Hello, dolls!! Hello, AUGUST! I am welcoming another busy month. I thought June and July were crazy but seems like August is shaping up to be crazier. We are invited to 5 parties this month alone so I’ve been running around buying presents and outfits for my tiny tribe! (cause duh! being a guest at a party is an opportunity to dress up). On top of everything that I have planned for the next 30 days, I am really hoping that I can post a couple of entries to get my blog up to date.
Baby A is 2 years old now — like for real, where did time go? I am not going to lie, my husband has been thinking about baby # 2 a lot lately. I am trying to decide if we are ready for it….if I AM ready for it. But hey! Let’s save it for another post 😛
One of the blessings that I am truly grateful for is having a safe and joyful pregnancy. I still get surprised whenever I think about my pregnancy with baby A and how I was able to carry through it with no complications considering my lifestyle 2 years ago — physical and mental stress enveloped my entire being. No pregnancy is easy, it’s not a walk in the park but if you ask me if I would do it again, I would say YES a thousand times plus more.
As soon as A and I found out we were having a boy, we knew how we wanted his nursery to look like. It’s really heartwarming to see my husband be excited and talk about all the things he loved growing up, one of which — PIRATES! My husband has books and lego sets of pirate ships. I did not believe it when my MIL told me, not until she brought at least 6 huge boxes filled with ships and trains!
Eat Right, Not Eat For Two
I think everyone knows that the first rule in having a healthy pregnancy is to eat RIGHT — but it doesn’t mean eat for two, literally. I can never forget my second appointment with my OB. We started talking about my lifestyle — specifically my job since I wrote on the form I am a Chef. I am expected to lift 30-50lbs of stuff at a time and be on my feet for at least 8 hours, she told me some tips and to remind myself that I can always ask for help cause my bump comes first.
The one thing I can never forget is how she reminded me to never be the kind of woman who literally eats for two because I know I am carrying another human being in my belly. The baby is small that it only takes a certain amount of nutrients from the food that I eat — not the entirety of it. I think this helped me watch what I eat more and not put a lot of weight which definitely helped me during my last trimester.
Sesame Balls, Siomai, Steamed Spareribs, Siopao
I am not here to share some healthy recipes for pregnancy. Every woman is different….but let’s be honest, cravings are real during pregnancy.
Shrimp in Rice Noodles
We went to this dim sum place 15 minutes away from my house every weekend because it’s all I wanted to eat.
I craved for comfort food during my pregnancy– dishes that I grew up eating. Which was really challenging because we only have 2 Filipino restaurants in Baltimore and I really did not have the urge to cook at home after spending 12-14 hours in the kitchen working.
Pork Asado Siopao
I think I was pretty good when it came to eating right and not overdoing the whole “I-am-pregnant-I-want-to-eat-everything” part of the journey. In fact, I hated how picky I got for 9 months! I couldn’t stand the smell or taste of garlic so it was hard for me to decide what I want to eat I almost felt like a was ready to pull all his hair out!
I honestly did not buy any books about pregnancy so most of my questions were answered by my Doctors, family, and friends who have kids — also Pinterest and common sense! 😛
Here are the top 3 foods I avoided while I was pregnant:
- Alcohol and Caffeine – Though both of these were not really part of my lifestyle, I still made it on top of my list. Studies have proven that 1 glass a day won’t hurt your baby but I did not want to take that risk.
- Raw Food – This was pretty hard for me. I LOVE oysters and steak/tuna tartare and since I work at an oyster restaurant, I was always tempted to eat a dozen!
- High Mercury Fish – Again, this was challenging since I was around fresh seafood all day! Fish is also a big part of my diet pre-pregnancy so it was hard to cut it off right away.
Enjoy The Journey
…and the perks! One of the things that helped me de-stress while pregnant? Baby freebies from different companies and lots of love from family & friends.
Let’s be honest, having a baby is not CHEAP! You may have billions in your bank account and you will still feel the impact of having a baby financially. Before baby A was born, I told myself that I will try not to overspend and be wise on e v e r y t h i n g. It was challenging to do that because everything seemed unpredictable when he was born — will I be able to nurse him for 3 months and save money on formula? will we get away with only a case of diapers this week? can I make sure he won’t get sick next month so we do not have to spend on medical bills?
