I had more than a few of you ask me if I will be sharing weekly pregnancy updates like I did with my first pregnancy. My answer to this question is rather long-winded. (You’re shocked, I know.) I think I have a grand total of three belly pictures on my phone at the moment – all crappy mirror selfies and answers to requests from close friends and family – and I haven’t taken any notes or written one word about my pregnancy to share on the blog up until the blog post I published Tuesday morning. I actually didn’t even think about how I was going to share our special news until Monday. Now, even though I’ve been a hot mess of emotion for the past few months, I am finally feeling the itch to share and fill all of you in on everything. As for weekly updates… That’s not my plan this time around for a myriad of reasons.
Part of me feels almost guilty when I think about the way I shared my first pregnancy in this space but another part of me misses the way I had such unabashed excitement and complete faith that things would be okay. Truly, that’s what I wish for any woman experiencing pregnancy! I LOVED reading weekly pregnancy updates from other bloggers when I was pregnant and do not regret recapping my first pregnancy in such a detailed way at all. I’ve honestly enjoyed referencing my first pregnancy posts during this pregnancy to see how things are the same or different this time around. All that being said, I’m in a different place during this pregnancy (my fourth pregnancy… which in and of itself feels so heavy to type) but I’m also in a place where I feel like I realize now more than ever that pregnancy and healthy babies are a TRUE MIRACLE.
I want to share and I want to talk about everything surrounding this pregnancy but I feel conflicted (and still anxious). While I always, always felt joy for those who were expecting a baby, I’ve admittedly had a hard time reading about pregnancy over the past year and don’t want my blog to be a place of heartache for anyone. With that being said, I really do want to let all of you in and share about my pregnancy in this space because PBF has always followed my life and this is currently a HUGE part of it. I guess I write all of this to say that if you are not in a place where reading about pregnancy is good for your heart, I get it and I am sending you so much love. I will be periodically talking about my pregnancy on this blog and don’t want to be the source of heartache for any of you. Please skip the blog posts you need to skip, take a break from this blog if you need a break and take care of yourself.
While weekly updates are not currently part of my plan, I want to share semi-regular updates and will likely do this in a monthly format unless I feel the itch to share with more frequency. I’m planning to play it by ear. As for today’s blog post, this is my incredibly wordy “let’s catch up about everything that’s been happening over the past four months of my pregnancy” post. I’m also planning to do a follow up Q&A-style post to address some of the questions I’ve received, so if you guys have anything you’d like me to dive into that isn’t addressed below, please let me know!
When Is the Baby Due?: June 18, 2018. I’m currently 19 weeks pregnant.
When We Found Out: On Ryan’s birthday, October 5. Talk about timing, right? My period wasn’t due for another couple of days but something in my gut told me I might be pregnant. I took one of the super cheapo pregnancy tests I bought in bulk off Amazon right when I woke up in the morning and the faintest – and I mean the FAINTEST – line showed up. It was SO faint I wondered if I was tricking myself into seeing something but in my heart I had a feeling I was pregnant. I didn’t mention anything to Ryan before he went to work and told myself I’d wait until right before he got home from work to use the one expensive “fancy” pregnancy test I had – the one that simply reports back “PREGNANT” if you’re pregnant. I took the test and stared intently at the tiny screen as it began blinking. It read what I hoped and prayed it would: Pregnant.
How I Told Ryan: I put the cap back on the pregnancy test and wrapped it up in a small bag to give to Ryan as his last birthday gift at the end of the day. He was completely surprised and thrilled! And of course he had all the emotions I had which ran the gamut from sheer excitement and hope to the desire to not really dwell on the pregnancy news too much until we were farther along in our journey.
