Saturday, October 7, 2017

5 1/2 Month Update

Pregnant life as of 24 weeks is thankfully smooth sailing, and I think my belly button is going to pop soon :) I've gained 16-18 lbs since May depending on which scale you ask, and it's getting harder to put on socks and shoes.


In my last blog I said that next time I'd share the gender, so.... drum roll....

It's a girl!

We're so stoked. I thought John really wanted a boy (I assume all guys want a boy), but I think he was just as or more excited than me when we found out we're having a baby girl. Personally, I'm beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to raise a strong, confident, kickass little girl. She's going to be rad, and already she's an active little thang in my belly -- kicking around like crazy! We have a name too, but I'm not sharing that yet ;)

We didn't do a big gender reveal hoopla... in fact, we were sitting in a brewery in Denver (John was drinking not me!) when we got the call with the news. Typical lol.


We went to Kauai for a week and it was, as usual, paradise perfection. We needed that trip after a rather stressful moving process (stressful because of how fast it all happened). We stayed solely on the south side this time (Poipu), and it was much more relaxed and slow-paced than we're used to, but it was nice to just lounge around and not feel like we needed to pack in a ton of hardcore action in the week. Many of our friends were there since it was for a wedding, and that made it extra fun.

I definitely felt FOMO about going to Kona for Ironman this year (we're not going), but it's ok. We have a lot going on right now and other priorities this season. We'll be back to the Big Island next year for sure. While we were in Kauai, I was just getting back to running and, ooof, that Hawaiian humidity was extra harsh on me this year but it was good for me to move & sweat. Although, I can live without the massive thigh rub and thigh chaffing I endured ;)

21 weeks on a beach in Kauai! More Kauai pics on my IG @tawneegibson.

Wedding time! Practicing with our friends' cute kid :)

I "cheated" and had a poke bowl with ahi and salmon while in Kauai... 100% worth it!

Prenatal Exercise

Speaking of, I'm exercising consistently again. Nothing crazy. Besides walking, I usually don't exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time yet. Taking an 8-week break in the middle of pregnancy while coincidingly having my uterus take over my insides and gaining weight doesn't necessarily make it easy to get back to running. It was HARD!!! But a good hard, and I'm just taking it slow and easy. At first it was nothing faster than 11:00 miles, and nothing more than 2 miles. Now I'll run 2 to 3 1/2 miles at a comfortable pace (usually 10:00-10:30 avg, with some sub-10), and I'll do that a few times a week. Just this weekend I had my "longest" run since my break, 40 minutes and just shy of 4 miles, and felt great. Get it in now, before I'm giant in my third trimester!!!

I also reintroduced some light strength training. The first session I did was 10 weeks after my last strength training session, and despite it being just a gentle 12-minute workout I literally started having DOMs immediately (not such a delayed onset lol). Thankfully the second session I did a week later fared better and I was way less sore. For any preggo mamas who are curious, a triathlete friend of mine told me about Melissa Bender's YouTube channel with prenatal strength workouts, and I like some of her circuits and the pace (i.e. not overly strenuous!).

So overall, I'm doing:
  • ~3 runs a week, 20-40 minute duration, low-intensity
  • Several walks a week of 20-60 minutes with the dog and John
  • 1-2x strength a week, 10-20 minutes
  • Prenatal "movement snacks" to prepare my body for birth, more below....

Birthing Classes

We started birthing classes this past week, and we love it so far. We're doing the Bradley Method. I don't know much about this stuff, but this method appealed to me mostly because the husband is the birth coach and, thus, is very involved. John and I are a great team, and I want nothing more than him to be my No. 1 person on the birth day. Plus, Bradley is geared toward more of a natural-style of birthing that encourages movement during labor, relaxation and low intervention.

I love Bradley's recommended prenatal exercises (aka movement snacks) to work the pelvis and hips in ways that will prepare mama for birth. There are little things I'll do daily; dozens of kegels included ;) Here's a video of some of the exercises.

