The Second Trimester: Weeks 18-20

Yesterday I had my 22 week doctor’s appointment, plus a follow-up ultrasound to the one I got at 18.5 weeks. The reason for the follow-up was because due to the baby’s positioning during the previous ultrasound, they were unable to get clear pictures of her heart. However, we did manage to get some extremely cute ones:

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I can’t get over her adorable little profile with that tiny little nose:)

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Future Olympic distance runner?

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Oh hey, mom and dad!

Another reason for the follow-up yesterday was because a choroid plexus cyst was spotted on the baby’s brain during the initial ultrasound, which they assured me was very common and nothing to worry about…easier said than done, right?? However, after a little research and taking into account that they didn’t schedule the follow-up until 5 weeks later (I figured if it was something serious they would have me come back right away) helped assure me that everything was most likely okay. And guess what? It is!! After the ultrasound yesterday, the cyst had disappeared (which they usually do) and everything else looked great! :-)

Now let’s rewind a bit to weeks 18-20…

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Week 18 was exciting because that’s when we found out we are having a baby girl!

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We had the ultrasound on a Thursday and had the technician put the gender pic in an envelope which I dropped off at a bakery on my way home (I had to take it because I didn’t trust Justin not to peek!). The next day Justin picked up the cupcakes and we had my parents and sister over for dinner that night, followed by an extra special dessert.

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We Skyped with my brother and my sister and her husband so they could join in on the big reveal!

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It was a little anticlimactic because Justin saw a pink dot on the bottom of the cupcake when he removed it from the wrapper, and then I saw the little pink dot on the wrapper–it was still one of the most exciting moments of my life!!! For some reason, I was really thinking the baby was a boy that week leading up to the reveal, so it felt like a big surprise! It was like Christmas morning as a kid again, x a billion:)

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Needless to say, week 18 was pretty great:)

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It was during week 19 when I woke up one morning to discover that suddenly my pants didn’t fit. Hair-tie trick to the rescue!! I am also discovering that leggings=the best thing ever when you’re pregnant.

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And of course, hitting the 20-week mark was very special to me because it meant I was officially halfway to meeting our baby girl:) While I won’t lie and say that it flew by (constant nausea has a way of slowing down time;), I still can’t believe that I’m already to this point, and I also can’t believe that it’s possible to get even more excited for her arrival every single day.

Oh, and week 20 brought about my first encounter with maternity pants. “Embrace the elastic” proclaimed one of my co-workers, so embrace I did and bought a pair of maternity corduroys from Loft. My question is, why aren’t regular pants this comfortable?! It may be hard transitioning back…

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Other Pregnancy Updates

Cravings: Kalamata olives and orange juice are still the two big ones. I absolutely have to drink a glass of orange juice every night after dinner for some reason.

Aversions: Thankfully my dog-nose has calmed down a bit and I no longer gag at the everyday smells of the world around me, and that also means my food aversions are not as strong as they were. I still don’t care for sweets (although I do eat them occasionally, I just don’t really enjoy them), also garlic and onions.

Sleep: Still going A-OK! I go to bed earlier and naturally wake up earlier than I used to, which isn’t a bad thing! I’m hoping this continues and that I don’t have to deal with the pregnancy insomnia I have heard about…

Nausea: Still always have it to some degree, but much, much, more bearable than it was earlier on in the pregnancy.

Body: Most days I feel really good, but there are some days where I feel heavy and sluggish–I guess a little preview of what’s to come in the 3rd tri:) Some other body “issues” include: some itchiness here and there, stuffy nose, frequent need to pee (and becomes unbearable if I try to ignore it–especially when I’m walking Buddy at the park where the bathrooms have been shut down for the winter:-/), higher body temp than usual, extreme chapped lips, and the girls continue to grow each week it seems.

Workouts: Going really well! I am able to get in some form of workout 5-6 days per week. Favorites include: run/walk intervals on the treadmill, BodyPump, Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, Zumba, and of course taking Bud for walks. Still have yet to practice yoga during this pregnancy…going on my to-do list as we speak!

Be back soon with a recap of the next few weeks!

<3 VKG

The Second Trimester: Weeks 15-17

I am now be-boppin along at 18.1 weeks, but let’s take a look at the last 3 weeks, shall we?

