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Counting calories is triggering

Counting calories has been triggering for me. I’ve suffered from disordered eating my entire life and so, having to count what I’m putting in my body has set off an alarm in me. I have used apps like myfitnesspal and mynetdiary mindfully through the years. When I feel like I’m paying too much attention to calories and restricting my cravings because of it, I back away.

While tracking my fat, carb and sugar intake for keto, I am having to be hyper-aware of my diet. I’m having to remind myself that it’s not about the calories but rather, about finding the right balance for my body. At least for the first few weeks, I will need to stay on top of minimizing the disordered chatter in my brain. I’ve been in a healthy place over the past few years with my eating, but this has reminded me that our body-mind connection is a delicate one. It’s empowering to recognize and talk through it. Hey, it’s a real thing but it’s okay. Breath – Share – Continue.

Today has been difficult. I’m really tired and my headache isn’t giving up. I know that if I just had an iced tea, it would probably go away. I won’t though. I’ve made a commitment to myself and I’m staying on it.

Day 6: Carbs today are at 26 grams/ 130 grams for fat. Sugar is a 11 grams.
I am no master of the percentages, but hopefully, it’ll get easier.

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Headaches and brain fog

Day 4 and I have the worst withdrawal headache. It’s been 2 non-stop days of headaches and brain fog. I feel like I could sleep for a week and still go back to bed.

While watching videos on Youtube for ideas, I came across a fellow Canadian by the name of Leanne Vogel. She’s a rock star Keto holistic nutritionist out of Calgary. Leanne is pretty dialed in to the Ketogenic lifestyle, having dealt with her own hormonal issues. Like myself, she’s dealt with oodles of disordered food patterns and went from a vegan diet to vegetarian to mindful meat eating. I dig her honesty and openness about the journey. I think she’ll be my go-to along the way. I’m thinking about purchasing her book to understand more about this process.

Day 4: Keeping my numbers pretty consistent. Amazingly, my sugars are at 7 grams for the day and my carbs 30 vs. 108 for fat. I’m still a newbie, but this looks good. I think I need to eat more but herein lies my biggest problem. I’m not a kitchen witch of any kind, but with change…..comes more change. I guess I’ll need to learn.

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I’m 2 days in….

Well, I’m officially 2 days in now and I can tell you that I am a sugar addict.

I know this because I haven’t had iced tea or any kind of raw sugar (not even fruit) since I started this journey and I gotta be honest, I’m a cranky pants. I have very little patience right now, so I’m focusing on my breathing. I keep telling myself that this is temporary and that I will bust through any day now. I really miss iced tea. And honey. And brown sugar, vitamin water, cookies, cupcakes, raspberries, honey mustard, sweet potatoes and pasta and…..the list goes on and on and on. I crave it all right now.

Every.thing.has.sugar.in.it.

Headaches have started.

Day 2. No bueno.

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A keto connection

I’ve been researching ways to make this pregnancy successful. I’ve been taking my prenatals religiously now for a couple of months in addition to a sublingual B12 vitamin. I found out through getting my genetics tested, that I have quite a few gene hiccups to work through. One major one is that my body isn’t able to absorb B12.

I did a little research in to the issue and found out that B12 is a pretty big deal for the body. It protects against heart disease & keeps cells fed so that the body has adequate energy. It also plays a major role in bone strength, brain function and supports DNA health, in turn keeping you younger. Sufficed to say, my inability to absorb B12 may very well be contributing to a lot of the issues and pain in my body. A major potential upside of finding all of this out: it may affect how my body is affected by pregnancy. If my monthly cycle is any indication, then yes, it has already started to regulate my body more. I have experienced less pain and cycle-related migraines over the 3 months since I’ve started. This is encouraging.

Just experiencing this change alone, got me thinking. Is there more recent studies or other experience based information out there that I could be learning about?

Insert Ketogenic diet.

I first read about the ketogenic diet from HG survivor mama, Diana of Whining Puker.
Diana has a history of hyperemesis but her symptoms changed after switching to a strict keto diet, prior to becoming pregnant.

The lowdown: a ketogenic diet (keto) is a super low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. Instead of using sugar for energy, it uses fat. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance and is designed specifically to result in ketosis. This is where the magic is supposed to happen.

It’s going to be major adjustment. In keto, you’re consuming <20 grams of carbohydrates a day and sugar is almost non-existent until you level out. When the body starts changing, you start to feel ill. Body aches, lethargy, brain fog and a not-so-awesome overall feeling. This is actually a good sign, as it tells you are in ketosis. They call it the “keto flu”.

Add to this the irritability and headaches that accompany sugar withdrawal and well, you’re having a terrible week right? However!! If I compare these short lived symptoms to the 8 months of HG hell, I’d say…..it’s gonna be a cake walk.

(Cake. Fukc, I love cake.) I may have spoken too soon.

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Special delivery

My prenatals came in the mail yesterday. My heart raced as I opened the box, as if some magical potion was locked deep beneath the cap. Nope, just pills.

My acupuncturist recommended this kind. Apparently, my body needs more of this and less of something else to feel better. My body is literally allergic to my baby. I am not sure a pill can fix this, but I’ll give it a try.

I guess I should have prefaced this post with “I’m not pregnant yet” in large neon letters. Sorry about that. Nope, not even trying yet. There’s major planning that needs to happen before I can even think about becoming pregnant again.

