A green pregnancy; the good, the bad and the ugly

Guess who is pregnant…

And over 35.

Yeah, me.

THE UGLY:

These two together plus this child who has decided to join our green world has made me so, so sick I’ve toned down my blog posts from four a week to one–when I can even muster that. AND I’ve been using old posts I’d pre-written last year because I’ve just been too darn sick to sit at the computer. I had to stop the G.I. Crockpot blog all together. “Well, for now,” my husband encourages. The small amount I’ve been cooking, I don’t have the energy to snap pictures of or download at all. We ate out 18 times last month.

 I’m not proud of it. (Many of them were just me–eating sandwiches and candy for lunch in-between a shlew of appointments. Is shlew a word?)

We’d planned for this. And we wanted it to be green. A green pregnancy. It was going to be the very beginning of a wonderful green creation. Already making most of our foods from scratch, we’d also planted a massive garden so I would have plenty of fresh, healthy food to eat. I planned on only buying used maternity clothes and specifically said I did not want a baby shower.

Reality hasn’t gone quite as planned, though.

THE BAD:

The sickness hit. Morning sickness, afternoon sickness, evening and night sickness–you name it, clinging on with a shadow of depression spread thick as peanut butter. And the migraines that kept me down for days unable to even talk on the phone because I refused to take any medication at all. I’d suffer through it. I didn’t want to hurt the baby. I couldn’t even get off the couch and we ended up ordering out food much more than either of us would have liked. The hubby even started to get a little stomach. I just couldn’t stand up long enough, the heat made me ill. Standing made me ill. Everything made me ill. The house was a mess. I felt overwhelmed. I could no longer write.

The garden was a bust. It was too hot for much of the food to produce and because we tried organic– the bugs beat me to most of the produce as I could not get off the couch to get to it. Livid is the word I would use when I wasn’t crying out of frustration. This isn’t how it was supposed to go. Thank goodness for the farmer’s market. Peaches and watermelon are in season, at least. :) My tummy is full and happy.

I had no desire to go in search of cute maternity clothes that made me look adorable (used or not) so I wore my husband’s clothes which hung off me, making me look as big as a barn. I rarely left the house because I had nothing to wear.

 When I finally bit the bullet and went out shopping, I hit every consignment shop we had in town (which I believe is three) and then went to the military exchange. Not only did none of the stores have ANY maternity clothes, neither did the huge military exchange in Jacksonville. Seriously? How is that possible? With all the pregnant military women and there are no maternity clothes at the exchange? I refused to shop anymore in Jacksonville, mainly out of irritation and exhaustion. I’d spent a day shopping and wobbling on my feet, and anyone who knows me knows I put shopping right up there next to poking my eyes out with a hot poker. I was done.

But my snappiness and anger might have been caused by the fact my clothes no longer fit. I was nearing month six and no matter what I pulled on, I had to go to the bathroom in a matter of minutes. Or I had to not button my pants and just use a safety-pin. Yeah, real fashionable there.

My husband had had enough. The very next weekend he went maternity shopping with me. He waited outside the dressing rooms and told me everything looked good on me, even the bright, aqua pair of shorts. He told me it did not make me look fat and it didn’t matter how much it cost. Was it comfortable? And suddenly, the sun broke through and I felt so much better. So much better in fact, I didn’t even want to take them off to pay for them. I changed into them right there in the passenger seat once we got to the car, to the horror of my husband.

Stupid on my part, I know, I know. :P

By the end of month five, the nausea feigned a bit and I was able to get back in the pool. I’m starting to feel a bit like my old self again. I have more energy and motivation to try to blog a little more and maybe start back with my edits. The green pregnancy pitches to local parenting magazines never went anywhere. I didn’t have the capacity to even check email if they’d written me back. I’ve put that on the back burner for now. It’s all so overwhelming and I tell myself I don’t have to get articles published in magazines to prove my worth. I just have to take care of my health right now–eating right, exercising, trying to be positive, getting enough rest–in order to birth a heathy baby. Priorities seem to be shifting, no matter how much I’ve fought them.

