For us, the second trimester started off with a bang we hit the landmark (Week 12/13) where it became safe to tell everyone our exciting news and I was able to attend the ultrasound! We went for our second ultrasound. This was a super exciting time for me as this was the first one I was able to attend due to COVID! My wife was able to take a video of her first ultrasound a few weeks prior which I was super thankful for. I had mixed emotions when we were in the room while we were looking at our little baby.
The second trimester marks the end of the nausea, morning sickness and the feeling poorly for the majority of women. This was the case for my wife as well. Although she did not feel too bad or experience copious amounts of morning sickness, she did start feeling better overall during her second trimester. Our baby experienced major milestones in development, but the most exciting development of the second trimester would be our fetus developing into a boy or a girl.
This marked the beginning of the fourth month of our pregnancy. We began this month by finishing telling our family and close friends our exciting news and moving onto our more extended friend circles and co-workers. Within the fourth month, our baby developed their neck and lanugo. They are slightly smaller than a baseball, dill pickle, or a lightbulb.
In week 14 specifically, the baby now has a neck and the fine hairs on their body called lanugo are beginning to form. Mom is now experiencing less of the morning sickness and dizziness and is experiencing more flatulence and discomfort in her abdomen as the baby continues to grow.
Week 15 marks when the baby is now able to breathe on their own. They are able to use their tiny functioning lungs which are in the primitive stages. Mom is seeing her belly turn into more of a bump and the discomfort will continue with the rapid development happening. She may be developing more of a pregnancy brain, where she is beginning to be a bit more forgetful.
During week 16, the baby is now getting stronger and is able to hold their head more upright and is beginning to develop some scalp patterns, albeit with no hair yet! Mom is now starting to feel the baby move around!
Week 17 marks more structure to the baby’s skeleton, where the baby is developing stronger bones developing from softer cartilage. They are also starting to pack on the fat. They are also developing their sweat glands. Mom’s baby bump continues to grow and as a result her centre of gravity may change which makes her more susceptible to tumbles – be on the lookout! This is likely when she feels her skin is starting to stretch out and that battle is being fought with their special lotions.
Week 18 means we have hit the 5th month of pregnancy and it also means that your baby’s sex has been determined, ears are in place and there is vernix on their skin. They are now the size of a paper airplane! Specifically in week 18, the baby’s genitals are now developed and may be noticeable on your next ultrasound – be aware if you do not want to know. Mom’s bump continues to grow and there may be a change in her blood pressure, blood volume and heart rate. She will still be feeling the effects of flatulence and heartburn.
Week 19 means that the baby is now developing their sensory receptors in their brain, the baby’s skin is developing and currently looks white, with a cheese-like (vernix) coating. Mom is likely now feeling the effects of round ligament pain due to the rounding of her midsection and this could result in hip pain, leg cramps and trouble sleeping – you may want to look into a pregnancy pillow to help her get the rest she needs.
HALFWAY THERE in week 20! This is the biggest week for baby’s sexual development. If it is a boy, his testicles are heading down to their final destination. If it is a girl, her uterus is formed and her ovaries are now holding 7 million primitive eggs and her vaginal canal is formed. This also means that all of their organs are in place and will be confirmed at the 20-week structural ultrasound. Mom’s uterus is now above her belly button and she is becoming rounder. She may now be dealing with some swelling in her extremities.
During week 21, mom can expect to feel some more coordinated kicks and punches to the gut. Baby now has proportionate arms and legs which are now being used in a more coordinated fashion. Eyelashes are now beginning to form and if it is a female, her vagina is now developing. Mom is now feeling the urge to pee more as the baby is now pushing on her bladder. She may still be experiencing swelling and now may be battling varicose or spider veins.
Week 22, the baby is a skinny looking tiny human and this week will cross the 1lb threshold. They are also developing their irises but they remain colorless. Mom is noticing the baby moving significantly more than anytime previously in the pregnancy. If you have not gotten a pregnancy pillow or developed a strategy to help mom with her discomfort while sleeping, this is going to be a must moving forward.
The sixth month marks the end of the second trimester, which means we are ⅔ of the way through our pregnancy. Baby will continue to develop and get stronger which means that mom will now be used as a punching bag for your little boxer! During the sixth month, the baby will continue to pack on the baby fat and is now the size of a G.I Joe. They will be able to open their eyes, suck their thumb, batte hiccups, and recognize sounds and voices.
Week 23 means that the blood vessels in the baby’s lungs are developing in preparation for breathing outside the womb. With the baby’s size increasing, it means that some of mom’s internal organs may be moved around slightly to make sure the baby is comfortable.
VIABILITY at week 24. This is another huge milestone for all involved. Baby is more likely to survive a premature birth if they are born anytime from here on out. Baby’s lungs are now strong enough that they would be able to function outside of the womb. Mom’s uterus is now the size of a soccer ball and she may be feeling back pain, difficulty sleeping, heartburn, flatulence and swelling.
During week 25, the baby will continue to add fat and fill out its tiny little frame. It will for sure be over the 1lb threshold this week and their hair is beginning to pigment and their skin is becoming less wrinkly. Mom’s growing uterus is now putting pressure on some of her blood vessels responsible for delivering blood to the lower extremities.
Week 26 could be a big week if you are having a boy; their testicles are now descending. Their senses are developing and lungs continue to get stronger, increasing their chance of survival with a premature birth. They are now weighing over 2lbs and can open their eyes. Mom’s discomfort is beginning to worsen with her ever growing tummy. Be sure to have remedies in place to help with her sleep.
Week 27 means that this is the last week of the second trimester and the baby is now starting to do more baby-like things like opening and closing their eyes, napping, sucking on their fingers, getting hiccups, tugging on ears and beginning to recognize voices. Mom’s discomfort continues and her clumsiness and brain fog will continue.
There were a lot of milestones and exciting happenings during the second trimester. We had our anatomy scan/ultrasound and that was amazing – all organs, limbs, etc were accounted for. We were undecided on wheter we wanted to find of the sex, so our ultrasound tech sent a sealed envelope home with us to decide if we wanted to look. That envelope sat on our island for 3 days before we decided to throw it in the recycling. We had asked others what we should do and the common theme was that waiting until birth was one of the true surprises that we get to experience in life.
We have also found a few more resources that have helped us. The first is the app What to Expect. This app provides week to week information about our little babe! We have it set so that it tells us the size comparison to fruits which we find to be extremely helpful. It also goes through major developments during each week.
The other resource we have found is a blog from one of my wife’s former Law School Classmates. The blog is called The Monday’s Best.This post covers a lot of the areas we were looking for help with once our baby arrives. We have used this as a reference when we have been planning our nursery or what types of baby equipment to purchase.
Until next week,