Pregnancy Essentials | So Far

These shots are from a few weeks ago when we attended our good friend's wedding in Squamish BC. Getting dressed for a wedding when sporting a huge bump is an interesting task, especially when the forecast includes rain, mud, sun and who know what else. But, we did it and had a great time!

Below I'm sharing some of the things I've found really useful during pregnancy (from 1st Trimester to now). Some are pretty common and others are on the quirkier side - enjoy!

Pregnancy Essentials So-Far:

  1. Bumpnest Pregnancy Pillow. I cannot say enough good things about this pregnancy pillow. I'm not sure what's going on with their shop at the moment but I would buy one of these for every pregnant person I know if I could afford it. I've been using it since the first trimester and it has kept my narcoleptic nights steady. It supports your hips, knees and keeps you from rolling onto your back. It only gets more useful as I get bigger and sleeping gets harder.
  2. Coconut Oil. I have been using straight up coconut oil mixed with a bit of vitamin E for the entire pregnancy. At the moment I have trouble imagining my stomach stretching anymore and putting this on seems to ease the stretching or any itching I've been experiencing. I like that with this I know exactly what's in it - plain & simple. 
  3. Prenatal Vitamins. I'm no doctor, but I am taking these ones and they've been really easy on my stomach.
  4. A great water bottle. In the last year I've really put an emphasis on drinking water more regularly. I actually think I was chronically dehydrated before but that's another story. Hydration only becomes that much more important when you're knocked up. If I don't carry a bottle everywhere I don't drink enough. I love this bottle with a filter because it means you can fill up anywhere and your water always tastes great. * Don't forget to change the filter regularly
  5. Homemade Chicken Broth (or going out for Ramen). This was more for the first trimester when food and my stomach just weren't getting along. Bone broth is great for vitamins and minerals, and also provides a good source of a bit of fat when you're having trouble stomaching much - also super easy to make at home. If you're in Vancouver and looking for a good Ramen spot check out The Ramen Butcher or Marutama. They are seriously good. Tyler and I joke that this baby was basically built out of ramen because it's all I wanted in the first trimester.
  6. Bananas. Potassium has become super important the last couple of weeks because I am trying to avoid the dreaded leg cramps/spasms that are a not so fun part of pregnancy. I have had only a few and let me tell you - these things are no f'ing joke. I basically terrified Tyler the first time it happened because he woke up from a deep sleep thinking I had gone into labour from the noises I was making (stifled screaming an deep breathing). Calcium, potassium, hydration, stretching and magnesium are big factors in muscle cramping so I'm doing everything I can to keep those things in check and it seems to be helping a lot.
  7. Exercise Ball. This one is multi-faceted. Great to sit on when everything else makes your back sore. We'll be using this one (that we bought on Amazon) for the labour as well. I also know they're really great to bounce a baby to sleep on after they're born. Last but not least, they improve your posture and can help get the baby into position for birth.
  8. Robot Arm Toy. Ok this may be the weirdest thing on the list by a long shot, but let me tell you, it's awesome. When I hit about 31 weeks I pretty much began refusing to pick things up off the floor. If something fell, it would stay there until I got really ambitious or Tyler came home and helped. We were at ToysRUs recently and bought this robot arm toy as a total joke for about $5.00. Joke was on us - it's amazing! It makes picking up clothes (and pretty much anything) so easy! Super handy - and hilarious. As a bonus, I'm sure our son will play with it some day.

Baby Bancroft

After a long break from social media and blogging, I return to this site to share some exciting, positive news!

We're expecting a baby boy in mid-August!

Photo taken by Elissa Crowe - this girl is magic, check out her work!

To get real for a moment, it scares the heck out of me to be sharing this news before our baby makes it's (fingers crossed) debut. Take a bit of a hypochondriac and mix it with two successive miscarriages and you end up with the world's most superstitious, playing-it-safe preggo - legitimately worrying about whether announcing a pregnancy might derail it in some way. But, as I type this there is currently a 28 week old baby boy squirming and kicking away at my belly and I think that this moment alone is reason to share and celebrate the good moments happening now. Also, it seems only fair to share good news with those of you who have been so kind to support and commiserate with me in the not so great times - thank you!!

For those momma's who have or may be in the midst of experiencing miscarriage here's some info I found helpful when trying to conceive after our losses. I'll never know if my current pregnancy's progression has anything to do with the things I tried, but it sure made me feel better to do something, rather than nothing.

