When people ask me how the pregnancy is going, I have started to tell them the truth:  That I’m exhausted and miserable.  I have never felt soul-crushing exhaustion like I have this pregnancy.  I thought it was bad in the first trimester – it feels two times as bad now!  I know that you’re “suppose” to be all like, “Pregnancy is glorious! Yay! Aren’t I GLOWING?!” but I’m not glowing.  I’m drooling because I’m falling asleep at the dinner table.


Here’s what has helped me:  Coffee.  Exercise (energy begets energy, right?).  Thomas the Tank Engine.  And… well, that’s about it.


Here’s yesterday’s completely sleep-deprived breakfast:


Eggs and toast and, a bit later, a big smoothie.

I hit the gym and did a 900 yard swim workout. I planned to do 1000 but couldn’t finish it up.

photo 3

Here’s the workout:


Warm-Up: 200 Yards

50 Fast, 50 Slow, 50 Kick, 50 Fast

Repeat 50’s set two more times.

Cool-Down: 200 Yards


The Husband was working from home yesterday, and I got to take a GLORIOUS NAP.  When I woke up, I had this awesome salad waiting for me:


Afternoon snacks included some breaded baked tofu and almonds.  Henry didn’t want to eat his cinnamon toasty with his dinner, so I “took one for the team” and finished it for him.


For dinner, I was super lucky – the Husband was back in the kitchen!  He made this meal.  The potatoes were the BEST.  Plus –> more tofu, parsnips with mustard, and greens.


Raise your hand if you want to take a nap right now!



  • Lindsay July 24, 2014, 3:08 pm

    I’m 33 weeks pregnant today. And I have a very active 3 year old. My hand is deinitely raised! ugh, so tired!!!

  • Tricia July 24, 2014, 3:17 pm

    I am pregnant with my second too. I completely agree. It is so much different being pregnant when you already have a little one at home. I am tired all the time. House work and cooking seem daunting and miserable. I feel like I’m even being mean to my husband! And I don’t want to be. I. Am. Just. Tired.

    • Andrea July 24, 2014, 4:03 pm

      No kids…but also tired!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie July 24, 2014, 3:55 pm

    Oh yeah, the exhaustion. I have two boys (2 and 3) and am pregnant (28wks) so I feel ya. I try to lay down each afternoon for a bit while the boys play. Most times they definitely climb all over me but sometimes I get some sleep or rest.

    I hate coffee while pregnant which adds to the problem and I also tend to feel less up to eating protein or veggies. Bad, I know. Pregnancy is hard. I never sugar coat it. haha

  • Zulke July 24, 2014, 4:27 pm

    People who tell you how you’re “supposed” to feel before, during and after pregnancy can eat a big old fancy bowl of diiiiiiiiiiiicks!

    • Caitlin July 24, 2014, 5:46 pm


      • Shannon July 24, 2014, 9:18 pm

        I know you’re just trying to be funny, but I’ve been thinking a lot about phrases like your “eat a bowl of dicks” a lot lately after reading this article:


        It’s about how sexually violent language helps propagate rape culture. I’ve been trying to be more aware of the phrases I use (“suck it” is a personal favorite). Anyway, not to sound like a stick in the mud, but Caitlin, I thought you’d be interested since I know you’re into feminism and used to volunteer at a rape crisis center (or something?)

        • Caitlin July 25, 2014, 8:30 am

          Interesting post – thanks for sharing it, Shannon!!!

  • Lori July 24, 2014, 4:32 pm

    Not gonna sugar coat it. My pregnancy (2nd) has been much harder than the first. It’s so much more exhausting with a toddler. Mine is younger than yours, so hopefully Henry doesn’t require as much picking up as mine does. My back KILLS me. I go straight to bed after the little one does. I only have 4 weeks or so to go. You’ll make it! But yeah, it’s tough 🙁

  • Mrs SPB July 24, 2014, 4:42 pm

    Another hand raised here! 34 weeks pregnant with no. 2 and no. 1 is a 20 month old ball of energy! He’s watched more tv the last 2 months than the previous 1.5 years. I just need to sit down sometimes. I was caffeine free during my pregnancy with him but have one caffeinated drink per day this time as I felt the baby was more at risk from me falling down the stairs with exhaustion than that amount of caffeine. Get as much rest as you can! Xxx

  • Catherine July 24, 2014, 5:02 pm

    I’m not pregnant right now, but I remember that feeling all too well. It’s not your typical tiredness either. I pulled so many all-nighters in my pre-motherhood life, and it wasn’t the same. Even if I got a solid 8 hours while pregnant, the tiredness was still unbearable. It made me once google “Can my body get so tired that it forgets to breathe?” It always improved somewhat around 20 weeks though. I hope the end of that awful feeling is near for you!

