This article comes with a trigger warning.
The second trimester of my pregnancy has continued to be quite tough, although rewarding – we have gotten to see our baby on a lot of scans and watch it grow, and start to feel it moving. We were still getting over the shock of me managing to fall pregnant, and whilst there have continued to be hiccups along the way, my husband and I are getting more and more excited each day!
Here’s how my second trimester went!
Weeks 13-15: my hyperemesis was calming down, and was able to reduce the amount of anti-sickness medication I was taking until I was off them completely! My appetite came back and the sickness really fizzled out. My husband and I had our dating scan when I was actually 13 weeks pregnant (we thought we were more like 11 weeks), so it was great to know we were a bit ahead! However, I came down with a nasty case of bacterial tonsillitis around 14 weeks so was really feeling under the weather!
Weeks 16 and 17: things were plodding along nicely. With no more morning sickness I was able to do more. However, it was around about now that my pain had reared it’s head and started to hang around – I’d noticed it more around 13/14 weeks pregnant but was hoping it was just a blip. It definitely wasn’t! I also saw my midwife at 17 weeks pregnant who gave me loads of advice about work, mainly because my pain at this point was unbearable. They also referred me to a Womens Heath Physiotherapist to see if that would help.
Weeks 18 and 19: at the start of my 18th week of pregnancy, I saw my specialist obstetrician and I was blown away by how amazing they were! See below for more information, but basically we spent almost an hour discussing pain relief, work and birth options. My husband and I also had our next scan during this period and it was amazing to see how much the baby had grown over a period of a few weeks. By this point, I was having many more bad days than good with regards my pain, but I was also experiencing some quickening (initial movements of baby), which helped. Unfortunately, in between these weeks I was admitted to the maternity hospital for rectal and vaginal bleeding, but as no cause was identified, I was sent home.
Weeks 20-22: I was admitted to my maternity hospital again during this period due to severe pain. The frustrating thing is that until I was about 22 weeks pregnant, any “emergency” care was technically carried about my gynaecologists, not obstetricians. This meant we were sent all over the place before being seen. Unfortunately, it was a terrible experience – the junior doctor didn’t care at all and clearly had no knowledge of Endometriosis. I was simply given stronger pain relief and sent home (I did tell my specialist obstetrician about this experience and the previous one, and she was shocked and apologetic). I also had my first Womens Health Physiotherapy appointment, which went well – I was additionally diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD, otherwise known as pelvic girdle pain).
Week 23: again, I was admitted to my maternity hospital (this time I was seen by the obstetric team, thank God!) because of my pain. I was struggling to walk or move over the weekend and my husband took me up there after we rang for advice, and they were fantastic. We were assessed (me and baby, that is) and even though they kind of wanted to keep me in, I compromised with them and went home taking regular oramorph. Everyone we came across understood how Endometriosis does not always dampen down during pregnancy, which gave us some reassurance!
Week 24: my husband and I attended an appointment at the Pain Clinic I was previously under before I fell pregnant. It was a really good session, beneficial for both of us – it was an hour long with a pain specialist (ironically a physiotherapist …) but was more like a psychology-style appointment. I can honestly say it felt so good to be able to get things off my chest and how I really felt, plus it benefited my husband also.
Weeks 25: routine appointment with my midwife and we had our first measurement of the bump – things all on track despite the fluctuation in pain I was experiencing. I did experience some reduced fetal movement during this week, but all was well.
Week 26: a pretty big and scary week to be honest. I was in agony over the weekend and into the start of the week, had physiotherapy again on the Tuesday and in the early hours of Wednesday morning I started to experience a vaginal bleed (unrelated to the physiotherapy, I might add). I went to the loo in the early hours and was so sleepy I just thought I’d started my period, then remembered I was pregnant! As I’d had some vaginal bleeding before, we decided to monitor it and I went into work. But, by 9am I was bleeding a lot heavier, so I was rushed into the hospital where I stayed for a few days until the bleed settled. Depsite all of this, and the bleed believed to be coming from my placenta, baby was absolutely fine.
Weeks 27-28: it took a while for my body to recover from the bleed – I was so fatigued and still in lots of pain, but thankfully it was better in time for my birthday! My bump was suddenly very evident too, which was nice as so many people kept telling me I was tiny! I had my 28 week midwife appointment and my next follow-up with my specialist obstetrician. Kicks from baby are getting much bigger, much more frequent and my belly is starting to jump about with them too! I also caught tonsillitis again – my immune system sucks.
Cravings: still pretty much around fruit (strawberries in particular!), but I also started enjoying Nutella sandwiches …
Scans: we had scans at 13 weeks, 19 weeks, 20 weeks and 26 weeks, and are due more in the third trimester
Midwife: I have been seeing my community midwife as per NHS protocol for first-time mums. We’ve confirmed the hospital we want to give birth in and my birth plan has been sort of decided for us by my specialist obstetrician. Our only thing is that its never the same midwife, so you do loose that continuity of care.
Medication: well, I am back on my regular medication – paracetamol, dihydrocodeiene and oramorph. I have been given all the advice and reassurance to take them safely whilst pregnant.
Specialist Obstetrician: my specialist obstetrician is managing my antenatal care, and will also be there for any postnatal care needed for me and the baby. She has organised additional referrals, scans and medication as needed – I am having multiple problems aside from Endometriosis during this pregnancy so I am being very closely monitored.
Endometriosis: the pain has most definitely not gone – it’s just as bad as it was before I fell pregnant. It is a complete myth that Endometriosis “cures” pregnancy, and actually through some research I’ve done a lot of women can still experience their pain and other symptoms whilst pregnant – it’s just a shame hardly any healthcare professionals know this.
Adenomyosis: as mentioned in my First Trimester post, it’s hard to tell the difference and this is still the case.
Interstitial Cystitis: I have had no more urine infections since around 12/13 weeks pregnant, but I am definitely feeling that as the baby grows bigger my bladder is suffering! The Womens Health Physiotherapy helped with some pelvic floor control. I have also had my follow-up with my specialist urologist and as soon as I have given birth I can have the permanent sacral nerve simulator implanted if I wish.
M.E./CFS: not too many problems really. My fatigue tends to be linked to my high pain levels at the moment, as well as the extra bit of fatigue that naturally comes with pregnancy. It’s also better now the sickness has stopped!
Keep up-to-date with my pregnancy journey by following my Instagram account, @endobunny!