living space (read: No cribs in this casa). This book, while drier than the Sahara, gives great guidance to setting up the baby's area and the reasoning behind it.

10. Reef Ginger Flip-Flops: I'm a total flip-flop snob, and have tested out a huge variety of brands and styles, but the Reef Gingers have been my go-to for about a decade now. The thin fabric straps are the most comfortable for my feet and the soles last the longest out of any other brand I've tried without making my tootsies extra smelly (some brands do that). Especially now, as it's getting progressively hotter in Texas and my feet are swelling up the second I stand, these flip-flops are my go-to for comfortable footwear.

11. Makeup Remover Wipes: Some days, I just can't be fucked with washing my face at night — er, make that most days. It's super nice to just grab one of these, swipe my schnozz with it and be done without having to go through the whole face-washing hassle. I feel refreshed and it gets rid of my super stubborn mascara. That's all I really need in life.

12. Crock Pot: Cooking in the heat while knocked up and having to stand on my feet while doing so sucks. Hard. So I've been turning to my trusty crock pot more frequently to get the meal chores done. A little slicing, a little dicing, dump the ingredients, set the time and done. Because we've been making such a concerted effort to save money, watch what we eat and go out less frequently, cooking at home is kind of the #duh solution, but #MFE isn't really a culinary whiz, so the job falls largely to me. I don't mind, but I also can't muster the energy to be fucking Michael Voltaggio in the kitchen these days, so I make some adjustments and rely heavily on our crock pot. And it works. This is the exact model my dad got us for Christmas a couple of years back, and the countdown clock on it is one of my v. favorite features.

What helped you survive your second trimester? Share in the comments!

Author: Christen Moynihan