22 WEEKS + Why I run during pregnancy and what helps me to run pregnant!

Week 22 is HERE!  The bump feels like it is growing bigger each day (probably because it is;).

A few things from this last week!

*“Please bless the baby will eat well and that she won’t be picky.”  -We always know what Brooke’s concerns are about the baby through her prayers;)

*My love for mangos is quite strong right about now!  Basically I just want to eat fruit and carbohydrates right now.  A hamburger/steak/large amount of meat sounds pretty awful and so does candy/ice cream but everything else is great.  If I could live off of fruit and carbs right now (which I kind of do), I 100% would!  Cereal has also made another big appearance in my life.

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*Andrew has felt the baby kick around now!  I love this because it feels like for so long it has just been me that has been able to feel her but I love that he can now feel her!

*42 miles of running last week, one strength training session and 4 other times I attempted to strength train but went and took a shower instead.  I’m still not using a belly band while I run and with Brooke I started using one at around 30 weeks pregnant but my stomach is growing faster than it did with Brooke so I expect to be using one soon!

*I like to read my baby updates when I was pregnant with Brooke and I came across this memory.  In just a few weeks I’m sure my belly button (I have a little hernia right where my belly button is so the hernia really sticks out when pregnant) will be sticking out like crazy again and the bandaids will be saving me!

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*Our 21 week ultrasound was really great.  I loved being able to see her on the monitor for 45 minutes and to see that everything is going well so far.  Daily Andrew says, ‘Can’t she just be here already?!?’  I feel the same way!

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*Brooke now wants the baby to be named Jewelry.

*My life explained perfectly each night:

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*Andrew and I might have a chance to go on a little baby moon in September:)  We found a weekend where both kids might be with their other parents and I am so looking forward to a fun weekend together!

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This is one of those topics that is SO SPECIFIC to each woman and each pregnancy.  Knowing what is best for YOU and your baby is always the best decision (and what your doctor said) but I just wanted to share my personal experience with running and pregnancy.

I’ve probably told you this a million times already but getting out the door to start my run is close to impossible right now.  It always takes a little self-discipline and some days are easier/harder than others normally but during pregnancy, each day is hard for me to get out and go.  I feel EXTREMELY lucky (and I know it is just not possible for a lot of people to do so… like my sister when she was pregnant) that I am able to run during pregnancy and once I can’t anymore, I’ll definitely switch over to walking/spin bike etc.  But for now I wanted to share 10 of the reasons that get me out the door when a pancake and another nap (yes, I could take a nap within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning) sound like a much better idea;)

I was reading an article from Pregnancy & Newborn and loved this part about exercise and pregnancy.

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From that same article, ‘Regular exercise during pregnancy may decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean delivery, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.’

1.  I’m always one for ALL OF THE FEELINGS but during pregnancy they are exaggerated times a million.  I worry more, I feel more anxious, I have days that I feel much more sad than I normally do and I cry (a lot).  I really and truly love running while pregnant because it helps me so much with these strong emotions.  I come back from a run feeling so much better and a lot happier.  The anxiety lowers with each mile and I feel more peaceful after a run.  The article above also talks all about the physical bonuses too that I LOVE from running.

2.  I run now because I know the entire rest of the day will go so much better.  I’ll have more patience, I’ll feel more energy and I’ll have a more positive perspective.

3.  I do think that exercise helps with delivery and recovery and I will GLADLY take those benefits in a heartbeat:)

4.  Running makes me feel kind of normal again.  Pregnancy brings about ALL of the changes and hearing my footsteps on the pavement and moving my arms back and forth brings me some normalcy.  It helps me to feel a bit more confident and ‘sexy’ (yes, I did just say that ha… because pregnancy normally doesn’t make me feel that way;).

