Monday, July 28, 2014

Weeks 29 and 30: Let the pains begin!

Ha.  I thought I'd give this post an entertaining title to describe my last two weeks.  So the end of pregnancy pains have decided to partner with me.  Fortunately, the rib pain I mentioned in the last post has been almost nil.  I had it one other time but otherwise, I've been fine there.  Praise God.  I've definitely reached the point of almost constant low back pain.  I'm thinking I can blame that on the 24 extra pounds I've gained and the 22-30lbs of whichever kid I'm carrying off and on throughout the day.  I'm definitely feeling more exhausted by the end of each day.  My Braxton-Hicks contractions have kicked into full gear.  That's always entertaining.... or something... I've have more swelling in my feet this time then I ever remember having in previous pregnancies.  It's not a worrisome amount of swelling but there none-the-less.  Oh, and the best part, I failed my glucose test.  Yep.  Instead of taking the 3 hour in office test, I decided to monitor my glucose levels at home with a glucometer instead.  It should be more accurate in letting me know how my body is processing these sugars after real meals.  So far, my numbers have been pretty low, averaging in the 80s during the day but around 100 after dinners.  My midwife said if they stay on this same trajectory by my next visit, I can stop the hassle of monitoring them.

There's a little about the pains of my pregnancy.  On to the more encouraging things...  Abigail continues to move around constantly!  It's not obnoxious or painful yet so it's still fun to feel her move all over the place.  As far as I know, the pregnancy continues to be a healthy one.  I'm still physically measuring right on target for my gestation.  I usually start to dip at this point I believe,   though maybe it's further along in the pregnancy.  My midwife commented on how it would make sense for me to measure small considering I have a very long torso and the babies just tend to hang out very low.  All of my babies have been small as well (with my largest at 6lbs, 11oz).

In non-pregnancy related news, life has been more enjoyable lately.  James and I are both learning a great deal about ourselves and how those things affect our lives, marriage, parenting, work, friendships, etc.  We've been taking some measures to really step back from some outside responsibilities and focus on our souls and our family.  It's been very encouraging.  Life is still busy of course, but in a more controlled and orderly way.

We started school back at the beginning of week 30.  Since I have the joy of homeschooling, I can choose our schedule.  This year, I have a 2nd grader, a Kindergartener, a Preschooler and then the toddler and baby on the way.  I want to be able to take several weeks off school when Abigail comes so we got a jump start.  So far, it's going very well.  Zero complaints.

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra




Sunday, July 13, 2014

My First Whole 30 Experience

During the month of June, I decided to embark on my first Whole 30.  For those who are unfamiliar with the plan, you can read more here.  It was not for weight loss (after all, I was six months pregnant), but for overall health and to see how my body responded to specific dietary changes.  My husband and a few other friends were on board and followed the plan with me, which I’m certain increased my ability to successfully complete it.  This is a recap of my overall experience.

One of my main reasons for starting this was to get control of my sugar habit.  I love all things sweet and sugary.  I’m certain it’s become somewhat of an addiction.  The Whole 30 claims to help with the cravings.  I will say that I was somewhat disappointed that I continued to still have great desires for my sweets throughout the 30 days.  With that said, the authors of the plan mention that some people may truly have to have a longer time frame without the sugars before their body adjusts.  After all, correcting a lifetime of bad habits in just 30 days probably isn’t going to happen.  Two days after my Whole 30 was completed, I totally binged on a ton of sugary sweets and paid the price with stomach upset and headaches.  Not cool.  Then several days later, I apparently forgot what that earned me and did it again.  This time, it was followed with stomach issues, heartburn and an inability to fall asleep until nearly midnight (which is INSANELY uncommon for me).  I’m hoping I learned my lesson after that last episode.  This is a very tough issue for me.  Overall, I’m hoping to curb my sweet tooth with healthier options (fruits and such) and then indulge only occasionally on the other goodies.

Two or three days into my Whole 30, I noticed that a continual pain I have in my thighs completely disappeared.  No joke.  There are two spots on the outsides of both of my thighs that generally just feel tender to the touch, non-stop.  Well, I’m happy to report that pain stopped and has NOT come back.  I don’t know what it was… the sugars, grains, etc but something triggered that pain.  This was the only big “miracle” change the diet gave me but one worth noting.

