Watching and Waiting – Weeks 37-39 Pregnancy Update

As I sit here in front of my laptop on this beautiful last day of August, I am blown away by the fact that tomorrow we enter into a brand new month, the month where my son will finally join our family outside of my womb space.

September has always been a favorite month of mine. Not only is it the month of my birthday, it’s also a time of shift and transformation. The lush green foliage gives way to the deep burning colors of autumn leaves and there is a hush that comes over the land whispering to us to slow down and prepare for the harvest before winter comes knocking at our door.

This year, September holds even more of a symbolic meaning of transformation for me as I step across the threshold and go from maiden to mother. This time last year my mind was consumed with thoughts of becoming pregnant. There was nothing I wanted more than to become pregnant and carry a tiny babe of my very own in my womb. I thought about becoming a mother long and hard and was very reflective of what my life had been like up until that point and what my life would look like if I conceived and birthed a child. A year later, I sit here thinking deep thoughts on what my life will look like with my son here in my arms.

So, as I sit here watching and waiting for the cool, crisp days of autumn to surface, I’m also watching and waiting for my son to arrive.

Pregnancy Update

I still can’t believe that I’m 39 weeks pregnant and that my little Sunshine Babe could come any day now. The weeks all muddle together now and I find myself scurrying about trying to do all of my last minute nesting. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot since we moved into our new apartment, yet at the same time I can’t help but think of all the things that are still left undone.

I know that we have all of the major things taken care of – the crib is built, we have diapers, we have our home birth kit in place, and a bag packed and ready to go in case we would need to transfer to the hospital. But there are still so many little things I want to get done. I feel confidant and prepared for the actual birth, but I’m honestly feeling just a bit anxious about having everything I need for the baby and actually becoming a parent. I know these are all normal feelings though.

How I’m Feeling Physically

For months now people have been telling me how miserable I’ll be come August when I’m 9 months pregnant. Well you know what, it’s August 31 and I’m 39 weeks, 3 days pregnant and still not miserable! I really think it has a lot to do with attitude and mindset, but I’m grateful that I have been thriving and loving this summer heat while pregnant.

I’ve been feeling pretty good these past few weeks. My energy levels have been steady, I’ve been sleeping through the night more often, and I have been motivated to meal prep and get some more nesting done. I think my body knows that the time is ticking and I have this innate sense to get all of the preparation taken care of now. So far I’ve made and froze a batch of vegan banana blueberry lactation muffins, vegan banana bread, and some labor aid. Still on my list to make is some vegan corn chowder.

I kept having this feeling that Sunshine Babe would come early, but now that we’ve made it another week I think he’s going to stay nestled inside just a bit longer. Brendan was out of town for work last week, so I think I was a little anxious that the baby would decide to come while he was gone. And then we had a full moon last Sunday and I had a feeling that I would go into labor then. Still nothing though.

This baby and the entirety of the this pregnancy has taught me to sit and wait patiently and simply ride the waves as they come. There is no need to fret and fuss about things I have no control over.

Up until this past week I hadn’t experienced any practice surges. But on Tuesday at 3:40am I woke straight up from my sleep with really intense cramps. I got up, went to the bathroom, drank some water, and simply focused on my breathing. Within 10 minutes or so the intensity had faded away, so I got back in bed and drifted off to sleep again. I haven’t felt anything like it since then. My midwife says its a good thing that I’m having practice surges and is my body’s way of slowly preparing for labor.

How Baby is Doing

Last Thursday I had my 38 week appointment with my midwife to make sure that baby was healthy and everything was going well. My little guy is active and healthy but I was still measuring small, so my midwife suggested that I go have another ultrasound done to check on his growth.

So on Friday (August 24), Brendan and I went to have our fourth and final (hopefully) ultrasound done. The last time my midwife suggested we go have an ultrasound done to check on the baby’s growth I was scared. This time I was a tad anxious, but knew that she just wanted to be cautious. Turns out that our little Sunshine Babe is just a small guy and there’s nothing wrong with that! He’s healthy, active, head down and in a good position for labor. The only thing the sonogram technician recommended was that I need to drink a lot more fluids.

So this past week I have been more mindful of eating more and drinking lots of water. Today we went for my 39 week midwife appointment and things looked a lot better. My midwife said that I’m measuring bigger now and she could see some growth, and that my fluid levels seemed a lot better. Baby’s heartbeat was a strong 140 and is still very active.

