So, I’d never wanted kids. I mean Not Ever. But three years ago after too much ‘Pablo Caballero’ in Spain, I’d drunkenly thought that getting pregnant sounded like a good idea – only to immediately decide against it the following morning. Too late! I then miscarried after eight weeks. Two months later, I ended up off work for three months with vertigo. Not like me. I was the person who went in to work even when sick as I was too worried about smudging my record!
It turned out that my body was trying to tell me something and when I actually confronted my miscarriage experience, it transpired that somewhere deep down, I actually wanted a baby. My husband almost fell off his chair when I uttered these words aloud! We were pregnant three months later.
Up until the vertigo, I had been drinking quite a lot (probably to keep my subconscious in check) which obviously influenced my diet in a negative way. When the vertigo arrived, I immediately returned to clean eating (Paleo) and no more alcohol – I was dizzy enough already! – as I was desperate to get back to ‘normal’.
When I became pregnant I knew immediately – that lovely female intuition. I was already eating Paleo and not drinking so I did not have to change a thing – except to take a break from my beloved homemade mayo… (raw egg – better safe than sorry)
What I realised instantly was that this amazing, growing, human inside of me wanted and needed pure nutrition in order to grow exponentially from a little spec to a fully formed baby in only nine months. It had no unhealthy psychological connections to food (or maybe I should call that addictive sugary stuff ‘non-food’) and would not benefit in any way from me wolfing down a takeaway and a big slice of cake with a fizzy drink mixed in for good measure.
I had few cravings, but when I did it was only at the start and was either for chips or crisps. Again, so unlike me, that I was convinced that they all knew in the office before I’d announced my news as I had my first ever ‘chippy’ one evening when working late! What I quickly discovered was that when I ate ‘unhealthy’ foods, I suffered from the normal pregnancy problems – heartburn, leg cramps, etc. The worst was after my baby shower where I ate A LOT of cake! My husband thought we were being burgled when I awoke screaming because of the cramping in my legs!!
Anyway, apart from those blips, I was no different to my pre pregnancy healthy days. I was doing Crossfit until I was 5 months pregnant – though admittedly getting slower each time – I was swimming a few times a week and I was doing yoga and meditation daily with a demanding Yoga Flow class every Sunday until a week before the birth (my Crossfit husband did it too and struggled).
I ate regularly and I ate well – i.e: good protein (grass fed & pastured meat, free range organic eggs & wild fish) , lots of fruit and veg (carbs) and healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil & olives, avocados, animal fats). I always felt well, except when I did the reintroduction of non-gluten grains after a Whole30 (see previous blog) and couldn’t get out of bed. It was as if the pregnancy highlighted everything. Nutrient poor foods meant that the baby wasn’t getting the right nutrients so unhappy baby = unhappy Mummy, hence uncomfortable symptoms like cramps. I got the message loud and clear.
Now, I only have one baby and I have nothing to compare it to, and I know everyone is different and all babies are different, but this was my experience and this is how it felt to me. When I ate foods full of nutrition, the growing baby’s primal needs were met. I also took supplements in the form of Folate (rather than folic acid – before and during pregnancy), Omega 3 and Vitamin D3 – all of which are recommended during pregnancy in my bible – It starts with Food. I did not put on any extra weight and was back in my pre maternity wardrobe in a few days. (except for my boobs which were massive whilst breastfeeding!)
This is me on the morning I was in labour. I had it pretty easy, eh?! (excuse the mess and poor photography skills!). See? Normal woman, normal figure. Healthy.
I gave birth to a fabulously healthy baby boy a few hours later who named himself Fletcher (another story!). I believe this was all due to a healthy diet, exercise, mindset (complimented with regular preparatory counselling and hypnobirthing classes) and meditation. I was prepared and ready and I have never looked back…