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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, Motherisk.org 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 www.motherisk.org on hair dye in pregnancy:

http://www.motherisk.org/prof/updatesDetail.jsp?content_id=890

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.

I have been really waffling ever since my first baby was a year old on when to get pregnant again. I am not currently pregnant… but lately have wanted to be. I feel like I am hearing of more and more people expecting… I know of 5 people expecting between January and March in 2010. Ever new person just adds to my itch on wanting another. But I can’t decide when… start trying now or in 6 months from now?

I went through a tough postpartum stage with my first. Some close friends don’t even really know about it because I really didn’t want to talk to many people about it.

My son is at an age that is loves having other little ones around (he is a 1.5 years). He gets super excited to go to “school” (group daycare) in the mornings.

My hubby is dead against having a baby between September and December. So that leaves July and August… if we get pregnant now there is a chance we could have a July or August baby. Otherwise we’d have to wait to try until at least April, as he wants to avoid having a December baby.

Doing my research I’ve found that parents will advocate for whatever they have in their family… be it siblings close or further apart.

Positives for waiting until the spring to get pregnant for me are:

  • I just joined a new swim club, get up to speed quicker. Pregnant I wouldn’t be able to push myself.
  • Get allergy shots for 6 months before having next child.
  • Get through this flu season and able to get all my flu shots (I’m considered in high risk section because of my allergies and asthma make me more susceptible to illnesses).
  • Get my jewelry business up and running… not sure if I could do it pregnant or not… but my initial research tells me with the right things (proper ventilation, masks, gloves etc.) it should not be a problem.
  • Gives me a few more months for my hormones to level out, get over PPD,  before getting pregnant again.

Positives for getting pregnant now:

  • Cause I want to be pregnant, lol!
  • I think my son would really benefit from a playmate, he loves company so much.
  • Get it over and done with… we are in that stage now anyway. Up at night anyway, in bottle and diapers anyway.

Children will be either 2 years and 3 or 4 months apart… or 2 years and 9 months + years apart, will that 6 months make a difference?!

What do you think? Please leave a comment or email me with a comment.

…a little earlier than planned. Our tour of the maternity unit was first meant to be with our prenatal class on March 3rd.

This past Monday night I came down with a very violent version of what they think was the stomach flu. I would like to blame what I ate that night and the restaurant I ate at but both my husband and I shared off the same plate for dinner, and he was fine. I wasn’t feeling well when I went to bed, but that is not completely unusual in pregnancy, as I often get heartburn when I lie down.

Warning: the rest of the details can be a little gross, so suggest you don’t read it if you are a little squeamish.

I started to throw up around 10:30 pm or so, along with other end too. By 3:00AM I was still throwing up and there was nothing left to purge. I started to notice I was throwing up blood (along with bile and other things that aren’t meant to come up), and it was just getting worse and more frequent and I got super worried. My husband thought I was overreacting, which I have been known to do, and that my stomach was just a little irritated and that we should just stay home and see someone in the morning if things were the same. I was not convinced I wanted to do that so I called the BC Nurses Line and the nurse suggested that I go to emergency, so we did. My husband dropped me at the front doors of emergency and I went in to register while he parked the car.

I spoke to the triage nurse. I told him what I was experiencing, I did mention that I had stomach and intestinal cramping. He said that sometimes it is hard to distinguish between that and contractions and said that anyone over 20 weeks pregnant they automatically send upstairs to the labour and delivery/maternity unit. This surprised me a little.

When we got upstairs it was quiet and I spoke to the nurse on duty who asked me if I had called my Midwife or Doctor. I told her no because I didn’t think it was pregnancy related. She said it is all pregnancy related, I told her the name of my midwife. She got me set up in a room, and called my midwife and told us she was on her way. She hooked my tummy up to the monitor to listen to baby. Baby sounded fine and actually got more active as soon as there was straps across my belly – don’t think he likes being monitored, he kicks during our regular appointment when my midwife listens for his heartbeat too.

My midwife arrived in what seemed to be record time (she must live close by), I felt bad for getting her out of bed! Another nurse came in with an IV bag, as they wanted to give me some fluids. After several tries, third time lucky (ouch!! bruises to show for it), they got the IV in and gave me some Gravol in my IV to make things stop and also some fluids because I had lost so much. She let me sleep for about 2 hours and we went home around 6am. I was still ill at that point, but it was slowing down. Once we got home I think I stopped throwing up by about 10am.

