My body has been invaded (or what 38 weeks feels like).

Ok so everyone talks about how you get to a point in your pregnancy where you just can’t take it anymore. I thought I understood what they meant at about 36 weeks…I was wrong. 2 more weeks went by and I feel more like a prop in a sci-fi movie than a human being.

This baby, whom I can’t wait to meet, has been growing inside of me for over 9 months. For a while, no one could tell. Then there was a tiny little baby bump and that pregnancy “glow”. There are, of course, uncomfortable times and lifestyle changes to get used to like not drinking wine anymore and not being able to take the same classes at the gym. Yet those adjustments aside, and the woes of the 1st trimester sickness having subsided, life goes on as usual. You work out in some way, if that’s part of your routine, you move around easily enough and work continues. You go about your day, errands and move along.

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As your belly grows, people start asking you all the routine questions: “When are you due?” “Do you know if it’s a boy or girl?” “How are you feeling?” etc. But then it hits you. You wake up in the middle of the night to pee (yet again), and your body suddenly feels like you’ve been in a serious car accident. Your back is in so much pain, you swear you had been rear ended. Your feet are so sore you think you must have blocked out running a marathon the day before, your fingers are so swollen, your wedding band won’t fit over your knuckle, and this little angel you’re carrying in your belly can move around so much because they’re somewhere around 7 lbs and SMOOSHED in there that you can actually see them moving around from the outside. What it feels like INSIDE is a WHOLE different story.

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My body has been invaded. My belly feels stretched beyond it’s limits and it hurts. I have a baby foot in my ribs and a head resting on my bladder. This baby is losing room and MUST be uncomfortable by now and my body MUST have taken all it can possibly take in 38 weeks and 3 days.

I have never done well in uncomfortable situations. I am a very particular person when it comes to having things the way I like them for myself. I don’t sleep well with others. I have never enjoyed sleepovers, they give me anxiety. We have to have a King sized bed so the 2 of us can co-sleep (meaning my husband and I) because I wake up when someone touches me. I get really hot at night and like to sleep in the cold, but with several blankets to stay warm. I have to sleep with white noise and fresh air, so I use a fan. Not a ceiling fan, a fan right by my face, blowing air at me directly. I understand this won’t work with a newborn, so I’ve gotten used to a humidifier that blows air right by my head to prepare for baby’s arrival. I like to shower twice a day because I don’t like the feeling of being “dirty” even though you’re not really “dirty” after a normal 12 hour day. After I shower, I have to have toner, serum and moisturizer on my face right away before it dehydrates or gets itchy. I have to use body lotion right away for the same reason and it has to be enough time before bed or my body is too sticky and it makes the sheets in the bed feel yukky. I have to have my nails and toenails clipped way down because I feel like dirt and other disgusting elements get caked underneath and it gives me the heebie jeebies. Those have to be clipped over the toilet. I always speak up if I’m too hot or too cold. Anywhere. It can be home, at work, etc. I can’t stand being too hot and sweaty. I also can’t stand being too cold and uncomfortable. I love fresh air so I’m constantly opening windows and doors. I love the breeze. If we’re at someone’s house and they have everything closed and it’s a beautiful day, I’ll just go outside or take it upon myself to crack a door. I’ll be that person.I can’t stand being sick, so I don’t get sick. If someone around me comes down with something, I put gloves on, bleach and Lysol EVERYTHING and take lots of Emergency to avoif it any way possible. I take detox baths and stay away from that person altogether.I’ll quarantine myself. Any ill feeling is too much for me to handle, I can’t stand it. I am one of those people who never gets sick beause the feeling is just too much. I’m giving you all these examples of what probably make me sound OCD, or just particularly bitchy so you can understand what being this big and uncomfortable in my own skin (which I’m sharing) feels like to me. I can’t fix it or adjust it to my liking at all. I just have to sit back and accept that I am uncomfortable.

