Second Trimester, Weeklies

Twenty-seven Weeks Pregnant

Romaine Lettuce

I’m rapidly approaching the third trimester! This week, I had the joy of serving jury duty while pregnant (spoiler: no one cared, other than the lovely women who kept offering to let me cut the line for the bathroom). I didn’t end up getting selected, and now I’m off the hook for a few years. I thought about seeing if I could get a delay because of pregnancy, but I didn’t want to deal with potentially getting called again during maternity leave, and I was feeling okay, so I figured I’d just show up. And it was pretty quick and painless. The baby did start kicking while I was sitting in the court room during the selection process, and I must have been making faces or something because I got a couple weird looks from the bailiff. But mostly, I just made sure I brought lots of snacks.

It continues to be miserably rainy, so again, the walking was a bit reduced, although I did manage to walk around a local street festival in the pouring rain on Sunday. That was… fun. I was glad to get home, get into dry clothes, and curl up under a blanket with some tea and warm cookies (chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, for the curious). Monday was jury duty, followed by working from home in the afternoon. The rest of the week has pretty much gone as usual. I had my acupuncture appointment this week on Thursday. I’ve been going just once a month, although he does a really good job of helping my general body soreness and bloating, so I might pick up the frequency a little later on. I think I’ll write a more detailed post about why I’ve appreciated my acupuncturist before and during this pregnancy, later on. Finally, I ended my week by attending a wedding with my husband and his family. Not only did I feel pretty good, but the bride and groom decided to spend most of their budget on the nicest set of portable toilets I’ve ever seen. Pregnant lady salutes them!

Other than that, I really feel like this is kind of the best I’ve felt all pregnancy. I’m big, but not too big, and I have almost no nausea anymore. My only concern is that I’m definitively at the point where most of my non-maternity clothing that isn’t specifically loose/flowy doesn’t really fit right anymore. I think I might need to pick up a pack of maternity t-shirts because a lot of my t-shirts are now tight over my belly, or else they hike up. I’m basically living in wide-waistband, jersey skirts, which isn’t a bad thing. But I went ahead and ordered a couple of basic black maternity dresses on Amazon the other day so that I have a pseudo-nice basic I can wear. They might even work for work, depending on the fabric when they arrive, which would be nice.

How I’m Feeling:

Like I said, this is kind of the best I’ve felt all pregnancy. I’ve found the energy to cook most nights this week, other than the night I had a theatre Board meeting, and one night when I really, really wanted a fish sandwich and figured that it was probably actually a good idea to eat some salmon, since I still can’t take my omega-3 supplement. One thing I’ve noticed is that I keep forgetting to take my vitamins in the evening this week for some reason. I guess I need to set a reminder or something.

I’m starting to get used to the feeling of the baby moving in my belly. I will say, it’s still a weird feeling. While I appreciate the reassurance, I’m not thrilled with the alien sensation of kicks and wiggles inside my own body. But I’m getting more used to it, which is good because apparently the kid is taking a Zumba class that I wasn’t invited to.

Current Cravings: Brownies, avocados and eggs, pasta aglio e olio

Exercise: 2.7 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Lettuce

[Image Source]

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Second Trimester, Weeklies

Twenty-six Weeks Pregnant

kale

I know, I know! I was lazy about updating this weekend. We had a somewhat busy weekend, but still had plenty of time to sit around, so I really have no excuse. But I’m 26 weeks pregnant! Last week, I had another doctor’s appointment, at which I got my bottle of glucose drink for my upcoming gestational diabetes test, which was fun. My doctor actually uses a dye-free version of the drink, so it just looks like a mini water bottle with a big pink label on it that gives all the instructions for the test. I did make sure to remind Dan not to drink the thing that looks like a water bottle in the fridge.