About two weeks into my 30 days, I started feeling extremely fatigued physically.  It was kind of odd because most people that go through the program feel fatigue and issues at the beginning of their Whole 30, when I didn’t.  It wasn’t a sleepy fatigue but a physical one: as if I’d ran several miles and my legs were really tired.  I tried adding calories/fat/approved carbs to help.  I felt like I noticed a difference for about two days and then it started again.  All that said, now that I’m not doing the Whole 30, my fatigue hasn’t changed greatly.  I’m pretty sure that it was more so caused by the fact that I’m towards the end of my pregnancy and not a result of my diet after all.

One thing that was lovely about the Whole 30 is that I experienced zero stomach issues. There were a few days of adjustment like pains as I think my body transitioned to much more fat. Since then, I felt no uncomfortable bloating, rumbling, gas, etc. When I came off the plan and added back dairy, my stomach almost instantly showed it’s disapproval.  Now I’m trying to figure out if I’m lactose-intolerant or what exactly my issue with dairy is and what I can and can’t have.

I've discovered SO many veggies and healthy meals (mostly from http://theclothesmakethegirl.com and Well Fed 2). The family (almost everyone) has fallen in love with many of these recipes. I generally consider myself a terrible cook so I feel this is HUGE.  My husband has even told me that my cooking has improved dramatically and he’s not one to complain.  Score!

I check the ingredients on everything and realize how much crud we have gotten used to eating without even thinking about it.  We’ve just grown up in a culture that typically doesn’t pay attention to these things (I was right there too) and mindlessly eat whatever is in front of us.  This has been eye opening to me!


Overall, it was a difficult but great experience for me.  I’m a very “black and white” type person and having a specific list of do’s and don’ts versus eat a percentage of this or that was very helpful.  Now I’m learning how to incorporate some of those other foods in my diet in a healthy way.  I’m having to truly learn self-control in the area of sweets but it’s easier to pass on some of the other things.  I’m still figuring out how some of the no-no foods affect me personally.  But for now, this is my story!

Take care,
Terra

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Weeks 27 & 28: Vacation and Refreshing Moments

Ahhhhhh.... after months of craziness, I feel like I've finally had a little downtime.  For the most part, our Florida vacation was fairly restful.  We enjoyed multiple days just lounging around my in-laws home, reading, sleeping and resting at a pace we mostly controlled.  Daniel (18 mo old) really struggled while we were there.  I think being out of his usual routines and such was trying for him.  Otherwise, the kids enjoyed multiple days playing in a medium sized pool (the in-ground one needs some repairs).  We went to the beach one day and a water park on another day.  Unfortunately there was a great deal of algae at the beach and it was not nearly as beautiful as it normally is this time of the year.  Daniel absolutely LOVED the water and the sand!  He would rub his face in the sand even. It was so funny to watch him splash around and take it all in.  Sophia (3) was a bit anxious about the water at both places and the older kids enjoyed it overall.  Restful as we needed!

A few random health things happened because of the pregnancy.  First, I experienced edema for the first time.  After our 9 1/2 hour drive to Florida (overnight), my feet were SO swollen I could barely walk on them.  They hurt for hours afterwards and they were so fat!  They did the same on our trip back, though not as badly as they had been the first time.  Then the day before we left, I started getting the not-so-fun rib pain that comes with an expanding uterus.  Fortunately, it only lasted for about two days and I haven't had issues with it since.  I'm hoping that won't creep back up too quickly.

During week 28, I had my glucose testing.  It's been 2 business days and 1 weekend day so far with no call.  I'm really hoping that means I passed!  If Monday comes and goes with no call, I'm going to assume I did.  I've passed it twice and failed in twice in the past.

I can't believe the day is drawing nearer!  I feel it will come before I know it.  I'm so excited to meet this little girl and see what she looks like.  And weirdly enough, I'm even excited about the labor and delivery.  Each one is so different and unique, I can't help but wonder how this one will be.  Only time will tell.  Maybe I'm just a little odd. ;)

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra