You had hiccups this morning, baby girl. You woke me up with that strange, regular pulsating in my far right abdomen. Did you maybe have too much to drink last night? Did you go out with our houseguests until 3am? 😉
Not to worry if you missed out. You have a lifetime of shenanigans ahead of you. Hopefully you’ll wait a while before you really get wild, but not as long as I did. I probably won’t think so in a few years, so take note now, and rub it in my face later: risk taking is good.
This is the first time I’ve written to you. Plenty of times I’ve written about you, but until you had hiccups, I didn’t feel inspired to write to you. Now I think it’s clicked for me that you’re a person who will have random quirks and uncontrollable laughter and independent interests and strange mishaps and occasional hiccups.
Someday, you’ll find my by then long-forgotten pregnancy blog and be super embarrassed and think I’m a complete dork. You’ll be right on both counts.
You are really making my belly stick out now. It’s not really a cute basketball bump like they show on TV – more of a sloping protuberance. But that’s okay. My stomach has never looked like the ones on TV, and there’s no reason that should change now.
I’ve gained 20 pounds, thanks to you. Or at least, I’m going to pretend it’s thanks to you, and that the potato chips have nothing to do with the highest number I’ve ever clocked in at. The thing is, I don’t feel like I’ve gained 20 pounds. I’m softer in all the likely places. But the only place I’m gaining that actually bothers me is my face. Did you have to go and make my face fat?!
Okay, you’re right, that was probably all the sodium in the potato chips.
Less than 4 months until you show up. I’m super nervous about that. You don’t have a name or a carseat or any winter clothes yet. Also, historically, infants aren’t really my jam. I’m counting on you to inspire that heady cocktail of mom-love hormones and change that for me, forever.
If you’re following along on our #BOSUStrong Challenge, today’s prompt is #FreeFriday. Just show us what you got, no matter what it is, and tag @BOSU_fitness @fitapproach #BOSUStrong #sweatpink
The last few weeks have been very much a time of transition. I’m watching my body shape shift before my eyes, and Moonshine has been kicking up a storm. She wakes me up in the morning with her ferocious little jabs, then celebrates with a happy dance after every meal and in every savasana. (She’s clearly my and Nathan’s daughter; eating is already her favorite activity).
All this movement, and the increasing proportion of clothes in my closet that just don’t work anymore, is making this whole baby business a hell of a lot more real.
I had a moment, last week, while I was walking the dog. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, wearing what had become my uniform for the last two weeks or so: branded cotton tank, wrinkled maternity shorts, and birkenstocks.
I have this rule for myself. Basically, the ONLY real rule I have for myself: don’t go outside looking like a homeless person. Just because pajamas are my default state of being doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to experience my tattered sweats, sleep creased face, and crazy hair.
I had drifted really, really close to breaking my cardinal rule. It’s a slippery slope, y’all. And while I could push the boundaries while we were in Tahoe—where dusty outdoor gear is the universal uniform—it doesn’t blend in so well in downtown Austin.
More than that, my clothing complacency was just an index for what was happening in the rest of my life: I was slipping. Meal planning and grocery shopping was basically nonexistent. Planning for the baby (and maternity leave?) was something I had been avoiding. My exercise was getting haphazard (and occasionally offensive).
Something had to change. Many things had to change. I had to get my butt in gear and start owning this big thing creeping up on me and my waist size.
I started with the clothes: I went and got myself some maternity-friendly tops so I could pretend to be more put together when I left the house. I even invested in a maternity LBD that will carry me through a couple fall weddings and the holiday season.
I started grocery shopping, and actually making myself delicious, nutritious things to eat. Moonshine is doing all sorts of happy dances.
I’m also diversifying my snacking opportunities (since I find myself needing to eat every couple of hours, I was in a serious snacking rut). My Bulu Box provided just that opportunity to change it up without having to commit to new products at the grocery store.
The chicken jerky, especially, is rocking my damn world. I haven’t been much on the meat train, for whatever reason, but for some reason this salty savory jerky is the exception to my meat aversion rule. Probably because I fall immediately in love with anything that involves basil. Hooray for lean protein! (Happy dances are happening).
My Hemp Heart Bites are making a regular appearance in my purse, too. I love having little protein rich snacks handy at all times, and these are chock full of omegas (so good for Moonshine’s brain development!).
Then I tackled the work thing (or at least, started to). After reading a ton on the internets, trying to find other moms-to-be who run their own businesses, and trying to figure out just how they managed TWO babies without letting either one suffer, I decided I just need to create my own reality.* I made myself a Do-or-Die-Before-Baby list so I can make my absence easier for my team, and I’m actively trying to make myself dispensable so that as few people as possible are depending on me.
