I have so much I want to share about what DD is eating, how the BTD is benefitting her and her baby, how she is trying to resolve the annoyances of pregnancy, as well as her new exercise and sleep patterns. She is at the end of her first trimester. I got a text yesterday that said, "Just heard my favorite sound in the world - a healthy baby heartbeat."
I'm sure every prospective grandparent is flooded with joy when they hear those words, but I think I have just a little more cause for thanksgiving than most. I've been blogging on the BTD site since 2004. DD was in middle school back then. I wrote about how she liked my new eating plan because I no longer pushed her to drink milk or eat beef. We had never had a lot of junk food in our house, so she adapted easily and became a fan of this Blood Type lifestyle.
However, the summer before she was a senior in high school, she succumbed to an exercise/eating disorder. She was never anorexic - and often reminded me that she only missed one meal. She was never bulimic - she turns her head if someone vomits in a movie. But she exercised too much and lost way too much weight. She stopped having periods in November, 2007. Her thyroid began to malfunction in the fall of 2008 - both a direct result of low BMI. Her circulation was affected.
I blogged many times about DD during those painful days. She overcame the spiritual problems that led to this disorder, and began to gain weight. In the summer of 2010 she met SIL. One of the hardest things she has ever had to do was confess to him what she had done to her body, and tell him she wasn't sure if she could ever have children. They cried together and prayed together. He said that he loved HER, and that if she couldn't have children, they would find a way to adopt.
DD and SIL got engaged in the summer of 2011. In the fall of 2011 she began to have periods again. They gradually became more regular, but there was no way to know how much damage had been done to her reproductive system. They married in June, 2012.
Do you get just a glimpse of the joy and thankfulness we have for this precious baby growing in DD?
However, all of that joy did not make her first trimester any easier. One day we got a call that she was pregnant. The next day I got a text saying, "I am not actually sick-sick. But I am very queasy. I couldn't go to church last night. I felt horrible. This is the weirdest feeling. I am hungry and queasy at the same time. Although I know I need food, it is repulsive. This is going to be a long 2-3 months."
She found an obstetrician who accepted her medical insurance and scheduled an appointment. She told them about her morning sickness. The first question the nurse asked was if she was taking Vitamin B6. Right away I knew I liked this doctor. I believe B6 is very effective at relieving morning sickness symptoms.
However, DD is a working mother-to-be. She has a long commute in the car. She can't lie down and take a nap any time she feels queasy. B6 alone was not enough. The first thing the OB said to add was an over the counter sleeping medication called Unisom. DD was told to take 1/2 a dose once a day. The pills were so small and she felt so bad, that the first day she took a whole pill. The combination of B6 and Unisom worked. She felt good. But then she worried that she had taken a full dose. She worried about the baby on a sleep medication. She worried that she would fall asleep driving to work.
The OB's next suggestion was Zofran. It is a prescription medication that stops nausea and vomiting. It is given to pregnant women, cancer patients, and babies as young as one month. The dosage for pregnant women is one pill three times a day. DD found she could function with one pill every other day. She did not like any taking medication, and felt guilty about it part of the time. But in the long run, it let her eat and drink fluids. That, she decided, was better for BC than risking dehydration.
She quickly learned that one of the best things she could do was get carbs in her stomach at the first sign of queasiness. This has been a source of great amusement to me. DD, raised by a health food fanatic mother, never ate many desserts. During and after her eating disorder, she shunned desserts and breads, eating beneficial fruit, nuts, and vegetables instead.
Her first funny text said, "One of the ladies who knows of my plight brought me two oatmeal raisin cookies. Normally I would not eat them, but I tried a bite - and it tasted good. I'm going to eat one and save one." In less than five minutes I got another text, "Yummy, both in my tummy. My baby will love oatmeal!" A few minutes later my phone went off again, "Now I have my first craving - more oatmeal raisin cookies."
The next morning I got a text, "I am happily nibbling on my last piece of carrot wedding cake. There is something about baked cinnamon that appeals to us." A little later I read, "Goodness BC is hungry today. I go from not eating to wiping out a piece of carrot bread and moving on to cereal. My tummy actually hurts more when I'm not eating. Go figure. "
More pregnancy news next time. Let me close this long blog with one more expression of thanksgiving for health and humor and God's mercies in all things.
Yes, it's true. I'm going to be a grandmother. DD and SIL are expecting a baby. So, rather than blogging about turning 60, I get to blog about babies! I'm going to start by copying DD's blog announcing her pregnancy to her friends. In later days, I'll write about "Eat Right 4 your Baby" and the plethora of texts between DD and me about what and when to eat. After that…we'll see where this adventure in new life takes us.
Here's DD's Blog.
I already love the new life that IS growing inside of me! I am TEN weeks pregnant - and LOVING it.
