How in the WORLD are we at 28 weeks pregnant?! I get emotional just looking down at my belly knowing he’s growing in there. Is it weird to say it STILL doesn’t feel real. I don’t think my heart can’t quite grasp just how amazing this all is.
This is a long one but I haven’t updated in so long I am trying to cover a lot of ground!
Baby boy is growing well (and fast may I add)! I have seen such a difference toward the end of my second trimester. My appetite came flying back! Can we just say amen to that? The first 20 or so weeks were tough to eat much of anything. Nothing sounded good besides snow cones and PB sandwiches. Well, that has ALL changed. Just about anything and everything sounds good and I am loving it. It’s so much more fun being able to supply him with good nutrients (and a few indulgences) and enjoy eating in again. I try to not indulge into toooooo many bad cravings but definitely eat more in general when the orders come up from the belly to do so! I’m just listening to my body and him and it’s saying he needs lots even if it means getting out of bed for a late night cereal.
How is he? Mays is doing great! We thank God daily for him moving around in there! I actually didn’t feel kicks until rather late due to his positioning, so it is very fun to see/feel him move now! He was in the 72%tile at my check up a month ago and I figured it was due to my quickly increased appetite and his growth around then. Now he is at 42%tile but still growing great at 2lbs 2.oz. He still has some “bright bowel”, issue which essentially is extra blood in his abdomen. They think this is what caused the neural tube defect test to turn positive. (Thank the Good Lord he is seemingly healthy so far.) This has caused the specialist to follow his growth very carefully every month with an anatomy exam. We may have to undergo more tests at my next exam if that doesn’t start to clear up more. My doctor also has all IVF patients undergo a heart echo, which he passed! Overall, he seems like a perfectly healthy growing boy!
Do you workout? I was very lucky through summer to be staying at our parents houses who both had a pool in between our move to Houston. This enabled me to swim laps a good 5 times a week! Austin and I went on walks more days than we didn’t as well. I pair my light cardio with a small arm workout with a 1lb weight. YES 1LB is enough for me! I tend to bulk up with weights so I try to do lean muscle building with body weight alone or small weights. I started doing my “arm exercises” in the car on our mega road trip. It was an easy way to kill a quick 15-20 min and get a small exercise in while driving. With appetite growing, then came Mays growing a lot, then came my body really starting to take a toll on the new change. I grew up a gymnast and have had troubles with neck, back, hips, knees, feet… you name it… my whole life! I thought pregnancy would be super hard on my body and I was so happy for over half of it to have been a breeze! Until now. Now, I feel it. We have been moving for what seems like weeks getting settled and that has taken a toll on my body. Although, good cardio and lots of moving around… it’s bending over, on my feet long hours and perhaps the blow up mattress for a week didn’t help either. I am excited to begin my new workout routine for third tri this week along with a massage to get realigned!
How much have you gained? Somewhere in the second trimester, all my clothes stopped fitting! Sometimes I wonder how my workout shorts can be so small even under the belly! It ALL grows people. Especially when you have a short torso, so you have no “under belly” normal size. It’s all a bump. I NEVER weigh myself and honestly have always weighed more than I look my whole life, so I try not to concentrate on a number. We kind of had to guess since I didn’t know my exact start weight but my doctor was super happy with the amount I have gained so far 12lbs. (ISH) and probably have another 12-15 to go this trimester!
How are your emotions? Luckily, I have not been too bad! I think I was actually low on hormones prior to becoming pregnant, so the extra hormones actually level me out some! I do get sappy emotional occasionally but honestly, that is also kind of my personality? Having Austin off work has super helped all this though. It has been stressful at times not knowing where we would be living, doctor situations, living out of a suitcase etc. but Austin tells me constantly “how cool I am pregnant”. I do have to bite my lip to not ask, “does that mean I am not cool when I’m not?!?!?!?” 🙂 I hope I can stay “cool” after…..
Where are the best places to register? I found registering at BuyBuyBaby (BBB) and Babylist were the best for me! I loved the BBB app and how it has SO many products to keep in one location. I also get coupons through there all the time that make purchasing anything going out of stock soon really easy. Babylist is great for those items that area on random websites. Lots of people tell me to register at all places to get the welcome basket and the discount but I am more of a simple person and like to avoid clutter. When registering make sure to put your delivery date earlier than it is so you can get your final discount early! Since I already had my baby shower I moved mine up quite a bit so I can start ordering the rest of the items myself soon! I did register privately on Amazon for all my personal care items for labor and postpartum where I will get a coupon for a final large purchase as well. Interested in my favorite items and what I registered for? Search here>> BBB Registry. Babylist Registry.
