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I’ve swum since I was younger with different swim groups. After my son was born I joined a masters swim club at UVic. I was a member for about a year and regularly went to practices 2-3 times a week. It’s more like an organized swim with a workout provided and you swim at your own pace. There were about 15 people UVic masters when I swam with them, sometimes as little as 3 showed up in the winter, up to 10 in the summer. This past September I joined the Victoria Masters Swim Club that swims out of the Crystal Pool. More competitive of a group, but fantastic coaches, and you get excellent instruction. I joined for the year but stopped going to practices when I got really sick with a chest cold this past March. I now swim on my own three times a week. As my midwife said, yes swimming is excellent now, but probably not the type you are used to in this stage of pregnancy = take it easy. With a group of people I find I push myself to keep up with them, which is great when you aren’t pregnant but not ideal at the current time.

I swim between the Crystal Pool and Commonwealth now. Crystal I have a pass from master club with, and Commonwealth I have a punch card. I think drop in is about $5.

I finally found a pregnancy lap swim suit and love it. We ended up ordering it online, from a recommendation on my post from my first pregnancy… thanks! We ordered the size they suggested for the size my regular suit was and it ended up being too large, so I ordered another one a size smaller. I still have the unused medium size thinking I may get big enough to fit into it near the end, but not sure if I will need it now. It’s a Lycra suit, so won’t last much longer than this pregnancy as the chlorine tends to eat them quickly. Not pregnant I wear a polyester suit now, which lasts and lasts and lasts… as the sales people say you will get tired of the style way before it wears out! I have to have thin straps on my polyester suits otherwise I get chapped marks on my neck and it looks like I have hickeys all the time. Putting on Vaseline on my neck prior to a swim workout also used to help. Lycra does not bother me.

Pools in Victoria….. now I am a swim snob. I like swimming laps in a pool with other people that obey swimming etiquette. Fast lane for fast swimmers, swim up the rope and down the middle, etc. Hard to find when swimming with the public. I find the cooler the pool, the more I can swim, and the less tired I feel. For example if I swim 1000m at the Commonwealth Pool in their competition pool, I swim faster and am less tired than swimming the same 1000m at the Crystal Pool.

I think the Commonwealth competition pool is the coolest pool in Victoria. Runner up is UVic’s McKinnon pool. Then perhaps the Crystal Pool, then Gordon Head…. Oak Bay Recreation Center being one of the warmest (those are the pools I frequent). None of this is scientific, it’s just how I feel when I get in and based on how I swim. I’ve never been to Juan de Fuca Recreation Center pool but have heard good things. Their kiddie pools apparently are among the warmest, so you aren’t too cold when you are with your little one not moving to keep warm and their larger pool I’ve also heard is nice to workout in.

Not being pregnant Commonwealth and UVic are my top choices for the best swim workout (out of the above). However pregnant the Crystal Pool works well as it cuts down on the Braxton Hicks when I get into the water, which seem exacerbated by the colder water.

Only issue with the Crystal is their large theft problem. I have started wearing my key to my locker on me now while I swim and take only my towel and shampoo to the pool deck. I heard of a swimmer in my club that left only her clothes in a locker, unlocked, and came back and someone had stolen her pants. Her pants!!! Who steals pants? She had to walk out in a towel. The other day a woman brought her back pack with her purse in it to the deck while she swum, which was within her sight for most of her swim. She picked up her bag and her purse was gone.

Swimming is also excellent for pregnant women. It’s not only weightless workout, it also helps get the baby into optimal fetal positioning.

Speaking of fetal positioning it seems my little one, as of my last midwife appointment a few days ago, is now head down. At this stage, I am 30 weeks along, my midwife reminds me that baby still has room to move and can move back to be head up and that is perfectly normal, but reassuring that she is head down for now.

In my first pregnancy, when I first got pregnant with my son… I decided when I was newly pregnant a boy name that I loved, and it was also my grandfather’s name which made me love it even more, and we ended up choosing it. We never found out the sex of our first baby before he was born.