I was not able to eat anything that day, or much the day after. I tried to eat last night but my stomach is still super noisy and trying to simple things today too. I spoke to my midwife again today and she said it can take a little while to re-establish the proper Flora in your system, and that taking Acidophilus or plain yogurt with active cultures can sometimes help (she recommended plain, fruit added yogurt can have too many sugars she said). I am pretty tired and a little frustrated at all my ailments, I feel I am falling apart. I am also concerned that since I cannot eat much I am depriving baby of proper nutrients. So far my husband has not gotten it and I sure hope everyone else I’ve been in contact with doesn’t get it either! I don’t ever remember being that ill. Not fun and I do not wish it on anyone!

On the upside the room that we were in was a labour and delivery room. So I guess I will be nice and comfortable with the space when we have to go for the birth. Also knowing how I was taken care of makes me feel at ease too. I only ever see my midwife at our appointments and never in ‘action’ before. Not that I was ever doubting her abilities, she has been wonderful, just makes me more relaxed and calm to know I was taken care of.

The benefits of exercise are insurmountable. It can help improve your mental AND physical health. I understand people who do not exercise because they are ill, or have some physical ailment, chronic pain, or the doctor told them not to. But what about the countless others who there is nothing wrong with, who are too busy or too lazy to get their body moving. I find it incredibly frustrating and upsetting to hear of people like this. They have a body that is free of ailments, fully able to move, but they do not.

I have had back pain for the past 1.5 – 2 years of my life. Before I hurt my back a couple years ago, I was exercised a lot. Perhaps too much. I was just starting to train for a triathlon when I hurt myself in the gym doing a squat. Initially I did not stop exercising, I just kept on going. In the summer I saw with a physiatrist in California, who told me to lay off the exercise for a while. When we got back to Canada my chiropractor said I would be able to start exercising soon, but to just stay where I was (not doing a heck of a lot) until we had sorted myself out. Which I am still trying to do, but remain hopeful that I can get out of this cycle.

People who have no physical ailments have no idea how lucky they are, and most might not realize it until something does happen that they cannot. Hopefully that’s not you.

… feels like it is never-ending!

I have caught quite a lot of colds this year so far. Just after new years I came down with a sinus infection, that Lloyd had had 2 weeks earlier, and my Mom had over Christmas, I did not escape. While I was interviewing for my current job I actually had to reschedule the interview because I was sick. When I started working I was had pretty much recovered from my sinus infection.

About 3 weeks ago, I caught the dreaded flu. Oh it was nasty. Body aches and pains, fever for 3 days, in bed for 5. I was off work for 3 days. I went to work last week with a dry nasty cough, but by the end of the week was feeling a lot better.

My husband seemed to escape my fate. He had a flu shot, I had a cold at the time so could not get one. He got sick, but never got the fever and was only out for a day or two with a runny nose.

I started feeling crummy again at the beginning of this week. Chest congestion again, headaches, fever. I went to the Doctor yesterday and he said I have Bronchitis. yik! He said it is not uncommon to be recovering from a virus like the flu, then catch a bacterial infection because your body has been weakened. So back in bed I go. It has been another 2 days off work, and not sure if I am going to make it in tomorrow. I only get 6 sick day a year at 100%, the rest are at 75% pay,if I am off tomorrow I will have used them all up 😦
I have also had a couple of colds when I was going to school in the fall. This has been my worst cold/flu season in many years… since my first year of University I think. Also has been my first time back in Victoria for an extended period of time. The only other thing I can attribute Victoria to is my bad allergies. I did hear somewhere once (perhaps in my allergy specialists office, that Victoria is the allergy capital of Canada, I wonder if that is true? sure feels like it for me).

After first year University I went on allergy shots. The shots are very small doses of what I am actually allergic to, slowly building up my immunity to the allergen. Because I have a wide variety of allergies, I get two separate shots. When I went on the shots I noticed that I was not getting as sick as often, or as severe. I am told the theory is when I am battling my allergies and a virus or a bacteria comes along, I cannot easily battle it because my immune system is already taxed by my allergies. When I am on shots, my tolerance to my allergies is higher, so when a virus or bacteria comes along I am not battling allergies, and more easily able to fight the virus/bacteria.

I have not had shots since I moved in Vancouver about 2 years ago, and things have been getting progressively worse. I was going to wait until I was covered by my medical plan in August to get more serum, but I think we might have to eat the cost (approx. $300), and just get them now. Because the shots are actually giving me the allergen, they have to be administered by a nurse and a doctor has to be on site. I then have to sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes to make sure I am not over reacting to the shot (not going into anaphylactic shock etc.). Until I get to my maintenance dose I am supposed to get my shots twice a week. Fun fun, but at the moment I think it beats the alternative.