Pregnancy is such a gift and blessing from above. I can see now why it’s such a miracle and how God truly knits everything together in His perfect ways. As I’ve transitioned into the second trimester, I’ve seen so many milestones with this little life growing inside the womb. Luckily the second trimester has been a turning point for me and things are looking so much better and brighter in comparison to my first trimester!
I am seriously feeling so good in my second trimester so far and I will never take an appetite for granted ever again. Once I hit week 13, I felt alive again and my nausea eventually subsided. It was such a wonderful time and I was so excited and emotional about eating again. I could finally nourish my body in the way I needed and wanted to. Overall, the second trimester was a golden time of feeling incredible! I know a lot of other moms feel the same way and say it’s their favorite 12 weeks of pregnancy. I would have to agree with that! My energy is great and I’ve been really focused and productive at work. I’ve been able to move my body well and keep up with walking 10,000 steps per day, prenatal yoga, and moderate housework. Also, I really popped around week 25 (proof below)!
I’m also eating like a champ again and making sure I have balanced meals, which wasn’t possible for me in the first trimester due to the sickness. Lastly, I’ve been sleeping soundly and getting 8+ hours of deep sleep each night which has been really helpful. I’m so thankful for all of these second trimester wins especially after such a rough first trimester of feeling pretty terrible.
If you’re in the trenches of those tough few beginning months, stay positive and hopeful that it eventually will get better. The majority of pregnant women do find the nausea to subside in the second trimester and start to feel like themselves again! This was definitely the case for me too.
As I mentioned before, my diet has been on point because I have my appetite back and can actually tolerate food now. I’ve been focusing on getting nutrient dense meals and snacks that are balanced with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. A huge myth in pregnancy is that we need to eat for two. While it is important to fuel your body and support your growing baby, most women will only need around 200 extra calories per day.
I don’t count calories, but I do listen to my body! There have been days where I’ve been eating the exact same portions as I did pre-pregnancy and then there have been days where I have been hungrier and needed to eat more. I am usually a 3-4 meal a day person but I now find I do have to eat a snack or a small meal every 2-3 hours to feel my best. If I wait too long without eating, I feel some lingering nausea so this has been something I am mindful of.
I wish I could say I had some fun pregnancy cravings and sent Ryan out to the grocery store at 2am. I really don’t have cravings for anything in particular where it’s something I NEED to have. I do, however, have foods on repeat that I am loving so much right now. The first is any kind of tomato. I am slightly obsessed and snack on them all throughout the day. I’ve also been enjoying lots of hydrating fruits like fresh watermelon. Other than that, I have been wanting more red meat so I’ve been enjoying grass-fed steaks and burgers a few days a week.
I did have one day where I felt like I could really go for a Wendy’s frosty (which I haven’t had in probably 25 years) so I recreated a healthy version of one!
Healthified Wendy’s Frosty
Hydration has also been huge for me and something I am constantly trying to improve on. I always stress the importance of drinking filtered water so I have been using and loving my Berkey water filter and adding Concentrace Mineral Drops to make sure I am re-mineralizing my water. This really helps me stay hydrated and energized now that the summer months are approaching.
As usual, I eat specifically to support my gut and autoimmune health even throughout pregnancy. If you are needing help with that, you might be interested in my meal plan subscription which will help you with plans that are already balanced. I even have a few targeted prenatal, pregnancy, and postpartum specific meal plans with gut health in mind in the membership too!
I really started ramping up my knowledge on birth through research and reading starting around week 20 to prepare for a natural delivery and healthy baby. There’s a lot to learn and I am really enjoying diving into these resources and learning as much as possible to equip myself for the journey ahead!
We had such a blast taking maternity pictures and wanted to wait to do these after our anatomy scan appointment in the second trimester because up until that point, we didn’t have an actual ultrasound photo of the little guy. We hired Frank Scallo Photography for these and he captured the look I was hoping for so perfectly. It was also such a beautiful evening in May when we did these and the sunset made the photos so serene.
We really wanted to know ahead of time what we were having so we could plan the nursery and personalize the closet and baby gear. We both said it didn’t matter, boy or girl. We would have been so thrilled with either! All we really cared about was having a healthy baby. We decided to opt out of genetic testing and early gender detection, which meant we had to wait until our 21 week anatomy scan instead.
