Wednesday 14 March 2012
So, it happened …it actually happened!
After 4 fabulous years involving plenty of Skype calls, adventures and moving from one country to another and yet ANOTHER, I heard those four words I had been anxiously awaiting for…”Will you marry me"?
As the celebrations continue I am still getting used to the fact that I now have a fiancé and that I can plan for my own wedding. BUT, believe it or not, the engagement is only a small part of the surprise!!!
Some of you that have been in close contact with me have heard the news. I’ve decided that it’s time for everyone to know, as we’ve been wanting to shout it out to the world for some time now.
If you thought our engagement was exciting and surprising, get a load of this! Are you ready? Drum roll please………………………….
What you may have heard or may now be guessing is true! No I am NOT just getting chubby, it’s a baby bump! :) Stephan and I are happy to announce that I am now almost 4 months pregnant! And I’m happy to say that baby has already ran and won a 5k and two 10K races with me! We have one healthy, bouncing baby coming!
This pregnancy is big news to us, and it probably is for you as well.
Exciting? Yes. Very!
Shocking? Yes. Somewhat!
I say shocking because with a history of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and doctors telling me I may never, or will definitely have trouble conceiving, it was a blessing for us to conceive naturally. And by “naturally” I mean not ever having taken one drug or fertility medication.
I chose to announce my pregnancy publically to give you hope, and to share my pregnancy experience with those of you who have do have PCOS, or those who are struggling with infertility. Please don’t ever give up.
Was this pregnancy planned? Well, yes and no. From the day I was diagnosed with PCOS I was determined to prove those doctors wrong. Instead of losing hope and going home to pout, it was a blessing in disguise. I finally knew what I was dealing with and decided that I would make positive lifestyle changes to not only increase fertility, but to improve my overall health and quality of life. It is from that day on that I started to actually treat my body like it was pregnant, meaning that I cleaned up my environment. I started eating whole foods and eliminating the processed and refined ones, switched to natural body care items and using natural cleaning products. I incorporated natural supplements and herbs. Exercise was always a part of my life, but I incorporated more of a balanced routine including cardiovascular, resistance training, and most importantly, stress management practice like yoga, or simply meditating for 10 minutes while listening to relaxing music and deep breathing. My optimal goal was to get my body back in balance. As a woman, the most accurate way to tell if you’re in a good state of health is if your menstrual cycle is regular, and you go through it with ease. Extreme PMS, mood swings, cravings, bloating, anger, irritability, acne, etc, are NOT normal processes, contrary to what we are taught to believe. If you experience these symptoms, you may have some room for improvement when it comes to your health. The first two things that go when a women is not healthy are libido and fertility, because these are not processes necessary to keep you alive. They are privileges.
The first health challenge I faced was the most important, regulating my menstrual cycle. Once I gained control, everything else started falling into place and I felt healthier and more energized and than ever before. All hormones in our body work together within an interconnected system. If one is off, others will be too (ex: insulin, glucagon, cortisol, adrenaline, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormones, etc).
I accomplished was through a healthy diet, exercise, stress management, cleansing and the assistance of natural supplements and herbs. I followed the exact same fertility protocol I recommend to my clients. I have had clients who have given birth to healthy babies, after years of trying to conceive.
It is never too early or too late to get healthy and start preparing your body for pregnancy. I say the earlier the better. Anyone should treat their body as if it were already pregnant, as chemicals and processed or refined foods are bad for us, whether pregnant or not. It is important to ensure that your body is healthy and properly nourished before you even consider trying to conceive. There are more chances of you conceiving, the risk for miscarriage decreases and you increase your chances of growing and birthing a healthy, bouncing baby.
With everything being said, I must give some credit to my wonderful fiancée Stephan, who has been there from the start of my journey, through all my health experimentations, mood swings and recipe failures or successes. Through all the long-distance Skype dates across the world, it was a sweet and blissful moment in my life to find such a wonderful and caring man. I knew he was a keeper from the start.
Within the next several months, I’ll be writing about my pregnancy experience, as well as the natural therapies I will be following to help keep baby and myself healthy and happy. A blood test confirmed that all my levels are good, including iron, which is one nutrient that is very important to monitor during pregnancy, especially if vegetarian or vegan.
I experienced some slight fatigue and nausea in the first trimester, but nothing too harsh. I was able to control it by having a glass of purified water with lemon in the morning, and sipping it throughout the day. Some other remedies that helped were ginger, either juiced or as tea, as well as the Morning Wellness Tea from Earth Mama. This company has a nice variety of natural pregnancy items. Continuing regular exercise certainly helped with both nausea and fatigue. If nausea is quite severe or vomiting occurs, supplementation of vitamin B6 may help. A dosage of 50-100mg is adequate for most women. But always check with your qualified health practitioner before you embark on any supplementation.
Nutrients I taken throughout the first trimester:
These are the signs and changes I experienced as my pregnancy progressed to the end of the first trimester:
These are SOME of the cravings I experienced as my pregnancy progressed to the end of the first trimester (thankfully, I did not give in to all of them). For the “not-so-healthy” items, I opted out of the processed versions and created my own homemade recipes:
Alright! So that is the news and what has been happening in my life. I look forward to sharing the updates and natural therapies I’ll be following throughout my pregnancy. I leave you with a pregnancy recipe that I have used every day! ENJOY!
This is my favorite beverage in pregnancy. It is a nutrient supplement (iron, calcium, and many vitamins and trace minerals), and is an overall “partus preparator” or birth preparation brew. The dried herbs can be mixed in a large batch to have on hand. The tea is delicious both hot and cold, and it can be enjoyed by your whole family. You can vary the quantities of the ingredients, or add and omit herbs from time to time. It is safe to drink this brew throughout pregnancy and during labor. It is beneficial for postpartum as well, as it helps with milk production.
2 parts red raspberry leaf
2 parts nettle
1 part oatstraw
½ part alfalfa
½ part rose hips (or dried goji berries, can add more)
½ part chamomile
¼ part red clover (or dandelion leaf)
¼ part spearmint leaf
Note: You can also add herbs lemon balm and lavender to promote gentle relaxation and quality sleep, reduce anxiety, lift depression, calm heart palpitations, relieve gas, ease digestion and stimulate appetite. Chamomile, lemon balm and lavender make a fantastic relaxation and digestion tea.
Mix all of the dried herbs together and store in an airtight container away from heat and light. To prepare your infusion, place a heaping ¼ cup of mixture in a quart-sized jar. Add boiling water to fill the jar, cover, and let steep for a minimum of 30 minutes, a maximum of 2 hours. Strain, sweeten (optional), and drink 1 to 4 cups daily.
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