It is no surprise that being a mom can zap you of energy. There are many reasons why I tend to run low on energy throughout the day; kids wake up early and demand your constant time and attention plus all of that running around and activeness to play and keep up! As moms, we hardly get a moment to sit and relax.
To increase my energy levels when my first son was born, I initially switched over from tea and started drinking espresso. After adding our second son to the mix, I needed something stronger. Soon after, I added coffee to my daily regime and it totally did the trick, but I often found myself reaching for an extra cup midday as a pick-me-up. As a mama who is conscious of what she is putting into her body while breastfeeding, I started to feel weary of the extra coffee I was consuming. I also felt that coffee was simply a temporary bandaid to a more deeply rooted problem. Was there anything else to help sustain my energy throughout the day that wasn't such a stimulant?
Yes, I have found a solution! Cate + Ila have teamed up with the Global Healing Center to try some of their supplements, the first of which is a vegan B-12 supplement called VeganSafe B-12. The thing I love about these particular supplements from the Global Healing Center is that the company is founded based on holistic methods and natural healing of the body. The founder, Dr. Group, has studied natural healing methods for over twenty years. Not only that, but this particular B-12 formulation that is the VeganSafe B-12 is the closest supplemental form that you can get to consuming B-12 through food.
As always, we want to point out that it is imperative that you check with your doctor before consuming any type of supplement, ESPECIALLY if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Here are a few facts, from their website, to give more information on the product....
Additionally, there are even more benefits to B-12:
And more reasons to be aware of B-12:
Kelly Mom, one of my favorite breastfeeding websites, goes into detail about the importance of B-12 while breastfeeding. While she mentions that if you are eating adequate sources of meat, B-12 is likely not an issue, but if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may be deficient in vitamin B-12 and thus should consider taking a supplement. If you're interested in reading more, click here.
All in all, I have noticed a difference in my energy levels throughout the day by taking this B-12 supplement. Instead of feeling jittery from coffee or other stimulants, I feel more even-keeled with a constant stream of energy throughout the day. As a busy mama, I highly highly recommend this product.
Lastly, the Global Healing Center has additional information and products specifically designed for families. This is the next round of products that I will be including in our family regime, especially after finding out that Lincoln is deficient in iron. Click here to find out more information, including why our fruits and vegetables today have less nutritional value than they did thirty years ago.
Keep it up mamas!
This is content sponsored by the Global Healing Center, however, it expresses my personal experience and opinion. Global Healing Center does not expense medical advice, prescribe or diagnose illness. Information and statements made are for educational purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor.
Click here to go directly to Q+A
We all know that pregnancy can take a toll on the body. Things start to happen that we didn't know were even possible, am I right? If you've been pregnant before, you've probably experienced some (or all) of the following:
Wrong. After talking with Erica Ziel, the founder of Knocked Up Fitness, a company that works with pregnant and postpartum mamas to strengthen their bodies in order to avoid the "downsides" of pregnancy, I now understand that this isn't so. We no longer have to settle for our bodies falling apart during pregnancy. HOORAY. Indeed, there is something that we (and she) can help us accomplish to avoid those pregnancy downfalls.
In our video Q+A, here, Erica Ziel, an expert on postpartum core rehabilitation and advisory board member to "Fit Pregnancy" reveals why our core strength is important during pregnancy and postpartum recovery. Through her in-depth study of kinesiology, Erica's belief is that core strength is the basis for fitness and health, especially that which we experience postpartum. She also believes that in order to partake in postpartum fitness, we must first start with repairing our core strength, and through our core strength we will be able to avoid those "downfalls" of pregnancy and the postpartum aftermath.
