Foxlet: Weeks 23 – 25

Hihi! Wow, I’m definitely overdue for an update! Time is really starting to fly — I feel like I’m staring down the barrel of my third trimester, and things keep moving more and more quickly. I spent last week in Atlanta with my also-pregnant sister, getting to see my beautiful nieces and going on what we dubbed our #sistermoon!

Basically, we booked ourselves an overnight stay at a fancy spa, ate some fancy meals, and spent some serious QT together. It was pretty great! Of course, the actual pregnancy pampering stuff was only a small part of my visit — I spent the rest of the time partying with my awesome nieces and scaring people away with how white my belly is, ahaha:

 

I also got to attend Mia’s very first dance recital! She was a little rockstar, and I got to experience what it must be like to be a pageant mom by loading up a 4-year-old with makeup and a sock bun.

It was a great trip, though one that ended a little more bittersweetly than usual when I realized that it might be the last time I see my nieces for quite a while! I’ll get to see my sister again in a few weeks when she comes up for my baby shower, but I might not see the girls until Christmas! Which, yes, okay, I realize isn’t really that far away, but given that I’m accustomed to getting to see them pretty much every other month, it certainly feels like eons. Although Sean pointed out that I miiiiiight have a few other things on my mind in the interim anyway, so maybe it really will seem like no time at all, lol.

And speaking of those other things, on with the Foxlet update?

Foxlet’s Size: At 25 weeks (today!), she is apparently the size of a myriad of different fruits: cantaloupe, rutabaga, acorn squash? Take your pick. She’s also apparently the size of a baseball mitt, which seems ginormous!

Weight Gained: I have officially gained another pound, which brings me back up to 7 pounds below my “starting” weight.

Symptoms: The past few weeks have been good on the food/nausea front (thank goodness!) but kind of terrible on the aches & pains front. I’ve been dealing with some pretty harsh SPD, or symphysis pubis dysfunction (also referred to as pelvic girdle pain), which basically means that because my ligaments have gone all loosey goosey to make it easier to, y’now, squeeze a watermelon out of my hoo-haa, the alignment of my pelvis has gotten a little out of whack. It’s very painful to change positions in bed when I’m laying down, and hurts to do things that requires putting weight on one leg (like putting on/taking off pants or getting out of my car.)

I’m also dealing with some heartburn and insomnia, which I’m actually pretty used to since non-pregnant Gretchen had heartburn/acid reflux and don’t really sleep all that well anyway. Both just seem to be popping up a little more frequently is all. Also a symptom lately:

PREGNANCY BRAIN IS SO REAL.

Emotions: LOL, what do you think? After I got back from my trip, I literally cried into Sean’s shirt for like 15 minutes straight over how much I missed him, how I missed the dogs so much, how I wouldn’t see the girls until Christmas… not to mention the fact that every episode of Grey’s Anatomy that I’m rewatching right now turns me into a potential tear-bomb. Basically, if you see me, there’s like a 70% chance I’m either currently crying, just cried, or am about to cry. Just ignore it.

Cravings: Still craving fresh fruit and raw veggies, along with all things sushi-related… le sigh. Cooked rolls are delicious, of course, but they just don’t fill the void that salmon nigiri has left in my life.

Aversions: No real specific or strong aversions have popped back up, so huzzah!

Sleep: As mentioned, I’ve been battling insomnia every few of nights, and have to sleep with like 3849283498 pillows (much to Sean’s delight.) My mom surprise gifted me with a new body pillow though, which I slept with last night and am in looooooorve with.

Purchases: Haven’t made any personal baby-related purchases lately, but I have been extremely fortunate to be the recipient of several gifts lately — including the entire stockpile of baby girl clothes that have lasted my sister through raising two awesome little girls. I brought an entire extra suitcase with me to Atlanta, and was only able to fit like a third of the stuff she’s handing over to me!

