What to Expect When You are Not Expecting

My adventure of getting pregnant over 35 starting with clomid

What if? September 1, 2010

I feel like the guinea pig of natural products and home remedies for pregnancy related issues.  I will try anything.   I must tell you that a lot of them are just not working for me.  When I found out I was pregnant at thirty seven I knew that I was already at increased risk for genetic issues just because of my age and wanted to try to keep things as basic and as natural as possible.   We are so fortunate that thus far all of our genetic screening has come back positive- so far so good.  Unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone.  I  have a family member who is autistic that has really given me a different perspective.  Her family has some very strong beliefs on diet and vaccines and shared a lot of information with me that I had previously been unaware of.  I know that there are a lot of controversial theories out there and even though I am not sure where I stand on all of them it is definitely on my radar screen because I am in a high risk category.   There does seem to be a common opinion that there are an increased number of children diagnosed with it.  Even though I am not certain, I don’t take any of the information lightly when thinking about my pregnancy and how I want to raise my own children.

What I have found out is that there is no right answer.  There aren’t a lot of facts because women do not want to sign up for scientific studies when they are pregnant- no one wants to put their pregnancy at risk- so a lot of research is done on animals and what is “considered” to be safe and what should be avoided is not absolute.  Personally I am a  “what iffer”.  Tylenol is considered safe- but what if it isn’t?  High fructose corn syrup and unnatural sweeteners like aspartame are said to be safe by most- but what if it isn’t?  Benedryl was once considered not safe but now is…but what if it really isn’t? Many holistic practitioners would recommend otherwise.  The information is so confusing!  I mean my god it was once acceptable to drink and smoke when you were pregnant!  I think every expectant woman and mother needs to do what she is comfortable with and that is the right thing to do.   For me I am trying to find a balance.  Do I eat everything organic?  No.  (wish)-  do I have high fructose corn syrup from time to time?  Yes but I try to avoid it.   Will I take a sip of a diet coke every once in greatwhile-  sure but no more.  In the case of medication I am not there yet- I am scared to ingest anything other than my PNVs-  Tylenol, prescription pills, herbs you name it.   I may be making this pregnancy harder than it needs to be in dealing with these maladies…but I just keep thinking what if?  I can deal with a lot to keep this baby healthy.  I realize that I am the extreme and am totally ok with it.  I figure though that I should use some of my crazy for good and put the word out on some of the products and remedies that I have tried during the second trimester so far:

  1. Burt’s Bees- Sun block and After Sun-  – not so much-  they seemed to work as a sunscreen but would not absorb into the skin.   Acne solution did not work for me at all.  Hand Cream-  smell you later-  not really a fan of any of these products- wish I was because they are everywhere!
  2. Yoga – Helps with back pain, and relaxation.  Would recommend Yoga for Pregnancy DVD but hey I started out already enjoying yoga.
  3. Jane Iredale –  Cleansing Mitt-  Sucksville.  Their claim- it is supposed to clean your skin without soap and thus no chemicals.  The fact- I tried this for a few days and immediately broke out.  Say hello to the new heater on my chin!  It is also hard to get the make up off the mitt.  The solution- it does remove make up effectively so I think I am going to use it for that only but not regularly.
  4. Simply Divine Botanicals- Amazing.  Their claim- chemical free skincare- The fact- ingredients are natural and they work.   I have oily skin and use the following:  You Can’t Zit Here – AM and PM- Pack Your Bags- Skincredible (daily)- Baby Face- every other night.   I will use these long after I am pregnant.
  5. Moroccan Method Shampoo and Conditioner- hates it- it was like washing my hair with dirt.  It did not feel cleaned or conditioned afterward and took forever to dry.   It left my hair stringy and not very manageable.  I am so glad I got the samples only- because I will not use these products again.   The conditioning spray was ok but not great.  I am sticking with ABBA- still a few chemies but vegan and much more accessible- you can get it at Ulta.
  6. Bare Escentuals Vs Jane Iredale Make Up-  I have now used both products and don’t really notice a big difference in the foundations except the Jane is much more expensive.    Jane Iredale Lip Gloss however is amazing and lasts a lot longer than BE that is a keeper.
  7. Avalon Organic Soap- has some chemies but still gives a lather and smells good.  I will continue using this until I find something better- available at Trader Joes and Whole Foods and not too expensive.
  8. Salt water rinse – supposed to help with bleeding gums and sore throat- been doing this the last few days….seems to help a little but not a cure- will continue and keep you updated.

