Friday, September 5, 2014
Plant-Based Pregnancy: One trimester down, two to go!
Earlier this year, we made a move from Austin, Texas to Houston, Texas in search of better career opportunities and to finally begin a new journey—expanding our family from two to three. I've been eating plant-based for more than two and half years by now, and when I began to think about creating a new life, I immediately looked at my diet. I knew the basics of eating plant-based and had recovered my health two years previous (and lost 30 lbs., 80 points in my cholesterol, among other great benefits).
Even before I knew I was pregnant, I began to really amp up my fruit and veggies intake, began eating breakfast every morning, and started drinking more water and avoiding caffeine. Finally, after two months of preparing my body for new life, religiously taking my prenatal and B12 vitamins, and focusing on every little detail, we knew we ready to begin trying. I was in great health, and didn't have any doubt in my mind about becoming pregnant. How hard could it be?!
Welp, for us, VERY EASY! We were shocked to find out we had conceived so quickly, but we were ready for the challenge. I was a bit overexcited and had bought a bulk pack of pregnancy test strips, so I literally found out I was pregnant the moment it was official at just three and a half weeks. We can't keep a secret at all, so I began telling very close family and friends only two days after we found out. Yes, I know that's very early in the pregnancy, but I was positive that all would go well.
I didn't eat too differently than I before I was pregnant, and just made sure I was eating more fruit in the morning and that my work desk was stocked with healthy snacks (almonds, crackers, and vegan fig newtons) to keep me satisfied. By the end of my first trimester, I had gained 10 lbs., which my midwife assures me is completely fine and healthy! (Phew, I was starting to worry a little, but I knew I was eating right...)
There wasn't a moment of "morning sickness" to be seen at all, and I happily sailed through my first trimester with only minimal symptoms including fatigue (sometimes I go to bed around 9 p.m., other times, I can hang until 11 p.m.)! And no, despite many omnivores asking me, I don't crave any animal products or nonvegan items. I've stayed true to my values and morals by eating plant-based, and have enjoyed what I would consider an "easy" first trimester compared with other people I've spoken with. Sure, every person is different, and maybe my diet only had a little bit to do with my good luck, but it was important for me to do what I felt was right.
I've enjoyed plenty of strong support from my family and friends and am now officially into my second trimester. I've researched vegan pregnancies for at least a couple of years, as I knew after I converted over, that I'd one day be experiencing it myself. I'm happy to report that the baby is doing great, has a strong heartbeat, and can do somersaults like you wouldn't believe, according to the ultrasound we had a couple of weeks ago!
To anyone out there wondering if you can stick with it, I'm here to assure you that you can.
Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.