the twins: 21 weeks

May 21, 2013

All I can think about is the fact that at this time next week I’ll only have 1.5 more days left of school – and that I might not be back in August! It’s crazy to me to think about the fact that these two will be here before I know it.

A few fun facts about week 21…

  • each baby is about 12 ounces (although I am sure mine are more than that – they were each 11 ounces almost two weeks ago!)
  • They are the length of a carrot (about 10.5 inches long)
  • Babies are swallowing amniotic fluid and the taste buds are developing
  • Buds for permanent teeth are forming

May 19, 2013 1105

I feel like my belly looks so different week to week depending on what I’m wearing!

Weight Gained: No clue! I don’t go back to the doctor for a few weeks.

Symptoms: It’s been a pretty good week to be honest with you. Just a few things….

  • Abdominal tightening (see movement below)
  • Constant feeling like I have to go to the bathroom (MOVE BABY A! ;) )
  • Exhausted by the end of the day

Movement: On and off. They’ve been pretty quiet some days which, of course, freaks me out. It’s nothing a little orange juice won’t help to ease my mind. Every single time I drink orange juice, the girls move within 30 seconds. It’s too funny.

Also, I don’t know if this was movement or not – but down where Baby A is (seriously right over my bladder all the time) I felt a lot of tightening yesterday. It sort of felt like she was rolling around, but then I started freaking out and thought they might be contractions (not too uncommon for that to happen this early in a multiples pregnancy). It was happening when I was out for a walk (after being at work all day). When I got home, I drank some water, put my feet up, and it went away. Hmmmm – the verdict is still out.

Food Cravings: Lemon fruit bars and the Vegan Superfood Salad from The Protein Bar. My co-workers and I went there last Friday, and it is so stinking delicious. I went back with my mom on Sunday and am going back today. Can’t deny those cravings! ;)

Food Aversions: Nothing as of late. Woohoo!

Sleep: SOOOOOOOO much better. After last week’s post, my mom actually ordered me a Snoogle (she gets free shipping off of Amazon), and I slept with it on Friday for the first time. Curly (that’s what John likes to call it) has changed my life. I still wake up a few times during the night (mostly to go to the bathroom), but I have been falling right back asleep because I’m so comfortable. Let’s knock on wood that this continues.

Stretch Marks? None.

Miss Anything? A heart pumping, sweat inducing, high intensity workout.

Looking forward to: Floating in a pool this summer!

Belly Button in or out? In – but it’s starting to flatten out. I swear even one part is starting to pop out. I call that it won’t be too long before this belly button pops out and my husband freaks out every single time he sees it.

Happy or moody most of the time? Pretty happy – although who knows if my husband would agree with that. I have had my moments where my emotions get the best of me (for instance, after my husband being gone for 48 hours, he joked that I had to make up for the lack of nagging/yelling because he had been gone for two days). Psssssh, I never nag my husband – ever. ;) I also had a tearful phone call with him last night because he wasn’t going to be home for dinner. Got to love those hormones!

New Baby Items: I don’t think I’ve bought anything this week. Go me!

Exercise: Some walks and a few upper body strength training sessions. I’m not going to lie though, exercising (even as low impact as I am doing) is starting to get harder. I don’t know if it’s just more difficult on days that I work, but yesterday when I went for my walk, it felt pretty difficult to propel myself forward. I’m going to take it day by day and see how I feel, but I definitely don’t want to push myself right now. We’ll see how it goes!

Questions for mamas: Was there a point in your pregnancy that you felt too uncomfortable to work out?

For twin mamas: Did your doctor advise you to stop working out at any point in your pregnancy?

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan @ After the Ivy League May 21, 2013 at 6:25 am

The little twins are growing fast! You look great, and it’s awesome to read that you’re feeling great for the most part too!

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Angie @ Pint of Goals May 21, 2013 at 6:27 am

I saw your new pillow on Instagram – good to hear it is helping! I’ve been using an extra pillow to curl around on one side and that has seemed to work for me.
I stopped running around week 23 or 24, and have just recently stopped doing much else besides walking. I am technically full term today at 37 weeks – crazy! Walking is a great activity, and I’m sure Charlie will appreciate all of it you’ll be doing this summer :)

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Yay full term!!!

