Another month gone and just like that I'm 6 months pregnant. Crazy!
Let's look at how this past month has gone, shall we?
Gender & Name:
It's a GIRL!!!
I've felt like our baby was a girl from the moment I got pregnant and a couple of weeks ago, while we were in Thailand, we found out that my suspicions were correct. I couldn't be more excited! It's so nice to know that she is actually a girl. We even have a name picked out so I love calling her by her name and envisioning what she'll look like. We have decided to keep her name a surprise until her birth however, so stay tuned!
Size of the Baby:
She's about a foot long and weights 1 ⅓ pounds in weight!
But more on that below ↓
After weeks of waiting (mainly because I didn't want to get an ultrasound done in our little city in China) we were able to have our second ultrasound done while we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I had been waiting for weeks to see our baby again and find out the sex, so I was thrilled that we were able to schedule an appointment during our short time in Thailand. And can I just say that the hospitals in Thailand are amazing. I like them better than American hospitals and most procedures are hundreds of dollars cheaper than what you'd pay in America. Score!
For our first ultrasound in America at 10 weeks, Brett's sister joined us, which I absolutely loved. For this ultrasound, our good good friend who lives in China--but was also traveling in Thailand--came with us! Since I'm so far away from my immediate family, it's so fun for me to share in our joy with others that are close to us.
I drank a coffee with mocha shots in it before our appointment in hopes that the sugar would cause our baby to move around during our ultrasound. I had heard that if you try to find out the sex at a later date, the baby's legs could block the parts you need to see, making it hard to see if it's a girl or a boy. The sugar did the trick and she was moving tons during our appointment.
Our Thai doctor was amazing, unlike the distracted doctors that we had for our first ultrasound in America. She was so good at informing us what we were actually seeing on the screen and answering any questions we had. We got to see everything and right away she told us she was a girl and showed us why:) I loved seeing her little profile and her hand and foot prints. Seeing and hearing her heart beat was also amazing. The fact the God is forming a baby girl in my body is mind blowing to me. I can't wait to meet her!
One thing we did discover during the ultrasound is that she is measuring a little small for what our current due date is, which mainly means that the due date our first ultrasound gave us might be incorrect and she might come later than expected. It's hard to know, so I'm just going to continue counting the weeks as I have been. But I'm keeping an open mind and know that instead of coming in late January like we initially thought, she may come in early February. We'll see!
This month has been pivotal in regards to my baby bump. At the end of week 20 I still felt like I barely had a bump and could easily hide it with looser clothing. I actually started to wonder if I was eating enough or if she was growing like she should. But then starting in week 21, I started seeing my stomach grow in what seemed like leaps and bounds overnight! These pictures really don't show the growth well, but my friends can easily tell I now have a bump and that's exciting! However, for people that don't know me well, I still just look a little pudgy and no one is brave enough to ask me if I'm pregnant.
For example, one older guy that I kind of know in Thailand found out I was pregnant and said to me, "I wish I had known you were pregnant earlier. I kept looking at you and thinking, 'She's got an interesting shape.'" Haha!
Body Image During Pregnancy:
To be honest, I have been more chill about my body changing during pregnancy than I ever expected. That's totally due to God's grace, because in the past, dealing with even little changes in my body used to be hard for me.
One thing I've realized, and that has kind of become my motto, is that I can't freak out. I thought it would be harder to see my body getting softer and larger, but I'm so logical that I know it's for a reason and also only for a season. Of course my belly is getting bigger; there's a growing baby inside of it! Of course I'm going to get softer and less toned; my body is storing extra fat in order to sustain my baby once she's born!
However, I will say, it's bizarre to be eating well and exercising often, yet still see your body getting bigger and bigger, softer and softer. But I'm not letting myself freak out by what I see on the outside (and I actually think my pregnancy body is beautiful!). I can see why some women might want to throw in the towel when it comes to eating well and exercising when they can't see immediate improvements in their body during pregnancy. But exercising and eating lots of whole foods makes me feel so good. I also know that underneath all the softness growing on my body, I'm maintaining a strong, healthy body that will heal quicker after giving birth and will be healthy to care for my baby. I'm trying to keep the big picture in mind, embrace the weekly changes, and not let freaking out hinder my ability to find joy in this beautiful process!!
Food Cravings and Aversions:
My food choices this past month have looked exactly like the food choices I made before getting pregnant. I can definitely see some themes in what I gravitate towards, but overall I'm eating my usual, colorful, whole food diet, with some chocolatey treats thrown in for happiness!
Some staples this past month:
- Burrito Bowls/Plates
- Sweet potatoes with nut butter and banana
- Chocolate in all forms (muffins, oatmeal, dark chocolate squares, etc.)
- Avocado toast
- Red Lentil Pumpkin Soup (which I literally ate for 5 days in a row one week)
I am so thankful to report that overall I still feel so good and fairly normal! Yet I still have some things that have changed in my life due to pregnancy:
- She's moving! It was during week 20 that I felt her move for the first time and since then her movements are getting more and more pronounced. Brett and some close friends have even felt her kick their hand, which is so fun!
- Tossing while I sleep. I find I still get about 8 hours of sleep a night, but I'm constantly turning from one side to another throughout the night.
- Needing to pee. Yep, this started last month actually, but I definitely still go to the bathroom constantly throughout the day.
- Hungry in the morning, "eh" about food at night. My appetite is strong in the morning but then slowly dies down after lunch. I've learned to eat larger meals in the morning and smaller meals for dinner.
I'm still exercising most days and I feel so healthy and energetic. I did sadly have to give up running and I'm okay with that. I felt strong and fairly normal while running, but the issue was my BLADDER! Gosh, running when you feel like you have a gallon of water in your bladder is just not fun. For a while I tried to keep at it, but had to find some bushes on the side of the highway to pee behind, only to find that I barely had anything in there. So annoying.
Now instead of running, I'm going on long walks and continuing to do lots of weighted workouts and HIIT workouts created by myself or my friend Becky (@goodfortheswole). I'm so thankful I found Becky's Instagram and Blog. She is a pre/postnatal specialist and has taught me so much about which exercises to focus on and which ones to avoid during pregnancy. So far, I've found that so many pregnancy workouts on the internet aren't hard enough for me, but Becky's workouts actually get me tired and sweaty. I also love knowing that I'm strengthening my pelvic floor muscles with her workouts instead of harming my abs or causing them to split, causing diastasis recti.
I also highly recommend buying a stability ball if you're pregnant. I use mine everyday and love it!
Going to America:
We are flying to America at the end of this month and I am beyond excited. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to have our baby in America, so we are planning to spend about 3 months before and after our baby girl arrives in America, equaling about 6 months total in the states. We will be based out of Nashville, where Brett's parents live, and will be having our baby at a birthing center in Nashville. We plan to travel quite a bit for Thanksgiving and to see family before our girl arrives, mostly in November and early December.
Other Random Mentions:
I really am loving being pregnant. And now that our baby girl is moving more and more and my belly is getting bigger, I can really start to envision a little human moving around in my belly. It's so cool! What a gift!
Thanks for reading along. If you have any pregnancy tips, questions, advice I'd love to hear from you!