While I don’t really plan on changing a whole lot around here while I’m pregnant (still expect lots of healthy recipes, printables and general life musings), this blog has always been about what’s big in my life right now, and I figure bringing a little Johnston into the world is pretty much as big as they come (well, at least, to us). I want to share it with you guys! Plus, I think having (or at least trying to have) a healthy pregnancy is definitely a part of the moderate lifestyle I try to live and preach.
Alright, let’s talk about my pregnancy so far (and answer some question you guys had). Sorry for the length of this post, I’ve been holding in a lot of info for the past few months!
How far along are you? As of today, I am 17 weeks, 4 days pregnant. Which makes me due on June 8, 2014 (which just happens to be my Mama’s birthday). I was actually due later in the month, but I had an ultrasound in my first trimester and the little peanut is measuring ahead of schedule so they moved me up. I’m a June baby, and I always loved having a summer birthday (pool parties!), so I’m excited that our kid gets to have that same experience.
How’s your weight/body changed? Well, my weight has been a bit of a roller coaster. I dropped about 12 pounds during the first trimester thanks to morning sickness (which sounds extreme, but isn’t actually all that uncommon for bigger women). But I slowly got the hang of at least managing my morning sickness and keeping food down, and I quickly gained that back, and right now, I sit at two pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. The crazy thing is, that even though I haven’t had much of a weight change (two pounds on this tall, big frame is nothing), my body is totally different. I had to move into maternity clothes back in November because I could no longer button anything and my shirts no longer stayed put over my tummy. The changing of your body starts early. My hips are widening and my tummy is growing—even without much of a weight change.
Belly pics, please! Okay, so the state of the belly is funny. I always thought that because I’m a big girl, with a big ole belly, that I wouldn’t “show” that I was pregnant until my eighth month or something, but just the opposite has happened. Because I have that big ole belly on top of a pregnant belly, it basically looks like I’m seven months pregnant even though I’m only just over four months (and yes, there is just one baby in there). It’s totally crazy, especially when you take into account that I’ve only gained two pounds.
There was definitely no tiny-baby-bump thing going on. I basically went from looking like my normal self to looking mega-pregnant overnight a few weeks ago. Which I’m not hating. It means people give me more space in the grocery store, people hold the door for me, and I never had any of that awkward in-between-clothes time. My regular pants just stopped fitting one day, and I moved to maternity clothes. I bought a pair of jeans, a pair of cords, a pair of leggings and a few maternity tops and I hope those will get me through until the really warm weather hits in the Spring. In related news, I may never give up maternity pants. Why don’t people wear these all the time? Especially people with round bellies. They look like regular pants, but they feel like pajamas! Maternity pants rock.
Side note: not sure why making crazy faces and pointing to my belly is my default pregnancy pose. I promise I’ll take some less ridiculous photos in the future.
How have you been feeling physically? Uh, not so hot. Name a nasty, uncomfortable symptom of pregnancy, and I have it (and still have it, even though I’m solidly in my second trimester now). All-day morning sickness—check. Lots of puking—check. Hormonal migraines—check. Sinus infections—check. Joint pain—check. Crushing fatigue—check. Food aversions—check. Insomnia—check. I’ve been told there are some women who feel great during pregnancy, and boy, I am not one of them. It feels wrong to complain about pregnancy when I know there are so many women who would love to feel what I’m feeling, but the truth is, pregnancy ain’t my favorite thing I’ve ever done. Everyone keeps telling me I should feel better any day now that I’m out of my first trimester, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
The good news? I’m told that having such wretched symptoms (especially the unrelenting morning sickness) is actually a good sign that baby is rocking it in the belly. So every time I find myself hugging the toilet, I try to think, “This is a good thing. This is a good thing. This is a good thing.”
On a related note, I am so very, very thankful to work from home. You mamas who went through rough pregnancies working full-time (or more, and taking care of kids, family, etc.) are my friggin’ heroes. I feel so fortunate that if I’m having a really bad day, and that bad day happens to be a Tuesday, I can crawl up in bed and watch a bunch of crappy daytime TV. Granted, it might mean that I have to do work when insomnia hits at 3am on Sunday, but still, having the flexibility to work around how I feel has been an absolute blessing.
How have you been feeling mentally? Remarkably calm about the whole thing. I always thought I’d be super giddy and crazy when I found out I was expecting, but it hasn’t been that way. I’m excited, don’t get me wrong, but it’s more of a secret smile kind of excited. It just feels…right. If that makes any sense. Craig has mentioned feeling the same way, too. Just feeling…complete. Honestly, this is how all the big decisions in my life have felt. I always think I’m going to be giddy, but when the time comes, it’s more like puzzle pieces slowly fitting together than some big whizz-bang emotional explosion.
