Shed for the Preg

Shed for the Preg: Third Trimester Update

#33week bumpie. Enjoy my messy bathroom.

#33week bumpie. Enjoy my messy bathroom.

Well the countdown is on… baby Shea will be joining us so soon! Our due date is July 21 so we are in the final stretch. Lil dude is very active. I swear he has the hiccups at least 3x/day. He is tracking exactly to his due date, so we guess he will be average size. My blood pressure is normal, weight gain on track. All in all, fortunately very uneventful so far! Thank God. 🙏

Check out those swollen feet and ankles! :) Pufffffy!

Check out those swollen feet and ankles! :) Pufffffy!

We just came back from an epic family vacation/babymoon, a European river cruise. We hit up 4 countries and did a lot of walking, but everything was great! The biggest issue was some feet and ankle swelling.

Reflecting on this pregnancy, I realized it mostly has brought out the more chill side of my personality. I haven’t stressed overly about what to eat (but don’t worry I did plenty of research about it first! :)), and occasionally will indulge in a glass of wine. But at times, I wonder if I’ve done baby a disservice by not being hyper-vigilant. For instance, should I have changed my water filter on my fridge? Should I have really tried to stay away from dairy and refined sugars? Should I have exercised more vigorously? These questions plague me, often, but mostly I hope that my more laissez-faire approach will affect him positively through his demeanor. This sums up pretty accurately how I feel like this pregnancy has been more mentally challenging than physically. Yes, the physical changes are hard, but nothing compared to knowing that everything I do for the rest of my life will affect this kid. Sheesh. This is why we waited awhile before embarking on the parenthood train!

Currently, I am doing a lot of thinking about the birth plan. Doula or no doula? Epidural or try to go natural? My doctors have a very low c-section rate, which is important to me. If I have to have one, of course, let’s do it, but I really only want that if it is absolutely medically necessary. There are so many little details that go into it, I want to have a clear head while I can, knowing we are making the right moves for the little guy.

The other big thing is getting the nursery set up. We have to move a lot of furniture and junk currently in the room. So while we have a crib and lots of baby gear in there- we can’t really get set up until we get the other beds and desks out. If anyone has any organizational recommendations, I would seriously appreciate it! Cleaning is not a strong suit of mine.

Current symptoms:

  • Feet swelling. This was particularly bad when we were on our Euro trip last week. The plane made them huge! They almost didn’t fit in my shoes!

  • Running hot. It’s been so weird going from someone who was always cold to always hot. My hands, my feet, ice water is my new BFF. Summer is going to be fun!

  • Waking up. If I don’t wake up several times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, that’s a win. It isn’t so bad except for when I can’t fall back to sleep right away. Pretty standard, but only getting worse I’m afraid.

  • Weight gain, duh. I’m at a little less than 30 lbs from my starting weight as of today (doc says less, I’m not complaining!). For not really trying to manage it–I’m happy with it. It’s weird feeling just letting my stomach takeover, but I’m kinda loving it.

  • Acid Reflux. I used to think this was something that could be avoided, but apparently the relaxin hormone that “relaxes” the muscles to make room for babe also relax the sphincter (the lid between the stomach and esophagus), allowing stomach acid to make it’s way north. So really if it’s going to happen to you, it’s going to happen. This has gotten progressively worse with time. So hello, Tums!

  • Hormonal emotions are back. I cried at the end of Pitch Perfect this week. Yeah, new low. 🤦🏻‍♀️😅

So that’s it for the current update! Apologies if I have been as present with the wedding content, my head is just in baby land right now. :) Thanks for following along on this journey! -AHS

Shed for the Preg: Mid-Pregnancy Update (with some fun prenatal yoga tips!)

I think after my realness posting on the first trimester, I think I gave a lot of people a scare. I wanted to check in and let everyone know that this trimester has been amazing! I’ve felt so good the past couple months! Mentally and physically.

The bump is definitely there! I’ve officially transitioned out of my normal pants and have been living in leggings. It is weird though, because it is still an in-between time and under clothes I think it looks like I’ve just gained a bit of weight. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’m looking forward to it looking more official!

We had our mid-pregnancy ultrasound this week. It went very well! Baby is tracking on average. We are measuring a bit ahead of schedule, but not by much. I had to go back to get another one because lil’ man wouldn’t give us the proper view of his heart. And that’s right we learned it’s a BOY! We were absolutely shocked but our hearts are bursting! We really, truly believed it was a girl! But now fully readjusted and excited about all things little boy! We should’ve known that it was a boy because last weekend the baby was kicking me like crazy with Conor screaming in the last minute of the IU v Michigan State basketball game. A lil Hoosier fan in the making!

