Family, Pregnancy

My Prenatal Supplement Routine // What + Why

January 25, 2017

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I posted a photo to Instagram the other day sharing the little handful of vitamins and supplements I take on the regular when I’m pregnant. This routine varies slightly from when I’m not pregnant, and I got a lot of questions about what and why I take each supplement. While I’m the first to say that I’m not an expert on the topic, I’ve done my fair share of research and feel this is a good, well-rounded fit for me while pregnant. As always, consult your doctor when debating any chances in supplements, especially while pregnant, as recommendations can vary from person to person!

1. Metanx/L-Methyl-B Tabs (generic)
I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of avoiding folic acid and choosing methylated folate a number of times on the blog. You can read some of my reasons for avoiding folic acid and MTHFR here. In short, after our second loss I found out that my body doesn’t process folic acid (a synthetic form of folate) because of something called MTHFR. During my pregnancy with Ainsley my doctor and I agreed that I could and perhaps should take Metanx, a prescription form of methylated folate and B-vitamins. I’m taking the generic this pregnancy because it’s quite a bit more affordable. For information on the generic, you can read more here.

2. Iron
During Ainsley’s pregnancy, when I was about 18 weeks pregnant, I starting getting the worst headaches. I’ve always been prone to the occasional headache, but these were entirely different. After doing some research, I found that it could be because of an iron deficiency. Your blood volume increases 30-50% during pregnancy, which can lead to low iron levels and even anemia. Since I don’t eat much, if any, red meat, I figured it could be contributing to my headaches so I started and iron supplement and boom! My headaches were gone shortly after. I started an iron supplement while trying to get pregnant this time around and haven’t stopped since. If you want more on symptoms of iron deficiency while pregnant, I found this article helpful.

3. Baby Aspirin
Please hear me out when I say that this isn’t a recommendation for everyone during pregnancy. Taking a daily baby aspirin during Ainsley’s pregnancy, and this pregnancy, is a decision that my doctor and I made together based on my history of miscarriage and I’ve continued to do in this pregnancy for the same reason. Taking baby aspirin isn’t recommended in a normal pregnancy with no history of other issues, so I would caution against doing so without your doctor’s advice. I talk a little more about why we decided to take baby aspirin in this post from the archives.

4. Magnesium
I’ve seen stats that somewhere between 65-90% of the American population is low in magnesium. Crazy, right? This is a new addition to my prenatal supplement routine during this pregnancy, and I’m so glad I decided to start taking it. Magnesium has been shown to help reduce constipation, ease muscle cramps/twitches and I swear that it’s helped me have more restful sleep this time around, something I really struggled with during Ainsley’s pregnancy.

5. Probiotic
I haven’t done enough research on particular probiotics to really recommend one over the other, so I will leave the particular brand I take out of this post. I started taking a probiotic last year because Ainsley and I had been SO sick all winter and after countless antibiotics and three rounds of the stomach flu, my gut was totally wrecked. I’ve been focusing this year on repairing my gut, which includes eating more fermented food and taking a probiotic. It seems to be working thus far!

6. Fish Oil
Taking the right, high-quality Omega-3 supplement can be really beneficial if you’re not getting enough sources from food, which I know that I don’t. We don’t have enough access to quality fish, and while we do get frozen wild salmon from Costco that we eat occasionally, our local grocery stores are lacking in the seafood selection so we eat less fish that I would like. I take OmegaBrite if you’re curious! Not the cheapest but worth every penny, in my opinion. Also, someone brought to my attention that their anesthesiologist said during their first pregnancy that they didn’t love when women take fish oil supplements, but the American Pregnancy Association gives it a thumbs up.

And that’s it! I’m sure that I will get questions about why I don’t take a prenatal. I’ve decided not to because I am getting a lot of my nutrients, including the very important folic acid, in the vitamins and supplements above. Additionally, I usually have a Vega Protein & Greens smoothie every day and eat a lot of fruits and veggies throughout the day so I felt that taking a prenatal at this point would be overkill. If you are looking for a quality prenatal, I would recommend Garden of Life Once Daily Prenatal or Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal, both of which I’ve used and really like/trust.

