Griffin’s After Birth

Griffin relaxing and enjoying the herbal bath

Griffin relaxing and enjoying the herbal bath

 

As Kayla and Heather helped me catch my beautiful baby boy, and I laid him on my chest for the first time, my heart was so full! I was so excited that he was here! I then noticed that he wasn’t crying, and he wasn’t all newborn pink like I remember Ian and Hazel being. Knowing that babies born in the water sometimes take a little longer to transition, I tried to not worry. I realized that he had not taken his first breath yet. (Still trying to not freak out) Griffin was obviously taking his sweet time getting adjusted to life outside the womb and making everyone nervous in the process. I started rubbing his back and Heather told me to talk to him to see if he would respond. I was getting worried. I started asking if he was ok. I can’t remember if I asked this aloud or in my head. The calmness, but prompt attentiveness of Heather and Kayla were the only reasons I was not completely flipping out. Heather asked if she could give him a breath. (Like I would have said no!) Heather gave him a breath and everyone was sweetly encouraging him to take a breath and start crying. He finally did take a his first breath and start crying. I think I started to breathe again also. The total time that went by between the time he was born and when he took that first breath was probably under a minute, but it was the longest minute of my life!

 

Griffin getting some skin to skin with Daddy while our midwife checks up on him.

Griffin getting some skin to skin with Daddy while our midwife checks up on him.

As soon as I knew everything was fine, (he still wasn’t very “newborn pink” and his face was pretty swollen and bruised, but he was fine) I remembered my mom was still in the living room! I was sad that she had not been in the room when he was born. (She was there when both Ian and Hazel were born) So I had to get her in here as soon as possible. I had someone go get her. I felt relieved when she came in and apologized for not letting her know when he was about to be born. She, being the most wonderful mother ever, said she didn’t want to get in the way and knew she would get to see him. (Yeah, I do have an awesome mom, be jealous!) I then announced that his name was Griffin Daniel! This was the fun part because no one at all knew what we were going to name the baby. Most people knew that his name would start with the letter G, but no one knew the name. So it was fun to reveal his name to everyone.

 

Newborn exam

Griffin and I stayed in the tub a while, pretty much until the water started getting cold and I was worried he was going to get cold. He was pretty swollen in the forehead and eye area, and he had a cone head too. I’m thinking it was from being squished in my pelvic bone for so long before he was born, but who knows. The move from the tub to the bed is always an interesting trip after giving birth, especially with his cord still attached, but we soon got comfortable in the bed. (On Jeff’s side of the bed, which I am still sleeping on, four weeks later!) We waited until the cord stopped pulsing, well really my midwives just let us have a little time to soak everything in and then Jeff cut the cord. I was so proud of Jeff. He does not do well with blood, but has cut the cord with each baby. Let’s just say this time was definitely the least eventful. I found that I had only torn just a little bit with this birth (I had torn more significantly with the other two) which was actually a little surprising given Griffin’s shoulder got stuck and needed a little help. Kayla would only have to put two stitches in, which she did after our herbal bath (I’ll get to that) I waited for what I felt like was forever and delivered the placenta. Heather, Kayla and I “Oooed” and “Ahhhed” over it while Jeff and my mom were totally weird-ed out by our fascination. (It’s a birth worker thing and they just didn’t understand) This was the organ my body made to grow and sustain life inside of me! That is so cool! It was also in the shape of a heart which I thought was really cool too!

 

Kayla listening to Griffin during his newborn exam.

Kayla listening to Griffin during his newborn exam.

 

Griffin and I started our adventure in trying to nurse. He didn’t nurse very well the first few attempts, even with the help of Kayla. I was worried this would be the start of a very difficult nursing journey. Later on in the night he seemed to get a little better and my mind was put to ease. While I was trying to nurse, I sent my mom to go get us I-HOP. Eating I-HOP after a birth is kinda my thing. I did it after I had Hazel and it was the best meal of my life. So why ruin such a great thing. The main thing I wanted was BACON! I told my mom to get me some food with bacon. When she returned she found out that I-HOP got everything right except the bacon. I kid you not! They gave us sausage instead. THREE orders of bacon and we ALL ended up with sausage! Seriously?! I was upset! I had just given birth and I wanted some bacon, dang it! It was even on the receipt as bacon! As you can tell, I am not still bitter about that! While we ate our I-HOP (minus our bacon) Kayla gave Griffin his full newborn exam. His official newborn stats were that he was 20 inches long and weighed 7lbs 2oz. He was long and skinny like his daddy. Griffin was officially the runt of our litter. He weighed 8oz less than Ian and almost a pound less than Hazel! He was so tiny compared to them, and I loved it!

 

Griffin being weighed by our midwife. He was 7lbs 2oz!

Griffin being weighed by our midwife. He was 7lbs 2oz!

 

Griffin’s birth story concludes with my favorite part of having a home birth, the herbal bath. This is where a mix if herbs and salts are brewed like tea and poured into a bath for mommy and baby to soak in. This is considered baby’s first bath and the herbs and salts are to help with the healing process for the mom. It is also a magical bonding time between mommy and baby. Griffin and I soaked for a long time. Pretty much until the bath was no longer warm. Heather was so gracious enough to take a few pictures of Griffin in the tub and I will cherish those pictures forever! Heather and Kayla stayed for maybe another hour and then left with many congratulations and “Great job Momma!”. They were truly wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for a better birth team for Griffin’s birth. Not only are they wonderful at what they do, it is obvious they love it as well.

 

This is part 3 of Griffin’s birth story. If you want to read part 1 and 2 click on the links below:
Part 1: Intro to Griffin’s Birth
Part 2:Griffin’s Birth Story

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Griffin’s Birth Story

Griffin and I in the herbal bath. Jeff and I couldn't help but admire him!

Griffin and I in the herbal bath. Jeff and I couldn’t help but admire him!