I’m feeling so much better already. So much more in control of my life, my health, my career. There’s still a lot of opportunity to improve – but all trends are pointing in the right direction.
p.s. You can get 50% off a 3-month subscription to Bulu Box with the code SWEATPINK.
p.p.s. You can get 15% off Hemp Heart Bites with the code HHBitesLaunch15. You can also enter to win a case of Hemp Hearts by sharing a photo of how you and your family stay active and tagging @manitobaharvest #hhbites!
* That said, if you’re someone who had a baby and runs her own business, and wants to keep running her own business, I would LOVE to hear how you did it. I’m really struggling with this, and my online searching was pretty unfruitful.
I received the BOSU, Hemp Heart Bites, and the Bulu Box for free. All opinions and life plans are my own. 🙂 Thanks for supporting the brands who support the Sweat Pink Community.
I hit the 20 week mark today. That means I’m halfway done with this preggo journey. That means in just a few weeks, my baby could reasonably be saved if she were to come early.
That shit is crazy.
I can’t believe how quickly the first half of my pregnancy has gone by. Even the time-crawling, this-will-never-end nature of first trimester is fading into distant memory. (Thank you, whatever biological mechanism is helping me forget the gory details of those first couple months).
In some ways I don’t feel like I can take credit for being halfway done; after all, for the first 2 or 3 weeks they count, you’re not actually pregnant, and for the first 5 or 6, most people don’t know they’re pregnant.
In any case, though, the 20 week mark triggered my anxiety and oh shit this is real buttons like no other milestone has yet. I washed some of the gifts we’ve gotten (how awesome are these?! Thank you Jamie, Nara, and Rena! :))
… and then promptly had a little freakout about how we haven’t done anything to get ready. No nursery furniture or decorating or plans. We’re not on any daycare or preschool waiting lists. We’ve had one halfway serious conversation about names. Neither of us knows how we’re going to handle work once the baby comes. (Oh, the joys of working for yourself: there’s no official time off for maternity or paternity, there’s no one to take over your role while you’re bringing a new life into the world), and absolutely no pay while you’re doing 3am feedings instead of hustling for business.
That anxiety storm has passed, at least for now. I woke up this morning feeling much more relaxed, knowing that one way or another, we’ll figure it out. So in the meantime, I’m borrowing one of those pregnancy update blog templates to check in on myself, midway through:
How far along? 20 weeks.
Baby is a… banana. Yuck. I hate bananas. Can I choose a different fruit?
Weight gain: no clue. I haven’t laid eyes on a scale in two months. If you’re waffling between an OB and a midwife, here’s another bump in the pro midwife column: there’s no forced weigh-ins. 🙂
Symptoms: overall pretty good! Hungry all the time. I usually get one or two good energy days, then have a wipeout day. Now that I’ve figured out the pattern, I am handling my fatigue days better. I also get really short of breath when I climb the stairs, and dizzy when I stand up.
Cravings: potato chips, but I’m pretty sure that was a pre-existing condition that can’t be blamed on the pregnancy.
Aversions: still not into meat or sweets. I have ice cream occasionally BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT, DAMMIT, but most sweets don’t appeal.
Movements: I’ve felt two movements, really far apart. The first was little butterfly flutters, really early on – I think it was around week 12 or so. The second was the softest little jab during week 18. Waiting for more, and more consistent, movements.
Excited for: our anatomy scan, which I have yet to schedule. I have a feeling seeing an actual baby in there might prompt another freakout.
p.s. I realized I’ve been telling everyone I see in real life, but have yet to officially announce on the internet yet, so here goes:
I just got back from our annual conference, Blogfest, and have a ton of things on my mind, some pregnancy related, some not.
We had an amazing weekend at the conference, and I must say, traveling during second trimester is much, much easier than during the first. I’m so grateful to my team—Jamie, Dapinder, Liz, here’s looking at you—for taking such good care of me this weekend and doing all the heavy lifting.
I was literally the “sit here and watch the stuff while your team members carry heavy furniture and boxes, and then feed you” girl this weekend.
Post conference, things have been a little… funky. Recovering from the conference has taken a slightly different road than usual, and not just because I’m knocked up. (tl;dr: less sleeping, more eating than usual).
ANYWAY. I’ll be back with more about all that once I have a chance to process and articulate my thoughts. Here’s what’s happening in pregnancy land.
All the eating.
I am hungry every couple of hours. Debilitatingly hungry. Panicky, can’t think straight hungry. So I’m eating 5-6 meals every day. And it’s pretty fun.
Now, before you get all up in arms about how I shouldn’t really be eating for two, here’s what my midwife told me, and I quote:
Don’t worry about calories or weight gain. Just eat when you’re hungry, and eat smaller meals often, so your blood sugar stays more consistent.
Possibly the best thing a care provider—or any human, for that matter—has ever said to me.
I’m all about the hard boiled eggs, the avocado, the yogurt, and the breakfast burrito these days. Siggi’s yogurt, specifically. High fat proteins are where it’s at.
