I remember once, many years ago, when the term “trimester” held very little meaning to me. I understood that it was a segment of time in the span of a pregnancy and that there were three of them. That was about it.
But once pregnancy comes to you, and it is a real and hard fact, trimesters take on a whole new meaning. They are like ages of humankind. There is the Dark Age, arguably the first trimester. There is the Modern Age: the third. And there is the Golden Age, which is without a doubt the second trimester.
First, the Dark Age.
Perhaps it seems ungrateful for me to speak so disparagingly of those first three months. Yes, it was a joyful time. Yes we were thrilled to learn Marta was pregnant. We basked in the glow of this. We walked with a slight bounce in our step (or rather I did, as Marta’s not really the bounce-walk type). But there were also barbarian invasions, and feudalism and a lack of artistic production–metaphorically speaking, of course.
As proof, please turn to Exhibit A: the What to Expect bible. According to these experts, “What You Might be Feeling”during the First Trimester includes: Fatigue, lack of energy, sleepiness/ Frequent urination/ Nausea, with or without vomiting/ Excess saliva/ Constipation/ Heartburn, indigestion, flatulence, and bloating.
A quick stroll through other pregnancy blogs offers up these additional descriptors: Hell, Horror, Frustration, Survival, Dry Heave, Puke-tastic, Sucks.
Of course I have nothing to complain about. I am the non-pregnant partner, after all. This hell is Marta’s alone. It was she who could eat nothing but yogurt for eight days straight. She was the one who woke listless and dizzy. She who began to burp like a choo-choo train after every meal. She who was assaulted by smells at every turn.
And yet, now that she’s entered the Golden Age, it is undeniable that my life has also improved. I can make a meal and Marta will actually eat it. Better yet she can help with the cooking. And the other chores. She has started making jokes again. She wants to take walks, can snuggle without feeling like vomiting, and–gasp!–is even entertaining the idea of going out for Indian food (at a particularly dark moment during the Dark Ages, Marta stoically informed me that she might never, for the rest of her life, want Indian food again).
In sum, I have my partner back.
And she’s beautiful. The little bump of Balduino is beginning to show. She seems calm. And content.
It’s a glorious age, this second trimester. The midwives call it the Honeymoon: a moment of bliss before the bulk really sets in. Because, they’ve warned us, the Third Trimester won’t be easy. Not as bad as the First, but also nothing like the serenity of the Second.
So perhaps Modern Age is not the right way to imagine the Third Trimester. I’ll let you know when we get there.