Missed a previous bump photo roundup and just need to see my midsection? Check out my Bump Photos HERE.
23 Weeks – Week 23 was the first time someone who didn’t know me spotted me as pregnant! Let me explain, that makes no sense I know. I was at Baby Gap returning some maternity clothes I bought over Labor Day weekend that were WAY TOO BIG (I’m big now, but not that big) and then doing my normal creepy activity of petting all the baby clothes like a serial killer (this is a thing I do now, pet baby clothes but don’t buy them) when a mom with a tiny one was trying to open the door with her stroller to leave. I waddled over and said, Let me get that for you, and she thanks me, spots the bump and goes, “Soon enough you’ll be looking for this kind of help too!” MY FIRST STRANGER BUMP ENCOUNTER! My god it took 23 weeks to look visibly pregnant enough for a stranger to feel comfortable commenting on it. Milestone!
Other than that, when it comes to sleep I completely do not recognize myself anymore. I have been a ribbon winning sleeper my whole life. Even now at 30 Adam would wake me up on the weekends so I didn’t sleep through the whole damn day. I just LOVE sleep. And yeah yeah I know, get it now while I can. But so I get pregnant, still sleep like crazy through the first trimester but the second I couldn’t sleep on my back or front anymore I’ve turned into this strange person who GETS UP ON A SATURDAY AT 6:45 IN THE MORNING. Granted, the night before I went to bed at 9pm, but holy shit. 6:45am weekend wake up. Who am I? My sleep patterns have been severely disrupted by this thing on the front of me to the point where I hardly know who I am anymore.
Symptoms? There’s the usual acne, chin hair, etc but there’s also a few new ones this week as well. This is the second time I’ve come down with a case of the itchy stomach, and new fun development this week was realizing that the sudden uncomfortable feeling I was getting that would then as quickly go away was actually Braxton Hicks contractions. At first they freaked me out, but after some reading about how dehydration can be the biggest culprit I basically turned into a camel on Sunday and didn’t have a single one. I now totally notice, especially at work, that if I’m not drinking enough water, or getting up to walk around enough I’ll get one. They don’t hurt, but it’s like suddenly my stomach turns to rock, which triggers a weird feeling of fullness in my belly and bladder. They go away really quick, and I’ve never had even close to the warning level of 8 in an hour, but I’d still rather not get them if I can, so more water please! Also, I’m still on a mission to find comfortable things to wear that don’t cut into my lower stomach, so I think I’m shipping off my favorite pair of maternity jeans to my MIL to get some modifications, and I’ve got a collection of sweater/dress/tunics just waiting for the damn weather to cool off already. At this rate I am going to live in yoga pants/tights/leggings because this low ridder baby and normal pants do not mix. And kids, we still have a LONG way to go!
24 Weeks – I think week 24 will be known as the week of the maternity belt. I think the most difficult part of being pregnant is that things change so fast that by the time you learn the best way to sleep, or the right way to stay comfortable, or the foods you love, everything in your body changes and none of it works anymore. Wash, rinse, repeat. The last two weeks I’ve been on a buying and returning binge, trying to outfit this different, larger stage I’m in. Half the clothes I bought over Labor Day weekend didn’t fit. The Bobby maternity pillow people swore by I took out of the package, lay down with, and immediately put back in its package to return. The full body pillow I thought might be more comfortable I took out of the box, cuddled with for 5 minutes, and back in the box it went. Underwear that wont cut into my belly when I sit, too small. And then there was the maternity belt.
