Baby #2 BUMP REPORT – 27 Weeks

27weeks

PREGNANCY WEEK 27 – July 25, 2015

The baby is now over two pounds and more than 14 inches. This marks the last week of the 2nd trimester, the home stretch is around the corner. Wow. I’ve enjoyed this 2nd trimester and hopefully the third will treat me well too.

I called around and finally found a chiropractor that accepts insurance and treats my Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction. I had an appointment with him on Thursday and he is confident that he can get me in working order. After an examination, he adjusted me. My pubic pain is lesser and I feel better overall. I return for another appointment next week. I am grateful that I can get some help for this issue. So far I’m happy with the result of my first adjustment. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is only positive, so I look forward to getting treated regularly.

On Friday I got a real treat. One of my good friends offered to take Winter for the day so that I could get a “day off” and do whatever I wanted. It was so nice! I went to see a movie, got a manicure, went to the mall, and overall enjoyed my day. It was much needed and very refreshing!

Today I ran a 5K race and it went pretty well. The course had ZERO flat areas, it was either uphill or downhill the entire time. My foot didn’t give me any trouble, neither did my pubic bone give me any pain. I wore my maternity support belt. I ran the majority of the race but did take walking breaks on some of the uphill portions. It felt great when I would occasionally pass other runners. I heard one lady sigh really loud as I passed her.

Eric and I celebrate 7 years of marriage on July 26. We are going to spend one night away in the mountains to celebrate!

My age: 29

How far along: 27 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a head of lettuce (14.5 inches and 2.2 pounds)

Gender: Girl

Events of this week: Went to a surprise birthday party, went to the movies, went to the park, went swimming at the pool, had a “day off,” had a girl’s night, ran a 5K, went to a jewelry party, and our friends from small group had their baby girl.

Symptoms: Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction, growing belly, mild heartburn and got my first Braxton Hicks contractions. Started to feel the urgency to go to the bathroom frequently now–with there only being a trickle….so annoying!

Exercise/Activity: 5 days of exercise! One of those being my 5K race that I ran today. Feeling good about working out, although I did pull a muscle in my back while lifting weights the other day.

race1

race2

Sleep: Decent sleep because of my pillow cave. Up a lot to pee.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.

Stretch marks: No.

Belly Button: Out.

Food cravings: Swiss cheese.

Food aversions: None.

Movement: Lots.

Best Moment of the Week: Our friends FINALLY had their baby girl 9 days overdue!

Worst Moment of the Week: None.

What I’m looking forward to: Seeing our baby on the ultrasound on Friday.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Hoping for good results on the ultrasound. We are looking to see a bigger spacing between where my placenta is compared to my cervix than at 20 weeks.

What I miss: Nothing.

Next appointment: Friday, July 31 @ 8:00 am – checkup, 28 week ultrasound & glucose test.

Pregnancy comparison:

27 weeks

27 Weeks Pregnant with baby #2:

27weekstext

27weekscrop

Advertisements

Baby #2 BUMP REPORT – 24 Weeks

24weeks

PREGNANCY WEEK 24 – July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July! Tonight we will watch fireworks with friends. Since we didn’t watch them last year, this will be Winter’s first official time watching a fireworks show.

My 24 week appointment went great. The midwife measured my fundal height for the first time, which was exactly 24 centimeters. I am fairly sure I always measured slightly under with Winter, but I’m not surprised that I’m measuring the full length this pregnancy. In fact, I am surprised I wasn’t measuring AHEAD with how huge my belly feels! She said that my weight gain and size looks perfect and on track. My goal is to stay within the 25-35 pound recommended gain, though under 30 is my true goal. I’m up 18.5 pounds at 24 weeks, so we shall see where I end up at 40 weeks. As long as I continue working hard through healthy eating and exercise, I am not worried…I know I can reach my goal!

I also saw my PCP this week for an annual physical (for wellness health and also for insurance benefits). At my appointment, I expressed concern about my injured foot. She did an examination and she feels that it very well could be a stress fracture. Because I’m pregnant, she would like to avoid taking an x-ray if possible. She recommended that I not run or do any high impact movements as this could worsen my condition. I also and supposed to avoid wearing flip flops or going barefoot–instead I’m supposed to wear good supportive shoes. I’ll continue following the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). She said if my foot isn’t starting to feel better within 2-3 weeks, to come back for another check. I’ve been still exercising, but trying to walk, lift weights and do low impact cardio exercises. All this strength training will keep me nice and toned!

24weekswords

My age: 29

How far along: 24 weeks

How big is baby: the size of an ear of corn (12 inches and 1.3 pounds)

Gender: Girl

Events of this week: Went walking several days with girlfriends, went to the pool, had several doctor appointments, went to the library, spent time with a college/high school friend who visited, went to Garden of the Gods, went to Manitou Springs, watched an outdoor movie at the park, went to the splash park, celebrated 4th of July.

Symptoms: Growing belly, feeling great overall.

Exercise/Activity: 5 days of exercise completed this week. As I mentioned, my foot injury is limiting my cardio. So I’ve been doing strength training circuits, walking and any type of low impact cardio that I can.

Sleep: Pretty good. Found a happy place with arranging my pillows around me.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.

Stretch marks: No.

