As I was having a little discussion with my sister over text the other day, I was left a little jolted if I do say so myself. She has pointed out so bluntly (not in a bad way-maybe I needed this) that I changed over the past year and have become even more introverted than I was before. She kept telling how I no longer love to socialize (not that I did too much of that in the beginning anyway) and that it wouldn’t do me good to spend too much time alone (technically now with little bub). She was telling me how I still needed to get out there and meet new people and network, if not for my career then at least for my mental health. Then I sat down and pondered it all and thought meh, I still pretty much prefer solitude over anything else.
I am not going to deny that the year I spent in Jericho changed me, and perhaps not so much in a good way. I have always been an introvert and was quite anxious to be in the public most of the time but I made loads of efforts to tackle my dreams and accomplish a lot more than just your average trip to the grocery. My will was always much stronger than my anxiety and I was able to live (not just exist) and lead (being a leader was my favourite thing to do despite my fears). I was a lot more socially active than I am now. I made time to see my friends, to go to yoga alone and even have lunch by myself in the food court. After Palestine, I feel like a have lost a part of myself, the good part, the part that was carefree and happy and hopeful despite how many problems were there. So, solitude pretty much was my best friend in Palestine. I stopped trying to get out there and be vulnerable to the world; building concrete walls was the only thing I wanted to do. I felt lost and solitude was my only option. No one forced me to lose that art of myself, I guess I was the one that did so. So when does alone time become too much alone time?
I mean, alone time is prefect and comforting and I feel less anxious and less stressed about what I need to say or do but in the long run, how much good does it do? I feel like this is why I turned to writing blogs; I feel like I could still do things that I love but in a much more secure way (although the internet is much more brutal than the real world). When I am alone, I pretty much feel what Henry David Thoreau described so perfectly; I have never found a companion so companionable as solitude. As I am sitting writing this, I feel like maybe my sister was right and although I like spending time alone, it is probably not that good for me. My anxiety is getting worst and my career is kinda dying (no, motherhood has nothing to do with it!) and if I don’t get out of my bubble any time soon, then sayonara store front and hello solitude for the rest of my young adult life.
I have come to the conclusion that it is healthy to spend time with yourself but it is important to know when you’re going overboard, because then solitude turns into avoidance and then it turns into some kinda breakdown. My will is still intact but I guess it’s just dormant and being a mum has brought it back slowly because I want to do things and follow my dreams again; not just for me but for my little monster so that she can be inspired and be courageous just as I was before all the chaos that happened inside my head.
As you can tell by the title of this blog, I decided to give birth to baby Sofia in a birthing house and not a hospital. I was pondering over this for a couple of months and obviously like many other women like me, I didn’t know that a birthing house was even an option because no one ever talks about it (which sucks ass by the way). I, first of all, am a huge “nosocomephobe” and I absolutely dread hospitals…y’all have no idea. So finding out that birthing houses and midwives still do exist got me super excited. There aren’t many here in Quebec and not many people about them…they’re pretty much still considered not fit to do the job but let me tell you that I am a true believer that midwives are angels.
I initially wanted to give birth in a pool because I heard that it was less painful and your chances or tearing were minimal and so since I was in Jericho half way through my pregnancy, i sent out my dear sissy on a mission to finding a birthing pool place for me and like the hero she always is, she was able to get me on a waiting list to the Pointe Claire birthing house…and a few weeks later I got the call and I was in! I was so relieved and I couldn’t believe that I was going that route, but in my mind it was still a better option that the hospital. So as soon as I got to Montreal, I went to meet my midwife and my journey started there. She was knowledgeable and very assertive and knew what she was doing and pretty much slapped my fears out of me. She assured me that giving birth naturally is a good way to go and that many women before me have done it and that there is no fear in the process. Theses midwives are trained and have basic (a little more than basic) knowledge of medicine and so if there’s an emergency they can act quickly while waiting on an actual doctor to arrive. Although I went in later during my pregnancy to the birthing house, they made sure to keep me up to date on classes and natal care. They were always available on call for me whenever I had doubts, fears or questions.
I was lucky enough that my whole birth experience took five hours in total but my midwife was with me every minute and gave me strength when I became weak and pushed me to keep going when I almost gave up. Giving birth is not easy by any means and having done it, un-medicated at that, is a huge accomplishment in my books and I feel like from here on out, I am a superhero and nothing can stop me! I am not saying that going to a hospital is bad or giving birth through a c-section is any less heroic, all I am saying is, this experience gave me the strength I needed to say: yes, I can now conquer the world!
