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Second Trimester, I Love You

15w1d – For nearly four months, I have discredited essentially every bit of advice I’ve received from every well-meaning woman (and the occasional brave guy) who has tossed some my way. This, I recognize, may have been short-sighted. Yes, I value the prenatal experiences of the people in my world, and I don’t doubt that they have unearthed some serendipitously helpful life hacks along their respective pregnancy paths. And no, no no no, I certainly haven’t known the right or best ways to maneuver through my first trimester—ask The Mister about my genius plan to “you know, cook the whole week’s dinners today so that I only have to smell the vegetables one time rather than each night.” (No one was washing squash in the sink after that.)

But this being my third time hopping the baby train this year, I knew my pregnancy experiences didn’t resemble any of my friends’ or families’, and so I was hesitant to accept their self-earned smarts. I’m fully aware how obstinate this is, and—now that I’m in a place where I have some perspective on a “normal” pregnancy—I can see how much I might have gained by listening (give in to sized-up pants; don’t go switching face washes while your hormones are berserk; try, really, to move every few days, even if you don’t come close to a sweat). But if it didn’t come tumbling from the mouth of my midwife, the woman I hold wholly responsible for my making it through even two initial months of pregnancy, it was advice I let blow right by.

Except for one piece. Just wait for the second trimester, they all said. You will not believe how good you feel.

And oh, how right—how blessedly, sagely right—they were. A little over a week ago, I awoke to Technicolor. My bladder and I had slept through the night. I sat up without head-swims, and my first thought was to take the dog for a walk, as I’d done for the past four years, minus the prior 13 weeks.  A single breakfast was enough to sate me until lunch, during which I craved a carrot. Three p.m. came and went, and I forgot all about my nap. Then I stayed awake until 9!

I was back.

And while I’ve not since begun any schmancy new exercise regimes or taken on some massive reorganization project like some of the pregnancy guides suggest I might now be game for, I am considering things such as Which vegetable that I’ve avoided for three months should I reintroduce tonight? and Which rightly pissed-off friends whose invitations I’ve turned down consistently recently must I now grovel to?

It’s time to clean up the wreckage left by my first trimester, and slowly take in all the possibility of the coming 25 weeks. When a friend asked how I was feeling two months ago, I told her early pregnancy was like being simultaneously drunk and hung over every single day. The second trimester, then, is like the goodness you feel two mornings after a (rare! Very, very rare, Mom!) bender of a night out: Whew, yesterday was rough, but the world is much brighter today!

First order of business in this middle stretch of pregnancy: Be open to hearing how best to make it through. You tell me—what do I need to know?

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