It was about 4 in the morning on October 18 and a contraction had rudely waken me from my sleep. I wasn’t in that much pain, but it was much more comfortable to walk than to be lying in bed. So I paced the bedroom dealing with the contractions as they came. They were strong, but not too painful and consistently about 10 minutes apart. I was skeptical that I was actually in labor, It just didn’t feel “right” yet. As I was pacing my bedroom two songs kept popping in my head. “Strange Things” by Randy Newmen and “Here It Goes Again” by OK Go. I had made a labor play list and needless to say, neither of these songs were on it! Not sure what my brain was trying to tell me at this point. Anyways, I tried to rest a little so I could go to Ian’s t-ball game later that morning. I didn’t rest much. Actually, my contractions started coming faster, but not getting any stronger. It was really starting to frustrate me. Was this really labor?

 

I called my midwife, Kayla just to let her know what was going on. She asked how strong my contractions were (I was able to talk just fine while having one), if I had a “bloody show” yet. (Not yet, which was why I was so skeptical of it being real labor) and if she should head on over. My gut told me it was way too early. Plus I was feeling pretty good. Jeff and my mom did talk me out of going to Ian’s t-ball game that morning though. My mom (my wonderful mom) took both kids to the t-ball game and just got them out of the house for a while. It was great for all of us. I told Kayla I wanted to wait until my mom and the kids left the house and see if stuff would pick up. I figured without the craziness of the kids in the house, my contractions would pick up and the party would really get started, BUT NO! My contractions stopped completely! Ugh! How frustrating! I told Kayla to hold off and that I would keep her updated (Side note: Kayla was slightly concerned I wouldn’t call her in time to make it to the birth.). I decided to try and take a nap since my contractions stopped and the house was quiet.

 

At lunch time I was feeling pretty good. I had been able to get a little rest and my contractions were milder and were pretty sporadic; 15 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 23 minutes. As frustrating as that was, I was kinda thankful for the break. I ate lunch with everyone at the table, getting up to walk every time a contraction would come. I wasn’t able to sit during a contraction because baby was already so low it was VERY uncomfortable. At lunch I tried to make plans to go to the annual Olde Tyme Days Festival downtown. It’s one of the biggest events in our small town and is my favorite! I didn’t want to miss out! Again, Jeff and my mom finally talked me out of going. I did decide to call my chiropractor to see if she could adjust me and maybe help kick start labor.

 

Now, I see my chiropractor every week, but it just so happened that the past week, my chiropractor (well both of them since they are married, its a family business) went out of town for the week! Of all the weeks, they picked this one! I know, totally not their fault and they totally deserved that week away because they are AWESOME! Anyways, they said if I do need them, they would be back in town around noon on Saturday. Guess when I called them! Dr. Allie so graciously said that it would be no problem for me to get adjusted (even though she just got back from vacation!) We decided to meet her at her office at 2:30. This trip would have been uneventful except we couldn’t get out of Hutto! Our town is divided by a railroad track and to get out of Hutto you have to cross the tracks. Well, there had been an accident and the entire road was shut down and the alternate route was so backed up we had to turn around! Just what I needed! When we FINALLY made it to the office (like 45 minutes late!) I was so relieved. Dr. Allie was wonderful! She took her time, adjusted me, and asked me how everything was feeling as we went. When she got done I felt so much better! Seriously SOOO much better! She also did a little acupuncture to help me relax and hopefully jump start labor. She jokingly said that I might want Kayla to meet me at my house when I got back. I was skeptical. She said that this particular acupuncture would either help labor pick up or stop labor depending on what my body was supposed to do. (whether it was time or not) I was convinced it was going to stop my labor, but I just pushed the negativity out and decided that I was going to be happy with whenever baby wanted to come. (Even though I REALLY wanted him to come today, but more on that later)

 

We finally made it home around 5:00PM with a short detour to Chicken Express. I was pretty beaten down and frustrated. I felt like this darn baby was just teasing me and that he would never come. I admitted defeat and decided to go take a nap. I was convinced baby wasn’t coming today and that we would just have to wait until he was ready. I was actually able to take a good hour and a half nap until I was jolted awake by a very strong contraction. I was very surprised and a little excited, but they were only around 15 minutes apart. My mom and the kids were watching Cinderella when I woke up (not sure why I remember that). I watched the rest of the movie with them and paced around the house laboring, and monitoring my contractions. At about 7:15PM I texted Kayla. I could tell my contractions were a little different. They were getting more intense and making me feel cold, but still no bloody show. This usually is a good sign of cervical changes, which is why I was so concerned it had not happened yet. If the cervix doesn’t change and start dilating, then baby’s gonna have a hard time getting out!

 

Griffin enjoying the herbal bath with Mommy.

Griffin enjoying the herbal bath with Mommy.

At about 7:30PM I texted Kayla to tell her I had finally had some bloody show. Yay cervix! Now the party has started! My contractions were now 7-10 minutes apart and I was pretty heavily laboring….on the toilet. Ugh! Yes, the toilet was the most comfortable place for me to labor and I hated it! Sitting on the pot while is labor is the most unflattering thing EVER! By about 8:00PM my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and were more intense. And yes, I was still laboring on the toilet (Ugh! How embarrassing!)