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Now I am at the point where I’m ready. The nursery is ready, we are stocked up with diapers and wipes, swaddles, a bassinet, a rocker, stroller, car seat, crib, clothes, bottles and pacifiers, books and little keepsakes, new shelves and dresser, a rocking chair and lots of plush blankets and lovies. I felt so unprepared for so many months just thinking of the list of baby items we needed and list of things to get done prior to his arrival, but now that they’re done, the hospital bag is packed and ready to go, I’m just waiting. Waiting for one of those practice contractions to be the real thing or my water to break. Just waiting. I’m so excited and scared. I can’t wait to finally hold this little wiggly guy and tell him how thankful I am to even be able to carry him at all in the first place and how grateful I am that God gave me a son. How I’ll forever be attached to him, even if he’s not in my belly anymore and how for the rest of my life I will be a mother who will literally do anything for her son, even if it costs me something I wouldn’t have given up before. I want to tell him I waited a long time to have him and will probably worship the very ground he walks on. He just needs to come out so I can tell him:)

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34 Weeks of bliss and list of things I miss

Can a girl get a glass of vino over here?? Hello? Table for 1, bottle of petite sirah, please! I have to admit, and it’s no secret, I adore my wine!! It’s my drink of choice and I look forward to it at the end of my day. A glass while I cook dinner and a glass while I enjoy the dish I’ve prepared is my own little routine and tradition. I also really enjoy having some wine with my girlfriends, bringing a bottle of wine down to the beach, having a date night with my husband, enjoying some wine with a great Sunday dinner, etc. etc.

Gym stuff! I actually miss the stair master and working up a good sweat. It just got way too hard, too much pressure on my belly, the baby sits (or jumps) on my bladder and exercising became extremely uncomfortable. I miss classes, equipment, the sauna, all of it. I think I miss feeling like I’ve pushed myself physically and like I’ve accomplished something to better myself and contribute to my health.

That being said, feeling the baby move all around in my belly makes me feel extremely healthy and accomplished. I love knowing he’s active and growing. I’m ok letting myself rest so this little prince can grow and do a little exercising of his own!

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CAFFEINE!! Truth be told, I do drink 50/50 coffee every morning (half decaf, half regular) but I could seriously use a double espresso frappuccino BUT I’m sure I’ll need one more than ever in about a month and 1/2 and that’s when I can and WILL get one!

BRUNCH!!!! I am dying for a bagel with lox and a mimosa! Brunch isn’t “brunch” without a mimosa (or bloody Mary) in my opinion. Preferably a mimosa bar with raspberries. Yes.

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Spicy tuna!! like brunch, sushi isn’t “sushi” without raw fish. You can pretend with shrimp tempura and California rolls, but it’s just make believe until you can have the real thing.

wp-1473985029252.jpgAll that being said, look at this bump! My son is in there and I can feel him moving around and growing/learning/developing all the time! I can’t wait to finally meet this little guy and see what he looks like, who he resembles, and watch him grow into his own little person.

He already loves certain things and dislikes others. he’s really strong and already stubborn. When nurses try to listen to his heartbeat with the Doppler, he moves away. This has happened several times and they all comment on it! The other day, I was putting grocery bags in the car and hit my belly with one by accident (not hard, but enough that the baby felt it). No sooner did the bag bump my belly, did he punch right back! It was so instantaneous and so purposeful that I burst out laughing and had to call my husband to tell him his son has some reflexes!

This baby loves the sound of his dad’s voice. My husband (for anyone who doesn’t know him) is extremely charismatic and boisterous. You know when he’s in the room! When he’s telling a story, the baby moves around a lot in excitement. He jumps around and wiggles. Then when my husband speaks softly to my belly, the baby calms right down and relaxes. It’s the sweetest thing. I don’t know anything for sure, only God does, but I have a feeling this little boy is going to be his father’s mini me…

Excited, Annoyed, and Grumpy. 24 Weeks!!

So I’m creeping up to 24 weeks pregnant and am feeling it!! A lot has been happening that’s new and exciting and I am so over everything that is going on outside of my growing little prince! My baby has been moving around a lot and I LOVE it! Kicking and punching his way around my insides and waking me up/keeping me from falling asleep.

