32 Weeks: Lumpy + Bumpy

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It’s getting closer and closer and closer….!!!

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What I am loving about my bump this week is that it is full of lumps! I guess because there is less space in there and because the babe is growing big that his limbs, butt and body make shapes on the outside all the time now. They aren’t so obvious that you can see the imprint of a leg or foot, but you can most definitely feel them – hard little knobs. Nearly all the lumps are on my upper right side, just under my ribs. So I’m assuming I’m feeling lots of legs, knees and butts. My favorite one to feel is a pointy knee! I’m surprised my uterus can stretch that much to feel them so clearly. I have tried to feel his little head down there, but I think it’s buried deep inside. I’m still feeling hiccups waaaay down in the deep depths of my body.

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Matt and I have started called him “The Gloop” because of the noise Matt makes to animate his shifts in position. “Gloooooop” – imagine a noise you’d make to imitate swimming through jello!

My body seems to change minute by minute. One minute I feel small and firm and then next minute I feel huge and….like I’ve gained a lot of weight. Same with photos! Sometimes I feel like I look the same with a basketball strapped on, and other times I feel like you can see this pregnancy on every inch of my body. I actually feel some of my best when I’m at the gym – and some of my worst when I’m dressed up (I think dresses are the least becoming clothing right now). I’m definitely getting excited mentally about returning to my healthy body (version 2.0 at least). While I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed this whole year so far, I really do miss my old life at times – getting up at 7 to run, long bike rides with Matt, wine tastings…

Basketball belly!

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Feeling really good physically!! Back is OK, sleeping is good. Even last week’s heat wave didn’t bother me too much. People keep asking me if it’s been a lot worse because I am pregnant and my response is that unless my stomach is attracting the sunshine more than usual, I’m about as hot as I would have been before! That and I get sweat rings on my belly button now : ) [Omg, you STILL can’t see the bottom of my belly button! It’s come out nearly an inch circumference and the bottom is still no where to be found!]

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I will say I’ve noticed a difference in my intestines….slowing down. But that’s all the details I’m going to share : ) Just something to note since I haven’t had any difference from pre-pregnancy until now. I’m guessing things are just running out of space. My abs still hurt : (

I have started to waddle just a bit at times – like when I’m just getting up and walking away. Getting up from a cushy sofa is hard (because of no ab strength!) and getting up from the floor takes me longer than it used to, but all in all, feeling good! No trouble breathing, eating, heartburn, etc. I’m feeling pretty lucky.

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31 Weeks: ABsolutely Stretching

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I definitely grew a lot this week!!!! And so did he!

My movements have changed and are now big and bold and broad! No more little jabs here or there, but I’ll put my hand on my stomach and feel a huge hard rock of a backside or the nice outline of what feels just like a chicken leg poking out! It’s easily felt from the outside too, so Matt and friends have felt them as well.

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I always feel the leg(s) on my right side right under my ribs. There is a nice big bump that often appears up at the top and slightly to the right that I’m guessing is his butt. And I have been feeling hiccups way down south. The hippcups feel like thumps – almost like a really slow heartbeat – rhythmically pulsing over and over for a few minutes at a time. I’m feeling some right now! These all match his position at the ultrasound, so I’m guessing I’ve matched inside to outside pretty well. He doesn’t seem to change positions very much, and I rarely feel things on my left side. Loving these movements more than ever! 

Here is a nice diagram for you : )

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I’m feeling really good overall. Something to bring up: ABS! This is one symptom of pregnancy I haven’t heard too many women talk about, but it is my current most uncomfortable one. My abs really feel like they are thinning out and ripping apart in there. I have no idea if this means my abs were once very strong or once very weak – either way I’d believe you. They are either weak and separate easily or strong and are having a hard time separating. They cramp up if I move the wrong way too fast or twist, they make me roll over a beached whale (sometimes having to sit up before I lie down again), and after a day/night of standing on my feet I feel them tugging from the top – like they’re a sack of potatoes that is too full that’s just going to rip open and spill out! I find myself massaging just under my ribs a lot, especially if I do a lot of walking or standing. And oh my gosh – sneezing is NOT FUN! Sometimes my lower abs ache near the base of my bump too. And of course I had that awful nerve pain related to the fascia as well.