Belly Button: I can’t really say 100% in anymore. Part of it is now poking out. This didn’t happen to me in my first pregnancy until 30+ weeks.

Food cravings: Fresh cherries, swiss cheese, berry smoothies.

Food aversions: None, though I still don’t really desire much chicken.

Movement: Moving like crazy. Visible from the outside too.

Best Moment of the Week: Having a good checkup with the midwife.

Worst Moment of the Week: Finding out my foot is indeed injured.

What I’m looking forward to: Healing my foot and getting back to normal life.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: My foot…I just want it to cooperate and get better.

What I miss: Walking without limping.

Next appointment: Friday, July 31 @ 8:00 am – checkup, 28 week ultrasound & glucose test.

Winter wanted to take a picture with the chalkboard just like mommy! Too adorable.

DSC_0352

Comparison of first and second pregnancies

24weeks

24 weeks with baby #2

24weekscrop

Baby #2 BUMP REPORT – 23 Weeks

23weeks

PREGNANCY WEEK 23 – June 27, 2015

We went camping this weekend. It was fun to spend time with friends and enjoy the fresh air and outdoors. We bought a new tent that is much bigger than our old tent. That way it can hold a pack ‘n play, air mattress and still have plenty of room. The first night we were so excited to sleep on an air mattress, but were left very disappointed as the air slowly released throughout the night. We called it our sinking ship! VERY uncomfortable to sleep on a deflated air mattress. The second night we decided to forego the faulty air mattress and sleep on the ground….let’s just say my hips are hurting today! We really enjoyed spending the weekend with friends from small group.

In the past few weeks (especially this week), I notice DAILY how much my belly seems to be growing. It is incredible…it’s almost like it gets bigger overnight. My belly button is on the verge of popping out, which didn’t happen until 30 weeks last pregnancy. In addition to noticing visually the growing belly, I am really FEELING those growths too. I feel like I’m slowing down and just “feeling more pregnant.” It feels like I have a bowling ball attached to me! Carrying Winter is getting to be more challenging.

As far as working out goes, I am pleased to say that I’m maintaining a high level of fitness between strength training, circuits, and running. Running is only happening one or two days per week. But I’m happy to still be regularly running, even if it’s not my main form of exercise. I don’t want to think too much into it, but my right foot has been giving me a lot of trouble since a little over two weeks ago. I have had to change my stride/gait when I run to compensate for my hurting foot. Eric says I should get it checked out at the doctor, but honestly I’m afraid of what they are going to say. My fear is that I’ll have to give up running or give up exercise, which is not something I want to do. This weekend it’s been bothering me even more, I’m beginning to think it’s either a sprain or a stress fracture. Neither option is good. Perhaps I’ll get it checked out soon. I just pray that it’s a minor sprain.

My age: 29

How far along: 23 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a grapefruit (11.5 inches and 1.1 pounds)

Gender: Girl

Events of this week: Went to the splash park, had an IKEA lunch date, met with several friends to go to the pool, had our small group where I shared my testimony, went to the zoo, and spent the weekend camping.

Symptoms: Increasing belly size, tired (though not as tired as last week), feeling slower and heavier.

Exercise/Activity: I exercised 5 days this week: 2 days running, 2 days of strength or circuits, and 1 day hiking while camping. See above for ailing foot condition.

Sleep: Sleeping decent, though I get up usually once a night to pee.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.

Stretch marks: No.

Belly Button: In, though for not much longer. It’s pretty flat.

Food cravings: Smoothies, swiss cheese.

Food aversions: I FINALLY ATE CHICKEN! I don’t think it’ll be back in my regular diet, but I can now say I don’t hate the thought of it anymore.

Movement: Strong movements daily. I can see and feel them from the outside. This all seems to be happening much quicker.

Best Moment of the Week: Camping trip.

Worst Moment of the Week: None.

What I’m looking forward to: Spending time outdoors enjoying the summer (pool, splash parks, etc).

What I’m nervous about/praying for: My foot. I really hope it’s a minor issue and it goes away on it’s own. I really don’t want to go to the doctor in fear that they’ll make me stop exercising.

What I miss: Having a healthy foot!

Next appointment: Monday, July 6th at 9:40 a.m.

Here’s proof of my ever-growing belly the past few weeks:

19.21

Comparison with 1st pregnancy:

23weekscompare

23 Week picture baby #2:

23weekscrop

Baby #2 BUMP REPORT – 22 Weeks

22weeks

PREGNANCY WEEK 22 – June 20, 2015

22 weeks means that the baby is now one pound and 11 inches.  Dang, it really takes the baby a while to reach that one pound mark, but then she’ll be two pounds within a few more weeks! I feel like she has hit a growth spurt recently because my belly seems to have really grown a lot lately. In fact, I have started to “feel” more pregnant. My body feels a bit of the aches and pains that I wasn’t noticing before this week. When I workout, I have been wearing my Gabrialla maternity support belt when I run for several weeks now, but I am now feeling the need to also wear it for my other workouts too. Moves like jumping jacks don’t feel comfortable unless I’ve got it snugly on there supporting my belly. I think this means there has been some big growth lately. I am feeling that way. Also, I have been told that I’ve “popped” more suddenly.