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 21, 2013 at 6:46 am

I LOVE the Protein Bar!!!!! I’ve been obsessed for years! Although I’ve never tried that salad

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm

It has tofu in it… but the dressing is AMAZING!

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katie May 21, 2013 at 6:47 am

Already 21 weeks! Time is going fast! YAY for school almost being out too, you will have summer vacation to relax!!

I have heard protein bar is amazing, I need to go there when in Chicago again one day!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I cannot WAIT!

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Jennifer May 21, 2013 at 6:49 am

So glad to hear you had a good week! Been 19 years since I was last pregnant, but I remember those up and down weeks…and I only had ONE at a time!!! =) Enjoy your day…and The Protein Bar!!!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm

haha I’m not sure if I can get away with pulling a “i’m having twins so my hormones are doubly crazy”, but I”ll sure try. ;)

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Shel@PeachyPalate May 21, 2013 at 6:56 am

Glad to hear you’re getting good sleeps and no food aversions is a definite bonus!

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Linz @ Itz Linz May 21, 2013 at 6:59 am

your belly DOES look different each week!!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm

haha it totally depends on what i’m wearing and the angle at which the picture is taken. It doesn’t look as round this week, but I’m sure the black shirt has something to do with that.

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Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) May 21, 2013 at 7:00 am

Are you sure it’s twins?? You look great. I love your baby(s) bump.
I’m also glad you got the snoogle. That thing is life changing. I loved mine.
Happy almost-end-of-school!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm

haha I’m sure!!! The girls are laying on top of each other instead of side by side, and every doctor I’ve seen has told me that’s the best way to be pregnant with twins even though they most likely won’t go head down. We’ll see!

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Ashley @ Life and Fitness May 21, 2013 at 7:14 am

Sounds like everything is going pretty well :)

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Alyssa @ Road to RD May 21, 2013 at 7:21 am

That’s so cute that they’re the length of a carrot!

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Marla May 21, 2013 at 7:43 am

I love reading your updates since we’re at the exact same point in twin pregnancy! I’ve also got a baby A all up in my bladder (though mine are di-di boys :) .

I just wanted to respond to you regarding the abdominal tightening – I’ve been getting that since about 18 weeks and was very worried about early contractions or Braxton Hicks. However, after talking to a few different doctors about it, I’ve figured out that it’s related to the digesting of food/how full my belly gets… I realized it wasn’t contractions because there was nothing rhythmic about it, it just tends to come on after I’ve eaten and stick around for ages unless I’m laying down or sitting. I’ve read on a bunch of twin pregnancy message boards that this is pretty common – since twin mamas have two babies, things get crowded early and its way more likely that the stomach starts pushing out on the uterus much sooner (leading to a hard, tight belly).

Not to say that it can’t be something else for you, I just wanted to share my experience. I know how anxiety-provoking it is when those new sensations hit, it’s so hard to know what’s something to worry about and what’s just normal twin pregnancy discomfort!

Hope you’re feeling good!

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carly71722 May 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I’m having di/di boys too!!! I’m 25 weeks tomorrow :)

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Marla May 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I hope you’re feeling good and that your boys are happy and healthy!!!

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Claire May 22, 2013 at 7:08 am

Chelsea, you look wonderful!!! Like you, I’m expecting twins, but I’m two weeks behind you (19 weeks). I’ve decided in the last week to cut down on exercise. I’m a part time aerobics instructor (though otherwise, I’m at a desk all day) and my body is really telling me it’s too much. I’d love to hear what other mothers of twins have done with regard to exercise! All of the fitness professionals I know have exercised throughout, but I’m nervous that if I’m carrying two, it will do more harm than good. But I also don’t want to stop completely, as my doctor says it’s important to exercise. At the moment, I’m going for long walks and trying to listen to my body. And congratulations Marla!!

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carly71722 May 22, 2013 at 8:30 am

Congrats back to you, Marla!!!! How far along are you?