 

At about 8:15PM Kayla decided she was going to head on over to our house. I was freaking out a little, thinking it might be to early. Yes, I was heavily laboring ON THE TOILET, groaning through each contraction, but still thought Kayla was coming too early! About 10 minutes after that things really started getting intense and I made Jeff call Kayla to make sure she was on her way. Later Kayla said she knew it was serious when she answered the phone and Jeff was on the other end. The entire time Kayla was en-route I was freaking out that she may not make it in time. The contractions were intense and I could tell things were changing. I felt baby move lower and lower and I knew it couldn’t be long (Eventually, lower means out, right?!) Jeff was a champ during this time. He reminded me to calm down, relax and let my body do what it needed to do. He is the best birth coach I could ask for. He knew when I was starting to get overwhelmed and could help calm me down.  Later he said he likes the in-labor Katie because he can tell me what to do and I do it without arguing. (I let that little comment slide because he is the best birth coach and I couldn’t have done it without him)

 

Even though I was handling labor well on the toilet, I really didn’t like it. I decided to move to the tub where I hoped the water would help with the pain from the contractions (my midwife from Hazel’s birth called it an aqua-dural). Our house is not the ideal place for a birthing tub, so I opted out and decided to use our tub instead. I finally got into the tub about 10 minutes before Kayla got there. (Yes, she made it in time) Little did I know, this was where my little Griffin was to be born.   The water made the contractions more intense, but a little less painful. I was still able to handle the contractions as they came, but not as well as I was on the toilet. Frankly, I didn’t care because at least I wasn’t sitting there anymore!

 

Kayla arrived around 9:00PM. She listened to baby and asked if I wanted to be checked. This was the only cervical check I had. She said I was in transition! Yay! It’s almost baby time! I labored laying in the tub for a while and Kayla suggested I switch positions. I moved to sitting on my knees, laying over the edge of the tub. As the next contraction came I knew it felt different. It was VERY intense and then I felt my water break! I literally yelled out in mid groan “Oh my gosh! I think my water just broke”. When that contraction had passed and I got over the shock that my water had broke, I leaned over to Kayla and said “I think I know I’m in labor now!” I kid you not! I was joking, but it did give me the realization that giving birth was right around the corner (already?!) After that the contractions were more intense, but did seem to be farther apart (thank God!) After a few more contractions I started feeling pressure and the urge to push. This was the part I had been looking forward to. Pushing always helped with the pain and intensity of the contractions. Kayla calmly asked Jeff if he would call Heather and tell her it was time for her to come on over. Jeff called Heather and very calmly told her it was time. Kayla later said that she was trying to sound calm, but knew Heather needed to get here soon. Luckily Heather only lives a few minutes away.

 

Our beautiful Baby Griffin enjoying the herbal bath. My favorite part of both my home births.

Our beautiful Baby Griffin enjoying the herbal bath. My favorite part of both my home births.

Heather showed up about 10:05PM and literally on the next contraction his head was emerging and the next one his head was out! Kayla and Heather noticed right away that his shoulder was stuck and there wasn’t enough room to get him out in the position I was in. This happened with Hazel as well. Our bath tub just wasn’t wide enough for baby to get out. So, with his head already out, I flipped over onto my hands and knees and pushed him the rest of the way out. Kayla and Heather helped me catch him and I pulled him up out of the water onto my chest. I did it! Wow, that was fast! He was here and he was beautiful! With just around 3 hours of active labor and around 5 pushes, Griffin Daniel was born at home, in the water, at 10:13PM on October 18, 2014.

 

This is part 2 of Griffin’s birth story, if you want to read the rest, click on the links below:
Part 1: Intro to Griffin’s Birth
Part 3: Griffin’s After Birth

 

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Intro to Griffin’s Birth Story

Here I am sporting my daughter's cape about half way through our walk the day before Griffin was born.

Here I am sporting my daughter’s cape about half way through our walk the day before Griffin was born.

The story of Griffin’s birth should probably start with Thursday October 16, 2014, two days before Griffin was born. So I guess this would be an intro to Griffin’s birth story. This was a rough day in our house. I was feeling the pains of being close to my due date, and my kiddos were going a little crazy because they could tell something was about to be different. Seriously, it is amazing that kids (and animals, ironically) can sense that things are about to change, like if someone is about to go into labor. Apparently when they sense this, they (my two children AND my two dogs) just loose all capability to behave. Needless to say the last few days had been hard on me. On this day I had my 39 week appointment with my wonderful midwife Kayla. I was practically in tears when I arrived at the birth center for my 39 week appointment on Thursday October 16. Amy in the office offered to watch Ian and Hazel so Jeff and I could have a kid free appointment to focus on my needs and questions. It was a small gesture that made a huge difference that day. Everything went well, baby was very low in my pelvis, but still very active. Kayla prescribed two things before I left that day: to find someone to watch the kids so I could get away for a while, and a nice, relaxing evening including Epsom salt bath and a glass of wine.

 

My evening did not go as planned! My sister, who was planning on coming up to take maternity pictures, couldn’t come until Sunday, the kids were uncontrollably wild and went to bed late, we didn’t have any wine in the house, and I caught my hair on fire while taking my “relaxing bath”. I kid you not! I CAUGHT MY HAIR ON FIRE! I had lit a few candles to put around the tub for a more relaxing atmosphere and I leaned back too far, started smell “that smell” (Ladies, you know what smell I’m talking about). I’m pretty sure the world has never seen a full-term pregnant lady move so fast! I panicked and yelled for Jeff to come make sure I didn’t have a huge hole in my hair or anything. After he got done laughing (that jerk!) he said that he couldn’t even tell where I burned it. Whew! That was traumatic! As I collapsed in bed, I prayed this baby did not come tonight because I knew tomorrow was going to be a better day.

The kids racing down the path near the beginning of our walk.

The kids racing down the path near the beginning of our walk.

And it was a better day! Friday (October 17) was a MUCH better day with pleasant surprises and lot less stress! My midwife friend Heather and her sweet baby girl came and brought me lunch! It was just the perfect stress reliever that I needed. I felt so loved that she would take time to come bring me lunch (she brought me Greek food and it was so yummy!) visit with me, and answer every annoying question my children asked her. (Guys, remember, I was pretty stressed!) I also got a glorious text from my mom that she was going to be leaving after school to come up for the weekend to help with the kids! Oh happy day!  Well, she said she was coming to help, but I really think she was coming up to help me get my sanity back.  She also threw in that she was bringing extra clothes “just in case” the baby decided to come while she was here! HAH! That evening we went for a walk around the lake in our neighborhood. It was about a one mile walk and I took it at a brisk pace. I was ready to have this baby, but was pretty sure he wasn’t coming for a while. (Side note: Yes, I walked a mile roughly 24 hours before giving birth, and yes, I’m proud of that!)

