Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks!! Halfway!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy today!! I'm so excited to meet my little man this April and can't believe how fast these past 20 weeks have gone by! Its pretty crazy to think back on my pregnancy so far, because its been a lot different than I expected. 

I don't know that many people who have been pregnant within the last 10 years, so I turned to my two sisters-in-law for advice. One has three kids (the youngest is 9) and she had rough pregnancies - extremely sick for the first 20 weeks each time and then continuing nausea until she gave birth

My other sister-in-law has Type I Diabetes and gave birth to her daughter 18 months ago when she was only 33 weeks. She had very rapid weight gain near the end of her pregnancy due to swelling & pre-eclampsia. Her daughter spent 2.5 weeks in the NICU after birth. It was a really tough time and it made her reconsider how many more kids she wanted to have. 

I never anticipated to have an equally rough experience, but I prepared myself to not have an easy time being pregnant. I expected to gain much more weight than I have at this point, and to have a larger belly at 20 weeks. I also thought I would gain more all over my body, but so far, my weight gain has been concentrated in my belly - for which I am thankful! I expected my nausea to be more intense than it was in my first trimester, and to feel more sick throughout my pregnancy in general. I just thought that pregnancy would be a lot harder on me.

I feel lucky because I truly love being pregnant. The bigger my belly gets, the more kicks baby gives me, the happier I feel! Its true for me that the second trimester has been easier compared to the first, but throughout my pregnancy so far, I feel blessed to have had a fairly smooth experience. I'm looking forward to all the changes in the coming weeks!

Week: 20 weeks!! I can't believe I'm halfway through!!

Gender: It's a BOY!! We found out last week!!

Total Weight Gain:
At the doctor last week, I got the official number - I've gained 2.5lbs since my last visit 4 weeks ago at 14.5weeks. I'm expecting that to pick up more soon!

Exercise: I've been walking a lot more this week! Its been tiring but I have a sweet husband who gives me long foot rubs. :) 

Nutrition: Similar to last week, I've been eating yogurt, granola & fruit for breakfast most days, and clementines & bananas as snacks. 

Food cravings/aversions:
This week I'm craving clementines & mozzarella pesto sandwiches on a baguette. I've also been craving eggs over easy & eggs benedict - but I can't eat those. :(

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet! I haven't been as diligent with putting on the cream lately either. :/

Maternity Clothes: I finally bought my first official maternity shirt from Motherhood Maternity and I love it! I'll wear it in one of my photos soon. Its so comfortable & cute!

Sleep: Sleeping okay, still researching body pillows & procrastinating spending the money! ;)

Feeling: Great! I've had a couple mild headaches this week but I've just been too excited about finding out that our baby is a boy to care!

Baby Movement: The movements are becoming stronger & more frequent! I love it. :) My husband finally felt baby kick last night!!

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: My family back in Minnesota. They were so excited to hear the gender news but I wish I could've told them the gender and the name we chose in person. :) 

Best moment this week: Finding out that we are having a darling little boy!

Looking forward to: Thanksgiving! Even though I'm not looking forward to a long drive, I get to spend lots of time with my husband. We're breaking the news that we're pregnant to his extended family then, too!

Did your expectations of pregnancy match your reality? Did your pregnancy experience make you rethink your plans for the future of your family? Any advice for me for the coming weeks? I love hearing from you! :)

xo kristen genevieve

We're Having A...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My husband & I are so excited to announce that we're having a...
We just got back from our ultrasound and we couldn't be more thrilled!! I expected that I would be crying or laughing uncontrollably, but when we found out our baby was a boy, I just couldn't stop smiling! I'm over the moon excited today!! :)
It's so surreal to be able to finally picture what our family will look like in just 5 months! I don't even know how to put into words how different it feels knowing we'll have a little man in our lives forever. He is our darling boy, and I love him so very much already. :)
What made the entire experience even more special was that we have named our baby after my father. When I told him the news, he was speechless! I couldn't tell over the phone if he was crying (he never cries) but he was certainly emotional and just so happy for us. Its so special to know that we are adding another person not just to our little family, but to our greater family tree as well. I feel so much love around me today! 
On Monday, I mentioned in my 19 week update that we've felt strongly that we're having a boy since the beginning. I wasn't sure if I was having that feeling because I wanted a boy so badly, or if I really just knew. Everyone except me, my husband & my Dad said that they anticipated a girl, so it was really unknown! We are so happy to just have a healthy baby, and so blessed to be where we are.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading and supporting my journey documenting this pregnancy. Its been so fulfilling getting to know new people and to have a community that shares my joy!
Until next time...

xo kristen genevieve

Christmas Is On Its Way!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Christmas tree last year!