When he was born, our midwife said “take your baby”, so I leaned down and pulled him up to my chest… someone shortly after asked if it was a boy or a girl. I peaked up the blanket and announced boy. Very shortly after I looked up at my husband and said I think he is a _<childs name>____. My husband looked and me and nodded, as if to say ‘okay whatever you want’, in his emotionally exhausted state of having gone through a long hard labour with me. It’s not like I picked the name out of the blue, we had talked and agreed it was our top choice previously.

This time my hubby has made me promise that I don’t “declare” the name until we’ve had a chance to discuss it in private. Hehe, oops! I have promised.

We had a couple ‘back up’ boy names from when my son was born. We still really like them, so it will depend on what baby is like, if it’s a boy what name we choose… and there’s always a possibility that neither would work and we’d have to come up with new ones, but at least we have a starting place.

Girls names are a different story. We have not been able to completely agree on girl names. I have a favourite, which I am still hoping I will “win” on, but my hubby isn’t sold on. I certainly wouldn’t want to name our baby girl a name her Daddy didn’t love too. We aren’t at odds in our disagreements or anything… for example when one of us says I really like the name “Sara” (for arguments sake only) it’s not greeted with “oh I love that too”… it’s “yeah that one is okay but I don’t like ___ about it”. I feel we won’t be able to decide on the name until the a baby is born anyway and we see what he or she looks like. I would like to have some names we both really like so we at least have a starting place.

We both agree we want a strong female name, though funnily enough we disagree on what strong is 😉 . I agree with this site… However my husband does think a strong girls name can end with an “e” sound, where I’m not so sure it sounds strong, but more cutesy. Cutesy is good when they are little, but I’d like something she can grow up with and be whatever she wants to be… I think that is every parents wish. Maybe also because in my life I’ve always been called “cute”, instead of pretty, strong etc. and would like my girl to have more than ‘cute’ in her repertory.

My husband has two thoughts… 1) as above, that it is a strong name. 2) More importantly to my husband our sons name starts with a W, he feels we should try to name our second child at the end of the alphabet as well. There is a theory that says people with names close in letters on the alphabet, tend to be drawn to each other or get along better (years ago, we watched a 60 minutes program on names … I wish I could find it to watch it again!). We have yet to find a girls name near the bottom of the alphabet (s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z) we both like.

Then there are always those names you love but someone that the other person once knew brings up bad memories for them, or an association that won’t go away… and those are just out.

I am particularly drawn to girl names that start with the letters: a, c, and e…. and d, and l…. of course there are other letters I like too.

So suggestions??? girls, boys or both.

BTW…. there are some names that I really like, but would not consider naming my son or daughter it for one reason or another, so please don’t be offended.

I know this blog can has many posts that seem negative and depressing. Honestly I do feel really low lately, but you probably already guessed that by my writing. Hopefully you don’t miss that in most posts I do mention that I never wish to be “unpregnant” and feel fortunate.

I am very aware there are people that have fertility issues or sick babies. There are also many women that suffer in pregnancy in silence because it is taboo to talk about not feeling well, as they are afraid that they will be judged. I feel it’s important to acknowledge everyone’s experiences and challenges, they are all different. It’s kinda of like talking about chronic back pain, when there are people who cannot even walk, but the person with the chronic pain still has challenges and experiences that need to be voiced and discussed, and solutions found.

I find that I get women emailing me most of the time thanking me for writing, and tell me their experiences were much the same.

I look forward to getting my “prize” at the end of all this… and prize it will be. I also know my hormones will make memories of these bad times fad, and I may want to have another in years to come. Ahh lovely lovely hormones, otherwise the human race wouldn’t continue to procreate!

Yes I still am pretty uncomfortable… pelvic/back/lower abdomen pain, rib pain, but oh well. Not really able to be in one position for long periods of time, sleep evades me.

But… BUT… I was recommended to a new athletic therapist who is also studying osteopathy. I had a wonderful (which is an understatement) therapist pre first pregnancy and throughout my pregnancy with my son and a very happy back. She was also an athletic therapist/osteopath. When my son was born she moved back home. I do have a history of back pain, but have been able to find relief in the past. I am hopeful that this therapist (recommended by my previous one) can get me back on track (pardon the pun). If not before the birth, after. I am a good student and do my homework (exercises) as I know how important it is to my healing. I am hopeful.