If you want to hear Erica's secrets, check out our Q+A sesh HERE. We touch on several topics that'll help you to strengthen your body before, during and after pregnancy. The following is a breakdown of the topics including their respective times in the interview:
Click HERE or
19 days postpartum with kai
OK, everyone...all the below info is directly from my incredible nutritionist Cheri Swanson. I've pretty much learned almost everything I know from her about nutrition and my body. In fact, she was my mom's nutritionist when I was a baby! How crazy is that! At an early age I really became proactive in my health and wanted to learn the importance of fueling my body with food and how to properly do so. Cheri has helped me beyond measure, especially with my first pregnancy. I gained only 17 pounds, never got swollen, and you couldn't tell I was pregnant from behind. It was a pretty awesome pregnancy! This pregnancy has been different in a handful of ways, as with any second pregnancy, your baby bump pops MUCH earlier (at least in my case). With the help of Cheri and doing my own part with eating a whole food diet and researching the best foods for my body with a growing baby, I am feeling wonderful at 25 WEEKS! The below RECOMMENDED DAILY FOOD INTAKE is what I have been following, not rigorously, but to the best of my ability. I do however, always buy the best of the best when it comes to grocery shopping (with budget in mind) and NEVER skimp on organic fruits and veggies. : )
All that to say, I attribute so much to this amazing woman and cannot say enough wonderful things about her. She is an incredible wealth of knowledge and very well known in our community and throughout. Here on Cateandila.com, we will be sharing more articles and info from Cheri, but for now you can check out swansonhealthcenter.com to see all the goodness on pretty much anything health related! Another one of my favorite go-tos is Weston A Price. Cheri's and Price's practices and beliefs line up directly with each other. You can check out a very similar PREGNANCY AND NURSING DIET from him here: www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/diet-for-pregnant-and-nursing-mothers
Have fun! Believe me, you won't get enough of these two!
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
We'd love to hear from you! Please leave your comments and questions below.
So this week I have a lot to share, including where I am at health-wise, baby-wise and family-wise. To say that the last two months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. I CANNOT even believe V is going to be 8 weeks and that Lincoln is turning TWO. Whhhhhaaatt. I am so very much enjoying this stage of MY life, my babies' lives and me and my hubby's lives together that it is hard to see the days passing by so quickly. Now I understand what my parents meant when they said that time starts to fly by the older you get, *especially* when you throw kids into the mix.
Anyways, enough about me being depressed about time lol. Let's get talking about my health.
Postpartum Health + Weight Loss
Fast forward to my second pregnancy, which was completely different. I only gained 30 lbs, ate healthy and worked out regularly. Add in the fact that this wasn't my first rodeo; my body knew how to handle pregnancy (not only that, but I knew what to expect), and my body also knew how to handle labor and delivery. I can't reiterate enough that the second delivery (for me) was so so so so much easier. From start to finish my L+D was about 4 to 5 hours (I forget), I was way less anxious and my body recovered at lightening speed. I was able to walk out of the hospital, which I wasn't able to with my first, and days later, I was able to walk comfortably without feeling nauseous.
Anyways, because my second delivery was so much easier than my first, I thought, hey, I can probably start working out earlier. Thus, around 4 weeks, I went for a light jog to see how it would go and to progress my postpartum weight loss journey. Bad idea. I felt super top heavy, super bottom heavy, basically like I didn't have a core to support my body, which is key during running. After my light ten minute (if that) jog, my body felt achey, especially in my pelvic region. Did I ever stop to think, hey, maybe I don't have a core because I just birthed a 9 pound baby less than month ago and my abs are separated? Nope. Stubborn ol' me, it wasn't until I talked to Erica Ziel, founder of Knocked Up Fitness in this Q+A here, that I realized that running this soon postpartum without working to repair and strengthen my core that I had lost during pregnancy was a big no-no postpartum and could set me up for long-term problems.