Honestly, it may seem so “retarded” to talk about midwives and birthing homes because we have hospitals and all the technology we need, but truly they are game changing in the labour/delivery process and sometimes, less is more. My experience proves that they still have space and room to practice their jobs safely without complications. Every experience and journey is different…but I am confident when I say (if you’re planning to give birth) that having birthing houses as an option in your pregnancy is excellent and you should look into it more.
It has been a hot minute since I have written a post as I have been so busy with baby and honestly I am only starting to get the hangs of things…7 weeks in. It feels so weird not to carry so much weight around and even so much weirder (in a good way) to wake up to a baby next to you. I am not going to lie, it was hard on me being a mom at first, I felt so freaking overwhelmed and cried all the freaking time and I couldn’t explain why. Yes, hormones take time to settle back to the way they used or be or at lease close to that. However, my anxiousness was getting worst and I simply couldn’t brush it off. My daughter was next to me all the time and I still felt anxious about everything. Is she cold is she warm? Is she comfortable? Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? All these questions kept me from relaxing just a tiny bit. Being able to take care of another life is a blessing and a burden at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom (more than I thought I would), but the guilt is real and it only gets worst, even if what you are doing is good. I think it is embedded in us moms to always be alert and give without boundaries and it is our responsibility to set some boundaries early on so that we do not forget to take care of ourselves. I may have let myself go for the past 7 weeks, but as I am getting more comfortable taking care of little Sofia, I am also more comfortable leaving her with someone else even though I have separation anxiety. It is important to understand that you are not alone in motherhood and that there is always someone feeling the same as you or someone that can help you see clearly. I was very adamant asking for help because I thought that it would make me look weak and that I couldn’t handle being a mom, but in fact you just end up burning out and being frustrated and that is neither good for you or the baby.
Having other moms around me telling me how to handle certain situations made me go nuts because I was always worried that I wasn’t doing a good job. At the end of the day, each mother is different and each baby is different and I think it is important to know what makes you and your baby happy. Forget others! Do you! So here I am, 7 weeks later, feeling much more comfortable with the whole idea of motherhood and learning to appreciate every passing moment, because, MAN, does time fly! It surely isn’t easy and babies are demanding and they’re a lot of work, but those little giggles and coos and smiles make things a little better. Those little warm cuddles make all the bad and ugly much more beautiful. I never thought in a million years that I would be a mom and a good one at that. I always thought that I would have 6 cats and that would be my legacy.
So, to all the mums out there, please stop feeling guilty, because it’s such a stupid feeling and you are totes wasting your time! We all make mistakes and no one is perfect and as long as your children are healthy and happy then you are 100% doing great. Give yourselves credit and share the load whenever you feel like it’s getting heavy, there’s no shame in that! And if you are feeling anxious, don’t ever forget it…you’re not alone!
I don’t know how things will go from now on but all I know is to take it day by day and enjoy the little triumphs and the little moments, because those fly and never come back. But most importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourselves too, because you do matter!
As I have spent the last few weeks running around like a headless chicken prepping for the arrival of the baby, I forgot to take the time to take care of little old me. I know that I won’t get much time to do so after baby come for a few months until I am all settled. So I figured will take the time now for myself and enjoy it while it lasts. Spending time with my husband (who’s here for baby’s birth) is giving me the nudge to put it all aside and focus on us but mostly me. There is nothing wrong with a little selfish time to take care of your own needs, besides if you’re happy, then everyone else around you will be happy. You will radiate positive energy and that is always inspiring.
Here are my top tips on self-care and how you get to enjoy yourself and be all relaxed.
1) SKIN CARE
That is like my holy grail of self-care. I am not going to lie; I am a huge sucker when it comes to skincare. I like to splurge because I feel like if I am good in my own skin, then I am more confident and I feel like I can conquer the world. Good skin gives me the push to put myself out there. I know I struggled in that department quite a bit when I was younger, but I learned that when working with good products (pricey or not), you will achieve your goal to perfect skin. I am super indulgent when it comes to masks and I like to do it whenever I have time. Back when I was single, it was a daily ritual for me…but since getting married, I have slacked a bit, perhaps because I have less free time on my hands. However, I vowed to get back to it, because it makes me happy! So ladies, mask away! Trust me, you’ll feel better!
