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My Second Trimester World, the sixth month

June 12, 2015

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Week 22

I think the sixth month is from about week 22 – week 26. Calculating where you’re at, how many months based on weeks, is harder than it should be. Maths was never my strong suit.

Growth

I can hear myself repeating the same things each week, but golly our baby has grown! My bump is so much bigger and I just adore it. I’m finding I get quite itchy across the belly, a result of my skin stretching to a crazy cool degree, but applying my body butter twice daily after showers helps. Will it help prevent stretch marks? They say that’s genetic, so I’m not really sure. Perhaps. My mum is stretch mark-free after three big babies so here’s hoping. Though there’s still a tonne of growing and stretching to do, which I struggle to wrap my head around. How can I get any BIGGER?

Food

My appetite this week is a little better, and I’ve found myself excited about food on more than a handful of occasions, which has been nice. I used to care so deeply about food, and since about week 4 of pregnancy I’ve been a bit “whatevs” regarding cooking and eating. The following things got me giddy this week: the ginger cake we made for Mother’s Day, the roast dinner my mother-in-law made on Sunday, the quince I poached (which I served with porridge or yoghurt throughout the week) and a serve of pasta with anchovies. Dad’s bread is always welcome and puts a smile on my face, especially when spread with nut butter and sliced banana.

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Pregnancy Eats, The First Trimester

June 6, 2015

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What you eat during pregnancy is a big deal. At least it feels that way to those of us lucky enough to experience this magic. It’s a time of incredibly mixed emotions and many questions. In my practice as a Dietitian I find that most individuals, whether growing a little person or not, are incredibly confused as to what food is actually healthy. We’re not confident in our food choices, and being pregnant throws a curve ball into the game, with questions like “how much should I be eating?”, “can I eat cheese?”, and “how come all I want is carbohydrates?”

I have comforted a number of friends though first trimester sickness, and guilt for wanting to eat all of the carbs in the world. Though my advice has changed over the years with experience and counseling clients, and now even moreso as I go through my first pregnancy, I have always keenly offered comfort. The mummy guilt starts early, in the first weeks of growing a baby, and I am happy to help ease this because I find guilt to be a particularly unproductive, usually destructive, emotion. Pregnant ladies should be focusing on more important things, like where to find a good pregnancy pillow and what the heck is swaddling a baby?

Here are a few thoughts on nourishing yourself and your baby during pregnancy. I will break it up into trimesters, for ease of reading, with today’s post being principally about the first trimester. I’ll also delve into my own eating habits, as I have received a few requests I do so. Lastly, know that though general advice applies to most people, everyone is different and if you are struggling or are unsure of your choices, please see an Accredited Practising Dietitian for advice (raising my hand over here).

A few quick tips for nausea and food cravings

I wrote some first trimester nausea tips on my dietitian website, as well as suggestions for healthy food craving alternatives, so you can check out those posts for more detail. Personally I found the following strategies most useful: keeping my blood sugar levels steady, eating small amounts often, sipping on fluids to stay hydrated, getting fresh air and distracting myself so as to not wallow in the nausea.

Holy heck I feel like s**t

During the first trimester, as all the hormones rush in, you often experience all-day hangover-style nausea where the only antidote appears to be dry crackers or fries. Beware, this feeling can take you by surprise. I was certainly shocked to experience this kind of hormonally-charged sickness, as it was like nothing I had ever felt and was in no way relieved by a cozy blanket, hot water bottle, soup and time on the couch (as was my usual sick-day protocol). You may also experience super strong food aversions (vegetables, bleh) and a weird appetite (often reduced, sometimes increased) during this time.

But you’re not just feeling sick, you’ve also just discovered you’re growing a baby and are overwhelmed with the incredible responsibility of this task. You want to do the best for your baby, while also managing to make it through the day. That’s often a major conflict. “Want chips, should eat kale…AHHH what the frick do I do?!?!?!”

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My Second Trimester World, the fifth month

May 8, 2015

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Ok, so here’s the thing. This is my first pregnancy. Everything is new and everything about bubs, whose womb name is “Parsley” (just a reminder, in case things get confusing/weird when you catch me talking affectionately about herbs), is new, and every inch of it is happily consuming my world. I have a lot of thoughts, you see (many, many of them), and so these month-to-month updates are turning out to be long. Like, really long. To that I say, forgive me/you’re welcome, depending on your degree on interest in reading about other people’s pregnancies. Alright, let’s get started…

Week 18

What nausea?

Well folks, my “all-day hangover nausea” has officially gone! I’m only been experiencing waves of nausea every now and then. Sometimes it’s correlated with low blood sugar or poor protein intake, but often it’s random (random to me). I’m already forgetting what the first trimester felt like, which is crazy, hey? My body is tricking me, encouraging me to procreate… often. I see what’s going on here. Mamma didn’t raise no fool (#10thingsihateaboutyoureference).

Baby Expo

So, that Baby Expo we went to? The one I was a little terrified of? It was RAD! We ended up leaving with a cot, organic mattress, pram and Baby Ergo carrier. It was really unexpected and really wonderful.

