Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Panthers Fan in the Making! (25 Weeks)

How far along? 25 weeks 
Baby size: A Cauliflower ! About 13.5 inches and 1.5 lbs.
Total weight gain/loss: 11.6lbs I haven't checked this week so I am leaving it as that!
Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? not yet, but I hear they are coming soon.

Sleep: back to being pretty good this week

Best moment this week: This week it has been really special to notice more movements. There was one night that I was lathering on my coconut oil and I just loved admiring baby girl's kicks and turns and she loved me giving her a little massage.
Miss Anything? missing my chai tea lattes again, luckily Tatiana made me some yummy chai cookies this week!
Movement: lots of movement :-)

Food cravings: still wanting cookies, but hubby is doing a good job of holding me accountable.
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!
Have you started to show yet: bump is still growing!!
Gender : It's a GIRL!!
Symptoms:  indigestion has set in...blagh
Belly Button in or out? still in.
Wedding rings on or off? off and around my neck.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and blessed!
Looking forward to: Seeing all my friends and family in North Carolina and having a great vacation time.

Tonight we are watching the only Panthers game that we will get on our TVs up here in NOVA (until they play the Redskins). Sporting Hubby's Jersey with my bump. Baby girl doesn't know it yet, but she is a Panthers fan by default, since her daddy deemed them our family team :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You Mean Cookies Aren't Part of a Pregnancy Diet?

You hear people talk about how wonderful it is when you are pregnant because you can eat whatever you want. People will say "go ahead, have another brownie, you are eating for two". Well those people LIE! I thought pregnancy was going to be an endless supply of chocolate cake, pies and cookies and midnight runs to taco bell. While I have had my fair share of cookies the past 2 weeks (since that has been my craving), for the most part, if I am eating food that will actually build a healthy baby, there is no room for all those empty calories. A pregnant woman is only supposed to eat about 300 more calories a day in the first trimester...that is an apple with some peanut butter! And it doesn't increase too much by the end.

I am so thankful for my midwives who have really done a good job at encouraging me to eat right and exercise. Since I am taking the natural route it really is important to be reminded that a healthy pregnancy creates a healthy birth. I have learned that a "weight loss diet", which I was on prior to pregnancy, is not the same as a "healthy diet". There are still some things that they have in common, for instance white sugar and flour are always BAD! And processed meats aren't recommended in either. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could eat real eggs again (even the yolk!) and honey or truvia was better than splenda, real butter is superior to margarine or reduced fat and best of all WHOLE MILK! I love milk and 1% is just blue water in my opinion so it's wonderful to be drinking the real stuff! *Of all the things i mentioned above organic is ideal, because it has less hormones and chemicals. I try to think REAL, RAW foods ( I sometimes cheat and have an oreo ;-). It has actually been kind of fun to learn to read labels and see what is in my food and I get a little excited when I find a new organic food I like at Wegmans.

I thought it might be fun to share with you guys what I actually eat (or try to eat) each day. Both my Midwives and our Bradley class recommend the Brewer diet. This pregnancy diet is a high protein diet, since protein is essential in growing a strong and healthy baby. Protein also helps with morning sickness and helps prevent high blood pressure.

Each day I have...
  • 80-100g of protein! (its really fun to see how much protein is in things, like a daily challenge)
  • 1 quart of milk ( Raw is my favorite, but i settle for Organic whole milk)
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1-2 servings of meat (I use organic beef or chicken, tuna, shrimp etc.)
  • 1-2 servings of green leafy vegetables (I fail in this category most days. I try to sneak them in...smoothies etc.)
  • 2-3 servings of whole wheat
  • 1 piece of citrus fruit
  • 3 pats of real butter ( I even made my own once)
  •  LOTS of Water ( I shoot for at least 2 liters)

  • other fruits and veggies
  • baked potato 3 times a week ( I eat maybe twice)
  • Salt to taste 
  • Pregnancy tea (I try to drink at least a cup a day, but I need to increase that now to around 2)

So if I actually fill myself on all those good foods, I have no room for all the junk foods, which really aren't good for me or the baby!

In addition to eating healthy I also take several supplements.

