This post finds me at almost 12 weeks. I’m rapidly nearing the end of the first trimester! It’s hard to believe. Sometimes I can so clearly see that I’m having another baby in a few months, and picture myself strolling along after my older two (who will be running around a playground like crazy children) with my newborn tucked cozily into my Moby wrap. Other times I think, I just can’t imagine having three, this must be a dream, I don’t get it!
I think it’s largely because I grew up in family of 2 kids: a boy and a girl. I’m the oldest. That’s exactly what I have now, a boy and a girl, with the girl being older. Having a third child is unprecedented and unexperienced. I get the sibling relationship between two opposite gender siblings. I don’t have any idea what throwing a third into the mix will do. It’s just strange to contemplate, honestly. But still an exciting challenge!
This week we had another midwives’ visit, last night. I’m still doing really well, by all their measures! And, although I don’t generally like Dopplers (they’re a form of ultrasound), I allowed them to use one briefly. I figured it was less than a minute and it would finally give me an answer: did I have a live, healthy baby in there? As it turns out, yes! They found the baby’s heartbeat immediately, and it was a strong 160 beats per minute! Old wives’ tale says girl, which is what I’ve been thinking all along!
Now. I’ve mentioned earlier this week that last week, we were all sick, and as a result, decided to go on the GAPS diet. That might seem a little extreme, just from reading that. Why would we need to go on a full-out healing diet after a 24-hour stomach virus? I may have mentioned Ben’s ongoing yeast issues, and that’s a huge part of it. Bekah’s mild eczema flares factored in too. And I’ll talk about this more tomorrow, but after just one day off grains, Daniel slept through the night for the.first.time.EVER! Needless to say, we’re feeling encouraged.
[Which brings me to a small side note. This baby will NOT be starting on solids as early as Daniel did, which was around 8 months. And s/he will also NOT be having grains until at least 2 years old. I don't care how much it inconveniences me or how much other people don't get it and think I ought to give my baby Cheerios. I have learned that even if it seems okay it probably is not. At some point I'll write more on this.]
But no grains during pregnancy? Surely a baby can’t be healthy without them! And surely it is too much work, too difficult to manage right now. How and why am I doing this?
I’ll just say, I feel great! Previously, whenever I had grains, especially white flour products, I just felt sick. I felt tired and nauseous and like I had a lump sitting in my stomach. This was also true of many whole grain products, too. I wouldn’t eat because I felt sick and bloated until I was really hungry, at which point I’d think, “Oh, what does it matter if I just eat a slice of pizza? I have to eat. It’ll taste good. It’ll be fine.” It’s like I was brain-damaged and didn’t remember how it had gone down a few hours earlier. So I’d eat it and boom, sick again. That went on for days….
Monday we got serious. No more grains. It actually seems easy to me this time, though. A year ago we did this and I was entirely dairy free and nut free too. This time I can do nuts if they’re soaked and dehydrated, and we can do cultured dairy. Just knowing I have the option of those nuts and a little yogurt and cheese makes it seem like I have so many choices! For example, Tuesday I was able to serve spaghetti squash with meat sauce and a little parmesan. It made it taste so much better!
We’re also adding in a lot of fermented foods. Monday I hunted around the city for everything I could find. I bought some kombucha (I brew it, but kind of got out of the habit from Thanksgiving until January with morning sickness and holiday busy-ness), Bubbies traditional dill pickles, Good Belly probiotic juice drink…. At every meal we’ve been having something raw and something fermented. Breakfast is smoothies (raw fruit and yogurt). Lunch is salad and kombucha. Afternoon snack, we have some pickles and something else (like those almond flour muffins I posted today). Dinner is…well, sometimes lax on the probiotics, at least for me. But I’ve had enough by that time.
The hardest part, so far, has been that we weren’t prepared for this. It occurred in the middle of a standing meal plan (since I write them two weeks at a time) and I had a lot of grain-based meals on the list. I feel like we just can’t risk it since we feel so much better off grains, so I’ve been doing the best I can. I had the spaghetti squash in my fridge from weeks ago, and finally just made it. I have made a couple pots of soup. Lunches have been leftovers. I’m raiding my freezer for any meat and veggies I can find. And I have gone shopping and totally broken the budget to buy some fresh fruit and all those fermented foods (with Ben’s blessing) because we need some “filler” items to make it through. It’ll be easier in the next two weeks when I have a plan in advance.
It really is amazing how good I feel, though. Even when I feel a little bloated from the probiotics, and tired in general, I still have this underlying feeling of good. This is how our family was meant to eat. We need to seriously, seriously limit grains. I think forever. Eventually we’ll reintroduce, although it would be better if we didn’t. If we didn’t eat them, it sure would be easy to keep the new baby away, wouldn’t it?
I’m not worried about meeting my baby’s nutritional needs, either. There are no magic vitamins or minerals in grains that aren’t in other foods. And with other foods, I don’t experience the same blood sugar spikes that I do with grains. Blood sugar spikes and crashes are not good! Grains are mostly a source of calories and quick sugar. They don’t have too much more in them. Certainly other foods are better sources for the bulk of my diet. I’m already getting so excited about all the new veggies I get to experiment with now! And all the new ways I’ll cook meals with marinated meats, and beans, and soups, and lots of stuff! I haven’t made zucchini in months but I really love it, so I can’t wait to start trying out recipes with it again.
It’s worth it to feel good. It’s also beneficial because the probiotics will prime my system, making me less likely to have any yeast issues, less likely to be GBS positive (although I have never been before), and more likely to give my baby an excellent dose of probiotics at birth! I would highly encourage any mother who feels like she does better off grains to give it a shot in pregnancy. It’ll reduce your chances of gestational diabetes, too!
So that’s where we stand today! I’ll be back next week with any new happenings!