All posts filed under: Pregnancy

My Experience with Hyperemesis Gravidarum | A Pregnancy Story | Julie Love Gagen

My Journey with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Part I

Some story tellers are fortunate enough to have an amazing gift of retelling a story, a situation, something that is ongoing, while it is happening. The exceptional ones are able to precisely carve the relevant pieces of a story and prepare it into a well constructed final display which allows the reader to understand, empathize, and support the author on their journey. That is not me. I am the type of story teller that needs a little space, some time, and emotional distance from an experience in order to be able to retell it in essay form. It’s not that I can’t tell you what is happening when it’s happening. Believe me. If you catch me in the moment of an experience, I will retell every last subtle drop of detail in that story. I will recall facial expressions in an interaction, the time of day, the awkward pauses that later come to mind for further thought. And, in the days that follow, I will work through, hash out, and reprocess the events over and …

Sunset in Florida

How my year started with a total surprise, and why it’s so important to accept change

I have a thousand blog posts swimming though my mind. Thoughts on books I’ve recently read, new habits I’m developing, and working through a pivot in my business. But I had to write this post first. And I’ve been stuck on what to say for quite a while. You see, back in January, I started the year with BIG plans. Plans to develop a business in helping women find their healthiest self through core-focused yoga, Whole30, and memory keeping. It was an awesome plan for a spectacular year. But – and I feel like I say this all the time – life doesn’t care what plans you make. It takes its own course. And sometimes that means sharp, random turns at unexpected times… like right after you make a level-up business plan. So just 10 days into 2016, I found out I was pregnant. It was a total surprise, and one that I wasn’t quite prepared for. At the time I was just 6 weeks along, but already the symptoms of a difficult first trimester …

self care in new fitness and health routines, challenges

Health & Self-Care Routines #GetFit2015

Part of adopting a new health and fitness regimen is accepting that your body, mind, and routines are in transition. And transition can be painful. For reals.

Last week I talked about how making small changes will increase my likelihood of fully living this lifestyle shift. And I absolutely believe that is the right path for me. But – I’ll be honest – I was also expecting it to be a very easy transition. And that part was incorrect.Health & Self-Care Routines #GetFit2015 htt

News flash: I’m not in my 20s anymore.

Starting something new can be really exciting. And in those moments of excitement, I tend to get a little too enthusiastic – which leads to injury. So, sure enough, by Day 6, I overdid it. Big time. It took me 4 days to shake the headaches and exhaustion and, a week later, I’m still more tired than normal. But in the moment, I’ll be honest – I never would have guessed I was pushing too hard.

You see, when you start new eating habits, the shift can be exhausting for your body. Add a more intense fitness routine and you get where I’m going: it’s exhausting. Your stomach biota is not only having a “WTF” moment, your whole body is working hard to keep up with a big increase in physical activity – and it needs more fuel. Good fuel, yes. Healthy fuel, certainly. But definitely more than what I was giving it.

Which forced me to take a hard look at self-care.

Reflect (R is for)

Me: the Abridged Version is a class led by Cathy Zielske through Big Picture Classes. It’s about telling your story in a fun, creative way. I think telling your story is important – not just for you, but for the people that love you. Join me on this short series of personal photo-journalism and see the pretty things my iPhone can make.   Lately I’ve been talking about this class that I’m taking with clean and simple memory keeping guru Cathy Zielske‘s called Me: the Abridged Version (link in side bar). It’s an alphabetical memory keeping project designed to help you document who you are – in real time. I talked about why this is important, but as I delve into this project, I’m finding that the purpose and intention strikes a much deeper cord in my being than I expected. I am firmly in line with the mission of memory keeping oneself. And that is why I push it on my friends and family. And while it has not worked yet, as far as …

Wedding Anniversary: 3 Years

Has it only been three years?! This was the conversation Chris and I had on our anniversary Wednesday night. It’s amazing how some years pass without notice – days, weeks, months follow their seasonal routines – and yet other years have so much LIFE to them. We have done a lot of living in three years. After our wedding, I turned 30, mastered headstands in 30 days of hot yoga, and – somewhere in between – became pregnant with Max. We had a baby. We bought a house. And we’re renovating it. We built stuff. We started our new garden. We started jobs, left jobs. We contemplated career, family, home, and balance. And we made (and lost) a lot of friends in between. That’s life. And so now we’re here. And it’s quieter here. Things are settling. We are settling. We’re pacing ourselves. We’re being mindful of our needs. In between the busy-ness of our day-to-day, we’re living in the present. And we like it just as it is.   I posted this today because …