I feel super blessed to be able to get so much awesome clothing (granted, much of which I think I bought for Mia & Kira in the first place, lol) and baby stuff. It’s definitely nurturing that nesting feeling, too. I just want to get everything here, put away, and organized in her room. 🙂

In other news: Tomorrow morning I go in for my glucose screening test, which involves me drinking a super sweet drink and then getting my blood drawn an hour later to check and see if I’m at risk for gestational diabetes. Whether or not I could have GD has weighed on me pretty heavily so far this pregnancy, so even though I really hope that I don’t, I’m thinking it’ll be a relief just to know either way. (Well, technically even if I test positive on this screening, it doesn’t necessarily mean I have it for sure, but that I’ll have to undergo an additional, secondary blood test to find out.) So… onward!

 

Foxlet: Weeks 21 + 22

Aloha! Welcome to Week 22!! We had our anatomy scan last week, which was awesome — it was really long and sooooo much fun to see so much of Foxlet in such close detail! The ultrasound tech said that everything looked perfect/normal (the best word you can hear!), and, quelling my last lingering fears that my 16-week elective ultrasound had been wrong, she says Foxlet is definitely a girl.

It’s crazy how much she looks like a, well, real baby now — she has little lips (I saw a cupid’s bow!) and nose and 10 little fingers and 10 little toes… I already can’t wait to meet her! In the meantime, I’ve been pouring all my budding mama-instincts into over-mothering Harry and Daxter instead.

Yep, that’s their new elevated dog bowl set, since my old man Harry (he’s 13!) has been having back problems/arthritis in his hind quarters, and it seems to flare up when he bends down to eat. My babieeeeeeees. <3

Anyway, on with the update, eh?,

Foxlet’s Size: Foxlet is the size of a papaya, a spaghetti squash, or a guinea pig. Which, honestly, seems huge! At my ultrasound last week, they said she was measuring exactly on track for how far along I am, and weighed 15 oz.

Weight Gained: I’m still stickin’ with the status quo — no gains or losses in the past few weeks, and still sitting around 10 pounds down in total (although I’m starting to wonder if I maybe was bloated or whatever when I logged my original pre-pregnancy weight, and that initial huge loss wasn’t really anything. ::shrug::)

Symptoms: Ugh, I got paaaaaaain, man. Nobody talks about how pregnancy, well, hurts! Between the stretching and expanding of my uterus, the boob pain as they grow to monstrous proportions, back pain, and a kind of general ache in my, er, crotchal region, this baby-baking business really isn’t a picnic. TMI? Weeeell, sorry, I’m just trying to prepare you the way nobody did for me!

Foxlet is also kicking and punching the crap out of my organs, which gives me all kinds of feelings. I mean, it’s amazing and reassuring and awesome to feel her inside me and know that she’s strong and doing well, but also totally weird and tbh, sometimes I kind of… hate it? I feel bad saying that, because I know that this life inside of me is a total miracle, and I should be grateful for each twinge and flip (and honestly, I am!), but it’s also a really foreign, alien feeling. Like, I guess I just get uncomfortable sometimes with this very literal reminder that there’s a human being in there.

On the bright side symptom-wise, my appetite is back and I actually get hungry these days! Of course, my uterus must be cramping up on my stomach because I can only eat so much in a sitting, but hey, I’ll take it! I mean, getting to enjoy food again is a really nice change of pace in my pregnancy.

Emotions: Pregnant Chicken posted an alarmingly accurate (and also hilarious) list of reasons why pregnant women cry, and it’s pretty much my actual life:

 
I mean, the other day, after begging Sean to go to Chipotle for lunch, eagerly watching my order get made, and being super excited to eat it, I started crying because the second I stuck my fork into my burrito bowl, I didn’t want it anymore. Also, this video that I saw making its way around Facebook on Mother’s Day had me BAWLING for, oh man, I don’t even know how long. Watch at your own risk:

Cravings: My Hot Pocket craving has been replaced with Jimmy Dean Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches. Yes, it is very specific. They are delicious. I eat one every single morning.

Aversions: Nothing specific right now, incredibly! I actually ate pizza for the first time in like 5 1/2 months this past week, and other than still having trouble figuring out what I want to eat in general, nothing seems to terrible to me right now. I’m sure that will change quickly, but huzzah for the meantime!