Mum joined Ben and I on the day. We had free tickets and heard from friends you can get really good bargains, so we thought why not? My expectations were low, the whole “expo” thing gave me the heebie jeebies, but I saw it as an excuse to eat at my friends’ new café, and maybe get some freebies. So early one Sunday morning we drove to the city, and after toast and coffee at Crompton, we entered expo land. 6 hours later we emerged, buzzed on baby goods and wheeling a cot out to the car. How did that happen?

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Crunchy Coconut Oil Granola

April 25, 2015

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These days with you.

We’re in the midst of a really sweet stage. It’s been just the two of us for 14 and a half years, and in four and a half months there will be three of us. We’re halfway through growing our baby. But for now, it’s all about these days with you.

We were school kids when we met. Holding hands and growing up, messing up and studying for exams. And then I moved out of home to go to University and you started wearing a suit. We did grown-up things, like pay rent and cook dinner and go out to concerts. In the holidays I worked at a homewares store and cafes and I learnt how to save money. Some days when I wasn’t at uni I’d catch the train into the city with you and work from the library. We’d meet for dumplings and spicy pork noodles during your lunch break. Over the summer holidays when I was 21 we went to Paris and Prague and it snowed. We became adults together.

We survived when my big brother died. Mum, Dad, my younger brother, you and me…we survived it together. You picked me up from work and told me David had had a seizure and was on the way to the hospital with mum. You were in the room with mum and I when they told us he wouldn’t wake up. You were there with us when they kept him breathing for hours, hooked up to machines, waiting for his organs to be donated. You took Jackson and I home to my apartment to get a few hours sleep and then took us back in the morning. You waited while I screamed at the top of my lungs in the car outside the Alfred Hospital. You sat beside me outside his room when I didn’t want to be held. And now you reach for me whenever someone says his name, and when we see the colour orange you smile at me. You hold me when I want to be held and tell me you miss him too. You helped me survive.

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My Second Trimester World, the fourth month

April 11, 2015

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Monthly pregnancy posts – not too much, not too little. Hopefully I’ve found my Goldilocks blog posting equivalent. And in case you have a sudden craving for porridge, I refer you to this post. Besides itching to share more myself, I’ve received some lovely emails from people who are keen for more pregnancy posts. I think it’s nice to read what others are going through. So, here I am, sharing month 4 (weeks 14-17) as I enter into month 5.

The past month has been a pretty sweet one, with a definite little pregnancy belly and hurrah (!!) improved symptoms. I’m a little obsessed with my bump. It constantly reminds me that I’m pregnant (which may sound funny but is totally something I appreciate). My growing belly means my little one is growing also. The veins across my stomach and sides tells me that my body is working to nourish bub. They’re like a map to our baby. It’s magical, comforting, warm and exhilarating.

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Easter long weekend with family

April 6, 2015

parsley bump 17 weeks easter

We had the most glorious long weekend over Easter. It was a time of home and hot cross buns, Dad’s bread and eggs of the chocolate variety, beach walking and bump growing. She’s grown a lot this week. He or she has grown, I should say. Week 17 has been a big one. I’m still 50/50 about the gender, leaning no way in particular. Though I did have a dream last week that it was a boy, named our favourite boys’ name. He was a little cherub. We’re so in love already.

On Saturday we visited my grandparents for lunch. Ben did a few little jobs, including helping Nana with her iPad Air (she’s the coolest), and we made salad rolls with English cheddar, my favourite. We were gifted a knitted chick that held a chocolate egg, as well as chocolate Lindt bunnies and a darling knitted doll for bubs. We adore our grandparents, and their home.

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Week 14, the longest week

March 21, 2015

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At this point I don’t plan on doing a week-by-week detailed update on my pregnancy. While I love reading those posts on other people’s blogs, I fear it may become a little too repetitive or tiresome for some. How many times can you hear that I feel like eating pineapple? And while I don’t solely write for my readers (indeed I really write for myself) I do respect you too much to only talk about what is going on inside of me without giving you cake and food chatter every now and then. I’m sure I’ll find my groove over these coming months. A bit of baby, a little stewed fruit and a few pasta recipes. How does that sound?

Also, thank you for all your suggestions on my recent post. I am outrageously excited about choosing prams (and other things) and have been looking up all your recommendations. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me! I really value you.

So while I don’t plan on doing week-by-week pregnancy posts, I had to talk about this week, the first of my second trimester, because it was a particularly long and slightly eventful one. We went for our second appointment with our Obstetrician on the 10th March, for a quick check-in to see how I was travelling. Here we spoke about my first trimester screening and 12 week ultrasound (everything looks really great and healthy!!), and then we finally settled on a due date.

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“Let’s add some plums”, and other good things my mum does

March 14, 2015

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Those who know my Mum will not be surprised to hear that she has already found us a highchair for bubs at a vintage-goods sale. It’s old and sturdy and she totally had to fight a lady for it. That’s my Mum for you, scoring second-hand gems since forever.

