Welp. I’m 25 weeks pregnant today. Which means it’s about time for another oh-so-fascinating check-in on how this little guy is doing.

25 weeks logo

Overall, I’ve felt bigger this time around (even though the scale, which I’ve only stepped on once, says I have gained the same amount of weight as I had at this point last time). Rounder belly earlier. Just generally more change in my body more quickly than I’m used to. I think my body is distributing things differently. Baby’s higher than usual, for sure. I’m usually a super low carrier.

P.S. I am NOT complaining here. Merely observing a difference between this pregnancy and others.

And, after looking back at my 24 week pregnancy update with Theo, I can definitely see a difference in my shape (not bad, not good; just different), so…I guess it’s good to know I’m not just imagining things?

theo24 weeks

Considering that I started with the “faux-questionnaire” format last time, I guess I’ll just go with that again.

So, here are the answers to all of the questions that maybe no one has even asked, just in case you might possibly have been wondering.

How has this pregnancy compared to the others?

Hm…I guess I already sort of answered part of this with how I think my body’s reacting differently.

I touched on this in my recap of the first 20 weeks, but this has maybe been the hardest pregnancy yet (other than the twins’). More exhaustion, more nausea, more mood swings, more/worse varicose veins. Yippee! That said, I think I’m finally completely in the clear on the debilitating exhaustion and nausea front. I’ve only taken one nap (other than Sunday…Sunday naps are sacred) in the last month, and, in general, I have decent energy until bedtime. I’ve even had a burst or two of nesting but nothing sustained. As in, the piece of furniture I hauled upstairs that used to hold all of random toys (that I sorted, threw out, and organized the same day) is still sitting in the same place I left it over a week ago. Sigh. Baby steps (Ha).

What is this baby like?

Hmm…well, I thought he was super-wiggly and was a little worried that we had a hyper one on our hands, but Shaun claimed that I said the same thing about Theo (aka: Lil’ Chill Dude), and as I looked back on my 24 Week Update, it turns out he was right. I talked about Theo being a mover and shaker too. Which kind of makes me glad that I’m taking the time to write these. (Because aren’t we just so sure we’ll remember every little last detail, and then, no matter how hard we try to hang on, it all starts to fade? Good thing for labor. Bad for the rest).

Do you have a name yet?

Yup. 🙂 Although…I’m not stuck on the middle name, so we’ll see.

Are you still exercising/teaching fitness classes?

I am. I teach 6 classes a week, and Tuesday is fast becoming my least favorite exercise day of the week, since I teach Grit Plyo (think: squat jumps off of a bench, tons of burpees, jack push-ups, tuck jumps, etc.) and then BODYPUMP. Grit is exhausting in its own right, but halfway through Pump, all I can think is: are we done yet?

I’m already having to modify majorly in Grit (not Pump), but I’ve joked with my participants that, by the end, I’ll be sitting in a deck chair with a glass of lemonade calling: “JUMP! DROP! PUSH-UPS!” At least I think I’m joking.

Funny story: the other day, a new childcare worker told me, “This is weird, but I had a dream about you. You were, like, 9 month pregnant and still teaching…” at which point, I said, “Um, well, that part’s not a dream. I do that every time.” And she was like, “Whaaaat? No way! Oh, and then you went into labor.” And I was: “Um, yeah. That’s probably not going to happen, and even if it did, I’d probably just finish teaching the class, then go home, eat dinner, and do some laundry before I had the baby.” #darnslowlabors

Still planning on a home birth?

You better believe it! I’m not one to say never, but, barring some kind of significant change in my mindset/midwife situation/health, I think I’m going to be a home birth girl from here ’til there are no more babies to birth. I just love being in my own bed with no one prodding or poking me afterwards. No monitors. No nothing. Being able to eat/walk around/get in the tub/just generally do as I please during labor is pretty awesome too.

Of course, I have family that is willing to take my kids for a couple of days when the baby comes, so I’m sure I would be more enthralled with the hospital option if I didn’t.

I’ll be using Melena again (one of the midwives who assisted at the twins’ birth and then was the primary at Theo’s birth after my longtime midwife, Thalia, died suddenly from a stroke), and I’m super-happy to have someone that I trust so much assisting me again.

How have people responded to your having another baby?