My midwife says that I need to be drinking at least 70 oz of water a day and eating every 2 hours. Seems simple enough, but eating and drinking enough have been two of my biggest struggles throughout this pregnancy. I keep reminding myself it’s not for me, it’s for the baby and that helps. But it’s still hard.

This might be my very last pregnancy update post here on my blog. It’s a bittersweet feeling to know this pregnancy journey is coming to a close, but I am looking forward to finally holding my little Sunshine Babe in my arms after 10 long months of carrying him in my womb.

37 weeks, 6 days pregnant 
37 weeks, 6 days pregnant 
Sonogram pictures of my Sunshine Babe from our last ultrasound 

Weeks 33-36 Pregnancy Update

I’m still a bit behind on writing these pregnancy updates and honestly at this point I feel like all of the weeks are sort of blurring together. Being finished with work has taken some getting used to but I’m thankful for the time I’ve had to rest and start my nesting.

Brendan and I got settled into our new apartment pretty quickly. We had family coming into town for my baby shower 2 weeks after we moved, so that helped motivate us to get things unpacked and into their proper places. We still have artwork to hang up, but besides that our new place is feeling pretty cozy.

Baby Shower #2

We had my second baby shower on Saturday July 28th. It was such a sweet time celebrating my little Sunshine Babe! We had family come all the way from Florida and New Jersey to help celebrate.

I was gifted lots of cute baby clothes, homemade baby blankets, Target and Amazon gift cards, crib sheets, a few natural toys, a baby bath, a Boppy, a Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper, and lots of other thoughtful things for the baby.

Doula Prenatal Visit

The day before my baby shower our doula came over to our apartment for our second prenatal visit with her. This time we were going over comfort measures and positions for pregnancy and birth.

We learned how to use a rebozo for “sifting” (seriously so amazing! Look it up.), and different exercises that Brendan can help me do every week to help ease the tension in my body from carrying baby in my womb and to help keep my body strong for an easier labor and recovery. I love how these exercises give Brendan a chance to be even more involved and have an active roll in this pregnancy.

After we went over comfort measures we just visited with each other and chatted about all things pregnancy, labor, and postpartum recovery. I’m so thankful that we decided to hire a doula – she has been such a comfort to have!

Home Visit With Midwife

The first weekend in August we had our home visit with our midwife and her assistant. During this visit we gave our midwife and her assistant a tour of our apartment so that they know where everything is when they come for the birth of the baby. She also went over everything that came in our home birth kit and explained what it is all used for and brought her birthing tub over for us to keep for the birth. And of course she checked on the baby’s heartbeat and growth and we talked about the different stages of labor, when to call her, etc.

After this visit it really started to sink in that we are now in the home stretch of this pregnancy.

That’s all for now!

33 Weeks, 2 Days Pregnant 
34 Weeks, 4 Days Pregnant – All dressed up for my baby shower 
35 Weeks, 4 Days Pregnant 

Weeks 25-28 Pregnancy Update

Hello Third Trimester! I honestly can’t believe that I’ve already arrived to the final stretch of this pregnancy. At this stage in my pregnancy I feel like things have been flowing without much physical change, but there have been a few changes with life during the past few weeks.

Travel

Within the past 4 weeks Brendan and I have been on two mini vacations. The first was a trip to New York City at the end of May to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary! We celebrated both our honeymoon and our 1 year wedding anniversary in New York City as well, so it seemed fitting to visit our favorite city once again before we become a family of 3.

In years past we thoroughly planned out our NYC trips – hitting up lots of tourist-y spots and seeing all of the main attractions the city has to offer. But this time we really didn’t plan a whole lot. We decided to stay in Queens this time vs. Manhattan and it was definitely a fun change.

We do a lot of walking when we are in NYC (I’m talking walking at least 15 miles on foot throughout the day), but this time I couldn’t get around as fast. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 25 weeks pregnant! This trip taught me that it’s okay to slow down and enjoy time together with my husband and that it’s okay to listen to my body and allow myself to be pregnant.

Our second mini vacation was a trip to Delaware to visit Brendan’s family at the beginning of June. We were hoping for some nice sunshine filled days spent lounging on the beach, but the weather ended up being rainy and in the 60s most of the time we were there. We did get one beach day in though and we had a nice time.