If you have any interest in working out quickly postpartum or maybe you feel like your body has a LONG way to go before recovery and/or working out, I highly highly suggest that you watch our Q+A. In this video recorded interview, Erica takes me through the reasons why you MUST strengthen and repair your core postpartum before jumping into a high intensity workout routine. She told me that yes, OB's clear you for working out after your 6 week appointment, but after extensive interviews with OB's, she said that this "clearance" has nothing to do with the repairing of your core, which if you know anything about working out is KEY in almost ALL workouts that we do. Think about running, think about yoga, think about pilates, think about spinning - pretty much every exercise stems from holding and having a strong core. Being postpartum, unless we work to repair that core, it may not come back the way it is supposed to - which is probably why in my case it took over a year with my first baby to start feeling okay to work out again - in spite of the "6 week" mark.
In conclusion, I am postponing my favorite workouts - running and high intensity cardio - and am really motivated to start and finish her online classes to rebuild and strengthen my core FIRST. The membership includes a checklist of easy-to-follow exercises in 6 different phases that help to rebuild our cores as postpartum mamas. Until then, I will continue to get out with kids and walk walk walk, to watch my diet and to hydrate - which brings me to....
Water: Okay, Erica talked to me about hydration too. So did Cate! Erica said that hydration is important for obvious reasons - especially while breastfeeding - but above anything else and when you are interested in weight loss, it is important to keep yourself hydrated so that you stay "regular", if you know what I mean. She said that if you aren't going at least once a day, then you aren't going enough and you need to reassess and start by drinking more water! Cate also told me that her nutritionist recommended that she drink water after every breastfeeding session - this will serve as a good reminder to drink water!
After reading a little bit on Kelly Mom, the best breastfeeding website might I add, it is noted that there is no "one level" of water intake that all moms need to follow while breastfeeding. She writes, “Given the extreme variability in water needs that are not solely based on differences in metabolism, but also in environmental conditions and activity, there is not a single level of water intake that would ensure adequate hydration and optimal health for half of all apparently healthy persons in all environmental conditions… the AI [Adequate Intake] does not represent a requirement; it is an amount that should meet the needs of almost everyone in the specific life stage group under the conditions described.” She continues to say that, thus, there is no prescribed level that a mom must follow when intaking fluids (water) and that you should not force fluid intake, but rather you should attend to the natural needs of your body. However, breastfeeding moms tended to consume 13 cups of water as opposed to 9 cups of water for non-pregnant/non-lactating women. Based on this, I try to carry around a full water bottle at all times and drink when I am thirsty, reminding myself after each nursing session. You can check more out on diet and fluid intake from Kelly Mom here.
Additionally, after Cate saw a nutritionist and was tested for ingredients that her body was sensitive to that **may** cause a colicky baby, this list included GLUTEN. As such, I have further amor to encourage me to try and cut carbs out. As my final point about refined carbs, I also want to point out that I now, more than trying to lose weight, am trying to follow a diet that will give me the most sustained energy throughout the day. Having a newborn baby can be exhausting - ya feel me? And to add to this exhaustion foods that may not make me feel great or worse - feel more tired - would be insanity! This is why I also think it is a good idea to cut out refined carbohydrates - especially in the beginning of the day. Sometimes, having a piece of toast or even heavy oatmeal can weigh me down in the morning, making me feel tired. Who wants to feel even more tired as an already sleep-deprived mama? Not me. I think getting rid of those extra carbs is okay.
Aside from carbs, Erica pointed out that it is imperative to include lots of healthy fat in your diet. She says this is suppppeerr important for multiple reasons. First, she says that eating fat can help keep you "regular" and I had just pointed out that staying regular is key to feeling good and to losing weight. Don't ask me HOW fat helps keep you regular, but because Erica said it and I find this comment interesting, I will take her word for it. She also pointed out that eating healthy fats will help keep that mommy fog at bay. Erica brought up a study done in which people consumed roughly 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day that seemed to be linked with helping alzheimer's. She also brought up a study done about fish oil intake (but only fish oil with the EPA higher than DHA) that helped to reduce depression. True or not, I have heard the same thing over the years - so I figure, why not eat more coconut oil and take a fish oil supplement? I have been adding coconut oil to my bullet proof coffee and my smoothie in the morning. I also cook with it like crazy!