At our first Bradley class I couldn't help but laugh a little because many of the concepts she covered are things that I deal with in my line of work and teach my clients, e.g., relaxation methods, deep breathing, the harms of sitting too much (instead, sit on the floor; move around!), mastering deep squats, nutritional needs, and so on.

I'll also read the book on Hypnobirthing, another popular method that, as you might imagine, includes mindfulness techniques to work through the contractions and pain.


Protein is a big topic in pregnancy. It's come up a lot, and everyone's like "make sure you get enough protein!" The low amount being 75 grams a day, with 80-100 grams a day being optimal recommended range. (Although, some say too much protein yields bigger babies, but I don't know if there's actual science on that. On the other hand, too little protein can yield a premature or low-birth-weight baby.)

I was advised to do a food log to check my intake, and I didn't get around to it for a while because I knew I was doing fine on my macros. But then the Bradley teacher mentioned it again, and I got more curious so I logged on my fitness pal. Sure enough, I'm in the sweet spot of 80-100 grams of protein a day, closer to the 100 gram mark most days. Hopefully the rumors of high protein leading to bigger babies aren't true -- I know in John's family and mine, there's already a history of having big babies. And I plan on doing this totally unmedicated. Mmm hmmm.

Other than that, I'm loving my carbs and sweets. One of the things they say, and it's probably a myth, is that moms who are pregnant with a girl crave more sweets. It feels like I'm eating so much of that stuff, but logging on MFP showed me it's still in reasonable ranges, which was reassuring. Plus, even though sugar is sugar, I still eat things made with super quality ingredients and have not resorted to crappy junk food.

Chicken and apple sandwich on GF bread with Primal Kitchen mayo & arugula. Not a donut ;)

Baby Gear

Our "baby list" of things to buy is done. That was a daunting yet very fun project. John helped me narrow things down to what we need, what we can omit, and we talked a lot about what will fit our lifestyle and philosophy on kids. I also asked advice from my mama friends.

Not surprisingly, I did a lot of research and made sure to choose mostly all non-toxic, chemical-free, safer items, especially the "big" stuff where baby will be spending lots of time -- crib, crib sheet, car seat, stroller, etc. You can really go down a rabbit hole in trying to create a non-toxic world for baby, and it can get super expensive and nit-picky, so I just tried to keep a smart balance and realize not everything needs to be absolutely perfect; it never will be.

A book that really helped me learn more about what I need (and don't need) and "clean" choices is The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth -- it's a great pregnancy book in general with tons of info! I also did lots of google searches to read what others had to say and investigative reviews on on products with third-party testing results, when available. Lastly, this blog post by Dr. Rhonda Patrick's husband inspired a few new, innovative items that we'll definitely be getting.

If anyone's curious about the items I chose, just ask and I can send you a link to a google doc I made with everything we plan to get and my references; yup, I saved some of my favorite links on choosing non-toxic, safer options. (NERD!!!) Or, you can see our registries on Amazon and BabyList; those registries don't have everything we're getting on there, but they're public so check 'em out.

We already bought some stuff and are in the process of building out baby girl's room. Crib, decor, nursing chair.... Nesting mode in full swing! Love it.


I'm learning to sleep on my sides (especially left side), as that's better for the baby than sleeping on your back -- right now she's only ~1.5 lbs, but the more she weighs, the more pressure that puts on the arteries and organs if you're laying on your back, and that isn't really that good to for long durations like sleeping through the night. It can even restrict blood flow to baby. I got a pregnancy pillow a while back, C-shaped, and that helps a ton to get comfy every night! It's all about pillows!

That's it! I can't believe my due date is in less than four months.

1 comment:

  1. I had a feeling she was a she ;) Congrats!
    Lovely pictures - and cute haircut. Glad you got some island time.
    Enjoy every minute of the remaining weeks in your new digs, getting ready.
    Best to all three of you (oh, and Finlay)