I told the tech at my scan I didn’t want to know the gender but asked if she could write it on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. I really wanted to find out with Ryan and not on my own because I felt that moment was so important and special to find out together. A few days after our scan we decided to take a drive to the Barnegat Lighthouse on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, which is a really special place to us. Ryan actually proposed on the jetty there years ago so it holds a lot of meaning. We thought it would be really neat to take the envelope there and open it up together at that same place!
The hour drive was torture and the anticipation to find out was through the roof. We were so nervous and excited and chatted about what life would be like if the baby was a girl or boy. I really felt we were having a boy based on intuition and an early dream but I was thrown off when I went to my acupuncturist and she said she was 70% sure it was a girl based on my pulse and chi (which in Chinese medicine means energy). Ryan also felt like it was a boy because he heard God speak a boy’s name as he was praying one morning. Our whole family was saying we were having a girl so I would say we went into it tossed, thinking it could truly go either way.
We walked to our spot at the end of the jetty, prayed, and opened up the envelope together. We were SO shocked when we saw it was a BOY!! I was in shock and cried and Ryan was so excited he fell to his knees because deep down he really wanted to have a boy and this was a huge desire of his heart. That made me so grateful to see the Lord’s faithfulness and it just made the connection so much stronger for me. At first I was nervous about being a boy mom because it seems so unfamiliar to me, but now that I am here I seriously can’t imagine it any other way. I am beyond excited I’m having a son! Every mom with boys tells me the bond is so special and the absolute best. I can already feel that and after finding out, it made me even more excited for his arrival.
Click the video to find out how we shared the news with our family. We had everyone wear the color they thought the gender would be and it was so awesome to hear the response. I think you can definitely tell everyone was really excited about the outcome! Their reaction was priceless and I’m so happy we got this on film and had a small get together to reveal the gender.
The glucose tolerance test is typically offered in the second trimester around week 24-28 of pregnancy. It is to detect early signs of gestational diabetes which can result in complications if left uncontrolled. The problem with glucola, which is the drink most practices will make you drink for this test, is loaded with preservatives and chemicals. I opted for a more natural option that my OB approved. You can talk to your doctor or midwife swapping glucola with orange juice or pomegranate juice.
There’s also this Glucola alternative that I found and is organic that would be another option. Many naturally minded mom’s have also eaten jelly beans which has been surprisingly studied and is just as effective in comparison to Glucola. The goal is to get 50g of glucose for this test. Luckily I passed which I was thrilled about. I decided to monitor my blood sugar anyway for my own knowledge because I find it really helpful to know how I am responding to my meals and meal timing during pregnancy.
Finding non-toxic baby products has been a full time job! Being a first time mom, I really found myself doing a ton of research on what was truly needed and what the essentials were. I also had to dig deep into how products were made because that’s always something so important to me. I really wanted to keep the list simple and I didn’t want to feel pressured into getting all the baby seats, rockers, bouncers, walkers, etc. After doing a lot of research, I decided against using excess “containers” for the baby and instead would rather rely on the products that are essential for growth, development, and entertainment for the first year.
I also wanted to include items I would need for the postpartum phase, breastfeeding, and practical things like diapers and wipes. Since I had such a wide range of items that I wanted to make sure we had for the baby, I ended up choosing Amazon for my registry and I was so happy I did! It was really easy to add items from different brands and I wasn’t limited to what one single store carried. I tried some other registries like Buy Buy Baby, Target, and even Babylist for other friends registries and I honestly didn’t find them as user friendly. So many of my friends and family told me after the fact how easy my registry was and since we had a virtual shower, it made life a lot easier. Everyone was able to send a gift to our address with the click of a button and not worry about shipping, wrapping, and sending the gift later.
I am seriously so grateful that our friends and family thought of us and showered our baby with so much love. We have everything and more that he will need for his first year thanks to the generosity of the people around us who we love so much!
Here is a helpful checklist for anyone looking to put together a non-toxic registry. These were the items I chose but keep in mind there are so many other items. I hope this list helps inspire yours and makes life a little easier being in one place!
I also invested in a few other items that I absolutely loved and couldn’t get on Amazon or add to my registry:
Willaby Blanket: This incredibly soft blanket is made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and has 3 layers of thick gauze which makes it so durable and comfortable. This was a splurge but something I was so excited to get!