THE GOOD:

What has worked out so far: We’re still set on the cloth diapers and I plan on trying to breast feed and then make my own baby food. Everything up until this point has been purchased used from the Goodwill or given as a hand-me-down. The only things we’re missing are the crib and car seat which I’ve been told “need” to be new, and a swing which I intend to buy at the massive baby consignment sale in Jacksonville in October. So, in that area we’ve done well! As the baby clutter moves in though, our clutter gets more and more crowded and I get more and more overwhelmed….but I’m learning to let go a bit. If I’ve learned anything from all this, it’s that I have control over very little and the more I let things go, the better I feel. The easier life gets and the more palatable it is.

We know it’s a girl and think we’ve decided on a name. She kicks non-stop now, especially at 4-7 in the morning when I’m not ready to wake up yet. She kicks and punches all day long. She must know it’s the Olympics because she seems to be swimming non-stop.

 The chair of the NGO Earth Keepers says I get to teach her all the things I know, that she’s going to grow up to change the world, that I should name her Rachel after Rachel Carson. Mainly she says it’s going to be one amazing, green adventure.

God, I hope so.

Here we go–it’s already been one heck of a ride, thus far! Pictures of the tummy soon to follow.

22 responses to “A green pregnancy; the good, the bad and the ugly

  1. how we suppose to believe you when there is no picture of a pregnant you anywhere in this long post ;)

  2. You poor lady being sick for SO long! But what an awesome story it makes, doesn’t it?

    During my first trimester I ordered pizza on more than one occasion. I barely had enough energy to get off the couch and answer the door.

    I’m with you- trying to be as green as possible. Buying all used baby clothes, items, etc…I plan to cloth, too. When’s your baby due? Must not be too far away!

  3. Wow congratulations. What a rough ride you poor thing. I hope you’re feeling better soon. Take care. ps I’m pregnant too but a completely different story to you. Cloth nappies are fun and so worth the money!

  4. Aah!! That’s just awesome. The pregnancy, that is, not the sickness, the tiredness and the discomfort. Congratulations! – and I commend you for keeping to your green plans where you can. The “products for baby” industry is quite daunting; there’s a thing you can buy for just about every little stinkin’ thing days. Stay strong!

    PS — I had all four of my children when I was 35 to 39 yrs old. I loved being pregnant late in life.

  5. OMG – congratulations! Sorry to hear about the sickness though – feel better soon.

  6. leslie stevens

    Congrats Jen. I am so happy for you.

    Leslie

  7. I’m glad to hear you are feeling better and doing well. Funny, but you can’t plan the way your pregnancy will go, no matter how hard you try. I had one amazing pregnancy where I felt amazing and full of energy and one where I lost 15 lbs during the pregnancy due to sickness – and that kid is still ornery.

    Best wishes! And my best advice to friends having babies has always been to do whatever works for you, your family and your babe – and ignore the well meaning unsolicited advice.

    And you can always give your clothing to another mom who wishes to be green after you are done with it.

  8. Congratulations, indeed! Hang in there, Jen. I’m happy for both of you.

  9. Jen, sweet Jen. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you were doing. I’m happy to hear you are feeling better, and your advice rings true for all of us: the more you let things go, the better you feel, the easier life is. I need to keep reminding myself of that too, even at my old age. ;) Rachel is a lovely, sweet name. The future is exciting!

  10. Yaayyy! It’s a girl!!! You don’t say if it’s your first, I’m assuming it is. And that’s the best part. Little girls are truly MAGIC! Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time of it. Third tri should go a lot smoother. I do hope you decide to nurse. There is nothing better than mother’s milk for a growing baby. It’s free, always the right temp, and always ready when they are! Take your own advice, let things go. In the bigger scheme of things, it’s not going to matter one bit if things are a little, “let go”. Stressed moms are not good for babies. Congrats to you both.

  11. It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.Congratulations to you both. Age has little to do with it. I had Rebecca when I was 33 and apart from high BP it was a doddle…. Just take things easy and get as much rest as possible…the sickness will pass, they do say a slice of dry toast works wonders but this could be an old wive’s tale.

    I am so pleased..I am tickled pink..a good colour for a little girl!

