Pregnancy Update: Halfway Through

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I never planned to do super regular pregnancy updates on here, but because I had several readers request in my reader survey that they wanted me to do “lots of them,” I figured I’d at least better give a couple.

As of yesterday (2/27), I am 21 weeks along, so just over halfway through this thing. While there have been many things that have been different about this pregnancy than the one where I was pregnant with my daughter, I can definitely say that one of the biggest differences is how FAST this pregnancy seems to be going. With my first, I felt like the weeks between doctor appointments dragged eternally, and now, it’s like every time I turn around, I’m due at the doctor again.

It’s kind of great not feeling so tied to checking the calendar all the time.

But, so that I have some semblance of order in this post, I’ll go ahead and attempt to break down this pregnancy report into categories as much as I can.

How I’m Feeling

Overall, I don’t have too much to complain about. Once my nausea subsided back around Week 14 or so and I got my full appetite back at around 18 weeks, I don’t have too many complaints. True, I feel much more tired on a general basis than I did while pregnant with Raven, and true, I feel like my bladder is even WORSE now than it was the first trimester (like, on par with how I’d expect to be at around 38 weeks), but overall, I’m doing all right. I know a  lot of women have it much worse than I do, so I’m trying to use that reminder to keep stuff in perspective.

One thing I’ve noticed that’s come back this pregnancy (that I noticed while pregnant with my first, too) is that pregnancy seems to make my motivation TANK. Normally, I’m an extremely motivated, energetic person who’s always making big plans and working on a million different projects and who kind of loves having a lot of different plates to spin in the air. Pregnancy, though, seems to just make me want to do the bare minimum and not much else. At least this time around I’m actually enjoying reading, though! (As a reference, while pregnant with Raven, I maybe read something like 8 books total the whole pregnancy, and I’ve already read 11 books just in the past two months alone. So at least I’m motivated to read this time around!)

Oh, and for the record, pregnancy typically doesn’t make me *too* emotional, though I’m guaranteed to have at least one or two meltdowns over the course of the whole thing. This time, I had some super intense anxiety in January when Raven and I both kept getting sick, but now that we’ve all been healthy for several weeks (knock on wood), I feel like my emotions are a little more in check.

Weight Gain

In an earlier post about this pregnancy, I mentioned that one of my main goals this time around was that I wasn’t going to let myself gain 50 pounds again, like I did when pregnant the first time. To accomplish this, I made myself continue exercising through the first trimester (which was the big mistake I made last time), and I’ve been continuing to exercise 2-3 times a week since. I’ve also recently started doing some basic weight lifting a couple times a week, just because I’m thinking the aerobics classes alone aren’t going to cut it.

I’ve also been careful to not let myself fall into the mindset that I’m “eating for two.” Yes, I’m definitely more hungry, but before, I used that as an excuse to eat waaaay more than I usually did, and a lot more junk, too.

When I went in for my 20-week appointment (technically my 19+2 appointment), I asked the doctor if she had a record of what my weight had been at that same point the pregnancy before. After all this work to maintain my exercise regime, I was sure the proof would be in the numbers, but I was a bit disappointed to find out that it wasn’t—with Raven, I’d gained 9 pounds by 20 weeks, and with this one, I’d gained 10. (I was also five pounds lighter overall when I got pregnant the first time, so imagine my surprise when I found out that I was actually six pounds ABOVE where I was at that point the first time around.)

However, my doctor told me that in the 4 weeks that followed my 20-week appointment the first time, I’d gained ten pounds, and that I’d then gained ten more in the 4 weeks after that. Sooooo, if I’m able to keep my eating somewhat in check and keep exercising, I should at least be able to prevent myself from gaining 20 pounds in 8 weeks. (RIGHT?!?! At least I sure hope so!)

My doc is one who doesn’t worry about weight gain at all, but I just know how awfully hard it was for me to lose all the weight last time, so it would be reaaaally great if I had a slightly easier time this go-round.

We shall see.

(And, if nothing else, I figure that the fact that I’m planning on exercising throughout this whole pregnancy should at least help me to be at a better starting point than I was last time, so at least there will be that.)

