(If you want to start at the beginning of my pregnancy journey, click here!)

 

Week 13 = official start of the SECOND TRIMESTER!!!!

According to me, at least. Some argue it doesn’t begin until after week 13, but we are ignoring those people.

Besides, week 13 marks the beginning of my fourth month of pregnancy!!!!!

Four months along feels way better than 3 months or 2 months.

CAN YOU BELIEVE I AM ALREADY IN MY SECOND TRIMESTER?!?!!

 

For most women, this is when all fears of baby’s survival melt away, since chances of miscarrying drop dramatically after the first trimester.

I stopped worrying a while ago, mostly after I got the Panorama genetic test results and saw that Baby Girl McInnis is looking to be 100% healthy.

 

At 13 weeks, Baby is already three inches long! That’s about the size of a…

Peach

Jalapeño

Large macaroon

Matchbox car

Merlin the clownfish

LEMON

At 13 weeks, baby is the size of a lemon!

If you’re staring at my belly button wondering what happened, wonder no longer: I’ve had my belly button pierced four times, because one thing I am not is a quitter.

 

At 13 weeks, baby is the size of a lemon!

I’ve got to show you as many bare-belly pics as possible before stretch marks start to set in. My mother is COVERED in them. Which means I’ll be decked out in stripes when I’m done, too!

I’ll show you pictures of those, too, down the line. Don’t worry.

You know I ALWAYS keep it real on here.

 

Look how big Baby Girl McInnis’s hand is at 13 weeks!

Week thirteen of pregnancy and this is the size of baby's hand!

 

Baby Girl McInnis has fingerprints, now. How cute is that?

 

Round ligament pain tells me that my uterus is still growing at lightning speed. I’ll roll over in the middle of the night and be jolted awake from what feels in the moment like a pulled ab or lower oblique muscle. But the pain just fades away and I go back to sleep. Grow, uterus, grow!

 

So, I knew that pregnancy weakens my immune system like it does for every mom (that’s why we have to be careful of undercooked meats, etc.), but did you know why?

It’s to stop your body from rejecting the baby.

Pregnancy lowers your ability to fight off infection so that you can’t fight off the baby, just in case your dumbo body recognizes baby as the parasite it is.

Bodies are insane. Especially pregnant ones.

 

I started out week 13 weighing a full SEVEN POUNDS more than I did before I became pregnant. Week 12 started out FOUR pounds gained. You can do the math.

Must have been that cheesecake

…though my belly looks slightly smaller at the end of week 12 than it did at the beginning.

 

Pregnancy is a time when you jettison logic right out the window. Sometimes you grow and look like you’ve shrunk.

Week 12 versus week 13 belly baby bump photos! Left is 12, right is 13 weeks.

 

Those boobs are real, though.

I finally understand why ample-chested girls are always complaining about bad sports bras while working out. Sometimes I have to hold onto my bosom while I’m jumping around!

 

I was very much looking forward to week 13 for ONE REASON: my next OB appointment!!!

 

Finally, another confirmation that Baby Girl is cooking properly.

Since my pregnancy symptoms have been very mild thus far, that little girl is hard for me to detect. The only sign I have that I’m pregnant is stretching uterus pains and my inability to stay out of the snack cupboard.

 

This appointment ended up being very short. I peed in a cup like always, and then I went back to an office and waited for my OB’s PA to come and talk to me. She said my OB was held up at the hospital, and I could wait for her to return or just deal with the PA. Since I had a date with Hobby Lobby afterward, I opted to let the PA squeeze jelly on my belly.

She said, “Now, it might take me a second to find the heartbeat, so don’t panic.”

Good thing she said that, because she was squishing that sucker all around on my lower abdomen and there wasn’t even a PEEP.

My heart started to race until, finally, I heard a faint whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh.

We both smiled.

 

“Looks like her heart rate is in the 140s,” PA said.

“Yay!!” I shouted.

 

What a relief.

And that was it. She asked if I was having any issues at all, and I said, “Other than having to pee every 20 minutes and a little bit of round ligament pain, I feel fine.”

She said great! and left the office.

 

I used this alone time to snap a picture of a diagram on the wall. A diagram that outlined the growing size of a pregnant woman’s uterus.

I have been DYING to know where my uterus is and how big it is, and nothing online will reveal this information. At least not to the level of specificity I need.

This diagram, however, did.

