Yes, it’s true I’ve been brewing up the sweetest elixir I have ever made. A sweet baby over the last four months and I am soooo excited to share this news with you.
It’s been an incredible journey so far and I can’t wait to share the details with you over time (regular updates will be on my instagram @marniwasserman)
I’ve known I’ve wanted kids forever, it’s always been a goal of mine but it was just a matter of when. With life taking so many turns over the last number of years; closing my food studio, moving cities, focusing on my health, getting married… etc. @jessechappus and I figured this year we’d start trying. We did in March and boom in May my little precious decided to join my body.
I had no idea how long it would take to get pregnant. Having Hashimoto’s, being 37 – a couple of factors that could have potentially worked against me. But not as many factors as what is working for me, like my diet, lifestyle, the prenatal vitamins and supplements I have been taking, slowing down and not working as hard, letting my body rest more and most importantly just trusting and knowing that pregnancy and having a baby was my destiny.
I have always had a deep knowing and it’s finally here! I am so excited to share this journey with you from here on in. Just another 5 months to go – this babe is due to come February 5th 2020.
BTW we’ve been calling our babes “TUB” (The Ultimate Baby)
Below I would like to outline some of the things that we have done before conceiving to maximize fertility, as well as what we’ve done during the first trimester.
A few years back Jesse and I started working with a functional med team to get to the root of our health issues. This helped us set a new foundation for my health by addressing gut issues, inflammation in my body and other hormonal imbalances. Over the course of 2 years, I was on a series of different supplement protocols to help address this.
During this time as well, I radically shifted my diet to more of a paleo-ish way of eating by incorporating more animal protein than I was used to, more healthy fats, lots of veggies and removing grains, soy, legumes, nightshades and other potentially inflammatory foods. I went on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet a few times as well to help move things along.
Over the years there has been massive shifts in my body. My inflammation and more importantly my antibodies have also come down dramatically! This is one of the markers of Hashimoto’s and can also prevent fertility if it’s not addressed. So I highly recommend that if you have an underlying health condition or Hashimoto’s, you work with a team to get this addressed ASAP if having a baby is on your agenda!
Pre conception supplements (start these at least 3-6 months before TTC)
- Seeking Health Prenatals
- Vitamin D
- Fish oils and/or cod liver oil
Side note: It was a good thing we got our genetic testing done, as I found out I had the MTHFR mutation and found out I am poor at methylating which prompted me to find a better prenatal with optimal folate for my body.
Other things we did for fertility:
- Consider seeing a reproductive reflexology– I went weekly, as she follows the female cycle – and targets specific endocrine glands on the feet to support fertility
- I tracked my cycle and took my basal body temperature
- I monitored my cervical mucus – and really got in tune with my body
- Used fertility apps to help track my cycle CLUE, FERTILITY FRIEND
- Used Ovulation strips to know fertility window and peak days
- We had intercourse everyday during fertile period (happy hubby) 😉 and used YES BABY natural lubricant
- I put my hips up after sex on a pillow for 20 minutes (could be an old wives tale, but I believe it made a difference) 😉
Side note: After trying for my first two months, I realized I needed to relax a little. I decided not to track my basal body temperature and CM so closely and just tried to enjoy the process rather than micromanaging it so much. I think this was a key part of the process!
More things I did:
- Cut down on caffeine. I actually don’t drink that much caffeine as it is, but I was having a green powder with green tea/yerba mate + other herbs in morning and cut that out completely
- No Sauna or hot showers for me or Jesse (this is especially important for men)
- Ate our usual balanced whole foods diet
- When we found out we were pregnant, I continued prenatal and cod liver oil + my regular supplements
- Got stocked up with lots of natural pregnancy books that have been really helpful
- Gave into lots of rest. I’ve been sleeping in more than usual, and taking naps which is totally out of character for me!
- For nausea: I used B6, Sea Bands, repro reflexology, drank lots of water, ate ginger chews, sipped on ginger tea, slept a lot, consumed bone broth regularly and ate grain-free crackers (I liked the Simple Mills almond ones as they taste like healthy Saltines!)
- Lots of self care, I treated (and still do) myself to regular reiki and massage therapy and prenatal yoga
Right when we found out we were pregnant we contacted a midwife and doula. I also got myself a pelvic floor specialist to help strengthen my pelvic floor for delivery.
Food aversions and cravings:
- In general, I was nauseous on and off throughout the day, it was inconsistent thankfully
- I was extremely turned off of veggies in the first trimester
- I couldn’t look at mushrooms or asparagus or a raw salad
- I rarely wanted animal protein whether it was chicken, fish or red meat
- The smell of cooked veggies was also gross to me. I couldn’t use my cast iron pan as it retained other smells
- I didn’t really want anything green (no leafies or cruciferous veggies for weeks)
- I was able to tolerate foods out of the house more easily, specifically if we ate at a restaurant or someone else was cooking
- Eating out has been a bit easier in general but we still eat a majority of our meals at home
- I wouldn’t say I had an aversion to chocolate, but I certainly didn’t need it daily like I’m used to
- Craved goat and sheep’s milk hard cheese and feta cheese
- Wanted pasture-raised chicken and duck eggs almost everyday
- I gravitated towards more carb foods but always gluten-free or grain-free. For the record, I haven’t eaten anything “bad” or processed, the only thing recently that has been a bit of a splurge for me is pad thai and healthy chips (plantain, cassava and sweet potato)
- I wanted homemade sweet potato fries and natural ketchup, especially with a turkey cheeseburger (my healthy take on this popular combo)
- Loved eating plain lentil pasta with olive oil and grated goat cheddar
- I am always wanting lots of fresh fruit in smoothies and whole fruits throughout the day
- I regularly wanted bone broth. I made some of my own batches or bought it because the smell of cooking it was too intense
I hope this gives you some insight on how to prepare and plan for a natural pregnancy and at the very least gives you an insight into what I have done.
We are also planning a home birth and hoping for a water birth. We have a cozy basement with warm lighting, the option of a bed, a shower and room for a big birthing tub. This is my vision for my pregnancy but I am totally aware that plans can change 🙂
Lastly, I recommend you listen to our episode on The Ultimate Podcast about The Ultimate Baby (1st Trimester) to have a more detailed audio version of this post. There is also a worksheet there for you to download and print!
And just one more thing, I have also just launched The Ultimate Baby Tea in collaboration with Chalice Spice. Nourish your growing baby body with this beautiful TUB Tea collection. From the first trimester throughout pregnancy, these teas will soothe the symptoms associated with pregnancy from nausea to fatigue while strengthening your body to deliver the ultimate baby.
You will learn so much and get the chance to hear us talk about our story with a more personal twist!