My sleep is also starting to go down the toilet. I am having trouble getting comfortable at night, leaving me restless and tossing and turning. At this point my body still wants to sleep on my back, but I know that I better cut that out soon since it’s not the safest practice. I wake up on my back a lot. That is probably contributing to my feeling of being exhausted all the time.

It’s like I have suddenly hit a wall in the past week. I feel more tired. It could be that the heat has finally set in and perhaps that’s what is slowing me down and making me feel lethargic. I’m still doing great at eating healthy and exercising daily, so I know that is only positive for me….yet I am feeling SO TIRED all of the sudden. I need to get my energy back!

Winter is so adorable. She grabbed the Ipad the other day and was trying to find the video we took a few weeks ago of us using the dopplar to hear the baby’s heartbeat. She said, “baby, baby!” until she found the video. Also, Eric said that the other night she was in our bedroom and saw the dopplar on my nightstand and grabbed it and said, “baby!” Yesterday we were playing in her bedroom and she suddenly ran away. About two minutes later she ran back into the room with the dopplar in hand and said, “baby, baby!” So then we listened to the baby’s heartbeat. She really is going to be a great big sister.

Here’s proof that this baby has done a lot of growing in just the past few weeks!

22weekscurrent

My age: 29

How far along: 22 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a spaghetti squash (11 inches and 1 pound)

Gender: Girl

Events of this week: Went to the park several times, worked on some Father’s Day crafts, went to the splash park, went on a walk and let Winter play in the creek, went to a mom’s night out.

Symptoms: Increasing belly size, feeling a bit more achy, a bit of sciatic pain in my right side, exhausted and ready to nap all the time, hot with this HEAT!

Exercise/Activity: Exercises 5 days again this week.  I feel great, but since I’ve been more tired, I’ve really had to force myself to get myself active and moving. Yesterday I got a nice good run in on the treadmill, all of the other days were circuit training (cardio and strength).  Having to wear my maternity support belt ALL the time when I exercise now, not just for running. Also, I did decrease my pace a bit…I typically run at 6.0 mph on the treadmill, but I bumped it down to 5.8 mph since it feels a bit more comfortable.

Sleep: Can’t get comfortable, tossing and turning. Waking up on my back a lot.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.

Stretch marks: No.

Belly Button: In.

Food cravings: Mixed berry smoothies from Einsteins. Swiss cheese.

Food aversions: Chicken.

Movement: Feeling stronger movements all the time. I can regularly feel her from the outside now too.

Best Moment of the Week: Spending time outside with Winter and Eric.

Worst Moment of the Week: None.

What I’m looking forward to: Next weekend we are going camping with several couples from our small group. We just bought a new tent that can house a pack n play, an air mattress and our dog (with PLENTY of extra room to spare), and I can’t wait to try it out! Last summer when we camped we made do with our tiny 3-man tent, which meant there was no room to use a pack n play. Now, with this giant 8-man tent, we will have tons of room to spread out–it even has two separate rooms! I know that Winter will have a blast going camping and being able to run around outside and play in the dirt all day long for an entire weekend.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Hoping to get my energy back.

What I miss: Feeling more energetic.

Next appointment: Monday, July 6th at 9:40 a.m.

Comparison from first pregnancy at 22 weeks

22weekscomparison

22 Week Picture

22weekscrop

Baby #2 BUMP REPORT – 21 Weeks

21weeks

PREGNANCY WEEK 21 – June 13, 2015

Swirls, twirls and curls….we are going to have a house full of GIRLS! We are so excited to have found out that the baby is a healthy girl. We would have been happy with either gender, but I was really hoping for a little sister for Winter. Since the two girls will be exactly two years apart, I am hopeful that they will grow up as best friends and playmates. I am close with my sisters and hope for the same experience for my daughters. Plus, let’s be honest, it will be SO NICE to reuse all of Winter’s baby things and clothing, especially because all of the sizes will fall in the same seasons since we are having another October baby.  Well–that is, unless this baby turns out to be a giant or exceptionally small. We couldn’t be more happy for another girl.

On the ultrasound she looked great and is measuring right on track. She appears to look very similar to Winter’s ultrasound, as much as you can really tell from looking at a 2D ultrasound. Same round head, button nose, chubby cheeks. I hope they look alike since Winter is so adorable!

There was only one slight “concern” noted at the ultrasound. “Concern” might not even be the right term. More like something to watch for as the pregnancy progresses. I already knew my placenta was anterior, on the front of my belly, but now I have what is called a “low lying placenta.” This means that the placenta is down low and in close proximity to my cervix, though not covering or touching it. My midwife said it’s 16 mm (1 cm) away from my cervix. She said that typically as the baby grows, the placenta will continue to grow upward and away from the cervix. She was not concerned, but she said it’s something to be noted and check again later in the pregnancy. Because of this, we will have a follow up ultrasound at 28 weeks just to make sure things move in the right direction. If for some reason my placenta would be any less than 15 mm away from my cervix, there is the possibly of needing a c-section for safety purposes. I’m praying that a c-section isn’t necessary as I’m really hopeful to have a 100% all natural drug-free birth experience.

My age: 29

How far along: 21 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a carrot (10.5 inches and 12.7 ounces)

Gender: Baby girl!

