|Me at a bit over 4 months :-)|
Yup thats right folks, you heard me right.....here is the big secret news & the reason I stopped blogging for awhile: we are pregnant! :-) I'm absolutely SO happy, grateful and excited about being a Mommy (our first!)!
That said, I think its important to share honestly on this blog. So I need to tell you all that for most of my early pregnancy I was scared, anxious and almost paralytically overwhelmed at the responsibility of nurturing a life inside my own body. I fixated on doing the pregnancy "perfectly" (which of course is impossible) and then I critiqued myself constantly when I didn't live up to my expectations.
I particularly felt like a failure because I wasn't able to maintain a 100% vegan diet. All my best intentions went out the window with the nearly constant daily nausea and then I was hospitalized for food poisoning in the first trimester only to discover my blood protein levels were dangerously low. I don't believe my low protein was because I was eating a vegan diet--I believe it was because I wasn't eating very many vegan protein sources. For some reason eating more vegan protein just seemed to be beyond me at the time, and I got scared so I ended up turning to my old omnivore ways part of the time.
And so it went, week after week I felt sick, I was angry at myself for not enjoying this pregnancy that I longed for and not eating perfectly and I was building up a major resentment about having to work SO hard at my job when all I wanted was to stay home and rest. In that chaotic mental state, its no wonder I didn't felt like blogging! I just wasn't sure what I was going to say! And even more than that, I felt like a hypocrite! How could I possibly write about the importance of the vegan diet when I was eating meat a few times a week!!
Thank HP, finally one of my twelve step eating recovery program friends said "Cat you need to start writing again. Just write about how you feel & be honest. You are eating mostly vegan anyways so just write about that." She shared that wisdom with me two months ago and its taken me all that time to forgive myself enough to share my feelings with all of you (and to have my life calm down enough to have blogging time!). I have such high standards for my own behavior. When I don't meet those standards, years of program work has taught me how to be gentle with myself. And I was, gentle with myself. Until I discovered that I had started growing a life inside of me and I seemed to forget that!
Now that I'm nearing the end of my second trimester things have changed. I am so happy and grateful and feeling physically really good. I'm much more able to truly celebrate the awesome gift we have been given. I'm a LOT kinder to myself and accepting of my imperfect self. Unsurprisingly, these good feelings have accompanied increased work in my twelve step overeating program! I've come to accept that all the anxiety I felt at first was really me trying to control the impossible--my own body. Over time, after I'd worked through a lot of the extremely negative body image issues (putting on weight was initially terrifying as I felt like I was heading back up to my 100lbs heavier self instead of having my body do what it was supposed to--nurture a new life!), I have been able to let go of the rigid desire to control this process & can now marvel at the changes in my body. My hips are wider but that is because they need to support the baby better and prepare for labor. My shape has changed because the baby needs room to grow. And so on and so forth. I'm actually enjoying being pregnant--it really does make you feel incredible to have this life inside you. At first it was extremely exciting and very weird to feel the baby move! Now it just makes me smile deep inside because it is amazing to me to know that we as women have this ability to nurture life insides us--awesome.
So that is where I am :-) In a funny way, going off my 100% anti-inflammatory vegan diet has really taught me how right my pre-pregnancy diet was for my body! When I eat meat, sugar, gluten & dairy I have an amazing immediate reaction within 24 hours--body aches & headaches! My GI issues have come back powerfully with the re-introduction of meat. I know that some of you will think--well this is just due to pregnancy but I really don't believe that. I believe it is due to the dietary changes--so over the last month I've been cutting back even further on the omnivore diet, heading back to a more predominantly vegan diet. The trickiest part is that I really am not cooking much right now and I often get overwhelmed trying to count my protein carefully like I need to do when I eat more vegan sources. But I'm going to keep trying because I really want to raise my child in a vegan household--I just believe it is more nutritious and will help them (and my husband and I!) live longer. I will be breastfeeding (at least I strongly intend to) so I will need to become comfortable eating more vegan protein for quite some time--would love to hear any ideas or recipes you guys have for higher protein vegan meals!
I have done quite a bit of research this pregnancy on nutrition (among MANY other things baby & birth related) and I do think I will share some of my pregnancy-related findings on the blog. I have been blessed to continue my abstinence unbroken in this pregnancy--which was only possible by my taking the advice of my new sponsor and others who helped me be comfortable with increased flexibility in what I consumed. So I will share about that. But I really want to continue to write about nutrition, recovery from obesity and medicine. Being pregnant is obviously defining my life right now so I will write about it some--particularly some of the body image stuff because I think it is helpful to hear about that (I think its a pretty taboo subject so of course I want to talk about it!). But the majority of my blog posts will be similar to those in the past.
I love writing this blog and despite my broader personal diet I will continue to only write about my experiences with the vegan diet b/c I believe as a medical professional it truly is the healthiest way to live. I've really missed sharing with all of you and I'm excited about returning! And yes--I will share some photos of my journey :-) The photo above is not current but it does capture part of my pregnancy journey :-)
My blog posts will be much less frequent--probably about one per week instead of three or four--but I do hope you'll stay tuned in and comment. Your words enrich my life.
So I'm back and happy to be here. Thanks for reading & for all your love and support!