26 Weeks Pregnant

The Belly:
Grown a half inch this week.
So its grown a whole inch since week 22.
 (That's kinda been my bench mark, since I only took a picture at 22 and 27 weeks last pregnancy. However I didn't measure my belly at all last time. So its not really all that much of a comparison --- Its just kinda how I've thought about my growth spurts.)
It is a pretty impressive inch. Somehow just one inch from 22 to 27 looks very different!

(Edited in on 11/16/12: So, my "What to wear while pregnant" post went viral and now many people seem to be clicking on this post to, basically see who I am. 

Thanks for stopping by.
 I'm wishing I had rethought the scarf in these photos. ;)

To be honest with you, I didn't try very hard to get my fashion-act together with this pregnancy. (Although, I will say, I did like that dress quite a bit.) 
But I spent this pregnancy, studying pregnancy, and nutrition, and exercises, and all things VBAC. My first daughter was born VIA c-section after an induction, and my heart's cry was for a natural VBAC this time.
I really dove in hard after the answers I needed.
I did go on to have a really great VBAC with an amazing care team.
I learned a LOT of things I wish I had known the first time and I share them all along the way about all sorts of things.
I really hope you will look into my "Healthy Pregnancy" section (up in the tab on the top right) because I'd love it if you could benefit from it in any way, and have an awesome pregnancy and delivery.

*And just so you know, I've now experience the gambit of birthing styles, so it is the furthest thing from my heart to make anyone feel pressure or guilt in regards to how their baby is born -- becoming a mother is amazing no matter what!*

Anyway, If we have more babies, then I'll try to be one of those awesomely trendy-cool pretty mommas. Give me some time (my baby is four months old), I might be back, fashion people! ;) )

The belly button kinda sticks out in one spot or another when I sit or lay certain ways. But its still unpoped. If I push on the skin around it, I can make it stick out. I showed J this (she's really into belly buttons in general) and she was both baffled and totally enthralled.

And um, I just have to mention the fact that: I am super excited to have made it through winter still able to zip up my coat! (The weather has been awesome here for a couple weeks now, but I wore my winter coat to the pool in the early morning on Monday--- and it still closes!) This is such delightful news to me, because last time I was pregnant, I couldn't fit into anything I owned that zipped or buttoned by about 8 or 9 weeks pregnant. (This was due to the instant, and constant shifts in bra sizes I experienced last pregnancy...5 cup sizes overall (!)... And THANKFULLY am not experiencing at all so far this time!) So being able to fit my entire pregnant torso into a pre-pregnant coat for basically 7 months is like the coolest thing in the world to me! (You have no idea how much I hated the coat I had to wear last time --- it was the only thing that would house my outlandish chest! Honestly, it wasn't all that bad --- but I resented it none the less.)

Also, I'd like to mention that during this pregnancy I am quite literally grateful that I have stretch marks from last pregnancy. I'm not just saying that, or looking for a silver lining. I actually love that I spend 0% of my time looking for stretch marks!
Last time I spent plenty of time putting lotion and oil on, analyzing my skin, and congratulating myself every day that they didn't appear. Then once they did appear, I spent time crying.
I haven't even bothered looking once this time. And I don't plan on putting any special ointments on --- just lotion if I itch. I don't know if I'll get any more, or if once I've been stretched I'm good to go -- but it just doesn't matter to me because I already know I have them.
So honestly, I'm grateful that I got just enough last time to make me totally care free for this time! :)
Weird as it sounds, thats exactly how I feel!

I feel pretty good. Have some lower back aches sometimes (Monday night was pretty rough), but not the majority of the time. Some more round ligament stretching at some points this week, probably to go with the 1/2 inch we added.


Swimming has been going well. Overall I'm getting more stamina (since restarting swimming about a month ago after my hiatus.) So I'm not really winded at all, and able to swim with either less breaks or shorter breaks at the ends of the pool. (I've always been a break taker, pregnant or not. I marvel at those people who just never stop during their whole work out. Maybe that will be me sometime. But I'm not worried about it now.) I've never had any more round ligament pain during swimming after the first couple times. Like anyone, I have off days, and really on fire days. Last week I wasn't feeling too coordinated, especially on Thursday -- I really wondered if the life guards were needing to keep their eye on me since I looked so pathetic. I didn't even feel like I could float, I felt like a canon ball. But then when I got back in on Monday I felt all sorts of on top of it, extra floaty and everything.