The Bump

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As you can see, while there isn’t yet a pronounced bump, there is definitely some thickening of the middle and it’s beginning to stick out. However, right now it kind of just looks like I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the holidays so far;)

Cravings/Foods I’m Loving

  • Two words: Kalamata olives

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  • Salad with Italian dressing
  • Frozen raspberries

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  • Chinese takeout–this craving was fulfilled on Friday night and was sadly a disappointment. We decided to try a new-to-us Chinese restaurant that gets pretty good reviews on Yelp, however, after waiting almost an HOUR & 20 MINUTES for takeout, the food was mediocre at best.
  • Oranges, clementines, and orange juice
  • Fresh veggies
  • Potatoes
  • Shrimp and scallops

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Birthday dinner at Sidney Street Cafe (same exact thing I got when we went for our anniversary this summer, because why mess with a good thing?)

  • Plain Greek yogurt

Aversions

  • Onions, garlic, pepper
  • Italian food–while I still enjoy (bland) pasta every now and then, I don’t like it as much as I used to and at times the thought of it disgusts me (I also seem to be even more sensitive to gluten right now)
  • Bananas–I used to eat at least one banana a day but now I can only stand them in my smoothies since their taste is mostly masked by the other ingredients
  • Water–I just don’t enjoy drinking water which is a MAJOR change for me, I’m used to guzzling at least 2 big mason jars of water with dinner and now I can only manage little sips here and there
  • Soup–the smell of it alone grosses me out and I can’t stand how soup tends to stank up the whole house (and it still smells the next morning, blech)

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  • Still don’t enjoy chocolate 😢

Body

  • Weight Gain: At my 17 week appointment last week my doctor said I’ve gained 5 lbs so far (however, my first appointment was at week 9 and I’m not exactly sure what my pre-pregnancy weight was, but I suspect I’ve gained a little more than 5 lbs since before I was pregnant)
  • Morning Sickness: While I still always have some degree of nausea (especially in the afternoon/evening and when I’m tired), it has slowly (repeat: slowly) decreased over the last few weeks. I am hoping this trend continues!
  • Nose issues: My nose is always stuffed up (supposedly due to increased blood volume) but yet I still have that preg-induced canine sense of smell and can’t stand the smell of most fragrances
  • Itchiness: I’m always itchy, maybe due to my skin stretching?
  • Energy: My energy levels are definitely better now than during the first  trimester, but I still prefer to be in bed by 9pm:)
  • Boobs: Continue to grow (luckily I found some awesome new bras!) but not as sore as the first trimester–hooray!
  • Weird tingling in feet: I keep getting this weird sensation that feels like someone is violently sticking needles into the sole of my foot for a few seconds and then it disappears as suddenly as it started (happens in both feet but never at the same time)
  • Breathlessness: Not as bad as the first trimester but I still feel out of breath a lot, especially when I’m teaching

Workouts

I finally was able to go back to the gym during week 16! Reunited and it feels so good:)

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I took my beloved Zumba, BodyCombat, and BodyPump that week and I cannot tell you how unbelievably awesome it felt to workout with real, live people again! There’s just something about group fitness that’s so uplifting and motivating–I’m so stinking happy to be back.

Looking forward to seeing what week 18 brings, but most of all I’m looking forward to finding out in just 5 days…

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I am just beside myself with excitement and anticipation–I can’t wait to share the news!!

<3 VKG

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As mentioned in my previous post, the girls have undergone some, ahem, changes since becoming pregnant.

9 weeks

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13 weeks

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(P.S. I’m 17.5 weeks now and they just continue to grow, where they stop nobody knows…but I’m kinda hoping it is sooner rather than later.)

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About a month ago, my current bras (all 2 of them–give me a break, it’s hard for me to find bras I like, and my favorite bra from Bali was discontinued 2 years ago(plus bra shopping is the worst)) became too small and very uncomfortable. When I would take them off at the end of a long work day to change into one of my “at home bras” my boobs would be extremely sore from being smashed into a too small bra all day…not a pleasant feeling. I knew I would soon have to endure the dreaded bra shopping experience, but then one fateful day…

Enter True & Co.

