Photos: Jessica Valentine Photo
Today marks 17 weeks along my pregnancy journey! I am feeling incredible, fully like myself again, but at the same time am starting to look pregnant... and not just from the side, if you know what I mean. We will get into all of that good stuff here in this blog post, so might as well get started talking about my 17 week pregnancy update; here we go...
Current Disposition: Overall, I feel totally and completely like myself - woo hoo! Energy-wise, mood-wise, and personality-wise. I feel like I keep saying that from week to week since 15 weeks, but it feels like it's getting better and better. At 17 weeks, I mentally don't feel like I'm pregnant. I kind of wake up and go about my day, and tend to forget that I have a baby brewing inside of me. On the flip side, while my mentality is going strong, my body feels fully pregnant ha! I will talk more about this in the body section.
Boy or Girl?: Most of you know that we are not finding out the gender until delivery. Again, this is something that Ryan and I did with both boys and because of our history with it, we've decided to keep the tradition alive. I don't need to reiterate, but there is something so special about waiting til the day-of to meet your little bundle of joy and to find out who he or she is. So where does that leave me in terms of my own thoughts about gender? Well, I haven't the slightest clue! Lately, I've been feeling like this baby is a girl. Almost completely sure that it has to be a girl given the odds that we already have two boys. I mean, right? With two boys, how can we possible get another little boy? Currently, the room that will become baby's nursery is somewhat geared towards a little girl, so I think I presumably feel like it has to be a little girl. With that said, we have no clue what our girls name would be and alternatively, we have the strongest little boys name. I've heard variations of it, but have only heard this version of his name once on a documentary (which is actually where we got the idea for the name!). I love this name so much that I almost hope we have a little boy. Is that weird? Also, I think I feel more comfortable with the idea of having a boy, but then I quickly give it to God and say, "Just give us what you think we need to complete our family... (or even not to complete it), but to make it exactly how HE wants it." Giving up the gender - out of my control - makes me stop and remember that this baby's gender isn't about me. It is about glorifying God on this earth and teaching me more about who I need to be in order to glorify Him. Even still, if you asked me what I want (a boy or a girl), I honestly couldn't give you a straight answer. And that is from my heart of hearts!
Diet: Okay, so my diet has been crap the last week. I mainly attribute it to the fact that we had family in town for Vance's second birthday party. That meant that I was off of my normal routine and was faced with opportunities to eat more crap, such as leftover birthday cake in the morning, bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, heavier dinners, more sugary drinks, and so on. Generally, I am able to control my diet in these types of situations, but for whatever reason (maybe the fact that I am pregnant), I let myself go a little. Doing so, I can definitely feel the excess weight on my body. Yes, I am pregnant which means more weight, but this weekend caused an even bigger weight gain, in my opinion... which is totally fine, just means I need to get back on the horse and continue on with my pregnancy and health journey.
Weight: As for weight, I am still within the healthy range of weight gain, but on the upper end, which gives me reason to tighten up my diet a little bit over the next month or so. I believe at 17 weeks pregnant that I should have gained between 5 and 8 pounds, and I have gained about 7 - at 136/137 lbs. Not bad, but also not great. I do go to the doctor next Tuesday, which means a real weight checkin, but honestly their scale is always a pound or two heavier than my own, so I usually just go with my own scale!
Nursery: Currently trying to figure out how I am going to house this little babe. Right now, we have two guest rooms in our house; one downstairs and one upstairs. The baby is planning on going in the upstairs guest room, which is currently setup with a queen bed and cute furniture. While I'd love to space plan a nursery, I am also trying to get creative with how I am going to do it without moving the queen bed in and out. What I am thinking of doing is just keeping the bed in the nursery for nursing and for reading, since we have a huge playroom a few steps away that can be used for tummy time and the like. Anyhow, currently the room's colors are black, grey, cream, pink, blue and purple. I know, totally girly. Again, I think I may leave it until he or she gets here ( I totally almost called it a SHE by the way! Which I never did in my past pregnancies with my boys.. they were always he even though we didn't know the gender). Anyhow, we will indefinitely be doing a nursery reveal whether it is making over V's current nursery or redoing the new nursery altogether. Stay tuned!
Exercise: As for exercise during this pregnancy, I am crushing it! No, I am not working out everyday, but pretty dang close to it. What do I do for exercise? Generally, I do spin class a few times per week, maybe some barre, a tabata class and throw in a few 30 minute 3 mile runs. All in all, I workout either 5 to 7 days per week. I'd say that is pretty good for a pregnant lady. Also, to make my workouts more manageable and comfortable, and given my round ligament pain, I have partnered with Baobei Maternity and am using one of their ProBump Pregnancy Belly Support Bands. So far it has helped reduce round ligament pain and discomfort SO much. During my second pregnancy, I had to stop running at 20 weeks pregnant given extremely painful round ligament pain. Thus, I am hoping this belly band will help to prolong my runs into pregnancy, if possible.
