Week 26 || Bumpdate

How far along: 26 weeks

Baby's size: He's the size of a head of lettuce this week. About 13.6 to 14. inches from crown to rump, and probably weighs about 2 lbs.

Baby's progress: His eyes are starting to open! He's also taking breaths, which are obviously of amniotic fluid, but it's helping his lungs practice for the outside world. His ears are also more developed, so now he can probably hear Bryan's voice, too. He definitely heard the music at the Ed Sheeran concert on Tuesday!

Weight gain: Since I just wrote a blog about this, I suppose I should be honest. I've gained 30 lbs so far. 13 of those pounds, I gained from August 5 to September 9. WHAT THE HELL. The doctor says baby had a growth spurt (ya think!) and I should try to only gain half a pound  week from here on out. Less carbs, more protein, she says. BORING.

Stretch marks: Nope. Thanks babe!

Sleep: Still not terrible but getting worse. I'm getting up more frequently in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or reposition and I have trouble getting back to sleep.


Movement: All the time. He is getting stronger in there, that is for sure!

Best moment this week: We're pretty sure we decided on the baby's name. It's a secret though...sorry! Also my sister was in town for the Ed Sheeran concert and got to feel him kick. The look on her face was priceless.

Looking forward to:  We have our first baby shower this weekend in Iowa City! My girlfriends are hosting a co-shower for me and my two best friends. we're expecting within 3-9 weeks of each other and it'll be so fun! Can't wait to start checking things off my list of things we need, and to see everyone who loves baby so much already.

I also really want Bryan to feel him kick. Every time the baby moves and he puts his hand on my belly, baby stops!

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks like no one's biz. That's it for now, and I'm good with that.

Symptoms: My latest symptom, which is SUPER fun is numbness and tingling in my left pinky and ring finger. Apparently some tissue is swollen in there and compressing my nerves. It's "normal" and highly annoying. Back still hurts and when I get really full,it feels like the skin on my belly is going to break. Good times.

Workouts: Since my doctor told me I've gained too much weight, I'm going as frequently as I can, about 3-4 times a week. 

What I miss: Going to the bathroom without my belly sitting on my thighs and without having to really work to wipe. You're welcome for the visual.

Things that suck: Feeling uncomfortable and less than attractive. It's a daily struggle to keep perspective.

Things that don't suck: I am almost to third trimester...aka home stretch! It's crazy to think I will be "full term" in just 9 weeks, and after that, our baby could come at any time. Everything has gone so fast! We started with 200-some days and now are in the 90s. 
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How Pregnancy Made Me Appreciate My Body

In being pregnant, I've learned several things about myself. Perhaps one of the most important is a new appreciation for my body.

Here's the thing. The human body is nothing if not amazing. It can do things we don't even know it's capable of. My body in particular has bounced back from several surgeries and serious illnesses. And now it's growing a human being.

Before I became pregnant, I was like many other women: Most days of the week, I was on a diet or watching my weight in some capacity. Nearly every day I lamented how I looked in the mirror or what I looked like naked. I swatted my husband's hand when he lovingly grabbed me around my waist to pull me in for a kiss. I was never happy with how I looked, and it always, always had to do with my weight.
My wedding day. My lowest weight 
in years, in the 130s.

Which, in retrospect, doesn't make a lot of sense. I weighed 145 lbs pre-pregnancy, give or take a few pounds depending on the day. I was a little on the "heavy" side according to my height, but for the most part, I was healthy. So why wasn't I happy?

Then I got pregnant. I think I was like many women in that when I saw those two lines on my pregnancy test, I instinctively felt my stomach. At only 4 weeks along, I could already feel my "bump." Of course it was not a bump. Not even close. But when you're pregnant, you want that little pouch to be there. It's an outside glimpse into the amazing miracle that's happening inside you.

The day after I saw a positive sign. 

Of course, those first weeks, there wasn't really a bump to be seen. My boobs were growing and I was a bit thicker around the middle, to be sure. I gained weight slowly, continued to work out. I took my bump pictures every week. Looking back at these photos is amazing because I look at weeks 14, 16, even 18 and my belly is not very big. At 20 weeks, I remember chatting up a woman in Starbucks who told me she couldn't even tell I was pregnant!

10 weeks on the left, 15 weeks on the right.

I was anxious to "look" pregnant. And then, overnight, it seemed...I did. Not only did I look pregnant, I felt pregnant. My back began to ache. I started to swell on the regular. My boobs had another growth spurt. Suddenly and completely, I didn't feel cute or glowing anymore. I felt like a freaking cow. I hated the way I looked in photos. I hated that you could see my huge belly button under my stretching shirt. I hated that my face had begun to round out. And it was hard to balance that with what was happening on the inside: the kicks, turns and hiccups, all of which I love.
23 weeks
 Even as I type this, I know I'm being too hard on myself. After all, I'm not fat. I'm pregnant. But it's hard to remind yourself of that all the time. Especially because I've already gained 30 pounds in this pregnancy, 13 one month! And I still have a solid 12 weeks ago.

