On having a panic-free pregnancy.


Only 9 weeks to go until my due date.  I’m in single digits now!  So very excited.  What once seemed so very far away now seems extremely close.  June 13 is going to be here before we know it… And I’m starting to really understand that baby could come even sooner.  My friend Jen had Wyatt around 36 weeks!  That’s right around the corner.

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Here’s what BabyHTP is up to this week: “This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin.” (Source)  When did my little one become so BIG?!


How am I feel this week?  Honestly, pretty good!  I’ve been sleeping like a rock and getting back into a regular exercise routine (the move disrupted things for a while).  I’ve been eating well, too.  And I’ve been doing lots of Bradley Method homework – reading my breastfeeding book, practicing all my relaxation techniques, and doing my exercises.  I’m starting to feel as prepared as I can be for childbirth; I’m not scared of the pain at all, and I know the Husband feels ready for his role, too. 


I’m also in full-on nesting mode.  Last night, I washed the few baby clothes that I’ve accumulated, organized what I could of the nursery, and removed the crib from the box (baby steps; pun intended).   Hopefully, it will be assembled in a few days’ time.  I still don’t have a dresser or glider, but that will be remedied soon.  Whoo hoo!


This week, let’s discuss having a panic-free pregnancy.

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I’m sure this will come as an OUTRAGEOUS surprise to all of you, but I am rather Type A.  Hah.  I can’t tell you how many friends and family members have commented, “I cannot believe how calm you’ve been about pregnancy… I thought you would be, um, different.”  As in, they thought I would be totally freaked out and controlling, which is a fair assessment given my personality.  But I haven’t been!  I’ve been really relaxed and laidback about most things.  


Things that I have chosen not to stress out over:


  • Weight gain – Online calculators like this one are helpful for determine whether or not you’re anywhere close to a ‘healthy weight gain’ for pregnancy, but I have been consistently at the top of the graph or beyond my entire pregnancy – i.e. I’m gaining weight ‘faster than I should be.’  While maintaining a healthy weight gain is important for my health and the health of the baby, I’m clearly not going nuts eating ice cream sundaes, soda, and pie every day for every meal.  I’m eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, so if my weight is a little higher than it’s ‘supposed’ to be… who cares?  My body just doesn’t fit neatly into some chart.  I’m not going to stress over it.


  • No-No Foods and Caffeine – I wrote two posts on this very topic early in my pregnancy – Food Rules and Pregnancy and Giving Up the Java (While Pregnant).  While pregnant, you can’t eat soft cheese, you can’t drink coffee, you shouldn’t eat sprouts, you shouldn’t do this or that… or so ‘they’ say.  And EVERYONE ‘knows’ these rules and will inform you that you’re breaking one if, God forbid, you order a latte at Starbucks with a visible baby bump (seriously, this happened to me).  One of the books that really changed my perspective on these rules was The Panic-Free Pregnancy: An OB-GYN Separates Fact from Fiction on Food, Exercise, Travel, Pets, Coffee, Medications, and Concerns You Have When You Are Expecting, which educated me about the reasoning behind the rules and the odds that the ‘bad things’ will happen to you.  Am I going to eat soft cheese that’s been sitting in the sun for five hours?  Um, no.  But I wouldn’t do that when I wasn’t pregnant, either.  I’m not going to freak myself out over every single thing that passes my lips because, quite frankly, the odds of something bad happening are low.  To each their own, of course.


  • Sleeping on My Back or Right Side: When I first heard about this ‘rule,’ I was pretty freaked out. The rule comes from this study, which showed women who sleep on their back or right side have double the risk of a late-term stillbirth.  DOUBLE THE RISK?!  I lost it!  But I let go of the anxiety over sleep position when I realized that the general odds of having a late-term stillbirth was a little over 3 / 1,000.  Scary and horrifying, yes.  Enough to stress out over every single night when I really need to be relaxing?  Not for me.  I try to sleep on my left, but if the right side is comfier, then it’s right all the way.  Back sleeping is impossible now, anyway!


Other things I choose not to stress out over:  flying dozens of times well until the end of my second trimester (radiation!!!); dying my hair a total of two times (chemicals!!!); eating a mix of conventional and organic produce (even more chemicals!!!); exercising (whether ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’); and having sex (samesies).


How did I get to the place of not being panic-stricken all the time?  As mentioned, The Panic-Free Pregnancy really helped.  Reading the studies behind the ‘rules’ made me realize how blown out of proportion most of them are at the core.  When I do feel myself stressing out over small things, I remind myself that the human race has been populating the Earth for bajillions of years; if we were truly so fragile that sleeping on your back while pregnant harmed a high percentage of babies, we’d be screwed.  And, ironically, having two early bleeds (check out 3 Things I Wish I Knew at 5 Weeks) also reduced my overall anxiety. Going through the bleed experience reminded me that I’m not in control of everything and – somehow – this allowed me to ‘let go’ of the desire to control. 


