24 Weeks

24 weeks pregnant

It’s been a month since my last big pregnancy update at 20 weeks, so I thought I’d fill you in on what has changed since then. The overall takeaway? I’m feeling much better, and more like myself, but my body is changing at a rapid pace. We have a pediatrician, I met with my doula to start talking about our birth plan, and the nursery design is officially underway. A lot has happened in the last month!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned, however, is that mommy shaming is real and it’s harsh. All of my mom friends (especially the ones with blogs) warned me at length about what was to come, but I had no idea. In this day and age, I was hoping that women of the world, especially mothers, would lift each other up, support each other, and offer advice. While that happens a lot too and I’m so grateful for it, the amount of judgement and shaming is intense. It’s sparred a lot of conversations with friends on how to handle it, and a lot of conversations with Anel about how we’re going to navigate this next chapter of our life here on Lemon Stripes.

We haven’t made any solid decisions, but I’m definitely going to be more cautious about the topics I write about and will probably not share things like my birth plan, sleep philosophy, child care decisions, and other “controversial” topics that send people into a tailspin for whatever reason. That makes me sad because I want to be open and honest about how we’re handling parenting, but my skin isn’t thick enough for the consequences. That could change, of course, but for now, that’s where we stand.

On that note, let’s jump right in with my 24 week update. It’s hard to believe that I’m six months pregnant this week!

Current Symptoms

Every day, it seems like I feel something new, but it’s easier to roll with the punches when I’m not exhausted and nauseous anymore.

Exhaustion: At 21 weeks, everything changed. My extreme exhaustion and constant hungover feeling went away. I can now have a relatively normal day, although I pretty much have to sit down at 6pm and get in bed by 9 or 10pm every night no matter what. The exhaustion hits, but only at night unless I try to do too much in a day. Traveling makes me extra tired, so I just have to plan for longer lunches or breaks between activities. It’s definitely manageable now.

Pregnancy Brain: I forget things… all the time! For example, I didn’t realize my shirt was on backwards in this post until I uploaded all of the photos. I’ve also left my car windows open in the driveway overnight, forgotten laundry in the dryer for days, walked into a room only to forget why I’m there, and often can’t think of the word I’m looking for. Pregnancy brain is real, but you kind of just have to laugh it off.

Abdominal Pain: I was warned by friends that I’d start getting inevitable aches and pains. I’ve been lucky to have no back pain (yet) but I get abdominal pain daily. It feels almost like cramps, but not as bad. It’s not terrible, but it definitely scared me at first because I wasn’t sure what was going on. My doctor assured me that it’s just my organs moving around and my muscles stretching, so I’m not freaked out by it anymore.

Hip Pain: It still haunts me at night, but we got a new mattress and my body pillow game is strong, so it’s much better than it was before but if I wake up in a weird position or am not diligent about putting two pillows between my knees, I wake up in pain. I don’t have it at all during the day, so that’s a plus.

Bump

It’s grown… clearly! Some days in the mornings, you can hardly tell I’m pregnant, and other days I look like I’m about to pop. It always grows over the course of the day though, so at night, it’s larger than when I woke up. I’m at the point where I can only wear maternity pants, but can still get away with longer shirts and sweaters on top (more on my favorite maternity brands below). It’s so strange to look down and see my body but at the same time, it looks nothing like my body.

Last month I talked about my struggle with this, but in the last few weeks, I’ve really come to see my bump and my extra curves as beautiful. It’s turned into a nourishing home for my baby, and to see it as anything other than a miracle, is now impossible.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still days where I feel like a giant balloon walking down the street, but now that I truly look pregnant, and not just bloated, I’m starting to love it.

Cravings & Aversions

Ice cream and pickles? Peanut butter and mayonnaise? Not quite!

Cravings: I crave things now like a normal person, not a pregnant woman. My “need to have it right now or I might explode” feeling about certain foods is gone. What has changed is that I now want something sweet after every meal, so I’ve been trying to get creative with healthier desserts. I’ve been making paleo cookies, avocado chocolate pudding, and three ingredient banana ice cream pretty regularly, and a daily dose of dark chocolate is back in my diet, but sometimes I give in to sour watermelon candies, which are my absolute favorite. I also find myself ordering dessert more often when we go out to eat. It’s all about finding that balance!

Aversions: Thank goodness my meat aversion has dissipated. It was hard to eat enough protein without meat, and it made cooking for Anel and myself quite difficult. Luckily, I’m back on the meat train, although I still get grossed out once in a while depending on how something is prepared. Besides that, strong aversions seem to be a thing of the past.

