28 weeks pregnant
I can’t believe the second trimester is already over! I feel like I haven’t written a ton about my pregnancy these past few months, but that has been thankfully because everything has been very normal. When people ask me how I’m feeling I always answer, “Great! So great, I actually forget I’m pregnant sometimes! Until he starts kicking me, or I walk by a mirror.”
Let me just say that I loved the second trimester. No more morning sickness, everyone is celebrating that you’re pregnant, you’re experiencing all the exciting first kicks and feeling the baby roll over, and watching your belly grow.
20 weeks pregnant
The most exciting part was finding out that we are having a BOY!
Even before I got pregnant, I just knew that our first baby was going to be a boy. I can picture him in my mind. A little blonde fella with Shawn’s blue eyes and my wavy hair. I would even find myself referring to the baby as “him” all the time.
When we went to our 16 week ultra sound, I was hoping they would be able to tell then if it was a boy or girl. The technician tried to get a good look, but she told us she couldn’t tell for sure.
Then I started second guessing myself. What if the baby is a girl? We would of course be happy if it was a boy or a girl, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a boy.
When we finally went for the gender reveal ultra sound, I was pretty sure I saw a little something up on the screen. But I’m not an expert, and thought maybe it could be the umbilical cord? I had the technician write the gender down on a scrap of paper and hand it to Shawn so he would be the one to tell me when we were in the room. I like hearing the news from him, just like how I had him be the one to look at the pregnancy test. He opened the piece of paper and started smiling so big. He looked at me and said, “It’s a boy Nat!”
My heart exploded with happiness. Shawn kissed me and squeezed my hand so tight.
“It is? He’s a boy?!”
Then the technician showed us on the screen.
No mistaking it!
That Friday we invited our families and local aunts, uncles and cousins to come over for a little gender reveal BBQ. We couldn’t wait to share the news. And since this is the first grandchild on both sides, everyone was extra excited.
It was great too, because we had just landscaped our backyard the month before, and our garden was done and growing, and everyone got to come meet the chickens and see our house.
I decorated a big cardboard box and filled it with blue balloons. Shawn taped it up extra tight so no one could try and peek in. I set up a chart where everyone could guess if they thought it was a boy or a girl. It was a pretty even split. Right before dinner, we opened up the box for everyone to see.
We have the best family. They were all so excited and happy. It was a great night.
Our baby boy is already so loved.
And we loved getting to show everyone our cute little house. What you see in the video is all our front yard. We’re surrounded by trees and barns and hills. No neighbors in sight. And Shawn and I are standing in front of our garden that we spent so much time building in the spring. You can see our tomato plants right up at the top tier.
The second trimester has overall been smooth sailing.
We did have 1 scary week at 18 weeks. An employee at my work had this rash on her face that looked really bad with open sores. She still came in to work, and I touched a lot of things that she touched. Turns out she had shingles, which can be extremely dangerous to get if you’re pregnant. It can even lead to death for the baby.
I panicked. PANICKED! As soon as I found out I left work immediately. I went home and took the most intense shower of my life. You would think I was trying to scrub myself clean after a murder and trying to hide any DNA evidence. Shawn came racing back home during his lunch break because he was so worried too. I emailed back and forth with my doctor a ton. She told me to let her know if I started to get a rash or open sores. So of course, everything on me felt itchy. She said if I did catch it, it would show up within 24-72 hours. Scariest 3 days ever!
Luckily, I was fine and didn’t catch it. And the baby is fine too. But the whole experience was like a crash course into motherhood. I couldn’t stop crying and worrying, feeling so panicked that something could be wrong with our baby. Until then, everything had been so easy and wonderful. I assumed everything would always be ok, and it turned my world upside down thinking the baby could be in danger. I hadn’t even felt the baby move yet, and I already loved this baby more than I knew was possible.
I would call my mom multiple times a day worried. She had the best advice.
“Oh Natalie, this is just the start. You are never going to stop worrying about that baby. You’re all grown up, and I still worry about you every single day. It just shows that you are going to be an amazing mom. Now go rest and try not to worry. The best thing you can do for the baby is to not be stressed, and try to relax.”
I love my mom.
