Motherhood - January 4, 2021

Second Trimester Q&A

Maternity photos brighton and duncan 30 weeks, mountain maternity photos, long black dress, second trimester q&a

I’m a little late to writing this post since I’m currently 30.5 weeks pregnant, but I still wanted to close out my second trimester with a few questions and answers. I went through all the questions you guys submitted via Instagram last week and rounded up the top questions.

I always love reading about other people’s experiences and love hearing all the little things that make each journey unique. Plus, reading about another woman’s experience (especially when she’s super honest) makes me feel less alone. I hope you find this helpful – let me know if you have any additional questions!

If you missed it, check out my first trimester Q&A where I shared more about our story and my experience during those first few months. I also shared my favorite products for pregnancy as well as outfits getting me through my second trimester if you missed those posts! 

Maternity photos brighton and duncan 30 weeks, mountain maternity photos, long black dress, second trimester q&a

Second Trimester Q&A

How far along are you?

30 weeks, I’ll be 31 weeks on Wednesday (January 6th, 2020).

For reference, my second trimester started September 2nd (Week 13) and ended around December 9th (end of Week 26). So I guess I’m VERY late to writing this post lol!

When did you feel the first movement or kick?

I started feeling weird tightening and loosening in my belly around week 18 I think? I remember feeling it while on our trip to Utah and I was 18 weeks then.

I don’t think I felt an actual “kick” until much later – like 27 weeks. But now he’s moving and kicking basically all day and especially at nighttime.

What has your baby’s heart beat been? How is he growing?

I can’t really remember exactly but I remember at the beginning it was super high and now it’s usually somewhere between 140 and 150.

So far everything has been on schedule and we have gotten all green lights at our doctor appointments. We are so so grateful. Last time I was at the doctor (28 weeks), he was about 2.5 lbs. I go again at 32 weeks.

When did you start showing? What week do you feel like you really popped?

I’ve shared this before on my stories, but I really feel like I popped EARLY.

I noticed my body changing as early as 7 weeks and my jeans were uncomfortable as early as 9 weeks I think? I’d say I kind of popped around week 14 and then really popped around week 18.

Have you gained any weight at all?

Oh gosh, YES. As of the time I’m writing this, I have gained over 20 lbs! My mom gained 40 lbs for all 4 of us, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I get up closet to that number.

What brand of prenatal do you take/recommend?

I am obsessed with mine and highly recommend them! I take Ritual – my code is BRIGHTON10. I shared a few of the reasons why I love Ritual prenatal vitamins in this post if you’re interested!

brighton butler thanksgiving 25 weeks
This photo is from Thanksgiving Day – I was 25 weeks pregnant!

Feelings & Symptoms

How you been feeling emotionally?

Since my first trimester was so terrible in this area, I have to say that I’ve been much better. I still have more meltdowns and cry more than usual, but in general (and again I’m sure it’s relative), I’m SO MUCH better than I was. November and early December were really hard because work ramped up and we were dealing with making plans for our move – it felt like a lot. But now that we have a plan and work has slowed down a little, I’m feeling a lot more stable. Plus, I’ve just been putting way less pressure on myself with work, which has helped.

How have you been sleeping?

Not great. It’s not every night, but sleeping has gotten to be really challenging. It doesn’t help that I get up at least 3-4x to use the restroom during the night (even when I stop drinking water around mid-afternoon!). But on top of that, I’ve had really bad rib/back pain in the middle of my back that gets worse when I lay on my side.

I ordered this pillow a month or so ago and I think it has helped? But I’ve actually been adding more pillows in addition to it (one between my back and the outer edge of the pillow + another underneath my arm so there’s not as much pressure on my back) for even more support.

I decided to order another pillow (the one my sister has) and see if it’s better – I just ordered it yesterday. It looks like it’s bigger and more intense lol – which is what I think I need?!

Did you have more energy in 2nd trimester?

Yes, absolutely. But I still felt like I was/am much slower and tired than I usually am.

Are you hungry all the time? Exhausted?