So what works for you?  Tell me the good the bad and the ugly – anything helped you with stretch marks or what about the god awful swelling I keep hearing so much about?  I would love to hear any suggestions from real people- not the paid advertisements I read online all day- what is the skinny?


You only lose what you give away July 14, 2010

This week has been kind of ho hum on the pregnancy department.  Nothing new to report.  I have been feeling the same, a little naush, and tired.  I tried to go to an outdoor street fair/concert with my hubby this weekend and that was a joke.  All the smoke was enough to make me sick.  I hated it.  It is funny smoke really bothers me a lot now and I find it revolting.   If you knew me you would think that was funny because although I really have never been a regular smoker-  I loved smoking when I had a few cocktails.   It is a vile and unhealthy habit and I really hope that my disdain carries over after I have the baby.  Hubbie and I were chatting about how I don’t really have any cravings and the things I like to eat haven’t changed at all.  Maybe that comes later.   If anything I find more things unappealing and what sounds good to me is very limited.   For example I am addicted to making homemade Crispix mix.  I also cannot go a day without eating fresh fruit.   I feel pretty good about what I have been eating but haven’t been great about exercise.   I do get out for a bit in the afternoon at work for a walk but that is not enough.   I need to get back to doing my yoga.   I haven’t had a much weight gain yet so I feel good about that.  I am so nervous about putting on too much weight.  I watch a few reality shows as a guilty pleasure and on this weeks episode of Kourtney and Khloe take Miami I totally understood where Kourtney was coming from.  I couldn’t imagine the pressure to get into a bikini that soon after having a baby.  She knows she obviously went overboard but I liked her determination to get back into shape.  Hopefully, Bethany Frankel will let the cameras role on how she bounced back.   One thing they both have going from them is that they were in great shape before getting pregnant and there muscle memory helps get them in shape quicker.  I wasn’t in the best shape when I got pregnant so I know that I will have a harder road so I amm making sure to not use this pregnancy as an excuse to go crazy on food.  Because I didn’t start out rail thin- the doctor told me I don’t need to gain as much weight.  .  Kourtney I read put on over 40lb so that is a lot to lose! Hopefully I can keep this weight gain healthy and bounce back afterwards!

Has anyone found that during pregnancy they feel particularly philosophical?   If you knew me as a person I am hard on other people but even harder on myself.   I hold people to high standards and am known to obsess about things.   As bad as I can be with others I am the worst with myself.  This is something that I work on all the time and feel like I have gotten a lot better at letting things go.   I was thinking about where I am at in life and where I want to be and setting a great example for my children.  I feel great about the person I am today but for some reason I am so critical of myself and started thinking about stupid mistakes that I made growing up.   Stupid stuff.  I was never arrested or involved in anything majorly wrong but liked to party a lot and probably didn’t make some of the best decisions and for some reason sometimes I really beat myself up over it.  I mean it is crazy who didn’t make poor choices at one time for another?   Why do I dwell on this?  Clearly it has had no impact on my ability to be successful in life.  I know that I need to stop thinking like this because everybody makes mistakes and I didn’t do anything worse than anyone else.  I am obviously neurotic.  Mistakes make us who we are and we learn a lot about life through them.  My children will be lucky that I have had so many experiences to draw from because it will enable me to give them great advice!  My take away on this is that the only things in life that you lose are what you give away.  So own it!   Still working on acceptance!  Anyone else getting philosophical?   Any life lessons?