Events of this week: Had our anatomy ultrasound, got pedicures with a few mom friends, babysat, pet sat for two dogs, went swimming at a friend’s pool, went to Tiny Town, went to an outdoor concert at the park, hosted a play date, had small group, went to my women’s bible study, went out on a date to see Jurassic World on opening night, and went to a BBQ/movie at church.  Busy week!

Symptoms: Growing belly, feeling really great overall.

Exercise/Activity: Got 5 days of exercise this week; two days of running and three days of workout DVDs. In my workout DVDs I skip a lot of the ab exercises and instead do cardio in it’s place (like jumping jacks, etc). Feeling really strong and fit! Signed up for a local 5K at the end of July when I’ll be 27 weeks pregnant.

Sleep: Pretty good, minus trying to force myself to sleep on my side. I wake up on my back.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.

Stretch marks: No.

Belly Button: In.

Food cravings: Mixed berry smoothies from Einsteins.

Food aversions: Chicken.

Movement: Yes. Eric felt the baby from the outside last week too!

Best Moment of the Week: The ultrasound!

Worst Moment of the Week: None.

What I’m looking forward to: Enjoying the summer days with Winter now that the weather has been great. We have a baby pool in the backyard that she uses nearly every day. I love being outside and so does she. Over the weekend I sported a bikini so I could get some sun while she played. I normally wear tankinis while pregnant, but I figure in my own back yard no one is looking!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Nothing.

What I miss: Nothing.

Next appointment: Monday, July 6th at 9:40 a.m.

Comparison with my first pregnancy:

21weeks

A look back at the entire week by week pictures so far:

21weeks

And finally, this week’s pic on it’s own:

21weekscrop

 

Baby #2 BUMP REPORT – 20 Weeks

20weeks

PREGNANCY WEEK 20 – June 6, 2015

This pregnancy is already halfway done, really? Wow. That went fast. I can ask for time to just slow down a bit, as I’m in no rush to get this show on the road. 20 weeks marks a special time…the ultrasound is coming up! Within a few days we will know whether there is a boy or girl growing inside my belly. We are really excited to see the baby on the ultrasound. Last time we saw him or her was in mid March, so much has changed since then. It will be fun to see! Eric and I both want a healthy baby, gender doesn’t matter. Eric has no strong feeling but I feel like it’s a girl. We will know very soon!

My age: 29

How far along: 20 weeks – HALFWAY MARK!

How big is baby: the size of a banana (6.5 inches and 10.5 ounces)

Gender: Unknown – find out on Monday!

Events of this week: Recovered from a cold, went to the splash park, went to the dentist, had a few girls’ days and nights, and went to a baby shower.

Symptoms: Feeling great, occasional hip flexor pain/ligament stretching.

Exercise/Activity: I exercised 5 days this week, and I feel accomplished and great. I’m over my cold and regaining my strength. I bumped up to the next level in my workout DVD and I have to do some of the modifications because of pregnancy. I’m really proud of myself to sticking to healthy diet and exercise these past weeks. It’s become a natural habit now.

Sleep: Sleeping well overall, minus having to hoist myself from side to side.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.

Stretch marks: No.

Belly Button: In.

Food cravings: Swiss cheese and berry smoothies.

Food aversions: Chicken.

Movement: Feeling the baby moving every day. It’s getting more noticeable.

Best Moment of the Week: One night we listened to the baby’s heartbeat on our home doppler, and Winter was loving it.  She was “dancing” to the beat of the baby’s heart.  It melted me.

Worst Moment of the Week: None.

What I’m looking forward to: Ultrasound!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: In addition to finding out the gender at the ultrasound, we also find out if the baby is healthy or not.  Praying that everything is good!

What I miss: Nothing.

Next appointment: Monday, June 8, 2015 @ 10:30 a.m. – ultrasound day!

Here’s a comparison of 20 weeks with last pregnancy.  I feel like my belly is sort of leveling out and not as “big” as it was in comparison in my earlier weeks.

20weeks

20weekscrop

Pregnancy Wrap-Up

wrapup

I loved my pregnancy with Winter.  She was such a joy to carry in my belly.  Now that she is 2.5 weeks old, sometimes I miss feeling her movements inside me:)  But I wouldn’t trade her being here for anything!  We just love our little girl!  I thought it would be neat to do a little pregnancy wrap up/summary…so here it is:

How long was this pregnancy?: 40 weeks and 2 days

Total Weight Gain: 23 pounds!  I feel AWESOME that I stayed within my goal weight gain amount (I wanted to stay under 30 lbs gained).  It took a lot of work to keep my number at 23 pounds.

Stretchmarks: None, thankfully!

Best Moment of the Pregnancy:  Getting the positive test in January.  Plus I loved feeling her movements/hiccups inside my belly.  SO SWEET!  I miss it sometimes.

Movement: Winter was constantly “on the go” in my belly.  She favored my right side, so I guess she will be a right handed girl.  We will see.  Now that she is born, she is SO strong….now I know why those kicks and jabs were so strong in my belly.

Gender: Girl

Belly Button: Out, but it’s back to an innie now.

Linea Nigra: None.  Though I think while in Florida I got a bit of a pregnancy mask on my face.  It’s gone now.