  •  Rainbow Light 1 a day prenatal vitamins
  • Nordic Natural's Cod Liver Oil ( I like this brand because now that I have reflux, I only taste lemon and no fishy taste)
  • P8 Probiotics
  • Vitamin C
  • I recently bought Keifer (which I think is a milky probiotic) to put in my smoothies

 Why is it important to have a healthy prenatal diet? According to our Midwives the following are complications caused by a poor prenatal diet:
  1. Preeclampsia/Toxemia (high blood pressure)
  2. Abruption of the placenta
  3. Infarcted, small, calified placenta
  4. Poorly implanted placenta
  5. Placenta to firmly planted
  6. Maternal infection
  7. Hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme vomiting/dehydration during pregnancy)
  8. Maternal Death
  9. Hyperactivity and learning diabilities
  10. Mental retardation and behavior disorders
  11. Cerebal Palsy 
  12. Minor neurological disorders
  13. Epilepsy 
  14. Low birth weight
  15. Infant infection
  16. Congenital anatomic defects
  17. Hyperkinesis
  18. Perinatal death, still births, infant deaths
  19. Spontaneous abortion (sudden miscarriage)
The Brewer Pregnancy Diet (in more detail)
Bradley Method Nutrition

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Pregnant View on Abortion

 I woke up this morning from a dream about abortion. I was on a bus full of people and I saw an old friend. She told me she was on her way to an abortion clinic. I sat down beside her and started to beg her not to do it. Then the people on the bus started getting in my face pulling me away and yelling at me about it being "her choice". I woke up in a feeling of panic thinking, "but I need to tell her!" So this morning this has been on my heart. 

Being Pregnant has caused me to become harshly aware of abortion. I can remember as a teenager saying things like “well I don’t think I would ever do it but I think a woman should be able to choose what she does with HER body” and I even remember one time in college saying “I don’t think I would ever have an abortion, but if I am honest with myself, there is no way I would have a baby right now”. I made both of these statements during a time that I claimed to be a born again Christian. It wasn’t until a little later that I truly surrendered my life to Christ and saw my sin and my need for a savior. In addition to my new understanding of things, my views on abortion changed. I started to sense more deeply that abortion was wrong, though I didn’t really know why I felt that way. I believed that life began at conception and I believed that abortion was murder, despite the arguments of fetus and brain development yada yada. In my heart I just knew, but I couldn’t verbalize why. 

            Since I have been pregnant I have come to see abortion in a whole new way. Early in my pregnancy I had spotting (up until 9 weeks) and it was terrifying. I remember thinking its funny how as a teenager the worst thing in the world would be to have a baby and now in this moment the worst thing would be to lose one. At 6 weeks we had an ultrasound to make sure the baby was there and alive. There was something so special and amazing about seeing that little heartbeat flicker on the screen. I knew this was a life, it didn’t look like a baby, but it had a heartbeat! I knew that this wasn't just MY body anymore, I was sharing my body with another tiny life and it was Amazing. The doctors told us to be prepared that things could still go wrong and I could still have an abortion…she used the word abortion, not talking about a procedure, but referring to the life inside of me as being aborted on it’s own, what we commonly call a miscarriage. I thought it was funny that she phrased it that way, but an abortion procedure is really just a miscarriage caused purposely by the mother.  I was still so fearful of losing this child and others were willing to purposefully “lose” theirs. I would have attacks of fear where I truly believed that we were going to lose the baby. I was sure of it! The only things that comforted me were the prayers of my husband and the promises of the Lord.  
            I started to wonder how is it that people can have such differing views on this issue, how is it that in my own life at different times even I have had differing views? Then I realized that a person’s stance on abortion is dependent on two things, what they believe about God and His sovereignty and what they believe about children.

What they believe about God:

If I believe that God is holy, righteous, loving and just, the creator and supreme ruler of all and sovereign, then my view on pregnancy (planned or not) is drastically different than someone without that view of God. A Sovereign God is one who is ultimately in control and authority over all of life’s circumstances; life, death, marriage and children. If I have this view of God when I face difficult situations, I stop asking “why God?” and start asking “God what is it that you are doing?” because I know that God loves me and “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).” I know that even if I haven't planned my pregnancy that God, being sovereign, has planned my pregnancy. It isn't an accident. This means that if I am pregnant as a result of a terrible rape, God is sovereign and he will comfort me through the pain. If I am pregnant and have no money, I know that God has a plan and He will provide. If I am pregnant and have no husband, God is sovereign and He is the Father of my child. If I am pregnant and my child has down syndrome, or some other disease, God is sovereign and he knit my Child together in my womb and he loves my child very much! If God is sovereign then none of these situations are a viable reason for an abortion. Abortion is just a false since of control over my life and ultimately it is a way to tell God that what I think should happen is superior to what He is doing.

