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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Swelling during pregnancy...

Every now and then I look down at my feet and see little pudgy toes wiggling back at me...

I remembered my midwife and mom saying to really watch that as it can be a sign of more serious conditions such as Preeclampsia which did happen to my Aunt when she carried my one cousin. And another thing to watch for is morning swelling when you wake up vs at the end of the day when you might've been on your feet all day. This too may indicate something's wrong, but not always. It just something to keep and eye on and a great way to do this is to watch if you can get your wedding ring (or any other ring your might wear on a regular basis) off and on without struggle. Yay for me I can still wear my wedding ring!

I did however notice swelling when I woke and asked my midwife about it and she said as long as there's no pitting and or you can still see your ankles all is well. In fact, in your 3rd tri and if you eat a higher salt based meal you may wake up a little puffier than you did pre pregnancy. Unless you retain water easy then it may be nothing new, I never really have.

Another thing my midwife reminded me of was the fact your body has produced more blood to help grow/support your baby and that it's perfectly natural to look a little "fuller" in various areas of the body. (4000 to 5600 mL roughyl) This is pretty much my case unless I do indulge on a little too much salt which I usually do a good job at not over eating now that I'm past the months where you need extra. It's not hard :) Esp since I've had a sweet tooth vs salty taste haha Thanks to the Hubs and his genetic side feeding the baby. I blame him ;)

So rules of thumb for swelling: 

1. Remember your blood volume has increased.

2. It may be due to way too much salt intake that increased water retention. 
(Think of how much water do you normally retain or don't retain)

3. No pitting is a very good sign!
(Same with being able to still seeing your ankles)

4. Watch your body, if you suddenly wake or rapidly gain weight get in touch with your midwife or health care provider! Better safe than sorry.

5. How do your wedding rings fit or don't fit?
(It's a good thing if they still fit!) 

6. If you swell, keep your feet up for a bit and relax while hydrating. 

Here are a few extra tips from another blogger

Have a great evening!
Shannon <3

Stretchmarks round 2 and the pregnancy "mask"

Remember when I wrote about stretchmarks in odd places?
If not look at the link above :)

Nobody was more shocked than me when I saw them popping up at such a rapid rate! 
I had heard this could happen but didn't think it would really happen to me. So the day I saw them starting I was like, "Aww really? Ugh. Great. Where's my lotion??....." 
My mom got off w/out a single mark! So I have somebody else in my bloodline to thank... I know this bc I had some from before (In another location) when I had a growth spurt from skinny thing with zero curves to a woman who had curves. I had those pretty clear and softened out nicely, but as we know they never fully go away and if they do it's a blessing!

(The most G rated version I could find with a rough example)

Well the stretching continued as my bust has continued to grow and grow and grow and hey... Grow some more!! My mom looked at me and was like "Holy cow Shannon! What size are you wearing?" I am in an XL soft cup bra from Target. Yes, that's right, an XL!! That puts me in the upper C to D cup family. My Aunt saw me several months back and was like, "You'll be a D cup!" and now that I think about it, bigger boobs do run in the family. Mom just hit the middle range as had I. Not to say I'm not wowed by this... Good Lord!

I've been using lotion as much as I can remember to and when my husband told me the other day it looked like they were fading I didn't believe him. Didn't want to get my hopes up. Until now! Shocked to say they've started to heal over even tho I continue to grow, what an odd thing to see so fast. I wouldn't put it past a few newer popping up but hey, they're healing! 


There's another skin condition taking place on my bust...

Melasma (Chloasma) aka The Pregnancy Mask.

What are common cases for this you may ask?

Well, it's pretty simple to explain: 

A. Ladies with a more olive to brown skin tones are more likely to have this.

B. Ladies who are on BC pills or hormone replacement therapy.

C. Sun worshipers.

These are most common and will have you more likely to see this happen and it usually happens on the lower portion of the face but I never put it past happening on other areas of the body. (This is our skin we're talking about.)

