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?


Guilty Pleasures August 24, 2010

What can I say this has been one of the best weekends I have had in this pregnancy!  I am simply amazed!  I actually got up on Saturday and went in to the office for a bit and then stepped out and did some shopping on Michigan Avenue.  It was amazing!  I got a great walk in and got to visit my favorite stores for a little fall fashion inspiration.  I am excited for my fall pregnancy wear!  I am still waiting for my bump though….why must I still just look like a chunky monkey?   I just look thick and not pregnant and feel compelled to tell all the sales girls that I am 4 months preggers so they don’t think I am hefty hefty hefty!  After running around downtown, I went home and rested for a few hours then…wait for it….I actually went out to dinner with my hubby for a date.   It was fabulous despite the fact that the restaurant I really wanted to go to- Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder- had an hour and a half wait so we had to go to a second string choice Rose Angelis.  As much as I wanted to I don’t have the luxury of waiting for food anymore.   This used to be just fine with me.  I could sit in the bar and enjoy a cocktail which would tide me over until dinner.  Unfortunately this is no longer an option- an hour difference in my feeding time could be detrimental so we went elsewhere and had a good time and a good al fresco meal.  It was just lovely.   Of course I was exhausted by the time I got home and went straight to bed.   Only to wake up the next morning and have another good day who am I?   I couldn’t even believe it.   I actually got to go to Trader Joes.  Secretly I enjoy grocery shopping when it isn’t crowded- since this is one of my household duties I pretend it is a labor of love for the family- but actually I don’t mind it at all.  I like to buy fun things and normally enjoy cooking.  I was almost giddy to actually be out and about again- I haven’t had a weekend like this in a long time.  As I was checking out the clerk asked me if I was doing anything fun that day and I was like-hello this is fun!  I think she felt bad for me- if she only knew.

I was so inspired that after I got home I actually prepared two meals for the week ahead.    Cleaned the kitchen and even sat outside on my rooftop deck for a bit for a little fun in the sun.  The weather was beautiful and it was glorious.  I did find that all this running around made my back hurt quite a bit- but I have dealt with that before.  I did a few stretches and it seemed to help so onward and upward.  Hubby came home and we had a healthy home cooked meal-finally!   A nice change from the take out we normally have and the Wendy’s I ate for dinner on Friday.  I kind of die for Wendy’s – always have.  It never sounds bad to me and I could pretty much eat it any time which is why it is now my go to meal when all else fails.  I seriously can’t turn it down.  A single with cheese  no mayo and fries- forget about it.  If it were in anyway nutritious I would have it daily.   Thank God there isn’t one in my office building.  Not so healthy I know but what am I to do sometimes- a girl’s got to eat!  Wendy’s is definitely my guilty pleasure- what are yours?


Impress yourself! June 15, 2010

I have officially entered the world of weird pregnant lady cravings.   Since my office’s median temperature is something akin to the Arctic Circle I am freezing every day.   My Burberry blanket isn’t enough to keep me warm!  Normally I would opt for an afternoon cup of coffee or make a hot tea but since I am watching my caffeine intake neither of these are a viable option these days.  Let me preface this by saying I am a salt tooth by nature.   I NEVER crave chocolate and am more of a fry- aholic than a chocoholic.  Freezing to death and in need of an afternoon snack I sauntered over to the market near my office.  I ended up buying the following:  hot cocoa (99% caffeine free), maple water distillate, coconut water, granola bars and boxes of frozen vegetables.  Sound like the menu of a typical PL (pregnant lady)?

I made myself a cup of the cocoa when I got back and it was to die for!  Creamy and delicious- if not downright heavenly.  I wish I was drinking a mug now.   I am nervous about having this as a regular basis because it is basically poison in a packet.  I am going to start a quest for some healthy natural variety of this the next time I am at TJ’s or Whole Foods or maybe even an Organic Variety at Dominick’s.   Since my babies organs are forming right now I am cognizant of everything that I eat.   I had Wendy’s this weekend and felt horrendous afterward because it really did not sit well and I felt bad feeding it to my babes!  Since this isn’t my normal diet I am not going to stress about it but am trying so hard to be careful!  Last night I made lasagna for dinner and most of the ingredients were organic, I added spinach to my half for extra vitamins.   Hubby said it was good, but it was a challenge for me to eat.  I know if I didn’t have more than a few bites it would bite me in the butt later so again I powered through and was able to have a small portion.  Then up to my couch to snuggle with my doggies and watch my Monday night reality fix.  I am fascinated by the Bachelorette-  who are these people?  Who gets a tattoo?  Insane.   And the Real Housewives-  all locations crazy mean girls everywhere!  I don’t know why I watch these shows- its not like I don’t have enough mean girls in my real life.

So yes no word from my frenemy yet.  Hubby and I were chatting on the way to work about how much we enjoy having this between us because there is no let down right now.  We also were talking about managing our expectations because only a handful of our friends truly are supportive and it isn’t worth it to get wrapped up in those that aren’t.  I haven’t written much about this so far but I am sure it will come to light as the months go on.  Relationships have really changed for us over the years and commonalities with our friends have changed as well.  We have worked very hard over the past few years to build start up businesses and it has really changed or perception of what is important in life. We have always been successful and what we consider sacrifices are luxuries for some truly have put our family and life in perspective.  We are in a great place and our businesses are flourishing and I feel so fortunate and blessed to be where we are at! It’s funny but people that I once was impressed by now seem self-absorbed and superficial.  I am all about the people and interested in developing my relationships with those that aren’t out to impress or judge but rather are open-minded and non-judgmental and fun- no judge Judy’s here!     Impress yourself-  sung to the tune of Madonna’s Vogue is feeling like a little mantra of what I am all about- impressing myself by trying to live with class and dignity.  The key word here is trying!  BTW I feel totally normal/non-ill right now and am going to take a moment to relish in it! Ahhhhhhhh