Feelings About Going From Two to Three: In the first trimester, I had the worst anxiety about our decision to have a third. Looking back, I fully think it stemmed from how lethargic and nauseous I felt. Because I felt terrible and thus unable to care properly for my two sons, my thoughts shouted, "And you're having a third?? How is that going to be possible when you can barely take care of these two boys?" Yes, Satan shouting in my ear constantly. I was filled with doubt and sometimes bitterness. But, after hearing a mom speak at a MOPs talk, she reminded me that doubt is not believing that God will get it right, while bitterness is believing that God got it wrong. Ummm hello, Brooke! God got it right, and I prayed for him to show me a sign, when I should have known that Him putting it on both my husband and my heart to get pregnant was our sign... AND THEN me getting pregnant was the ultimate sign!! But to stop and think that he got it wrong... oh no, no he did not. And like I said, I really think this notion stemmed from the fact that I felt so helpless during the first trimester. My boys were watching so much TV, something that I rarely let them do during the day... they literally get like 45 minutes of screen time at night, if that. But compared to us parking in front of the television screen first thing in the morning until the afternoon and sometimes until my husband got home, it felt like a lot. I began to feel like a failure as a mom. What I needed was to give myself a big dose of grace, and to reiterate to myself daily that God certainly got it right, and that I needed to parent with the cadence of my capability at the time. And at that time, during the first trimester, I wasn't able to do much as a parent.. and you know what? That is okay! I am growing a baby and with that comes setbacks, but ultimately, this baby is going to be the biggest gift to our family and also to my two little boys. I just know it. All in all, I feel very confident going into this third pregnancy with the idea that we will add a third kiddo to the crew. I do have some reservations about Vance, my youngest, because he is SUCH a mama's boy right now. Literally, he won't go to sleep unless I read him stories and rock him to bed... no one else. If Ryan tries to do it, Vance will wail, crying out, "Where's mommy??" And only calms in my presence. He also loves physical touch - totally his love language - and loves being close to me or having me hold him. I've also noticed moments in which he becomes a bit jealous of other kids, even Rhett sometimes, if they get too lovey with me. So ya, I am a little lost at how I am going to handle him no longer being the baby and having to share myself with him and another, but I also know that I will find a way. Rhett, on the other hand, is cool as can be. The joys of him getting older and more mature! He is so excited about meeting the baby. He really could care less. In fact, he is more excited to attend his big boy school next year than anything else!
That is all for now mamas! Please leave me comments with where you are at on your own journey. I love reading them and having a community along the way. Stay tuned for next week!
Photos: Jessica Valentine Photo
Hi ladies! Whoa. I can't believe I am already 16 weeks today, but also feel like the 40 week mark is so far away. Doesn't pregnancy always go so fast, yet so slow? I just keep reminding myself that it's a long journey until the end and that the wait is actually a gift. It means more time to experience the miracle that pregnancy is, and also more time with my two boys because we all know how crazy the first year of motherhood is when adding a new baby to the crew. Nevertheless, I wanted to update y'all on where I'm at with my third pregnancy adventure at 16 weeks! Here we go...
Current Disposition: Mentally, I feel so much more like myself. In the first trimester, I definitely had some pregnancy blues. I felt a little down, a little distant, a little less like myself. I was not motivated to do any sort of work, and I felt helpless in the sense that I couldn't take care of my kids like I normally can.
I can't point at what actually caused these pregnancy blues. It could have been the grey skies that persisted in Dallas through the winter season for, what felt like, several months. It also could have been my changing hormones; hormones can make you feel a little down and not like yourself, and that might have been the culprit. It also could have been the fact that I felt horrible; nauseous, sick to my stomach and fatigued beyond being able to lift an arm to put on a show for the kids. Whatever the cause of my pregnancy blues, suffice it to say that they are gone. Woo! At 16 weeks, I feel energized, motivated, happy; almost as if I'm not pregnant.
The weather has also changed and spring has sprung here in Dallas, which is making me feel even more joyful. I wake up with energy, and feel like I can and want to workout. I also want to play with my kids and get outside with them to adventure as much as possible! Also, the mental weight of having three kids isn't weighing as heavily on me, as it did in the first trimester. I attribute this feeling in the first trimester to my inability to care for my two boys properly; so the thought of adding a third seemed insurmountable. Now that I am out of that funk, I'm starting to feel like supermom once again. Having three kids is indefinitely the path that God has laid out for me, and one that I can absolutely thrive in. This is what I was made to do!
Energy Level: Okay, so I just talked about this, but yes, my energy is definitely back. I feel *that* second trimester energy that I love and adore from my prior pregnancies. I was hoping it would hit right around the 13 week mark, but this time around, it took me until (really) 16 weeks to get there. Point is, I'm there! And I'm thankful that God has blessed me with energy!