    At what temp/time does your hubs roast the potatoes? Mine never come out that well!

    • Caitlin July 24, 2014, 5:46 pm

      I need him to write a post on his technique. It’s complicated!!!

  • AY July 24, 2014, 5:04 pm

    Gosh. I feel crazy tired recently but, having never grown a human, I am going to refrain from complaining about sleepiness. At least for a week. Or a day. Or an hour… Here’s hoping things will change in your third trimester!

  • Lisa July 24, 2014, 5:11 pm

    I hear ya, I’m 38 weeks pregnant and I am so tired. I just want to sleep before I can never sleep again lol. I hope you get some of your energy back soon.

  • Lauren July 24, 2014, 5:12 pm

    Oh girl, I hear ya! I’m in my third trimester and I think the exhaustion is worse than the first trimester. Raising my hand high! 🙂

  • Stephanie C July 24, 2014, 5:13 pm

    Thank you for this. I’m entering my second tri and still throwing up, having major food aversions and am exhausted (and I work 10 hour days). I feel like people get disappointed that I’m not feeling glorious and beautiful. Nope. Bloated, zombie like, nauseous, and exhausted.

  • Mary C July 24, 2014, 5:21 pm

    Goodness – I’m 23 wks with #2 (#1 is Henry’s age) and I feel the same. And strangely I am happy watching a whole lot of Thomas these days too. That never used to happen!!

  • Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) July 24, 2014, 5:23 pm

    This post made me smile! I remember sneaking out to my car, during work, for little mini naps during the day! I would actually set my alarm so I didn’t sleep too long! Good for you for still getting a workout in. I’m pretty sure I sat on my butt for 9 months as I was tired and hot and hungry, haha!

  • Katya July 24, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Being pregnant with a toddler is really hard. Hang in there!

  • Amelia @i_heart_kale July 24, 2014, 5:42 pm

    Love your honesty. No need to sugar coat anything. It’s your blog and your space. Frankly, I think so much (information, no matter the subject) is so sugar coated that everyone else thinks that when something doesnt go their way or it doesnt look similar to someone elses situation, that they have messed up or wonder how everyone else does it. Honestly, I look at some blogger moms and think, “How the heck do they juggle so much? Didn’t she just have a baby last week and also has a two year old?” Maybe we are just seeing what we want to see?
    Love that the husband makes meals for you when you feel exhausted. Wish I could say the same here. Luckily, mine is willing to take me out when I’m utterly exhausted (first trimester only, thank goodness, although the afternoon slumps are starting to hit again in the 21st week again). Maybe I need to change up my fueling/eats?
    Henry could not be any cuter, especially on instagram lately. 🙂 Hopefully if he goes down for a nap, you can do the same. Growing a human is tough work!
    Oh, and those parsnip fries look yummy! I’ve rediscovered them again and have been enjoying them hot or cold leftovers dipped in the garlic mustard aioli from TJ’s. That stuff is addictive!!

    • Tricia July 24, 2014, 7:18 pm

      Amen on some of the other rose colored glasses bloggers. AMEN.

      • Caitlin July 24, 2014, 7:31 pm

        In defense of that type of blogging, half the time you admit to being tired or feeling crappy, people jump all over you for being a complainer.

        • Tricia July 24, 2014, 7:51 pm

          True. I can see that… But… It just seems fake/unrealistic/unattainable. I personally like blogs because I relate to them (or did once upon a time).

          • Caitlin July 24, 2014, 8:29 pm

            I understand that too. Especially now, I catch myself comparing myself to other moms who seem so much more pulled together… Not just online but in real life too. I just try to remind myself that everyone’s highlights reel looks better than my behind the scenes! LOL

  • Kim F. July 24, 2014, 5:45 pm

    I can’t even imagine the exhaustion of being pregnant, however that nap – I would totally take you up on that (hand raised, flailing desperately)! Way too many hours behind a desk, and not enough in my running shoes has left my soul somewhat crushed and my belly somewhat puffy from stress eating.

    I hope you get some more good rest!

  • Alexandra July 24, 2014, 6:47 pm

    I’m only 23, but seriously appreciate reading about your honest vegetarian, active pregnancy! Keep it up 😉

    Potato recipe please?

    • Caitlin July 24, 2014, 7:32 pm

      I will definitely get him to write it down!

  • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health July 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

    Awww!! Caitlin I thought you had more energy this time around because you’ve continued running longer in this pregnancy than you did with Henry. I guess I thought this time it felt easier for you but it seems you’re super exhausted 🙁 hang in there hun, I’m sure Henry keeps you on your toes! lol cutie <3

  • Mandy July 24, 2014, 8:23 pm

    So, I might be crazy, but you might also be tired because of the amount of activity (even outside of formal “exercise” – taking care of a young child requires a TON of mental and physical energy) you are doing and how little it seems you are eating?

    It just concerns me and makes me feel sad because I know you want to have more energy. I recently converted to vegetarianism and am having to teach myself to eat more beans and tofu. But I also noticed you don’t seem to have a lot of fat in there? Maybe that’s why the roasted potatoes tasted SO good to you – I’m sure there was some oil involved in roasting them.

    I hope you don’t take this as me “judging” you or hating on you. I really enjoy your blog and hope you start to get your energy back soon…whatever the reason may be! 🙂

    • Caitlin July 24, 2014, 8:37 pm

      Oh that’s okay! I don’t mind answering questions and definitely don’t think you are hatin’. 🙂 Thanks for reading!!! It’s always nice to hear that people are sweetly concerned.

      My hesitation to publish day in life food posts (as I always used to do) is that is so hard to tell what’s in the food unless you list everything out. Maybe I should do this more… But beyond the obvious ingredients, there’s a ton of butter on the toast, the salad was covered in an olive oil and the potatoes are basically fried in what I think was coconut oil. Also, I should probably be more clear about servings when I post a photo of a giant bag of almonds – there wasn’t one serving, probably three?

      I don’t count calories but I did a quick count up based on the pictures and I would put it at about 2200 or so, which is probably right on track for the second trimester, given my starting weight and my current activity levels. It’s actually suprising (and kind of disappointing LOL) how little extra food you need when you are pregnant. I’ve gained 20 pounds in 21 weeks, which actually puts me over the “recommended gain” by several pounds – and more than I gained with Henry at this point. But I don’t really pay much attention to that kind of stuff because it’s not a huge difference (and I really only know because I just checked!).

      I think my exhaustion is mostly due to just pregnancy, having a toddler and not sleeping well. I had my iron levels checked recently and they were awesome, which was kind of cool because they sucked when I was pregnant with H.

      But thanks for this comment, it let me think about other ways to format the What I Ate posts. Like I said, this is the primary reason I stopped writing this kind of blog on a daily basis – it’s really hard to convey portion etc in photos. I’ve brought it back for occasionally posts because a lot of vegetarians and/or gluten-free eaters have expressed an interested in seeing what I eat on a daily basis. I try to time my What I Ate posts on a random day so it’s not necessarily a “picture perfect” day of eating but a real person’s day. But maybe I can make some modifications to make it more helpful or explainatory.

      • Amy July 24, 2014, 9:21 pm

        I see what you’re saying, but at the same time I agree with Mandy. You might *think* you’re eating enough/enough of the right things, but if you still feel super crappy and exhausted all the time, maybe mix things up a little? Incorporate more healthy fats and protein into your meals, drink twice as much water, and see how you feel. It could be that you’re basing your assumptions for what “should” be enough on how you were eating and feeling pre-pregnancy, when your nutritional and rest needs might have changed a lot by this point. I’m pregnant too and to be honest I’m hungry just looking at this post of a typical day’s meals.

        • Caitlin July 25, 2014, 8:31 am

          Want to share a typical day’s eats for you, Amy? I’m curious now!

          • Amy July 25, 2014, 9:48 am

            Sure! Yesterday I had coffee and a bowl of full fat plain yogurt with berries and banana for breakfast, clif bar for a snack. 2 slices of homemade pizza with fruit at a friend’s house for lunch with a chocolate chip blondie for dessert. In the afternoon I had a plate of cherries, berries and green beans for a snack with a glass of lemonade. Dinner was smitten kitchen’s sesame peanut noodles with tofu (highly recommend, OMG) and then later I had a bowl of cereal with whole milk and then some ice cream. I am sure I had a few peanut butter cups in there too and some handfuls of dried cherries.

            I mean, I don’t eat perfectly — I probably eat too much sugar on a normal day — but I am a big believer in full fat dairy, fresh fruits and veggies, and drinking tons of water, especially during pregnancy. You said below that you don’t feel particularly hungry and calorie counters all assure you that you’re on the right track, but if you still feel so crappy I would try a week’s experiment of eating larger portions and more fats and protein to see if it makes a difference. It could be that even if you feel like you “must” be eating enough since you’re gaining weight, maybe you’re actually not — or, not enough to feel like you’re at your best. You instagrammed a lunch the other day that was breaded tofu and a TINY spinach salad — maybe on paper that’s a decent meal, but it could be that FOR YOU it’s not quite enough.

