Today I am in the final day of the 18th week of pregnancy, so figured I'd begin talking about my 19 week pregnancy update! Here we go...
Doctor's Visits: I'll start with doctor's visits since I recently had my 18 week appointment last Tuesday. My health checked out great - blood pressure was in range and weight was healthy. I've gained about 6 to 7 pounds since my 8 week appointment, but 9 lbs since pregnancy test results. I will talk more about my gains in the "weight" section! We heard baby's heartbeat at 150 BPM. Doctor said baby was nice and healthy in there! I also had blood drawn for spinal bifida, which came back negative. Thankful for those results. To be honest, the appointment was quite uneventful. I mean, I was SO excited to hear baby's heartbeat because I get nervous between each appointment, wanting to know that he/she is healthy in there, so hearing the heartbeat made for the appointment, but other than that, it was a rather boring appointment ha! The doctor looked at me as if to say, "Do you have anymore questions?" I tried to think of something to ask her, but honestly couldn't think of anything. We did talk about my weight (of course), and I told her I was about 4 pounds heavier than I was with my last pregnancy at this point, but she insisted that my weight was completely find and on track. I will be seeing her at 22 weeks and at that point we will have the anatomy scan, so prayers for that appointment for sure!
Overall Energy: My energy feels great! I am sleeping like a rock, mostly 9 hours+ at night. The only thing that wakes me up is to use the restroom. I think I pee either once or twice per night, which. honestly isn't that bad. Sleep is great, so I can't complain, and on most days my energy is plentiful.
Workouts: Still working out almost every day, although last week I had a few hiccups because Rhett was sick with HFM for the first time! We had to take a hiatus from all of our routine daily play activities, including my trips to the gym. I was super bummed about this, selfishly, because working out makes me feel SO good, and I also love to workout first thing in the morning before we get our day started together. With him sick, we were mostly stuck at the house. I'm not great at motivating myself to workout at home and because of that, ended up working out a few less days than I would have liked to. Now that he is better, I am back on track. I have still been doing spin, but have found a newfound love for the body shred class. It is a thirty-minute tabata type class, and it is awesome. I still do most all of the exercises - burpees, squats, jumps, etc. The only thing I try to avoid is the ab portion, although I still do planks, which I read are actually good during pregnancy (correct me if I am wrong). I am still spinning on occasion, but am starting to feel a little uncomfortable on the bike. Second trimester is known for round ligament pain, and I'm definitely having some painful sensations in my lower abdomen if I workout too hard. For instance, I was running the other day and had to stop because of the pain. Just trying to pay attention to my body and switch up my routine when it's called for, but overall, happy with how active I have been this pregnancy!
Diet: My diet has been pretty good. I've noticed it is a little bit harder to dictate my hunger sensations and also my satisfied sensations. What I mean by this is that I am less in-tune with how hungry my body is and how full it is. Generally, when I'm not pregnant, I am very in tune with this aspect of my body, which makes eat easy to eat when hungry and stop when full. However, when I am pregnant, something happens - whether it is my hormones or the increased energy used by my body to grow baby - that is making it hard to read hunger signals. That being said, I think overall I am doing a great job with my diet. I am not overly strict, and allow myself to munch on things maybe that I wouldn't otherwise munch on - like the kids' gluten-free pancakes in the morning or a spoonful of almond butter during the day, but I wouldn't say that I'm going overboard. In fact, I think I have a good balance when it comes to diet. The problem for me is that when I become pregnant, the weight sticks to me like glue. So I could be eating as I would when not pregnant, and if I decide to indulge, the weight sticks. I try not to beat myself up over this, but it can become disheartening when you feel as if you are eating SO healthy, and any sort of imperfection in my diet packs on like 5 lbs. I know this is part of pregnancy, it just feels a little unnatural. I've noticed that a lot of the weight has already packed on in my thighs, but and lower back, and even my arms - a place I generally seldom carry weight. Thighs are to be expected for weight gain, but in my arms?? Come on! Anyways, I've somewhat come to terms with the fact that as long as I make healthy decisions, I am making a good decision for my body and my baby. Other than that, there is not much I can do about pregnancy weight gain. God is for sure in control of this one, and my body knows what to do to keep baby healthy. Sometimes I just wonder how some women stay so effortlessly thin while pregnant, and also lose the weight so fast during the postpartum period. And no one can sit here and tell me that it is because of diet! While I believe that a healthy diet is a HUGE reason for pregnancy and postpartum weight gain/loss, I also think that are far more other important factors that play an even bigger part. For instance, I know some girls that drop weight like crazy while breastfeeding, and others retain or even gain weight while breastfeeding. It is the weirdest conundrum, and I wish I could figure out the reasons why it happens. I have been on both sides of the situation, having lost a ton of weight while breastfeeding my first son, and then having gained weight while breastfeeding my second son. I guess we will see what happens with baby number three, although I'm not holding my breath for rapid weight loss!
