According to one of the pregnancy books I've been reading, the second trimester ends with the beginning of week 28. I'm almost 27 weeks, which means that I can now officially say hello to swollen body parts (apart from my tummy which, of course, has been swollen for a while now), breathlessness, lower back pain and the inability to walk quickly or without an accompanying pressure on my bladder.
I'm already on quite good terms with sleeplessness, nosebleeds and taking five minutes to change positions on the couch. Last week I was introduced to light-headedness and inconvenient fainting.
The latest bit of terrifying information I've read about it episiotomies. This is when the surgeon makes a cut down there to give the baby a bigger opening to come out of. Apparently if the cut isn't made, sometimes the woman can tear from clitorus to anus. Yikes. It made me think of that bit in Up the Duff where, after reading about caesareans and vaginal births, our pregnant heroine decides she doesn't want either.
I've also started reading books on what to do with the little blighter after the big day. One, What to expect in the first year, is a great big telephone directory-sized book. No doubt everything in there is both useful and accurate, but it makes me wonder why there aren't diplomas in parenthood on offer. After all, looking after a baby is supposed to be very important, and it sounds really hard; yet woman are generally expected to just pick it up somehow, eh?