Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Where's My Belly?

14.5 weeks pregnant today. I can't wait to have a big belly, because right now I am just walking around looking like I had a big lunch. "No, I didn't just overeat today. I'm actually pregnant..." Already busting out of my normal clothes, but still doing the backstroke in maternity clothes, so the wardrobe is in a bit of purgatory as well. Each week I run out of clothes that fit by Wednesday, and have to start over with Monday's outfit on Thursday.

I *am* very excited that I can finally have a Juno Motherhood Massage at Pavia, now that I am safely in my second trimester. Yup, treating myself to that little slice of heaven this coming Friday with Barbara, our certified Pre-Natal Therapist. We do pre-natal massage using the side-lying method at Pavia, where you clutch a pregnancy pillow and lie comfortably on your side. Many professionals, midwives, and massage therapists consider this to be the safest position for pregnant women.

We do it this way because those one-size-fits-all tables with the hole cutouts in the middle are very sub-optimal for pregnancy massage. Why? Because one size does NOT fit all. If your abdomen is too large for the cutout, it'll apply pressure to your stomach and baby. If the hole cutout is too large, it can allow your abdomen to dangle, which can cause uncomfortable stretching of the uterine ligaments. Bottom line: listen to the experts and never receive a massage lying face down or face up while pregnant.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holistic Medicine Works: After All, I'm Pregnant

For several years now, my husband and I have desperately wanted to have a child. After 4 years of "working on it," we went to see doctors who told us that our sperm count was low, that my ovulation was irregular ("your ovaries are a little sad and inactive-looking"), and that without intervention, our chances of getting pregnant naturally were less than 2%. We were asked to start the process of assisted fertility by me first getting an HSG (hysterosalpingogram), wherein they inject dye into my uterus to test for fibroids and obstructions of the fallopian tubes. When I heard that I had to take antibiotics for 3 to 9 days prior to this (to prevent infection from the dye), I balked and decided not to go the assisted route. My husband, being a devout Roman Catholic, also had serious issues of his own, as assisted fertility (especially IVF) ran contra to his deeply held beliefs.

So, this past June, I decided to see an ND, Dr. Connie Hernandez, of Palo Alto. She had me take a full blood panel, whereupon she gave me the advice that a) my Vitamin D levels were "out-of-sight" low, and b) that we can use herbs and natural supplements to greatly strengthen the communication between my brain and my ovaries (to get myself to ovulate). I started taking 5000 IUs of vitamin D daily, and a regimen of herbs and pills that ranged from inoffensive to downright nasty (especially the maca root - that was vile). Then, in October, I started seeing Dr. Kim Millman, MD/PhD, who supplemented my regimen from Dr. Connie with additional aids like calcium lactate (to normalize my thyroid). Dr. Kim also theorized that a large scar on my right leg was impeding a few of the fertility meridians that women have, and helped me by using laser therapy and other natural oils to re-activate those meridians.

And voila, by early November, I was pregnant! For me, who thought I could not have children naturally and was looking down the road of adoption, this was a true miracle. I know in my heart that it was seeing the two holistic physicians that made a difference for me...why else would it be 4 years with no results, and then 5 months after seeing them, poof, I'm pregnant? In any case, I am truly ecstatic, overjoyed, and ready to proclaim to the world that natural medicine can work. What can it hurt, anyway? If you've been trying for a while to get pregnant, and traditional methods aren't working for you, I would suggest taking a look at alternatives from the holistic world. In the meantime, I'm happy happy happy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pavia Prayers for Haiti--and Ways to Help

At Pavia we believe consciously caring for yourself is the first step to having the most to offer the world. But as we all watch the magnitude of devastation in Haiti unfold on our television and computer screens, it's easy to fall into feelings of despair and helplessness. It is important, however, not to underestimate the power of sending healing energy and prayers to everyone effected by this disaster. When you want to translate your prayer into material assistance, there are many wonderful ways to help get aid to the Haitian people. This excellent link from the Huffington Post gives a list of top charities and organizations prepared to give assistance in the form of volunteers, food, clean water, sanitation, and much-needed medical assistance. See the article on ways you can help here.

I especially love the easy and innovative option provided by Yele Haiti. Yele Haiti is a charity founded by the hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean. Their site, describes the organizations focus: "Projects are designed to make a difference in the fields of education, health, environment and community development." You can donate five dollars to Yele Haiti for earthquake relief just by texting "Haiti" to 501501 on your cell phone. The five dolllar charge will be added to your cell phone bill. You can donate up to six times from your phone, or go to their site to give larger amounts.

An expert in emergency response, the International Rescue Committee offers the same text donation service. Simply text "Haiti" to 25383 on your phone, or donate here. Call the San Jose chapter of IRC for more information at (408) 453-3536. I love to see technology used in the service of making it so easy for people to help one another all over the world.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Eat, Pray, Love" author has a new book on marriage!

I am so excited that Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the best-selling and truly wonderful book, "Eat, Pray, Love," has a new book out! "Committed," follows her challenging personal journey from confirmed divorcee to happily married (again). It also contains a great deal of research into the institution of marriage from cultural and historical perspectives. If this book is anything like her first one, it will provide some seriously fun laughing-out-loud moments as well. I can't wait to read it.

I found this great interview with Gilbert about "Committed," on