Mood Boost: What Kim Kardashian & I are popping to beat the baby blues.

kim-kardashian-freeze-dried-placentaThere aren’t too many things Kim K and I have in common, but I just learned that the new mom and I are both popping a pretty odd pill to avoid the baby blues.

I didn’t realize I was “on trend” when I decided to save and encapsulate my placenta this go around. Yes, as crazy as it sounds, but Kimmy K and I are actually eating our placentas. At first, I was a bit taken a back by the idea, but after a bunch of research, I realized there were some pretty intense benefits to it, including shortening healing time, restoring balance back to the body and warding off postpartum depression .

While I didn’t necessarily get depressed the first go-around, I definitely got a few “baby blues” for a couple weeks (and a whole lot of “what the heck have we done!” thoughts the first sleep deprived month). I’m pretty open minded , when it comes to alternative remedies, and thought anything that might help me get back to my best was worth a shot.

placenta pillsSo, how are they working? These days, I’m handling the sleep deprivation much better (relatively), and reveling my days with Brayden. There may be a variety of reasons for this, but perhaps the placenta pills are playing a part. However, unike Kourtney Kardashian, who raved about her placenta pills and lamented when they were finished, I can’t say I feel a huge difference– at least not one that I can directly contribute to the placenta. However, I am a bit more energized, and definitely enjoying this go around more, so whatever the reason, I’ll take it.

When considering placenta encapsulation, I did a bunch of research and eventually ended up going with Hudson Valley Placenta Service because of the wealth of info I found on their site, and the professionalism and good vibes I got when I talked to the owner. In follow up meetings, I also felt extra confident in my decision to go with them as Courtney (the owner) was super, answering all my questions, hand delivering my pills and even sending me pics of my placenta with her own comments (seems I had an extremely healthy/good one– take that doctors who worried it was deficient because I carried 42 weeks!)

The idea of eating our placenta may be unorthodox, but if you’re interested, I’d look into it. Placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries, as well as other many other cultures, and even a plethora of other species are doing it (natural instinct speaks loudly to me!) Who knows, it just might be worth a shot (or in this case, a pill).

 

 

Advertisements

Hurry up… and WAIT! Am I seriously “overdue”??

It’s been over almost 2 weeks from my last post when I thought this baby’s arrival was imminent. For much of my last trimester, I was fairly sure this boy would be early, and I definitely thought the night I last wrote about was the start of something. But alas, it was a false alarm. The pains passed, and then my due date passed, and now here I sit here at 411/2 weeks! I went from trying to hurry up and get all in order for him, to now waiting each day for his arrival.

41 weeks pregnantI was a week late with Aria, and it seems all the babies in my family seem to run late (a trait that also seems to have carried over to my adulthood). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised this one is taking his time. As I’ve had time on my hands, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading on due dates and the pressure/anxiety women feel when they fall outside of what they perceive as “normal.”

Forty weeks is what we’re all told is the term of a normal pregnancy, yet the more I read about (and experience) it, the less I like that women are given a “due date.” Perhaps a due window would be better (and less ostracizing), for in reality fewer than 5% of women actually deliver on their due date, with the majority of us giving it a go between 38 and 41 weeks. Due dates are indeed “guesstimates,” and all of our bodies are being completely different, need to be considered on an individual basis. In fact, new research shows that pregnancy length varies naturally up to 5 weeks.  In Europe, they even changed “full term” to 41 weeks to discourage women from getting frantic, and to also decrease the number of inductions happening. So, in reality, carrying past 41 weeks is still very normal and healthy.

Of course, after 41weeks most practitioners give extra care and attention, and  a few days ago I had to go in for a biophysical sonogram to make sure baby was all good. He was. Happy as can be in what seems my (all too) comfortable womb, scoring a “10 out of 10” on all their criteria. This of course, gives me extra ease, but, still, knowing that most doctors don’t let women go past 42 weeks does add a little undue pressure.