 

My mom got here shortly after the kids went to bed and Jeff and I decided to go out for ice cream. After all, it might be the last time we have some true alone time for a while. (And it was, we just didn’t know it yet!) While we were sitting there eating our ice cream, soaking in some alone time, I had a few contractions. I didn’t get too excited as they felt only slightly stronger than the prodromal labor contractions that had been teasing me for days. So I didn’t think much of it, but Jeff started getting all excited and asking me crazy questions he knew I didn’t have the answer for. Stuff like: “Ooo! Was that a real contraction?” and “Are we gonna have a baby tonight?” “Do you need to text Kayla?” Seriously dude?! We are two contractions in (I’m not sure they are even real contractions) and you would think that he had never done this before! I honestly just laughed at him and told him it wasn’t real and the baby was plenty happy inside. I jokingly said that the baby may never come because of how much stress his siblings were causing Mommy! I was joking, but I did actually wonder if the amount of stress I was under would affect when he would arrive. I wondered if my stress was keeping him from being born. We went home and went to bed. I figured if I could sleep then it wasn’t real labor. I was able to sleep until around 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning when a contraction woke me up. It was stronger than the ones the night before. Was this it? Is the baby on his way?

This is part 1 of Griffin’s birth story. If you want to read the rest, click on the links below: Part 2: Griffin’s Birth Story
Part 3: Griffin’s After Birth

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Easy Pregnancy Tea

How to make pregnancy tea

One of the great ways to prepare your body for birth and a great excuse to slow down and sit for a moment is to drink tea. Now we wouldn’t want to drink just ANY tea. Let’s make some uterus toning, labor shortening, baby nourishing, pain reducing, vitamin rich tea.

Yes, there is such a tea and it tastes wonderful!

This is where I pause, take a sip of this almost magical tea, and tell you how I do it because it is so easy!

Let’s first talk briefly about the different ingredients.

Red Raspberry Leaf
This is probably the most common tea to pregnant women and for good reason! Red Raspberry leaf is good for strengthening and toning the uterus. It also has high amounts of calcium and magnesium and lots of vitamin C. After baby is born, it can also help with milk production (yes, milk supply!)

Red Raspberry Leaf

Nettle Leaf
Nettle leaf is vitamin packed with A, C, D and K. Nettle leaf can also help with cramps and pains that happen during pregnancy.

Alfalfa
This is a great source of vitamin K that can prevent postpartum hemorrhaging and increase your baby’s vitamin K at birth. Alfalfa also contains amino acids that are great for baby.

Alfalfa

Rose Hips
Rose hips are rich in antioxidants and are good at helping relax the body.

Rose Hips

If you want to know more about these teas I always encourage you to do research of your own and find out what you can. I found some of my information at Herb Wisdom and on the Bulk Herb Store websites. Check them out!

Now to the “magic making”

pregnancy tea in a jar

How to make Pregnancy Tea
(I found most of my ingredients in the bulk herb section at Natural Grocers, but you can find them online at the links below.)

1 1/2-2 cups of Organic Red Raspberry Leaf (get it here)
1 cup Organic Nettle Leaf (get it here)
1/3 cup of Organic Alfalfa (get it here)
1/4 cup of Rose Hips (get it here)

Simply just measure out the ingredients, mix them together, and put them in an air tight container. (I like to use a mason jar.)

Want just a single serving?
Measure out 1 tablespoon and mix with boiling water. You can use a tea ball (I think it makes it easier) or you can just put the tea right into the tea cup. Let the tea soak for about 10 minutes, add wild honey (if you want) and enjoy!

Want to make a whole pitcher?
Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tea to a pitcher of boiling water (a 2-quart pitcher holds 8 cups).
Let the tea sit in at least 10 minutes. (I usually let the tea soak for 30 minutes to an hour)
Strain the leaves out of the tea with a mesh strainer. (I usually let the tea soak in one pitcher then pour it in another pitcher through the strainer)
Add wild honey or another all natural sweetener.
Stick it in the fridge and enjoy whenever you want!

(This is usually the way I make my tea. I can make it after the kiddos go to bed and have it ready to go in the fridge whenever I need it.)

pregnancy tea

I read a lot of recipes for pregnancy tea before adapting this one here, but I really particularly enjoyed two pregnancy tea recipes, and information from Mommypotamus and (who suggests some great add ins) and Primally Inspired whose tea is very similar to what I make and was my main inspiration. Check these two out!

In the first trimester I would only recommend 1 cup per day and increasing it by a cup at each trimester. During the last month of pregnancy you can drink up 4-5 cups a day. Primally Inspired (link in above paragraph) has a good chart of how much to drink during pregnancy.

If you have other medical conditions or are taking any medication, talk to your doctor or midwife about drinking this tea. Some teas can have adverse reactions to some drugs.

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We’re Expecting!

Hello GFD friends!

It’s been a while, but this is why! I am happy to announce that we are expecting baby #3! Baby #3 is expected to arrive in mid to late October 2014. We aren’t going to talk exact due dates because, lets be real, only 5% of babies are born ON their due date and 0% of my children have been born on their due date.

Being pregnant after becoming a doula is HARD! Not only do I have to process my own other births, but now I know WAY MORE than any pregnant woman should and have seen lots of different birth happen in lots of different ways. I have noticed a lot more fear this time around, but my midwife (who is also pregnant) is helping me to process it and and remind me everything is going GREAT.

SO……Everything is going great! Baby is growing and making this mommy feel really sick….all the time, and really grumpy….all the time! My poor kiddos! They know Mommy doesn’t feel good because the baby is growing inside of me, but I know they are ready to have their mommy back (the non mom-zilla version)

In case you missed it on  Facebook or wherever, here is our announcement!