A coworker who’s a handful of weeks ahead of me swore by it since she’s carrying her baby really low as well and she said it helped with back pain as well as pulling your belly off your bladder. The idea of pulling the baby up off my bladder for a little relief was all I need to hear to make me order it on my Amazon app while I stood there talking with her. SIGN ME UP FOR BLADDER RELIEF! It arrived, and the belt and I did a dance for a while. I wore it to walk the dogs, but it felt weird. I wore it to cook dinner (when at the end of the day my belly feels really heavy) and it felt, meh? and I kept thinking I might just return it. And then on Friday I wore it to work starting with my car ride. For the first time in I don’t even remember how long, by the time I got to work 40 minutes later I wasn’t sprinting to the bathroom. IT WAS A MIRACLE. It was bulky to wear another item all day, and going pee is hilarious because you get in the stall and then there’s this big velcro RIIIIIPPP as you remove it, but other than that it was the first time in a really long time where I didn’t feel like I needed to pee constantly. Where I didn’t feel like my pants were cutting into my belly. Where I drove home almost 50 minutes and didn’t feel like I was going to jump out of my skin by the time I pulled into the garage. I took it off once I was home for the night, and I don’t think I’ll wear it during the day to just sit around on the weekends, but I think it might just be my saving grace for those long days of sitting at work. Thank you maternity belt. You’ve saved me.
Symptoms? Acne, acne, acne. It has migrated to under my chin, my jawline and my neck and it’s super sexy. Still no swelling, no stretch marks, no heartburn, and no new varicose veins. I feel more tired after a day of working I’m noticing, as if carrying more baby is taking more out of me. My appetite has dwindled as the baby has gotten bigger and there’s less room. I have to force myself to snack and most nights I don’t want dinner at all, but I make myself sit down and eat which feels weird. It’s not like when I was nauseous in the first trimester, it’s just an always on feeling of being full that keeps me from wanting to stuff more things in there. Oh, and I’m now 100% of the time living in panty liners. Super awesome side effect of pregnancy I could definitely do without. Beyond some small stuff though, still chuggin’ along.
25 Weeks – An interesting week we had for week 25. I am definitely a lady who has Braxton Hicks. I think I began getting them (without knowing I was getting them) around twenty weeks? Maybe? I mentioned them in my week 23 recap above, which is really when I began to pay attention to them. I met with my doctor this week for my glucose test (passed with flying colors!) and was told that if I had 5 BH contractions in an hour not to call the doctor, but if in the second hour I had another 5, then to give them a call. This of course promptly scared me the fuck out and I spent the next day trying to write down their times in my phone and basically touching my stomach every 5 seconds to see if I was having another one. That was a fun day. I think I went to bed at 8pm I was so exhausted from freaking myself the fuck out. Thankfully the panic passed and I’m back to remembering these are normal, they’re not coming with any frequency and we’re ok. But then this weekend I had my second lovely experience with a side cramp that was so painful it made me couch bound for two hours. And I cried. Because you know, this is what pregnant ladies do.
I was doing chores and began to feel a little twinge of a cramp on my right side. I ignored it, because of course this is the smart thing to do when pregnant and things hurt. I kept going, began working on making dinner (potato soup on the crock pot, YUM make this) and had to keep sitting down at the kitchen table because the cramp was getting worse. I finally gave up and collapsed on the couch in actual tears, calling for Adam’s help when it felt like I was being ripped in half. Adam got me a heating pad, and I lay on the couch basically crying, taking deep breaths and cursing for a good 15? 20? forever? minutes until the cramp subsided. I kept trying to be a hero and get up, but each time I did I walked like a hunchback, and it probably took a good hour or more afterwards to feel normal again. Adam had to take over my dinner prep and some of my planned errands while I lay on the couch. It’s such a weird feeling to have my body decide with full authority and gusto that I am DONE. Sit down, stop, take a break. You think you’re still the you you’ve always been, and times like this throw me on my ass as they remind me that I am almost in my third trimester, and this baby runs the show now. In the end I was fine, the cramp went away, and I went on to vacuum the house, wash the dogs, and Adam broke out the new steam cleaner (hilarious how many Facebook likes this photo got, people LOVE a man with a steam cleaner!), but the early afternoon experience was eye opening. I’m trying from now on to remember that I am pretty damn pregnant, even if I don’t feel like I am, and I need to take it slow. Let Adam help me. Rest when I need to. And mostly, listen to my body. Because if it isn’t happy, it’s going to let me know LOUD AND CLEAR.