Claire – I posted about my exercise below…. pretty much non-existant and I’m ok with that :) Granted right now I work on my feet (teacher), but even that is getting to be too much at 25 weeks and I find myself sitting a lot more. Hopefully your pregnancy is going well, and really the best advice I can give you (from other twin mamas) is to REST! Best thing you can do for the babies besides eating A LOT!

Marla May 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

Carly, for some reason I couldn’t reply to you, but thanks so much for the congrats. I was 21 weeks this past Saturday. :)

Claire, congratulations to you too! For me, I was told to stop all exercise other than walks and light weights during the 1st tri. After that, I got the okay to do prenatal yoga, so I’ve been doing that plus long walks. These past few days even the long walks have gotten exhausting, so I’m feeling out how long I’ll continue those!

It’s an adjustment, but working on my fitness can wait until after they’re born.. If this was a singleton pregnancy, it would be a whole different deal, but like Carly said, I’ve been learning that rest is so huge for expecting moms of multiples (especially if your body is asking for it)!

cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Good point about the digestion – yeah mine definitely don’t have any rhythm to it. I will definitely watch for it there is rhythm. Don’t they say if you’re having more than 4-6 an hour then to give your doctor a call? I haven’t gotten to that point, but I”m taking it easier than I was just in case.

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm

PS – I definitely agree about the “there will be time for fitness after the babies are born” approach. Whatever keeps these two healthy and in utero for the longest time possile!

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Ashley May 21, 2013 at 7:46 am

You look so cute!

The tightening may have been Braxton-Hicks or because you were dehydrated. I found it was much easier to get dehydrated while pregnant!

I quit running pretty early on in pregnancy, but walked and worked as a waitress up until the day I gave birth. I would recommend it – I think it helped me bounce back faster!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Wow, you go girl! Waitressing is tough work!

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Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl May 21, 2013 at 7:52 am

Sounds like your pregnancy is going so good…happy for you! I’m counting down the days for summer vaca too!

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Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers May 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

Workouts haven’t gotten too hard yet, but I’m taking it easy too. Then again – I’m only 16 weeks and am not having twins!

That’s adorable about the OJ. They love their juice!

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Sal May 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

When I was pregnant with my boys, I was told no intense exercise really early on. I tried to go on walks throughout but I would get so out of breath and exhausted! At the time I worried that I was just being silly and imagining it but now that I’m almost 4-months post-partum I have new appreciation for how easy and lovely it is to be able to walk fast+long distances and feel great! Don’t feel bad about scaling back the exercise – just listen to what your body needs!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm

ha! I definitely don’t feel bad about scaling back – I have no problem doing anything that keeps my girls healthy!

I’m noticing going up flights of stairs is getting increasingly harder and I am SO out of breath at the top of the stairs. So pathetic. haha!

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carly71722 May 21, 2013 at 8:28 am

I did some yoga my first month or so pregnant and then I had a scare and was told no exercise. Then all of my reading pointed to very little exercise with a twin pregnancy. The goal is to gain a LOT of weight and exercising counteracts that. The most important thing with a multiples pregnancy is rest, rest, rest and eat, eat, eat!!!!! I really just don’t even have the energy or motivation to exercise now and I don’t care! I can get my fitness back after I have healthy babies :)

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I use “exercise” very loosely – haha. It’s usually a slow walk with Charlie for 30-40 minutes. ;) I am definitely eating up – the pounds are starting to pack on now i’m pretty sure. I was curious and stepped on the scale today (I usually don’t at home), and I’m already up 3 pounds since my last appointment two weeks ago. yahoo!

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carly71722 May 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

good!!!! My weight has NOT been packing on lately… but the past few days I have been RAVENOUS, so I”m guessing a growth spurt is on the way!!!!!!! Keep up the good work, mama!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. May 21, 2013 at 8:55 am

Your baby bump is just too cute! And I’m seriously going to have to remember the orange juice trick. I’m pretty sure that I’d be a nervous wreck if I was pregnant and couldn’t feel my baby moving around. Hypochondriac, right here…

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm

haha omg, it’s the worst. The even WORSER (yup, i did that) part is that Baby A has an anterior placenta which means I feel her a lot less than Baby B. She freaks me out all the live long day.

