If you’d like to start at week four of my pregnancy journey, click here!

 

We’re halfway there!!! Can you believe it?! I cannot believe I am 20 weeks into my first pregnancy.

I always dreamed about this week when I first found out I was pregnant, because it seemed SO FAR AWAY. And because it seemed like everyone had a nice baby bump going by 20 weeks.

Silly me, I had nothing to worry about in the baby-bump-showing-up department!

 

At 20 weeks, Baby is the size of a…

Banana

Belgian endive

Artichoke

 

 

Baby is 10 inches long and 10.5 ounces!

Remember, we are measuring crown-to-heel now, so she really is 10″ long!

That’s a BIG BABY.

 

Did you know? Baby has DOUBLED in size over the past 2 weeks. At least according to one of my apps. I believe it!

 

Here’s the size of Baby’s hand at 20 weeks:

Baby's hand size at 20 weeks!

 

And her foot!

Baby's foot size at 20 weeks!

 

New symptoms week 20 of my pregnancy include…

Pelvic/hip/tailbone pain. GAH. It’s just always there, this pain. You know, I recently read that we pregnant ladies shouldn’t be doing lunges as a form of exercise. I didn’t know this. Now that I know this, I will stop doing lunges and hope that helps with my pain.

Itchy stomach/boobs/butt. From stretching skin. Even though I moisturize and use THE most annoying body lotion that has vaseline in it and makes me stick to everything, I am still itching. And in case you thought my BUTT would stop stretching, you are wrong. Butt is still stretching. Along with everything else. Which leads me to my next symptom…

MORE stretch marks on my butt. It’s like a lightning storm back there. Real attractive. No red kitty claw lines on my boobs or stomach, yet, though, which I am happy about.

Kicks, kicks, and more kicks. Baby is kicking me ALL the time now, not just morning and evening. When I roll over at 2AM, she is kicking me. When I am standing in the kitchen in the middle of the day, she’s kicking me. And she’s getting stronger.

I felt Baby kick for the first time from the outside of my stomach!! It’s like an art form, trying to feel your baby kick you from the outside. Baby Girl kicks me all over and she is always moving, so when I feel her kicking the same spot consistently, I seize the opportunity to press down on that part of my belly and see if I can feel anything. I’ve been doing this for weeks. Well, I finally felt her from the outside! It was CRAZY. Her kicks feel much more forceful from the outside than they do from the inside. Love it! Love, love, love it. Now, she just needs to get more consistent so I can catch her in time to squish Husband’s hand on my belly so he can feel her.

Bigger, harder belly that pops out when I lie down. This is new – when I lie down, I have a total potbelly. And it’s really firm. And it gets in the way of everything. And it almost knocks me off my balance all the time.

 

NOW, LET’S TALK ABOUT MY 20 WEEK ANATOMY SCAN!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot even tell you how excited I was for this appointment.

I was also very nervous for this appointment.

After all, the whole point of the scan is to make sure all of her organs and her heart are developing correctly. SO one would find out if any of them were not at this appointment.

 

Well, good news! Baby Girl is 100% healthy and developing normally.

She measured 20 weeks 3 days (versus her predictive age of 20 weeks 1 day) which is right on track.

And she’s 13 ounces, not 10, like all of my pregnancy apps said.

20 week ultrasound!

 

OH I JUST LOVE HER, I JUST LOVE HER, I JUST LOVE LOVE LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I took videos of the entire scan. She was being VERY stubborn. She faced my spine the whole time, and she was upside down. Every time the ultrasound tech tried to get a profile shot, Baby Girl turned her head away or wiggled back toward my spine. So stubborn!

The tech was even poking me in the belly and shaking my belly, trying to get her to budge. Baby was not having it.

Gosh, I just love her so much.

20 week ultrasound!

 

There are four pictures on my printout: a profile shot, and shot of her yawning, a creepy skull shot, and a confirmation shot that she is, indeed, my daughter.

20 week ultrasound!

 

20 week ultrasound!

 

20 week ultrasound!

 

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the scan. Mostly because I had such a hard time seeing Baby. The tech had to point out all of her extremities. The picture clarity wasn’t the best. I just assumed I would come face to face with my infant in there, which was not the case (and also not realistic).

I have since decided that this disappointment is okay, because we will be even more surprised when we see her real face in 20 weeks!

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, she’s healthy.

I was so, so relieved.

 

In other news, during week 20, I did a little research on how to get a free breast pump through my insurance.

It’s mandated pretty much everywhere now that insurances cover the cost of a breast pump for mothers. It’s deemed “medically necessary.”

 

So, to get my free breast pump, I called my insurance (Tricare – army insurance) and asked that woman how to get a free breast pump. She gave me a list of companies my insurance is affiliated with that handled the free breast pump issue.

She also gave me the numbers for those companies.

She also told me that the first company on the list was affiliated with Target, meaning that’s where I would pick up my pump. And since I love Target, I called that company first.

 

I told that woman that I had a prescription for a free breast pump (I got it from my OB – remember? I asked my OB for a prescription just in case I needed one to get the pump.). And then I asked her how to get it.