The weather has also been really miserable, hot and humid in the early part of the week, and then turning to rain and storms in the later part of the week, so I didn’t get as much walking in as I usually do. But I did get to have some social time on Labor Day, plus Saturday we had our hospital tour. The nurse who led our tour was an absolute hoot, and I was one of two “overachievers” who scheduled tours when they’re not due until December. It actually really helped to tour the hospital and realize that a lot of the things that I thought I might want during birth are things that are standard at the hospital. I’m a lot more confident that I won’t need to be much of a squeaky wheel to get treated the way I want.

Other than that, I’m still just keepin’ on. I continue to feel more movement. Lately, I think it’s strong enough that I might be able to tell when I’m feeling a hand vs. a foot vs. the whole darn baby just flipping around trying to get comfortable. I totally understand.

How I’m Feeling:

Like I said, I’m feeling pretty good. I occasionally get fits of feeling lazy, but mostly I feel like me, only bigger. I still have occasional nausea, and there are still things that make it worse, but they’re fewer and further between. I have noticed that my energy is a little more finite, and it takes me a little more effort to get from place to place, so I’ve made the decision to drop down to two barre classes a week, to save energy for walking, since I have to walk to and from work, and I want to maintain my walking as much as I can.

I’ve also been pretty hungry most of the time, but I still get full later in the day. I’m still not making any real effort to eat a specific amount, other than eating when I’m hungry. I’ve had a few nights where I didn’t really feel like eating dinner, but I’m more than on track, weight-gain-wise, so I’m not worried.

My leg cramps continue to not happen, so I’m keeping up with eating a banana in the morning, plus doing leg stretches when I think of it. I guess that’s about it.

Current Cravings: Eggs and avocado

Exercise: 2.4 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: A kale

[Image source]

Second Trimester, Weeklies

Twenty-five Weeks Pregnant

20180828-FNS-PJK-0148_TONED

The second trimester keeps on passing. It simultaneously feels like I’ve been pregnant forever and like I have forever left to go still. Oddly enough, towards the end of the week, I started feeling smaller (although I didn’t look any different), but I think that has to do with the fact that the baby grows in fits and spurts and when they’re not growing, I don’t feel stretched out and can get used to my new size for a bit.

Other than that, life has been pretty quiet and consistent on the baby front. I’ve settled into the differences in how I feel from how I “normally” feel and I’ve stopped noticing a lot of it. I’m looking forward to the beginning of fall, though, as the one thing that still galls me a bit is the fact that it does take more physical effort to simply move around than it used to, and the heat and humidity don’t help.

How I’m Feeling:

Like I said, I feel pretty consistent, if not normal. I feel movement pretty consistently, which is weird, but becoming more familiar. I had some issues with nausea this week, but I found that being a big better about my magnesium supplementation helped that. Thankfully, my increased nausea was not coincidentally accompanied by the headaches that I’ve been getting on and off throughout my pregnancy because it seems that if I had renewed nausea AND a headache, my doctor might have called me in for some tests.

But, especially in the latter half of the week, I feel pretty good. I had a minor meltdown yesterday because I do miss having real milk in my latte on the weekends, but I eventually got over it, got a macadamia nut milk latte, and enjoyed it.

My appetite is definitely a bit more variable this week. My husband commented that I haven’t really been having “pregnancy cravings” (this from the the man who pretty much has to go and get me something specific every weekend, like a McDonald’s cheeseburger (not a cheeseburger, a McDonald’s cheeseburger) or a pulled pork sandwich), but even more so than usual this week, I found that nothing really sounded good, even though I knew intellectually that I was hungry. This is compounded by the fact that I actually have a little less of a sweet tooth than I usually have, so simply trying to tempt myself with something sweet to stimulate my appetite isn’t working. But I’m eating plenty, and once I have something in front of me, it generally tastes good.

I was a little slack on my exercise this week, mostly because I took two work-from-home days instead of just one, and it was too oppressive-feeling outside for me to willingly go for a walk outside of what I needed to do to get to and from work. I’ve also decided that I’m probably going to cut back to two barre classes a week, since I’m paranoid about over-working my ab muscles. Also, since I have to go on Sunday instead of Saturday now, I’ve found that two days in a row of barre is a bit much, and I’ve felt kind of draggy the last two Mondays.

