To top
17 Jan

pregnancy recap, weeks 13-18 (baby girl)

like I did with baby boy Luca, I’ll be doing monthly pregnancy recaps to document the progress of this pregnancy and hopefully relate to some of you who are pregnant as well or interested in becoming pregnant! in this week’s recap, I’ll be recapping week 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. I’m currently 18 weeks pregnant.

the recap, weeks 13 – 18

I knew people used to say that you “pop” more quickly with the second pregnancy than you do with the first, but I guess I didn’t really think much of it, until I became pregnant for the second time. WOW. I was comparing photos of myself at this stage with Luca and what they say is true. my belly is growing quickly! I’d say I feel like I look 23-25 weeks pregnant, and I’m just 18 weeks pregnant.

I loved being pregnant with Luca and seeing my bump grow, and I’m loving it again, with this baby girl. the more I think about it, the more excited I become about having a girl. and even though I’ve always wanted a girl, I’ve loved being a boy mom so much, I forgot about the possibility of a girl!

I’m using The Bump app like I did with Luca, and I love seeing with fruit or veggie she is each week. as we speak, she’s an artichoke! while every milestone isn’t as exhilarating as it was with Luca, I still love hearing and seeing the updates. our next big appointment is our 20 week anatomy scan, so I can’t wait to see her on the big monitor and hopefully we’ll get a 3D image!

I’ve already started pinning to a baby nursery inspiration board (it’s private right now, but I’ll share it once I have an idea more nailed down.) I haven’t decided the exact theme, but I definitely don’t want anything super pink. I love the idea of bohemian neutrals, but something comfortable and feminine. I say I’m not going to be that mama who puts bows on her baby for every picture, but who knows – I may feel differently once that baby arrives!

[Left: 18 weeks, with Luca // Right: 17 weeks, Baby Girl]

the hunger is real

overall, the past 5 weeks have been easy, breezy. I have all of my energy back, the mood swings stopped entirely, and I have zero nausea. so what am I feeling? HUNGRY. I don’t remember ever being this hungry in my first pregnancy. perhaps it’s because I have to chase around a toddler and worry about him. perhaps it’s because it’s the winter? could it be the weather? I always eat more when it’s cold out. maybe my body is trying to store up fat for the long Jersey winter, haha! is that a thing?

but yes, the hunger is real. I went to an event last night, after having a mini meal around 4pm, I packed a snack for the night, and no joke, in the cab ride there, at 5pm, I had to eat my packed snack, I was already hungry! what I do notice is that I get extra hangry, nauseous, and a little light headed if I don’t eat every 2 hours. it’s like clockwork.

along those lines, I’ve found that I care less about holding back the reigns with food. in my first pregnancy, I didn’t know what to expect, how my body was going to change, and I was more careful with my food choices. this time around, I’m like, “bring on the pancakes!” I just know my body’s limits, I know my body better than I ever did pre-Luca, and I know that there will be a time for shedding the baby weight and I know how to do it, so I’m less stressed about weight gain. I guess I know what to expect postpartum, so I’m less stressed about gaining weight.

of course, I still want to eat as healthy as possible, so my food choices are smart. if there’s any time to eat well, it’s when you’re pregnant – your baby needs vital nutrients that he or she gets through that umbilical cord! I went to the doctor this week and I had gained 10-13 pounds and around this time with Luca, I had only gained about 9. I am exercising regularly and feel great, so I’m not stressing at all about weight gain, but I wanted to share in case some other mamas out there are stressing!

my biggest stressor

UGH, I hate that I have to stress about this, but it’s a product of where I live and where my husband works. my biggest stressor (Lu doesn’t seem as stressed about this!) right now is where we’re going to live. I LOVED having the luxury of my mother being able to come and live with us those first two weeks with Luca in his nursery (we had/have a daybed there). I think I had such a great postpartum experience, frankly, because my mom was there with me. we didn’t have any strangers in the house (no doulas or night nurses), it was just family and I felt so comfortable, supported, and loved. my mother literally woke me up when the baby woke up hungry, I fed him, and she let me go back to bed while she rocked Luca back to sleep. LORD, do I want that again, haha! perhaps this time around it’s less necessary, because I know how to handle it all, but still, sleep is so important for your sanity and happiness those first delicate weeks, and I really want her there.

I’m saying this all, because right now, we live in a 2BR with a den. the den is my office, which is another amazing luxury. SO, where will baby girl go? of course, she could go in our room, but then I wouldn’t have the aforementioned luxury of my mother here. and Lu would be woken up all night, whereas the first time around, he was able to sleep.