Well I got over my chest cold, only to be hit by another sinus cold less than a week later that my son brought home from daycare. Those little people sure are germ factories! I learned or was reminded that your immune system in pregnancy is naturally suppressed so that your body will not reject the pregnancy. Which makes me much more susceptible to cold and flu’s coming through our house. I think I have more of less recovered now and the just have the lovely extra mucus that pregnancy brings.

Last week, I think it was Friday night April 2nd I started having Braxton hicks, which in and of themselves are a normal thing of a healthy pregnancy. Mine were accompanied with more muscle pain of the muscles bellow my belly and were tender to touch, and then a back ache. I do have a bad back, but in pregnancy thus far the relaxant hormone present in my system has normally worked in my favour. I was also having a sharp pain in the middle lower abdomen. I started to worry that it could be pre-term labour. After little sleep on Friday night I called my midwife on Saturday and she said from what I was describing it did not sound like pre-term labour. She suggested a couple things, one being more liquid calcium, and also ensure I was remaining hydrated (which I have been, drinking at least 2 liters of water a day), also rest and warm bath. Things subsided a little but not a lot. I went in on Monday and she did an internal exam to confirm things were indeed fine and there was no evidence I was going into labour. On Thursday we went in for our regular midwife appointment and the pain was still on and off . To put my mind further at ease she ordered another ultrasound. I didn’t think we’d get into for an ultrasound for another week or so, but the next day Victoria General Hospital called in the afternoon and said they could fit me in that same day in a couple of hours!

The technician ended up being a sister of a friend, small world! I recognized her as we went into the room. As she was going through the ultrasound she let us know things looked fine and pointed things out. She checked my cervix before I emptied my bladder (yes you still have to drink some water before the ultrasound) and after and confirmed it was a normal length. She also mentioned my amniotic fluid level was normal, and she pointed out the heart, kidneys, and a couple other organs and said they looked fine. She also took more measurements of the baby.

The baby is still head up, and feet up too! She is in what is called a “frank breech” position. Like a little “V” in my uterus. Perhaps this explains some of the discomfort because all of her weight is over my pelvis. I am definitely a little nervous that she won’t be head down in time. My son was head down the entire pregnancy. I am also concerned my midwife might mistake the little bum to be the baby’s head and we will assume she is head down when she actually isn’t. I’m told not to worry about it now, and if it gets to 32 weeks and baby is still head up then they like to start coaxing them down, but it is by 36 weeks the baby needs to be head down. I don’t know how baby is going to get out of the position she has gotten herself into, her feet are up by her head!! Look at this photo (“les” – supposed to read “legs”):

As for the pain and discomfort they continue, and so do the Braxton Hicks. It is hard to get enough sleep currently. The calcium helps a little I think?! My midwife is pretty sure the sharp pain in the middle front I am feeling is pelvic symphysis pain. I also have lower back pain that comes and goes. I will continue with chiropractic and acupuncture to see if that can relive a little discomfort. I am also going to go back to the pool, which I have been away from for at least about 6 weeks with all my colds. My midwife doesn’t recommend the kind of swimming I am used to (I swam with a Masters swim club), but something a little more relaxed. That may help coax baby to get into a better position too, or that’s my hope!

Yes I am still calling this baby a “she”. Still no boy parts seen on this 2nd ultrasound, but wouldn’t want to tell us for sure in case someone was wrong 😉

I think my expectations might have been a little skewed for this pregnancy. I knew it could be worse than the first one, but didn’t truly believe it would be. I thought maybe my first trimester nausea could be more intense but that is all I was expecting. Nobody writes about this stuff, it’s taboo or something. Someone may judge me and think I am a bad mother, or maybe I’m just telling you like it is.