Maybe its a pregnant thing, because this year, I've been abnormally obsessed with Christmas music since the beginning of October! I've held off setting up decorations until now, but as soon as Thanksgiving is over, you bet your bippy I'll be hanging lights & setting up the tree! 

When I was a kid, Christmas involved so many fun traditions. On Christmas Eve, my family went to church in the afternoon, then drove around the neighborhood spotting Christmas lights & decorations. Then at home, we would eat fondue together, and then each kid would get to open one present. The next morning, my brother, sister & I would rush downstairs at 5am and sit in front of the glowing tree, mesmerized by all the presents, until we were allowed to wake my parents at 7am. 

At the time I met my husband in college, I assumed most families had similar traditions. I couldn't have been more wrong! He comes from a family of non-practicing Jews that eat ham & celebrate Christmas! My husband & his five siblings recognized Hanukkah with a brief celebration, but mostly looked forward to Christmas. He never went to church obviously, but his family traditions were more focused on gathering around food. As a child, his father was the head chef, making steak with bernaise for dinner and eggs benedict for Christmas breakfast. 

Now that we're pregnant, I've spent a lot of time daydreaming about our family's future holiday celebrations. I appreciate that my husband's family genuinely enjoys spending time together, and makes a point to be a family. I also love how food-centered Christmas was in his home. From my family, I appreciate filling the home with Christmas spirit - decorations everywhere, Christmas music playing all day, and watching Christmas movies together by the fireplace. 

I look forward to blending our family traditions together. I actually think I'm more excited as an adult for Christmastime, and especially watching my kids open presents and knowing that I brought them the joy & memories of Christmas that they will remember and pass on to their kids. :)

So to get in the Christmas spirit, I found some fun crafts & decorations that I've collected on my Pinterest for the holidays. Hope you enjoy! :)

 A booklover's lamp! So creative!
Scented Fir Christmas tree topiaries covered in cloves, peppercorns & coffee beans. I love these! I found them last year on Etsy, and I've been wanting to try to make them ever since.
My husband doesn't get it - bubble lights just remind me of home!
DIY Cinnamon ornaments. Great idea and would smell amazing!
German smoking men - another thing that just reminds me of home. They are so awesome!! But hard to find!
Dress up a mason jar with some birch, sticks & twine for a gorgeous, rustic candle. I love this idea for a cabin-feel tablescape.
Simple, clean, neutral entryway decor. 
As a kid, I remember our neighbors having a full set of rattan reindeer lit up with the sleigh in tow. My brother & I got so excited every year when they popped up in their yard! This set is from Pottery Barn.

Where is your favorite place for Christmas/Hanukkah decor shopping?! I've found some fun things on Etsy lately, but I'm always looking for new ideas. Check out my holiday boards on Pinterest for some ideas I've collected already!

What are some of your holiday traditions? Did you find it difficult or exciting when blending those traditions with your spouse?

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 19 weeks!

Monday, November 18, 2013

I can't believe I'm just one week away from being halfway through my pregnancy!! Retrospectively, I feel like time has flown by so fast. I'm so grateful to have this blog as a record of my experiences each week to remember how much has changed during this time. I hope you're enjoying it too! :)  

Something very exciting happened this week! A few hours after I posted my 18 week update last Monday, I felt kicks from the outside for the first time!!! Its made me more emotional than I ever expected. You read about the movements in baby books & online, and its all true, but feeling my baby physically move within me is such an indescribably emotional experience that I never anticipated to be so intense. I feel so deeply connected to my little one when he/she turns over or gives me a little kick. :)

Since feeling baby's strong kick for the first time last Monday, I've felt about one to two dozen movements throughout the day, with one or two strong kicks or punches, every day since! My husband still hasn't been able to feel baby move, and I think he's a little jealous! ;) But I know those kicks will be stronger very soon & he'll get a chance to feel our baby dance.

