During the first 3 months of my pregnancy I suffered from major all day sickness and food aversions. The thought of onions would make my stomach turn. I really couldn’t imagine what feeling normal felt like, it was that bad and I feared I would never again feel well. Rest assured, if you’re experiencing this you will feel like your old self again soon. Around month 3 I stopped feeling nauseous all the time but I still couldn’t handle the smell of certain foods and after eating anything I would feel a little sick. At around the 4.5 month mark I could eat and feel normal and by month 5 I could eat onions again! Right now I’m at 5 months and 2 weeks and I ate my first raw onion a few days ago. I feel good.
As a vegan, people will immediately harp on your protein intake and blah blah blah. I honestly paid little attention to my diet pre-pregnancy, I took a B12 every couple of days but that was the extent of my care. I figured if I was consuming a colorful variety of food then I was pretty okay… Well, I was right. My levels have always been perfect and I rarely ever got sick. Now that I’m with child I’m paying closer attention to what I eat (as all mamma’s to be should).
My midwife had some helpful suggestions and some I came across on my own. Here’s what I’m eating.
Organic food! I’m not exactly a stickler when it comes to organic foods but if I have a choice, I’ll choose organic. The 2 foods I will only eat organic are soy & corn since the non-organic varieties are usually gmo and soaked in chemicals. Organics do cost a bit more but with the rising number of kids with ADD, autism, and allergies, I don’t really want to risk it. You know in 20 years they’re going to links tons of ailments with the poisons we’ve been dumping on our food. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Organic cereal enriched with iron! You can find cold cereals enriched with upwards of 50% of your daily iron requirements. This is great of you’re at all worried about your iron levels. I buy Trader Joe’s organic corn flakes since it has 45% of my requirements (and a bunch of B vitamins!). I know there is a big debate about corn but hey, I’m not perfect.
Enriched organic coconut/almond/flax milk! I try to lay off the soy since it’s added to everything and because I love tofu. So I don’t buy soy milk anymore. This also helps me avoid coffee since I only like soy in my coffee:) I always get organic and enriched milk. These enriched milks usually have more calcium and B12 than cows milk.
Kale & Spinach! These are my go-to since they’re dark leafy greens loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium!!! Super awesome foods for baby and mom!
Snack attack foods! My midwife suggested I eat a little every 2-3 hours… This is kinda hard since I prefer eating 3 meals and 1 snack a day. I’ve been buying lara bars, primal strips, and nuts to get me through the day. I know the first two, especially primal strips are very processed but trying to find a tiny protein rich snack at 11:30 at night with little sugar is difficult! I’ve also been eating grapes, apricots, and a lot of 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Water! This is no joke. I have a gallon jug I fill with purified water every morning. Sometimes I finish it and sometimes I don’t, but I make sure to at least get through 1/2.
Being hungry or thirsty when you’re pregnant is no joke. If you’re going out for a while, especially on a subway or something, bring snacks and a nalgene of water. It goes from thinking about food one minute to being absolutely starved and light headed the next. My advice would be, if you think you might be getting hungry then eat. There have been a few instances where my wife has had to get me a sugary beverage because I’ve suddenly gotten light headed out of nowhere. Each time I thought I might be getting hungry and didn’t eat. Here’s a terrible picture of me drinking a super nasty sugary bottled lemonade at a baby store on one such occasion.
19 Weeks on June 1, 2013
First things first. Vitamins!
When I found out I was pregnant I vegged out on the internet, researching how to best fortify this growing being in my belly. Of course, this all went right out the window when morning sickness hit at about week 4. The first 3 months are important but that thing is so tiny it doesn’t need much. Basically everything I read said these 2 conflicting statements: ” Eat healthy food and never ever go without eating!!” and “if you can’t eat anything besides crackers, it’s okay.” Since I was hit with major food aversions and all day sickness I pretty much stuck to the “eat whatever you can keep down” side of things. This mainly consisted of ice cream and cereal. Those first 3 months your baby is so so so tiny it doesn’t need much. I wish I could have eaten healthier during those months but I really couldn’t. The one thing I tried to stick to was my vitamins. These were a little difficult to take because of how big some of them are but all I can say about that is to suck it up and try to take them with food. Bad advice but it’s my only advice. Here are the ones I started month 1 day 1.