I'm hoping that it will work out to keep swimming after little one #2 gets here (after I rest up.) We'll see how that works out when it gets here -- Blake will need to be comfortable with two little girls for nearly 2 hours alone to accomplish that. (I'm not even sure how I'll feel with two little girls alone! :) )

I'm also working to ensure I do pelvic tilts and other good pregnancy exercises and stretches very regularly now.

This week I have started to really crack down on my diet.
Even though, most people think I've already been doing that -- I've promised myself that I would be an excellent eater for this pregnancy. And while I have been eating better than last time, I am just going to be working harder and harder at eating great the closer I get to my due date (and the bigger this little one is getting.) Why do I care? Because then, no matter what happens, I will know I did my best, and nothing will be haunting me. I'd rather live that way --- giving it my all. Its no fun looking back thinking "what if."

So with that said, I'm working on eating according to the Brewer Diet.
Its basically a high protein diet, that ensures you get good vitamins with specific types of fruits and veggies, keeps you getting calcium, and makes sure you don't over do it on carbs (which should be only coming in the form of whole grains.)
Depending on who you talk to, your recommended carb intake varies (the ones coming from whole grains, we aren't counting veggies here, which of course have carbs). No informed person I've talked to (or read from) have recommended having any more than this diet's prescribed portions.  (Watching carbs is the main way to control both the mother and baby's weight gain, in order to keep them both to a healthy.) However I have heard opinions stating you should have even less than this. For now I'm trying to stick to the diet, or just under, in the way of gains. If I can figure it out, I will try to cut back as my due date nears.

This is my first week at it, so I haven't succeeded in getting in all the correct veggies or fruits each and every day. But over the course of the week its pretty balanced. And I'm gonna work on figuring out ways to work it all in.
(Anyone have any good recipes for, or that include, any of these: broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach, or kale?)

Its actually a ton of food! Part of why I haven't gotten it all in, is that I just am full before I eat it all. And my weight is staying steady, so I know its just good for me food, not fatten me up food.
It just takes more focus and planning to accomplish.
I'm keeping a food journal from here on out, to help me keep tabs. (I actually really enjoy doing this. This is what I did when I lost weight between pregnancies. It helps me feel more peaceful when I go to eat, because it takes the guess work out of what is ok, and what is too much. I don't have to think so hard anymore.)

Deliciousness of the week: Oranges!
Man, when you have been avoiding sugar at all costs -- oranges taste better than candy bars!

Speaking of candy bars, I did have "Mud pie" birthday cake for Blake's birthday. I was given permission to indulge for birthdays and weddings. :) Blake made sure I remembered that titbit, so I could enjoy the occasion. It was quite delicious! Its basically ice-cream cake: Oreo crust, bananas, ice cream, all toped with awesome fudge!

She's supposed to weight about 2lbs now.
When she wants to she can make my belly dance.
I still feel her head down pretty deep.
I think I feel hiccups sometimes, but I've not been positive yet, sometimes I just think its her hands doing something. But I'm still not sure about hand feelings, and how to tell exactly whats going on there. I still usually feel her feet under my right ribs.
I spend a lot of time trying to mentally piece together how her movements might be interpreted into her personality. I'm pretty much at a loss. Any medical person (ultrasound tech, midwives, ect) checking her out has commented on how much she moves. But what gets me, is the fact that she seems calmer to me than J did. (And no one seemed to comment on J being a mover.) So I can't figure out if I'm just not feeling her move as much as she really does, or if J just had everyone fooled last time, and this little one is more calm.