Ok, seriously! Isn’t it adorable! My husband said he loved this announcement and he usually has no opinion on stuff like this. So I consider this a WIN!

So be prepared for more, pregnancy, newborn, baby, sibling posts, because my head is spinning with ideas for blog posts and I seem to be writing like crazy!

Thanks for sharing in our excitement about our growing family and God bless you and your family!
Katie <><
gracefaithdirt@gmail.com
Grace Faith Dirt on Facebook

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Ten Great Ways to Get Protein

Why is protein important?
Okay, so as you probably know, protein is very important for pregnancy and growing a baby, but why do we need so much?

  • Getting a high amount of protein is proven to help minimize complications during pregnancy and birth. 
  • Protein is made up of amino acids. These form the basic building blocks for your AND IN TURN your baby body’s cells.
  • Particularly at around 37 weeks, your baby’s brain will really need those amino acids or “building blocks” from protein to make his or her brain into the organ that will help your baby do all the necessary functions when he or she is born. 

10. Carbs– Foods like noodles, rice, tortilla, corn, bread and potatoes actually have a pretty good amount of protein in them. This may not be the best way to get your main source of protein, but if you need a little something extra or a side that has some protein in it these might be some great choices. A cup of noodles, rice or corn has between 6-7 grams and most medium potatoes and single slices of bread have around 2 grams.


9. Select Vegetables– Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, and squash have protein in them. These again would not be significant ways to get protein, but would be great to boost the amount of protein in a meal or snack as a side dish. Kale and broccoli each have around 5 grams of protein per cup while the rest of these vegetables have between 2-3 grams per cup.
8. Lentils– different kinds of beans like pinto, navy or kidney beans are are very good sources of protein. These provide 7 grams of protein per half cup. This is a great, easy way to get a little extra protein from a side dish or snack. Lentils are also known to help with morning sickness (seriously!) Eating 1/4 to 1/2 a cup every time you are feeling nauseous will take that away. Eventually, you will need to eat less and less lentils to make you feel better.


7. Eggs– Eggs have 6 grams of protein each, and let’s be honest, who eats just one egg? The Brewer pregnancy diet suggests that you eat 2 eggs every day anyways. Any style, cooked anyway is fine. Eggs in French toast, or omelets is a great way to get eggs in your diet.


6. Milk/Dairy Products– Milk and other dairy products are not only good sources of protein but also great sources of calcium. We all know how important calcium is for our pregnancy bodies. One cup of milk has 8 grams of protein. Cheese has between 6-7 grams, and yogurt has around 7 grams.


5. Protein Shake– There are lots of protein shakes out there that have TONS of protein in it. Make sure to get a good one. Try out a few and see what you like. The most popular flavors are the traditional chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. These shakes can have anywhere from 15-30+ grams of protein.


4. Protein Powder– This is another great way to get a significant amount of protein. The most popular kinds of protein are soy and whey. Either is fine, but I use soy protein. When looking at protein powders, always look at the ingredients and try to find the purest protein possible. These powders are great to make protein smoothies with. I mix a scoop of the powder with my bananas, yogurt, milk and ice in the blender to make a super protein shake. I use the vanilla flavor and I love the taste.


3. Nuts– Almonds, cashews, pecans and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of protein and are great for quick and easy snacks. Almonds have 21 grams of protein per 4 oz, cashews have 19 grams and pecans have 10 grams (all per 4 oz) Peanut butter has 9 grams per 1/4 cup and sunflower seeds have 13 grams per 2 oz. These are great snacks to pack and take to work to snack on throughout the day. Make a mixed nut bag or a high protein “trail mix” with these nuts and maybe other protein snack foods. You will be surprised by how much protein you will have eaten if you snack on these throughout the day.


2. Meats– This is probably a obvious way to get quite a bit of protein because when you think of protein you probably think “red meat”. Beef, turkey, chicken, pork and liver all have 20 or more grams of protein per 3 oz. If you incorporate a rotation of these meats into your dinner or lunch almost every day, this can be your main source of protein. Remember to cook your meat fully to the safety guidelines for that particular meat. Sorry, the “medium rare” steak is going to have to wait until after the baby comes! Stick with fully cooked, no pink in the middle, steaks. If you are not a fan of  red meat or chicken (or you are a vegetarian) There are plenty of other ways to get enough protein.


1. Fish– Although many say that fish should be limited during pregnancy because of mercury, it is also a GREAT and HEALTHY source of protein. The types of fish that have a high concentration of mercury are the fish to limit. (The recommendation that I was told was no more than 2-6oz portions per week) Fish like salmon, shrimp, scallops, and lobster are great fish to get a significant amount of protein. So head out to your favorite fish restaurant or go to the store or market and get some fish and eat up that protein!


Here is a website that has a list of high protein foods and a protein counter that will help you keep track of how much protein you eat every day.
Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein
Protein Counter


I hope these protein power foods help you get your recommended amount of protein and help you get a variety of foods (so you are not eating the same thing every day!) Happy eating and happy, healthy baby and as always, God bless you and your family!


Until the Whole World Hears,
Katie
grace.faith.dirt@gmail.com
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    Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

    In large part due to my very FIRST visit with the Chiropractor at my birth center this last week and the raving testimonies I have heard about using a Chiropractor during pregnancy, I thought I would write about Chiropractic care while pregnant! This took quite a bit of research on my part, because I am a totally newbie to chiropractics and its benefits.


    What exactly is chiropractics? Here is what I found (take these definitions as you will):


    1. It involves the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints of the body, especially of the spine, to promote health throughout the body.

    2. Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that emphasizes diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine, under the hypothesis that these disorders affect general health via the nervous system.


    In addition to my general information about chiropractics, I have also included a few links to articles for you to read for yourself. The important thing to remember about going to a chiropractor during pregnancy is to make sure it is safe for you and your baby.


    Make sure to go to a chiropractor that specializes in prenatal chiropractics. You want to know that the person taking care of you knows what they are doing.