ENTER THE “PUFF”

I started feeling puffy last week (started at 23 weeks) when I look in the mirror and my slender face is fading, leaving me with a nice little layer of “puff”, which has always been something I’m self-conscious about and try like hell to get rid of. In the 1st trimester when I was sick and hadn’t drank in about a month, my face started to slim down, which was great! A plus to feeling like crap! Then I got my appetite back and came the 2nd trimester along with more energy. This happy “glow” lasted up until I believe, last week, and enter the puff. Thank God for maternity clothes , I’m keeping these pants for every holiday well after the baby is born! Now I don’t feel so cute in pictures anymore, like this one, which looked much different in my mind when we were taking it:

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NO MORE WEIGHTS, THANKS!

So I was trying to go to Body Pump or incorporating weights in my workout routine for the entirety of the 2nd trimester and that, too, came to a halt last week. I was using 8-12 lb. dumbbells to do various lunges, squats and arm exercises. I would do each muscle group for 60 seconds and then take a 60 second break and try to do at least 3 rounds of each. This became pretty difficult last week when I got really out of breath and overly tired. I decided this new beautiful surprise of cellulite on my legs wasn’t going away with squats or lunges during pregnancy. I’m throwing in the towel when it comes to weights and sticking to my power walks and stair master. I still love cardio, and it makes me feel really good. I do a 3.5 mile loop around my neighborhood, making sure to hit a few steep hills, or I walk at an incline on the treadmill if it’s raining or too hot (it’s been in the high 90’s and humid here in the south!) This was my last Body Pump pic right before the “puff” began to show:

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GIVE ME ALL THE FOODS:

I have always loved food! Growing up in an Italian family, we were always making and eating delicious food and I enjoyed every bite! I have “dieted” most of my adult life, until I was getting ready to get married and started my Paleo diet. That was truly the best I’ve ever looked or felt. Eating MOSTLY paleo and 3 Body Pump classes per week plus 1 day of cardio got me looking and feeling my most toned and slim. I gave up all the treats I love including bread and pasta and supplementing them with zucchini noodles and sweet potatoes. Well, thanks to this little boy growing in my belly and the fact that I can’t indulge on wine anymore, I’m eating all the yummy foods I love and crave including my FAVORITE chocolate croissants and ice cream sundaes. I still read labels, try to avoid preservatives, bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, white sugar and try to stick to milk/butter without rBGH (a genetically engineered artificial hormone given to cows to force excess milk production), whole grain pasta (when I can), fresh farm eggs and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. When I buy ice cream and sundae toppings, I try to get hormone/antibiotic-free ice cream with the least amount of ingredients, I like to whip my own cream and get an all-natural hot fudge. Is it great for me? Hell no, but it’s MUCH better than all the other crap they put in our food! If I’m going to gain weight and eat the treats I want, I don’t want to add chemicals that my child will have in his system too!

MY HUSBAND IS TRYING TO KILL ME:

Have you every been pregnant? Did your spouse or significant other “forget” that you’re no longer super woman? Mine forgets. For instance, just tonight, I was grilling some pork chops and roasted vegetables and the gas went out (so annoying) half way through! My husband wasn’t home yet, so I turned the broiler on in the oven and grabbed my trusty cast iron skillet to finish the job (they came out perfect, by the way). When he got home, my husband proclaimed “You know we have another gas tank in the shed! Why didn’t you just get that?” Um….because it’s like 20 lbs. and the shed is way in the back corner of the back yard?! I’m 6 months pregnant?! “Oh, yeah.” Did I mention I have absolutely no patience anymore and the simple act of putting groceries away can result in a meltdown if the broccoli falls out of the bag while you try to bend over in a way that doesn’t hurt your belly? People who have never been pregnant seriously don’t know the struggle. Maybe I can best describe it as a constant built-up anxiety attack coupled with a ravenous hunger that can only be satisfied by eating all the cookies fresh off the hot cookie sheet and milk straight from the carton while having an overwhelming happiness and love for someone I’ve never met but somehow know and complete loss of control of my body and its’ functions. Putting clean sheets on the king-sized bed becomes so frustrating you could literally kill… There you go, now you go get the damn propane tank and you can put it right up….

