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Today I have a special episode in store, to share a personal journey with you.
I am currently 20 weeks pregnant with our second baby. My bump is growing bigger by the day, which I can no longer hide behind a baggy jumper across on insta, so we decided it was time to share publicly our heartwarming news.
While its been mostly smooth sailing, I’ve still experienced some hurdles along the way.
In our preconception phase, along with optimising our diets and bringing in additional supplementation for egg and sperm health, I followed my own advice in my guide, Path To Conscious Conception and arranged extensive bloodwork to know where any imbalances lie.
A weakness of mine over the years has been my thyroid health, so I was especially interested in receiving an update on its function. As previous periods of time have shown, I had a slightly under active thyroid & therefore lower than optimal hormone levels.
When my doctor revealed my results, I was filled with disappointment. Although the levels fell within the Labs ‘normal’ readings, being equipped with optimal ranges as a Naturopath I knew they weren’t where I’d ideally like to see prior to conceiving.
I wanted to address this before the levels were right out of range. Also focusing on fertility health, I know that an under active thyroid can contribute to difficulty conceiving and higher miscarriage rates, so with my history of miscarriage, I wanted to get this sorted ASAP.
I made the decision to ask my Integrative doctor to consider prescribing thyroid medication which I would taken alongside my herbal and nutritional treatment, to accelerate my thyroid balancing journey.
She agreed but although I would have preferred natural dedicated thyroid, this isnt an option for GP's to prescribe unless they first try thyroxine. This is what I began at half the lowest dose available on script. Although my levels have since normalised, together, we’ve decided to continue on the lowest dose available throughout my pregnancy so far.
My progesterone levels have been the most recent challenge, as they were initially soaring naturally as they should during pregnancy, from continuing my herbal support. However as I tapered off this herbal treatment at the end of my first tri (when the placenta kicks into progesterone producing gear), my progesterone increase slowed right down. As in my last pregnancy, I’ve since began using natural progesterone pessaries.
Although I could feel defeated for needing prescription medication, I’m actually proud of the fact that a) I was in tune with my body and had the knowledge of what to get tested to detect imbalances in the first place & b) that I made an informed and empowered decision to combine natural and conventional treatment for helping us have the best chance to firstly conceive and also sustain a pregnancy.
This is something I’m really passionate about and teach within my Path To Glowing Mumma program & round 2 is coming up soon!
This time around I’ve certainly been much more laid back and we have only just had our first scan last week. This decision was a combination of reducing radiation exposure for baby, hoping the mask mandate & no children policy would be overturned and just having less time in the day to fit in appointments having full days of balancing a business, podcasting & of course Mumma life.
With so many public places having wi-fi and cell towers popping up everywhere, I’ve also had my radiation protecting belly band on me daily and use my radiation protection blanket on my lap when I’m using my phone.
In my first trimester, I did experience some nagging nausea and breathlessness, which was helped by my tips and tricks like B6, digestive and liver supportive herbs, homeopathic sprays and yes, eating eating and more eating. If you take a scroll back through my @glowingmumma.thrivingbubba insta reels, you'll see some of the yummy treats I was whipping up.
But yes, I did have a few weak moments...cue hot chips and even one packet of crisps! As potato crips are not something that I've indulged in for well over 10 years, I couldn't help but smile when my 3 year old daughter asked me "what's that Mummy?".
I was so glad these remedies and practises avoided me vomiting throughout this phase, which I know many expecting mums do suffer through.
For the details of what I recommend to do and take to reduce pregnancy nausea, head to the free guide here.
Aside from the nausea and breathlessness, I found that my pregnancy restless legs were back. I experience this as a really irritating feeling of having to move and stretch my legs at night, which can impact my sleep, unless I take my additional calcium and magnesium blend (which also has other cofactors within it), spray on my magnesium oil spray and massaged onto my legs, peppermint, lavender & Roman chamomile essential oils with emu oil.