    Talk to your doctor or midwife about going to the chiropractor. He/she may be able to recommend someone that they know and tell you what is safe/unsafe that is specific to you and your pregnancy.


    So why go to the chiropractor during pregnancy?
    As you can obviously tell, your body is going through a lot of changes physically during the process of growing a baby. Even though our bodies were made to do this, it can still cause us pain, discomfort and physical problems as baby grows and we grow. Hormones that are released during pregnancy cause muscles, ligaments and other things in our bodies to relax and can cause more pressure on our bones and joints and can cause our spine to get out of alignment. A body that is out of alignment cause be painful. Keeping your body aligned can help with general pregnancy pains and can prevent more serious problems.


    What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
    There are so may benefits of going to the chiropractor while pregnant and these benefits are not limited to the mother. Chiropractic care also benefits the baby. Here is a list of benefits of going to the chiropractor:

    • Alleviates common pregnancy pains– It is amazing how being properly aligned can alleviate a lot of the common pains that go along with being pregnant
    • Helps make labor shorter- it is a proven fact that mommies that have regular chiropractic care during pregnancy have shorter labors. This is because the chiropractor helps prepare your body to be in the best position for birth as possible.
    • Help turn breech babies into the right position– There are techniques that a chiropractor can do to help your baby move into the best correct birthing position. This is not a guaranteed thing, but it is proven to help babies move.
    • All over healthier pregnancy– Chiropractors know more than just how to pop your bones. Chiropractors can help you with many other ailments that go along with pregnancy
    • Helps with nausea– it is really amazing what chiropractors can help with. Let them know what symptoms are bothering you and they can suggest things to help.
    • Helps with lower back pain/round ligament pain– This is what their specialty is! Once you are properly aligned, your body will have much less pain
    • Helps with headaches caused by hormones and stress– The hormones released during pregnancy can cause wonderful headaches. Believe it or not, hormone releases are connected to our spine, the vertebra and the nerves connected to them. Chiropractors can help align your spine and as a result help with those hormones that can cause headaches
    • Is a drug free approach to dealing with pregnancy symptoms– Chiropractics is considered an alternative medicine that prides itself on drug-free approach on caring for patients. There are so many medication that are unsafe during pregnancy and it is really best to avoid medicine all together. So an alternate way to deal with pregnancy symptoms is always great!



    When and how often should I go to my chiropractor?
    This is a question that would be best answered at your first appointment with your chiropractor. My midwife suggests to start going regularly starting at 20 weeks and go every week. Me, personally, I have decided to go every other week until 30 weeks when my chiropractor said I REALLY need to go every week. My midwife suggests that all her patients start going regularly at 20 weeks, but talk to your doctor and chiropractor.


    Here are some links that have to do with chiropractic care during pregnancy:


    Expected Mother’s Guide article


    Alternative Medicines article


    Birth Without Fear blog post


    Remember to always tell your chiropractor what is going on with you since you last saw him or her. What symptoms are you having? What pains are you having and are they new or reoccurring pains? Are there any concerns that have turned up? Always communicate with your chiropractor about what is going on.


    Also, ask your chiropractor about adjustments during labor for you and newborn adjustments for after your baby is born. This can really help with labor pains and shorten your labor. Getting your newborn adjusted can help your baby with many things including proper digestion. Being born is hard work and can twist the baby’s body in many weird ways and an adjustment is very beneficial.


    There is so much to learn about chiropractic care and I am learning more and more as I go along. I have a feeling this will not be the last post on chiropractics. If you have any questions are comments about your experiences feel free to leave a comment or email me at grace.faith.dirt@gmail.com. As always, God bless you and your family!


    Until the Whole World Hears,
    Katie
    grace.faith.dirt@gmail.com

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    How to Beat Pregnancy Insomnia

    Everyone but Mommy’s asleep!

    So everyone tells you to sleep and rest as much as possible before the baby comes, because sleep will become a luxury. If you are like me right now, it has already become a luxury! Pregnancy insomnia is very common and can show its ugly face in many forms. Sometimes its that we cannot fall asleep, or sometimes its that we cannot stay asleep. I was lucky enough to be able to sleep just fine when I was pregnant with my son. With this pregnancy I have not been so lucky. So for my sake and for the sake of all you other mommies-to-be with bags under your eyes, hopefully my research and experiences will help us all!


    What Causes Pregnancy Insomnia?


    Having too much on your mind. You still haven’t picked out a name, the nursery still looks like a storage room, and you cannot decide whether to go back to work after maternity leave…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, am I right?


    Oh those wonderful baby kicks! Remember when you were so excited to feel those first movements of your little one. Not that they are not still magical, but they also might be keeping you up at night. Uh oh, baby is keeping you up already!


    Getting up to go to the bathroom. Making a million runs to the bathroom each night might cut into your sleep time, especially during the first and third trimesters where that baby is sitting (and kicking at) your bladder constantly!


    Nesting. This may be related to the first one, but for me it is different. You wake up in the middle of the night and have a STRONG erg to clean the bathroom NOW ! (or maybe its to wash another load of baby clothes) I know the feeling! I would start sweeping, mopping and vacuuming at midnight sometimes and it really cut into my sleep, but there was no way sleep would come until it was done!


    Those wonderful pregnancy dreams. You know the ones! You wake up and think “What kind of drugs am I on?!” Pregnancy can cause some pretty crazy and frightening dreams and as a result of those dreams it may be hard to sleep or get back to sleep.


    Ok, so it is not like you need me to tell you WHY you are not sleeping, right? So what are some ways we can put all of that aside and get some much needed rest for you and your growing baby. Here are some tips that I found while researching AND from personal experience.


    1. Have a calm down time before bed. This should probably be around 30 minutes or maybe longer (Its longer for me because it just takes me longer to fall asleep) Put away the computer, phone and any other distraction that has a lot of light. Light from computers and other technology actually keeps your mind stimulated and awake. Grab a good book or a puzzle book (or in my case, my wonderful Kindle. Read a few chapters or do a puzzle. This will get your mind off the million different things you are worried about.