            Anyway, I just think it couldn’t hurt. 🙂 Good luck!

          • Amy July 25, 2014, 10:03 am

            Oh, and FWIW, I swim for exercise too. I swam 1000 yards the other day and was EXHAUSTED the rest of the day. One thing I’ve found in this pregnancy and my last is that my physical limits are much different during pregnancy. I felt fine during the swim, even energized and like I could push myself, but afterwards I needed to recharge so much that I don’t think it was worth it. I am planning to swim again today but I think I might try dropping down to 750 yards to see if it doesn’t wipe me out as much. I also work out less than you do — swim twice a week or so, yoga once a week — and that would affect my calorie and sleep needs as well. (I definitely need about 9 hours of sleep during pregnancy, even when I’m not working out.)

      • Emilka July 25, 2014, 6:52 am

        Have you had your thyroid checked? I’ve been hypothyroid for 11 years and when I was pregnant I had to have my levels checked monthly. My endocrinologist said that the baby takes what the baby needs so thyroid deficiency rarely severely harms the baby but it can make life miserable for mom. If i miss a dose I get that type of exhaustion where you never feel rested and just want to sleep forever.

        • Caitlin July 25, 2014, 8:28 am

          I had it checked with my normal bloodwork and everything looks good!!! Thank goodness.

      • Sarah July 25, 2014, 8:33 am

        I love these kind of posts! Since have my son I’ve become vegan yet I’m still managing to gain more in this pregnancy than I did in the first. What gives??? I guess at least it reassures us that our diets are adequate (I was defo concerned about having a vegan pregnancy)… Maybe we’ll have massive babies this time, ouch!

        • Sarah July 25, 2014, 8:35 am

          PS It reassures me that loads of people I’ve spoken to said they felt more exhausted during their second pregnancy; we’re not alone! 🙂

      • Grace July 25, 2014, 8:44 am

        I think, 2200 calories still puts your under where you should be, though, right? Because a woman in their second trimester at about your size burns about 2000-2200 calories a day (from a quick glance a BMR calculator), and plus 900 yds swimming will burn another, what 200-300 calories? Then any running around after Henry, walks with the dogs, cleaning, whatever… that would definitely put you at a calorie deficient. I moved to a high protein/high fat diet halfway through my pregnancy (I was borderline on my glucose test and I thought it would be best to be as proactive as possible) and the change in my energy levels was noticeable. And stuff like processed GF-bread isn’t really nutrient-dense, so I agree with Amy’s idea of maybe switching around and adding a lot more healthy fats into your diet, and see if that helps. I was amazed at the increased energy and stamina I had when I switched my diet up.

        • Caitlin July 25, 2014, 8:53 am

          No, it doesn’t put me under at all, when I use this calorie calculator: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/pregnancy_calorie_calculator.htm

          I don’t count calories anyways, ever, and just go by how I feel. I’m rarely hungry because I eat so reguarly (every two hours or so), and also, if I was undereating, there is no way that I would’ve gained 20 pounds by this point. I think that right there confirms that I’m eating enough for pregnancy!

          • AY July 25, 2014, 10:36 am

            You know yourself. You know your days, your food, and how you feel. And, of course, you know what your doctor is suggesting. I know you will (and you don’t need me to say this) but, keep trusting yourself. <3

  • Steph July 24, 2014, 8:40 pm

    OMG Caitlin. The fatigue this time around is killing me softly. If I don’t get a nap most days, I’m toast. Today, I slept hard for an hour and I’m sitting here ready to go to bed NOW. I thought I was supposed to get a burst of energy after the 2nd trimester kicked in. Hello? Where are you glorious energy? Keeping up with a 2 year old definitely doesn’t help with the fatigue thing. Bless our hearts.

    • Caitlin July 24, 2014, 8:45 pm

      THEY LIE. THEY LIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Where is our energy?!!!!!!!

  • jen July 24, 2014, 10:57 pm

    With our first and 3rd i was completely exhausted. It felt.incapacitating at times. I have always been so grateful for “easy” pregnancies, with no complications but i never really enjoyed it. It was more about the baby at the end of it and not all about the experience for me. But, so many others love everything about it.