First trimester morning sickness was definitely a lot worse. With my son I was able to function all day and it would hit in the early evening. It allowed me to go home and go straight to bed and miss little work. Often I’d miss dinner, I didn’t want anything but a smoothie then anyway. A lonely existence for a couple of months, for myself but also my hubby as I was sleeping all the time, but definitely felt more manageable than this time. This time I was nauseous all day every day it felt like. The worst time being just before lunch time and going to bed at night. I almost don’t remember all of it now. I remember a few midwife appointments and a doctors appointment where they kept offering me Diclectin. I gave in around Christmas time and filled the prescription and would take it only once, occasionally before bed on bad nights just to get some sleep, I couldn’t fall asleep otherwise. The fatigue was also way more intense. It felt like no matter how much I slept I couldn’t get enough sleep. Like a thirst that could not be quenched. All part of the package when you have a toddler running around I think.

I thought the second trimester was supposed to be the honeymoon period. You know, where you aren’t too big in the belly but you also aren’t too sick either. Yea right.

Just after the nausea passed in January I came down with a head cold. It passed within a week but I got the worst headache I’ve ever had that week. I thought it was because I was sick. The next week it came back, and then it just became more and more persistent. Every day I had a headache. And I’m not talking the oh my head hurts a little kind. I’m talking waking up with a persistent headache, that would progress into I think my head is actually going to combust, I may throw up and light and sounds bothers me kind… daily! Apparently they aren’t too uncommon in the second trimester, changing hormones could be a contributing factor, of course stress levels as well.

I was just getting through the headaches and allergy season in Victoria started to bloom. I’ve never had a year like this one that I can remember. Sneezing three to four times in a row is supposed to feel like an orgasm, okay how about eight? On really bad days I’d take a Diclectin, which has an antihistamine in it and helped but knocked me out. Diclectin is studied in pregnant women, unlike all the other drugs on the market.

Often what happens to me is my immune system is working so hard to battle my allergies I catch whatever it going around. And with a little germ factory coming home from “school” (that is what we call group day care) every day it wasn’t hard to get sick.

My husband goes away for work very infrequently. Perhaps a couple times a year. The day he left I wasn’t feeling that great, but thought it was just my allergies. The next day I was in a full blown cold. My son, who is almost two, has still been getting up at night occasionally. My husband has been a gem this pregnancy and has been getting up with him to give me a little more rest. Without hubby around I had to get up so I didn’t get better very quickly. Actually I just got worse. By the weekend the sinus infection had moved south to my weakest link, my lungs. I have asthma, which only bothers me when I have a chest cold or when I am having a severe allergic reaction. And bother me it did.

By the following Monday I was wheezing like crazy and coughing like mad. To top things off my son was sent home from school with a fever of 103, the next day the doctor assumed he had pneumonia, which we don’t think it was, and he’s on the mend now. Out of desperation I went to the doctor, as well as taking my son in. She wanted to wait a little longer to see if the infection would pass on it’s own before giving me antibiotics that would reach the baby, good idea. Then she asked what are you doing about your asthma… um nothing? Oh no, no she said you need to be taking your inhalers. I didn’t know they were safe so I was airing on the side of caution and not doing anything. She said inhalers are considered topical medication for your lungs, little gets absorbed into your system that actually reaches the baby, similar to have some eczema and treating it with cream, you are treating your lungs directly with medication. I wish I had done the research when I was first getting sick, I may have been able to prevent the hell I am going through now if I had been taking them when I first got sick. My doctor is a general practitioner, but she also delivers babies, and is a lactation consultant, so she does know her stuff. Because I am ultra paranoid and worried I called and without telling them what my doctor said, they confirmed exactly the same thing about the two inhalers I was using. I still worry about taking them though. I had about three sleepless nights and days where I could not sleep at all, even sitting up beside a steamer I could not stop coughing. My chest was tight and itchy, I wanted to tear at my skin to open my airways. Almost feels like trying to breath when there is a brick on your chest. I truly believe it is the worst feeling in the world not being able to breath. Coughing is getting slightly better and I’ve been able to catch a few Z’s. Today I have pulled a muscle or sprained a rib coughing, it hurts like a S.O.B. when I breath now, or move and lift come to think of it. I can’t wait for this part to be over, cause it just sucks to put it mildly.

