An Account of the Second Trimester

Giraffe Curtains

Now that I’m fully out of the second trimester and gearing into the third trimester, I have to agree with everyone who says that the second is the best trimester.  Other than my belly finally getting bigger, I didn’t feel that pregnant at all.  I had a fairly easy first trimester, but even compared to that, the second trimester was a breeze.

It was a strange relief to see my belly getting bigger. The relief part is finally getting out of the “Did she eat too much lunch? Louise got FAT” phase and into the, “Oh, she’s definitely pregnant” phase.  The strange part is looking down and seeing a big belly.  Most of the time, I forget about it if I don’t see it and will still bump into things on the counter with it. It does seem funny that the belly size seems to explode overnight. I’m constantly amazed that there’s room for all the food I eat, my existing internal organs AND a baby?!

I guess it’s true that people think pregnant women are more approachable because some of my neighbors have finally started to talk to me even though I’ve been living here for two years. Unfortunately, that also means I get some verbal diarrhea from some people like the bum who commented that I was “about to pop” any minute and some TMI stories that people have been telling me.

I have been swimming a lot more this summer just because there’s no way I can even play volleyball with the decreased lung capacity and the fact that everyone would probably be scared to play with a visibly pregnant lady.  I would think that swimming would be different because one’s center of gravity change when pregnant would change how a body floats, but it seems pretty normal to me. Maybe I’m just not that good of a swimmer to notice.  It is nice going into the cool water when it’s 85F out.

I had wanted to do most of the work in the baby’s room in the second trimester because I heard the third trimester is when the fatigue comes back, but I didn’t get as much work as planned. Will and my dad painted the room and moved the crib and changing table in. That’s about it.  Last weekend, Will and I made some curtains out of fabric we got online.  I still have a long list of things to do before the baby arrives, but half the time, I’m thinking that as long as there’s somewhere flat for the baby to sleep on, we have diapers, and I have breasts, we’re pretty prepared. Famous last words?

Previously: Pregnancy and inappropriate questions

Pregnancy and Inappropriate Questions

I haven’t written much about it (if at all) on the blog, but I wanted to write about my pregnancy. Don’t worry, this won’t turn into a mommy-blog (or will it?), but since this is a general-subjects type of site, I thought I’d rant a little about it.

Since becoming pregnant, my eyes have been opened to all the crazy stuff a woman’s body has to go through.  Sure, I knew most of the high-level biological changes involved in producing another human, but I didn’t really find out the nitty-gritty details until too late.  But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is how everyone else reacts!

But first, about the symptoms.  I was lucky to have a fairly easy, uncomplicated first trimester.  No morning sickness at all and I didn’t even throw up once.  I did notice some mild stomach sensitivity issues. For a while, I did not want to think about the leftover black eyed peas in the fridge even though I ate them happily and enjoyed them the first time with no ill-effects.  Then there were a couple of days where I was just not interested in food. Crazy, right? I didn’t even want to look at food porn! I guess that’s what normal people feel like when they’re not hungry, right?

It’s funny because before even getting pregnant, I just knew that I wouldn’t get morning sickness.  Maybe it was a trick of the mind and I convinced myself that it would not happen.  I think it also helped that I stayed fairly active by playing 3-5 hours of volleyball every week during the first trimester and I tend to eat fairly healthy things.

The other symptom women report during the first trimester was extreme fatigue and that did hit me more than morning sickness. Fatigue struck me through earlier bedtimes and naps during the day.  I used to never nap in the middle of the day, but there were some days where as soon as I finished my lunch, I needed a nap to get through the rest of the afternoon. Left to my own devices, I probably could have napped for three hours, but I kept them to 30 minute to 1-hour naps and that seemed to be okay.  Instead of my usual 12am bedtime, I would go to sleep sometimes at 10:30pm!

Because of the fatigue, I didn’t really have energy to do anything productive, which probably accounted for the drop off in blog posts a few months ago.  Sometimes, I would just want to sit on the couch and do nothing. Even watching TV consumed too much energy.

As I made my way through to the second trimester, things swung around gradually. I no longer felt as tired and I could feel my mood picking up as my energy did.  The second trimester really is the best trimester! I suddenly had energy to clean parts of the house, reorganize my closet and make granola!  Now that I’m mid-way through the second trimester, I’m half-dreading the third trimester, which some people say brings back the fatigue. Hopefully, we can get some work done in the baby’s room before then.

The second thing I mentioned was the way people reacted.  The most annoying thing is how people treat you. It’s like you’re no longer your own person. You’re just a container for the baby and you just happen to have arms and legs.  This includes people trying to control what you consume.  Like I said, I think I eat fairly healthy, but constantly getting lectured about eating organic this and preservative free that gets pretty annoying.  And don’t even get me started on the alcohol thing.  I’m not having tumblers of whiskey, folks! Half a glass or a full glass of wine every couple of weeks should be fine. Women in previous decades did it and we’re not inundated with hoards of malformed adults, are we? People in Europe do it and they seem to have perfectly healthy children.  I just get annoyed by this whole thing because it seems like yet another way men are trying to control women’s bodies.

Another annoying thing is people treating you like you have an illness.  Every time my parents see me, they ask me how I am in the tone of voice reserved for people on their deathbed.  It’s pregnancy, not cancer, people. On that subject, I’m tired of talking about how I feel. Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I don’t have other feelings unrelated to it.

Then comes the inappropriate questions. I’m really amazed at the questions people who are mere acquaintances ask Will and me about intimate subjects.  One of my favorites is, “Was it planned? Were you guys trying?”  I would like to reply to that with an honest answer, “His penis did not accidentally ejaculate into my vagina.”  If people are offended by that, why would they ask such an intimate question in the first place?

In the spirit of inappropriate questions, here’s a FAQ:

Q: Did you get morning sickness?
A: No.

Q: Do you have weird cravings?
A: Not really. I’ve always liked weird food and food combinations, so even if I did, I don’t think I would have noticed.

Q: What is it?
A: A baby! Are you asking if it’s a boy or a girl? We don’t know and even if we did, we’re not telling people.

Q: Why aren’t you telling people the sex of the baby?
A: (short version) We don’t want a ton of gendered clothing or toys like pink frilly dresses or a bunch of baseball mitts.
A: (long, annoying version) The kid will have plenty of time in its life where gender expectations will be put on it. We’re trying to limit that for now.

Q: Was it planned?
A: It’s not like he tripped and fell into my vagina on accident.

Q: How long were you trying?
A: Are you asking how long it takes us when we have sex? That’s kind of a personal question, no?

Q: Why didn’t you mention it on Facebook?
A: I don’t like it when my friends’ feeds get taken over by baby news, so I don’t do it myself.

Q: Can you post an ultrasound?
A: I find it creepy that people want to see what’s inside my vagina.

Q: When is the shower?
A: We’re not having one.

Q: Why not??
A: I find them boring.  Throwing a party so that people can buy me stuff also makes me feel icky.

 

AND the number one annoying thing about being pregnant, even before I started to show, is all the people touching my stomach!  It’s not just a little creepy, it’s A LOT creepy. You wouldn’t touch a normal woman’s stomach for no reason, why would you touch a pregnant woman’s stomach? Sure, its large size probably makes it a satisfying target, but it’s still a part of the woman’s body!

Yes, I know I’m lucky to be pregnant because there are lots of people out there trying to conceive but can’t and I’m just taking my fertility for granted. But still, have some common courtesy people.  Pregnant women are people too.