She said WHAT? Oh yes she did! Today I’m giving away a $75 gift card to Shabby Apple.
Oh, and I’m pregnant! 20 weeks, 2 days to be exact 🙂 When Shabby Apple offered to let me slip into one of the dresses and share a giveaway with you, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to review a piece from their line of maternity dresses and use it in the big reveal. But first, let’s talk about this baby!
Ben and I have been married for 5 years, and we’ve had the good fortune to do many wonderful things, like traveling to some of our must-see places (Greece and Israel), advancing in jobs (him) and making big career moves (me), and purchasing a home we adore. And of course welcoming our first baby – an adorable and sweet black lab / beagle (or basset, we aren’t really sure) mix named Eve! Now are are beyond thrilled to expand our family even more 🙂
So far I have been extremely lucky in this pregnancy. I even said to Ben, “I keep forgetting why people are always asking how I’m feeling!” And that’s because truthfully, I feel so good that I hardly know I’m pregnant. Except for the growing belly and weight gain, of course 😉 I’m already convinced that I’ll spend my entire next pregnancy with my head in the toilet, given how lucky I got this time. No morning sickness, and no crazy aversions or cravings. I did go through a period where my regular lunch of a huge salad didn’t sound too appetizing, and all along I’ve been craving (and indulging in) more carbs than usual. But I think both of those are nothing compared to other stories I’ve heard.
We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday, and it was so fun to see the baby moving around and check out all its parts – brain, eyes, heart, spine, kidneys, adorable little feet. What am I missing? Oh, right. We’re going let the baby surprise us with his or her goods on the big day, which is on or around March 11th 🙂
People always want to know how I’m doing with my workouts. Pretty good, I’d say! I’ve kept up with my regimen of lifting heavy things, under the guidance of my trainer Tony. Women are usually told not to lift anything too heavy during pregnancy, but after doing much of my own research, I feel comfortable subscribing to the theory of “it’s ok to do what you’ve already been doing” and “listen to your body.” I am listening, alright. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I found that the same activities made me more winded and I needed longer rests between sets. I wasn’t expecting that until I got bigger and more uncomfortable, but I quickly learned that my body was working in overdrive to prepare to carry this baby and that’s why everything felt harder. No problem – I listen, and take the rest I need. For the most part, I am doing all of the same exercises, some with a bit less weight. I am still making sure to challenge myself, but challenging myself takes a little less these days, and that’s ok. I will say that I feel most defeated by the quick drop in number of chin-ups I can do. It used to be 6-8, but that changed as soon as I started gaining weight. Now that I am up about 15lbs, I can only do 1 or 2. But hey, it’s something, right? That’s the first thing I will be working towards when I start to drop this baby weight!
There’s one more thing I want to mention about this baby, and I debated whether or not to share it on the blog. Ultimately, I decided that because it always helped me to learn about other people in my situation, I want to share this in hopes that I can help someone else. And if you disagree or have negative judgements about anything I am about to tell you, I hope that you keep them to yourself.
Making this baby was not as easy as we had hoped. But then again, who the heck knows that they are going to face infertility until they try? Especially at age 28. I took my last birth control pill in July of 2011. And then… I never ovulated. At first I waited patiently, knowing that it was normal if my periods took 3-6 months to return. But they never did. Around the 4-month mark, I started trying acupuncture along with diet changes in accordance with Chinese medicine, and herbal concoctions prescribed by my practitioner. I went weekly for 8 months with no success in regulating my cycle. Also during this time, my blood work repeatedly showed that my estrogen levels were very low. “Menopausal low,” is what my doctor said. We consulted a fertility specialist in March 2012, and after much testing, my diagnosis was confirmed: I had (have?) hypothalamic amenorrhea, or loss of periods due to my hypothalamus not functioning. Usually, this condition presents in women with very low body fat, either due to eating disorders or excessive endurance exercise. I didn’t fit into either of those categories, so I’m somewhat of a special case. For some people, stepping down their exercise and gaining some weight can bring back their cycle, but since I was already at a very healthy weight and not nearly underweight, my doctor did not think this would make a difference for me. My system was stalled. My doctor and I suspect that because I lost a lot of weight in my early 20’s while I was taking birth control, perhaps my body didn’t learn to adjust and keep working. Really, we will never know. And although I went through so many tough weeks wondering why my body – my body that I work so hard to keep in good health – refused to work the way a woman’s body should, it’s just a memory for now. We feel extremely blessed to have conceived on our very first cycle of fertility treatments, which began in early June. If it would help you to chat and learn more, I am happy to do that. Feel free to contact me privately.
And now can we talk about this dress?! It is the Aphrodite dress from Shabby Apple’s maternity line. I absolutely love the plum jewel tone and comfy jersey-knit fabric. The bell sleeves and long, wrap-around tie give it plenty of character. If nothing else, a pregnant girl wants to feel gorgeous and comfortable, and this dress does it all. Thank you Shabby Apple for this wonderful gift!
Would you like a Shabby Apple Dress of Your Own?
Our giveaway today is for a $75 gift card for you to spend as you wish. Shabby Apple is not just a maternity store! They have a full line of women’s dresses, including retro dresses, vintage dresses and accessories, shirtdresses, maxi dresses and casual dresses. Indulge in a unique piece for an upcoming holiday party or vacation, or treat yourself to something you’ll feel beautiful and comfortable in every day. There is truly something for everyone!
This giveaway is now closed.
You may enter up to FOUR times, leaving a separate comment for each entry:
Mandatory entry: Visit Shabby Apple and choose your favorite dress, accessory or outfit – then come back and tell me why you love it!
– Tweet about this giveaway, mentioning @carascravings and using the hashtag #shabbyapplegiveaway
– Like Shabby Apple on Facebook
– Share this giveaway with your friends on Facebook (please tag Cara’s Cravings in your share!)
PS. Can’t wait? Make your Shabby Apple purchase now and save 10% using the coupon code ‘carascravings10off’. Coupon code is good for 30 days from October 24th, 2012.
This giveaway will close on October 30th, 2012 at 11:59pm EST, at which point a winner will be chosen via random number generator. Winner must have a US shipping address. Winner will be contacted by email and have three days to respond, after which a new winner will be randomly chosen. Shabby Apple generously provided me with this dress free of charge, but all opinions are my own.