Posts Tagged ‘preggo’

32 WEEK UPDATE

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, PREGNANCY

Pay attention to the picture on the right. If you look carefully you’ll be able to see Alexis’s foot. It’s on MY right, above the hip bone. She keeps resting her feet in that corner of my belly, which makes it look kinda freak-ey!

STATS:

Her size: “By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds  and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You’re gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she’ll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.”

How far along: 32 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 160.8 lb (+0 lb gain. Not sure if this number is correct. Our scale broke this week and was showing funky numbers, so I haven’t been able to properly weigh myself. I wish I could say I broke it, because that would be funny, but it was hubby. So you can’t blame the heavy preggo woman for crushing the scale.)

Sleep: It’s been bearable. My sides hurt, I have to switch positions often and it doesn’t help that Alexis is transverse. When I lie on my side, I obviously press on her a bit and she kicks me in that side all night. Aaaahhh I cannot wait for the day that I’ll be able to sleep on my back and my stomach again :)

Maternity Clothes: All the time now. Dresses and maternity jeans and shirts- my favorite things to wear.

Food cravings: None really. Sometimes I crave a cake, simple yellow cake.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: This week has been relatively wonderful. I am still amazed at how well I feel right now. I hope it lasts for a long time. I never expected to feel this much better during the third trimester, considering how I spent the whole pregnancy feeling sick and tired. Staying relatively active (going for walks) has been helping me feel good. I’ve had almost no back pain, which I attribute to walks and exercising.

The only thing that’s a bugger is heartburn, of course. I almost don’t count it as a symptom anymore, because it is always present.

Doctor’s Appointment: December 8th

Movement: Alexis is still transverse as far as I can tell. I did inversions for a few days and she flipped, but then back to transverse the next day. I figured it’s not a good idea to continue “forcing” her to flip head down, since it seems like laying across my belly is more comfortable for her. I am worried that if she does too many twists, she might wrap her cord around her neck and I would much rather have a C-section for a transverse baby, than risk her suffocating during birth or worse, still in utero.

Belly Button: A total outie at this point. I still don’t have stretchmarks. The skin around my belly button is reddish and stretched, but it’s been that way for weeks. I diligently apply daily oils and drink as much water as I remember to.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Black Friday! I’d been waiting to buy most of the baby stuff still Black Friday and we spent THE WHOLE DAY on our computers ordering things and researching prices NON-STOP. I prefer shopping online rather than have to drive to retail stores and be subjected to their limited in-stock options and have to try things on and waste hours and hours that I could be spending doing something productive or fun. Luckily, I am one of those people who doesn’t need to see or touch, I do pretty good imagining from the product photo and description. I think years of experience ordering online helped. I would still go to stores just for fun when I have nothing to do ( which is rare), or with girlfriends, but I definitely prefer not wasting my time like that. Needless to say that I wasn’t going to go out to retail stores on Black Friday, into the madness that it can be. Other years, we’d go with friends and make a whole fun experience out of it, with dinner and a movie ( give me an excuse to stay up all night and I’m there). Or just figure out what specific items we need, go and grab those. Black Friday can be fun if you do it right or do it from the luxury of your chair :) So we’ve spent the whole week getting package after package from UPS, Fedex and USPS, so both our living room, hallway and family room now resembles a very messy packing facility. I will be writing about the purchases, of course. What did you guys buy on Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

What I’m looking forward to:

Working on the nursery. It’s starting to look so cute. We hung the mobile and the shelves, the dresser is ready, we found the perfect recliner/glider. I just need to take pictures to share with you guys.

What I miss:

Being thin.

It’s funny how our mind gets used to things if we are given a chance. When I look at my photos from when I first got pregnant like the photo on the left ( I was about 5-6 weeks pregnant, so don’t mind the angry looking face, since I was sick as a dog), to me I look almost anorexic, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  I was healthy and very fit, with a good body fat percentage ( mostly in my legs).

Right now, the new normal for me is the picture on the right. It seems almost unreal that I was ever anything but the picture on the right. I don’t REMEMBER not having a belly, not having big boobs, not having big thick legs, or cellulite (lol). My old self looks too skinny now. I have no doubt that I will be back there again and very shortly, but I wonder if I’ll look at it the same way…. Maybe after some time, once I’ve had a chance to forget that I ever looked differently.


 

25 WEEK BUMP UPDATE

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

 

You can always tell if I am having a good day or not, based on my weekly bump photos lol
How do you like my Dr Seuss socks?

STATS:

Baby size: A size of a rutabaga (huh?) and growing… In the next few weeks the brain development will explode and in just 3 weeks 90% of babies born at that point survive without any lasting health problems- always a good thing.

How far along: 25 weeks ( Is it me or are these weeks going by SO SLOOOOWLY?)

