My Second Trimester

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The weeks have been flying by so incredibly fast since I posted my last pregnancy update back in January. I can hardly believe that I'm officially in my third trimester! Now that I'm through it, I wanted to share a little recap of my second trimester of pregnancy. 

How I'm feeling

It took me a little longer than I thought to leave behind the first trimester morning sickness but since I did I've been feeling really good! The worst things I've had to deal with these last few months have been heartburn and some SI joint paint. I haven't had a ton of cravings, but there was one morning where I made Anthony take me out to get a cheeseburger for breakfast and man, did that hit the spot! Bump-wise, I think it took until about 16-18 weeks before I really started showing. I felt like I was in the awkward transition stage for a long time but my belly has grown so much just in the last couple of weeks! I'm finally at the point where I look pregnant enough that strangers are regularly making comments about my baby or asking when I'm due. That was pretty exciting the first time it happened! This weekend, we'll be taking the next photo in this series above!

What we've done to prepare

Anthony and I decided to take the childbirth classes offered by our hospital, and I'm so glad we did! We're halfway through and in addition to feeling more prepared and knowledgeable, I'm really enjoying the quality time we get driving to and from our class every week. The classes with our hospital are really affordable, our instructor is awesome and I think it's a great way to get a baseline understanding of the birthing process. I'm also reading a couple books to help me decide how I want to approach the experience of labor and delivery and I'm surprised to find myself actually wanting a natural childbirth. It's not that I'm against the idea of a medicated birth in theory, I just have this feeling in my gut that I think I can do it and I want to try. I'm currently reading Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel and Anthony is working through the companion book, The Birth Partner. I'm doing my best to prepare for a natural birth but that being said, if things don't go according to plan, I won't be heartbroken. One thing I've heard over and over again is that the best "birth plan" to have is to be flexible!

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From top: us at our first childbirth class in February, a little bump progress from December, January and February. Below: my favorite maternity outfit (hooray for overalls!) I got in March.

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It's a...

GIRL! Because I like a good sneak attack, I actually announced in this post right here. We found out in early January that we were expecting our first daughter. We didn't have a preference either way, but it's so exciting just to know!  And it definitely makes the baby name search easier to cut down the options by half. More on that later! Here are some screenshots from the video we sent to our friends after the ultrasound appointment:

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How's Anthony doing?

Every time I ask Anthony if he's feeling scared about fatherhood at all, he says "Nope, just excited!". He's had some practice being an uncle and two of our best friends had their first babies this past fall so I think that's really helped us both to know and visualize how life is going to change once we're parents. Of course, I know we will be surprised by a whole lot once our little girl is actually here! But Anthony has been a total champ my whole pregnancy. I've had to lean on him a lot and I couldn't imagine a better partner in this than he is. If the last week has been any indication, the third trimester hormonal mood swings are going to be pretty strong. I've been feeling much less in control of my emotions than normal so everyone say a quick prayer for Anthony in getting through these last 3 months with me! 

Maternity leave plans

A lot of people have been curious about what maternity leave looks like for a self-employed, small business owner so I thought I would share what my plans are. I'm continuing to take on new client consultations through April, but after that I will be focused on wrapping up my projects in progress or getting them to a good stopping point before baby Storck arrives around the end of May/beginning of June. Once she's here, I plan to take the first two months or so off from client work completely. Depending on how I feel, I will probably continue to work on some behind the scenes stuff for my business and write some blog posts when I can after the first few weeks. I'm definitely planning to play things by ear but I'm expecting by September to be working on my new routine as a work-from-home mama. I am so grateful to have the flexibility to do this, and thinking of having a family in the future was a big motivator behind me striking out on my own with Stevie Storck Design Co. two years ago!

The nursery

We still have a lot to do, but the nursery is coming together! I shared the before photos and my design inspiration in this post, and I'm working on a progress update with my design plans for next week. I'm going for a very collected, historic and cozy feel for her room mixing antique and vintage pieces with more modern accents. Her room already has some of my very favorite thrifted finds ever in it, including this mint velvet settee and this gorgeous Karastan Sarouk area rug I found for a steal -- thanks Facebook Marketplace!

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Chloe loves the rug and the baby's room too!

Choosing a name

The number one question we've been asked since we found out it was a girl is if we've decided on a name yet. The short answer is no. Impatient me always hated my siblings for keeping their baby names a secret during their pregnancies and assumed that I would share ahead of time when it was my turn. But now that I'm here, it feels so different than I thought! Choosing the right name is hard. What if we pick a name, tell everyone, order monogrammed onesies and then realize the name just doesn't fit once we actually see her for the first time? A good friend told me she went in to the hospital with a list of names, and the ones that were her favorites the whole pregnancy were not at all what they ended up choosing once their daughter was born. So we've decided to take that approach. We have a list, and we still talk about names frequently but we aren't deciding on anything until she's born. So no, we don't have a name to share yet, but I will tell you a little about what we're thinking!

As you could probably guess, I'm a fan of boys names for girls (I'm Stevie and my little sister is named Frankie) but Anthony, not so much. So the names on our list are a mix of strong, unisex names and classic, feminine names. I like the idea of whatever type we choose for a first name, going the opposite with her middle name to sound nice and balanced. We especially like names that are a little uncommon but easy to spell and pronounce, and names that are a little old-fashioned and/or nature inspired. And nicknaming potential is a strong factor for us too! Goofy nicknames are a family tradition for us, so we try those out with every name we talk about. 

My favorite part

I started feeling flutters and little movements as early as 13-14 weeks, but the first time I felt a solid kick was Christmas Day and there's just nothing like that feeling. Now, this little girl is a regular acrobat! I can now tell where in my belly she is laying -- she seems to prefer the right side and has been head down for the last several weeks -- and I can discern what movements are kicks, punches, head butts and rolls. I've waited my whole life for this bump and the little girl inside of it so I'm really enjoying these moments, especially when Anthony can share it with me. If she's laying in the right position, he can even hear her heartbeat just by pressing his ear to my belly. I think that's so cool, because it's something only he can do. We can't wait for her to get here, but I think I'm going to miss being pregnant once she is. Carrying her on the inside is such a short, but special time and I'm so grateful for it!