Workouts/Running While Pregnant: I ran ALL THE WAY UNTIL DELIVERY!!  I feel absolutely so proud of myself for this!  My running schedule was Sun/Tue/Thur with gym days on Mon/Wed/Fri.  I ran several miles on my due date (Tue, 10/8), and then did a gym workout on Wed (10/9), and went into labor that evening.  So I literally ran all the way until I possibly could:)

What I Missed Most While Pregnant: Feeling light and not being able to do “basic things” easily (bend over, paint toe nails, harder time running/working out, shaving, etc).

Biggest Cravings: Apples with peanut butter & vanilla greek yogurt.

Pregnancy Numbers:

# of positive pregnancy tests: 4 – at the end of January 2013 when 4 weeks pregnant
# ER visits: 0 – thankfully
# outie belly buttons: 1
# of intact belly button rings: 0 – I took my belly button ring out in the 1st trimester, will probably put it back in within a few weeks/months
# of stretch marks: 0 – lucky here
# weeks running while pregnant: 40 weeks (never took off a single week during my whole pregnancy!)
# of normal (vaginal) births: 1
# of healthy babies born: 1 – Winter Elizabeth Lute
Total pounds gained: 23 lbs
Total waist measurement: Good question – I honestly don’t know!
Total hours at Swedish Hospital before Winter arrived: 5 hours (1:30 pm until 6:37 pm)
Total hours in labor (defined as time after contractions started): 22 hours (8:30 pm on October 9th until 6:37 pm on October 10th)
# of weeks pregnant when I delivered: 40 weeks, 2 days (only 2 days past due!!)
# OBGYN doctors: 3 – Dr. Lewkowski & Dr. Peters (at my regular Denver office) and Dr. Caplan (at my Florida office)
# of ultrasounds: 5 – at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 19 weeks, 33 weeks and 36 weeks
# of hours driving across the country on a roadtrip: 58+ hours (28 hours from Denver to Florida in July and 30 hours from Florida to Denver in September)
# of movements felt: TONS!  This was the best part of pregnancy!
# of things I loved about being pregnant: 100s! – Feeling her movements, I loved my belly, hearing her heartbeat at appts, feeling her hiccups, etc
# of things I disliked about being pregnant: 3 –  1. sickness/fatigue of the 1st trimester, 2. feeling heavy/slow and 3. achy hips/back

Well, that’s a wrap!  This pregnancy is over.  I am loving motherhood so far.  I can’t wait to start writing more about my experiences as they come.  I already feel like I have so much to write about.  With family visitors/helpers here for the past 2 weeks, I haven’t had any time for blogging.  Whenever I got a chance, I have snuck away here and there to write out Winter’s birth story.  So stay tuned, because I will be posting about her birth very soon!  It took me hours and hours to write (and it’s very long!), so I hope you enjoy reading about it!

To tide you over, here are two more beautiful photos we got back from Winter’s newborn photography session: 

winter

winterfamily

BUMP REPORT – 40 Weeks

ImagePREGNANCY WEEK 40

Here we are at 40 weeks.  I honestly did not think there would STILL be a baby in my belly at this time.  With the way I have been feeling for the past few weeks, I was dead-on sure that our baby was fully cooked and ready to make her appearance before her due date.  With the amount of super frequent/strong Braxton Hicks contractions and other “labor signs” I have been experiencing, I was just SURE this baby was coming a few times within the past week.  Guess I was wrong.  Now technically the “official” due date is Tuesday (when calculating it originally, some charts put me to Oct 7th and some put me to Oct 8th).  I have always been in the habit of writing weekly blog updates on Mondays…so I guess there is still a chance she could be born on time.  At around 37 and 38 weeks I was freaking out because I didn’t feel mentally “ready” for baby girl’s birth yet.  Then there was a 180.  When I hit 39 weeks, I all the sudden was “READY!”  This past week has been an emotional battle of ups and downs as I kept thinking that “this is it” or “tomorrow is definitely the day!”  Talk about feeling frustrated.  I know she will be here any day, but I am mentally SO OVER IT!  I just want her here.  So does Daddy.  If there is a 41 week blog update — I will be beyond annoyed, HAHA!  Please pray that this baby comes.

Here is a month-by-month recap of Baby Lute’s bump progress….

collage

…And a look at some of my pictures that include the size-comparisons…

collagechalkboards

….and here are all of the pregnancy weeks below!  Started with a plum and ended with a pumpkin!

fullpregnancy

My age: 27

How far along: 40 weeks

How big is baby: the size of gallon of milk.  She is approximately 19-22 inches long and weighs 7.5-8 pounds.

What have you been up to: This week had much less on the calendar than the previous week, which was MUCH NEEDED.  It allowed me down time to relax and take it a bit easier.  I had a chance to get together with three different girlfriends all on separate days.  I also had the opportunity to re-read labor & delivery chapters in several of my pregnancy books.  Eric and I went on our weekly date this weekend, we tried a new restaurant called the Hurricane Grill.  It is a beachy/surfer theme place — so much fun.  It was delicious food too!  I got grilled chicken sliders with a HOT sauce called “the boss” (and no, the spicy food didn’t induce labor).  Also this week we made a belly cast (I’ll talk more about that in a minute).