Symptoms? Scary as it might sound, I think my acne is actually getting worse. I am back to looking like I did when I was a teenager, and it’s just not cute. My feet definitely have gotten bigger. Not swollen, just bigger. This week I had to retire all my flats, one pair of boots don’t fit, and one pair of booties don’t fit, so it looks like I’ll need some replacements to get me through this last bit here. Sadly with us moving into winter for my biggest months, it’s not like I can just slide through in flip flops, so Target shoes here I come! Also, I’m loving dressing the bump for Fall weather. Something about it, I just feel so stinking cute. I think it has to do with the fact that I’ve always had no boobs and way too much ass, so having this belly evens out my proportions and draws the eye away from my JLo booty for the first time in my life. It’s nauseating I know, but I can’t get enough. Additionally, sleep is taking a turn for the worse this week. I’m developing hip soreness from sleeping on my side which makes no sense because we have a Tempurpedic bed. Literally the most pregnant friendly mattress in the whole world. This does not bode well. Also weird, other things on me have gotten sensitive. Like my ears. I’ve worn ear plugs since I was 18 and still do now out of a compulsive habit, and the last couple weeks they’ve been hurting my ears. It’s so weird. Maybe from the extra blood in my body? It’s super strange though, and I do not approve of how delicate my skin/body is becoming. Otherwise, no stretch marks still (thank you!), 11 pounds total so far in weight gain (continuing to refuse to workout in any capacity, because, stubborn), and overall completely and totally shocked to think I’m this close to the 3rd trimester.
26 Weeks – Another week, another bump shot, another check in. What’s the deal in week 26? Feeling tired. My sleeping situation is ok but it’s obviously nothing like it was pre-belly, and I can feel it’s starting to drag on me. I am not really waking up refreshed from all the tossing from side to side and my three times a night pee breaks. My little solace in the middle of the night is that after I go to the bathroom I come back to bed, settle in on my side and just wait for a second. Then tap / wiggle / bam. She’s there. If I just flop from my right side to my left she doesn’t stir, but something about getting up, going to the bathroom and settling back down requires her as well to stretch out and find a better position. It’s our tri-nightly ritual while the house sleeps, and it makes the fact I’m not getting great sleep a little more worth it.
This week was also another order and return binge of a week. My feet are definitely getting bigger, so my new fat foot booties arrived this week and are a lovely (maybe temporary?) addition to my wardrobe. Honestly though, they’re super cute, and only $34 dollars, so maternity foot growth or not, you probably need a pair too. As well, for a while now I’ve been lounging at home or sleeping in Adam’s t-shirts, but now even those are looking stretched to capacity. A trip to Target on Sunday rectified the situation and I grabbed the sleep-dress in my bump shot below (can’t seem to find it online). It’s soft, it has long sleeves for the colder months ahead, there’s room for the bump to grow, and it covers my ass. Maternity chillaxing perfection. Honestly though, unless I get totally sick of it I definitely plan to keep it as a non-maternity item in my wardrobe. Also this week I went on a black full length maternity yoga pant binge (order return, order return, why are these so hard to find? Do pregnant ladies only wear leggings?), pulled the trigger on my Oct 24th baby shower dress AND ordered a maternity winter coat. My goal though is to stop the spending. I need to be able to make it from here because we’re at a little over three months, and it’s silly to order more items I am going to be done with here in a handful of weeks. We’ll see how I do…
Symptoms? Tired. Still Braxton Hicking all over this mother, but never past the danger threshold, so learning to just drink more water and move along with my day. I am feeling more back soreness by the end of the day, so I really need to finally do my damn maternity yoga DVD. Knowing me, I’ll do my first workout with the thing in week 39. Is inability to be motivated to workout a symptom? Because if it is, I have it. I keep thinking that labor is a marathon, and if I worked out I’d feel stronger, more energized, etc, but then I get home from work and I’m done. I put on my sleep shirt and my leggings and my slippers, eat my dinner and put a fork in me people. This fat lady is over it. My poor dogs aren’t getting the exercise they were used to, but I just can’t make myself do it. My lack of exercise is definitely a little guilt pouch I carry with me. Other than that, my acne is out of control and I refuse to cover it up. Sorry coworkers. I’m suffering with it, and you guys will to. We’ll all survive this somehow.