What are some cravings? I don’t really have any “crazy” cravings! Lately it’s been anything cold or sweet. Cereal. PB&J. Yogurt. OJ. Fruit. Chocolate. Cake. Ice Cream. To name a few. My husband says that I disappear at the check out line and he always thinks I forgot something… only to come back with something super random that I didn’t need. This past time was Ego Waffles. I still don’t love meat, but I will tolerate small portions of it hidden in something else. Straight meat? Nah. I do enjoy salads and veggies still!
Are you ready? I think we really are! I find myself not stressing so much about how to do each thing when he arrives and to just trust my motherly instincts and the Good Lord to help us. I have lots to do in the nursery still but overall am not stressed about his arrival! My goal is to have everything ready by the end of October, hospital bag and all, so we can relax and enjoy time together until he comes. I have a few more books to read and our home birthing class but we figure there is plenty of time for that!
What is your birth plan? OHHHH the controversial and also sometimes nosy question. Honestly, I am happy to share ours because we have found it to be very beautiful to learn about! If you have opposing ideas, that’s completely fine! We are VERY excited about our plan and know each person has their own. (And not to mention that a plan alone does not mean it is how things will actually go!) I found it interesting to learn how scared of birth I was! A close friend of mine suggested a book called Hypnobirthing and suggested reading it early on to help with pregnancy too. The whole thought in pregnancy is a calm happy mom, creates a calm happy baby. I’d say that is probably the #2 goal for all moms to be. #1 being healthy baby. #2 being a calm/happy baby. You learn different breathing techniques in the book to calm yourself and keep an even-keeled mindset. I found myself during stressful times, removing myself from the situation and concentrating on calming my breathing to make sure Mays didn’t feel my stress. I highly recommend this book even if for that alone!
Since sharing I am reading this book, I have gotten a lot of questions if I am planning on a natural birth. I have a semi long explanation to a simple answer of, yes I am! I have found that even though I gave myself like 100 shots to become pregnant and went through a few uncomfortable procedures that would probably scare the typical TTC (trying to conceive) person… the medical intervention part of birthing scares me, not the actual birth itself. I’ve always wanted to “understand” things, how things are made, where things come from, how development happens etc. I am THE question master. Birth was no different in my head. I didn’t know much about it, so it scared me! The unknown is scary to me because… well… I’ve never birthed a child or attended OBGYN/med school so how can I know?? This was my fear. So, what if someone told you that you CAN learn how to birth and understand each step? THIS interested me!
I told myself at first I would definitely need an epidural to cancel the most pain as possible to minimize my fear. BUT the more I read this book, the more I understand how my body actual births and the way God made it is SIMPLY AMAZING! He thought of every single detail ya’ll and that isn’t talked about often. The book explains how your body was perfectly formed for each step and how you can assist it to do its job in birth by removing your fear and not disrupting its natural course. Let’s just say, how almost every animal in the world births, besides us humans. The more I realize what actually scares me and what doesn’t, the more I understand the process and become confident in what I can do… without intervention. My body birthing this child doesn’t scare me. Having a doctor yank the baby out scares me. My bodies natural painful contractions don’t scare me. A giant needle in my spine that makes me not feel my legs scares me. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m by no means saying I’m superwomen. My husband actually says I have a low pain tolerance. (Thanks Austin.) I’ve been told many horror stories and often ask for friends “real story” rather than staying ignorant to the worst case scenarios. So, through reading this book, I’m learning that I’ve always known what my ideal birth is. Our ideal birth plan is a calm, spiritual birth, between me, Austin and our future child. The more Austin learned of his potential role in this the more he was excited about it! I find my zen in the morning or in the bath by listening to peaceful music, dimming the lights, getting cozy and praying. I desire the birth no different than that. If that involves an epidural than so be it. If I end up having an emergency, I will do the best I can to remain calm and accept God’s plan while doing my best to assist. But you better bet my main goal is that I will have my classical Christian music, dim lights and connecting with our magnificent God through it, with my husband right by my side. I’ve learned that this is fully possible! Perhaps it’s because we didn’t conceive naturally but I don’t want to view birth as something to just get through. I am going to try to enjoy the beauty of it. Mainstream media, movies, tv shows and those outlandish horror stories from friend’s labors completely shift our perspective into thinking labor is inevitably terrible and it is something to be dreaded and feared! I’ve completely changed my perspective on how I want to welcome this child into the world and how much power I have within myself to do just that. We hired an amazing doula, which we LOVE! If you’re not in the birthing world yet I’ll simple label it was a birthing assistant to help with all this. If you are in the birthing world and on the fence whether to get one, let me suggest you to do it! The friends who did it said it was a lifesaver and the friends who decided against wished they had one! We do our birthing class through her which is only 2 hours long, she does a pre-labor massage to position him correctly for natural induction and then also comes to the house after birth to put my body back into place for quicker recovery. Her goal for all labor is 6 hours or less and only 30 min of pushing which avoids lots of pain and extra postpartum healing for me. I pray constantly that we can fall into that category but keep an open heart for God’s plan for this baby to arrive. Ok, so that’s that on birthing plan! It may sound crazy to you, or it may open your eyes to the many possibilities us women have to birth. I pray for peace and comfort through my plan and overall a healthy baby Boy (and healthy me) at the end and would love any extra prayers in doing so!