My Diet

I’ve written about this before but I have to mention again that Real Food for Mother and Baby has been the most helpful book I’ve read so far. She really teaches you what your body needs in each trimester, and where to get those nutrients

Water: The biggest takeaway from my doula meeting last week was to drink more water. She said that in her experience, the more water you drink, the better you’ll feel and the fewer symptoms you’ll have. This is especially important in the third trimester as you gear up for labor. Apparently going into labor with any sort of dehydration makes it infinitely more difficult. She actually suggested upping my water intake to 100 oz/day starting at 30 weeks. That’s a lot of water, but I’m going to get as close as I can! Until then, I’m sticking to half of my body weight in ounces of water.

Protein: While hydrating more sounds like work, eating more definitely does not. I can put away more food than a large man these days. I’m hungry pretty much constantly, and never deprive myself. I try to eat as much protein as humanly possible, because that’s what she needs most (in addition to calcium) as she grows her tiny bones in the second trimester. Now that my aversion to meat is gone, it’s much easier to get the protein I need. In addition, I continue to drink or cook with bone broth and scoop collagen peptides into my smoothies and acai bowls daily.

Avoiding Heartburn: I have tried to stick with no gluten, no dairy to keep my heartburn at bay, but I’m not always 100% perfect with this rule. Unfortunately, when I break it, I always regret it about an hour later. The heartburn is no joke! Luckily, it’s mostly caused by foods I’m not used to eating, so I can keep it at bay more often than not.

Exercise 

As of now, I’m still on the same exercise routine I’ve been on for a few months now: Pre-natal yoga once a week, a weight-training session once a week, and two big hikes with the dog per week (I wrote more about it here). I still firmly believe in moving my body every single day. On the days that I don’t, I feel nauseous, foggy-headed, and more tired. If I push myself too hard, I am exhausted for the rest of the day, so I had to learn the perfect balance. I think I’ve got it down now.

What I’m Feeling Excited For

In the last month, I’m feeling more excitement and less fear every day, and that’s a great feeling to have!

Baby Kicks: This is still, far and beyond, my favorite part about pregnancy. Feeling my little girl moving around never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that there is a tiny human in there, and this physical reminder grounds me. She is an extremely wiggly baby, and will kick (or punch?) for up to an hour at a time, mostly when I’m relaxed, watching TV or reading a book at night. My mom always talked about how I would move gracefully across her belly as a baby, but this gal couldn’t be more different. She jabs pretty hard, so guessing she’ll be more of an athlete than I ever was!

Nursery: We picked out almost everything for the nursery at Serena & Lily. The crib is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, and other items (like a glider, dresser, and rug) will be rolling in over the next few weeks. We moved my office out of that room and just need to paint it before we start the process of setting it up. I’m so excited to create a beautiful and calming space for the baby.

Pediatrician: Last week, we went on our first pediatrician interview and adored her. I love her approach to medicine and her philosophy of keeping things casual so that kids don’t get freaked out when going to the doctor. She’s been in practice for over 20 years and has seen it all, so I feel safe and secure, knowing that she is on our team. I had three other interviews lined up for this week and ended up canceling them all. Fun fact: When I started filling out the form at the doctor’s office, the first line asked for “mother’s name”… I started writing my mom’s name until I realized that it meant me, ha!

Doula: As I mentioned above, I met with my doula in person, and for the first time in my entire life, I feel like labor is going to be ok. Definitely the hardest thing I’ll ever do, but it will be ok. Just to know that I have someone to call as soon as things start moving, makes me feel a little more in control of the situation. She’s been on over 400 births, so she, too, has seen it all. It will be nice to have someone with us before we go to the hospital to tell us what’s normal and what’s not. When we actually get to the hospital, it will just be nice to have another familiar face in the room, someone who really knows me and understands what I’m going through.

Maternity Clothes

I am trying not to spend too much money on maternity clothes since I’ll only be able to wear them for a short period of time, but I do need clothes that fit, so here is what I’m loving right now.

Ingrid & Isabel: I was lucky to be able to wear leggings for most of my pregnancy so far. In the last few weeks, I’ve graduated into mostly maternity leggings. On some days, I still fit into my Lululemons, but I am reaching for this Ingrid & Isabel pair more often than not. My sister bought them for me for Christmas, but only now do I realize how grateful I am for this gift. They’re super comfy and quite flattering. I bought a casual dress from the same brand that I love too. Mine is striped (shocker), but it comes in multiple colors.