This is pretty obvious but I tend to forget to hydrate and it just makes me feel sluggish, lethargic and causes me to have headaches. Well, headaches no more because I am getting back on track. I find it quite hard sometimes to replenish on the H2O but it is the essence of our existence. I sometimes go a full day not even drinking 1 cup of water and I realize it is bad for me…but I just don’t think of it. However, now, I have a refillable water bottle with me and I spend most of my day with it in my hands so that I remember to drink up and stay hydrated. It not only helps me with headache, but it also helps me with my skin. It’s much more hydrated and smooth; I don’t feel like a lizard anymore. Staying hydrated helps your body detox hence giving you more energy to be out and about doing your thing!
I have always been an active girl…since I was little and I am not about to let it go. However, since hitting the third trimester, feeling heavy and tired weren’t helping me in that department. The least I would do these days is take a walk and trying to get to 10 000 steps as a goal. Most day, not gonna lie, I don’t get to my goal, but at least I know I tried. I always loved to exercise as a means to detox my brain from bad thoughts and bad energy—yes it was also for my body, but mostly for my mental health. I was always a pretty angry child and stress was eating me up, so the only way I found to let that all go was through working out. I did everything anyone could possibly do, like zumba, pilates, yoga, dance, you name it!!! As long as I move, I am happy and I cannot wait to get back into working out, because I always feel much healthier and much happier. Work out ladies! Work out for your mental health!!!
When I was little, I remember eating up books for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I loved loved loved reading! It was our things as a family when we were little…going to the library every weekend was a ritual and we all loved it so much. As the years went by, I slowly started losing that habit and it makes me quite sad that I let it go. Reading feeds your soul! It transports you to worlds undiscovered and it helps your imagination flow and your brain to be in working gear rather than being lazy. Taking the time to read before bed helps you relax and forget about the burdens you may carry. Taking the time to read a book daily is a challenge but a good one because you know you’re doing yourself some good. I am slowly getting back into it and I am enjoying it so far.
5) DO WHAT YOU LOVE
I have always been an advocate about pushing people into doing what they love because I know what it feels like. That pure beautiful raw rush that you get when you do something you love is irreplaceable. We live only once and taking the time to do something you love, whatever it may be is fulfilling and satisfying. Living your dreams is not impossible, we just need to let go of our fears and our limitations. Impossible is nothing! I try as much as possible to have a little list of things I wish to do and cross it off slowly and man is it amazing to know that you can! Even if it seems silly to others, do it anyway. Like blogging, or vlogging or riding a bike even, whatever it may be, do it for you and only you and never listen to what others have to say. It is easy for others to judge you…or humans judging each other in general, but fuck it and live the moment and live your dreams because you never know when your time will come. Even though I am going to be a mom very soon, I will still have that list close to my heart and accomplish whatever I can because I know that the happier I am, the happier my little family will be.
Very much like exercising for many, meditating is food for your soul. For me, it is what gives me the power and the energy to keep the show going. Taking 30 minutes daily for yourself to pray, meditate or simply reflect on your life and your purpose should be enough to keep you happy. For me it’s praying and I find that when I take the time to pray, I feel less anxious, less stressed and less disoriented. I, like many other women around the world, tend to be very hard on myself and demand a lot more of myself than I can give and that is a sucky attitude to have. We women feel like we need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and we want to take care of it all and if we don’t, well we feel like failures. But let me tell you ladies, we do a lot more than men do (not being sexist—its’ just fact), but we still cannot accept it and still want to do more. This is why mediation is important because you take the time to reflect on your life and take the time to love yourself more, appreciate yourself more and respect yourself more.
7) EAT HEALTHY
Not saying we can’t indulge and eat that greasy burger or eat those crispy fries, I am saying be balanced. Life is not about forbidding yourself from enjoying the bounties given to you; it’s about knowing when to indulge and when to restrain yourself. However, eating healthy keeps your body in check and keeps you active and happy. Eating healthy keeps you from feeling sluggish and tired and that should be your number one priority. Your body is your temple and taking care of it will keep you positive. Besides, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, it can be creative and exciting; you just have to learn a few tricks.
Last but not least, sleep! Sleep people!!!! That is probably one thing I am struggling with lately and will struggle with for a little while longer. The less sleep I get, the more tired I feel, the grumpier I feel, and the less motivated I feel. Despite having less sleep, I still try to stay active…but some days I just want to be a couch potato. I suffered from insomnia for the longest time and was able to run on little to no sleep sometimes but lately I have been wanting to cocoon and sleeeepp. But man, I can’t help but feel guilty whenever I feel the need to nap because I feel like I could be more productive to the universe. However, it is good to sleep and when you feel like taking little naps, do so, because when you are rested, your body and mind are stronger and you have the power to do anything you want to do.