The hormones Estrogen and Progesterone are what cause this and A-C up there are other factors that make it doubly possible. Mine would be the olive undertones from my Cherokee and Hebrew. Add the INTENSE physical reactions I've had to all these pregnancy hormones and it makes perfect sense. Thinking about it, it's really not that bad if it only happens on my bust. It may cover a fair amount of space but I'll take that over continued stretchmarks popping up. There's that chance it'll fade after baby comes and the body calms down in the melanin production department anyway.

**If it should stay esp for those who have it on their face you can always seek professional help from an Aesty or dermatologist. There are several options depending on how dark and how much it bothers you that we can offer. Chemical peels and various at home treatments are a few as lasers are a more intensive step and should be done with caution. Just remember SPF to help it from getting worse as you mature!!

Pregnancy is such a ride and for those who aren't informed it can be a scary time.
I keep seeing mom's who were never told about stuff and they're freaking out. :(
Not to say I haven't had my *gasp* moments in shock over something I never knew.
haha Not so. It's happened.

 It's time for me to dash!
 Hope this finds you well, I'm off to get more water and some food...

Shannon <3 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gaining weight during pregnancy...

On the baby board at as well as some people I've observed there's something brewing that makes me very concerned... The odd celebration of not weight during their pregnancy for fear of either loosing their body or not wanting to have a bigger baby. Now. You are naturally cautioned to not gain too much weight for obvious reasons. Yours and the baby's health.

"I'm still in my pre pregnancy jeans and haven't needed to change much by way of clothing!! How amazing, hardly any weight gain!!" 

You can see when a woman's physical shape is built to naturally have that thin structure vs somebody who's got some curves. And there are health conditions that make it difficult for some to gain weight but this isn't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the mom who has it fixed in her head NOT to gain much weight in the unhealthy sense.
There are many reasons as to why this happens and many of them spiritual based.
No, I'm not going nutty on you I'm stating it in terms of deep wounds that sometimes we don't even know we have... Thus I believe eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder and other conditions along those lines are all due in part to a lie bought into long ago. It's such a sad and scary thing because in the end it's meant to destroy us. I wrote one of my very first blogs on a girl who's funeral I was at that she died due to an eating disorder...
She was only 20.
It shook me and broke me as I too suffered from one years ago...

My point is that the fear of not gaining weight in pregnancy is more of a fear from something deeper within... Heck it could be due to the fact you grew up with a weight leery mother who harped on you to watch yours and would always have a critical comment if it looked like you gained even an ounce (Not my case by any means, my mom was telling me I need more weight on me). This is damaging to a young girl! I've seen what it does to a woman and it breaks my heart. What a young pregnant mother doesn't see right away are the ramifications this could have on her unborn baby...

Common issues:
Low birth weight on the infant
Premature birth
Poor heart, lung and brain development

Other issues later down the road can consist of:
Potentially stunted body growth
Poor Bone development
Low immune systems and more...

We don't even know everything that really can happen when it comes down to it.
Thus a health care provider cautions you on your workouts and daily diet.
For 9 mos there's a bigger picture than just yourself and it's your developing baby.

I was worried I wouldn't gain weight at first due to my morning sickness but soon learned I was. Peanut butter saved my butt, literally ;) In fact so far I've gained 41lbs! My goal was 35lbs like my mom but I've had to take it easier so there's been less physical work and more time with my feet up to rest my back etc... I'm okay with that, esp when my best friend who's small like me stated she gained 50lbs for hers and she looked amazing!

They give you various indexes online and they're a basic guild line to get an idea of what you may or may not need to gain to have a healthy pregnancy. If you're a few lbs over it's usually okay, usually. It's the few under that should concern, esp since every lb helps baby. Esp during the 3rd trimester!

Here's a breakdown for what the weight you're gaining is...

"I've been in maternity clothes for awhile now and have hit my 3rd trimester and am growing out of stuff! This can't be good!"

What I would tell our mommies who came into Motherhood when shopping, "You can buy a steady set of clothes to help you along for now but there's a chance you'll have to change a size up once you hit your 3rd trimester. It's normal! Here let me help you..."