Honestly? I’ve made very few “official” announcements. And, in the South, if someone doesn’t give you a big toe in the door to say something (you know, besides, “Bless your heart”), then you don’t necessarily say anything at all (well, to their face…ha!).

So, while my belly is growing by the day, I haven’t gotten just tons of comments, either good or bad. I think there were many weeks of, “Has Abbie just given up and starting eating bon-bons for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?” at the gym since no one much officially knew until we got back from Colorado. But now that they do, nobody much seems to notice.

Which is TOTALLY cool with me!

I think, maybe, by this point, it’s kind of obvious that this is just what we do. And everybody has, more or less, accepted that. Our family on both sides are very supportive of our having however many kids the Lord blesses us with, so we’ve never heard a peep of opposition from them (yes, I know; we’re very thankful). And I’ve actually gotten FEWER comments lately at the grocery store. I think part of this is because we only go once a week, which is one of the few times I run errands anymore with all 6 kids with me, and the rest of the time, I usually have little kids with me while the older ones are at piano practice or Softa’s (my mom’s) house.

WHATEVER the reason, I’m completely fine with the lull in comments. (They were pretty intense when the twins were babies and both in car seats; that was quite the attraction, apparently). On the one hand, they definitely give me an opportunity to share the Lord with people, so I should desire more contact, but my flesh would definitely prefer to just zoom in and out of Walmart without too many roadblocks along the way.

Hmm…maybe I should start praying for more people to stop and talk to us.

Any big pregnancy quirks?

Um, y’all. It’s so embarrassing, but I am quite the snorer when I’m pregnant. I sleep on my side and everything, but, combine my–what? pregnancy sleep apneia?–with the cold that I’ve been fighting for almost 3 weeks now, and I actually feel a little sorry for my husband. He’s a pretty sound sleeper, though, and hasn’t resorted to sleeping on the couch yet, so I guess we’re fine.

And now it’s your turn.

If you’re pregnant right now, give me a shout out and let me know how far along you are, when the baby’s due, how many other kids you have, whether or not you snore…you know…the important stuff.

I’d love to learn more about you!

Did I leave out something that you’re just dying to know?

I can’t even imagine, but if so, ask away!



  1. I’m 16 weeks with #5, and truly overwhelmed! I’m wondering if maybe we made an unwise decision to just leave our “however many kids” up to the Lord. I get hypermesis gravidim, and really have no help with the kids. We’ve felt it our calling to homeschool, but right now, were blessed if I even get the kids fed. My oldest is almost 6. I’ve tried to teach and train them to help around the house, but it’s truly been a vicious vcycle of horrible pregnancies and postpartum for the last 7 years, when we got pregnant on our honeymoon.

    My in laws are missionaries overseas, and believe their ministry calling is higher than helping with their kids, though they certainly offer prayer for us. My parents aren’t a fan of us having kids, though they love them when we are together. When we’ve pleaded for help, they’ve told us to stop having kids.

    We’ve asked our church elders for help, but they’ve said they need to focus on evangelism efforts before providing physical help for families who aren’t in poverty. We’d even consider looking for a new church, but I’m so sick most church days right now, and I can’t imagine my husband toting 4 young kids to a new church other week. (We delay vaccines, and most churches in our area require vaccinations to participate in nursery or children’s church.)

    I feel like I’m slipping into depression, and have always been taught that is a spiritual problem. Any advice for feeling like I’m thriving, not just trying to survive? Or to get family to help? We’ve never had more than a couple of hours away from our kids, have actually had to keep them with us during all of our homebirths. In fact, that’s why I’ve continued to home birth. My husband travels for work a lot, and I’m terrified I’ll have to birth and watch 4 kids solo parenting. I’ve not commented before, but felt led to participate in this post.

    You are such an inspiration to me! I would do just about anything to such a happy family life.

    1. I just wanted to say that I am praying for you tonight. I only have two kids, and I can’t imagine how hard it would be to parent without the support of my parents who live in the same town. I am praying that the Lord gives you wisdom in child bearing and that you would find such freedom and grace in whatever He reveals to you. He loves you so deeply!

    2. Hey Bethel!

      First, I just wanted you to know that I’ve been praying for you. I know that probably sounds pretty weak, since what you need right now is concrete relief. But I do know that Matthew 11:28 says: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I”m praying Jesus’s supernatural rest over over you right now.

      And you are definitely in that category (girl, I can’t even imagine feeling sick all the time; I’m so sorry).