We’re Moving!

After what feels like months and months of searching for a new apartment and praying about whether we should stay in Roanoke or move back to Lynchburg, we finally found a bigger, cozy apartment at a wonderful apartment complex in Lynchburg!

While I’m sad to be leaving Roanoke and all of my amazing co-workers and our Bible study group, I’m looking forward to being back in the city where Brendan and I met and to be just that much closer to my family. I’ve loved living in our little downtown apartment – its something that I always wanted to experience. But I must say I am thrilled to move into our new, bigger apartment and start my nesting and setting up the baby’s nursery!

Doula and Birthing Classes

While we were away on our trip to NYC we signed up for our very first birthing classes in Roanoke and found a wonderful local doula (who just happens to teach the birthing classes). A friend of mine recommended my doula to me and so far she has been absolutely amazing! Originally Brendan and I weren’t planning on having a doula for the birth of our son, mostly to save money. But the more we thought about it and read about the benefits of having a doula the more it felt right for us to hire one. If you are in the Roanoke/Lynchburg area and are looking for a doula, shoot me a message and I’d be happy to give you some recommendations!

We chose to enroll in Hypnobirthing classes instead of classes that are taught at the local hospitals in our area. These classes take place over 5 weeks and teach methods of deep relaxation, different breathing techniques, and learning how to surrender to your body and your baby during the birthing process.

I have loved everything about these classes! I love how this method really lets Brendan get involved in the birthing process and how it has helped us bond more with each other and our baby. I’ve also noticed that not only am I learning how to go into a deep relaxation for when I’m in labor, but I have been able to use the calm breathing method throughout my day-to-day life. And most of all, it has helped me build confidence in myself and my body and my ability to birth naturally. Brendan and I have also learned to not listen to people’s negative comments about the birth we are envisioning and the horror stories of birth they have experienced. It really has been such a freeing and empowering experience and I would highly recommend this class!

How I’m Feeling Physically

Honestly besides my belly continuing to swell, I really haven’t felt much different physically. Some days I definitely feel more “pregnant” than others, but so far I’m still feeling pretty energetic and healthy. My little Sunshine Babe is still on the small side, but no doubt he is growing and getting stronger everyday!

So far I haven’t had any swelling, no headaches, no stretch marks, and I haven’t been bothered by the heat. I have only had very mild heartburn on occasion and the other week I noticed that I was getting the occasional calf cramp in the middle of the night. But those have been my only discomforts, nothing to complain about though!

And one of the most exciting physical changes that has come with my transition into the third trimester is that I have started to produce colostrum! Two days before I hit 28 weeks I started lactating, and it really took me by surprise. But I am just amazed at my body and it’s ability to not only grow and nurture my son in my womb, but also to produce the most nourishing food he could ever receive when he arrives – “golden liquid”, the sweet nectar that is colostrum.

We have so many exciting life changes happening within the next few months and I am just trying to focus on being present and enjoying every little kick, wiggle, and hiccup while Sunshine Babe is still in my womb. This journey is magically beautiful!

25 weeks pregnant – In New York City by the Hudson River
25 weeks, 6 days pregnant
25 weeks, 7 days pregnant
27 weeks pregnant
27 weeks, 7 days pregnant – Sunshine Babe’s first time at the beach
Hello Third Trimester! 28 weeks pregnant
Hello Third Trimester! 28 weeks pregnant

Weeks 21-24 Pregnancy Update

These past few weeks feel as if they have blurred and blended together. As I sit down to type this post I’m trying to think back and recall how I’ve been feeling and what milestones me and my little sunshine babe have met.

Between finding out the gender of our baby, Brendan flying out of state for a week of training, and the two of us celebrating 2 very happy years of marriage with a trip to New York City, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement!

22 Week Ultrasound

On Friday May 4th, Brendan and I went for my second and last ultrasound. We were excited to see our baby again and to find out the gender!

During the first few weeks of my pregnancy I thought I was having a girl – I had always thought that I wanted a little girl first and Brendan said that he thought he’d like a girl too. But despite all of the old wives tales and dreams I had, I really couldn’t tell whether or not I was carrying a boy or a girl. It wasn’t until the night before our ultrasound that I had a strong feeling that I was carrying a little boy.

