22 Weeks: From Head To Toe

Here are all the highlights from our anatomy scan this week! It’s quite amazing how we are able to see parts as small as a nose or fingers from the outside!

Face

I was surprised that the US started with yet another vaginal peek. This time to look at my cervix, which I believe looked normal since there was no concern brought up. I thought I was done with that wand!

Then all the belly goop and poking began!

The first thing the tech said when she put the wand on my lower belly was “This baby is breech!” Of course this panicked me a bit because she said it in such a way that suggested this was a permanent position. No wonder I’ve been feeling kicks down a lot of the time! When I talked to my doctor afterwards, she said there is absolutely no reason to be concerned at this point. I know that babies can turn up to the last few weeks of pregnancy, but I am still worried that he prefers feet down in some way. She said not to worry, but I can’t help but want to do things to encourage him to like the other direction. Hang out in down dog?! I do think he swings his legs around like a pendulum based on the kicks, but I haven’t ever felt any to the ribs…

Love this shot of his legs! So clear and so baby-like!

Leg

Foot

Our tech started the scan by going up the abdomen and spotting the bladder, stomach, kidneys and heart. I have no idea how she could spot these! Ultrasound techs are very talented conceptually/visually. I was so relieved when these major organs looked healthy. I wasn’t too nervous about this ultrasound until the day before when I realized this could be a major turning point if something were to be wrong, but thankfully everything looked great.

Four chambers to the heart! Valves (?) in the right directions –

Heart

His little head! The brain looked normal (she verified that there were spaces in all the right places). I didn’t noticeduntil now that his head is in the 96th percentile for circumference – and that put my estimated due date at August 20-26th! Maybe he won’t be a Labor Day baby after all. Although….let’s hope that head doesn’t cause any troubles coming out either!

Head

The spine is always crazy to see on an US:

Spine

The only animal spine I see regularly is a sardine’s, so this is my sardine baby shot : )

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We found the boy parts!! Since we’d had our earlier elective US, I wasn’t surprised to hear “It’s a boy!” but for some reason this time it brought tears to my eyes?! I didn’t cry the first time – I think just the shock of knowing and letting it settle in. But this time it was even more special.

Boy parts!

Here’s a nice arm stretch – probably poking my stomach right then!

Extended Arm

A little hand. He still likes to put them in front of his face.

Paw

It’s funny to me that women often say when their babies are born “he has 10 fingers and toes!” because we got to actually count them all this day. Guess there could be error though : )

Fingers

**

It was about 20 minutes into the US when I started to feel kind of funny. Clammy, a little nauseous. I wondered if maybe it was just all the belly poking that was making me feel sick. Then I started to break out in a sweat and feel tingly all over. I had felt like this before -  I was going to FAINT! I wondered if I was just nervous and needed to breathe more or it was the poking, but finally I said “Can I sit up for a second?” I really thought I might throw up! The tech told me to roll on my left side right away and within 2 minutes I felt much better.

I had been lying flat on my back with my feet lower than my heart in kind of an arched position and we suspect this was a classic case of vena cava compression. When you’re on your back, the uterus, which for most women and definitely for me, is right-side tilted and it presses on the vena cava, which returns blood back to your heart. Generally if you’re not experiencing symptoms like I did then it’s not a problem, but this is why they say to sleep on your sides and not your back or lie on your back in an exercise class. I hadn’t felt anything like this before, but I was also on a really hard surface. It took me a while to get back to normal though (I kept wanting to lie down again) and it wasn’t the most fun way to experience the ultrasound. Not blaming the doctors office at all – I should have spoken up sooner!

**

Perhaps the most incredible shot is this one of his nose and lips! I think he has my wide nose : ) His little hand is covering his chin. Looks kind of like he has a big white mustache!!

NoseandLips!

I told the tech I was hoping for a nice profile shot and she was nice to try to get one for me (which was difficult in his position), but this one is pretty good! My mom says he looks like a poet or anthropologist like his dad : ) Funny that so many of our family have said he looks like Matt!

Profile

Compared to his 12 week portrait! Growin’ boy!

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We’re hoping to do a final ultrasound at 30 weeks or so to get some of those once-in-a-lifetime 3D photos. And then the big day of a real life shot! I can’t WAIT to meet him!