I needed Lu to be well rested, because he worked the 6:30pm – 11:30pm shift every night once he got home from work, taking care of the baby while I showered, made dinner (aka heating up our freezer stashes), and then got a couple of hours of sleep before the night shift began. we had a great balance and everyone was happy, because everyone was resting well (my mother and I napped during the day in shifts, haha!) Lu didn’t do a single night feed, because my preference was to exclusively nurse, so we never used a bottle until a few months into the baby’s life. I plan to do the same. I cherished those moments with Luca, and I will with the baby girl, if we’re able to nurse. plus, Lu wasn’t able to take a long paternity leave, his partners decided on one week, so he went right back to work and needed sleep to function and run his business.

but back to the stressor. we basically need a 4 bedroom, a 3 bedroom with a den, or a super spacious 3 bedroom that we can find a space for my work, because I need an office space! I’m stressing, because we LOVE our building and want to stay in it, but 3BRs are very, very hard to come by. basically, I’m reloading the website every day to see if any apartments pop up that we can snag. we have some time, our lease is up in May, so we have the next 3-4 months, but that time FLIES by (I mean, February is a couple weeks away, wtf?!)

we’ve talked about the suburbs, but we are just so happy in Jersey City, and we don’t have the budget yet for the place we’d ideally want, in the town we’d want. we may just be forced to do it, if we can’t find what we need in Jersey City, but I’m praying it’ll all work out like it did with Luca, when we needed a 2BR in a pinch. send us good real estate vibes, haha!

other fun updates

  • we found a name! originally, we always wanted to go with derivatives of “Lu” and were thinking of names like Lucia. then, Lu was reading the New York Times magazine and stumbled across a headline with the perfect name of our baby girl. we were laying in bed, he showed it to me, and we immediately knew that was our baby’s name. it’s funny how it happens like that. my mother said when she was looking for names of me, she opened the newspaper and saw a ballerina’s name was Alessandra, and that’s how she picked my name! like mother like daughter, I guess! we’re choosing not to tell ANYONE (not even our family). we’ll see how long that lasts, but for now, we’ve kept it a complete secret! we don’t know a single person with this name, so we’re excited to tell our family once baby girl is here.
  • fluttering- I’ve felt the baby moving around and ‘fluttering’ earlier than I did with Luca. I cannot wait for the kicks, but for now, I’m enjoying the little tickles in my tummy. it just reminds you of what a blessing it is to be pregnant.
  • thirsty – like with Luca, I’m thirstier than usual. I’m a big water drinker, but I’ve definitely upped my game. since I still have some postpartum pelvic floor issues with incontinence, I’ve had extra issues. more to come on that.
  • sleep issues – I didn’t have any sleep issues with Luca, but this time around, I’m definitely tossing and turning more in bed, and I think it’s because of my bladder. I pee at least once during the night, which I never did with Luca until very late in my pregnancy. ugh!
  • food cravings – I NEEDED chocolate covered almonds for a few weeks. luckily, I found a healthy-dish version of them, here. that craving has simmered down, especially because I’m trying to watch my sugar intake before that dreaded gestational diabetes test in a month or so.
  • boobs are back – after nursing, my boobs were looking a little lifeless. now that I’m pregnant, they’re back again! it’s like they were literally deflated and then reinflated, haha. I’m enjoying every one of my curves. there’s something about having extra padding around your hips, thighs, and bigger breasts that makes me feel more womanly. like, my body was built for this and it knows what it needs to do and store for childbirth and taking care of a baby.
  • baby sprinkle or not – Lu and I are currently talking about whether or not we want to have a baby sprinkle. a baby sprinkle is pretty much a toned down version of a baby shower. I love the idea of celebrating this new baby’s life, like we did with Luca. it almost seems unfair to not give her a party? I think with a baby sprinkle, you don’t list a baby registry on the invite, it’s kind of like people can bring onesies and diapers if they want, but it’s more of just a casual get together. we haven’t decided what we’re going to do yet, but I’d love to hear your ideas!
  • nursing and weaning – as you’ll see in this Instagram post, we’ve started weaning Luca. he’s refusing all milk alternatives, so we’re not going to do milk and just know that his body will regulate and he’ll eat more of certain foods accordingly. he eats plenty of cheese, yogurt, and other foods high in calcium, fat and protein, so we’re not worried. he’ll be 16 months old next week, and my goal is to be weaned by 20 weeks pregnant, which is another week after that, so we’ll be dropping his morning nursing session in the next couple of weeks. it’s bittersweet, but it’s time.
  • exercise – I’m still doing my same favorite exercises, just listening for when my body tells me it’s too much. I’ve definitely had to slow it down on some Peloton spin classes so far.

maternity favorites

I’m all about dressing the bump! but most importantly, I love being comfortable. some women don’t ever buy maternity clothing, but I’m all about it. and buying maternity clothes isn’t expensive! of course, you could go the HATCH route and buy $300 cashmere jammies for the hospital (personally, I think those are targeted at first time moms who have never birthed a child and don’t realize that you’re just going to live in your hospital robe, because shit gets real down there and the last thing you want is to ruin $300 cashmere jammies, haha.) it’s a gorgeous brand and heck, if I had more money, maybe I’d splurge, but it seems crazy unnecessary, especially when there are so many great brands out there that are affordable. plus, I’m still wearing my maternity clothes that I wore with Luca, so I’m getting my money’s worth. that’s my rant!

