Pregnancy · Uncategorized · Wellness

Where Have I Been? MAJOR Life Update!

Hi, loves! I wanted to do a life update post to let you all know where I’ve been, in case you don’t follow me on Instagram. About a month ago I started to feel incredibly tired, nauseous, and downright awful… I thought my body may be fighting off one of the stomach flu bugs that’s currently sweeping through towns around me, but alas, it’s something else entirely. It turns out that I’m PREGNANT!!!

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My husband and I always knew that we wanted to have children “someday”, but we always had a reason to put off trying in the past because I was in college then grad school, and then I was trying to establish my career… We finally realized that timing would never be perfect and since I’m turning 30 in a few months, we both decided to let nature take its course and see what happens. Two weeks later…. I found out I was pregnant. I had absolutely NO idea it would happen THAT fast!

We’re both so excited and grateful that we’ve been given the opportunity to grow our family and to rain an abundance of love on another being who will hopefully help make this world a brighter place some day. I was really hoping pregnancy would feel as beautiful as the concept is, but alas, I’m not one of those gorgeous, graceful pregnant women that radiate from within! What no one ever told me was that pregnancy can be brutally difficult…. If I didn’t know I was pregnant, I would really think I was slowly dying. I wish I was just being dramatic, too! I have never felt so sick for so long in my entire life. And this is why I wanted to let you all know that I’m still here and I still plan to continue adding lots and lots of Natural Beauty and Wellness related topics to my blog. I was planning to wait until I started feeling better because I want my blog posts to be genuine and to come from a positive place because all of these subtleties really come through in one’s writing. I only want to share positive energy with you all because there’s too much negativity floating around to add any more into the mix.

But, alas, I’m only human and I feel that one of the best aspects of following another blogger is getting a glimpse into the person behind the author, which makes blogs more “real” and “sincere” than articles we’d find in a magazine that are limited by space/time constraints and limitations put forth by a larger entity. So, that’s why I want to share more than reviews of products and wellness-related tips with you all. Of course, I still have many projects I’m working on, including an in depth comparison of different mineral makeup brands, as well as so many amazing Wellness based topics that I’m so excited to finish and post for you all in between my makeup related posts!

Additionally, I’d like to include a Pre-natal and Post-natal Pregnancy section on my blog. I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, as I know the last thing that interested me were baby-related topics when I wasn’t pregnant. But, I’m hoping that if these posts don’t relate to you now in your life, you can share them with a family member who might be helped by some of the topics. If not, rest assured, there will be many non-pregnancy and non-baby related posts coming your way, as well!

I also wanted to write my stance on why I decided to share my pregnancy announcement with my Instagram followers so soon, instead of waiting the traditional 12 weeks. I decided to share the above photo very soon after I received confirmation that I was, in fact, expecting, even though I’m well aware that the chances of miscarrying is 20% for my age range before we heard our baby’s heartbeat. Once the heartbeat is heard and is within a normal, healthy range, a person’s chance of miscarrying decreases to 5% and decreases to another 2% after 12 weeks.

I had my second ultrasound at 8 weeks pregnant and we heard the baby’s heartbeat at exactly 151 beats per minute! Around 150 beats per minute is where the “normal” range is. I was so incredibly relieved and overjoyed to hear this amazing, miraculous sound! It wasn’t until this moment that I fully connected with the concept that I’m carrying a raspberry sized being in my womb with this teeny tiny heartbeat! We have very few moments in life where the world simply stands still….and for both me and my husband, this was one of those amazing moments. We both teared up as the realization flooded through us that this is all really happening. We’re really, truly bringing another entity into this world. And at last, all the moments of unrelenting nausea and sickness instantly became worth it!

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I decided to share my pregnancy news so soon because whether or not I’m lucky enough to keep this baby full term, this pregnancy is still a reality and I don’t want to hide it. Even though it’s 2016, our society has really ingrained that the “appropriate” thing to do is to wait the standard 12 week period in order to avoid having to share the “unseemly” or uncomfortable news of having a miscarriage, in case it happens. Yes, in this day and age, it really comes down to simply being “polite”, which just conjures up images of the rigidity of Victorian England in my mind!

My main gripe with this “rule” is that 12 weeks is a LONG time in pregnancy weeks!! I’m usually one of those people who feels that time just flies by, in general, and years are seemingly gone in the blink of an eye. But, wow….time has never stood so still for so long in my entire life until I became pregnant and became familiar with what it actually feels like to grow a live being inside of myself! Those first few weeks are grueling and women need ALL the support they can get from friends, relatives, coworkers, etc. as they adjust to these rapid changes occurring in their bodies. I can’t imagine having to deal with hiding the fact that I’ve been pregnant for all these weeks ON TOP of handling nausea 24/7, chronic fatigue, anxiety magnified 1.000x, insomnia, cramping, headaches (the list really goes on and on and on…). How we, as women, have been considered to be the “weaker” of the two sexes for all these centuries is BEYOND me after becoming pregnant. There is no other feeling quite like it… And it will literally test a person’s will every minute of every day.

