Saturday, November 27, 2010

Got Heartburn? .....I don't! :-)

I thought I would be terribly uncomfortable by now.... not so! Of course, there's still time. ;-)

With each of my pregnancies I've had terrible terrible heartburn all through the third trimester. With the twins this began mid-second trimester. BUT.... I've had only occasional heartburn in the last several weeks.

The difference? I think it's my diet. I've cut out most of my wheat-based foods (bread, biscuits, muffins) and replaced them with vegetables. I also cut down my refined sugar intake and replaced those cravings with handfuls of plain raw nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds). In addition to eliminating heartburn my improved diet has corrected my long-term problem with constipation.

Yes, I'm happy to announce I now poop once or even twice a day. :-) And we thought that constipation was a guaranteed product of pregnancy.... I think it's a product of the American diet which is way too high in refined carbohydrates and refined sugars.

Got heartburn? Constipation? Read up on the hunter-gatherer diet and try it for a week.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Appointment Today - Update

I am 31 weeks today and measuring 37 weeks! My weight was 160lbs which is wonderful, blood pressure is fine, heartbeats are steady, etc.

By palpation, Dr. Biter determined that Baby Girl IS now head-down. I have certainly felt a lot of activity on my cervix which I've felt with all my pregnancies when the baby is head-down and wiggling. I've been actively working to encourage the turn and was relieved to get confirmation of the new position.

Some possible tips to try for a transverse baby. This is what I did, maybe it helped, and maybe it was just luck or fate.
  1. I immediately (after the 28-week ultrasound) stopped wearing my maternity support belt. I think the pressure across my lower uterus may have prompted her to move above the belt. Oddly, I've had very few complaints about lower backpain.
  2. Gentle external version. This is locating the head and butt and encouraging the baby to turn via gentle pressure. Use with caution because obviously we don't want to damage the baby.
  3. Sifting. Relax into a comfy chair and jiggle the belly side-to-side for a moment. The idea is when a container is shaken, the contents will settle into the most space-efficient position -- for babies this should be head-down. In Mexico (?) this is a common practice using a second person and the traditional scarf called a Rebozo.
  4. Hands and Knees. Spending time doing the recommended cat exercises which strengthen the back will also shape the uterus into a hammock and the natural inclination of the babies will be to turn vertical and on their backs (facing your spine).
  5. Spend lots of time upright so that gravity can do it's job. The baby inside it's amniotic sac is still subject to gravity just like being in a swimming pool. It's not an entirely weightless environment so the heaviest part of the baby (the head) should tend to "sink" to the bottom.

To learn more about turning babies start with the Spinning Babies website. Lots of info.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good News!

I threw up! Yup. I think I'm sick. My younger two girls had a stomach bug on Wednesday, and my oldest had it on Friday. It's apparently my turn. I'll save you the details. ;-)

I do feel a good bit better now. And I'm thankful for extra chicken broth from last week, frozen in small portions.

The sickness (with the girls) was less than 24 hours, with another 24 hours of fatigue. Nothing serious. :-)


Today is the first day that I've truly felt uncomfortable. I've had days when I strained my back a bit, and days when I was exhausted... but today I feel huge and heavy, stretched, squished, exhausted and breathless. I have to sit perfectly upright, otherwise my pelvis or tailbone gets crushed. If I recline it must be flat on my side. Sitting here now I feel like I can't take a complete breath because my lungs are compressed. Reminds me of my Renaissance Fair days when we dressed in corsets, but at the end of the day the corset came off and I could take a deep breath and stretch my back. Not so now. I can't bend forward and I can't twist sideways.

Half the problem is no nap today. Sundays we go to church and when we get back at 1pm it's time for lunch. Naptime just doesn't happen. So, starting next week I'll be staying home from church to nap. I don't like the idea, but I think it will help.

Today I measure 42.5 inches. It feels like my belly needs to hurry up and grow because I'm pretty sure these babies are squished up against my spine and that is adding considerable to my discomfort. I'd rather be larger in front rather than feeling SO squished.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ibuprofen During Pregnancy

It's a No-No. A new study has been published showing that taking aspirin, ibuprofen, etc, can cause undescended testicles and future sterility issues for baby boys in utero.