The lady performing our ultrasound waited until the last 15 minutes of our ultrasound to tell us that we are having a boy! Even though I had been preparing myself for this news, I was still so surprised. For the longest time I thought I was pregnant with a little girl, so it took a little bit of time to sink in that Brendan and I are going to be blessed with a son.

Gender Reveal

The very next day (May 5th) Brendan and I shared the news with all of our friends and family.  We had a special little gender reveal for each set of parents. For Brendan’s family we sent them two numbered envelopes that were filled with either pink or blue confetti and then we did a video call with them and Brendan’s brother and had them open the correct envelope.

Then for my parents we had a gender reveal balloon that we filled with blue confetti and had them pop at their house. I think both of our family’s were guessing it would be a boy.   I also did a little gender reveal for my co-workers since I went into work to use the helium tank to blow the balloon up. All of my co-workers dressed in either pink or blue and it was seriously the sweetest thing. My heart is so full knowing how much my little guy is loved already.

How I’m Feeling Physically 

The second trimester has been good to me. Over the past few weeks I’ve had more energy, I’ve been working out more often, and I’ve been motivated to eat much healthier than I did in the first trimester. I think the sunshine and warm spring time weather have really helped with my mood too.

What I’m Eating

For the most part I’ve been eating all of the foods I normally would, except I’ve added dairy and some farm fresh organic eggs back into my diet for the time being. This is simply to help me get more protein. There are still times when I feel guilty about eating dairy again because I really did want to have a vegan pregnancy, but I know that I’m doing the right thing for my body and my baby.

Since the temperature has been consistently in the upper 70s and 80s recently, I’ve been eating lots of smoothies (Green Mango smoothies are my favorite), almond milk yogurt, and fresh fruits like watermelon, pineapple, and strawberries. Since getting enough protein has been a struggle for me, I’ve also been incorporating Garden of Life’s Raw Protein and Greens powder into shakes and smoothies to get that extra protein my little guy needs.

And it seems that I’ve finally found my first and only real pregnancy craving – ice cream! Strawberry cheesecake to be exact. I’m not proud of this and I honestly think that it’s my body’s way of telling me that I need more protein. So I’ve been allowing myself ice cream here and there and limiting my dairy consumption elsewhere.

That’s all for now!

21 Weeks Pregnant 
21 Weeks Pregnant 
24 Weeks Pregnant 
24 Weeks Pregnant 
24 Weeks Pregnant 
24 Weeks, 5 Days Pregnant 
24 Weeks, 5 Days Pregnant 

Weeks 17-20 Pregnancy Update

Me and my little Sunshine Babe have officially reached the halfway point on our magical little journey together! 20 weeks has come a lot sooner than I thought it would and I still find myself in disbelief that this is my life right now and I am a mother-in-the-making.

How I’m Feeling Physically

This month has been basically the same as last month. While it’s not what it was prior to me becoming pregnant, my energy levels have been pretty steady throughout the day. I’m able to go about my days normally, but I do get tired earlier in the evenings.

I haven’t been consistent with going to the gym, but I have been trying to do low-key workouts at home. I’ve mostly been focusing on doing plenty of squats, stretches, some weight lifting, and walking outside when the weather is nice.

I’ve noticed that my face is getting fuller and I’m a bit softer all over. If I’m being honest, I really don’t like looking at myself in the mirror right now. It’s hard to see my face and my body changing like this because it brings back memories of what it felt like to be heavier and overweight during my first year in college. I worked so hard to lose that weight and to get healthier, and now to see the weight coming back can be defeating. I know that I’m gaining weight for a good reason and it’s not because I’m neglecting my health. Nevertheless, some days are harder than others.

What I’m Eating 

Originally my goal was to stay vegan throughout my pregnancy, but sadly that hasn’t happened. I wish I could say that my baby has been plant-based since conception, but that’s just not the truth. I’ll write a more in-depth post about my diet in the coming weeks to explain further.

Foods I have been eating more often recently include organic farm fresh eggs that my parents buy from their friends, lots of dairy-free yogurt for protein, veggie sandwiches, berries, raw nuts, dried mango, and green smoothies.

I still haven’t really had any cravings. I have noticed that I’ll get hooked on a certain food for a week or two and eat it a lot, and then not want it anymore. A few weeks ago that was veggie subs. So I guess that’s my equivalent to cravings.

