Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Glucose Screening and Anemia

I had my glucose screen last week. I was apprehensive about doing it because things never go well when I need to have blood drawn.

My appointment was first thing in the morning, so I fasted the night before. I wasn't that hungry in the morning so that didn't bother me. But, like I said, I have ever been good at getting my blood drawn. I am not afraid of blood or needles. I have tiny veins that like to jump around. This makes it hard for most phlebotomists/nurses to find a good vein, so I end up getting getting poked several times and have the needle wiggled around a lot. It usually takes so long that I get dizzy and nauseous. Now I just ask to lay down from the start to make it easier for everyone. When I got to the clinic, they sent me right over to the lab for my first blood draw. I laid down and everything went well. She got a vein on the first try.
It wasn't that bad. 
Then she gave me the drink and said I had 5 minutes to finish it. It tasted like really sweet, flat Sprite. It was not that bad, but don't like really sugary things so I don't think I could have drank much more than that small bottle.

Then I went back over to waiting room and was called in for my doctor appointment. She said Jack looks great and I am doing just fine. She was happy my weight gain slowed dramatically (only a half pound gain, see my last post) and loved that I was drinking more water.

Then I went back to the waiting room to wait. I was playing on my phone when all the sudden I got really dizzy.  So I got  some water, hoping that would help but nothing improved. I asked to lay down and the lab tech quickly found an open room for me. She got me more water and told me to just wait there until the next blood draw.

She came back in a bit for the second draw, but it did not go as well as the first. She tried a different vein on the same arm, and it instantly ceased up. It hurt so bad that I actually yelped and asked her to stop. So she had to go back to the first vein, but a different spot. It hurt but she got it quickly so I just bared with it.

I just stayed laying down until the last draw in an hour. I was feeling fine, but decided that was probably the best option. She came back in an hour and it went horrible again. She tried a different spot on the same vein, and it ceased up too. So she moved to my other arm and I ended up yelping again. She  finally got a smaller needle and after some wiggling, finally got it.

It hurt to bend my arms to drive home.
At this point I was starving, dizzy, and in pain.  She gave me another glass of water and let me rest of few more minutes. Once my dizziness was gone, I booked it out of there, got some pad thai (tofu and no egg) and went home. I already took the whole day off (knowing that the blood draw would not go well), so I snuggled up on the couch and inhaled my food. Then I took a nice nap with my cats and woke up feeling much better. My arms were sore 3 days later. And I got a mini track mark. Very attractive.

Track mark the next morning.
The doctor said I would receive a call in 3 days only if something was wrong. I assumed they would call first thing in the morning, so when I heard nothing by noon on the third day, I figured it was all good. Then that night 5 minutes before the clinic closed, I got a phone call. "Please hold for the OB/GYN nurse," I just about burst into tears. Something must be horribly wrong or else they wouldn't be calling me so late. They must want me to rush straight to the hospital. Michael isn't even home, he went out with his boys and it's going to take him at least 30 minutes to come get me. 

After what felt like an eternity, the nurse comes on the phone. She says my hemoglobin levels are very low. The doctor prescribed me a higher dose of iron and it should be waiting for me at the pharmacy.

Iron pills! source

I was so relieved! I've had anemia on and off since I was 12 so not surprised Jack is stealing what little iron I have. And no, it has nothing to do with being vegan. I had way before I went vegan, my body just naturally does not know how to maintain enough iron. I happily picked up my prescription and started it right away.

Anemia is common in pregnancy and can be easily treated. There are 3 types of anemia, but all of them result not enough red blood cells. There is iron deficiency, folate deficiency, and B-12 deficiency. I have iron deficiency, so that is what I am going to talk about next.

Iron deficiency anemia means you do not have enough hemoglobin (a blood protein). Hemoglobin carries oxygen all throughout your body, so low hemoglobin means your body and your baby are not getting enough oxygen.

Even though anemia is not necessarily fatal, it can affect the growth of your baby in the long run. Low birth weight, preterm labor and of course the baby can be born with anemia as well. And let me tell you, anemia can suck. Extreme tiredness, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. Plus the very attractive pale skin and sunken complexion. The weird thing is a few weeks ago I had all those symptoms and they told me I did not have anemia. Now I am feeling better and have the lowest iron ever in my life.