Kyte Baby Clothing: I am officially hooked and obsessed with all Kyte Baby clothing and accessories. The light bamboo organic material is butter soft and breathable and the colors are neutral and earthy. I invested in lots of onesies, zip up pajamas, and loungewear for baby boy. I also got a blanket, lovie, hair brush set, and sleep sack from this shop and everything has been high quality and adorable! I will be shopping here a lot once the baby boy needs more clothes. They even have adult pajamas that I ended up getting for the hospital because they are the same bamboo material.
Nini Pacifier: This was highly recommended to me as a pacifier since it is the closet shape to a nipple and mimics breastfeeding movement and latch.
Wellements Baby Bundle: This was a must for me. I love this newborn bundle that includes just about everything a baby would need for the first 6 months including probiotic drops, vitamin D drops, gripe water, chest rub for congestion, and so much more!
Times are interesting and it definitely felt odd to have our shower over the internet. The one good thing about advanced technology is the ability to have a safe gathering without meeting in person. I really tossed the decision to go virtual back and forth and of course I would have loved an in-person shower. At the end of the day, safety for us, the baby, and our friends and family was the most important factor so we ended up making the best of it and having a fun virtual event.
My mom sent out flower seed favors and an invite and we met for about an hour and a half. It was so nice to see everyone and have some time to thank everyone for the prayers, well wishes, cards, and gifts we got for the baby. We played a few short games where Ryan and I were asked some questions about who would do specific things or be a certain way when baby is here and we both had to individually hold up a sign saying either “mom” or “dad”. It turned out to be hilarious and definitely made for some good laughs.
We also played a quick Baby Price is Right where everyone had to add up the cost of items from my birth year back in the day. Whoever was closest to the total won! Fellisse, my amazing graphic designer on the team, created the game card for us. You are welcome to print and use it for yourself using this link here if you have a virtual shower coming up!
Overall it was a really special day and we loved connecting with our friends and family. We got together outside with our immediate family for a small shower the week after and enjoyed some delicious food and beautiful weather! Our family made this baby feel so loved and cared for already and we feel so blessed for their support.
Evidence proves having childbirth support from a doula can significantly improve your chances of a natural childbirth, along with other positive birth and postpartum outcomes. A doula is a trained labor specialist who provides non-medical care to expectant mom’s. I knew early on that I wanted the support of a doula and someone who can help us as an advocate for what we really wanted our birth to look like. Especially given the fact we are birthing in a hospital, I felt even more confident this would be worth the investment.
Here are some impressive stats on doulas:
We interviewed a few doulas in our area and ended up choosing one early on in the second trimester. I would recommend this because our doula has been there through every question and concern and I am so thankful I have a birth expert to call/text anytime. I find it really helpful how local doulas can help with other referrals too when we need it, such as a chiropractor, acupuncturist, pediatrician, etc. We feel really confident in our decision to hire a doula! Once I share my birth story, I’ll be sure to reflect on how our doula supported us through birth as well.
I would highly recommend taking one of these if you are expecting! Ryan and I weren’t sure if we truly needed this until we actually got away for a week. It was so nice to relax and feel refreshed with all the planning and baby preparation we were busy with. I also felt it was such a sweet time to spend together since it won’t be the two of us for much longer! We wanted to stay close by just in case of an emergency and we also wanted to go somewhere where we could do pretty much everything outside except sleep.
Here are some highlights from our babymoon!
We ended up booking a random and last minute adventure to Chesapeake Maryland and stayed at the Hyatt. It was only 3 hours away and was a nice change of scenery. We went swimming, lounged at the pool, played cards, shopped, went golfing, and of course enjoyed all the good food. Our favorite were the King crab legs and peel and eat shrimp which is a must if you are in Maryland! Overall I am so happy we did this in the second trimester while I was feeling really good and not too big. At a certain point I knew it would get tough for me being in the heat if we waited to take this trip sometime in the third trimester.
Top 3 reasons I recommend taking a babymoon:
As soon as we found out we were having a baby boy, I already knew the nursery theme I wanted. I actually got the inspo from Serena and Lily and below is my inspiration picture.
We are going with a “Shades of Blue” theme and I want to tie in some coastal wood vibes with some boho decor mixed in. I am so excited to see it all come together. I’m starting to get all the items together a little at a time so we aren’t waiting until the last minute. Although it is funny how parents work so hard to get the nursery ready before babies are born, when in reality they stay in the room with us for several months! I can’t wait to share the completed nursery in my third trimester recap and must haves post.
