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Family, Fashion, Pregnancy

March Mom Edit :: What I’m Loving Now

March 29, 2017

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At nearly 34 weeks pregnant, is it safe to say that I’m in the home stretch? I’m certainly embracing that mentality, and the products I’m sharing about below have been making my life a little more glamorous and bearable during the last month and a half of pregnancy. Here’s what I’ve been loving lately…

I took a break from regular fixes for a while, but scheduling a maternity Stitch Fix at 30 weeks was a fantastic way to get excited about getting dressed while super pregnant.

I recently ordered these bottles for baby and I’m intrigued.

Someday I’ll get my eyebrows micro-bladed, but until then this has been doing the trick.

Yesterday I ordered a custom name sign for baby girl from House of Belonging. Can’t wait to show you!

I’m combating stretch marks with this and this and so far so good.

It’s official, this is the most perfect diaper bag around.

The hair care system that’s been transforming my tresses over the last two months.

A podcast for moms that’s encouraging me on work from home days.

We finally settled on this double jogging stroller.

Madison 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Body Image :: The Second Time Around

March 28, 2017

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Pregnancy is a gift. I’ve reminded myself of that more than a few times during this pregnancy. The thing is, I have had a wonderful pregnancy thus far. When I get asked how I’m feeling this time around, I can without hesitation answer “great!” because I really do feel good. Sleep has been amazing, I don’t have any major aches and pains and our pregnancy has been very uneventful. I’ve also been able to stay active, much more so than last time, and sometimes I’ll even remark to Joe that I have days where I forget I’m pregnant. I think that’s saying something at 33 weeks along!

But I would be remiss if I said that pregnancy has been easy on me mentally. The truth is, gaining weight, even during pregnancy and with good reason, is hard when you’ve ever struggled with body image. I’ve had more than a couple moments I don’t look too fondly upon during this pregnancy, tears and fears about ever feeling or looking myself again. It’s a little puzzling to me since I’ve done this once before, but none the less the fears and false beliefs are something I’ve had to come face to face with. I don’t share this to get encouragement or to gain sympathies, but rather to encourage other women out there who may be feeling the same way.

It’s hard to see your body change. It’s a mental game to see the number on the scale tick up at each appointment, feeling both thankful for your body’s ability to make room for a new life while also feeling fearful. Perhaps you’re like me and you’re not one of those people who gains 25 pounds during pregnancy. Maybe you eat really healthy and are dedicated to your workouts and you’re still staring at a 30+ pound weight gain with weeks to go. Or maybe it’s not the number on the scale at all but just feeling generally uncomfortable in your skin and unlike your former self.

It’s okay. It’s okay to feel those feelings and also feel so thankful you could cry.

And once you have that baby and see what you have to “work with” to get back in shape after baby? Let’s agree to have grace for our postpartum bodies, too. I can’t say I’ll be breakdown-free for the next seven weeks, or the six months following. We’re only human, right? But you better believe I’ll take each one of those breakdown moments and use it as an opportunity to exercise thankfulness….

Lord, thank you for the opportunity and gift to carry this baby. Thank you for a body that is capable and for the advancements in medicine that have made this pregnancy possible. Thank you for a healthy little girl and her older sister, too. Thank you for allowing us as women to experience pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum phase of life. Please give me the wisdom and perspective to appreciate this temporary stage of life and embrace all it has to offer while looking forward to the future, too.

Madison

Family, Pregnancy

NW Iowa Fertility and OB Practitioner Guide

March 23, 2017

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After Ainsley was born, I did a full post on all the doctors and health professionals I used and loved through our fertility journey and pregnancy/birth. Now that we have moved and are located in a different town and state, I thought it was time to do the same thing for the new providers we love and trust in case others are looking for a doctor or care provider.

When we moved to our small town I was worried about finding a comprehensive and holistic approach to my fertility issues. I loved my doctor in Minneapolis and felt very well cared for while we lived there. She treated me with progesterone, understood charting and unusual cycles and was always open for dialogue about health issues and questions I had. Although I wasn’t able to find a single care provider/OB who encompassed all of those things in our small town, I think the crew below has done a wonderful providing me with comprehensive and holistic care during this time.

Fertility Care Services // Guiding Star Orange City :: Kari Beadner
I was introduced to the Creighton Model Fertility Care System by friends once I moved to our town and mentioned my fears about finding new care providers. It’s a holistic and natural approach to women’s health that focuses on treating the underlying issues rather than covering up those issues with a band-aid. Kari is the instructor who taught me the model and how to chart my cycles using the system and worked as a guide and resource when working with my doctors.

She is now the director of Guiding Star Orange City, which provides a host of resources for the many areas of your reproductive journey, including breastfeeding and birthing classes and education, doula services and more. We’re actually planning on using Kari as our doula for baby #2!

Creighton Model Fertility Care Doctor // Dr. Pallone, Family Medicine Center :: Sioux City, IA
Since we no longer have a Creighton Model Fertility Care doctor in our hometown, I had to go to a neighboring city to have a doctor oversee my progesterone levels throughout pregnancy and prior to conception of this baby. Although I didn’t have to see Doctor Pallone all that often, I felt well cared for and listened to through this journey. He also agreed to oversee my progesterone levels remotely, so I could do many of my blood tests at our local hospital which made it much more manageable.

