Most women find the second trimester to be a more emotionally stable time than the first. The surge in pregnancy hormones that took you by surprise in the early months now levels off, as do your emotions. You’ll probably find your reactions to events a bit less dramatic now. Even better, most moms we talked with told us their fourth month feelings were usually happier. Other feelings you may have include:
After the twelfth week of pregnancy the chance of miscarriage nearly vanishes, so unless you’ve actually experienced miscarriage, any fear that you could lose this baby can be put aside. You are also likely to feel relieved to be past the constant nausea and tiredness of early pregnancy. Of course, some women continue to feel these pregnancy symptoms during the next few months, but usually to a much lesser degree.
Now that you are showing that you have a biological reason for feeling and acting the way you do, and you may be more eager to share the news with friends and relatives. If you previously kept your pregnancy private, the secret is now out – literally. Depending on your body build and the way you carry your baby, you may be showing only slightly at this stage, leading observers to wonder: “Is she or isn’t she?” When you begin to show is a good time to tell.
Starting to show, hearing baby’s heartbeat, seeing him or her on ultrasound, and even suspecting you feel the first kicks make your pregnancy seem more real. These signs will intensify your feelings of closeness with your baby and your realization that this tiny little person inside is really part of you.
Even with all the positive feelings you’re likely to experience this month, you may still feel somewhat unsure about pregnancy. Yes, you’re over the hump of first trimester miseries, but you still have six more months to go. Some women dread the continued uncertainty over how they will feel. Fresh from the throes of nausea, they may nervously anticipate the later stages of pregnancy when getting around will be difficult. Other women report that they are already tired of waiting, of the feeling that their lives are on hold while they gestate. One woman we know told us she yearned to simply feel like her “old self” again. Fortunately, this ambivalence generally decreases as the pregnancy advances.
Now that you actually look like a pregnant person it’s normal for those doubts you had on positive-pregnancy-test day to resurface. Are you ready to have a baby? Are you ready to change your lifestyle, career, and marriage? Are you ready to be someone’s mother? It’s normal to have these feelings, at this stage, now that the pregnancy seems more real. Major life changes always bring about “what ifs”. Certainly, pregnancy and parenthood are major life changes, and you’d be unusual if you weren’t at least a bit concerned about how you’re going to cope with them. Thinking about these issues now will make it easier to weather the adjustments after birth. This is time to get worry in perspective. What possible good has worrying ever done anyone? If your worrying fits a pattern you are only too familiar with, consider finding someone (a wise friend, a pastor, even a professional counselor) you can talk with.
While some women become anxious, even resentful, about their changing bodies, a great many enjoy their fuller figures, even flaunt them. Growing a baby is a big achievement, and now that you have visible proof of your success you, too, may feel quite proud. You should. Pregnancy is an important rite of passage for a woman, and deserves to be celebrated. You are joining your mother, her mother, her mother, and so on, in creating life – it’s heady to have such power. Let your pregnant self-image be a positive one.
As your turbulent insides begin to settle and your energy returns, you will probably feel like living again, and for many women that includes sex. Depending on how well you feel physically and emotionally, you may even begin to want and enjoy sex more than you did before you were pregnant. If you experienced the usual sexual low of the first trimester, your heightened interest in love-making may be a pleasant surprise for your mate, especially if you are the one doing the initiating.
Now that you’re showing, friends who kept bugging you to play tennis in your first trimester suddenly believe you when you say you’re too tired. Your spouse may be more attentive to you now that he can finally see with his own eyes why you’ve been dragging, or acting so weird. Of course, you would have liked all this consideration last month, when you felt so bad.