How We Told Chase: At nearly two-and-a-half, Chase is a sponge and repeats and remembers nearly everything we say so we held off telling him about the baby until last Thursday after our wonderful 18-week appointment. Chase came along to the appointment, so I did my best to explain that the fuzzy gray thing dancing on the screen was a baby in mom’s belly. It wasn’t until after the appointment when I showed him my growing belly and explained that a baby was in there – a brother or sister just like his best friend’s baby brother – that the news seemed to click and the excitement and questions began. When I told him we don’t know if the baby is a boy or a girl, his face scrunched up and he very matter-of-factly said, “It’s boy. Not a girl. It’s boy.” Anytime we try to say it could be a girl, he gets angry and tells us it’s a boy and his name is Thomas the Train. With a little coercing we were able to get him to finally suggest a baby girl name and he said Emily, not-so-shockingly the name of another train from his Thomas books and train set.
Does Sadie Seem To Know?: I still laugh when people ask if Sadie knows I’m pregnant. I walked around with a big ol’ bump at the end of my pregnancy with Chase and was 100 percent convinced Sadie had no idea. (She’d constantly try to sit on my belly and attempt to curl up on my stomach in bed and on the couch even when it was giant!) The same sentiment rings true this time around. She has no idea and that’s probably for the best considering it took her a solid two years to embrace Chase.
Boy or Girl?: We don’t know and we won’t know until we get to meet our little one! I’m actually the driving force behind our decision to be surprised and no one is more shocked by this fact than me! I always joked that if I could’ve peed on the pregnancy test I took when I found out I was pregnant with Chase and found out whether we were having a boy or a girl, I would have… but this time is so much different.
To be 100 percent honest, I was kind of hoping for a baby girl when I was pregnant the first time. I wasn’t disappointed to find out we were having a boy – not at all! – but I was intimidated and a bit nervous since both of my parents have sisters, I have a sister and I feel like I’ve been surrounded by girls my entire life. But then we had Chase and he is the freaking BEST. I love our boy with every single ounce of my being and he changed my life in the best possible way. He’s my sunshine, my joy and everything to me. I could have a bazillion boys now and I would be 1,000 percent happy. Couple this feeling with the two losses we experienced and I when I say I just want a healthy baby, I mean it from the very bottom of my heart and soul. I just want a healthy baby.
Do We Have Any Names In Mind?: Not really! Oddly enough, the names we loved when I was pregnant with Chase have lost a little bit of their luster and we haven’t really discussed names for either sex much at all. Ryan actually suggested one name last week for a baby boy that started out as almost a joke but we both laughed when we started to really, really like it as time went on. We tend to like easy to say, easy to spell names, so I have a feeling we’ll select something that fits into that criteria. I actually have way more ideas for middle names than first names right now!
The First Trimester
When I went in for my first ultrasound at 7 weeks, Ryan and I were both overcome with nerves. The appointment went well which was an incredible blessing, but it didn’t dissolve our anxiety since our two losses were both preceded by healthy ultrasounds with strong heartbeats in the beginning. Though I typically rotate through doctors at my OB/GYN’s office, I began exclusively seeing one doctor, the amazing doctor I met because she was randomly the doctor who performed both of my D&Cs. She is beyond wonderful. She was also very proactive in administering various tests before Ryan and I tried to get pregnant again after our second loss. (All of our testing came back normal which was a tremendous blessing. My doctor believes we “got unlucky twice” and believes both of our losses were likely chromosomal.)
My doctor wanted to see me again at 9 weeks for another ultrasound and then again at 12 weeks. Everything seemed to be going well and I began feeling all of my “normal” pregnancy symptoms, including intense nausea (ALL DAY nausea which often culminated in the evenings which was new to me since I was mostly nauseated with Chase in the mornings), fatigue and horrible aversions. (I was on an all-carb diet for a solid two months and if I even smelled meat I wanted to puke.) All of these symptoms, though uncomfortable, felt incredibly reassuring. I felt nauseated all day but I just didn’t care. Every time I ran for the bathroom, I felt like it meant things were progressing and hormones were flowing. Even Ryan said, “I hate seeing you so sick, but I feel like it means things are moving in the right direction.” I started to breathe a bit easier… and then I got the flu.