Finally, I’ve continued eating a banana every morning to help with my leg cramps and (knock wood) so far it seems to be helping. I’ve gone more than a week without one, and I haven’t been disliking the bananas too much. Plus, I’m pretty sure my favorite breakfast accompaniment, avocado, has also been helping.

Other than that, I’m keeping on keeping on. I’m curious how that’ll change in the weeks to come, as I move out of the second trimester and into the third…

Current Cravings: Fried pickles, eggs and avocado, fried chicken sub

Exercise: 2.1 average miles/day walking, barre three times, yoga twice

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Cauliflower (I’ve decided to switch over to The Bump’s size comparison because my app gave me a second week in a row of a “large” vegetable)

[Image source]

Second Trimester, Weeklies

Twenty-four Weeks Pregnant

Zucchini

It’s another big milestone: viability! Twenty-four weeks marks the point at which the baby is considered to be viable outside the womb, so a preemie could potentially survive. As someone with a previous loss, this is something of a relief to get to this point (although I still have a ways to go). This was also the week I experienced another milestone: my first Braxton-Hicks contractions! Yay!

Seriously, though, waking up at 3:30 a.m. with an uncomfortable tightness in my abdomen was not fun, but at least I’d done enough reading to pretty much figure out what was going on. I had a glass of water and sat up for a bit, and eventually they calmed down. And then the baby started kicking. So I guess this kid is committed to giving me a taste of the uncertain sleep schedule that is to come.

How I Feel:

Actually pretty good this week, although I was having an issue with some nausea during my evening commute earlier in the week. I decided to play with my magnesium supplementation a bit, so I think that had something to do with it, since it subsided once I switched back. I might talk a bit about magnesium a little later on in its own post, since I find it so helpful. I also found that eating my afternoon snack later in the day helps me feel better on the ride home.

I also started having intense leg cramps. It’s only happened twice so far, but it’s really painful, and the doctor recommended potassium, so I’ve been making an effort to eat a banana every day. I have mine first thing in the morning with some cereal and cashew milk. Oddly, even though I usually dislike bananas, I’ve started enjoying them more since I’ve been pregnant. I guess it’s a sign that I really need that potassium. I also find that keeping up with my yoga routine is helping my muscles stay looser.

Other than that, though, I’ve felt pretty good. I’m still walking my normal amount (and enjoying it more since the weather this week was fantastic) and have gone back to all my weekly barre classes. I’m still not sure I’ll keep up barre throughout my entire pregnancy, but so far so good.

I’m definitely feeling more movement from the baby. I notice kicks while I’m moving around more, even during barre class. And baby has been kicking hard enough for Dan to feel every so often (although the kid likes to quiet down as soon as Dan puts his hand on my belly). It’s sweet to see Dan get so excited about the baby moving and watching my belly grow.

As far as belly growth goes, I am solidly showing. I can also usually tell when I’m about to go on a growth spurt because my belly starts to feel tighter. I definitely make sure to slather on the lotion and body butter when that happens, and so far it hasn’t been too uncomfortable. I did have a bit more round ligament pain towards the end of the week though. I imagine that’s going to get worse as I get bigger.

Current Cravings: Eggs and avocados, cake, fried pickles

Exercise: 3.3 average miles/day walking, barre three times, yoga three times

Fruit Comparison: a large zucchini (seriously, who comes up with these?)

[Images Source]

Exercise, First Trimester, Second Trimester

Exercise and Pregnancy: The First Twenty Weeks (or so)

Over the years, I’ve generally been a pretty active person. When I changed jobs and started working downtown, I found myself walking for 40-60 minutes 4-5 days a week in addition to what I considered exercise. So when I got pregnant, I wasn’t too concerned with staying active. But then first trimester nausea hit me pretty hard and I had to give myself permission to ease off. Now that I’m past the nausea and past the first “half” of pregnancy, I thought I’d talk a bit about how I’ve been handling exercise, at least up to this point.