She asked for all of my information, baby’s date of birth, etc., and then she told me she would contact my insurance to see which pumps they covered and if there were any stipulations on when I could get the pump (some insurances don’t let you get one until after you’ve given birth).

Then she said that she would email me a few days later with a list of my covered pump options.

 

And she did! She did all of that.

 

She sent me an email a few days later listing two pump options and told me that all I had to do was pick one and email her back telling her my pump choice. I also had to attach a picture of my breast pump prescription.

After that, she would contact Target and tell them to fill my order.

And then I would skip through the lilies on my way to Target and walk up to the courtesy desk and grab my free machine from them and skip back out the door.

And the company would charge my insurance and I would happily go about my business.

 

She did all of that!

I chose the Medela pump, because everyone I’ve ever talked to about breast pumps says Medela is the best.

A day later, my pump was ready for pickup at Target, so I drove right down there with baby Rucker in tow and ran inside to retrieve my free pump!

Then I ran out to the car with the surprisingly small box and took a picture of my new pump.

Free breast pump

 

Free breast pump

 

And then I got home and opened it up and took pictures of all the parts.

Free breast pump

 

Free breast pump

 

How cool is this?!

FREE BREAST PUMP!

I’M SO HAPPY.

 

Another Tricare army wife told me that she gets free breast pump supplies (refills) every thirty days for her Medela pump. I asked the company about this, and they said they only supply the pumps for free, so I’d have to contact Medela about this one.

I’ll call Medela to see about getting breast milk bags, replacement parts, and more for free, and I’ll let you know what they say.

 

What a relief. So glad I have the pump, now.

 

While I was on the phone with my insurance, I asked that woman how to find a pediatrician.

I have no idea how to do this. I don’t know anyone down here who can give me a recommendation, either.

(Also, since I needed a referral from my insurance for my OB, I thought I might need a referral for the pediatrician, too.)

On the contrary, she told me that I just had to bring Baby’s birth certificate to any DEERS facility (that’s like an army insurance/ID/army everything facility) within 60 days of Baby’s birth, and they would pay for any pediatrician charges up to that point.

So, essentially, I can pick whoever I want, and they will approve that pediatrician. I just have to get Baby signed up.

Who knows. They might refer me to a different one after I take her to whomever I choose in the first 60 days post-birth.

I don’t really care who the pediatrician is, because we will be leaving Alabama when Baby is around 4 months old, anyway.

And I already know who I want when I get back to Michigan, thanks to a great local recommendation from a friend.

 

So, if you thought we had already covered everything “eventful” during week 20 of my pregnancy, you are wrong. 

 

Because a few other things happened in non-Baby-affiliated world that I simply MUST fill you in on.

 

Remember WEEKS AGO when I told you I was applying for an online writing tutoring job? And I said that, if I never brought it up again, it’s because I didn’t get the job and I just wanted you to forget I ever mentioned it?

Well, I never heard back from them.

Which is why I never mentioned it.

 

Until now.

 

They contacted me during week 20 and told me they wanted me to do a consulting simulation to test my consulting skills.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

 

So I did that. I did the consulting simulation.

And I NAILED it, because I am an excellent writing consultant.

Just ask me.

No, seriously, I really am.

 

Anyway, the company told me in a separate email post-simulation that they would take about 2 weeks to get back to me.

 

Half an hour after I submitted my consulting simulation, I received a VERY short automatic reply telling me I didn’t get the job.

 

I was immediately filled with disappointment.

Because I REALLY WANT THIS JOB.

DID YOU KNOW?

I LOVE HELPING PEOPLE WITH THEIR WRITING.

I WOULD EDIT PAPERS/ESSAYS/POEMS/SLOGANS/PITCHES ALL DAY LONG.

FOR FREE.

BECAUSE THAT IS HOW MUCH I LOVE DOING IT.

 

After I endured the first wave of disappointment, I started to wonder what I did wrong during my simulation.

And I couldn’t think of a THING I did wrong, because that submission was f*$!ing PERFECT.

Seriously, perfect.

And then I felt a wave of frustration because I knew I would never know what I did wrong.

 

I had the urge to see what my online profile for this company looked like now that I was rejected (you have to create one to apply for a job). So, I logged in and went to the “submitted job applications page” and looked for the job number for which I had applied, and it wasn’t there.

There was only ONE job showing up in there. And it was an OLD position.

Meaning they were no longer accepting applications/hiring people for that position.

WHICH IS WHY I APPLIED FOR THE NEW POSITION.

And THAT NEW POSITION, THE NEW job, the job I WANTED, wasn’t even showing up in my profile!

 

So, as you can imagine, panic ensued.

Because I started to think that they received my simulation submission, ran a computer check against the job for which I was “applying” (AKA the old ass job – the ONLY job showing up in my profile), realized that the job wasn’t relevant, and sent me an automatic reply telling me I didn’t get the job.