Growing is not yet over!

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I seem to have cured my hip aching by changing my sleep position. I was sleeping completely on my side – which meant pressure on the hip and glut that was taking all the weight all night. Even though I would flip back and forth, switching sides, it was too much direct pressure. I have now started sleeping partially on my back – with a pillow wedged under my back so I’m at an angle (and therefore not compressing the veins) and this position, while not the most comfortable overall, is working for the time being. It also means less rolling over, which is less strain on the abs!

Sleeping is going well. No other symptoms to report right now!

[Can you see the purple smudge on the side of my stomach? That’s a vein!]

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Emotionally, I think I’m in a bit of denial. The closer my due date gets, the more I think (ironically) YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE! And I’ve had my first ‘What did we get ourselves into’ moments. Of course I’m still totally excited, but the distant future has become the near future and I can feel the days counting down. I alternate between moments of pure excitement and pure nervousness – much like the feelings before I left for college or started a new job.

He’s a little firecracker waiting to pop! Happy 4th!

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31 Weeks: Snapshots

Which belly is not real!?!?!?

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I caught up to the fake bump!

[Flashback to my first maternity clothing shopping trip!]

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31 weeks and growing!

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30 Weeks: BIG MAMA

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In my prenatal yoga class, when you reach 30 weeks you’re welcomed into the Big Mama club. When I first started going to yoga, women in the 30+ weeks seemed soooo far away. I cannot believe I’m here.

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I’m still waiting for my stomach to really grow. I’m starting to think it’s just something in my genetics or frame that means I’ll look on the smaller side this whole time. Sometimes I think it looks huge, but I have had so many people tell me how small I am for 30 weeks. Just this weekend at the market two women commented. I’m not complaining – I’m glad to sport a smaller bump – it’s just so unexpected!

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Similarly and somewhat in contrast, though, I feel like when I was 16-20 weeks I felt like my stomach was huge in real life, but when I looked in the mirror it was not nearly as big as it felt. But now, I barely notice my bump day-to-day and when I look in the mirror or in photos, I’m surprised at how big it really is! I was just telling Caitlin this week that I feel like my stomach is still basically flat – I can see my toes without really even noticing it – but then I came home from an hour at the gym looking in the mirrors and decided that it was bigger than it feels. Hunching over with poor posture is quite hard – my ribs meet that hard muscle (or little baby!) in there and I just can’t.bend.more.

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I THINK I have felt both hiccups and Braxton Hicks contractions this week. I’m not entirely sure, but twice I have felt what feels like little thumps about every half second that go on way too long to be a random baby movement. They are way deep down in me, so I really hope that means he’s head down! He’s done a few episodes of crazy movements this week – a few that Matt was able to witness! I sure hope I can catch these on camera sometime!

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Until recently, I wondered if I had felt any Braxton Hicks. I’ve heard that even though your uterus starts practicing them pretty early on, some women never notice them. But what I have noticed is that sometimes my uterus is harder than others. Sometimes it’s all soft and mushy and other times it’s much, much firmer. It’s often firm when I’m walking and I’ve wondered if that’s just my abs flexing or if I’m having some kind of contractions. A few times at night I have woken up to a really hard uterus too – perhaps that’s it? I’m still not really sure, but I am glad they are painless and not too frequent. I cannot wait to feel what a REAL contraction is like!!

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My back is still doing great. Sleeping is OK. No signs of heartburn, leg cramps or anything else weird. In fact, I probably feel the best I’ve felt my whole pregnancy right now!