Diet: My diet has been hit or miss. Truth be told, I am not as strict with my diet as I was during my second pregnancy, but not as lax as I was during my first pregnancy. I probably sound like a broken record. But I'll recap it again... in my first pregnancy, I gained 60 pounds with zero exercise and eating my way for two through those 9 months. Vowing to never let myself go again, my second pregnancy was entirely different. I exercised regularly and ate very clean. I still managed to gain 33 healthy pounds. Rewind back to my first pregnancy, I lost all of those 60 pounds effortlessly within a year, while with the second pregnancy, I thought I would lose the weight within weeks, if not by baby's 3 month birthday. But no. My body retaliated and I started gaining the weight I had lost after delivery at 6 months postpartum. Moral of the story is that with my third pregnancy I have learned that your body is going to do what your body is going to do. You can try and control what you eat, but if your body wants and needs to gain weight, it's going to do that. Sure. Eating healthy makes me feel way better than eating poorly does. But I also have the perspective from both pregnancies to know that eating what my body needs rather than depriving in order to avoid weight gain is what I am going to focus on this time around. But that is me. I am not a fitness pregnancy model, nor am I striving to be. I strove to be last pregnancy and it came back to bite me in my big ol' postpartum bottom. So humbling, that I'm really just giving my pregnancy diet/weight to God and trusting in my body's signals to know what I should and shouldn't eat. No, I'm not scarfing down bagels and cinnamon rolls (because my body doesn't need that; some women's bodies do!), but indulging in a bite or two of sweets then gearing it back to my glowing green smoothie? You bet. I'm enjoying my diet a little more than I otherwise would when I'm not pregnant.
Weight: So how has this diet, being a little looser than my second pregnancy diet and a little stricter than my third pregnancy diet faired for me in terms of the number on the scale? Well, I am measuring very close to where I was with my second pregnancy, believe it or not. I may be 1 pound heavier, but once again, I'm thankful the scale is working (somewhat) in my favor. But let's be honest, does the scale ever work in our favor during pregnancy? It feels like I just got back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 130 pounds when I found out that I was pregnant with our third (this also happened to me when I found out I was pregnant with our second); jokes on me. But my point is that I was so used to seeing the numbers on the scale go down; and they finally went down; all the way down, and just when I started to bask in my weight loss, I got pregnant, and albeit, the number started to go up. Mentally, this can make a girl feel defeated. Some days I am, but I know this path all too well. I will gain weight. I will gain weight. And... I will lose the weight. Not sure when, but it will happen. Once again, my mind feels like it is in the right place this time around. Yes, I still hop on the scale totally naked in the morning (don't even put on my Apple Watch!), suck my tummy in, close my eyes, then open one and hope that the number has magically gone down, dare I say. Most often it's gone up, and this is a tough reality to face, but I know that that is what my body is supposed to be doing, rest assured.
Exercise: Enough about weight, let's talk about exercise. For me, exercising during pregnancy really is all about getting my endorphins going and seeking that feel-good after-exercise feeling. Exercise gives me more energy thought the day, which means a better attitude towards my kids and also the motivation to do more with them, such as adventures, walks to the park, playing outside, etc. So for me, exercising during pregnancy isn't really an option, instead, it is something I seek to achieve every day for the reasons I just mentioned. What I've found to be key in consistent exercise, is to first and foremost, remember how exercise makes you feel, and the secondly, to find exercise that you love and want to come back to. For so long, I have loved running, but since we moved to Dallas, I've yet to find a running trail that I like. Not only that, but running has felt pretty hard on my body. Everything is jiggling, I have a groin tear that is exacerbated during pregnancy, my ligaments tend to hurt more, and I feel super stiff the following day. I still appreciate my runs, but I've realized that there are many other forms of exercise and fun classes to experiment with that can be fun, and potentially not as hard on my body. One of these lower impact workouts I've come to love during (and also before) pregnancy is spin class. The YMCA in Dallas has a great spin instructor, and it is the perfect duration (45 minutes) and perfect cadence to allow for that feel-good feeling, while being lighter on my body. In addition to spin, I love barre and step class. Any sort of class, is great for me during pregnancy.
Doctor's Appointments: A few weeks back, I had my blood drawn for genetics testing. We received the callback and were classified as very low risk. Very thankful for the news. The nurse also almost gave me the gender results, but I stopped her as soon as she said, "And we have the gender results..." So, they have the gender results too, but once again, we aren't finding out. Wow, does it make it hard to not find out knowing that those results are already ink pressed on a piece of paper somewhere. Nevertheless, we are so excited for our surprise! As for upcoming doctor's appointments, I have the 17 week appointment next week, followed by the 21 week anatomy scan coming up. Prayers for that!