Following the last pregnancy, we decided to hold off 'trying' for a month to my body adjust and care for itself. I was on the waiting list for the recurrent loss clinic at BC Women's, but the wait was months and I felt I needed to address some things more quickly than that.

To cope with the anxiety and give me the illusion of a little bit of control over my body I decided to visit Yinstill Reproductive Wellness in Vancouver. They were amazing. After dealing with the medical system for the last couple of months (who I am still very thankful to - don't get me wrong), approaching the situation more holistically was really refreshing. Dr.Pentland and Dr.Fisher were so well experienced in reproductive challenges and took the time to talk about specifics of my personal situation that at times felt overlooked. I felt sincerely cared for and supported by people who were well versed in these issues - such a relief! I did weekly acupuncture (which is also great meditation time) up until the end of the first trimester. I also consulted with a wonderful in-house naturopath (Dr.Shilo) about diet and vitamin care and did a few IV vitamin therapies. I highly recommend this team. For me it was worth the investment in caring for my mental and physical wellness. It also provided me with people to talk to during the most anxious time of the entire pregnancy (for me) - the first trimester - when my other losses had occurred.

At the same time I also saw my GP who I have a really good relationship with. She finally diagnosed me as hypothyroid - something I have suspected for a couple of years and had been struggling to get taken seriously. Basically this means I have an underfunctioning thyroid because (in my case) my immune system is attacking my thyroid (an autoimmune disorder). Not enough thyroid hormone can cause all sorts of weird things to happen in your body, and can also play a role in miscarriage - read more about it here. I can't say enough about being an advocate for your own health. I had been tired, had experiences months of vertigo migraines and gained weight over the last 3 years (no matter how much I worked out/ate healthy). I had also been constantly given a low ferritin (iron store) score in blood tests. No matter how much iron I took or ate, it didn't increase. I had never had iron issues before so something was definitely off. I was put on a low dose thyroid medication in November to help with all of this. I will be on it for the rest of my life. It seems crappy, but honestly it's just such a relief to have a solution after spending so many years with this mystery. I had to go back to the doctor so many times asking for tests before they would diagnose me. After starting the medication my ferritin levels rapidly bounced back and I was able to meet the first trimester recommended thyroid hormone levels recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Maybe one day I'll write a bit more about how thyroid effects pregnancy and what you should look for if you are trying to maintain a pregnancy after losses- but for now I'll try to keep it short.

Some photos from along the way: *They're chronological, but bumps sure are tricky - they show and hide at the weirdest times in photos!

So here we are! I am 28 (almost 29) weeks and headed into the third trimester. A couple of highlights/interesting parts of the pregnancy so far:

  • We found out December 3rd (also my brothers birthday). Man I got good at knowing the signs of pregnancy right away after getting pregnant 3 times in 6 months!
  • At about 7 weeks the pregnancy was confirmed with an ultrasound showing a tiny embryo with a regular, strong heartbeat and the sweetest little limb buds! I can't describe the relief at that appointment.
  • We were totally convinced it was a boy. My amazing friends Dani, Sarah and Holly threw us a gender reveal party on Valentine's day and shared the news by baking an amazing croque-en-bouche (a tower of cream puffs) - each filled with blue icing. I can't say thank you enough to them for being so supportive and amazing during this whole process. I'm so thankful for good friends.
  • I had bad morning sickness up until around week 16+? I threw up every single morning. But, it was kind of a huge relief because it let me know my body was still making hormones to sustain the baby. Like Tyler said "I've never been so relieved to be woken up by someone throwing up beside me every morning" Lol, sorry Tyler.
  • I haven't had crazy cravings really. I am going through an insane amount of milk weekly. Honestly, nothing has ever tasted so good. Sugary things taste so overly sweet to me that I can't usually even get through a full ice cream cone - I guess that's not a bad thing. At the beginning all I wanted were things I couldn't eat: salami, deli meat and fancy cheeses. I normally have a pretty huge sweet tooth so this was surprising to me.

So in short, thanks again to anyone who has supported us and kept up with our story. We appreciate your love and good wishes from the bottom of our hearts. And, if you have any questions about miscarriage and want resources feel free to shoot me an email - I'm happy to share what I've learned.

I'm looking forward to sharing the last trimester of this journey with you!