 

Here’s a picture of a woman after conception, and a woman at the end of her first trimester:

Pregnancy growing uterus diagram

 

Two things to take from this diagram:

  1. DO YOU SEE HOW SQUISHED THAT LITTLE BLADDER IS IN THE SECOND PHOTO?!?! Do you now understand why we pregnant women are peeing every 20 minutes?
  2. Do you notice how the uterus sort of pushes all of your organs up and out of the way as it migrates north? Baby bumps are part-baby, part-small intestine.

Aren’t bodies amazing?

Here’s the rest of the diagram. Look how squished all those organs are near the end!

Pregnancy diagram

Look at that poor little bladder toward the end.

That’ll be me!!

 

My next OB appointment is in 4 weeks, and I’ll be 17 weeks by then. She said they want to do more standard blood tests at that stage (the tests scan for spina bifida among other things). I’ll be too early for my anatomy ultrasound scan, so she will have me come back three weeks after THAT to do a full baby scan.

GOOD THING I DID THE PANORAMA TEST, BECAUSE OTHERWISE I WOULD HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL I WAS 21 WEEKS ALONG TO FIND OUT THE SEX OF MY BABY.

She said the ultrasound techs will be so excited because “they love 21 week babies” for these scans. Much more to see, apparently.

I cannot WAIT to see that baby girl in there. Last time I saw her, she looked like a wiggly gummy bear.

 

Anyway, here are some side-by-side weekly pregnancy photo comparisons for you, just for fun:

Pregnancy week by week photos, week 10, 11, 12, 13!

 

know I am showing a lot and I know it’s my first baby so I “shouldn’t be showing this much,” but this is just how I look, okay!

And I love my pregnancy belly.

 

In pregnancy symptom news:

Round ligament pain is very real. I wake myself up in the night from rolling over and feeling a pull in my lower abdomen.

My lower abdomen is ballooning up. And getting harder. That’s the sign of baby. Squish is your own body. Hardness = baby.

My butt’s getting bigger, too. Love that pregnancy all-over body spread!

Tiredness comes and goes. When it comes, I have to take an hour-long nap, or my eyes burn. I’m more tired during week 13 than I was during week 10 or 11.

I find my “hunger” grows with every passing hour each day. I’ll be fine with a banana in the morning and ravenous by nightfall. I put hunger in quotes because I am never really hungry. Because I am always eating.

I am trying really hard to avoid blowing up like a balloon, and since I am eating like a ten-stomached whale, my workouts are my only saving grace.

Plus, I TRY to keep my calories as healthy as possible. So I am really just eating thousands of whole grains, fruits, nuts, and Flaming Hot Cheetos because MY GOD THOSE THINGS WERE MADE FOR PREGNANT BROOKE.

I can’t get ENOUGH spicy food in my mouth these days.

The hotter, the better.

I dump red pepper flakes on everything. Pasta, tacos, bagels, nothing’s safe.

Thank goodness heartburn hasn’t reared its ugly head, yet!

 

Also, I need to explain to you how hunger is not a “suggestion” when you’re pregnant.

It’s an emergency.

If you’re hungry when you’re pregnant, you’ve got about 15 solid minutes before you start to go ballistic. And it’s not even your fault when you do. It’s Baby’s.

I used to be able to go HOURS and HOURS without food (I mean, come on, I am an Extreme Georgia Diet survivor). Going hours without food is not possible when you’re housing a tiny human.

 

I went to Target once to buy maternity clothes (shocking!), and it had been 2 hours since I had eaten. I was hungry when I walked in, but I was like, whatever, I’ll get something when I leave.

In the dressing room, I started to see little black dots. The kind you see when it’s been FOREVER since you’ve eaten. The kind that tell you to eat something STAT or else your face is going to meet dressing room linoleum.

When a pregnant woman’s body tells her it needs food, she MUST comply.

So remember this when your pregnant friend/girlfriend/wife/daughter tells you that she is hungry and it is IMPERATIVE that you get her food immediately.

That last scenario happened with my mom while we were on a shopping excursion.

Mom: “Do I have enough time to stop for gas?”

Me: “Well!” *gasp* “I guess!” *tosses hands up in air*

 

Aren’t we pregnant women just a joy?

 

By the end of 13 weeks and 1 day, I was up EIGHT POUNDS since conception.

Eight pounds really starts to put some stress on your clothes’ seams and your self-esteem.

 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I will treat you to a lovely and maniacal pregnant rant about getting fat.

 

Enter: Pregnancy Rant

I just need to stop for a minute and vent about gaining weight during pregnancy.

I have all of these amazing t-shirts I wear to bed for sleeping. All of them are baggy, which makes them incredibly comfortable.

Now, all of my favorite comfy (read: baggy) t-shirts are tight around my middle. And snug around my boobs.

