Paleo, and why I was fine with gaining 5lbs and a belly.

So it’s been a few months since I’ve posted. A little over seven months, actually. 

At this point, for most, it’s no secret what’s goin’ on up in here. 

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That’s my daughter.

In fact, I’m due to meet her in about 3 weeks.

The last time I blogged, I knew I was pregnant. I had just accepted a brand new job that was an hour and a half away from home, and was scared out of my mind that the grueling schedule and the stress of the drive would mean I’d lose the baby. I would never have accepted the job had I known that there was *any* chance I was pregnant. But, there I was, four weeks pregnant, freaking out, and desperate to keep the little bud that was growing in my belly. I took the freaky scary plunge, and quit the new job to stay home and tend to my health, my bod, and the little bean inside it.

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This was probably one of the best decisions my husband and I could’ve made. I didn’t have severe morning sickness, just nausea. I took up yoga, which has accompanied me throughout my pregnancy. I couldn’t eat Paleo anymore, because my nausea made meat of any kind seem gross, and anything greasy gave me the WORST heartburn in the world at first. It seemed like my diet mainly consisted of some form of cracker and ginger ale for about 4 weeks.

I was SO scared. Scared that something I did would cause something catastrophic to happen to the baby. I was scared to tell anyone that I was pregnant, because I didn’t want to have to explain later that there was no baby anymore. 

But amazingly, weeks passed, and eventually we passed that coveted 13-week mark. We were in the second trimester, and the baby was still there. We heard a heartbeat. We saw her little body squirming around. And things started to become more and more real.

After that point, I was eating more and more meat and veggies. I found myself craving more proteins than sugars, which was no surprise, as that’s what I was eating when I conceived, and that pattern really stuck until the beginning of the third trimester, with the exception of whole wheat toast with breakfast, and the love of whole wheat bread when eating turkey sandwiches! 

That stopped when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in week 28.

Honestly, with PCOS, this wasn’t much of a surprise. That, and anyone in the Paleo world knows how silly those tests are on pregnant women. If you’re not used to eating sugar in any high amount, and take a slurry of sugar water, your body is going to freak out. If I’d known better, I would’ve carb-loaded in preparation for the test, but I didn’t, and so naturally, I failed. Since insulin resistance has been an issue for me before I was pregnant, it was no real shock, even though it was upsetting.

So I’ve been eating partially Paleo, you could say, since week 28. I can tell you that my visit with a dietitian was an absolute joke. Her suggestion for my pregnancy diet included mainly whole grains, aspartame, margarine, and very little food with any legitimate substance to it. Honestly, what did I expect? But working out how to keep your sugars at a very specific level when you’ve never done it before while trying to stay full enough for your baby and not *too* full as to throw off your numbers to the point where your doctor is freaked out can be one of the most frustrating things in the world! So I ignored all of the ridiculous suggestions that the dietitian made, and ate a lot of meat. Meat and fat. Amazingly, the baby seemed to thrive on it, and continues to. Imagine that! 🙂

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This post was really written for two purposes. One, to prove that blogging still matters to me, but primarily to follow up on my “Cure for PCOS” posts. 

I believe that Paleo played a significant part in ending my infertility woes. 

After three years of trying to get pregnant, I was at the end of my rope. I was tired of the asinine suggestions to “take a vacation! That’s how you get pregnant!”, or of some doctors to try Weight Watchers. Obviously, just losing weight wasn’t working, and neither was taking luxurious vacations! It had to be something more, and it *was*. When I cut out the majority of the grains, ate more grass-fed and free-range meat, and included more vitamins and minerals via fresh produce, my body started responding. I started ovulating, which I hadn’t been in years. My skin started looking more beautiful, I had more energy, and apparently, I became fertile. 

It took approximately five months for my diet to change my life.

I had tried everything else out there. I’d tried exercise, losing weight, eating the eleventy billion whole wheat products out there that were supposed to make me healthy. I’d taken supplements and vitamins, drank more water, and prayed. 

None of those things made a difference. But Paleo did.

I will struggle with PCOS for the rest of my life, because as much as I love Paleo, I still love to bake. I love to have something sweet that’s not fruit sometimes. And even though Gestational Diabetes is a diagnosis that shouldn’t affect me after little lady pops, I will continue to monitor my diet and sugars, because I want to be around to take care of my daughter for a LONG time, and I want her to learn the best dietary habits as early as possible, in the hopes that she’ll never have to deal with PCOS herself.

 If you’re out there, looking for something that will change your life, and you’re a PCOS-sufferer, please give Paleo a try. And give it some time. It won’t happen overnight…. it certainly didn’t for me. But I struggled without success against infertility for years, and had just come to terms with the idea that I may never have children, when I decided to give Paleo a try as a last-ditch effort. 

I am SO glad I did.

Additionally, I will be 37 weeks pregnant on Monday, and my overall weight gain is five pounds. Since I was overweight to begin with, this is really a good number for *me*. But I am guessing that my overall personal health during my pregnancy has had to do with my moderate sugar/carb intake, and my love affair with prenatal yoga. I’m obviously not saying that anyone who gets pregnant and eats Paleo will only gain 5lbs, but I will say that it’s been a real blessing for me for the last 7 months. Oh, and my daughter is estimated to be 6.5 lbs, so she’s not missing anything nutritionally. Growing like a weed!

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This post has been like breaking the seal, I guess. I’ve wanted to write for so long, but I remember the hurt I felt every time I read an entry from a newly pregnant infertile, and wondering when it was going to be my turn, and I wanted to avoid putting that on anyone else. But eventually, I realized that we can’t protect ourselves from that hurt. There will always be an infertile hurting out there, whether the women around them are pregnant or not. My hurt did increase a bit when I saw a pregnancy announcement, but it was always there… a constant dull ache in my heart, and a desire to create life. I thank the universe every day for putting this crazy kid in my belly…. even when it can be hard, at 3am, when she’s kicking uncontrollably, and I’m exhausted. Ultimately, that beautiful life inside me is something for which I hoped, prayed, and wished ever since I was a child myself. 

There is nothing in this world like feeling that life inside. And I love her so much already.

So here goes. This blog will most likely be recycled from this point on to one that details my misadventures in parenting (yikes!). Things like baby-led weaning, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, poop, exhaustion, and attempts to eat somewhat healthy and exercise will be the topics most likely covered here now. 

Thanks for following along with my infertility war. The war was won, and Paleo was my weapon of choice.

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5 thoughts on “Paleo, and why I was fine with gaining 5lbs and a belly.

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂 It’s so true about the diet thing…every cell in our body is composed of fatty acids and cholesterol (and a few other things too!) so we really do thrive on a diet high in fats! It makes sense and we don’t need a degree in nutrition to figure this out or to have the credibility to inform others. I feel bad for people who whole-heartedly believe that they should be eating tons of grains and other processed crap. Paleo all the way!

    • Word, bird! Right now, my doctor is so concerned with very specific sugar metrics that a sweet potato or handful of berries can throw everything off, so I can’t be as dedicated as I’d like, but once little one pops, I’ll be back on Paleo as soon as possible!

  2. First let me say, welcome back! I’ve missed your posts! And second – CONGRATULATIONS! So, so happy to hear this amazing news. I loved reading this post and hearing that you are weeks away from meeting this perfect little person that you’ve been waiting so desperately to have. Sending you lots of prayers and well wishes!

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