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So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, treat yourselves with love and dignity and don’t be afraid to tell yourselves that you’re doing great; it doesn’t mean you’re a show-off or a self-centred asshole, it just means you acknowledge that you are human and that you need a break. There is no harm in taking the time for yourselves and try to live without judgement and negativity. There’s only one life and you deserve to be happy, everyone deserves that!
I can’t believe I’m at the last stretch of this pregnancy, feels like only yesterday I found out I was pregnant; it’s surreal and super crazy and I can’t believe that we get to meet our little baby soon. Ugh, I am going to take care of a little monster/stranger soon (terms of endearment, promise!). There are so many thoughts going a million miles and hour through my mind lately and it is quite overwhelming but I am sure that once the birth happens and the baby is here, it will all settle down and the pieces of the puzzle will fit right in. I feel quite different from the start of the pregnancy; I was quite sour and bitchy about it…and I almost felt like perhaps it was a burden, but as the months went by and my “bond” grew stronger with the little human inside me, I learned that this baby truly is a blessing and that I was saved from doing stupid shit in the future. I am not quite sure if I am ready to be a mom yet, but I know that I will do my best to be a good and supportive mother; I am bound to make mistakes and learn new things along the way, by I am ready for what’s to come…or at least I think I am. I figured that I would take it day by day and just roll with it. As long as I have my partner in crime with me (aka le husband), then I should be fine. The third trimester quickly crept on me and although it is mostly good so far, there a little few ouches here and there. In today’s post I am sharing with you a little update of this journey so far.
Pelvic & Back pains
I don’t really mind them, I get along just fine but these pains do become more intense as you get closer and closer to your due date. Baby becomes heavy and muscles start to loosen up and some this creates more pressure on the body…I usually manage this pain by either living through it and not thinking about it or simply by stretching and usually that helps me. If I feel the need to do a bubble/Epsom salt bath, then I do so, but it is honestly super rare because like I said, my tolerance to pain is quite high and this to me feels like a regular Tuesday. So fret not ladies, you can do this!!! The pain will eventually fade and not focusing on it makes it much more tolerable.
I have spoken about feeling the contractions lightly in the second trimester update but ohhhh they get much more intense are you get closer and closer to you due date… I am now at 35 weeks and I sometimes feel like I might have the baby soon! Haha! Not but for real, they are a little uncomfortable but nothing too drastic. I try to relax and let them pass and voila, life is set, I go back to doing what I am usually doing.
This one is probably the worst for me, I already hate the feeling of being dry and it seems like my belly is getting worst and worst and itchier and itchier; I despise this feeling and so I lather on cream almost 4 times a day now. I don’t use a specific pregnancy cream, because I figured any cream works…and long as it is hydrating and not filled with yucky chemicals. I am sticking to coconut milk infused cream at the moment and it is keeping me quite content and itch-free.
I am still undecided whether the dry skin part or the heartburn bother me the most…I would say they’re probably equal at this point. I mean, okay, maybe heartburn is the worst…ugh, I try as much as possible to avoid spicy food, but even at that sometimes eating something just a tad it too saucy will give you lava lungs till you take Tums. Holllly!! So unpleasant; pregnancy hormones relax the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus…then acid reflux happens…then heartburn happens.
Cankles & swelling
This part of the pregnancy is quite painful, especially if you’re petit like me, because the weight get real and the load puts a lot of pressure on your ankles and so they hurt non-stop. Sometimes, even when I am sitting my ankles throb and I find it quite difficult to fit in any shoe at the moment and I am trying really really hard not to wear ugly flip-flops! I just can’t so this fashion faux-pas…so i try to stay hydrated, walk a lot but also rest a lot and put my feet up. So far, the pain is manageable but sometimes I need a little massage to feel better. Again, not much left, so I try to bear with.
Like I said, third trimester wasn’t so bad for me; still very bearable and still much better than the first trimester. When I was younger, I was quite conceited and very concerned about my body and I always made sure to be active and healthy. As years went by, I cared less about my body and more about my mental health. However, now, seeing all these changes happening to my body and how I might not be the same as I was before I was pregnant…it honestly doesn’t bother me anymore. I feel like knowing that you are harbouring a little soul inside you makes you realize that nothing else matters as long as the child is healthy and that the changes that happen to your body are actually miracles. It’s so funny how this mental transformation happened in only a few months but I am very proud of becoming the way I am now, because it takes a lot of courage to go through pregnancy and I salute all the women who go bravely thought it time and time again. Hats off to you ladies!