At my O.B. appointment last Wednesday, the doctor was pleasantly surprised that things really seem to be progressing nicely.  When she did my cervical exam, she estimated I was 70% effaced and a good 2 cm dilated already!  She really seemed to think that labor could coming be any day….so that started getting my hopes up.  Ever since Wednesday I have been on this emotional rollercoaster thinking that the baby is finally coming!  On Thursday, I was just SURE it was the day.  And then Friday, same thing.  And NO–she hasn’t come yet.  I have been experiencing non-stop Braxton Hicks (some are very regular and even painful), but then they always end up stopping and never resulting in real labor.  And I am so exhausted of well-intentioned friends/people texting me asking for updates or to see if I am in labor yet.  Those text messages make me feel frustrated, because there is literally zero I can do to control this situation.  Yes, I want to be in labor, but no, I am not.  Stop asking.  I know people care and are excited, but it makes me feel defeated.  I finally started responding with “there is currently nothing to update on, and I will keep you posted when that changes.”  So if you happen to be someone who I have told that to, please take no offense, I am just really emotional and frustrated with my body.

Now, with all that emotional negativity out there, let’s focus on some fun!  Let’s talk about making a belly cast!  Over the weekend, instead of focusing my energy on the fact that I STILL wasn’t in labor yet, we decided to make a memento of this pregnant belly.

BELLY CAST.  I’ve seen people make molds of their pregnant bellies before and thought it was kind of a neat keepsake to have.  I was not sure I would end up doing something like that or not.  Well, I decided to do it — on the cheap was the only way!  I did not feel it necessary to buy one of those expensive kits, so if I could find an easy and cheap way to do it, I was all in.  And I did!  All I needed was a product I found at Michaels.  It is a “plaster wrap” or it can also be called “rigid wrap”…. it’s basically gauze that you dip in water and it hardens.  I spent less than $10 on this project and it turned out great.  Here is the tutorial I found to make mine: http://entergentlyblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/make-your-own-pregnant-belly-cast.html

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

STEP 1: Cut a lot of strips of the gauze and lay them out.  I used 2 rolls.  Get out a shallow pan with warm water in it to dip the strips.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

STEP 2: Protect your skin with olive oil.  It felt really yucky to wipe cooking oil all over my skin, but it was worth it to protect my skin.  I also put plastic wrap over my pants since it was a messy project.  It also didn’t hurt to cover the table and floor too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

STEP 3: Work quickly because these set up fast.  Have your husband/helper dip the strips of gauze in warm water and place them all over your belly.  Make sure you smooth out any air pockets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

STEP 4: After putting 2 layers all over, allow it to set up and dry.  It will literally come away from your skin–don’t pull it off until it comes off on it’s own.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

STEP 5: After it comes off your skin, let it dry for a while — as in a few days.  It’s going to be really neat to have this keepsake in the future when I forget how big my belly was!

Exercise/Activity Level: I feel very proud that I’m still working out (and running) 6 days per week at 40 weeks pregnant!!  3 runs and 3 gym days.  I think that’s a real accomplishment.  It has been NO FUN working out this week as my body is kind of feeling “over it” at this point.  Somehow God gives you what you need to keep on going though.  At all 3 of my gym workouts this week (45 minutes cardio & 20 minutes weight lifting), each day there was at least one individual who approached me and gave me very nice compliments.  One day a lady walked up to me (while with 15 lb dumbbells over my head doing shoulder presses) and told me what a beautiful photo I’d make (a photo of a woman lifting weights while pregnant).  Another day a lady told me “you are so smart to be exercising during your pregnancy, girl.”  And another day, one of the young male personal trainers told me “You are doing such a great job.  I was watching you workout and you are doing so great — you will have no problem getting your body back after the baby is born.”  God used all 3 of those people this week because I really needed to hear some positive feedback with the way I was feeling.  I know all of this exercise is important and will pay off — I’m just READY to be done with pregnancy at this point.  My body just hurts.  Running somehow feels better than walking though, I still find that amazing.  (I think it may have something to do with my gait—I strive to be a toe/midfoot runner instead of a heel-striker.  I think that walking, a heel-striking gait, hurts my achy body worse than my midfoot/toe running gait.)

Maternity clothes:  Somehow my belly has gotten so huge that some of my shirts are having a hard time covering it up!

Stretch marks: Still none.

Belly Button: Outie.

Sleep: Sleeping really solid.  Thankfully.  At least I have that.  I’m taking advantage of the cliché “sleep as much as you can before the baby comes!”

Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is fully cooked.  Now just come on out, little girl!

Best Moment of the Week: At my doctor appointment after the nurse weighed me, she said “Wow, you haven’t gained any weight since July!”  I know this seems like a weird thing for me to be excited about, but I really feel proud that I have been able to keep my weight gain within a healthy amount (23 pounds).  It makes me so happy that after the baby comes out, I won’t have 50 extra pounds clinging to my entire body — hopefully just 13 pounds (I’ve heard 10 pounds is usually the amount lost during birth).  When I was 30 weeks pregnant, I was on a road to high-weight-gain with my habits at that time….it has taken a lot of work to remain firm in my decision to eat healthy.

Worst Moment of the Week: Getting into a miscommunication with my husband.  I hate those.  Thankfully we love each other.  A lot.

Food cravings: Apples with peanut butter.

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: Strong and regular Braxton Hicks.  Baby feels very low in my pelvis.  I’ve been getting a lot of “menstrual pains” in my belly.  My sciatic nerve is KILLING me (left side of my low back that shoots pain down my left leg).  Feeling UNCOMFORTABLE and sometimes I can barely walk.

