Can’t plan Life

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My son Levi Adam Papa was born April 5th at 32 weeks 5 days. It was the biggest shock for my husband and I given that our daughter was overdue. I’ve dreaded posting about this, because it’s not something I like to think about. I was making my daughter breakfast and noticed lower back pain that would come every few minutes. When the pain started in my lower belly and started feeling like true contractions I called my doctor. At that point I felt it was maybe just something that would go away or when we went to the hospital contractions that the doctors could stop. It wasn’t until after I called my husband  that I knew these pains were labor. It was the scariest experience of my life. When I felt the need to push and felt nausous and trembling I immediately called 911. My labor pains were different from my son than they were with my daughter. My labor pains with my daughter Amelia were intense and one on top of the other. My water broke with her and I never had a break from the contractions that were hitting me. With my son my contractions were just as strong, but I would have a two minute break to try to stay calm for my daughter and my baby Levi. When I felt the contractions coming I was able to breathe through the pain as a distraction. Not that breathing took away the pain, but my long exhales helped me ride it out. By the time we made it to the hospital I was 10 centimeters dilated. The moment the doctor told me that I broke down in tears. I was scared for my baby, but the staff at Chilton Hospital were optimistic for me. “You’re going to have a baby today,” the doctor told me with a smile on her face.

When I pushed Levi out I cried more than I did when my daughter was born which was big, because we struggled with infertility to have her. I heard his little cry and felt relieved, that little cry made me feel that everything was going to be okay. It was instant love. I saw his little face and I saw my daughter all over again.

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Levi is now almost 36 weeks old and almost a month old and we’re still waiting to bring him home. All was going well. I was getting adjusted to my pumping schedule, getting to see him twice a day or once at night and hold him and just accepting this as our reality that our baby was not home with us. It was moving along until he started having bloody stools. They transferred him to another hospital under the assumption that he had a serious premature condition call NEC. Until this day I still haven’t googled it nor do I want to. Because Levi by God’s grace didn’t get sicker as the doctors say in the days that followed- their belief that Levi was suffering from NEC lessened into more of a milk protein allergy assumption. This is a big week for us, because after days of no food and being given nutrients though an IV to control a possible NEC diagnosis, he has begun feedings with hydrolyzed formula. I am still pumping with the hope that when it is time to introduce my milk to him, he’ll react well to it.

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I have cut out dairy from my diet for the past week, so by next week I’ll be two weeks without it. At the end of the day if he doesn’t react well to my milk then I have to give up breastfeeding to just have him home with me. I would love to give him my breastmilk, love to, but it could be so many things, What if it’s eggs, what if it’s soy, or nuts. I’m still holding out hope that he’ll do well with my liquid gold, but for now the first hurdle is getting him to do well with this formula. If he bloody stools again this week it means it isn’t a milk allergy, but more of an infection still in his body. I’m hoping this week goes well.

Can’t believe I got through this post.

In terms of my postpartum it has been different. In the hospital I was scared I would suffer postpartum depression, but all glory to God. God has kept me strong when I didn’t feel strong. I’ve been doing well. I’m counting my blessings. My baby is stable and doing well, my daughter is healthy, God has given me their little lives and I’m thankful and will not fear. And if I do fear, which I do I’m giving it all to God.

Physically my postpartum period is well. This labor wasn’t as hard on my body as my daughter. My daughter was full term weighing 8 pounds and my son was 4 pounds 4 ounces. My belly has gone down a lot faster than it did with my daughter. This picture below is one week, two weeks and three weeks postpartum. This week I put on the torture device called the belly bandit, would never use it sooner than that, and I find that it helped my belly button go from an outie to an inner overnight. I’ll be using it for the next three weeks to see if it helps. It’s really uncomfortable to wear because it rides up, however it has helped my posture. My posture sucks. Anyway I’ll try not to wait a million years to update. Hopefully my next post will be happy news, like a little someone being discharged and able to come home!

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Drink up!Β 

Still here! πŸ‘‹πŸΌ Just finding pregnancy harder and harder this time around and I’ve been really tired. So expect as a soon to be Mom of two that my 101 post updates won’t always be weekly, but I’ll still be here so stick around.

31 weeks pregnant as of yesterday. Can’t wait to be at the finish line and hold my little guy already. So nothing much has changed as of my last post. I only have 6 more pounds to gain in this pregnancy to stay within the healthy weight gain…only 6 and I have 9 weeks to go. However, my appetite isn’t as crazy as it was in the beginning I’m actually not that hungry and my meals are smaller. Granted my stomach is being squished right now due to my growing baby.

I’ll post bump pics soon to see how much my belly grows from here on out. My father said I look as big as I did towards the end of my pregnancy with my daughter Amelia. It scares me a little because I felt big then, how much bigger can I get?  Belly progression pictures soon as a final countdown. And as embarrassing as it’ll be for me I will be posting postpartum belly pics 😱. Just want to see for myself how long it takes for my belly to go back to normal.

Anyway, this post! I still find it hard to drink my water especially now that I get full so quickly. Aside from adding lemon in my water, which is great- I’ve been wanting  a flavored herbal tea to help me get my water in. Today I tried celestial seasonings watermelon lime zinger and it is awesome! Adding flavor to your water makes it less of a chore to drink! Hope this tip helps you, because for someone like me who only drinks water this is a treat!

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Yerba Mate

 

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Hey!

I’ve had a goal dropping week that has made me think, how the heck am I going to eat good with two babies needing my attention 24/7? I’ve slept in, which I don’t feel that guilty about since cherishing sleep is something I should do before baby #2 arrives in late May. I’ve been less active, meaning I’ve dropped my 30 minute treadmill a day for more sleep in the morning and I am not even attempting to squeeze it in at night, because I’m so tired by the time I put my daughter to bed. Lastly, I haven’t been eating all that great.

I’ve never had an appetite like this…ever, not even with my daughter’s pregnancy. Do boy pregnancy’s make you more hungry or am I more active than I realize with my toddler? Guess we’ll see if that changes postpartum, but then I remember how breastfeeding increases appetite so we’ll see.

So yeah that has been my progress, the only good goals I’ve been keeping is drinking water (even though I’ve been dropping the ball with that too), I’m still making sure I eat a good breakfast and that I have fruit during the day. It’s the little things, but I have a long journey ahead!

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So…moving on, have you heard of yerba mate? The brand that we have only has 40mg in a mate bag. I just had a cup even though some articles I read are conflicting in terms of drinking it during pregnancy, so I’m sticking with my cup of coffee, but I will keep this in mind. Before I drank it I was feeling very tired and now I find that I’m more alert, but without the feeling coffee gives me afterwards. I read that in other articles so I can definitely attest to that benefit!

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It is said to have more antioxidants than green tea. It is known for its nutrients and antioxidant properties, energy, weightless, lowering blood sugar levels and reducing risk of heart disease. I’ve linked the article below. My husband loves his tea, and I hope to drink it every now and then postpartum.

8 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate (Backed by Science)

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Synthetic vitamin A palmitate & Pregnancy Update

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Β  Β  Β  Β  Twenty four weeks and in four more weeks I’ll finally be in my third trimester! Had my check up yesterday for my growing little boy and everything is going smooth so far, thank God! I am now only 1 pound over the weight I should be right now and I credit that to dropping bread down to twice a week, pizza night and whichever day I go and visit my mom.

This food journey of mine is a work in process and what I have added to my lifestyle has helped me such as drinking more water and being aware of how much sugar I’m consuming. I am addicted to sugar and it is really hard for me to pass it up, especially given the fact that I’m pregnant and blah blah baby wants, but really I just want that food.

I know that the more bread I have the more bread I’m going to crave and that is the toughest part to overcome. It is possible though. Exercising has helped and I only walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Being aware really helps. It is the little things that count in the long run, like “hey, I had a bagel today let me not have bread for the rest of the day.” I remember asking my husband what he does when he regrets a food that he ate, such as when it makes you feel uncomfortable, and his answer always stayed with me, “I just drink water.” It is so true. Instead of letting that food pile up in your stomach and digestive track, flush it out. Yes, the damage might be done, but you are helping your body along to move the food through and you know out. I hate to drive you guys nuts with my bread rants, but it’s my food addiction at the moment, and I’ve never had this before. I’ve never wanted bread and sandwiches more in my life, so on the blog it goes. But anyway…

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So my husband and I tried out an almond milk called Califia farms and I LOVE it. I’ve avoided almond milk, because most brands contain the synthetic vitamin a palmitate. This brand doesn’t contain this vitamin. It’s in most processed foods, like cereal and it’s used to add lost vitamins. There are other synthetic vitamins added to food too, however Β I focused in on this one simple because I was pregnant. The synthetic form of vitamin a palmitate in high doses contributes to birth defects along with other symptoms. Now I know its only in high doses, but I just don’t want it in something I’m going to consume every day despite how low the dose is. I’m not going to go nuts and always avoid it, if I want the occasional Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts drink with a little almond milk it won’t be the end of the world, but I guess it is good to know instead of not knowing. Live your life, but this brand of almond milk is great! The first time we bought it unsweetened and I still loved the taste. This week he bought the sweetened version and I didn’t notice it until this picture. That’s why I was loving my coffee more and not adding sugar to it. I thought I was doing so good with the no sugar in my coffee, but turns out I was having sugar with my coffee by having the milk. It’s a very little amount though.

So check out my reference below and you decide, happy Saturday!

What Is Vitamin A Palmitate?

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Earn your Happy πŸ˜

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This past week I started searching for podcasts. I was searching so that I would have something to listen to in order to keep my goal of going on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I was also searching, because being with a toddler all day as your buddy is pretty lonely despite how cute and how much you LOVE them.

So the podcast I want to introduce you to, and that I’ve been listening to, is a self help podcast by Lori Harder called “Earn your Happy!” I didn’t think I would enjoy this podcast as much as I have, but she has so many helpful tips and the best part for me is that she incorporates her Christian faith in her self help as well.

