Pregnancy: 19 Weeks

Almost half way. Or — maybe more than half way! No one knows when labor actually will begin! There is a whole five-week period of normal birth. I read in Making Babies that scientists increasingly think the placenta itself is responsible for starting labor. Isn’t that interesting? A whole organ that is grown in nine months and will soon be discarded (like literally discarded as medical waste) is what sends the signal to begin pregnancy. Why not the adult’s or baby’s brain?

This is the first week I was sort-of noticeably pregnant. Very noticeable if I was ever bloated or after eating a meal but reasonably noticeable the rest of the time. I had my first pregnancy catcall (from a food truck coffee guy, “looking good, mama!”) and people I tell I’m pregnant respond with something like, “I noticed.”

I’ve been feeling physically pretty good. Still pushing myself at the gym, though the definition of what pushing myself looks like continuous to shift (aka a difficult workset of 135 deadlifts the other day…). But I feel proud I’ve been listening to my body around what it wants. At the same time, I feel sort of gross about how heavy I might be. I find this almost interesting…I am basically always starving but I probably eat 80% healthy food. But I’m like always eating. At this point, I’ve pretty much decided I won’t weigh myself at all and will just rely on the doctor to tell me if my weight gain in concerning.

And, I went to the physical therapist and it turns out I did, in fact, strain my groin. I thought I did because it started literally in the squat rack after I lost my balance a little bit one day, but my OB was convinced it was just a pregnancy symptom. So I’ve been doing some stretches for that which have been helping.

Emotionally, I’m sometimes very zen and sometimes very overwhelmed. Mostly, I try to stay in the present moment and not think too hard about what’s to come. Thinking about birth feels fine. Thinking about having a legit baby to feed and clothe for the rest of it’s life feels insane. Thinking about making a registry feels like jfalhfjkdf.

Pregnancy: 18 Weeks

I feel like this was the first full week I looked pregnant. I was offered my first seat on the subway (definitely didn’t think that would happen for many more months) and just happily wore my new maternity leggings everywhere. They are insanely comfortable but definitely do make me look much more pregnant, probably because they don’t constrict at all. And in the last 2-3 days, I can’t suck my stomach in totally flat anymore. There is definitely something lingering there that I can’t physically move.

I still haven’t felt the baby move at all. My doctor said that it’s normal for people with first babies, weight in their midsection, and anterior placentas (all of which I have), so it might be a while. But it still feels sort of surreal. Like, there’s a real baby in there?

I read something recently that said pregnancy is a nice time to shift from doing to being, and that resonated with me. I feel really at peace with just going about my usual day and don’t feel a desire to seek any additional stimulation.

I did have some pelvic pain this week but it’s already getting better by doing a few strengthening exercises (like bridges), so that’s been fine.

Pregnancy: 17 Weeks

I had my 16-week appointment this week, which was fun. I was super anxious about it because I heard 3 separate stories about month four miscarriages and also had been having a lot of pain/cramping in my uterus that I wasn’t sure was normal. Spoiler alert: totally normal.

The appointment itself was funny. The Doctor always checks the heartbeat of the baby using the doppler but every time she would push down and catch the heartbeat, the baby would move elsewhere. Rinse and repeat. But everything looks good and our next appointment is the 20-week ultrasound/anatomy scan.

Physically, I am feeling pretty okay. Okay-ish is what I’ve been telling people. My energy is definitely starting to slow down in a lot of ways, like sometimes I feel too ehh to even want to go for a walk after work, which isn’t usual for me.

I am finally starting to show a small bump. I had two days of lots of cramping and then – ta-da! – the bottom of my stomach was pushed out. So I guess it was some sort of internal re-arranging.

I have felt very into nesting – just this constant thinking about being in and cleaning and organizing my apartment, which I find much more interesting that being outside. I assumed we would take a babymoon because we are in the exact demographic of people who would do that but I…just don’t want to. I mean, if someone organized a trip to the Bahamas (now Zika free!) for me, I would probably take them up on it, but the idea of going to the airport, traveling, finding food, etc., etc., just sounds totally exhausting.

I also cut my lifts back this week to work out at more of a 7 than a 9, which I think will be good in the long-term.

I was in a wedding this weekend for one of my besties and juuuuuust squeezed into my dress. Which was already a bigger dress than I had originally purchased. Like, literally, it was zipped – I bent down to take my shoes off – and the hook flew off and across the room.

And last but not least — I discovered the joy of maternity clothes! I was really reaching the point of just straining out of and looking super unattractive in all of my regular clothes. And now, I have clothes that fit my new shape and have the bonus of being really flattering and comfortable. Yay!

Book Review: The Pillars of the Earth

Book Review #26: The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follet)

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I got this from the library essentially because it was very long and I wanted something without a screen to help me occupy lazy evenings. It started off really riveting, and soon diverged into something best described as Game of Thrones, without the dragons or magic. A sort of story that uses lazy and misogynistic plot devises, lacks true character development and, therefore, any true investment in the story itself.

Monthly Review: August

Here is my monthly review for August. If you want to read July’s, check it out here.

1. What went well this month?

  • Re-discovering my mindfulness practice. I had been feeling very disconnected from my mindfulness practice this summer. I stopped my daily sitting and basically just stopped being mindful altogether. I couldn’t figure out if it was hormone related, heat-related, or something else. I didn’t force myself and this month got really into practice again. I started reading this amazing book, Mindful Birthing, which I love. It’s a childbirth-focused class of the eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program R and I did and feels really right with my philosophies and mindset. There’s a whole set of working through pain practices in there that I am (kind of!) excited to try.
  • Weekends of leisure. After a busy July and with an upcoming busy September, it was so nice to have almost every weekend free this month. We went to Maine, went to the beach a lot, and had a lot of free time. I found myself enjoying it even more because I know we won’t have free weekends like this in a long time, and it was a nice way to connect with myself and with R.

2. What didn’t go so well this month?

  • Working out.  I have kept up my standard exercise routine – two days of lifting, a day or so of yoga, almost daily stretching, and walking a lot. But man, has it been hard to recover. I decided, though I have been crushing my deadlifts recently, I’m going to drop my weight down and go to higher reps in all my lifts. I can complete every workout, but the recovery time has been getting longer and longer and I’ve had more feelings of – I just don’t want to do this. So I’m going to take it a little easier and listen to my body. I started this in an open level yoga class yesterday where I opted out of just about every advanced variation. Normally I would have a lot of ego around that but I focused on being loving and mindful of where I truly was at the moment, and that was a nice practice to add-on.

3. What did I work on last month and how did it go?

  • More intentional time usage. Honestly, I’m not sure how this went. It’s not really a thing I’ve been thinking that much about. I almost see it as I’m not using my time as well/efficiently as possible because I’m…just really tired. And that’s fine, isn’t it?

4. What am I working toward?

  • At-home productivity.  I have completed 40% of my pregnancy (!!), and am starting to get a little panicked about all the things I have to do/want to do to prepare that we just haven’t moved forward on. Basically getting our apartment in order, having whatever furniture we deem necessary, having maintenance do some basic repairs, etc. I want to do a house walk through with R and just make put everything on a giant list that we can focus on.
  • Maintaining/increasing mindfulness. My daily practice has been great, and I want to continue mindfulness in other daily activities. I’ve been doing this pretty consistently on the subway instead of listening to a podcast or reading, and while walking, but want to focus on incorporating 1-2 more mindfulness practices into my life (maybe mindful eating and something else).