Then, later that week we went in for a checkup, and my blood pressure was the tiniest bit high. My doctor told me that it could mean I have preeclampsia, so to be absolutely sure I had to do a 24 hour urine collection (ew, don’t even ask). I got the results back, and the normal range was something like 80-150, and my number was 151. Kaiser emails you the results as soon as they are in, so I got them late at night when my doctor wasn’t in to let me know what it meant. I didn’t know if 151 is super bad since it’s outside the normal range. I immediately texted my cousin who is a neonatal nurse, and asked her what it meant. She reassured me that it was totally fine. She said I shouldn’t even worry unless the number is twice that.
I wasn’t too worried about, but apparently Shawn was panicked. That next morning, I got an email from my doctor that said my range is normal and everything is fine. I called Shawn right away and I could hear the relief in his voice.
“Oh thank god Nat. I could barely sleep last night I was so worried about you and the baby. I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to either of you. Geez, between the shingles and this test I’ve been worried sick. I’m so glad everything is ok.”
Ever since my blood pressure has been totally normal. I have a feeling it was a little elevated that visit from all the worrying that week about the shingles.
After that week of scares, Shawn and I learned how much your attitude matters in life. And how lucky we are that everyone is healthy. I can see how easy it would be to just lose yourself in worry. During the 20 week ultra sound they REALLY check EVERYTHING. I wasn’t prepared for how serious and slightly terrifying that scan is. They would zoom in on his heart valves so it filled the entire flat screen tv. And checked every single organ. We were so happy when we learned that he is completely healthy. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if anything was seriously wrong with our baby’s health. We have much to be grateful for.
The next exciting thing was feeling him kick for the first time.
It took me a while to feel him kick. A lot of my friends were feeling their baby move since 16 or 17 weeks. And here I was at 20 weeks not feeling a thing. I kept waiting and waiting to feel any movement. We would go to ultrasounds and I would see him moving and flipping all around, but I wouldn’t feel any of it. I would go home and lay perfectly still in the quiet and tell him, “Ok little guy, kick kick kick!” Nothing.
I finally felt it him kick at 21 weeks. It was so exciting! We were lying in bed, and I felt the tiniest little “bump” inside my belly. It felt like a little goldfish swimming into the side of a plastic bag when you bring it home from the pet store. I laid still and felt it a few more times. I knew it was our little boy.
“Shawn, I felt him kick!”
“No way! I wanna feel!”
Shawn then laid there with his hand on my belly, waiting so patiently.
“Did you feel that?”
“Well, I can barely feel them and it’s inside me. Maybe they’re still too tiny for you to feel from the outside.”
A few weeks later he felt the baby roll over. I called him over and put his hand on my belly.
“Feel that hard lump? That’s him! He’s rolling over. He’s going to shift in a second.”
I could see in Shawn’s eyes that he could feel the hard lump moving, rolling over, and then laying flat again.
“WHOA! I felt that!”
He then got really close to my belly and said,
“Hey little guy, it’s your daddy. I can feel you in there!”
So sweet. My heart melted.
Sometimes I’ll walk by him, he’ll pull me close, lift up my shirt so my belly is out and say he wants to talk to the boy. He’ll give him hugs and kisses. Shawn does this little joke where he’ll cup his hands on my belly and whisper things to the baby, and act like he doesn’t want me to hear. That it’s “guy talk”. It is seriously the sweetest thing in the whole world. Sometimes we’ll be sitting on the couch and I’ll catch him looking over at me. He’ll say, “I just love you so much Nat. And I love our boy so much. I can’t wait to meet him.” Cue the tears! I’ll never forget these sweet moments.
Now our little guy is moving all the time. I am obsessed. I especially love the mornings. First our 2 roosters wake up and start crowing at around 6:30. Then Shawn and I slowly start waking up. But the baby will still be completely still because he’s not awake yet. Shawn will roll over and kiss me and start talking, and I’ll jokingly whisper,
“Shhh, whisper, he’s still sleeping.”
Then Shawn will whisper back,
“Oh, ok. Ya, he’s still tired. Let’s not wake him up yet Nat.”
Then slowly the boy will start kicking, then he’ll really start kicking. I’ll lay there for like half an hour waking up and feeling him kick. It’s my favorite part of the day.
The rest of the day I’m moving all around and it lulls him to sleep. But as soon as I sit still, he starts moving all around and kicking like crazy. I love it. Feeling him move makes him feel even more real and a part of our lives. I’m already completely bonded to him.