Now, I realize that my response to pregnancy may have been completely different if I suffered a miscarriage or had difficulty conceiving; I’m not even going to pretend that I kind of know what that hell feels like.  And maybe I’d be more panic-stricken under other circumstances or if my personality was different.  But… somehow… I got to the place where I’m not panicked over everything that happens, and I wanted to write this post to simply say to other pregnant mommas that it’s okay not to be worried all the time.  Worrying all the time doesn’t necessarily make you a better parent.  It just makes you a more stressed-out one. Winking smile


That being said, there are a few things that I do stress out over:  walking through the backscatter machines at airport security, my protein intake (very important in Bradley Method world; I actually cried hysterically once when my protein intake for the day was too low), doing my Kegel exercises, my birth plan, and not inhaling toxic fumes when we painted our new place.  Not all of these worries ‘make sense’ given my non-worries or are even statistically proven/relevant, but I’ve managed to keep my worries pretty contained.  And that makes me one happy pregnant woman, indeed.


Plus, I figure I need to save up my worry energy for when the baby is actually here! 


Here’s Week 31 in a nutshell:


  • Total Weight Gained: Officially hovering at 25 pounds – I thought I was closer to 30 last week, but it must’ve been water weight.
  • Looking Forward To…:  Our maternity photo shoot, which is on April 21, and my baby shower, which is on April 29.
  • Baby Items Purchased: I bought diapers and wipes!  Very important items.
  • Cravings:  Grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Workouts:  Back in a better rhythm of exercise.  I went on a walk, did two days of hard gardening, and attended a spin class.


What things did you choose to worry about while pregnant?  What things did you not worry about?


You can read all my pregnancy updates here.



  • j3nn April 11, 2012, 2:58 pm

    Wow, so close! The time goes by so quickly. I’m glad to hear that you’ve been having a calm pregnancy, I’m sure BabyHTP appreciates and benefits from mommy being a calmy. 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 11, 2012, 2:59 pm

    I’m very Type A as well, but I like your approach! I also like that you’re doing a maternity photo shoot. It’s not something my parents did when they were having me (did the concept even exist 23 years ago?) but it is something I want to do someday when I have kids. Can’t wait to see the photos!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB April 11, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I’m not pregnant, but it’s on the horizon and I have been super worried about the hair dying. I know it’s incredibly vain, but I dye my hair darker and there are some grays peaking in- and I’m only 28! Did you dye in the first trimester? Details, please 🙂 Do you have any links to research or anything? I’m excited that you did it, haha.

    • CaitlinHTP April 11, 2012, 3:10 pm

      The hair dying thing is a HUGE point of contention. I dyed once at like 6 – 7 weeks. I haven’t dyed it since – I’m going back tomorrow for a dye. I usually dye my hair every 8 weeks so going 25 weeks without a dye was a LONG TIME (The Naked Face Project helped me add on another 60 days, though). I would talk to your doctor when you are pregnant, of course, but mine said it was fine as long as you didn’t do it excessively and asked to sit in a well-ventilated area if the dye was smelly. She also said that going darker was better than going lighter because of the chemicals used; no idea if this is rooted in actual research.

      • Christine @ BookishlyB April 11, 2012, 3:17 pm

        Wow, 25 weeks IS a long time! I’ve heard so many different things about it… I’ll just wait and see how your baby turns out 😉 When the time comes I’ll definitely talk to a doc.

        And you look fantastic!

        • Jennifer April 11, 2012, 9:10 pm

          There are many natural/chemical-free hair dyes on the market. I used one when pregnant and it worked pretty well. It was a little messy to deal with and kinda smelled like spinach! But I know people who have brought it to a salon and had the stylist apply it for them. Dying my hair was something I was not willing to risk while pregnant, so this option worked for me.

    • kristin April 12, 2012, 8:53 am

      My dr said to wait until the 2nd trimester to dye my hair, it was really hard to wait bc I was due for a dye when I got pregnant. I only waited til 11 weeks bc it really looked bad and I felt so gross (moody, sick AND roots was too much to handle- I highlight mine from dark to light). My hairdresser said she dyed hair during both of her pregnancies and her kids are grown and totally fine. My baby turned out perfect as well. Its one thing I ddint panic about during my pregnancy. I got it dyed at 11 weeks, 20 weeks and 34 weeks.

      • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:30 am

        I’m sitting at the hairdresser’s right now and he said he dyed his wife hair all the time throughout both her pregnancies – he said dye has come a long way since those ‘rules’ were created. Obviously, he’s a hairdresser and not a doctor, but its food for thought.

  • Ali @ Redhead Reports April 11, 2012, 3:11 pm

    I’m curious – have you done any research RE: kegels during pregnancy? I just finished reading The Mommy Doc’s Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy, and they stated that kegels are actually only advised if you are experiencing incontinence, otherwise kegels are discouraged because they make the skin less stretchy (and strechiness is ideal for labor).

    I love reading about your journey!

    • CaitlinHTP April 11, 2012, 3:14 pm

      Read this article! http://blogs.babble.com/being-pregnant/2012/02/15/would-you-take-woo-ha-strengthening-classes/ It doesn’t directly answer your question but it’s interesting.

      You should check out Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way – there’s a whole section on Kegels and the science behind it.

    • Lindsay April 11, 2012, 3:15 pm

      I have actually found a lot of resources that say that kegels help to prevent/reduce incontinence once the baby has arrived.

