23 Weeks Pregnant

Wow, did this week go by fast! Between Nick helping out his parents some more, preparing treats for a baby shower, picking up goat milk for our soap business Horse 'O Peace Ranch, getting the 17P shot, and making a lot of soap this week, we had a full week. It was a great week, and getting to carry this baby during it made it that much more enjoyable for me. 

This week I totally felt PREGNANT! Meaning, the growing belly is starting to get in the way, the baby is getting bigger and heavier, I'm beginning to feel the weight gain, and in general starting to feel fat and self concious. This is completely normal for me every pregnancy around this time, and all my pregnant friends are feeling the same way right about now, so I'm not alone in this! Nick is a great help to me, telling me how beautiful I still am and being crazy in love with me, as he always is. He is the best husband a girl could ask for, and I'm so glad he's mine.

23 weeks 6 days pregnant 4th

How Far Along: Recapping week 23 (Picture taken at 23w 6d) (Again, sorry for the poor quality picture! Until my personal photographer has a moment to grab his camera, this is all I have for this week.)

How I'm Feeling This Week: Much better than last week.  The 3 yr. old went back to sleeping through the night, which meant no interruptions in my sleep pattern! Made for a better functioning Mama this week.

Braxton Hicks Contractions: Every day. They aren't worrisome as long as they stop when I give myself a break and put my feet up, and/or drink plenty of water.

Aversions: Almost lost my stomach contents while dealing with a dirty diaper from one of my toddlers, but who doesn't get queasy dealing with poop?

Pregnancy Symptoms: 
•bleeding gums when I brush 
•vivid dreams 
•dark hair on my belly 
•brittle nails 
•darkened areola
•New symptom: Light heartburn. I only have heartburn when I'm pregnant, and it happened because I had too much sugar one day.

Doctor/Midwife Appointment: None this week.

17P: Had my fourth 17P shot this week. It felt much better than last week's shot. And another symptom I got from the last shot (besides being sleepy a few hours after each one), was after the normal muscle pain in the first 3 days, then my arm began itching in the spot that I got the injection. It's a pretty common symptom that other moms report experiencing, but this was the first time for me. I just used some shea butter topically, and that took care of the itching.

Weight Gain So Far: I'm still doing the calorie counting as it has been helping me gain a healthy amount of weight in this pregnancy, instead of going crazy on food cravings. I'm eating about 2,100 calories each day, and I'm using the My Fitness Pal app. to help me keep track of my eating habits. Since I cook most of our foods from scratch, I like that I can add my own recipes into the app. and it tells me the calories per serving.

If you'd like to see my diet, you can look me up and I'll add you on my friends list. I'm listed as horseopeaceranch. 
Right now I'm supposed to add only 300 extra calories to my regular diet each day, which translates to about one banana and a glass of milk. None of this "eating for two" business!

Starting Weight: 119 lbs. 
Last Week's Weight: 130 lbs. 
Today's Weight: 130 lbs. 
Goal Weight Range For This Pregnancy: High: 154 lbs. Low: 144 lbs.

Food Cravings: I didn't really crave anything this week except peanut butter. So, one evening when I had plenty of calories left, I decided I'd get a milkshake from an establishment in town that makes the BEST milkshakes. I told Nick that I'd probably get the peanut butter cup milkshake since I was craving peanut butter, and that I was likely needing protein to fill the craving. When I got up to the voice box to place our order, I changed my mind suddenly and HAD to have a hamburger instead! It was perfect to fill the need I had for protein, instead of the shake which would have filled me up on empty calories anyways. 

Swap.comJeansRegular or Maternity Clothes: The maternity jeans from Swap.com arrived and while one pair fit perfectly, the other pair was too big even though it was the same brand, just a different style. So I went through the process to return the item, and after being given a full refund, they still let me keep the jeans! I will definitely shop with Swap.com again! BTW, Swap.com is an online consignment store. They have women and kids clothing, toys, books, and home decor. They are always running sales on their already great prices, and offering free shipping occasionally too!
The jeans I kept made me feel normal again, and it showed me how important it is to find clothes that are right for my body type and size, instead of settling for clothes that are too big and make me feel frumpy. Good thing I got more clothes, because I couldn't button any of my previous jeans or skirts anymore this week. It's all maternity or stretchy clothing from my waist down from here on out. 

Starting to Show: Yes, I think it's pretty obvious now.

Boy or Girl: Nick knows, but I don't. Not knowing is not driving me crazy either, surprisingly. It's been fun to have Nick tease me about the boy or girl we're having. He keeps me guessing!

Baby Movement: I felt the baby this week!!! Not just the everyday kicks and wiggles, but I could feel the baby's head or little tush one day. It was awesome to feel him/her. We've got a very healthy, strong baby growing in me. He/she lets me know they are ok every morning, evening, and if I eat something. I think he/she likes food as much as I do!

Size of Baby: He/she weighs just over 1 pound now, and about 11" long, or about the size of a large mango. 

Duplin Red WineWhat I Did to Prepare for Baby's Arrival: While it's not really for the baby, I remembered to pick up some red wine this week. What?! Did you just read that right? Yup. Every pregnancy I've had, I've experienced early labor contractions, and towards the end of the pregnancy my midwife advises me to pull out every trick in her book to get the contractions to stop. These include relaxing in a bath, using Lavender essential oil, and, you guessed it, drinking some red wine to get my body to relax. I only need 2-4oz. per hour when it is an emergency, trying to get the contractions under control. 
And even though I've needed the red wine with each pregnancy (using only once or twice per pregnancy) can you believe I've never had the foresight until now to keep a bottle on hand? Nick always has to go out early in the morning, as that's when it inevitably happens that I begin having scary uncontrollable contractions, and in NC we've learned the hard way that you can't buy alcohol until 7am.! So, we couldn't control the contractions with the last pregnancy, and that's how we had E. 5 1/2 weeks early. By the time Nick was able to legally purchase some wine, the contractions were too advanced and we had E. later that day. 
So, to try and be proactive this time, I bought a bottle of wine early and now we are one step closer to being ready for this baby's arrival!

Pregnancy Thoughts this Week: A lot of my thoughts this week were planning the logistics of having 4 kids, specifically knowing that we have plans to build a house in the near future. We plan to build small, and with having 4 kids by the time that happens, I was getting ideas for room sharing and ways to maximize space efficiently. I found some really neat ideas on Pinterest, and I can't wait to see if we actually use any of them, incorporating the ideas into our house plans! It's exciting to think about at the very least.