Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Toward a Better Pregnancy

I will start this blog with some of the ways I have attempted to have a more natural and balanced pregnancy over the last several months.
One of the first books I purchased back in June when I found I was going to be a mother was The Complete Organic Pregnancy. I knew that I wanted to give my baby the best start possible in life, and that I could start by making sure my own lifestyle was safe and natural. While we couldn’t afford to replace everything toxic in our home right away, once I learned about the dangers of PVC and other common substances (especially plastics!), I started to phase them out as much as possible. I did replace my PVC yoga mat with this mat, since I was doing yoga several times a week, stopped using water bottles containing BPA, and avoided putting any type of plastic in the microwave.
For the last several years, I have been sort of an “on-and-off” vegetarian- sometimes not eating any meat for over a year, and never eating it on a very regular basis. I feel better when my diet is plant-based, but moreover, it can have a huge impact on the earth in general. I wanted to maintain a vegetarian diet throughout my pregnancy, but found that I was struggling to get even close to the recommended amount of protein, so I have begun eating small amounts of hormone-free chicken on occasion. As much as our budget will allow, I eat organic foods, and try to include a lot of fresh produce. Eating well is probably the most important step a woman can take to ensure a healthy baby.
Another big area I have gone earth-friendly in is personal care products. I have been using at least some natural products for years, but since I’ve been pregnant I have pretty much cut out all “drugstore” type items. There are countless harmful or potentially harmful chemicals in everything from skin care to shampoo, lotion to hand soap. Many of these ingredients have not been properly tested to ensure that they are safe for human use, and yet there they are on the shelves in the stores we shop in. Some excellent all-natural brands I’ve found are Avalon, Burt’s Bees, Weleda, Nature’s Gate, Tom’s of Maine and Desert Essence. If you’re lucky enough to have a Whole Foods or other well-stocked natural foods store nearby, they carry many wonderful products that work beautifully. I love Burt’s Bee’s Mama Bee Belly Butter and Leg and Foot Cream. My skin care is currently from Weleda, and my toothpaste from Tom’s of Maine. I’m always looking for new products to try, so I’ll attempt to review what I use on this blog in the future.
I could keep going on and on, but for now I’ll end with a word on cleaning products. Many people do not realize how very important this issue is. Traditional cleaners may seem to make things clean, but what we don’t see are the dangerous toxins they leave behind in our homes. They are not safe for the person cleaning, or those who will come in cantact with the “cleaned” surfaces. Marketing from large companies has fostered the mindset that you need all these chemicals to kill germs and make everything sanitary, but these products are doing much more harn than good. Thanks to green being so popular, there are now tons of alternative options from brands such as Seventh Generation, and they really do work! I have used many different natural cleaners, but have recently started with Shaklee products sold by a friend of mine who is a stay at home mom. Shaklee has been around for a lot longer than I have, and their products are absultely wonderful and completely safe and eco-friendly. I use them for all my cleaning, including laundry and dishes, and I’m anything but disappointed. They are also extremely cost-effective.
Well, this became a post about green living, not just pregnancy, but I guess the point is that just about anything eco-friendly and natural is better when you’re pregnant. The less exposure you have to toxins, the less your baby is being exposed to them.
A few more quick natural pregnancy tips: yoga is amazing and I believe it has really made a difference in how I’ve felt physically and mentally; herbal pregnancy teas are nice alternatives to coffee and can have tremendous benefits; relaxation is so very important- take time for yourself no matter what because your mental state effects your baby, and it is so important to take the time to enjoy pregnancy.

Six Random Facts About Me

First, a new picture:


24 weeks- Seth just keeps growing and growing!

Now, my 6 Facts:
(I was tagged to do this by the lovely Adrienne)
1. I have a very early memory of walking on a dirt or gravel road with my father- I must have been about 2 years old, maybe 3. That is the earliest memory I have.
2. I changed my mind about my major many times in college- I went through pre-veterinary, marine biology, education, graphic design, humanities, dance, cross-cultural studies, biblical studies, and finally, communication studies. I’m interested in everything, which I guess is why I ended up doing library science for grad school.
3. I want to travel, but I have also always wanted to live overseas too. There probably isn’t a single country in the world I wouldn’t want to at least visit someday. When I travel, I prefer to really experience the culture of a place and immerse myself in it.
4. I may very likely have read more books in the last year than I did the entire three years I spent at Palm Beach Atlantic. (Especially since I’ve started my master’s degree.) And I really love to read.
5. I would like to adopt a baby from China someday, maybe when our own children are teenagers. I have wanted to do this since I was about 12.
6. I love music, and have learned at least the basics of piano, tenor & baritone sax, clarinet, trumpet, flute, violin and guitar… but I have never gotten very far with any of them. I wish I was more musically talented then I am, and I really respect people who have mastered an instrument.

What an amazing day!

This morning Manny and I went to B&N/Starbuck’s for my birthday breakfast, and at 1pm I had a midwife appointment. Everything looked good with the baby, and Connie gave us the information to schedule our ultrasound. I called, and was able to get an appointment for today!! And…..

It’s a boy!!!