Sleep: Le sigh. Sleep has been absolutely TERRIBLEEEEE lately. Insomnia, unable to get comfortable, having to sleep with 19293825834 pillows, being hyper-sensitive to all noise (including Harry’s nightly ritual of licking himself, ughhhhhhh), and waking up a bunch in the night. I’m hoping this is just a temporary symptom because I neeeeeeds to sleep.

Purchases: I’ve been keeping my promise not to do any window shopping in the baby aisle and it seems to be working! To fill my consumerist void, however, I have been filling my registry with all sorts of fun stuff, heh.

Life Happenings: Sean and I had the pleasure of attending my friend’s wedding in Culpeper a couple weekends ago, where I cried literally the second she started walking down the aisle and got soda-drunk in lieu of partaking in the bar.

Things have also been running full-throttle at work, with a different event every week and some big promos and whatnot in the works. I think I’m trying to cram in as much stuff as possible before I’m even bigger/more exhausted/feeling terrible again, lol. Good thing my job is the besssstttttt so it’s all fun even when there’s a ton going on!

Missing… SUSHIIIIIII. I got partial relief to my deep sushi cravings with some cooked rolls while out at lunch with my coworker, Kimberly, but hot damn do I miss my raw salmon and spicy tuna. Technically, I’ve read that eating raw sushi when pregnant is okay if it’s from a reputable place that you trust, but I guess I just feel like I’ll be too judged/it’s not worth the risk. We’ll see how long my mindset stays that way if the craving continues though!

Looking Forward to… getting our name choices narrowed down! I’ve had a top choice name in mind since long before getting pregnant, but I have a pretty lengthy list of additional names that I really like. I think I want to have something like a Top 3 figured out when I go into labor, and then see what feels right/fits her. I’m way too wishy-washy to fully commit to a name before seeing what she looks like… I just know I’d pull a Rachel from Friends and be all, “That’s not her name!”

I’ve got so much going on this month, I’m really glad that I’m feeling better. Lots of work stuff keeping me busy for this week and next, and then Memorial Day weekend brings another friend’s wedding, plus I’ll be headed back to visit my sister in Atlanta for our #sistermoon! Cheers!

Foxlet: Week 20 (Halfway there!)

Well helloooooo Week 20! We are officially at the halfway point of this pregnancy, which is kind of crazy to think about. On the one hand, it already feels like I’ve been pregnant forever (partially because I found out pretty much as early as one is able to, lol), but on the other, it feels like September’s gonna be here before I know it!

Foxlet’s Size: Foxlet is the size of an artichoke, banana, or a pint of root beer. Mmmm, root beer…

Weight Gained: Holding steady this week; nothing gained, nothing lost.

Symptoms: Nausea is continuing to get better, huzzah! I had a super visceral vomiting reaction to Sean showing me something that had gone bad in the fridge and asking “Do you know what this was?” (recommendation for all husbands/partners/families/roommates of pregnant women: don’t do that.) But other than that one off, I haven’t been throwing up, and my nausea in general seems to finally be lightening up… as long as I keep food in my stomach, that is! If I let myself get too hungry, I get super nauseous and feel terrible, but now that I’ve identified the cause, it’s definitely my own fault when it happens. Which means I can’t really blame the baby anymore, darn.

I’m still experiencing pretty bad round ligament pain though, and what I think is a mild form of pelvic girdle pain. On the bright side, those little maybe-gas-maybe-baby pops and bubbles I was feeling last week? They’re definitely Foxlet rolling around in there! I can feel her multiple times a day now, especially at night or when I’m leaning forward. It’s both totally weird and super awesome at the same time.

Emotions: Less cranky this week than last, and just kind of all-over-the-place-emotional again.

Cravings: Fruuuuuuuit (as always), xiao long bao (soup dumplings), ham & cheese Hot Pockets, and blueberry eggo waffles. I am the healthiest.