Then there are all the regular pregnancy stuff, like sore muscles, incontinence, Raynaud’s, a normal harmless heart flip flip (palpitation), Braxton Hicks and yeast infections… yiK! that I won’t even go into details on. Apparently your second time around your body changes faster and turns out having that first baby did change your muscles more than you thought.

I have trouble dealing with life when I am on little sleep and with some sort of ailment. Everything seems like it is just that more of a big deal. Mix that in with a healthy dose of hormones and I’ve felt overwhelmed a lot in the past few weeks.

I am almost 24 weeks pregnant now, a little more than halfway. Through all these trials I have never wished to be “unpregnant”. And every time the baby kicks is a reward in itself. I have thought myself I little insane at times to be pregnant and wished I had maybe waited until my son was a little older to get pregnant again, or perhaps done a year of allergy shots so what I am experiencing currently wouldn’t be so bad. A lot of symptoms have been a reminder I need to slow down. It seems if you don’t slow down, mother nature makes sure you do.

We had our ultrasound, a couple Fridays ago now. I was 19 weeks and 1 day pregnant.

It was first thing in the morning, so I had to get up early and drink my “water” as I was supposed to be done an hour before my appointment at 8am. Luckily they took us in first. The technician we had must do them all the time, because she was really fast. I remember the ultrasound with my son I remember it felt slower and it seemed to take a lot longer. Perhaps because this time we went to the ultrasound ‘place’ and last time it was at the hospital, or we just got a more experienced technician this time, or this baby was easier to look at?! Last pregnancy my son had his head down in my pelvis, and she had a harder time getting measurements. We might have gone in shortly before 8am, but we were done by 8:20am.

The baby is in a different position than William was. Her head is on my right side, back across my upper uterus and feet on my left. William was head down at his 19 weeks ultrasound already. I was talking to a girlfriend and wondered if it might be because my muscles are more stretched out and there is a little more room?! I am definitely feeling bigger tummy wise this pregnancy already.

Of course they won’t tell you much, they want that information to come from your doctor. Our technician was quite nice. She did the measurements she needed on my full bladder then let me ’empty’ before continuing. She was even gentle and didn’t push too hard on my tummy until I was empty… which I was grateful for. She did mention the femur was 3cms long, which I know is one of the measurements they look at to ‘date’ your pregnancy.

The technician tried to see the gender for us, but couldn’t see it clearly. She kept going over the area and saying the baby keeps moving (yea I’d move too if someone kept pressing in on me!). Legs were not crossed but she was not sprawled out either. The technician said some people don’t realize just because we now tell people the gender, it doesn’t mean we can always be sure. Imagine how tiny that part is they are looking for if baby’s femur is only 3cm long! So no confirmation of what baby is… we wait and see.

The placenta is in a different place than with William… on my front wall. I wonder if this is why I haven’t felt baby as active as my son was… or maybe this little person isn’t going to be as active a person as my son is?!

I started feeling this baby move around 14.5 weeks. It took we about a week to confirm it was the baby moving. In the beginning it was a lot of swishes and full body movements I think… lots of somersaults. Now I don’t feel very many full movements and I rarely feel her move during the day, unless I’m quietly sitting after I’ve eaten a meal. I tend to feel kicks and movements on either the left or right.

I finally called my midwife office yesterday as it had been 10+ days since the ultrasound and I had not heard of the results. No news is normally good news, but I wanted to be sure. The report just indicated that everything was ‘normal’ and I am on target for my July 15th due date.

Did you catch I am using she/her this pregnancy? I figure I used he/him for my first, that I’d use she/her this pregnancy to balance it out. 🙂

My hubby felt the baby more last night for the first time. Spooning with his hand on my belly we were still and he felt baby move a few times. I am excited because up until now I’ve been the only one to really experience this baby. The movement wasn’t as large as the first couple of time my son moved, and it will be a while until my son will be able to feel the baby I think, as being still and patient isn’t his forte! (as it’s not for most toddlers).

I’m having trouble coming to terms with weight gain this pregnancy.