I finally started the process of registering for baby things. I spent 12 hours last weekend researching strollers. YEP. My mind is exploding about the strollers. I also realized that the cribs I like are almost impossible to find in the US. Classic me. I think I’m finally beginning to understand baby gear, which is huge up-leveling for me– and maybe overcoming a huge fear too?! Just another reason for me to get back to my Marie Kondo-ing of our condo! Lastly, beginning to understand this whole Mom tribe thing–I don’t know where I would be without all of my wonderful friends giving me advice!

I’ve been able to get back to my normal eating habits. Lots of eggs, sweet potatoes, greens, avocados, and all of the cucumbers (etc. etc. etc.). So my body is nourished, and has been full of energy! I’ve gotten back to yoga and even have worked in some cardio (more exercise thoughts below).

Cravings:

Still eating a lot of citrus–I’m blood orange and clementine obsessed. I am loving cucumbers (see photos!). I’ve continued to eat cereal and toaster waffles. I am definitely eating more sugar and carbs than my normal diet, but not too much. The actual cravings have not been extreme.

Aversions:

Not much, but still very weird around chicken. I still eat it occasionally as long as its overly seasoned.



Symptoms:

The biggest is nasal congestion. I wake up almost unable to breathe every day. Which is wild because thankfully, I haven’t been sick since the first week in January. This happened when I was in Florida too! Apparently it’s common but I hadn’t heard of it before this.

Acid reflux has kicked in a bit, unfortunately. I need to keep my meals small and more frequent rather than larger and less often.

I also have some low back pain. Nothing too troubling yet. Looking into pregnancy pillows to help solve this.

Every night is a new vivid dream. Every night. Some terrifying, some fun. But every night I’m on a new journey. 😂

Prenatal was my favorite part of yoga teacher training. Maybe it was a bit of foreshadowing?

Prenatal was my favorite part of yoga teacher training. Maybe it was a bit of foreshadowing?

Exercise:

I’ve been trying to work in movement 4x/week but it’s been slow getting back to my normal routine. I have gotten back to spin class, cardio has felt great! The one downside is that sitting on a bike, I feel like I have to pee the whole time. Yoga continues to be awesome. I’ve added in a couple different prenatal classes into my routine and feel incredible afterwards. That being said, I still need a bit of a push to keep my strength up so I also still go to my favorite regular level 2 yoga class, but have to make some modifications.

In case you are also pregnant and want to go to a regular (meaning not prenatal) yoga class here are some tips of what to avoid and to modify for:

  • Avoid hot yoga. Moderately heated (like 80-85 degrees) is fine, but skip the Bikram (105!).

  • Avoid intense twists. You can do some gentle twisting if it feels okay to you.

  • Avoid poses on your belly like shalabhasana (locust pose) and dhanurasana (bow pose). My guru (aka my favorite instructor) had me do a variation of table pose during this part of class where you extend opposite arms and legs while balancing, and alternate grabbing your foot from above your head. (Does that make sense? If you want more details on this pose send me a DM! 😂)

  • Avoid over stretching. Because of the relaxin flowing through our bods “relaxing” our muscles and ligaments, it can be easy to overstretch our ligaments which won’t ever go back to their original shape! So whenever stretching, be sure to engage your muscles to prevent over stretching of your ligaments. (This is also why it can be detrimental wearing flip-flops during the summer months when your pregnant- don’t overstretch those feet ligaments!)

  • Some people are fine with extreme back-bending like urdva dhanurasana (wheel pose). I attempted it a couple times because it has always been apart of my practice, but it never felt right. So I finally adjusted to a supported bridge position. It also can cause diastasis recti (where your abs separate)- and no one wants that!

  • No need to keep your feet together when bending at the waist, make room for belly! (uttanasana [standing forward bend] or utkatasana [chair] come to mind)

  • When going from a position where your head is below your heart, take your time coming back up to standing. Pregnancy can cause haywire on your blood pressure, so you want to give your body time to adjust.

  • Your center of gravity has shifted, know that balance poses will feel different. And be careful not to fall!

  • Lastly, you are carrying extra weight that wasn’t there before. Your practice won’t look the same, and that’s a good thing! Don’t try to keep up or overdo it. Listen to your body, and rock child’s pose if that’s what you need!

Soooo that ended up being more than a few tips, so I think this is a good place to call it. Thank you all for all of your well wishes for baby BOY Shea and joining me on this journey! xx - AHS

A Guide to Taking a Break from Booze

A lovely sparkling water, with a dash of cucumber shrub and splash of simple syrup.

A lovely sparkling water, with a dash of cucumber shrub and splash of simple syrup.

