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Twenty Weeks: Or, how I learned to stop worrying (kind of) and love the belly

November 16, 2011

As of last Saturday, we’re officially past the halfway point.  A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks (although some go a bit longer and some are shorter), so the twenty week point is a big milestone: halfway there!

I told Ryan that it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever.  This does not bode well for the next four months.

Still, I do think the next couple of months will be the easiest.  I’ve heard that things tend to fly after you find out the sex of the baby—there’s so much anticipation leading up to that moment! 

People tell you that the first and third trimesters are the hardest, and I believe it.  The second trimester is that sweet spot where you’re still not huge, but you don’t just look like you’ve been eating pizza and donuts for two weeks straight. 

Actually, let’s talk about that.  One of the biggest misconceptions I had about pregnancy was how early I’d start to actually “look pregnant.”  I thought it would probably happen at three, four months…but it’s taking much longer. 

Here’s a twenty week pic:

DSC_0053 

The bump is there….if you’re looking for it.  But honestly, to a stranger on the street, I think I still kind of just look like I have a beer gut.  This is changing more and more, and now it seems that I’m growing and showing a little bit more almost daily…sometimes it seems I’m growing by the hour! So, I wouldn’t be surprised if next week, I have a legitimate bump.  Still my lack of a belly so far has been a strange downside of pregnancy—I never thought I’d be wanting to look pregnant, but there it is.

Another letdown?  My utter lack of pregnancy boobs.

Sigh.

I’ve gone my entire life without much…errrr….action in the chest area.  It’s something that I’ve come to terms with, and have even come to appreciate—I can go braless with certain tops and dresses, it’s much easier to run and be active without two cantaloupes strapped to your chest, and…well, it’s just me.   It’s a part of who I am, and I’m okay with that.

But.

I was SUPER excited at the prospect of learning Victoria’s secret (sorry) during pregnancy.  My friends who’d had babies would say, “My boobs grew THREE cup sizes over night, the minute I got pregnant!!!”  I wanted magically growing boobs, too!!!

Unfortunately, that has not been in the cards for me (yet).  My early alphabet bras are still fitting just fine.  Maybe I’m just a late bloomer?  I mean, I’m 28 years old, so obviously I’m a late bloomer.  I haven’t given up on the idea of pregnancy boobs yet.  I know they’re out there…sigh. 

On the other hand, while I haven’t been given the gift of pregnancy boobs, I’ve been given what I think is the ultimate gift: an easy pregnancy.  No throwing up, little nausea, no mood swings (right, Ryan?), no crying…a lot of the stereotypical pregnancy downers that I thought were just inevitable have bypassed me so far, and that’s just fine. 

I think one reason that I’ve maintained such a nice level of sanity is that I’ve really worked hard to keep up my regular exercise routine.  In fact, in some ways, my exercise routine has gotten even stronger.  I’ve been practicing yoga twice a week, and pre-pregnancy, I was lucky if I did yoga once a month.  The yoga has been perfect for helping me to relax and really enjoy the pregnancy.  Plus, you’re actually super-limber and stretchy during pregnancy, so it feels awesome to stretch everything out for an hour.

Other than yoga, I’ve been walking and occasionally doing the elliptical and lifting some weights at the gym.  Running just wasn’t happening for me, and that’s fine.  I find fast-paced walking to the be perfect mix of cardio and relaxation, so that’s what I’ve been doing—2-4 miles when I go out, often listening to a Pregtastic podcast (love these!!!).  In fact, Ryan and I did 6 miles at the Greenway last weekend, and it felt awesome!

One thing I’ve learned is that just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean that you’re some weak little flower.  Sure, you have an excuse to sit on your ass and watch tv all day, and who doesn’t love that every once in a while…but, for the most part, you can (and should!) stay pretty active.  It’s better for you, and it’s better for baby.  And, I keep trying to remember that all of the stamina and strength I can build up now will be very helpful in four months when I’m trying to push a watermelon out of a hole the size of a pea.  You need mental and physical strength for that, my friends.

Of course, all that being said…certain things about pregnancy suck.  They just do.  I miss wine…a LOT.  Life just isn’t the same when you can’t settle down with a glass of red wine after a long day.  In fact, it’s a little sad how sad I am about missing wine.  Sleeping has also been less than fabulous.  However hard I try to sleep on my side, I inevitably end up on my back by morning.  I’ve also been waking up between 2 and 10 times a night to pee.  Seriously.  I’m also really stuffed up.  True, it sounds like a small thing—but you try breathing out of your mouth for nine months straight.

But, all of these things pale in comparison to the knowledge that a little person is growing inside of me.  Growing inside of me.   Honestly, I think coming to that realization has been a good and bad thing.  It’s good because…well, you know—the miracle of life, yada yada yada.  But it’s bad because….dear GOD we have a human being on the way.  A human being that we have to nurture and love and raise into a contributing, functioning member of society.

That’s a lot of pressure.

I think one of the most stressful parts of pregnancy has been my tendency to fixate too much on the future.  I see 13 year old girls at the mall, texting on their cell phones, or posting on Facebook, and I think, “Not our child!” I read articles about bullies in schools, or the failure of the education system, or the giant garbage islands, or child predators, and I think, “We have to raise our child in this?"   

It’s a daunting thought.

But worrying constantly about what might be difficult in the future is a recipe for disaster—you’d drive yourself crazy.  So, I try to focus on what is going well—this pregnancy, for one.  And the fact that we have so many people around us loving and supporting us, and already loving and supporting our baby-to-be.  It’s pretty awesome. 

But I still want my pregnancy boobs.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Amye permalink
    November 16, 2011 4:36 pm

    Pregnancy boobs-that’s too funny! Once I delivered my little boy, my boobs grew about three cup sizes and I hated it! None of my shirts fit! So, trust me-eventually you will get your boobs 🙂

    • November 16, 2011 4:44 pm

      Ha, I know– be careful what you wish for, right? 😉

  2. November 16, 2011 4:59 pm

    I never got pregnancy boobs either! I did go shopping for new bras once (hoping that would encourage them to grow). I took one look at some of those sizes and hid my chest before they got any crazy ideas after all. One of the bras I could have fit both of my buttocks in just one of the cups. On the plus side I never got swollen ankles, morning sickness, etc… either. 🙂

  3. November 16, 2011 5:00 pm

    So glad your pregnancy is happy and healthy!

  4. November 16, 2011 5:39 pm

    Although I’ve never personally experienced pregnancy, I do have lots of friends (& a sister) who have and I think your non-boobs are definitely a blessing!!! From what I hear all sorts of interesting things happen up there after the baby arrives 😉

  5. November 16, 2011 5:52 pm

    I think when you’re a bit taller, theres so much more room for the baby to spread. At 5’1…there was just no where for my babe to go 😉 Don’t worry- you’ll bump more soon! And you have a second chance at those boobs if you breast feed ;). You look fabulous!

  6. November 16, 2011 5:53 pm

    My boobs are huge and I’m actually scared for what they will look like when I’m preggo (and full of milk)! Well more scared about what they will look like when I’m done breast feeding! That’s not anytime soon though, so we’ll see haha.

  7. November 16, 2011 5:59 pm

    I loved this post. 🙂 Way to go on keeping up the exercise!

  8. November 16, 2011 6:41 pm

    You’re going to be an excellent mom! And I think I would seriously hurt someone for even drinking wine near me if I was pregnant. I mean really. And I’ve seen friends go through awful pregnancies with big boobs – I’d take shrinkage for an easy pregnancy hands down.

  9. November 16, 2011 6:46 pm

    I love every second of this post.

    “I thought it would probably happen at three, four months…but it’s taking much longer.”

    and

    “But honestly, to a stranger on the street, I think I still kind of just look like I have a beer gut.”

    True story: On the beach in Aruba at about 34 weeks a woman said to me, you’re pregnant??!!!! I thought you just had a beer belly.

    Umm, yes. I am still mortified by her comment nearly 6 yrs later!

    You look beautiful and all the points you brought up, I am nodding in agreement with. Malls, cell phone, raising a daughter…yep.

  10. November 16, 2011 7:19 pm

    You look so cute!! With my 1st pregnancy I didn’t get a belly till about 6months. The second pregnancy I got a belly right away, so its all different.

    I worry about all the same stuff. With two girls, raising them in this crazy world can feel a bit daunting, and worrisome, but I know it can be done 🙂

  11. November 16, 2011 8:03 pm

    You look great! Raising kids is so scary. I question everyday if I’m a good parent. Our boys are incredible and incredibly different. Everyday is a new challenge, but watching them grow up is amazing. It really is a miracle that there is a little bit of Tony and I put together to make these new individuals. No, it’s never the right time and no, you won’t always have the right answer, but it is such an exciting adventure to a new part of your lives together.