That's all for now, ladies! Can't wait to share more along the way.
It's been awhile since I wrote a pregnancy update, but I figured I'd start somewhere. Along my pregnancy journeys (each one), I really enjoyed reading where other mamas were at in terms of symptoms, body changes, thoughts, feelings and emotions. Plus, I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed going back and reading my entries from when I was pregnant with Vance. Boy, have all of my pregnancies been different - not by a landslide, but certainly different. I wish I would have journaled during my first pregnancy! Anyways, here is a basic recap at fifteen weeks pregnant!
Current disposition: I'm starting to feel more and more like myself. I definitely have a lot of emotions going into this third pregnancy, and maybe more than I'd care to admit. It's in my personality to clam up when I too many emotions begin to overload my mind, and I feel like that is what has happened since the beginning of my pregnancy journey. This pregnancy decision (having a third child) and this pregnancy itself feels slightly different because I am doing something that is definitely outside of my comfort zone! It is different than what I had growing up, coming from a two-sibling family. To a small degree, I feel like I'm out on a limb. Sometimes it feels amazing, and other times it feels scary.
Having two kids was always in the cards, so long as my body permitted it. And it did. Having three kids was something I thought that I wanted since I met and married my husband - and everything in my tells me that it's the right decision, - yet there are still things that scare me about it. Three kids means getting three kids dressed, three kids fed, three kids into the car, three kids buckled in their carseats, three kids out of the car, three kids nighttime routines, three kids into college... you get the point. It's already hard with two, and that didnt stop us from having a third, but I guess I am trying to say that there is definitely some anxiety around the reality that we will have a third come September. Once again I want to reiterate that I have ZERO regret that we went for a third. In fact, I have never been more sure of anything. I am just scared because now that I know what it takes to raise TWO kids; there are moments when THREE kids seems like it'll be a lot.. I guess I'm really needing to lean on God in these moments and remember that He put it on our hearts to have three, and really remind myself that THIS exact situation is what I was made to do. A three kid mom is who I am!
Energy level: Oh gosh. Well, to be honest, I don't know what it's like to have full energy anymore. It feels like it's been so long since I've gotten through a day feeling "good" that I don't even remember what it feels like ha! My first trimester was FULL of fatigue, and fatigue that I gave into. With my second pregnancy, I definitely felt tired in the first trimester, but I didn't give in to the tiredness. I maintained my exercise, kept doing my outings, and didn't really rest - probably as much as I should have. When the second trimester rolled around (right at 13 weeks), I instantly felt energized and carried on per usual. This pregnancy feels different. The fatigue was almost unbearable - like I couldn't get myself off of the couch some days. I was able to somewhat consistently workout, and that gave me some energy, but not like it did in my second pregnancy. Having two kids at home, I had to have grace with myself for allowing myself to take days off as a mama, and to allow my kids to watch a bit more TV than I would have liked them to.
Now that I am in the second trimester, I expected my energy to return to usual, and maybe even anticipated heightened energy, as I had felt with my second pregnancy (can't remember what I felt during my first pregnancy - it was a blur!). But, that hasn't happened yet. I do feel much more energized than I did from weeks 8 to 12 weeks, but at 14 weeks, I don't have the kind of energy that I had hoped for. That said, I am still anticipating the return of energy, just recognizing that it might come a little later than I originally thought. My mother-in-law reminds me that pregnancy is much harder and more exhausting when you are running around after two young kids! She should know too, she is a mother to FIVE.
Diet: My diet has been alright, but is certainly different than when I am not pregnant. If you've been following my weight loss journey after having my second, you know that I finally lost all of my baby weight, getting me to 130 pounds! Let me tell you that this weight loss didn't come easily. There were months of frustration when I realized that breastfeeding (or hormones) was causing me to gain weight during the postpartum period. Once I stopped, I finally started to drop the weight with my Postpartum Slimdown Program. However, it didn't happen necessarily over night. I mean, the initial weight loss did, but the long-term weight loss took some time. With that, I was definitely watching my caloric intake. Quite honestly, cutting calories was really the only thing that enabled me to ultimately lose the weight. My point is, I got used to being able to consume a smaller number of calories during the day. Once I became pregnant, you obviously realize that you can't continue along this path of minimal calorie consumption, and that you need to focus on feeding yourself and your baby. Not only that, but even if I wanted to eat fewer calories, it's almost as if my cravings and my body itself wouldn't allow me to. I am not one to deny my body of what it feels like it needs. When I am not pregnant, I have very few cravings and can easily get through a day eating a very light diet - and I feel great! When I am pregnant, I have cravings (for random food), and certainly for more food. I found myself needing to consume an extra meal at night - usually a spoonful of peanut butter and milk. Another thing, when I am not pregnant, I never drink milk. I generally try to avoid dairy (except for cheese - I love cheese). But since becoming pregnant, I can't get enough dairy. So that sums up the fact that I have been eating more during pregnancy, which might come to a shock to my body, which was used to the fewer calories I had been consuming.