Like I said, it is easily treated. You can take an iron supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamin. Also, you can eat iron-rich food like: lentils, brussel sprouts, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, tofu, black strap molasses, black-eyed peas, kale, and spinach.

Did you notice I didn't list any meat? You can be a vegan and overcome anemia. Just eat a balanced and healthy diet. You won't even have to think about it, most plants have plenty of iron. I think I became anemic again because I was  too nauseous in my first trimester to eat well.

As unpleasant (and painful) as my glucose screening was, I am glad I do not have gestational diabetes and my anemia is treatable.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fluid Retention and Weight Gain

In addition to the counselor I mentioned in my last post, my OB/GYN also offers a nutritionist. She was fine with my vegan diet and said my blood work was the best she has seen in awhile. And my exercise routine was adequate. However, then she became concerned I gained 6 lbs before week 11. It is one more pound than normal, so a lectured ensued. I felt like she was accusing me of lying about my diet and exercise. Afterwards, I cried in my car. She made me feel like a horrible mom already for gaining one more pound than I should have. As a teenager I really struggled with my weight and worked really hard to get healthy. All my former fat insecurities just came flooding back.

14 weeks here, looking back I can totally see how bloated I was.
I told my husband about it that night, and he told me to ignore her. He said I am still beautiful and, more importantly, I am supposed to gain weight to make a baby. And it's one pound. The appointment was in the afternoon so it could have just been from eating lunch and drinking water all day. I decided he was right. I just brushed it all off and continue what I was doing since the baby and I were both healthy. 

At my 20 weeks appointment I had gained 7 more pounds, which the doctor said that was perfectly fine. The gain didn't bother me, but I was just confused how I gained that much in 5 weeks. I did not think I was eating that much. My belly had really popped and I couldn't eat much at all without it hurting. 

The next week my lower back and hips really started to ache. Michael was very nice and bought me a prenatal massage. The message therapist told me I was retaining a lot fluid and toxins around my hips, which was probably causing all my discomfort. She worked the area well to get the fluids moving again. She also told me to up my water intake by at least 3 glasses.

Michael bought me a pink one so I'd stop stealing his.
Are you kidding me? I already drink 3 refills of my pink water bottle at work, plus one glass when I wake up, one with dinner, and some before bed! And I pee like 10 times day! How can I possibly drink more!/?!/!?

The day after the massage, a huge difference.
I am not all puffy and my belly looks reasonable for 21 weeks
When I got home after the massage, I peed for what felt like an eternity. And right after that, all my back/hip pain was gone. I realized that maybe she was right. For whatever reason I was retaining a lot of fluid. So I decided to give drinking more water a shot.

Over the next 3 days I upped my water intake to 5-6 refills of my water bottle at work. Saturday morning I weighed myself and was surprised to see I lost 3 pounds. I had not changed my caloric intake (we even ate out one night) or exercise, and I somehow lost weight. I weighed myself the next day and it was still the same. I had really only gained 11 pounds, not the confusing 14. I guess I really was retaining fluids!

So I asked my mom. She said that water really does flush out your system and helps you maintain a healthy weight. And that it's a probably a very good thing I caught my water retention early. She worries that I will develop Toxemia or Preeclampsia like she did while pregnant.

 I am now 23 weeks, and still eating the required calories a day and getting my exercise. I have only gained one more pound. I am not concerned about not gaining a pound a week like I am supposed to. I think my body is still trying to get out all the excess fluid. From now on I will try to be more on track with it though.
23 weeks and feeling A LOT better.
No bloat and no crazy weight gain.
I am also in love with sweater from H &M. 
What is the lesson from all this? DRINK WATER! AND DRINK LOTS OF IT!!!

I admit I did not drink that much water in my first trimester because I was so nauseous. I should have followed the advice I used to give my college friends when they drank too much and I was taking care of them all night, "Drink this cup of water, even if you throw it all up again. It's better it was in you for a little bit than never at all."