Madison

Family

Coffee Talk

January 19, 2017

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Do you ever find your mind is so cluttered that you can’t really think straight? I’ve been in that space for quite a while and I think it’s starting to take its toll.

If we sat down and had coffee, if you asked about my work I would probably tell you about how wonderful it is. It is! I’ve been so thankful and grateful to have been blessed with a growing and flourishing freelance business in 2016. Developing recipes and writing is work that sets my soul on fire and makes my heart happy. And I would tell you about Beautycounter and what an unexpected blessing it’s been for me – both professionally and personally. The women I work with (can I really even call it work) are so passionate and have become true friends in the last year.

I might also leave out that I’m distracted, distant and pulled in too many directions far too often. Far more than I would like to admit. I blame it on “mom brain” and on juggling too many things at once. Sure, a little bit might be mom brain or pregnancy brain or whatever you want to call it, but the truth is that I’m distracted far too often when I’m not at work. I’ve done a poor job over the last six months being more connected than ever. I check my phone a thousand times a day, I’m always connected and plugged in even when I’m not working and have gotten increasingly lax with my work hours.

Do you feel that, too, friends? Do you feel physically present but mentally aloof? It’s a feeling that I can’t shake lately and something I’m increasingly aware needs to change. But, like any addiction, it’s hard to admit that I have a problem. On the hard days, it’s easier to pull out my phone an zone out rather than truly recharge by reading a book or listening to music or spending time connecting with my husband over deep conversation.

So I’m making a resolution, mid way through the first month of the year, that I’m going to disconnect after regular work hours. That I’m going to go back to my old habit of letting my phone go dead sometimes on the weekends or leaving it behind when I’m with my family. That I’m going to spend more time physically and emotionally present, fully engaged wherever I am rather than being absorbed in where others are or my next post or answering the latest question on Facebook or Instagram.

Because while it may be morbid to say, I think about dying sometimes and how I’ll feel at the end of my life. And I want to make sure that I don’t waste this beautiful, precious life and these short and fleeting years with my children and husband during some of the sweetest, most precious years of our lives.

Madison

Fashion

Dressing the Bump // 23 Weeks Comfy Casual

January 16, 2017

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                                Jeans {AG Skinny Maternity Jeans} // Top {TJ Maxx} // Booties {Nordstrom Rack – Similar Here}

When it comes to maternity fashion, I’ve never been a huge fan of the obviously “maternity” pieces of clothing. Empire waist tops and dresses and ruched tops work for some (many?) people but they’ve never felt like they fit my style. A lot of the tops and dresses I wear when I’m not pregnant are looser and a little oversized, so I tend to keep with that style while pregnant, too. Although I had to say goodbye to my beloved high-waisted jeans and the half-tucked shirts two months ago!

I’ve been wearing a mix of maternity and non-maternity tops and solidly wearing maternity pans and jeans for about a month now. The non-maternity tops I’ve been wearing, like this one, I usually just buy a very loose-fitting cut or size up one size which seems to work well for now. I’m pretty sure that toward the end of my pregnancy I’m going to have to be solidly in maternity clothes, but it’s nice to have some non-maternity pieces that can work for the postpartum period as well.

Madison

Fashion

Postpartum Hair (again)

January 10, 2017

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If you’re anything like my husband, then you’re probably bored with hearing me talk about my hair woes over the last (nearly) two years. It’s been a constant battle for me, and it seems almost comical that my baby is going to be two next month and I’m still talking about “postpartum hair” as if it just happened six months ago.

I’ve been troubled by postpartum hair loss and subsequent re-growth since Ainsley was four months old and the hair loss started. I look back with envy at my hair while pregnant with Ainsley – thick, full and very healthy – as it’s a start contrast with what I’m dealing with today. I experienced two “waves” of hair loss, one around 4 months when I stopped breastfeeding and another about a year after having Ainsley. My scalp was itchy, my hair felt thin and lifeless and I was distressed to say the least.