Getting into this pregnancy, I didn’t know what exactly needed to go down…having been followed by different doctors is a little confusing and since the majority of my pregnancy was spent in the Middle East, I was unclear about a lot of the complications and issues that could potentially happen during last trimester. Although I had done the glucose/diabetes test in Jericho and ended up receiving very high test results…I didn’t take it too seriously because I thought maybe it was just a mistake. Redoing the test was a must when I met up with my midwife here; I ended up doing the 3 hours glucose tolerance test and I wasn’t that pleasant. Basically this test is to be done with a 8 hours fast and once you get to your appointment, they take a blood sample the second you arrive and they then give you a glucose orange (super gross) solution to drink and make you wait for 1 hour. Then they take another blood sample and let you wait another hour and then for the last time, take another blood sample. Unfortunately, I ended up having horrible results and had high glucose level at all 3 blood draws, which sucks ass! That is called gestational diabetes and I still didn’t take it seriously until my midwife explained to me how serious and dangerous it could be for me and my baby if not taken care of immediately.
Basically gestational diabetes is when pregnant women end up having type 2 diabetes; the pancreas becomes a little dysfunctional and doesn’t process sugar well. This means the excess sugar you have goes through the placenta and directly to the baby. What is important to note is that if not taken care of, the excess sugar will make your baby overweight which will then lead to complications in delivery. Babies born to mothers with poorly treated gestational diabetes are at increased risk of being too large, having low blood sugar after birth, and jaundice. And to the most extreme, if diabetes is untreated, it can result in a stillbirth.
I then didn’t have too much choice but work on keeping my glucose level stable for the next 3 months. I am now followed by a nutritionist, a doctor and my midwife; seems a bit extreme, I know! I feel a little bit overwhelmed with the whole process but I am getting the hang of it, now that I am in it. I basically now carry a glucose monitor around and I have to check my sugar levels at least 5 times a day (before and after meals). Since I am not too much of a sweet tooth anyway, my nutritionist didn’t force me to extremely change my diet but rather to add more fibre and protein; which isn’t too complicated anyway.
It’s been a week now since I started this checking process and I am getting the hang of it. It’s not as bad as I thought and honestly anyone can get the hang of it too. You just have to be patient and it’s not about cutting every sweet thing off, it’s about balance. Everything in life is about balance.
Gestational diabetes/pregnancy diabetes is not like regular diabetes, results are a bit different because we have to be extra vigilant about the intake. Our levels should be less than 5.3 before food and less than 7.8 after food. My high glucose level is mostly related to stress…but also when I consume liquid sugars, which I wasn’t aware of. Drinking milk is one of the main reasons I end up with high results. My dietician explained to me that it’s okay to drink milk, but to do it in small quantities at a time. The same goes for anything sweet; such as dates or cake or whatever, it is important to try to avoid sweets, but if I have urges, I can eat them in controlled quantities.
Along with watching what I eat, my doctor and dietician both recommended that I work out at least 30 minutes or more daily. Since I lose my balance easily these days, due to my huge belly, I choose to walk and I try to 10 000 steps daily. So far, so good and I feel like it gives me more energy to be active. On days where my glucose levels are high, I feel it in my body and my energy; I feel disgusting and super lethargic…my body is achy and weak. So for the sake of being more active and happy, I choose to just keep up with this new routine.
With the help that I am getting, I feel less overwhelmed and I feel like this is not major anymore and that I can get through it. I think once you receive the help necessary, you automatically feel safe and content. The team I am with is super professional and very informative and what I love it that they take the time to answer my questions and put me at ease. So if you’re pregnant and suffer from gestational diabetes, you can do it!