This place that I love

There is this place that I love. It’s half a day’s drive from here. And if you went there, you would think it was nice, but not special. Not as special as I think it is. Because most of its magic comes from years of memories of others. Some of those memories are mine. Many of them are my mother’s and her mother’s and their friends. And each year that we travel there, during each brief visit, we are transfixed. Set in place. You see, time stops there. It reduces to a pace so slow that you can count a thousand moments as the second hand passes each minute, each hour. And time empties itself into more time. Night comes. Morning comes. And each time of day is magical. That is my happy place.   We were last there in 2012 during our “baby-moon”. It was our last hurrah before Max entered our lives and shook it all up. So we drove. A lot. We saw places and things we wouldn’t be able to see …

Guess what, moms? You matter too!

In the last 10 months, I have learned this lesson (the hard way) time and time again: when you are a mom to a young baby, it is just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of the baby. It is a hard concept to understand. We unconsciously give ourselves – mind, body, soul – over to our children when they’re born. From the moment they meet your eyes: it’s love. Absolute and total unforgiving love. But what we fail to see, and what truly just escapes our minds – unconsciously – is that we will continue to give and give and give until we lose ourselves. And what we lose is not just our sleep and self-care, but our empathy and state of being as well. And let’s get something straight: it WILL happen to you. It will. Acceptance is the first step towards helping and healing. Admit it: you have broken down when you couldn’t open the mum-mums fast enough or you left the kitchen for the …

Recommendations for Your Maternity Photo Session

Last year I wrote about why I wanted a maternity photo session. I wanted to follow up with some advice for those of you thinking of doing one as well. I should start with a very simple statement to the first question I get asked – was it worth the money? YES. A thousand times over. However, keep in mind you need to be prepared for something like this, especially if you’ve never done an individual shoot outside of your wedding. Maybe it’s a New England thing, but I know several friends that found themselves feeling very awkward and pose-y throughout their shoots. And it shows in their pictures. Here are some tips on what I learned in doing my own shoot: 1. Find a photographer you will be comfortable with. This is essential to having a successful shoot. If you have a friend that takes photos, consider your relationship: is this person someone you feel completely comfortable with? is it someone you can goof around with? someone that understands pregnancy, babies, and the relationship …

Project Life: Week 15

Back to Work from Maternity Leave (Project Life: Week 15)

This is the week I went back to work after 3 1/2 months on maternity leave. And it was great. You hear stories from women about this experience. For some, it’s SO hard (those are the most common). You hate to leave your baby. You find stress in the workplace. Things are difficult. This was not my experience, and perhaps that is why this week was so wonderful. First, it’s about the baby’s personality. It’s amazing to me how much character a baby that cannot sit or eat has. Max doesn’t DO anything other than look at his mobile, smile on occasion, and nurse for hours every day. So I was pleasantly surprised when we took him to daycare and had a chance to watch him take it in. First Day of Daycare We had explained to Max that he was going to get to “see the babies” this week. We talked to him about daycare, about how mommy was going back to work, and how he was going to get to play all day …

example of old version of baby album: weekly spread, month one

Project Life: Catching Up

I am in love with the new Becky Higgins Project Life Baby Core Kit for Him. Thanks to a very short Christmas list (one item!), it was delivered under the tree. I started out with the Cherry Core Kit this summer, before the baby kits were announced. I love that kit and it’s been great so far, but the new series of kits Becky announced totally bring it to a new level. Let me explain why. First, I love tracking things. In the short four months our baby has been in this world, we have tracked his how much he eats, how long eats, sleeping habits, nap times, number of wakeups, and pretty much anything else you can track. In the beginning it helped us to diagnose his cries so that we didn’t have to go through the – food? no. diaper? no. new outfit? no. tired? he must be tired! – every time he was upset. But as baby grows, it continues to serve as a way for us to develop our lives with …