A small issue is that I’ve been stretching in weird ways when I wake up and am still half asleep – arching my back and really pushing out my abs, which already feel like they’re going to tear! My abs have cramped a few times and it’s very unpleasant, but I don’t know how to tell my sleeping self not to do this!

But I guess I’m thankful I’m still a sleeping self : )

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29 Weeks: Dream On

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This week my age matches the number of weeks I’ve been pregnant! (Well technically I’ve been pregnant for 27 of those weeks since the first two are just back tracked, but who is counting!?) It really feels like I JUST found out I was pregnant, and when I think about the amount of time that has passed, I really find it hard to believe. That said, I still don’t believe it’s JUNE. Feels like March. I feel a bit like I’m living in a dream.

29 weeks (7)

I am absolutely loving the baby movements now. He seems to be the most active at night! After dinner, it’s like he gets a dose of energy and becomes nocturnal. The other night I told Matt to put his hands on either side of my stomach and the baby went CRAZY – bouncing back and forth. It’s kind of hard to believe! I can also feel slight shifts in his weight in there – a little swim from the left side to right – as well as bigger, more dramatic shifts that you can see from the outside and of course the lovely big kicks/nudges he does. I think I am feeling his little backside sometimes when a part of my stomach gets really hard and heavy – it feels like a baby’s bottom! By far my favorite movement, though, is when a limb comes to the surface and I get to play with it! Sometimes these are whole limbs. It makes him seem the most real. Sometimes they even hurt a little – bone is hard! This is where I always feel it:

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One day this week I hadn’t felt him move in a while and wondered what he was doing, so I lifted up my bump and put it back down and he lurched!! I think he was sleeping and I woke him up. It was the most direct interaction I’ve had yet.

29 weeks (8)

I’m amazed at how much my bump changes not only morning to night but day to day. After both of my trips, I must have come home with water weight because I felt huge, but then within a few days I felt much smaller. And one day I sucked in and swore I looked like I was back at 16 weeks. Crazy! I think it depends not only on how much water weight I’m carrying but his position as well.

29 weeks (6)

 

Physically I’ve been feeling great. My back pain is nearly all gone, and even the hip aches have lessened a bit this week. I have yet to experience heartburn or having to pee at night 10x. However, earlier this week and at the end of 28 weeks, insomnia kicked in. I would wake up in the middle of the night totally wired and awake – a few times lasting hours. After talking to my doula about this, she suggested almonds before bed to help control my blood sugar a bit better and keep me from waking up due to hunger. I’ve been snacking on 10-20 almonds after I read in bed for a while and magically, I’m sleeping through the night again. It could have just been a phase, so I’ll have to skip them soon and see if I sleep restlessly again.

[Note if I had taken these at 9pm my stomach would be about 25% bigger!]

29 weeks (1)

This was the first week at yoga I said “I don’t think I’m having any bad symptoms this week!” Knock on wood, things are going great right now physically. Just focusing on all those kicks!

Next week = Big Mama Week!

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28 Weeks: Two Kicks At The Same Time

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[Title a play on Office Space – heh heh!]

I’ve started to notice that some of my kicks are felt at both ends of my torso – suggesting that maybe he’s pushing on one side with his feet and his head is bouncing on the other end! He is getting LONG! It can’t be foot and foot, so it has to be two other kinds of body part! I get most of my kicks on the right side, just under my ribs, so hopefully that means he’s still head down-ish. I also had SO much fun playing with his foot in the middle of the night this week. I’d poke it and it would squirm and we must have done that 10 times! I just love feeling the body parts : )

One unexpected change this week: I’m getting wider! Not so much in pure weight gain way, but a structural way. I think the width of my uterus is going beyond my ribs and I feel like a barrel! Some women look pregnant from the back and others you can’t tell at all, but my guess is I’m going to get wider before this is all over. A slightly unpleasant side effect of this widening (I think my hips are wider too!) is that some of my clothes don’t fit as well as they used to – particularly my favorite first trimester maternity low-band jeans. And a few of my athletic shorts. I wonder if the widening has to do with the horrible chest pain I had in the middle of the night on my trip to Seattle this week?

