Week 26 is the last week of the second trimester. The baby is about 2 pounds and about 10 inches in length. This is a great time for a 3D ultrasound if you want to get an idea what the baby looks like. At weeks 26 the facial features have filled out, there is fat under the skin, and the baby is not so big as to obscure the face with arms and legs. These ultrasounds are fun and safe. Remember these are not medical ultrasounds.
Braxton-Hicks contractions are very common at this time in pregnancy. Braxton-Hicks contractions are tightening of the uterus. These may last from 15-45 seconds. When you are having a Braxton-Hicks contraction your entire abdomen will get into a tight ball and then relax after a short time. The difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and contractions that represent preterm labor is primarily the frequency. As long as there are less than 6 contractions in an hour you are safe. If you have 6 or more contractions in an hour you should drink lots of fluid and lay down. If there are 6 or more contractions in that second hour you need to call your doctor or head to labor and delivery to be checked. Common reasons for preterm contractions are dehydration and urinary tract infections. Make sure you are drinking plenty of liquids.
You are finishing the second trimester. At 26 weeks you are 2/3 of the way done. As you enter the third trimester you can plan on things becoming more difficult. As you continue to grow there will be more discomforts and aches and pains. This is normal and expected. Keep your eyes on the prize; the baby will make it all worth while.