What I can say is that J used to have one full day of just crazy partying non stop, and then a full day of sleeping and not doing anything. She was pretty consistently like that the entire pregnancy. (Didn't stick to that routine once she was out, thank goodness --- that would have been crazy.)
This little girl, mainly likes to move at night, with an occasional few moments of moving here or there through out the day -- but I really don't feel much during the day. (On Monday afternoon I did feel her squirming around for maybe 20 mins before she was mellow again.) In fact when she does move during the day it usually shocks me into doing this dramatic "jump" --- especially when she does her rare good kick to the ribs! :)

I think we are having a hard time communicating with each other this week.
I think we just have two different agendas. I'm pretty darn intent on studying up on having this baby. And she is pretty darn intent on going outside to play. (And she's not ok with me bringing any books with! She wants full and total attention.)
And I think we are both a bit flustered at each other.
I feel bad. But its just the truth.
I guess I need to work out a better balance of my time. But its hard since I feel like I don't have enough time before the end of June gets here.
I keep wondering how its gonna work once new baby is here. I hope she can handle sharing me and my time. This hope is, honestly purely selfish in intent. I have not been feeling very patient lately at all. And I'm worried I'm going to just be crazy irritated if J is super whinny while we are all adjusting to life as a family of four.

We also have been having an interesting time with sleep.
We went back to Blake's hometown this weekend for his birthday. (Which was quite nice.) But she did not take to the change of bedroom well AT ALL. She was a screaming disaster no matter what we tried. She cried the same no matter if we were in the room doing the best we could for her, or if we weren't. So we had to let her cry it out. I think Blake's parents may have thought we were torchering her -- thats what I would have thought anyway. But there was just no soothing her at all. Our first night back home was rather similar, only with a much faster crying stage before she fell asleep.
Its kinda over whelming since we had been doing awesome on sleep when we first moved here. I think its just kinda the left over ramifications of all the night time wakings (involving rice milk) when she was sick, that we need to work past. I hate hearing her so upset. But its impossible to do anything for her to make it better. (Even rice milk was infuriating her, so we gave up on that too.)
I've been wondering if she's already starting to morn the loss of being an only child. I think she knows what's coming. (But there's no way to really say.)
I also think she teething her two year molars. So, you know how that goes!

In food news, she currently is obsessed with "pizza." She can't have cheese, so its just crust (usually homemade whole wheat, or in a pinch a store bought tortilla),  and sauce. Sometimes sausage if I have it. She wants pizza all the time. And you can't say the word without her having a breakdown if she can't have it!
I guess everyone loves pizza -- even people who can't actually have pizza!

In activities news: She loves drumming. She will take her hands and bang on couches, ottomans, whatever. We watch Veggie Tales "Little Drummer Boy" a lot and well she just loves it. She also says "Rummpa pa pumm" a lot during her days.

Kiss for Sister!

I started out this pregnancy week still a bit hung up emotionally on how I'm gonna get through this pregnancy (appointments, ect) without knowing anyone. So the week started with my allotted quota of "emotional wreckage."
But honestly, after that I have felt pretty stable for the rest of the week.
I don't know what changed. But I feel more confident in things overall. And less willing to let circumstances over take me. (Now, no one get surprised if this new attitude takes a while to really take hold. In other words, no one get shocked if I freak out again later! :) )
I decided against the 12 week child birth class. It just wasn't going to fit into our lives right now. And I wasn't sure how much more I would get out of it, since I have studied so much on my own. (Blake is always telling me how I could become a midwife after this baby is born, for as much as I read on the subject.)
I decided to order hypnobabies. I was undecided on it for a while. But a friend of mine thought it was phenomenal, so that weighed into things for me. Plus I looked at the reviews on Amazon.com. Out of the 50 reviews on there only 3 said it didn't help in labor, and yet two of those three still really enjoyed it during pregnancy. They said it made them feel very relaxed and confident.
"Relaxed and Confident" are not emotions that I've experienced a lot of lately. So I decided that for me and where I am at -- paying the cost of the set would be worth it even if only to feel relaxed and confident in pregnancy.  (Blake agreed! Poor guy has seen more than his fair share of my tears!) So regardless of how it helps in labor, I'm looking forward to it. (So, if it helps out in labor that will just be really awesome icing on the cake! :) )
I ordered it on Monday. So hopefully it comes fast! :) (I actually love endlessly tracking packages from online purchases. It's makes online shopping a whole new level of fun! I think I might be enjoying online shopping more than real shopping lately.)


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