It’s hard to believe, but I am officially 20 weeks and halfway through my pregnancy! I thought you all may be interested in a bump update, so I’m spilling all the details in this post (it’s a long one).
How I’m Feeling
I’ve been lucky to have felt great so far in my pregnancy! Shockingly, I never had a single bout of morning sickness or nausea, or any aversions to certain smells. In my first trimester, the only symptom I had was exhaustion, but it wasn’t too severe. I just made sure to take rest breaks when I needed them and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I’m still feeling good, but my back pain is worsening as my belly grows. I’ve attached a lumbar support pillow to my desk chair, use a back massaging pillow, and practice prenatal yoga daily to help alleviate it as best I can. I also just started feeling tiny baby kicks the last couple weeks, but they’re only really noticeable when I get in bed since I’m lying very still. It feels like little flutters or bubbles; I can’t wait till my husband can feel them when he puts his hand on my belly!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited and grateful for the ability to have a child, but mentally, I definitely have good and bad days. Some days I feel great and others I’m in tears over gaining weight, not feeling prepared, and feeling anxious about becoming a mom. It’s a totally bizarre thing to see your body change so much and know you don’t have much control over it—and that’s just being real. At the same time, I’m amazed by what a woman’s body can do: for instance, did you know you gain up to 50% more blood when pregnant and that growing a placenta is actually equivalent to producing an entire new organ?! Growing a human is no joke, so some days you just have to allow yourself some grace and know that you’re doing something amazing (and pregnancy won’t last forever!)
In case you missed my gender reveal on this post, baby Brandon is a girl! When I went to the doctor last week, he said she was measuring 19 weeks and 6 days, so at this point I feel like I’m probably closer to 21 weeks along. In Jordan, we get to have an Ultrasound at every appointment for a minimal cost, which is such a relief—I only truly feel at ease when I hear her heartbeat and see her on the screen each month. The last few times, she has been kicking and flailing her tiny arms and legs like crazy, so it looks like we may have an active baby on our hands. In a few weeks, we’ll go for our 4D Ultrasound and I am so, so excited to see more detailed features and her little face! Our due date is November 30th, so technically she could be a Thanksgiving or Christmas baby.
I haven’t had any true cravings throughout my pregnancy so my husband has been lucky enough not to have been sent on any midnight store runs (yet) 🙂 My sweet tooth has been stronger on some days than others, but I can’t say that’s really any different than usual for me because I’ve always had one. During the first trimester, there were a few weeks I was a little obsessed with cheesecake, though!
Diet & Exercise
Like I said, I haven’t had any crazy cravings, so my diet hasn’t really changed during this pregnancy. There are some days I’m hungrier than others, but overall I’ve continued with my usual three meals a day with a few snacks in between. Snacks are crucial for me to have on hand because when pregnancy hunger strikes, it’s no joke! Since you need additional protein during pregnancy, I make myself a shake after working out and I like to use this protein powder (if you research, many protein supplements are not safe for pregnant women). I do miss having a second cup of coffee each morning and a glass of wine with dinner!
Since I didn’t have morning sickness and have always done regular advanced workouts, I’ve continued my normal routine this entire pregnancy and made modifications as necessary. Some say you shouldn’t work out during the first trimester, but that’s not true; it’s all about how you feel and what you were used to doing before pregnancy. I lifted weights and did cardio routines 5 days a week during the first trimester and our baby girl continues to look healthy at each appointment. Doctors just recommend listening to how your body feels and not attempting a new workout regimen if you didn’t exercise regularly before pregnancy. I’m continuing a mix of cardio/weight workouts 5 days a week and do some form of prenatal yoga or pilates every day. Yoga has literally saved me when it comes to back pain and sore muscles—I feel SO much better after stretching out!
My main goal for the next few months is to really start preparing for baby. I’ve started a baby registry but haven’t purchased many items yet. Right now all we have is the nursery bedding, a few outfits, and some boxes of diapers so it’s time to focus on the other essentials. I also want to try to make the nursery look as homey as possible despite the fact we are living in a rental apartment and only have a limited amount of furniture and space to work with. We also just enrolled for a series of Lamaze classes at a local birthing center to prep for baby’s arrival, and those will start in late September. I mentioned this before, but we plan to deliver here in Jordan as long as baby Brandon continues to look healthy.
I’ve been trying to take a weekly belly snap to document my pregnancy, but as you can see I’ve skipped a few! It’s funny how I felt like my belly was hardly changing there for awhile, but taking photos really does help me see just how much it’s grown over time.
I’ll plan on doing another bump update in about a month or so, so stay tuned! If there’s anything else you’d like to read regarding my experience with pregnancy, just let me know. And mommas out there, if you have any must-have newborn recommendations, PLEASE share them with this first-time momma!