Do you know what I realised the other day? Precisely thirty years ago, my Mum was pregnant with me. And she would have been pretty much at the same stage I am, as our bub will be born one to two weeks before my thirtieth birthday. That makes me feel things, things like affection, appreciation, understanding and connection. She is already such an incredible grandmother and we feel very thankful for her, and my gorgeous mother-in-law too. Our baby is very lucky. Side note, Mum is trying to figure out a Grandparent name that suits her. We will probably just see what comes at the time, what feels right, but if you have any suggestions, please leave them below. Nana, Nanny and anything in the realm of Granny are out for various reasons.

I must say, I’m impressed with how Mum has held off on buying things for the baby. She knows that Ben and I don’t like a lot of STUFF, though we know that we’re going to NEED a lot of stuff…this is a tricky one, which we’ll surely get over soon, but I predict we’ll be fussy for a while. It’s our first baby so I’m rolling with the pickiness and researching mattresses made with organic fibres. Check in about five months time and I’ll probably be like “whatever, who cares”…but right now, I do care. Note this is TOTALLY a cry for help, so please send any recommendations for mattresses, cots, prams, you name it my way! But anyway, this highchair? I’m glad she snagged and gifted it to us. I’m blessed, blessed with a Mum who makes Ben zucchini slice when he’s been working longer hours than usual, who sends little texts to check in on bubs and plan shopping dates with me (so I can buy bigger bras, bigger jeans, bigger underwear, bigger EVERYTHING)…a Mum who buys our baby their first pair of impossibly cute booties from the knitting ladies at Flinders Op Shop.

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My First Trimester World

March 6, 2015

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I have to start this post by saying thank you, sincerely, for all your love and excitement regarding our baby news. My goodness! I could not stop smiling all day, reading the sweet comments on my blog post and Instagram annoucement picture. What gorgeous, warm, sunshine-giving people you are. Ben and I (and bub!) feel the love, so thank you.

I had originally planned on sharing our baby news a lot sooner, like around the 9 week mark. I’m not really one to hide things, neither is Ben, and we both found keeping this secret rather difficult. Actually now that I look back, to almost everyone we saw in person we blurted out the news. I tested positive at 3 weeks, which in pregnancy talk is 5 weeks because you add two weeks on (who knew?!), and then it was a whole month before our first appointment with my Obstetrician (boy did that month drag). By then I was 9 weeks, when I originally thought I’d announce to you guys, but at that appointment I found out that bub was measuring closer to 10 weeks…and I was due for the standard first trimester screening tests very shortly, so we decided to wait a couple more weeks before sharing the news. After 12 weeks your risk of miscarriage greatly reduces, so a lot of people wait for that milestone. My thinking was, the first weeks of my pregnancy felt like they went on forever, so what was two more weeks? Our families knew right away, and we told close friends very early also. But truth be told, I didn’t let myself fully believe it was happening until after my first Obstetrician appointment…or the 12 week ultrasound, really. I know how common miscarriage is and I guess I was trying to protect my heart. Not that you ever can. This pregnancy business…boy are there a whole lot of emotions!! You can really drive yourself nuts. But each morning, when I’d wake feeling like as though I’d had 27 vodka soda limes the night before, I found sincere comfort in my baby hormones hangover. Gagging when opening the fridge or when thinking about vegetables made me smile. The sickness made me happy, and helped me to believe that maybe this wasn’t in my head, maybe this was happening.

People have been sweetly asking if I’ve been feeling well. The answer is, yes and no. Some days are a struggle, as this nausea gets a bit much. At the start I was sicker in the morning, these days it hits about 2pm and lasts until I go to bed. But sometimes it comes on strong in the morning and lasts all day. It’s highly fluctuating, though definitely relates to blood sugar levels. Heck, I’m a dietitian and I still struggle to manage. The nausea is a bit unpredictable. Only a handful of times have I started the day dry retching over the sink. Occasionally I’ll have to stop and dry retch on a walk (there’s this particularly bushy area near my home that smells like capsicum…it’s offensive) or when out and about, but on the scale of “manageable” to “how on Earth can I function?”, I am definitely on the manageable end. Some ladies have it SO rough, it’s unbelievable. I am definitely not one of those troopers (though I certainly do not feel fantastic…yet). Below, in what is possibly my longest rambling post (oh, yes, I haven’t even begun to fully ramble), I go into week to week detail of the first trimester. I kept this baby a secret for so long, I’m now word vomiting the truth of these past couple of months all over your screen. Sorry about that.

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Whoa, Baby

March 2, 2015

I kind of always thought that pregnant women who expressed repulsion at the thought of vegetables were maybe, possibly, just a little bit exaggerating. How can a capsicum make you want to cry, yet a bag of potato chips bring indescribable joy? I just didn’t get it.

Well, for the past couple of months, the thought of zucchini has made me want to barf. I get it. I’m there. I’m pregnant. Now where the heck are my french fries?

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