The day before a friend's wedding, for which I was the makeup artist, I had a hunch to take a pregnancy test. My period was late, I was newly devoted to a 9 p.m. bedtime, and part of me just had a feeling. Lo and behold, it was positive!
But because of some troubling spotting in the next few days, I assumed the test was wrong. It was an emotional few days for me because my hopes were tied up in growing our family, giving my daughter a sibling, and hoping my health could support a pregnancy.
After waiting a week, I took another test, and it was positive again. It was then I allowed myself to feel the joy and gratitude of the blessing that is a new life. I decided that no matter how long the life of this child lasted inside of me, I would love this little person, and be full of thanks every day.
Now, I am 12 weeks along, (due in December) nearing the end of my first trimester and I look pregnant. I think it's something about the second child, so I hear, but my body didn't need to "make room" for the baby since my midsection has been the absence of a six-pack for a few years now. And in the light of this pregnancy not being the overwhelming first time, I'm doing things a bit differently.
Things I'm doing differently this time around:
Not buying maternity clothes. Whatever I am wearing this summer is most likely what I will also be wearing next summer, when I am still toting around baby weight. Rather than stocking up on maternity clothes, which didn't fit my frame after the birth, I am buying things 2-3 sizes bigger to accommodate my baby bump and fit me in the postpartum period too. Besides, in my third trimester with my daughter's pregnancy, I outgrew my maternity clothes which was a huge confidence sinker. Once the Fall comes, I may buy a pair of maternity jeans, but for now I have a few from my last pregnancy that should work just fine.
Not buying maternity bras. Pregnancy immediately inflates the breasts, and keeps doing so until all of the milk comes in just a few days after giving birth. Last pregnancy I was buying a new bra every month, and they were completely useless postpartum because I couldn't breastfeed with them. No more buying bras I can't nurse the baby in after pregnancy! I currently own a range of sizes of my favorite nursing bra -- The Bravado Bliss. As my milk supply increases and decreases, I am armed with a few different cup sizes to make it through the first year of the baby's life. [This style is now discontinued and on MAJOR sale. Shop here and on Amazon to get them while they last!]
Not eating everything in sight. The whole idea that the baby gets "the best" of what we eat, even if it's Twizzlers, is absolutely silly. I learned that lesson the hard way in my last pregnancy when I developed gestational diabetes and gained over 50 pounds on a consistent pizza-ravioli-mac-and-cheese-diet (yep, I went off Paleo, and paid the price, in my case). I'm following the paleo diet, eating lots of healthy starches and grass-fed or wild-caught protein, and tons of vegetables (with homemade coconut ice cream thrown in for good measure).
Fatigue. For the first few weeks I was falling asleep at 9 p.m., sometimes earlier, and sleeping nearly 10 hours a night. There were also days that I was slipping into a deep sleep in the middle of the day, which to the torment of my 3 year old, was problematic because there was not much either of us could do about it. Those early weeks the baby is growing hands, feet, brain cells, eyes, and the entire cardiovascular system. It's no wonder that those moments of exhaustion are purposefully developing another human person.
Morning sickness. Around 6 weeks the morning sickness set in. Waves of nausea would come and go with no warning, and the slightest "gross" thing would have me holding my stomach and burying my head under a pillow. When things got really bad, I took a capsule of Activated Charcoal with cold water, and that usually cleaned up whatever toxins were causing the nausea. I would get nauseated from not eating, nauseated from eating too much, nauseated at the thought of preparing my own food. And since I can't go crazy on a bag of Doritos, or even a Costco-sized container of cashews, I had get creative with what worked. Turns out, high-protein paleo blueberry waffles fixed everything. (Recipe coming soon!)
Food and smell aversions. I couldn't eat beef unless it looked like a burger. So we ate burgers every night for about 3 weeks. I didn't want cooked greens, so I ate enormous quantities of salads, raw fennel, celery, and carrots. Most things had to be ice cold, crunchy, and sprinkled with sea salt. I think I was almost purely vegetarian for a few meals a day. Just glancing in the direction of the kitchen gave me that thick feeling in my throat, so the dirty dishes in the sink just sat there until my sweet husband came home and whizzed through them as if he simply snapped his fingers.
Insomnia. After about 8 weeks, the insomnia set in. I wake up to use the bathroom, and lie there for about 1-2 hours until I finally fall back to sleep, or get woken up by my daughter. I never actually turn the lights on or check the time for fear of a longer stint of torture. One thing that has helped is exercising during the day. We've been swimming a bunch, and that has helped me to get a more restful sleep.
Sore breasts. Heavy, growing, and sensitive to drying off after a shower, the way that my shriveled prunes plumped up has baffled me. Unfortunately, the sensitivity stuck around in my last pregnancy until nearly the end.
Sore back. In my last pregnancy I had to get chiropractic work and acupuncture to help with the immense back pain I was having. From the weight gain, and apparently uneven hips, the relaxin hormone was no match for my lower back. I bought sports-grade ice packs, and spent a few afternoons a week icing my hips and back to ease the pain. This pregnancy has already showed a few signs of soreness, but I hope with lots of stretching and prenatal yoga, the pain won't be so bad. Here's to hoping!
Amazing hair and nails. In about a month I think my hair grew 3 inches. After a particular incident where my rings got caught in my mane after trying to get it out of my face, I knew it was time for a cut. So I recently chopped off 4 inches! I feel like a new person. My nails are so firm and growing like crazy, but I've been keeping them short so I don't scratch my daughter with these crazy talons.
Cold, raw food. Salads, cut up carrots, ice cold grapefruits, frozen strawberry slushies, chopped fennel, and cucumbers. If it can live in the fridge and has a slight crunch, I'm eating it.
Fried, salty food. Since I don't do deep fried, I've been baking and roasting things like chicken breast coated in coconut flour, salmon cakes cooked in avocado oil, and "fried" green plantains in coconut oil. We can't seem to keep bags of Terra Plantain Chips and Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips (both cooked in coconut oil) around for long. I've also been eating loads of olives, capers, Bubbies Pickles, and smoked Sockeye salmon.
Supplements & Pregnancy Items I Love
I want to sincerely thank all of you who have stuck with me while I was absent from my website for over a month. If you've read all the way to here, you know that I was in complete survival mode. Blogging had to take a backseat so I could stay healthy and still perform my duties for my family. Now that the morning sickness is over and my energy is coming back, let's get back to business as usual!