Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks

I am so tired. It’s a special kind of tired that you can feel in every limb. My arms, jaw, and eyelids feel so heavy! It’s as if I could sleep all day, but I haven’t been able to sleep so well. I wake up when the dogs start making noise around 4:30am and can’t get back to sleep so I take them for a walk before the sun comes up.IMG_3226

I really like our walks. I get my compression socks on and take them out for about an hour around our neighborhood. Lately my  back has been getting sore, so I try to keep my posture straight as we walk. I get winded so easily! Luckily, Abbi and Alec are good at pulling me up the hills.

When we get home, I change shoes and head to CrossFit. Strangely, CrossFit usually feels easier than our walk! I’ve been scaling back some movements in the gym. I can’t do pull ups at all anymore, but some things are still unchanged (double unders) and other movements are actually easier than before (a back squat PR while pregnant was completely unexpected). Being pregnant has definitely been an interesting journey so far. I mostly love it.

I’ve recently started swelling a lot in my hands and feet. Some of the swelling is moving to my face now, too. I wake up with my fingers numb and unable to clench my hands into fists. I’ve tried a few things to relieve some of the swelling:

  • My doctor suggested drinking at least a gallon of water a day. I carry a 32 oz hydroflask to work, but I don’t like drinking plain water. To mix it up, I’ve been adding a little cranberry juice or hibiscus tea to my water. Sometimes I drink seltzer water with lime or watered down Coke Zero for a mini caffeine boost. I’m almost up to a gallon a day, but  not quite. I usually stop drinking around 8pm so that I won’t be up all night running to the bathroom. It’s so frustrating to feel the urge to go every time I stand up, especially since it’s usually a false alarm. Baby Everly must be stomping on my bladder!
  • When my back is really sore, I take a warm Epsom salt bath. I add 2 cups of salt and 1 cup of baking soda to warm (not hot) water and soak for about 20 minutes. I’ve read that this can ease fluid retention and muscle soreness, but I’ve also read that the body can absorb some of the salt and actually make fluid retention worse. I’ve noticed that my swelling usually subsides a bit right after a salty bath, but the effect is pretty short lived.
  • Compression socks. Putting these babies on first thing in the morning makes my legs feel so much more comfortable later in the day! This pair from Amazon is fantastic- size L/XL is roomy enough for my full calves and tall enough to extend above my knees. I wear these socks on walks, to the gym, and even sported them at the Pitbull concert we went to last weekend! 2 hours of standing at 33 weeks pregnant didn’t seems so bad with compression socks on. I think dancing around helped, too.
  • Foot massages! Colby has been awesome about giving me foot rubs every night. I usually crash on the couch with the dogs by 7 or 8pm and elevate my feet until Colby is ready to join us and watch a show. I get at least a half hour of massage while he watches Vice, Ken Burns, or Game of Thrones. I typically fall asleep from being so relaxed.
  • Swimming pool. I don’t know if it’s the coolness of the water, the all-over compression from being submerged, or feeling weightless in the pool, but being in water is amazing at this point in pregnancy!
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Pregnancy mistakes I’ve made:

  • Spending too much time outside. It’s been a fairly humid summer for Vegas. I think part of the reason I’ve been swelling so much is that I don’t stay indoors in air conditioned spaces as much as I should. Just in the past two weeks we’ve spent the majority of the weekend doing outdoor activities- Top Golf, al fresco dining, family BBQ, and lounging by the pool instead of staying in the water. I’m swelling up just thinking about it! This weekend I’m trying to stay indoors to see if I feel better.
  • Eating too much salty food. I don’t want to cook and all I crave lately is processed and fast food. Maybe it’s all the water I’m drinking? All I know is that quesadillas, mac & cheese with hot dogs, pizza, salt & vinegar chips, and Café Rio all sound incredible, while low-sodium foods sound bland and unappealing. The only forms of vegetables that seem palatable to me are in soups (salty) or fresh pressed juices (expensive).

Maternity Photos!

Our photographer recommended shooting pregnancy pictures between weeks 29 and 32- before I got too uncomfortable. We went in at 30 weeks pregnant and she was RIGHT! I still felt fantastic at that point. My belly wasn’t quite as big and round as it is now, but doing a photoshoot today doesn’t sound nearly as fun as it did a few short weeks ago.

Here are some of our favorite shots:

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I have a baby shower coming up next weekend! I’m so grateful for my boss and coworker, who have been amazing and are taking care of planning and doing everything.  I can’t wait! Thinking about getting this dress for the party to cover up my swollen ankles.

If you’re in the middle of a summer pregnancy, too, check out these “maternity hacks” for staying cool!

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Pregnancy Update: 30 weeks

I can’t believe our baby is due in just over two months! The second trimester of pregnancy went by so quickly. I’m now starting to get some back pain and swelling in my hands and feet, but having a few months of feeling great has been awesome. Our dogs love relaxing with me and taking rides on the baby bump.


Today’s pregnancy update is mainly about the nursery and baby registry!

Nursery

We haven’t made much progress on the nursery yet, but this is the look I’m most inspired by from Pinterest: 

I love how light and bright this room is! The botanical art prints are very pretty. The two pieces of furniture we have in the nursery so far are a white Hemnes dresser and white Sundvik crib from IKEA. Both are simple, sturdy, and inexpensive. I think they would be versatile choices for any nursery! 

Hemnes dresser- you can customize it with your own drawer pulls!

This is the Sundvik crib- it converts to a toddler bed and has great reviews on Consumer Reports. It’s made of solid pine- not bad for $99! 

The room we are using as the nursery is small- I don’t think a rocking chair or glider would fit in the space we have. We do have a linen colored Strandmon armchair from IKEA in the loft and I found a conversion kit online to turn the chair into a rocker. I haven’t purchased it yet because I have no idea if the baby will like being rocked or not. 

I don’t know how you’re supposed to pick things like bouncers, swings, gliders, and rockers for a baby registry when you don’t know what kind of motion your baby will like! Fortunately, my mom is awesome and found a great deal on a 4moms MamaRoo listed on Craig’s List in California! This fancy device has a bunch of different swinging and bouncing settings with variable speeds. Hopefully our little girl will like it! 


The only other thing we’ve done in the nursery so far is hang light colored blackout curtains with a sheer overlay. One of the windows is arched, so I wasn’t sure how it would look with regular curtains. It’s actually pretty nice, though! Kind of like this:


…but with curtains that look like this:


Registry

A lot of what I’ve put on our baby registry is nursery decor. I was torn between using amazon.com’s baby registry and Target’s. They both offer a completion discount, but neither option had everything I wanted to register for. I ended up creating private registries through Amazon and Target to be eligible for welcome gifts and completion discounts, but combined them into a public registry on Babylist. Babylist is AWESOME because you can register for any item that is sold online on any website! The site gives gift givers multiple purchasing options and you can include items from sites like Etsy, IKEA, Land of Nod, and even local businesses (doulas and maternity photographers included!). I love Babylist, but I still think the service could be made better. It would be fantastic if you could register for items simply by scanning a barcode with your phone and having the ability to automatically import items from other registries you’ve already created. If you’re interested in what I’ve registered for, you can check it out here. I did a lot of research before adding things. The most helpful advice I received about useful baby gear came from a registry consultant at Buy Buy Baby. If you’re considering doing a baby registry at a brick and mortar store rather than online, I highly recommend Buy Buy Baby because they have wonderful staff and a massive selection of baby things! 

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!