Soon after I really looked and felt pregnant, I started to look at old photos, taken as recently as this past winter. I found myself thinking, "Wow, you look good!" I even thought I looked, GASP, thin, in some photos. But how could that be, I wondered, when I was so surely fat all those years before I got pregnant? That was when I realized that I never appreciated my body until I got pregnant. Not only for what it "used" to be, but for what it can do and will do. So many women aren't able to bear children, and how, I wonder, would they feel if they knew I was "complaining" about what it was doing to my precious looks?

My breasts, which were large before, are now bigger because they're getting ready to be able to feed and nourish my son. My stomach, once flat and toned, is getting bigger by the day due to a growing uterus that is current home to a healthy baby boy. My hips, once relative to the size of my thighs, are getting wider to make labor and getting baby out more comfortable for all of us. My legs and back, though they ache, are getting stronger to support the weight of a growing baby.
Our little boy at just 12 weeks

There are so many moments in pregnancy when you don't feel beautiful. But there are also many that you do. And at the end of the day, this phase of life, like most, is temporary. One day, in the fairly near future, this babe growing inside me will make his way into the world, and I will have bigger things to worry about than my body. I'm sure I will be in a hurry to lose the baby weight. In no time, I'll complain that having a baby changed my body forever or that I can't seem to lose those last five pounds. But I hope I remember those stretch marks and extra pounds for what they are: Signs of my first born child living inside me, growing into a healthy little boy. And I hope, that the same way I look at my pre-pregnancy body with new appreciation, I can look back on my body while pregnant and after with much of the same.

Life's too short to be so obsessed with how we look. Especially when you're carrying a baby. No, my body is not the same as it was pre-pregnancy and time will tell what it looks like postpartum. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Friday Faves

Happy Friday!

I didn't get to share the news yet, but I got a new job! I actually started the last week of August. Fortunately, I had a few offers on the table at the end of the summer, each one more different than the next. I'm happy to say I chose a position that was completely out of my comfort zone, less than the salary I was seeking and not located downtown.

I'm happy to report I started working at a non-profit adoption agency as a Digital Marketing Manager. The work is right up my alley in terms of what I've done before, but I'm also learning new skills, like SEO. And it's feel-good work. I love knowing that I'm not working for an organization that is driven by money, but by helping families and children. I've been here a few weeks and am happy as a clam.

That said, getting back into the "real world" after a summer off has been an adjustment! It's amazing how much more tired I get with having to commute and use my brain! (Hehe). I wouldn't have it any other way though, and all the stress that came with not having a job at this time in our lives is slowly melting away.

I'm not going to do a bumpdate this week, only because not much has changed from last week. That and I just look hideous in my most recent bump photo (you can see it on Instagram if you really want).

So this Friday, I thought I'd do a non-pregnancy related post, since I feel like that's all I talk about anymore, and share with you some of my favorite things currently (and always):

Fall Faves

Fall Faves by rzupek featuring Essie

Gap top

Wedge ankle boots

Burts Bees beauty product
$23 - debenhams.com

Essie nail polish

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Week 24 || Bumpdate

Looking a little rough around the edges. 
I had been sleeping on the couch for 2 hours prior to this photo.

How far along: 24 weeks (Technically 25 today..I'm late posting this)

Baby's size: We are an ear of corn this week! He's about 1.5 lbs and almost a foot long already!

Baby's progress: His body is starting to fill out proportionally, but is still pretty skinny right now. His brain is still (always) growing and developing, and his taste buds continue to develop. His lungs are developing their branches, too. His skin is still translucent, but that changes soon. He's putting on weight like crazy!

Weight gain: Unknown. My scale broke (probably due to my weight) but I'm guessing 25ish lbs? Will find out at next week's appointment...

Stretch marks: All clear.

Sleep: All good in the hood. Wish I could say the same for my husband.

Gender: I think we've established I've got a penis inside me.

Movement: Little dude has been on the move this week. But it's mostly been during the day, so that's good. At least he's not waking me up at night. He made his way under my rib cage yesterday, which was SUPER weird and uncomfortable. Go ahead and float back down any time! 

Best moment this week: Little man Farrell was hiccuping today! Either that, or jumping up and down. It was hilarious and so cute!

Looking forward to:  Our babymoon! We were going to go somewhere tropical, but decided to save the money and head to NYC instead! We're going the last weekend of September (my birthday weekend!) and I can't wait! It's a foodie/pregnant woman's dream! Also excited about seeing fellow preggo Carrie Underwood this weekend at Ravinia with my other fellow pregnant friends! (Minus a couple.)

Labor signs: Nada! Keep cookin' in there, buddy!

Symptoms: Backaches...leg cramps...swelling...exhaustion (I'm talking first trimester tired). Ooof.

Workouts: Just once, unless you count my painting and dancing this past weekend! 

What I miss: I'm gonna go with not feeling like my back is breaking in half. I also actually really miss craft beer. I've indulged in Non-Alcoholic beers this summer, but would really just love a beer that has FLAVOR!

Things that suck: I've begun the swelling phase of pregnancy, which is a real downer, to put it kindly. It also sucks when you can't find relief for your aching back!

Things that don't suck: Feeling little man be so active! He loves to kick, punch, jump, hiccup and stretch.
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