As I near the end of my second trimester, it is time for an update. I am realizing the end of what is called the honeymoon phase of pregnancy is waning and we are entering the homestretch. This concerns me. Primarily because I think I missed the honeymoon part.
I will offer the same disclaimer as before. I am grateful that so far this has been an entirely uncomplicated pregnancy. From conception to now (nearly 27 weeks) I have had no issues which are threatening to myself or the fetus. I know I am lucky, and I am grateful. My heart goes out to those moms who have had a much harder time than I have. Truly and sincerely. ❤
But pregnancy, even normal pregnancy, ain’t pretty for most people. There is a weird societal expectation that you are supposed to love and connect with your invisible fetus before she is born and that you are supposed to cherish these moments, because of the miracle of life and blah blah blah.
No thank you.
Here are some of the “miracles” the second trimester has brought:
1. I am still nauseous every day.
This is supposed to go away eventually. For some moms it lasts longer than others. For some, it lasts until they give birth. So far it has been going on for over 20 weeks. This means that I have been nauseous every day (except for maybe 4 or 5 of them) for the past 5 months of my life. Personally, I would rather have a broken leg than nausea. Thank the freaking lord for Zofran. Or I wouldn’t be able to hack it. Zofran and seltzer.
2. I officially look pregnant.
This does not make me feel proud. This makes me feel vulnerable. You know how you can tell when you are talking to someone and they are not looking you in the eye when you speak? No one looks me in the eye anymore. They are all looking at my belly. Sizing it up. Deciding whether I look pregnant enough to say something about it or not. It makes me super uncomfortable. I have gained about 11 pounds now. But I feel like I have gained 50. I am not swollen or anything. My new body shape is just super awkward and weird for me. Yoga is getting strange. Running had to stop (the elliptical is now my friend). Getting off the sofa leaves me out of breath – and I dread getting up to pee in the middle of the night. Clipping my toenails is near impossible. Tying my shoes is a feat. I occasionally run into things with my stomach. I just want my body back.
3. Brian is super into it. I am not.
He looks at me and sees the manifestation of his own virility. I look at me and see a cow. This requires no further explanation.
Brian’s only fear is that my belly button with pop out and then never return to being an “innie” after birth. Apparently “outties” freak him out…
4. I get emotional and pissed about the dumbest shit.
Everything irritates me now. I have no patience. I am grumpy a lot and also quick to snap at people. Also the crying. Jesus. I have never been a crier. Now, I cry when they make my sandwich wrong at Jimmy Johns. I feel like I am not in control of my own brain anymore and it is infuriating. I do not have time for this shit.
5. I am exhausted. For no reason.
I mean, there is a reason. I’m growing a human. So there are some heavy metabolic demands there. But I am a super active person. And now, I have to nap on my days off, and I have to work really hard to stay awake during a long shift. And I cannot keep up with Brian’s weekend plans. I am still exercising. That helps with my energy level sometimes. But if I workout too many days in a row, without a rest day, I end up basically unable to wake up for an entire 24 hour period. I do not have time for this, either. I have shit to do.
6. I don’t just get hungry. I get, like, dinosaur hungry.
And I cannot get enough water. I basically feel dehydrated all the time. The food situation is interesting. When I don’t work out, I am not very hungry at all. But as soon as I go to a yoga class or the gym, I am ravenous for the rest of the day. I literally run out of snack ideas because I snack so much. I am doing the best I can to stay away from added sugar, processed food, high sodium, and white carbs. But I also am having to stay away from too much fruit. Protein and veggies. That is the name of the game. But when you need to eat 12 times a day, those things get boring.
7. I do not like fetal movement.
I am probably the only mom in the world who feels this way. Maybe not. But everyone told me “Oh, when you feel her move you will start to bond with her.” No. There is no bonding. I am excited. I am looking forward to September and to meeting her and learning how to parent with Brian. It is going to be fun. But I do not feel “bonded.” I have trouble calling her a “she” or calling her by name. I still find myself wanting to say “it” and “the fetus.” The movement is honestly annoying. I mean, I get it. It is comforting to know that she is alive and well in there. But it is so irritating when I am trying to live my life and my sides and ribs are getting pummeled by a couple of strange invisible limbs. She loves to kick my bladder, which is a terribly uncomfortable thing. And the rib shots don’t feel so good either. I have found myself vengefully poking her back, actually. Which is ridiculous. And does absolutely no good. But it makes me feel better. It is also a little freaky. There is a small parasitic alien living in my abdomen…and I can feel it moving… *shiver*
8. I cannot sleep at night.
This is partially related to #7. Harper likes to begin practicing her most aggressive karate and dance moves right as I am getting ready to go to sleep. This means I have to get up to pee (because my bladder is her favorite punching bag), and every time I start to drift off I receive a lively side jab which startles me and wakes me back up. But even when she is still, my maternity pillow, while helpful, is no match for what I am dealing with. A husband and a pit bull in the bed…not to mention an ever growing belly. There is not enough room for all of us (the pillow makes four), and I just have a hard time getting comfortable.
9. Most recently, I have begun experiencing PVCs.
Premature ventricular contractions are extra, abnormal heartbeats that begin in one of your heart’s two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing you to feel a flip-flop or skipped beat in your chest. PVCs are not uncommon in pregnant women (or in the general public). We have a lot more blood than we used to and our hearts are working extra hard. I had never had one before (some people get them when they are stressed or had too much caffeine…a PVC every once in a while is no cause for concern). But it is still unnerving when you are sitting around and for a quick second, your heart skips a beat and you can’t breathe.
It amazes me that women get pregnant more than once. It is like we get retrograde amnesia after giving birth and forget how awful the last 38 weeks were because we are too busy looking at that adorable little creature we made. This concerns me. Because I am not confident in my immunity to this particular type of amnesia. I fear I may catch it too. But as of now, the plan is that we adopt any future little ones. I would like my body to remain my body for the remainder of my life.
For all the complaining, I really am lucky so far. My midwives are always telling me that I have a body “made to carry and deliver a baby.” I am tall, healthy, have wide hips, good blood pressure, a positive low stress attitude. All the ingredients for what will hopefully be a successful midwife attended birth. Second trimester down the hatch. And I know it will only get worse from here. The third trimester is not generally a fun one. But in the end, hopefully, we will have a healthy baby girl and I will be able to have an enormous bagel covered in Nova, a lot of sushi, and glass of wine…or two or three…
Third trimester, here I come. Do your worst.