Almost every pregnancy book and article I've read claims the second trimester is the best. Authors cite the fact that this period is when most pregnant people stop feeling like crap, get to see their baby during the anatomy screening ultrasounds, feel baby kicks, and start to actually look pregnant. These things are sometimes true, but in my experience, the second trimester is the hardest. No question about it.
After being pregnant three times, I am totally not on "the second trimester is awesome" train. You see, I discovered that most of the things that other people seemingly enjoy about the second trimester were damn lies, at least for me. When I entered the second trimester of my last pregnancy, my nausea and exhaustion actually got worse, not better. And while it was fun to start showing, and to actually look pregnant, as my belly grew my body started to hurt. I was uncomfortable, tired, and disheartened by the fact that I wasn't even close to my due date. It's one thing to be in pain during the third trimester, when you are counting down the weeks or days until you meet your baby, but it's an entirely different thing when you have three to six months of this bullsh*t left to go.
There are other things that are supposed to be fun once you surpass your first trimester that, well, aren't. Your second trimester screening ultrasound isn't actually enjoyable if your baby is at risk of birth defects or abnormalities, and when that screening is over everyone will want to know the gender of your baby. I thought it was so weird, because gender is a social construct and people were literally asking about my baby's genitals. Gross.
So while you may disagree, I think the second trimester is actually the hardest, and for the following reasons:
Because You're Probably Still Puking
Not only did my nausea and vomiting not disappear, but people seemed to want to comment about it every single time they heard that I "still" had morning sickness. It was like I was a some kind of super secret medical mystery or something. It turned out it wasn't morning sickness, it was hyperemesis gravidarum. I felt like I had to list off all of the things I had tried to cure it, at least once a day, to somehow "prove" I wasn't "milking" the whole vomit thing.
Because You Start To Show
Showing also meant I had to talk about my pregnancy with random strangers on the street. Every few minutes I'd have to say: "Yes, I'm pregnant. No, I'm only five months along. No, I'm not having twins."
Because People Will Start Touching You
In my experience, people lose all sense of social decency when they encounter a pregnant person. So, if you are like me and you hate random people touching you, it's gonna suck.
Because You're Not Even Close To Being Done
Then, there's the waiting — for results of tests, to feel your baby move, for viability. I am not a patient person. It's one thing to wait a few weeks, but during the second trimester you have months to wait before you meet your baby.
Because It Can Be Stressful
I generally found pregnancy to be exciting, but the second trimester was almost too exciting. I was so anxious. I'm the kind of person who Googles every symptom, ache, pain, or random thought. This is a terrible idea in generally, but it's especially idiotic when you are pregnant.
Because Your Body Starts To Hurt
Because Sleep Troubles
When I was in my first trimester I could fall asleep anywhere, anytime, and sometimes without trying. During my second trimester, however, there was no sleep to be had. I couldn't get comfortable in bed, and no matter how many pregnancy pillows I tried I couldn't manage to get a decent night's rest if I was sleeping on my left side, like my midwife recommended. Then pregnancy insomnia started, and nine years later I still can't sleep. I'm so tired, you guys.
Because You Have To Announce Your Pregnancy At Work
When I was pregnant for the second time I had some pretty good reasons for not announcing my pregnancy at work. But when that second trimester rolled around, there was no hiding it. It sucked so much.
Because "Gender" Reveals
I hate so-called "gender" reveals. For one, there's a marked difference between physical anatomy and your child's eventual gender identity. Plus, why do people care? It's not relevant (or shouldn't be relevant) to how we treat babies. So yeah, as excited as I was to see my little one on the ultrasound screen, I absolutely didn't care or want to share whether or not they had a penis.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.