Manny and I are so over the moon about little Seth Alexander- it all seems so much more real now that we have seen him and can call him by his name! He wasn’t shy at all, and even yawned and stuck his tongue out for us :) He’s beautiful, and appears to have my nose, hehe. Everything looks perfect and healthy- we are so, so happy. The tech said he is measuring 25 weeks 1 day, instead of 24 weeks, so we will see if Connie wants to officially change my due date or continue going by the original calculations. If it does change I will be due February 9th. We couldn’t get a printed picture, which was a little sad- they don’t have the equipment to print them out at the place we went. We’ll be taking lots of pictures of Seth once he’s here though :)
This evening we went to my favorite Thai restaurant for dinner. Overall, it was a pretty amazing and memorable birthday!

Baby Likes Music

Today in the car I was playing the Red Hot Chili Peppers pretty loud, and the baby started kicking really hard. I think he or she was dancing in there. Naturally, of course, our kid is going to love to rock out. Last night I had a really vivid dream that the baby was a boy. Manny says he dreamed it was a girl. I don’t think we’ll have to wait much longer to find out!

Manny is done with the first phase of his training at work, and now he is actually on the radio dispatching. He loves it.
I just did some engagement portraits for a couple and they came out pretty good. It looks like I might line up a few jobs in December too- I’m pretty excited that it’s picking up a bit, and all from people finding my website online! After the little one comes I’ll just do that and grad school while being a stay at home mom. It’s hard to believe that I’ll only be at the library for a few more months- it’s a little sad but I am of course completely elated that I will have the opportunity to stay at home with the baby.

Resting today

I started feeling Braxton Hicks contractions yesterday- they are harmless tightenings of the uterus as it prepares and strengthens itself for labor. They don’t hurt, but they are uncomfortable, and I have also been cramping more than usual so my midwife told me to really take it easy today and drink lots of fluids. Luckily I have today and tomorrow off from work anyway, so I’ll stay home and get a lot done for school while I rest. I do wish I could go out and get a blueberry muffin though- I am definitely craving them… :)

23 Weeks

This morning we could finally hear the baby’s heartbeat with Manny’s stethoscope- it’s so cool. I am taking antibiotics for a throat infection, and this morning I am finally feeling well enough to function again. Later this week I am going for a glucose tolerance test, and hopefully next week we’ll get our ultrasound and find out if this kid is a boy or a girl!

Oh well

It seems there will not be a 22 week belly picture. I have been sick for most of the week, and for the last few days have barely gotten out of pajamas- and now in a few days I’ll be 23 weeks anyway so I’ll just post a picture then.
What a horribly miserable time I have been having. I can’t stop coughing, and it hurts my belly every time. There are no cold/cough medicines that are safe for the baby, so I’m just eating cough drops and drinking tea and trying to wait this out.
Sad. I’m going to sleep now…

21 weeks

I can’t believe how active our little one is! It makes my day every time he or she starts moving :) I’ve been feeling great lately- they say the second trimester is the honeymoon stage of pregnancy, and I’m finding that to be true now.

21 week belly:

Cantaloupe

Belly at 20 weeks… I’m halfway through!


Baby is the size of a cantaloupe now…


I’m so excited to be halfway already- it’s going by so fast. I am really, really looking forward to meeting this kid.

Because I am pregnant…

- Anything could and probably will make me cry- or I might just cry for no reason

- I care more about what is happening in the world, and who our next president will be

- I want to talk to my mom a lot more

- I am extremely gassy

- I have never loved hearing or seeing a name so much

- I touch my belly and smile

- I smile and nod at other pregnant women and revel in this kinship I have with these strangers

- I have a reason to create a whole new wardrobe

- I think about how I will answer all the important questions this little boy or girl will ask in the future.

- I feel like if it’s possible, I may love my husband just a little bit more now

- I care and think more about the relationships I have with other people

- I find it easier to realize what is most important to me and what I most enjoy doing, and look forward to sharing those things with my son or daughter

- I forget a lot

- I pee a lot

- I feel like it’s more important than ever to learn to live in the moment, be flexible, and not worry so often.

- I want to be a better person

I saw a similar list on another lady’s blog, and she apparently found it somewhere else, but I changed it to say what I was thinking.

part 2:
I have gotten so much more introspective recently- I care so much about so many things, and I have been thinking about what kind of life I want us to have as a family, what kind of childhood I hope this baby will someday look back on.
I have also been thinking a lot about living in the moment. Most people barely see what is going on in the present, much less take time to revel in it, because they are so concerned with the future and worried about everything except what is right in front of them. I get that way a lot, but it is pointless. Worrying is fruitless and unhealthy, and causes a person to miss so much. I realized that if I worry about money, about finishing school and buying a home and about all the little what-if’s having to do with the baby, I could completely miss the joy of just being pregnant. It’s really such a short period of time, and what a cool thing- having a person inside you. I am trying to slow things down, and take time to love all the little kicks and movements. Later it will be every smile and giggle, every conversation and hug. I have to keep learning to focus on what is going on right now, and let everything just happen, because life and all these little things are far too important to miss.
I am already so overwhelmed with love for this kid… it really amazes me.

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