There was a stint during my 2nd trimester where I did not necessarily feel exhausted all the time (like I did during the first 3.5 months), but I was still way  more tired than usual. Even the slightest bit of exertion felt like a lot.

And as for being hungry all the time, YES that has definitely been my experience.

What’s something physical that was/is hard that has surprised you?

I might have a different answer for this depending on what day you ask me! But at the moment, there are three things that I didn’t necessarily expect and have been challenging:

Heartburn/Indigestion – I feel it almost all day long and it really slows me down. It feels like there’s someone’s foot in the middle of my chest, pushing down. This also makes it hard to fall asleep sometimes

Digestion – my digestion has been all messed up. I know that’s common for pregnancy, but it’s something I didn’t really anticipate and didn’t realize how much it would affect my day-to-day life, moods, and overall well-being.

Losing control of my core – I guess I never really thought about it, but I’ve slowly started to lose control in my core. I guess this is more of a 3rd trimester thing, but it has been a slow decline for me over the past 5 weeks. Little things like rolling over in bed or sitting up are really difficult and challenging.

When did the sickness go away? All of a sudden or gradual?

For me it was very gradual. I don’t remember a for sure day when things got better. It was more like once I hit (around?) 14 weeks, each week got a little better and I started to feel like myself again.

But even throughout my 2nd trimester, I still had afternoons where I got sick and exhausted again and had take things slow. It was certainly better throughout the 2nd trimester, but I still felt like 60% of myself.

Now that you’re going into 3rd trimester, have you started feeling like you have less energy? When did that happen?

I’ve heard things start to slow down in the 3rd trimester and that is VERY true for me. I started noticing it around week 27 I think?

And now that I’m at week 30, I’m really feeling it. He moves a lot more too, which I’m not sure is just me, but that slows me down. Because when he’s moving, I feel uncomfortable or like I need to sit down Lol.

The frequency with which I have to use the restroom has also almost tripled I think? This has held me back a lot because I feel like I can’t go anywhere unless I want to deal with using the restroom every 20 minutes. I’ve also had to go on walks closer to home so that I can stop to use the restroom every mile or so – it’s NUTS.

All in all, I don’t necessarily feel as tired as I did at the beginning, but I do feel uncomfortable and like moving my body is just…harder.

Are your feet swelling?

I don’t think this has happened to me yet, but I feel like my legs are swelling? Or maybe that’s just weight I’ve gained? I’m not sure.

Did your boobs grow more in second or first trimester?

They grew around week 5 I think? I mentioned it in my first trimester Q&A but at first, I actually thought it was just part of PMS and they were swollen.

But they continued to grow and have never gone down, sadly. It has honestly been the most surprising thing for me with pregnancy and something I really do NOT like lol.

How are you doing with body image? I feel like a cow.

I’ll be honest. This has actually been hard for me since the VERY beginning. It got a little easier once I had an actual bump and it was obvious I was pregnant. But I’ll admit, I still get upset all the time – mostly just when I’m getting dressed in normal clothes though (it’s not so bad with workout clothes). I just don’t feel cute in most my clothes (even though I try to tell myself I’m beautiful and this is amazing – I still just don’t feel like myself).

I also feel like my makeup doesn’t look or go on the same and other parts of my body are growing that I didn’t really anticipate. I just keep reminding myself that this is just a season and that my body is doing so many amazing things! Sometimes this is easy to embrace and other times, I struggle with it.

I’ve found that usually just venting about it to a friend, my sister/mom or Duncan helps. It helps to just say what I’m thinking or feeling out loud and then to remind myself of the bigger picture: my body is sustaining a life and that is a beautiful thing.

I also try really hard not to compare my body/progress/pregnancy to other women (especially bloggers). Because that can lead me down a dark hole!

How to deal with anxiety about health of baby?

I know everyone’s experience is different. I sympathize and can imagine this must be exceptionally hard for someone that struggled to conceive or who has experience loss. Gosh, I cannot imagine. But in my experience, one way I have dealt with the anxiety (specifically, negative or unwelcome thoughts about the baby’s health) is to either voice them out loud to a friend or Duncan or journal/pray about them.