In other good news this week, my husband & I will (hopefully) get to find out the gender of our baby!! We have both had a strong feeling since the beginning that its a boy, but even if we're right, I feel like the answer will still be shocking. It's just an even deeper connection with baby knowing the gender & picturing what our new family will look like. I can't wait!! I'll update you as soon as possible!! 
Week: 19 Weeks along! Almost halfway!!

Gender: Hopefully we'll find out this week!! We can't wait another minute!! We have always felt that baby is a boy, but we will be so happy either way. :)

Total Weight Gain:
I haven't had a chance to weigh myself this week, but I don't feel significantly bigger than last week, maybe 1 lb heavier. I eat constantly throughout the day so I honestly don't know why I haven't gained more at this point in my pregnancy!

Exercise: Having a cold this week, I took it easy. Squats & walking here and there, but nothing of great significance.

Nutrition: Lots of clementines & lemons again to aid my cold! I'm also trying to eat more bananas & organic apples as snacks. For breakfast, I mix it up between organic peanut butter on toast and organic low-fat plain yogurt with granola & frozen organic blueberries & raspberries. And okay, sometimes I have a bagel with cream cheese! Calcium, right? ;)

Food cravings/aversions:
Clementines!! And mid-week I was craving a dish we used to make all the time in the summer: organic tomatoes with garlic, olive oil & basil over spaghetti. Don't forget the fresh grated parmesan or romano cheese on top! ;)

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet that I've noticed!

Maternity Clothes: I am only just starting to need some new clothes because my belly had a late start. Up until now, cardigans have been my best friend! 

Sleep: I sleep through the night, but I definitely need a pregnancy pillow! I've seen the Bump Nest body pillow on a few blogs but its way too expensive! Any suggestions on a body pillow under $50?

Feeling: Aside from my cold, I'm feeling great! Its been so wonderful feeling baby move! :)

Baby Movement: Yes! Baby has been practicing for kicking soccer balls!

Belly Button In or Out? In, but it has been looking a little different over the past couple weeks. Its hard to describe!

Wedding Rings On or Off? On. They actually feel more loose than a few weeks ago - maybe because it's finally starting to get cold out!

What I miss most this week: My little niece!

Best moment this week: Feeling baby kick, definitely!! Another great moment this week was the birth of my cousin's little baby girl! She was born last Monday and is just so adorable! :)

Looking forward to: Finding out our baby's gender!! Soooo excited!!

Any guesses on the gender?! As I mentioned above, my husband & I have thought it's a boy since the beginning. My Dad also thinks its a boy. Two of my husband's siblings think it's a girl though! Last chance to guess! 

xo kristen genevieve

Should I Make Everyone Get a Pertussis Vaccine?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hi all! Today I wanted to do a different post on something that has been on my mind lately. As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent last week in Vermont while my husband was away. My 18 month old niece was sick the entire week, and at the very end, I caught her cold. Being sick while pregnant is no fun, but what I worry about even more is how I'll handle my newborn becoming sick.

I have seen public service announcements on TV over the past few years about the Pertussis vaccine. The PSA explains that whopping cough sends infants to the hospital every year, can cause brain damage and in some cases, can even be fatal. Can you just imagine feeling the joy of becoming a new parent and then standing by as your child turns blue and helplessly coughs for weeks on end? I'm sorry if that's a disturbing picture to you, but its just something that makes me really upset to think about.

The best way to greatly reduce your child's chance of getting whopping cough is to get the Pertussis vaccine. I know my husband & I will both be vaccinated, but babies don't receive their first dose until they are 2 months old. So my feeling is that anyone who wants to hold the baby and especially spend long periods of time around the baby within the first two months should get the vaccine.

Luckily, my husband & I don't have a ton of friends (don't feel bad for us, we like it that way!), but we have a lot of family. I come from a science family. My mother is a Registered Nurse and my brother studied biology, so I know they will all be on board with getting vaccinated.

However, my husband's family seems pretty resistant thus far, especially my mother-in-law. Its so frustrating to me, because I don't want to be rude, but I feel so uncomfortable. My husband has 5 brothers and sisters that live near us (plus their spouses & kids), most of whom will want to see & hold the baby within the first two months. Another thing complicating the issue is that my husband & I plan on moving back to Vermont when the baby is about 1.5 months old. Being between pediatricians and hospitals, plus traveling a lot during that time before we move makes me nervous. 