It was also this view about God that helped me to put my trust in him when it came to the life of my Child. Believing that God is Sovereign and good and meditating on that truth comforted me. Knowing that God loved my baby more than me and he would work all things together for the  good of his people, whatever the situation.

What they think about Children:

As a promiscuous teenager it would be easy to see a Child as a punishment for your sin. I think that is how many of my friends viewed it, it was like a way you were “caught” at doing what was wrong, you would be forced to tell your parents what you had been doing and everyone would know. Your baby bump would be like your scarlet letter. I think this is true for a woman of any age who ends up pregnant from a sinful relationship, infidelity, fornication etc. It can seem as if a baby is just a punishment for the “act” you have done. This is probably the most common lie Satan uses to convince women that they need an abortion. Children should never be viewed as a punishment for sin, but rather a blessing despite our sin.
We live in a culture where Children aren’t loved; they aren’t viewed as a blessing, but a burden or an inconvenience. We have apartment buildings that are “children free” we call our kids “snot nosed brats” and if you don’t want kids yet, finding out your pregnant could be the equivalent of finding out you have cancer. I think I have come to see the root of this view as selfishness. Being pregnant my body is no longer mine, I share it with this little life that needs me to put aside my wants and take care of it, feed it the right foods, rest at the right time, exercise etc. and the sacrifice of my wants won't stop once the child is born. There is self-sacrifice in having a child, and our selfishness makes us not want that, we want to continue to live life for ourselves with limited responsibility. But if we know the TRUTH about Children our view on abortion is drastically different.
King Solomon proclaims,     
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
                        the fruit of the womb a reward.
            Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
                        are the children of one's youth.
            Blessed is the man
                        who fills his quiver with them!
            He shall not be put to shame
                        when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
(Psalm 127:3-5 ESV)

And David speaks deeply about the intricate work of God’s sovereignty in creating a child as he reflects on his own relationship with the Lord.  

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.(Psalm 139:13-14 ESV)

Jesus compares childbirth to believers longing for His return,
“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” (John 16:21 ESV)

Scripture teaches that Children are a blessing, a reward, they are fearfully and wonderfully made, and Children bring forth Joy. But why is this not the view of many in America? Our culture is so blinded by the lies of MY RIGHTS, MY BODY, MY LIFE that we fail to see the blessing and beauty of children. 

I did not write this to shame anyone who has had an abortion. I expect that many who stumble upon this post with have at some point in their life experienced abortion, even evangelical Christians. I know that there is much pain involved with abortion and much guilt. But the good news of the Gospel is that forgiveness and freedom can be found at the cross. I would never wish to condemn someone for their past. I just wanted to share how I have come to understand abortion and the epidemic that is around us. Experiencing the miracle of having a life inside me; every kick and hiccup, the sound of her little heartbeat, has made me more passionate and more aware of the TRUTH of what goes on in abortion clinics. I hope this post will challenge the way people view abortion, especially “pro-choice believers” and I hope that others will share their testimonies on the issue. I find this verse very convicting,  "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."(James 4:17) I believe that because I know that the right thing to do is to speak up about the truth, for me not to do it would be a sin. I hope that others will speak up too!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Need to Breathe (24 Weeks)

How far along? 24 weeks 
Baby size: A Cantaloupe (I did it again... misspelled on my chalkboard)! As much as 11.8inches and 20.8 oz.
Total weight gain/loss: 11.6lbs (I was able to actually confirm my weight gain at our appointment this week.)
Maternity clothes? Yes! And now that it is changing to fall weather, I am realizing that I need some maternity "skinny jeans".... now that is an oxymoron.

Stretch marks? my skin is still marks.

Sleep: Due to my new symptoms this week, sleep has been more difficult.

