A Letter to my Unborn Daughter

Dear Emilia,

People say that when you arrive in this world, I will forget about the pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I call bullshit. Carrying you around the past thirty-something weeks had me experience a wide variety of unforgettable emotions. I tell the “forgetters,” I’m a writer, so I always remember.

We “planned” for your arrival after mommy had the realization at thirty years old that she wasn’t getting any younger. She kept saying to Daddy, “We need to shit or get off the pot. Either we try to have a child or we don’t.” So, we tried, and we succeeded.

We both secretly wanted a boy. When we found out we were having a girl, Daddy was very excited and Mommy was a little sad. Being a woman, Emilia, I know the hardships and heartache you will endure – between having to break glass ceilings and the #MeToo hashtag, it worries me raising a girl in today’s society. I don’t care about carrying on the Gould name, I care about the gender and social injustices you may, and likely will, have to face. It is still a man’s world, and whoever disagrees is ignorant and sadly misinformed.

I digress.

We're Expecting!

It’s a girl!

I found out I was pregnant with you before I missed my period. I walk the dogs every day. I just got done racing my first half marathon with Nana Anna. One autumn morning, I was walking Bailey and Gino, and my FitBit said my heart rate was 150 beats per minute. I was panting. I was exhausted. I had a feeling you had entered my body.

The next day, Lauren, my best friend, called and told me she was pregnant. I said, “I think I am too.” So I went to the gym with Daddy, ran a few miles on the treadmill, went to eat my last spicy tuna roll at the Japanese restaurant, and purchased 3 pregnancy tests.

The results: Positive. Positive. Positive.

I walked out of the bathroom and handed them to Daddy. We are having a baby. I was not even 4 weeks pregnant.

I remember thinking to myself, as I was sipping my coffee standing at the kitchen counter, “I am going to be so healthy throughout this pregnancy. I am going to sign up for prenatal yoga and continue to drink my green drinks. I am going to look super adorable in maternity clothes and we are going to bond so nicely these next nine months.”

What a false reality…

Danielle, Realm of Vibes blogger, pregnant

Emilia – I didn’t do one prenatal exercise. I haven’t exactly been cute, either.

The pregnancy started by you throwing me into hypothyroidism and having to go on medication. Then they told me I had low PAPP-A, and that I would need to be closely monitored throughout the pregnancy. Search for low PAPP-A on the Internet, and let me know what you think when you see the words “fetal demise.” Unforgettable.

I had nausea and vomiting from Week 5 to Week 17. I would vomit from the moment my eyes opened, until the time I went to bed. I even spent a night sleeping on the bathroom floor. Daddy will never forget when he got home from working a very long shift, and I needed Tylenol and Gatorade. My head was pounding and the vomit was uncontrollable. Exhausted, he drove to the 24 hour CVS and got me what I needed. He will do anything for us. Daddy is a very good protector and provider. He loves you very much.

I had blood pressure issues, causing me to be labeled “high risk” from Week 5.

The phlebotomists at LabCorp know me by name. I spent more time there for diagnostic testing, most of which left doctors puzzled and me wondering where I went wrong. I fought with insurance for genetic testing. I wrote appeal letters, telling them why I needed tests, and I won. I’ve been anemic for most of the pregnancy and no amount of supplemental iron and eating iron-rich foods has helped. My body, for whatever reason, doesn’t care to be pregnant. You, however, were healthy and happy.

From Week 16 on, you liked putting your buttocks under my right ribs, to the point that they hurt to the touch and the only way to get any reprieve was to jump in the shower, take the handheld showerhead and blast you out. Daddy and I would get such pleasure seeing you squirm out of my ribcage. Within an hour, you would be nestled right back under there, causing me breathing difficulty and great discomfort. People would ask me how I am doing, and I would reply, “Well, I have an ass in my ribs.” They would look at me funny, but I silently chuckled, knowing that you were comfortable there and that being a mom would be filled with unpleasant sacrifices.

At 29 weeks, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. No one has diabetes in my family, Emilia, so you could only imagine my disgust, and surprise. I sat with dieticians and nurses week after week, trying to figure out meal plans and healthy snacks for work. I prick my finger four times a day. I went on medication because my fasting glucose was too high. None of the lancets and test strips are covered by insurance, either, adding to the frustration every time I handed my credit card over to the cashier. “I didn’t ask for this” I would think to myself.

I go to the hospital weekly for extra ultrasounds and non-stress tests. The ultrasounds I love, because I have seen you grow from a little blob to a baby. You truly are our miracle. The non-stress tests are stressful because you are too active of a baby, you cause your heart rate to increase so much that they worry about you. You have kicked nurses and doctors so violently, they say, “She is very strong.” Yes, she is, and so am I. She gets her strength from me.