Aversions: Hallelujah! I think my red sauce aversion seems to be going away! I successfully ate dishes that had some kind of red sauce not once, but twice this past week! Sean made eggplant parmesan one night at home, and I noshed on some meatballs at Alta Strada when meeting a friend for lunch. Victory at last!

Sleep: It’s been okay this week. It takes me a while to really feel tired, and I get hungry around midnight so my bedtime routine lately has included a late-night snack, lol. I’m really loving the pregnancy wedge pillow I picked up on Amazon shoved under my bump.

Purchases:  So my lesson this week is that I’m not allowed to go into baby stores anymore, because I will buy something. Apparently window shopping just isn’t really a thing for me anymore. Exhibit A:

Also, Sean and I met up with his aunt & uncle who were in town visiting us, and they totally spoiled Foxlet! Not gonna lie, I’m finding that the getting-presents part of being pregnant is pretty great. 😉

Wearing: started busting out the belly bands and I really love how much support they give. Plus I feel like they help round out my bump and makes it look cuter, heh.

Missing… raw fish, man! At my big event on Friday, one of the vendors was serving up these insane poke bowls, while another was serving perfect-looking sashimi, and I wanted both soooooo badly.

Looking Forward to… my Level 2 ultrasound next week! This is the “big” ultrasound where you get to see tons of stuff, they explain all about how the baby is developing, and you find out the sex (unless you’re me, and you elected to find out on your own 4 weeks ago, lol.) I’m super excited to get into all the nitty gritty details of how she’s developing (and to confirm that she really is a girl… juuuust in case).

Foxlet: Week 19

 
Foxlet’s Size: Foxlet is the size of an heirloom tomato according to one app, a mango according to another, and, according to a third, a hot dog! Which feels more than coincidental, considering I’ve eaten a hot dog every day for the past 5 days.

Weight Gained: I think I’ve gained another pound-ish, so I’m slowly edging back up towards my pre-pregnancy weight, yay!

Symptoms: Stiiiiiiiiiill nauseous, but pretty sure it’s continuing to get slowly better, so… yay? (Sigh.) Actual vomiting seems to be down to no more than once a week, and yet, still manages to keep me on my toes (I threw up in the sink while brushing my teeth — a first for me!) My face broke out again a few days ago as well, which is never fun for me.

The main symptom that’s reared its ugly head this past week, however, has been round ligament pain. It’s apparently very normal to feel some pain as Foxlet grows and my uterus expands. Sometimes it feels just kind of like a stretching feeling, and sometimes it’s more of a series of pangs… but the latter is, unfortunately, quite unpleasant. Apparently some women don’t really notice it, but, shockingly, I am not one of those women. On the bright side, it’s a good sign that Foxlet is growing, and is probably dancing/kicking up a storm in there.

I feel like I complain a lot when it comes to my pregnancy symptoms (though in my defense, it does feel like I’m experiencing a disproportionate amount of the bad ones), so to focus on the positive side, my hair seems to be growing faster, and my nails are supah strong!

Emotions: This week I am apparently taking a break from being my usual sobbing, weeping mess, and instead, I’m just crankypants. This past week I’ve been very irritable, and very easily annoyed. I don’t think the nasty weather from the past few days has been helping much… and my crankiness is also probably compounded by the stress of last-minute planning for the huge work event that I have coming up on Friday (my biggest event of the year). Then toss in the fact that I’m not very physically comfortable right now, and here we are. At least I’m cognizant of this being outside of the norm for me? And I like to think I’m relatively aware of when I may be overreacting to small annoyances… although I probably am not really that self-perceptive.

Cravings: Still feeling the call of fresh fruit and raw veggies, which is good, because my other recent pregnancy cravings are decidedly less good for me. Namely, hot dogs with lots o’ mustard, and ham & cheese Hot Pockets. Only that kind of Hot Pocket, though. Bring me a pizza-flavored one and watch in horror as I throw up on your shoes.