My favorite sleep t-shirts are making me feel so fat! Only a few of them remain baggy.

 

I know, I know, you’re like lady, you’re pregnant! Give it a break!

But just let me stop you there.

I DO give myself a break. All the time! And usually my confidence is just fine thanks to my workout regimes and my reassurance that I’m eating well enough. But sometimes, all the sweat sessions in the world can’t combat the big cloudy I’m Getting Fat fog in your brain.

 

All our lives, we women are conditioned culturally to think Thin is Best. So we pine for it 24/7. I’ve tried like 8 million diets, so you know I’m just another American woman striving toward the svelte status quo.

Which is all fine and dandy, except when you get pregnant. When you’re supposed to be gaining weight.

You can’t be restricting your caloric intake and going hungry so your butt looks great when you’re carrying a fetus. You just can’t! So don’t do it!

And trust me, I’m having NO PROBLEM getting enough food inside me. Baby LOVES FOOD. Baby loves when mom Pinterest searches desserts at 3AM.

That part of pregnancy is easy and fun.

It’s the getting fat part that’s hard.

It’s really hard, getting fat! It’s just hard.

Every time the scale inches up another number, my eyes bug out of my head and panic fills my chest.

Which I know is stupid! Because I am pregnant and I’ll be gaining weight, especially astronomically now that I’m in the second trimester.

But it’s just so HARD. In any other non-child-bearing situation, growing scale numbers are a reason to panic and start taking it easy on the cookies.

I find myself telling myself NO to starting a diet ALL THE TIME.

It’s so annoying!

Because it all stems from this stupid preconditioned urge to stay svelte.

Maybe other pregnant women are happy to puff right up and never struggle with the spreading arms and legs in the mirror, but this pregnant woman does.

And I’m not alone!

I know of a few pregnant women who struggle with the weight gain.

 

The best we can do is to combat the Wanting to Eat Terrible Food 24/7 Pregnancy Problem is stuff ourselves with fruits and vegetables and homemade whatever we can before we break open the Cheez-Its. That’s what I’m doing. Baby McInnis is getting LOADS of vitamins and minerals. I’m doing a bang-up job of eating garden-grown and whole grain.

But I’m still getting fat.

Because I also eat cheesecake.

Oh, and because I’m pregnant.

 

I’m glad you’ve read this far, because now I get to explain to you how GRATEFUL I am to be getting so fat.

Because it means Baby Girl McInnis is healthy as a horse inside me! It means that Baby Girl McInnis is INSIDE me. I’m pregnant! I can’t WAIT to meet her.

So I’ll stop complaining. But I just needed to throw these inner demon thoughts out there into the universe so other pregnant women who are definitely feeling the exact same way as me about puffing up know that they’re not alone.

I had an hour-long Text Rant with my pregnant friend about these issues and I felt a million times better afterward. So that’s my intent here.

You know the saying: A problem shared is a problem halved.

 

Anyway, the lesson I am taking from this is this: I will never, ever comment on a pregnant woman’s physique. Unless I am telling her that she looks EXACTLY the same plus a cute baby belly. Because that’s all we mama whales want to hear!

 

We KNOW we are developing a third chin and cellulite is spreading TO OUR KNEES.

We KNOW we are wearing pants that are 8 sizes up from our usual.

We KNOW we have breakouts all over our faces and we’re farting 24/7.

We KNOW we’re no longer the slim vixens we used to be.

We love being pregnant, but it’s hard to let go of our old selves and embrace Balloon Life.

It’s hard. Not impossible. Just difficult.

 

So, tell us we’re glowing” and we’re “so tan” and our legs are “so toned” or whatever other beautiful lie you have to make up when you are staring at us with fear in your eyes.

Do it for us so we still feel a little bit like our old selves.

And if you can’t do it, lock it up.

Just because we’re supposed to get fat, doesn’t mean we want you to COMMENT on it.

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how stupid men people can be.

 

Don’t worry, I still think I’m sexy. Most of the time, I’ve never felt sexier! Have you seen my amazing boobs?

It’s just that I don’t feel sexy ALL the time.

Like when I put my Thor sleep t-shirt on and it’s nice and snug around my middle and it used to be baggy and I want to cry because I have already gained 8 pounds and I still have 27 weeks to go.

 

You know what?

According to Jenny McCarthy (in her book, Belly Laughs), nearly every pregnant woman she knows gained FIFTY pounds while pregnant, not “25-35.” Even her doctor said it was common for a woman to gain 50.

Maybe not ideal, but still normal.