How I’m Feeling Emotionally 

This whole pregnancy is just flying by and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! I’ve been sleeping well, I haven’t had any aches or pains, I haven’t been sick, and I am so excited and looking forward to the whole birthing experience.

I think mindset is very important when it comes to how you approach your pregnancy and your ever changing body. Yes, there are days when I feel defeated about my weight gain and there are even times when family members have tried to throw doubt and negativity my way. But I am choosing to be happy and move past all of my negative thoughts and the doubt that other people are casting on me.

God has chosen me to walk this journey and to carry this baby and I trust that He is going to take care of me and guide me along the way. Will everything continue to be smooth sailing? Maybe not. But I’m trusting that everything happens for a reason and that what’s meant to be will happen at just the right time.

17 Weeks Pregnant
18 Weeks Pregnant 
19 Weeks Pregnant 
20 Weeks Pregnant 

Weeks 13-16 Pregnancy Update

Written: 3/21/2018

Time for another Pregnancy update! Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a whole lot to say when I write these monthly recaps, but I feel it’s important for me to share how I’m feeling and any changes I may be experiencing.

First Ultrasound

On March 5th I had my very first ultrasound. By this time I was 13 going on 14 weeks. Most women have their first ultrasound around 10 weeks, but as I’ve mentioned in another one of my posts Brendan and I had a hard time finding the right prenatal care provider. Brendan did a little research for me and found this wonderful place in Roanoke that does ultrasounds for a reasonable price, so I called and made the appointment.

Thankfully Brendan was able to go into work late that day so that he could come with me to the ultrasound. The attention and care I received at this ultrasound was phenomenal! The lady who performed the ultrasound turned out to be the sweetest person. She walked Brendan and I through every step, went over everything in great detail, and answered every question we had. And she seemed to love her job and genuinely care about me and my baby. She even explained to me that she had worked in the hospital setting before and that most doctors that perform sonograms prefer to keep the room as dark as possible so they can keep interaction with the patient to a minimum. I was thankful that my experience with her was nothing like that.

Seeing our little baby for the first time was such a beautiful experience. I was in awe of God’s beautiful creation and humbled that He chose me to carry this little babe. And then hearing the little heartbeat was incredible. I knew I was pregnant before, but I think in that moment it really started to sink in for Brendan and me that we made this little life together and that in a few short months we’re going to be parents.

Everything went really well and the baby is healthy. I was amazed at the detail we got to see on the sonogram. We saw all ten little fingers and toes, the spine, and the teeth embedded in the gums. And this little babe sure is active! He/she was moving all over the place. The lady that performed the ultrasound had Brendan hold out his hand to show us that from the head to the little bum, our baby is about the length of Brendan’s ring finger.

Our ultrasound session lasted for an hour and gave us time to get to see and admire our baby, ask questions, and voice any concerns. The whole experience was wonderful and I walked out of the room smiling.

Pregnancy Announcement

Brendan and I officially announced our pregnancy on March 12th at 14 weeks 6 days. The week before that I told all of my co-workers that I was pregnant and seeing all of their reactions was the sweetest thing. I was so excited to finally tell everyone! And now this pregnancy is truly starting to feel real.

Midwife Visit

I had my first official visit with my midwife during week 15. Again, I was a lot further along for my first prenatal visit than most women are, but I’m just thankful that I took the time to find the right midwife that I felt comfortable with.

My first visit consisted of going over paper work and doing all of the necessary routine things such as checking my pulse, blood pressure, and temperature and then listening to the baby’s heartbeat. All was well and normal. We also did a urine test and blood work.

Honestly, the blood work has been the only part of this pregnancy that I have been a bit nervous about (forget the whole birthing process! Having blood drawn is what makes me uneasy). The last time I had my blood drawn to be tested I felt dizzy and shaky afterwards and it was not a pleasant experience. I told my midwife about this and she had me lie down right away and just try to relax and focus on my breathing. I asked her how much blood she was taking before we started and she held up several vials to show me the amount (I didn’t count them). As I lay there focusing on my breathing my midwife talked to me about yoga – where I practiced, how often I did it, etc. And before I knew it we were done! I was surprised at how quickly it went and was very pleased with how gentle and calming my midwife was. Such a better experience than I’ve had with doctors and nurses in the past!

