I am nearing the end of my second trimester and tomorrow I will be exactly 6 months pregnant! It has seriously been such a beautiful experience so far. Aside from the month of morning sickness in the first trimester, I now understand why people call the second trimester the “golden period”. I have felt so amazing! Aside from a bit of aches and lower back pain (which has been greatly reduced from seeing a chiropractor) I really have no complaints and I can honestly say that I love being pregnant! This trimester has also given rise to a perfectly round baby bump and I get comments on it all the time now. Last night we began our series of prenatal birth prep classes and I am so glad how receptive Aaron was. At first he groaned about having to spend 2 1/2 hours of his Wednesday nights for the next month attending a class, but after our first one, he went on at length about how much information he got and how it has already made him feel more proud and confident about our impending home birth this coming July. We walked out with a Hypnobabies book and a CD of birth affirmations and meditations to begin listening to to help us prepare our minds for what is to come. Needless to say, I am so freaking excited for our home birth!
Although this pregnancy has been such an amazing journey for us, it still pains me to remember the baby that I lost just one year ago. I had planned on writing a separate blog post on the anniversary of my miscarriage, which occurred on March 17th, 2016, but I never got around to it. It’s hard not to remember all that I went through just one year ago. Just one year ago I lost our angel baby through a sudden and early miscarriage, something I never dreamed would happen. But then again, does any woman think she will have to go through such a traumatic experience in her lifetime? My mother and grandmother both had healthy pregnancies so it was a surprise to me to go through it.I never thought it would happen to me, but there I was waiting in the ER on the night of March 16th, 2016, trying to hold back tears as we waited for an ultrasound. My biggest regret that night was that I didn’t stay home to allow the inevitable to happen. I say this because once a miscarriage begins, there is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop it, especially if you are so early into the pregnancy like I was. We were slapped with a $3,000 medical bill from the hospital for 2 ultrasounds and some lab work.
What I did gain from this experience was the intuitive knowledge that I needed to be fully checked out to make sure my body was healthy. Like I’ve said before, finding my naturopathic doctor who would evaluate my health in its entirety was the best decision I have ever made. I discovered after a few months of extensive blood work (lipid panels, hormone testing, thyroid testing, blood sugar, and even a celiac panel) that I had a pretty severe hormone imbalance that had probably been there for years and years. I wasn’t that surprised though, to be honest. I had started to suspect a hormonal imbalance after Aaron and I moved to the Bay area a few years ago when my anxiety, depression, acne, and sugar cravings worsened. I made the mistake of trying to treat it by myself but lacked the knowledge that blood testing would have given me. I had a feeling something was off, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. I also had a genetic test from Entero labs done to make sure I didn’t have undiagnosed Celiac disease (which can often lack the severe digestive symptoms that most people associate with the disease). Once again the results came back negative but I did find that I carried both genes for non-celiac gluten sensitivity or NCGS (HLA-DQB1*05:01 and HLA-DQB1*03:03). People who possess genetic markers for NCGS can expect to suffer from many of the same symptoms as someone with Celiac disease but without identifiable intestinal damage that shows up on an endoscopy.
After 6 months on a strict elimination protocol (AIP, which you can find many of my recipes on my blog) I was able to completely reverse my hormone imbalance without the use of any drugs or synthetic hormones. I no longer crave sugar and all of my mysterious symptoms have disappeared. I finally got my positive pregnancy test in November of 2016 and cried when I saw the results. There is no doubt in my mind that having a pre-existing gluten sensitivity caused my miscarriage. I mean, if your hormones are totally out of whack, your body simply cannot support a growing new life. I have shared my story many times, but I will continue to do so in hopes that I can help raise awareness for other women struggling with unknown fertility issues and miscarriage. If I had simply listened to my OBGYN, I might have continued to have many more miscarriages in the future and that is something I was not willing to find out.
As for now, I am happy and healthy and carrying our sweet little rainbow baby. I enjoy most foods again now, with the exception of gluten-containing foods and minimal amounts of dairy and processed sugar. Today I wanted to share with you a delicious rainbow potato salad that I served up with some pork shoulder and vibrantly colorful cole slaw, but you can serve it alongside anything you like. If you are strict paleo, just sub the white potatoes for all sweet potatoes. I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe that is inspired by my rainbow baby!
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 medium red potatoes (or add 1 extra sweet potato if strict paleo)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown or dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 c pickle relish (I use Bubbie's Kosher Dill Pickles, finely chopped)
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place all the potatoes into the pot and boil for about 30 minutes or until you can pierce easily with a fork without the potatoes feeling mushy (you want them to still have some firmness to them so they do not turn to mush while mixing). Make sure to check each potato individually since they may cook at different rates! Once the potatoes are done, run them under cold water to keep them from continuing to cook. Set aside. Add the eggs to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Once they are done, run them under cold water to help cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pickles, celery and scallions by chopping and placing into a large mixing bowl. Add the mayo, mustard, vinegar and salt and mix thoroughly. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-sized pieces. If you prefer the white potatoes skinless, do the same, although I like to leave the skin on. Peel the eggs and chop. Place the potatoes and eggs into the mixing bowl and gently stir to combine with the veggies and dressing. Add some freshly ground pepper to taste and either chill in the fridge to allow the flavors to marry or you can serve immediately.