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22 Weeks: Expecting More

Since changing my fitness routine around a little bit with pregnancy (mostly a decrease in intensity and hiatus of running), the idea of fitness at home has become more appealing. I tried out my first prenatal DVD a month ago and liked the level of workout I got without leaving my house a lot. Shortly after I mentioned doing that DVD, Sara Haley’s Expecting More contacted me to see if I would like to review the 6-workout DVD set.

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So far I’ve done 3/6 of the workouts – the 3 on the cardio disc – and have been beyond impressed. The workouts are long enough to feel productive and intense enough to get me out of breath and break a sweat (a rarity for me!). They’ve been fast-paced and fun too. Sara isn’t cheesy at all, and I’m impressed with all she can do with the size of her bump! Here’s a promo video that shows what the workouts are like.

Here are reviews of the three workouts I’ve tried so far:

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Sweat Sport

I started with the sports-themed class because I’m competitive and all Smile It’s been a while since I’ve felt like an athlete, and with my second-trimester energy, an athletic conditioning class sounded like a good challenge. Throughout the class you build on a series of exercises that you do as a routine at the end. The exercises involved more jumping and bouncing than I expected in a prenatal workout, but that’s also why it was such a good challenge!! I was a bit timid to jump around at first but found that I had no problem doing it. We did jumping jacks, running in place, shuffles and more. Each exercise built on the last and by the end performance we did them all together in a 2-3 minute stretch. It was hard!! The class lasted almost an hour including the warm-up and cool-down, so there was no need to repeat anything. I had considered doing another segment when I started, but I was too beat to think of it when it ended!

Sweat Funk

Dance classes tend to make me feel way too cheesy, and as a former dancer, sometimes they are just too easy. Grapevines don’t get my heart rate up that much. But this class was good. It was a nice mix of funky steps and some bigger movements that moved you across the room to get you out of breath. I found it pretty hard to keep up and remember the steps at times, but I’m sure after a few more classes I’ll have it all down. Just like the fitness class, this one build the steps up into a routine that you did at the end in a performance section. The whole class was about an hour, and my body felt tired when I was finished. It’s really the 10 minutes of non-stop performance at the end that ends both cardio classes with a bang!

Synergy

The first two workouts were all cardio and didn’t require any equipment at all. Perfect for hotel rooms, travel and rainy days! The combo class was an hour-long strength and cardio interval workout. You needed a chair and some weights as equipment. I ended up using horseshoes because I didn’t have any weights, but they worked just fine. I liked the interval style a lot, although the cardio segments were less intense than the two above cardio classes. As a regular at Body Pump, I felt like the weights were on the easy side, but it was still nice to do when I couldn’t get to pump that week. Now that Faith let me borrow some 9 pounders, I have a feeling it will be more challenging! I still felt like it was a great overall toning workout and it would be good for beginners and intermediates alike.

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Overall

Pros

  • Love the timer that counts down not only each exercise but how many minutes are left in your whole class
  • Not cheesy
  • Actually challenging
  • Options to modify if you’re feeling more tired one day or bump it up if you have extra energy
  • Fast pace so when you do it a few times a week you don’t have to go super slow while they teach the steps again each time
  • Mental challenge as you build on the routines
  • 6 workouts in one set so variety with familiarity
  • Will be great for home workouts post-partum too!

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Cons

  • I wish there were a strength workout that just used body weight (like planks, pushups, squats) for a guided strength workout if you don’t have equipment or while traveling
  • I would LOVE if one of the 6 workouts was a childbirth fitness class like my prenatal yoga class and guided you through a series of pelvic exercises, squats and meditation. I’d do that multiple times a week!

Still to come: reviews of the two total strength workouts (which are hard for me to fit in because I’m already tired from Pump twice a week!) and the salutation workout, all on disc two

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22 Weeks: 10 Things

5 Things I Am Excited About

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1) Breastfeeding. I really hope things work out for me with nursing (I know they don’t always) because ever since I found out I was pregnant, I have been most excited about breastfeeding. I know it might hurt and I know it won’t be easy, but in the event that it goes well, just the thought of going through this experience makes me already feel a bond.

2) Babywearing. Similar to breastfeeding, I just can’t wait to hold my baby against my body. When I tried on the wrap the other day, just having a bear in there was exciting!! I hope I will be able to wear my baby all around town. I initially thought I might be a stroller mom, but now that I’ve learned more about the different kinds of carriers, I think having your baby tucked on you with free hands sounds like a great concept – at least when he’s little! The only thing I wonder: how much are my shoulders going to hurt if I’m lugging around a diaper bag and possibly camera gear in addition to the baby? In that sense, a stroller that holds all the weight for me sounds like a good idea too. 