Weight: 139/140 lbs. I am holding onto the 130's for dear life!! Since I hit the second trimester, I have been gaining at a steady 1 lbs per week, which is what every single doctor would recommend during pregnancy. I guess the annoying part is that given my past history with pregnancy weight gain, I generally gain the MOST in the third trimester. And sometimes in the second trimester, I even lost weight or held onto the same weight for a long period of time. For example, when I was pregnant with my second, I was 135 lbs in the second trimester until like 22 weeks or so. This time, I am already pushing 140 lbs an I'm only 19 weeks. I know I shouldn't be concerned, I know how much I gain in the final trimester of pregnancy, so I try to keep the weight underwraps until then. Maybe I will gain less in the third trimester this time around? I guess we will see? I have a theory, also, that the reason my weight held so steady in my second pregnancy is because my pregnancies were back-to-back and also because I was still breastfeeding my first son through the first several months of my pregnancy with my second son. This could have impacted by hormones, thus causing a lower weight gain in the second trimester. Just a theory :)
Baby Movement: Feeling baby move is SO exhilarating! The movement started around 17 weeks and I try to track it and feel at least some movement daily, which I have. I obviously am not at the stage where you can see the movement from the outside, but I can certainly feel the movement from the inside. This baby is active, but I can't tell how active. My next door neighbor just had her third boy and before she gave birth (they didn't know the gender), she predicted it was another boy based on how active he was, and surprise, it was another boy. Based on how active this baby is, I think it might be another boy, but I guess we shall see!
Boy or Girl: No idea at this point. Most people think a little girl is on the horizon, which would totally shock my heart. We still don't have a girl name that totally blows my mind away, but again, we do have our boy name and it does blow my mind. I remember having this vivid moment when I was at the end of my pregnancy with Rhett as I was walking to class on the Georgetown campus, about his name... on my walk it hit me in that moment what his name was going to be and it was almost like it was predestined. At that point, we loved our boy's and our girl's name, but for some reason the boy's name stuck out so vividly. I love our current boy's name so much and would love to use it - so weird. I just need to find a girl's name that I am equally excited about! I guess when you don't find out the gender of the baby, the next best thing to feeling close to your little one is knowing what his or her name will be if it comes out that gender. Knowing the boy's name almost makes me feel a little closer to the baby if it were a boy; while not having a girl's name makes it hard to fathom. Not sure if that makes sense. But, I would LOVE a little girl (especially if she looks like me haha!!). If she looks like Ryan I would be so confused!! The desire for a girl was somewhat solidified this weekend when we were at the book store and all the boys wanted to look at were superhero books or Star Wars book or fighting books or Pokemon books. In that moment, I considered how fun it would be to have a little girl who I could take over to the princess section! While I always wanted a family full of boys, sometimes there is no room left for girly stuff - although my boys do make me feel like a princess every so often :)
Belly Size: so it felt like my belly popped right at 8 weeks and since felt like it has grown. Even the other night, my husband commented on the fact that I looked pregnant in my belly! I asked him if I really looked pregnant or if he was just saying that. And he was like, wait do you want me to tell you you look pregnant. This time, I was like, yes!! I want to look pregnant! At least in my belly lol. Then literally this morning I woke up and it felt like my growing belly has somehow disappeared! Maybe the baby just switched positions on me? Honestly, I don't know how I look so not pregnant today and looked so huge yesterday. Such a weird conundrum.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I am so happy that I am pregnant with our third baby. I took the boys to the zoo this morning and as we were driving home, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by happiness. I thought, I am so lucky that I have two beautiful little boys in the back of my car and a belly full of another on the way. I am one lucky mama. I also had another thought that I can't imagine not being pregnant again, but whooaaaa, I need to stop myself way ahead of the game. I'm pretty sure that three will be plenty for the home and heart to handle.