Hatch Collection: You can probably tell that I am also loving Hatch Collection. Their pieces are looser, but also look chic. The shirt in this post is from Hatch, although it’s on backwards due to my pregnancy brain. It’s much cuter when the v neck is in front! I also have this long sleeved tee which is probably my most worn shirt at this point. The brand is not cheap, so I’d invest in one or two pieces that you think you’ll wear often, and stick to that.

Old Navy: For more affordable basics, I’ve turned to Old Navy. I bought a few black, navy, and white short and long sleeved shirts (each one was under $15!) and wear them under cardigans, around the house, and for workouts. This one is my favorite.

Shop Buru: My friend held a trunk show for this brand last week, so I popped by to check it out. I ended up buying this drapey shirt that has a snap front for nursing, but looks awesome now. It’s not actually a maternity shirt, and it’s a great price.

Boob: Although the name is unfortunate, this company is amazing. They sent me a bunch of products like this tank and a cute dress. They fit well now, and will be great for nursing in a few months. I wear their nursing sports bra every day. It’s a must, I promise you. Side bar, if you’re searching for them, don’t type in boob.com. Trust me on that!

My Fertility Journey

In other news, I’m speaking openly about my fertility journey on a webinar tomorrow night with my acupuncturist/fertility coach, Aimee. Sign up for her series here (it’s free, don’t worry!) to join my webinar. You can choose to listen to all of them or just mine, depending on what you’re interested in. I hope you can join us!

Hatch Collection Shirt / AG Materntiy Jeans / Gigi NY Bag / Candyshop Vintage Necklace

Photos by Clay Austin Photography.

Shop:

  • sarah.gouin

    You’re looking great!

  • Melissa

    It’s a shame people cannot take your posts for what they are – your thoughts and opinions. Don’t like to hear of the shaming… Love your blog!

    • Thank you so much for saying that and for your support!

  • Ashley Vickney

    You’re glowing! Love reading your updates no matter how far away I’m from it!

  • Emily Pinto

    I’m so sad to hear that people have been super judgmental. I for one and happy that you are sharing your journey and did talk about controversial subjects. This is your blog and your outlet to discuss whatever it is that you want and we all benefit from that. Please know that your blog has certainly helped me immensely as I continue on this journey (I’m 19 weeks now! :-)) and hope that you feel comfortable to continue to share the things on your mind, especially about pregnancy but also beyond. I can imagine that the negative comments can be unsettling, but take them like everything with a grain of salt. Are they supporting you, will that one commenter be there next week? Are they even offering a solution to whatever they are complaining about? If not, take it for what its worth, a comment and only that. Again, thanks for sharing all that you do. Some of us out here really appreciate it. Can’t wait to see your nursery ideas!!

    • Thanks Emily! Congrats on your pregnancy, I’m so so happy to hear that my posts have helped you through it!

  • Elizabeth Oliveto

    Loved reading this – Charleston looks gorgeous! PS – You’re glowing!
    Xo, Elizabeth
    http://stripesandsolitaires.com/

  • Katie H

    Love that you have kept your sense of humor through your pregnancy despite the mom shaming. This post had me chuckling as I remembered my own experience with pregnancy brain (somehow I made it all the way home and into the next day with a remote control from the gym in my purse before I realized I had taken it…oops!). Pregnancy and being a mom are full of challenges, but if you can laugh, then you will do great!

    • Haha, thanks! Can’t wait to tell Anel about the remote control. That sounds like something I would totally do right now 🙂

  • Love the update! You look amazing!! And the shirt still looks super cute backwards 😉

    xo christa | http://www.gardeniasandmint.com

  • Lauren

    Hope you continue to be open and be yourself! Absolutely understand your decision though and you need to do what is right for your family. Just know lots of virtual support is coming your way too! Would be interested to hear how/why you chose a doula and what sort of questions you asked during your first meeting.

    • You made my day, thank you! I can for sure talk more about my doula in other posts, but as a general answer, I just wanted more support during the whole birthing process. A lot of it happens at home before you get to the hospital, and it will be nice to have an extra cheerleader (who knows what she’s talking about!) with me. I asked a million questions 🙂

  • Hadassah Starken

    I’m so sorry people have been so judgmental. I’m years away from planning to have children myself, but I’ve been loving your pregnancy posts–I definitely want children eventually and I love reading about your journey and ideas and thoughts as I start to think about what kind of parent I might want to be in the future and the choices I’ll make. I hope you continue to share as much as you feel comfortable with!

