pregnancy is 99% glam...not!
my linea nigra has darkened.
the skin where i had my naval pierced is insanely dark.
my navel has been out since week 22.
my booty is flatter than ever (what's a squat?).
i have ingrown hair & bumps all over my legs (at least i can still reach to shave my legs).
i have added some extra cottage cheese to my upper thighs (hello cellulite).
my [bigger] bras are tight around my upper ribs & leave marks on my skin by the end of the day.
i have two burn marks from pulling cookie trays out of the oven...on separate occasions (yup).
i am at a point where i am at peace with how my body has evolved.
it may have taken me quite some time mentally to get here, but i'm here. & i'm so happy to be.
i can confidently say that i love how i'm looking & am really proud of what my body is capable of.
i'm so motivated to get back on a more strict meal plan. i have definitely been making an effort to eat clean about 80% of the time while i've been pregnant, however this last month or so, its more like 60% ;) with my energy levels still up, i've been busy prepping meals for once eliott arrives. doesn't hurt to be prepared...no idea what is in store time-wise with this little guy! my freezer is currently stocked with 20 meals which i did in two days. aim to make 10 more this week. why do i enjoy meal prepping so much? ha!
a couple of things i learned from my imago training was to keep my meals small & frequent. i would eat 5x a day with breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks in between (200-300 cal each). given my plan is to breastfeed, i will be adding another "meal" in there to keep my supply up since on average moms burn near 500 calories breastfeeding. here are a few of my personal recommendations when it comes to prepping...
the past couple of years have been so pivotal & life changing for me. sometimes i feel like i need to take a timeout & reflect on all the blessings God has placed upon my life. He is really good.
i really want to make this year mindfully purposeful so i spent some time last week thinking of what i wanted my "word of the year" (WOTY) to be. i haven't done this in the past, but for some reason i felt the need to do one this year. i simply wrote down the first word that came to mind:
if you know me well, you know how i function. i like being a few steps ahead, making sure i am able to plan everything out. my desire for organization has complimented my career, interests & relationships [although i'm sure my over the top tidiness may get to Clint once & awhile, ha!]. this concept of order leads to this, dare i say, desire of control. i like to keep things under control. & if they are not? i panic, naturally.
one exact week before my 26th birthday, i experienced something i would have never thought i would. not until now have i shared my experience publicly as it is, unfortunately, looked upon as a social taboo. that night, i had an incredibly sharp pain in my lower abdomen. i quickly became faint & nauseated with a shivering sensation all over my body. Clint rushed me to the ER & checked me in. he explained my symptoms to the nurse at the front desk. he also told her i was near two months pregnant.
no one knew we were pregnant. not my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, nor my closest of friends. with the trends of baby reveal, i had drafted up some creative ideas as to how to share the news with family & friends...but was never able to. a few days leading up to the event, i experience some light bleeding & was told by nurses to just relax but stay alert with my symptoms. over the next 48 hours things got more intense & I prayed to God asking Him to keep this baby safe.
at the ER, it quickly became evident we were losing our raspberry-sized baby. i lost an incredible amount of blood & cannot even describe the waves of pain i felt. all i remember was reciting worship lyrics while crouched over to avoid the urge of fainting. a couple hours later, the passing moment happened, & the visual is still etched clearly in my mind. i immediately felt better physically. but emotionally, i didn't know how to respond. they sent me over to the radiology department to make sure all "contents", as they said, were fully discharged. all i could think is what did i do to cause this? i was taking prenatals for a year prior, got myself in the best shape of my life, exercised & ate healthy regularly & educated myself on everything prenatal. i followed the rules & got ahead of the game. i thought i had control of it all. clearly, i didn't...& i couldn't do a thing about it. i had my share of tears & deep, painful sobs at random times, thinking how hard we had worked to get to this point. the "why me?" crossed my mind constantly.
i was told at a follow-up that one in every four women go through a miscarriage...25%. to me, that's a high stat. but i ask myself why is this not as common in my circle of family, friends & coworkers? here i am planning every baby shower, spending hours on etsy or baby GAP trying to find the sweetest gifts for these highly anticipated & already loved babies. every instance has been a success story...or has it?
i am here to share i've experienced miscarriage & to let those who want to listen know that it is okay to share yours. every experience is directly pulled from God's master plan. until i was able to fully grasp that, i couldn't move away from the fact that it was my fault. after much prayer & encouragement, i was able to understand the science of it all, literally. how amazing God created a woman's body, & how crucial it is for it make sure something healthy is able to grow inside. i quickly was overcome with peace & this desire to not give up. although it took me some weeks, i fully opened up to only a couple close friends who helped me immensely in the recovery process; some of which experience fertility issues firsthand - one experienced miscarriage on her first a couple years before, & another who had years of fertility issues & rounds of IVF. both now have two adorable kids each. i am so thankful that God had placed them in my life years before knowing how much of an (further) impact they could make.
october 15th is national pregnancy & infant loss awareness day. today, i am reminded that i am allowed to think back & remember. i refuse to forget what happened with our first baby. a month after my ER experience, we planted a lemon tree in a pot on our balcony. this tree bears fruit every fall - which was the time of my due date. a gentle reminder of what i experienced & loved...as well as the promise God had over my life to be a mother.
i sit here today, 25 weeks pregnant with our second pregnancy. i have my doctor appointment in an hour & am giddy to hear our baby boy's heartbeat. God keeps his promises. & for that, i am blessed & grateful. as for the lemon tree? it has bloomed & bore fruit...the sweetest lemons I've ever tasted.
// i will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born // isaiah 66:9 erv
baking has quickly become a stress reliever for me...especially guilt-free baking ;) was inspired by this recipe & let's just say i've made three batches in two weeks already...
1 cup (100g) of steel cut oats*
3/4 cup (90g) of whole wheat flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/8 teaspoons of salt
1/2 cup of raw honey
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1 large brown egg
*super important to measure this exactly. a kitchen scale is the best way to go, or use the "spoon & sweep" method where you pour (overflow) your ingredient into your measuring cup then level with a spoon.
mix your flour, oats, cinnamon, salt & baking powder into a bowl. in a separate bowl, mix your egg & melted coconut oil then slowly add in your honey. once fully mixed, add to your dry mix by slowly pouring and stirring. leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
preheat your oven to 325°F & line two cookies sheet with parchment paper. once chilled, spoon nine scoops of batter on each sheet making 18 "mini" cookies in total. place in oven for 15 minutes. remove & set the cookies out to chill for a few minutes.
depending on your brand of ingredients, each "mini" cookie could range from 75-90 calories each -- not bad! feel free to spice it up by adding 1/4 cup of blueberries, raisins, chocolate chips or whatever your craving. enjoy!