 

(@)&!&)#@&((^!@!!!!!HUI&*@O#O@&QWDQ*O!!@&Q$@*(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The worst part is that this company is IMPOSSIBLE to get ahold of. No customer service number. No email. No ADDRESS.

 

Which is ridiculous, because I needed help! I needed to know if the glitch in my profile was the reason I received such a quick reply telling me I wasn’t hired!

I NEEDED TO KNOW!!!!!!

What if I hadn’t been considered for the APPROPRIATE position?!

 

In all honesty, they very well could have rejected me because I’m not suitable. Maybe my answers were too long. Maybe I took to long to complete it.

 

I probably did, since the submission kept GLITCHING and I had to RE-TYPE ALL MY ANSWERS MORE THAN ONCE BECAUSE THEY KEPT ERASING.

 

My mom thinks the company is janky. Because what kind of online company gives me this much trouble and has this many errors in its ONLINE system?

Which ONLINE company seriously has this many WEBSITE issues?

 

My mom is right, it does seem weird that I can’t contact them.

But that doesn’t change the fact that this company is a renowned company with many employees and lots of credibility.

 

So, after being so, so sad, and trying for an HOUR to find a way to contact them successfully and failing, I worked out to vent some of my frustration and then went to bed.

And I didn’t even cry ONCE. Even though there were two times when I really wanted to cry out of sheer helplessness/pregnancy.

 

The next day, I had an epiphany.

 

I decided to create a BRAND NEW PROFILE on their website using Brooke instead of Kaitlyn as my first name.

 

Did you know? My real first name is Kaitlyn. Brooke is my middle name.

 

So, for this profile, I used Brooke.

 

And I thought to myself: brilliant!

 

And then I was like: wait, is this dishonest? Applying again for the same job, after they rejected me?

 

And then I was like: no! I deserve a second chance! If they reject me again, I’ll know it’s me and not their stupid computer system.

 

So, stay tuned for THAT update.

 

Can you even believe this? I can’t even believe this. Just reading this all over again is working me into a tizzy.

 

On a WAY better and extremely exciting note, I secured my first EVER paid freelance editing job during week 20.

 

Yeah!!!!

 

I am editing a short story for a woman. It’s a children’s story.

And she is paying me to do it.

 

I already sent her my first wave of revisions, actually.

 

In true Brooke fashion, I completely butchered it. Tore it apart. Not a stanza was safe.

 

If you’ve ever had me “review” something for you, you know what I mean.

Usually, when I return a piece of writing I’ve torn apart to the writer, I start by saying, “Please don’t be offended.”

But I didn’t say that to this woman, because this woman wants me to help her get her short story published, and I promised her I would, which means slicing and dicing was in order.

 

I sent her my overwhelming amount of changes, and now I await her response. I am eager to see if she’s mad at me for re-writing so many lines.

 

My first freelance job!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone paying me to do what I love!

Man, if I could sit around all day and edit writing for people, I would be the happiest person in the world.

 

Hey, that sounds like that online writing tutor job I want!!!!!!

 

The worst part about being rejected almost immediately after applying is that, while I was completing the consulting simulation, I was on FIRE.

A GOOD FIRE.

It was the same burning passion I felt while consulting students on their writing at GVSU.

I was having a BLAST.

My adrenaline was pumping. I was typing SO FAST.

I was in the ZONE.

And afterward, my whole BODY was buzzing with satisfaction.

 

Do you see how meant for that tutoring job I am?!?!?!?!?!?!

*sigh*

*growl*

 

Please cross your fingers that something comes out of the new profile I created.

I would be so, so happy if I could help students with their essays and get paid to do it (even if the pay is menial).

Because there ABSOLUTELY is a price for job satisfaction, and if you are LOVING what you’re doing, you can go ahead and double the pay in your head, because that’s how it feels to get paid to do what you love.

 

Enough about that job.

 

How about a 20-weeks-pregnant photo shoot?

20 weeks pregnant!

 

20 weeks pregnant!

 

20 weeks pregnant!

 

Below is a side-by-side picture showing you how big Baby Girl is inside me.

The left picture shows you where the ultrasound tech said Baby’s butt was. The right picture is where she said Baby’s head was.

How big is baby?

 

Baby is so big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Do you want to know the truth?

Sometimes, I have a bit of a waddle going.

It’s such a slight waddle and I try not to do it, but it’s just EASIER to waddle around than walk normally. I don’t know why. Probably because there is a giant ball of baby in my stomach and waddling helps me maintain better balance.

 

Also, I have been making better food choices lately, because I want to facilitate an easier “body bounce-back” post-baby. And it will be harder to lose the weight if there is more weight to lose.

So, now, I am avoiding junk food for the most part and sticking to better foods.

Which makes me feel better gives me more energy. Which I love, since Baby takes everything from me.

 

And I am still working out every day. If it’s not a workout video, it’s a 45-minute power walk with baby Rucker.

This dog just LOVES walks.

And he loves stuffed animals.

And I love him.

Baby Rucker

 

And I love my mom and my nephew, who will be in Alabama in 14 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

See you next week!

 

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