    I will pray to the boob Gods that you get more up top! You deserve some stripper boobs…or at least Ryan does, right?! I’m glad you’re feeling well Anna!

  12. November 16, 2011 8:07 pm

    You look great! I have a feeling that belly with POP in no time. Love these updates!

  13. November 16, 2011 8:22 pm

    Your pregnancy posts are so real, I love it. As for the boobs, coming from someone who has always been “blessed” in that area, I would gladly give you some. I hate them, they make my back hurt when I exercise and I would love to wear tanks in the summer without a bra. Grass is always greener, right?
    Congrats on hitting the half way point!

  14. November 16, 2011 8:28 pm

    I never got pregnancy boobs either, but I did get post-pregnancy boobs. Awful and painful at first but then everything I hoped for for 20 months.

    Love your little bump.

  15. November 16, 2011 9:53 pm

    I grew a whole cup size the 8 weeks I was pregnant. (sorry to be morbid) I went from a 34B to a 34C. I guess I should have known something was wrong when at around week 9-10 I was back in my 34B’s. I just thought…huh…that’s odd. Never did I think…

    Anyway, sorry, I am super happy for you guys and you look adorable!

    • November 16, 2011 10:26 pm

      No need to apologize, girl. Crazy how quickly the body changes and adapts to pregnancy– sometimes before you even know you’re pregnant!

  16. November 16, 2011 10:14 pm

    You are toooooo funny! Ok, so I was thirteen when my mom became pregnant with my brother, and I seriously was PISSED that she didn’t look pregnant until about, maybe…6 months into her pregnancy! I think even when she was full term I was disappointed at how “big” her belly was. I had seen pictures of her when she was pregnant with me and she was so much bigger! So, I thankfully know that I will not get big until further in my pregnancy, but I would not have known that had I not witnessed it in my mother (and I understand the desire to look pregnant, I really do! It’s not strange)
    Speaking of desires, I secretly look forward to having big boobs when I’m pregnant too 🙂 The only downside is that I will want them to STAY big!! HA! Fat chance. No pun intended there.

  17. November 17, 2011 12:24 am

    Love the Dr. Strangelove reference! Good luck with the boobs, too 🙂

  18. November 17, 2011 1:06 am

    You are beautiful Anna.

  19. November 17, 2011 12:37 pm

    You look beautiful – can’t wait to see you in person this weekend! You are built just like me and I did not show until about 6 months. It is a blessing, though – you don’t get so sick of those maternity clothes. I remember when I was about 5 months pregnant, a guy I knew said “You’re pregnant?! I thought you were just getting fat!” Sigh… So glad you have had an easy time of it – count your blessings.

  20. November 18, 2011 12:55 am

    Great post and I’m do happy for you both. I can only imagine the adjustments to being pregnant and the worries that come with it, especially since I tend to be a worry wart! But it sounds like you’re handling it smoothly!

  21. November 18, 2011 4:36 am

    You look so good, Anna! I know people show at all different times but I’m positive that cute bump will show up soon enough. I worry about kids growing up too, but for now enjoy the time you get to protect the little one from those cell phones and malls!

  22. November 18, 2011 7:59 pm

    You are so tiny, I can’t believe you are 20 weeks!!!! My boobs grew massively through each pregnancy, and when I was breastfeeding, holy mother, I didn’t think they made bras that size; my biggest was a 40F…thankfully the lady lumps have gone down a lot since then!

  23. November 19, 2011 1:01 am

    Be careful what you wish for. I’ve more than made up for my lack of pregnancy boobs now that I’m a breastfeeding momma!

  24. November 20, 2011 9:07 pm

    I think you don’t look pregnant because you’re so tall, and I think it’s really the best anyone could ask for … You’re going to look cute and chic at 40 weeks, not rotund. I feel like I ever do decide to get knocked up, my height will be a blessing

  25. Katie McTighe permalink
    November 21, 2011 8:11 pm

    Anna, really enjoyed reading this post! You look absolutely lovely, glad to hear you and the baby-to-be are doing so well! Happy early Thanksgiving!

    • November 21, 2011 8:13 pm

      Aww, thanks Katie!!! So good to hear from you!!

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