Pregnancy glow (Trimester 2)

by - December 25, 2023

After my pale and pasty phase of early pregnancy in Trimester 1 where I looked sickly and ready to pass out at any moment, people started commenting on my glow in Trimester 2 even when they didn't know I was pregnant.

I don't remember Little Sissy Pham glowing during her pregnancy, so much as whinging constantly about all the bodily changes and challenges. And I have been the same. I have not felt healthy and glowing at any point during my pregnancy. I do wonder if it's because gestational diabetes put a dampener on Trimester 2 or my sciatica shooting burning pain through both thighs, or my pelvis giving me lower back pain. I was seeing my hospital team and a private physio frequently in Trimester 2 to sort my body out. I imagine women who love being pregnant during Trimester 2 are basking in pregnancy hormones levelling out after a nauseating Trimester 1 and enjoying their cute baby bump. I am not one of these women.

I did notice my outward glow, but I am certain it's the 2L-3L extra blood flowing through my struggling veins that makes me glow. I am hot and flushed and uncomfortable on the inside; the heat is radiating out of my flushed cheeks. To give context on how hot I run, I am usually the one with cold feet and hands in our relationship but these days I sleep naked on top of the sheets with the aircon on while Boyfriend Pham sleeps in pyjamas under 2-3 layers of sheets and blankets. Silver lining: I don't need to get maternity pyjamas once my belly outgrows my regular PJs since I can't stand wearing anything in bed - the 4 pillows I use to support my body and legs generate too much heat as it is. I'm also wearing compression socks during the days (yes, in Brisbane's summer heat) because the excess blood and fluids gather at my ankles throughout the day if I don't wear socks.

On the inside, my iron levels are dropping/spreading too thin so I am taking iron supplements that make me even more constipated because baby is growing and pressing on my intestines. The muscle-relaxing hormones that make it possible for my pelvis and belly to expand to house a growing baby have also relaxed my digestive system. I have to take magnesium supplements and rub magnesium oil into my calves before bed to try and prevent painful leg cramps waking me up at night. I no longer sleep through the night because I need to wake up and pee at least once or twice a night with baby pressing down on my bladder.

What I'm trying to say is pregnancy glow is surface-level, what's below the surface is a body adapting to lots of changes and challenges. So, yeah, thanks for the compliments, I may look good but I feel like crap. 

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