Cravings/Aversions: Adding onto the diet portion, I definitely am craving random food this time around. Like I said earlier, I am wanting more dairy. Cheese, yogurt, cream cheese!, milk. I have this big craving for dairy, especially in the first trimester. I also crave food right before bed. So weird.
Alternatively, in the first trimester I had food aversions to basically everything. Nothing tasted amazing. Well, the only thing that did was cheese and crackers. My dinners usually meant picking at everything in the fridge to find out that nothing was appetizing. Or having Ryan run out and get me something I thought that I was craving - such as PF Changs, only to take a few bites after he returned and then turn up my nose because I felt as if I was going to barf. The only thing I could really stomach (other than cheese and crackers) was sushi (cooked sushi and/or avocado rolls), cream cheese on sourdough toast - or anything on toast -, and popsicles. Other than that, everything else made me want to gag.
Maternity Clothes: my clothes don't fit anymore at 14 weeks. I could wear my pants with a rubber band around the waist button up until about 12 weeks. Once 13/14 weeks hit, my pants certainly feel out of reach. Could I put them on with a rubber band cinching the waist? Sure. But would they feel comfortable? No. So, it's back to my dear old friends: leggings and Lululemon pants. I'm not going to complain because I certainly chose to get pregnant, but it's definitely a sad day that I just bought about four pairs of super cute size 28 jeans, and now I won't be able to wear them at least for another year. Oh well! The joys of pregnancy!
Skin: My skin has finally stopped breaking out. The first trimester was horrible in terms of acne! I haven't had that kind of acne ever in my life, and it certainly hasn't been as bad during either of my two pregnancies. Safe to say, the acne is clearing up and I'm starting to get that pregnancy glow! Woo woo. I've also noticed that my hair is shinier and growing like crazy - my hair dresser even noted that I have a lot more new growth coming in.
Workouts: I'm actually surprised at how often I've been going to the YMCA to workout - even through the death of what was the first trimester. Working out was one thing that made me feel better during the first trimester. I maybe felt like I was going to barf mid-spin and probably went at half the rate I usually do. Nonetheless, working out boosted my energy and somehow helped (a tad) with my nausea. My favorite workouts this pregnancy have been spin, barre and walking on the treadmill. During my first pregnancy, my working out was non-existent. During my second pregnancy, I ran at least three days a week, 3 miles per day up until about 20 weeks, then switched to step class and spin. This pregnancy, I definitely don't feel as comfortable running. Maybe it's the extra weight, but for whatever reason, I don't feel as comfortable as I did during the second pregnancy to run. I had this same sensation during my first pregnancy. On the other hand, spinning has been an amazing workout. It is more doable because you are essentially sitting. My heart rate also doesn't get as elevated, which was probably a good thing during the first trimester. Barre has also been great for toning and what not.
Body: Well, well, well.. my body has felt like it has changed. I have that bloated feeling, you know when you feel like a whale and it makes you want to sit on the couch all day? Yeah, you'd think that feeling like a whale would make me want to workout more, but no, it makes me feel lazier. My body changes - specifically bigger thighs, way bigger boobs, and even bigger arms has happened a lot sooner than in my other pregnancies. Unfortunately, I am one of those women that does pack on some extra cushion during pregnancy. It is my bodies way of doing pregnancy, and there really isn't anything that I can do about it. I know this because during my second pregnancy, I worked out constantly and ate very clean, and I still had the thigh growth and bodily changes of gaining that extra cushion. That said, the increase in fat stores happened later on in my pregnancy. This pregnancy, I've felt that fat gain sooner. I'm not sure if it's because my hormones are slightly different this time around or because I had more lag time between my pregnancies or because I just came off losing all of the baby weight. Whatever the reason, my body certainly feels "squishier" as my toddler has told me. HE even notices! No joke. Made me self-conscious for sure, but he also reminded me that it's a good thing because I have a baby. Such a sweetie.
Photography by Jessica Valentine Photo
Life as a mom of two and pregnant with our third has my feeling all sorts of crazy lately, especially through the first trimester! Now that the second trimester is underway, I feel like I can finally wrap my head (and emotions) around the idea that we will welcome another little one into our family in a few short months. With that, I feel a bigger sense of responsibility and have become even more cognizant of the mom I want to be, especially when it comes to purchasing "stuff" for my growing family. And a big part of that stems from the desire to purchase more thoughtfully, and to help create a planet that is beneficial for my babies.
While I can't do everything, I can do something, which is why I have partnered with EarthHero, a company that puts thought into our tomorrow's and into the future of a children's planet.
