The past few weeks have been pretty quiet on the blog, as compared to my usual activity. I have been feeling terrible about not being able to keep up, but I have a very good reason, our family is growing! We are expecting our third child in March 2015! As exciting as it is, I have been having a rough time…
Morning sickness (or all day sickness) is not new to me, I was sick with both my boys and had to take medicine pretty much my whole pregnancy with each. However this time it’s been a doozy! Having a third baby was not something we planned. Truth be told, my husband was more open to the idea than I was. I was adamant about being done with two kids. I felt so lucky to even have two with all the struggles we went through with our first. Over 3 years of fertility treatments, dozens of doctors appointments, procedures, surgeries, acupuncture, and various other interventions took a toll on me. And then miraculously getting pregnant with our second only 5 short months after having our first was rough on my unhealed body. After 5 years of having my body out of control, I was done. I decided it was time to be selfish, take my body back and finally be able to be me again. I loved my boys and felt so lucky to have them, but I was ready to work on me, not only to become a better person myself but I highly believe if I am the best I can be, then and only then can I be the best mother and wife I can be. And so the last two years I have become just that.
Nine months ago, ironically about the time it takes to create a life, I started my blog, Veggies Don’t Bite. Although I was thrilled at exploring the possibility of retiring my elementary school teaching position and becoming a stay at home mom, I wanted to have something other than taking care of my family. Something that I could do in conjunction, that didn’t take time away from my boys. This blog was the perfect answer! I created healthy meals for my family anyway, constantly finding new ways to keep them at their best, but also figuring out how I could do it faster and easier. I wanted to share my knowledge and experience with other families hoping to achieve the same goals, so why not start a blog? I already had friends and family asking me for advice and recipes, so in November 2013 I took the plunge. It was a lot of work and effort but I used the days the boys were in school, nap times and late nights to do it all (along with a little time on weekends when my amazing husband took over). I took the parts of my life that I could live without away, many of the trash TV shows I spent time watching, working out in the middle of the day which I now mostly did in the early morning, sitting down…people constantly asked how I did it all and to be honest, I don’t know. I just did. I rearranged my time, I kept focused (most days) and just did it. The fact that I loved what I did helped, because I never dragged my feet. With some help and tips from friends and support from online systems, I taught myself how to build a website, design it, take pictures with a DSLR camera in manual mode, edit pictures, write and post blog posts and share with the world my love for all things healthy. I can’t believe it has only been nine months, I still feel so new at it all but yet I have accomplished so much. I have made amazing connections, been featured on fabulous websites, won cooking contests and even got published in my first magazine! Phew…and now my road takes another turn, but only for the better!
Becoming a mom of three does not scare me. My boys are only 15 months apart, so all I know is complete craziness. When my second was born, my first was only a new one year old. A baby himself, but yet one that had such different needs than my newborn. It was hard, hit me like a freight train because all I knew was the easy bliss of being home with my one baby that I waited a lifetime for. My first son entering my life was the most wonderful and easiest thing ever. Two kids rocked my world. Plus we finished remodeling our home, renting out our other home and moving, all within a month of his birth. The thought of having a baby a little over 3 years after my second is a breath of fresh air. I can finally enjoy a baby again, something I was not able to do with my second. I always regretted that, but that was life at the time. So having another child that I can spend time with while the boys are at school 3 days a week sounds amazing. However the pregnancy I have to go through to get there is something I never wanted again. We did what we could to prevent it, but the big man upstairs apparently wouldn’t take no for an answer, so here we are our fate handed to us just like it was many years ago when we struggled to have our first. I have always told people that going through the hell we went through to have a baby is something I feel so blessed to have done. It changed me for the better and made me the person I am today. I would do it all over again. So even though being pregnant again is something I didn’t want and feared, I once again know that this is how my life was supposed to go and in the end it will make me a better person, filled with more love and joy. Now to just get through this terrible morning sickness and the rest of my pregnancy as best I can.
Food is my life. Cooking and creating keep me going. To feel this awful and not be able to even look at most food, let alone cook, has been so hard for me. I am finally on a combination of two different medications to get me through the day, but I still cannot do much. My amazing rockstar of a husband has taken over all household duties. He has been trying to arrange his schedule so he travels less and my mom has stepped in to help out. I thank God for them both because there is no way I could do this without them. Even though the meds help prevent me from throwing up and dry heaving most days, they still don’t take away that dull feeling of sickness, flu, and overall yuck I have. Not to mention the exhaustion. First thing in the morning, after I pop my first pill, is best. I have been forcing myself to get up and take a short run or go to my favorite barre class because my docs require it to help with the issues I have in my veins. This actually helps me a lot and gives me a few decent hours of feeling “not terrible.” I normally run 16-20 miles a week on top of going to barre classes, and all else I do, so for me this is a huge step down. But I barely have any energy so this is all I can do for now. My diet however has taken a much greater toll.
I am still trying hard to maintain my 90% vegan life. Thank goodness the thought of meat makes me want to gag, as it has since my second pregnancy, so I’ve been trying my hardest to get down beans to help with my iron and protein. I am always anemic during pregnancy, and I do not want to take an iron supplement, so it has been tricky to balance my needs to keep me and the baby healthy, but also eat foods that I don’t throw up. My mom created this amazing hummus, mostly bland but perfect amount of flavor for me, with a touch of lemon and definitely no garlic! If I can, I will try and snap a picture next time she brings it over so I can put it up on the blog. She also used my Vegan Veggie and Bean Burger recipe to make almost 20 burgers for the freezer and I have actually been able to keep them down if I eat slowly with only ketchup. I feel lucky in that my amazing husband continues to feed our children, and himself, the healthy diet they have become accustomed too. He makes all the simple things I made before and has even come up with a few fun ideas of his own (Pizzadillas are a new fave!). I for now need to stick to the things I can keep down, both for my own safety and that of the baby growing inside. I feel lucky that I can eat fruit, which I eat a lot of during the day, but don’t bring a cooked veggie anywhere near me. Drinking liquids is tough because too much makes me throw up, so watermelon and grapes have been a huge part of my diet. I can handle simple smoothies with almond milk, fruit and a touch of hemp seeds blended in for protein. I also have grown to like my cheddar Daiya grilled cheeses. The only prenatal vitamin I have been able to keep down are the gummy ones, which unfortunately have no iron. I know this is all temporary but it is really hard for me. I am used to being able to do it all without a second thought, and now I can barely feed myself, let alone my family.
Thank you all for your understanding. Luckily I have a dozen recipes backlogged that I will continue to post once a week until I am back. But even looking at the pictures while I edit is sometimes difficult. As is looking at all the food I used to love to see on Instagram, so you may notice my lack of inactivity from time to time. I appreciate all your love and support as I navigate this awful part of my pregnancy and I hope you can join in my journey in doing the best I can to stick to my 90% vegan philosophy while keeping me and my growing baby healthy and safe.
I look forward to what is in store for my website. I made all of my baby food with my first two kids and am brainstorming a new section on baby food. I plan to create a “Feed your whole family from infant to teen” block of recipes where I pair the main meal with what baby food the baby will get using the same ingredients. I’d love to make that a cookbook one day! It is possible to make one meal for all because I did it before, it just takes some thinking ahead so hopefully if I do all that for my readers, many can follow in feeding their babies and toddlers healthy homemade food too!
Love and hugs from the whole DeSantis clan, all 5 of us!