Now that the blood work is done, I think the worst is behind me.

How I’m Feeling Physically

I’ve been feeling really good physically. Around 14 weeks I really started to show for the first time and it seemed like my little belly came out of hiding overnight. I’m really loving that it’s truly a baby bump now and not bloating!

I’ve gained about 7 pounds so far, which my midwife says is right on target. While I know that my weight gain is a good thing because it means my baby is growing, it’s still a little scary to step on the scale and see that I am the heaviest I have been in years. This pregnancy has taught me to love my body and it’s ability to grow and carry another life. I’ve also learned to mentally accept the fact that it’s okay to eat 3 normal sized meals a day (something I struggled with up until I became pregnant). I guess my fear is that I will gain weight and then not be able to lose it after the baby is born, which I know isn’t true. It’s definitely a humbling experience and there are still many lessons for me to learn on this journey.

So far I haven’t had trouble sleeping or any aches and pains, just a lot of fatigue in the evenings and sometimes throughout the day. I feel like I’m turning into a fuddy-duddy because I can’t stay awake through movies at night and I fall asleep on the couch at 9 and 10 pm regularly. But I guess my body needs the rest so that baby can have more energy to grow and thrive.

That’s all for now! It’s hard to believe that in 4 short weeks I will be half way through this pregnancy. So far I am loving being pregnant and I am so excited and blessed to be on this journey.

15 Weeks Pregnant
15 Weeks Pregnant 

Pregnancy Update Weeks 0-4

I’m a little late in sharing these pregnancy updates, but since Brendan and I decided to keep our pregnancy a secret until around 12 weeks I didn’t plan on sharing these right away. Regardless of the timing, I wanted to document how my first pregnancy is progressing and share it with you all.What an exciting time in our lives this is!

As I mentioned in a previous post of mine, Brendan and I found out I was pregnant on Christmas Eve last year. It was still really early at that point, so I took a second test on December 29th, the day my period was supposed to start. Sure enough, there was no denying those two little pink lines on the test.

I was about 4 weeks along by the time I found out I was pregnant. We ended up being off by about a week or more on far along I was. We were basing it on the conception date, but later learned that doctors and midwives base the due date on when the day of your last period was.

During the first few weeks I felt pretty normal, just a bit more tired than usual. I had cut back on my caffeine intake at this point (I had been drinking on average around 3 cups of coffee a day), but was still drinking a small cup of coffee in the mornings that was at or under the recommended 200mg of caffeine. I was still eating regularly and so inspired to cook and try new recipes. I stopped taking my regular supplements of Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin E, Activated Charcoal, and Echinacea that I was taking prior to becoming pregnant, and I also stopped drinking most of my go-to herbal teas, just to be on the safe side.

I really didn’t feel a shift in my body at this point, I just had that feeling that something was a little different. There were a few days when I noticed my breasts were a bit swollen and tender, and I had some light cramps, all symptoms I usually experience right before my period starts. I was holding my breath during those first few weeks, because I really thought and felt deep down that I was pregnant, but didn’t want to get my hopes up too soon.

How did you feel the first few weeks of your pregnancy? Did you have any changes in your body right away, or did it take a few more weeks before they really kicked in?

Weeks 5-8 Pregnancy Update

Written: 2/18/2018

Time for another pregnancy update! If you hadn’t noticed the pattern already, I plan on updating you guys on how my pregnancy is progressing in 4 week increments on each of these “pregnancy Update” blog posts. So, updating you as each month passes.

By the time week 5 rolled around I started feeling a bit more tired throughout the day and my breasts had become swollen and constantly sore. I read that this was completely normal and often the first signs that a woman is pregnant, so I gladly welcomed these changes to my body.

We decided that we would tell both sets of parents that we were expecting once I hit the 5 week mark. We had originally thought about waiting until we were a bit further along, because that tends to be the “normal” thing to do. But I really wanted to share my joy with somebody else, and I wanted to be able to have someone to talk to, like my mom. So we decided that we would visit my parents over the weekend (January 6th) and give them the big news. We FaceTimed Brendan’s family the next evening and told them. Seeing both of our parents’ and siblings reactions was so sweet and definitely a moment I will remember for the rest of my life ❤

We could have easily waited a bit longer to tell our families, in fact most people do wait to tell their families until they are at least 7-10 weeks along. And the main reason for that is because it is still such an early and fragile time, anything can happen at that point. But, regardless of whether I continued to carry my baby or not, I wanted our families to know and I wanted to have that extra support and prayers from them. So we told them, and had them promise us they would keep it to themselves for the time being.

