18 weeks: almost halfway {pregnancy update}

I was afraid that weekly updates would prove a challenge, and this week it feels that way.  My belly got bigger, I took my vitamins, I slept in late a couple of times, and now I’m 18 weeks along instead of 17.  What’s to tell?  My next appointment is still over a week away, and the halfway mark in 2 weeks seems like the next milestone to look forward to.  In the meantime, I’m thankful to be feeling well and enjoying the small but frequent movements I can feel.

I’m beginning to have a bit of swelling in my feet and ankles if I don’t remember to put them up during the course of the day.  This is a problem I never had to deal with until my 8th pregnancy, and now it seems to come a little earlier each time.  Any tips on preventing it would be welcome, especially since I’ll be spending a lot of time on my feet during the Texas Republican Convention in a few weeks.

Belly pic

Baby bump is definitely growing.  I think I may be cute already.  I feel cute, but I’m not sure if I can stand 5 months of cuteness.  Even puppies and kittens outgrow cute faster than that.  Of course The Dress helps.  In my regular clothes, I have more of a baby lump, not nearly so cute.

18 weeks pregnant with #11

Oh, but speaking of clothes, here is my pregnancy excitement of the week: after spending a lot of fruitless time searching the Goodwill and other thrift stores for maternity tops, I visited a baby consignment shop and learned that I’ve been doing it all wrong!  I found maternity tops for the same price as the tops at the Goodwill, but here instead of hunting for a needle in a haystack every item of women’s clothes was maternity!  I had assumed that prices would be sky high but they were very reasonable, and I came home with about 5 maternity tshirts in my favorite colors plus a couple of dressier tops, a skirt, and my first Bella Band.  One had the ruched sides that I’ve been longing for, and the others were more plain, but a little 1/8″ elastic stretch-stitched into the side seams created that ruched look and now I have an almost entirely new wardrobe!  Now I’m thinking of pretty-ing them up even more with Kaitlyn’s ruffle-neck tutorial.

Baby at 18 weeks:

  • Can hear, and may be startled by loud noises (my poor child!)
  • Is about 6″ from crown to rump, and weighs 7 oz.
  • Goes through the motions of crying.
  • more


I walked 5 miles over the last 7 days.  Also, I finally did some informal online research and learned that there is probably no reason I shouldn’t do pushups and kettlebell swings as I was doing before I got pregnant.  I thought that they worked the abdominal muscles too much, but found no such warnings.  On the downside, I can barely do 10 pushups now instead of the 40-50 I was doing a few short months ago.  I can’t blame extra weight, because I only gained 3 or 4 lbs. so far – although it does seem obvious that I’ve gained far more than that in my belly.  Maybe my pushup muscles migrated to my midriff.  🙂

Getting ready to leave for a walk.  Mrs. R, these pics are for you.  [wink, wink]

How far along are you now?  Pics?  What’s new?



  1. Elizabeth says:

    Love the pic. I was that big at 5 weeks! I’m almost 10 weeks now and I gave up on wearing anything but dresses. I got the same way with the last couple pregnancies also. We are due with number 9 in december! Congrats!

  2. Lovely, Kim! Stinging Nettle Tea is wonderful for reducing swelling, bloating / water-retention! Just get the dried herb and add boiling water as usual and strain – doesn’t sting 🙂

  3. I have had to wear compression socks my last several pregnancies and my favorite ones are Allegro Swing Cotton Sock sold at Bright Life Direct. I like them because they are a cotton blend and are more breathable and cooler than others. They will help with the swelling if you put them on before the swelling starts.

  4. Loving the pregnancy updates here 🙂
    …and good for you for exercising; just a quick tip/hint (I’ve been teaching prenatal yoga for about 6 years), do your pushups on your knees (“girl pushups”) even if you don’t feel like you have to, thanks to the inevitable center of gravity shift that comes along with pregnancy, “regular” pushups can be pretty hard on the lower back over time (same goes for chaturanga for all the yogis out there.)

  5. I am 32 weeks pregnant now and more than ready for it to be over! I just want to be able to have a glass of wine! Regards Kettle bells etc my friend (who exercises quite a lot unlike me who used being pregnant as an excuse to not have to go to the gym!) was still doing her kettlebell classes and her circuit training up till about 35 weeks. She obviously had to decrease it slightly but spoke to her gym instructor who advised what she should do. Any discomfort or pain and she had been told to immediately stop but she was fine. In fact she thinks her baby enjoyed the kettlebell classes as thats when he seemed to sleep. She just delivered him yesterday at a very healthy 7 lbs 2 ounces so good luck with carrying on with the exercises!

  6. Wow U look great! 18 wks! Make me think of my little boy who was born at 18 wks. He was breathing for a few secs, until cord was cut! He was 7.3 oz and 8 1/4 in. long!! Best wishes! And enjoy every day you carry your little safe under your heart!:))

    • Tina, what a bittersweet memory. We lost a little one of our own, but it was 10 days before she was born. Her sweet face is still imprinted on my memory.

