Tag Archives: pregnancy

21 Week Bump Update + GENDER REVEAL!

Sharing my pregnancy journey and 21 week bump update from symptoms, appetite, and products that’s been making my life so much easier. Plus, GENDER REVEAL of our baby!

21 week bump update

I can’t believe I’m already halfway through my pregnancy journey! During my first trimester, when I was feeling so nauseous and tired, it felt like my pregnancy would go on forever. Now that I’m finally out of that stage, time is flying by and I feel like we have so much to get done before the baby comes.

My second trimester so far has been easy peasy. Of course, there are some minor discomforts that come with pregnancy, but so far, my energy and general mood and wellbeing is how I felt pre-pregnancy.

Now, at 21 weeks, we finally know the gender of the baby (scroll down to the bottom for the reveal!) and I’m feeling more and more comfortable in my growing body and all the changes it’s going through.

21 Week Bump Update: Symptoms

  • Bacne, weird rashes: Thankfully, I’m not getting any acne on my face, but I am getting some on my back and weird bumps and rashes on my side boob. Thank you, hormones. Primally’s Pure’s Everything Spray and Beautycounter’s SOS Acne Spot Treatment have been very helpful in reducing those when used twice a day, but it’s been quite annoying with summer just around the corner!
  • No cravings/reduced appetite: I was a bit concerned about this one. I thought I was supposed to be MORE hungry during pregnancy, but I don’t have any kind of cravings and I’m not really that hungry frequently. And when I do eat, I can’t eat that much. I get full way too quickly and if I eat my normal amount pre-pregnancy, I’m uncomfortably full and it’s just not worth it. Thankfully, my recent ultrasound showed that the baby is growing healthily, and all my health markers seem fine, so my midwife said not to stress out about it too much.
  • More energy at the gym: I’m loving this. I feel like I’m pretty active these days and I can last way longer in my workouts. I only workout 3 times a week, but I feel amazing afterwards. I rotate between HIIT workouts, cycling, and yoga, and all of these have been so great in helping me feel like myself as my body changes. In the beginning of my second trimester, I was so out of breath with any little exertion, and I love that I have so much more energy these days.
  • Backaches: As someone with slight scoliosis all her life, I’m not unfamiliar with backaches and shoulder pains. However, it’s been way worse recently, especially in my upper and lower back. I massage my back nightly, take epsom salt baths, go to my chiropractor, and rub CBD cream on the pain points, and the combination of these seem to make a tremendous difference, in addition to my pregnancy pillow,
  • Sneezing and nasal congestion: This is probably the worst part of my pregnancy, and some days it’s way worse than others. From what I’ve been reading and researching, it seems that only 20% of pregnant women suffer from these symptoms and I happen to be one of the lucky ones. Personally, I’ve been noticing that it worsens if I’m stressed out or if I consume too much carbs or sugar, so I’m managing it by reducing these things in my life.
21 week bump update

Products That I’ve Been Loving Throughout My Pregnancy

In the beginning of my pregnancy, I told myself I wouldn’t buy a ton of unnecessary items that I see marketed constantly toward pregnant women. However, as my body changes and I experience different symptoms, there are some necessary items that have helped so much in providing comfort and easing some of those symptoms.

For stretch marks

I know stretch marks are genetic, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to do everything I can do keep them from coming. These are my 2 favorite products are safe and effective without harmful ingredients.

  • Beautycounter Body Oil in Citrus Rosemary: This just feels sooo luxurious and smells amazing! It contains both grape seed oil and rosemary oil, both of which are known to be awesome for stretch marks. Although the price does seem high, it lasts a really long time because it spreads so well!
  • Primally Pure Baby Balm: I rotate between this one and the body oil I previously mentioned. The combination of emu oil and marshmallow root in the Baby Balm are so incredible for stretching skin and so many women love this product during pregnancy.

For back pain:

  • Pregnancy pillow: At first, I thought, “Is this really going to make a big difference??” And heck yes. I can say that now after sleeping with it for over a month. Pregnancy pillows are 100% worth the investment and it makes sleeping on my side so much more comfortable (I’m usually a back sleeper). It provides support at all the right places and I’ve been sleeping so much better. I do love the U-shaped one, but it does take up half of our king-sized bed. There are various shapes and sizes if you prefer a smaller one.
  • Electric massager: Probably the most budget friendly but effective purchase ever to give yourself a massage at home. I actually bought this before being pregnant, but I use and love it SO MUCH MORE now! I use it every night, and it feels amazing while getting out all my knots in my shoulders and back. It heats up and changes directions as well!
  • CBD cream: If you are uncomfortable with using CBD during pregnancy, then this may not be for you. I’ve been loving this topical cream, and I can feel the difference immediately. I’ve tried many CBD creams before and this one is truly the best and the purest!
  • Epsom salt baths: If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m obsessed with baths. Epsom salt is amazing for relaxing your muscles and replenishing your body with minerals, and I take a bath almost everyday because it’s so helpful for my back, as well as my anxiety.