EMBRACING MY CRUNCHY:

Being pregnant has given me a maternal instinct to live longer. I buy all natural SPF 50 without phenoxyethanol and apply liberally when by the pool or beach, organic, DEET-free bug spray  and have started making all my own cosmetics including belly butter using unrefined cocoa butter, my own moisturizer using organic argan oil and aloe and diaper rash cream using zinc and witch hazel. I love farmer’s markets and locally grown produce. I’ve started using organic makeup and much less of it. I don’t dye my hair anymore and am trying to embrace the roots! No more tanning products and I make my own body bronzer that washes off with soap and water. My head hurts from reading labels of products and ingredients and googling those I don’t know. Making our baby registry was beyond stressful trying to make sure all baby products were all natural or organic and looking up ingredients in them as well, baby mattress included. There are so many harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients in SO many daily products, I advise anyone having a baby or a curious mom to start really reading what goes into the products we’re putting into our bodies and those of our children who don’t have a choice of their own!

Till next time 😉

 

Don’t Throw Those Bananas Away!

As I said before, when in doubt, make your own…and have I ever! From banana nut breads to blueberry muffins and mixed berry crisp with vanilla bean ice cream, I’ve been having myself a good old time over here:)

Here’s a recipe I’ve been craving and finally made, because as I have discovered, my little boy loves his sweets! He wiggles when I eat delicious sweet treats!

Here’s what I did:

Preheat oven to 350

  • 3 Ripe Bananas (organic, if you can)
  • 2 Eggs (pasture raised/cage-free)
  • 2 Cups Flour (unbleached)
  • 3/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Softened Butter (grass fed)
  • 1 Cup Pure Cane Sugar (with a little extra for topping)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix butter, eggs and bananas (I leave the bananas a little bit lumpy). Gradually mix in all dry ingredients and finally add the walnuts. Pour into your greased and floured loaf pan, sprinkle a little extra sugar on top and bake for 50-55 min.

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Preggo Tip: Make Your Own

Ok, so if you’re pregnant or have children, you understand the seriousness of a craving. All bets are off, you’ll walk across hot coals to get what you want.

So, my new thrill in life (well…a more intense thrill) is food. I am pretty much known for my love of wine. In fact, we couldn’t even keep my pregnancy a secret because the second I turned down a glass of wine, everyone knew. Alas, I’ve always loved food, but now it’s all I can really get excited about on a daily (and hourly) basis.

I was picking up ingredients for dinner at the grocery store yesterday and began contemplating what to eat for dessert with our movie (Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, highly recommend for a good laugh!!). I had gone to the farmer’s market earlier and had some beautifully fresh strawberries to indulge on and was craving some strawberry shortcake. I saw a display at the store with strawberries, shortcake, angel food cake, etc. Of course, I look at the labels.

One of the first ingredients in any cake was bleached flour. Ugh. Why?? We are forever turning our food into something more “appealing” to look at (hence, making the normally yellow-ish flour appear bright/white and “clean” when it is anything but). In order to bleach flour, you need a chemical called Alloxan, which is a poison. Alloxan is used to produce diabetes in in healthy experimental animals so that researchers can then study diabetes “treatments” in the lab.

No, thank you. I’ll keep my off-white flour, it looks just fine to me. That being said, some people may argue that white flour, in general isn’t nutritious at all and here’s what I say to that: You can eat naturally gluten-free and paleo food all day…many times, I have. Right now, I’m growing a human inside of me and sweet potatoes aren’t cutting it.

I crave cookies, cupcakes, French toast and pizza. I could grab everything quickly off the shelf and satisfy my sweet tooth, but I’m choosing to make these goodies myself. Yes, there’s sugar and flour and butter, but I try my best to use unbleached flour, grass-fed butter and raw sugar. Does that happen 100% of the time? No. I do my best to feed this growing baby the best I can, including locally grown food and the least-processed ingredients I can. I grocery shop in about 4 or 5 different places throughout the week and educate myself.

This strawberry shortcake recipe was really easy and delicious. I bought whipping cream at Trader Joe’s, strawberries from a local farm and used unbleached flour. The heavy cream in the cake was not organic, nor was the sugar, but hey, you gotta live.

Here’s the recipe I followed, although I cut back on the sugar on the strawberries and I added a little more heavy cream to the cake batter:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/strawberry-shortcake-recipe3.html

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