Prenatals. I started taking prenatal vitamins as soon as we decided we were going to try to conceive. Everything I read said to do this as well as the fertility clinic. I use Rainbow Light Prenatal One (with the vegan guard logo). I order it through amazon since it’s much cheaper than buying it elsewhere.
DHA. DHA is a vitamin necessary for fetal brain and eye developement. I use Deva Vegan Omega- 3 DHA-EPA capsules. Again I order this from amazon since it’s hard to come by vegan capsules of DHA. If you find liquid DHA I suggest skipping it and getting it in capsule form, even if you have to order it. It smells like the algae it’s made of which is rather unpleasant, especially when you feel queasy already. I have a method for taking it: I hold my breath and spill 1 capsule from the bottle into the cap. From there I hold my nose (breathing through my mouth), toss the capsule into my mouth, then grab my glass of water, and drink it down without inhaling through my nose. I took the DHA a couple of times like a normal person but I couldn’t stand the lingering taste of fish in my mouth. Seriously, even if you get the slightest whiff of DHA it’ll make you taste it. I think I’ll have my wife record how I do this 🙂
B12. This is one most non-vegans can skip (the others you shouldn’t!). I take a B12 anyway so why skip it while pregnant? During the first 3 months I took it every other day for no reason other than paranoia that I was ingesting too much. Now I take it every day.
Vitamin D Ahhh vitamin D. This is an important one. Like DHA it’s hard to find vegan D3 (which is what my midwife recommended) in your everyday shops like Whole Foods. Although books like The Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide tell you D3 is never vegan, you can find vegan supplements online like Natures Plus Source D3. My midwife recommended 2,000 IU of D3 but from my research up to 6,000 IU of D3 is good for a pregnant woman. Unfortunately I accidentally bought a D3 supplement that is not vegan (which is why it isn’t pictured above). I think after staring at supplements and reading labels for like 40 minutes my eyes became fatigued and I missed lanolin on the label 😦 I didn’t notice this until more than a few days (and more than a few pills) later. So I’m finishing the bottle out and ordering my D3 from the internet from now on.
I’ll definitely be posting about what foods I’ve been eating to keep the little one (LO) healthy!
We are overjoyed. After close to a year of trying I am finally, finally, finally pregnant. I started losing hope that this would ever happen but alas it did. We’re so incredibly happy and so are our families.
As soon as we could we started tracking my cycle. We’re so lucky that the first cycle after my miscarriage resulted in a pregnancy. At this point I am 18 weeks pregnant! Our little one is due October 25, 2013. I have my fingers crossed for a Halloween baby! At least the theme for many birthdays is already set in stone, I just hope our kid likes to dress up!
About two weeks after our big fat positive pregnancy test, the morning sickness kicked in. This was pretty intense, especially since I rarely feel ill. It all began with the dishes, dirty ones to be precise. The smell! Ugh, I just could not handle the smell of different foods together in the sink! Then began the food aversions.Literally everything besides the blandest things were repulsive to me. Pickles? YUCK. Cheap Chinese food (my favorite)? UGH. Coffee? No way. Onions? GAG! Basically right up until the second week of my third month I lived on fruit, pb&j, toast, cereal, and vegan ice cream.
I also experienced crazy fatigue those first 3 months. I napped all the time which was weird for me because I hate napping. I also felt dizzy a lot, especially while doing dishes. This was like ear-ringing, get to the couch NOW kind of dizzy. The weirdest symptom of all which still hasn’t gone away is SNEEZING!!!! It sucks. I sneeze like I have the worst allergies man has ever known. I have never had allergies and I’m praying to our sweet mother earth that this is a preggo thing!!!
By the second week of my third month I started to feel more pregnant and less sick. I still can’t smell onions without retching but I can happily eat pickles on my vegan burgers.
As for whether I will stay vegan or not, I will be staying vegan. Duh. Luckily nobody has asked me this but it seems most others get asked this a lot. Of course being vegan and a lesbian means I’ll probably have to eventually field questions or assumptions about a “father”. Thankfully we’re in liberal territory up here and thus far random people we’ve told about my being pregnant have not uttered a thing about the donor.
Well that’s all for now!