Little Baby Cakes surprised us - not God - but us. Like most newly wedded couples, we were just "waiting..." I don't really know what that means... but we were. Waiting for my Heroic Husband to finish his Masters of Divinity... waiting for a full-time job, post graduation... waiting for a new car... waiting for the perfect house... But God had other plans. And now, we are waiting for mid-March. We are waiting to meet this beautiful, precious, miraculous, life growing inside me. Now, I cannot even imagine "waiting" for the "right timing" to have a baby. I cannot think of not having my tummy beginning to slowly pooch out. I cannot not think of going to sleep at night to the sound of HH singing softly to little BC. I love God's plan.
Some of the many questions I have been getting - almost daily
How are you feeling?
What are you craving?
Do you want a boy or a girl?
What will the baby's name be?
Here are my answers for all to read.
A. I did not realize I was pregnant until I was already SIX weeks along. So, until week six, I was fine. After week six, my pregnancy hormones began to rage.
I have two sweet acquaintances who have both dealt with infertility in the very recent past. Today, they both hold in their arms precious little babies. I have talked to both of them since I became pregnant. To hear them talk about their pregnancies - both pre and post - puts mine in perspective. Perhaps I do not feel like running a marathon all the time, but God has blessed me with this little life. Does it really matter if I don't feel 110%, 100% of the time? No. God has put this life inside of me to nurture, to cherish, to love.
So how am I feeling? Wonderful!
B. What am I eating - Meat (Turkey and Chicken). Fruit. Legumes. Peanut Butter. Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers. Yogurt. Cheese. And... Brownies...?
If you know me, you know I really do not like meat. As a child, my mother had to make me eat three bites of meat before I could get more green beans. Meat is something that I eat a little of because I know I need the nutrients. When I got pregnant, my hunger for meat increased. I will never forget the faces my Marvelous Mother and HH made when I asked for turkey bacon. It was classic. But it makes sense. I need PROTEIN. What is one of the best protein sources? Meat.
Fruit - I just love fruit. I am so happy BC does too. Same with Legumes and Peanut Butter. I just wish BC liked vegetables. Maybe they will taste better in the second trimester.
Ritz Crackers... I do not like Saltine crackers, but Ritz and Rye crackers hit the spot.
Yogurt, Cheese, and Brownies. One morning last week I was running late for work. I knew I needed something in my stomach before I attempted the 60 minute drive to work. But nothing sounded good - and I mean nothing at all. I tore through the kitchen looking for something that my body would accept. And then I saw it...my husband's birthday brownies. For some reason, they sounded good. I ate a few bites and went off to work. This was probably the first brownie that I have eaten in ten years. I asked MM what in the world was in brownies that my body was craving?! After some research, I think we figured it out - calcium and magnesium.
I tested this theory by eating some cream cheese on a piece of sprouted raisin bread. My stomach immediately felt better. This is weird to me. Usually, cheeses inflame my stomach, but right now, I need calcium and magnesium. For dinner, I had a provolone grilled cheese sandwich with ghee and sprouted bread. It was delicious.
C. Boy or Girl? We don't care. As long as it is a healthy baby, then whatever BC is, BC is. We actually are not going to find out the gender. We really do not care - and we want to be surprised on Delivery Day.
D. Name. We will not even tell our parents what our name choices are. We will say that the girl name has been picked out since we were dating, and the boy name since we were newlyweds. BC had a name before BC even existed.
On August 8 I blogged about increasing my husband's and my calcium and magnesium after a one year experiment with lower doses lead to a series of muscle spasms for both of us. I am pleased to report that we are both feeling much better.
His back pain is gone. From the day I increased his cal/mag he improved each day. Last night he told me there is a some residual stiffness, but he has resumed all normal activity. I can reach both of my arms over my head. My right arm feels a little weak, but that's probably because I have been babying it for months. I need to start trying to rebuild my muscles.
If you take hard calcium-only tablets from the grocery store, you should probably read the study that warns about too much calcium and Arteriosclerosis. If you balance your calcium and magnesium and take Vitamin K along with it, ignore the study. Just my opinion. All I am is a volunteer blogger.
I reread my birthday blog. If it sounded negative to you, I apologize. That's not the way I meant it. On milestone birthdays people tend to get introspective.
I've spent a lot of time researching health since I was 23. I've spent a lot of money buying healthy food and supplements. When you are young, your body will take a lot of neglect, but when you are old you pay the price for neglect. I really do hope that I reap the rewards of living healthy.
Now (drum roll) I am going to change the subject of this blog, and future blogs for several months. More detail next time, but I'll drop a hint and say that I bought two copies of Dr. D'Adamo's book "Eat Right for your Baby."
I turned 60 years old last week. Now is when most people start to fall apart. Now we will see how much difference 27 years of health food followed by 10 years of the Blood Type Diet will make.
