Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In Between Clothes, Smoothies and Such

From the "Looking Back" Series...

The second trimester...ahhhh...the time period during the pregnancy when I finally started to show and stopped looking like I just had a beer gut. Everyone knew about the pregnancy, so I didn't have to make up excuses about doctors' appointments and why I was suddenly forgetting things. (Okay, I have always been like this, but it got much worse after I got pregnant.)
I started feeling a little bit better after the first trimester. During the first trimester, I experienced extreme fatigue and slight nausea. (I was so lucky with morning sickness really. I stayed tired pretty much the entire pregnancy and never had the opportunity to sleep through the night because I had to pee every few hours, but I never threw up or was unable to eat.) Many women have told me their experiences and everyone is so completely different when it comes to morning sickness. Also, a woman can have several pregnancies and all of them carry out differently. Go figure. No way to predict what is going to happen, just gotta go with it.
My husband and I decided that I would not be very active throughout the entire pregnancy since I had some trouble early on and being high risk. The doctors by this point had encouraged me to take it easy, so I followed their advice. This meant that I went to work, came home and laid around. That was my world. My husband did everything in the house - cooked, cleaned, laundry, errands, shopping, dog walking, everything! I watched him do it and enjoyed my time to just relax. Since I had been a mad person for the past couple years trying to get pregnant, I figure this was a good time to "chill". So that is what I did.
The second trimester spanned over the fall months and once we entered this time of year, I noticed that my regular clothes were fitting snug around the middle. In the beginning of the second trimester, I wasn't noticeably showing, but I was definitely plumping around the middle, so I ventured out to get a few pairs of pants that had the elastic waistbands. My husband and I commonly referred to maternity pants as "stretchy pants" like Jack Black says in the movie "Nacho Libre". After I got some stretchy pants, I noticed that my normal shirts though still fitting were now unable to cover the elastic panel on the top of the pants. I didn't want to just go out and buy maternity tops (I wasn't showing really), so I searched for regular tops that were a little longer and fuller. These became known as my "in between clothes" - I was too thick in the middle for regular clothes and not full enough for maternity clothes.
The holidays are a busy time with get togethers and gifts and also a lot of food. I decided earlier in my pregnancy that I wouldn't allow this time in my life to be a food free-for-all. It was more important than ever for me to eat healthy, nutritious food because I was supporting the development of two human beings. Pregnancy is not a time to chow down on junk! Eat plenty of healthy food throughout the entire day. I made sure that I consumed a sufficient amount of protein, too. Eating protein first thing in the morning helped me to feel better if I felt a little sick to my stomach. Sometimes I heard to try eating carbohydrates such as saltines or toast. For me this made me feel sicker and also didn't satisfy my hunger either. So, good sources of protein were very helpful. One possible breakfast meal can be: Eggs, fruit or veggies (tomatoes are kind of yummy in the morning if you like them) and a slice of whole grain toast. This will give you a balance of protein, carbs and vitamins and minerals. If eggs don't cut if for you, then try a protein shake. One suggestion is a strawberry banana smoothie. Here is how I make them:

Ice Cubes - use one side of a tray of ice
3-4 frozen strawberries
1 medium sized banana
1/2 to 1 scoop of whey protein powder (follow directions for desired amount of protein)

1. Get yourself a really good blender. I recommend a Cuisinart, but a Kitchen Aid or equivalent is good, too.
2. Use the ice crush feature to crush up ice.
3. Stick strawberries in the microwave for 30 seconds.
4. Add banana, strawberries and protein powder to blender and blend until smooth.
5. May need to use the pulse button to smooth out larger chunks.
6. This will make one large glassful. Enjoy!

Variation: You can add 1% milk if desired.

My large water thermos was my best friend during those days, too. I kept it filled while I was working and was constantly drinking water. This only added to the time I spent in the bathroom, but I was honestly thirsty all the time. I committed myself to drinking 100 ounces of water a day, but the minimum amount of water consumed should be 64 ounces. So 64 ounces or more is good.

Healthy food - check, water - plenty, comfortable clothes - well, comfortable...the second trimester was shaping up to be a time of figuring out this pregnancy thing. Waiting on my little ones, waiting on my little ones...

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