16 week pregnancy update

I had high hopes for writing weekly pregnancy updates since I shared the news we’re expecting our third baby. I thought I’d be sharing all the nitty gritty details, the highs, the lows and everything in between. I thought I would have written pages of pregnancy updates already but here we are with the 16 pregnancy update already!

I was mad at myself for not writing about my first two pregnancies and letting them pass by without much thought. But the truth is, not a lot happens during pregnancy. Well it does, of course it does! I’m growing a person inside me and that’s the biggest thing that will ever happen to me. An actual human being is developing as I sit here and write this and it blows my mind. It’s incredible that my body can do this without me giving it any instruction or guidance and I can just sit back for 9 months and a fully fledged baby will be cooked.

But on the outside, other than being a bit tired and having sciatica, not a lot is going on. I actually keep forgetting I’m pregnant. We went for a long walk at the weekend and I was exhausted by the end of it. I genuinely couldn’t understand why I was so tired until I remembered I was pregnant.

 

 

Coping with the tiredness

The tiredness is easing off now and is nothing like it was in the first trimester. Looking back, I was basically a zombie for six weeks! I could barely focus on anything because I was just so tired.

Now I just feel tired like you would after a particularly long and busy day (that also included an intense gym session at lunch time!)

To deal with this I’m simply going to bed really early. I usually go up to bed at 9pm, read for a bit and fall asleep by 9.30pm. Not exactly rock n roll but I’ll usually get a good 9 hour sleep and feel great in the morning.

As someone who used to go to bed at 10.30-11pm this early bedtime routine took a bit of getting used to as it means I need to start winding down for the evening really early!

 

Sciatica

I had sciatica with my first two pregnancies so I was expecting this. It’s a pain that runs through the lower back and bum and is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Thankfully, I didn’t have it later on in pregnancy so hopefully this will start easing off soon.

The main thing I’ve found that helps is simply sitting properly in a comfortable chair. If I slouch on the sofa for a few hours I’ll be in agony, so I just try and sit properly and while I’m working I sit at a comfortable chair. Stretching helps ease the pain but sitting properly is what really stops it developing in the first place.

Admittedly, this probably doesn’t help the sciatica!

 

Staying active and healthy

I do feel like I’ve been gaining more weight during this pregnancy than I did with George and Joseph and I know exactly why. I’m tired and feeling lazy so I haven’t been doing any exercise and I’ve been eating junk food that’s quick and easy to prepare. Staying within a healthy weight range isn’t rocket science, it’s just about consuming as many calories as you burn.

The solution is simple:

  • Exercise more
  • Eat less junk
  • Eat more healthy food

Yea…it sounds so simple when you list it like that but in reality it isn’t so easy!

I do like to be healthy and active so there are a few things I’m doing to help.

I’ve bought an activity tracker watch to track my steps. I’m aiming to clock up 10,000 steps a day and I feel like the watch gives me a little motivation boost to walk rather than driving. It gives me a push to take the dog for an extra long afternoon walk rather than just throwing a ball in the garden for him too.

And when it comes to eating, it’s just about being prepared. I’ve been preparing batches of mason jar salads, something I love to do because they look so colourful and pretty and mean I have 3-4 days worth of healthy lunches ready and waiting.

 

Maternity wear

I haven’t bought any maternity wear just yet. It’s funny because in the first trimester I felt HUGE. I was sure I was expecting twins and I couldn’t believe how big I was getting. I didn’t want to buy any maternity clothes before the first scan but it seemed like everything was too tight.

But that seems to have evened out now and I feel like I’m a normal size for 16 weeks.

People say it’s down to muscle memory and the fact my stomach muscles won’t be as strong as they were 5 years ago when I was expecting George. I might not have had a six-pack then but I was definitely stronger and had the strength to keep my tummy flat until around the 20 week mark!

I’m mostly wearing leggings, dungarees, dresses and low-rise jeans but I am planning on buying some jeans from H&M this week. I did a poll on my Instagram stories asking for suggestions for maternity jeans and H&M was definitely the favourite with around 40 suggestions for H&M skinny fit maternity jeans! I’ll probably buy two pairs of jeans and lots of long t-shirts from Primark. I prefer tightly fitted clothes because I find baggy clothes just make me look fat. I’m 5”3 and size 8-10 so loose-fitting clothes tend to drown me.

I have bought some crop top style bras from Primark. They remind me of the ‘bras’ I used to wear when I was about 10-11. They’re so comfy but also supportive and were great during that time when my boobs seemed to get bigger everyday!

These are maternity leggings from Love Leggings (gifted) but they’re a little too big at the moment. They’re lovely and soft and great value. I was advised to order a size up so went for a size 12 but wish I’d stuck with a 10.

 

How we’re preparing for baby

We’re not!

