Wednesday, July 30, 2014

From Food to Babies? A Special Announcement + A New Subject for the Blog

So….how are you!? I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked but trust me when I say I have a very good reason why…and this time I truly do.
For the past 16 weeks my body has been adjusting to some major changes thanks to this little bundle called a baby. The journey has been both a blessing and a curse, but I am very happy to say that things have finally calmed down and I am now in the blissful stages of pregnancy. I am once again energetic, happy and best of all, able to eat.
With time permitting, my goal is to blog about my journey through pregnancy and motherhood as the health and environmentally conscience individual that I am. Building and raising a baby requires a lot of health and diet related decisions, which I hope you can help me with! It’s been 8 years since I was last pregnant and my ideals about food, health, etc. has completely changed making this feel like a whole new experience for me and my family. I also want to document this experience in hopes that it helps other like minded moms out there relate. After all, there’s nothing more comforting than knowing you’re not alone.
So to begin, I think it’s only best to back track on the last 15 weeks of my life as a newly pregnant momma. It’s an interesting story that should NOT go untold.


Before my missed cycle, before I even took a stick test, I knew something was “wrong” with my body. I could tell my hormones were off by the random changes my body was going through. I guess learning to tune in and listen to my body finally paid off. The first thing I noticed was a sudden flare up of back acne. Random, large zits would pop up daily on my back and wouldn’t go away. At first I thought it was a reaction to the new shampoo I was using, but even after not using it for a week, the acne continued. (Keep in mind, my first pregnancy was symptom free from beginning to end.) That was sign number one.
The second thing I noticed was a swing in my emotions. Don’t get me wrong, as a woman and human being having emotional swings isn’t all that rare. It happens, but usually when I haven’t eaten right or during that time of the month; never mid-month when I’m usually my happiest self. In addition, I also noticed I became very annoyed with people being in my personal space. I couldn’t even take my daughter or husband being near my face, or in my bubble for a long period of time. It was sort of sad honestly because I felt like I was being mean and hateful. What happened to the happy, loving person I used to be?
After waiting a week after my missed period I finally took a test. My husband was convinced that my cycle was just off, but I knew that was not the case. Ever since I started my raw food journey, my cycle was on point every single month. It was so well scheduled I could plan trips around it without an issue. No way was it all of a sudden late. Of course, I was right. The test came out faintly positive. To be sure I took one more the following day and sure enough, we were having a baby!
It was a shock to us as this was totally unplanned, but we were no doubt happy and thrilled. Having lost two in 2013, and swearing we would never try again, we knew that this baby was a miracle from God.


The first few weeks of my pregnancy were quite a breeze. I had some sharp pains here and there, some cramping, along with tiny bouts of nausea, but nothing serious. I thought to myself, maybe this pregnancy will be just like my first: easy, breezy, and stress free. Haha, did I jinx that one.
All of a sudden, I was suffering from migraines that wouldn’t ease with water or sleep; severe nausea; strong food aversions; and eventually, severe vomiting. I could barely keep food or water down. My dreams of having a completely raw food pregnancy were toast. Instead, I was living off organic saltines, ice cubes, seltzer water and rice when I could manage it. My multi-vitamins weren’t staying down either, leading me to panic about the health of my baby. No vitamins, no healthy foods and little water….what kind of damage is this going to cause? As much as I wanted to take care of this little human inside of me, all I focused on was taking care of me. Eat, drink, throw up, sleep, repeat – that was my routine for 7 weeks straight.


It the midst of all the pregnancy horror, one day I noticed the early signs of an oncoming cycle or for those who are pregnant, a miscarriage. It frightened me to tears and I immediately called my doctor for an early appointment. Having miscarried before, the situation was nerve wrecking and left me anxious to eventually see my baby. Thankfully, all was well; really well actually. However, to be safe, the doctor prescribed me prometrium and scheduled me an ultrasound for that same day.
Now, many of you who know me very, very well, know medications are off the books for me unless there is a desperate need for them. If you don’t know what prometrium is, it’s basically a boost of progesterone hormones in order to help keep the uterus functioning properly. I researched, read and debated about whether or not I should pick up my prescription for almost two weeks. Finally I decided my answer would be no. Even though it could potentially help, at the end of the day, I learned it wouldn't prevent a miscarriage and the side effects made it seem like life could possibly be even more miserable and stressful, which was NOT what I needed. I determined I would leave it the hands of fate, or in my case, God. If this baby was meant to stay, then it will.
The ultrasound that day went perfect. Even though I was a complete mess, I finally got to see the reason why I was going through so much fuss. My little cocoon was doing just fine, measuring at 7 weeks, 1 day (weirdly almost 2 weeks prior to what I predicted), with a heartbeat of 136. Seeing him/her put my mind at ease, at least for the time being, and thankfully, all was well.
7 Weeks, 1 Day

