Friday, January 28, 2011

Pregnancy, So Far....

How I've Been Feeling:

Simply put, this pregnancy is SOOOOO different! With Jericho I hardly felt any different until close to 15 weeks. I'm apparently one for strange aversions and with Jericho, olive oil and the Autumn made me feel gaggy (I call it "freak me out"). With this pregnancy, the EXACT day I turned 6 weeks, EVERYTHING started freaking me out. If I ate it or came in contact with it from the time I became pregnant it "freaked me out". So far on my list: chicken, soy milk, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffee joint in Arizona, the entire state of Arizona, Whole Foods stores, chicken, LIVER, cloth diapering, mochas, did I say chicken?! The list is basically infinite by now. I'm feeling yucky just typing this. I haven't thrown up, though!!

Just like when I was pregnant with Jericho, I've experience a lot of cramping. It feels like my period is about to happen and I fully expect to see blood in the toilet when I pee! I've also started peeing like crazy and my nose has been running like crazy. The joy of pregnancy!

I'm shocked at how easy I forget that I'm pregnant! At first I was completely AMAZED that I actually ovulated! And beyond! What a miracle! But now I'm excited to get to the next thing. Baby movement! I felt it super early with Jericho (15 weeks) and am hoping to this time! My midwife said she expects around 12-14 weeks. She says that she has clients who claim they've felt their babies at 10 (!) weeks and she believes them because she did, too! Wouldn't that just be AWESOME!!!!

Stressing out:

It was my goal to eat a perfect, whole foods diet so that I didn't have to rely on vitamins. I recently learned that folic acid is a synthetic, chemical version of Folate that only 50% of women can even absorb. I ventured to get Folate from foods (hence trying liver) but I can't. I simply can't. The only thing I can eat peacefully is junk. Hot dogs. Hot pockets. Freezer pizza. Mmmmmm.... I'm failing horribly and it's scary to me because I believe diet is our key to health and weeks 5-8 of pregnancy are SUPER sensitive to diet.

I don't have health insurance. We will be paying out of pocket for all of our care (unless a miracle happens, which we recently found out is possible!). If I give birth at the birth center, it'll cost us $5000. If I have a homebirth, it will cost $3500. I'd be all for home except that my tub is too small and a bit gross. Also, we're renting right now and I'd get too attached to EVER leave this home, EVER!

Tidbits and pictures:

Yes, I'm still nursing Jericho. I a bit worried for myself because I was 8 lbs less than my prepregnancy weight prior to getting pregnant (THANK YOU, breastfeeding!) but now I'm continuing to lose weight. There is no risk (I repeat: NO risk) at all to my pregnancy or to Jericho if I continue to breastfeed. The risk is on my own health and wellbeing if I'm not taking in enough food. Hopefully my appetite picks up soon!

I always thought I'd 'help' him wean by getting pregnant. Now I'm upset at that thought. Simply put, the boy is not ready to wean and neither am I. I love knowing that he is getting perfect nutrition, protein, healthy fats, etc through breastmilk. It's our insurance. I've heard that pregnancy can make nursing extremely painful and that some mother's milk will dry up in the first trimester. My nipples have been a teeny bit sore and from what I can see I'm still making plenty of milk so I'm happy. I have no plans and will just see what happens. It would be great for Jericho to wean because *he's* ready, not because I got pregnant. But honestly, I've never been one to preticularly enjoy nursing and the idea of nursing two freaks me out more than a tiny bit. I will do what's best for my children, though. We are hoping to nightwean, here shortly, though. We will be using the Dr. Jay Gordon Method (I will provide links later, hopefully).

Oh! I've been pretty torn about getting ultrasounds. Like I said, I'm uninsured and the last thing we need is to drive the price even higher. I am also starting to believe that they are harmful. But when we were offered to get a U/S for free to see our little fetus I couldn't resist the chance to see that wonderful heartbeat. What can one hurt? I had almost 10 with Jericho and I fully regret that, now. Also, unless that miracle happens there is no way we'd be able to afford the anatomy scan at 18 weeks. It's looking like I'll be finding out the gender as (God willing) Jaden hands me our slippery, blue newborn. <3

I am so, totally, incredibly thankful that God saw fit to bless us with another child. Pregnancy is truly an amazing, miraculous miracle and I'm honored to be a part of it! Praise God!!