I love EarthHero because the brands they carry must meet certain criteria, and all must be sustainable in one way or another. This includes brands with:
As such, I wanted to compile my Top 7 Favorite EarthHero /Sustainable Products for the entire family.
Use code SOUTHERNISH for 10% off.
1. Earthwell Maple Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle - $39.95
I carry a stainless steel water bottle around with my 24/7, especially while pregnant. During pregnancy, water consumption is even more important, and it is recommended you consume 12 glasses of water per day. That means 50% more water than when you are not pregnant. Whether I carry strictly water or lemon infused water, this stainless steel water bottle is a must. Not only that, but my kids also love it and love having the water on-hand whenever we are out and about.
2. Born to Explore Organic Cotton Onesie - $19.50
When it comes to babies and their onesies, many modern-day moms wonder if buying organic cotton matters. In my opinion, the answer is yes. Organic does matter. Baby's skin is much more delicate and porous than adult skin, which means that babies are more susceptible to the effects of harmful chemicals. Organic cotton is free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which is good for your baby, and is also better for the environment. Lastly, did you know organic cotton lasts five times longer than regular cotton? Investment recouped! This Born to Explore Organic Cotton Onesie is totally worth it for all of the above reasons.
3. BiOBUDDI Learning Letters Planet Based Baby Blocks - $24.99
These BiOBUDDI Plant Based Baby Blocks are a great toy for the entire family. Made in the Netherlands, these blocks are made from 97% Sugarcane plants, which includes their stickers too! Say goodbye to plastic and hello to these new, improved and eco-friendly blocks. There are several different versions, including letters, animals and shapes! My boys love them, and I personally love that there is a learning aspect involved with the use of letters. Go, mama, go.
4. EZPZ Silicone Happy Mat - $24.99
I am a huge proponent of encouraging baby to feed him or herself at an early age to help establish fine motor skills. But, there is one problem: the mess. However, with EZPZ's Silicone Happy Mat, which is 100% food-grade silicone - naturally unbreakable and toxin free - it makes mealtimes easy and mess-free with their sustainable suction mat. Almost impossible for tiny hands to tip over! Both boys love this product, as shown in the photos.
5. Kids Bamboo Utensils Forks and Spoons Set (6pk) - $12.99
Feeding kids, much less babies, with plastic utensils is something that drives me a bit crazy. Do I own plastic kids' plates, cups and utensils: yes. Does it make me cringe on the daily: yes. This time around, I vow to change that. Plastic tends to erode overtime and may leech chemicals into your food that can be endocrine disruptors, yuck! That is why using alternative materials matters. This is why I love these Kids Bamboo Utensils Forks and Spoons Set. Completely BPA and phthalate free. Not to mention, heart and stain resistant, and dishwasher safe.
6. United by Blue Whittier Kids Backpack - $27
I love backpacks. Not sure if it's because they remind me of back-to-school, something I lived for as a kid and teen, and even as an adult, but it's true, I love me a good backpack. And, with a newborn in our horizon, on-the-go storage is a necessity. What makes this Whittier Kids Backpack even better than most is the fact that it is made from 100% recycled polyester. Not to mention, United by Blue is a certified B corp, which means their mission is to basically make the world a better place (a certification that is very hard to come by).
7. Solo Eyewear Peru Bamboo Polarized Sunglasses - $88.99
These Peru Bamboo Polarized Sunglasses are for mama. Like backpacks, sunglasses are something I cannot get enough of. Maybe it's the Dallas sun or maybe it's my light green eyes - whatever the case, polarized sunglasses during the spring and summer are a must! What's cool about Solo Eyewear is that they donate 10% of their profits to eye care initiatives for those who need it. SOLO’s outreach has already touched the eyes of 13,000 individuals across 32 countries! Not just that, but the temples of their glasses are made from 100% repurposed bamboo, while the frames are handcrafted black cellulose acetate with metal trim. Plus, they are polarized.
Happy shopping, mamas!
19 days postpartum with Kai
Nutrition for your baby begins long before conception. Among “primitive” populations, a common practice among isolated groups involves the feeding of special foods to both men and women for a period of time before conception occurs. Dr. Weston Price, whose research was informed by studying these groups, revealed that these foods—including organ meats, fish eggs, shell fish, and animal fats—were rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D as well as macro and trace minerals. Grass-fed meat, wild fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables (especially leafy greens rich in folic acid), pastured butter or coconut oil, yogurt, and kefir. All will contribute to optimum levels of vitamin A and D, as well as other nutrients and trace minerals essential for the beginning of life.
