Pregnancy Update: 23 Weeks- Body Image, Preparing During Social Distancing

Hello 23 weeks!

This boy is growing so fast. I knew going into this pregnancy that I would probably have a good-sized bump given that I have a short torso and a small frame overall. That said, I didn’t expect how quickly it would happen. There is virtually no space between my ribs, bra line, and bump. I went from not being able to get pregnant for years to having a baby tracking larger than average (in the 80th percentile range of size per my OBGYN). All that I can say is that I’m incredibly blessed.

What this means for me now is that I do get acid reflux pretty often (at least twice daily), and I feel strong movement. Yesterday, I ate one Taco Bell Fire Sauce flavored chip and BOOM! Instant acid reflux. In fact, I can feel him right now and should probably go get a Tums.

Shopping and preparing for our home has been hard. I’ve never been an online shopper, and it’s hard to get into it when there are so many opinions on baby products. It seems like there are a million different “must-haves” and brands out there. My family is small, and I truthfully have zero experience around babies and new moms, so I am overwhelmed to say the least. The one thing that is in my control is the physical nursery room, so Noah and I did spend time recently clearing out the space and opening up the closet. We both really connected with our trip to Maine last summer, and it holds a special place in Noah’s family. Thus, we plan to do a Maine theme in the nursery. Think blueberries, lighthouses, whales, and lobsters. Oh boy, I can’t wait until it all comes together!

Mentally, it has been hard to prepare for the baby as well. I’ve always envisioned having both my husband and my parents at the hospital, but I don’t know if that will be possible given the state of the world. There is definitely time between now and August, but things change constantly.  I do call my parents every day, but I’m sad that they haven’t been able to feel the baby or see my journey in person. Will I be able to have a baby shower? What if I get sick right before delivery and they quarantine my newborn? What will the economy look like? These are all things I never thought I would have to be processing on top of all of the regular anxieties like if I’ll be a good mom or if my baby will be healthy. I found out that I was pregnant in the first few days of December, so COVID-19 wasn’t even a blip on the radar.

Things aren’t all bad mentally though. I was scared that I would feel uncomfortable with how my body would change, but I’ve experienced quite the opposite. I actually feel more beautiful and confident in my skin than ever. I am so proud of what my body has been able to accomplish. A woman’s body is mind-blowing, and it’s been cool to witness its power. I used to shy away from the color pink and a girly style, because I was afraid they would make me look weak or too young. Now, I’m embracing all things girly because, yes, I am a young woman. I’m not afraid to show that.

Exercise was already going to look different for me, but social distancing has made it look even more different than I thought it would. I’ve been doing prenatal bodyweight workouts on Youtube about 3 times a week, and I take Mary Berry on a long walk once a day. Rewind to 6 months ago, and I would be doing heavy squats, hip thrusts, shoulder presses, etc. , and I would be just a little sore if not sore at all. Nowadays, I do a 25-minute bodyweight workout and I feel it for days. It has been humbling for sure (especially when I pause for water breaks), but I still enjoy getting my heart rate up. Dare I say, I will incorporate more of these kinds of workouts into my routine after pregnancy and time to rest is over. It has been fun to explore other fitness avenues, but because of what I mentioned above, I am not going to stress about getting back into shape as soon as possible. A softer body and rounder cheeks are not my enemies. They are a reflection of who I am and what I’ve been through.

If you have recommendations on new mama necessities (cribs, bassinets, really anything), please send them my way! I can’t believe the time to seriously plan for his arrival is already here, but I am so ready to hold him in my arms.

I can honestly say that despite the craziness, pregnancy has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve learned so much about myself. Thank you to everyone who has expressed kind words, prayers, and love for me during this journey. Thank you for following along!

Stay safe everyone!

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