That being said, I’ve also been reading up on all the wives tales and natural ways to bring on labor. I’ve eaten quite a few curries, taken hot baths, walked miles and miles (thank you fall foliage for the pretty backdrop), and didn’t even curse the bumpy dirt roads after reading they also (strangely) have been thought to help. I decided against the castor oil and other more extreme measures, as the side effects are totally not worth it at this stage. As I move closer to 42 weeks, I’ll likely consider acupuncture or a membrane sweep, but for now though, I am just trusting this boy will come when he’s ready.

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a control freak, and not so good at being in limbo, but some things can’t be rushed. This boy is showing me who’s boss already, and perhaps a greater lesson of letting go of expectation/control is being reiterated to me (again!).  I’m down to twice weekly appointments with my doctor and every day seems to revolve around the impending birth, but I’m trying not to let it be the end all and be all of each day. No body needs that kind of pressure. Instead, I’m trying to remind myself that my body knows what it’s doing, and the more I just let it do it’s thing and let nature take it’s course, the better we all will be

So yes, I’m still pregnant. Not overdue though. I’d rather say, we’re just right… for us.

Pregnancy Must Haves: Products I swore by this pregnancy.

As mentioned in past, this pregnancy is WAY different (and more difficult) than my first. Unlike with Aria, I definitely found the need to delve into the pregnancy marketplace, and also found a real appreciation for some the comfortable and supportive products already inhabiting my closet. In the end, these were some of my pregnancy must haves.

snooglePregnancy Pillows: I didn’t use one at all the first go-around, but this time there is no way I would have been able to sleep without my pregnancy pillows. Yes, I have two (thank you my dear mom-friends who passed along), and LOVE both of them. One is the mother of all pregnancy pillows (and takes up half my bed) but is so worth it, and even the smaller one does wonders. I’ve tried to be diligent to lay on my left side (recommended) to try to alleviate leg cramps at night, and propping my top leg and head on the pillow (and really wrapping myself around it, and it around me) has proven extremely helpful and comforting. There is NO way a regular pillow would have sufficed, and I would have been lost (or at least lost a lot of sleep) without my now-favorite bed companions.

champion slip onComfy shoes: I’m all about comfort and support in my shoes, but during pregnancy it is so important. We have so much strain on our bodies, especially towards the end of pregnancy, and making sure we’re supported is essential. During the summer, I lived in my cushiony Croc flip flops (I had another mom-to-be swear by her Reefs), and when things cooled down I found solace in my Champion Unwind Sport Slip-Ons (found them at Payless of all places) Both are ridiculously cushiony, and anytime I would stray from either, I would feel it (and regret it!)

mg yoga pants maternitySupportive Waistbands (in my case, good YOGA pants): Speaking of support, I’ve needed it all around this go around. At one point, I began looking into the belly bands since I was feeling the heaviness of this baby very early on (with the 2nd pregnancy we often don’t get the same support out of our muscles), but being that the majority of the pregnancy was in summer, the last thing I wanted to do was layer up. Since my standard attire is yoga wear anyway, I lucked out that I had some great options right in my closet. In warmer temps, I loved my Ryka Recharge Capri because the nylon/spandex blend held me in well without feeling restrictive. They also have a waistband I could fold down for added support under belly, and are super comfy all around. Now that it’s cooled down, I’ve also found my MPG Yoga pants to be super supportive, and love the Harem 3/4 ruched legging by Gaiam, which, incidentally, I didn’t even wear until pregnancy, and now am totally and completely in love with. The great thing about ALL of them is I will be still be wearing them long after pregnancy.

kind-mat-yogaThe Kind Mat: Speaking of yoga, The Kind Mat Bliss was my go to mat during pregnancy. For me, yoga is a big part of life, so when pregnancy hit (even the tough parts), I tried to keep up my practice. This mat made my pregnancy yoga practices so much more comfortable. It’s super cushiony, but still grippy and strong, and really perfect for pre-natal (or any kind of) yoga.