This year has been something, for sure. I’m so grateful that all of our energy moved us from Georgia up to Massachusetts. Moving to MA had been something we were striving for since the beginning of our relationship. The change has been significant, not only physically but emotionally also. The weather, foliage (or as my wife likes to say: foilage, lol ;)), the BEACHES, seeing wildlife on a daily basis, the absence of constant strip malls, the magical beauty of this state can’t be overstated. Our emotional health has had major ups and incredible downs this year. We were absolutely elated when JJ got her transfer. The move to Massachusetts was insane though. We sold most of our possessions and drove 3 days through tornado’s, hail storms, and hillbillies to get to Rhode Island. We moved 2 times while in Rhode Island for under 2 full months but we had fun doing it. RI was amazing and Providence is the best little city I have ever lived in… It’s like Brooklyn without all the hipsters! After our brief stint in RI we moved into the fully accepting and marriage recognizing state of Massachusetts. The experience of being surrounded by mostly democrats and liberal ones at that has been refreshing and uplifting! Moving from NYC to Georgia was shocking, politically. Moving from Georgia to Massachusetts has been eye opening! It is great to live in a state that respects women, values education, and where republicans have act as left-wing as possible in order to have a chance at winning an election. We do love Massachusetts.
Well…. As soon as we were settled into our new home we started trying to have a baby AGAIN! Trying to have a child is stressful and when it doesn’t work 1, 2, 3 times it puts a serious strain on your relationship. I have no idea why but it is just pure stress. We tried sporadically from June-October. In mid November we found out I was pregnant, finally!!! We were overjoyed to say the least and kind of in shock that it was finally happening… When we got to the 2 month mark we shared the news with our close friends and family and then…. I miscarried. Literally 5 days after telling everybody I was pregnant. This just sucked. So many crazy thoughts go through your head.. My major thought was “why the hell am I miscarrying, why not Duchess Kate?!?!?!?”. The only good thing that came out of this sad little event was our relationship. This miscarriage brought us closer together and made us really appreciate each other so much. My wife handled all the phone calls, all the questions and she was so strong through the whole thing. I was so grateful to have such a loving and supportive wife to take care of me while I was basically a vegetable for a week. It is kind of crazy but during this time we managed to laugh our asses off in between crying like babies…. It was a very sad but also a very loving time for us and I’m grateful for that part of the experience. After about two weeks of feeling very bad for ourselves we’re almost back to normal. We’re going to try try and try again with my little uterus that could! I think the only thought that has managed to keep me sane through all of this is that I have always wanted to adopt, even more than to physically have children. If I don’t get pregnant then I know I will still have children.. I’ll just have to wait a lot longer for them. If I do get pregnant I’ll be elated, grateful, and excited for the experience! Regardless I know that in time we’ll have our forever home and we will fill it with children, animals, and love.
Life has been uneventful and pretty boring for the last week. JJ and I have been nesting and trying to make our home feel like “our” home. We’re pretty used to doing this since we move so much. A lot of people will ask if we move for her job, the answer is no. Here’s a little summary of the ants perpetually in our pants.
When we lived in Atlanta we started off in a HUGE house in the suburbs. Initially I loved it because I had been suffering from extreme anxiety for about 6 months while in Brooklyn. After about 3 months in the Suburbs, I started to lose my mind. By month 10, we were looking for a place to live in the city. So we moved into a cute apartment in Midtown Atlanta. We loved it, we loved all of our quirky neighbors, our sunroom bedroom, and our animal rescuing gay landlord. But alas, we found a better deal with a deck. Also, said quirky neighbors started to move away… It was sad. So we moved around the block. This was a great 2 bedroom apartment with a deck. It felt like we were living in a tree house and our landlady was as sweet as pie. After discovering a better view the newly vacant apartment next door, we moved up and moved into that one. This worked out for a while but we were itching for more outdoor space. THEN we found it and moved into a tiny house near Little 5 Points in Atlanta. This was my favorite home since we had ample outdoor space, we were in walking distance to absolutely everything and our neighbors were pretty great.
Atlanta definitely had its up side. Cheap rent, there was great hiking and some very delicious places to get vegan food but it just was not for us. I wasn’t used to living in such a religious and republican state. Seeing confederate flags waving around, working with (white) people that said things that (IMHO) were midly racist with no shame, and witnessing a governor be elected that had voted to change the legal language in GA from “rape victim” to “the accuser”, and with there being no hope of gay marriage being legalized, it was all to much for this tree hugging, lesbian, liberal to handle!!! Plus Atlanta was voted the #1 most polluted city in America (back in 2009), which was the year I moved there and it freaked me out. Seeing smog alerts freaked me out. Atlanta just freaked me out. In defense of Atlanta I will say that it is filled with the homos (mostly men) and Sevananda had the best vegan biscuits with gravy. The weather is lovely (providing the air quality is safe!), and the Atlanta beltline will eventually make that city amazing.