For bacne and random bumps/rashes:

  • Everything Spray: This is my go-to product for any kind of skin issues, and it’s works so well for acne, rashes, or any kind of inflammatory skin conditions. It’s calms down irritation, reduces blemishes, and I’ve been spraying it all my of my back morning and night.
  • Countercontrol SOS Acne Spot Treatment: Anytime I see a hint of acne, this is my lifesaver that kills it in just 2-3 days. I have always had it on hand for emergency pimples, but I’ve been using it way more with my annoying bacne popping up. It contains squeaky clean ingredients that are safe during pregnancy.
  • Cleansing Balm: When it comes to any kind of rashes or inflammation on the skin, the Cleaning Balm heals and protects the problem area quickly. I’ve been using it as a spot treatment on my random rashes, and I can see the difference with just one application. The nutrient-rich raspberry and cranberry seed oils, as well as the vitamin C in it work together to create this healing formula!

For sinus congestion:

  • Nasal strips: I was a bit skeptical about if these will do much to reduce congestion, but they actually made a huge difference! I could feel it working as soon as I put it on, and it’s so helpful during my sleep. I used to wake up in the middle of the night because my nose was so stuffed, but that doesn’t happen anymore with these. Plus, they look crazy sexy.
  • Nasal saline spray: If you have a Neti Pot, that will work as well, but I just love the convenience of this nasal spray. It clears up my nose right away, keeps my passage moist, and contains clean, drug-free ingredients that are safe during pregnancy.

For constipation:

  • Squatty Potty: This is another one of those products that I bought a while ago, but I appreciate it so much more during pregnancy. Constipation is quite common during pregnancy, and although I never got it too badly, I do love the Squatty Potty for regulating my bowel movement. It seems like such a simple product but works extremely well (trust me!).

GENDER REVEAL: It’s a….

21 weeks bump update

We are having A GIRL!

I couldn’t be more excited. I wanted a girl from the beginning so I can teach her to be strong and bossy as hell, and let her know she can be anything she wants to be in this world. I would have been totally happy with a boy, but I just leaned toward a girl more.

We Almost Didn’t Find Out the Gender

At our 20 week ultrasound, we were so excited to find out if we were having a boy or a girl, but we almost walked out without knowing because the baby was crossing her legs until the very end!

Our ultrasound technician told us this sometimes happens so we might not be able to find out at that appointment, but thank goodness, the baby showed us at the very last minute. It was such a magical and happy moment, and we are busy picking out names and clothes already.



Hope you enjoyed reading my 21 week bump update! I had so much fun writing this post, and I tried to address the most common questions I’ve been receiving on social media. If you have anything else you are curious about, leave me a comment below! I’ll probably do another update post before the baby arrives, and I hope sharing my experience is helpful for other women who are or will be going through this beautiful journey of creating a human. As always, thanks so much for your love and support!!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

My First Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Supplements, and More!

Sharing my personal first trimester recap, along with my experience with getting pregnant, symptoms, and the supplements I’ve been taking!

First Trimester Recap

I have now officially started my 2nd trimester, and I’m honestly so happy about it. My first trimester was NOT easy for me and had me questioning if this whole pregnancy thing was even worth it.

However, I feel so much better now and I’m really excited to do a full first trimester recap after 12 weeks of being newly pregnant for the first time!

How We Got Pregnant/How We Found Out

As some of you may have seen in this Instagram pregnancy announcement, this was completely unplanned and was quite a surprise for both me and my husband, Charlie.

Why Our Birth Control Didn’t Work

If you’ve been following my health journey for a while now, I had quite a history of hormonal issues like hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. One of the biggest struggles I had to overcome was losing my period for over a year after going off of birth control pills. Because of this, we were practicing birth control with the NFP method (Natural Family Planning), which means I was tracking my cycle to figure out when I was fertile or not using the Flo app on my phone.