  • started taking this fish oil supplement in addition to my favorite prenatal
  • my new favorite maternity denim, these H&M MAMA Skinny Jeans are the best maternity jeans I’ve ever worn, and so affordable. the dark blue are my favorite wash!
  • GAP everything (it’s my go-to for maternity and they are always having a 40% off sale, haha), but these basics are great – long sleeve shirt, v neck t shirt, crew neck t shirt, and this one piece bathing suit.
  • lululemon align leggings – some of you told me to get these, as they grow well during pregnancy, so I’m giving them a shot! so far, they’re amazing. we’ll see as my belly expands! I have several maternity leggings from my pregnancy with Luca, so I’ll start using them once I need them.
  • panache wireless sports bras – I wore these with Luca, I wore them postpartum, and I’m still wearing them! hands down the best sports bra I’ve ever owned and will ever own!
  • this tunic tee from Old Navy – I’ve been LIVING in it. unfortunately, the two best colors are sold out in almost every size, but they do have grey left.

for more favorites, check out my first trimester recap and follow me on @inspiralizedali on Instagram, and check out my Pregnancy Favs highlight icon!

and that’s it! see you in a month for a recap of weeks 18, 19, 20, and 21!

7 Comments
  • Lynne Fox

    Ali, I am so happy for you and Lu…..you will have what we call the perfect family….a boy an a girl!
    Love reading your blog and getting updates on Luca Leo and the “little girl” soon to be born.
    anxious to hear what you and Lu are going to name her. I would love to see more pictures of Luca Leo.
    Best Wishes and much love, and praying God provides you and Lu with the perfect home to raise your
    children….
    Lynne

    Thu January 17 at 10:59 pm Reply
  • Stella @ Stellicious Life

    Hi Ali, so happy for you, Lu and Luca that a little girl will soon join your family!! ☺️ I LOVE reading these life and pregnancy posts of yours (loved reading them the first time when you were expecting Luca, since then I also became a mom to a little boy 😉) and am excited to learn what will be Baby Girl’s name 😉 When I read that you’be found THE name, the name Lucinda just popped into my head 😆 So we’ll see whether your daughter will be Lucinda, Lucille or maybe something else (our choice for our first daughter to be is Isabella Luna ❤️)

    Take care, and sending you much love! ☺️
    Stella

    Fri January 18 at 10:51 pm Reply
  • Lina R

    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing.

    When my second baby was coming we decided to stay in our 2 bdr apartment, they share a room.

    I was afraid my oldest sleep was going to be disrupted, but she didn’t even notice. I was skeptical when my friends with older kids told me that rooming them together was a non-issue, but it actually works.

    Just sharing my experience so you can give not moving, unless you find your dream housing in JC, a thought.

    Sat January 19 at 1:15 am Reply
  • Lizz R

    Hooray! I followed you during your first pregnancy (I was also pregnant), and I’m excited to do so again (and hopefully talk hubby into a second baby).

    Have you thought about the baby and Luca sharing a room? I have at least four mom friends who have had their young son/daughter share a room right at birth, and loved the friendship that developed. Just a thought, to help alleviate stress 😊

    Sat January 19 at 4:37 pm Reply
  • Deena

    From a fellow NJ mom (Hi from Clinton!) let me just say the Lululemon Align pants are LIFE when you are pregnant and post-pregnancy!! Best workout pants ever – just make sure to wash them inside out since they pill terribly. I own 3 pair and loved wearing them to spin class, OTF and the gym while my little one was in my belly. They were also lovely for those first few weeks postpartum when you wanted to wear pants but didn’t want to wear anything tight/restricting.

    While you are weaning, something you may want to consider is breastmilk jewelry! It’s such a beautiful and special way to commemorate the nursing relationship as it comes to an end. I’m 3 months into BF my daughter (yay!) and I know I plan to have a piece made when we wean 🙂 There are local NJ options you can look into too!

    Best of luck with a happy and healthy pregnancy – can’t wait to follow along and see your little girl!

    Mon January 21 at 2:51 am Reply
  • Christina Brown

    Hi Ali!

    Love following your journey and seeing similarities in my own. First time pregnant and so helpful to read about all journies and making connections where I can.

    I was wondering how you found your size in maternity clothes. Did you try on in store or order with trial and error? I have read that you choose your pre-pregnancy size but curious how you found the sizing for you. I shop at all the places you have listed so would love some help!

    Thanks for being so open, love your blog!

    Mon January 21 at 3:52 am Reply
  • Colleen Mook

    Hi Ali,
    Congrats on your upcoming baby! I love the name, Lu. We’d love to gift her with some https://www.babybehip.com/ if you want to share some details with us. I’m a fellow Peloton mom too. It’s so important to keep yourself and your health a priority as you continue to get busier and busier with little ones. Best of luck and great blog!

    Thu March 7 at 5:04 pm Reply

Leave a reply