  7. Barbara says:

    Have you ever tried NORA tea? It is REALLY good for you while pregnant & nursing!!!! Basically it is made with N is for Nettle, O is for Oatstraw, R is for Raspberry & A is for Alfalfa. I’d have to ask my sister but I think you take the same amount of each herb & mix it up. Each day take about 1/4 cup of those herbs put it in a quart jar & fill it up with HOT water & let it steep for overnight. Strain tea & add honey to sweeten & more water or ice if too strong & drink it up. VERY good for swelling & various other things… too many to write them all. Let me know if you need or want more info about it.

  8. Would love to hear from any of you experienced moms of many regarding my new found dilemma on where to have my baby 🙂 I’m 36+ weeks. http://www.chrisandjenni.com/2012/05/15/birthing-center-or-home-birth-the-question/

  9. Hey Kim! I did the same thing with the swelling….really bad with the 8th. Two days after the baby was born, and I could see ankle bones again, I realized how bad it had gotten. My only advice is to keep an eye on that and blood pressure. Keep your feet up when you can. Drink a lot. But you already know those things. I did find that mine was worse if I rode around in the van all day.

  10. Water retention could be a sign that your kidneys need a little help 🙂 I would definitely cut out refined salt. Do you use Celtic salt or Real Salt? It is super nutritious, with all the minerals intact and not bleached and refined out. Using real salt doesn’t even compare to using refined salt – it’s like comparing freshly milled whole grain flour to white, bleached flour 🙂


    That’s a good article about what herbs are helpful during pregnancy. Dandelion looks like a good one for helping with water retention and kidney function. Anyways, hope that helps.

    • Gina, thanks for the tip about kidneys. My last checkup showed nitrates (or was it nitrites?) in my urine for the first time ever, and my midwife said that it was a sign my kidneys needed help so it seems likely the two are related as you suggested. I’m on dandelion on her recommendation, so I’m anxious to see if things have changed at my next appointment. I haven’t noticed any swelling since I posted that, so that’s a good sign!

  11. Sarah :) says:

    Alright, this is seriously the FIRST week I have looked at your dress picture and thought “oh, that looks like a pregnant belly”. Where did you get that dress? I think I might need one….

  12. Here’s a picture of me! 37 weeks with baby #8!
    –Gena at ichoosejoy.org

  13. I understand that swelling can also happen as a result of the poorer circulation during pregnancy. If your legs ever itch, that may be what it is. As well as lessening salt, finding some things that improve circulation might help.

  14. I suffered with swollen ankles and fingers till my last pregnancy, when I reduced my salt intake dramatically. I didn’t get any swelling till about 2 weeks before my little guy was born, and it wasn’t bad enough to worry the doctor. I used other spices so the food wouldn’t be bland, and I didn’t miss out on flavor. Even now, 12 years later, I use much less salt than I used to and feel better for it. It may not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.

    You have definitely passed the threshold into cute. Enjoy it. It’s much better to be cute than to not be cute 😉

  15. I’m 22 weeks which means I am past halfway no matter how long baby decided to stay (well, I guess he/she could technically try to go longer than 42 but I don’t think I’d stand for that 🙂

    Also, if moms are looking for another exercise option I just started Lindsay Brin’s Moms into Fitness program, it is 3 dvds, one per trimester. It is some cardio but a lot of squating, arm and back exercises too. I even had a question and I found her on facebook and she anwered me back in less than 48 hours! Its a bit expensive but I got my dvds on ebay for $5 and there were several copies for that price. All I did during my last pregnancy was walk and do my bradley excercises and that was fine but I feel like I have more energy now that I’m being a bit more diligent in the excercise department.

  16. My big news this week is that I no longer have a breech baby, thank you Jesus!! My weekly update here http://www.chrisandjenni.com/2012/05/12/36-weeks-pregnant-early-mothers-day-present/, I’m 36 1/2 weeks and feeling those last weeks of, oh dear am I going to make it? Somehow when you are 20 weeks, 3 1/2 weeks sounds so inviting, but when you are 36 1/2 weeks, why does 3 1/2 weeks sound so very far away? Fickle woman that I am 🙂

    Compression hose are helping me, I’ve had a lot of swelling those past few weeks, but using knee highs is really helping, of course they are really warm so you have to decide which you would rather 🙂 Bless you!! Hope you find some good tips on the swelling!

  17. I’m 13 weeks. Hello second trimester! Here’s my update..with a belly pic! 🙂


  18. All I have to say is that it seems your pregnancy is going a whole lot faster than mine! LOL 39 weeks here and due date is Sunday. My midwife and I never though that we would still be pregnant at this point. It is the longest I have carried a baby since #2 (this is #8). I’m very miserable, very large, and very emotional. Over the last week I have had several times that we thought labor was imminent, but it wasn’t meant to be. My husband has some meetings tomorrow, but has the feeling he won’t be there. I hope he’s right, because I feel as though I am going to be pregnant forever!

    • Whitney says:

      Oh, hang in there sweet sister! My “baby” will be 2 tomorrow so maybe they’ll share a birthday! She was my 7th and the only one I carried past my due date! God bless you and your new little one!

  19. Hello, Kim. Just sat down to see if you had a new post to share and I enjoyed reading about your 18th week. Isn’t it fun to find new clothes that answer a need? Have a wonderful week.

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