Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 24 Weeks

I definitely didn't mean to let nine weeks pass between these pregnancy updates!  But I should have known that would be the case because September is a crazy month for us - our anniversary and both of our birthdays are in September.  We went to the beach for Labor Day/our anniversary weekend, had family come stay with us for the Mister's birthday, and have otherwise just felt much busier than usual.  The good news is... I'm almost done working!  That's a weird sentence to type.  My "stay-at-home mom-hood"  starts in less than two weeks!  I only have a couple more shifts, and then I'm done working for now.  It may seem early since the baby isn't due till February 1st, but we officially found out this week that the Mister will be promoted to Captain, which means we'll be moving away sometime next spring.  So, before baby's arrival, I'll be overseeing the house being painted, the carpets being cleaned, and all the other little things that will have to be done before we can put the house on the market.  Not to mention getting prepared for the little one!  We obviously hope I'll carry the baby till 40 weeks, but we have to be prepared for earlier than that, which means we'll need to pack our hospital bag, install the car seat, and have somewhere for this kiddo to sleep and have diapers changed by Christmas time.  Needless to say, I'm thankful I won't have to worry about work in the coming months and can focus on my growing to-do list!  And, fingers crossed, I'll have more spare time to share bits of our life here!  I have a long list of posts I want to share with y'all that I haven't found the time to write.

During my long blogging hiatus, we found out our baby is a GIRL!  What a lovely feeling it is to be able to use a pronoun other than "it" when referring to HER. : ) I'd never known true temptation before walking through the section of baby girl clothes at a department store with the knowledge I'm allowed to buy pink and flowers and all of the cuteness.  We're really enjoying ourselves.

Baby's size: According to "The Bump," baby is the size of a cantaloupe this week!  But "What to Expect" says she is as big as an ear of corn.  Those two produce items seem very different in size to me, but Chris says the fruit and vegetable comparisons are based more on length than on weight.  Either way, she should be weighing in at about 1 1/2 pounds and measuring in somewhere between 9 and 11 inches.  She's been doing a ton of growing, but still has a lot more to do - she'll gain about 6 ounces a week every week until she's born!

This is hopefully NOT the way he will hold our newborn.

What I'm wearing: Although I was really looking forward to breaking out my comfy fall wardrobe, the cooler weather is stubbornly holding out on us here in NC.  This time last year I was wearing sweaters and scarves, but it's looking like we're going to be stuck in the "in between" weather for at least another week.  It's hard enough to know how to dress for cool mornings and warm days when I'm not pregnant!  I did find a pair of maternity jeans I love - the basic light washed Liz Lange ones that Target carries.  They're more "jeggings" and super comfy.  I bought them in the next size up in a darker shade as well, but that may have been a waste of money because I still have a lot of growing room in the ones I'm wearing now.  For my birthday, I got a couple Forever 21 ponchos that I adore, but like I said, the weather isn't really cooperating with me on wearing those.  My uniform for work has basically been some stretchy black ponte pants paired with the tops I can still fit in that I rotate through (luckily I can get away with that since I don't work every day of the week).  I'm not quite big enough for maternity tops yet, but I've sized out of most of my nice work shirts - another reason I'm ready for cozy sweaters!  I can still get away with a couple of my dresses, but I don't think the temperature or my tummy are going to let that happen much longer.

Weight gained:  As of this morning, I've gained right at 20 pounds.  I'm a little bummed by that because I was hoping to gain no more than 25 pounds during pregnancy, and there's no way I'll be able to only gain 5 more before February (baby still has 6 or 7 pounds to grow on her own!).  The formula I was trying to stick to was no more than 4 pounds during the first trimester and then a pound a week after that (maximum would be about 16 pounds right now).  I was right on track with that, but my weight shot up by about 5 pounds a month or so ago when I went to the emergency room for a UTI and they gave me fluids.  I haven't been able to make up for that quick weight gain in the weeks since.  It could be that I was dehydrated from the beginning and needed a little more water in my body.  I'm taking comfort in the fact that I'm doing better about drinking lots of fluids each day, eating fairly healthy, and exercising regularly.  My practitioner doesn't seem concerned about my weight, so I'm just trying to relax and do everything I can to keep baby and me healthy, and that means eating when I'm hungry and making the best food choices I can stomach at the time. : )  I still have folks telling me they didn't know I was pregnant and that I don't look like I've gained weight, which I think is due to the fact that I'm carrying very low.  My bump looks really obvious in these photos, but with some of my looser shirts paired with non-maternity, stretchy pants, you still can't see it poking out.

Sorry for all the selfies!  I need to remember to ask Chris to take these bump photos when he's home!

How I'm changing other than my bump: Chris said last night my face is starting to fill out a little.  It's hard for me to notice those smaller changes, but I can definitely see some puffiness under my eyes.  My skin looks a lot tighter and more youthful on my face, which is a nice pregnancy perk!  Even though I've been weightlifting a little (yay! - more on that to follow), it's not quite enough to combat the flabbiness that I feel like I've got going on all over - I'm not getting hung up on it, though.  I know I'll be able to push it hard in the gym once the baby is born and I no longer have to worry about jeopardizing her safety.