Aside from carbs and fat, I do need to tighten up my diet. My baby and I need nutrient dense foods and I MUST commit myself to providing this. Not only will I feel better, but it will bring peace of mind knowing that my little one is getting the best nutrients possible. :)
Weight: So it is really hard to weigh myself every morning simply because I cannot get an accurate reading. This is also when my boobs are the most full of milk. I have often noticed that I ironically weigh less in the evenings than I do in the mornings for this reason. All in all, the scale has proven to be a disappoint (duh), but mostly because I cannot get an accurate reading. Some days it says I have 13 pounds to lose and other days it says I have 16 pounds to lose. I believe that I probably have somewhere close to 13 pounds to lose and I am more than happy that I am at this point already. This is where I was at over 8 months postpartum with my first, so that is more than an accomplishment in and of itself. I am trying hard not to beat myself up over my weight loss at this point, but I will honestly say that no matter how much weight you have to lose it is still a struggle. It is hard not being able to wear the majority of clothes that are hanging nicely in my closet. Since I have been pregnant and postpartum with two babies now for almost three years, it feels like forever since I have had my body back. With Lincoln, my first, I had just gotten back to my normal weight when I found out that I was pregnant with our second. I got to enjoy my body for about a month or two before the morning sickness starting kicking in. I then started gaining weight slowly with my second pregnancy. My point is that it is kind of hard not having your figure for three years. Yes, it is all for the love and as a result of two beautiful children, but I won't be bashful in saying that I hope and yearn to have my body back soon! That said, I won't go to extreme measures or cut calories while breastfeeding at the expense of my baby to lose weight. I believe that the weight will come off when it is supposed to and if I do hold on to that extra ten pounds while breastfeeding (hormones will win every time), then that is just the way the cookie crumbles :)
How V Is DOing
In terms of sleep, V has been sleeping about 7 to 8 hours straight through the night and has since about 5 to 6 weeks or so. I attribute this to him being a big baby, one week late, nursing on demand, and allowing him ample sleep during the day (and following the 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program). I will say that I have spoiled myself (kind of but not) in letting him go to bed at around 7:30pm, which means he wakes up once during the night to feed. Last night, I put him to bed at 9pm since that was what our schedule and his body naturally did and he slept all the way until 5am. Let me tell you, I felt like a new woman. My mom and others had encouraged me to put him down later at night as to let me get a full night's rest, but I had resisted because I found it so nice to have those quiet hours past 7:30pm of me-time in the evening (with no babies and just me and the hubs). I don't know which is better - the "me" time in the later evenings or getting to sleep through the entire night - probably the latter at this point. We will likely try putting V down at 9pm again tonight.
V's disposition is so sweet. He really is a happy boy - he will have a sweet personality like his older brother, but may not be as gregarious and outgoing. I don't think this is a bad thing at all! In fact, I say this in a good way - because two Type A little boys might be tough ;) He seems a little more laid back than Linc :) oh yes, a second child for sure. Not only is he a sweet smiley boy, but he is so darn cute. His eyes are mesmerizing - I can't wait to see how he grows into himself with his looks and more importantly, into his heart and personality.
How Linc is Doing
Aside from the wonders and joys of having a two-year old, we have indefinitely reached the "terrible" two's department over here, although I hate using the term. I believe every stage of your child's development is both fun and a learning experience all the same. Linc has simply gotten to an age in which he needs to put forth his opinion about things, namely the things he isn't happy about and more specifically, pouting about not getting his way. But can you blame the little guy? Why can't he play with daddy's autographed baseballs? He can play with all of the OTHER baseballs. Why can't he have a cookie? He could have a cookie the other night and why not for breakfast? Oh, the joys of teaching your child the ways of the world through such innocent eyes. I hate breaking his heart, and I strive to find the balance between discipline, frustration, love and enjoyment. Oh, such a process.