  • Sarah C July 24, 2014, 11:56 pm

    I almost feel bad commenting because I”m having such an opposite experience from you with my second pregnancy. I’m 21 weeks tomorrow and I am feeling pretty energetic. My last pregnancy I didn’t work out at all and I puked a ton, so this round having only puked twice and I am working out, I actually feel great. I feel blessed to be getting such a reprieve this round compared to how awful my last pregnancy was. I hope you get some energy soon for nesting! I’ve been dejunking like crazy.

    • Caitlin July 25, 2014, 8:29 am

      Send me some of your energy!!! Send it over here!!!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well July 25, 2014, 12:07 am

    Not pregnant, but LOVE your honesty. Thanks for keeping it real. As always!

  • Laura Ann July 25, 2014, 1:33 am

    I’m at 38 wks and really struggling with fatigue and discomfort. So easy to compare self with others and wonder, “what is wrong with me?” or “am whining too much?” Had dinner with my preggo pals this week and felt a bit ashamed of my aches, pains, and major swelling. Also have a coworker who worked past her due date while my last day was today. I keep reminding myself our bodies, our pregnancies are all different. That being said, THANK YOU for your honesty. I needed this today!

    • Caitlin July 25, 2014, 8:29 am

      I think some people are just blessed with really easy pregnancies and some women get put on bedrest in the first trimester and never get off! Such a wide range of experiences. But you shouldn’t feel ashamed for FEELING it, ya know?

  • Elle July 25, 2014, 5:16 am

    Raised hand! Have no kids but the husband snores sooooo loud, I ended up going to sleep in the spare bedroom last night! And I woke up with period cramps (sorry, TMI!). Any advice for the snore?

    • Caitlin July 25, 2014, 8:29 am

      Have you tried that breathing strip? My friend had success with it!!!

      • Elle July 25, 2014, 1:20 pm

        No, good idea!

    • Stacey July 28, 2014, 2:32 pm

      I use ear plugs for my husband’s snoring!

  • Sarah July 25, 2014, 8:28 am

    Goodness am I glad to read this post. I’m so not enjoying this pregnancy. I feel exhausted all the time and I’m well into second trimester. I’m end up napping when my toddler is napping, which is fine but it means I can’t get on with the millions of others things I need to do. I’m just so glad that we’re stopping at 2 children!

  • Anne July 25, 2014, 9:26 am

    It’s not just you! Due right around the same time as you with my second (I have a 10 month old who of course had to be an early walker!), work full time – and I am still running/exercising too, but literally feel like I am dragging through every.single.day. And feel guilty for feeling that way!

    • Amy July 25, 2014, 9:45 pm

      Why on earth do you feel guilty about that?

  • Sara July 25, 2014, 9:59 am

    Teething toddler! ::raises hand::

  • K July 25, 2014, 12:25 pm

    OMG, this post is exactly the girl talk I needed today! I too am pregnant (14wks) but work full time and have an almost 2.5 year old. I think it would actually be MUCH harder to stay at home – mostly because I just can’t deal with feeding/food/cooking and the constantly needing to be held! But I hear you on the exhaustion being borderline crippling this time around. I see what people (with good intentions!) are suggestion about your food intake, but I am a firm believer that if you need more food, you’d be hungry for it! I too am super active and find that it relieves my nausea and gives me an amazing temporary energy rush, but I am really trying to find that great (moving target) balance of exercise that is energizing and not draining. I also have major guilt around not being able to maintain the super healthy eating habits I’m used to. And oh my gosh, don’t even get me started on the fact that my little turkey doesn’t sleep until 10pm – which is when hubs and I can START on housework, emails, etc. My saving grace is that my spouse is pretty much superhuman. Hang in there and THANK YOU for making this a safe space to vent without having to throw a massive disclaimer party on every sentence!

  • Nicole @ Broken Road Creative July 25, 2014, 1:47 pm

    Lol, I want to take a nap! I’m in week 34 of my second pregnancy and I’ve been tired this whole time too. Granted, I get some good bursts of nesting energy that help me get things done but when the fatigue hits, it’s like a brick wall! To make matters worse, I can’t get a solid chunk of sleep because this baby’s positioned herself nicely on my bladder from day one.

  • Jen July 25, 2014, 4:40 pm

    I am raising both hands!! And my feet!!! For me it’s not because I’m pregnant (though my first trimester was BRUTAL (I know you’re not in your first anymore)), but because my 11 week old baby is the worst sleeper evvvveeerrrrrr. I haven’t had more than 4 hours in a row of sleep in that many weeks and that’s on a super, duper, magical night. Lately it’s a 3 hour stretch and then maybe another two hour stretch if I’m lucky….this too shall pass. And I totally wish my husband could cook. I’m living on bananas and dark chocolate because I don’t have to turn on the stove or chop anything up!

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