5.  ME TIME x a million.  This is a constant reason while I run but I need it during pregnancy just as much if not more:)

Things that help me to run while pregnant:

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1.  During the first trimester I knew that a run was one of the few things that would help me to feel somewhat better and less nauseated.  Between the fresh air, hormones released during exercise and movement… I knew that by getting out the door, I would feel a little bit better during and/or after.  For the first trimester I really focused on more run/walking.  I would run for .75 miles and then walk .25 miles or something like that.  Breaking the run up with plenty of walking made the whole experience much more doable for me.  I stayed in the mile that I was in and definitely cut back my mileage overall.  I decided I was going to cheer myself on for each mile that I did get rather than think about the miles I wasn’t doing anymore.   Drinking some ginger tea before leaving on my run always helped calm down the nausea a bit too so the run felt a little bit better.

2.  SUPPORT in all of the right places.  Soon the belly band and bandaids over my belly button are going to be my biggest helps but a good sports bra IN THE RIGHT SIZE has changed my life lately… I’m loving the Fiona and I definitely sized up a bunch of sizes right away so getting the correct size has helped.

3. KNOWING that in order to run, I have to be exact with getting (more than) enough food and water each day.  During that first trimester when NOTHING sounded good, I knew that if I was going to run… it didn’t matter if nothing sounded good.  I had to make sure I was eating and drinking more than enough.  It’s no longer about me… it’s about the baby so eating enough has been a top priority.

4. The treadmill is becoming more and more handy for me now.  It allows me to jump off and use the restroom whenever I need and to have 5 fans pointed directly at me at all times.  I did the same thing with Brooke and as this pregnancy progresses, I don’t want to be 5 miles away from home if something happens… it is nice to be at home and if I start feeling a cramp or something strange I can just go straight to my couch rather than have to run home.  When I run outside I always have my cell phone with me!

5. I bring water with me on EVERY run.  I drink constantly and stay far away from anything resembling dehydration.

6.  I stretch more than ever after each run because my body just needs it more now.  I also have done glute work at least once a week because I feel so much weakening in my glutes and make sure to get in at least a little something to help them to continue to help me to run.

7.  While our form HAS to change a bit while running pregnant, I still try to make sure I tuck my tailbone under, stand tall, keep my gaze forward, shoulders relaxed and lift my knees a bit.

8.  People stare at you a lot more when you are out and running pregnant:)  Most of the time they are usually wondering what the heck I am doing but I like to think of an old man that one time was staring at me when I was running while pregnant with Brooke.  He gave me a high-five as I went by and told me, ‘GREAT JOB.’  So now I just assume that anyone that is staring at me is thinking the same thing as that man… I will not let them make me feel self-conscious or weird.

9.  At each appointment I talk to my doctor all about it.  He said I am gaining plenty of weight and measuring fine (this last appointment he actually told me I am measuring big on the outside but he was more than okay with that) so I can keep the running going.  He said he doesn’t recommend marathons (because it is hard to stay hydrated) for his patients but if I want to do more halves then to do them.

10.  Enjoy it the most that you can.  Pray, talk to your little one, soak in the fact that you can go whatever pace you want and the fact that it’s awesome that you are just out there DOING IT.  Don’t do more or faster than you are comfortable with and listen to your body with your ears WIDE open.  Running will always be there for you when your body is ready again if you do have to stop running but if you are able to run—>   Enjoy the me time and stare at the shadow of your cute belly bump as much as possible:)

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Pregnancy and exercise… I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!!  What worked for you?  What were some of the benefits?  Did you have different experiences with different pregnancies?  

Did you get to go on a little babymoon before any of your kids were born?

Anyone pregnant reading… what are some of your biggest cravings and aversions lately?

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40 comments

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I have been exercising as normal except at a lower intensity… I had been taking a break from running before getting pregnant so I don’t think I will start getting back into it till the baby is born.
What belly band do you recommend for exercising I have been looking at a few trying to decide but curious what one you use/ if you’ll use the same one as with Brooke?
My newest craving/ obsession has been lemonade and all things Lemmon flavored… kind of random. But sense getting pregnant I haven’t been able to look at ground turkey which I used to eat almost ever day. Veggies were hard through the first trimester the only ones I could eat were tomatoes and okra and spinach if I blended it in a smoothie… but now at 17 weeks they are slowly coming back into my life.