Aversions: Pizza, pasta, the dipping sauce that comes with Sean’s mozzarella sticks… red sauce is still 100% banned from my life. Aside from that, most foods are fair game… although my lingering nausea means that I still have a hard time deciding what I want to eat, and am still not eating frequently enough.

Sleep: I’ve stopped taking Unisom to help me fall asleep, and finally feel like I can get to sleep and stay asleep on my own. So, hooray! I also feel like I’m sleeping a good amount of hours, and my Fitbit doesn’t seem to indicate that I’m any more restless than usual. But, that being said, I’ve been staying up kind of late and have also been getting hungry super late at night. So, to make myself less likely to puke first thing in the morning, I’ve been getting out of bed to make myself a midnight snack most nights, lol.

Purchases: My sister gave me a Children’s Place gift card for my birthday and I just couldn’t hold off on spending it any longer, hehe. Behold the cuteness and squee:

Wearing: full-panel maternity jeans/shorts and bodycon maternity dresses pretty much exclusively. And loving it.

Missing… I mainly just miss feeling good. There is always at least a couple of hours each day where I feel pretty awful, whether it’s from feeling nauseous, being hungry, being tired, round ligament pain, or whatever combination of the above. But I count it among my blessings that I haven’t really felt super deprived of anything during this pregnancy so far, so that’s a plus for sure!

Looking Forward to… really feeling Foxlet kick! I think I may have felt her a couple of times now, but each time was like a one-off thing and it’s been really inconsistent. It feels kind of like a bubble popping inside of me? So, could be baby… or could be gas, lol.

Foxlet: Week 17 & 18

Helloooooo! So in case you missed last week’s news

We found out that there’s a baby girl growing inside me! Sean and I are both super excited, and extra terrified, hehe. And now we’ve successfully arrived at week 18, so read on if you’re interested in how this little lady (squee!) is doing!

 
Foxlet’s Size: Foxlet is the size of a tall Frappuccino with whipped cream on top! Or, y’know, a bell pepper or an artichoke.

Weight Gained: I don’t even know right now. My weight seems to fluctuate up and down by 2-3 pounds on any given day, and sometimes more than that. I actually kind of freaked out a few days ago because the scale said I’d dropped an additional 5 pounds, which would have brought my overall pregnancy weight loss to almost 20 pounds! And, as I’ve said before, while it’s not uncommon nor a bad thing for me to have lost weight (since I started out overweight), I’m getting to the point where things should probably be evening back out. But since that 5-libbie loss occurred after a night fraught with toilet-hugging, I realize (now, in the light of day and sanity) that it doesn’t count.

If I had to guess based on, I dunno, averages or whatever, I’d venture that I’m like 12-ish pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I think I’m slowly starting to gain my lost pounds back, but I’m still in the red for right now. And I still barely even understand how that’s the case, since hardly any of my non-maternity pants fit anymore and I already feel like a walking stomach.

Symptoms: Dude, I am EIGHTEEN WEEKS and my nausea still hasn’t gone away! I’m starting to get to the point where I’m more pissed about that than anything else. 12 weeks, they said. Then 14 – 16 weeks. Well, heeere we are, and I’m still spending most nights rubbing my belly (in an attempt to quell my nausea, not for good luck.) I’m trying to keep things in perspective and remember that it wasn’t that long ago that I was nauseous literally 24/7, so things really have been getting better, it’s just still not great. I’d say I feel good like 30% of the time, okay (not great, but not terrible) 40% of the time, and still pretty damn awful 30% of the time.

At least the active puking seems to have primarily taken a backseat… aside from twice this past Sunday, including once while at church. Happy Easter to me! (Don’t worry, I made it to the bathroom and didn’t end up heaving into the collection plate.) And the lessening vomitous activity is definitely a good thing, because (and this most definitely has TMI written all over it, but whatever, pregnancy is gross) lately throwing up has involved simultaneously peeing my pants. YUP. Now, if you’re suddenly thinking that I’m the most disgusting person who’s ever walked the face of this planet, this is apparently a pretty common issue at this point in pregnancy — just ask the hilarious genius behind Alpha Mom if you don’t believe me:

(Side note: if you’re pregnant and not subscribed to Alpha Mom’s weekly pregnancy updates, you are seriously missing out. They. Are. Everything.)