Until next week!
7 of My Favorite Product categories to SWAP out for Cleaner Alternatives during pregnancy to Reduce Toxic Exposure
1. Cleaning Products
Every modern-day mama, knows that cleaning products are to be considered both during pregnancy and with young children in the home. "Dirty" cleaning products wreak havoc on your endocrine system, and are a known contributor to cancer, autoimmune responses and other ailments. Especially during pregnancy, the first thing I would switch out is my cleaning products! But we all know that is easier said then done, especially when our nesting response kicks in. So, how do you stay away from cleaning products during pregnancy?
First, give yourself an excuse to clean less. I said it. Rather than wiping down the counter with disinfectant nightly, try wiping it down with water or consider using Norwex cloths, which are chemical-free, microfiber cloths that incorporate natural antibacterial properties to clean by adding water. If you just can't stand it and need the chemical clean (which I am guilty of), consider using a safer alternative, such as The Honest Company or Mrs. Meyers products. Or, take it one step further and hire a housekeeper every so often. This will keep you away from harsh chemicals, while also keeping your house in tip-top shape. Whether you or a housekeeper are using the products, I always opt for cleaner options. Here are a few of my favorite brands:
2. Facial Skincare Products
The next thing I would consider switching up is your skincare routine. Personally, I don't take chances with skincare products, which is why I use (and sell) Beautycounter. Beautycounter is, yes, a multi-level marketing company that sells skincare and cosmetics products that are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. That isn't the company's only bottom line though, it was founded with the intent of getting safer skincare into the hands of everyone, not just us pregnant women. This is why Beautycounter ensures their products are not only safe, but that they are also effective. The line isn't 100% organic because Beautycounter argues that not all synthetic chemicals and ingredients are harmful. Similarly, Beautycounter argues that not all organic ingredients are beneficial. The key is to include the right ingredients that are safe for your body, that will also leave your skin glowing and radiant.
I still like to look beautiful and glowing during pregnancy, which is why I have invested BIG TIME in Beautycounter and their respective products. Here are a list of my favorite products:
If you vehemently despise MLM companies, check out the Drunk Elephant.
As a daily makeup wearer, I failed to change up my makeup routine with my first two pregnancies... and I regret it, majorly. Yes, my two little boys are perfectly healthy, but there is something about makeup (heavy metals, lead, etc.) that sets off a flashing red siren when it comes to things I am cognizant of during this third pregnancy. Because I wear makeup everyday, I need to be even more scrutinous of things like foundation, which goes all over my skin! Again, this is why I have invested in selling Beautycounter. In addition to their skincare/bodycare line, they also have a makeup line. The products are 100% safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and are also made to enrich your skin. So when you wear your makeup, you are not only doing your body (and your baby) a favor, you are doing your skin a favor, as well. Hello, anti-aging makeup during pregnancy!
When it comes to makeup, be smart with what you choose to invest in and don't break the bank on things that may make a minor difference. For instance, I feel that foundation is extremely important to switch out because I wear it daily and I put it on all over my face. Alternatively, mascara goes on the ends of my lashes, so if I had to pick and choose, I would choose to switch out foundation over mascara. However, it all adds up, again which is why I have totally reinvented my makeup routine with Beautycounter (at least for the time being).