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HEY MICHELLE!!! So the one that I used with Brooke is no longer available… and I absolutely LOVED it. I’m so bummed because I don’t still have the one I used with Brooke either. I’ll be trying a new one soon and I’ll post it as soon as I know if it is a good one or not (once I have to use it)! I hope that you have SO MUCH LEMON coming your way soon:) I am so glad that veggies are coming back into your life… that first 15ish weeks was SO weird with my eating. Congrats on your new little one Michelle!

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I’d love to get your recommendations on belly bands that worked for you while running. I plan to run while pregnant too!

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HEY SC!!! SO I don’t currently have a recommendation yet… The one that I used for Brooke is nowhere to be found. I bought it online at Ultimate Maternity and now they don’t offer it. I have bought another one but since I haven’t needed it yet, I don’t know if it is a great one yet. As soon as I do, I’ll let you know! I’ll post whatever one really works well for me! THANKS!

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Thank you! I look forward to reading your review!

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First pregnancy I didn’t workout much. Second pregnancy I ran for 4 months and did insanity till the day she was born. The last pregnancy I ran for 7 months and did pump classes until he was born. I loved being able to exercise during pregnancy. It made me feel so much better about myself and the weight I was gaining ( I had self image issues only during pregnancy)

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That is SO awesome Jenny! I’m so glad that exercise was able to help you so much during your second and third pregnancy! It really does help with body image during pregnancy so much! Thanks for sharing girl:)

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I ran while pregnant. I started decreasing mileage around 30 weeks and definitely got slower! It helped me a lot with recovery but not delivery. The nurses said my muscles were so strong “down there” that they didn’t want to relax. Needless to say I pushed for just under 4 hours and it was rough! But I’m happy to say I got a healthy baby girl when it was all said and done.

My hubby and I went on a baby moon to Washington DC. It was wonderful! We walked a ton (10-13 miles each day) and I was exhausted (I was 32 weeks pregnant) but it was worth seeing everything. 😊

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That is awesome Sarah you were able to run for so long but LAME about those muscles down there being so strong… 4 hours is so long to be pushing! Oh, what a fun baby moon… I got tired just reading how much you walked each day ha!

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Brooke’s prayers for the baby crack me up! So cute the little things she worries about for her sister. I hope the babymoon works out! It would be so nice for you and Andrew to have some time to yourselves before had a baby to your family.

Have a great night :)

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YES YES YES!! Thanks Maureen and I hope you have a fabulous night too!

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At my 16 week appointment, my midwife told me I needed to stop basically all exercise except for swimming and walking because my blood pressure was high. That didn’t sit well with me at all because I was very active before I got pregnant and I know how beneficial activity is during pregnancy. I didn’t see how cutting out exercise was going to help keep me and the baby healthy. Luckily, the next doctor and specialist I met with both agreed with me and said I could exercise, as long as I didn’t over do it (then they had to convince my overprotective husband). Thank goodness they did though! I feel so much better physically and especially mentally going to Jazzercise than when I wasn’t. I’m not teaching anymore and have switched to all low impact but am happy that it still feels really good. I’m hoping to go for as long as I can and that it helps keep down the risk of preeclampsia.

No major cravings or aversions here. I really thought I’d have more. Chicken breasts are about the only thing I can’t eat. I’ve been enjoying French fries a lot lately but I’m not sure I can blame that on pregnancy ;)

I love that the ultrasound tech put “Dad’s nose” on the pic-so cute!

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I am SO glad that you are able to keep exercising Kaci!!! A ton of my friend’s have had that same thing.. NO chicken breasts while pregnancy. Keep loving those french fries!

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Oh man, I totally started stretching while I was pregnant and I guess because of all the hormones, my joints were loose and I screwed up my SI joint and pinched my sciatic nerve! Ha ha! I don’t even know how to stretch. I am SO uncoordinated.

