The second trimester is supposedly the best of the three.
You’ve survived the first trimester and all of the vomiting, napping and secret-keeping that entailed.
But you’re not yet into the physical exhaustion and backache of the final stretch.
This is supposed to be your favourite trimester. Your pregnancy secret is out, but the end isn’t really in sight yet.
You can bask in the loving attention of your friends and family without having to panic too much about the birth (that’s still ages away).
10 Ways You Know You’re In Your Second Trimester
As far as pregnancy goes, your second trimester should provide you with a much-needed break from the pregnancy symptoms that have been having such an impact on your daily life.
Many women say the second trimester gives them a healthy glow, a gorgeous head of hair and boundless energy.
That doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing, though. You’re still busy growing another human being, after all.
Of course, you might not be one of those more fortunate women. Other women often complain about acne, greasy hair and haemorrhoids.
Here are 10 ways you know you’re in your second trimester:
#1: You Can’t Look Your Boss In The Eye
Or the postman. Or the woman who works behind the checkout at the supermarket. Or your neighbour. Why?
Because you have had sexy dreams about them all. The pregnancy hormones seem to have permanently turned you on. You can’t take a nap without dreaming about seducing somebody you have never fancied before.
It’s all that extra blood flow to your genitals, and the extra estrogen. Surely it could be put to good use with your partner, or a hot movie star. But no, your sex-crazed mind will drag any non-sexy person in for your fantasies.
#2: You Keep Waking Up In A Panic Thinking You’ve Broken Your Leg
Well, that’ll serve you right for having such energetic sex dreams. If you wake up screaming, in excruciating pain because you think you’ve broken your leg, it’s probably the leg cramp many women experience during the second trimester.
Seriously, there is no pain like it. And it’s not a nice way to be woken out of an arousing dream about the bus driver you encountered that morning.
#3: You Have To Hire A Hair Stylist
After years of doing your own hair each morning, now you have to add a hair stylist to your team of staff. The pregnancy hormones have given you a mane Black Beauty would be jealous of. You have more hair than you know what to do with.
Ok, some of it isn’t ideal (belly hair, anyone?), but the glossy locks on your head could bag you a job as a shampoo model. You’d have to get a body double to do the shower scene though; not many shampoo brands would choose women with pregnancy hormone-induced hairy bellies to advertise their products.
#4: You Have A Leading Role In A Horror Movie
Have you seen The Skin Stretchers? It’s this really gory movie about a woman who is tormented by the unbearable pain of her skin stretching. It takes place mostly in a large bathtub, where the woman weeps as her stomach grows bigger and bigger – so huge she fears her skin might actually tear.
It’s a bit like the scene from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory where Violet Beauregarde turns into a giant blueberry, except you don’t turn purple and roll away, you just keep crying in the bath forever. It’s probably not going to break any box office records.
#5: People Keep Saying You Must Be Due Any Day Now
Not doctors or midwives talking here, just older women on the street. They can’t just smile and keep walking. Oh, no. Instead they make a beeline for you so they can tell you you must be due any day now. Because you’re HUGE.
There are only so many times you can politely say, “Actually, I have another three months to go”, as people recoil in horror, before you go home and Google ‘world’s biggest baby’.
The only thing that makes you feel better is seeing women who actually are about to pop because, boy oh boy, they really are huge. Go and find one and stand next to her. It will make you feel better.
#6: You Have Given Up Sleep
It’s a good thing the first trimester fatigue is behind you, because you wouldn’t be able to sleep anymore anyway. As soon as you lie down in bed at night, your baby (the world’s most evil genius) starts the nightly acrobatic performance in your belly.
This includes leaps and jumps on your bladder, violent somersaults that contort your bump, and death-defying stretches that manage to cause you pain in both your diaphragm and your vagina at the same time.
#7: You Know What Your Round Ligaments Are
You’ve had them all your life, but you’ve never paid any attention to them before. They’ve just existed peacefully in your body. Well, not any more.
Now those stupid round ligaments are trying single-handedly to drive you insane. The pain is so sharp and sudden it feels like you’re being stabbed. But it’s “totally normal” according to your midwife, Dr Google and every pregnancy forum you check.
Apparently, feeling like you’re being repeatedly stabbed is yet another beautiful pregnancy symptom. Don’t worry, though, it’ll probably only hurt when you walk, sneeze, cough, laugh or breathe. The rest of the time you’ll be totally fine.
#8: Your Nightly Routine Makes You Feel Like A Boxer
Every night before bed you spit a mouthful of blood into the sink after you clean your teeth. Your toothbrush has taken on a permanent pink tinge thanks to your bleeding gums – yet another side effect of the pregnancy.
The first time it happened you were mortified. Now you use it as a daily opportunity to play Mike Tyson in the mirror (do it).
#9: You Don’t Recognise Yourself Anymore
Ha, look at that woman waddling in that window. Oh wait, that’s not a window, that’s a mirror, and the waddling woman is you. You’ll have a shock each time you catch your reflection in a car window.
Are you really that big? Already? And since when do you waddle?
It’s as though someone has taken your body and replaced it with something completely alien. You look like you’ve swapped bodies with an obese middle aged man with a pot belly and huge boobies.
You barely recognise yourself. It’ll go back to normal after the birth though, right?
#10: You Have A Social Life Again, But You Wish You Didn’t
After 12 weeks of constant sleeping and hiding away from society so people wouldn’t guess you were pregnant, you finally have a social life again. You can go to those family parties, meet your friends for mocktails, and do all of the things you missed during the first trimester. The only problem is you won’t want to.
Now everybody knows about the pregnancy, it’s the only thing anybody wants to talk about. You’re seriously considering getting a t-shirt printed. It’ll have your due date, whether you know baby’s gender, how you’re feeling, and ‘No, you can’t touch my bump’ (in caps and bold).
Warning: If you think these comments from strangers are frustrating, they have nothing on the ‘Any twinges?’ and similar questions you’ll endure in the final weeks of your pregnancy.
Then you really will want to punch everybody.