    2. Limit your drinking before you go to sleep. This will (hopefully) help limit the times you need to get up and use the bathroom. I say limit NOT eliminate because if you are like me sometimes baby just needs a little something to eat or drink before bedtime (especially if you are still feeling kinda queasy)


    3. Just get up and do it! Sometimes there is nothing you can do about that nagging feeling that is keeping you up. So get up, do a load of laundry, start organizing the baby’s room or research more names. Sometimes doing a project will put your mind at ease enough to get some sleep.


    4. Take a nice, warm, bath. In fact, you should probably make it a bubble bath. Take some time just sinking into the suds and relaxing before you head off to bed. This was one thing that has really worked. The water is still and quiet (unlike the shower) To make it even better, add some candles around the tub and turn off the lights. What a wonderful way to end the day! Make sure your bath is around body temperature (don’t exceed 100 degrees) A bath too hot can cause your temperature to rise and is potentially harmful to your baby.


    5. Get help from your husband. Ask him for a back/neck massage, or just to simply rub your back or play with your hair as you fall asleep. Getting some personal attention from the hubby might be exactly what you need to relax and fall right asleep.


    6. Keep it dark. If you keep waking up in the middle of the night, keep all the lights off. If you need to, have a nightlight in the hall towards the bathroom. Keeping it dark will help your body stay in sleep mode. When a light is turned on, it wakes your body up more. Once you are back in bed, you have to re-adjust yourself to the dark and calm down again.


    7. Make sure your room is the right temperature. If you are not comfortable, you will not sleep. Make sure it is not too hot or too cold. Basically make sure you are in charge of the thermostat (the hubby is not allowed to touch). If your husband complains about it being too hot/cold just simply say “welcome to my world!” No, I’m kidding, but the rule in our house is the pregnant lady gets control! (because if pregnant mommy aint happy NOBODY’S happy!)


    8. Try some relaxation techniques. Try and clear your mind. Start with the top of your head and move down your body and consciously relax each muscle in your body. This will not only help relax your entire body more fully, it will also keep you concentrating on your body and NOT on the millions of things keeping you awake. This is also a great exercise to help prepare for labor!


    What NOT to do:


    DON’T use your bed as a work area during the day. This will cause your body difficulty in associating laying in bed with sleeping and will make your insomnia worse.


    DON’T lay in bed longer than 45 minutes (more or less depending on how long it NORMALLY takes you to get to sleep). Get up, do something, eat something and try to lay back down in a little bit.


    DON’T count the time. This will just make you more awake. Forget the “if i fall asleep at this time and sleep in til this time then I can get this many hours of sleep!” That type of thinking is just going to keep your mind awake!


    Here are links to a few articles I found helpful in my research;
    5 Ways to Cope with Pregnancy Insomnia
    Insomnia During Pregnancy


    So for the sake of all mommies-to-be with insomnia, I hope that at least one of these techniques help you get a better, more restful sleep at night. And if you are reading this later than midnight…SHAME! Turn off your computer and read a good book! (Just kidding!) Happy Zzzzz’s to us all and as always, God bless you and your family!


    Until the Whole World Hears,
    Katie
    grace.faith.dirt@gmail.com
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    Top 10 Most Important Things to do While Pregnant

    There is so much to do in the nine months before your little one arrives. You have a whole room to prepare, tons of stuff to buy, read a million books, and not to mention trying to figure out all the changes your body is going through. We have a million things to do to prepare, so I thought I would make a top 10 most important things to do while pregnant. Obvious there are more than 10 things to do and LOTS of them are important, but these are 10 things that I thought were the most important based on my previous pregnancy and this one.


    10. Write a pregnancy journal
    This may not be a MUST, but it is a great thing to do. Keep a journal (or a blog) and write about each time you go to the doctor and what happened. Document when you hear baby’s heartbeat, when you find out the sex of the baby, when you picked a name and the reactions of both you and your spouse. Also it is great to take pictures of your growing belly as it progresses. You can do this weekly or a little farther in between pictures in the beginning. These are great things to look back on after the baby is born and maybe even share with your child when they get older.


    9. Plan a “Babymoon” Vacation
    This is a great way for you and your spouse to get away for a while and just enjoy each other’s company. Plan a relaxing extended weekend for you guys to just be together and enjoy each other. Go out to dinner at a nice place, maybe go to a movie or just relax. It is true that vacations and dates will get fewer and farther between when babies come along, but it is CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT to make sure and not neglect each other and pay attention to each other.


    8. Decide/Talk About Finances
    Finances are often the things most couples fight about. This might be a conversation to have with your spouse before the baby comes. Are you going to stay at home and not work or will you return after maternity leave is up? Will you need daycare and how much will that cost? What other things do you and your spouse need to be concerned about financially? These are great things to talk about before the stress of having a newborn is added to the mix.




    7. Prepare pets/older siblings
    Not only is your life going to chance, so is the life of everyone in your household. Your dog, your cat and your older siblings’ lives are going to chance forever as well. Start preparing your pets and older children pretty far in advance. Help your dogs learn what is okay and NOT okay to do with a baby around. Do any drastic changes months before the baby is expected (potty training, moving, changing from crib to big bed, etc.) 
    Preparing Your Pet
    Preparing Older Siblings




    6. Attend a birthing class
    I think this is a very important for both you and your spouse to do before your baby comes to prepare you (and especially your spouse because he is not reading all the stuff you are) Your hospital or birth center has classes that they suggest or even require you to go to. My husband and I went through The Husband Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method. If you are planning to breastfeed, MAKE SURE and attend a breastfeeding class. This will help you know what to do and probably make you more successful in your nursing. Here is a link to the Bradley Method and La Leche League to help you find local classes or just get any help you might need.
    The Bradley Method
    La Leche League


    5. Pick a pediatrician
    This is an important thing to do before your baby comes. Find out what is important to you and your spouse in regards to a pediatrician. Ask other parents to suggest pediatricians and interview a few and see who you like better. Ask them plenty of questions in regards to their policy on giving medications, vaccines and shots, and parent versus doctor choices. This also might be a great time to read up on standard vaccines and see what you and your spouse want to do (regular schedule, delayed schedule, no shots etc)
    Choosing a Pediatrician 


    4. Take Suggested Vitamins/Supplements
    I know that the bottle says “cannot replace a healthy, well rounded diet” or something to that affect, but it works the other way around too. No matter how well you eat, you just cant get 100% of EACH and EVERY vitamin and mineral that you need EVERY day. It is important to take those vitamins and whatever other supplements your doctor or midwife tell you to.


