“WOOOOOAAAH, WE’RE HALFWAY THERE!”
I mean, naturally that song comes to mind. (If you don’t know, it’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, and those lyrics pop in my head anytime we’re halfway to anything notable. If you didn’t know that, please look it up because how?!)
We’ve already made it through 20 weeks of my pregnancy, and we’re halfway to baby! Again, how?! I want to say the first part of the pregnancy might seem to go faster than the second part because we didn’t know about it for the first 4.5 weeks & didn’t have confirmation until 6.5 weeks… but time will actually probably keep flying like it always does.
Anyway, hello friends! I just want to hop on the blog today to give you a quick (bump)date, in case anyone is interested!
My 20-week Pregnancy Update
Thank you, darling husband, for taking photos of me every Monday to mark my baby bump progress, along with some extra photos this morning just for this blog post!
This post feels a lot less structured than my baby announcement post, since a lot of the basics have already been covered! If you missed that one, head over there to learn our specific due date, read stories of how we told our families, see some cute photos of our dog in a “big brother” bandana, and more :)
How are you feeling?
This is one of the most common questions I get nowadays, and I appreciate it every time! Thank you for checking in on me and on baby. I’m so thankful to say that we’re still doing well! After an easy breezy first trimester, second trimester continues to go well and we’re both healthy.
I’m still finding it a little harder than usual to get off the couch - partially because I get tired and partially because my belly’s getting bigger! - but overall not TOO exhausted in general.
I had a runny nose right at the beginning of second trimester, without any other cold symptoms… Apparently runny noses and bloody noses can be pregnancy symptoms due to increased blood flow and swollen mucous membranes?! Who knew?! Thankfully the runny nose lasted a little less than a week, and I’ve only had a bloody nose once.
Just this past week I’ve also starting having some back pain when I sit on the couch for too long, especially if I don’t have a pillow in just the right spot behind me. The couch and I have a love-hate relationship currently. (It’s still mostly love.)
I’ve never suffered from a lack of appetite, first trimester included (since I wasn’t nauseous), and I’ve been needing to snack more during my second trimester too. I’m trying to keep healthy, natural snacks on hand as much as possible!
Do you have any pregnancy cravings?
Speaking of food, let’s talk about cravings! Honestly, I kind of wish I could say I’ve had some weird cravings, because that’s always funny to talk about. No real cravings here, though… at least not yet. I’ve still wanted dessert every night, but again, that was my ideal before I was pregnant too, haha. I probably do crave that a little more than usual (or maybe I’ve just gotten used to having sweets on hand more often than not). My go-to snack when I need a little something has been a mixture of banana chips from Aldi and home-roasted salted almonds. I love the salty-sweet combination of it!
Have you felt the baby move?
I have! I had been waiting in anticipation for a while, wanting to feel the baby because I knew it’d be exciting. It also feels like reassurance that baby’s doing okay in there between my appointments. I believe I felt it for the first time right at 18 weeks, and to me it feels mostly like rumblings in my tummy… or like little pushes outward, almost. I feel it every so often & love it every time I do, but I figure I may love it a little less once the kicks start being a little stronger and painful, haha!
Did you find out if it’s a boy or a girl?
This is another question I’m getting a lot - naturally! We could have found out the gender at our anatomy scan ultrasound a couple weeks ago, but we held to our decision that we’re going to be surprised when the baby is born! We’re not finding out the gender before then! At the same time, it was surreal to know that we could have found out right then if we wanted to. The ultrasound tech told us to look away from the screen at a certain point since we didn’t want to know, and all we would have had to do was turn our heads back to see! We feel great about our decision, though, and it’ll be the best surprise when baby arrives. In the meantime, we’ll be getting things in gender-neutral colors, but again, we’re not opposed to having a boy in pink or a girl in blue if you’d like to give us any hand-me-downs. :)
How did the ultrasound go?
It went great! Let me take a step back real quick, though, to let you know that I saw a high-risk doctor for this ultrasound, and I guess I technically have a high-risk pregnancy. I realize that may sound confusing, since everything is thankfully going well! I have an auto-immune condition called ulcerative colitis, and when women who have UC get pregnant, their UC-related symptoms sometimes get worse, stay the same, or even get better. My regular OB wanted to get me in the high risk doctor’s system just in case my symptoms were to get worse, so they’d have a baseline for what “healthy Kelly” looks like before then. I had a consultation with them in my first trimester, which was overwhelmingly optimistic. The medicine I’m on for my ulcerative colitis is safe during pregnancy, and they said that when women who have UC are in remission from their symptoms when they get pregnant, they really don’t have UC-related issues during pregnancy. There’s actually a pregnancy hormone that acts as a low-grade steroid and keeps any lingering internal inflammation at bay. There’s a chance that UC symptoms can pop up again after pregnancy once that steroid-y hormone goes away, but I’ll worry about that later. For now, I’m so thankful that I’ve been out of a flare since November 2017. I got out of the pattern of getting flares every fall with the help of the holistic doctor I saw all last year, dietary changes I made based on the elimination diets she guided me through, and less stress in the fall since I wasn’t teaching full-time anymore. Stress can trigger flares, and photography is a lot more joy-filled and stress-free for me!