      I know this is a sensitive question, but…is there ANY extra money for babysitting? Meaning a teenaged girl whom you can pay $7 an hour (this is what the my gym pays the childcare workers, so clearly there are people who will work for that) to come sit/play with/feed your kids so you can get a break?

      Is there a mom’s group anywhere who could pitch in to help? If you’ve asked your church, and they didn’t offer any options, I’m guessing that you’re not aware of one either. But maybe even a Facebook support group in your area?

      Or do you have a close friend who would be willing to pick up some slack while you’re so sick? I know it’s hard to ask for help (especially after being rejected), but what it seems to me that you need MOST is a break.

      When I’m overwhelmed and tired and sick, even a couple of hours to myself, reading my Bible or napping, does wonders for my state of mind.

      Also, I know you feel called to homeschool. Me too. But when the twins were babies, and I had 5, 6 and under, we did a hybrid homeschooling option, where the boys went to a teeeeensy little private school for 2 days and then were home. I very honestly believe that the Lord sent that along at just the right time because I had just been planning to muddle through, and that little school ended up being such a blessing for our family. Maybe another school option—at least short term–would work well for your family?

      Do y’all practice NFP?

      I am a firm believer in letting the Lord be in control of how many kids we have, but I also believe that he gives us the ability to know our bodies so that we can (naturally) give ourselves a bit of a break between kids, especially when we’ve had several close together and are just worn out. It’s a method that requires some self-sacrifice and self-control, which are both Biblical concepts. Maybe even just having more space between your kids could give you more time to recover emotionally/physically. Because NFP is definitely not a method of AVOIDING kids altogether…just spacing them.

      Anyway, I’m not trying to tell you what to do at all. But if free help is not forthcoming, and you have any wiggle room in your finances for outside help, I would jump on it. I initially felt so much guilt when we hired help with the house when the twins were babies because I thought it meant I wasn’t “woman” enough to do it all. And that I was “wasting” money on something that I could be doing myself. Only, I was never getting to it because there was too much else going on at the time. So, it wasn’t wasted at all.

      The more I read my Bible, the more I’m convinced that we’re meant to be in community and that this ideal of having all of the kids the Lord has for us was always MEANT to be in conjunction with community/family help. Of course, we don’t live in that kind of society anymore (for the most part), so sometimes, we have to make due with less ideal options (like paying for someone to help, if it’s at all feasible).

      Again, I’m not trying to butt into your life, simply to provide you with something practical that MIGHT help.

      Praying for: relief from sickness, practical solutions for help at home, and peace/closeness to God during this super-trying season.

      “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He hasn’t forgotten you, Bethel. Not one of his promises is wasted. And where he wounds, he always binds up and heals.

      Actually, I know a woman with 6 kids who gets HG so severely every time she’s pregnant for the first 5 months that she can’t eat. She can’t think. She can’t even move her eyelids too much, or she gets horribly sick. Last time, she had to get an IV so she didn’t have to eat (and she said that was a huge blessing). She literally lies in her bed in the dark, while her children and her husband pick up ALL the slack. Because she just can’t function right then. And she is one of the most joyful people that I have ever met. She credits the Lord with being very near to her during those (literally) dark months, and she expresses thankfulness for just about anything you can be thankful for. I don’t say this for any other reason than to (hopefully) comfort you that–though I don’t have to endure this trial–there are others who do, who understand. I can get you her info if you’d like. She’s the sweetest lady.

    3. Oh Bethel I am thinking of you!
      I too am expecting #5, my oldest is 6, and homeschooling. We are both in a tough season of life, but, from what I’ve read and seen it will only get better. We both have a house full of busy Littles that need lots of attention, and have a minimal capacity to help around the house with practical chores. My husband also just spent the last 6 months working out of state and was home just 2 nights a week!

      I am Catholic and have the benefit of going to confession, which so often turn into a mini therapy session. The priest so often lately has been encouraging me to be patient with myself. This is a season where God is humbling us and showing us how much we need Him in order to survive. None of us is strong enough to do this on our own without Him. Even Christ fell three times on His walk to Calvary. We must realize if the Master fell, we surely will stumble too.

      Another realization has been the need to nail down my priorities. Right now the priorities are daily prayers with the children. My oldest two are 1st grade and kindergarten. My school priorities are math and reading. So if we get our prayers said, math done, and spend some time reading together, the day is a success. I have to set the bar low because there’s no way I can do it all. I can’t have a clean house right now.