OB and Prenatal Care // Dr. Turek, Orange City Area Health System :: Orange City, IA
We don’t technically have OB doctors in our small town – our doctors are family practice doctors who do it all – so that was a huge adjustment for me! I talked with a LOT of people before making a decision on who to doctor with for my OB care and felt very much at peace with my decision to see Dr. Turek. He’s been calm, measured and reassuring with his approach to prenatal care, which works well with my personality since I tend to be a little more high strung in this area given our history.

Chiropractic and Acupuncture // Dr. De Jong, De Jong Chiropractic and Acupuncture :: Orange City, IA
I’ve been a big fan of acupuncture for a number of years and saw a wonderful acupuncturist in Minneapolis who specialized in fertility care and helping women grow their families. That same acupuncturist worked with my chiropractor and acupuncturist here in Orange City to create a care plan for me. It included a series of herbal supplements during the months leading up to conception and herbs taken during the first trimester of this pregnancy along with regular acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Madison

Family, Food & Recipes, Pregnancy

a day in the life :: pregnancy eats edition

March 3, 2017

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I’ve documented some of my daily eats on the blog in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever done a pregnancy edition. Even while pregnant, I still eat like a robot most days, sticking to the same general rotation of foods. Dinner is usually the most varied meal from day to day, but breakfast, lunch and snacks are usually pretty similar. Here’s a look at what a typical day in the third trimester looks like for me:

BREAKFAST
I usually wake up around 5:30, drink a big glass of water and have a cup of (regular) coffee with a splash of half and half. I typically eat breakfast when Ainsley wakes up, around 6:30 or 7 which consists of:

1/2 cup oatmeal with cinnamon, stevia, chia seeds, and unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Fresh fruit, such as raspberries, blueberries of half of a sliced banana

SNACK
I usually try to avoid having a morning snack, but sometimes I’ll have a little something to get me through until lunch, especially if I workout in the morning, I’ll drink more water and half a cup of decaf coffee sometime in the morning, too.

LUNCH
2 whole wheat pita halves, toasted and filled with hummus, as many veggies as we have on hand, avocado and lots of spicy mustard
Salad (usually a portion of a salad kit, prepared with half the dressing)

AFTERNOON SNACK
Smoothie Made With:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen
1 scoop Vega Protein and Greens (vanilla or chocolate)
1/2 of a frozen banana
2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter powder
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
Ice

Sometimes I’ll pair this with a couple clementines, as pictured above, or some other fruit or veggies

DINNER
This is a grab bag! It’s by far my most varied meal of the day since I make something different (with a vegetarian or fish option for me) almost every night of the week. My dinner last night was:

1 oven-roasted wild salmon filet with olive oil, salt and pepper
A huge bowl of Brussels sprouts, shredded and sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper and a bit of grated Parmesan

DESSERT
Every night. Almost always something healthy-ish. Last night’s dessert was my favorite Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a dollop of Greek yogurt. Other times I’ll have a Quest bar, microwaved for about 10 seconds to make it gooey and soft.

Madison

Family, Pregnancy

On Trusting My Body

February 1, 2017

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{Hatch Collection Bateau Top} // {GAP Demi Pannel Maternity Skinny Jeans}

Today I went to my doctor’s appointment. I’m 25 weeks pregnant, meaning I’ve got about 15 more weeks to go, and every time I have to step on the scale I cringe just a little bit. I would be lying if I said, given some of my past issues with body image, that it’s easy for me to see my body growing and changing rapidly. Actually, this time around might be playing more games with my mind than Ainsley’s pregnancy.

It’s a luxury, isn’t it? To be able to worry about things like gaining weight. During Ainsley’s pregnancy it was a luxury that I didn’t really afford myself because I was focused on other things, like whether or not my baby was healthy and growing appropriately. Like I said, a luxury to even think or worry about these things but something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as we go further and further into this pregnancy.

While I was fretting about my pregnancy weight gain after my appointment today, something registered in my mind.

Trust your body. 

Anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss or infertility can attest to the fact that trusting your body doesn’t come easily. In the midst of my losses I didn’t feel I could trust my body at all. It had failed me in doing the thing I wanted so badly for it to do. But throughout Ainsley’s pregnancy, and baby girl #2’s pregnancy, I’ve felt a renewed sense of trust in what my body can do.

I’ve seen my body expand and grow, gaining 35 pounds, enduring 16 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing to give us our beautiful Ainsley. That same body lost those 35 pounds and then some. It’s pushed a stroller for miles and bounced a fussy newborn for hours in the middle of the night. It’s run races and endured countless workouts. When I’ve called on my body to be there for me it has been there and then some.

So today when I was tempted to worry about what my body was doing and how much weight I’ve gained, I made the decision to trust my body and believe it will do what’s needed to grow and carry this baby. And then when that baby is here, it will feed, cuddle, and nurture that baby, too.

So fellow pregnant mommas, join me in giving your body the grace and appreciation it deserves, even on the hard days. Because the hard days will come. We’re only human, right? But how we choose to respond to those hard days is what really matters.

Madison