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So happy you are able to keep running. I really, really wished I could have run my whole pregnancy. I had these dreams of being super fit while pregnant. Keeping up with running and strength training and being one of those cute toned pregnant people….but I was put on bed rest pretty early for an irritable uterus and was in and out of L&D. So I basically sat around chugging water the last half of the pregnancy. Meanwhile no matter what I ate I gained weight and the doc scolded me on more than one occasion. Which is so frustrating!! If I could just run things would be fine.

I so hope to have a different experience next time around.

Keep it up girl. Drink all the water!

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I just announced my pregnancy on my blog so I’m happy I can start commenting now! I’m 16 weeks on Friday and I’m an American living in china. Everyone here believes that pregnant women shouldn’t exercise, except chill walking. But I’m running and doing weight exercises and feeling great! (Oh ALSO, in china they believe that after giving birth a woman should sit for a month. She can’t wash her face, brush her teeth, touch cold water, eat fruit etc!!)
For my runs, I love running for about 4 minutes then walking for 1 minute. I feel like I could go forever when I do this! I don’t run every day as that didn’t suit my body before pregnancy either, but about every other day. Because it’s my first pregnancy I’m not showing too much, but I know when I start showing and am outside running, I’m going to get a LOT of stares from Chinese people:)
I had so many food aversions during my first trimester but now I’m back to eating all the foods I used to love! Currently I’m obsessed with baked fries and ketchup, Caesar salad, soup and cornbread, cold oatmeal or chiaseed pudding and ALL the fruit which is so cheap and abundant in my city!
I’m loving reading all your baby updates!

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CONGRATS ON YOUR PREGNANCY!!! Wahooo! So happy for you:) Good for you to keep up your running and weights! I’ve never heard the post-baby 1 month of sitting thing, I don’t think that would be possible for me. So glad you are back to the foods you love and caesar salad sounds SO good right now!

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Oh yeah! And my husband and I had an amazing opportunity to go on a three week babymoon in Central Europe! We don’t have kids yet so we took advantage of this last, childless season. It was a crazy trip though. We went to 7/8 different counties and somehow I managed to feel great despite no naps and walking/going on runs that added up to miles and miles everyday. It was the best trip ever though!
I hope you’re weekend with Andrew works out! Our time together was so special and brought us closer together!

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I’m 11 weeks and I love reading about your running experiences and mindset while I navigate my first pregnancy. It has certainly been humbling to say the least!! Before pregnancy (if I wasn’t marathon/half marathon training) I would run about 5 days a week with only one “long” run a week anywhere between 8-10 miles. Now, I’m just happy to be running 3 or 4 days a week and only 3 to 4 miles each time. Fatigue is just hitting me oh so hard and the summer heat and humidity in New England doesn’t help. As I approach the 2nd trimester and temps start to cool off, I hope I can start getting at least a 7 mile run per week. However, just on my run tonight I was telling myself it’s okay if I can’t. I’m slowly accepting that my running may not be the same as it was, but I’m still SO happy just to run! With so many mental and physical changes taking place, it really does make you feel normal to do something you’ve always done. As much of a struggle it is to get my daily workouts in, they are one of the most beneficial parts of my day!

My only strong craving is chocolate milk, but I’m FULL of aversions. Unfortunately, I can’t get myself to eat my beloved salads and just the thought of a hamburger makes my stomach turn. Like you, give me all the fruit and carbs!!

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I didn’t start running until after I had my kids (and I was 41) but I did take plenty of walks with #1. Nothing with #2 (see below)

With #1 we had a baby moon 1/2 way through when we went to Florida for my husband’s best friend’s wedding. And we went away (road trip) for our 1 year anniversary when I was 7 months.

With #2 we found my cervix was shortening at 22 weeks, 1 day prior to going on our baby moon to Florida. I was on strict bed rest for 3 weeks until 25 weeks. Off for 3 weeks and then modified bed rest 28 weeks to 36 weeks. So no doing anything :( it was Thanksgiving until February – the coldest darkest time of the year) but of course completely worth it :) I will say I was a lot healthier with #2 – I was so worried about gaining weight on bed rest that I ate super well except for my 1/4 cup of M&Ms I had each evening at 5 pm as a reward of getting through the day.