Also - a heads up if you are a heavy makeup wearer like myself, Beautycounter is a lighter finish and a lighter look. While at first, I wasn't sure I could get used to the look and feel of the makeup, I have grown to love it. I can no longer put my old products on my face. One, they totally destroy my skin with how much progress I have made since switching over to Beautycounter. Two, they feel so heavy now that I am used to the lighter, more natural feel of Beautycounter.
Here are a few of my favorites that are part of my daily routine:
4. Bath and Body
Another category that is super important, seeing that your skin is the largest organ, is products that come in contact with your body, aka what you keep in the shower. Truth be told, I never switched out my shampoo and conditioner for a safer alternative because I could never find one that worked equal to or greater than my current routine. Enter Beautycounter. The Beautycounter Daily Shampoo is actually what sold me on the company. I rationed that if they could figure out something as complex as shampoo and make it effective, their line must be something to consider, and I was right. Lo and behold the rest of the bath and body products are nothing short of incredible. In fact, a lot of people consider this to be a highlight of the Beautycounter line, including people like Gwyneth Paltrow. Here are a few of my favorites...
Supplements are a category that I see as super important for prenatal (and also postnatal) health. Generic prenatal vitamins include unhealthy fillers, don't absorb as well and can actually contribute to a toxic buildup in your body if they don't include the correct form of supplementation. For instance, if you have the MTHFR gene mutation and take a vitamin that includes folic acid rather than folate, the folic acid can buildup in your system causing toxicity. Not only that, your body is unable to absorb and breakdown the folic acid, which in turn means your baby isn't getting the benefit that is so important for development. Instead, physician grade supplements ensure that you are getting all of the right and up-to-date nutrients when it comes to your prenatal vitamin.
If you are interested in taking our prenatal vitamins, which are all physician grade, you can check them out here. We require that you fill out a health questionnaire, which you can find here. This is because our supplements are physician grade! Not everyone is able to get their hands on them and it is technically a practitioner/patient basis that we sell them based on.
Here are the vitamins that I take:
I recommend downloading our Postpartum Slimdown Guide, even if you aren't pregnant. You won't be able to partake in the detox/product portion of the program, but there are some helpful tidbits about diet in the 21-Day Maintenance portion of the program. This includes a long list of foods to avoid and why. I won't go into why, but here is the list. If you are interested in reading, please checkout our guide!! Foods to avoid:
While dairy and gluten may not necessarily be things you must avoid during pregnancy, I've felt it important to at least so how my body reacts to both of those food groups. Personally, I do best while not consuming dairy or gluten. That said, dairy can be very beneficial during pregnancy. Gluten, eh, probably not so much. I say just trust your body and don't try to cut out too many food groups if you aren't used to it! If you are used to cutting out things like gluten and dairy, I'd say give it a try during pregnancy and at least try to consume these food groups in moderation.
7. Water Filtration System
Okay, these may seem like a big jump and I may lose some people on this one. Not to mention, whole home water filtration systems cost around $3,800. So why is it so important to get a whole home water filtration system and at the very least a reverse osmosis water system for drinking water? Well, Hayley Cate has a whole post on why tap water is bad during pregnancy; you can read it here.
Basically, bacteria and nitrates can make their way into our water and potentially the following harmful elements:
These are obviously bad for your body and your baby. Mercury and lead are classified as heavy metals, which are a big no-no during pregnancy. Why? Toxic levels of heavy metals can displace essential minerals and may affect the development of your baby during pregnancy. High chlorine consumption has been found to be linked to a variety of ailments including various cancers, reproductive problems, problems with the immune system and heart attacks. Antibiotics, on the other hand, wreak havoc on your body's microbiome, killing both good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria in your body during pregnancy is necessary and also shapes your baby's development of his or her microbiome. And synthetic estrogen? Dare I go further.
