How Far Along are You Now?
I am currently 21 weeks along, which is just one week past the halfway point! I was ecstatic when I hit the 20 week mark, knowing that we are just 5 months away from meeting our little girl! She is currently 10 1/2 inches long (which is roughly the length of a large carrot) and weighs about 12 ounces!
How Are You Feeling?
Overall I am feeling great! I have heard that the second trimester is called the honeymoon phase and I now I know why! The second trimester is filled with all of the joys of pregnancy (like feeling the baby kick for the first time, and finally getting a cute little baby bump), and not as much of the not-so-fun stuff (like the morning sickness, and exhaustion that comes with the first and third trimester).
Emotionally: I have been feeling pretty much like myself on most days, but there are some days here and there where I feel like crying for no reason, or I find myself extra sensitive, (and I cry at the silliest commercial or movie). I have also been having quite a few ‘revelation’ moments, where something will hit me really hard, like just how big of a responsibility it will be to become a mother! There is really nothing quite like the feeling of knowing someone will soon be depending on you to care for them and help them grow into the man or woman God created them to be! It’s pretty profound!
About the Changes in Your Body: Because we were trying to get pregnant for so long, I was already prepared for my body to change in some aspects. Since becoming pregnant, I have been so thankful to my body for growing this little miracle that it is really overcoming any temptations to view my body in any negative way. That being said, it isn’t always easy to feel like your body is changing, especially when it is in ways that you have never seen before!
Of course, if i’m being honest, there have been days when I get frustrated trying on clothes, or trying to find clothes that flatter for that matter, (and really I think this is just because of how much my chest has grown....oh thank you hormones!) ;) The one thing I have learned however, is that it is incredibly important to find clothes that fit and flatter, and make you feel good about yourself, (even if it takes some work).
And the second thing, (which I already knew very well before getting pregnant, but it's one of those things you need to constantly remind yourself of) is to never compare yourself to anyone else! This can be especially tempting when pregnant, (how big is her bump, did she gain weight anywhere but her stomach, etc.) but it really is important to guard our hearts and mind from comparison, because every woman’s body, (and every pregnancy) is truly unique!
Overall, pregnancy has taught me to have more grace and appreciation for my body than ever before! I have learned to really listen to my body, (which I thought I did before), but this is a whole new level of being in tune. Doing so has taught me so much about how God really does tell us what our bodies need, (and what we don't) when we really listen to them. It is incredible to think how intricate and complex God made our bodies as women, and carrying another life has shown me His handiwork in a whole new way!
Workouts: So far I have been able to keep up my regular workout routine, (the same routine I switched up to about 6 months before I got pregnant, which is 4 days a week of workouts, with a few days of walking and/or resting). When I first got pregnant, I was so stressed about working out, not knowing if I would push my body too hard without knowing it.
Since then I have learned to stop worrying, and simply listen to my body during workouts, which has brought me so much peace! For example, I now modify a lot of moves, and use less weight if I feel that it's too heavy. I also try to keep my heart rate at a safe level, (I do this using the 'talking' test...If I am breathing so hard that I can't talk, I know it's time to back off and take a break), and I don't lay flat on my back during exercises anymore. Overall, I am loving working out, and find it gives me energy to do everything I need to do throughout my day as long as I listen to my body!
Sleep: Sleep has been ok. I generally wake up a few times a night to pee, and then it can take me quite some time to fall back asleep. Overall my sleep has been so much better since my sister passed on her pregnancy pillow! Those things are wonder workers!
Energy Levels: My energy levels have improved drastically since week 14 (the beginning of the second trimester), and I feel as though I am pretty much back to my normal self, with the exception of a growing baby bump! I have been feeling good enough to continue developing recipes, taking photos, speaking, and traveling thus far, and hope to well until I'm into my 7th month! Although, I will most likely stop speaking (because my sisters tell me you get pretty out of breath), and traveling once I am 8 months just to be safe.
Speaking of traveling, Maddie just went on her first plane ride last week! We went to Pittsburgh to film another season of Dashing Dish cooking segments on Cornerstone Christian Television! It was such a fun and exciting experience to be able to do them with her in my belly! I can't wait to show her them one day and tell her, "Look Maddie, you were cooking with mommy before you were even born!"
What Have Been the Most Exciting Moments of Your Pregnancy so Far?
So far the most exciting moment of my pregnancy thus far has been seeing Madeline at our 20 week ultrasound! We even got to see her yawning and stretching in the womb! It was such an incredible experience! Sean and I left our appointment in awe of how God knits together a child in the womb, a beautiful masterpiece formed by His hand.
There have also been special moments sprinkled throughout our daily lives, such as talking to her, playing worship music for her to hear, and cooking with her in my belly!
Do You Have any Food Cravings/Aversions?
I have been so thankful to be able to eat 'normal' again every since my 14th week passed, (it was pretty much all I could do to stomach anything other than a piece of bread or saltine cracker before then). Since then I have been enjoying veggies, chicken, and all my typical faves as well! I haven't really had any aversions since 14 weeks, but I have had a few cravings! One of them has been strawberries...And oh my word....do I enjoy strawberries right now! I could literally eat the entire pint without stopping! ;) I love them in all forms....homemade strawberry slushes, strawberry smoothies,strawberry muffins, or just fresh or frozen berries with a dallop of Tru Whip on top! I'm curious to know, any other mommas crave strawberries during prenancy!?!
What Are You Looking Forward To the Most?
I am looking forward to so many things, but most of all just becoming a mom! I am also really looking forward to my baby shower, which is April 1st, and decorating the nursery! We have already picked out most of the furniture which comes in March. I can't wait to share the photos when it is finished, but for now, here is a sneak peak!
And here is a little sneak peak of the baby shower invites that my sweet husband designed! The theme is "The World is Your Oyster" which came to me after praying about a special theme. The tie-in to Maddie is that we call her our precious pearl, (which was another God-thing) and so, the pearl theme will be carried throughout the shower as well! :)
Any Fun Baby Related Purchases/Gifts?
I haven't purchased a lot of baby related items yet, although there have been a few little things that I simply couldn't resist, such as a few pairs of baby shoes...Because, let's be honest, who can resist those itty bitty shoes!?!
As far as gifts, oh my word, we have been so beyond blessed already by the gifts we have received for our little girl! Here are a few special items we have received from family and friends!
Another amazing gift I received is this book from my sister Emily. She and my sister Sarah used it to pray for their sons throughout their pregnancy, and now I am doing the same! It is such a neat book because each week talks specifically about how the baby is developing in the womb, and it has a powerful prayer to pray over those developing parts! I highly recommend it to anyone who is expecting!
Are You Feeling the Baby Move?
Yes! :) Quite a bit now in fact! I feel like she is doing jumping jacks and punches in there lately! I started feeling her move at about 16 weeks, but at that time it was a very light little poke or prodding. Now I feel full on punches and kicks, and even more exciting... Sean just felt her kick a few days ago! It was such a special moment for both of us!
Our Heavenly Father continues to amaze us with His special blessings throughout this pregnancy! He is so very faithful, and redeems every moment of sorrow with joy! xo Katie