Best moment this week: Hubby surprised me with a delivery of Sunflowers and cookies and the sweetest little note yesterday. It was so special :-) We also had an appointment this week and it's always fun at the Birth Center.
Miss Anything? I just want to eat so many cookies!!
Movement: New to this week... I think she had the hiccups so that was fun :-)

Food cravings: Cookies, Pie, Gummy Bears (this is a week that I want lots of Junk!)
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!
Have you started to show yet: bump is still growing
Gender : It's a GIRL!!
Symptoms:  New to this week... Baby girl is squishing my diaphragm so I have the need to take deep breaths more frequently, and they aren't always satisfying. I also yawn a lot more... it takes focus and good posture to get good breath. 
Belly Button in or out? still in... it may last longer than I think. But when I push the sides it just pops out
Wedding rings on or off? off and around my neck.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and blessed!
Looking forward to: Going home to NC in a week I have a wedding, and our first baby shower, and my mom's birthday. I am also looking forward to my next appointment at the Birth Center. I will be 28 weeks and officially in my last trimester, we will have the Birth Center paid off and it will be time to get to work on the nursery. The only downside is I also have the glucose screening (not looking forward to that).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baby Girl Zumbas too! (23 Weeks)

How far along? 23 weeks 
Baby size: A Papaya! More than 11 inches and over 1lb.
Total weight gain/loss: 12-13
Maternity clothes? I love maternity clothes, they should make them for all women!

Stretch marks? Still none at the moment.

Sleep: The headaches have gotten better I just have to make sure I am drinking through the night too.

Best moment this week: We took a spontaneous trip to visit our friends in Elon. It was a much needed vacation and so nice to catch up with old friends. Another great moment was finally capturing a video of baby girl kicking. BUT the BEST BEST moment was when Baby Jack was born :-) We are so excited for our dear friends and their new son!
Miss Anything? being able to walk upstairs with out getting out of breath!
Movement: I think Baby Girl does Zumba too! I can count 10 movements in less than 10 minutes. We have also been playing a poking game. She pokes me and I poke back :-P

Food cravings: Still loving honey crisp apples, dark chocolate covered almonds, tuna, eggs, mexican, pretty much anything!
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!
Have you started to show yet: sportin' my baby bump!
Gender : It's a GIRL!!
Symptoms: always running to the bathroom, naps, headaches, I think I might have had a braxton hicks... but im not sure, my tummy was just really tight. 
Belly Button in or out? still in... made it another week
Wedding rings on or off? off and around my neck.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and I have energy again :-)
Looking forward to: Cloth Diapers! I visited Abby's Lane today, a local cloth diaper store. I am in love! They are so cute! I just wanted to buy the whole store and all the accessories too! 

 Here is the video I captured of Baby Girl's Zumba!

Here are some pictures from this past week.

Meet Baby Jack! He is so precious and perfect, Congratulations Shelby and Jordan!

This is from my cloth diaper adventure today...they are too cute! Why would anyone ever use disposable?!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Full-on Baby Bump (22 Weeks)

How far along? 22 weeks 
Baby size: The length of a spaghetti squash! Averaging 11 inches (head to toe) and nearly 1lb.
Total weight gain/loss: 10lbs
Maternity clothes? Maternity Clothes are a must!

Stretch marks? Not yet, but I am growing so I expect them soon.

Sleep: Sleeping hard, but waking up with a headache. Benefits are that I can actually sleep through the night, but I think I wake up dehydrated.

Best moment this week: I went to the Farmers market this week and bought all sorts of goodies!
Miss Anything? I am pretty sure I could be pregnant forever!
Movement: She is dancing around in there and she doesn't like when my full bladder invades on her space
Food cravings: Honey Crisp apples! At least once a day. It is also getting really hard to say no to baked goods.
Anything making you queasy or sick: not feeling sick at all this week. I just try to avoid stinky stuff.
Have you started to show yet: YES! more and more people commenting on my pregnant belly. It's a great conversation starter
Gender : It's a GIRL!!
Symptoms: No new symptoms this week. 
Belly Button in or out? In...but I know it's going to pop before long
Wedding rings on or off? off and around my neck.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and so in love with my hubby! I know he is going to be a great daddy!
Looking forward to: Preparing the nursery and I cant wait to teach our little girl about life and about the Lord :-) We are already praying for her future and her spouse. 

 It's insane to look back and see how much baby girl has grown 10 weeks! I think it is safe to say that its obvious I am pregnant. I must admit that it is a little strange to not be able to see my feet when I look down, but I love it! It's so exciting to know that in 20 weeks (at most) I will get to meet our little Girl!