      • Ali @ Redhead Reports April 11, 2012, 3:34 pm

        Right…I understand that kegels help prevent incontinence; my question is whether there’s any research indicating whether kegels prevent/cause tearing during labor. Caitlin suggests that kegels are in someway recommended/related to the Bradley method. The book I referenced states that kegels are only recommended if you are experiencing incontinence.

        • CaitlinHTP April 11, 2012, 3:36 pm

          I thought a bit more about this and I might have an answer, but it’s more of a deduction than something I have specifically researched.

          One of the big ways to prevent tearing in Bradley land is to control the final push of the head – so to slow it down and not just let it fly out. If you control the final pushes, you allow your skin to stretch. So I would imagine that having strong vaginal muscles actually increases your ability to control this part of labor?

          Thoughts, anyone?

          • Kelli April 11, 2012, 4:09 pm

            My midwife has said that doing kegels consistently throughout pregnancy do contribute quite a bit to avoiding tearing. Because, like any muscle in the body, the more we work them the better control we have over them, even in “heavy lifting” or heavy pushing in this case. SHe has also stated that stronger muscles are more supple muscles, aka, they are actually more able to stretch & handle it than a weak under used muscle would be. THis all makes total sense to me. She also has encouraged me to start using vitamin E oil on my perineum daily starting in week 30 (not quite there yet) & also to do some stretching to help prepare those muscles for birth. Have you been told to do any of these things?

  • Annie April 11, 2012, 3:11 pm

    This is my favorite recent post of yours!
    It’s nice to see you taking things one step at a time in the ways that work best for you personally. I won’t even think About being a mom for a few more years but it’s encouraging to see a blogger not freaking out over every little speed bump and making pregnancy a big overwhelming list of can’t and don’t.

  • Amelia April 11, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Holy moly! The sleep side study freaks me out and I’m not even pregnant! I guess it really is important to decide what you’re going to worry over and what you can’t. Plus there are probably 10 new studies coming out all the time that contradict what you read before! Kudos to you for handling it all so far!

  • Lisa April 11, 2012, 3:11 pm

    People seem to love judging pregnant women. As if a big belly has a sign that says “give me all your advice and judgment.” I’m glad you’re trying to let it roll off your back.

    • K April 11, 2012, 4:14 pm

      So true! Whenever a man offers me advice, I always ask him (with a big smile on my face) “did that work for you when you were pregnant?”

  • Lindsay April 11, 2012, 3:13 pm

    My husband still can’t believe how relaxed I have been through this whole pregnancy. I have to say I can be pretty Type A, I am such a control freak and planner and organizer, but throughout this whole pregnancy I have felt so relaxed. Comfortable. Mostly worry free (or at least not as much of a worrier as normal). Prior to this pregnancy I experienced two miscarriages (at 12 weeks and 8 weeks)and during both of those pregnancies I was a worrying mess. I have surprised myself that I have been so relaxed this pregnancy but it surely has been for the best. I feel more relaxed and confident this time around.

    When it comes to caffeine I more strictly avoided it my first 14 weeks but during my second trimester I have had minimal amounts mostly in the form of tea or a decaf coffee.

    Sleeping- left side sleeping has been hellish but I focus on sleeping on my left side as much as possible but when my hip is killing me I give it a break and roll over to my right side for 15-30 minutes and then I roll back to my left. I have found that my snoogle has really helped me sleep on my leftside more comfortably.

    I know I will be a worrying parent but I am hoping that my more peaceful relaxed pregnant attitude will continue on once our baby is here.

  • Earthy Nicole April 11, 2012, 3:18 pm

    You just look so healthy and happy!

    I admire your worry free attitude. When I was pregnant, I only really remember freaking about movements. One day I had woken up and didn’t feel the normal kicks and rolls I was used to so I started thinking the worse (Husband was at work, which only made it more dramatic) and started getting myself ready to go to the hospital. But I decided to eat something, sit down and see if I felt her and sure enough, she had just been taking a little nap in there!

    You mentioned the sleeping on your right side and I sort of decided if it was really such a big deal, my body would tell me. I trust my body to send me signals when something isn’t right and quite frankly, I didn’t feel like it was wrong. I still tried to fall asleep in other positions but if I woke up turned over, I didn’t fret.

    Now that my little girl is almost three, I can look back over parenthood thus far and see that the same worry free attitude has rolled over. Parenting books, charts, and studies make me stress out too much when I and my daughter’s doctor both know she’s an incredibly healthy and happy child. I choose to look at the big picture and let my instincts guide me. When I have a doubt, I know where to look or who to ask for help.

    Oh, and I LOVED me some grilled cheese sammies during pregnancy! Mmm…

  • Tammy Root April 11, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    You look great! Glad you are feeling well too. 🙂

    Quick question — what type of wipes did you buy? I am looking to buy some chemical free wipes.

  • Liz April 11, 2012, 3:25 pm

    How did you react to the person being critical of your coffee choice? Or even just in general to these types of judgements? You’re so well-researched that I like to imagine you whipping out some stats in such situations, haha.

    • CaitlinHTP April 11, 2012, 3:28 pm

      Hah. I don’t whip out research… I just give them a long, steely glare and don’t respond at all. That’s pretty much been my response to a lot of the overstepping that is VERY COMMON when you are pregnant. But if they are being at least kind of nice about it, I just smile and say my doctor said it was fine.

      I have started to say “I just hope it’s human” when people find out I don’t know the sex and ask me which one I want (so weird and prying).

      • Sarah April 11, 2012, 4:13 pm

        LOL! I hope it’s human too 🙂 Awesome response.

      • Liza April 11, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Ha!!!! When I’m pregnant someday I am SOOOO using the “human” retort! Genius.

      • Vikki April 11, 2012, 7:56 pm

        Hmmm…I think that the people asking are just so used to people knowing the sex these days. Back in the old days before you could find out if the baby was a boy or girl, I bet this was a common question so they’re just sort of playing on that. I’m guessing that they don’t mean any harm. Human is an excellent response to the question. 🙂

      • Kyla April 11, 2012, 9:14 pm

        You should just give them the face!

  • Heather April 11, 2012, 3:28 pm

    It’s getting so close! K came at 36 weeks too- I was totally caught off guard 😉

  • Carlee Danielle April 11, 2012, 3:32 pm

    Wow! You seriously look great this week girl! You’re glowing and you look super thin in the face and the arms! You just got the mama belly! I hope I look that good pregnant!

    and that’s something I hope to be able to do is not stress much about being pregnant kind of just roll with the flow and do my best!

  • Laura @ My Pink Thumb April 11, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I just have to say that I SO look forward to this post every week and this was a great one!!! I just love your way of thinking and attitude about everything. I am not pregnant… yet!! …but will definitely remember this post when the time comes. 🙂

    p.s. you look amazing btw!

    • CaitlinHTP April 11, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Laura April 11, 2012, 3:42 pm

    I’m pregnant and at my last appointment I asked about sleeping positions. My midwife said that sleeping on your left side is the textbook way to do it, but sleeping on your right side is fine. I often wake up on my back and was nervous that I was going to cause harm to the baby or myself (due to the extra weight on that big vein…can’t remember what it’s called). The midwife reminded me that our bodies are pretty amazing and that it will give me warning signs if I’m starting to get into a “danger zone” from laying on my back too long… feeling lots of pressure, tingly legs, etc.

    Also, she said use general caution and good sense on all the food warnings, but not to make myself crazy over it. She said pregnant women put themselves in greater danger by traveling in a car and most pregnant women don’t give up driving or riding in a car during pregnancy! Another “worry free” tip that I thought was helpful was to not research what a test is for (beyond just asking at the office ahead of time) unless it comes back positive. She said people freak themselves out with what they read online and if the test ends up being negative then you’ve just wasted a whole bunch of stress on something that didn’t matter anyway.

  • Emily G. April 11, 2012, 3:42 pm

    I’m not affiliated with Zulily (I just LOVE THEM!!), but they are having a pretty nice sale on dressers, changers, and a few other things. It’s under the nursery Necessities Collection. And of course they have their regular normal sales on baby/mommy items as well. You should check them out.

  • Brie April 11, 2012, 3:44 pm

    After having two miscarriages, I realized that worrying doesn’t change the outcome of anything, so I might as well chill out and enjoy it.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery April 11, 2012, 3:45 pm

    Happy 31 weeks! So exciting!

  • Lindsay Maddox April 11, 2012, 3:46 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this! I was in full-blown freak out mode all through first trimester. I’ve, happily, settled down a lot now, for many of the same reasons you mentioned. I’ve realized that all I can do is my best… the rest is out of my control.

    I’m going to check out that book, also!

  • Jen April 11, 2012, 3:48 pm

    I really enjoyed your book review. I read the La Leche breastfeeding book first, and found it very useful and plan to attend a meeting before baby arrives to begin to build my network of support. I’m also just about finished with Ina May’s book, and loving it too! I think reading has really help me feel calm and more prepared for what labor and delivery will be. I’m going to add a few others to my reading list over the next couple months, Thanks!

  • Meghann April 11, 2012, 3:53 pm

    thank you for this – I so needed it today! I am just barely 6 weeks and I had some scary spotting this morning – hearing your tale (and seeing my doc, don’t worry 🙂 has made me feel so much better. you have such a great attitude! thanks again.

    • Caitlin April 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

      Ah good luck. Most of the women I know had some spotting in early pregnancy but went on to have a perfectly normal preganancy!

      • Meghann April 11, 2012, 4:13 pm

        thank you!

  • Erin April 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

    You look fantastic!
    I also want to thank you for making me less stressed about weight gain during pregnancy. Before getting pregnant I lost 25 pounds, and I was scared about putting it back on. While I am a little less active than you, I am eating very reasonably while pregnant (aside from a few too many jelly beans). So I stopped stressing about the weight gain, and I feel so much better.

    I also tend to pick and choose the things that stress me out. I cut out tuna entirely for fear of mercury.
    I still eat slightly runny eggs and soft cheeses.
    There are only so many things a pregnant woman can worry about!

  • Chrissy April 11, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Did you ask your doctor about losing 5 lb in a week?

    • Caitlin April 11, 2012, 4:20 pm

      I didn’t lose 5 pounds in one week – the last weight total was an estimate, not an actual official weigh-in.

      • Chrissy April 11, 2012, 5:17 pm

        Oh ok! Thanks for clarifying!

  • K April 11, 2012, 4:10 pm

    Caitlin, I can so relate! I am 38 weeks pregnant and I’ve felt such amazing sense of well-being during my pregnancy. Even during moments of discomfort, I just always trusted my body and felt like my intuition superseded everything else. I think that the next time around, I will probably even go without that one ultrasound. It was cool to see the baby, but a strong heartbeat and Mama feeling good are probably the best indicators that everything is going great. The one thing I will say is that I bought top of the line supplements and nutraceuticals and also treated myself to massages and now, acupuncture too. I was a bit iffy about taking any supplements that weren’t absolute top quality. I slept on my right side and back until they naturally became uncomfortable, I ate soft cheeses and even had a sip of beautiful wine here and there.
    You look beautiful and ignore the scale anyway because the amount of weight you gain has no bearing on how easily it comes off, nor the health of your baby when you’re taking such good care of yourself. You go girl!!!!

  • Kelli April 11, 2012, 4:15 pm

    You look great! I was way heavier than I expected to be at my last midwife appointment. It bothered me a little, even though I’ve been really laid back in general so far. I weighed myself a few days later & weighed almost 10 lbs less. When I am not pregnant my weight can fluctuate a lot (close to 10 lbs around TOM) so it was a good lesson to myself to go back to not worrying. And I’ve had an ultrasound since all of that (we’re having a boy!) and everything looked great, so I am sure it was just my body doing its normal thing. I’ve been really amazed how unstressed I’ve been since the initial shock of becoming pregnant wore off. My husband & I were not planning to ever have kids…but since we’ve adjusted to our new reality it is fun & exciting! No point in worrying about things we have no control over.

    • Kelli April 11, 2012, 4:16 pm

      Or things that are statistically irrelevant. 🙂

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 11, 2012, 4:18 pm

    I think it’s great that you’re not stressing out too much, and I think all those rules are a bit crazy. I had no idea how many there were until some of the bloggers I follow got pregnant! I hope that whenever I get pregnant one day I can be as relaxed about it! Haha knowing me I’ll just pretend it isn’t happening so I don’t have to worry about it… probably not the best method.

  • Sara April 11, 2012, 4:21 pm

    Caitlin! I love this post. I love your attitude towards pregnancy and when it comes time for me to get pregnant (hopefully in a few months if my husband’s possible job pans out, weee!) Then I will def. check out the book you recommended. And you look so adorable pregnant! And you look SO happy! Love it.

  • Katie P. April 11, 2012, 4:28 pm

    Love this post & happy 31 weeks! I am 32 weeks and also worried constantly about sleeping positions. I would wake up on my back and about have a panic attack thinking I had harmed the baby. Last week at a dentist appointment they had me flat on my back and after about 5 minutes I felt very sick and passed out – which confirmed to me that if a particular position is not right your body will let you know so I’ve stopped worrying about it so much.

    I hope the rest of your pregnancy continues to go well – you look great!

  • Susan April 11, 2012, 4:34 pm

    I had been surprisingly calm through the first tri, with minimal sickness. I’m now 18 and half weeks (with twins!) and still feel physically fine. But we had a big scare in the last couple weeks when our genetic screening came back with a 1/19 chance of a neural tube defect. We waited a tortuous week and half for the detailed ultrasound, which was yesterday, and thankfully no abnormalities were seen.

    However, one of the babies was measuring on the small side, and we were told that, along with the results of the genetic screen, points toward a possible problem with the placenta for the smaller baby.

    I don’t feel more worried per se, as there is literally nothing I can do about it for now, but I do instinctively feel more guarded. I don’t want to regret not experiencing this pregnancy to its fullest, but I don’t know how to get past this guarding of my emotions.

    Congrats on such a healthy and happy pregnancy so far and you look wonderful!

    • Caitlin April 11, 2012, 4:36 pm

      Aw I hope everything works out for the best. I really do. <3

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed April 11, 2012, 4:47 pm

    You are so practical about things, I love your approach 😀

    Can’t believe your little peanut will be here so soon!!!!

  • nicole April 11, 2012, 5:05 pm

    I LOVE reading your weekly pregnancy updates!!! I was so excited when your reveal post came out to find out that you are due 4 weeks after me!

    With my first I did stress about weight gain and reading every breast feeding book out there! My best advice is to buy nipple cream and use it liberally! The Baby Whisperer was also my bible, and will be again with baby #2.

    This pregnancy has been so laid back and so enjoyable. I am 34 weeks this week…still have to get the nursery done, bags packed, etc, but it will come in time!

    You look glowing and cannot wait to continue reading about your journey!

  • m April 11, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Wow, I cannot believe you are already 31 weeks! I remember when you first announced your pregnancy! I was definitely in the low end worry camp when I first began pregnancy… I wasn’t going to drink alcohol or take advil or anything, but I also wasn’t going to overly stress about all the diet rules (I enjoy soft serve ice cream too much to give it up on the off chance of listeria). However, as much as I wish my relaxed manner could continue, I did not have a great initial Nuchal and triple blood work screen and it significantly increased my odds of a chromosomal defect that could result in still birth or other complications. Then I had the choice of amnio or CVS or nothing… suddenly the worry set in… I worried about getting the procedure and causing a miscarriage, I worried about what I would do with the results (the defect rarely has children live past the first year of life), I worried about EVERYTHING. I finally decided to get the amnio which meant waiting 5 weeks because it had half the risk of a miscarriage (admittedly low, but the difference in time wouldn’t change the abnormality). I am not going to lie, I never thought the wait would be as painful as it has been… in my head I know that stress and worry can do nothing but cause anxiety and bring no relief, but naturally it seems to just happen. I have a habit of wanting to think of how I’ll handle the worst case scenario so that I’m prepared should it come, but that means living the worst outcome in my head. Overall, I try to stay positive, but its been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever faced. I know worry is not healthy, but sometimes it smacks you in the face whether you think you are prone to it or not. I just hope the silver lining to my worry is that it will all be for nothing and at least next time I will feel more prepared if I ever get similar news.

    • Caitlin April 11, 2012, 6:31 pm

      Ah, that sounds so stressful. I probably would’ve felt similar to you if I had poor initial work done. I think your response was pretty understandable!

  • Hillary April 11, 2012, 5:30 pm

    I fear that I’m going to be a HUGE worrier during pregnancy. Like you, I’m pretty type A, and the whole thought of giving up control (of my body and future child, no less) freaks me out. I know I’ll have control over some things, but the things I won’t be able to are the ones that worry me most!

  • Alexis April 11, 2012, 5:45 pm

    You look so great!! I think you’re setting a really good example, women in the US are way too overly worried in my opinion. I work in international nutrition and have lived in several developing countries, and, while I won’t even pretend that their rate of infant and mother deaths aren’t far higher than ours (though attributed mostly to lack of health care and to malnutrition), it does make you realize how resilient the human body really is, for mothers and infants. I’ve seen women working in the field for 12 hours with a baby wrapped against their chest, nursing as needed. Then I see friends here staying home for months recovering, and stressing over breastfeeding and schedules and lack of sleep. I haven’t yet had a child myself, but I’ve always promised myself that when I do, I’ll keep these women in mind and not act like either of us is quite so fragile. Maybe easier said than done?:)

    Oh, also, I had a friend who, when 8 months pregnant, was out to a fancy dinner with her husband at a really nice restaurant. He ordered a wine and really liked it so she tried it. Just a sip. A man came by a couple mins later and went off (ON HER HUSBAND) about how he shouldn’t be allowing his wife to drink during pregnancy and how irresponsible they were!! Her husband is a very big guy, he stood up, towering over the man, and told him it was none of his business and he needed to leave asap.

    • Caitlin April 11, 2012, 6:30 pm


  • Molly @ RDexposed April 11, 2012, 6:07 pm

    Um….still not sure why it’s saying you’ve gained too much. Starting with a normal BMI, your wt range should be 25-35#. You’re good!

    • Caitlin April 11, 2012, 6:30 pm

      I know, right? But I guess towards the end, you gain a pound a week – or more. So I could easily ‘go over’ at this rate.

  • AJ April 11, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Wonderful post Caitlin! Wish there were more voices in the media like yours.

  • Morgan April 11, 2012, 6:20 pm

    I love the way you have handled pregnancy and I hope that if I ever get pregnant again I can be more like you. I was a basket case during my pregnancy with my daughter (I seriously did kick counts 8-10 times a day in the third trimester) and it took away so much of the joy of pregnancy. I had my reasons (years of infertility and multiple losses) but I still wish I had been able to relax and enjoy it. I really think if we ever get lucky again and have another baby I will be able to relax more because I know that my body figured out how to do things properly once, at least I hope so:)

    I think you look great and I loved this post!

    • Caitlin April 11, 2012, 6:29 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that everything turned out well with your daughter 🙂

  • Kath April 11, 2012, 6:37 pm

    Excellent post!!

  • Ali April 11, 2012, 6:38 pm

    Honestly I don’t worry at all. I mean I don’t drink caffeine but that’s more so b/c I don’t like it much anyway. I live my life pretty much the same. My first child turned out wonderful and smart so I’m just doing the same with this one!

  • allpointswhole April 11, 2012, 7:23 pm

    I think that is so great that you are panic free….I treated my pregnancy and my newborn that way and it is different from most.

    ps how exciting about your baby shower!! those are great moments for sure!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 11, 2012, 7:45 pm

    Oh pregnancy:) It comes with such a myriad of dos and don’ts.

    I’m with you on being laid back. The one thing I freaked out about on my last pregnancy was weight gain because I seemed to really struggle with gaining. All in all I gained 17lbs and EVERYONE stressed me out about how much to eat and when to eat and how much to gain, etc but I gave birth to an 8lb 7oz big boy!

    I’m 34wks on my second pregnancy and I made a point at the beginning of just deciding not to stress about it. So far, I’ve only gained 12lbs and that doesn’t worry me, because I know I’m going to probably deliver one big baby at the end of it.

    I’m glad you’re not freaking out over everything because women have been doing this for ages…we got this.

  • mc April 11, 2012, 7:48 pm

    You look great! 31 weeks is so meaningful for me as it is when I delivered my daughter (now a completely healthy, thriving 11 month old!). I also really worked on having a “panic-free pregnancy”. I’m glad too, as it meant I had lots of emotional energy stored (if that’s possible?) to deal with the situation after she (completely unexpectedly and without notice)was born.

  • Sherri April 11, 2012, 9:08 pm

    Pregnancy suits you! You look glowy and gorgeous!

  • Maria April 11, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Time’s going by so quickly!!! So far in my pregnancy, I’ve chosen to “worry”/stay away from chemical relaxers for my hair. I read that not only are the chemicals bad, obviously, but my hair might not even take to it because of the hormones. I decided not to worry about working out too much or too little as well. I know my body and what I can handle and when I’m overdoing things. Pregnancy brings about great body awareness!

  • Morgan April 11, 2012, 9:46 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I’m wondering if your husband or his business partner would be willing to write a guest post about chiropractic care during pregnancy and chiropractic care for babies? (I think the clinic offers these services?)

    I just started taking my 4 month old to the chiropractor for colic and sleep issues. She was a forceps assisted birth so her cranial bones are pretty messed up. I didn’t realize that chiro care during my pregnancy probably would have prevented her traumatic birth in the first place.

    I still don’t know too much about chiropractic stuff for pregnant women and babies and would love to learn more–I’m fascinated! Hope they are willing to teach us more via HTP!

    • Crystal April 11, 2012, 10:56 pm

      This is a great idea for a guest post. I agonized about going to the chiro with my first and I would have liked reading a post from one.

      • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:28 am

        This would be an interesting post! I will ask my father in law if he specializes in pregnant women and babies for chiro – I’m not sure. He mostly does naturopathic medicine these days although he does some chiro. I’ll definitely ask him to do a post if he does.

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction April 11, 2012, 9:48 pm

    I’m not pregnant and never have been (yet), but I am SUCH a worrier in general that I can’t see myself not being a total panic stricken pregnant woman! I really hope that I am wrong for everyones sake, but it’s just in my nature and I can’t help it! A lot of people don’t get it, and they don’t understand what true panic attacks are or how they feel! Some people will say, “can’t you just relax?” Well if I could don’t you think I’d be doing that right now, instead of worrying myself sick?! I am SO happy that you haven’t worried all that much throughout your pregnancy, because as you know and I do too, WORRYING SOLVES NOTHING! You only have a few short weeks left, wishing you the best 🙂

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) April 11, 2012, 9:50 pm

    Great post! We went through many rounds of fertility treatments before a positive test (eventually resorted to IVF). Infertility brings so many ups and downs and so when I found out I was pregnant I somehow was easily able to give up control (b/c after a year of treatments I realized I am not in control of anything!) and worries. I think we have the same basic approach to pregnancy. I of course am not making stupid decisions on a daily basis (like not eating cheese that has been sitting out for 5 hrs) but I am choosing NOT to let myself get wrapped up in all the “what could happens” of pregnancy. Like you said… all the worry only brings more stress.

  • kelsey April 11, 2012, 9:57 pm

    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but the only thing I noticed about your pictures (besides your adorable belly, of course!) was the fact that your ‘headlights’ are showing in every one! Lol!

    I love your panic free approach to pregnancy!

  • Sarah@WilliamsburgBaby April 11, 2012, 11:06 pm

    Most of the time I manage to be fairly stress free, but my mood shifts from week to week, and from optimism to anxiety. When I do start to worry, I have to look around at all the healthy babies I see on the streets of NY and remind myself that they all arrived somehow (and many of them without the ideal prenatal care etc.)

  • Michelle April 11, 2012, 11:12 pm

    So happy to see your healthy, relatively stress free pregnancy! Keep it up!

  • Kari April 11, 2012, 11:15 pm

    I love reading your post. 🙂 Things are coming along for you so nicely. Excited to see you set up the nursery, your maternity pictures and your baby shower. All exciting things! Thanks for always sharing your stories and learning with everyone.

  • Jen April 12, 2012, 12:27 am

    Only nine weeks?! Holy Cow!!! I am SOOO excited for you & the hubby…you are going to be a wonderful mother!

    Glad to hear that you are not stressing about a lot of the little things – I honestly think that the STRESS is often worse for us than the things we are actually stressing over! Also, so happy to hear that you are sleeping again! 🙂

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture April 12, 2012, 7:19 am

    Wow can’t believe how close it is! It only feels like a couple of weeks ago when you announced the big news!! 🙂 It’s great that you have remained relaxed throughout the pregnancy, I reckon stress would be much worse for the baby than having the odd latte or so! So good on you! 🙂 Wishing you the best for these last few weeks! 🙂

  • Emma April 12, 2012, 7:52 am

    Today is National Grilled Cheese day! So your craving is totally reasonable 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:29 am


  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat April 12, 2012, 9:00 am

    I think it’s interesting that you said you may have responded to pregnancy differently had you experienced a miscarriage or difficulty conceiving. I’ve been through both and when I was pregnant (the one and only time) I was so careful about everything like caffeine, left side sleeping, exercise, etc. Then, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 9 weeks. So, I decided that the next time, I will take a more relaxed approach since you can do everything “right” (according to “them”) and still have the worst happen. I definitely won’t be as hard on myself or as worried about everything as I was. Thanks for sharing this book, I definitely have to get it for next time.