I also had this weird holdover craving from first trimester: Mongolian barbecue. Greasy pan-asian noodles just sounded so.darn.good, but I couldn’t find any close to me in Austin, so as soon as I arrived at my parents’ house, I recruited a willing lunch companion: my dad.
I suspected that Mongolian Barbecue was not going to be as delicious as I remembered (I think the last time I had it was in high school?!) but rest assured, it was just as salty and greasy and carb-y and perfect as I had hoped. It didn’t even matter that I’m not nauseous anymore; it just tasted good.
Mostly feeling good! I’ve had a few nauseous moments but nothing to write home about. I get out of breath at embarrassing moments, like walking up the stairs or hustling between sessions at the conference last weekend.
I also find that my energy gets zapped more quickly, especially in group settings. I’m an introvert by nature and my people-time energy seems to have lost some of its staying power.
The biggest symptom I’ve noticed (besides the uncomfortable pressure along my waistband) are MSG headaches. I’ve never had an issue with MSG; quite the opposite, really. I love nacho cheese doritos and basically anything doused in the salty good stuff. I even own a shaker of MSG, which my husband and I used to put on mac’n’cheese and other yummy things that of course we would never eat because I’m in the fitness industry.
Unfortunately, my love affair with the much maligned additive seems to be over. I had some less-than-amazing takeout a few weeks ago (see: greasy noodle cravings) and had a crushing headache for the next two days. That delicious bowl of noodles I slurped down unfortunately seemed to incite the same pressure in my temple… so I’m going to try to stay away from MSG (sob) and see if the headaches do, too.
All the judgments
So, now that you’re judging me for devouring that Mongolian barbecue and confessing my love of MSG, let me share the first moment of actual judgment I’ve experienced since becoming a vessel for another life.
I made some offhand comment to an acquaintance about how I was eating fairly healthy now, but I ate only potato chips in my first trimester because I couldn’t keep anything else down. (Which, as you know, is partly true and also partly not true; I also ate a lot of bagels).
The look on her face was the most judgey, withering scorn I have seen in a long time.
It was irritating, to say the least, but I also felt completely at ease walking away from that conversation and not letting her reaction bother me. I own the fact that my first trimester was all about getting through it, any way I could.
I’m officially on day 2 of my second trimester and wowee! I love second trimester energy so far. I still have random bouts of nausea, mostly at night, but overall, I almost feel like myself again. Never again will I take normal life, energy levels, appetite, or activities for granted.
Lots of big news around these parts:
I’m eating vegetables. Like, so many vegetables. And fruits. And eggs. And sweets. And basically anything with flavor. There’s a whole new world to explore.
I got the green light to drink kombucha. My midwife said all the live cultures are great for me, and the tiny bit of alcohol wasn’t a concern. Her words were, “If you start feeling drunk, stop drinking it. Otherwise you should be fine.”
Speaking of… after dating interviewing lots of care providers, from OBs to nurse midwives at birthing centers to the hippiest of the hippie midwives, I’ve made my decision. More on why I’m going with midwives, coming soon.
I went to yoga this morning. My couch potato streak is over. Good riddance. I’m not fully up to speed with exercise—yoga this morning was a relatively low-intensity, not too challenging class, but still rather humbling. Even so, just being there and making it through the hour made me feel like a champion. Also, endorphins. How I’ve missed you, my pretties.
I may have done the impossible and overdosed on my favorite food. I ate so much string cheese, cheese pizza, and grilled cheese sandos during first trimester that I’m kind of over cheese right now. Not so much that it makes me sick to think about or eat, but I am tired of it. I’m not choosing it.
My jeans feel really uncomfortable. I can mostly hide this bump situation—right now it just looks like I have a beer gut or ate too much queso—but ick, buttoning my jeans feels awful, as does zipping up several of my skirts. As I discovered this morning trying to get dressed for yoga, the same is true for most of my yoga pants/ athletic wear. This is the downside to having been at a more or less consistent weight for the last seven years: I don’t really have any fat clothes to rely on. The wardrobe options are getting more and more scarce. Time to go shopping, obviously.
Now that I have all this energy, I have a few missions I’ve set for myself. First and foremost, get back into regular exercising. It couldn’t be more perfect timing that the #LJInspired challenge starts on Monday: I’m thinking of that challenge as the perfect opportunity to get my butt back into gear, and have some built-in accountability and motivation.
I’m planning to take full advantage of BlogFest next week, namely, some of the sponsors that will be there. One of my favorite yogurt brands, Siggi’s, is bringing us some super delicious yogurt snacks (!!) and I am so, so happy that I’ll actually be able to enjoy all that yogurt goodness.
I’m also putting together some final thoughts on survival skills for the first trimester (coming soon). Hopefully it will be helpful to someone. If nothing else, I still have some venting to do, and y’all know how I love to vent.