Sometimes our minds can take one thought and spiral it out control. But oftentimes if we take that thought and bring it into the light, we’re able to diffuse the damage by speaking truth over it. The combo of journaling and praying together has really helped me with this.

brighton butler 30 weeks pregnant wearing maternity leggings, long sleeve tee, on cloud sneakers
This photo was taken the day after Christmas when I was about 29.5 weeks pregnant visiting Duncan’s family in Austin (which I realize is technically my third trimester but whatever lol). I try to go on at least a 1 mile walk a few times a week to keep my blood flowing, in addition to my workouts.
Outfit Details: Target Maternity leggings (earring size small) // On Cloud sneakers // Amazon long sleeve Tee (one size fits most) // Sunglasses // Belly Support band (worn under shirt, I got size small)

Second Trimester Q&A: Exercise & Food

What have you found to be a challenging workout program with being pregnant?

I think moving my body at all is hard while pregnant. So, to answer the question, all forms of working out are challenging for me – even walking. I used to go walking every day, getting in at least 2 miles. While pregnant, I’ve considered it a significant accomplishment if I’m able to get to 2 miles!

When did you get energy back and how did you ease into exercising?

I actually just went and looked at my camera roll to see exactly when I started *trying* to workout again because I couldn’t quite remember. Before looking, I would have said 17 weeks confidently! But I was surprised to see that I had a few mirror selfies I took before/after a work out at around the 10 week mark.

I remember being so nervous to ease back in and I FOR SURE took it very slow, especially at first. I kept it very simple and light – no cardio at all. I think I was still pretty nauseas at times too. I have a few memories of getting home and spending the rest of the morning on the couch or by the toilet (riding in the car, even for a mere 2 miles, always triggered my sickness).

At the beginning, I cancelled a lot of workouts and never did any more than 30 minutes. I started with 2x/week and then eased up to 3x/week if I felt okay. So by the time I got to 17 weeks, I was doing something pretty consistently 3-4x/week for 30 minutes.

brighton butler 22 weeks pregnant
For reference, this photo was from 22 weeks pregnant.

How did your workouts change from 1st to 2nd trimester?

I mentioned above that I started *trying* to workout again around week 10, but before that I did basically nothing. So I’d say that I was able to get more consistent with my workouts in the second trimester. Or in a general sense, I went from basically doing nothing to doing a little something a few days a week.

Things you were mindful of to avoid diastasic recti?

I’ve heard of this and knew it existed, but I’ll admit that I didn’t really look into it. I’m sure there was plenty I could have done, but I didn’t think much about it.

I still did core work at the gym but definitely avoided sit-ups or anything that would make my abs stick out. They said that women who cheered or did gymnastics are more prone to this, so I honestly just assumed it would happen to me. And to be honest, I’m not even sure if I have it or not? Again, I just didn’t look that much into it.

How do you get motivated to workout?

I don’t. Literally, I am never motivated to workout – even when I’m not pregnant. I really envy people who are, lol! So since I’m not motivated, I have to put it in my calendar and then show up.

Sometimes my Apple Watch says I only burn 79 calories, but you know what, that’s fine. My motto when it comes to working out is that something is better than nothing. THIS always helps me keep showing up. And usually once I get started, I’m able to do just a little bit more than I set out to do.

Do you eat super differently? More protein or anything?

I’ll be super honest here. I am NOT your girl for what to eat during pregnancy. I have eaten whatever and whenever I wanted since the very beginning. I know there are foods that are good for the baby and that I probably *should* be eating, but I have thrown all that guidance to the curb. I actually think all the food has been one of my favorite parts about being pregnant.

Do you think the book Real Food for Pregnancy helped with nausea? Other thoughts on the book?

As much as I wish I could have followed the suggestions from that book, I did not. And I don’t even think I could if I tried. I was in survival mode during first trimester and sort of also through second trimester too! Honestly, reading it just overwhelmed and stressed me out. read *most* of the book but couldn’t finish it.