I love getting to see him interact with V. He is so sweet (most of the time), and doesn't seem to show much jealousy. He loves giving V kisses, he loves helping mama with V's diapers and even combing his hair at night. I often hear Linc asking if V is sleeping and if we can wake him up, or if mama can read V a book too. He really is a courteous older brother and I think they will have an amazing relationship.
All in all, V, Linc, mama and daddy are doing great! Having two children is seriously the best. Ryan and I feel beyond BLESSED (hate overusing that word but it is what it is!). Yes, there are some more planning logistics involved and sometimes it is a little harder to get out of the house. Further, I admit that giving both kids equal attention without hurting someone's feelings or leaving someone out does cross my mind frequently....
BUT even more than that is the pure pure pure joy that comes along with having two kids. I get to see my boys in a NEW light that I didn't see before. It makes my heart swell when I see the two of them interacting; I hear that this only intensifies as they grow. I have also gotten to enjoy the newborn phase so so much more because I am know a second time mama. The littles things that used to bring me so much anxiety with Lincoln, I now get to enjoy with Vance because I know that they will pass and/or that everything is going to be okay. On the flip side, having Vance has also allowed me to enjoy Linc more than I ever could have. I appreciate him in a new light and our relationship has grown from him being my baby to him being my oldest, and mommy's little helper at that. I have seen him mature (not diminish back to a baby-like state, which some people warned me about). In fact, everything that "people" warned me about having two kids has been the opposite, quite frankly. Instead, I have been able to experience a new rhythm of life that feels so right.
Anyways, I encourage all you mamas out there to hug and embrace the stage that you are at with your kiddos because God only knows how quickly the months fly by before our little ones are outgrowing us. Find the joy in the present moment and give yourself a pat on the back! I mean, look what you created? God's little miracles!
Last week on Tuesday May 2 I had another appointment FOR MY 26 WEEKS-28 WEEKS. Based off my due date at that time, I was measuring 27 weeks and 6 days pregnant.
I have been experiencing some very minor Braxton Hicks the last couple weeks. For those of you who aren't sure what these are they are "a bit like a dress rehearsal: Your uterine muscles are flexing in preparation for the big job they'll have to do in the near future. Keep in mind that while they can be hard to distinguish from real labor, they're not efficient enough to push your baby out just yet." They have not been intense but more of a tightening if I walk a far distance, stand for too long (sometimes), and am dehydrated which is more difficult to gauge.
I was advised to monitor my Braxton Hicks (again, this is normal) and also was advised/reminded to find a pediatrician who who has privileges at our hospital so he can come and check in on us after we have Baby B and possibly do the circumcision, which we are still discussing of the timing we want this done. Also, I drank the glucose drink and gave blood. This is standard testing for gestational diabetes. I didn't ask any questions about it. Other than that, I'm supposed to come back in two weeks. We're on the fast track now baby!
CURRENT WEIGHT: 147 LBS
STARTING WEIGHT/8 WEEKS 5 DAYS PREGNANT: 124.6 LBS
BABY #2 PREGNANCY WEIGHT GAIN (THUS FAR): 23 LBS
28 WEEKS STRONG
I would absolutely love to get a FULL night sleep, as in sleep all the way thru without waking up in the middle of the night 1-2 times to pee. HOWEVER, this is NOT the case. LOL. But I do use a Bamboo body pillow, which my husband is jealous of (Father's Day gift perhaps?), and it is AMAZING! It helps my hips stay level so I don't get aches and pains. The recent mornings I've also felt super groggy. It seems like my REM or deepest sleep is in the morning. I'm usually OUT LIKE A LIGHT!
Take a seat...
This past week was the first time I experienced a pretty significant shortness of breath when I was standing at a worship service on the National Day of Prayer. I actually had to take my seat and then walk out and get a drink of water. I've been so thirsty lately! I'm making a conscious effort to drink loads of water and stay hydrated as well as eat my iron rich foods.