The Second Trimester
The flu completely knocked me out for nearly 14 days (weeks 13 to 14 of my pregnancy) and I don’t think I have ever been that sick in my entire life. Couple the flu with pregnancy symptoms (nausea and the most debilitating headaches) and I was physically so sick but also mentally freaking out. (Side note: I had NO idea headaches were something many women experience during pregnancy but they were killer!) I worried non-stop about our baby and the medications I was told I should take to protect myself since I was apparently in a very vulnerable place as a pregnant woman with the flu. I simply felt scared for weeks.
I went back to the doctor at 16 weeks and while I didn’t have an ultrasound, they used the Doppler to check for the heartbeat. The first woman couldn’t find our baby’s heartbeat. I began sweating profusely. She mentioned something about “possibly not being low enough” and left the room to find another woman to try to find the heartbeat. Thankfully this whole process happened fast – within a couple of minutes – but I was a nervous wreck. Thank God the second woman found our baby’s heartbeat quickly but I was still a bundle of nerves. The nurse practitioner who saw me after the Doppler experience found our baby’s heartbeat again but I still left feeling anxious. I hadn’t physically seen our baby since 12 weeks so I still felt nervous as we went into our 18-week appointment last week.
Our 18-week appointment was incredible. I saw the fluttering heart beating immediately and our baby was active the entire time. I cried, but then again I have yet to make my way through a doctor’s appointment without crying during this pregnancy.
As for how I’m feeling in the second trimester, I am still quite nauseated, but it comes and goes and isn’t all day long like it was in weeks 7 to 17 of my pregnancy. (Like my experience with Chase, my nausea definitely didn’t dissipate after the first trimester.) I’ve also felt wayyy more tired during this pregnancy than I did with Chase which I attribute partly to the fact that I have a toddler to care for all day but also to the fact that this pregnancy has physically (and emotionally) been more challenging. But again, I just don’t care. I’ll take it all and then some just to have a healthy baby at the end of all of this journey. Pregnancy – even in its hard moments (and there are plenty of hard moments) – is such a freaking blessing and I feel more acutely aware of this fact than ever before.
Food (Aversions, Cravings)
As I mentioned above, aversions have been INTENSE during this pregnancy. Most meats – especially the smell of meat cooking – made me want to run for the bathroom for weeks. If I so much as saw a picture of chili, I started heaving. (Instagram and food blogs were not my friends for a few weeks there!) I think cheese and yogurt were the only way I got any kind of protein into my diet for well over a month and a half. And this probably sounds like a total cop out, but the thought of cooking/preparing most hot meals made my stomach turn for a while, too. Too many smells, textures, etc. for my weak stomach, I guess!?
As far as foods I’ve loved during pregnancy, from a healthy standpoint, fruit – primarily CITRUS – is my BFF. Oranges and grapefruits always sound appealing, as do bananas, watermelon, berries and grapes. I also embraced what I jokingly call an “all carb diet” for what felt like two solid months and ate my bodyweight in mashed potatoes (being pregnant over Thanksgiving has its perks), pasta (mac and cheese, I love you), cereal, bagels, oatmeal, toast (SO MUCH TOAST with butter and jelly) and crackers. One night Ryan woke up at 3 a.m. and rolled over and said, “Are you eating crackers right now?” Yep. At 3 a.m. Bring on the Saltines, baby!
(That plate of toast is exactly what dinner looked like for me many, many nights.)
I’ve also had some really intense and random cravings during this pregnancy including the fried rice and sauce typically served with hibachi meals. We ordered takeout from a local hibachi restaurant numerous times and I would just get the fried rice with veggies and LOAD it up with shrimp sauce. I chalked it up to a win because at least I was finally getting some vegetables in my diet, right!?
Now, at 19 weeks, I’m able to eat most foods again. Though my all-carb diet continues some days, certain foods that didn’t call to me for months sound good again, including salads, vegetables (I prefer raw veggies over cooked at the moment), eggs, seafood and soups.