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Cassandra P May 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

My OB mentioned to me just to not let my heart rate go above 140. He encouraged some sort of daily movement. The first trimester and most of the second (early on) with my boy and girl twins it was easy to move. It got harder around 25 weeks.

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I definitely haven’t been having my heartrate up. I think it might be different if I was having a singleton, but with multiples I am extra cautious!

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Carly @ Snack Therapy May 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

I love that the girls love orange juice. They must really want to keep up with the Daily Recommended Value of Vitamin C. Smart gals!

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Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries May 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hmm those sound like contractions to me… Especially if they’re happening while walking, and the fact that they stopped when you drank water and rested. Just my two cents. ;)

I definitely became more uncomfortable working out in my 3rd trimester. Not to mention super tired too! Just getting through the day was a feat.

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm

:) Thanks lady – since there was no rhythm to them, I’m going to assume all is well. I want to say if I have 4-6 an hour I”m supposed to call the doctor. So far nothing today!

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 21, 2013 at 10:37 am

I stopped working out around week 34, because I had a certain unpleasant pregnancy symptom that caused me to be VERY uncomfortable. Otherwise, I probably would have been able to work out longer. But my friend that had twins had to stop much earlier!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Oh I’m interested at what this pregnancy symptom was!

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Danica @ It's Progression May 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

Your bump is so cute! It’s exciting to hear everything is going well!

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Kate May 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

I continued doing yoga (I had GREAT DVD with a 30 minute yoga practice) and some light lifting/stretching (See the Summer Sanders Pre-Natal Workout) until the day before I delivered I do believe! For me, if I didn’t keep moving, I was way more uncomfortable than if I did!

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Jess @ Blonde Ponytail May 21, 2013 at 11:50 am

So fun following your multiples pregnancy! I’m guessing it will differ quite a bit from my single pregnancy right now…I’m 37.5w and getting anxious! Happy summer vacay to you (almost)!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm

It definitely differs – you’re so right! I guess I have nothing to compare it to since I’ve never been pregnant before, but the book I’ve read about multiples can’t stress that enough!

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Annette@FitnessPerks May 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I love your baby belly!!!! I hope Baby A moves soon, so you don’t have one on top of your bladder. Yikes! My baby’s head was on mine, so yah, I was always in the bathroom.

You’re looking fab, girl!

p.s. I love OJ–maybe my mom had a bunch when she was pregnant with me?!

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Lauren May 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Hey chelsey…
I have never commented before, but I love your blog. Congratulations! I am currently pregnant with boy/girl twins and am 33 weeks. I was hospitalized with contractions after a crazy day at work at 26 weeks…..have been on procardia since. I still get them frequently, but they are erratic. I find that if I overdo it….on my feet too long, walking too fast, etc and I am dehydrated on top of that, they are more frequent. My doc said that as long as I get into a different position and drink some water and they go away, I do not have to call him. If I am getting 6 an hour and position change is not helping, then I need to call. I really haven’t exercised since about 16 weeks, and I am okay with that. I miss walking, which I did a lot with my first pregnancy, but this is only temporary:) Good luck!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Thanks Lauren! I was pretty certain those were the guidelines I am supposed to follow as well. Nothing’s been going on today, but I’m going to look out for them and make sure I take it easy!

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Ann P-L May 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm

You look so cute! To answer your question about expecting twins & working out – I stopped exercising when my body told me to. My doctor was very easy going & would offer advice/suggestions, but let me feel things out. I gradually decreased activity as the weeks past. In the beginning I used weights & resistance bands, but closer to the end I was just walking and doing prenatal yoga. It was too uncomfortable for me to go on long walks for the last few weeks so I relaxed as much as I could during that time. I was lucky enough to have a pretty easy pregnancy, especially with twins. I hope your pregnancy will be even more comfortable than mine!

Also, I have a baby gear suggestion. If you end up getting the Contours Tandem stroller you were interested in, make sure you get the model that folds up with the seats still attached. It’s a nice convenience and the older models don’t have the capability.

