Nine Months (And One Week)

Tonight as I was walking my sleeping baby into her room I couldn't believe that it's now been nine months (and one week) since she made her grand entrance into the world. I'm not sure why the nine month mark hit me the way that it has. Maybe it's the fact that there are only two more slots for month to month pictures until my baby is one. Only two slots left in a frame that once seemed so empty while I was waiting for the arrival of our baby. Or maybe I'm realizing that there are a limited number of nights left in which I will hold my sleeping baby in my arms.

These last nine months (and one week) have brought so many firsts and new highlights into our lives. We've hit baby book milestones, rolling, crawling, laughing, playing peek-a-boo on her own and many more. She didn't walk on the day she turned nine months like her sister did. However, she did say a legitimate, I know who you are, "Mama!" We now have, "ma, ba, pa, bye, hi and hello." No da in there, better work on that before dad feels left out!

One of our biggest obstacles in the last nine months (and one week) has been learning about eating for a baby with food intolerances. When Alexandra was two months old we found out that I had to make a major diet change. No more dairy, soy, nuts (of any kind), wheat, gluten, corn or eggs. It is astonishing how many foods have these items hidden inside of them.

In the beginning of this diet I had a bit of a melt down. You know those signs that say, "I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry," yup, that was me. Thankfully, I had the help of a wonderful friend, who's son has severe food allergies as well, I was able to manage. I found ways to make alternatives.

I did not eat a single bite of any of those foods for five months. I wouldn't even lick the spoon after fishing up something for my husband. Then Thanksgiving came around and I cheated, I ate the whole meal. I felt horrible and Alexandra was extremely fussy. Thankfully there were no signs of the foods bothering her intestines, but she was fussy. Back to the diet. Christmas, I couldn't help myself, I had a few things that weren't on the diet and I felt horrible. When I say horrible I mean physically and emotionally.

They (whoever "they" is) say it takes nine months to gain pregnancy weight and nine months to lose it. This week I had a doctors appointment and stepped onto a legitimate scale for the first time since starting this diet. Before I reveal this I have to disclose a few other fun facts. I've never gone by numbers on a scale, ever. If I feel happy and healthy and my pants fit, then I'm good to go. Before I found out I was pregnant with Karoline I was 120 pounds. I was fairly comfortable with the idea of wearing a two piece swim suit at this point in time. After Karoline was born I kept telling myself I had nine months to lose all the weight I gained while I was pregnant with her, all 52 pounds. Then the nine month mark hit and I told myself I was holding onto the extra weight because I was still breastfeeding. I wasn't happy with my extra weight. But, I didn't do a single thing to try to lose any of the weight, I was okay to go with the flow. I was finally starting to fit into some of my pre baby clothes, the bigger pre baby clothes, when I found out Alexandra was on the way. I had never gotten down to that 120 pounds. I was 126 pounds and I thought my (as vain as this may sound) "hot," days were behind me. I was never going to wear a two piece swim suit ever again, I was sure of it. I gained 40 pounds while I was pregnant with Alexandra. But, since I still never lost those last six pounds I technically had 46 pounds I needed to lose to be back to a weight that allowed me to wear "my" clothes.

Since having to cut out all of the foods that we weren't sure were bothering Alexandra or not I was able to fit into clothes, without elastic waste bands, at a much faster rate than I had anticipated. When I stepped onto the scale today I weighed 116 pounds. Only one pound more than the weight that I graduated high school at. The numbers themselves are nice. But, even more so than the numbers, the way that I feel has made the "Alexandra diet," manageable. I don't seem to have any lows due to food. You know, the low you feel when you eat something and then need to sit down and rest.
Left: 9 Months and 6 days pregnant, headed to the hospital. I thought this would be the last day I was pregnant, but the little stinker wasn't born until the next day. Right: 9 months and 6 days on the outside! 

Having to read every single label of every thing that I eat has opened my eyes to just how much crud is in food. This crud makes it so that even when you're trying to provide a healthy meal for your family you still fall short. My dad is famous for saying, "Everything in moderation." But, now more so than ever, I just don't want any of these things in the foods that my kids are eating, ever. I read two articles today that only further confirmed that I would rather not eat any of it. One was lovely, it stated that 70% of the chicken sold in the United States contains cancer causing arsenic. Great. The other was a list of ten foods that are major cancer causing foods. I have two options, I either need to stop reading these articles or I need to seriously overhaul all of the foods that all of my family members are eating. I'm thinking a combination of the two might be in store.

All of the articles I've been reading really have started to get me feeling down. One article will say that something is good for you and the next can completely contradict it. What are we supposed to eat and drink?!? I had to find a bright side, or a least a way to feel better about it. This is what I came to: I'm thankful for this problem. As hard as it is to put the worry aside I have to give thanks. I am thankful to have options to eat and the ability to buy food so conveniently. In that statement I found answers. I am amazed and grateful that I find answers when I remember to be thankful. We have choices and we have options. Growing up my mom did not buy a lot of things that were found in most of my friends houses. She would say, "If I don't buy it, we won't eat it."

There are some nights that I am less than thrilled with the food that I serve my two year old. I sit and look at the back of a package and attempt to read the ingredients (that I can't pronounce) and grow more upset by the minute that I am poisoning my family. The answer is simple, don't buy it. Don't buy things you don't want your family to eat! Now, I am a realist and there are times that you just need quick and easy meals, like a hot dog (stuffed with nitrates and crud ... I think I've read one too many hot dog articles). As a wife and mom trying to provide healthy meals what do you do about this need for quick and healthy meals? The answer: Do the best you can. If your nine month old won't eat the food that you made her and you have to put it in the microwave to warm it up because she is screaming and you don't have time to steam it, do it. But next time make sure you just steam it from the get go. If your toddler wants a "fruit" snack or one of those horrible orange colored crackers (this is one I wont budge on, my kids do not eat orange crackers, I just can't do it... yet again, I have read one too many articles about orange dyes) at the store, redirect her to pick out her own fresh fruit. Better yet, lead her to the organic fruit section. I never was sold on the fact that "organic" foods really were better for you, until now. Now I am, completely. The less that "they" have to do to your food (pesticides/alteration), the better.

When I first found out about Alexandra's food intolerances I was overwhelmed and felt it was a burden. Now I see that it was truly a blessing in disguise. It has forced me to reevaluate what we are all putting into our bodies.

To the mom that is worried about what her family is eating, you're doing a great job. Simply by worrying about it and making an effort to take care of your family to the best of your ability. You ARE ahead of the game. We are our harshest critics and we have to remember to give ourselves a break. If you feel you have failed your kids in the nutrition game today then pray for them, and for guidance, and try again tomorrow.


  1. Thank you. This is a good reminder for me to be careful what I feed myself and my family.

  2. You are most welcome Jennifer, so happy to hear that this was a welcome reminder!

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