Thankfully my hair has been growing back in the areas where I experienced the most hair loss, mainly my temples and the back of my head, but I have various lengths of short and medium-length re-growth everywhere. And while I’ve found ways to hide it well, as evidenced in the photo above, it’s still been a constant source of frustration.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve debated chopping it off to even out all the length differences I have going on, but I’m undecided if I really want to give up the length I have in favor of a shorter cut. But I really have a hard time committing to a cut, especially while pregnant since I find longer hair much easier and more flattering on me.

Where does that leave me? Well, I think I’ve settled on giving Monat a try first. I posted about the hair struggles I’ve been having and got a ton of recommendations regarding Monat’s hair care systems. I’ve never heard of the products before, but after doing a little research I figured it was worth a shot before doing anything more permanent. I’ll be sure to report back on whether the products actually live up to the hype and the price point!

I’ve also heard great things about supplemental collagen, so I ordered this brand from Amazon. After doing a bit more research the safety of taking collagen while pregnant seems uncertain so I’ll be waiting until after the baby is born to start taking it, but I’m hopeful that adding this into my diet helps with hair health and re-growth. I’m planning on incorporating it into my diet in daily smoothies.

So now I’m turning it over to you! Do any of you moms have advice or suggestions on easing this transition and hopefully lessening the hair loss the second time around? I’m all ears!

Family, Pregnancy

Baby Hofmeyer #2 is a….

January 9, 2017

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GIRL! We are shocked (both of us thought it was a boy) and really, really excited to welcome another little lady into our growing family. I get all teary eyed thinking about Ainsley having a sister to share so many wonderful memories with in the years to come. Although she doesn’t quite understand yet, I keep assuring her that this is the best news of her little life. She keeps running around the house saying, “Baby Margaret!” (all you Daniel Tiger watching moms will appreciate that…)

Since I’ve gone 22 weeks without much of a real pregnancy update, I thought it was high time I did a little mid-pregnancy update for those of you who are curious. I have looked back at my updates from Ainsley’s pregnancy a handful of times and always like comparing this pregnancy to her pregnancy. I really wish I had done more frequent updates this time around.

HOW FAR ALONG? 22 weeks 1 day

FEELING: Lots of kicks! I started feeling pretty consistent kicks around 20 weeks, with a few occasional kicks around 18 or 19 weeks. I really thought I would feel kicks sooner the second time around, but that wasn’t the case. These days little lady is moving all the time.

As for me, I’m feeling pretty good! I’ve been generally sicker this pregnancy than with Ainsley and I’m convinced I’m never really going to feel truly “great” this time around. While I can’t say I’m consistently nauseous these days, it still hits me from time to time and I still have a hard time finding foods that really sound good to eat.

Thanks to consistent workouts, I’m feeling more in shape this time around and more like myself than I think I did with Ainsley, but the pesky groin pain I experienced with my last pregnancy is beginning to bother me again. Regular trips to the chiropractor and lots of stretching will hopefully get me through the rest of this pregnancy relatively comfortably.

WEIGHT GAIN: I gained 10 pounds during the first trimester alone, but the weight gain really slowed down after that. As of 21 weeks, I was up 15 pounds.

CRAVING: Nothing, really! Food generally doesn’t sound good or bad to me right now, and my appetite has slowed down significantly from the first trimester. I still really love orange juice, specifically mixed with sparkling water, apple cider vinegar and stevia. I really can’t stand sugar this time around, and every time I eat something sugary it makes me feel ill, so I’ve been steering clear as much as possible.

DOING: Work on the nursery! Well, just starting to plan for the nursery, really, but the room is cleared out and we have moved Ainsley’s dresser into the baby’s room since Ainsley doesn’t need it anymore. We’ve ordered a crib and have a rug and that’s about it so far.

We’re also renovating the basement and moving my office in to the basement since this baby is taking over my former office, so I’ll have a new dedicated space to work downstairs, which I’m super excited about!

Madison