These foods will start by healing your body and enriching your developing eggs. They’ll nourish developing sperm as well. They’ll increase your fertile fluid, health to your reproductive organs, circulation and overall fertility. All of this works together to create an optimally healthy infant. According to David Williams, principal investigator for the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, “DNA expression can be altered at any age, but the fetus is especially susceptible because these pathways are very active as tissues grow and differentiate.” In other words, a mother’s eating habits, exercise regime, stress levels and environment actually have the power to shape the genes passed down are thought to impact the susceptibility of her child to leukemia, lymphoma, and neurological cancers, and possibly adult-onset cancers.1
Six Months Prior to Conception (Mom and Dad)
- Farmers market eggs (daily or every other day)
- Grass-fed beef (2 to 3x a week)
- Free-range chicken (2x a week)
- Salmon or sardines (2x a week)
- Lentils or other legumes (1-2x a week)
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables (especially broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and leafy green vegetables)
- Cow or goat yogurt or kefir (daily)
- Raw or grass-fed butter (daily)
- Properly prepared oats, rice and other gluten free grains (no wheat)
- Optimize vitamin D levels between 50ng/ml and 70ng/ml
- Alcohol and smoking
- Coffee and caffeine
- Tap water (chlorine consumption can lead to miscarriage, neural-tube effects and reduced fetal growth)
- Refined sugar and artificial sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup)
- White flour
- Fast food
- Bottled or tap water: use filtered water, no plastic bottles! Mice that were exposed to BPA gave birth to mutated offspring that were at a greater risk for diabetes, obesity, and cancer as adults. But when pregnant mice were fed vitamin B12 and folic acid, the epigenetic effect of the BPA was counteracted. ***(I use my Simply Straws mason and glass straw or my Life Factory for water OR one of my stainless steel containers from Klean Kanteen, Yeti, or Swell
- NSAID’s like Tylenol, Motrin and Aspirin: Women who took acetaminophen, while pregnant had a 37 percent higher risk of having a child who would be later given a hospital diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder, a particularly severe form of ADHD, said the study in February 24 2014 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics. Women also had a 29 percent higher chance of having children who were later prescribed medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a 13 percent higher chance of exhibiting ADHD-like behaviors by age seven.
First Trimester- Large amounts of hormones are circulating during this time, with estrogen being the most prevalent. Estrogen is responsible for inhibiting ovulation and enriching the endometrium. Along with a healthy diet, a proper supplementation program will ensure that you baby receives all its requirements.
What is Wrong with Most Prenatal Vitamins?
If you look at the basic prenatal vitamin that is recommended, you will find many concerning flaws.The FDA tested 324 multivitamin-multimineral products that targeted pregnant women or small children for the presence of lead, and found that only 4 of them, or 1% tested lead-free. Lead is of particular concern during pregnancy because it causes fetal brain damage, and limited IQ, and can lead to behavioral and learning disabilities in young children.2
ALSO, Women with a slow DHFR enzyme cannot efficiently break down folic acid, which can actually block folate receptors. Therefore folate should be “methylfolate” not folic acid.
If you look at One A Day Women’s Prenatal, a very common recommendation, you will find the following food dyes: Red 40 Dye, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake and DL-Alpha-tocopheryl Acetate – the synthetic form of vitamin E that is continually problematic in studies. What is wrong with food dyes? These food dyes have been found to inhibit mitochondrial respiration; the powerhouse of your cell that houses maternal DNA. Red 3 causes cancer in animals, with evidence that other dyes also are carcinogenic. Three dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. At least four dyes (Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) cause hypersensitivity reactions, and numerous studies found Yellow 5 positive for genotoxicity.
An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration recently acknowledged that synthetic food dyes can exacerbate the conditions associated with ADHD and other behavioral problems. While the consumption of synthetic food dyes has increased five-fold since 1955, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD increased from 150,000 in 1970, to 5.4 million by 2007.
A 2007 study in Lancet found such a strong correlation with synthetic food dyes and hyperactive behaviors in children, that they contacted the British government concluding that the harm done by artificial food dyes to children’s IQ was similar to the impact of lead on their developing brains, and that banning these additives would result in a 30 percent reduction in the prevalence of ADHD in children.
Supplements to start now, and continue through delivery and while breastfeeding:*Contact us for the vitamin and mineral recommendations specific for you.
1. Virgin Cod Liver Oil or Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil
Vitamin A and D are two of the most important nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Maja H. Zile, of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, found that the major target tissues of vitamin A deficiency include the heart, central nervous system, the circulatory, urogenital and respiratory systems, and the development of the skull, skeleton and limbs. Vitamin A deficiencies during the period when any of these systems begin specialization can result in abnormalities and defects.