Total weight gain: Nada. I’m still at 152 lbs, still eating really well and hitting my calorie goal, but I guess considering that Little Alexis has been very active this week, not much growth was happening. Let’s catch up next week, little girl! {update: this morning I got my 1lbs for the week so I am at 153lb now)

Sleep: Good, good good! It’s good all around. I wake up 3 times a night to go pee, but it hasn’t been bothering me in the least. The 5 pillows are difficult to manage and by the time I get back into bed after my bathroom breaks, my husband is always hogging at least 3 of them, which means I have to wrestle them out of his death grip in the middle of the night.  I keep telling him that if he still hears me fidgeting, I am not done arranging the pillows- so back off. But since it takes me a few minutes to get comfortable, by then he’s already on the other side of the bed sleeping. So I have to drag his arms to me, so that we could snuggle. It’s really quite hilarious.

Maternity Clothes: Dresses when I go out, and maternity bras at home. Otherwise, I wear a lot of stretchy pants around the house. I am really looking forward to getting some nice maternity pjs to wear around the house and all my “stretchy pants'” are getting too tight.

Food cravings : Fruit, always fruit.

Food aversions: None

Symptoms:

Heartburn – I’ve been lucky to not have any heartburn this whole week until today.
Rash – Less itchy but man, it’s all over my boobs.

I have really felt great this past week. Energy is decent, symptoms are almost non-existent. So far this pregnancy I have not had any back pain, no real round ligament pain to speak of, leg cramps, constipation or any of the other nuisances that usually pop up as your belly grows.

Exercise: Ok, I’ve been bad. Busy and bad. I completely ignored my evening walks and my pregnancy exercises and my kegels this week. It makes me feel super guilty. In my defense, it’s been really busy, but I gotta really learn to manage and fit it all in: work, blogging, photography, nursery set up, online shopping, research, friends, exercise, cooking. Thank God, cleaning is the one thing that’s off our hands now.

Movement:

Alexis keeps bouncing on my cervix and it freaks me out sometimes ( wrong door, girl!). I don’t want her to even think there’s a way out yet – settle down, girl! Oh and I have not felt hiccups yet, or maybe I can’t recognize them.

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

I thought you might like to see the front of my belly when the light is right and shows some definition. In even lighting my belly looks almost non-existent in the front view, but if I position myself right where the light falls from the side, it looks HUGE! I just had to photograph it in this lighting.

 

Gender: GIRL!

What I’m looking forward to:
Doing a Nursery update. I know I’ve been promising it for a month now, but it’s moving soooo slow. Every weekend we do a little bit, and since I can’t help with painting or refinishing, my hubby has to do it all. Well, he’s taking his time, forgetting to pick up paint, not getting enough of it, blah blah blah. We’ll still have it ready in time, but I wish I could just do it all myself. So hopefully after this weekend, I’ll have something to show you. We assembled the crib, the walls are painted, the closet  and molding should be painted by then. Not much progress to report, but at least you’ll see the direction we’re going in.

What I miss:
Being/feeling productive.
I get a lot done, but I feel like this pregnancy fatigue and all the care I put into food preparation and making sure I take care of myself ( rest, interact with Alexis when she’s awake, read to her, floss and brush after every meal, moisturize twice a day, plus the constant bathroom runs, agh!) derail and distract me so much. These are all important things and I do them because I believe in the benefit, but I’d like to spend more time doing work stuff, and blogging, and catching up on everything I’m behind on. I guess I realize it won’t improve, it will only get busier. The cooking will continue because of breastfeeding ( oh I loved those days when it didn’t matter what I put inside of my body lol), time with Alexis will multiply as she grows ( and I love that idea), but at least I won’t be as tired because I will no longer be growing a human being, and I won’t need to be so diligent in my skin care routine to prevent stretchmarks, or take care of my gums like crazy because I am pregnant and most importantly, I will be able to push myself even when I am tired, which I don’t do now, because that would mean taking the precious energy away from Alexis who needs it to grow her big beautiful brain and develop the rest of her organs (wow, is that a massive sentence or what?).  So whenever I feel tired or overwhelmed, I relax, which is not something I would allow myself to do normally.

I like structure and right now I lack that structure.

 

Oh and I am not even close to being half way done with the nursery but I am already mapping out in my head the playroom we’re going to create for Alexis. We have this room downstairs that is just a placeholder for furniture ( literally). I cannot wait to create a whole play area out of it, with reading spots and easels and kids tables and chairs for activities and all kinds of stuff. Yeeek!!!

 

Annee Matthew Maternity Review and Giveaway: CLOSED

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

Hey, guys, remember I told you that I discovered quite a few lesser known maternity brands that I’m loving so much I will be featuring them throughout my pregnancy? And not only featuring but giving you all an opportunity to score some goodies as well!

Well, here’s one of them!

Annee Matthew Maternity

I remember how daunting it was: the concept of buying clothes that looked bad, felt uncomfortable, cost too much and would only be worn for a maximum of a few months before being put away in the furthest corner of my closet to hopefully never be seen again. Oh the fear of maternity clothes! And how surprised I was to find out that “Hey, maternitywear does come in pre- and post- version too”.