But, most of all, I feel that the decision to give the big Pregnancy news should be entirely up to the comfort and needs of the individual who’s pregnant. I don’t think that women should feel that they “can’t” be open about it and at the same time, I don’t feel that women have to disclose the information unless they feel comfortable with the chances of having to let people know if a miscarriage occurs. Odds are highly in your favor that nothing bad will happen…. BUT, if it does, it’s part of life, just like any other shattering loss is a part of life. And during times of profound loss, we should be able to support each other and not be ashamed of it. Most women who I’ve known who have experienced such a loss had wished that they had told people or at least more people so that they could have been given more support and received more understanding, overall. Pregnancy is a heavy (no pun intended) weight to bear by itself, but loss of a pregnancy is something no woman should ever have to face solely behind closed doors.

I’m trying to stay positive and stay focused on the fact that I now have a 95% chance of giving birth to a beautiful baby girl or boy. If that 5% chance happens to win in this case, I’m not going to hide it or be ashamed of it. We’re all in this crazy world together, right? I’m only human and if I’m grieving and have to take a step back from social media and life in general in order to come to terms with the hand I’ve been dealt, then I would hope the people in my life (both in my physical life as well as my social media extended family) would understand.

I was actually going to wait the 12 weeks before I made the pregnancy announcement on my blog, but then something happened this past week that made me re-think this. This past Friday, I started bleeding…a lot. I had relatively little to no pain, which I thought was strange, but my mind automatically assumed the worst case scenario. My husband was working and I was about to leave my house to go to my mom’s house for Friday Night Dinner with my family when I realized I was bleeding. I absolutely panicked and immediately broke down because I thought I was losing my baby. I went to the hospital with my mom, brother, and amazing neighbor (who I really, truly cannot thank enough because she SAVED me from losing my mind in the bumper to bumper traffic on the way to the hospital!). I was in the ER for five painstaking hours before I was FINALLY told (after a bunch of different tests) that my baby was still in my womb with a heartbeat. Our healthcare system in America……::sigh::……..is beyond ridiculous. The entire time I was there no one would tell me anything as I was being poked and prodded with needles, underwent three different ultrasounds, and told I couldn’t eat or drink anything. I was crying for hours and hours imagining that if I didn’t lose the baby, I was about to go through a D&C (why else wouldn’t they let me eat or drink?).

At the end of my third ultrasound, I begged the technician to say something, ANYTHING to let me know what was going on! She had a poker face the entire time as she repeated over and over, “I’m not at liberty to say, I’m just a technician.” Her hard shell finally cracked as I pleaded with her to just tell me if there’s still a baby in there. She turned the ultrasound screen to face me and pointed to the baby and said, “Here’s your baby and here’s your baby’s heartbeat.” I thanked her profusely and swore I wouldn’t tell anyone she said anything in the hospital. TWO hours later, a nurse practitioner confirms what the technician told me and briefly, BRIEFLY explained what happened and said my OB would give me the final word on what occurred and what will need to be done. Another TWO hours later, my OB appears to tell me exactly what the nurse practitioner said and is gone within two minutes. I waited 9 hours for this man to appear and he was gone in literally two minutes. I told him I hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink and he looked appalled and said, “Who told you not to eat or drink? As soon as I found out details of what happened here, I knew you weren’t miscarrying and wouldn’t need a D&C.” Then I’m given fluids through an IV (finally, the very painful and uncomfortable IV they stuck in my arm 9 hours ago was being put to some form of use) to make up for being dehydrated after a major loss of blood and 8 straight hours of crying.

Apparently, hemorrhaging is fairly common and occurs in 25% of first time pregnancies, which I had absolutely no idea about. What happens is that as the uterus rapidly expands, the gestational sac that houses the baby is expanding, as well, and sometimes this rapid expansion causes a hemorrhage between the wall of the gestational sac and the uterus, which can result in various degrees of blood loss. There’s no cure and no one is entirely sure what exactly causes it, but bed rest is usually prescribed for 2-4 weeks in more severe cases. I’m one of the people who got 2 weeks of bed rest to start and then I go back to my OB in two weeks to get a follow up ultrasound to make sure my body is healing well and that the baby is continuing to grow and maintain a strong heartbeat. Depending on how the hemorrhage is healing, I might be placed on another two weeks of bed rest. Another term that makes me think of Victorian England!