      I talked with a neighbor and she comes over once a week and helps me fold laundry. I posted on our homeschool group’s message board and found a 9th grader who has been here twice to help me clean. It’s hard, but it’s made a big difference in my mental peace having a slightly less chaotic house.

      Try to remember each year WILL get easier. Another year or two and those 5 and 6 year olds will be a big help!

      Don’t regret your openess to children. God will ALWAYS reward your faithfulness. Try to be at peace. Be patient with yourself. ((((Hugs))))

  2. I Abbie!! I’m 13 weeks with number 5! We’re so so so excited to be having another. Our littles are 6,4,3, and 1.5. I’m tiiiiiired and nauseated at night. I’m hoping for smooth sailing once I get into the 2nd trimester.

    I have a fitness question for you. There’s a fitness blog I’ve visited and she is a bit fanatic about diastasis recti. I enjoy working out, but now I’m paranoid that I’m going to cause myself problems if I do a plank or anything that targets the abs. I’ve never had a problem with diastasis recti before, but I’m wondering what your thoughts are. I don’t intend to do crunches or situps, but I don’t want to give up my planks because I do have a weak core and back. Thanks for any input!

    1. My advice is to listen to your body. I do ab exercises (including crunches) all the way through, and I’ve never had (significant) problems with diastasis recti. I am 25 weeks, and I am definitely feeling the pinch in my lower abs when I do full toe pushups or hold a plank for a long time, so I just modify by going to me knees or pulling my knees in closer to my hips. I definitely have a bit of separation in my abs always now but not enough to constitute true DR (more like just enough to indicate that, hey, I’ve had a lot of babies), and it hasn’t increased in size since I first noticed it.

      I will say that something that’s supposed to be good for your core/legs/posture while still helping to prevent (and even heal) DR is wall sits, with your pelvis tucked up under you. You have to have a lot of core strength to hold yourself in place, but you’re not having the added effect of gravity pulling your separating abs. Just a thought.

      1. Thanks for the tips! I will be using all of them, especially incorporating the wall sits. I haven’t being those lately. The 6 year old took a pair of scissors to my exercise ball!

        Do you wear any type of recovery garment post partum? I didn’t with my first 2. After my third was born I suffered a uterine prolapse at 3 days post partum. I was mopping the floor because my mom was coming over, pretty dumb right?!? lol. I invested in a BellaFit after that. It gave me so much pelvic and abdominal support. I wore it with baby number 4 as well, and will be replacing it with a new one when we welcome #5! They’re supposed to be good for helping with DR as well. I’m happy to say my prolapse totally healed with the help of the binder and a good PT program.

        1. Oh my goodness! A prolapsed uterus sounds super scary. I’m glad it all healed up for you.

          I actually have never used a post partum band before (honestly, it had never occurred to me until I read a blog a few months back), but I was planning on getting a Bellly Bandit this time around. My abs are still fine, but I can definitely tell a difference in their resilience this time around, so I was going to give it a go and see if it helps. Sure doesn’t sound like it could hurt.

  3. I’m 14 weeks with our first! To be honest this stage is still somewhat boring – there is not much going on bump wise and other than the occasional retching at the compost I feel normal!

  4. I was due on Saturday with #2, but so far no appearance. Sometimes I snore myself awake or maybe I just wake up again to use the restroom and happen to snore then. 🙂 homebirth and looking forward to it!

      1. Oh, and did you say you are “looking forward” to your birth? I mean, I get being at the point when you’re like: don’t care about the pain! get this baby OUT! But I don’t think I ever look forward to my births. 🙂

        1. So after making my comment I was asking my
          Husband about pregnancy snoring and he had the genius idea to get breathe right strips! Never used them before- world of difference!! Highly recommended.

          Yeah, looking forward to- a chance to physically be nearer to God because of the situation, getting to actively worship Him. And to hold someone for the first time that God has just recently finished creating- so cool.

  5. I just had baby #6 two weeks ago (kiddos are 7, 5, 3, 3, 1 and the new guy) I don’t snore but I toss and turn like nuts! I’m sure it makes my husband crazy. 🙂 Love your blog and instagram!