I also want to stressed that my fluid retention was minor and I had no other symptoms. If you are gaining weight quickly without a reasonable explanation, have swelling of the limps or face, difficulty breathing, or fainting often, you may have a serious medical condition like Preeclampsia and need medical attention right away.

Here are some links about the stuff I mentioned in the post:

Drink Enough Water, from WebMD, talks about the importance of drinking enough water all the time, not during pregnancy.

Drink Enough Water During Pregnancy, from What to Expect, explains why water is especially important while pregnant.

Symptoms of Fluid Retention, a link from Dr. Oz, explains what to look for if you think you are retaining fluid.

How to Minimize Water-Retention and Swelling, from Bable, things you can do during pregnancy to minimize fluid retention.

Lastly, info on Preeclampsia

Monday, December 16, 2013

Babies Names And Heritages

When I was 11 weeks, I had an appointment with a counselor at my OB/GYN clinic. It's a part of their complete care program, just to make sure you are ready/are getting ready emotionally and physically for the baby. She asked me basic questions about my husband and myself. Nothing seemed odd until she asked for the babies primary ethnicity. I told her there this no dominant one, just American I guess. She looked at me funny so  I explained. I am all white---Polish, Italian, French Canadian, and a little German. And my husband is half Fijian-Indian and half Hispanic, with a little Caribbean-Indian and Native American. So she checked every box but African-American. And before she could say anything I said, "We already know we made an American mutt." She just laughed.

When it came time to pick names for our baby, we wanted to incorporated both our heritages in there somehow. I wanted to get relatives names in if possible. My dad did not allow any relatives' names for my brother's or my first name. He said that everyone deserves the right to be their own identity and not have to live up to someone else's name. I think that argument is only valid if you force your child to grow up exactly where you did and live the same life you did. My dad knew that we were going to live completely lives in completely places than him and my mom, so it was never going to be a problem. I know that my son will have a completely different life than my husband or me, so I am not worried about him needing to live up to something either.
To honor both our heritages and families, we decided to name our son Jack-Avinash Miguel.

I picked a girl's name years ago, Terrie, after my amazing aunt who passed away 8 years ago. I told Michael that it was really important to me, as a way for my mom and I heal from her passing. He respected my wishes and agreed. As much as I dream of having a sweet little girl one day, I always wanted a boy first. I told Michael he could have final say on a boy's name to be fair. So I told him all the names I liked, all of which he rejected. He said I was picking "too white" names. I reminded the baby is half white....but I understood his point. He wants his son's name to reflect something special to him too. So I pulled up babynames.com and started reading off names.

After about an hour of him saying no to everything and me about to lose my temper, I saw the name Jack. Jack is the male version of my mom's name, so I would honor my family. And Michael always speaks fondly of his dad's best friend Jack who passed away several years ago. So I suggested Jack and he finally said yes!

As for the hyphen name thing, it's something my in-laws started. My husband's hyphen name is also Avinash (Hindi for indestructible) and his middle name is his dad's name. I liked this idea, so we decided to continue the tradition. We both love the name Avinash so decided to use that as Jack's hyphen name. Then obvious middle name was Michael (which also happens to be my Dad's name). But we decided to let him be his own Michael and get his Hispanic heritage in by doing Miguel.

We know that is a long and complicated name, but we put a lot of thought and love into it. Hopefully one day he will understand and respect all the names we chose for him. We had some people try to convince us to change one or more of the names, but at the end of the day we know he is our baby. If you and your partner settle on a name, that is all that matters. When that baby is born, everyone will be so in love with him or her they wont even care if you call them Mud. There is the trend of not revealing the name until the baby is born, that way no one can disrespect your choice or taint your opinion of a name you love. I don't think it's a bad idea actually. What you chose for your baby is your own business, so there is no need to involve anyone else really. We told everyone the name because honestly, I am pretty stubborn and no one can tell me what to do :-) If I want to name my baby Mud, you better believe I would.

