Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Pregnancy Must Haves- Part 2

With movies, it's generally understood that the sequel is never as good as the first. I wrote part one when I wasn't even pregnant any more and it had been almost a year since I gave birth! I figure it's relevant right now, and I'm thinking about the things I "must have" all the time. And this isn't a movie, so hopefully, part two will be even better than the first!

Lemon water- I had been getting awful swelling in my feet starting from the time I woke up in the morning. Many times, by the end of the day, my feet would resemble memory foam! Not any more! I've been chugging lemon water, and I haven't had nearly the problem I was having. Apparently lemons are a great liver cleanser, and help your body process excess fluid and toxins.

***You must pick your lemons just right though. I had received a big bag of lemons from someone's yard, and I was using a fourth of a lemon squeezed into each glass of water (sweetened with a bit of stevia to cut down on the sourness- almost like lemonade!) and that's when I started getting the best results. Well, I ran out of lemons, and so my husband went out for some and brought home a mesh bag full of smaller lemons from Wal-Mart, and when I used them, the swelling returned! (Those lemons barely had any seeds, by the way). I also read something online that said an indication of a "good lemon" was a little 3-5 point star shape on the base of the stem. Well, I got new lemons after I ran out of the "dud lemons" and several of them have the little star shape. Guess what? Swelling is gone again. Hmm.

Epsom Salt Baths- This one also started because of the swelling, but it's good for so much more! My midwife advised me to use two cups of Epsom salt in a bath and soak for at least 45 minutes for optimum results. Not only did it help reduce the swelling in my feet, but it also helps me sleep as well as reducing pain and inflammation in my body! Check out this list of more great benefits.

Rice Sock- This is another one that's great for easing aches and pains pretty much anywhere in the body. Fill a sock (the bigger the better) with about 1-2 cups of uncooked rice and tie a knot on the end (you can sew it too, if you're the crafty sort- or even make a small pillow- but a sock definitely does the trick in a pinch). Stick it in the microwave for 45 seconds, then remove it and shake the rice around and put it back in for another 30 seconds or so. When I was having sinus trouble, I would place it over my face for relief. If you have a headache, you can even sprinkle a bit of lavender oil on it for additional soothing (that helps you sleep too). I would also put it on my neck to relieve tension, or even on my lower back to reduce the achy-ness.

Belly Band- I started using one when I started growing out of my pants! It helped me stay in my regular size jeans as long as I could, since I could wear them unbuttoned under the belly band. Then I moved up to my larger size pants, and it helped those stay up too. (Until I outgrew those!) Now that I've finally given in to wearing maternity pants, it gives me a little more "security" since they're a little looser in some areas. I have a feeling that I'll be using this item for a while after I give birth as I transition back to my regular size. (I wish I would've known about this with my first two pregnancies).

Friends, what has helped you get through the uncomfortable or awkward times in pregnancy? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pregnancy Update- 32 Weeks

I guess I should do an update on my pregnancy. It's only been since 20 weeks along that I've shared specifically about it! Yikes!

Well, things are coming along pretty nicely! I'm just getting bigger, and bigger, and...well, you get the idea. I'm really shocked at how much bigger I am with this pregnancy. Almost none of my old maternity clothes are fitting any more. And I had purchased a few pieces that I thought would last through the pregnancy, only to basically outgrow them a month later. Sheesh.

I have been measuring ahead by three weeks pretty consistently for the past few appointments. I am now going every two weeks! In some ways, this has definitely flown by.

On my mind:

  • Getting ready for the birth. Every few weeks, I have this sobering thought that flashes across my mind "the baby has to come out!" It's still so surreal, even though I've already done it twice. I don't know if you can ever get used to the idea of a person coming out of your body!
  • Getting my "nest" ready. I began to do some early nesting last week, but this week, I have been more tired. I need to figure out where we are going to keep the new baby's things, and I want to do some reorganizing in my bedroom and the children's room. I'd also like to prep some meals ahead so that I don't have much work to do at dinner time, and so we don't have to waste a a lot of money to eat out a bunch in the early weeks.
  • Birthing at home. This is so exciting for me! I just love the fact that I don't have to go anywhere to have my baby. The other children can be nearby, I don't have to arrange for other care for them (Grammy will be on standby in case the birth happens during the day, and they become too much of a distraction- but hopefully Grammy will be able to be here to share in the excitement). Also, I don't have to eat hospital food, or wait for their scheduled meal times (I can even eat during labor if I want- yay!)
  • The birthing at home thing nearly didn't happen. At my 28 week appointment, I did the glucose tolerance test, and I failed! I couldn't believe it! I even had what I feel is a better test for pregnant women- that doesn't include the Glucola drink. My midwife tested my blood an hour after a "normal" meal and my glucose levels were sky high. I opted to have the three hour test (my other option was to test my blood sugar at home for a period of time). I really dreaded doing it, but it wasn't as bad as I remember from my first pregnancy. Thankfully, I passed. If I hadn't passed (meaning I would have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes), I would've been "risked out" of a home birth, and referred to an obstetrician along with a nutritionist. There would have been a chance to return to prenatal care (and ultimately home birth) with my midwife if everything was able to be controlled easily with diet, but I'm really glad I don't have to go that route!
  • The older two children are really excited. I'm not sure if they imagine that I'm permanently pregnant or what, I try to communicate that the baby will be coming fairly soon, but who knows what that means to them! They do fly-by belly rubbings throughout the day, and my daughter, a couple times, when I've told her the baby was kicking at her in response, began to try to kick back at my belly! (I stopped her before she was able to, of course!) They have also started referring to the baby by the boy name that we picked out, which makes me a tad nervous since we opted to keep the gender a mystery until birth (I don't really know how they picked up on the name, since I don't refer to baby by name). Anyway, I am fairly convinced that this little kicker is a boy, but only time will tell!
  • Discomforts. I find it hard to be on my feet for very long. Also, I'm starting to notice that I'm waking up more frequently during the night. For a couple nights, it was basically every 1-2 hours. I really think it's God's way of getting me ready to accommodate the needs of a newborn. And then when I can sleep otherwise, I can't stay in bed because I'm uncomfortable. And my bed is generally very comfy. I'm happy to report that even though I was having pretty major pubic joint pain (Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction), chiropractic seems to have really helped, and I've only had two visits. The first visit, after my adjustment, it was completely gone! It has returned somewhat, but nowhere near what it was before.
  • (More discomforts!) Swelling. Ugh. My feet have been swollen off and on for probably more than six weeks. Some weeks are better than others- like I can go for three or four days at a time with virtually no swelling, and then for some reason or another, the next day- more swelling. I've started drinking lemon water almost exclusively to combat this. I really think the lemon water helps, but it's hard to say why it's so off and on.

Anyway, about 5-8 weeks to go! I suspect I'll go about 39 weeks, but only God knows when this little one will be ready. My first baby was born at 40 weeks, 1 day; and my second was born at 39 weeks and 4 days. We shall see!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012- Welcome New Friends!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Welcome to Happy Christian Home! I am Becky, and this blog is where I (attempt to!) write about all things pertaining to life in the Christian home. Of course, some of the things I write about happen in any home, but my highest priority with this blog is to keep Christ at the center of it all.

In case that sounds too serious, I must warn you, I love to joke around, sometimes subtly weaving humor into my writing. Sometimes a little too subtle (as in: "is she serious?"). I love telling funny stories about my children, life in ministry, and marriage.

My husband and I have been married for going on six years. We have two children- a son, almost 5 years old and a 2 ½ year old daughter and another one on the way this June. My husband is a minister (not the minister) but our church's worship leader, in addition to working close to 60 hours a week. He's a really great guy. At least he was last time I saw him. Hee hee. (Kidding!) In this busy lifestyle (well for him anyway!) we must be intentional about getting in a weekly date night.

Speaking of ministry, I share about my experiences in children's ministry from time to time, and like to share ideas I find and other resources.

I'm kind of a "crunchy mom". I try to eat all natural (though that sort of went out the window during this pregnancy) and make most of our food from scratch. I like to use natural things around the house too! I'm also planning a home birth with this new baby. We've dabbled in cloth diapering, and plan to do so with the new one. I'm all about breast feeding, and have done extended breast feeding with both my children (both past the age of two). A lot of my quest to achieve health is driven by our family's experience with allergies.

I plan to start "officially" homeschooling my soon-to-be five year old this fall (that should provide plenty of blog banter with two younger siblings around- hopefully, I'll still have time to tell you about it!). I try to be intentional about providing educational opportunities for my children even from a young age, and feel that little ones can learn a whole lot more than we give them credit for (though I don't do so in a "pushy" kind of way).

I'm still finding my way in this stay at home mom/homemaker role, even though I've been at it for over three years now. I find that it's always changing, and I'm always looking for new ways to adapt! I certainly don't pretend to be any kind of authority on how to keep it all together ('cause, trust me, I don't!) but I like to let my readers know when I find something that works for me.

I feel that my blog is most "successful" when I hear from God and share my experiences in the Word and this life of faith to encourage and equip other wives and moms. You might've noticed the phrase "Biblical Encouragement" in my blog header. I think that being grounded in the Word is the most important thing that a woman, wife or mother (or anyone) can choose to be, all the rest is the "other great stuff" that I hope you will enjoy and relate to!

Also? If you couldn't tell, I can be pretty verbose. And I like to use parentheses. A lot. So, if you like to read a lot of words, stick around!

So, that's me. Pretty much. If you like what you see so far, I invite you to follow me on Facebook or subscribe by email, and I look forward to getting to know you, too!