Thoughts on the Gender

As I mentioned in the post where I revealed the gender, I’d had an inclination that we were going to have a boy this time around, but my mind is still kind of boggled by that fact. I mean, I only know how to parent a girl at this point (and one very specific girl), so I’m truthfully a bit nervous about the kinds of differences that having a boy will bring. Of course I know I’ll love it and will feel like it couldn’t have been any other way, but it’s still weird to think about.  I’ve always been more anxious about raising boys than girls just because I AM a girl and feel like I’m therefore biased to be better equipped to teach and raise that gender, but who knows? Maybe I’ll really surprise myself.

Dressing the Bump

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was still teaching full-time and was therefore still (somewhat) motivated to look totally put-together on a daily basis. Nowadays, if we’re not leaving the house, you can bet I’ll be staying in leggings and my favorite t-shirt from Target and a black maternity hoodie.

If we ARE leaving the house for whatever reason, I keep it pretty basic with maternity jeans and some kind of maternity top, though there have been a few days where I was so reluctant to get out of the leggings that I just threw on a dress and called it good. I make sure to take all of my pregnancy update pictures for my Instagram on Sundays, just because that’s the day I’m the most likely to put some effort into what I wear.

(For the record, even on days I stay home all day, I DO still put on makeup and at least make sure my hair isn’t scary.)

Generally though, just like with my first pregnancy, I find it most fun to dress in the second trimester, just because I feel like you’re trying to hide it for most of the first (and even if you’re not, the bump’s not big enough to be easily recognized as a growing baby) and in the third, I got pretty huge pretty fast last time (though we’ll see if that changes this pregnancy).

I am a little nervous to have a due date of July 10th, however, just because my swelling last time was already pretty bad by the end, and it wasn’t even that hot (Raven having been born in the middle of April). I get overheated REALLY fast already as it is (and the temps have been around 20 degrees most of the winter here!), so I’m sure I’m going to be SUPER ready come July for this baby to get here already. (My one consolation is that since it will be summer, I can at least get away with flip flops on my swollen feet, which is something I couldn’t do last time!)

(Most of my maternity stuff was bought last time around, but in case you’re curious, in these pics was bought recently at Old Navy (and is currently !))

Other Thoughts

People ask me a lot how Raven is taking to the whole idea of getting a sibling, and while she has *some* concept that “Mama has a baby in her tummy,” she’s never had a sibling before, so she really has no idea of what it will mean for her. (She still says that the baby will be her “little brother or sister,” though we’ve told her many times that it’s a boy, to which she usually just laughs and denies it.) She has been very sweet a lot of the time though, showing genuine concern whenever I let out an involuntary “Ouch!” every time I stand up (because the baby seems to be sitting on my sciatic nerve most the time) and wanting to “give the baby hugs” (then coming up and hugging and kissing my belly). I know she’ll be a great big sister, but I also am positive that it will be a time of major adjustment to her, as she already has shown signs of jealousy and wanting to get my attention back whenever there is another child in the room that’s taking up some of my attention.

One of my other goals this time around was to make myself take weekly pictures, just because I felt so huge after a point when pregnant with Raven that I didn’t allow Matt to take hardly any, which I regret. We’ve just been doing that every Sunday after church (which we haven’t missed doing), and I also tried for a spell to take a bathroom selfie every Tuesday wearing the same outfit, but that kind of fizzled out because I kept forgetting. If nothing else, I’ll have more pictures than the first time, so…progress.

Lastly, even though I had a major complication in the after-birth process last time, I do still plan to deliver this one unmedicated as well, if everything looks good to go in that direction. I’m actually planning on starting to practice with the hypnobirthing c.d.’s very shortly (like, within a week or two), which I’ll do every night before bed. As we get closer to the time I’ll deliver, I’ll be curious to see if any anxiety crops up, just because of what happened last time, but I’m hoping that I’ve mostly worked through all that already (though only time will tell).

Aaaaand that’s everything I can think of at the moment, and now you know WAY more than you probably wanted to about how this pregnancy is going….

I think I’m probably good on the updates thing until the end of the third trimester or so.

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