My workouts have been ALL over the place this pregnancy. From the moment I found out I was pregnant again, I instantly began dialing things back, modifying exercises and taking care not to push myself too hard. I avoided most cardio other than walking and some very light jogging just because my anxiety was at an all-time high, though through my personal training and education (as well as conversations with my doctors), I know it’s typically safe to continue exercising close to your normal level in the beginning of pregnancy. I dialed things back mostly for my own peace of mind.
I’ve loved strength workouts throughout my pregnancy and still do! Pre-pregnancy I typically made it to the gym five(ish) times a week, but right now it’s more like three or four. I took a solid two weeks completely off during the flu and after that really eased back into fitness with maybe two workouts a week for a couple of weeks until I felt stronger. I’m back to feeling really good in the gym which is SO nice!!!
Since I’m feeling better all around, my workouts have become more consistent though they typically include more strength and circuit-style workouts and barre-based workouts than cardio. As for cardio other than walking, I’ve fallen in love with rowing because it feels good and is such a great low-impact cardio option.
I had to cut out running around 14 or 15 weeks when I was pregnant with Chase due to some serious discomfort down there and have accepted I’m just not a good pregnant runner. I’m completely okay with that and simply stick with workouts that feel good. I’ve been picking and choosing what days to attend Burn Boot Camp based on the schedule and supplement with at home workouts and gym workouts. Barre workouts have been a staple for me during my home workouts and I am always on the lookout for new barre-based workouts to try on YouTube. (If you have any you love, please let me know!)
Physically things didn’t change a ton for me for a few weeks other than some intense bloating. I gained a few pounds seemingly right away and began to notice my pants and leggings fitting tighter around 10 weeks. My belly felt bigger and much more noticeable to me right around Christmas (15-ish weeks).
(15 Week Bump)
Since very few people other than our families and a handful of my best friends knew about my pregnancy up until last week, I’ve been wearing a lot of black and super-flowy workout tops mainly because I just didn’t want any questions because I wasn’t sure I had the mental strength to share another loss publicly if it happened to us again. (I probably would have shared in the long run, but I truly didn’t want to talk about my pregnancy too much for a while – I think it was a self-preservation thing.) Last week I began telling more people at my gym and I had one woman I workout with tell me she knew I was pregnant because, in addition to my thickening waist, my face looked rounder which I’ve noticed a bit as well. I’ve also noticed a definite loss in muscle definition and simply feel softer all over. My arms feel bigger, my hips feel wider and I’ve noticed weight gain all over, not just in my stomach.
As far as significant belly changes, I think something happened last week because my belly now feels noticeably rounder and all-around bigger, especially at the end of the day.
(19 Week Bump)
The difference between the size of my belly when I wake up in the morning and the size of my belly before bed at night looks like several months of pregnancy progression. Phew! I don’t weigh myself regularly when I’m not pregnant and also don’t weigh myself much during pregnancy, but if I had to guess, I’d say I’m up about 15-18 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I definitely feel like I gained weight and noticed belly changes faster this time around! Also, my breasts started to grow like crazy the minute I hit the second trimester.
If you followed my pregnancy with Chase, you may remember I had some horrible skin issues during my pregnancy with him. I struggled big-time with zits all over my face and even my upper back. Thankfully that hasn’t been an issue during this pregnancy and, if anything, I feel like I’ve been very lucky and noticed clearer skin than usual over the course of the past few weeks (with a few exceptions.) One not-so-fun thing I’ve noticed with this pregnancy is that I feel stinkier. I always sweat more when I’m pregnant but this time I’m way more aware of the need to swipe on deodorant or I pay the price and feel incredibly self-conscious when I sniff my armpits!
I haven’t felt certain I’ve felt our baby move yet because nearly every time I think I feel something, it’s usually accompanied by gas (TMI!?). No movements have been strong and obvious enough for me to feel confident that they’re our baby and not some digestive bubbles but for the past two nights I’ve felt bubbles with no gas, so I hope that feeling regular movement is not far off. I cannot wait to FEEL and SEE our baby moving!!!
Aaand 3,600+ words later, I think we’re all caught up. Phew! Thank you again for following our journey and please let me know if you have any specific questions you’d like to see addressed in my follow up Q&A post!