I have cankles. Cankles are not cute. My feet and ankles are three times the size and nothing is helping reduce the edema. I feel like my joints are going to snap in two with each step. No amount of hydration (like 133 ounces of water) helps.

Pair my cankles with carpal tunnel syndrome. I wake up throughout the night with numbness and tingling in both wrists, which carries over into the morning. My grip strength has dramatically decreased and even holding a coffee cup is difficult.

I thought I was leaking amniotic fluid. I keep having contractions. I got my first bag of IV fluid because they told me I was dehydrated. Every time I go to the hospital or doctor, it is always something, Emilia. I just try to think of the end result. I try to think of you being here with us as a healthy, happy, intelligent, beautiful girl.

I developed the PUPPPs rash all over my belly, hands, knees, back, and feet. Only 1% of pregnancies see this type of rash and mine is classified as “severe.” The only way to get rid of it – deliver you. I have never been in so much agony in my entire life. I would sit and do calamine lotion paraffin baths at the table, hoping for a millisecond if relief. No cigar. I suffered.

Mommy and Daddy took a childbirth preparation class and a breastfeeding class. I hope that labor and delivery go smoothly. The birth plan is for you to enter this world happily and healthily. Nothing else matters. I hope you latch well, and I am able to breastfeed you. If not, I remind myself that I am a “formula kid,” and turned out just fine.

That is the pregnancy, in a nutshell. I will never forget how it felt. I will never forget the belly waves, the happiness, and the heartache. The worries, fears, in addition to the comfort of always having you with me. As soon as I opened my eyes in the morning, you would kick me to let me know that you knew I was awake. We are connected.

Danielle, Realm of Vibes blogger, pregnant

I wish for you what I wish for everyone – health and happiness. Our families and I have spent countless hours preparing your nursery and getting ready for your arrival. I pray each day that you come to me easily and effortlessly. I pray that I can meet all your wants and needs and be the best Mom. You will always be loved and supported.

I often ask myself questions about your personality: Will you have Daddy’s looks, but Mommy’s brains? Will you love Bailey and Gino as much as I do? Will you aspire to be a police officer like Daddy and Aunt Sasha or work in healthcare like Mommy, Nana, Grandma? (Better yet, Em, go into finance – actually make some money and teach Mommy where to invest hers.) Will you like the city like Aunt Dominique and Uncle Todd? Will both Grandpa and Pop take you fishing on the weekend? The million dollar question: Will you love the Mets like Mommy or Yankees like Daddy?

My husband, Jason & I at the NYM game

My job as your Mom is to guide you. I am here to facilitate your growth and learning. You have taken over my mind and body for the past 9 months and you are almost here. Initially, you will depend on me and Daddy for everything, but as time goes on, you will foster your own independence. It won’t be easy, but we will let you stumble. We will let you fall. You will learn to pick yourself back up and keep going. Life isn’t easy. If you throw in the towel at every mistake and misfortune, life will be a big disappointment.

I try to keep a positive attitude. When worries overcome me, I say, “I’m giving this to God.” I’m not a super religious person, Emilia, but sometimes, you have to believe in a power greater than yourself. I envision myself taking my worries, putting them in a ball, and giving them to God. Here. Take this. You do what you see and feel is necessary. I trust Him to help us, now, and always.

Life will be different when you arrive. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms. Daddy and I are so excited to be parents. We know you will complete us.

I love you,

Mommy Danielle

Danielle’s edit: Emilia graced us with her presence June 29, 2018. She is a happy and healthy little girl. The PUPPS rash went away a few days after delivery and I am feeling rather forgetful of my whole pregnancy, labor, and delivery saga. (Not!)

A Letter to my Unborn Daughter

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doTERRA Products During Pregnancy

Disclaimer: This post is MY personal experience and not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one, so make sure you seek professional medical advice before using any products or supplements, pregnant or not. Post contains affiliate and referral links. Thanks for supporting my blog. 

Secret’s Out. I’m pregnant with my first child. I’ve come to realize in the 23 weeks I’ve been carrying this cherub that anything negative that I say about pregnancy will be followed by bulging eyeballs and a comment like, “It’ll all be worth it.” I hope so!

I give props to the woman who had an uncomplicated, happy pregnancy. I suffered from all day sickness from Week 5, Day 1 to Week 17, Day 5. Without the help of my husband, an informative, helpful holistic book, and my doTERRA products, I’m not sure if I would have made it through the storm. But I did, and I’m here to help you!

