It's been almost 7 weeks since my last baby update! I was 17 weeks then, and now 24 (tomorrow!). When I wrote last, the morning sickness was just barely in the past and I was still a little scarred and sensitive about food. They aren't kidding when they say how you just start to forget all the awful symptoms and issues with pregnancy because I'm already saying "it wasn't THAT bad." At 20 weeks my appetite came back normally and there are green veggies back in my world! YAHOO! I have never been so grateful to be pregnant in all my life, but I like to talk about the symptoms. One because I never want to forget an ounce of this experience, and two because what women's bodies do is INSANE and I think all the mamas of the world deserve a big fat hug right now. Go hug your mama! Right around 18 weeks my hips started aching at night while I slept. Its actually so much better when I'm moving! Getting up to pee in the middle of the night and waking up in the morning has gotten a lot more interesting and achy. And maneuvering over 120 pounds of dog makes it even cuter. 20 weeks started the leg cramps. Those are fierce! And pretty consistently through my whole pregnancy I've really struggled with keeping my energy up. Pre-pregnancy I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. I also have some borderline thyroid and blood sugar issues. These are all things I've managed every day before I was pregnant. Pregnancy is just making them a little harder. I'm taking my glucose test next week... My OB is thinking gestational diabetes could be in my future based on my symptoms... We will know soon! As long as I take care of myself, rest frequently, eat high protein and low sugar, and stay hydrated, I truly feel great. But any slip-ups and I pay for it dramatically! After a long weekend of working a wedding and several things in my personal life a few weeks back, I collapsed and we almost ended up at the hospital. That was a huge lesson learned. Diet, eating well and frequently, and staying hydrated and taking breaks has to be my #1 priority. I'm finding this incredibly challenging. We have a go go go lifestyle and I just can't keep up anymore! If I kept up my normal pace pre pregnancy I am plagued with horrible crash symptoms that feel similar to the flu/depletion/withdrawal. I'm frustrated with my body and that its not letting me work as hard as I want to... But just last year when I was begging and pleading for this time in my life, I promised myself that no matter what the health of our baby HAD to be first if we were ever lucky enough to get pregnant. Truly in life nothing is more important than that! I lose sight sometimes and just get upset with myself but I remember that this is such a short phase, and keeping him safe on the inside is my job right now. We've fought too long and hard to risk his health by my over-do-ing it and incessant need to keep up our "perfect" life. Last year I would have given up anything for the opportunity to be a mama. We have it now and I just never want to lose sight of that. Overall every single symptom is totally manageable! I feel good most days and I am so thankful for that.
Now can we talk about BABY?! My last post we had just had our 16 week gender ultrasound. He looked amazing then and we were SO relieved and excited. Our anatomy scan was scheduled for 20 weeks. I was nervous for it, but not as nervous as our last ultrasound. The tech had assured us he was growing perfectly and right on track. We got amazing news again! They checked all the chambers of his heart and all of his little parts, according to them he is perfect. Aside from a few of my own challenging symptoms, baby has been wonderful every time. We've gotten a perfect report at each visit and that is just the most amazing feeling in the world.
I started to feel him at 18 weeks. I felt little flutters before but I will never forget that first KICK. I was eating alone at Jimmy Johns (that sounds incredibly depressing but I was running errands and just stopped for a quick bite, haha) I was SO sad I was alone because it was crazy! He had to of kicked me 15 times during that lunch. It was sweet. Just the two of us. Him saying "hey mama you're not alone at lunch IM HERE." That night Nick felt him for the first time. I cried. It's actually completely incredible. Obviously people are pregnant and making babies all the time, but I believe its a true miracle and we will celebrate every kick and every milestone because theres a freaking human being inside me and he's perfect and he makes us so happy. Now at 24 weeks he's CRAZY. I feel him all the time! Last night I just laid there from 11-12 feeling his every move. He's a champ at keeping his mama up at night already. Seems to be a night owl! He gets that from his dad cause its 9pm lights out in my world. But I'm trying to enjoy every little thing because I know this season is so short.
We have a name! Ah!! It took us awhile to land on it... I'm not announcing today. I feel like its totally his name but maybe we want to see his face first to be sure!? How is naming your babe so hard!? I just want it to fit him perfectly. But I feel like I am starting to identify with him and imagine him and call him by his name. Come on October I want to meet this little man!!
We started on the nursery! Here is a little peek. We've gotten a lot of the big items. We still need to "decorate" and get toys and little things to fill shelves and such. Nick and I are planning to go shopping for some fun knickknacks soon and I'm looking forward to that! Surprise, the nursery is pretty neutral... But hoping to add some darker and leather touches it make it a little more "boyish." That rocking horse was given to my sister and I from our grandfather when we were kids. Can't wait to see him on it. I've loved organizing his room and washing his clothes and blankets. I think I've been "nesting" since we bought our first house 4 years ago (haha) but it is taking on a whole new meaning now. Can't wait to see him in this space, in his clothes, and in our life.
Working full time while being pregnant has been interesting! I'm SO impressed by women! So many incredibly strong women have done this before me and I'm just like YOU'RE THE BOMB. Being 100% transparent, its hard! Days I have shoots I really save up my energy so I can give my all to my clients. My health is #1 and work is a close #2. I am so passionate about my clients and my business and giving them the best experience possible is a huge priority of mine. I skip out on a lot in our personal life so I can have the energy to deliver for my clients. I am so grateful for the help I've had from photo friends and all my 2nd and 3rd shooters. I've got backup plans for my backup plans. I'm covered in every way imaginable with the most talented and amazing ladies this year and I couldn't be more thankful for this. It really takes the extra anxiety off of me knowing my clients are taken care of no matter what. Again, such a short season of life but so important to me that I have all my bases covered. Shooting weddings 37 weeks pregnant is going to be WAY cute haha. I'm excited to shoot with all the ladies that are lined up to help me! It's going to be a fun season that I am so close to being done with already! 9 more left until baby boy arrives!
OUR KITCHEN!!! Omg I cannot wait to grace this blog with all the photos of our incredible renovation. I've been stalling because we still have some finishing work to do. I really want it to be DONE when I share it!! Right now all we have left is the cabinet crown molding and trim for the whole 1st level. We've been taking these last few things slow because we've been working non-stop and its just really nice to take a break and enjoy it. We got our island last week just in time for our party! And thats my perfect nephew modeling on top of it. I am so happy with all of the decisions we made and excited that the work is behind us. This blog will be up before baby I promise!! Once the kitchen is complete we are going to paint our oversized 4 car garage and do a little work to that structure... And then this winter add our master bath! Next year is on to the barn/studio renovation. The work is nowhere near done around here but my goodness have we moved mountains. Stay tuned.
As always thanks so much for following along and for the support! I was hoping I could update this blog more frequently but life is crazy as it always is! Glad I can post when I can and have this little online journal to look back on at this really special time in our lives.
XO - Ashley