Recently it has been discovered that the omega-3 fats are necessary for the complete development of the human brain during pregnancy and the first two years of life. The omega-3 fat and its derivative, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), is so essential to a child’s development that if a mother and infant are deficient in it, the child’s nervous system and immune system may never fully develop, and it can cause a lifetime of unexplained emotional, learning, and immune system health-issues. In addition, the DHA in animal-based omega-3 fats will prevent the vast majority of premature deliveries.3 There was a California Proposition 65 lawsuit against CVS pharmacy, GNC, Solgar and seven other national brands for selling fish oil laced with PCB’s, which are one of the most dangerous environmental pollutants. PCB’s are strongly tied to cancer and multiple birth defects. 4,5
2. Vitamin D3 Liquid by Seeking Health
The largest randomized controlled trial to date from the Medical University of South Carolina took 256 pregnant women and separated the group into two groups, 2,000 and 4,000 IU daily starting 3-4 months of pregnancy. A control group of 400IU was not allowed because the ethics committee felt that this would endanger the women and their newborns. This is the amount women take with just a prenatal vitamin! The results showed that the 4,000 IU group had 2.4 times higher of having an infant in the 50th percentile of birth weight compared to the 2000 IU group. Lower vitamin D levels were predictive of preterm delivery, infections and other complications.
Contains the good bacteria bifidus, which is passed on from the mother to the child and is important for a strong start (immunity) in life.
- Never skip meals (small meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar steady)
- Add one extra small meal or 300 calories to your current diet
- 70-80 grams of protein per day
- Vitamin A from animal food should not warrant toxicity concerns, it is extremely important for proper development (studies that show teratogenic effects have been based on synthetic A. Natural vitamin A is found in eggs, butter, yogurt, kefir, beef, lamb, liver)
- Vitamin D from the sun (15-30 minutes of full sun 2x a week or vitamin D supplementation)
- 30-60 mg of iron per day (found in meat, fish, poultry)
- 1200 mg of calcium per day (cow and goat diary)
- 400-800 mcg of folate per day (Found in mushrooms, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, peanuts, legumes, strawberries, and liver)
- 2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil daily in smoothie or cooking
- Raw organic fruits and vegetables, and fermented ones like sauerkraut for enzymes
- Filtered water throughout the day. Add lemon, orange, and cucumber slices for electrolytes
- Processed meat- Avoid processed meats that contain nitrites. Avoid hot dogs and luncheon meats, including deli ham, turkey, bologna, and salami — unless they have been reheated until steaming hot. These foods are prone to Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that causes listeriosis, which may result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or other serious health problems.
- Avoid swordfish, shark, tilefish, king mackerel, limit canned albacore tuna fish. All of these are high in mercury.
- Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood (like raw oysters, clams, sushi), and eggs (including eggs in cookie dough and cake batter).
- Certain allergy foods: If food allergies run in your family, it is a good idea to minimize exposure to these foods, like gluten/wheat, peanuts, shellfish or corn.
- Avoid brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, blue-veined, “queso blanco,” “queso fresco,” and Panela. These foods are also prone to Listeria monocytogenes.
Solution: The problem can be from taking the wrong kind of iron, inadequate folic acid, magnesium and inadequate probiotics.
- Continue the same diet, and add a probiotic and split the 1 B-complex 4x a day if not already doing so. For example, take 1 B-complex at 8:00am, 12:00, 3:00 and 8:00pm to prevent morning sickness.
- Peppermint, ginger, fennel and anise, made into a tea or swallowed as a supplement, can help alleviate nausea and heartburn.
The fetal liver assumes some of the placenta’s duty as a filter and the fetus also begins to synthesize fats from carbohydrates and stores carbohydrates and iron. The last part of this trimester and the beginning of the third is when fetal bones start to thicken.
Common complaint: I’m getting leg cramps!
Solution: Continue the same diet, emphasizing calcium rich foods. Leg cramps are a sign of inadequate calcium intake. Switch to a chewable calcium and up magnesium.
Third TrimesterThe fetal brain growth is rapid and the baby is developing subcutaneous fat. This is when high quality eggs are very important along with vitamin E. Daily consumption of eggs ensures adequate lecithin, A, D, cholesterol, saturated fat, EPA and DHA, all crucial for brain development.
Common complaint: I’m getting acid reflux!
Solution: The stomach gets pushed up which can cause discomfort. Taking chewable calcium magnesium (1 per meal) can give much needed relief and ginger or peppermint tea as needed.
Labor and DeliveryDuring labor, digestion stops. It is important before labor begins to be consuming small frequent meals so that you do not have a full stomach.
1. Is Your DNA Your Destiny? Healthy Living Wellness. November Issue, Pg 184.
2. FDA Finds Lead in Vitamins. http://tinyurl.com/67nkpt3. Finnegan, John, The Facts About Fats, Celestial Arts, 1993
4. Environ Sci Technol, 2009 (Oct 15); 43 (20): 7946-51. http://tinyrul.com/y78q6n8
5. Ann Ig, 2008 (May); 20 (2 Supple 1): 59-64. http://tinyurl.com/y78q6n8
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