Karolina is pregnant!

Finally blogging about pregnancy at 26 weeks is a little late, but better now than not at all! I’ve been wanting to write about my experience with pregnancy for some time now, and Kylie’s sweet posts about her pregnancy at Imma Eat That finally got me to sit down and get to it!

First Trimester, Morning Sickness, and Gender Reveal

I’ll start at the beginning! Colby and I were able to conceive easily with the help of this kit of ovulation test strips and pregnancy test strips. It’s so reasonably priced on Amazon and we got the timing right on our first try. Awesome!

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I kept the pregnancy a secret from Colby for a little less than a day. I wanted to surprise him with the announcement, but didn’t want to wait too long to plan something elaborate. I decided to put the positive pregnancy test in an envelope addressed to him and stuck it in the mailbox before he got home. Then I secretly filmed him opening our mail :)  I shared his reaction when opening the mail on instagram; you can check out my account here, I’m @rdkarolina.

We weren’t able to keep my pregnancy a secret for long! I was dying to tell our family and close friends almost immediately. We waited until 12 weeks to announce the pregnancy on social media.

The first trimester had me feeling nauseous and ravenously hungry- a strange combination. I made a morning sickness kit to carry around with me. It included Sea Bands acupressure bracelets, mint essential oil, ginger chews, Unisom, Vitamin B6, toothbrush, toothpaste, a barf bag, and a hair tie for holding my hair back :P

Something like this would make an excellent gift for an expectant mother! The morning sickness was only bad for a couple of months, from about weeks 6-14. When I felt nauseous, I didn’t throw up. The only times I vomited came completely out of nowhere and with no warning! One time I was pulling out of my parking space at CrossFit when it hit me. Another time I was brewing coffee at home and suddenly had to rush to the sink. I usually love coffee, but the taste of it grossed me out during the first trimester. I guess it worked out since I had to cut back on my caffeine intake anyway (maximum 200 mg daily), but I was tired out of my mind. Pregnancy fatigue hit me hard and I usually took naps every weekend.

We briefly considered not finding out the gender of our baby, but we couldn’t stand to wait. I tried out lots of silly gender prediction methods- Chinese calendar, baking soda test, gender specific symptoms- and they all pointed to us having a boy.

At 14 weeks, we did a 4D ultrasound that surprised us with news of a baby girl! We sent out these gender reveal scratch cards to family and friends. I also did an Easter egg reveal for my friends at CrossFit and at work. This is a fun way to do a gender reveal in the springtime- just stick pink or blue marshmallow Peeps inside of Easter eggs and watch in delight as your friends “peep” inside!

Cravings and Aversions

I’ve been craving mango, nachos, and pizza. Anything with melted cheese sounds delicious to me! My only two aversions  lately have been ginger (I now associate it with being nauseous) and the smell of denim. The denim thing is strange- I didn’t even know denim had a smell! All my jeans- old, new, washed, dirty- completely gross me out.

Maternity Clothing

The shape of my body has made it very challenging to find jeans that fit (and don’t smell like denim). When I find a pair that fits right over or under my belly, they end up being so tight on my legs that they pull my pants down. Some pairs I’ve tried on have and unflattering wash or cut, while others have disproportionately small back pockets. Merrick, over at Merrick’s Art, posted a fantastic maternity jeans round up. I haven’t tried on her favorite pair from Pea in a Pod Maternity (because over $200 for maternity jeans???), but I do like the reasonably priced ASOS under the belly maternity jeans. I’m obsessed with this dress from H&M because it’s 100% cotton and can be dressed up or down. I also bought several dresses by PattyBoutik that I love wearing. I find that I feel best in form fitted clothing because it shows off my bump! Under dresses, I recommend these shorts to prevent chafing. My favorite bras right now are those without an underwire. In fact, with Vegas temperatures shooting up above 110 degrees now, I wish I could live in sports bras and Lululemon shorts. I had to size up in the running shorts, but they now fit comfortably under my belly. The racerback tank tops are barely fitting now, so I bought a few GapFit tanks that should last through the second half of pregnancy.

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My feet haven’t started swelling, but I think they’re growing. I’m up about a half size in shoes. Comfortable footwear has been as much of a staple in my wardrobe as maternity bras. My favorite pair are Dr. Scholl’s wedge sandals, similar to these, because they’re stable and cute. It’s getting uncomfortable to  get shoes on and off, but I have yet to find a pair of slide sandals that I like.

My favorite non-dress maternity outfit is a pair of maternity leggings, a long tank top, long necklace, and a cover up. Chiffon kimonos, long cardigans, and unbuttoned jackets have been useful in adding variety to this basic look.

Maternity shorts that don’t suck remain elusive to me. If anyone has suggestions for summer maternity clothing they like, please comment this post!

Body Image

I feel surprisingly good about my body right now. I always assumed I would struggle with feeling fat during pregnancy, but I feel big AND beautiful. I’ve never felt these two things simultaneously before. I even feel better in a bikini now than ever before.  I gained a lot of weight during the first trimester, before a baby bump was even showing. That was frustrating. It seemed like all the extra weight was going to my butt, arms, and legs. Now that I can see more of the weight going to my belly, I have more appreciation for what my body is doing. Up until a few weeks ago, taking showers made me feel very vulnerable and strange. I felt like this changing body wasn’t mine and it gave me a creepy feeling to touch my belly and know a baby is growing inside. Surprisingly, it feels less foreign to me now that I can feel her moving in there. It helps that Colby still loves the way I look pregnant. I haven’t gotten any stretch marks yet, but I think I’m developing diastasis recti because my belly changes to a coning shape whenever I sit up from a supine position.  Thinking about my abdominal muscles separating like that is eerie.

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Exercise

The biggest surprise has been seeing strength gains in CrossFit! I haven’t been trying to set any personal records, but heavier weights feel easier on all the barbell lifts we do. My aerobic capacity is definitely worse than it was before. I get winded so easily! It’s actually nice to know that I should keep my heart rate below 150 BPM because anything more intense would be SO uncomfortable. I haven’t done any CrossFit over the past 3 weeks while Colby and I were on vacation. We did a lot of walking on our “babymoon” and even fit in some bike riding. Walking feels great and I’m thinking about trying some prenatal yoga soon.

Physical Health

I go in for glucose screening this week. That’s the initial screening for gestational diabetes in which you drink a glucose sweetened drink and wait an hour before having your blood sugar tested. If I fail that test, I have to return for the longer glucose tolerance test.

My immune system has been frustrating during pregnancy. I’ve already caught 4 colds in the past 6 months and my asthma has been getting worse. It’s frustrating not to be able to take decongestants when I’m sick, but the humidifier we bought has been helpful.

My only other health-related issue has been a nerve impingement in my hip, meralgia parasthetica, that makes my right thigh get numb and then painful whenever I’m standing up for more than a few minutes at a time. Luckily, this unpleasant condition typically goes away after birth and some stretches and exercises have been helping.

Ok, that’s enough of a pregnancy update for now! I’ll be sure to share some of the highlights of our “babymoon” vacation soon. We are so excited to meet our baby girl in September!

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