These have been an absolute game changer in helping me to improve my energy. Beef liver is a nutritional powerhouse packed with food based vitamin A, iron, and B-vitamins that are essential for baby’s development and to support my body through pregnancy. I have felt incredible energy throughout my pregnancy and I credit these liver capsules for a lot of that! This is also helpful to those individuals who cannot tolerate eating liver.
I love all Earthly products and have been enjoying this organic pregnancy tea both hot and over ice. It includes herbs that support nourishment to the womb, tone the uterus, support gut health and help improve digestion. You can use code nikkiyeltonrd at checkout to save 15% off your first Earthly order.
Another tea I’ve been absolutely loving is the Pique brand mint tea after meals to support the GI tract. Mint is excellent for digestion and I love that the tea crystals are hot and cold water soluble. Since the weather has been hot where I am I am enjoying it cold with lots of ice. It is so refreshing and is helping me get in my extra water intake. I rave about Pique teas because they are one of the few that you can trust to support gut health without heavy metals, molds, and mycotoxins. Most tea bags do more harm than good so I really appreciate the science behind their teas. During pregnancy, I personally choose to avoid caffeine during pregnancy so I stick to the teas that are naturally decaffeinated. Their caffeine free ginger digestion tea is also great! You can use the code nikkiyeltonrd at checkout for a discount on all Pique teas and products.
I’m definitely at the point where my bump is growing and my regular clothes are uncomfortable. I’ve been living in these maternity pants and also got these maternity shorts. I’ve also been able to wear a lot of flowy maxi and babydoll dresses I already had because I’m lucky to have a growing baby bump around summer. For anything I bought new, I just sized up on so I didn’t have to spend a lot on actual maternity clothes.
This has been a game changer in helping me sleep comfortably and I love that it is made with organic materials. It does take up a lot of space so I would recommend it only if you have the bed to yourself or if you sleep next to your partner, only if you have a king size bed.
I started using this right away in the first trimester and plan to continue it throughout the rest of my pregnancy. It is completely non-toxic and clean with some of the best known ingredients to prevent stretch marks. I seriously love how this feels and it soaks into my skin quickly.
I have been using and loving Primally Pure products for years now and I am so happy they are all pregnancy safe and made with safety in mind for mama and baby. I even ended up stocking up on the baby balm lotion for diapering for when the baby is here. The ingredients are top quality and I love how they feel on my skin. I feel like I spent a day at the spa every time I apply these products. I’ve been using the cleansing mask a few days a week, the everything spray, the lavender complexion mist, and the face serums. I also use their sea salt soak when I take baths and it is so relaxing! Lastly, I alternate the Fearless Mama stretch mark cream with the Primally Pure body butters because I love them both! You can save 10% on all Primally Pure products using the code NY10 at checkout.
Collagen naturally declines with age and is a powerhouse for gut health and helping to improve the integrity of skin. You can read more about the health benefits of collagen here! I have been adding this collagen to my smoothies or hot teas to support a healthy pregnancy and to help prevent stretch marks since collagen improves skin elasticity.
Once the morning sickness subsided, I was able to resume my prenatal. I always recommend the Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal because it has everything needed to support a healthy pregnancy with active forms of vitamins. This is really important for anyone with MTHFR and genetic SNPS. If you aren’t sure if you fall into that category, I would still recommend it to ensure you are getting the best forms of your B vitamins. The downside to this one is you do need 8 per day, but I find it to be easy if you divide that in half and have them with breakfast and lunch.
I found a yoga exercise ball so helpful in place of my desk chair to alleviate back pain while working. Since I sit for long periods of time, this has really helped my posture and body support. As you get further along in pregnancy, using a bouncy ball can actually encourage your baby to get in the right position for birth! It is a win win!
You can check out these other articles and my first trimester and third trimester recaps for all my must-haves and helpful resources. I’m sharing the courses I took to prepare for childbirth, books I found so helpful, essential oil blends I made for labor, the completed nursery, my natural birth plan (with all the details), what I packed in my hospital bag, lactation cookie recipes, and a lot more!
I would also love to hear from you if you are in your second trimester! Did you find out the gender of your little one? What are some of your must haves??
"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."
-Nikki Yelton, RD
If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment.
You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.