That being said, the high-risk doctor wanted me to do my anatomy scan ultrasound with them at 18 weeks so they could keep an eye on the growth of the baby, and they also want to do a growth scan at 28 weeks.
Again, I can’t express how thankful I am to say that baby measured “normal” for everything they looked at! He or she has a strong little heartbeat, and they were moving all around at the beginning then settled down toward the end of the ultrasound. Baby was actually measuring about 4 days older than predicted at that point - I was 18 weeks and 1 day and he/she was measuring at 18 weeks and 5 days - so they seem to be growing just fine! Yay!! The doctor also said I can choose if I want to go back to them for the 28-week ultrasound or do it with my normal OB. I’m thanking God that baby is healthy and growing well every time I think about it.
I recognize this is not everyone’s reality.
While I’ve been pregnant, I have found out that two of my friends have gotten pregnant and subsequently had miscarriages. I haven’t been posting about my pregnancy on social media a ton, partially because I know that is not an easy thing for many women to see. It is so common to have miscarriages and fertility issues, and I want to be sensitive to women who have experienced and are experiencing those and other unhappy things regarding conception and having a family. I see you all and I love you all. It doesn’t feel fair that your reality isn’t as joyful as mine, and I want to walk alongside you in that however I can.
It also feels weird to continue this blog post in a happy tone after that serious note, but here we go.
Do you have names picked out?
We had a few favorites for each gender when I wrote my last blog post (no, I haven’t shared what the names are), and they actually haven’t changed, so I guess we have some solid favorites! We also have ideas now for boy middle names, which we didn’t have before. We haven’t narrowed it down any more than that yet, but we also haven’t come across any names that we like better!
Have you bought a bunch of baby stuff?
Nope! The clothes I bought at the consignment sale I mentioned at the end of my last baby post still represent the majority of the baby stuff we have. I’m getting/borrowing a lot of essentials from one of my best friends (PRAISES BE to you, my friend) - even a baby carseat/carrier and a stroller - and we’re pumped about that! We still don’t feel a ton of pressure to put other things together yet, but I am starting to add more things to online registries. It can be hard to figure out what we really need, what would be nice to have but we can do without, and what would be nice to have and we actually want to have, haha. We’re planning on cloth diapering, and one of my friends graciously gave me a run-down of the things she uses and loves, so the majority of one of our registries is made up of all the cloth diapering things!
Does being pregnant feel weird?
Despite the mild pregnancy symptoms I listed at the beginning of the post, it has really felt almost a strange level of normal to me! Yes, my belly has gotten bigger and continues to do so pretty quickly. No, I cannot see my toes when I stand up straight and look down anymore. Yes, it is surreal knowing that there is a 10-inch long baby growing inside of me right now! No, my usual bras aren’t comfortable anymore. Yes, it is a new and popular topic of conversation now that people can see my belly and assume without much doubt anymore that there’s a baby in there, and not just an extra-large helping of nachos. (And it’s fun to me to talk about all this baby stuff!)
I’m not sure if it’s because of not having a lot of bad symptoms or not, but so far being pregnant has felt really natural and exciting!
Do you need anything?
Prayers - Please keep the prayers coming; they’re working! I would love to continue to have an easy pregnancy, especially with lots of plans this spring and the heat of summer on its way. More than my own comfort, though, we really just want a healthy baby, so please pray that baby continues to grow well and can stay put until coming to full term in August!
Tangible items - we love putting pre-loved things to good use, so please let us know if you have any baby items or clothing you’re not using anymore!
Thanks for joining me on the blog today!
I’m honored that you’re interested enough in my pregnancy & my family to type and click and make your way over to this blog post.
Please join me for a spring mini-session if you’re able, and stay tuned for posts with photos from recent sessions and another exciting Light Creative business announcement in the next few weeks!
Now that we’re done here, go enjoy the sunshine outside!!
In light & love,