31 weeks pregnant

And I’m 31 weeks pregnant!

Things are ticking along nicely. Something I didn’t mention in my last pregnancy update post was that at my 28 weeks midwife appointment, my midwife measured my bump. She found that it was smaller than it “should” be at this point. She knows I’m a very active person so she was almost certain it was because I haven’t gained a huge amount of surplus fat on my bump so effectively my bump is “all baby”, which can affect the results. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong or that the baby itself is too small or not growing right – though it could. So she scheduled me for an extra scan with the hospital to check.

Well, I had the scan and the baby was smack bang average size and perfectly healthy. Nothing to worry about!

And actually I had my next midwife appointment at 31 weeks and she measured my bump and found it to be bigger. She said that it’s  likely my “strong” stomach muscles were holding in everything and now they’ve relaxed a bit, as they should, so my bump is a bit more out there now. Anyway everything is looking good for my health and the baby so happy days!

My running continues. I’m averaging 25-27 miles a week which translates to two 7 milers in the week (I love these early morning runs so much) and then a longer run (10-13 miles) on the Saturday. Between that I’m strength training on my own twice a week, seeing my PT for pre-natal sessions once a week and walking. It sounds a lot but I feel no ill effects and I enjoy being active and keeping myself strong. Lots of glutes and leg exercises are my focus, which helps my running and hopefully will help the birth.

However last Saturday’s 11 miler did prove somewhat challenging. I started the run with Kyle and immediately felt such a pressure and need for a wee. Our loo stop was 4 miles away and it took all my power to focus on getting there without issue. Kyle, bless him, chatted away to me trying to keep my mind occupied but jeeze it was tough.

I made it safely and it was such a relief. It was a very warm day with minimal wind and I got hot and thirsty which didn’t make for such a comfortable run. Then a bit later on I found I was having on and off cramps in my lower abdomen. Like period cramps basically. It was highly frustrating.

I assured Kyle there wasn’t any actual sharp pains – just mild discomfort coming and going every so often. I went to the loo again and then headed home – quite a mental challenge to finish the run through these sporadic aches. When I got home the aches didn’t really disappear until I had a nice hot shower – which I prioritised (with a big glass of water) before anything else.

I Googled it and found it was probably Braxton hicks. Apparently these can be brought on by being quite active and being dehydrated. Both of which I clearly ticked that day.

It did give me The Fear for labour as I realised real contractions would be so much worse – and these cramps were uncomfortable enough! I felt fine for the rest of the day and the days following. I was worried for my next run but actually both the 7 milers I’ve done since and have felt great.

I reckon I was overly dehydrated. My midwife wasn’t worried and is happy for me to continue running but if the Braxton Hicks continue and for a lengthy period of time to cut back my mileage per run (though overall mileage in the week can remain the same – just do more frequent runs is what she advised).

My plan for Saturday’s run is to play it by ear. Kyle is going to carry a hydration pack (I think it’ll be more comfortable for him to wear than me with my bump) so I can sip lots of water on the run. If any BH appear we’ll stop and walk home and then I’ll know it’s time to cut the individual runs down.

So a bit of a test! I really hope it goes well as I do so enjoy my longer runs but of course the baby and my health is way more important. And to be honest, I don’t want to feel those sorts of cramps during a run again! It wasn’t fun.

Other than running, my general day to day has been fine. I’m still congested in the evening and need a nasal spray to get to sleep otherwise I can’t breathe. I’ll occasionally wake up anywhere from 3-5am wide awake and lay there for ages, but this is more like once a week so not too bad. And a bit of heartburn now and again (probably not helped by being greedy and eating chocolate in the evening!).

But generally things are quite good. I know I am very lucky on this front!

Have you ever experience Braxton Hicks?

How far have you been running lately?

29 weeks pregnant

The past couple of weeks have finally felt a bit more normal since lockdown is easing more and more.

And I’ve definitely felt more pregnant – or at least looked more pregnant!

The weekend before last, on the Saturday Kyle and I headed out for a run. He was going to run about 8 miles with me while I would go a bit further. The run felt amazing! Previous long runs have felt a bit of a slog due to one thing or another: the wind, the baby’s position and how tired I was. We ran a bit faster than previously and I was able to do 13.1 miles in total – and felt great!

Pregnant running is very similar to normal running in that you have good days and bad days. But I think for me, the worrier and over-thinker, I start to seriously wonder if this is it and my pregnant running is over. Then I go out for a run a few days later and everything feels fine again. Ups and downs! Sometimes my hips ache more than usual, sometimes I feel super heavy and tired, sometimes the baby is in an odd position which feels uncomfortable… and then sometimes it all feels amazing and I’m running along smoothly feeling incredible.