27 Weeks – The last week of the second trimester. Hot damn! It has been exciting, and a little scary to stand on the edge of the 3rd trimester. The second trimester felt like the easy one. The to-do list is pretty small, the final event feels far away, and you feel relatively great through most of it. Now that we’re heading into the final stretch, three months feels short. Important things need to be checked off for real now. Sending in the application and deposit to hold the baby’s spot at daycare, contacting the pediatrician my neighbor recommended, attending the birthing/baby care/hospital tour classes we signed up for ages ago, updating our will. I mean, these are important tasks! Not even counting questions like, when is the right time to make your hospital bag? If you have the car seats, is it better to install them just incase? I read a blog post from a mom that installed carseats and packed her hospital bag at her first braxton hicks. Ummmm, so that means I would have checked that off 7 weeks ago? I think not.
This week Baby Girl’s movement style has changed, and needless to say, I’m not taking it well. For what feels like forever now she’s been a little jumping bean. Throwing punches and tossing and turning, generally being a lunatic in there and I’ve come to love, and rely on it for comfort knowing she’s happy and healthy in there. One of the things I’ve enjoyed is our nightly routine of me getting up to pee, and then her giving me wiggles and kicks when I lay back down. Multiple times a night I have the sensation of knowing she’s ok as I drift back to sleep. But just this week things have started changing. Instead of big kicks it’s rolls and pushes with an occasional kick thrown in. Then last night she completely stopped our routine. I’d lay back down after a pee break, and nothing. I tried to tell myself she’s just sleeping, it’s her right too, but by 6am I was starting to panic. I lay there, pushing on my belly, waiting for a kick back thinking those horrible thoughts you try so hard to keep away, but sometimes appear anyway… What if she doesn’t kick back? Finally I felt something. Small. Pathetic really from her left hooks of weeks prior. But then another, and as I lay there, a roll, a move, another small kick. Is it a growth spurt? She just running out of room and our prize fights are a thing of the past? As I sit here now she’s moving and rolling, clearly happy and healthy in there, but if you’re not careful those feelings find their way to the surface. I think that’s part of the terror of the third trimester too, we’ve come this far. Now all I want is to rush to the finish so I can have her in my arms and have someone tell me she’s ok. To take her home and love on her and know it is done. We did it. But we’ve still got a ways…
Symptoms? Never ending acne, how I hate you. Very low grade back pain is my jam after the end of a day at work for sure, and this weekend after walking a pumpkin/corn maze (slowly mind you, we weren’t running or anything) I definitely felt my back telling me it would like it if I sat down now please. I definitely feel like a slower feebler version of myself. Walking the dogs on Friday after work around our normal little loop took me twice as long as pre-pregnancy and I was ready for it to be done when we made it home. Gone are my 3+ mile walks of the past. Still no (knock on wood) stretch marks, foot/hand swelling, hemorrhoids, or heart burn. Let’s keep it that way body!
It’s wild to think this marks the end of month 6. Now we move into month 7 and the third trimester. The downward slope to meeting our daughter. I have found over these last six months of weekly photos and blog posts that what I have to say, and what I’m thinking about as it relates to pregnancy, becoming a mother, etc has stretched longer and longer than my monthly format allows. I think moving forward into the third trimester I’m going to go to once a week posting. There’s more I’m not talking about, things I want to note so I can go back and read and remember what it was like to be pregnant with my first baby. These posts are my time capsule, and I think I’d be selling myself short as I inch closer to meeting our daughter if I didn’t give myself more space to talk about what I’m feeling.
So stay tuned in this last stretch for weekly posts.
We’re in the home stretch my friends.