Everything you read about the second trimester being the honeymoon phase is true. Totally true. It is like after week 13 you walk through some magical door that delivers you to pregnancy bliss. So blissful you cannot even feel that you are pregnant any more – no nausea, no indigestion, no bathroom breaks all night long, no more fatigue. You feel…dare I say…normal?
Of course all you need to do is look down at your ever-expanding belly to realize that you are, indeed, pregnant. That feeling normal is just a 13 week phase. The discomfort will return soon enough. But it is like someone gave you a break in the middle just to keep your faith alive. To lure you into thinking I could do this again one day. To butter you up just enough before you are whale-sized in the middle of the Midwesterner summer with ass sweat soaking through your elastic band pants and a belly sticking out that makes you look like a snake who swallowed a large animal.
Not that I have nightmares about that very scenario.
Believe it. Believe it all. I didn’t think I would ever feel normal again, and here it is. ME. No more leaving tea pots of boiling water on the stove until the water completely boils away! No more mistakenly pouring kibble into my bowl in the morning instead of oatmeal. No more fog in my brain. It is clear! I have a brain after all!
Though after going upstairs to blowdry my hair, I did forget if I fed Boss his dinner kibble. So far forgotten that I had to sniff to see if I could smell kibble on his breath, undecided, so I brought Boss to Chris who was riding his bike and said I need you to smell Boss’ breath. All Chris came up with was “smells like dog” so I gave Boss another ¼ cup of kibble and when he immediately went to the couch eating it I declared him overfed. Which is better than burning the house down.
Here are a few other delights of the second trimester:
1 – I can walk up the stairs without being winded.
2 – It no longer feels like I am running at altitude.
3 – I can tolerate the taste of peanut butter again.
4 – I smelled coffee the other day in the store and I had to turn my head to see where it was coming from; there is still hope, my friends, I will return from the decaffeinated dead when this is all done.
5 – I still fit into my jeans.
That’s right, while all of you might be swimming 4000 yards on the 1:15 interval, biking up mountains backwards (single-legged drills all the way!), running 8 miles at a 6:00 pace then doing a little hot yoga followed by weights, I still fit into my jeans at 16 weeks pregnant.
I win today. And every other day that I still fit into them.
Most noticeably my energy has returned to normal. I have the energy to work out a little longer but of course it is all still easy. Except sometimes in the pool. Sometimes in the pool I like to pick up the pace for a 50. But I will say that my picking up the pace right now has an upper limit that my body will not let me go beyond. My picking up the pace for a 50 right now is still over 5 seconds slower than my usual “hard” 50 pace. The body is smart. I believe it won’t let you do anything stupid in pregnancy unless you try to override it. I have not attempted the system override because it is not worth it. This is a life I am creating here. Not a personal swim best.
I've been swimming more because I am preparing for the Mini Monster Swim. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know that every year in February my masters swim team do a monster swim of 100 x 100 on the 100. I LOVE THIS SWIM! When I signed up this year, the coach said I will put you in for the 75s! Wait...what? I am might be pregnant but that doesn’t mean I am going to swim 75s on the 1:40 interval. Maybe if I do them all backstroke or single-arm. I will make the interval for 100s with plenty of time to spare. And to drink. And to eat Rice Krispie Treats (the best fuel for this swim). I will only do 5,000* yards because 10,000 yards would be too much stress on the body and baby.
*And I have permission to use fins or paddles at my discretion. If anyone calls me out for doing this, I will pee in the pool. Do not provoke the pregnant lady. You have been warned.
Lately I have also felt a strange calm. Maybe it is all the relaxin and progesterone pumping through my body but mostly I feel totally relaxed. Right now there is nothing to worry about. I mean, it’s too early to decorate a nursery or buy the one-million-and-one things I will need for baby, or register at the hospital or fill out the release to get my maybe-future-son circumcised (seriously, the doctor gave me a giant folder and that was one of the forms, like a field trip permission slip for your kid except this one involves the penis). There is nothing right now that I can do so I am relaxing and worrying about nothing at all!
The only thing that is not going well right now is sleep. Every night I wake up around 3:30 to, of course, pee but then I cannot stay asleep. I wake up about a dozen times, tossing and turning. Sometimes I wake up to find myself on my back, get all freaked out because you are technically not supposed to sleep on your back, so then I have to toss and turn again. I read that your metabolism rises in pregnancy so you are more restless plus all of the disruptions (discomfort, need to pee) make you get less deeper sleep. I feel like I sleep maybe 5 hours and then just go through the motions for the rest of the time. I know in a few months, 5 hours of continuous sleep will feel like eternity.
So I am not complaining.
Chris seems to be getting more maternal every day. You learn a lot about your spouse when you are pregnant. You see their true character. Chris has already nested in the house by installing new tile floor, painting the entire living room (including our 20 foot walls), weatherstripping the doors, announcing that we need to get rid of some bikes (shocking) and buying a new car. Yes, a few months ago I declared the Ghetto Honda unfit for baby occupancy. Over 12 years old, it smells like armpit, you could get a coffee buzz from licking the seat cushions, it is rusted, dented and – it’s biggest fault – stick shift. A new car is long overdue – and will thankfully arrive before I am due!
The other interesting thing about the second trimester is that you can finally feel your uterus rising. Before pregnancy I didn’t even know what or where my uterus was (do I have two?). Now I can feel it rising like a ridge underneath the belly button. By the end of pregnancy it will be right below the chest. Crazy how something so small can expand that large. But then again I might be pushing a 10 pound baby out of my….ouch. Chris was 10 pounds when he was born, his mother is 4’11” and dammit if she can do it, well if I need to…I will do it too.
But I am hoping that since I was 6 pounds at birth, you add 10 + 6, divide by 2 and get a healthy 6 pound baby.
I never said I was good at math.
Speaking of big things, I have to thank Angela Kidd for giving me a big bag of help-me-I-am-too-pregnant-for-my-real-clothes clothes. When she handed it over, she warned me not to look at the size of the shirts or else I would get scared about how big I could get. That night of course I looked at the shirts.
And I got scared.
But I’m not obsessing about it - yet. That is what the third trimester is for. And I’ve definitely got some more honeymooning to do before then.