We have now survived the second trimester and are headed straight into this Missouri summer for the third.  Just as everyone told me, the second trimester was a breeze.  Most days, I even forgot I was pregnant.  No nausea, no headaches, no aches or pains, no aversions to food, and for me, not even any crazy cravings.  However, there were still a few things I didn't fully expect.

Shopping is no longer fun.
I love shopping, so this whole needing a completely new wardrobe thing should have been fun, but has turned out to be a real downer.  First of all, there are so few places to even shop for maternity clothes.  And then, after you find those places, they have one rack (or less) in their maternity "department".  Sure, there's Motherhood Maternity, but I have found it to be overpriced for the quality, and somewhat out of style.  Also, why would you cram as much as possible into an extremely small space with teeny tiny aisles for a bunch of women with protruding bellies, when most of them are pushing a stroller?  And, if you are going to cram your little space with clothes, then carry all the sizes.  Every time I finally find something I like, they don't have it in my size...and they don't plan on getting it in stock, either.  So, I've resorted to doing a lot of online shopping...and returning.  Why make a dress for anyone, much less a pregnant woman, that you can completely see through?  And who knew pregnant women weren't allowed to wear white capri pants?  I started looking for that summer staple back in February.  No luck at all.  Motherhood Maternity finally got a pair in a few weeks ago, and they are exactly what I was looking for, but unless I want to go commando underneath, they're not going to work.  And what about skirts above the ankle?  We're hot!  Make some shorter skirts!  And while you're at it, make some in white!  And last but not least, as if trying on everything before you were six months pregnant wasn't exhausting enough...

You will pee when you sneeze.
I swore this was not going to happen to me, until it did.  I remember standing in front of the oven, working on dinner, when I sneezed and simultaneously peed.  It happened very early on in the second trimester, actually, so I thought I had a long road ahead of changing my underwear several times a day.  But, I started a prenatal fitness class which incorporates a lot of Kegels and pelvic floor exercises, and I swear it has worked.  I've sneezed, coughed, and laughed a lot since, and haven't peed again...yet.

Prenatal classes can help you meet other pregnant women.
But they won't if you're the only person in the class.  I signed up for a prenatal fitness class thinking it would be a fun way to stay fit during the last two trimesters and meet other pregnant women.  But, apparently no one else out here in the country wants to stay fit while they're pregnant.  It's great for me though, because now I basically just have a personal trainer every week.

You won't be able to breathe when you bend over.
I thought it would be the eighth or ninth month before this happened, but no.  I already dread tying my shoes or rolling up my jeans.  Haven't yet figured out how I'm going to put my new Jamberry nails on my toes tomorrow for my cousin's wedding.  I feel bad taking them into the nail salon and asking them to do it.

Everyone has an opinion.
And no one's opinion is the same.  One person says you've gotten "really chunky."  Another says you haven't gained any weight.  (I've gained thirteen pounds so far.)  One person thinks you should name your baby after a family member.  Another thinks you should name him after royalty.  One person says you MUST have the wipe warmer.  Another says it was a total waste.  But no matter what, women will share, which leads me to...

Pregnancy is the way women connect.
I can't believe that all of my adult life I have been an outcast.  I didn't realize until I was showing, that pregnancy will make you tons of friends.  Women that never would have talked to me before will approach me at the gas station and have my ear for ten minutes.  They have questions, they have answers, and of course, they have opinions.  Cliff's theory is that before you have kids, women think you will steal their men.  I just think it's a way for women to connect over something that only we can experience and something that consumes our lives completely.

You will have more energy.
But no matter how much energy you have, you won't get everything done.  We had planned to get the nursery completed while in the second trimester, but we didn't even get started on it until I was already in the third.  I already regret it...see the paragraph on not being able to breathe when you bend over.

Pregnancy brain is real.
I am so tired of being dumb.  I don't mean the time I was looking for my keys and they were in my hand.  I did that before I was pregnant.  I mean the time I paid for everything at the store, then walked off without it.  Or, the time I went to the wrong school for my brother-in-law's graduation.  Or the time I parked in Kansas City and then couldn't remember where I had left the car until we had walked around for 40 minutes.

Husbands and partners may put up with more than we do during pregnancy.
This whole experience may be even tougher for our support systems.  They put up with so much (see the paragraph on pregnancy brain).  Cliff is smart enough to say that he hasn't even noticed I'm cranky, that I haven't gained any weight, and that I don't keep him awake while I toss and turn at night.  He also jumps through hoops to try to accommodate me before I even have to request it.  He eats what I want to eat, he agrees to do anything and everything pregnancy and baby related, and pulls more than his weight in helping around the house.  I can't imagine what it would be like to put up with a real life Russian nesting doll for nine months, but he does it, and he does it with a smile on his face.

So, on to the third trimester, where I'm already freezing Cliff out of the house keeping the A/C at 64 degrees, getting new aches and pains daily, and struggling to sleep comfortably.  But, on the bright side, still no migraines, constipation, or heartburn!  Two months and counting...