What do I do? I know my husband will help as an enforcer, but what if someone travels to see the baby and they haven't been vaccinated? Can I just say no? I honestly am not a paranoid person and I know that I can't prevent the baby from every sickness, but because baby doesn't get vaccinated for 2 months, it makes me worried. I'm just trying to do what I think is best for my baby.

Here are some articles on Whopping Cough & the Pertussis vaccine:

CDC Pertussis Fast Facts

Sounds of Pertussis Campaign

Pertussis epidemic: How Vermont's anti-vaxxer activists stopped a vaccine bill

**One last note: I understand that some people believe that vaccines cause other problems for kids, like Autism. I just want to be clear that I am not asking for feedback on whether or not to vaccinate my child. That is an entirely different discussion. 
I'm looking for advice from those who believe in the benefits of vaccination on how to deal with relatives in this particular situation. Are you/did you make family & friends get the pertussis vaccine? If you didn't, do you wish you had? As for that feedback, please comment and help me out!

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 18 weeks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I look a little bigger at night, but I'm definitely popping out!

This past week went by so fast! I am now officially 18 weeks pregnant and its dawning on me that I'm already almost halfway through my pregnancy! I'm grateful for how quickly the time has flown by because I've been anxious for a while about my husband leaving for the entire week for work. Now that he's back, I feel relaxed again and I'm missing my Vermont family already!

As I mentioned in my last post about my week in Vermont, I had such a fun time, especially with my sister-in-law and my 18 month old niece! My niece is growing so fast and it makes me so excited for my baby to have such a fun cousin to look up to & grow up with. :)

At the end of the week though, my little niece shared her cold with me! I'm really not good at being sick because I rarely get sick - my mom called me a wimp! I started to worry about whether or not I could take antibiotics while pregnant if I needed too and was just overall worried about my cold somehow impacting the baby. My sister-in-law and my husband both made me feel better, convincing me to realize that colds are normal, especially when your immune system is weakened during pregnancy. Not everything in life is perfect, and that's okay! Ultimately a little cold is just a hiccup in the grand scheme of things and being relaxed will be much better for the baby than stressing.

Now I'm back home in our apartment and I have so much to look forward to. We'll find out our baby's gender in less than two weeks now! Then less than a week after that, Thanksgiving will be upon us already. I'm so looking forward to the holidays this year! Already feeling the love from family & friends near & far, and I'm looking forward to seeing lots of family so soon. :)

Week: 18 Weeks!!

Gender: Not yet! 

Total Weight Gain:
Only 4lbs total so far! I feel like I should be heavier because my belly seems huge compared to two weeks ago. And because I eat a lot! ;)

Exercise: Chasing around my 18 month old niece! Its seriously a lot of work - toddlers are no joke!

Nutrition: I ate less than normal this week, partly due to stress and partly because I just wasn't in my own kitchen. Lots of peanut butter sandwiches this week!

Food cravings/aversions:
I LOVE clementines & lemons this week! The cit
rus cravings are back! I could eat half a box of clementines in one day, but I don't wanted to overload my body on Vitamin C.

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet! Still using Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter!

Sleep: I was sleeping fairly well this week until I got sick at the end of the week. Then I had to prop up the pillows!

Feeling: Heartburn is no longer just an evening problem - I get heartburn constantly! Hopefully that means baby will have lots of hair!
My headaches have been much better this week, which is a relief, but I wasn't feeling great while my husband was gone. Most days I was fine, but I can tell my body was definitely stressed. It was definitely one of those tougher times to choose happiness! Then getting sick at the end of the week was tough for a couple days, but luckily I have had a lot of support and have had time to take it easy. :)

Baby Movement: Flutters are happening much more frequently now! Not long enough for my husband to be able to feel it yet though. Its been so exciting!

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: My little niece!

Best moment this week: My husband coming home to me :)

Looking forward to: Relaxing back in my own space and eating all the foods I love again!

Be sure to check out my blog post about my week in Vermont with my adorable niece! She is so much fun :)

I hope you're enjoying my pregnancy updates! Please comment & leave links to your blog below! I love hearing from you! :)

xo kristen genevieve

Vermont for the Week!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I love being in Vermont. If you have read my other posts about life in Boston, traveling to New York City, and reminiscing my wedding in Vermont, you know how much I adore this place. Not only are my sister-in-law and her husband so kind and such great hosts, but I get to breathe in the crisp Vermont air every morning and gaze at the mountains for as long as I please. The air truly smells different here - it's fresh and filled with the scent of fall. I wish I could stay here for another week once my husband comes home! He loves it too.

