Moving Right Along: Week 21

This was overall a pretty good week and it went by quickly. Having real maternity trousers is great, and while I can still wear a lot of my non-maternity tops, they are getting tight and it doesn’t look great, plus I don’t want to stretch them all out. But I also don’t want to spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe. Depending on what I wear, some days I feel like I look normal, some days kind of fat, and other days I feel like I really look preggo.

Case in point:

week 21 bump.jpg

In fairness, I always thought that dress clung in such a way that I looked kind of pregnant even before, but when I wore this to work on Thursday I was like, whoa, I really look preggers. Also, I notice that my bump definitely grows throughout the day so it looks bigger at night, I guess after I’ve filled up on food and water all day.

Workouts were all pretty good this week, though I am definitely more conscious of the belly and noticed that I often have this sense of fullness and tightness in my belly, like I just ate even if I didn’t. It’s not painful or bothersome, just a sense of awareness.

I tried one more pregnancy yoga class, only because the studio owner assured me that it was a “real” yoga class with an actual workout involved. Let’s just say that’s not at all how I found it. The instructor was really sweet but the class was just too slow and gentle for me. I’m sympathetic to the other women in the class, who were much further along than I am and also didn’t seem like they had done much yoga before. Maybe when I am huge some gentle stretching will be the most yoga I can handle. But since I’m currently feeling pretty good, I spent most the class annoyed that I wasted my time and money there. Never again.

Generally, I’ve found during pregnancy that I don’t like being treated like a fragile little flower. If I need to rest, I will, and I certainly have been taking it much easier than usual and being cautious. But since I am healthy and in good shape generally, I really don’t go in for the attitude that just because I am pregnant I am incapacitated. I understand people are trying to be nice and coming from a place of caring, so I am appreciative of the good intentions. But I thrive off a challenge more than being coddled, personally, and I know my limits well enough to know when I need to take it easy.

On the other hand, I have gotten into some mindfulness stuff and self-care routines in pregnancy. First, I’ve been reading this book, Mindful Hypnobirthing: Hypnosis and Mindfulness Techniques for a Calm and Confident Birth by Sophie Fletcher:

mindful-hypnobirthing

I really like it; at first I thought hypnosis was way too out there for me (and it is) but this really isn’t about full-on hypnosis as it is really just about mindfulness and positivity and having a healthy, natural birth. Ideally, I would love to have a natural birth with no intervention, but if there are any complications or if the pain is just too much, I am definitely okay with an epidural or any other interventions that may be medically necessary for the health of the baby and me.

But, if possible, I like I the idea of a natural birth and this book has been great about focusing on mindfulness, breathing, positivity, setting visuals and mantras for the ideal birth scenario, etc. I believe in being prepared, and a lot of the philosophy here is very similar to what I encounter in yoga classes or while marathon training. I believe in the power of positive thinking, visualizations and aligning the breath with the body to achieve what you want, just as I would in trying to breathe through a difficult yoga pose or get through a 20-mile training run. Overall, I enjoy reading the book because I find it empowering.

My other self-care ritual has been applying oils nightly before bed, and occasionally in the morning if I have time. I don’t have stretch marks yet but I like putting on various oils in an attempt to help limit future stretch marks and generally ward off dry skin, plus I enjoy the ritual and scent. I use a variation of coconut oil, vitamin E oil, rosehip oil and some argan oil with lavender that I bought in Morocco last year, and really enjoy it.

rosehip-oil

I’ve always been into natural beauty products and household products, but since becoming pregnant, I’ve been even more focused on using natural botanical products where possible and avoiding harsh or questionable chemicals, for the health of both me and the baby.

Week 21 Summary

Baby Size

Banana

Symptoms

  • Every day I have the little movements, especially when I am sitting still or laying down, which I find so reassuring
  • Occasional yucky feelings but totally manageable
  • Often pretty hungry, and trying to find the right balance of eating what I want but not overdoing it with the “eating for two” idea. So far I think I am doing okay with that.

Feelings

Starting to think about what we’ll need to buy and how to get organized, but not stressing yet. Glad I am still feeling good physically so far.

Workouts

  • Runs: three run/walk interval sessions of 30-40 minutes each; two felt great but on the third I mostly walked more than actually ran.
  • Walks: two good walks of about 35-40 minutes each.
  • Strength/Cross Train: one barre class which was a lot harder than I expected but I did like it; one pregnancy yoga class; one awesome spin class; a 15 min yoga video at home. I think I’ll do more of these home yoga videos, it’s a nice quick thing to do in the morning and get some stretching, something I never feel like I do enough. My hips in particular always feel tight from sitting at a desk all day.

Weight Gain

Up 10 pounds total from baseline. Definitely feeling in the in-between fat stage, ready to look obviously pregnant but I know I’ve still got plenty of time.

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