I always thought that when I became pregnant, I was going to hate not drinking. I don’t think I drink very much compared to the general population, but I enjoy the social component that accompanies drinking and I love an occasional glass (or 2) of red to unwind during the week. Spoiler: it hasn’t been that hard!

If you are considering skipping booze before the wedding this post is for you! The second month of the Shed program is booze-free. While it is not required for longer than a month, I highly recommend skipping booze for the few months before your wedding. It will really bring out that bridal glow! Below, I’m sharing my experience and tips on skipping booze from over the past few months!


Day-to-Day Sans Alcohol

In general I wake up with more energy. I can only imagine how wonderful I would feel if I wasn’t pregnant (AKA not waking up in the middle of the night to pee every night and the general exhaustion that goes along with it!). In all honesty, I think that most of the benefits of not drinking are somewhat compromised by pregnancy symptoms (for me at least)– so non-prego brides-to-be take advantage of this time! More on this in section 3!

While I do miss the occasional relaxed buzz vibe from a nice glass of shiraz, I really have been amazed at how little it has affected my overall enjoyment of social events. I’ve been to several large parties and weddings sober now and have been able to really enjoy them. Here is how I have taken them on to maximize my enjoyment:

  • I always carry a drink- preferably similar to what I typically drink. Like a soda water with a splash of cranberry (all I’m missing is the vodka!). Before I was showing, people had no idea, and I even felt like I was drinking with them. My mom was laughing at me on the dance floor at a wedding, still holding my drink. Holding a drink, alcohol or not, is a part of my party persona and it really makes me feel like my normal self. Pro tip: ask the bartender to use the same glass that they are serving alcoholic drinks in especially if you are not public with you news yet! It can be a dead giveaway (I’ve busted several friends this way!).

  • The above works until the witching hour- which is now what I refer to the period of time when everyone’s eyes begin to glaze over and don’t make sense anymore. That is now the time I know its time to GTFO. It’s no longer fun when your people don’t make sense. I find that leaving around 12:30 on average is probably the best call.

  • I also have been able to chill at crazy bars and have an amazing time, but at the end of the day it comes down to the company! I don’t need to be drinking to enjoy hanging with my friends!


What to drink

It is really nice to find any beverage besides water to drink - it can be really boring drinking water all day every day (including sparkling!).

If you are shedding for the wedding, you’ll want to avoid sugary mocktails:

  • Go for soda water with a splash of juice of your choice.

  • You can always add a dash of cucumber shrub (vinegar based flavor) or a tiny bit of bitters to change things up. But it’s really easy to overdo it! Gotta keep it in very small amounts!

  • If you want an extra caffeine boost- unsweetened iced tea is great and looks like it could be boozy.

  • You can enjoy kombucha just make sure the sugar content isn’t higher than 4g.

If you are shedding for the preg, all of the above works but be mindful, kombucha can have trace amounts of alcohol, so be mindful about your consumption. Feel free to enjoy those mocktails, but treat them as a dessert and enjoy them on occasion. Just don’t make them habitual.


Sober but still having hangovers

Oddly, I haven’t stopped getting hangovers! What?! How is that possible you say?

Well, what I’ve learned is that what I always thought was a standard hangover is a combination of either 2-4 things:

  1. Dehydration

  2. Fatigue

  3. Previous high sugar consumption

  4. Alcohol

Typically it just takes 2 (of the 4) to make it feel like a hangover. Obviously, #4 isn’t an issue for me right now, but if three happen, I’m really in trouble. So my number 1 objective is to drink enough water consistently throughout the day so I don’t need to drink a lot before bed. Number 2 objective- I now get like 9 hours of sleep- yeah I know that’s a luxurious amount. If I have less than that it’s problematic. I chalk it up to growing a human. But that being said this is why I feel like I’m hungover all the time. It’s hard to get that 9 hours. Lastly, I try not to overdo the sugar. It’s very easy to do if you are not being 100% active in keeping it down. Added sugars are in everything, and then if you are allowing for a treat most days, it can add up and really negate all of those positive benefits from skipping the booze!

If you are shedding for the wedding, added sugars are out and probably won’t need quite as much sleep. So hopefully, if you drink enough water, you should feel “hangover”-free, energized, and fabulous!


Overall, I think I may be choosing to skip the booze even after baby arrives! What do you think? Are you sober curious? Let me know if you are tempted to take a drinking hiatus or if you have any questions on the drink-free life! -AHS

Shed for the Preg (Announcement!) and Thoughts on the First Trimester

Facetune_25-01-2019-09-29-53.JPG

You may have noticed I’ve been a little different in my posting over the last few months. Well, that’s because, surprise surprise, we are pregnant! I’ve been dying to share all of this with you all!! We are so beyond excited and can’t wait to meet our little bebe!