I think it's fascinating why people are named the thing they are. I am named after Elizabeth Montgomery's character on Bewitched. My husband was name after Saint Michael. My grandpa and all his brothers have the initials RJB. All my paternal cousins have family names or variations of them. I know someone named after a Vietnamese comic book character their dad liked. My friend even named her daughter Diamonte, because she is her precious gem. It takes all kinds to make the world go round.

Check out the Most Popular Baby names for 2013 according to Babynames.com, nothing crazy but some of the spellings are a bit of stretch for me (Rhys/Reece?)

Or try these Unusual (But Cool) Boy Names, not sure how I feel about Lockwood...

And these 3 Hot Trends in Baby Names, the Valedictorian of the class of 2032 could be Charlie and her quarterback boyfriend is Wolfgang!

If you have a interesting story behind your name or a crazy heritage, let me know in the comments. I really do find it all fascinating!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Things That Helped my Morning Sickness

I was not prepared for my horrible morning sickness. It struck hard around 5 and a half weeks. My mom told me she had horrible morning sickness with both my brother and I, but I didn't think it could be that bad. I tried to explain it to my husband one day, the best analogy I could come up with a horrible hangover that wont go away.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I had some symptom, a bad headache and a little bit of an upset stomach. We had eaten out several times that weekend, so I assumed I had mild food poisoning or something. Neither the headache or the stomach issues were that bad. Well, long story short, about week later I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. After the initial shock, I thought to myself  Hey, this isn't that bad. Just a headache and extra time in the bathroom...I can totally do this!

....Oh how wrong I was. It started to get worse slowly. A few days after the test, I didn't like the smell of Michael's dinner one night and made him sit on the other side of the room to eat it. Then one morning I woke up with a even worse headache. Then that night I woke up feeling like the room was spinning and I was going to be sick. The the next day I woke up feeling so sick I couldn't eat until noon. Then the next day I couldn't eat until dinner. Then the next day I couldn't eat anything. Then the vomiting started...most of the time I just threw up in the morning, but the queasy feeling lasted all day. I was also getting dehydrated, giving me a worse headache and the shakes. At about 7 weeks I said enough and tried to figure out ways to cope.

Here is a list of things that helped me:


  • Laying Down: Every time I stood up, I instantly got dizzy and felt like I was either going to faint or puke. I kept trying to do stuff around the house, but would just end up crying next to the toilet. Eventually I realized if I just laid down, I felt a lot better. Eventually sometime in the afternoon my nausea subsided and I could at least make Michael dinner and finish the laundry. I eventually found out if I ate laying down, I could actually keep it down. 
  • Ginger Candy: My mom bought me a box of Reed's Ginger Candy. I kept it next to my bed and popped one in my mouth right when I woke up. I have to admit, they are pretty strong and even sting a little to swallow. But they really do work wonders. They fix that hunger-over-like feeling you have when you are not throwing up. 
  • Ritz Crackers: After the ginger candy, while still in bed, I would eat a few crackers. I tried these fancy organic multigrain ones, but they didn't work. I needed plain Ritz Crackers. The simple taste wont set off your nausea, unlike the multigrain. They are easy to digest. And they have salt to balance your electrolytes. Plus, grains absorb liquid and acid in your stomach, giving it less stuff to irritate it.  
  • Preggie Pops: My mom also bought me Preggie Pops. These things are a godsend! They are made from sugars and essential oils--and taste great! . Just pop one in and suck all nausea away. However, at least for me, the effects only lasted as long as I was sucking on one. So I only used them when I absolutely need to be out and about for awhile. I would have not gotten through wedding dress shopping if it wasn't for these pops. 
  • Carbs: So I know only eating carbs is not healthy at all, but when you are that sick, you have to eat whatever sounds good. I could usually get down bread (even multigrain) and butter. Plain ramen noodles (no flavor packet or soy sauce) went alright too. I tried really hard to eat anything, because having an empty stomach makes nausea way worse. I was usually fine by dinner time if I could munch a little something during the day. But I still was careful and only ate simple things. 
  • Coke: I am not a big soda drinker. The stuff is pretty much just liquid fat waiting to give you a heat attack or diabetes. I rarely ever drink it normally. But for me, it the only thing that will really settle my stomach. My mom would give us a little bit as kids if we were like projectile vomiting---and it worked every time. And when I am hungover, it's the first and only thing I ask for. There are tons of reasons why people think coke works, but nothing has really be proven yet. My guess the sugar gives you energy, the potassium/sodium electrolytes re-energizer you, and that liquid hydrates you. All that being said, soda still has no nutritional value and really is just liquid fat. So I only used soda a last resort on the days I was really sick and had things to do. After the coke settle my stomach, I usually drank a few glasses of water to make up for it 
  • Sleeping: I noticed pretty quickly the days that I had a good nights sleep, I could handle my nausea a lot better. I already have insomnia issues, so adding nausea and stress did not help.
  • Benadryl: Luckily my doctor said I could Benadryl as need to help me sleep and curb my nausea. And it worked! See My First Trimester post. 
  • Small Meals: Eating a few bites at a time went over a lot better than trying to eat 3 meals a day. Like I said, by dinner time I was usually okay, but I still tried to keep it small. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My First Frimester

I am currently 22 weeks pregnant with a boy (check out my Gender Reveal Cake post on my other blog).  I didn't start this blog earlier because, well, mainly I didn't think of it sooner.

22 weeks and 5 days. Ignore my laundry on the floor...
Michael and I are planning on having another baby in a few years, and I was thinking of all the thing I don't want to forget for next time. So I thought would write it down for myself and other people to learn from. I hope it can helps anyone who has a rough time in their first trimester like I did.

I am going to be honest, I hate being pregnant so far. Don't get me wrong, I am very very grateful to be pregnant and already love my baby very much. But the process of making him sucks. Looking back now there are things I wish I did differently to make it easier in my first trimester:

  • More prepared: My pregnancy was a surprise (and there is no shame in admitting that, it's happen for centuries and it does not make it any less important to us), so I was not prepared for anything. I wish I had ginger tea, preggie pops, and coke (I know not healthy, I'll explain later) stock piled in my house from the start. And before I found out I was pregnant, I originally thought I had a stomach bug or food poisoning so I had not been eating much. So when morning sickness really hit, I was kind of weak and not prepared to eat anything---which any pregnant women can tell you makes morning sickness worse. However, there is not much I could have done about this one (short of building a time machine and going into the past to tell myself). I also don't think I could have avoided horrible morning sickness, it seems to run in my family. 
  • Stay Calm: Do you know what sucks more than losing your job in a shady way for no reason? To lose your job the day after you find out you're pregnant. I was so worried about everything the for the first few weeks that I stressed myself out.  How can I pay all my bills? Should I sell my brand new car? How will we eat? How will we pay rent? Then all the horrible things popped in my head. What if we are horrible parents? What if we are so broke they take the baby away from us? What is something is wrong with the baby, how will pay for care? What is something happens to me and I need care? What if I lose the baby? What if something happens to Michael? In the end, do you know what good all that worrying did? Nothing. I cried on the couch for days and made myself a nervous wreck for nothing. Everything has worked out very well so far. It was not easy for awhile, but I am so happy right now that I almost can't believe it. I really think that emotions play a role in morning sickness too. Once I started to calm down, I started to feel better. And I think losing my job was the universe's way of giving me a break. I could not have worked those 10 weeks or so, and would have just stressed myself out trying. 
  • It's okay to be sick: I was convinced that I need to be one of those women who never has morning sickness and gets everything done like Wonder Woman. I know I just said I needed those 10 weeks of rest, but I did not comprehend that at the time. I would beat myself up for not going to the grocery store or doing the laundry. As I was sitting next to the toilet waiting to puke again, I would start crying thinking of Michael hard at work earning money and I wasn't even going to make him dinner. And on top of it he was being soooo sweet and taking care of me---and all the household chores! He would tell me he doesn't mind and understand that I don't feel good. That just made me feel worse. Now I look back and realize I was doing a very important job, making a baby! The first trimester is when your baby goes from a dot to mini human---and that is a lot of work for your body. And, Michael knows I am not a some spoiled princess who expects to be waited on for the rest of her life. I needed help and he loves me enough to give it it to me. Next time, I will give myself a break. I will focus on keeping myself and the baby healthy. 
  • Drink More Smoothies: I had a hard time keeping anything but plain bread with butter or ramen noodles down for weeks. That is not a very healthy diet at all. A few times I made smoothies with berries and soy milk, and drank them slowly over the course of the day. They still upset my stomach, but as long I went slowly, I kept them down. I know the obvious answer is I should have done this everyday, but I felt so awful that forcing something down was the last thing I wanted to do. Plus I didn't have a blender at the time, just an old school food processor that is a pain to clean. A few days ago we bought a NutriBullet and I am in love. Michael offered to buy me one months ago and I don't know why I ever hesitated. It's quick and easy to clean. Plus, they resealable, so even if the smoothie makes me sick, I could freeze it for later. I drink a smoothie almost every morning now, and will make myself next time I am in the my first trimester. 
And there are somethings I did right and I will do next time around too:

  • Help from Mom: Even before I told my mom I was pregnant, she knew something was up and throwing out dates for her to fly down. Once I told her the news, she pretty much was on the next flight here (she is the definition of someone dying to be grandma). She took care of me and helped around the house. I am still very grateful for her coming, it was a huge help. Plus nothing helps you feel better like a hug from your mom. 
  • Acupuncture: I had acupuncture for the first time while I was in Hawaii to treat insomnia and recover from my car accident. I loved it (major shout out to Kim, you are seriously an amazing healer, check her out if you are on the Big Island). I found a deal on Groupon for 3 sessions at a place in Campbell and decided to give it a dry for my morning sickness. I did not really like the acupuncturist, but the sessions did help. I went from the room spinning and wanting to throw up every time I stood to just an upset stomach and headache when I walked around too much. It wasn't a 100% improvement, but when you are that sick, anything is better. 
  • Benadryl: When you have already existing insomnia and add nausea, you are guaranteed to not get any sleep. I had all day to take a nap and recover, but I kept Michael up too. The doctor said I could take 1-2 Benadryl as need to help me sleep and reduce morning sickness. At first I was reluctant to take any medication, but I realized it wasn't doing me or the baby any good to be exhausted and sick all the time. So I tried some Benadryl a few nights a week and it was amazing! I slept and my stomach calmed down. I still needed to lay down for bit and munch on crackers before I could really start my day, but it was an improvement for sure.
  • Not reading ahead:  I knew a bit about pregnancy and babies already. I love kids and have babysat for years. I also was thinking of becoming a neonatal nurse for awhile too. But somehow I got this crazy idea that it would be a great to get all the baby/pregnancy books and be totally informed right away. It started to skim through them, and got slightly overwhelmed. So I decided to return them and just look on sites like babycenter.com week by week or just for that trimester. My mom bought me The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, which I read as needed. Why make yourself worry each time something new happens? Or the books says something should happen and doesn't? Plus who really needs to read about episiotomies when you still your baby is still the size of blueberry?
There are two things I am still not sure were the best idea, but would not go back and change them:

  • First Trimester Marriage: I am not saying I regret marrying Michael. Not at all. I fell in love with him on our first date and knew he was the one about a month later. I wake up every morning grateful to have such an amazing man next to me. I am saying that is was very stressful planning a wedding when I was feeling like death. We had a trip to Vegas booked for Michael's birthday anyways, so decided just getting married while we were there was easier. My mom was all excited and want to start booking everything right away. Did you pick a place? What about a dress? Upgrade your room to a suite? Where are you going for dinner? What show do you want to see? All that is a lot to deal with when you can't even keep water down and are already stressed. However, I am not sure I would have wanted to wait until I felt better. I liked not needing a maternity dress. I got the dress of my dreams (curve hugging trumpet with a sweetheart neckline and pearl beading). I liked that I could still run around The Strip in cute little mini dresses and feel like a sexy new bride. Also, I was not showing so I didn't get the "Why is she even here? Shouldn't she be home resting? I bet she is drunk, too!" judgmental looks. I loved my wedding and love my husband, so I cannot complain. And maybe it's just my warped sense of humor, but it's kind of funny to say I had a shotgun wedding in Vegas! 
  • The Belly BandLike most women, I went through that "bloated but not really showing" phase. My normal pants just barely didn't fit, but I wasn't big enough for maternity pants. So I bought a Belly Band. I read the reviews first, and the most common complaint was that it unravels if you wash it a lot, especially in hot water. I decided it would be fine to just wash it as need with Michael's delicate bike clothes and never dry it. I have to say it did the basic job. I could wear my normal pants unbuttoned and it did not look weird. Just looked like I had a tank top on underneath. However, the band does not stay up that well, which annoyed me. It didn't fall directly off or expose my unbuttoned pants. But I wanted it to stay around my lower belly, over my button, and go down a half inch or so. It would slide a little and cover only two of the three areas I wanted. It was only $20 so it was not a giant waste of money, so meh.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Will Your Baby Be Vegan?