  12. CONGRATULATIONS! **Happy dance** another little eco warrior in our midst.
    Love the name rachel – it’s my name too hahaha!
    And as for the car seat; we had second hand; in all honesty there is nothing wrong with that – the conspiracy theorist in me says it’s just a fear thing to generate more sales ;)
    As long as you know who it came from and that there has been no car accident it’s cool… And why on earth would a crib need to be new? After all, if you had more than one kid you’d soon pass down the car seat and crib, right??
    So happy for you hon xxx

  13. Congratulations!! I also suffered from debilitating vomiting for the first few months of my pregnancies; glad that part is past! We used a hand-me-down car seat (perfectly safe if know who it’s from, it hasn’t been in an accident, and isn’t past the expiration – label ON the seat). There’s also no reason you can’t use a secondhand crib!! There’s a lot of “should” out there when you have babies and most of it centers around wanting you to buy a bunch of stuff and telling you how you should feel/be with your baby. Bunch of horse hockey, for the most part!!

    One thing I’d suggest researching is “baby-led weaning” (or, as I like to call it, the healthy mom’s lazy alternative to making baby food). Wait, isn’t it CRAZY to think that babies don’t need special food to learn how to eat? (ha) Feeding bits of your real, healthy food from the table makes SO much more sense when you think about it. We *loved* this approach and it saved a lot of money and a lot of time making special purees. In my experience, all kids get picky around 2 years though.

    My other bit of unsolicited advice is to NOT keep a log of eating/pooping unless there are medical issues. If the baby cries, check diaper, offer breast, offer snuggles…but sometimes babies just cry, esp. in the evenings. The military hospital for my 1st did not have a great lactation consultant and they wanted my baby on a schedule of eating for a certain number of minutes every two hours — I didn’t know better and thought they were the experts, right? Well, babies generally do not know they are supposed to eat every 2 hours; they get hungry at different times because we are all different. With my second, for example, she’d cluster feed and then sleep for a Looong time. :)

    In my experience, friends/neighbors will offer a LOT of hand-me-down toys and gear, so yes, things do get cluttered. But then as the babe grows up, it’s great fun to give those things away!

    Sorry for the novel. Basically, follow your own rhythms, trust your instincts and if your baby is changed and fed, then you are doing your job. Take care of yourself!!

  14. babies and breasts were invented long before bottles and pampers. and somehow most mothers have forgiven the pain and tribulations…so a wooden crate and soft cotton linens, lots of very gentle soap..the kid will be two years old before you realize it..
    and no, mine did not go through the ‘terrible twos’ because i was not in the states and i did not read dr spock et al..i had never even seen a baby before i had mine..i was very worried when it was not like a Gerber baby ad..nurses laughed at me..the little things are wrinkled and red!..
    as becky fowler says; trust your instincts…the best thing you can do for a child is to love her daddy. that says it all..
    oh, and love jennifer too while you are relaxing in a cool quiet place, drinking avocado smoothies..

  15. Whoa!!! Congratulations!! I’m sorry to hear of the bad things but I think it’s great that you tell of the good, the bad, and the ugly because media/society tells that pregnancy is easy, it’s “magical”, and beautiful. I’ve never been pregnant but it seems that it’s not that easy, that “glow” is from throwing up, and comfort is always on the back-burner! I’m so happy for you and your new addition! Also, I love the name Rachel, Rachel Carson is someone I highly respect and look up too! Your baby girl is going to be influential in the world!

  16. Car seat? I don’t remember if we had seat belts in the car for our children. The world was so different, there was no hurry up and be perfect approach to life. Love the name Rachel, I think of you every day Jen because we moved to a Villa apartment that does not recycle at all. Be well, Claudia

  17. Hi there, I assume you mean Jacksonville, FL? I went through my first 8.5 months of pregnancy there at the NAS Jax OB clinic. I moved to Norfolk when I was 38 weeks pregnant. I also couldn’t believe they don’t sell maternity clothes at the NEX!

  18. Wow! Congratulations! It will all be a far distant memory when you have your beautiful baby. Happy days!

  19. Oh, such wonderfully encouraging comments from all of you. I am so thankful and so grateful. I will be visiting all of your blogs very soon. I have such a fantastic support group, I really do. :)
    P.S. This week has been a good week. I’m writing again and I went to the pool three times! :)

  20. Now THAT makes me happy to hear. <3

  21. So excited for you, Jennifer! I’ve popped in here and there and was wondering where you’ve been- I’ve pretty much abandoned my blog (long story short- decided to stay in the states, but I’m pretty happy about the decision- even though a big part of me wishes I could be in 2 places at once!) Congrats to you and your family! Sorry to hear it’s been rough, but glad things are getting better for you! I know you will be an awesome mom- you have such a good, kind heart!! :)

  22. Congrats my friend please keep me informed on how you are doing

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