Also, I made 2 of the recipes from her book and ended up throwing them out and ordering pizza both times. Kudos to you if you’ve been able to follow it!

brighton butler 24 weeks pregnant
This photo was from when we went to our 24 week doctor’s appointment! My favorite thing to wear for the entire pregnancy has been leggings and at this point, I could still wear my usual size tops and they weren’t too short.

Second Trimester Q&A: Clothes & Products 

What are your go-to daily wardrobe essentials once you outgrow your normal clothing?

Once I outgrew my normal clothing, I really gravitated towards fitted dresses or outfits with leggings. I had a few looser-fitting dresses, but I didn’t love any of them. I much-preferred to wear leggings and an oversized sweater or even leggings with a fitted top.

I also ended up wearing workout clothes a lot because getting dressed just put me in a bad mood. And while I’m talking about workout clothes, I actually did not find any leggings that I loved as much as my everyday pregnancy leggings. I ended up wearing my align leggings even though they didn’t really stay up and I didn’t like how you could see all the seams through my fitted shirts. They were the most comfortable.

Related: Outfits Getting Me Through My 2nd Trimester

Favorite maternity clothing brand?

I don’t have one. Honestly, all clothes are hard during pregnancy. But I really really really love my maternity Lake Pajamas (I have the Pima shorts, nightgown, and pants set) and the few pieces I have from Hatch Collection. I also love these fleece-lined joggers I got at ShopBop.

How to find a maternity bra that is good? Online shopping is the worst.

Ugh, I know!. The amount of trips I have taken to UPS and the UPSP to do returns has been out of control. It’s to the point where I just started to embrace things that met my need, rather than trying to find “the best.”

So far, this one (size M) and this one (size M) have been my favorite everyday bras – I wear one or the other every single day, depending on what I’m wearing.

And then when I’m working out, this sports bra is the only one I wear. Actually, mine does not have a zipper up the front, I just saw they are completely sold out. Regardless, I have tried so many and it’s the only one that will hold me down and feels secure. I still CANNOT get over how big my boobs are – honestly, they gross me out (Just being honest).

Do you use self tanner while pregnant?

I have a few times, but I use it much less. I couldn’t use it all during first trimester because of the smell, but I’ve used it a few times during my second trimester.

I’ve used Loving Tan (2 hr express in medium) and St. Tropez Express. They both stink terribly, but in my experience work the best and give me the most natural color. I tried this natural stuff that many people rave about – it stunk and gave me zero color, so I tossed it.

28 weeks pregnant, faux leather leggings, winter pregnancy outfit
This photo is from 27 weeks pregnant – so closing out my second trimester and starting the third!

Second Trimester Q&A: Getting Ready for Baby

Do you have a birth plan? Hospital or home birth?

No. And I do no plan on having one. I am all about getting educated on all the things, but I will ultimately trust my doctor.

We plan to go to the hospital. I have a very low pain tolerance, so I’m going to be asking for an epidural.

How are you feeling about giving birth?

It depends on the day honestly. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I am VERY nervous. But I’m also getting excited.

I’ve heard mostly terror stories (ha!), but I have actually heard from 2 friends who said they loved their experiences at the hospital and giving birth. So I’m actually hanging onto those positive experiences and hoping for the best!

Do you think you’ll share your birth story?

As of right now, I’m leaning towards no, but I could see that changing maybe?

From where I’m sitting today, sharing that experience feels weird or like way too much information. But then again, maybe after I go through it, I might feel differently?

I feel like a lot of my opinions/thoughts on how I’d share this experience have changed through the process. I remember not being pregnant and watching/following bloggers going through it, wondering why on earth they were sharing so much. I guess I was not interested at the time and just couldn’t relate.

But now that I’m going through it, I love when people share. And I’ve actually surprised myself with how much I’ve been willing to talk about my experience – even though I feel very clueless and behind.. So who knows – maybe I’ll change my mind on that. We shall see!

Daycare/MDO/nanny? How did you decide what was right for you?