  • Sophie April 12, 2012, 9:35 am

    Hi!! This comment is a little bit irrelevant to your post, but I wanted to share it anyway. I just read this great nytimes article and thought you might enjoy!


    • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:30 am

      I saw that article – it was so fascinating!!!

  • Quisha April 12, 2012, 9:47 am

    Caitlin- I just love HTP and thanks for sharing with us your journey as a first time mom, with BabyHTP. You look fabulous as always, but you have that glow for sure 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:31 am

      Thank you Quisha 🙂

  • Sara April 12, 2012, 9:48 am

    You look very nice, Caitlin. I have been a reader for quite some time now. Wish you all the best with your delivery.

    • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:31 am

      Thank you for reading for so long Sara!

  • Lindsey April 12, 2012, 10:15 am

    I didn’t stress about anything too much. Like you said, so much is beyond my control. If I take care of myself and don’t do anything stupid, my baby will be fine. Plus, women didn’t have all these “rules” years ago…my mom told me she didn’t even take prenatal vitamins until her third pregnancy because it just wasn’t common practice. You look great. Maybe our babies will have the same birthday (I’m due June 5th)!!

    • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:32 am

      Congrats on your pregnancy 🙂 🙂 My goal day is June 21 (41 weeks and 1 day). June 5 seems too soon!!!! AHHH!

  • Roxanne April 12, 2012, 10:41 am

    Stress is bad for pregnancy anyway 😀

  • Kattrina April 12, 2012, 10:55 am

    I am surprised at how worry-free I am too! I cut out most caffeine except for some green tea every once in a while but that’s about it. I don’t really eat deli meat so I didn’t have to cut that out but I’ve eaten a ton of soft cheeses. Most soft cheese is pasteurized anyway so I’m not sure why there is such a huge worry these days. It’s hard to find unpasteurized cheese (soft or hard) at our grocery stores. I also sleep on my right side and back every once in a while. It isn’t uncomfortable yet and my doctor said it’s fine as long as it doesn’t hurt.

    I’ve also stopped worrying about my weight gain. The doctor said I had already gained too much weight at week 15 and I needed to slow it down. I don’t feel like my eating has changed dramatically so unless I start dieting I am just gonna be a big pregnant lady. And I’m fine with that. If my body needs more nutrients and I need to eat more then I’m gonna eat more.

    However, I do worry about the baby ALL the time. For example, I am 19 weeks now and I still haven’t felt the baby move and it makes me terrified. I know they say 16-22 weeks but I am paranoid that something is wrong because most people feel their baby so much earlier. I am just trying to stay calm and wait for my ultrasound on the 25th.

    I’ve loved reading your pregnancy posts – hubs and I are doing the Bradley Method too but our classes don’t start until May.

    Happy Baby Making!

    • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:33 am

      My BFF is pregnant now too and she’s about 22 weeks and I think she is just beginning to ‘maybe’ feel the baby move around. She is 5 ft 1 and 110 pounds, so it’s not like she has a larger frame (I’ve read that makes it harder to feel the baby at the beginning). I really wouldn’t worry – I am sure your baby is 100% fine!

  • Carolina John April 12, 2012, 11:08 am

    You’re progressing very well through the pregnancy. Our kids were born at 36 and 38 weeks, so you’re almost there! Congrats.

  • Heather April 12, 2012, 11:18 am

    As woman who has suffered a still birth and two miscarriages, I think you are smart to not worry or panic. A lot of it comes down to genetics and bad luck-things that one simply can not control. After each loss I’ve actually gotten more relaxed, because I know that there isn’t much I can do to control the situation. Good on you for not panicking, there really is no point to it!

    • CaitlinHTP April 12, 2012, 11:34 am

      I’m so sorry about your losses 🙁 I wish I could give you an e-hug.

      • Heather April 12, 2012, 11:13 pm

        Thanks Caitlin! I got very lucky after my daughter passed- I got pregnant right away and have a 4 year old son. There is always a rainbow after a storm and he’s my sweet little rainbow.

  • Brigid April 12, 2012, 1:26 pm

    I love your update posts and really loved the recent book reviews. It’s nice to see a blogger I admire anyway with a similar outlook on pregnancy and parenting go through it before I do (hopefully soon!).

    I wanted to say, too, that your skin looks great! I have only worn makeup a handful of times since the Naked Face Project began, and my skin is so much brighter and healthier. So thanks for that bit of inspiration, too!

  • Amber K April 12, 2012, 2:05 pm

    Time is sure flying by! I hope that if I ever get pregnant I can handle all of the judgment and “helpful advice” that will come.

  • anne April 12, 2012, 3:20 pm

    Great post! So nice to read a point of view that is calm (not panic-y)

  • Lacey Martini April 21, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Looking forward to reading more. Great article post. Really Great.

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