See My Pre-Natal Yoga Tips Video Here 

Onurth-Uplifting-Oil_grandeBelly Butter/Moisturizers/Body Oils: A month back or so I saw a midwife instead of my usual doctor at a routine 8 month appointment and when measuring my belly she exclaimed, “Where are your stretch marks?!” I could not have been more thrilled. With both my first and this pregnancy, I began to lather on the moisturizers as soon as my belly started to grow. Now there is debate as to whether you can really prevent stretch marks, but regardless, even if there is just a chance, I was going to do everything in my power to prevent them. Bella Mama had sent me some product years back with Aria and I found they did the trick, but I also lather up with simple Vitamin E cream and other body oils (my latest from Onurth — a company I discovered at the pop up holiday market in Union Square). LIke I said, anything I can do, I do! TBD!

Pregnancy Take 2! Mo babies, mo problems.

2nd pregnancy woesThe countdown is on, and in these last few weeks (and for the last few months for that matter) I have been increasingly aware of my limitations. As mentioned this previous posts this pregnancy is SO much different (and more difficult) than my first.

With Aria all was a breeze, and I barely even felt pregnant until late in the game. I did yoga until the end, walked our 6 floor walk up with no issue and, aside from a couple late night charley horses, I barely even felt any side effects until days before she came (and she was a week late!)

So, it was a bit of a rude awakening this go around. I was thinking, “Pregnancy? No problem! I’m a pro. I’m made for this!” Well, perhaps I was a bit too cocky, and the powers that be decided to bestow upon me the realities of pregnancy that most women deal with, because this go-around is FAR from easy.

Now, don’t get me wrong, thank God I had no serious complications or problems, but I have felt this pregnancy for the last 9 months. From waves of nausea early on to ongoing side effects like shortness of breath, heaviness and pressure (also low lying placenta which fortunately receded up), to some serious debilitating leg and foot cramps (ouch) and, oh, and let’s not forget that ever increasing back pain, this baby has made me well aware that pregnancy is no walk in the park!

I also got much bigger, much faster (although thank you to all who say I look “so cute” or “amazing”, and yes, my standard response is still, “I wish I felt that way!”) I probably surpassed how big I was with Aria at about month 8, and sleeping and doing ANY sort of real activity has become trying (at best).

I’m also definitely more crabby (when I suffer, we all suffer!), and more emotional. When Aria cried going off to school the other morning, I cried with her (oh, silly mommy). I had to remind myself that she’s 4, and I’m pregnant, so it’s all OK.

From talking to various second time moms-to-be, I’ve realized I’m not alone in this pregnancy struggle. We’re older, often chasing after a little one and our bodies are just not a s tight or supportive as they used to be (seeing they’ve already been stretched out the first go around.)

I’m also not sure if it’s a boy vs girl thing, but I’m hoping that since Aria was so easy in-utero and then a tougher baby early on (colic, gas, etc), that means this one is going to be saintly when he comes out. I’m kinda counting on it.

Yoga & Pregnancy: What NOT to do (video!)

I made this video months back after being in yoga classes (regular group mind you, NOT prenatal), and being dismayed that some instructors are not giving the pregnant ladies special attention (or modifications!).  I wasn’t particularly worried for myself,  as I was aware of what NOT to do, but a few times I had another preggo in the class and was definitely concerned for them. One time in particular, I wanted to walk over and say “Please, stop doing that!,” to a mom-to-be who was taking class as if she wasn’t carrying a 7+ month fetus.

Problem viewing video? Click here to view on Youtube! 

Bottom line is, yoga is great during pregnancy, but in a standard group class, we typically can’t not rely on the instructor to guide us through the whole time. Many of them don’t even know enough about pre-natal yoga to offer great modifications as the standard RYT (registered yoga teacher) does a brief study on it, but not nearly enough (which is why pre-natal teachers have separate trainings.)