8 Weeks

Don't mind the stretch marks, heh, heh

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My "Before" Pictures

These were taken at 4 weeks pregnant on my camera phone (sorry for the poor quality).

As you can see, even unpregnant and barely pregnant I have a little lump in my lower abdomen. I think it's just my shape!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

For those who don't already know....

This was my surprise almost three weeks ago:

PRAISE GOD!!!! We've been trying for 6+ months. In the beginning of December I came across a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility at the Goodwill. I learned IN DEPTH ways of tracking ovulation and I'm happy to say it worked! I'm 6 weeks and my EDD is 9/6/2010. (Yes, I was only 3 weeks and some change when I found out! Ouch! That will make for a lonnnnnggg pregnancy! LOL.)

I've also been on a mission to straighten out my hormones. I honestly didn't think I was ovulating. I had all of the classic inovulatory symptoms. My ND and I were working toward getting things in order so I could conceive (you can read a teeny bit about that here). The first thing my Naturopath had me do was cut down on caffeine (I went from 6-8 shots a day to 1-2) and eat regularly (still struggle there, especially now). She put me on Rhodiola to support my thyroid, a liver cleanse, followed by a liver support (I have symptoms of "liver congestion". These include impaired hormone function as well as anger issues. Weird, eh?). She explained to me that your liver is a HUGE player in hormone regulation. I also started taking Maca powder (1tsp a day) and Vitex (I capsule a day. Note: Vitex can take 3-5 cycles to start working. Keep at it). I believe that when your entire body is healthy, each individual part will be healthy (ie: take care of your entire body and your hormones [or skin, hair, moods, etc] will thank you). I also cut back on sugar, started taking a quality probiotic and started supplementing my Vitamin D (I happen to be horribly deficient).

I think that's about it! I foresee myself going back to the topic of pregnancy and birth a lot on my blog. It's on the forefront of my mind, again :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How I FINALLY cleared up my acne!

I've used EVERY over the counter acne medication as well as two different Rx ones. My skin was always left dry, icky, pealing, red and I've bleached my fair share of bed sheets using preparations that contain Benzyl Peroxide (I hope I'm spelling that right). When I was very pregnant with Jericho I got lazy and started using only witch hazel to wash my face with. Nothing got worse, nothing go better and I liked knowing that I wasn't putting a bunch of chemicals on my face. After Jericho was born, I took laziness up a notch. I did absolutely nothing for my face. No washing, no cream, no worries. I did not care. Guess what? Nothing got worse, nothing got better. I went on this way on and off up until a month ago.

One night I was about to go to bed with makeup on. I thought better of it and decided was do a quick rinse of my face in raw apple cider vinegar. I just wet down some TP and took my makeup off. My skin felt dry, for some reason, so I decided to put virgin coconut oil on my face as a moisturizer and went to bed. The next morning my skin was GLOWING. I kept at it for a week when I noticed that my lovely pimples were dissapearing and my skin looked soooo vibrant. Pretty soon, out of laziness I gave up the apple cider vinegar and just started smearing the coconut oil on my face. Works like a charm. I couldn't be more thrilled!

Coconut oil is my cure all. Health wise, beauty wise and diet wise. We had to give up butter and coconut oil is my stand by. I will have to do a post dedicated to the wonders of C.O. because it's for real.

It may seem weird that oil can heal an oily face. It turns out that C.O. is antibacterial and nourishing. Acne is caused by bacteria and is exasperated by dry skin. Besides killing the bacteria on our faces, the oil nourishes, moisturizes and protects our skin. That's why my skin looks so glowy in the AM!

Two recommendations: use living, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil and only do this routine before bed. Your face will feel quite oily for sometime and you're not going to care if you're sleeping! I've made the mistake of trying before putting on my makeup and... BAD idea!

I buy C.O. in bulk from Nutiva. A tiny jar (12 oz?) at the store costs around $24 but I buy an entire gallon (128 oz) of it for $55. That's maybe 5 times the oil for only 2 times the price. Here's the link: