Did I Mention I Like Bagels?

February 28, 2014 § 1 Comment

Group B Streptococcus. GBS. Many women develop a colonization of this often non-problematic-for-mom bacteria during pregnancy and can be dangerous to newborns if they come in contact with or swallow it once the mother’s water has broken while she is in labor and/or delivering her baby. 

I’m in the middle of my fourth pregnancy. I have tested positive with GBS four out of four pregnancies, now.

Maybe it’s just a quirk about my body. But MAYBE it’s because I eat bagels like I’m getting paid to do it. And all other breakfast pastries and other snack foods and desserts that are made with refined ingredients and contain tons of sugar. It strikes me as funny that altered foods are called “refined”. It doesn’t seem very pure or “refined” when you take out everything GOOD and HEALTHFUL about that food.

Anyways. I eat carbs, carbs and more carbs. The worst ones. Seriously, there have been days that I eat 3 bagels like it’s not even remotely disgusting… not to mention that I add over an inch of cream cheese to each half.

I am convinced that my diet is the cause of not only weight gain but also my low energy levels, trouble with sleep, and probably has a lot to do with the fact that I always test positive for GBS and have to be needled while I’m trying to bring babies into the world…. Not that the penicillin ever has very much time to counter the bacteria… but the Lord has protected my children and for that I am thankful.

Not to be gross – I don’t usually post this kind of TMI medical-ly, personal stuff on here – but at my midwife’s office, patients are required to give a urine sample at each visit, and the GBS showed up (this was the first time it’s come up before the regular screening much later in the pregnancy). I was offered antibiotics which I did not take. I decided I wanted to try and take care of myself naturally. But even then I didn’t think any further than eating Activia regularly (for the probiotics).

 But now I’ve done a little more research (I feel like all I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks is stare at the computer reading various articles about different aspects of health and well-being! I feel like my brain is going to explode!) and I’ve come to realize that – Hey! Crazy bagel lady! You need to get your act together!

So the point of my rambling isn’t to leave you dwelling on my recurrent GBS issue… nobody wants to dwell on that… 

I’m here because I’m feeling super excited to start eating better! It’s not about weight gain, it’s about realizing that I’m eating myself into a state of deteriorating health. My husband wakes up, exercises before the sun is up, and then makes himself eggs with kale and peppers and black beans…. then there’s me… polishing off 5 mini-muffins that I picked up the grocery store the night before. Not fair to him. Not fair to ME. Not fair to my kids, who look to me as an example. I’m definitely not taking care of the body the Lord gave to me.

This kind of decision can leave me feeling very overwhelmed and I am definitely one to jump the gun and find myself in over my head. So I want to start out by cutting out the refined and processed foods as best I can. Just generally start eating better. Cut out the fast food and the soda and pints of Ben & Jerry’s. That’s a start, right? We had a mini birthday celebration tonight for a friend and I was called on to bring a cake.. so I picked up one that looked pretty chocolate-y and delicious and didn’t even have a teensie taste. Yay me! I don’t want to start off my new-me-lifestyle by cheating on a cake less than two days after the decision was made.

So here I go. I’m craving a bagel and cream cheese like you wouldn’t believe but I’m hoping to make it through the first week and see this thing through. Maybe I’ll be back to share some recipes or just in general how things are going. I don’t expect I’ll see much in the way of weight loss since I’m preggers and all… but hopefully some improvement in how I feel overall. 

Dante and Stefano Say….

February 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Dante Says:

“Is the sun going down behind the hill?” when he notices that it’s getting dark outside… I believe he picked this up from one our favorite books ‘Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel’

“I’ve got to do my work ups!” when he sees daddy working out. Gotta be just like dad!

“Mom where are all the dinosaurs?” “Most of them died a long time ago, honey” he considers this for a moment and then matter-o-factly tells me, “No, they’re just sleeping”.

“Mommy I love you because you’re so beautiful and pretty”…. thank you. Thank you very much.

Stefano says:

“Dante said stupid…” in a hushed tone… when in fact Dante did not… Stefano just wants to have a reason to say this bad word without getting disciplined for it, I suppose? Haha

“Mommy, can I have a cookie? – Oh yes! Certainly! Of course!” ….. All in one breath. He knows that I find this absolutely adorable and it’s hard for me to say no, I guess!

While practicing our numbers and counting, he points to the picture of 5 dolls next to the number “5”….. “5 dowwies”… oh my word. I ask him to repeat this 10 times before moving onto number 6.

Doctor Mom

February 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

We’ve been members of Christian Healthcare Ministries for threeish months, now. If you’re not familiar with bill sharing to meet medical needs as opposed to health insurance, this non-profit company – and many other similar companies alike – receives monthly “gifts” from individuals or families and send the entirety of that gift to meet various needs in the affiliated Christian community. It is a ministry based off of New Testament giving. We are called to meet one another needs. Go above and beyond tithing and give what we can… of course, in Massachusetts health insurance is mandatory and to be honest the cheaper price tag was what drew us to this option initially.

I do think it’s a great practice. I love how practical it is. When we heard about it, we thought – hey this seems right, let’s go for it. And I’m glad we did. But things are a little bit tricky. Healthcare costs are outrageous. Let’s be honest. My son went to the hospital with a cut on his forehead. Didn’t see a doctor, let alone a plastic-surgeon, and the bill was almost $1000 (this was just before we made the switch, and WITH insurance we were still responsible for more than half of that. A month later his brother got a similar cut near his eyebrow, I said “no way, not again” and taped it shut myself. Their scars look the same. So basically I did as good as a the medical professional and spent nothing. I used bandages that I already had.

There’s also the multiple doctor visits made in a newborns first year which adds up, along with the rest of our yearly physicals. And it leaves me questioning the costs, the benefits of so many visits to the doctor, and the motives. It’s a money money money making industry, is it not? I have a great family doctor. But I’ve recently started looking into ways to treat my family at home for illnesses. Prescription drugs are expensive and a lot of the time unnecessary. Diagnosed ear infections are rarely infections and can be treated with homeopathic remedies. I’ve treated a case of conjunctivitis without ever calling the doctor. Apple cider vinegar and onions are natural healers. A little research can go a long way, and I’ve only uncovered the tip of the ice burg. Medicine has its place, for sure, but not for every day illnesses that can be looked at as beneficial immune system building blocks rather than something to completely avoid and run, screaming, away from. And is it so necessary for healthy family members to see the doctor more than one a year? Once every couple of years? I’m not an expert but I’m starting to think maybe life doesn’t have to seem to regimented. So uniform.

I’ve also put it off and put it off but I think it’s finally time to start learning more about vaccines and whether or not they are necessary. I think the scarier part is how alienated one feels when they even think about not vaccinated their children. I mean, I had chicken pox and I survived. Why shouldn’t my kids have chicken pox? Why should I, instead, pay for expensive vaccines to “protect” them from a used-to-be common childhood right of passage? If we’re putting anything into out bodies to protect ourselves and children it should be clean food and water. Natural oils. Super foods………………… Now, we’re far from being the poster family for healthy eating. We like us some McDonald’s french fries. But we’re trying to wrap our heads around better health and safer “health care” for ourselves and children. Is that so wrong? Nope.

So I’m reading. I learning. I’m moving slowly. I don’t consider myself crunchy. But alternative and ready to embrace a more radical movement? Maybe.

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