I’m sharing this “horror” story of sorts in an effort to inform as many women as possible that this can happen and if it does happen, it doesn’t mean the worst case scenario. In fact, according to my doctor and numerous peer reviewed journal articles I’ve researched on the topic, this type of hemorrhaging does not increase my risk of miscarrying at all. Of course, the hospital sent me home with a huge pamphlet on “increased threat of miscarriage” despite what my doctor told me! I promptly recycled that pamphlet…

Pregnancy is…..scary. Downright terrifying, even. We find out the amazing news and our first prenatal visit to the doctor is filled with “What If” scenarios of varying levels of birth defects, genetic mutations, risk factors, horror stories, SIDS, gestational diabetes, etc….. And the whole time, all I can think about is, when does this become beautiful??? How did we ever get this far in life and continued to reproduce with ALL THAT CAN GO WRONG!!??

Seriously, we just have to STOP OVERTHINKING IT. Easier said than done, believe me, I know it. But, worrying excessively is not healthy for any mama-to-be or the baby that mama-to-be is carrying. Our society is completely fear-based and it really has to stop. Being informed is one thing and being completely and utterly OVERWHELMED with doom-laden information is something else entirely! We need to be as healthy as we can for the children we’re carrying and let nature take its course. What will happen is going to happen, regardless, but we’ll handle it more effectively if we take it one day at a time and hope for the best.

The first thing I did was add a bunch of a pregnancy apps to my phone when I first found out I was pregnant, in an attempt to be as informed as possible. I got rid of 99% of them because the forums were TOO much! Women repeating the M-term over and over again, wondering if certain symptoms are “normal”. I realized none of it was helping me and was just serving to drive me absolutely insane.

Secondly, Google is not your friend in the early stages of pregnancy for this same reason. Remember that the people who tend to report their stories on forums are the ones who experienced uncommon and UNLIKELY occurrences. Just like the people who have had horrible experiences with a product are more likely to take the time to review it. It makes sense, but at the same time, it’s enough to wipe any resolve you have left right out of you. And when you’re struggling to keep any form of food down for weeks upon weeks, you really don’t need any more bad news. If anything, you need to surround yourself with fairy tales and butterflies so you can remember what the idea of magic and possibility is in order to get you through the day!

Phew… It felt really good to get all of that off my chest in written form. I’m so sorry if this post is too much all at once. But, that seems to be the theme in my life lately, so I just can’t help it! I don’t mean for all of this information to be discouraging in any way, shape, or form. Pregnancy is so much more than the horror stories you’ll hear or read about. Pregnancy is so much more than the early symptoms that test your will. Growing a life form in your body is a journey like no other and no two journeys will ever be the same. But, nevertheless, I’d like to share my journey with you all and hope that what I have learned will help you when you go down your own windy road in life.

Some upcoming posts will be tackling some MAJOR topics, in no specific order, such as:

  • Addressing anxiety and depression from a holistic perspective
  • The role hormones play in our overall well-being
  • Staying positive in times of change and severe stress
  • The Benefits of using Himalayan Salt Lamps
  • Prenatal and postnatal life updates
  • Minimalist skincare routine to address acne-prone skin concerns
  • Breakdown of Mineral Makeup brands: pros/cons of each.
  • Natural and Safe Perfume options that actually smell good!
  • Using Essential Oils to address many, many concerns and how to use them to get the most out of them, overall.

These are just a few of the topics I’ve been working on! Now that I’m on bed rest, I’ll have plenty of time to finish them, so expect a lot of Natural Goodness in your inbox!

Thank you so much for being patient with me as my body adjusts to this influx of hormones! I’m currently 8 and a 1/2 weeks pregnant, and as each week passes, I feel slightly better and stronger.

I hope you all are having an amazing start to the Spring Season!!

Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine as often as you can and shine from within πŸ™‚

xoxo,

Julie

 

6 thoughts on “Where Have I Been? MAJOR Life Update!

  1. I love your outlook on announcing the pregnancy when it happens and not waiting for 12 weeks. I have thought the exact same thing before.
    I’m 26 and not pregnant yet, but I’m so broody! And funny enough, not for holding the baby or because they are cute, but because I want to feel what it feels like to grow a baby!
    Good luck with your journey, and I will be keeping an eye on your posts for my “one day”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww!! I know exactly what you mean! I was always curious what it would feel like to grow an actual baby. It’s the giving birth part that really scares me! I’m hoping there’s some internal instinct that kicks in later on in pregnancy to get over that fear of giving birth the first time, lol! I’ll be sure to keep you updated throughout my journey! Sending you lots of positive energy for what the future may hold for you! πŸ’œπŸŒΉ

      Like

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