If ya’ll have any other questions let me know! I love documenting all these things above so I can remember them in the future for my sake but if you have more, ask away! I’m always a pretty open book!
Calling all Mamas!
Here are some of my favorite maternity products!
Boppy Maternity Pillow– My absolute favorite item I have found so far in pregnancy is my maternity pillow!! I first ordered a large one and honestly it was just too much for my sensitive herniated disks in neck and took up too much room in the bed. (Yes, I’m saying my husband hated it too.) I returned that one and got the Boppy maternity pillow, or AKA my “comma pillow” as we call it. I just love it. It’s soft, travels easy, has plenty of positions to help my varying growth pressures and isn’t too big! If you’re looking for one or struggling sleeping, try it out! It’s about half the price of most other maternity pillows too! My husband even wants one…
Bra extender- This was a simple purchase once my bras started getting tight. I tend to spend a little more on my bras, so I didn’t want to just purchase all new ones, nor did I want to stretch the ones I had. The bra extender has helped a lot!
Spanx Bra– A friend recommended this to me and although pricey, once I put this thing on my words were, “oh wowwwwwww”. It has a front clasp so will be nice for breast feeding but has no under wire so it’s … A CLOUD! Do the splurge and get this bra. A few more I like are below!
Zella Maternity Live In Leggings- My absolute favorite brand of workout/leisure leggings have finally made a maternity version. They are super comfortable! I was able to keep my same size XS and it by no means cramps my belly! I love these so much!
Belly oil– I have very tight skin and always have! I have stretch marks on my legs from growing in middle school after hitting puberty. I figured with pregnancy I would get stretch marks FOR SURE, so I wanted to do what I could to prevent it early on. This oil smells nice, isn’t quite as messy as you’d think and has all natural ingredients. Since it has Vitamin E, I use it on my boobs too, because well, those things in the middle of my boobs have hurt me since 12 weeks pregnant. It really seems to calm down the nerves! I also have some natural coco butter lotion I rub on top of the oil and all over to help soak it up and make less of a mess. Lately I have had some pain around my belly button so I know things are stretching now!
Maternity Pants– I love my Gap maternity pants! I have the full panel belly cover in white jeans and regular! I ordered a size 2/26, which is my typical size in both and they both fit perfect! So cozy and stretchy. Look for deals the prices drop often!
Compression socks– My feet and hands have actually been doing fine with swelling! However, my legs below the knee swell quite often! These socks aren’t too tight and seem to relieve some pressure. I wear them around the house and with my Vionic slippers to give my feet more support. I like these slippers most because you can adjust them to fit bare feet, thin or even thick socks. One thing that is VERY important not only in pregnancy is wearing shoes with good support. If you are having any back, knee, feet problems start off by fixing your shoes. I have been able to turn my “painful throbbing gymnast feet” around to very tolerable by always wearing good support.
Hybobirthing– See description above!
God’s Gift for Mothers– I love this tiny little book! I am going to keep it in his room and use it for prayer time when feeding him. It goes through prominent mothers in the bible, mother’s prayers from the bible, blessings of motherhood, how God comforts mothers etc. Through infertility, I clung tightly to the stories in the bible of hope and faith through fertility. The book goes over scripture from all the mothers in the bible! It is so fascinating to me to understand that God placed this specially in his Word so often. A great gift for friends!
Baby Wise– I actually have not started this book yet as we want it to be a fresh as possible but have been recommended it by so many people! I am definitively a routine person so we are attempting a heavy routine for feeding etc. This book essentially has a goal to have babies sleeping according to how old they are. At 7 weeks, sleeping 7 hours. 8 weeks 8 hours. 9 weeks, 9 hours. All the way up to 12 hours a night and then consistently stay there. If I get here, I will be SO happy! My handful of friends who have read this book have been very successful at this!
Waiting in Wonder Prayer– A friend of mine was reading this and posted a page from it which I loved and asked what book it was. It then ended up delivered on my door step THE NEXT DAY. The sweetest little surprise. I have enjoyed it so much. It is so fun and encouraging to pray over many details on his development, delivery but also his life to come! We definitely don’t take anything for granted but simply pray over it. Let’s just say we are already praying for the girl being formed in her mother’s womb that God will lead my son to marry. Prayer is beautiful!
I hope you enjoyed! What are some of your favorite items that I should check out?
-Sending love, Stacy