    3. Eat Healthy
    I know this is kind of a “duh” but it is so important to keep you healthy and to help baby to grow properly and be healthy. This will also help control your weight gain to where it should be. Find out what you should and should not eat, what is okay occasionally, and what you should eat on a regular basis. The Brewer Pregnancy Diet is a great way to tell if you are getting all the nutrition you and baby need to be healthy. Here are links to my post about eating healthy and the Brewer Pregnancy Diet website.
    Blog Post: Brewer Pregnancy Diet
    Brewer Pregnancy Diet Website


    2. Make a birth plan
    If you are delivering in a hospital this is a GREAT thing to do. This can be intimidating to do, but it is a great way to educate yourself of birth standards and your options! (Yes, you have options) Ask your doctor what things are standard during labor and delivery (IV, immediate skin to skin, cutting umbilical cord, medications etc.) Research about what is best for you and baby and put it together in a plan to pass out to your nurses and doctors at the hospital. In our birth plan we included EVERYTHING so that we knew what we wanted to happen in any situation. Here are some birth plans that you can use for examples (including the one that we used) I will do a whole post on birth plans later.
    Our Birth Plan
    Pregnancy Today Birth Plan
    Baby Center Birth Plan 


    AND THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING IS…


    Exercise
    This is the FIRST thing that I tell all my friends when they tell me they are expecting! (after “congrats” of course!) Getting regular exercise is one of the most important things to do while being pregnant. It will help keep you healthy, keep baby healthy and will help make labor easier. Yes, that’s right, make labor EASIER! Labor is like a marathon and if you prepare properly it will go smoother. My husband and I walked 2 miles every day and it was the best thing I did while pregnant! Prenatal yoga is another great way to keep in shape!


    I hope this is helpful for you and your spouse! Happy baby and as always, God bless you and your family!


    Until the Whole World Hears,
    Katie
    grace.faith.dirt@gmail.com
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    Never Say That Again!

    First I just want to give a SHOUT OUT with lots of LOVE <3  to all of you out there! I am getting my happy dance on because my blog has officially passed 1,000 views! (and I have only had it a month) Thanks so much for the support! In celebration of this milestone I wanted to put a funny post up. This came to me when my husband said something to me and my first thought was “Oh my goodness! No one should EVER say that to a pregnant lady! Here are my top things you should NEVER say to a pregnant lady (even if she is your wife!) The explanations are very sarcastic, but for the most part true!


    What?! You’re pregnant?! I cannot even tell!
    If it is early in her pregnancy she WANTS to be showing, but if it is later (and obvious) then someone is just being sarcastic. Either way she will walk away grumbling at you! So basically, the rule is don’t EVER assume someone is pregnant nor should you ever assume someone isn’t pregnant!


    Wow! Haven’t you had that baby already?
    Really? My response would be “Yes, I have! That’s why my belly’s still HUGE and don’t have a baby in my arms!” I did actually say that to someone. You think its taking forever?! Think about the one who has to carry the baby around with sore everything and swollen feet! No one wants it to be over more than the mommy-to-be!


    Dang you look HUGE!
    And my response would be “Well, I have lost some weight. Can’t you tell?!” She already feels huge and probably not that great about her looks and all she needs is someone to encourage her low self esteem! You might just get slapped…or you might cause some tears.


    ANYTHING that starts with “When I was pregnant…”
    This is NEVER a good sign. Either the story will end in a horrific story that will scare the living daylight out of her or will make her feel disappointed. For example, don’t tell her that you NEVER had morning sickness (because she will walk away HATING you) and don’t tell her about the scare you had and almost lost her baby (the last thing she needs is another thing to worry about) KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! 


    Are you sure there aren’t twins in there?
    This would be under “encouraging low self-esteem” Again, she doesn’t need you to tell her she looks huge. She owns a mirror and probably stands in front of it way too long worrying about how she looks. Instead try telling her how RADIANT she looks!


    Are you really going to eat all that?
    The answer is ALWAYS yes! She is going to eat all of that, some off her husband’s plate, some off of your plate AND THEN she is going to get seconds! Yes, that’s right, I am really going to eat all of it!

    You shouldn’t eat/drink/do that while you are pregnant?
    Really?! Don’t you think she knows what she can and cannot do? Don’t you think she has sat in front of her doctor and asked a MILLION questions and Googled a million different things to make sure it is okay? Trust me, she knows and she is insulted that you don’t think she cares enough about herself and her baby to find out what she can and cannot have/do!


    AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…THE ONE MY HUSBAND SAID TO ME:

    Wow! If that’s what you look like after gaining only 8 pounds, don’t ever gain any weight!
    Yes ladies, this is truly what my husband said while we were at the doctor (right after I got weighed) I am 20 weeks and have gained around 8 pounds. I almost slapped him right there in the doctor’s office! When he realized what he said he was like “Oh my goodness! I am just kidding!” Still, never, ever say this to ANY prego!



    As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun writing this post (as I do with all my posts!) Thanks so much for supporting my blog and getting me to 1,000 views so fast! I owe it all to you! As always, God bless you and your family!


    Until the Whole World Hears,
    Katie
    grace.faith.dirt@gmail.com
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