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One day while mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed (as one inevitably does, damn you, FB), I came across an ad that one of my friends had “liked” for True&Co, a company claiming that after answering a few simple questions they can find the right bra for you. Not only that, but you could pick up to 5 recommended bras for them to ship to you for free, try on at home, keep what works, and return what doesn’t within 5 days no charge.

Sounded too good to be true, especially since I’m EXTREMELY picky when it comes to bras, but since “true” is actually the name of the company, I decided to give it a try. After answering the survey questions, they recommended a variety of bras based on my unique shape which according to them is known as “vermillion”, whatever that means.

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The bras they recommended were actual a cup size bigger (same band size) than my current bras, which I thought was probably accurate considering my cups runneth over in my current bras. I had no problem choosing five styles that I liked, and three days later my bra box arrived:

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I was excited and nervous to try them on. Excited at the prospect of having found a way to avoid bra shopping at the mall indefinitely, and nervous that it would be a total bust (no pun intended) and I would have to muddle through traditional bra shopping after all.

The verdict?

I’m a believer! I ended up really liking three out of the five, and ultimately decided to keep two–major score in my book. Plus, the total for the two bras was $65, so about $30 per bra–not too shabby!

This Made of Stars bra is my  new everyday bra that I wear to work and when I go out. I bought it in a charcoal color and will probably eventually buy the black too.
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The Unlined Triangle bra is my new “at home” bra which isn’t necessarily that attractive (although it is more attractive than some of my current at home only bras;) but it is definitely comfortable!image

I have been wearing my new bras exclusively ever since, and my boobs no longer feel like they are going to fall off or spontaneously combust by the end of the day. Plus, for the first time in my life I’m actually excited about bra shopping! If you are in a similar situation where your current bras are uncomfortable, or you just really loathe bra shopping at the mall like I do, I HIGHLY recommend giving True&Co a try!

<3 VKG

The First Trimester

So here I am in my 17th week of pregnancy, and I’m just now writing about my first trimester…can we say procrastinator? Anyway, here is a recap of the highlights (and lowlights) of my first 13 weeks.

August 30th, 2013: It was Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend that I found out there was a little nugget in the tum. I went to take my usual Saturday morning double-header at the gym (BodyCombat & BodyPump) and I noticed I felt a little off—I was very lethargic, my balance was off, and I was panting like an out of shape elderly person. I had a feeling there was something up because my most special monthly friend was also five days late in making its arrival…so after stopping at Starbucks for my usual triple grande soy latte, I also made a stop at Target for a triple grande pregnancy test (the digital kind because words are more comforting to me than pink or blue little lines). I took it immediately when I got home, and sure enough:

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The insert that came with the test said that the numbers displayed on the test means estimated weeks since ovulation, and 2-3 weeks since ovulation translated to an estimated 4-5 weeks pregnant. What?! I had been pregnant for an entire month already?? I always thought that when it happened I would know right away, like I would feel totally different…however, besides feeling a little “off” at the gym that morning I felt normal, if not better, than usual (little did I know that this would not last…) I couldn’t believe how calm I was when I saw those words pop up–it was almost like I had known all along, even though I didn’t feel any different.

Telling the Hubs: I wish I had some cute, creative story to tell about how I broke the news to Justin, but I was just too excited and had to tell him because I knew he would be completely surprised. He was taking a shower when I took the test, so I waited until the shower went off and I knocked on the bathroom door. When he opened the door I just held up the test screen and it took him awhile to process what he was looking at–he was totally caught off guard, poor guy, haha! When he came to his senses all he could say was “What?! How did you…when did you…what?!!” To say he was in shock was an understatement, but there was also not a shadow of a doubt that he was also incredibly happy and excited:-)

Telling the Parents: That night we met my parents at an Indian restaurant in the Central West End called Rasoi. While a lot of people choose to wait before telling family, we decided to tell our immediate family members right away. I wanted to do something a little more creative to tell my parents (since I had failed with Justin) so I had Justin make one of his famous cards (like the one seen in this post )

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Front of card (a pic we had taken of Buddy’s rear sticking out from under the bed)

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Inside of card (courtesy of Justin’s advanced Photoshop skills;)