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Long time reader but I don’t think I have ever commented – I’m due 1 week earlier than you with my first! I’ve been exercising pretty normally, still running about 3 times a week and practicing yoga just about every day. In running, I’ve cut back a bit on my mileage and am definitely slower. In yoga, alll belly down backbends and deep twists are out at this point, and I cut heated/hot classes as soon as I found out I was preggers but everything else is still normal, I’ll just continue to modify or adjust when it feels right. I do feel like staying active was a HUGE help with first trimester nausea and energy level.

Cravings – nothing major, like “I HAVE TO HAVE THIS NOW” since 1st trimester, but I’ve been eating a lot of chipotle, thai/indian curries, and fruit. Aversions – desserts :( sweet things just do not sound good to me right now. My husband’s aunt set a slice of cheesecake down in front of me at Easter (we hadn’t told anyone yet) and I almost hurled. It’s gotten much better since then but sweets still just do not sound good – especially cake, brownies, cookies, etc. I also can’t stomach too much fried food, which has always been the case but it’s really ramped up. Basically whatever the stereotypical pregnancy cravings are, I’m the opposite. I was kind of looking forward to slamming down fries and pizza constantly…womp womp. But, honestly, it’s healthier for me and my baby so, win win?

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THANK YOU FOR COMMENTING (and reading:) Kristina! I LOVE that we are due so close together, this is so fun! I totally agree… staying active in the first trimester really helped so much! AHHH NO sweets for you either?!? What is going on with this! I agree, fried food doesn’t do it for me but I can still eat it… it’s not quite as bad as sweets for me:) I was thinking that the other day too… I’m glad my body is really craving healthier foods (than I normally eat ha) because it is so much better for the baby!

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Aww I miss pregnancy running. You’re so right that people give you funny looks! Ha! The best thing someone said was during a Turkey Trot 5k–“That girl is SUPER pregnant and she’s still beating us!” That one made me laugh/feel proud. ;-). I was 37 weeks. Anyway, you’re doing amazing things for you and your little one! Every pregnancy is so different! My second was much easier to run and run FASTER than with my first. Keep up the amazing work!

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I never even heard of a “babymoon” until after my last kid was born so none of those for me.
Kid1 – craved fruit of all kinds, sweets and pbj were off limits until 17ish weeks.
Kid2 – craved fried chicken (but only ate it twice) and zucchini, sweets and tuna fish were not allowed until about 17 weeks.
Kid3 – no particular cravings but sweets , especially chocolate, took a long hiatus from my diet – probably until about 24 weeks.

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Interesting that you didn’t want sweets either (especially chocolate… I don’t remember the last time I ate chocolate which is so weird for me!?!)! I wonder why that is! Thanks for sharing!!!

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I LOVED running while pregnant. Like you, it just made me feel so good for the rest of the day! I ran until 34 weeks with my first, 39 weeks with my second and I ran until 40 weeks 3 days with my third who was just born this week at 41 weeks :). I never wore a belly band. I just listened to my body every run – some days felt amazing and some days not so much. Those days would have a few more walk breaks or a nice slow pace. My advice is to just go into each run with no expectations and just happy To be able to go outside and get some fresh air! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!!!

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TINA!!! CONGRATS on your third baby this week… WOW!! That is so incredibly exciting:) I love your advice… that is perfect Tina!

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I’ve just gotta say–I’m not pregnant and I don’t have any kids yet, but I LOVE reading these HRG baby posts and the comments that people leave!

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Oh thank you Amanda, that means a lot to me! I hope you are having a wonderful day!

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Preggo here! I’m 17 weeks (&2 days but whose counting?! ;) ). I have also been craving alllll the carbs! I just ate a giant burrito from Willy’s for lunch and it was amazing. Also – after I read one of your posts about eating a corndog – I HAD.TO.HAVE.ONE. and scoured the internet to find somewhere close where I could go grab one on my lunch break. HA! I also tried your grilled cheese + jelly recommendation and it was amazing. Keep posting your cravings – they are inspiring my meals! haha!

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Okay, this makes me SO SO HAPPY!!! To know I am helping someone else experience these amazing foods just makes me so happy:) Keep eating all of the carbs and PLEASE KEEP ME UPDATED with how you are doing. So happy for you!

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LOVE your HRG Baby updates Janae! My due date is today and I’m currently doing whatever I can to kick this baby out!! Aka lots of squats and lunges! I haven’t been comfortable running since I entered the second trimester but I’ve done lots of strength training and daily walks with the dog. I’m with you on the mainly fruit and carb diet, but unlike you I CANNOT get enough ice cream :)

All the best with the remainder of your pregnancy :)

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AHHHH BRITTANY!!! I am so so so excited for you! Please keep me updated and I want to hear all about how everything goes:) Have a lot of ice cream today!!!

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Like you, I am so thankful to be able to run in pregnancy. I’m 27 weeks now and still have good runs and bad — but I had those even before I was pregnant. We did IVF for this pregnancy and running through nearly four years of infertility treatments was infinitely harder than this. I try to keep that in mind. The stares creep me out, but I have gotten a couple “Go mama!” which brighten my day. I have two main routes — one allows me to swing back home and go to the bathroom mid-run, and the other has a stretch through a mini-trail so I squat behind a tree :)
No babymoon for us because of my insane work/grad school schedule, but my husband is taking our dog camping in the fall. He’s older (dog, not husband) and LOVES camping. We really want to make sure he gets at least one more trip in before our lives are changed forever!
I had horrible nausea/vomiting up until 13 weeks, then it stopped, and now it’s starting up again. Oh, well! Cravings have been fruit, meat, and pancakes. Last night I had a huge sub sandwich (heated up to avoid Listeria) and it hit the spot!! Aversions early on included pretty much anything edible :) Sour Patch Kids and really cheesy scrambled eggs got me through. Now I don’t so much have aversions… just more nausea before and after eating.

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YOUR NAUSEA is back!??! I am so so sorry Stacey! I am so glad that you are able to run through this pregnancy… love the ‘go mama’ comments:) I hope you start feeling better soon (oh I love sub sandwiches too)! Good luck!

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OMG I love seeing pregnant woman working out at the gym or outside running! I think its amazing! I have a hard enough time making it to the gym without being pregnant…I am in complete awe of you guys! As long as your happy keep doing it!!
PS Your bump is adorable!!

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Hello!
Long time reader, but don’t post much :-). I’m actually (I think) only about a week behind you with my second. Running stopped a lot sooner with this pregnancy than my first because this babe is sitting so low, but I’ve been a walking fool the last couple of weeks on the treadmill so I’m close to the potty! Haven’t had many aversions or cravings with this pregnancy, especially now, but in the first trimester I wouldn’t let anyone cook meat for like 3 weeks straight because even the lingering smell made me gag. I love that your post about staying fit while pregnant, I feel like pregnancy fitness is like training for a marathon at the end..labor is so hard on your body, why wouldn’t you train for it??

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THANK YOU MEGAN for commenting! AHHHH I love that we are so close in our pregnancies… that is awesome! I absolutely love what you said at the end about training for labor and how it is like training for a marathon. Thank you so much for sharing and please keep me updated with how your re doing!

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Park CIty was our babymoon 😊 It was exciting for us coming from Texas! Park City will always have a special place in my heart now. One of my biggest pregnancy cravings was a scoop of peanut butter rolled in a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. So, so amazing! It was my 11pm snack every night! Let me know if you try it! You won’t regret it!

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I was very nauseous throughout most of my pregnancy, to the point where I was put off from exercise. I wish I would have just got out there to realize a good run would have done me good!

I loved having a big bowl of overnight oats with raspberry compote mixed in in the mornings, after my scrambled egg breakfast taco! haha I wanted all the carbs too :)

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