I would say that the mainstay of my pregnancy exercise routine is the decent amount of walking I do most days. I can roughly track my walking using my iPhone Health app, and it says that, right now, I’m walking about 3 miles per day on average. Now, that takes into account days when I walk more — such as when I walk from my gym to my office, which is a longer distance than from the metro station to my office — as well as days when I might not walk much at all. I work downtown four days a week and telework one day per week, so my commute doesn’t come into play, but I try to walk places near my house when I’m staying home.

In the first trimester, I put my gym membership on hold for a month so that I wouldn’t worry about the sunk cost, which meant that I never had my 40-minute walk from the gym to the office, and I wasn’t walking from the metro to the gym on the weekend. Of course, I still had to get to work somehow, but occasionally, when I was feeling truly terrible, I would work from home one extra day per week. This meant that my average daily walking distance went down. At my lowest average daily mileage, I was still walking about 2 miles per day on average (that was during May). Since then, I’ve worked my way back up to about 3 miles per day (although that went down during the two weeks I was sick with that damned cold). I’m hoping I can maintain 2-3 miles per week for the rest of my pregnancy, and I’m hopeful that the weather will actually make this easier, as we move into autumn.

As far as “actual” exercise goes, outside of my walking, I used to run a few times a week, go to barre a few times a week, and do yoga when I felt like it. Unfortunately, first trimester nausea pretty much put the damper on running, and since I came out of my nausea right around the time the weather started getting hot, I decided not to try running while I was pregnant. At this point, I haven’t been running in several months, and I think it would be awkward (to say the least) to try picking it back up now, with 15 extra pounds, mostly concentrated up front. So I’ve been focusing on the strength and flexibility afforded by barre and yoga.

I’ve talked before about my prenatal yoga routine, so I won’t get into that again, but barre is a workout that I’ve come to love over the past two or so years I’ve been at it. I started looking at barre classes when it became apparent that my new commute downtown made it more or less impossible for me to continue with my regular evening adult ballet classes, but I still wanted that type of a workout that built long, flexible muscle, as well as balance and coordination. I found some classes that fit my schedule at a gym near-ish my office, and found that, among those classes, one instructor in particular really fit my idea of what I wanted. Kathryn’s classes have been bright spots in my week for nearly two years now, and I currently go three times a week, although schedule changes means that one of those classes is now with a different instructor.

Other than the fact that I love to stretch, I think my favorite part of Kathryn‘s barre classes is the fact that she makes it very clear that your barre class is what you make it, and she never guilts anyone into working harder than they feel they can on any given day. She constantly reminds us that each day is going to be different and not to push ourselves beyond our capability today, even if we could do more yesterday. That has been particularly helpful during my pregnancy, as I’ve discovered things changing about my body that I didn’t expect (pro tip: if you are lazy with your form during curtsy lunges while pregnant, your round ligaments will tell you). She’s also been great about helping me as my abilities have changed throughout pregnancy by offering me a sort of library of modifications that I can try, while giving me the ultimate decision on how to handle my own workout. Lately, I’ve decided to stop doing ab exercises while laying flat on my back, and it’s nice to have options to try, rather than just trying to modify the specific exercise she’s doing at the moment.

The other nice thing about barre is that I feel like it helps me build and maintain functional strength in a way that helps me maintain my stability. As my body has changed, I find myself readjusting to differences in balance and center of gravity. Barre helps me work my abs, yes, but not in a sit-up-crunch-plank way only. Every exercise we do relies on the stability of the abdominal muscles, so even if I skip the focused “ab” exercises, I’m still working my core muscles for stability. And I have had to back off on a lot of focused ab exercises as I’ve realized that things like planks become a lot harder to do right when you have to hold in not only your abs, but a growing uterus pushing behind them as well.

So that’s how I’ve been handling exercise the last 20 weeks or so. Of course, I’m not a doctor, physical therapist, personal trainer, or anyone with any actual training or expertise in giving advice, so I’d encourage you to find your own path. But hopefully reading about how I’ve handled my own personal pregnancy workout plan will help you figure out yours. And I’ll check back in later in pregnancy to talk about how this routine changes as my body continues to change.