But then somebody dropped a bomb on me:”If you’re going to be breastfeeding, you will need to buy a whole new wardrobe to be nursing friendly”  !BAM!

That’s where Annee Matthew maternity clothing comes in and that’s one of the things that I LOVE about it. It can be worn before pregnancy, during pregnancy, during the “whale period” of pregnancy AND while breastfeeding, it’s comfortable, it’s affordable, it fits like a glove and it’s super cute.

For some of you this might not come as a surprise, but as a first time mom who pretty much never had to deal with babies or pregnant friends (most of my friends are still waiting to have babies), this seemed really cool!

Check it out:

You lift up the flap on the shirt to expose your wondrous nutritious BOOBIES through special openings any time you need to breastfeed in public (or private). Your probably still squishy tummy stays hidden by the shirt, your baby is happily nursing away and you’re still looking fabulous ( picture below right)

So this was a new concept to me and a fun one too!

Next:  Softness! Aaaaahhhh! I literally melted! One word: organic bamboo ( ok, that’s two words). It’s made out of luxurious, eco-friendly bamboo fibers and probably the softest, most pleasant-to-touch piece of clothing in my whole wardrobe ( not kidding!)

We all know how sensitive our skin gets the second we get pregnant (ugh), and this shirt is like wearing a cloud ( again, not kidding).

It’s really incredibly comfortable. When I first got it, I kept prancing around the house and twirling ( yes at 22 weeks pregnant) and just enjoying the feel of it. It also fit me PERFECTLY! The fabric is really nice and stretchy, so I’d imagine it would hug everyone’s curves just the right way.

 

Next: Another thing I noticed is that the flap in the front sort of concealed my belly in a good way. I was 22 week pregnant while taking these photos and I was showing quite a bit. However, I could totally pull off the “what? I’m not pregnant!” look, which means that when I am really big, I’d hope that this shirt would make me look less like an elephant (I’m tired of the “whale” methaphor) and more like a … umm… you know…whatever is smaller and cuter than an elephant. A baby elephant? You get my point!

And post partum is going to be another story. I’ll probably live in this shirt, deny that I still look 5 months pregnant and keep telling myself that I am back to my prebaby shape. Because it makes you look THAT good.

Annee Matthew store has all kinds of styles: short sleeved, long sleeved, dresses, casual, dressy. I didn’t get to to try out the dresses ( remember, I am a dress addict?), but they look just as comfy.
My absolute favorite is Vanna Dress.

Ok, now onto the coolest part: GIVEAWAY

Annee Matthew would like to give  the same shirt  (found here) away to one of my readers. You’ll be able to pick the size and color ( it comes in plum{shown above} and black)

So, if you guys want to experience the coolness factor of wearing fun, soft, comfy, nice looking, versatile “maternity and beyond” clothing ( you don’t have to be pregnant to do that), enter the giveaway!

BELOW  ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}
There are two mandatory entries, after which you will have additional entries available.

All comments will be moderated and will appear once approved.Please make sure to comment on which item from Annee Matthew store you liked to be eligible (entry #2)

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial.
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then I’VE DONE IT once the action is completed}
Open to US residents only.



24 Week Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES

 

STATS:

Baby size: Corn. She’s rapidly gaining weight, lung tissue and brain cells.

How far along: 24 weeks. VIABILITY! YAY!

Both hubby and I are happy to be finally hitting the viability milestone. It seems like the weeks have slowed down again, dragging along. But it’s great to think that if something unfortunate were to happen, Alexis would have a chance of survival. I don’t even want to think about it, but I do, because I know things happen. I’ve seen them happen.

On a happier note….

Total weight gain: 1 pound (152lb) this week. After gaining 2 pounds a week for the last two weeks and then seeing a strange 1.5 lbs come out of nowhere, I decided to see where my food intake was at ( I had stopped inputting all my food for a bit). And instantly I saw the problem. I was going off of my 1st trimester mentality, where regardless of how much I ate, I still needed to eat more to meet my calorie goal. So now that I am in my 2nd trimester, and food isn’t so gross to me,I get the necessary amount of calories by eating normally. However in my mind, I still think that I hadn’t had enough and want make sure I get in one last nutritious meal before bed like I did in the first trimester ( does that make sense?). And that’s exactly where that extra pound a week was coming from. I don’t want to continue gaining double each week , thank you very much, I am very happy with my 1 pound that is necessary and recommended- it’s not good for Alexis and it’s not going to be good for me.  So now that I know what’s happening, I am back in the “1 lb a week” game

Sleep: Strangely, it’s been good. I’m loving my pillows. I still get up 3-4 times a night, but I learned to keep my mind blank while I go to the bathroom, otherwise a flurry of thoughts wake me up. Alexis has been kicking a lot during the night, which isn’t normal for her. I attribute it to the fact that I am more active during the day than I was before and the night is now the only time when she gets to be awake.

Maternity Clothes: Yoga pants, maternity jeans, maternity tops. I have found a few maternity companies I really like and I am loving their clothes.