I fell in love with an amazing man---who loves meat. I do cook him meat, dairy, and eggs. Why would a vegan do such a thing? Well, because I love him and want him to be happy. And he doesn't get meat every day, and he is a good sport about it. He eats vegans things quite often. What person would ever turn down a delicious home cooked meal in general?

So the most common question I have been asked since I announced I was pregnant is "Will the baby be raised vegan or not vegan?" The answer is both I guess. I want to respect Michael's wishes, and he wants to respect mine. So we made the compromise to let the baby try all kinds of healthy foods, and when he's old enough, he can decided for himself.....but let's be honest here. I am the one who will be taking care of him most of the time (my choice), so he is going to end up eating a lot more vegan food.

And for the most part, babies are meant to be vegan from the start. Their digestive systems are not ready for complex things right away. Hence why babies nurse first , then try cereals and veggies, then move on to other proteins and fats. As long as you ensure that your baby gets enough fats, protein, and vitamins from the plant-based diet, there is nothing wrong with it. Check out the post from my other blog about Vegan Myth Busting, it explains how you can have a balance diet as a vegan. 

Then there is the annoying question.... usually from someone who is a major meat eater. The kind of person who feels the need to rub it everyone's face and insult your lifestyle choice despite the fact you never said anything about it. "Are you going to breastfeed? That's milk and milk isn't vegan!!!"

First of all, there is a difference between cow's milk and human milk. We are designed to drink human milk! It's the whole reason we are mammals! We have boobs for a reason. We produce milk when we have children for a reason. I am willingly giving my milk to my baby, no one is forcing me. And when it dries up, he will eat solid food. 
That ain't natural...source
People are not really meant to drink cow's milk. Yes, over time and out of necessity our ancestors began to consume it as a means of survival. That was their choice, and a very understandable one. But we have better nutrition and access to food now, we now have the ability to consume whatever we want. And if cow's milk is not really meant for us, I have the choice to not drink it. Plus, cows are not willingly giving us their milk. They are pumped full of hormones and forced to be milked even though they don't have calves (and will most likely never be pregnant). That's not natural. Me making my own milk for my child is extremely natural.

*By the way, I am not judging women who can't or chose not the breastfeed. I understand everyone has different circumstances, I am just stating what I believe work for me.

A Blog About Vegan Pregnancy

I am also the author of All You Eat is Vegetables, a blog dedicated to how to be a vegan in a practical and inexpensive way. I started the blog as a single college student living in Hawaii (a place where most never even heard the word vegan), in hopes of educating people on what is veganism.
It was just Penny and me...
...now its Michael, Penny, Zoey, soon-to-be son, and me!
At first, my blog was just about what I cooked for myself. Then I got a cat. Then another cat. Then a boyfriend. Then I graduated and moved to California with my boyfriend. Then we rented his grandparents' old house and started to make a life together. Then we found out are we pregnant and got married! Within a two years I went from a lost little girl on an island to married and expecting women! So rather than bombard my other blog with baby stuff, I decided to make a separate one. I am still posting recipes on my other one so check it as well. This blog is dedicated to my experience as pregnant vegan and raising my child.