Movement: She is totally out of room.  But yet she still moves all over.  It’s uncomfortable at this point because she is so low in my pelvis that it sometimes feels like she could “fall out!”

Gender: Girl

What I’m looking forward to: Meeting baby girl!  Holding her in my arms for the first time.  I also can’t wait to see the look in Eric’s eyes when he finally gets to see her for the first time.  I have been experiencing this baby inside my body for 9 months, and once she is born he will FINALLY get to start experiencing her too.  I know he is so ready for that.  I just can’t wait to watch him as he finally gets to have that magic happen.  He is going to be the best dad EVER!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Praying for a safe delivery for baby.  I hope things go smoothly and that a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery happens.

What I miss: Feeling like a normal human being.  I just want to be un-pregnant:)  I know, soon!

Next appointment: Tuesday, October 8th @ 3:45 P.M.

To-do list before baby’s arrival:  It’s an awfully short list this week:

-HAVE THE BABY!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pregnant Running — Run all the way until delivery?

Pregnancy Running – Run Until Delivery

collage

Running while pregnant.  I never thought I’d be the lady who is strong enough to be a pregnant runner.  Or a runner into my 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  Let alone potentially running all the way up until delivery!  At almost 39 weeks pregnant, it’s truly AMAZING that this body is still going.  I am starting to believe that I am indeed a strong lady — heck, I have continued to run regularly for my entire pregnancy!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of myself.

I have been a runner for years.  Just in 2012, I ran a number of races, including four half marathons, a 10-mile trail race and a number of 5K races.  When I became pregnant in January 2013, my goal was to have a healthy pregnancy.  The way I intended to maintain above-average health was by continuing to exercise and eat a nutritious diet.  Going into the pregnancy I had no complications or reasons that I shouldn’t be exercising, so I continued running as normally as I could on a regular basis.  Later, I will break down the three trimesters and what my exercise/running looked like during each of those phases.

Running while pregnant is NOT easy.  It’s only for those who are strong and determined.  Only for the extremely motivated.  Had I not been motivated and determined, I would have taken it easy a long time ago and settled for just walking.

To me, as long as there is no medical reason that prevents exercise during pregnancy, it’s a no brainer: EXERCISE!  It’s going to make a healthier baby and a healthier momma….  I understand that there are special circumstances or medical situations that do not allow an expectant mother to exercise; that is different.  Only exercise while pregnant with the medical clearance of an O.B. doctor.

First, let’s talk about some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy:

1. Healthier baby & healthier momma.

2. Easier time getting through labor & delivery.  (Possibly even a shorter time laboring!)

3. Keeps pregnancy weight gain under control (healthy range for an average size woman is 25-35 pounds).

4. Gives more energy to expectant momma.

5. Keeps stress level under control.

6. Helps momma to “bounce back” and regain her previous shape after birth.

Here are the reasons I {THINK} have been able to run up until delivery:

-I listen to my body. This has been my #1 rule when it comes to running during my pregnancy.  If I were to push myself past the point of what my body is capable of doing, it would have benefited no one.  Listening to my body means this: if I can do it, then go for it…if I can’t do it, then slow down or stop.  At all stages of this pregnancy I have allowed myself the freedom to stop and take walking breaks during runs as necessary.  Do I like taking walking breaks??  My pride doesn’t, but sometimes my body needs them.  Listening to your body is KEY.

-I don’t run every single day. Years ago, I went through a phase where I ran six days per week.  I did that until I became injured.  I have found that running on alternating days is the best thing for my body.  This averages out to 3-4 days per week.  I do workout 6 days per week, but only half of those days are running workouts.  The other days are spent in the gym.

-I crosstrain.  At the gym I typically perform 40-45 minutes of cardio exercise (elliptical, arc trainer, rowing machine, bike, etc) and spend 20 minutes doing a variety of free weights/cable pulleys/weight machine exercises.  My weight training is usually performed in 3 sets of 12 repetitions at a heavy weight (no sissy stuff!)  By lifting weights on a regular basis, my overall body strength is much higher than if I were to only have performed cardio exercise.

-I kept my weight gain under control.  Most of my weight was gained in the 2nd trimester.  In the 3rd trimester I have gained almost nothing.  I guess everyone’s bodies are different.  At almost 39 weeks, I have gained 23 pounds, so I doubt I’ll top out at more than 25 (if that).  I think that keeping my weight gain under control, it has allowed my body to keep going because I’m not as heavy as, say, someone who gains 50 pounds during their pregnancy.  50 pounds gained + trying to run = won’t work.

-I wear a maternity support belt.  Mid-pregnancy (around 25 weeks), I began researching maternity support belts.  Several blogger friends were using the Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt for running, so I decided to give it a whirl.  At 27 weeks, my amazon purchase arrived in the mail and I was excited to try it out.  Talk about a major difference!  The belt is designed to support a growing belly and displace the impact to other areas.  Without my support belt, there would be NO WAY I could still be running.  It truly is amazing how well it helps keep my body feeling better and puts my mind at easy that the baby is safer.