So after a few months in the L5P house, we sold everything, drove 900+ miles and moved into a fully furnished house in Providence, RI. Then we moved into a cute, cheap, 3 bedroom apartment a few blocks away. After about a 2 weeks JJ started going insane from long commute to work so we moved again. Now we are living in a teeeeeeny tiny house in the woods. I do love our little cottage but I’m definitely NOT happy about being basically in the suburbs again. I miss Providence, RI every. single. day. That city is the best kept secret in America. I cannot say enough good things about it and the really friendly, wonderful people we met while living there.
I have so many great photos of our old houses, but they’re all on my old dead laptop waiting to be transferred into this new laptop. Here are a few photos that I still have of a couple of the homes we’ve lived in… I’ll update later this week with photos of our current home.
Whenever JJ and I venture somewhere new in Massachusetts we always say the same thing, “Massachusetts, you are beautiful”.
JJ and I are in love… With each other, of course, but also with New England.
In my opinion, one of the rights of passage to become a true New Englander is to go apple picking. Trying to find an organic apple orchard without an animal farm on site, petting zoo, or pony rides, was proving to be impossible! Luckily my wife took over my obsessive internet search and found a beautiful, rural, 70 acre orchard in Groton, Massachusetts by the name of Autumn Hills Orchard. There were no farm animals or pony rides, just apples, plums, pears, and grapes. They are not an “organic” farm but they use IPM and no herbicides. Thumbs up.
Autumn Hills Orchard also produces plums, grapes and pears.
We were shocked by how plentiful the fruit was. Neither of us had any idea apples grew in huge clusters and honestly, I didn’t even know plums grew on large trees!!!! Growing up in NYC you don’t get a lot of exposure to anything natural.
We’re all about starting our own family traditions, and this is definitely now one of them. I am so enthralled, oh New England..
Happy *almost* Fall Everyone!
Congratulations to me! I’m really happy to be rid of my 20’s! Don’t get me wrong, they were really wonderful years but also really difficult. I always hear about how people change and grow when they are in their teens; not me. I grew into myself during my 20’s and I experienced a lot of growing pains.
At 20 years old I still ate meat, went to goth clubs (goth!), and I was living with a dude in a basement apartment!!!! I was so so so confused about everything in life. Who was it? Why am I living with somebody I’m not in love with? Will I ever travel? Will I ever be happy?…. I was graduating with an A.S. in fine art and about to leave for another college in upstate NY… One of these picture was taken in the basement, lol. Scary!
In my early 20’s I went vegan (check out me-on the right & my friend Jaime on life.com), started dating women exclusively, got involved in animal rights organizations, and moved out of that basement and into a pretty amazing Brooklyn loft.. And I partied a lot, protested a lot, and procrastinated that whole bachelors degree thing.
My mid 20’s were crazy… I chained myself to a building in protest of a deer cull, entered into a emotionally nightmarish relationship, I took a couple of trips to Europe, ended said nightmarish relationship, did a lot of yoga, became incredibly solitary and finally finished school.
In my late 20’s things got better. I met the love of my life and moved from Brooklyn to Atlanta! Atlanta was not my style but it was a welcome relief from my hectic life in NYC. My wife asked me to marry her a year and a half after meeting and we were married 4 months after that. 6 months after our wedding she got a job transfer and we moved to Massachusetts. We like to do things fast in this family.
So… Here I am…. 30.
I feel really good. I’m happily married, healthy, and living in a state that supports equal rights. We’re also trying to conceive! This month will mark try #4 and we have our finger crossed *big time*. This will be our only biological child but not the end of our growing family. We are hoping to become foster-to-adopt parents when we move into our forever home- which we’re saving for. Saving up for a home means we don’t do anything lavish lately but we still have fun 🙂 As a child I would always wonder what I would look like and what I would be doing at 15, 20, 25, 30… My memory stops there- I dont think I ever imagined what life would be like after 30…. It makes me really happy to know that after 30 I’ll be in a loving relationship and creating my own family. I’m so excited to see what the next decade holds!!!