But I’ll be completely honest – I wasn’t being too careful with my tracking. Because of my past hormonal issues, I thought that my hormonal health was not fully recovered yet and that it would be difficult for me to get pregnant at all in my lifetime. This has always been on my mind. Because of this and the fact that I’ve never been a fan of babies or kids, I’ve never actually let myself WANT kids of my own.

However, I’m so thankful that my body has healed enough to grow a human being. I think a HUGE part of my recovery is not only improving my food quality, but also changing all my skin care products to those with much safer ingredients. When I started using safer products in the house and on my skin, that was when my period started regulating again. I’m not surprised because these harmful chemicals wreak havoc on our endocrine health.

Finding Out About the Pregnancy

First Trimester Recap

I found out that I was pregnant at about 7 weeks. My period was late and I’ve been pretty dang consistent for the past 8 months. I just remember thinking, “OH CRAP” and immediately went to Target to purchase a pregnancy test.

Just because I COULD NOT believe that I was actually pregnant after taking the test, I bought 2 more tests (different brands) just to make sure, and sure enough, they all said positive.

I know many women who would be overjoyed at this news, but I panicked. I never envisioned myself as a mom, nor had a strong desire to be (like I said, I never loved babies), but slowly in the past few weeks I’m getting more and more excited. It really hit home for me during our first ultrasound when we saw our baby kick and flip around. I teared up and started getting all the fuzzy feelings!

Symptoms

O man, this pregnancy has already been such a crazy ride and it’s only the beginning! I just didn’t know what to even expect from day to day because I was experiencing so many changes and symptoms. One thing I HAVEN’T experienced so far is headaches, which I hear is common. Here are some of the biggest changes I went through:

Nausea

THE WORST. From 8-11 weeks, it was nonstop morning sickness all day. Luckily, it was never bad enough that I ever threw up but it was quite debilitating. I couldn’t cook much at all or be around food which is why I paused on blogging. I honestly laid on the couch all day eating ginger chews and watching Netflix because that was all I could do.

What Helped The Most

  • Eating every 2-3 hours. It’s the last thing you want to do but it does help for sure!
  • Massages were amazing and I would feel better after because it increases circulation in the body.
  • Seabands. These bracelets are affordable and actually seemed to work! They apply pressure on accupressure points to relieve nausea naturally.
  • Naps and rest. I’m honestly so lucky to work for myself and be able to have a flexible schedule. I took as much time as I needed to rest during this time.
  • Pink Stork Pro pregnancy probiotics. These are probiotic pills that I would take in the mornings and they actually made a big difference in my nausea.
  • Unisom with vitamin B6. I really didn’t want to take any kind of drugs during my pregnancy but this combo was AMAZING when I couldn’t function from the nausea. This combo is considered safe during pregnancy and is recommended by doctors for getting through nausea. I took 1/2 Unisom tablet with B6 before bed and it would help me get a really great night’s sleep and I would wake up feeling so much better.
First Trimester Recap

BOOBS

Oh man, as someone who’s never had boobs before, I did not mind this change. They got bigger and my nipples got darker even before my nausea started and they just kept growing. However, they were really sore, tender, and sensitive to touch and that hasn’t stopped yet.

I’m sure they’ll keep growing as my pregnancy progresses, and I’m not hating it!

Fatigue

It was hard to be in tune to how tired I was because my nausea overtook all my senses. But around 11 weeks when my nausea was going away, I definitely could feel myself being way more tired, and I had to take quick 30 minute naps during the day.

SO Much Peeing

I thought frequent urination only happened towards the 2nd half of pregnancy, but that definitely wasn’t the case! I feel like I went 20 times during the day and would wake up in the middle of the night to go. It was getting annoying at one point.

Digestive Upset

I read that many women get constipated during their first trimester but I had the opposite problem (sorry if TMI). It never got serious, but I definitely went to the bathroom more and had loose stool frequently. I think the changes in my diet was affecting my digestion, along with the surge in hormones.

Nails and Skin

I’ve always had thick, strong hair that grows quickly, so I didn’t notice much difference in that, but my nails have been crazy strong! I get my nails done about every 4 weeks and they usually chip during that time, but it’s been over 4 weeks without chipping and they are still looking good. And as a food blogger who cooks all the time, I’m NOT gentle with my nails.

My skin has been another story. I think the changes in my diet also contributed to this since I was eating more carbs and sugar than before, but it became so dry and rough, with more acne. It regulated a bit now, but at one point, I had to use the Cleansing Balm as an overnight night mask every night for my skin to feel hydrated each day.