  • Julia

    I enjoy following your journey and everything you share! Thank you for being as open as you are. Your kid is going to be the best dressed kid around!

    http://www.thedizzygirls.wordpress.com

    • Thanks! Unless I put on her clothes backwards 🙂

  • Fernanda Miranda Abreu

    I´m so sorry about the mommy shame. I would love to hear what you have in mind about your pregnancy (congratulations again. You are gourgeous!) and about raising a child. I´m trying to get pregnant and it´s been delightfull to follow along with your journey. I´m a big fan and really desire all the best for you, Anel and this lovely princess in your belly! (sorry for any mistakes. English is not my first language, as you can see. I just want to say that you´re not alone <3)

    • Thank you Fernanda! Good luck in your journey, it’s a very exciting time!

  • mary

    One of my other favorite “ice cream” type desserts is 4-5 frozen strawberries in a food processor, splash of milk, a bit of sugar (or a date) and whiz it around, and it turns into a frosty concontion.

    • That sounds AMAZING! Going to try it when I get back from my trip. Thanks!

  • Oof what a bummer that you’re experiencing the sting of mommy shaming. I take a “live and let live” approach to many things, and I find it hard when other people don’t recognize that there can be multiple approaches to a given situation and that it’s okay. So many things are personal, and what’s best for one person / child / family isn’t automatically a prescription for anyone else. I wish people wouldn’t wield their personal “right answer” as criticism towards others. Hang in there!

    I love the top and it looks pretty cute backwards too! Haha if you hadn’t mentioned it, I never would have guessed that it wasn’t meant to be a boat neck.

    xx Jean
    http://www.skylineblossoms.com

    • I’m learning that people want to believe that their approach is the best when it comes to parenting, and there are no ifs, ands, or butts about it. So crazy to me.

      • Congratulations!! Also: as a mom to a 5 and 2yo, I am NOT an expert in ANYTHING (all I’ve learned over time is that I know less and less, lol). But I will say that I’ve noticed a shift among the parent set (the ones I know, o course) over the last year or two. We’ve all been in the trenches long enough that we don’t seem to give a f– anymore about who does what, and how, and when re: parenting. Everyone’s just like: Pass the wine. I guess what I’m saying is: I think some of the comparing, competing and the like wanes the longer parents are parents… we’ve all repressed it anyway (like whether we sleep trained one or didn’t or whatever) and it seems like now everyone’s more on the same page. So just keep that in mind — hopefully all the parent-shaming dissipates after a while.

  • Lindsay Crouch

    LOVE that you are wearing the tee backwards- too funny! It actually looks super cute. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

    XO,
    Lindsay

    • It’s not bad, considering! My photographer and I didn’t notice at all so must have looked normal in person too 🙂

  • Lauren Carfora

    It’s unfortunate that people feel the need to shame instead of support. I’ve really enjoyed following your pregnancy journey since I’m about 5 weeks behind you. Ultimately you have to do what makes you, baby, and Anel happy. While I want to say not to let others upset you, I’m also a sensitive person so I know it’s not easy to tune it out. I guess just remember that haters are gonna hate! Enjoy this special time and keep posting baby/maternity things! There are people like me who genuinely want to read them.

    • Thanks, Lauren. And congratulation on your summer baby!

  • Christina

    I love this blog! I am 15 weeks (with a baby girl, as well!) and also a somewhat new NYC turned Fairfield county resident. This blog has been such a great resource for me so thank you for sharing your journey 🙂

  • Meghan G

    I swear like NO other situation in life, people have one child and believe themselves to be child rearing experts. It only gets worse once you have the child so stick to your guns and I’ve found no one can have a come back when you respond to any rude comment with: “Thanks for sharing.” When a woman told me in the middle of summer that my baby “should have a pair of socks on” I used that line with the biggest fake smile on my face and she just walked away!

  • Laura B

    I’m a new reader here, and pregnant myself. I’m looking to many bloggers to help me get through this process, as I don’t have any friends with kids. I really do encourage you to share the details you mentioned above. Who cares what others think? You are sharing YOUR story. Your skin will only grow thicker, you’re a strong woman who is carrying another life!! Know that you have support and have readers that really do want to hear about, and learn from, your journey!

  • New reader here – you look fabulous! I’ll be 24 weeks on Thursday and it was comforting to read that in the mornings you don’t look half as pregnant as the nighttime; honestly, for awhile I was thinking to myself, what is going on!? Thanks for those maternity clothes recommendations – I’m loving the leggings from Destination Maternity!