Working out: Now that it's at least a little cooler in the mornings, I've been able to take the dogs on longer walks (all three of us get a little exhausted if it's above 60 degrees or so).  Last fall/winter, I was going on 4-5 mile walks each day, and I'm hoping I'll be able to do that again once the temperature starts to really drop.  Of course, I'm being careful to listen to my body - I turned around early the other day when I started to have a lot of round ligament pain.  Hopefully that won't be a recurring problem!  I'm also trying to do 30 minutes of one of my barre or prenatal yoga DVDs each day after my walk, but I'm back to having some queasiness and have been experiencing a little fatigue, so I'm not as good about that as I was a couple months ago.  As I mentioned before, I am so happy to be back to weightlifting some - I really missed it!  Even though it's mostly only on the weekends when Chris is around to go with me, and I'm super weak right now from taking so much time off, it feels awesome to be back in the gym. (I'd probably be fine going by myself, but I take a lot of comfort in having Chris there to spot me and help me make sure I'm doing exercises safely.)  I've been making a big effort to exercise every day lately.  I used to take the day off when I worked in the morning or on weekend days when Chris was home, but now I try to fit at least a 30 minute walk in at some point EVERY day.  I've read so much about how this regular exercise is important for my health and baby's well-being and that it can help make delivery easier.  I'm all about that!  

Symptoms: Last time I updated y'all, I jinxed myself by saying I wasn't throwing up anymore.  The very next week the spontaneous episodes of barfing came back.  I'm glad to report that hasn't happened again in over a month, but I still feel sick pretty frequently.  My acid reflux got rough as well after my last post, and my practitioner prescribed Zantac for that.  The prescription has helped a lot, both with my reflux and nausea.

My acne is a still bad at this point - I'm staying very broken out on my cheeks.  Recently, I started using essential oils around our house and for medicinal purposes, and I've been putting a little Melaleuca (tea tree) oil or lavender oil on my trouble spots after I wash my face.  I can tell a difference with the oils, so I'm going to keep that up!

Some days, I don't have any trouble with fatigue... Other days, I hit a wall in the afternoon and have no choice but to take a nap.  I'm thankful it's not consistent or especially limiting at this point.  A little nap is nice every few days!

My bladder definitely feels pregnant now!  I think that's partially due to the fact that baby is hanging out so low and pushing on everything down there.  Running errands means a lot of finding public bathrooms!  But I'm happy that I'm doing better about staying hydrated, so I'll take the constant tinkling as a side effect of that.

At my last appointment, I mentioned my lower back and hip pain to my practitioner, and she said it sounds like sciatica.  Luckily, it doesn't bother me much anymore during the day, but I do have a good bit of pain when I'm in bed and when I get up after sitting in the same place for a while.  I'm thankful I don't have much discomfort in my hip when I try to exercise because that would be frustrating.

Like everyone warned me about when I revealed I was pregnant, I have so many FEELINGS.  It's like I've lost the ability to feel just a little mad or a little sad or a little happy.  If I'm mad, I'm raging... If I'm sad, I'm crying.  I know it's par for the course, but it really is surprising how all-consuming my emotions are right now.

I don't know if this is a common pregnancy symptom or not, but I'm very jumpy.  When I see a bug or a shadow out of the corner of my eye, I feel myself startle and my heart skip a beat, even if my brain is registering that what I'm seeing isn't a threat.  I guess maybe it's my maternal instincts kicking in - in hyperdrive!

Days until my next appointment: Because our girl was nestled down in a ball at the bottom of my uterus last time we tried to do an anatomy scan, the ultrasound technician couldn't get good photos of her spine and kidneys and such, so we're going back for another anatomy scan tomorrow.  I'm excited to see the baby again and get confirmation that everything looks like it's developing the way it should be!  Then our next appointment is November 4th, so a couple more weeks...

Food aversions: Plain water, broccoli, grilled cheese

Food cravings: Caesar salad, chocolate milk, coffee ice cream, Japanese and Chinese food (sweet and sour chicken, teriyaki chicken, fried rice, egg rolls), ground beef (this one is weird because I'm usually not much of a red meat eater)

How I'm sleeping: I'm waking up once or twice a night to pee, and I'm just generally restless due to the sciatica pain.  I tried the pillow between the legs trick, but it didn't give me any relief.  Some nights are good and some nights are rough.  And I'm having CRAZY dreams!  Most of them aren't scary, but they're all very vivid.

What I'm looking forward to in the near future: November is going to be my month to get a lot of baby preparation work done, so I'm looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment and relief that I know will come with being at least a little more ready for her arrival.
Also, one of my best friends' baby boy is due in November, and I'm so excited for her and her husband!  I can't wait to see what their little one looks like and to watch them become parents. : )

Feeling baby move: I can definitely feel her moving around in there now, and my ability to feel it is becoming more and more consistent.  It's still mostly internal, so I'm eagerly anticipating the coming weeks when it will be easier to feel her from the outside so Chris can experience it too!  He's felt a few little twitches and kicks when she's really active, but I'm hoping her movements will become more pronounced soon.

Innie or outie?: Still definitely an innie right now!  I'm wondering if it's going to stay that way because it looks nowhere close to poking out.  Perhaps that will change if/when she decides to move up a little in my abdomen as she grows.

Dang, I'd wanted this update to be shorter than the last, but I think it may be longer!  I just have so much to tell you guys!  Overall, everything is going really great because baby and I are both healthy, and I can deal with a few pesky symptoms when I get to trade them in for baby kicks and buying little onesies and tiny hats with bear ears.


In other news, I had my hair dyed back to its natural color.  I've been doing the ombre/sombre thing for over a year now, and I loved it, but it's nice to feel like myself again when I look in the mirror while all these other changes are happening to my body!

We have a very exciting weekend ahead including the NC State Fair tomorrow night and the American Roots Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday!  I'm going to try to take lots of photos to share with you here.  Have a great weekend!

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