Excerpt of the event:

I woke up this morning, tried to roll over and was paralyzed by a sharp, tearing, popping nerve-like pain in my upper abs – just under my ribcage. I’m telling you, when pregnant you just never know what your body is going to do next! The pain was gone in an instant and the spot is just slightly sore now. After some 5:30am research, I think it’s either muscle or nerve stretching/compression related to having a small torso, going through a growth spurt (my belly button looks weird overnight!), possible ab separation (which is apparently very common) and standing too much yesterday.

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I have also noticed a new level of inability to bend over. Trying to reach my carry on bag on my flights this week was hard, and tying my shoes is even harder!! I’ve started tying them on the sides – since it’s hard to reach without holding my breath otherwise. Lastly, I normally get dressed standing up (one foot in shorts, other foot in shorts) but I’ve noticed that even this is becoming a challenge. I think it’s a combination of bendability and center of gravity shift. Sitting down to put on my clothes is annoying, but it’s probably my best option from here on out (don’t want to be falling over and getting stuck in my shorts!)

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I’ve developed the lovely habit of rubbing my belly. I now know why women do this – it’s because I think the baby can feel it! I want him to know I’m there, and rubbing him makes me smile. I don’t really know if he can feel me or not (probably only when I poke him!) but I like to think he is comforted by the rubs.

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Similar to the rubbing, sometimes I like to just hug my belly! It really feels like I’m hugging him. This is hard to describe, but for so long I felt like the baby was just a floating organ in me – part of me. I now feel like he is his own person and he’s just sitting on the other side of this human wall. If only skin were clear we could start playing together! I really want to know what he does in there all day long. I like to pretend he has a schedule “First I’m going to take a nap, and then at 9pm, I’m going to wake up and do my stretching exercises, and then perhaps an amniotic fluid snack!”

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Both Matt and I agreed that we are mentally picturing him like he is ready to come out. Obviously we want him to stay in for another 12 weeks, but we picture him as a real little baby, just waiting on the other side rather than a tiny wrinkled 28-week old (although I hear his fat is filling in now!). I can’t even imagine how much bigger I’m going to get before he is really a full-term little baby!

[Note how much more my stomach sticks out when I put my hands behind me and my posture changes!]

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My biggest downs this week are still lots of glut muscle ache, mostly at night, and mostly in my home bed! Perhaps the mattress is too squishy here. It’s not sharp painful like my back was, but more of a dull bothersome tired ache that needs immediate stretching. Like a headache that won’t go away. My SI joint is feeling great – perhaps from the vacation! And that tearing, muscle pain – my doctor said was my upper abs separating and totally normal and my doula says is my fascia pinching a nerve. I’m more inclined to believe it’s fascia since it was an electric nerve zing and not so much a muscle pain. She told me to stretch my chest open frequently and not to hunch over – which is what I had done the entire flight the day before the nighttime pain happened – as that tends to make it worse.

30 weeks is just around the corner….and I can’t even believe it.

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27 Weeks: The Final Third

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Third trimester is here! Just 13 weeks to go. Sounds like no time at all – until I remember that’s three months +! And that I have the entire summer in front of me : ) But I’m sure it’s going to fly by because it already is! I used to count every day of every week: “17+1, 17+2, 17+3” but now I am sometimes even forgetting what week I am in. A sign time is speeding up.