What I am really, crazy excited for—I’m so looking forward to being a parent and raising a child with Craig. We both had such great childhoods, and I’m excited to be able to give that to our little guy or gal, too. I cannot wait to see how good of a Dad my husband is going to be (he’ll be amazing). I know a lot of women get excited about the pregnancy part of this process, but I’m over pregnancy and it’s symptoms. I haven’t enjoyed it, so I’m instead focusing on how amazing it’s going to be to meet our son or daughter. I’ve found myself ignoring the stack of pregnancy books I have, and instead focusing on reading as much as I can about being a parent. I know nothing will prepare you for having your first child, but educating myself about parenthood feels like a better way to spend my quickly-dwindling alone time than fretting about if I should eat brie or not (let’s not get into any pregnancy food debates, k?).
What have you been craving? Cravings are something I have yet to experience. Food in general is not on my list of favorite things right now. The closest thing I have to cravings are when I hear of a food, and I think “Oh, that actually sounds like I could eat it without throwing up.” And I usually rush to eat it, because that feeling almost always passes. I’ve been eating a lot of soups, frozen pizzas, Greek yogurt, eggs, frozen burritos, most raw veggies, cheese, oatmeal and fruit. My midwife basically told me that if I can find something that sounds edible, I should eat it. So I’ve also been partaking in the occasional bag of chips with queso, Rally’s hamburger and bowl of mac and cheese. Oh, and drinking a lot of different beverages (cranberry juice, orange juice, natural colas, sparkling waters, milk, Gatorade, chocolate milk) because I have another fun pregnancy symptom—dysgeusia—where your mouth tastes like metal all the time. Drinking things is the only thing that gives me some relief.
What are your food aversions? Oh, everything, pretty much. There isn’t really a lot that sounds edible, but there are some foods that are totally blacklisted from our house because just the thought of them makes me run to the bathroom. The biggest are onions, garlic and green peppers (ugh, just typing that made me gag). Once they are cooked and hidden in a food (like soup), I’m okay, but if I can taste or smell them individually? Blech. Which makes cooking really, really hard—and is part of the reason why Wholefully went dark for so many weeks back in October/November. When I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, I actually had to plug my nose with tissues so I couldn’t smell the onion and garlic that I was putting in the turkey. And there was also a nearly catastrophic grocery shopping trip where I leaned over to pick a cucumber out of the bin without realizing the garlic was directly above it. I got a big whiff and it took all my willpower and ab muscles to not have my lunch vacated all over the produce aisle. Other no-no foods: leafy greens of any sort, whole grains of any sort (give me white bread or give me death), hot dogs/sausages (you have no idea how many TV shows and movies reference hot dogs).
How have your workouts been? Mostly nonexistent. There were some seriously dark weeks during my first trimester where the entirety of my workout was rolling over in bed, but by the start of my second trimester, I finally had enough energy back to at least get on the treadmill and walk (slooowwwly) for 15 minutes at a time. I’m now up to walking (less slowly, but still snail-like) 30-40 minutes on the treadmill every now and again. And let me tell you, it wears. me. out. It’s laughable that I once was able to run a half marathon. I’ve been told by other ladies who’ve been pregnant that working out helped make their fatigue and morning sickness better, but I’ve yet to experience that. But I keep up with the walking because I know it’s good for both Mama and baby.
How did you find out/tell Craig? The typical way, I suppose. My period was a few days late, which normally wouldn’t have put up any red flags, but combined with the daily queasiness I was feeling (yes, my morning sickness started at four weeks), I figured it couldn’t hurt to take a test. I ran out to CVS, picked up a test, took it and it lit up like a Christmas tree. How’d I tell Craig? Well, he was standing right next to me when I flipped the test over. It was nice that we found out together! We hugged, both got a little teary eyed, sat back on the bed next to each other and said, “Wow.” And tried to let it sink in.
Were you trying? Oh, this question. I never know how to answer this question. Were we trying as in I was charting my cycles and had a box of three dozen pregnancy test strips just waiting in the bathroom for every morning? No. But we’d always talked about having kids when I turned 30. We both are educated adults who know how babies are made. And we weren’t doing anything to stop those babies from being made. So, yes, I suppose we were trying, but it was…uh…organic. It wasn’t a total surprise, let’s put it that way. I feel incredibly blessed that conceiving was easy for us, I know that isn’t the case for a lot of couples, and I can’t imagine the pain that comes along with that.