It was actually right around the time I was nearing the end of my 5th week that things took a turn. The day that we told Brendan’s parents I was pregnant, we had gone to the gym for a workout. While at the gym, I started feeling dizzy and a bit nauseous. And by the time we got home that evening I was so worn out and tired. And just like that, the fatigue and nauseousness hit and became an everyday thing. That week I also started experiencing some of my first food aversions.

For the past few months I had really been into Thai food and my go-to dinner was a homemade Coconut Curry Bangkok Noodle bowl. I made it earlier that week and just the thought of the leftovers in the fridge made me feel sick. Salads and steamed veggies also sounded like the last thing that I wanted to eat. I was still able to eat most things, but cooking was not something I wanted to think about doing anymore.

The nauseousness that morning sickness brings continued on pretty strongly as I approached week 6. I’d say that weeks 6-7 of this pregnancy have been the hardest on my body. It felt like overnight a switch was flipped and all of a sudden I started experiencing fatigue, nausea, and food aversions.

I no longer felt like drinking coffee in the mornings, raw veggies were off the menu, and all of my normal go-to dishes sounded so unappetizing to me. I felt bad for not wanting to drink green juices or eat salads, but at this point I knew I needed to eat what I could so my baby could get the nutrients he or she needed. Crackers, rice cakes, and toast became some of my go-to snack and breakfast foods. I was also drinking lots of ice cold lemon water and bringing ginger tea with lemon with me to work to help keep nausea at bay.

I’m normally a pretty energetic person, but fatigue hit me and lasted throughout the entire day. I also started experiencing heartburn regularly, whether I ate spicy food or not, which was such a strange sensation for someone who has only ever experienced it twice before. When I’d come home from work I’d be ready to make a cozy spot for myself on the couch and stay there until it was time to go to bed. Honestly, I started feeling like a different person. I simply couldn’t imagine how people put up with fatigue and heartburn regularly.

It was during these weeks that I became tired and spacey feeling at work. Throw in the nausea and I was just not my normal self at work. I was worried that there would be days when I’d have to call out and tell my manager what was going on (because I never call out of work). But thankfully I always had enough energy to get me through the work day. And I quickly learned that as long as I ate small snacks throughout the day, even if I didn’t feel like eating, it helped make the nausea go away.

At the start of January I set some fitness goals for myself – I wanted to workout/go to the gym 3 times a week and I wanted to do yoga daily. Well, once the nausea and fatigue kicked in, I quickly realized that the gym was not going to happen. I felt really defeated, and felt as if I was letting myself and my baby down. I knew that exercise was important for me, but I also realized that I was going to have to take a step back and listen to my body and rest when I needed it. Thankfully, I did continue doing yoga daily, which helped tremendously.

As week 7 came to a close, I noticed I had one day where I felt I had a bit more energy and didn’t really feel nauseous. Then, another day passed and there was no nausea. I wondered why all of a sudden the feeling had subsided, but knew that my hormones were all over the place and each day could look different.

Up until the end of my 7th week, I hadn’t been taking a prenatal supplement. I had recently bought a plant based natural prenatal supplement from my favorite health food store in Lynchburg called Health Nut Nutrition, but I hadn’t taken it yet because I hadn’t seen a midwife to confirm it was okay, and I was also afraid it might make me feel sick. But, I decided to do my own research and came to the conclusion that it would be fine to take the supplement.

And it seemed almost as if by magic that my nausea completely subsided and I had more energy. I honestly think the prenatal supplement is to thank for this! I’ve read that B vitamins help with nausea, and since there are several B vitamins in my supplement I truly believe it helped. Makes me wish that I had started taking the supplement sooner, but I’m thankful I am feeling better now. And I’m truly grateful for the fact that I never actually threw up, just experienced some slight nausea. I’ve heard horror stories about some women experiencing severe morning sickness throughout their pregnancy. Whether it was the fact that I try to eat a pretty clean healthy diet for the most part, or because of the prenatal supplement, I’m beyond grateful that the morning sickness phase wasn’t any worse.