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By far the biggest “news” this week is something I debated writing about, but I feel other women should be prepared to expect this: my boobs are leaking big time!! Well it’s not all that much – I don’t need breast pads or anything – but it happens frequently! I noticed some colostrum weeks ago, but it has gradually increased frequency of release. The weirdest new thing is that I’ve started to be able to predict when it’s happening. My nipples get a tingle/sharp/tightening/almost-needle-like sensation (it’s not all that pleasant) and I’ve peeked down to notice that there are indeed some drops coming out when this happens. Is this let down? So far I’m just so fascinated with it that it’s not a bother – I hope it doesn’t start to really leak too much in the weeks to come! I’m not ready for breast pads yet. A lot of people have commented on the veins in my chest, so I guess it’s not much of a secret that they are going to produce milk someday : )

On the bump front, it’s growing! A new feeling is that I feel as if my lower ribs are sitting on top of a basketball in there.  Sometimes I feel like I have to re-adjust my ribs to take the pressure off. Bending over is getting increasingly hard to do too. I’m scared to bend over too much – what if I crush him!

I think I mentioned before that I have one of the deepest belly buttons in history. I’ve never seen the bottom. Well I THINK I can see the bottom now. I wonder if it will turn into an outie before I’m done growing!? That would be cool! Also that chicken pox scar that started way inside is now not even in my belly button. It’s on my stomach. So things are definitely pushing outward.

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The movements are now totally FUN and really exciting at times! They have moved beyond kicks all day long and into the “that was a limb” phase. The other night I was lying on my side and felt a knobby limb come poking out the top. I put my fingers on it and could kind of interact with him. Matt was able to feel it too (Father quote: “That is what I’ve been waiting months to feel!”) Really cool. Little guy is also pretty wild in there at times and sometimes my stomach looks like a ping pong ball going back and forth. A few of the movements have almost hurt they were so strong!

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On the symptom front, I think I have just now approached the bladder compression stage. I don’t really have to pee all the time, but on several of my walks I will go right before I leave and have to go again not 5 minutes after I’m out the door. I have to go the whole walk and when I get home – not much even comes out! I guess it’s just getting a bit squished in there.

Ever since our beach trip, my SI joint hasn’t hurt at all. For the short term I’m blaming Body Pump squats and am going to modify those for a while. I’m so thankful that pain is gone. My hip muscle tiredness isn’t too bad either (only some mornings when I first get up).

My biggest complaint right now is probably that sudden movements like sneezes or rolling over in bed can sometimes really hurt my abs/ligaments – almost like a spasm or cramp. This isn’t really new, but they’ve gotten stronger if I move too fast. Probably one of the reasons why pregnant women seem to take so long to change positions! If I move too fast I never know what my body might do….

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Loving having a bump !

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27 Weeks: Saturday Snapshots

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Beach bum’s bump balloons!

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One trimester to go until After!*

*Although I’m sure I’ll wait a year to show photos of my post-baby bod in a bikini : )

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26 Weeks: Bump At The Beach

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26 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wheeee!! Every Friday feels like a birthday. It’s my turnover day and when I woke up this past week and thought “my baby is 26 weeks!” it was the same exciting feeling as 10.26 is every year.

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As I start the 27th week, a few of my apps have put me in the third trimester already. But I think mentally I’m going to count it at 27 weeks – just a few days to go. I really feel like actually having the baby is not too far away…!

I’m feelin’ pretty huge this week – I think I went through a growth spurt!

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It’s been weird showing my big stomach at the beach, but also it’s pretty liberating. A totally different bikini experience than I’m used to. My stomach may be big, but it’s firm and set in its place, and I feel like people can pretty much tell I’m pregnant. (At least I hope!)

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The baby is moving all of the time and all over the place! Remember how I said he did feel a little bit like an alien? That has all changed and now he feels like a baby in there! I feel like I have company with me at all times – in the best way : ) I feel like he’s always trying to communicate with me when he moves and let me know he’s in there.

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I’ve started to really be able to notice a difference in the movements – some are obviously little limbs poking out and others are bigger backsides. I have even felt him step on my hand a few times! I feel the movements most clearly on my sides – especially if I lie on my side too. He’s definitely getting stronger in there!

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I’m feelin’ really good overall this week. No nausea, energy is good, and my back is better!!! No idea how or why.