Our Strong Son started the celebrating. He said that he had planned a birthday surprise. We met him in Austin, and he took us to the Whole Foods World Headquarters. It is the largest Whole Foods store I've ever been in. They have a buffet with several food lines. You get a plate or a bowl and select the items you want. You are charged for your meal by the pound. My bowl was full after going to two cold food lines. I told SS we would have come back in the winter and try the hot foods. Everything was delicious, and I felt good about the way it had been prepared.
On my birthday, I went tubing with friends. We paddled along the shore of a lake near my home, enjoying the warm sun, cold water, and beautiful views of the shore. When we got out of the water, we had a picnic. I brought ground beef and collard greens topped with curry powder. I had also made a walnut torte to share with my friends. All of them know that I am on the BTD, so they were not surprised by the unusual birthday cake.
The day after my birthday I had a photo shoot. The theme of the event was Tex Mex. The band played Texas Country music. The food was fajitas. I took pictures until most of the guests were eating. Then I put the camera away and served my plate. I passed on the tortillas, selected beef, chicken, rice, beans, and romaine lettuce. Ok - I did get some guacamole - which is BTD avoid for Type Os, but is allowed in a limited amount on the GTD. I confess I sometimes switch back and forth between the two food lists when avocado and a few other foods are involved.
Another day my Honorable Husband took me out for my favorite meal - prime rib. I had a salad and a sweet potato as my sides. Every bite was delicious.
My Christian World View tells me that with sin comes physical deterioration and death. I have no desire to live forever on this earth. However I do want the time I have here to be productive and pain free. That's why I eat right and exercise.
Right now I would say that I'm in better health than most people my age. For that, I am thankful to both God and the BTD.
I posted two blogs about calcium in 2012. They were both related to a study that linked calcium supplements to calcium buildup in arteries. At first I discounted the study. As I kept reading more and more articles warning about taking too much calcium. I decided to experiment.
After 13 months, the experiment is over. I need calcium and magnesium supplementation. So does my Honorable Husband. Unless the study was done with people taking hard pressed calcium tablets alone without magnesium -- in my opinion -- the study is bogus.
When I first lowered our cal/mag supplementation, I went through a period of nighttime cramps and cricks. However, I adjusted to the new levels of calcium and magnesium. At first there was a funny taste in my mouth, but it went away. It was nice to cut down the number of pills I swallowed every morning, and nice to save the money. Life went on. I forgot that I was experimenting.
I didn't think about the experiment the first time HH's shoulder muscle knotted up. He said he had slept funny. Our Physical Therapist Strong Son gave him a stretching exercise that took the pain away.
I didn't think about it when HH's shoulder muscle knotted up a second time with even worse pain. The stretching exercise took care of it again, and HH decided to add stretching that muscle to his daily routine.
I didn't think about it when I got the pain in my right arm that I feared was a rotator cuff injury. SS examined me, said my rotator cuff was fine and gave me a stretch for a strained nerve. The stretch has helped. I have very little pain, but I have not regained full range of motion.
I didn't think about it on vacation when I was carrying too many water bottles and felt a muscle pull in my right hip. The pain didn't last long, but I'm aware that two months later, there is still a dull sensation in my upper right leg.
I didn't even think about it two weeks ago when HH, who had back surgery in 1985, began to have back pain. Over a period of several days it grew from being annoying to being debilitating. He was terrified that he had ruptured another disk. He could not put on his own shoes and socks.
We drove to see SS, who after a thorough exam told him it was muscular rather than nerve pain. SS gave his Dad some exercises, and told us to go to the doctor to get anti inflammatories and muscle relaxers. The doctor did her own exam, and concurred with SS's conclusions. She identified two specific muscles in his back that were in hard knots. She increased his ibuprofen and said to use a heating pad.
Gradually HH got better. Then yesterday, for no apparent reason, the muscles knotted up again. He did not lift anything; he did not twist; he had mostly been at bed rest. Frankly, we were both scared. Living with this kind of pain is not what we expected out of retirement.
I was off on a photo shoot, when I got a text asking how soon I could come home. He felt terrible. I finished up my work, and as I drove home I prayed. As I prayed I remembered all I had read for 35 years about calcium/magnesium, and how essential it was for muscles. I remembered the study that discouraged taking calcium supplements. I remembered my experiment.
HH and I immediately upped our calcium. My goal is to return to our pre-study dosage, but right now we're both taking a little more than that. Again I have a funny taste in my mouth. That seems to happen whether I increase or decrease my dosage. I am optimistic that we will return to our previous level of wellbeing. We will continue to take Vitamin K. That seems to be one way to prevent calcium from building up in soft tissues.
If my two previous blogs influenced you to cut back on your cal/mag intake, take a moment and think about how your muscles and nerves have functioned in the past year. Be more aware of changes in your body than I was.
If you have never taken a cal/mag supplement, and you struggle with muscle pain, all I can say is cal/mag worked for my family for years. I regret letting that study influence me.
These are links to my original two blogs.