As the lights go down on trimester one, the next act comes to centre stage – welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to trimester number two! Weeks 13-28 are often referred to as the honeymoon phase of pregnancy because all the woes of trimester 1 start to dissipate, leaving you with only the joy of the prospect of a brand new little life to love and cherish forever and always. This is actually somewhat accurate.
Around this time was when my extreme exhaustion started to vanish and that icky bloating started to take the shape of an actual baby bump (I finally popped at around 22 weeks), which meant one thing: people became nice as hell. I’m talking freakishly nice. Nicer than they’ve ever been. Holding doors, offering seats on public transportation, appearing in the blink of an eye if they spotted me bending down to pick something up. If you’re smart, when you reach this point in your pregnancy, you’ll kick your damn feet up and take full advantage of all the help you’re getting thrown at you, because people love doing shit for pregnant women. Do you hear me? THEY LOVE IT.
Also, since you’re finally able to tell people about your little peanut, you are constantly getting lovely text messages and phone calls congratulating you and you’re greeted by big smiles and hugs whenever you have a chance run-in with people you know when you’re out and about (If you live in a big city like I do, you will find this to be a welcome change from the resting bitch face you’re accustomed to receiving from people on the street).
For someone who hates surprises (me), the 20-week ultrasound is a major highlight of the second trimester. First of all, it marks the halfway point in your pregnancy (hooray!). Second of all, you get to see something on the screen that looks less like a kidney bean and more like a baby (score!); and, God willing, this is the point when you get the ‘all-clear’ that all organs and extremities are locked and loaded and on their way to being ready for life on the outside. Thirdly, you finally get to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl (woohoo!). Now you can cut the baby name options in half and get crackin’ on some nursery plans.
In the name of full disclosure I should tell you that this ultrasound doesn’t necessarily only bear good news… During my follow up appointment, I was told that my babe had a something called a Single Umbilical Artery (SUA), which is an umbilical cord that has 2 arteries carrying blood between mom and baby rather than the normal 3 arteries.* Although I was told not to worry, I consulted my good-for-nothing “friend” Google again and nearly had a heart attack. Once again, it was horror stories galore. But I’ll tell you, one really good thing that came of this: I was given strict instructions to keep my stress levels as low as possible (perrrrfect – not like I was in the middle of moving or anything!). So after my initial google-induced freak out, I committed to remaining as cool as a cucumber for the rest of my pregnancy. I strongly suggest you take that vow as well (SUA or no SUA). Chill pregnant ladies are happy pregnant ladies.
So what do you do after receiving news like that? You book a fucking vacation, that’s what. After taking 3 weeks to settle into our brand new home, we promptly packed our bags and headed to St. Maarten to sit on our asses and do nothing for an entire week. It was perfect. Travelling during week 26 of pregnancy was fabulous. I was energetic enough to be able to run around the airport terminal, petite enough to be comfortable in my airplane seat (well, as comfortable as you can be on airplanes these days) and pregnant enough to rock an adorable little baby bump with a bikini. We downed virgin piña coladas and made a toast to the end of an all round pretty damn good 3 months as we anxiously awaited the trimester that everyone bitches about the most.
*as long as all other organs are functioning properly, babies with SUAs are only monitored closely toward the end of the pregnancy as they run a small chance of having their growth impeded as they get closer to becoming full term. Although we were monitored, my little guy’s growth was perfectly normal and he was born healthy and happy 10 days past his due date.