Food cravings : Anything fresh- fruit, vegetables, salads

Food aversions: None

Symptoms:

Heartburn – It’s been much better. I am still not taking anything for it, but I’ve found tomatoes give me heartburn so I’ve been more careful with them.
Rash – It’s less itchy, more manageable. I really think it’s because of the detergent.
Fatigue – I swear there are days/weeks when Alexis must be growing a lot, because I’d be EXHAUSTED for no real reason and she’s pretty quiet. And then a few days later I am fine and she’s all active and kicking.

Exercise: I have been doing pregnancy ab exercises to strengthen my core, kegels and certain hip stretchers daily. We also go walking every day. So I’ve been feeling really good about it.

Movement:

She has one very active day, one quieter day. She totally kicks “on command” now. All I have to do is put my hands on my belly and start talking to her, or have Andrew talk to her. She loves when daddy talks :)
This afternoon I was laying on my side and she literally LIFTED UP my belly off the couch by pushing off of it with her body. That was the freakiest feeling EVER!
Oh and her favorite pastime is, obviously, bouncing on my bladder. How fun!

Belly Button: Still  an innie but it’s totally itching to come out. If I sit in a certain position, I can almost say it becomes an outie.

Gender: GIRL!

What I’m looking forward to:
My glucose test ( is that weird?)

What I miss:
Having good hair :( I HATE my hair right now. It’s  weak and stringy and just yuck. And I can’t even highlight it until I give birth. Back before pregnancy, it would get bleached in the sun when I’d be going to the beach constantly. But that’s not happening now, so I am stuck with grubby hair.

 And hey, you guys, would you do me a favor?

The stats are TOP BABY BLOGS seemed to have been reset, so would every single one of you, pretty please, click on the button below to vote? ( it takes 1 click + 1 to confirm)

Early Gender Prediction – Genital Tubercle Angle

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

If you remember a few months back I was desperate to find out if Alexis was a boy or a girl.

I always wanted a girl. It’s been my dream to have a blond cute little daughter, who’d adore her daddy, and wear pigtails, and love pretty dresses. A girl who will be afraid of bugs, and mimic her mommy and have this adorable girly voice. I want to have talks about boys, and girlfriends, and school, and cheerleading or any sports she’ll play. I want to know everything about her first crush, and her first kiss. I want to go clothes shopping with her, and do our hair and make up. I want to do all the girly things there are to do and all the boyish things she might want to do as well.

{Little girl borrowed from and photo taken by my talented friend Leeka}

So needless to say, we did everything we could to tip our chances towards having a girl. Granted, there’s not much one can do to help that ( if anything). We followed Shettle’s method and  although it hasn’t been proven accurate, it was the ONLY thing that made sense logically and (pseudo-)scientifically.

And then we crossed our fingers and waited. It turns out  four  months is a long time to wait when you have a strong preference about the sex. So some time during those 4 months, I bumped into  a way of determining the sex of the baby earlier (here).  And it was not one based on old wive’s tales or via any kind of invasive procedure.

It’s called genital tubercle angle method and it can be used to determine sex at 98.7% accuracy at your 12-14 week ultrasound. The keyword is “CAN”. It’s not a sure thing (nothing is, until you give birth), it’s more of a speculation, but it’s no different than determining sex at your 20 week ultrasound.

So here’s how it works:

The ultrasound technician takes a scan of the baby “from the side” and looks for the baby’s nub. At this point in pregnancy the genitals aren’t developed enough to look much different, whether it’s a boy or a girl. It all looks like a little nub between the fetus’s legs. However, what’s indicative of the gender is the angle that nub is pointing at. If the angle is 30% or more to the baby spine ( spine not the uterine wall), then it’s indicative of a boy, if it’s parallel or less than 30%, then it’s a girl.

As you can tell, such a measurement leaves a lot of room for error and the technician would have to be trained or experienced in this type of gender determination to say anything definitively. However, for anxious parents, like we were, it could at least give some idea.

The problem becomes when the angle isn’t clear. All babies develop at their own speeds and one baby might point parallel at 13 weeks but then rise up over 30% (a boy), and another baby can have an obvious boy nub at 12 weeks. However, obviously boyish nubs almost never turn out to be girls.

Our technician was not willing to even look at that type of thing, though our OB was very intrigued. We were disappointed to not even get a little clue at 12 weeks, but there was nothing we could do….

That was until one of my readers pointed out that I could extract a single frame from the ultrasound video we shot at the appointment, where you could see the angle of the nub. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me prior to that, but I loved that idea. So I got that one frame and studied it closely. To me it looked like the nub was pointing down, but I could have been inventing things, because I wanted a girl so bad. I texted my friends the picture and the explanation to see if they are seeing the same thing, but they couldn’t really tell.

nub7

So that same reader sent me a link to the InGender Forums, where, it turns out, there’s a whole section devoted to just that: Genital Tubercle Angle.  You can view the 12 week ultrasounds of babies and their CONFIRMED gender to get a better idea of what a boy or a girl nub tends to look like. It’s not always clear. Sometimes, what LOOKS like it could be a girlie nub turns out to be a boy. But I’d say in 80% of the ultrasounds I saw,  (without any experience) I could easily guess the sex correctly. Also you can post a picture of your baby’s nub, and women who have seen quite a few of those, including some ultrasound techs, would attempt to give you their guess. Needless to say, I promptly uploaded that pic and within a day got 8 or 10 GIRL guesses.