3) Looking at him. And him looking at me! And more specifically, finding out who he looks like! Will he have Matt’s dark hair (likely not since he was blonde as a kid) or my green eyes (eventually)? I’ve seen so many babies who look just like their parents recently. Will our baby look like us? How will he change as he gets older? What will his personality be like? I can’t wait to find out!

4) The diaper bag. I’ve been obsessed with diaper bags since I was a 6 year old pushing a doll in a doll stroller. The pockets, the contents, the style – all of the above. The Skip Hop Messenger is my current favorite because I love the fit of messenger bags and the pockets on the front are great for easy access to mom’s things. Dad-friendly too! I think I will be a nerd who packs her diaper bag with diapers and toys as soon as I get one. I will probably never use a purse again since I’m such a minimalist to begin with: phone, wallet, small pouch of personal items (like chapsick) are all I ever carry around. [Oh plus a DSLR half the time Smile ] Throw them in my diaper bag and I’m set!

5) Playing with dad. It seems like Matt gets a little more excited with each day that passes. He loves to play with kids and he seems to be getting a lot of playtime in with babies around us lately. They always say that dads become dads when the baby is born, and I’m eager to see what it’s like to have him hold our baby in his arms.

5 Things I Am Nervous About

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1) The lifestyle adjustment. When I hang out with a baby or babysit, I have a lot of fun, but I have to admit I’m relieved when I go home to my two-person household again. From my perspective right now, I think the hardest part of motherhood is that it’s never ending. You can have short breaks with babysitters or nursery school and eventually elementary school, but at least while you’re nursing fulltime there aren’t many breaks in the day [or night], and I imagine that gets exhausting. But I’m also hoping that I will just be so in love with my baby that maybe I won’t mind at all : ) As far as things like going out to dinner and hanging with our friends go, Matt and I are determined to keep as much of our lifestyle going as possible. Maybe not right away, but certainly when we get in a good routine. Baby in the carrier at an outdoor concert? Lynsie and 3-week-old D are already out and about, so I think it just takes a good amount of planning and determination to keep your social life going.

2) That something will go wrong. I tend not to worry about things too much until I have a reason to. I keep my fears tucked in the back of my mind just to remind myself they’re possible, but I tend to be very optimistic in general. So if it seems like I am overly optimistic on my blogs – it’s because I am. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand (or struggle with) the realities of life. I’m nervous that something will go wrong with labor and delivery or the baby’s health. Nothing is predictable. But as I always says, I’ll cross that bridge if we get there.

3) The messes. I have to admit I’m scared of food smeared all over my house. And toys everywhere. And just a sense of chaos at home. I’m mentally prepared for it (eventually at least!) because I know kids are messy.  I’m terrified of the day when my 5 year old throws up in bed it in the middle of the night. I did that as a kid, and I don’t know how my mom dealt with the mess of throw up (it’s worse than poop if you ask me). Food WILL be smeared in nooks and crannies and all over my baby and me, and I’m sure while I’m nursing milk will go everywhere too. I’ll just have to learn to live with it – and get a good cleaning system in place!

4) My workload + blogging. While I could give myself a nice long maternity leave from both blogs, I don’t really want to. I don’t really know what will happen when the baby is born. I can see myself not having the energy to post more than photos, but I can also see myself finding the energy from somewhere to blog  almost as I do now during naps or in the evenings. I just have no idea what to expect, and the last thing I want is to feel totally overwhelmed with all the things I do as a blogger and the learning curve of being a mom. Nervous.

5) Baby #2. No plans for one yet (we’d like to wait 3-4 years) and no certainty we will have another, but I’m already thinking how much harder pregnancy would be with a toddler to chase after! I’m also wondering where we will put baby #2 if we stay in our current house. We’d either have to have them share a room, lose our guest room, finish the attic, or move. Totally not something I should be worrying about right now, but it’s crossed my mind more than once as the last room in the house starts to fill up. This house was plenty big with just the two of us, but two could turn into 4 (or 5 if a dog makes its way in!) quicker than I realize. But let’s cross that bridge when we get there :mrgreen:

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22 Weeks: Pop!

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I think the time has come – I both look and feel pregnant. During the shower this weekend, both Caitlin’s mom and aunt said “Girl there is no doubt you are pregnant!” and any glimpse I get of myself passing by a mirror takes me by surprise. I think my stomach is actually bigger than it feels! I still think it’s flat, and it is not!