It’s funny how things change with a third baby. With George and Joseph I read all the books, bought all the stuff, started researching everything and spent most evenings watching One Born Every Minute! This time….errr….nothing.

All of our newborn baby stuff is currently on loan to friends and family and I have a few friends with babies so I know we’ll inherit some baby bits and bobs.

This time I know that all I really need is boobs, a Moses basket, a car seat and a big pile of baby grows! I actually got rid of most of our baby items. It’s not because I didn’t think we’d ever need them again but because I bought most of it second hand for George so everything was a bit shabby by the time Joseph had used it. We’re better off financially now so I am looking forward to buying some lovely new baby clothes!

One thing I do want to get is another Lalabu Soothe Shirt. I had one for George but lost it by the time Joseph arrived (how I can keep £2 Primark t-shirts for 10 years but lose a $75 top I don’t know!) but I’d like to get another. It was an absolute lifesaver and made that ‘fourth-trimester’ a lot easier.

Taken 4 years ago but I swear I look 10 years younger!

 

Extending our house

OK, when I say we’re not doing anything to prepare for baby, that’s not entirely true. We’ve just had planning permission granted to extend our house so we’ll have a large kitchen/diner, two extra bedrooms and a large living area attached to our bedroom!

The decision to have a third baby and extend the house were closely linked. We didn’t need to do one without the other, we probably should have just done one at least a year before the other!

It’s going to make our house so much bigger but this is all really terrible timing because we’re going to be knee-deep in building work when the baby arrives. Sam has been tasked with the impossible mission to make sure the extension is watertight by the time the baby arrives in early October. Considering we haven’t even had the engineer’s calculations through yet and Sam is planning to do the majority of the work himself….well…. let’s just say it’s optimistic!

We could wait a while and delay the building work but it’s just putting off the inevitable disruption for even longer and I’d rather get it over and done with ASAP. Starting now also means that it should be finished by the time the baby goes into it’s own bedroom. If we delayed the work, we could end up with a two year old sleeping in our bedroom with us!

I am very lucky that if the building work all gets too messy and dirty I can escape to our caravan in Abersoch or hide away at my parent’s house (who are already a bit excited about the possibility!)

 

How we’re preparing our boys for a new baby brother or sister

It seemed to take a long time for the news to sink in with George and Joseph. I couldn’t work out if they didn’t understand or if they just didn’t really care. They’re still not exactly excited, they just talk about it in a matter-of-fact kind of way. They often talk about the baby in mummy’s tummy and they’re really gentle and caring. Joseph pats my belly whenever he notices it sticking out and gives it kisses. George is always asking if the baby is OK and if the baby liked certain things. I went on a slide with him at a soft play barn this weekend and George was thrilled to know the baby liked the slide too!

George is a little concerned about how the baby got there and how the baby will get out. I’ve cheated a bit and taken the easy option by telling him all about cesarean sections (which is how I had both the boys and will have a third with this baby too). I’ve shown him my scar and told him the doctor will numb my tummy and cut the baby out and then stitch me back up. He seemed quite happy with this answer but now he keeps asking if we can get the scissors to cut the baby out and check it’s OK. He then reassures me that we’ll put the baby back straight away, he just wants to check it’s OK.

 

Will we be finding out the gender?

We found out the gender for both George and Joseph so we have discussed not finding out this time to have a different experience. People say it’s more exciting if you don’t find out, but we’re still undecided.

It would be nice to find out as I felt like that helped me bond with the baby before it arrived. I also think it’ll help the boys understand a bit more too. They currently call the baby a girl and, even though I keep explaining it might be a boy, they both seem adamant it’s a girl which might be a bit of a shock if it’s not.

We’re also getting lots of, ‘Fingers crossed for a girl!’ comments which is getting a little tiring. I’ve spoken to lost of parents who have 3 boys and everyone says the same. Why do people assume if you’ve got 2 boys you’d want a girl? It’s as though people assume boys aren’t as nice as girls and you’d be disappointed if you have a third boy. People think it’s a shame if you have 3 boys and you see the genuine confusion in their eyes when you tell them you’d be just as happy with a boy and, if it is a boy, you won’t be trying for a fourth baby in the hope you finally have a girl (yes, people really ask that!) It’s not like we have any control over the gender anyway!

So part of me wants to find out so I can stop having these conversations but part of me would like the surprise. We’ve got 4 more weeks to decide!

 

Am I feeling any movement?

I sometimes think I can feel movement but it isn’t regular. A few times when I’ve got into bed at night I felt the familiar flutters in my lower belly. But it could also be gas and because I’m feeling my old cesarean scar being stretched it could simply be a tender area along the scar tissue. I definitely felt kicks at around 18 weeks with Joseph so I’m sure I’ll feel regular movement soon.

 

Read more: My 37 week pregnancy update (with George)

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Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel.Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

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