Things have changed a lot in my world over the past few months. I thought that I was going to be awesome at pregnancy. I was going to be so active, eat so well–I was going to nail it. Well, things don’t always work out as planned. Pregnancy is hard AF yo. And it has taken a toll on me: mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Let me reiterate that we are absolutely thrilled. That first moment when we saw our baby on the ultrasound was absolutely incredible. Pregnancy really is an incredible experience so please don’t take any of this as complaining. I just want to be 100% real with you about my experience. I think that people make everything look so picture perfect in our social media driven world, and I feel a responsibility to share more of the gritty sides of life. Also, everyone’s pregnancy is different, what follows is my particular experience.

What have I been eating?

So yeah, the first trimester. Verrrrrry interesting. To sum it up in two points:

  1. Nausea: luckily for me, no vomiting here, but definitely extreme nausea set off my food smells most of the time. Horrible.

  2. Food aversions: pretty much every healthy food I rejected. Kale, spinach, squash (my one true love!), sweet potatoes, quinoa, EGGS(!), CHICKEN (omg still makes me wanna 🤢), all of these things have been on my 100% do not eat list.

All I’ve wanted is carbs (hello toaster waffles for breakfast) and cheese (but sometimes cheese is still not ok lol). Cravings: Frank’s hot sauce, pickles and pickle juice, bloody marys (virgin, obvi), citrus fruits, miso soup, sushi, and orange juice. Basically all of the acid.

Well, as I mentioned, I thought I was going to be one of those super healthy pregnancy people (obviously!). Well shocking myself, I have literally have eaten the opposite of my usual routine. I’ve eaten many boxes of Annie’s mac and cheese, pasta of all varieties, toast, peanut butter and jelly. The smell of food preparation of any kind has grossed me out, so I have really been absent from the kitchen. One day tortellini (bread and cheese which are typically in the clear!) sounded gross, so I had gelato for dinner. Yeah, health life fail.

However in weeks 12-14 I’ve really started to feel more like myself, and my tolerance for healthy foods has gone up! I’d even dare to say I’ve started to crave some healthy food! I’ve been eating lots of eggs, and a lot more veggies. Mediterranean and Asian foods have been the best. I have been loving nutrient-packed tabbouli, fresh hummus, and falafel. Miso soup, and California rolls have also really been hitting the spot. You may have seen I started drinking celery juice- I think it’s my body’s way of making up for lost greens. Since I’m feeling better, and subsequently, eating better- I will share my preggo eats with you as time goes on.

physical symptoms?

I have been extremely tired, and my brain hasn’t felt like it was working properly. I’ve been taking naps (and typically, I physically cannot nap).

Because of the sheer exhaustion, I haven’t been working out which I think has only made the fatigue worse. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been slowly adding in some low impact exercises at home and some light weight lifting. This week I even went to a yoga class (not even prenatal!)! I’m hoping to get back into a normal routine soon.

Miraculously, despite my eating and lack of movement, I have put on very little weight so far, about 3ish lbs (they recommend 0-5 lbs in the first trimester and a lb a week after). I also had been Shedding when I got pregnant, so I was on the lighter side for my normal to begin with (highly recommend this btw!).

Also, now I have acne. On my face and on my chest (y tho?!). They say that’s a sign that it’s going to be a girl- so we shall see!

It supposedly get’s better in the second trimester, and I’m already feeling a difference–let me tell you, I am ready for it!

Emotions?

Emotionally this has been the most extreme. I’ve felt very isolated (working from home is tough), and oddly depressed. Besides random bouts of crying, life has felt exceedingly hard. It’s like this experience has shook who I am down to my core. I guess it is probably a side effect of my self constructed identity changing into something new. Usually, I bring my own magic to day to day life, and I just couldn’t bring it. Besides that, I had a perpetual feeling of nervousness that something would go wrong in the pregnancy. AND all the while, I’ve also felt overwhelmed with excitement and joy for what’s to come. So to sum it up–it’s been a really weird time.

The good news is that the morning I woke up on my 12th week of pregnancy, I felt like myself again! I felt motivated, inspired, and excited for the future. I still have huge swings in emotion sometimes, but overall, I really I think I have my magic back. 😉✨


Now that we are “out,” I will share more with you guys about the experience. I am going to keep posting my healthy eats with #shedapproved versions- because let’s be real, eating for 2 and shedding for the wedding are two very different experiences. I will try not to overwhelm you with too much pregnancy content- but I want to know, what are you curious to learn more about? Let me know here or on any of my social channels. Yay! Thanks for coming along for the ride. -AHS