That being said, mamas-to-be, please arm yourself with knowledge before jumping in a regular group class. Or, better yet, take a few prenatal classes to get going on the right track. Regardless, here are some clear NO, NOs from me to you. Ultimately, remember to listen to your body, and don’t push it (no, matter what anyone says). Take care of yourself and baby!

Disclaimer: Always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. 

Do more, say less.

wayne dyer parenting tip

Amongst the many other nuggets of wisdom, this one seems most appropriate to share here in honor of an amazing life lead by Wayne Dyer. This morning I found out he passed on, but there no doubt in my mind that he lived his life to the fullest– following his passion and excitement, and inspiring millions to do the same along the way.

I feel lucky to have gotten the chance to hear him speak at a Hay House Ignite conference a few years back. Amongst many other valuable things, he shared parenting advice– at one point bringing his daughter up on stage and talking about a children’s book they had written together, a true story of the power of positive thought and self healing.

This quote in particular struck me today, as just this past weekend I was thinking a lot about the power of our actions on our little ones. I was in the Hamptons at a friend’s and had picked up her book Babywise, expecting a refresher on feed schedules and the best way to get your baby to sleep through the night. Yet, the first part of the book goes deep into the power that our actions have on our little ones, and how exposing them to the security of a truly loving home (and that being reflected in the relationship of mom and dad) is one of the most beneficial things we can do for them.

Wayne Dyer believed in the power of love and forgiveness, and in seeing the best in others and ourselves. In honor of him, may we all try to lead with love, and remember that (in parenting and otherwise) the real power is in what we do, not what we say.

Sometimes we need to just breathe….

childs pose brightI just finished a yoga class and as always feel more open, relaxed and tuned in. These days it’s getting increasingly more difficult to move and breathe with ease (thank you baby #2), and I haven’t been able to keep up with my practice or usual exercise routine. It’s forced me to sit back, accept and try to take all a little bit more slowly (not my nature).

The latest pregnancy woe (or WHOA!) has been the excruciating leg cramps that I’ve been getting at night (think charley horse on steroids or someone stabbing you in the calf). The pain has been ridiculous, and I’ve found myself feeling it long after the initial attack. My calf muscles are all bound up, and I’ve resorted to stretching before bed (mainly long holds in down dog with deep breaths) to try and ease the pain.

So far stretching and breathing has been my biggest relief, and today in yoga class I found myself particularly tuned into the power of breath. Vinyasa, of course, is the linking of breath and movement, but we as human beings so often don’t fully breathe (in yoga or in life).

As I sat on my mat practicing pranayama, it became especially clear to me how the simple act of breathing opens us up, and allows us to move towards a place of ease and away from (even if only temporarily) pain and discomfort. We all have our own stresses and traumas, and although none can be healed instantly, the simple act of breathing is a powerful place to start.

The last 24hours, I’ve been thinking a lot about Alison Parker and Adam Ward, and the horrendous situation that occurred yesterday morning. As a former news reporter, it hits home with me, as I’ve stood in her shoes so many times. Countless mornings I’ve been out live, conducting interviews and watching the sun rise with camera men and crews who become a second family. My heart tightens when I think about this tragedy, her bright smile and potential, the lives so pointlessly lost, and the tremendous pain their families must feel. And then I need to breathe. Deeply.

We all have our own traumas. Some much greater than others, but inevitably in life we will all face hardship and pain. We will all come to a place at some point where the pain is so great that it binds us, and we feel like we simply can’t breath. It’s then that we need to most. To let the rhythmic steadiness of our inhale and exhale be our focus, and allow it to open us up, and help lead us away from the hurt. It sounds so simple (and perhaps silly when we are really suffering), but it is perhaps one of the most powerful things we can do.

So today, I say we breathe. Deeply, fully and deliberately. And hopefully, we can all find relief from whatever pain we hold.