I am pretty sure most of you know that this month is Ramadan and for us Muslims it’s a month where we put aside our demons and flaws and try to repent to cleanse our systems and souls of all the negativity. It is also a month where it is important to truly experience the life of the less fortunate. I actually love this month and remember being excited about since I was 5 or 6. I remember asking my mom to do it but she wouldn’t allow me because I was still too little. Yet, she let me try it for a couple of hours. Basically, you fast from sunrise to sunset and go on about your day but still manage to find the time to pray and read Quran. Islam is such a beautiful religion, it teaches us patience, virtue and compassion. I really try, whether it is Ramadan or not, to go by those teachings. In our world, it is quite hard to walk down the path of kindness because of all the bad shit we see around us, but it is the best way. Being evil, that doesn’t need work, it just comes to us so naturally I find; which sucks, especially when someone really hurts you. Revenge is usually our first instinct. Unfortunately though, there are those extremists that start spreading the religion in a bad way, which happens with any religion really. I don’t find that you need to go around town and spread your beliefs on anyone, practice it for yourself in your heart. For me, religion is about your relationship with yourself and God and basically how you decide to treat others. It’s not about how many times you go to the mosque to pray, it’s about having a pure and kind heart. So, sometimes, when I accumulate so much negativity in my core, I find that Ramadan is a good way for me to let that go and regain focus on the beauty of humanity and life itself.
With that aside, as y’all have seen, I am now 24 weeks pregnant and I decided, with the clearance of my doctor of course to take on Ramadan and fast as much as I could. I gave myself a day or two to see how I feel but thankfully, it has been wonderful. I am super thankful that I have the current energy to fast and that makes me feel so proud. Here in Jericho, we fast about 15 hours (maybe 16) and this is how I decided to keep myself healthy throughout this Holy month.
Suhor is the time you take before sunrise to eat something sustainable to get your through your day. It’s the meal where you should get most of nutrients to stock up on energy. I like to eat light yet healthy and I make sure to add as many vitamins as possible since I am preggo. I opted to go for avocados on toast with a side bowl of oats filled with fruits and nuts with a dash of maple syrup. For extra energy, I sometimes eat 3 dates. With that of course, I drink 2 cups of water. So far, this little meal has given my battery the necessary energy to keep rolling through my day. Since I get tired a little easier now (preggo problems), I try to take it easy during the day. I do the basics at home, like the cleaning and washing, but I don’t run marathons, you know what I mean? It’s been a week now since Ramadan started and I can safely say that so far so good. Haven’t had real issues or complaints; on the contrary, I feel like I am more active.
This is the meal you eat to break your fast and it basically happens once the sun sets. People tend to go ham and eat loads of food all at once, but since I want to avoid vomiting and stuff (which happened only once since I started fasting), I eat pretty slows and start with a warm soup and a basic green salad. Then take a little break and end up eating whatever there is that day. Since my in laws are receiving everyone this Ramadan, I don’t cook and we just end up going to their house every day to do iftar. I don’t like to feel bloated or heavy, so I eat little just to keep myself vertical until I have time to have a little snack a few hours later. So for my snack, I wait about 3 hours after breaking my fast and then just end up having a plain cup of tea with a small little chocolate cake (caffeine I know, indulgent I know, but it’s so yum!) and then take my prenatal vitamins. In the meantime, between those hours I try to drink plenty of water to keep my body hydrated and cool. It has been very hot around here lately and so water is vital for me since I dry up pretty fast.
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So this is my Ramadan update, I wanted to write those blog because I was looking for some to read up on to know what other Muslim women experienced but couldn’t find any. So I figured, this could be helpful to some and sharing my story seems pretty easy. Now I know everyone is different and our reactions our different and so before you try fasting long hours, I suggest you talk to your doctor first to make sure that baby’s health is good. I of course don’t want to harm my child and so if at any point I feel like I can’t do it anymore, I will stop, but for now, this works for me and if you want to try it for a day or two first, do so at your own convenience. But remember to always eat healthy and stay hydrated!
It’s kind of true when they say that the second trimester is like the honeymoon phase of the pregnancy. I feel like once I hit the fifth month of my pregnancy, I feel more energetic and happy; I want to keep moving and working which, unfortunately, leads me to often forget that I am pregnant. There were many times where I suddenly hit my bump because I forgot it was there to start with. I would say that the second trimester has been quite smooth. There were a few days were I felt lethargic and exhausted, but for the most part I was out and about killing it at life. However, there were a few little things that bugged me but not to the point where I was un-functional.