This has since eased also but I did find these practises also helped to reduce a few headaches that crept in between 10-15 weeks gestation. Rubbing on some lavender or peppermint onto my temples also eased any head tension. You can get the details of using oils safely during pregnancy in my free guide here.
I’ve really enjoyed adjusting my nutritional supplements from preconception support plan to now pregnancy focused nutrition and yes, hubby is happy now he’s not on the multiple antioxidants that were placed in front of him daily.
Also throughout my first trimester, just as I did in last pregnancy, I haven’t craved anything aside from just desiring fresh fruit at the end of the day and I haven’t had the want to end my day with a square of dark chocolate, nor enjoy an almond piccolo while out. This was until just recently at my fav Nutrition Republic where I can source the swiss filtration decaf (low toxin) coffee.
The advantages of now having a home based business (including online consulting, books and programs) has reduced travel time & given me that bit of extra space to honour my body with some couch rest when needed or more time to soak up the winter sunshine in our backyard. In my last pregnancy, 2 hours of my day was instead spent travelling in the car which wasn’t fun. I've certainly enjoyed utilising this time for nurturing myself.
On the mask topic, I value my oxygen supply to myself & baby as a high priority and honestly wearing one makes me anxious and dizzy, so I have a medical exemption to avoid having restricted airflow when out and about. Of course this is absolutely crucial for a healthy immune system.
I know that may trigger some of you and may reassure some of you too, but we can't deny the fact they contribute to a deficiency in critical oxygenation of your blood and a dangerous build up of CO2. I therefore feel compelled to stand in my truth and make decisions that best serve my health for my baby. I encourage you to do the same.
At the end of my first tri I did a food intolerance test to check for updates as I started developing some skin rashes (after having some foods that aren’t a regular part of my plate).
To challenge my immune system in the lead up, I did indulge in some dishes that I wouldn’t usually. One of these was a bowl of pasta in a cream sauce. While it was a real treat as I can’t even remember the last time I had wheat based pasta out and it was absolutely delicious, I checked my blood sugars 2 hours later and my reading was a whopping 9.3! That was a shock to me, despite what I know about how refined carbs effecting the blood sugars, so I really did need that reminder.
I kept an eye on it for the weeks following, just to make sure but levels were back to normal thankfully. I also asked my GP to check Hemoglobin A1C on my next bloods also to be sure. All was normal and actually at a healthy levels that she doesn’t often see. Good news!
So my results came in a couple of weeks ago for the food inflammation/ intolerance test I did through KBMO lab and surprisingly wheat wasn’t a weakness for me, but casein was high, which is the protein found in all dairy except for ghee.
So I’ve said goodbye to the daily organic cheese nibble I was enjoying and swapped butter to ghee in cooking. Coffee actually also showed up as slightly inflammatory for me, so it’s back to my fav herbal teas and the occasional healthy hot choc, if feeling like a bit of a choccie treat here and there again. That recipe is across on the blog here.
This time around, we have certainly noticed my belly growing quicker and joked continuously about having twins, right up until our morphology scan. Yes there is only one bubba in there :)
Physically, I just started to experience the need to waddle after getting some muscle niggles down there. I remember this vividly from last pregnancy where I actually couldn’t run past 20 weeks. But this time I was onto it straight away and one visit from my women’s health chiro sorted that immediately. Shout out to Claire The Chiro.
While we’re almost at the half way point, I know this second half will fly by so I’m making an effort to stay present, connect daily with my bubba and reduce stress amongst the craziness of the world right now.
We create our reality, so doing things to stand up for my right to medical freedom is important to me but also taking time to disconnect (from technology) and embrace nature, sunshine, kitchen creations and just being with my family, has helped me to stay calm and oh so grateful.
In the meantime, I’m going to be sharing my pregnancy health love and Naturopath guidance in a live masterclass “3 Naturopath Secrets To Increasing Pregnancy Energy”. In here you will learn:
Details and to save your seat here.
Cant wait to see you and your baby bump there Mumma!