Foot, arm. err... some body part in my ribs
I'm just now starting to feel those jabs or kicks under my ribs. It doesn't hurt but it definitely makes me adjust my position!
"UNDER PRESSURE...pushing down on me..."
Yup. The pressure is on as of this past week! I have felt quite a lot of uncomfortable pressure in the nether region. I must say, it's not the most comfortable feeling I've ever experienced! Some of those movements were borderline painful. I've got a force inside me. Oh boy! THAT IS FOR DANG SURE! This babe moves like crazy, and the word "strength" keeps coming to me. I am choosing to believe that Baby B's strength will be a force of good and not of difficulty. haha! We shall see. : )
Baby B had hiccups!
This is the first time I've felt him have the hiccups. It was adorable! It's happened about three times and is totally normal! I had Duke put his hand on my tummy so he could feel and his face lit up. : ) I have just LOVED seeing my husband connect more and more as we get closer and closer. I know it's not real to him yet, but it's slowly sinking in. : )
Despite the added pressure and physical changes, I have a lot of energy and am maintaining my cardio boxing and kickboxing classes 3-4 per week plus factoring in extra time for stretching and small workouts at home occasionally. I'm also incorporating some pilates from Knocked Up Fitness. Check it out HERE FOR HER AMAZING PRENATAL SCULPT WORKOUTS- it's life changing!
I am looking forward to staying strong for the remainder of this pregnancy and having a quick delivery. Woo hoo!
I thought of some questions to ask Duke and here are his answers:
QUESTION #1: What is your biggest fear at this point in my pregnancy?
DUKE: "Losing the both of you during the birth"
ME: Thinking to myself...That won't happen...but that's really sweet! : )
QUESTION #2: What are the first two words that come to mind when you feel the baby move inside my tummy?
DUKE: "Holy crap"
QUESTION #3: What are you most excited about?
DUKE: "For you to not be pregnant"
ME: "Thanks, babe! That's horrible! hahahahha"
QUESTION #4: What has been the most challenging thing throughout this pregnancy?
ME: Not too sure how I feel about this. (LOL) Touche...touche.
QUESTION #5: How do you feel when you talk to the baby out loud (while he's still in the womb)?
DUKE: Like I'm not talking to anything... Like I'm talking to your stomach.
ME: Dads, this is PROOF (for most) that YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE! : )
QUESTION #6: Since this is the first time you're going thru pregnancy with me and having your own son, besides meeting Kai when he was 2.5-years-old and raising him, what most excites you about being a dad?
DUKE: "To meet a mini me. I'm excited to see the little nugget."
I hope you all got a kick out of these responses. I sure did! This is REAL LIFE and it's not all rainbows and ice cream. Clearly, there is some fear, uncertainty, and humor in all of this! We are taking this in strides and I'm doing my best to support him, as he supports me. Being that this is Duke's first rodeo with walking through the journey of pregnancy and having and raising an infant, there are a lot of questions arising. Well, at least there are in his head. Like, how are we going to support another child, how am I going to function off little sleep, and what if something happens to the baby, etc. All I know is God is protecting our little one inside my womb and has good and pleasing plans for him and for us. Amen!
We just started going thru a book together called "The Expectant Father- The Ultimate Guide For Dads-To-Be". I HIGHLY recommend this in the start of your pregnancy journey. It has some good info in it! I'm sure there are all kinds of other books on the market; however, this was given to him by his best friend and has been sitting on our book shelf until NOW!
IRON RICH FOODS
RECOMMENDED INTAKE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN-30 MG DAILY
third trimester- fetal kick count instructions
We certainly know how much mothers deserve a little pampering on this special day... That is why Cate + Ila have decided to team up with our fave brands to compile a Mom's Day Giveaway. Simply sign up via email on this post or tag your friends (the more tags the more chances of winning) in our Mom's Day Giveaway Instagram posts to be entered in the contest. Check out what is included below...