Keep up the great work!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm

So glad to hear you had an easy pregnancy!

We are getting the model that folds up with the seats still in it – I’m pretty sure that’s how it is with the newest model!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I can’t believe you’re more than halfway there already. I’m glad you and the girls seem to be doing so well! :)

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Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles May 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm

You’re doing great, Chelsey! The bump looks great on you! (and so will motherhood!!)
…. My dr. told me to listen to my body. That is the best advice out there! I ran the whole pregnancy with Jackson. There were days when it wasn’t even possible to walk for a mile but I tried again the next day and it would feel great to run- I just listened….. I attribute many positive things to exercising the whole pregnancy (especially stamina during delivery & Jackson being able to handle a raised heart-rate!)— BUT, I was just carrying one. I have NO idea what it would be like with two blessings in there! I gained a lot of mental clarity while running/jogging/walking so that is what kept me at it. I just enjoyed the bonding time while we were in the country.
PreggiePals just posted a podcast about exercising during pregnancy- I haven’t listened to this one yet but I LOVE **ALL** of their podcasts- it’s actually what I listened to while on my runs while pregnant.

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm

You’re a rockstar mom!

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Amber K May 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I’m glad you’re getting better sleep! Crazy how slowly and quickly a pregnancy goes by all at the same time.

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Rucky May 22, 2013 at 9:15 am

I was never told to stop exercising with my twin PG. It became increasingly difficult to do so, however, as I grew larger and larger. I also experienced extreme swelling in my R leg and foot, which caused a lot of discomfort. Dehydration can cause BHs. When you do work out, you (obv) need to be mindful and listen to your body. You need to tone it down as you go and just walk. And make sure you make up for any cals that you burn.

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I certainly am doing all of that! And I am not doing anything more than a slow walk at this point! lol – I use the term exercise very loosely.

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Sherri May 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I’m 25 weeks and last week I officially had to stop running/lifting. Part of me hopes it’s only temporary but I have pretty painful low back pain and very shallow lung capacity. Before this I was running 4-5 times per week and lifting 3-4 times per week. It’s been a REALLY tough pill to swallow, only being able to tolerate the elliptical and walking… but I guess it’s better than nothing. And I have a healthy, growing baby girl to take care of so I just keep reminding myself of that!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Once you have a baby girl in your arms all of it will seem minuscule!!

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Krystan May 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I’m at 33.5 weeks and I am finding it a lot harder to get the motivation to go to the gym…some days are awesome and some days (like today) I’m happy to get in 25 minutes of walking! I’m hoping to keep it up until 37 weeks, but we’ll see :)

I had some tightening like that and I think it was right around 20ish weeks…I am with the people who say Braxton-hicks contractions. I haven’t had any since, though, but they definitely stopped me in my tracks!

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Yeah, i definitely scared me a little bit but it didn’t hurt at all!

PS – Are you the same Krystan I am now in love with after a banter back and forth on Courtney’s blog today? ;)

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Claire May 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

I can’t imagine how hard it is to be a teacher and on your feet all day. I understand why you’re counting down until the summer:-)

Thank you both so much for sharing your experience with exercise. I’m American, but I live in the UK, and the advice here is a bit different. I was underweight when I became pregnant, but my doctor still says not to overeat and put on too much weight. I’ve been steadily gaining, and as I said to him, I’m not concerned about my figure. I just want to make sure that my babies are getting everything they need. He does of course also say to listen to my body. And that means lots of horizontal time:-)

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cleaneatingchelsey May 22, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Oh believe me Claire, I am rarely on my feet during the day right now. I am so fortunate that I teach fifth graders who are fairly independent. Right now the procedure for them is to come and see me when they need help on an assignment that has already been given (instead of me walking around because their hands are up), and we have document cameras in our room so I have been sitting down and doing my lessons from that (and they get projected up onto a screen).

I’m glad you’re listening to your body about everything – Have you read “When You’re Expecting twins, triplets, and quads”? Best book I’ve read so far!

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