  6. Keep up the good work of baking this baby!!!!

    I’m 22 weeks pregnant with our #7 (our oldest is 7 and we have no multiples). We are also having a boy! Woot!!! My only pregnancy quirk is that I have to pee all the time and I’m not huge yet…

    1. Wow, wow, wow! Seven in seven years is impressive, Karlee! And, actually, as far as I understand, the peeing often thing can start super early. I think it’s more hormonally related than baby pressing on your bladder related. Either way. It’s a pain!

  7. Thank you for the update. I’m always curious about other mom’s and how they are doing real life. I am 17 weeks pregnant with #8 and am bigger now than any of the others. I don’t tell them my due date cause they always think I am ready any day. Now people say, don’t you think you have enough? or How can you handle 8 kids? or When you go to Walmart they count you when you walk by. I think that is rude. We try to stay together and to ourselves. We have the buddy system and people still go out of their way to say stuff. (sorry for the rant) Anyway our kids are 15, 14, 11, 9, 8, 6, 1 none of them were planed by us and I thought we would be done by now (I am 42 on the 23!) I love them all to pieces and would not change anything. The first 6 were hospital 4 with meds, 2 without, one C-section (breach) and one at home. #8 is going to at home also. I don’t know what I was thinking the homebirth was so easy 2 hrs of labor and 4 pushes. (sorry I know yours are long) Just our family was there and we were so happy to do it together (we had them come in once she was out) I think it was so easy because I was the only one to do it no backup. I have gas and blame it on the dog, haha! I am so tired this time around (I am getting old!) You look great and hope the rest of your days and the birth are easy for you.

  8. I’m 16 weeks today with our 6th. One of my embarrassing pregnancy quirks is that I drool when I’m asleep, especially when I take a nap. Thankfully the extra saliva volume doesn’t make me nauseated or anything, but it is unruly when I’m unconscious!

  9. You look just like Della in that first pic. 🙂

    We’d love to get pregnant right now because if we did then we’d probably have #4 in June just like our 3 we already have. So we’re trying! 😉

  10. 40 plus weeks with baby six (our oldest is seven)–this makes three and three for us so far! I’ve been a horrible snorer this time around and my husband thinks it is hilarious to record my snoring on his phone and play it back for me in the mornings. 😛 Poor guy…hopefully once this baby girl comes I’ll sleep silently again!

  11. I’m 38 weeks pregnant with my first – a boy. People keep telling me I don’t look that big for 38 weeks but I feel that big! I’ve been blessed with a pretty easy pregnancy but am definitely getting ready to have my normal stomach back and be able to sit and bend without feeling so uncomfortable. And of course ready to meet my little guy.

  12. I’m just 5 weeks along (due at the end of May) with baby #6 and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We told the kids today and they squealed and swarmed me with hugs. I love their joy in another sibling. My 5th was my first home birth and unless I have to, I won’t go back. It’s so wonderful to be at home. And some of the kids chose to watch the birth. My 3rd (almost 10) wants to catch this one.

  13. I’m 25 weeks with number four. We tried to find out the gender at 20 weeks and the umbilical cord was right up in between the baby’s legs! No peeking whatsoever! Thankfully I got another ultrasound at 24 weeks and we got a pretty clear shot. But since we had made it so far without anyone knowing we decided to keep it a secret! I am homeschooling this year for the first time (my oldest just turned six) and we are starting week 4- it’s had its ups and downs but over all I’m enjoying the time with the kids and just taking a day at a time!

  14. I’m no longer pregnant, but my sweet babe is one week old today. Love that you birth your babies at home. I chose the hospital, but it was an amazing water birth, so maybe next time I’ll try for home!

  15. I just had our sixth baby 9 weeks ago! I have all girls and the first four are extremely close in age. (I was basically pregnant for four years…). We literally cannot go anywhere without at least one comment on the size of our family, recognition of our lack of boy, etc… My girls are so used to it that they just started volunteering the information to cashiers without them asking. I wouldn’t trade our lovely family for the world though!!

  16. Love this update! I showed your photo to my husband and we both agreed you have the tiniest little 25 week belly ever. But I totally get how any change to your body can be rough with pregnancy.
    You already know I am 35 weeks with twin girls, and as for quirks, I have to say I have the worst gas ever while pregnant! How embarrassing! From both ends! My poor husband, I try so hard to stay lady-like, but there’s just no helping it when I’m pregnant

I love hearing from you guys!