Becoming High Risk

At my next appointment, aka my regularly scheduled “first” appointment, my doctor expressed her concerns about the shape of my uterus which she examined from the ultrasound scans. Instead of being the typical oval shaped that it should be, mine showed to be somewhat heart shaped or medically speaking, bicornuate. If this is your first time hearing about such an anomaly you’re reaction is probably similar to what mine was – “Cool. Okay. And?”.  Apparently, having such a unique shaped baby cave can actually put you at high risk. How?
A bicornuate uterus means that I have, what they like to call, two horns or two cavities as opposed to one: a right and a left. The baby settles into one side and happily grows. However, depending on the length of the “septum” in between the two cavities, the baby’s growth could be stunted. I could miscarry, go into preterm labor, or worse.
Now, let me reiterate just one more time how beautiful my first pregnancy went. No symptoms; easy labor; and THIS never came up. Never. And I was born with it! I never had an issue with it during my pregnancy so why should I now, right? I guess for once I’d like to curse the advancement of technology and its ability to now see a more accurate viewing of my screwed up baby cave. If it wasn’t for it, I wouldn’t be in this high risk situation. Of course, I’m sure miscarrying twice has something to do with it too and well, all complaining aside, it’s been a blessing. An expensive blessing, but a blessing. I do get to see my baby every 2 weeks!
My doctor sent me to the Maternal Fetal Associates of the Mid-Atlantic, a place that services high-risk patients, and where almost all pregnant women go for their First Trimester Screening, for a more thorough screening of my uterus to determine if the bicornuate diagnosis was accurate. Although difficult to see, the doctor stated that the diagnosis seemed accurate and asked me to come back every 2 weeks to keep an eye on everything and for my First Trimester Screening. My reaction, of course, was yippee, I get to see my baby every two weeks! What a way to keep my mind at ease! Being high-risk wasn’t so bad after all.

10 Weeks, 2 Days

The Benefits of Eating Raw Vegan

Even though I wasn’t doing so well with my diet, my body was still in amazing shape. The proof? The results of my blood work showed everything was doing fine. I was healthy, and, wait for it, NOT ANEMIC! Now anemia, especially among pregnant women, seems to be a major issue. Prior to becoming vegan and during my first pregnancy, I was anemic and prescribed those gosh awful iron pills to supplement. Ever since then I haven’t had my blood analyzed and therefore, never knew how my iron levels were...until now! Apparently I’m doing great! THANK YOU HEALTHY DIET and thank you greens!
Sorry, I had to boast a bit J
14 Weeks Baby Bump: 10% Baby, 90% fat and water retention!

First Trimester Screening

Nothing is more nerve wrecking than waiting for the results of these pregnancy tests and screenings. As a mother, all I wish is for a healthy baby, but when there’s a test that can determine otherwise, well, I worry.
The First Trimester Test is composed of two different tests: a blood test and a screening of the baby’s neural tubes. The blood test was easy, yet painful. Having lacked in fluids that day, drawing blood from my middle finger became a serious task for the nurse. All she needed was 5 drops and my finger was giving her nothing. Eventually she got what she needed, but in turn I got a seriously bruised middle finger that lasted a week. As for the screening, that I enjoyed because I was able to see my baby move in the process. At that time, s/he was measuring at 12 weeks, 3 days, exactly on point, with a heartbeat of around 160.
After about a week or so the result of my screening came in and everything looked great.  I could finally relax for a bit and finally go back to living my pregnant life semi-normally.
12 Weeks, 3 Days

The Present

Since my First Trimester Screening, I have had one other ultrasound, which again, showed that everything was doing great. The baby is growing exactly on point and so far, everything with me is also looking good. The only small concern they had was that my placenta was lying low towards my cervix, but apparently that’s normal early in the pregnancy. Whew.
To date I am 16 weeks along. The vomiting has significantly subsided and I am once again enjoying foods of all varieties. I am not 100% raw, but I do eat a lot of raw foods. I have gone from worrying about eating in general to now worrying about the safety of what I am consuming. From herbal teas, to protein powders, to even chocolate, everything seems to have a safety concern when it comes to being pregnant. In my future posts I’ll be addressing these concerns along with updates on my pregnancy.
14 Weeks, 1 Day
Well, I hope you’re as excited as I am to start this journey. As I expressed before, this is all pretty new to me, and I am going to need all the help I can get! I was never cautious about what I consumed or what activities I did with my first pregnancy. This go around, it’s all about making sure that I’m healthy and fit, because a healthy momma means a healthy baby!
So I want to know, what’s your go to snack!? I need ideas!