This time around I am starting lighter than I did when I was pregnant the first time. Although I have already gained 6-7 lbs and I’m only 17 weeks pregnant! Last time I started where I am now, but by 16 weeks I was still at the same weight I am now. Nausea has been much more intense this time, and eating helps me feel better.

My first pregnancy I was more relaxed and had more time to myself to sleep and rest etc. With a toddler running around now I have little time to myself, not to mention to rest.

I am worried and a little anxious that I might gain too much weight this pregnancy. My midwife tells me it’s about quality of nutrition and not to worry about weight gain. In my first pregnancy I was quite unwell around 33 weeks with a nasty stomach flu (I’m still convinced it was food poisoning but that’s another story), and lost 5-6 lbs one week, I never regained it before I gave birth. I was already light when my son was born but actually gained weight postpartum because of depression etc. So in the long run I still had to work the weight off anyway. My son was smaller, born at 6 lbs 13 ounces about 5 days early. I would like this next baby to be a little heavier, as I contribute it to having troubles breast feeding with him. I wondered if his mouth was too small to get a proper latch.

It sounds silly, but it’s bugging me! I’m already into my pregnancy pants, the ones with the panel stretchy band attached fit, the other ones (low rider ones) still don’t fit.

When I was pregnant with my son, it took a really long time to look like I was pregnant, or “pop”. I would say I was almost 5 months pregnant before I showed with my son. With my son people would actually ask me if I thought the baby was okay because I was so small tummy wise.

This time I told work earlier than I did the first time, and someone at work one day said “it’s beginning to become obvious” and I was only 14.5 weeks pregnant at the time! I’ve told most people at work I am pregnant now and circumstances are different. People in my workplace know me now, when I started here I was already 14 weeks pregnant with my son. Perhaps people are more comfortable asking or saying something because they know me?

Some examples of what people have said are:

  • I said oh if you didn’t know I’m 4 months pregnant, and she smiled and said yeah I know with a smirk.
  • Another colleague said yea I figured.
  • My male massage therapist said I thought that might be the case, then I thought maybe she just ate too many donuts.

Sorry pregnant or not it’s not okay to talk about a woman’s weight. Like most women I already have a weight complex and am often worried I am too fat. I think it is all tummy based now, or I feel mostly looks it, but I am really shocked at how my body is changing so quickly this time and honestly a little upset and jealous of ladies with a proper waist line.

I continue to exercise regularly. I would say I am more active than I was in my first pregnancy; I go to practices regularly (I was going 3x a week, 1 hr each time, now down to twice weekly for 45-1hr) with a Master Swim Club, I wouldn’t say they are easy workouts. From a post I wrote when I was pregnant with my son I got some good feedback on where to get a pregnancy race swimsuit. My husband ordered it for me for Christmas. It is too large, so I just ordered another one a size smaller. Likely I will be able to wear the smaller one until 6 months, and will have to use the larger one when my belly gets bigger in the last trimester.

I don’t feel I am eating poorly. I think I ate more poorly before I got pregnant actually! I have definitely cut down on the sweets and added in more fruits, veggies and whole foods. I am guessing I don’t eat more than 1800-2000 calories a day, which I think is okay for my 5’3” frame?!

I am open to any suggestions on how to get over this? I would like to embrace this change and stop worrying about it.

Picture of me 17 weeks 1 day preggers below:

Since I posted this post yesterday I have since spoken to my Naturopathic doctor and she said I need to gain at least 17lbs this time. She said the 17lbs needed is all for the baby, the rest you need fat for breastfeeding and postpartum. She thinks a good goal is 25lbs – 35lbs. The more fat I have on my boobs a hips the easier it will be produce milk and breastfeed. She assured me it will come off. I’m just concerned if I gain all 30lbs and I’m not able to breastfeed exclusively then the weight won’t just “come off”, of course she told me to let her worry about that and we will make sure to figure it out. Makes me feel slightly better.

My ND also mentioned that it’s not good to assume you will gain a certain amount each trimester. Some women gain the bulk in their first trimester, little in their second and nothing in their third. There is no right amount in each trimester, every woman and every pregnancy is different. I found this site made me worry about gaining in the first trimester, I don’t recommend basing your weight gain off this one: Your GP, OB, midwife or ND will have a much more realistic recommendation when it comes to weight gain specific to you and your pregnancy.

With my first pregnancy I only gained about 10-12lbs from start to finish. I did start heavier than this time, and I got stomach flu ill when I was 33 weeks pregnant and made up for what I loss while ill. I was “proud” of only gaining that amount my first pregnancy (a little sick head wise I think now). Now I see it wasn’t healthy. Baby and I would have been better off had I added another 5-10lbs at least.

Weight distribution:

  • 7 1/2pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of pregnancy.
  • 1 1/2pounds is how much the placenta weighs.
  • 4 pounds is attributed to increased fluid volume.
  • 2 pounds is the weight of the uterus.
  • 2 pounds is the weight of breast tissue.
  • 4 pounds is because of increased blood volume.
  • 7 pounds is attributed to maternal stores of fat, protein and other nutrients.
  • 2 pounds for the amniotic fluid.
  • Total: 30 pounds

I decided that I needed to dye my hair. And it had to be now. I didn’t want to wait to go to a professional, more about why later. What I have read about dyeing hair in pregnancy is that it is controversial.

As an aside, is a wonderful site and does have all the up-to-date information on risks in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Their motto is “treating the mother, and protecting the unborn”. They don’t mess around, if it’s bad for you they will tell you what research has indicated that and why, I highly suggest it for any soon to be pregnant ladies to get their FACTS on what is ok and not pregnancy. There are so many things out there that people tell you not to do in pregnancy, which all should be taken with a grain of salt and you should do your own research. I feel your own research should including consulting your physicians (I spoke to my GP, midwife and naturopathic doctor), and book/article research (finding reputable articles online, I underline reputable, check the site there is so much junk out there). This is an article from on hair dye in pregnancy:

Highlights or foils feel like the safest to me. The dye does not travel down your hair shaft and go into your system. Your hair does not work like that, if it did we would never have to dye our hair again right! The only way the dye gets into your system, even with an all over colour, is if you have open wounds on your head or skin, and even then the amount that gets in is negligible with small abrasions. If you really want to be safe, use a vegetable dye like Henna. That was the extent of my research. I assumed henna was like other dyes but just natural, so off I went to the health food store to pick some up.

I got it home and it had very few instructions. Not to mention vague colour descriptions on the packages. I got “brown”. It was a dry powder that looked green…. after using it I think it smells and has the consistency of the Greens Plus drink, but to go in your hair… oh so gross. I don’t think I mixed it right, I mixed it in the bag provided instead of as the directions indicated. It was clumpy and not smooth. I don’t think I got the consistency right but put it in my hair anyway, left it for a little shorter than recommended. It was so messy and did I mention smelly? It was like sticky crap in your hair, now I know my nose is more sensitive in pregnancy, but it smelt like it too. As I was doing it my toddler was watching on and off and I said to my husband it smells like pooh. So my toddler, who is a sponge (as I was waiting for it to process on my head in a bag), would point to my head and say pooh pooh!

After, I didn’t notice much of a colour difference. I was trying to get the red shade out of my hair and I don’t think it changed it much. One thing I did notice was despite washing my hair, it STILL smelled! Yuck, yuck, yuck…. did I mention YUCK!

So now I am even more desperate to colour my hair. I marched right back the health food store and pick up some natural hair dye. I got it home and realized it was permanent. To colour your hair permanently the products has to lift the cuticle, essentially damaging your hair, although the natural companies do it without ammonia and much more naturally, they still need to lift the cuticle. I still wanted to limit the damage to my hair. I went back to the health food store and they only have permanent organic hair colour. I returned the box and went down the street to the drug store and picked up Natural Instincts by Clairol, semi-permanent hair colour (No. 24 Medium Ash Brown). A true semi-permanent only stains the hair. I figure semi permanent can’t be as bad as permanent, and it’s going to wash out over the next month or so anyway.