I’ve just learnt to not expect too much and to take each run as it comes. In my mind I’m counting down the weeks to the end and every run I get is a gift. I’d love to run until my due date – however that will look; run-walking, shuffling along, doing 2 miles here or there. I’ll take what I can get as long as the baby is still healthy and I’m enjoying it.

Anyway on that Saturday we were allowed to go shopping! Now while ordinarily I would have probably waited a while for everyone to calm down, I was keen to get a few bits and pieces for the baby and myself in terms of maternity wear. While living in leggings is a dream I was keen to change things up and wear some maternity jeans occasionally too. Everyone said H&M did really good ones so I wanted to check them on in person.

So Saturday we were able to tick off buying the pram (the Upperbaby Vista), car seat (Joie) and a pair of super comfy and flattering maternity jeans – job done!

And a few little extras…

With my parents, Kyle and I headed in Southampton where we had a John Lewis appointment to help us select our pram and car seat. This made things so much easier as honestly we didn’t have a clue and having someone talk it through with us was perfect. We were able to select the pram that fitted best into our lifestyle. We got to physically push it and see it pack away etc. This was so much better than trying to do it online.

We then enjoyed our first meal out in months at the lovely local Osborne View pub with my parents. We were sat outside (obviously) but under a partially closed marquee which made it a lot less cold. Though to be fair the weekend was so warm we were fine.

I had chicken wings to start and a mozzarella salad and a side  of chips (I can’t get enough of salty chips right now). It was delicious.

On Sunday Kyle and I headed to Bristol to meet with our friends, Kate and Jay, so we could meet their adorable identical twins who were born in January. Kate was so lovely and gave us so many baby things that she no longer needed – so so helpful! And then we headed out to Bristol Harbour for a lovely alfresco meal in Spitfire.

I went for the chicken (another thing I can’t get enough of) and chips and it was very tasty. It was just so nice to feel normal. Seeing friends! Eating in a restaurant! It was just fabulous.

Playing mum

We then hung out on the College Green in the sunshine catching up before grabbing some VERY tasty and indulgent treats from Mrs Potts Chocolate House.

Kyle and I picked up a couple of double chocolate stuffed cookies (drizzled in melted chocolate!) each and I had to get some of their rocky road again.

So all in all, a very happy, love-filled, calorie dense weekend 😉

Cookies or rocky road? I’ll always go for rocky road first and foremost.

Have you been out shopping yet or to any restaurants?

28 weeks pregnant

So I’ve just hit 28 weeks and my third trimester.

It really is so mental how quickly it flies by. But looking back so much has happened! Thankfully the second trimester has been an utter dream really. I haven’t had a huge amount to complain about, especially compared to the hell of the first trimester.

28 weeks

This week has been especially good though as we were able to get in a lot of family time (albeit in gardens) and enjoy Easter as best as we could. On Good Friday Kyle and I headed to Stansted House to go for a lovely walk.

The weather was cold but sunny. I’ve been to Stansted House a few times – a couple of those times doing the Stansted Slog Half Marathon.

Let me tell you, that is not a half for the faint hearted! Undulating and off-road, but beautiful. Sadly it hasn’t been running for the past few years, COVID aside.

Anyway we had a lovely walk and decided to drop in to the gorgeous café to see if we could grab a hot drink. Well that escalated quickly when we saw just how many cakes they had on  display. We quickly upgraded our drinks to something a little more elaborate.

Kyle went for a sausage roll and slice of lemon drizzle, whereas I went for a warmed cheese scone followed by a Bakewell tart slice.

Oh wow it was fantastic! We did have to sit in our cars to eat it though due to the COVID rules but this was quite fun. We’ll definitely be going back again!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of Kyle joining me again for a long run. This time I managed to persuade him to join me for a bit longer. I was grateful for his company because along the Southsea promenade the wind was really quite relentless against us.

Kyle was great at keeping me going and motivating. In my mind I was just aiming to get to the public loo the other side of Southsea (just over 3 miles from my last loo visit – so kind of perfect). I’m definitely slowing down. Things are getting harder. But it’s still enjoyable and comfortable (not perfect but small aches here and there rather than any major discomfort or pain thankfully). I am finding though that I’m ready to stop running around 11-12 miles. I get tired, hungry and my hips are aching enough for me to know my body is done.

Easter itself was good. We saw my parents and some of Kyle’s family which was lovely. I also caught up with my sister who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Her work schedule clashes with mine and she lives in Southampton so it makes it tricky to meet up regular (and COVID, obviously). It was lovely to see her and for her to see my expanding bump.

Kyle and I also ate obscene amounts of chocolate in the form of eggs, brownies and Colin the Caterpillar (it’s my mum’s life mission to get us every new Colin – and for that I am ever grateful).

A lovely gift from Kyle’s mum (made by Kyle’s sister who has a side hustle baking business – find her HERE)

I do have moments of deep panic where I wonder if I’m eating too much chocolate and cake. But considering my weight gain has been steady and within the normal guidelines – and I have no other risk factors, I think I’m OK. Plus my diet hasn’t changed from before I was pregnant. I was just as greedy before.

These are just adorable and so tasty!

For my sanity though I am going to check with my midwife about gestational diabetes because when I’m halfway through an Easter egg these things can haunt me!

So a fairly quiet Easter really. I would have loved to have gone out for Sunday lunch or seen more of our family but hey ho – soon! I can’t wait for next year’s Easter where we can celebrate with the little man and make new traditions and memories. Very exciting!

How did you spend your Easter?

Do you enjoy Easter egg chocolate?

Sweet or savoury scone? I love them both!

26 weeks pregnant

Another week pregnant and I’m expanding!

It’s incredible how quickly my body is getting bigger. My tummy is just fully out there now and I love it! I’m finally at that point when I walk down the road I look pregnant. I’ve always wanted to look pregnant so this is very exciting for me. I know that’s a little weird.

I didn’t always know if I wanted to have children but I did always want to know what pregnancy was like and to look pregnant. My body has always looked a certain way for all my life so for it to change so dramatically is just mental to me. I look down and there’s my bump!

Happily I haven’t really had to buy any maternity clothes (apart from buying bigger bras and sports bras) as of yet. I’m waiting until the shops open and for the weather to get warmer. That way I can just prioritise on some essential summer tops and dresses. As well as being able to actually try them on as honestly my body is getting so different I have no idea what things will fit or not! I’ve already bought a second hand pair of shorts on Depop so I’m ready to go on that front at least.

In terms of other updates for my pregnancy, I generally still feel very good. One huge positive is feeling the little guy move throughout the day. It feels so incredible. It began a few weeks ago as little flutters – or more like bubbles bursting to me. But now it’s like proper movement going across my tummy. I can see the movements from the outside and they can be fairly strong!

Kyle has felt him move several times too which is lovely. We had a funny moment one evening where we were both singing (badly) different songs to see if he’d move in response and it was clear his favourite genre was 90s pop (we both had a good memory for those lyrics haha).

One negative is waking up quite consistently throughout the night – or early morning. It’s like 4am and bam I’m awake. I guess because the light starts to come in through the gaps in the curtains and then I spend an hour or so just struggling to get back to sleep. It’s frustrating as I’m trying to bank (or just enjoy) as much sleep as possible before the baby arrives as I know later I’ll be looking back in envy at this time.

As a back sleeper it’s hard to be fully comfortable on my side, despite the pregnancy pillow so a lot of tossing and turning happens as well. And my hips feeling creaky because of the position. Sleeping on your back is bad for the baby’s health (due to a large vein running down your back and potentially getting cut off due to the weight) and it’s not comfortable anyway right now (it feels very weird) so it’s a bit of a lose-lose situation sadly.

Running however is continuing to go well which, I know I keep saying, I’m so grateful for. It’s not always perfectly smooth and comfortable though, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes my hips ache a lot, I constantly need a wee, sometimes the baby is in a low position which feels really awkward, and I’m a lot slower. But I always enjoy the run and feeling like an absolute warrior human running along whilst knowing I’m also growing a baby.

On Saturday I was pleasantly surprised to have Kyle join me for three miles of my long run which was just so lovely. He hasn’t been running a huge amount since we moved to Portsmouth. He’s running around once or twice a week for 3-5 miles but he likes to go later in the day and likes to really blast the speed. Whereas I’m enjoying far more slow and slightly longer runs in the morning. So we’re a bit out of sync!

But anyway he wanted to do a bit further a run so he joined me for three, and then ran back home again for another three. My plan was for around 12 miles and it was lovely to have him join me for the first bit rather than just listen to podcasts the entire way. I felt a little bad as just before three miles is where my first wee stop and he kindly waited for me before us carrying on for a few more minutes and then saying goodbye.

It was nice for him to see me run as I’m now so much further along in my pregnancy. I think the last time we ran together was early in my first trimester! I’m hoping he might join me for a little bit further this Saturday, but we’ll see 😉

Food-wise things are still good. Though apples, crisps and hot chocolate are still not back on the menu which blows my mind. Cake, chocolate and salads are good so there’s a happy balance, eh? I’ve also been branching out and trying new things. One of those being more vegetarian meals from Hello Fresh (we really love a lentil meal!) as well as testing out and really enjoying this vegan healthy ready meal from Tweakd.

Tweakd are a company that make home delivered pre-prepared frozen meals which are designed for athletic goals. The company was founded by an elite sports chef, Omar Meziane, and a top sports nutritionist, Mike Naylor – so people who know their stuff! Your goals can be immune health, building muscle, endurance, and/or recovery (the different meals can cover several of these goals). So definitely athletes in mind.

I picked the butternut squash and lentil lasagne, a vegan meal aiming to help recovery, endurance and muscle building. It sounded delicious and I’m definitely not adverse to trying something vegan once in a while. It was really tasty and the portion size was pretty good, though for a greedy person like me it was more of a lunch meal than a dinner meal.

Thinking about it, this would be ideal just after we have the baby – healthy ready meals with zero fuss and supporting us during a tough hectic time!

I was clearly too hungry to take a photo of it actually cooked though, apologies!

Do you ever eat pre-prepared meals?

Do you try and eat more veggie or vegan from time to time?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the Tweakd meal for free in exchange for a review. All opionions are my own honest ones.**

25 weeks pregnant

I’m 25 weeks pregnant!

I will definitely say that I’m feeling pretty good and happy. I have few complaints and know I am still so lucky to still be so active with my running, strength workouts and general walking. What I have noticed however is my recovery is a lot longer and harder.

For example, I ran 13.1 miles at the weekend and while it was tougher than what I’d have found pre-pregnancy and slower (of course) I found it OK and was happy to reach that distance. However afterwards was a different story. Instead of jumping into the day as normal with good energy levels, I found I was drained. I was definitely impacted by the distance on the day of and the day after. I felt sapped. It’s such a crazy (though understandable) change.

I’m the girl who would run 18 miles on a Sunday and then be up 5.30am at the gym the next day feeling fine. A hard marathon would make me feel this way, but not a gentle half. It’s a real adjustment to my brain. I took a rest day afterwards and napped, which really helped. It’s just about accepting that I have a certain level of energy and if I use it up on a run I have to pay for that later.

That said, I loved the run and I was happy to take it easier afterwards. I’m proud of my body and it’s capabilities. I just need to reset expectations and allow these adjustments to happen.

And I take each run as it comes. I fully expect at some point to be lowering the miles or stopping so every successful problem-free run is a gift. So far I’ve dropped my Sunday runs so instead of running around 30ish miles a week I now run 24-27 miles a week, depending how long my Saturday run is.

I love my mid-week runs. I run the same 7 mile route each time and honestly I just thoroughly enjoy it. I have a perfect pit stop at 3 miles for a lovely clean public loo, and then I’m into Old Portsmouth and running along Southsea seafront and I just adore it. Being so close to the sea (despite being very much a land creature!) is just so refreshing and invigorating.

Yes sometimes the weather can be awful right by the coast – you really are open to the elements – but when you can see the waves and smell the sea air it really does make up for it. I love it. It will make me very sad to cut back these runs as it take about 3 miles to get to the seafront so realistically I wouldn’t be able to head down there.

We can get to the east coastal area from our house in just over a mile so that’s good but it’s not a route I particularly enjoy as much. I have no idea why really as it’s a lovely route and you can get onto some trails quite quickly. I think I just really have a good association with my 7 miler as it’s the route I’ve been using since being pregnant and it just has happy vibes.

And it’s funny because I’ve been passing a building with big windows for ages and, as narcissistic as this sound, I often use it as a mirror to see myself. My changing body is just incredible for me to see, especially when I’m running, so I often look into it as I run just to see what I look like.

Anyway, inside the building they’ve been doing some work. I had no idea what for until they put a big logo and their branding on the window and funnily enough it’s called “Window into the Womb”. It’s a private scanning facility! The irony of me looking into the window to see my pregnant body and it turns out to be a pregnancy scanning facility is quite amusing.

On a non-running note, the other thing I’ve noticed is a dull period-like ache around my lower tummy. I believe this is round ligament pain – though for me it’s not painful, just achy. It makes me feel like I have a bad period. Some people apparently feel sharp pains and others more a dull ache. I just pop a hot water bottle on the area and that helps.

It’s annoying because I feel like I’ve overcome some hip pains with strength training (all about those squats, bridges and clams!) and now I have this, which I don’t believe any strength training will help as it’s all internal and to do with my uterus expanding. Though certain yoga moves do tend to ease it a bit.

To be honest, it’s not that bad and certainly manageable during the day but it’s when it wakes my up in the night and I’m lying there feeling sorry for myself then it gets annoying. But paracetamol dulls it down a bit thankfully.

Speaking of sleep, getting comfortable is tricky. I have my pregnancy pillow which is great but as a back sleeper it’s just not the same. I can drift off OK but when I wake up in the night I really struggle to get comfortable again. Very frustrating considering I want to be getting lots of sleep while I can!

But other than that, I honestly can’t complain! I’m thankful for my body and how it’s doing – it seems to be just getting on with it all. It’samazing how much my body is very much in control, rather than my mind. Previously I could get over things with some talking to’s and mind-over-matter mentality, but now it’s like “if thebody says no it means no”. And I’m OK with that 🙂

Do you have particular routes you just really enjoy and do all the time?

Do you do any yoga or stretching when you get aches and pains?