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My biggest complaint is now HIP muscle pain. I think this might have to do with sleeping with my knee on a pillow – almost like my hip/glute is flexed all night and exhausted in the morning? Last night I slept mostly on my right side and my left hip was really sore all morning. If I switch sides, it’s the other side.

Luckily our doula gave us a fabulous stretch that feels amazing on the hips and glutes. It’s called the side release and Spinning Babies says it’s more for the pelvic floor than the hips, but it gives me amazing instant pain-free hips. We did the stretch around noon today and all of my hip/muscle pain disappeared.

My doula also told me that I should relax my abs more. I don’t spend too much energy holding my core in when I stand, but apparently I hold my abs pretty tight. She encouraged me to “just let it all out” more often and make more space for the baby to move around and things to fall into place. It’s called “making your stomach a hammock for the baby” and it’s also recommended to do this on all fours for the ultimate hammock (esp. just before labor!) It’s kind of strange doing it, but I do think it makes sense to vary my stomach positions throughout the day.

Normal vs. pushing it all out

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Another new symptom: tingly feet! It’s like a very brief pins and needles and only lasts a split second, often when I stand up, sit down or hit my feet against something. I don’t think it’s anything blood-related like the vena cava compression – just something funky going on with nerves in my feet, likely from changing structures. Not too bad of a symptom though.

I’ve also noticed I don’t want to eat nearly as much as I used to. I’m rarely interested in seconds and sometimes can’t even finish my dinner. Not because I’m too stuffed, surprisingly, but because I just don’t want to keep eating the same flavor and my mouth gets tired of it. It’s a very odd sensation!

Rolling over at night is also pretty hard, but I’ve discovered if I go under (swing the bump under me in a plank) rather than over it’s a bit easier on my stretching abs. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to go under though!

It was fun having Matt around while I took my photos this week!! He’s usually at work. So I hear…the baby can hear us now!

Listen

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25 Weeks: Stretch + Grow

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25 weeks doesn’t seem that far along to me, but when I think that I’ll be in the 30s in just over a month, it feels like there’s not that much time left! Of course you do spend a lot of time in the 30s, but it still sounds so advanced!

Remember how last week I said I felt like my stomach was still flat? Totally turn around. It’s started to get in the way now, and when I lean against things or look down, I’m not surprised to see a big bump.

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In fact, it’s getting HEAVY! When I’m tired, I sometimes pick it up like so:

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It’s only going to get heavier and heavier too! I’ve worn a belly band a few times when I got particularly tired, but my chiropractor warned against wearing it too much or the important muscles I do need to hold up my stomach when I’m not wearing it might weaken.

I’ve been feeling lots of movements – a few that actually felt like LIMBS! It was like he was juuuust on the other side of my muscles and pushing his foot right out into my hand. So weird when it feels so small and real! Generally the movements still feel like twitches in there, although sometimes I get a real “humany” one Smile

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I’ve felt more tired lately – on and off. And my body literally feels like all the screws in my pelvis are loose! Sometimes I wonder if my pelvis and lower back joints are just going to fall open and I’ll split in two. I think it’s too early for relaxin, so maybe it’s just the weight shifting to the front that is causing all of this. I’m still having SI joint pain – some proactive things I’ve done on that for another focused post. I just don’t think I can do as much physically as I used to.

Right and left!

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Matt said that he’s noticed more people looking my way when we’re out and about. Not really staring in a mean way, but just that my stomach is turning heads. I guess people find pregnancy exciting and interesting! I certainly seem to notice all the pregnant women more often now! I have strangers ask me when I’m due all the time now, so I think it’s pretty obvious from the outside – probably even more in real life than photos because roundness is more evident in 3D. Maybe I’m due for a video soon?

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I think it’s sooo cute to imagine him in there doing baby things – taking naps, drinking some amniotic fluid, stretching or kicking his feet. I like to think he’s already on a schedule since he’s almost always very active in the evenings. Cuteness!!

26 weeks….here I come!

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No Woman No Cry

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