Second Trimester, Weeklies

Twenty-three Weeks Pregnant

I’m 23 weeks pregnant today! I’ve mostly gotten my activity back up to where it was before my vacation and illness, which is nice. I feel like I’ve gotten into a little pregnant lady groove. I no longer have moments where I don’t feel pregnant, plus I’m showing to the outside world, so I pretty much never have to worry about sitting on the metro, which is nice. I wish the weather were a little cooler and less humid, but I’m doing pretty well this week.

How I’m Feeling:

I feel pregnant. My belly is noticeably big and I can feel that it takes me extra effort to get around. It’s started taking me about five extra minutes to make some of my normal walks to get to work and things, which is a little annoying, but I’ve learned to allow myself the extra time. I’m also feeling baby movements everyday, though there are still strong days and weaker days, depending on where baby is sitting.

This week I noticed that I’m peeing a lot more. I know a lot of other women who have been pregnant will hate me for it, but I don’t really need to pee all that much more often since I got pregnant. I can mostly make it through the night without needing to get up and pee, as long as I don’t drink a big glass of water right before bed. But this week, I’m noticing the peeing more. I did have at least one day where it was obvious baby was just sitting on my bladder, wiggling occasionally. So fun.

While my first trimester nausea was pretty much gone by about 14 weeks, I’m starting to realize that my base level of nausea is just higher than it was before I was pregnant. I think it’s starting to become a mixture of pregnancy hormones and just indigestion from things getting squished up in there. I’m also noticing that I get short of breath more easily, probably from my lungs getting crowded.

But I’m otherwise feeling pretty good. Just, y’know, big.

Current Cravings: Nothing really specific, just generally hungrier, although I usually want eggs most days, and today I really, really wanted a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw for lunch

Exercise: 3.1 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga twice

Fruit Comparison: Ear of corn

Miscarriage, Second Trimester

On Pregnancy After Loss, Part Two: Post-Quickening

Note: This is a post about coping with previous pregnancy loss, so once again if you don’t want to hear about my anxieties and fears, please enjoy this photo of my cat being adorable:

I thought I’d write again about how I’m handling the emotions of being pregnant again after an early miscarriage, now that I’m feeling my baby move on a regular basis. Last month, I shared my fears and complicated feelings that came up when I first found out I was pregnant. I shared the relief I felt when our first ultrasound went well, and my continued anxiety that something could still happen. I mentioned that I’d heard that things get easier once you can feel the baby move.

“The quickening” is an ages-old term for that point in a pregnancy when you feel the first movements. It happens at different times for different women, and it tends to start as ambiguous flutters in the belly that some mistake for gas. As I’ve gone through the first half of my pregnancy after having a missed miscarriage, I’ve had varying levels of anxiety due to the fact that, the last time I was pregnant, I didn’t know anything was wrong until the doctor told me. This time, everything has gone smoothly, so far, but I still have that nagging feeling in the back of my head. It did help that our anatomy scan last week went well.

Also, for the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling the baby move on a fairly regular basis. And it is comforting. But here’s the thing about the first movements you feel while pregnant: They’re not consistent or regular. So even though I find it comforting when I feel my baby move, the fact that it’s still somewhat early to feel consistent movement means that I get just as worried when I don’t feel the baby move for a while. But it was nice, especially while I was traveling, that I could come back to my hotel room and almost immediately feel movement, even after doing something that had me slightly worried that I’d hurt something, like overexerting myself or getting a bad cold.

So my anxiety is slowly but surely getting better, although this week seems to be a week where baby is hanging out in a part of my body where I can’t feel the movement as much. I need to remind myself that I just felt a giant kick this morning when I get to work and don’t feel the random fluttering, flopping movements that I often feel anytime I sit quietly at my desk. So I’m hoping that, as the weeks go on, eventually I’ll get to a place where I can sit down, feel for movements, and feel confident that I’m feeling the right amount of movement. For now, I’m still trying to remind myself that everything has looked good so far.