How’d you tell your families? It was a pretty spread out and haphazard process. We were fortunate enough to be heading up to Craig’s hometown in Canada for his brother’s wedding in early November (when I was eight weeks), and while we would have preferred to wait a little bit later in the pregnancy to spread the news, we couldn’t pass the opportunity to tell all his family in person. We had a family dinner the first night there, and Craig just announced it to everyone at the dinner table. There were lots of hugs and tears—I’m so glad we got to do it in person! It felt nice to tell a whole chunk of our family, plus my sister-in-law and her sister were both pregnant at that time too, so having some ladies to commiserate with made me feel better.
With my family, our plan was to wait until our family Christmas celebration, which would have made me right at 12 weeks, but that didn’t quite pan out. First of all, I was so sick and I see my parents so often (if you don’t know, they live 1/4 mile from us), that if we didn’t tell them what was really up, I was afraid they were going to think something was really wrong with me. Your Mom can only see you laying on the couch so many times looking miserable before she knows something is up. So we managed to hold out until Thanksgiving. We had just had an ultrasound a few days before, so a few minutes after my parents walked in the door, I just handed them an envelope with the photos and said, “Oh, I have something you should see.” all nonchalant like. It took a few seconds to register after they opened the envelope, but once it did, there were lots more hugs and tears. They are very pumped. This will be their eighth grandchild, but it’s been a while since there’s been a baby in the family, and they’ve never had one that lives so close by!
With the rest of my family (I have two sisters and a brother, plus their families), the plan was to still tell them at our family Christmas, but last-minute, that celebration ended up falling through because of all kinds of scheduling issues. It gets really hard to get 17 people in the same room! We actually didn’t get a chance to see my siblings or their families at all over the holidays. So we had to come up with plan B—I made little bird ornaments for each of them, packed them in boxes along with the picture of Craig and I holding the ultrasound (the same one from my announcement here).
And then my parents delivered them to my sister and brother on Christmas morning, and we shipped one out to my other sister (who lives in Oregon) to open. It was the best way we could figure out to where everyone would find out at roughly the same time, but still do something more meaningful than just a phone call. Plus, it makes me happy that we all have this same ornament on our trees all across the country (I made one for us and my parents, too).
Have any labor and delivery plans yet? My general life philosophy is to follow the middle path, and that isn’t changing with pregnancy. We have an amazing office of midwives and OBs that we are seeing (we will stay with the midwives if the pregnancy is low-risk and stays normal, the OBs are there for backup if something changes). And I will be giving birth in a birthing center that is connected to a major hospital. We haven’t done a ton of thinking about the birth itself, but our general philosophy is going to be that, for the most part, the body knows what it is doing, but there is nothing wrong with using medical intervention if it’s necessary. I know a lot of folks feel very strongly one way or the other about birth, but this middle path philosophy is what makes us the most comfortable. I’ve always felt like a combination of traditional and modern medicine works the best for me, so that’s probably what I’ll stick to throughout my pregnancy. To sum up the whole of my birth plan so far: have a healthy baby.
Will you find out the sex? When? Have any guesses? We have our anatomy scan at the end of this month, and if the baby cooperates, we definitely want to know. As far as guesses, pretty much from the time I flipped the test over, I’ve been picturing a baby boy (as has Craig), but I’m trying to keep my mind open in case our hunches are totally wrong. We’d be thrilled with either, but definitely surprised if it is a girl. Granted, no one has ever accused me of being clairvoyant, so it could go either way.
Have you done anything to get ready for baby? Picked out names? Started the nursery? During the first trimester, I kept saying that I would like to wait to do all of this when I got the sudden rush of energy in the second trimester that everyone kept talking about. But since I’m not sure that’s ever going to come (and since the holidays are now over), we’ve slowly started to accomplish a few things. We’ve tossed a few names around, but we’re mostly waiting to have the serious name talks until we know the sex. As far as the nursery, we know which room it’s going in, and we know a general idea of what we want it to look like (and we started looking at paint chips), but we haven’t done much beyond that. Craig did start clearing out the room this week (it was our old office) and removed the popcorn ceiling. And we’ve had some friends and family buying us goodies (toys, onesies, books!). One thing we did do to prepare: we started a college fund the day I tested positive. It’s never too early, kids.
Okay, so I think that gets you all up-to-date on just about everything pregnancy related. Phew, that was a lot of typing! If you made it through that whole thing, you deserve a cookie.
Make sure you guys come back tomorrow because I have another crazy long post for you, but this one has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy. It’s all about a new menu-planning series I’ve been working on! I’m super excited about it, and hope you guys like it!