1- Extra Dry Skin
This is honestly the biggest thing that annoyed me so far in my second trimester and continues to bug me to this day. My skin is super dry all over and it literally hurts because of how dry it is. It feels like you constantly need to slather on cream but it never seems to be enough. My skin cracks easily and ends up burning. It almost feels like I’ve got road rash most of the time. It was mild at first, but as weeks went by, it got worst and I go through tubs and tubs of cream just to relieve myself and stop itching. I would say that when you pass the 23 weeks, you start feeling the stretching of your belly and itching might seems like the best option, but don’t do that!!! You’ll end up damaging your epidermis and potentially worsening your stretch marks (if you’ve got any). I used a lavender oil blend, because I had it on hand, which worked wonderfully for me…but anything works really; as long as my skin doesn’t burn like hell.
2- Tender Breasts
This probably got worst once I hit the end of my fifth month. I was fine all through my first trimester…but as time goes by, I feel like my breasts are just huge and hot all the time; wearing a bra hurts, moving hurts and even slightly and mistakenly brushing them hurts so much. I try to stay away from bras when indoors…but it’s bearable. It’s not a big deal, but it’s there, s don’t feel like it’s weird or alarming, it’s part of the process; your breasts are preparing for milk.
That is probably the worst one for me! You want to eat naughty or spicy things sometimes, but you end up suffering the consequences. You gotta live with it, what can I say? Or maybe just take Tums? Whenever I east something slightly spicy or overly seasoned, I go through heartburns automatically. My solution is just go with Milk or eat plain yogurt. I don’t want to take to many pills and so, going with this simple option is good enough and keeps me happy. It’s funny, because you don’t expect this to happen to you as such a young age…but then it happens and then you’re like WTF. Haha! Once I got the hang of it, through my trimester, I learned which foods to avoid and which foods to go with. You live and you learn I guess. Besides, suffering with heartburn is a lot more bearable for me than puking my soul away.
4-Sowllen Everything…You get Puffy
Yes, I said it, you get puffy!! Prepare yourself ladies for the cankles! You’ll instantly feel sexy once your feet swell up, it’s not even funny!!! Omg, so far, my knees and ankles are dead. The pain is real! I feel the weight and my knees are suffering, but since I know it’s temporary, I try to get by without thinking about it too much. Instead, I push myself to move more and workout because I feel relief when I do so. As for my swollen feet, I know I gotta take a break and lift them up for a couple of minutes. I feel like a cow most of the time because I can no longer reach my feet to massage them, but hubs has been wonderful and helping me with that. As your body retains more fluid and circulation gets poorer, try to avoid salty things and drink water constantly. So far, my face, thankfully isn’t swollen and here’s my crossed fingers hoping so hard not to have that happen.
5- Stomach Pains and Braxton Hicks
I would say that my stomach pain is not that constant but definitely there. There are days where I suffer with how much my stomach hurts, but if I lie down for a little bit and let it pass, I get through it easily. The pain feels weird, almost like I’ve got gastro or bad IBS episodes, but I guess it’s normal as the uterus grows and grows and everything gets pushed up. The stomach gets hard and you feel like your muscles are stretching and pulling, but you’ll get through it, I promise! As for the Braxton Hicks, I felt worried at first, because it’s like period pain and it almost feels like I’ve got contractions. But thankfully there was nothing to be alarmed about; it’s just my uterus preparing itself for labour, so then I know it’s not a big deal. If the pain was regular and the contractions felt more present, then I would freak out more…but these Braxton Hicks don’t last long and usually go away on their own after a few minutes.
6- Baby’s kicks
I wouldn’t add this as a bad “symptom” whatsoever, because, on the contrary, it’s a beautiful thing. Feeling the baby move is such a weird, inexplicable feeling!!! In the beginning of the second trimester, it feels like little flutters in your tummy, but as baby grows, you feel like kicks and punches and I have to say, this is what made me start falling in love with my baby. It feels surreal to have a life inside you but it’s a beautiful feeling, almost poetic. Hubby enjoys it as he feels the kicks; he finds it quite funny and laughs when I get bothered sometimes. Seeing his loving reaction towards our little monster is super adorable and I just want to eat him!
So, I would say, when you hit the second trimester, enjoy every moment because when you get passed that, the weight and the struggle gets real. However, I learned that if you stop counting the days and just enjoy your pregnancy day in day out, the experience gets easier. Take everything with a grain of salt and if one day you feel sick or bad, take the time to be just that and focus on your wellbeing, but don’t give up, because the next day gets better!