I've been able to spend a lot of time with my 18 month old niece, Stella this week! She is so adorable. She will run around acting like a crazy toddler, but then can sit & read with me for 15-20minutes. The girl loves books! She especially loves when she sees a kitty in a book, and responds with a "meow" that sounds more like "mah-owww!" She also loves to "moo" at cows but the other day, she saw a panda on TV and mooed at the panda! Hilarious!
She doesn't say much yet, just simple words like mama, dada, papa, up & hop...but this week she's started saying the word "juice!" Its been so exciting to be here and watch her vocabulary grow right in front of my eyes. 

Unfortunately, Stella has been sick all week and at the very end of my trip, I woke up feeling really stuffy with a super sore throat! My husband finally came home Friday, which is awesome, but I don't want to get him sick too! It just sucks to feel exhausted from pregnancy & sickness. I'm not sure how I'll handle being sick as a mom because I'm such a baby when I don't feel well!

But I have so much to look forward to right now. Being home with my husband, sleeping in my own bed, and then in a couple weeks, finding out the gender of our baby! So I'm just trying to stay calm, rest, and enjoy my time in Vermont with family. :)

See you Monday with my 18 week pregnancy update!!

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks!

Monday, November 4, 2013

 Can you believe how fast the bump is growing! Seriously, I exploded over the past week. Love it sooo much! :)

This week it's been really hard to believe at times that I'm actually 17 weeks along, even though my growing belly is a constant reminder! I've had so much on my mind with my husband starting his new job and then leaving for his first business trip to Chicago. He left early Sunday morning and I'm staying at my sister-in-law's house in Vermont until he comes home.

I've actually been handling the separation much better than I thought I would (at least so far!). I'm kind of a crier, add that to pregnancy hormones and you've got a full on cry baby. But I'm trying to remember that if I feel down too much, my headaches will get worse and I will likely be stressing the little bean inside me, so I'm just trying to make the best of it! As you may have read in my previous posts, I'm all about choosing happiness, especially when it's not always the easy choice!

For the next two days, I'll get to spend time with my spunky 18 month old niece. Yesterday, we read a few books together, then she stood up, turned around and tooted towards me, then walked away. Seriously?! It was so funny. Oh, the joys of parenting! I can't wait to tell you more about what happens while I'm here! I know it will be a fun week.  

Week: 17! How is this possible, seriously?!

Gender: No gender yet!

Total Weight Gain:
Not sure as of today, but I'd guess I've gained at least another pound, maybe 1.5lbs. (I checked last week's prediction of 1.5lbs gained over the previous week and a half and it was spot on!)

Exercise: I didn't exercise much compared to last week because I've had some intense headaches. This week not being at home makes it a little tougher to get out there, but at the very least, I will be chasing around my 18 month old niece for a few days!!

Nutrition: Trying to add more yogurt with granola and fruit to my breakfast diet. At home, I just use frozen organic blueberries and raspberries, but here in Vermont, my sister-in-law spoils me with fresh strawberries! Yum!

Food cravings/aversions:
Good ol' homemade mac n' cheese, please!

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet!

Sleep: Hasn't been great as the headaches continue. It also may be time to invest in a body pillow!

Feeling: A little anxious & sad about my husband being away, but grateful to have such a great support system during times like this. I'm still experiencing headaches but other than that, everything is good!

Baby Movement: Not yet! I'm hoping soon! Sometimes I think I feel the faintest flutter, but its too difficult to tell if what I'm feeling is the baby.

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: My husband!!

Best moment this week: Spending time with family. :)

Looking forward to: No surprise here, my husband coming home on Friday!!

Isn't my belly insane?! When did you start showing? I've heard that its different with your first child because your body changes some much from experiencing pregnancy. Do/did you find that to be true? 

I'm looking forward to updating you on what else happens this week. I may do a post on Vermont again - just warning you, I really love this place! Also, thanks again so much for everyone who has started following me on Bloglovin, Instagram and Pinterest! It's so fun getting to meet new people and connect. It really means a lot to me. :)

xo kristen genevieve

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