Towards the end of the 6 month, his kicks got so big that my whole belly would move when he would kick. Shawn loves it.
And my belly keeps on getting bigger! Shockingly, I haven’t had to do a ton of clothes shopping. Most of my clothes still mostly fit, but are just now starting to get a little too tight. Baggy shirts are starting to become tight crop tops, haha! But I just have the hardest time shelling out a ton of money for clothes that I will only wear for another 2 or 3 months. I’ve decided that being really pregnant in the fall is the best, because you can just wear leggings and big sweaters or stretchy shirts and it’s fine. Or I’ll borrow one of Shawn’s flannel shirts and leave it unbuttoned in the front. Flannel is in this fall, right? I am so not a fashion girl. I have gotten a few essential pieces, which I’ll be sharing on a “must have” post on Saturday. I’m pretty much shuffling through about 15 outfits right now, ha! But hey, that’s enough for me!
I am lucky that I haven’t had a ton of pain or discomfort so far in the pregnancy. I still feel pretty much like myself, just with a big, growing belly. I’m still sleeping pretty much fine. I do wake up at least twice in the night to go to the bathroom. Actually now it’s more like 3 or 4 times in the night. That baby pushing on your bladder is no joke! But it doesn’t bother me at all. I figure all the sleep disruption is great practice for the newborn stage.
I do have some occasional pain in my pubic bone. At first I thought I must have bruised it really, really bad? All of a sudden one day it was killing me to stand up from a sitting position. I had no idea why. I emailed my doctor about it, and she said that it’s called Symphis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), and that it’s fairly common in pregnancy. Basically my joints are getting really flexible in preparation for birth, and in some women they get too flexible and it feels like they’re separating. She said it flares up when you’re on your feet a ton. That made sense, because the day before I had been on my feet for 10 hours filming a wedding. But it will just be sore for a day or 2 after a long day of standing and filming a wedding, and then go away. Luckily I don’t have to do a ton of standing at my day job. I’m glad my bones are going to be extra flexible, because if this boy is anything like his dad he is going to have a big head!
I have been feeling like I have extra compassion and emotions. Little things will touch me too deep. Like when I was driving home and saw a baby deer had been hit by a car. Tears! Or when 2 of my chickens got in a spurring fight, and my little white rooster was losing, and I was worried he was getting bullied. Major tears! Or when Shawn was working late, so I watched Saving Private Ryan by myself, and was overwhelmed with sadness over all those men who died on the beach of Normandy. Not enough tissues in the world! Shawn came home and saw me sitting on the couch crying and said,
“Nat! Why are you watching this?! This is not a good movie for you!”
“I know! This is awful! I don’t ever want our boy to have to go to war.”
I just want everything in my life to be peaceful and pleasant and for everyone to get along.
With that, I have found myself really gravitating towards all the positive and wonderful people in my life. And also pulling away from negative people in my life. Having a baby is really putting my whole life in perspective, and I find myself wanting to spend all my time with those who are encouraging and joyful and supportive and wonderful to be around. I feel like I’ve gotten so much closer with my family and my girlfriends, and wanting to spend as much time as possible with them. I’m also no longer afraid to say no to things. Before, I would do things I didn’t want to do because I would worry about hurting the other persons feelings or missing out on opportunities. But now? I can easily pass on social things that I just straight up don’t want to do, or not feel guilty for charging an appropriate amount when I do a photoshoot or video gig, or passing on blogging opportunities that aren’t a right fit for me, all with no guilt whatsoever. If it causes me unnecessary stress, or isn’t pleasant, it’s a no. It is beyond liberating! Like I have finally taken control of my life. I can almost tangibly feel how precious my time is, and how important it is to surround myself with the people I want to be around. Makes life that much more wonderful.
And our time really is precious. The whole end of summer and early fall has been so packed with work and filming weddings. It has been i n s a n e. Our last wedding is November 14, and I will be 8.5 months pregnant. Tell me that is not too nuts? Shawn and I don’t have a free weekend until December. I’m dead serious. And we haven’t even started any work on the nursery yet. Eeek! Shawn wants to make everything himself and do it all custom, which I love. He has some great ideas, it is going to be amazing. We’re going to have to find a weekend to do that soon. It will get done, right?
We are really looking forward to things settling down in December, and taking some quiet time to enjoy the last few weeks of being a family of 2, and anticipating meeting out little guy and becoming a family of 3!