Yes that’s right, my pregnancy has turned me into a vegetarian mama. I was never a huge fan of meat to start with and I was a vegetarian for a couple of years when I was in college, so this really isn’t new to me but I was worried about my baby’s health. I had and still have loads of people bashing me because I cannot eat meat or poultry right now and it wasn’t a decision I made, it’s just how it ended up. And I quite often get asked if it’s because of my love for animals that I decided to turn vegetarian, um, not really! I do believe that there’s a food chain that exists and you can choose to follow suit or not…but my decision to become vegetarian was because I truly started hating the taste of animal produce. Every time I ate either meat or poultry, I ended up being either too nauseous, too sick or simply couldn’t digest it. Being in my fifth month of pregnancy, I am still worried that I am not eating enough good nutrients to give them to my baby. I searched loads of forums online to feel better about my condition but really couldn’t find anything helpful. I didn’t want to be classified as a bad mother even though the baby is not out yet! So, I spoke to my doctor who then reassured me that as long as I eat veggies and fruits that my baby will have enough nutrients to grow healthy, the only issue was my own health, because I could end up with major health issues after birth, he advised me to take extra vitamins to get my energy and health going. As long as you eat, he said, the good stuff will go directly to your baby through the placenta and he/she will grow healthy.
Because I didn’t want to end up sick after giving birth, I forced myself to eat hearty vegetarian recipes that included a lot of proteins and vitamins like dates, sweet potatoes, avocados and nuts. Now I cannot say I am completely vegetarian as I luckily started loving fish, which I hated once upon a time.
My cravings currently are mostly healthy food, which is so weird, because I always thought that women crave fast food or naughty treats. Although I do have the salt & vinegar chips cravings once in a while, I mostly want fresh lettuce and peaches. I don’t complain because that helps me maintain a steady energy level and keeps my health going. Plus on the good side, not that I really care, I haven’t gained that much weight up to now and so I am trying to enjoy that as much as possible because movement is easier.
So if you’re pregnant like me and worried about not eating meat or poultry, don’t worry too much, just eat a healthy and balanced diet filled with proteins, vitamins and antioxidants to keep your blood pumping and your energy flowing. And most importantly don’t listen to other people’s judgements; you do you as long as you and your baby are healthy.
Those who say that the second trimester is the honeymoon phase of the pregnancy and they are absolutely right! Since hitting the 17 weeks mark I have been feeling quite energetic and happy all over because I eat better and I don’t vomit my life away anymore. Not gonna lie, there are days where I feel like I am literally dying but most of the time I am up for everything and anything. But since I am getting a little heavier and a little wonkier and my joints hurt if I don’t move around too much, I have made it my mission to workout lightly every day for the next couple of months till the baby is out. I started with a little yoga and then transitioned to prenatal workouts. I found a couple that were interesting on YouTube but some were super intense and I feel like I do want to work out but not kill myself. Since the baby is low, I tend to have a little bit of bleeding here and there, so I don’t want to push myself to the point where something, God forbid, goes bad. It’s just simple 20 to 30 minutes workouts to get the blood pumping and the joints moving and oiled. It might seem like an everyday workout is insane and intense for being pregnant but trust me, it’s the perfect amount of movement you need to get your body and core strong in preparation of the delivery.
I have found these amazing videos from a beautiful lady called Amy from the YouTube channel Bodyfit by Amy. She’s very energetic, super lovable, interesting and pulls you into her workout routines to give you the maximum benefit with less pain and discomfort as possible. Her workouts vary depending on what you are looking for and what I like the most with Amy is that she gives you options while working out depending on your strength and your level of ease. I have been doing these routines for about a month now and I honestly cannot be happier that I have taken the chance on doing so. My joints feel better, my body is less achy and my energy is steady day in day out. I am content with the videos and workout routines and I tend to alternate between cardio, stretching, balancing and strengthening; I alternate between 3 videos and depending on the days and how I feel, I either push more or less without injuring myself. Stretching really does help with releasing the tension you start to feel in your hip area and that helps me sleep better at night. What’s great about finding Amy’s videos is that I can work out whenever I want from the comfort of my own home and plus, extra bonus, it’s absolutely free.
Here are the links to the 3 videos I currently use:
I think it is super important to move during your pregnancy because you’ll feel better and less sorry for yourself. With my own experience, I find that I am less angry with my pregnancy and I definitely enjoy it more because of the rise in my energy levels. My stamina is better and I am less breathless than before! I can go up the stairs without panting like a frantic dog. And, I deal with my emotions and hormones much better. My goal when I started training is to be skinny or the fittest in the world, it was more to keep my mental state happy and healthy. Couldn’t be happier and I suggest you looking into these videos because they’re really good!