Paleo/Primal Pregnancy Wrap Up
Well, Jack William is now 5 weeks old and his momma (yours truly) actually has 15 minutes to give a full account.
First off, I’d like to acknowledge that my pregnancy diet was not the strictest version of paleo. I ate nightshades, dairy (mostly organic/grass-fed and often raw heavy cream, cheese, yogurt and a little milk) and drank coffee. I tried to keep it low-moderate carb, since sugar is the devil. And I occasionally went totally off the wagon. When I had morning sickness and all I could stomach was white rice, I ate white rice. When it was my birthday, I had ice cream. Etc. I’d guess I was 90% primal/paleo. I also broke a lot of the conventional “rules” : I ate Sushi, raw cheese and pate. I just always made sure they were of the highest and freshest quality. I took Cod Liver Oil every day, balanced A and D, magnesium and a “raw” prenatal vitamin.
Conception: After one easy conception and almost immediate miscarriage in April 2010 (when I had become gluten/say-free and we had gotten into ‘Real Food,’ but ours was not a paleo household yet), it took my husband (45) and I (37) another 8 months to conceive. It could be a coincidence, but we hit the jackpot within a month of my adoption of the paleo diet.
Early pregnancy: I had some strong food aversions and a little nausea. I think I threw up once. I had to dial back workouts and I ate a less than ideally-primal diet on bad days. Otherwise, I felt fine.
Middle pregnancy: This was golden! No problems or “symptoms” at all.
Late pregnancy: Here is where I became convinced of the power of paleo pregnancy.
I had absolutely NONE of the following:
hemerroids (sp?) , edema, bloating, gas, constipation, stretch marks, spider veins, freaky cravings, back pain, headaches, swollen/bleeding gums, varicose veins, nasal congestion or shortness of breath
There were a few mild changes, such as breast swelling (mild), increased urination at the very end, very occasional heartburn and leg cramps (to cure these, I included magnesium as a supplement).
I slept like a champ throughout and my skin/hair was in the best shape ever.
In total I gained 26 pounds and it was “all belly.”
Childbirth: We planned on an unmedicated, home waterbirth with a midwife. The experience was incredible (and the pain so doable – especially with the tub and relaxed home environment). We went for 27 hours of labor (12 at full dilation – ouch) before realizing that Jack’s head was never going to fit. Then I had a C-section and got stuck in a hospital (gross – not a fan) for 3 days and loaded up with drugs. However, at least I never had to worry that the procedure was a result of a “cascade of interventions” – this was in the small percentile of unavoidable C-sections (and thank god they exist for times like this)!
Baby: I know I’m his mom, and biased, but Jack is incredible. He is a big solid kid. When he came out at 9.5 lbs., all I thought was “thank god I wasn’t eating sugar or he’d be a MONSTER.” He was not at all “chubby” – he is super lean, long and muscular. He held his head up right away. No problems. He eats like a champ – all breast milk, of course – and sleeps like one too: he only wakes us up once a night! In fact, last night he slept 7 hours in a row ☺
Body: I was back to pre-pregnancy weight in 2.5 weeks. At 3 weeks, I was 3 lbs under. I recovered from the C-section fast and at 5 weeks, I have packed up all pregnancy clothes and look better than before. I have a little belly pouch, but the skin is almost back to its old elasticity and it hardly shows under any clothes. And I have 32F breasts, which are a kind of camouflage/distraction anyway! I still have 15 lbs I want to lose (weight I gained a few years back when I was simultaneously under intense stress and experimenting with veganism), but I’m sure paleo will knock that off in no time!
So, there it is! What are your stories?