The question/subject of help and work has brought up a lot of other questions for me over the past 7 months. Specifically, I’ve had to really think about what kind of business I want to run and how I want to show up once I’m a mom. And although I always imagined myself as a working mom, I have never really slowed down to really think about what that might mean and look like.

I’ve spent the last several months thinking hard about it and although I don’t have it all figured out, I did ultimately realize that I enjoy sharing parts of my life and creating content that helps and inspires others. And as challenging as that can be (for me) sometimes, I know I’d miss it if I were to walk away.  I also realized that I enjoy and take great pride in being able to provide for my family with my work.

Long story short, we’ve decided to hire a nanny and look into daycare/MDO for when he gets old enough. I imagine that even when he goes to daycare/school, I’ll still have a nanny to help since most programs are only a few days a week and Duncan also has a full time job. I need to get the search started for a nanny ASAP!

I’ll also be looking for a full time (or almost full time) assistant in Dallas to join me. I haven’t started this process yet with all the moving pieces, but now that the news is out that we’re moving I’m going to get going on the search!

Nursery Sneak Peek?

I’m actually working on a blog post to share my inspiration and style direction I’d like to take the nursery. I shared a little on stories a few weeks ago, but I wanted to compile all my thoughts in a blog post.

Then I’ll share some of the things I’ve already ordered and what I’m thinking about getting after that.

I’ve actually only seen the room where the nursery will be one time. So I’ve been trying to make arrangements and such from afar, which has been a bit challenging! I’ve just accepted the fact that it will not be done when he gets here and that is OKAY. I’m shooting for early May to have it all put together!

Stroller and car seat recs?

I’m no expert and I don’t want to be either. I did a little of my own research and I’ll admit, it was actually difficult to decide because there are some great products out there!

Ultimately, I got annoyed of the decision and wanted it to be done. So I’m doing the Doona for our infant carseat (I’ll take this to the hospital) and then the Uppa Baby V2 Stroller for our everyday walking stroller and calling it a day. I’m sure Duncan will get a jogging stroller too eventually.

Hospital bag ideas?

I did a huge purge at the beginning of quarantine and basically threw out all my overnight bags. So I’ve actually been having a lot of fun with this one because I’m starting from scratch! I looked into a few and actually ordered 4 different bags so far to checkout (lol) – I went full on #brightonbrain with this.

I haven’t quite decided yet because I’m not sure how much I’ll be bringing (I’m taking my time with this and having fun with it). But I’m leaning towards this one!

What’s your mom car?

OMG so THIS is something I need to figure out ASAP. I keep putting it off but I bet that once Duncan and I get to Dallas, we’ll spend a weekend doing some research. I know Duncan is a fan of Audi and Lexus and wants me to look at their SUV’s. I also want to check out Mercedes now that they have Apple Play (technology, seat warmers, and cup holders are big deciding factors for me).

But honestly, I haven’t actually considered what else I need to be thinking about for kids other than good rear air-conditions (because #Texas) and easy access in and out of car seats.

Second Trimester Q&A: Additional Questions

Are y’all going on a baby moon?

We had one planned for January, but have recently cancelled due to our move and everything else going on. We might do one last minute, but it will really just depend on how the month of January goes and the move specifically.

How did you know it was the right time?

I talked more about this in my first trimester Q&A blog post, but we didn’t know it was the right time. And honestly, we had hoped it would take a little longer (as it did for just about every single person I know). But God had other plans :)

Are you planning maternity photo shoot? Birth photography?

I was not going to do a maternity shoot at first, but then last minute decided to do one with Duncan before we left Colorado. We shot some photos a few days before Christmas and I’m actually so glad we did them – so is Duncan.

We plan to do newborn photos around week 5 or 6. I probably need to schedule that soon!

I have zero plans of doing birth photography – not my thing. I’ll just take some iPhone photos to remember special moments – I hear it all becomes a blur when it’s all said and done.

Are you doing anything to prepare for PP hair loss?

No, should I? What do people do to prepare for that? All I’m doing is mentally preparing myself!


Maternity Black Dress Outfit Details:

I got the black dress I wore in our maternity photos made on Etsy here!