We Have An Announcement!
I'm so excited to announce that my husband and I are expecting a little soul to join our family come July. I'm 19 weeks as of yesterday (Valentine's day!) and somehow it's just starting to hit me... I'm going to be a mother soon! Or am I one already? The journey so far has been a beautiful one— full of love, uncertainty, grace and hardships. I plan to share my journey via social and S-Life Mag in hopes to not only share the amazing moments, but also the ones that hit me hardest and come unexpectedly. I want it to be an honest conversation. I want to share that as women, we can have incredible pregnancies full of love, connection, spirit but also times of doubt and fear. And it's the culmination of the rollercoaster of emotions that helps take us from maiden to mother. There are days that I wake up feeling giddy with joy at the promise of giving birth and motherhood. Then there are those days when my exhaustion gets the best of me and the fear creeps and I'm left feeling overwhelmed and uncertain.
I'm certainly not on this journey alone. Beyond my husband, I've been fortunate to be surrounded by the most incredible and loving community of women, mothers and healers that have offered their warmest advice and most helpful tools. I've never felt more connected to the feminine and my fellow sisters. In hopes to help those of you out there who want to be mothers one day or are currently on that path, I wanted to share a working list of some of my favorite tools, books and tips that I've gathered. This certainly isn't everything, it's just what I used to get me here, where I am right now.
First things first; read below for my pre-pregnancy and first-trimester tips, with some sound advice on "carbo-loading" ;)
MY PRE-PREGNANCY TIPS:
- My dear friend, midwife and M.D., Dr. Aviva Romm, told me to treat my body like I was pregnant 3 months before I really was. That didn't exactly happen, but it did help me become more aware of my habits that I could begin to change (like that extra glass of wine).
- Have the best sex of your life, and a lot of it. Your connection to your partner signals to your entire being that the world is loving and safe and it's time to welcome another soul into your life. Plus, it's likely you won't feel as in the mood during your first trimester due to the exhaustion, nausea and bloat.
- See if you have a genetic mutation that could impact the way your body assimilates folate. It's an easy test and no biggie either way; you'll just have to take a methylated form of folate if you have it. Folate is important for fertility.
- Get into your body. I'm not sure what that means for you, but for me that meant moving a lot. I did a lot of stretching, cardio and core exercises.
- If you have any gut issues like chronic bloat or auto-immune issues, do your best to get it under control before you get pregnant. Eat a plant-based diet (try an elimination diet if necessary), take a strong probiotic and learn how to meditate in a way that works for you as stress will greatly impact your gut and fertility.
MY FIRST TRIMESTER TIPS:
- "Let them eat cake" and by them, I mean you, and by cake I mean bagels or anything carbs. You may not have morning sickness; I did, 24 hours a day. The only thing I could stomach were bagels, crackers and toast. It was a HUGE shift from my normal Sakara* way of eating and it took an emotional and physical toll on me, but only because I let the guilt creep in. Don't. Don't feel guilt. Be gentle with yourself.
- * But as you are gentle with yourself, remember to also nourish your body with as much organic, plant-based foods as possible. This journey has reaffirmed my understanding of transformational eating. By ensuring I get the highest quality, nutrient-dense, organic foods everyday —and without Sakara, it would be impossible— my body is in its best place to feed this new soul in my life.
- My favorite two books so far have been Ina May Gaskin's book Guide to Childbirth and Gentle Birth Method by Dr. Gowri Motha.
- I couldn't exercise during my first trimester, but if you can, try going to a prenatal Pilates or yoga class. I recently got back into working out and I feel like myself for the first time in a long time!
- Listen to your body. You'll get a ton of input from friends, acquaintances and books, but you know best. Tap into that intuition!
- If anything happens and you miscarry or cannot carry to full term DO NOT feel like there is something wrong with you or you are alone. My first pregnancy (accidental 2 years ago) turned out to be a blighted ovum and I had to go have a D&C. It was emotionally painful not just because of the obvious, but because I thought I was the only one I knew that this happened to and I felt inadequate and desperately sad. Later, I learned that almost every woman I knew had gone through some version of that. Doesn't mean it will happen, but know it's common and is most likely not a reflection of your long-term fertility. The body is incredibly smart and knows when to release a pregnancy because of chromosomal or neurological issues. As Dr. Romm says, it's actually a good sign as your body is doing exactly what it's supposed to.
- As you start to think about your practitioner and birth team, think about where you'll feel safest. Meditate on it. Don't make any assumptions, but also, don't put too much pressure on yourself about it as you can absolutely change your mind later. Feeling safe is your number one priority and it is what will determine your ability to open up and give birth.
With so much love,