That made me pretty sure we were having a girl. I didn’t want to say anything o
n the blog for two reasons: in case it wasn’t correct, and not to spoil the gender reveal.

Well, as you all know, it turns out we ARE having a girl, so I thought I’d write about this method for all those other anxious parents out there.

I found it a lot of fun to speculate and guess and study the ultrasound. It was completely a part of the whole excitement to find out the sex of our baby. I wouldn’t have been disappointed in the method if it was wrong and I am definitely going to try to figure out the sex of our next baby when that time comes. However, if you’re the kind of person, who doesn’t deal with disappointment well and has a VERY strong preference, you might want to use this resource with caution.

For everyone else, HAVE FUN!

Useful links:

EXPLANATION OF THE GENITAL TUBERCLE THEORY

INGENDER FORUM

HOW TO READ ULTRASOUND ABBREVIATIONS

 

23 Weeks Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy


STATS:

How far along: 23 weeks.

Had a doctor’s appointment today. Nothing new, I am measuring perfectly for 23 weeks, which is good, because I go back and forth thinking I am not showing enough or that I am too big lol
Speaking of my OB, I love him! He’s really amazing- sweet, nice, caring, funny. He takes FOREVER with us, answers all the questions, tells stories, jokes around. We never feel rushed, or like our questions are silly. Today he went and brought a medical reference to see why Tums are category C, simply because I was curious. Then paged through the whole thing, looking up benadryl and claritin. I am just soooo glad we found him!

Total weight gain: “1 pound (150lb) this week, for a total of approximately 14 pounds from the start of the pregnancy” That’s what I wrote yesterday. And today I woke up, weighed myself and was +1.5lbs at 151.5 lb. Assuming it’s water weight, since there no way I could have gained 1.5 lb of actual weight in 24 hours, while eating normally. We’ll know for sure next week.

Sleep: I think I’m starting to get uncomfortable enough that sleep is becoming more of a problem. I fall asleep no problem but wake up very sore, and toss and turn all night. For some reason, both hubby and I have been waking up at 4-5 am unable to go back to sleep.

Maternity Clothes: Yoga pants, maternity jeans on occasion

Best moment of the week:

Finding out my friend is pregnant again and we’ll have babies within a few months from each other

Food cravings : None really.

Food aversions: None

Symptoms:

Heartburn – Dang it! It’s stubborn and I am stubborn. I don’t like the idea of taking anything for it. It’s very strange really. After talking to my doc, I am a bit more inclined to take Tums, but something keep stopping me. Silly me!
Rash – Ugh! It’s itchy, it’s everywhere, it annoys me. I continue trying to ignore it- the less I scratch, the better it gets. Still haven’t figured out why I have it.  Doc says could be PUPPS, could be contact dermatitis, which is what I think too. Hoping it’s not really PUPPS, since it looks different from everyone’s description and pictures. Going to try to wash all my clothes and sheets again with hypoallergenic detergent and switch to a different soap.
Bladder- need to pee all the freaking time, especially when Alexis is dancing on my bladder. Oh, boy I can see this being “a lot of fun” once she gets really strong.

Movement:

All the time, and she’s strong. She definitely interacts with us and our voices. AND I WAS SHOCKED to see that she really likes Blink 182. She kicks every time I play it.

Gender: GIRL!

What I’m looking forward to:
My glucose test at my next appointment. I want it done and over with.
Hitting the 3rd trimester mark next week
Viability next week.

What I miss:
Having energy. It seems my 2nd trimester energy spurt is over a few weeks after it began. :( I spent the first trimester feeling sick and tired. The nausea went away around week 16 and it took me till week 18 to feel more or less normal. 5 weeks later I am more tired than before.  That’s not a very long run, I gotta tell you.

Next appt: October 28th

21 Week Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

Is it me or do I look significantly bigger this week than I did last week? I can’t tell if it’s the leggings or a different closer lens I used…

STATS:

How far along: 21 weeks.

How big is baby: The size of a carrot. She’s kicking a lot now and has grown eyebrows.

Total weight gain: 2 pounds (147lb) this week, for a total of  approximately 11 pounds from the start of the pregnancy.

I have something to say about this whole pregnancy weight gain. I now see how women gain 50-60 pounds during pregnancy ( considering the actual baby/pregnancy weight gain is about 25lbs). It must be that a pregnant woman’s body hangs onto every calorie, because the ONE week that I let myself have more sweets than I normally do was the week I gained more than normal. I had hubby buy frozen white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for me, but instead of making just 2 of them at a time like I asked, he would make a batch of 6. Well, those things are INSANELY good ( but ridiculously bad for you), so being right in front of my face, I’d slowly eat all six in a matter of a few hours. And then he’d make more the next day. It is hard to resist something so “comforting” when you feel crappy ( and let’s admit something here, pregnancy is no walk in the park and “crappy” describes most days) and when you have the excuse (albeit, a wrong one) of “eating for two”….