 

98% of the time I am thrilled to be gaining weight. It’s the remaining 2% that I wanted to talk about in my rant. The 2% us pregnant women keep hidden from the world.

 

I would like to note that I woke up the following day and felt great about my shape because all of my insecurities were gone.

I would also like to note that at the end of week 13, I was back to being seven pounds UP since pregnancy.

Probably because I didn’t have any more cheesecake left.

 

I felt loads better the next day, too, because my mom said this to me when I vented to her about turning into a Beluga whale:

Reassurance from mom.

 

She’s always right. I should be huge!

 

Anyway, I’ve made my point.

You’re not alone, Squishy Sisters.

 

Moving on!

 

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bunch of supplies to decorate a cardboard letter for Baby Girl McInnis and hang it over her bed.

I’m not going to SHOW YOU that letter, yet! Otherwise you’ll start making guesses at her name!

I’ll show you once I construct it.

😉

 

Other than that, no new Baby McInnis purchases.

I’m really trying to hold back.

But I REALLY WANT THIS CHANGING TABLE and it is taking EVERYTHING in me to leave it on my registry and resist buying it for myself NOW.

 

Changing table for Baby!

 

In fact, it’s taking everything in me to resist buying stuff for myself off my registry all the time.

 

There are SOME things I am going to buy for myself that I won’t put on my registry. Some, ahem, personal things.

These are things moms declare as MUST-HAVES for postpartum recovery:

Tucks Medicated Pads with Witch Hazel. They are for hemorrhoids (which many pregnant women develop while giving labor), but you can put them near the front, too, for extra relief. I’m definitely buying myself some, just in case!

Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray. You spray this on the massacre downstairs to make your post-delivery days significantly better.

Squeeze Bottle. It doesn’t matter which kind, just something to use WHILE peeing so it doesn’t burn so badly. I’ve heard of this trick from many moms. Even Chrissy Teigen swears by it!

I also might buy myself this Postpartum Belly Wrap/Shapewear piece. So many moms say it helps support their weakened core after birth and assists in squishing everything back into place more quickly. It’s only $20, compared to other $60 belly shaper options, which is why I’m seriously considering it.

 

That’s all, though.

Do you have any postpartum must-haves that I don’t know about?

Please tell me ALL of them so I can stock up before baby comes.

 

In other LIFE news, MY MOM COMES TO VISIT ME IN A WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s all I can think about!!!

We are going to have a blast. I am going to take her to the cupcake shop and the froyo place and baby clothes shopping, and I am going to bake and we are going to sit on our butts and talk about BABIES 24/7. I get her to myself for a whole week!!!!!!

 

Guess what else happened during week 13 of my pregnancy?

I FINALLY BOOKED OUR GIRLS’ ROAD TRIP!!!!

Oh, I didn’t mention?

I’m going on a road trip with my best friends in July!

We are starting in Michigan and driving down to Fort Rucker. On the way, we are stopping at Mammoth Caves, because those are a must-see.

The day after we get to Fort Rucker, we are whizzing off to New Orleans.

Yeah!

We’re staying there for TWO NIGHTS. Right in the center of the city! So we can walk everywhere and soak up the culture.

Then, we will come back to Fort Rucker. But we won’t stay for long, because the following day, we are whisking ourselves off to PANAMA CITY BEACH!!!

To stay in a hotel ON THE BEACH for two nights!!!!!!

We are going to have a blast.

It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime!!!

 

Road trip!

 

I will be 26 weeks along during this trip, so the perfect size to waddle around a bunch of caves and new cities!

I am thrilled!

 

Also, here is baby Rucker. I had just woken him up from his nap to take this picture and he is clearly not thrilled.

Baby Rucker!

 

We finally moved him out of our bed and onto the floor, where he now sleeps every night.

It was only hard for TWO NIGHTS, mostly because he tried to get on the bed a few times and we had to tell him no, but also because Husband was crying about how he wanted Baby Rucker to be back on the bed and how sad he looked on the floor.

Husband is the worst!

We got over it, though, and now the only thing I have to deal with is Baby Rucker barking at me at 6:30AM when it’s time to get up.

 

We also bought him a Dane-sized stuffed animal, and he is OBSESSED WITH THIS LION. He brings it everywhere.

Dane sized toy.

 

In fact, just as I uploaded this picture, Rucker came trotting into the room with the lion’s paw in his mouth.

 

To round this post out the ultimate way, I’ll leave you with a picture of Baby Rucker as a teeny tiny puppy.

Puppy love.

 

Stay tuned for week 14’s updates, and don’t forget to tell me if I am missing an essential post-delivery recovery items!

 

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