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YOU DESERVE IT, GIRLY!
Cate + Ila
- Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet,
- Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare,
- Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent, and
- Avoid baby's exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.
Even after following ALL of the aforementioned guidelines, I still had major anxiety when putting my little guys down to sleep at night. What if something happened and I wasn't aware? God forbid, what if my little guy stopped breathing in the middle of the night and I had no clue? Yes, morbid but honest thoughts that I seemed to have nightly. All in all, newborn babies and sleep can fill a new parent with major anxiety, which can cause even more restless nights for an already sleep-deprived parent, as it certainly did for me... that is, until I was introduced to the Owlet Smart Sock. It helps give me much-needed peace of mind.
Owlet Smart Sock
Easy to Use
After you download the Owlet Baby Care app, it basically takes you through setting up the sock and base station from start to finish with easy-to-follow steps and images, which includes everything from wifi setup, to registering the product, to a how-to video guide, to testing the sock. You will quickly see upon setup and after minimal use, that the technology is truly amazing.
Owlet Smark Sock 2
- Improved bluetooth range, up to a 12x increase (now up to 100 feet), between the Smart Sock and Base Station
- Innovative new sock design, offering a more secure fit
- Easier, more intuitive sock placement, meaning fewer false notifications due to more accurate sensor placement
- Advancements in firmware and hardware to reduce false notifications
- Updated fabric sock can be worn on both feet, allowing parents to alternate as needed, as well as breathable toes through all sock sizes
- Owlet Smart Sock 2 is $299.99 and available to purchase at OwletCare.com
Yes, it may seem like one more baby gadget to get amongst tons of recommended baby gear, but TRUST me when I tell you that the Owlet Smart Sock is worth it! If you have any ounce of anxiety when putting your little one down to sleep at night, you will find peace of mind in using the Owlet Smart Sock nightly. In fact, 83% of Owlet parents report better sleep while using the Smart Sock. As new mamas, who doesn't want a better night's sleep during those first few months - am I right?
That's all for now! Hooty hoo :)
*Owlet is intended to provide peace of mind. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.
*This post is sponsored by Owlet Baby Care.
This past week we visited the perinatologist Dr. James Kurtzman at Maternal-Fetal Medicine. For those of you who have no idea what a perinatologist is, like I did, it is "is a physician that works in conjunction with a patient's obstetrician when pregnancy complications develop and is able to provide care for both the mom and unborn baby." At my appointment, the doctor evaluated Baby B in detail by doing another full FETAL ANATOMY (via ultrasound), analyzed my "MATERNAL STRUCTURES" to double check on baby and me, and gave recommendations for further monitoring.
INDICATION: OVARIAN CYST
Some of you may have seen my recent post about our visit, and you know everything is still going well with my pregnancy and the baby. However, because my OBGYN saw a small ovarian cyst on my right ovary as well as slight swelling of Baby B's kidneys, she sent me to have a more thorough ultrasound with Dr. Kurtzman. His expertise and very high tech top of the line ultrasound machine allowed him to better see and explain if there was anything we needed to be aware in order to ensure a healthy baby and mom.
RECOMMENDATION: If I remain asymptomatic, no necessary "alteration in standard obstetrical management is necessary. However, periodic surveillance is recommended.
After the detailed examination/ultrasound, he concluded that the cyst has not gotten bigger but he just wants to keep an eye on it. It is "simple and anechoic, (moderate in size) and no solid areas were noted". In other words, there are no abnormalities so I have nothing to worry about at this point. : ) The only thing that would bring me to think something was wrong is if I felt significant sharp pain on my right side (by my ovary) on a relatively constant basis. Then further tests would be made. Regarding Baby B's inflamed kidneys, they labeled this pyelectasis. WARNING: my OBGYN's office recommend I don't google it because "it would freak [me] out." I took their advice and have not researched it. I recommend doing the same. : ) It is "generally considered to be a normal variant, PARTICULARLY IN MALE BABIES." This is one of the major reasons why I haven't been worried because it is "common" according to both doctors.