And while I never fooled myself with the whole “eating for two” notion, it was still a lot harder to resist those cookies that it would be in a non-pregnant state ( or at least I felt worse about eating them, than I would if I wasn’t pregnant). So the point I am trying to make is that for 8 weeks of my 2nd trimester I have been gaining the appropriate pound a week, and the one week I “let myself go” ( by my definition), was the week where I gained 2(!!!) pounds. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

It is way more important to me to make sure my baby girl gets the right nutrition (and cookies aint it) and I stay in shape than  to have a minute long enjoyment of some  over-processed cookie. Before pregnancy, I loved the phrase “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!“, now it has taken on a different meaning for me. It’s about my unborn child’s health and also about realizing that while I might not see the benefit of NOT eating the cookies RIGHT NOW, since I am getting bigger every day, but that delayed gratification of losing the baby weight fast and with no problems is worth a lot more to me than the sweetness of an extra cookie.

Sleep: Lots of bathroom breaks but good overall.

Maternity Clothes: Maternity jeans because they’re comfy and cover up my legs when I am too lazy to shave them haha. It’s way too hot for jeans though, so I only wear them when I know I’ll be inside most of the time. Otherwise, my old larger shorts and capris + leggings and all of my tops still fit.

Best moment of the week:

This week has been pretty much full of work. I try to stay away from the stressful part of it, but this evening it really got to me. That’s another reason to take it easy and do something mundane and non-stressful: taxes, marketing, etc.  Once you get involved, you can’t just pull away. So I had a really bad afternoon with some work stress and  then I go on the my Facebook page and there’s this sweetest message from Mitch! It sooooo brightened up my day!

Food cravings : Those damned macadamia nut cookies. Though, to be honest, I couldn’t have resisted them, but oh no, I had to learn my lesson.

Food aversions: I think I am back to normal self as far as eating goes. At least I am working really hard on my past aversions mentally.

Symptoms:

Heartburn – mild and occasional
Round Ligament Pains – I finally felt real round ligament pains. What I thought might have been them was really just gas pains or whatever else. The suckers hurt when you get up, but they feel exactly like little muscle cramps/pulls
Rash –  Oh goodie! I got my first non-standard wonderful symptom, a rash. How wonderful! So far it’s all over my boobies, and slowly spending onto my back and itches like hell (doesn’t appear to be PUPPS though). I am doing some Jedi mind control to prevent myself from scratching it and am trying to completely ignore it in hopes of it going away. My skin has always been very eager to release histamine at any scratch and this isn’t an exception. So the less I scratch it, the more benign it seems to be. I am really really hoping, it’ll go away soon and isn’t one of those things “only cured by delivery”. Anyone had something similar?

Movement:

This girl is a kicker and mover. She has a specific pattern now and is very active during those times.
The other day, Andrew put his ear onto my stomach to see if he can hear her heartbeat without a doppler, and Alexis KICKED him in the cheek! I laughed soooo hard, because the kick literally came out of nowhere. She also can definitely hear us and reacts when we try to talk/sing to her. If she’s moving around and kicking and hears her daddy’s voice, or me singing to her, she stops immediately, and doesn’t resume until we stop singing/talking.

Gender: Girly girl!

What I’m looking forward to:
So since last weekend was a bust ( hubby forgot to pick up the paint from the store), this weekend we’re loaded with barely violet paint and ready to go. I am really excited about the color and how toned down it is and should have photos posted next week.

What I miss:
Sushi! It doesn’t help that all my facebook and instagram friends decided it is sushi week and proceeded to have sushi daily and post pictures of that. Ugh!

Next appt: October 6th

 

 

 

Photo Recap of First Half of the Pregnancy+ Ramblings

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PHOTO

I can’t believe I am now half way to having Alexis, and at the same time I cannot believe I have  that much more to go! 4 months seems like so little but at the same time it’s too long to wait to meet our precious daughter.
I keep reading about women who lost their babies at 36 weeks or later and it just breaks my heart so much and scares me at the same time. How do you recover from that? From carrying the baby for 9 months, dreaming and waiting for it and then “bam!” in one second, it’s gone. All the possibilities and potential of a new life- just gone!

Really makes me want those 4 months to go by fast and have Alexis safe in my arms, where I can protect her. That’s on my mind 24/7. Literally.

I did a little collage of the body changes I went through since getting pregnant.

A few weeks are missing:
week 3 when I found out we were pregnant ( a week after conception), because no changes were apparent yet;
week 7 because that was the worst week of my morning sickness.
You can see the photo large if you click on it.

The first half of the pregnancy was hard, mostly due to nausea and tiredness and general food aversion. It’s difficult to eat perfectly for the health of your baby when even looking at food is the last thing you want to do. I am very proud I got through it with perfect nutrition. I can’t say it didn’t leave any scars, though. Those weeks of forcing certain nutritious foods down my throat, rather than chewing on bland and empty crackers, left me gagging at the thought of them. I am over it now, I think, but it took longer than normal, because of the “emotional trauma” of it all.
No regrets though – I’d do the exact same thing all over again. Only the best for my baby even if I have to “torture” myself.
But I think we underestimate how easy our life is because we are made so that we “like” food and how difficult it is to eat well when you don’t. I wonder if there’s a disorder where all food makes you queasy… A person with that disorder must have a miserable existence. It makes sense that nature and evolution made it so that we enjoyed eating, because otherwise…well it’s just sad and difficult.

 

Below is the front belly shot. I stopped taking them after the ninth week for some reason. Probably because there wasn’t much change from the front. Now that my belly is really growing though, I’ll resume the front belly shot.

One thing I can say though: “Whew! I’m glad I’m in the 2nd trimster!”

It’s glorious! Well, as glorious as pregnancy can be…. with fatigue and weird hunger spells and aches and pains, but still glorious compared to the horribleness that the first trimester represents. Certain days I almost feel normal, I go about doing “normal” things, only to be reminded an hour later that there’s a baby inside that requires “mommy” to take it easy. And I do. Because I have the most caring and understanding and involved husband in the world who will do all these things for me ( well, almost all and with a lot of nagging) that I am unable to do, so that I wouldn’t “strain” myself too much.

I’m still wondering when the uncomfortable part of the second half starts… Do I have a month or so of feeling good? Is it supposed to start now? Luckily, I have no ligament pains, no back pains (unless I overdo it), sleep is somewhat comfortable.

I am happy I’ve been able to take conceptual photos throughout the pregnancy. I want to do a pregnancy book. Not your typical book with belly shots, but a true depiction of our journey through pregnancy via conceptual images – things we did, events that happened, places we went to, along with a message to our little one, who’ll hopefully be able to read it on day.

These are some of the shots I have for now.

1,2. The day we found out Alexis was there
3. The day we got proof she was real
5. The 3 months I spent miserably nauseous
6. The day we heard her heartbeat on our home doppler
7. The day I hoped she was a girl
8. The months we spent walking every morning
9. The time you could finally see my belly
10. The day I started planning the nursery
11,12,13,14. The day we found out she was healthy and a “SHE”
15,16. The time our first baby gifts started arriving.

There are still many more concepts swirling in my head:
Reading pregnancy books shot
Being ravenously hungry shot
Painting her nursery shot
Assembling the crib shot
The visible kick shot

 

It seems like forever ago that we tested “for fun” and saw that faint line on the pregnancy test mere 6 days after conception.
We couldn’t be happier though! She’s what we planned, she’s all we wanted!

 

20 WEEKS BUMP UPDATE – Half way there!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

Are you digging my red leggings? I bought a few leggings on clearance  in bright colors just for fun and I’m just loving the red right now.
I find it interesting how you almost can’t see my belly from the front, while it’s really popping out from the side. It’s definitely more than previous weeks though, so I think I’ll start taking a front picture too. I really love seeing our pregnant ladies’ front shots- they look adorable!

STATS:

How far along: 20 weeks.

How big is baby: The size of a banana. She’s producing meconium that she will hopefully wait to pass until she’s safety out of the womb.

Total weight gain: 1 pound (145lb) this week, for a total of  approximately 9 pounds from the start of the pregnancy.

Sleep: I’m managing. Still using 5 pillows which is working pretty well. I still get up 3-4 times a night to go to the bathroom. I think it’s because I drink a lot of water all day long and before bed, as well as when I get up to pee ( a bit counterproductive, don’t you think?), but the frequent bathroom trips don’t seem to disturb my sleep too much. I go back to sleep with no problems.

Maternity Clothes: Let’s see… I did buy a few pieces of actual maternity clothes, just for fun, however I haven’t had a chance to wear any yet. Mostly I wear bottoms that used to be really loose on me pre-pregnancy and all of my tops still fit.  Otherwise, I’ve been buying non-maternity outfits that I could possibly wear during pregnancy, at least until I am really big. Speaking of purchases, I am getting ready to write an outfit post with my latest clothing purchases (some maternity and some non-maternity), I already took all the pictures, so I just have to put it together. Is it something you’d be interested in reading? I’ve been trying to buy pregnancy friendly items, in 1 size up from my pre-pregnancy size, hoping that I can still wear them post-partum.

Best moment of the week:

Wow! I don’t think I even remember what I did this week, besides work, and lots of baby/nursery planning.

I guess the best parts of my week were:
1. Buying our first set of clothes for Alexis- I couldn’t resist ( Zulily is evil, I am telling you! You cannot walk away unscathed if you’re pregnant or a mom. That being said, *whispering*  “Go sign up, it’s awesome!”). Oh and I will definitely be doing a post about the stuff we’re buying for Alexis. So cute!
2. Receiving some of our first baby gifts from friends ALL over the world! (Thank you, Olesya, Eric, Iris, Olga, Zoltan and Barbara!) So much fun and makes it sooo real!