Aside from those oh-so-lovely symptoms, additional ones lately include breast tenderness, round ligament pain (a kind of stretching/pulling/occasionally sharp pain as my uterus continues to grow), and getting embarrassingly short of breath from doing things like… pacing while I’m talking on the phone. Lol.

Emotions: Here are just some of the most recent Reasons that Pregnant Gretchen is Crying:

  • My mom asked my dad to switch seats during Easter brunch
  • I died in a video game I’ve been playing
  • My friend Jackie unexpectedly brought me bubble tea when we met up for dinner
  • I’m babysitting Pixel (my brother’s dog) and all three dogs looked up for a photo at the same time

  • Phoebe temporarily died for the 34892598th time on Charmed
  • I couldn’t find my right flip flop
  • Daxter crawled into my lap while I was trying to take a belly pic and fell asleep on my baby bump
  • I ate all the hot dog buns in the house but we still had hot dogs leftover
  • My sister sent me a ridiculously cute picture of my niece Kira

Okay, I guess you can’t really blame me for that last one. ::heart eyes emoji::

Cravings: Raw fruit and veggies are still a big craving, as is sandwiches with lots of mustard on them. Raaaaaandom. In general I’m just so happy that appetite has started coming back (yay!), so I’m finally able to eat foods that I have barely been able to look at for the past few months. Though, I’m definitely not back to my old self by any means because I’m still awfully picky about what I want/am willing to eat.

On the more stereotypical pregnancy craving front, I have been indulging in ice cream relatively regularly, and I ain’t mad about it.

 
Aversions: Still having that big marinara/red sauce aversion, which means I have officially surpassed my lifetime record for the longest period of time gone without eating pizza. On the plus side, meat’s finally back on the menu! Huzzah!

Sleep: Sleep’s been kind of iffy. I’m trying not to take Unisom as often right now, as I fear I’ve been getting too reliant on it (plus it made me sleep SUPER late sometimes, which delays eating, which makes me more likely to be nauseous…). Which means that sometimes I sleep fine, but sometimes I toss and turn all night, or I have those nights where even though you know you must have fallen asleep at some point, it feels like all you’ve done for 8 straight hours is lay there thinking about stuff. Also, my crazy vivid pregnancy dreams have been making a comeback lately.

Purchases: I made the grave mistake of going to Target on Monday to pick up supplies for a Yelp event I’m planning, and got immediately waylaid by the baby section. And while you should be VERY proud of me for being able to resist picking up the teeny watermelon baby bikini below, I couldn’t quite stop myself from procuring just a couple of wee little baby tings. Heh. It’s just a set of socks and washcloths though, so I still think I was rather restrained!

 
Wearing: I have fully jumped aboard the maternity clothes train and I’m loving it. Why haven’t I been wearing maternity clothes my entire life?! They’re so comfortable and they make my bump look way cuter. I’ve picked up the majority of my maternity wardrobe online from Old Navy, got a few pieces from H&M (didn’t even know they carried maternity or baby clothes until recently!), and I also just ordered a dress from Pink Blush Maternity after salivating over the gorgeous maternity dress that Ashley wore for Easter. Love that they have a huge, well-stocked plus size maternity section to peruse!

Missing… not much right now, actually! I’m not really feeling deprived, I just continue to be eager to have my nausea be gone 100%… and am getting a little fearful that that might not ever really happen for me.

Looking Forward to… my big Yelper Party next week! It’s my biggest bash of the year — free food, awesome entertainment, the works! — and this year’s theme is Yelp Goes Gatsby, so it’ll be extra fun! (Though admittedly, trying to find an era-appropriate dress that works with this belly has been slightly less fun.) This is one of just a few events I throw that’s open to literally anyone who RSVPs on Yelp (plus it’s totally FREE to attend with the option to donate at the door to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) so if you live in the DMV area, you should totally come out!