I told my parents it was a belated Anniversary card (their anniversary was a few weeks earlier), and it was so funny because my mom read it first and when she opened it I could see her face slowly change to a slightly confused look as she processed what she was looking at, to a moment of shock, and then to complete excitement and happiness as she started freaking out and crying in the middle of the restaurant and came around the table to hug me, while my poor dad fumbled with the card to find out what in God’s green Earth had just happened, haha! His face went through the same stages as my mom, minus the crying and shouting. The other restaurant goers were a bit bewildered, but none of us much cared in that moment:-)

We called Justin’s parents (who live in Florida) on the way home from dinner with my parents and they were both over the moon to hear the news as well. I waited until the following day to call each of my siblings individually, and it made me happy to hear how excited they all were for us (my sister Jessica is also pregnant so she was just beside herself–so thankful to go through this experience with my sissy:):)

Bump Progression

My bump is taking awhile to make an appearance, even now at 17 weeks, but here are a few “bump” pics from the first trimester.

9 weeks

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10 weeks

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12 weeks

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13 weeks

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Like I said, not much going on bump-wise in the first trimester, but that doesn’t mean my body hasn’t gone through some other major changes.

Morning Sickness (aka as the 3-month long stomach flu): Is no joke. There I was skipping along during my first 6 weeks of pregnancy, bragging to Justin that I felt stronger and more energized than ever before, and then BAM! Between 6.5-7 weeks I was knocked on.my.a$$. by constant, all-day, agonizing, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, nausea. *Note the SeaBands on my wrists in all the above pictures (acupressure bands to help with nausea).

Suddenly, my nose had transformed into that of a canine and could not stand the smell of pretty much anything, especially personal hygiene items. I made Justin change his deodorant 3 times, and have changed body washed 5 times, finally settling on fragrance-free Dove bar soap (which dries up my already dry skin, but for now that beats gagging in the shower). Mint toothpaste made me gag every time I brushed my teeth (and sometimes I would actually throw up, tmi I know!) and eventually switched to kid’s bubblegum flavor toothpaste.

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Cravings: Forget pregnancy cravings, instead I was on a constant search of foods that didn’t immediately make me want to heave at the sight/smell of them. For weeks, I survived on peanut butter (either by itself or spread on a piece of toast), granny smith apples (the sourer the better), string cheese, egg sandwiches, and orange juice (also see the aversions section) during the day, and then forced myself to eat a mostly normal dinner (forced being key–I didn’t actually enjoy anything I ate until very recently).

Aversions: Pretty much everything, but my strongest aversions were: onions, garlic, pepper, spicy food, chocolate (my heart weeps), coffee (thankfully this aversion has since passed), anything sweet including most fruit, and eventually string cheese, eggs, and orange juice after I lived on them for a few weeks.

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Workouts: My workouts definitely changed during the first trimester when I was battling constant, intense nausea. I had to stop taking classes at the gym around the time I was 8 weeks because I just couldn’t handle anything too intense or longer than 30-40 minutes or I would get sick. Therefore I stuck to moderate treadmill workouts, Jillian Michaels 30-min HIIT workouts, BodyPump at home via YouTube once a week with lighter weights than normal, and a little Zumba here and there (also via YouTube).

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Body: While there wasn’t much of a bump at all during the first trimester, I definitely noticed some other lovely bodily changes, such as:

  • Bigger boobs (and sore most of the time–this was one of the first indicators that I was indeed pregnant)
  • Longer, thicker hair–score!

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  • While no bump, some definite thickening of the waist. My pants still fit but are a bit tighter, especially after eating (see next bullet)

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  • A more pronounced “food baby” after eating–I think it’s because the food has nowhere to go now and I can’t suck that after-dinner gut in anymore, it just kind of hangs out:)
  • Growing pains: I definitely notice some sharp stabbing pains and “stretching” sensation in my lower abdomen at times
  • I’m always out of breath for some reason
  • My nose is always stuffed up
  • I always feel the urge to hiccup or burp
  • Exhaustion–I would often go to bed as early as 8-8:30
  • My heart has grown three sizes at least–I couldn’t be happier!

Even with the less than desirable symptoms that can come along with pregnancy, I would gladly go through it all again for the end result:)

<3 VKG

Love At First Sight

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It’s a little like how it was falling in love with a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio when I was 13, and I thought that if I ever met him in real life I wouldn’t be able to handle it, like my heart would jump out of my chest and/or I would faint or something….x that feeling by a billion for the above picture.

<3 <3 <3 VKG