She has these podcast titles that are titled quickies, which are short 10 to 15 minute or less lessons that are perfect if you’re doing the dishes or folding the laundry ( in my case: if my toddler is sleeping).

I listened to an awesome one today called “Gratitude is the best way to attract more things to be grateful for.” I encourage you to listen! It’s about teaching yourself to be in the present more rather than the past or future, which can both bring bitterness, regret or worry and anxiety into your life. I battle my own worries, fears, anxieties and being alone with my thoughts can lead to depression. I’ve experienced depression in my life far too often to have it take me down. There comes a point where enough is enough. Gratitude in the past and now has helped me overcome the things that I want or can’t have and this podcast episode helped me realize that every time I am grateful I’m happier and more present! I used the iTunes podcast app. It’s a purple icon if you search for it on the apple app store.

Hope this encourages you all too!

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Goals

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         It’s so easy to say, “I’m changing my diet, no more this, that and this deliciousness,” but over time you’ll find that it is almost always a recipe for failure. I’m guilty of this. I understand the need to want to break up with a no good for you food, but sometimes our approach is too sudden. We deprive our bodies suddenly of what we are accustomed to eating. Therefore, after a short time of our new diet we give up too soon from the need to have that deprived food again. We defeat ourselves before we can achieve a true lifestyle change.

My idea of healthy living is feeling the best we can in our day to day lives. So what makes us feel good in the long run? The answer is the foods we eat and yes exercise! Now it’s easy to type these words and you’re probably reading this and thinking, ugh yes I know what I have to do, but let me give you some advice that I’m starting to use.

Before you beat yourself up, before you throw in the towel stop and set small goals for yourself. I have to type this word again…small. Set a goal for a certain week, where you decide like me, “you know what, I want to make sure I drink more water, or I’m going to have more fruit,” or anything really the choice is yours.

I know when you want to lose weight everything in you wants to do it all at once. I’m in the business of gaining weight right now, but I do want to help those that want to see a change in their life. The outward appearance shows weight loss and that seems to be the main goal for people, but what we’re missing is do we truly feel good! You will lose weight by eating better. It’s just a matter of changing how we eat and not feeling deprived in the process.

This is my journey. This is what my blog is about. I want to eat foods that energize me and make me feel good and I want to document my experience by being more mindful of what I eat and learning about the foods I fuel my body with.

The point is not this though, for this post I want to encourage you and say, don’t beat yourself up. If you’ve decided that you need a change take that step and train your body little by little to want, crave and enjoy healthier foods. There are ways and I’ll be there with you.

So set a goal this week or next and think small, but stick with it. Once you master that goal, add a new one. Some goals might be easier or more challenging than others like exercise for example is tough. Just having the time to go to the gym is a challenge, but guess what, we have the magical world of youtube and setting a goal of 15/30 minutes of any youtube channel of your choice and you’ll feel accomplished.

I’m actually attempting to do home workouts. Just arms and a 30 minute 2mph walk on the treadmill. Mainly it’s for my mental health. I don’t need an article to tell me that exercise influences your mental health. I have felt a dramatic influence to my overall well being when I add exercise into my life. That’s why I love the warmer weather, being outside and walking is a stress relievier for me. It’s winter here in New Jersey, so if your goal is exercising pick a home workout that you enjoy or make time for the gym.

So remember…

Don’t beat yourself up

set small goals

and then like my posted picture says, “Clap for your damn self!”

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Raw Brownies?

img_3378Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β Thank God for healthy bloggers, vloggers and chefs who come up with recipes that won’t kill you a week or few weeks later on the scale!

I made this so good, so sweet recipe last night in honor of my mother in law who is on the Daniel fast this month. I discovered this recipe from a vlog I follow on youtube titled Rawvana. I found her on youtube when I was searching for smoothie recipes and am so happy to have her on my subscriptions. This lady is an inspiration, sometimes I don’t know how she does it!

So I found this recipe on her vlog and I have to share it here, because it’s so good and worth the effort to make it! Although it has few ingredients, the total cost did come out to about 25, but again it’s worth it. The bulk of the expense came from the cacao powder itself, but think about it, you have a whole bag of this heaven to make more raw brownies!

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The ingredients I used for the raw brownies were as stated in her youtube videos:

15 dates (presoaked in water before you blend it)

1 cup of almond meal (or you can just buy almonds and ground them up yourself)

and 4 tbsp of cacao powder

Thats what I used, but she adds a little more in her video if your interested to see it below!

I also made the pudding recipe to go over it, mmm so good! This calls for:

5-6 dates

2 tbsp of cacao powder

and avocadoΒ 

That is what I used, but she also added vanilla powder. It is so easy to make and only requires an hour in the freezer before you can give in to your sweet tooth!

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And mom, I know your probably going to read this, so yes I will bring some for you to try!

And thats it!

Thank you Rawvana for the recipe!

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Youtube link below:

CHOCOLATE BROWNIES RAW VEGAN | HEALTHY DESSERT NO BAKE RECIPE

HEALTHY DESSERT! RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUDDING/MOUSSE