I myself have officially hit that...
I needed new sleeping bras, underwear, some shirts haha
All of a sudden the belly pops even more and the boobs take a flying leap to "Holy Moses!" and you're left with small clothing that fit you not 1 week back... My goodness :)

"But I don't want stretch marks!"

50% Of pregnant ladies get these during their pregnancy and most if it is due to genetics or poor skin care. Yes, a super amount of weight gain might do this, but a skinny chick can get them too! Doesn't mean you're fat. Just remember to hydrate, stay nutritious and take supplements to aid in skin health, lotion and oils etc... Also, yes, it can be genetics!

"What about my pre baby body?!"

That takes time and for some longer than others.
Basically it's about diet and physical activity and NOT skipping meals!
You can't starve yourself and try to breast feed at the same time, you'll be feeding your baby an empty diet if you skimp on meals. You still need extra calories afterwards, just make sure you have a workout plan in place. Talk to friends who have had kids and maybe gain a workout buddy or trainer? Not everybody likes to workout alone.
 Also, investigate placenta encapsulation if you want a faster recovery, I am!

** A side note: For some there may be a confusion of doing everything right and the baby might have a health concern, that's a very different story all together.

I just wanted to touch on the delicate topic of weight gain during pregnancy. There's so much more to say but I only wanted to touch on the topic for fear of writing a book of a blog! (Already guilty of that haha)

What are your thoughts on pregnancy weight gain?

Leave me a comment!
I love hearing from readers :)

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Have a wonderful day,
Shannon <3

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The "Don't touch me!" mood during pregnancy...

I'm sure you've heard pregnant ladies talk about how they feel the need for more personal space during the time they carried a child? If not, you will.
Just keep your ears open to their conversations...

 Some are worse than others and some never feel that way.
There is a very definite mood change during certain times during pregnancy that are so odd even you yourself don't know what to do with how you're feeling! Mine is enhanced due to the TBI and that's a whole different ball game some days/nights. But, when you feel out of it and you want your space it's such an intense sensation at times you feel like curling up into a ball and just allowing the blankets enfold your changing body and let a nap or sleep for the night just take you away for a bit. 

My husband is very affectionate and caring so he's usually one to pass by me and brush my cheek, grab me for an embrace or kiss etc. After I became pregnant and the hormones REALLY started to kick in, which for me was in a matter of days after conception haha Yeah, I was one that felt different a few days after. I suddenly wanted more space some days and even didn't feel like cuddling at night while we read, talked or watched a movie on his laptop. 

This was weird.
Cause I do enjoy being close!

However, now I felt like personal space was my best option and there was nothing he could do about it. I hated that upset look on his face when I'd tell him "Not too close" or "I just don't want a kiss right now" and so on... I learned to word things differently pretty quickly but I do forget now an then if I'm overly tired or my back is killing me.
The man is a trooper, I am so proud of him!

This has been and off an on thing my entire pregnancy, a bonus is you can read about it in many pregnancy references both in books and online. They even give a rough timeline of when you'll most likely feel this way too which is helpful if you're feeling lost and confused.

**The best, best thing to do is to make sure you're resting and drinking enough water, keeping those lines of communication open between you and your Hubs even midwife or medical professional. The only thing I'd be wary of is if your doctor would try to put you on meds for this... Run, don't walk!

Here's why I say this:
Ladies who have taken stuff such as Zoloft are now filing law suits due to their babies having heart problems etc... We truly don't know the extent of what drugs do to a growing baby while they're inside. None are officially safe, only considered safe.
Considered isn't good enough for me.

There are true medical issues for some but do your research and learn, learn, learn!

It's nice to pin point when you're feeling yuck, heck it hits out of the blue too!

Just remember, there's a bundle cooking who can't wait to meet you :) Not to mention your husband may just be trying to show you how much he loves you and how your changing body is such a joy for him as he waits along side for baby to come.

Have a glorious evening,
Shannon <3