Now that we know that tap water or unfiltered water is problematic, especially during pregnancy. What can you do to help it? Opt for filtered water if feasible.
Two Most Common Water Filter Technologies:
Alrighty, ladies... that's it for now! Hopefully I didn't scare you away, but if you're into this stuff (like I am), it is interesting and worthwhile to invest in you and your baby's health. And it starts at pregnancy. Do what you can to start your little one ahead of the curve. Health is their birth right!
Photos: Jessica Valentine Photo
Today marks 17 weeks along my pregnancy journey! I am feeling incredible, fully like myself again, but at the same time am starting to look pregnant... and not just from the side, if you know what I mean. We will get into all of that good stuff here in this blog post, so might as well get started talking about my 17 week pregnancy update; here we go...
Current Disposition: Overall, I feel totally and completely like myself - woo hoo! Energy-wise, mood-wise, and personality-wise. I feel like I keep saying that from week to week since 15 weeks, but it feels like it's getting better and better. At 17 weeks, I mentally don't feel like I'm pregnant. I kind of wake up and go about my day, and tend to forget that I have a baby brewing inside of me. On the flip side, while my mentality is going strong, my body feels fully pregnant ha! I will talk more about this in the body section.
Boy or Girl?: Most of you know that we are not finding out the gender until delivery. Again, this is something that Ryan and I did with both boys and because of our history with it, we've decided to keep the tradition alive. I don't need to reiterate, but there is something so special about waiting til the day-of to meet your little bundle of joy and to find out who he or she is. So where does that leave me in terms of my own thoughts about gender? Well, I haven't the slightest clue! Lately, I've been feeling like this baby is a girl. Almost completely sure that it has to be a girl given the odds that we already have two boys. I mean, right? With two boys, how can we possible get another little boy? Currently, the room that will become baby's nursery is somewhat geared towards a little girl, so I think I presumably feel like it has to be a little girl. With that said, we have no clue what our girls name would be and alternatively, we have the strongest little boys name. I've heard variations of it, but have only heard this version of his name once on a documentary (which is actually where we got the idea for the name!). I love this name so much that I almost hope we have a little boy. Is that weird? Also, I think I feel more comfortable with the idea of having a boy, but then I quickly give it to God and say, "Just give us what you think we need to complete our family... (or even not to complete it), but to make it exactly how HE wants it." Giving up the gender - out of my control - makes me stop and remember that this baby's gender isn't about me. It is about glorifying God on this earth and teaching me more about who I need to be in order to glorify Him. Even still, if you asked me what I want (a boy or a girl), I honestly couldn't give you a straight answer. And that is from my heart of hearts!
Diet: Okay, so my diet has been crap the last week. I mainly attribute it to the fact that we had family in town for Vance's second birthday party. That meant that I was off of my normal routine and was faced with opportunities to eat more crap, such as leftover birthday cake in the morning, bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, heavier dinners, more sugary drinks, and so on. Generally, I am able to control my diet in these types of situations, but for whatever reason (maybe the fact that I am pregnant), I let myself go a little. Doing so, I can definitely feel the excess weight on my body. Yes, I am pregnant which means more weight, but this weekend caused an even bigger weight gain, in my opinion... which is totally fine, just means I need to get back on the horse and continue on with my pregnancy and health journey.
Weight: As for weight, I am still within the healthy range of weight gain, but on the upper end, which gives me reason to tighten up my diet a little bit over the next month or so. I believe at 17 weeks pregnant that I should have gained between 5 and 8 pounds, and I have gained about 7 - at 136/137 lbs. Not bad, but also not great. I do go to the doctor next Tuesday, which means a real weight checkin, but honestly their scale is always a pound or two heavier than my own, so I usually just go with my own scale!