Exercise

I tried to go to yoga a few times when I was nauseous to see if it would help, but it definitely did not. It made me feel so much worse and made me nauseous all day afterwards, so I took a break from exercising for 4 weeks. The only thing active I did was walking around the neighborhood for 30 minutes-1 hour, which actually helped a bit with my nausea.

By the 11th week, I was feeling better so I started getting back into moving my body again with yoga, cycling, and weight training classes. I’m not going to lie – the first few classes were HARD. I was out of breath within the first 10 minutes and had to take a lot of breaks and drink a ton of water. This could be because I couldn’t exercise for a month beforehand, but my hormones played a MUCH bigger part.

By the 12th week, I was able to get back into full workout mode and I was feeling good. I plan to stay active throughout my entire pregnancy as long as it’s safe and possible, because I honestly feel SO MUCH better and happier after I get a good sweat going.

First Trimester Recap

Food Aversions/Cravings

I haven’t had much cravings. It was more like, what CAN I eat without getting completely grossed out? Food aversions? Heck yes. I honestly didn’t want to eat anything besides fruits but I had to eat protein because that would make me feel better.

Because I couldn’t eat like I do normally, I actually lost 5 lbs during my first trimester. I’m 5’1″ so this is a lot for so I was a bit worried about it. However, my doctor assured me that this is quite normal and I’ll gain it back later.

Biggest Aversions:

  • Beef. I seriously didn’t want to eat any kind of beef, which is crazy because it’s one of my favorite meats.
  • Eggs in all forms, which I used to eat everyday.
  • Kimchi. I had loads of it after cooking from Korean Paleo but I could not smell it without gagging.
  • Bell peppers
  • Spicy food, which was a surprise. I LOVE spicy food!

What I Survived On:

It’s so funny because none of this is what I eat normally AT ALL.

  • SO. MUCH. WATERMELON. No, it’s not watermelon season but I made Charlie get me those pre-cut, packaged ones. Not the most sustainable choice but it’s hard to think about any of that when you are feeling crappy.
  • Almond milk and gluten free cereal. It was the only thing I could stomach at one point.
  • Chicken Pad Thai from a local restaurant. I ate this for dinner ALOT.
  • Gluten free subs from a Jersey Mike’s
  • Celery with peanut butter
  • Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers
  • Dairy free yogurt with fruits

Supplements

Because I wasn’t feeling great, I did not want to swallow many pills. However, I knew I needed certain nutrients (especially with my limited diet), so I tried to take these 3 consistently:

  • Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin – I actually started taking these months ago when I was trying to improve my hormonal health. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, but I wanted nutrients to support my health and this fit the bill, with nutrients like vitamin A, D, B12, B6, folate, and choline. It does give me more energy and I think it helped with my fertility, even when I thought I couldn’t get pregnant! It doesn’t make me queasy, but I do take it with a meal. If you have a hard time swallowing pills. these may not be for you because they are on the larger side!
  • Enzymedica’s Digest Gold – With my digestion being off with frequent heartburns, these digestive enzymes have been extremely helpful and necessary at every meal. It’s a bit pricier than other enzymes, but it seriously works SO well. I haven’t had a heartburn ever since taking these, and I could stomach things like gluten and dairy much better if I end up consuming those things (I’m intolerant to them!).
  • Pink Stork Pro pregnancy probiotics – I mentioned these earlier, because these pills were so helpful in reducing my nausea. However, I believe that you can get higher quality and better strains of probiotics through real food sources, so I didn’t purchase more ever since finishing the bottle since my nausea was gone by then. Now that I have my appetite back, I try to eat plenty of sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kombucha throughout the day.

Bump Update

I didn’t show much at all until my 12th week. It’s common not to show at all during the first trimester for your first pregnancy, but I saw it pop up out of nowhere when I looked at the mirror one morning! I was feeling bubbly and bloated for a while before that so I thought maybe that could be it, but the more I looked at it, it just looked different.

Here are photos of me at week 12:

First Trimester Recap
First Trimester Recap

That’s all! I hope you I answered a lot of your questions in this first trimester recap. I’ll be bringing you more updates as my pregnancy progresses, since everyday I’m experiencing something new! It’s definitely an exciting time, and I can’t wait to meet our little girl or guy soon.

My due date is early September, so I’m sure I’ll be sharing plenty more on here and on Instagram through then and beyond!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.