-I don’t run far distances.  I’ve heard of these extreme runners who run full marathons at term….no way, this gal isn’t that big of a champion!  I have consistently ran a distance of 3-5 miles.  Never any more than that.  I’m sure some people could, but I never cared to push myself any further distance than that.  Now that I’m full term, some days I only run 2 or 2.5 miles…but I think that is to be expected.

-I accept that my running now barely resembles my pre-pregnancy running.  Before I got pregnant, my typical running pace averaged between 9-10 minute miles.  Usually I ran around 9:30/min/miles, but the better shape I was in, the more like 9:00/min/miles, and if I was in worse shape, I usually was never quite as slow as 10:00/min/miles pace.  This changed pretty drastically once I became pregnant.  I had to stop using my Nike Pro app on my phone.  Seeing just how much SLOWER I was running was killing my mojo, so I decided to just run based on feel.  This was smart, because I’m way too much of a perfectionist, so I didn’t need to hear my slower pace recited in my headphones.  In my 1st trimester I was still probably averaging 10:00/min/miles, 2nd trimester I slowed to (I’m guessing) 10:30-10:45min/miles and NOW at the end of my 3rd trimester I am running 11:45/min/miles.  WAY SLOW!  But—no matter how slow I am, I am just proud that I am still going.  Doesn’t matter that I’m slow:)

-I never stopped running.  I have maintained my 3 times per week running routine throughout the entire duration of the pregnancy.  I never took a week off.  Had I stopped and given myself a break, I might not have ever resumed.  It allowed my body the ability to adapt as my body and the baby grew.

-I have had the support of my doctor.  My doctor has been 100% supportive of my active lifestyle.  She spent time talking to me about all of the benefits for both me and the baby.  She also recommended that I “listen to my body” and take my level down if it became necessary.  At my appointments she asks if I’m still running and I see her excitement when I tell her I still am:)

What my running has looked like during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy:

1st Trimester.  I suffered from morning sickness throughout my first trimester.  Yuck!  I did not throw up a lot, but I did have constant nausea 100% of the time.  I felt extreme fatigue and overall awful.  It was hard to maintain a high level of fitness during that phase because I felt so awful.  But I did push myself to keep on going, even if it wasn’t pretty.  During the first trimester, I averaged 4-5 days per week of exercise, with at least two of those days being running days.  Because it was still winter, I did majority of those runs on the treadmill.

2nd Trimester.  During my second trimester is when I started to get my energy back, but as my weight increased, I felt heavier as I hit the pavement.  I ran a 5K race with some friends at 17 weeks and felt great.  Once I hit week 20 or so, I was really beginning to FEEL my weight gain.  I felt slower, but I continued to push on and listen to my body.  Somewhere around weeks 16-18 is when I started battling calf tightness.  That calf tightness has stuck around ever since, boo!  I think it has to do with my center of gravity affecting my running gait or from the added weight on my body.  Not sure.  Throughout this trimester, I maintained 6 days per week of exercise, with 3 of those days being running days.  Most of my running in this trimester was outdoors.

3rd Trimester.  When I got to the third trimester, I had a renewed sense of excitement for running since I had just started wearing my Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt.  I also felt really proud of myself that I was still continuing to run.  We moved to Florida for 6 weeks when I was 29 weeks pregnant, and my running actually improved between weeks 29-35!  I think it had something to do with being at sea-level instead of mile-high-altitude.  Because of the extreme heat & humidity of Florida, I did majority of the runs during weeks 29-35 indoors on the treadmill.  During those weeks I actually STOPPED taking walking breaks!!  I could consistently run 3.1 miles (5K distance) without ever stopping to walk.  I felt amazing and so EMPOWERED!!

Ever since returning home to Colorado, I have transitioned back to outdoor running, with the occasional indoor treadmill run.  As I am getting close to delivery, my runs are getting much harder day by day, but I just listen to what my body is telling me.  I am no longer able to run 3.1 miles without stopping for a walking break.  Sad, but it’s the truth.  Typically I make myself run the entire first mile without a walking break and then I allow myself to run in intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking until I have reached my final distance.  I usually try to run at LEAST 2-3 miles.  I’ve started staying close to home on my runs (JUST IN CASE!)  In the past two weeks I have been running laps around my neighborhood (boring, but then I’m not far from home in case I go into labor).  I calculated that 5 laps is 2 miles, so I try to run at least 5 laps (or add in more laps if I need to add walking breaks).  My calves continue to be extremely tight.   I just grin and bear it.  Here is to running all the way until delivery!

Getting to the end—delivery is near….

Summary.  With my due date looming in the near future, I have no intentions of ceasing running unless (God forbid) something happens.  My doctor has really been an encouragement to me.  At my appointment earlier this week she asked for an update to see if I was still running.  She was really excited to hear that I was.  Even though I can honestly say it’s not all that FUN to be running anymore, I want to keep going as long as I can — even if it’s just to “say that I did.”

run

Disclaimer: These are just my own personal thoughts, opinions and personal experience.  I am not a doctor.  You should only exercise under the care of a doctor.  I am aware that there are situations where it is unsafe to exercise during pregnancy.  I also understand that when someone becomes pregnant, it is NOT the time to start up a brand new, intense routine.  The only way I was able to continue running is because I was ALREADY a runner before pregnancy.  I would never encourage someone to become a runner if they were not already doing so before their pregnancy.