Nursery: Currently trying to figure out how I am going to house this little babe. Right now, we have two guest rooms in our house; one downstairs and one upstairs. The baby is planning on going in the upstairs guest room, which is currently setup with a queen bed and cute furniture. While I'd love to space plan a nursery, I am also trying to get creative with how I am going to do it without moving the queen bed in and out. What I am thinking of doing is just keeping the bed in the nursery for nursing and for reading, since we have a huge playroom a few steps away that can be used for tummy time and the like. Anyhow, currently the room's colors are black, grey, cream, pink, blue and purple. I know, totally girly. Again, I think I may leave it until he or she gets here ( I totally almost called it a SHE by the way! Which I never did in my past pregnancies with my boys.. they were always he even though we didn't know the gender). Anyhow, we will indefinitely be doing a nursery reveal whether it is making over V's current nursery or redoing the new nursery altogether. Stay tuned!
Exercise: As for exercise during this pregnancy, I am crushing it! No, I am not working out everyday, but pretty dang close to it. What do I do for exercise? Generally, I do spin class a few times per week, maybe some barre, a tabata class and throw in a few 30 minute 3 mile runs. All in all, I workout either 5 to 7 days per week. I'd say that is pretty good for a pregnant lady. Also, to make my workouts more manageable and comfortable, and given my round ligament pain, I have partnered with Baobei Maternity and am using one of their ProBump Pregnancy Belly Support Bands. So far it has helped reduce round ligament pain and discomfort SO much. During my second pregnancy, I had to stop running at 20 weeks pregnant given extremely painful round ligament pain. Thus, I am hoping this belly band will help to prolong my runs into pregnancy, if possible.
Feelings About Going From Two to Three: In the first trimester, I had the worst anxiety about our decision to have a third. Looking back, I fully think it stemmed from how lethargic and nauseous I felt. Because I felt terrible and thus unable to care properly for my two sons, my thoughts shouted, "And you're having a third?? How is that going to be possible when you can barely take care of these two boys?" Yes, Satan shouting in my ear constantly. I was filled with doubt and sometimes bitterness. But, after hearing a mom speak at a MOPs talk, she reminded me that doubt is not believing that God will get it right, while bitterness is believing that God got it wrong. Ummm hello, Brooke! God got it right, and I prayed for him to show me a sign, when I should have known that Him putting it on both my husband and my heart to get pregnant was our sign... AND THEN me getting pregnant was the ultimate sign!! But to stop and think that he got it wrong... oh no, no he did not. And like I said, I really think this notion stemmed from the fact that I felt so helpless during the first trimester. My boys were watching so much TV, something that I rarely let them do during the day... they literally get like 45 minutes of screen time at night, if that. But compared to us parking in front of the television screen first thing in the morning until the afternoon and sometimes until my husband got home, it felt like a lot. I began to feel like a failure as a mom. What I needed was to give myself a big dose of grace, and to reiterate to myself daily that God certainly got it right, and that I needed to parent with the cadence of my capability at the time. And at that time, during the first trimester, I wasn't able to do much as a parent.. and you know what? That is okay! I am growing a baby and with that comes setbacks, but ultimately, this baby is going to be the biggest gift to our family and also to my two little boys. I just know it. All in all, I feel very confident going into this third pregnancy with the idea that we will add a third kiddo to the crew. I do have some reservations about Vance, my youngest, because he is SUCH a mama's boy right now. Literally, he won't go to sleep unless I read him stories and rock him to bed... no one else. If Ryan tries to do it, Vance will wail, crying out, "Where's mommy??" And only calms in my presence. He also loves physical touch - totally his love language - and loves being close to me or having me hold him. I've also noticed moments in which he becomes a bit jealous of other kids, even Rhett sometimes, if they get too lovey with me. So ya, I am a little lost at how I am going to handle him no longer being the baby and having to share myself with him and another, but I also know that I will find a way. Rhett, on the other hand, is cool as can be. The joys of him getting older and more mature! He is so excited about meeting the baby. He really could care less. In fact, he is more excited to attend his big boy school next year than anything else!
That is all for now mamas! Please leave me comments with where you are at on your own journey. I love reading them and having a community along the way. Stay tuned for next week!
Photos: Jessica Valentine Photo