I honestly thought that getting freebies from companies were fake. I would always see posts on Pinterest and just ignore them. Not until I signed up for a Gerber account and they sent me 3 cans of formula. I got addicted and started researching, needless to say I got addicted! lol
I also appreciate family and friends from miles away who sent baby A presents! That made me feel that it wasn’t just A and I in that journey, there were many around us who are just as excited to meet our baby boy.
I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures of my bump because I was just too busy with work, moving into our new home, and duh…pregnancy! I did not have a maternity shoot because I couldn’t find the time to do it, and truthfully, I felt like a different person.
Treat yourself and eat your favorites! I lost count of how many times we had dim sum when I was pregnant. Lol
You Deserve To Be Pretty
I felt different while I was pregnant. Must be the hormones, or maybe because I can’t control all of the changes I was going through. I felt positive whenever I dressed up. The confidence that I felt gave me the motivation to get up from my bed and be productive.
I did not buy any maternity clothes. I felt like it was something that I can’t use for too long. However, I bought clothes that are stretchable especially around the waist.
You see, having a healthy pregnancy is not just about eating healthy and staying fit. Being in a positive mental state is definitely an integral part of being healthy.
Support Is Everything
Find support other than your husband cause there are moments that you can appreciate more outside your partner in parenthood.
I will forever be grateful that my sister was here in the US when I was pregnant. She was able to go with me to most of my Doctor’s appointments and be a solid support in times that I needed a hand to hold. I enjoyed going on lunch dates with her after my check-up and of course, shop too….for the baby 😛
Every Monday I would go to the mall to get my Godiva Trufflelata. It was my guilty pleasure!
Stay Away From Emotional Stress (As Much As Possible)
Though inevitable sometimes, emotional stress can greatly affect the baby. I had my worries that gave me sleepless nights when I was pregnant with baby A and I would often remind myself that my baby should come first. Every problem is temporary and after reading the effects of stress during pregnancy, I was more determined to be at my happiest. Nothing temporary should cause permanent damage.
Being a foodie, the best way I know to cope with stress is through food (aside from shopping! lol). Being a parent means working hard to give your child the best, and it involves taking care of yourself too!
Lucky for me, my husband loves being in the kitchen so I can request “healthier” versions of some of my favorite “junk” foods when I am feeling low. I wanted cup noodles so bad but I know how bad that is for your health and diet, so A made me a bowl of chicken soup all made from scratch (well except the Chinese noodles).
Love Is the Best Vitamin
Nothing can compare to the love and support you will get from your partner. Knowing that I have someone beside me throughout this journey to welcome my new role as a Mom is truly a blessing. The love that I receive from A definitely helped me be strong through all of the physical changes and emotional stress.
2016 was a busy year for A and I. Celebrating Valentine’s was the last thing on our minds so I did not expect anything. Having an amazing husband, A surprised me at work and brought me some of my favorites for lunch and a new charm for my Pandora bracelet <3
Find someone who will take you to the diner at midnight because you are craving dolmades 😛
The best part about having a supportive partner? My belly was always full!
A made sure I had food! Little things like this definitely made me the happiest Mama-to-be!
I think most Mommies can agree with me when I say, the third trimester is out of this world. The last 3 months of my pregnancy felt like a year. There were things that I couldn’t do anymore, one of which was to bend. A offered to clip my toenails. How lucky am I?
Most women get scared to workout, but let me tell you — it is the best way to prepare your body for labor! I am on the move all day at work, but I wanted to do something specifically for me and my bump so I enrolled myself in yoga classes.
I am so lucky because there’s a yoga place 5 minutes away from my previous job. I loved Wednesdays because I got to leave work a little early, go to the local cafe to get a smoothie, then I’ll walk to my yoga class. I felt strong physically and mentally. I truly believe yoga helped me stay calm during labor and delivery.
Walking to my yoga class with my favorite smoothie from my favorite local cafe.
I also enjoyed looking at the buildings in the neighborhood. Somewhere deep in me, I felt like I was bonding with baby A already because I was doing for “us”.
I truly believe that having a healthy pregnancy is not just about the food that you eat or how you prepare your body for labor and delivery. It’s also about being in a good mental and emotional state. Everything starts from within.
Showing off my bump at 6 months — happy and healthy! <3