There is so much weighing on me this time around, more so than the last, it seems. My last pregnancy was far worse than the first, which seems hard to believe.

I run a preschool out of my home. I’m the only teacher in a class of 8 children. I am responsible for 20 families and their care. I take this seriously and know that for a good few months, I won’t be able to teach them. I need to find someone who will love my kids as much as I do and maintain a level of care that has brought me to this point. I get it. No one can be me. I know this. But it’s my business, my baby, if you will, and I really need whoever steps in to my shoes, to do a good job. This is probably my biggest worry, if I’m being honest.

I know I’ll get sick. I anticipate hours of hospital treatments, bed rest, medical exams, illness. I know what it feels like to starve, to go days without food or drink. To feel the wasting of my muscles, weakness in my bones and depression set in. But I fear what will happen outside of myself. What life will look like while I am trying to create it.

For many, it will make no sense. Why risk my health, knowing what may happen again if we try? It really is “we” instead of ‘I’ because it will be my husband and child who bare the brunt of my absence. My sweet girl, who is so close to me, will not be able to touch me or lay with me as she is so accustomed to. I will miss out on so many moments, all for the chance to have another. To give her a sibling. To love another precious baby from my womb.

I ache. I ache to have another child. I have tried again and again to squelch the feeling inside of me that yearns for a healthy pregnancy, to hold out hope that it may be different. What if I can’t do it this time? What if the baby leaves us again? So many questions, so few answers. So much planning, almost in vain. What is that saying about making plans and God laughing?

Love is greater than all these things. The fear, the anguish, the pain, the loss. Love is what keeps hope alive. I still have hope. I only have control of what I can do to prepare, and even that is very little. But, I will try. We will try.

Maybe there will be magic under the cap this time. Maybe the acupuncture will work. Maybe eating raw will mean the difference. The prenatals, the planning, the finding the perfect teacher (I know she’s out there…), the honesty, the asking for help. The fact that this might be it….and that we tried.

I cried last night, thinking about all of it. My to-do list seems endless. I often find myself thinking about how much easier life would be, if I could just have a ‘normal’ pregnancy. But then, I look at my daughter and I don’t allow myself to go there. I realize all of the work created a master piece. I met the love of my life at the end of a tumultuous journey. Perhaps, I will do it again.

Perhaps only by giving in and letting go, are we able to find what we seek.

Maybe this time. I hope.
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Happy Mother’s Day

Today, I was sitting across from my beautiful daughter and was overcome with emotion. I feel so grateful to have such a beautiful, passionate, sensitive, loving child to call my own. I am reminded daily of how lucky I am to have her in my life. Her laughter, her endless hugs, the touch of her hand on my face as she kisses me good morning. She is a gift to me, a precious gift.

She is my child and I, her mother. Yet today, of all days, I am reminded that she is not my only child. There was another who I never met, who I never held in my arms, yet who I still hold in my heart. I grieve for the loss of my child.

The other day out of the blue, my daughter told me that she was sad. She shared with me that she wished that she was a sister and that she missed baby. She asked me if there would ever come a day when we would have another, assuring me that this time, it was okay “if it was a boy or a girl…” I smiled and laughed and then grew sad, knowing that the day may never come. She would be the most amazing sister and I wish I had seen it. What I would give to have seen it.

 

Baby mine….I love you so. Today, just another reminder of how much.

If my love could have saved you|2C you would have lived forever.

 

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I was pregnant and now I’m not.

I found an ultrasound picture of you today. It hasn’t been that long but part of me feels like I shouldn’t still feel so destroyed by it. The fact that you are gone is very real to me, still. The ultrasound was dated just weeks after you came to life. I would have been 6 months pregnant now. I may have been in the ‘better part’ of my illness, perhaps having cravings or taking belly pictures. I would have felt your kick and known if you were a boy or a girl. I feel like you were a girl. I would have named you….

I am so sad, so very sad. I see pregnant women everywhere and I find myself averting my eyes from them or staring so in awe of their ability to be well. I am torn. Torn between immense happiness for this new life inside of them and knowing that it isn’t something that’s possible for me any longer. Life can be cruel.

I think of all of the people who have children and don’t want them and of all the children who are abused by parents who shouldn’t be; those sitting in foster care waiting for a loving family. I think of them all. I am beside myself in knowing that I would do it all again, if only I had the strength to. There, i said it. I would do it again. Even knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink for weeks at a time, that hospital stays and medications will take over my life, feel unbearable pain; that the minutes will crawl and I will wish upon death again and again…even knowing this. I would do it again.

I haven’t forgotten the changes in my body, how from the moment of conception my body shifts and illness takes over. I feel selfish for wanting another child and not being settled in my mind with the family that I am blessed enough to have. I feel like a horrible mother for knowing that the one precious child I have, will be left without me for the months that I can’t care for her. Will I sit with this until my years decide for me and then live in regret of not trying once more or will I gain some understanding that life is what it is, and be happy in knowing that this is my path, perfect just as it is. Will I become pregnant and lose a child again? I can’t bear to even think such thoughts.

I just wish you hadn’t left my belly. I wish I could have known you. Instead, I sit here mourning you. I wish I were stronger. I wish I had the answers. I was pregnant and now I’m not.

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