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It seemed to come out almost overnight on Saturday. I woke up in the morning and swore it was bigger and rounder. Not only is it protruding more, but it’s wider too! My uterus is firm on the sides of my stomach – an indication that it’s poking out beyond my ribs.

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I’m feeling pretty good overall. On and off SI pain (more if I stand, less if I sit) and a little bit of fatigue. Sometimes after a long day I just want to collapse on the couch for a rest, but then something else happens and I’m up doing stuff again!

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I noticed over the weekend that my stomach spaces seems to have significantly shrunk. I didn’t eat great over the weekend, so maybe it was just different foods in general that left me feeling this way, but I just feel full really fast. I felt like I was full all day on Sunday but none of my meals were very large. I couldn’t even finish my salmon at dinner – no more space. I sort of want to push down on my stomach when this happens and create more room, which is why I think it’s bump related.

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I’ve debated blogging about this, but I’m an oversharer and I think for the sake of other pregnant women’s curiously it should be shared that I have colostrum!!! (If you don’t know what that is, it’s the nutrient-dense, thick milk that comes out before your normal breast milk “comes in” a few days after birth.) Apparently I’ve had it since 16 weeks, but I never noticed anything. One of my mom friends commented that the veins in my chest were SUPER blue and I felt a little engorged, so she told me to…squeeze around. Sure enough something came out! Just a tinnnny bit, but I was totally shocked and totally happy that for once in my life my boobs did something productive!!

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Baby movements continue to make me smile all day long. They are getting stronger too. Do you remember those water babies that came out when we were little? Floppy, rubbery dolls filled with water? I feel like I have one of those in me. All of the movements have a bit of bounce to them – like rubber. It’s not like a stick is poking me, but more like a Gumby in there! Matt has felt them once or twice, but for the most part every time I try to get him to feel in a series of bumps, the baby stops moving. Little stinker!

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22 Weeks: Things I Love About Prenatal Yoga

Not all prenatal yoga classes are the same, but I sure do love my class! It’s not all what I expected. I thought it would be just like a regular yoga class with modifications for big bellies. But in actuality, it’s more like a childbirth class with a few traditional yoga poses thrown in.

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Me Time

Our class begins with 20-30 minutes of share time. We go around the room, one-by-one, and share our name, weeks of pregnancy and any highs or lows of the week. Our instructor Jen, who is also a doula, gives great experiential advice and suggestions on what remedies or solutions might help our ailments.

I know it’s a false impression, but I love the sense that during this hour, no matter how busy the day or week is, this hour of class is about mom and the new baby inside. Aside from the physical, the mental break is one part of class I really look forward to.

Synchronized “Swimming”

We then spend about 40-45 minutes in a series of stretches designed to open the hips, increase flexibility and decrease aches and pains. Class changes from week to week, but we usually begin with cat + cow stretches, pelvic circles and other motions. Things you might be embarrassed to do in a co-ed setting!

We usually do at least warrior I and II during class, a handful of squats and hamstring stretches. The worst type of squat is called campers pose, and the week after I blogged about it, Jen actually talked us through it as a mental game like a contraction. (For the record, it was twice as long and I have yet to make it all the way through without a break….she did say though that one mom reported after the fact that camper’s pose was harder than labor!)

A lot of times we end up doing some chest movements – arms this way or that – that looks like synchronized swimming and a dance class combined. It’s kind of beautiful to watch in the mirrors!

Meditation

Class ends with 10 minutes of “rest” where we get in various poses – legs up the wall, lying on a bolster, etc – for time to think about the baby. My favorite part of class for sure!

Support

Most of all, I really love how it just feels to be in a room full of other women going through a similar life-changing experience. I’ve never been through anything quite like this, and while I don’t really know the names of too many of the women yet, it’s still great bonding to just be in the room together. I like to think all of us are in total support of one another – all good vibes.

Missing Big Mamas

One drawback – people disappear!! After you reach week 30 (I think!), you are welcomed into the “Big Mama” group. And as women approach 40 weeks, there is always excitement when “this might be my last class comes,” and for those getting induced in the next few days, they know it’s their last class. I’ve only been going for about 2 months, but already it’s sad when you get there one week and women are missing. I almost wish there was a time each month set aside for the new moms to come back and share some tips and their babies to see (if they are able and comfortable). Monthly yoga reunions?!

I’m looking forward to mommy + me yoga someday too – perhaps that is the bridge to continue this enjoyable class!

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