Let’s begin with what products have helped me:

Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies by Stephanie Fritz

Note: This is not a doTERRA product or sold by doTERRA. I can’t begin to tell you how helpful this book is throughout your pregnancy. Stephanie is a midwife who uses essential oils for anything you might (well, hopefully not) endure. She helped guide my holistic pregnancy plan, below.

Ginger and Peppermint Essential Oils

Another disclaimer: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I had food aversion pretty early on in my pregnancy. I was so nauseous and would vomit for hours during the night. I would be heaving so hard my head would start to pound. I thanked God many times that my bathroom is only 5 steps away from my bed and that my husband was on cue for bringing me my water glass.

doTERRA’s Ginger and Peppermint essential oils are lifesavers for me. I would add one drop of Ginger to a cup of hot water and sip on it throughout the day. Ginger may help with nausea, soothe digestion and may help to reduce gas, bloating, or cramping.* Ginger seemed to calm my stomach when nothing else worked.

Ginger

Peppermint also can be great for digestion and relief from stomach upset. Whenever my head would start to hurt, I would inhale peppermint (and diffuse it in my Petal diffuser), and apply with Fractionated Coconut Oil to the back of my neck. If I needed something refreshing, I would add one drop to a glass of ice water. Peppermint was everywhere I was – my nightstand, my bag, my car…it quickly became my go-to oil.

Peppermint

PB Assist+ & DigestZen Terrazyme 

Gut health is super important, especially when your little cherub is causing you to eat things you don’t normally ingest. Before I was pregnant, I’d try to adhere to the Whole 30 principles (lean meat and fish, vegetables and fruits). My body reacts poorly to dairy, gluten, and soy. Throughout my 13 weeks of hell, I was meat averse and didn’t care for vegetables. So what was I eating? Carbs and dairy. Bread, bagel with cream cheese, pizza, rice and pasta with butter. Some days, it was all I could keep down.

Terrazyme and PB Assist+

PB Assist+ is a pro and pre-biotic, offering 6 billion CFUs of active probiotic cultures and soluble pre-biotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that encourage healthy bacterial growth within your body. It intends to support healthy digestive and immune system function. The pills are like no other – you can actually see through the Veggie Cap at a green and clear substance, looking similar to a gelatinous oil. I’m obsessed with my PB Assist+, and have taken them religiously for months. I would take 1 a day, after a meal.

DigestZen Terrazyme are digestive enzymes that help to support a healthy digestion of enzyme deficient, processed foods.* Unfortunately, I was eating things that weren’t the healthiest choices for my dietary intolerances. I would take 1-3 pills a day, depending on how much and what I was eating. DigestZen Terrazyme helps with food tolerance, and I strongly recommend these to anyone needing digestive help.

DigestZen TerraZyme by doTERRA

Isn’t my vitamin holder adorable?

These are my top product recommendations that I have used consistently during the first (and into the second) trimester. I always use Lavender to sleep, Melaleuca for my face wipes, and On Guard when I need immune support. I take the Lifelong Vitality Pack as my prenatal vitamin. I can’t reiterate enough how reading Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies by Stephanie Fritz helped me to safely integrate essential oils and products into my safe, effective pregnancy.

Where do I buy?

Let me help you get started. I am a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA and want nothing more to guide you on your health and wellness journey. (Whatever you do, please do not purchase your oils at the supermarket! doTERRA’s are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils, ensuring your safety when using them topically, internally and aromatically).

Start by browsing my shop, here. If you want to become a wholesale member, click JOIN. If you want to purchase retail, click SHOP.

You have two options to become a wholesale member:

  1. Pay $35 and have a wholesale membership for a year. It will auto-renew and you will get a free 15mL bottle of peppermint as you enter your second year.
  2. Select an enrollment kit and your membership is FREE. I started with the AromaTouch Diffused Kit and also purchased the Home Essentials Kit.

Add your kit and/or products, and voila! Checkout and you will receive your products via mail within a few days.

Have questions?

Contact me. realmofvibesdg@gmail.com

Namaste,

Danielle

bake bread

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Where have you been?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, doesn’t it?

I have some big news. My husband and I are expecting our first child, a baby girl, Emilia Ann, in July. We share a mixture of emotions; one minute we are excited, followed by nervousness, and completed by overwhelming feelings of joy and love. We are truly blessed.

We're Expecting!

Nesting has been a reoccurring theme in our house. We undertook a huge laundry room renovation before we start working on the nursery.

We’ve been working nonstop, trying to tackle my student loan and save for maternity and paternity leave. Ebates and Ibotta have been lifesavers for all of my baby shopping. (And if you want to browse and buy anything off of my ever-changing baby registry, click here.)

I’ve been focusing on getting my doTERRA business off the ground, and have plans to share which products I’ve been using during my pregnancy in an upcoming blog post. If you are interested in hosting a Facebook party (with the opportunity to earn FREE doTERRA products), please contact me via realmofvibesdg@gmail.com. I’d love to get you started on my oily train.

Gender Reveal Sheet CakeWhat does this mean for Realm of Vibes?

It means I will continue to produce new content when time allows. And, I am always looking for products and businesses to review. (Contact me.)

Are you going to be a mommy blogger? 

I can’t believe I’ve already been asked this question… I’m sure some of my posts may involve my pregnancy and baby, but Realm of Vibes was intended on encompassing a wide variety of lifestyle components, including product reviews, travel, health and wellness, DIY, and more. So no, it will NOT become a sole mommy blog.

Until the next post,

Namaste,

Danielle Where have you been?

So, when are you going to have kids?

 

adobe-spark-4

“So, when are you going to have kids?”

“I don’t know. When are you going to lose weight?”

I’ve never said that, but I’ve wanted to…

Let’s try that again…

“So, when are you going to have kids?”

“I have furkids. A dog, sometimes a foster dog, and two cats.”

That’s more like my response.

On April 10, I will turn 30. On April 11, we will have been married for 3 years.

I have a dog, Bailey, a foster dog, and two cats, Jack and Ace. Right now, they are my furchildren. When people ask me when I am going to have human children, I answer their question depending on my mood.

I fluctuate between wanting to be a mother and wanting to remain childless. I look at my life now, bound only by my husband and animals. My mother, mother-in-law, or pet sitter could watch Bailey on short notice. My aunt loves cat-sitting. My husband can fend for himself if I go away with friends for a weekend. A child, however, needs more than a daily walk, litter box change, and food in a bowl. The career and Master’s degree I worked so hard for (and am still paying off) would put on pause to stay home and raise a child. I’m not one for day care; why bother since the cost wouldn’t even be worth me going to work. I never pictured myself jobless and financially dependent on my husband. I like to earn my own money and support myself. I can’t imagine being in my house all day, tending to a child and animals, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. I would go stir-crazy. No way. I’m already crazy. Then, I think about holding my baby in my arms, watching he or she grow and develop, and giving my parents and in-laws grandchildren. I think about the sleepless nights and poopy diapers, but the smiles, laughter, and endless amount of love might surpass rearranging my life and becoming a real housewife. I think parents call it unconditional love. Every morning I see a woman with a double stroller and her two dogs, jogging, and I think to myself, She is an awesome mom. She looks amazingly fit. She has 2 dogs and 2 kids. I can be her.

I look at the moms that I work with, and most of them seem overworked and overwhelmed. They are always on the phone in the closet or bathroom talking to the guidance counselor about Shawn’s D in geometry class or Kelly’s F in gym class. Some of them watch their nanny cams intently during their lunch break. I hear about day care nightmares and how little Abby is sick, once again. They sometimes share achievements and other developmental milestones, but most the time it focuses around what they must do (homework, doctor’s appointments, activities etc.), as if it were an inconvenience. When I mention how miserable they sound, usually they go into some story about how hard being a mother is, but how they love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. Having a kid sounds like a mixed bag.

I look at the adults without children and they seem happy, and content with not having children, but I always get a sense of worry when future planning is discussed. “Who is going to take care of me? I’m going to wind up in a nursing home.”  The childless adults are the people that I see have less wrinkles, more free time, take several extravagant vacations, have the most amazing gadgets, and are current on the latest trends. They seem a lot more relaxed but I sometimes see sadness and apprehension about the future.

My opinions on having children fluctuates day to day.  I have contemplated having none, being one-and-done and having two+ kids. Twins run in my family and sometimes I pray to God to give me a boy and girl, the ultimate two for one deal.

When asked: “When are you going to have kids?” these questions run through my head: What if I can’t get pregnant? What if we have problems? Why do people ask me this stupid, personal, invasive question? I don’t want to do IVF. Maybe we should start trying. Maybe we should wait until next year. What do I really want? I don’t know what I want. Maybe, I’m just not ready. Will I ever be ready? Shouldn’t I want to have a kid? I am a woman! I have a time clock. I don’t want to be an old mom. I’ll be happy, no matter what, right? And the chatter continues…

Take that question and remove it from your repertoire. If you can help it, let the undecided woman be. Let her decide in her own time and her own way what is right for her.

Whatever is meant to be, will happen. Whether I have none, one, two, twins, or three+, life will continue.

“So, when are you going to have kids?”

“Maybe tonight, maybe next week, maybe next month, maybe next year, maybe never.”

Namaste.