Wow! So often a medicine or treatment is touted as harmless until decades later when it is proved to be the opposite.

Stay safe! If it's man-made, it's probably NOT good for you.

Here is a link to the actual study report published in the Oxford Journals.

And here's a link to the "plain english" version at Channel 4 News.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Juicing for Health

I am not an expert!

Andrea asked me about my juicing and to share my recipe. Andrea, this post is for you! :-) LOL.

My goal is to drink freshly made vegetable juice every morning to provide the vitamins that I might otherwise be lacking in my diet. Let's be honest, I don't eat a kale salad everyday and without juicing I wouldn't usually get 5 servings of a variety of veggies per day.

And I don't believe a multi-vitamin is a good source/substitute for healthy fresh vegetables. Most of the vitamin passes through the digestive system without the nutrients being absorbed, and most of the components of the average multi-vitamin are synthetically produced (inferior).

So. First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, I make and drink my vegetable juice. The standard concoction is:

one bunch of chard,
half a bunch of kale,
half a bunch of parsley,
a carrot,
some radishes (with the greens),
a small chunk of gingerroot,
and a whole lime.

An apple makes it more sweet, but I don't have any on hand this week. Sometimes I add a beet because they have great vitamin content, but lately I've been pickling all my beets so I don't have any of those in the fridge either. A wedge of cabbage is good too, and very mild-tasting.

If you've never tried vegetable juicing, the thing to remember is that it is not a beverage to be sipped and enjoyed like a fresh cold lemonade on a warm day. The goal is nutrition. We don't savor our multi-vitamins.... so juice it, and drink it down! It really doesn't taste bad, but if you're expecting kale to magically taste like fresh-squeezed O.J. then you're going to be disappointed. :-(

Leslie at Not Mine This Time makes a nice beverage. It's 2 apples, a chunk of ginger, and a lemon. It's best to dilute this 50% with water. I tried it with Club Soda and that is good too. If you're a soda junkie and looking for a way to get off the sugar fizz, this would be a good alternative. Make your own soda! :-) It tastes like a Lemon-Lime/Ginger Ale with the apples providing the sweetness.

An important note! If you are going to juice anything, go for the freshest you can buy and go organic! You don't want to dump pesticides straight into your system. Farmer's Markets are everywhere now if you live in California, and these veggies are usually picked THAT morning and often raised without pesticides/herbicides. I have a favorite farmer that supplies all of my veggies for the week for about $25, so fresh and organic does NOT have to be expensive.

Grass-fed beef on the other hand..... very expensive.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

6 weeks to go?

I'll be 30 weeks on Wednesday and it suddenly hits me that we could very well deliver in just 6 weeks! It's hard to believe that we are so close to the climax of this journey. Wow!

I measure 42 inches around now. My last weight (from last weekend) was 161. Dr. Biter's office called me with my lab test results: Glucose - negative for Gestational Diabetes; Hemoglobin - a little low in iron.

.....Which leads me to NUTRITION. I believe that most of us surrogates eat as well as we can, but sometimes we get into a rut and slack off on the veggies. I did this recently. I stopped juicing in the mornings because I was lazy about getting to the farmer's market and lazy about cleaning the juicer contraption. Instead of veggies I started eating sweets.... little bit of candy, some cookies, more candy and more cookies.... :-(

Anyway. I attended a short presentation at my chiropractor's office on Eating Well. I can't say that I learned anything new, but being there and hearing the facts gave me a renewed conviction of the importance of eating well. I replaced the sugar snacking with raw cashews by the handful. And after a couple of days I stopped craving the sugar and found the cashews to be really satisfying and guilt-free! I made some pickled beets and pickled carrots with bell pepper to keep handy in the fridge. They make a great snack or mini-meal too! I've never enjoyed raw carrot sticks so these are a great alternative for me.

And I'm back to juicing in the mornings: Swiss Chard, a carrot, some radishes, and an apple. At today's market I also bought some kale and parsley to add to the juicing. Did you know parsley has three times as much Vitamin C as an orange? Of course, it's hard to eat a handful of raw parsley but it's easy to add it to the juicer. :-)

I can't be sure, but I think Baby Girl has changed her position. Time will tell. Next appointment with Dr. Biter is November 17th.