During my first trimester, I tried to describe what being pregnant feels like to someone who’s never been knocked up before (you can read it here).
As it turns out, being pregnant feels different in your second trimester!
That’s the one word I would pick to describe it. Your body feels warm and safe, like you’re wrapped in blankets and pillows in front of a fireplace. Muscles love to be stretched, like silly putty that’s warm from being in your hands. They don’t feel like contracting and working hard, just relaxing and moving and stretching in front of that fireplace. The joints holding them together soften too, letting your whole body relax into this warm and peaceful space. Even your brain becomes softer, letting go of important facts and leaving difficult problems to someone else. The world becomes nicer and happier as your emotions mush together into a soft, warm soup of cuddliness. Everything is tinted rose, perfect and warm and just okay.
Check out: How Relaxin Affects your Pregnant Body
At the same time, definite changes are happening to your body, changes exciting and beautiful and also kind of scary. Your belly is getting bigger. I mean, you’re definitely pregnant. Strangers stare at your belly on the subway. Your sternum – oddly – becomes the smallest part of you, boobs weighing down above it and intestine pushing up from below. Sometimes this feels cramped, like you can’t arch your spine backward enough. After a big meal it can feel hard to breathe; you find yourself holding your hands on your head like you used to do at interval day in cross country. Stairs require a few extra breaths to recover from, and small bursts of movement leave you gasping for recovery time.
And sometimes you get that awful, skin-stretching feeling I’ve come to dread. The feeling there’s no room left inside you for everything that needs to be in there. Your skin becomes tight like it spent too much time in the dryer.
Except that you realize it will only get tighter for the next several months.
Your body’s new limits surprise you each day. Have I always been so clumsy? I thought I used to be able to pick this up without a problem. Omg, do I need help standing up from the couch now?! Was I always able to swing my hips so gracefully to music? Is it just me or am I more flexible than I used to be?
It’s different. Mostly quite pleasant, though definitely weird when you think about just how much your body is changing!
I’m excited to see what third trimester is like. I’m also excited to one day kick butt at the gym again 😉