Food cravings : I’m good here. No strong cravings, just trying to eat as healthy as possible. I did switch my one daily indulgence from pistachio ice-cream cone to a chocolate cone ( that’s considering I’m not a huge fan of anything chocolate)

Food aversions: Nothing here either. I still don’t necessarily LIKE food, but nothing particular that makes me want to vomit.

Symptoms:

Being out of breath, occasional heartburn, insane HUNGER, break outs, lots of movement, Braxton Hicks.
I somehow thought it was too early for BH, but after having occasional cramping for 3 days, I called my OB and the nurse reassured me that it’s fine, as long as I don’t have more than 6 an hour in a lying position ( mine are always when I’m on my feet for 15 minutes or more). Also, i thought BH were supposed to be painless. They feel like pre-menstrual cramping to me.

Movement:

Alexis getting more and more active! She’s been kicking regularly since the first time we felt her, but this past week it REALLY picked up. That little girl is so strong that she startles me all the time. It’s so much fun watching my belly move, though. I can’t imagine her getting bigger and stronger, to be honest – it feels like a little bit more  growth and she’ll poke through my skin.

Gender: Adorable healthy girl

What I’m looking forward to:
Going to the fabric store to figure out what type of fabric I want for Alexis’s bedding. My sister from Russia will be sewing it and, like with everything, I want to order the fabric online, however I honestly don’t have a very good idea of what satin or silk or other types of fabric look like (lol).
Hubby painting the nursery this weekend ( if we can somehow un-bury ourselves from the backlog of work things to be done)

What I miss:
Sushi again
Getting my hair highlighted (ugh! I hate my roots. And it’d be fine if i was going to the beach more often and doing my usual things, because my hair gets bleached in the sun almost to the point where i don’t even need to do highlights, but having limited sun exposure (good for skin, bad for hair))

Next appt: October 6th

 

 

 

17 Weeks Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy

STATS:

How far along: 17 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a Turnip. The baby can probably hear now so we’ve been singing him/her songs and reading books. Its cartilage is turning into bone, which probably means I should concentrate on getting more calcium, so that it wasn’t drained from my teeth and bones. It’s also gaining fat which is very important and soon I will be feeling the kicks which should be one of the most exciting part of pregnancy.

Total weight gain: 4 pounds (141lb) YAY! While, I was never afraid of pregnancy weight gain, I’ve never thought that I’d be ACTUALLY happy watching the numbers on scale climb, but I am. It’s been relatively difficult/slow for me to gain weight. Every pregnant woman worries about the well-being of her unborn baby and the only way for us to track the growth is through our weight gain.

Sleep: Figuring it out, getting used to sleeping on my sides. Still haven’t bought the body pillow, I am using 3 pillows currently. I still do wake up twice or three times a night to go pee, and dealing with pillows, so it’s tough but manageable.

Best moment of the week:
Getting started on cleaning out the nursery. I haven’t been working on the design, because I want the nursery to be gender specific.

Food cravings { again, these are not real cravings (i.e. I can easily resist them), but here are things I’ve been “enjoying” more than other foods I eat}:
PEACHES! OMG I’ve been eating 6 peaches a day! Love anything fresh and juicy. Out of junk stuff, I only eat 1/4 of a cup of Haggen Daaz pistachio ice cream twice a day, but man do I enjoy that 1/4 of a cup.

Food aversions: Bread

Symptoms:
Nausea – Pretty much gone, unless you count the unpleasant feeling in your stomach that fullness and heartburn bring on.

Hunger – Need to eat once an hour, preferably something fresh, like a fruit or cucumbers

Heartburn – Mild to medium heartburn all week. Due to a tip from one of the readers, I looked up papaya enzyme pills, and while I wouldn’t take them while pregnant due to some other ingredients, I found out that papayas themselves have the same effect. So I’ve been eating papaya when heartburn strikes and it seems to help.

Skin – Still pretty bad.

Movement: I felt something that seemed like a gas bubble or movement, but there’s no way to know whether it’s one or the other, so I choose to discount it, since it didn’t continue. Hubby keeps saying “You felt your first kick!” which is kinda annoying :)

Gender: At our 20 week ultrasound on September 1st.

What I’m looking forward to:
Finding the time to sit down and plan the nursery.
Working on my pregnancy photo book. I’ve been periodically taking themed pregnancy self-portraits for a pregnancy book. Basically it will be a book with my thoughts, feelings and photos that would portray the whole pregnancy experience. I am not too far along due to pregnancy symptoms and general laziness but today I was able to take another planned shot- our daily morning walk, a part of whatever meger exercises I get to do these days ( I do some light strength training and cardio as well). And yes, I totally look fat here and not pregnant :) lol

What I miss:
Feeling not pregnant.

Next appt: September 1st, the big one