Besides the fatigue, nausea, and heartburn, I feel like I have been constantly bloated. No matter what I eat, even if it’s a light salad, my stomach swells to an uncomfortable size. This is the only symptom that continued on through week 7-8, thankfully. I’ve read that eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can help with bloating, so I might need to try that and see if that helps. There are some days when I feel and look 6 months pregnant from the bloating. But in reality I’ve only gained about 2 pounds so far, right on track for a healthy first trimester weight gain.

Mentally and emotionally I’ve been feeling pretty positive and upbeat. I’m excited to be pregnant and looking forward to the whole birthing process. Some days it still doesn’t feel real, but I feel like the further along I get and the more people we tell, the more real this babe I’m carrying in my womb feels to me.

Me at 7 Weeks Pregnant 

Weeks 9-12 Pregnancy Update

Written: 3/4/2018

Here we are, coming to the close of the first trimester! It seems surreal that 12 weeks has gone by so quickly. When I first found out I was pregnant it felt like 12 weeks was many moons away and there were days when I didn’t think I would be able to keep my little secret for that long.

Week 9 started with a blazing Super Blue Blood Moon in the sky – truly a beautiful thing to behold. At this point I was still experiencing fatigue, bloating, and just the slightest bit of nausea. But overall I was feeling better. Brendan and I even made a weekend trip to Charlotte, NC to celebrate our 5 year dating anniversary.

What I’m Eating

My normal go-to foods have slowly started to become appealing to me again, and I’ve been able to get back in the kitchen to do some cooking. Motivation and inspiration to meal prep and try new recipes is still at an all time low though.

I haven’t really experienced any food cravings thus far, but I have found a few go-to’s that leave me feeling nourished and happy. I’ve been drinking plenty of natural high pulp orange juice in the mornings to make sure I’m getting enough folate and also to get some extra vitamin C. Avocado toast with black pepper, sea salt, and greens is one of my favorite breakfasts at the moment. And I have been eating plenty of almond milk and dairy-free yogurts that are packed with plant-based protein for lunches. I usually top my granola with ground flax seeds (a great source of Omega-3s), walnuts, and fresh organic berries.

How I’m Feeling Physically

This last month of the first trimester had been great for me. While I still find myself tired in the evenings after work, I’ve had more energy and motivation to get things done throughout the day. My nausea has completely subsided and heartburn seems to have subsided for the time being as well.

I’m still feeling bloated about 95 percent of the time, but I’m hoping and praying that this will ease as time goes on and my body continues to adjust to all of these changes. There is definitely a small little bump visible now and my pants are starting to get slightly more snug, but I don’t think it’s really noticeable to anyone else.

And a huge victory for me this month is that I am finally feeling well enough to go to the gym again. I’m taking it easy and not pushing myself too hard, but it felt so great to really move my body again. I also went for a 4 mile walk on the greenway when we had a very mild 80 degree day at the end of February. The fresh air, sunshine, and exercise gave me new life and energy.

Keeping My Immune System Strong

When I first found out I was pregnant and had to give up most of my go-to herbal teas and supplements, I was worried about how I was going to keep my immune system strong enough to fight off all of the illnesses that are going around this time of year. The germaphobe that I am became paranoid when my co-workers started getting sick and then Brendan came home one weekend with a slight cold.

Thankfully, I have found ways to continue to build my immune system naturally during this time. I am currently taking my prenatal supplement, which has plenty of immune boosting vitamins that are important, and I’m still taking a daily probiotic to keep my gut happy and balanced. In addition to that I’ve been eating citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin c, Brendan and I are still drinking our weekly ginger shots, and I’ve also been taking a few drops of elderberry elixir in my water when I’ve been around people that are sick or I feel a bit run down. And of course, I still take a shot of apple cider vinegar diluted in water every day.

And so far so good. Brendan got over his little cold pretty quickly and I never caught it (thank goodness). There are still natural immune boosters out there that are perfectly safe for me to take during pregnancy, it’s just taken a bit more research to find what options are safe.

That’s all of the updates I have for now! How were you feeling during the end of your first trimester?

Not the most flattering picture, but here I am at 11 weeks pregnant. Starting to see a slight bump. 
11 Weeks Pregnant
12 Weeks Pregnant