Once I got it home and read the directions it said right in the directions (but not ON the box) not to use the dye on henna dyed hair. WHAT?! And to wait until henna grows out to dye your hair… yea right… my hair is like 14 inches long, do you know how long that would TAKE! I did some more research and found out the reason they don’t recommend it is because the results are unpredictable. I did a strand test and it appeared fine, so I did the rest of my head. I think the henna didn’t take that well when I did do it, so it didn’t alter the results that much. And the semi permanent colour I was using was medium ash brown; it was dark… so it seemed to cover. There is a slight tinge of reddish, but better than before the henna. It will fade out over the next month, but I hope it doesn’t go that nasty brown red again. I just want my brown hair back!!

What an extremely messy process. Now I remember why I go to professionals, oh how I need to learn my lessons!  I had to do it by myself too; I don’t remember the last time I coloured my hair by myself. When I was in my teens and early twenties I always got a friend to do it for me. Needless to say it went all over the bathroom and me.

That night I felt extremely stupid and guilty. Worried and paranoid I may have hurt the baby. Somewhere in my head I thought the over the counter dyes have to be less toxic than the ones professionals use, but I have no basis for that.  I didn’t want to go to a professional and sit there with a belly and have people judge me. I feel like people will still do that now anyway. I know many women, including my GP, who delivers babies and sees women in pregnancy that continued to dye her hair while pregnant. So did my naturopath come to think of it? And I am in my second trimester now anyway, and if you want to avoid hair dye the worst time is first trimester of course, as for most things. So I shouldn’t feel guilty right?!

If there is a next time, I am certainly not going to do it by myself! I know Aveda’s colours are less toxic than most, and will go if I decide to again, or if after this washes out my hair looks like crap. All I want is my natural hair colour back! I had planned to get it coloured before getting pregnant back to my natural colour, but got pregnant a lot more quickly than I had thought we would. I’m not complaining, just explaining and trying to rationalize.

A friend of mine Emily who is also sensitive to gluten suggested the recipe book called Babycakes. I was really excited to get it. I did some testing with my naturopathic doctor in September that indicated I am very very sensitive to eggs, and very sensitive to gluten. I tried to trick myself for a while, but now that I’m off both I do feel better. I was devastated to find out that’s what I wasn’t supposed to be eating because more than anything I love baking!

I got the Babycakes recipe book a little while ago, but with a shift in priorities, tending to different people in my little family being unwell, I hadn’t gotten a chance to try some recipes.

I was craving carrot cake this past Tuesday. I caved and got a piece of carrot cake from Re-bar and ate about 1/3 of it. I duly paid for it later. I love carrot cake, I’m not one to brag about my baking, but most of the time when I make it from the epicurious recipe I found it turns out wonderfully (unless it’s in the middle of the summer, and the icing won’t set!).

I was very skeptical but found a recipe for carrot cake cupcakes in the Babycakes recipe book. I went to two local organic grocery stores to collect all the ingredients, which aren’t cheap by the way. I made the cupcakes this morning and honestly was shocked at how good they turned out to taste! They were moist and soft, and didn’t taste gritty at all! I would even go so far as saying they are as good or better than regular carrot cake!

I went and collected the final ingredients to make the vanilla frosting. In the book the baker Erin McKenna says she makes the vanilla frosting daily and actually sells frosting in shot glasses because people love it that much. My expectations were high. I followed the recipe to the letter… and it tastes like unsweetened gritty soy mush. It’s sooo gross! I am a little perplexed, but after looking online find that other people do agree with me. A shame because I do love love love frosting.

I have found some dairy free frosting that pink sugar cupcakery makes is wonderful. I have no idea what’s in it though… if anyone knows please please let me know, I would love to try to make it. I can’t eat their actual cupcakes because they are only dairy and egg free, they still have gluten in them. You can order gluten free from their bakery on special order, but it’s nothing like their regular cupcakes. They use rice flour in their gluten free mix, I can taste it. I find rice flour dry and gritty and try to avoid it in all of my baking. Too bad I need them to be gluten free because their cupcakes are to die for!

Well at least the cupcakes themselves were delicious and I would absolutely make them again. I just need to find a dairy free alternative for frosting!