RECOMMENDATION: Baby looks good and everything is normal (meaning baby looks healthy and is doing great). "There should be a low threshold to proceed with antenatal testing/fetal monitoring if fetal activity should become less expected."
INDICATION: MARGINAL CORD INSERTION:
Additionally, they doctor noted baby's size is MEASURING 8 DAYS AHEAD in respect to my July 26 due date. (I already have had a feeling he is going to come early, but we shall see!) Also, he saw my "placental cord insertion appeared to be marginal (at the superior edge of the placenta). After we were able to ask some questions, we understood that the place of insertion is extremely close to where it "should" be and not enough to raise enough concern where the baby would be in danger of receiving a lack of nutrients. AND based off his "fetal kick counts" there is nothing to alarm us at this point.
RECOMMENDATION: Because of a possible "increased risk of fetal growth restriction and/or perinatal M&M", it is recommended I undergo ongoing "periodic surveillance" as to minimize potential risks.
With all that said, I will continue to see both my OBGYN and Dr. Kurtzman for the remainder of my pregnancy. All is well with my soul!
- Stretch Marks: NONE. Thank the Lord! (Besides the ones on my boobs from high school!)
- Maternity Clothes: Technically yes. I have some “maternity tops” that don’t look anything like your average maternity fashion. Now that the weather is warmer, I’m wearing a lot of short skirts and dresses made from stretchy material. I love fitted knee length skirts that I wear high rise with a knotted T-shirt or cute top. If I wear something baggy, I feel like it makes me look heavy (or at least top heavy) because my boobs are GINORMOUS (for all you “Elf” fans)! When it’s on the chilly side, I basically live in leggings. WORD.
- Sleep: One word. Interesting. I still wake up once or twice to pee. So fun... I’m also periodically having vivid and strange dreams. Also fun. NOT!
- FITNESS: Feeling strong, confident, and kicking butt in my workouts! I obviously don't go as hard as usual but still can do burpess, kettle bell swings/variations, regular push ups, boxing, kickboxing, and more! I cramp more easily now if I do a lot of movement so I just take it easy for a few moments and stretch or modify my workout. Peeing when I jump or run? NOPE! (this is good news!) PS- If you aren't there, don't be hard on yourself. Do what is best for YOU and give yourself some credit/grace. You got this! : )
- Favorite moment of the week: When Kai, our 4-year-old voluntarily prayed for his “baby brudder” and when he kisses my belly. Heart melting!
- Food Cravings: Occasionally sushi, tuna sandwiches, hot dogs (yes, I’m a sucker and eat them once a year…don’t judge), and sometimes beer (even though I have a few sips every now and then). Of course all the things I shouldn’t really have!
- Baby B’s Movement: ALL THE TIME. He’s a mover! Now I’m starting to feel him under my ribs which isn’t the most comfortable feeling.
- Baby Bump: I feel like I look about 8 or 9 months pregnant based off my last pregnancy. This bump is showing like CRAZY! Second pregnancies are sooooo different! BELLY BUTTON… has definitely flattened and looks different this time around. Meh… Oh well, could be worse things, right?!
- Gender: Still a boy. Just in case you were wondering.
- Emotions: Happy and joyful most of the time! However, I have my over emotional moments at times and sometimes feel on edge. Hormones are so fun! (This also has A LOT to do with what I’ve eaten that day)
- Things I’m looking forward to: Snuggles! Seeing Duke, my husband, and Kai’s first look when they meet this little man, and playing “dress up” with my little doll baby. : )
That's a wrap, mamas!
Ila and I would love to hear about your pregnancy journeys! Feel free to comment and share below!