Stephanie Ladd

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since Apr 17, 2015
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Southeast Wisconsin, urban
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Recent posts by Stephanie Ladd

Thanks again for the replies.

I'm officially in the 2nd trimester! People say things should get better now. I do feel like I'm slowly turning a corner.

One thing I wanted to mention in the realm of nutrition is Susun Weeds Nourishing herbal infusions. I believe they are an excellent way to get vitamins and minerals into your body. I did them before I got pregnant and now that I'm starting to feel better, I'm going to start it up again. She suggests rotating through a few herbs during the week. The ones she uses are nettle, linden, red clover, comfrey LEAF, and red raspberry leaf. They are easy to make: a quart mason jar filled with one ounce by weight of the dried herb, then filled to th top with boiling water. Cap the jar and leave for at least 4 hours, I usually do overnight. Then strain out plant material and drink throughout the day. Only use one herb at a time.

In my opinion, if you can stomach it during morning sickness, these can replace prenatals vitamins because they contain so many vitamins and minerals in usable form. Nettle is probably the most nutritious of them all and I usually do it 2-3 times a week. I dislike comfrey the most so I rarely do it, it's a little slimy to me.

The only downside is I think it's a lot of plant material to go through if you are doing these everyday. You should of course compost the left over plant material, but still, it can be costly. You COULD harvest your own plants and dry them, but it would take a lot of work and you'd have to have access to a large amounts of the plants.

What I really love about Susun Weed is she emphasizes using the plants in your area for healing and nutrition. I think this is really important. I know Ayurvedic and Chinese healing are really popular right now in America, but I'm not Asian or Indian so my body will not respond in the same way to those herbs as they would to traditional European and American herbs.
8 years ago
Thank you everyone for all your kind and uplifting words.

Amazingly enough, even without folate pills, the vast majority of kids all over the world and throughout history come out fine. I'm sure it pisses off the pill companies, but that's the facts.

My husband keeps telling me this. I think that folate does reduce the risk of it happening for a pregnancy that is susceptible to it, but not taking it doesn't mean it's going to happen. I've heard plenty of stories of women who religiously took folic acid before and during pregnancy and baby was still born with neural tube problems so it is not a panacea, although I acknowledge its important. I also think there is probably more to it, like deficiencies in other things that blocks absorption of folate.

Pregnancy is so exhausting, I couldn't believe how tired I was, especially during that first trimester.

I am certainly very tired. I feel like I could take a nap at any given moment during the day. And sometimes I do. I sleep like a rock at night as well which has been really nice.

I chose to take prenatals because my diet was absurdly lacking in nutrients much of the time, and I just ate whatever didn't make me want to puke, which was usually just crackers and cupcakes up until I was around 4 or 5 months pregnant.

Well, that makes me feel a little bit better. After going through the things I have been eating, I realize its not all that terrible. I have kept a steady intake of pastured eggs, grass fed meats, chicken, grass fed butter, grass fed yogurt, watermelon, sourdough bread, grass fed cheese, and I have eaten some tuna here & there. I get really bad heartburn and reflux on top of the nausea so I have to stay away from most fruit and all juice. And anything that contains sugar (besides watermelon) seems to bother me. I have tried to eat green things and they always come back up so there isn't a whole lot I can do about that. I am trying to listen to my body and it doesn't seem to want uncooked veggies. I also have to stay totally away from tomatoes, which has been hard. We have a meat and veggie CSA and access to raw milk & yogurt from a really great farm so at least I have been able to consistently keep that coming.

And, it barely lessened in my second and third trimester.

Oh please don't tell me that!!! Everyone I talk to says "Oh, yea I remember having morning sickness. It last for like 4 weeks. I never threw up, but I had some nausea" or "Oh no, I never had any sickness with my pregnancy". I am like the worse case scenario I've ever known, which annoys me. Even my mom said "Oh I wasn't sick like that with you". It has eased a bit which I hope is a good sign that it will wear off. Instead of throwing up 8 times a day, I am down to about twice a day. I don't know how I would survive if this lasted another 6 months. I haven't lost any weight luckily but haven't even gained a pound yet.

Another suggestion for the nausea is rice toast/crackers and ginger. Those really helped with my more nauseous moments and helped prevent me from barfing. I also second not going long without food. Keep snacking, on whatever is healthy that you can keep down. It really helps a lot!

For some reason, ginger gives me heartburn so I haven't been able to use that as a remedy, though I heard it helps a lot. And yes, I finally learned that I must eat like every 2 hours or I get sick. It took me awhile to get to that realization and I wish I would have figured it out sooner. I noticed I need more protein than normal and if I don't have a protein rich snack, I will get sick and need to eat 20 mins later.

never did eat the placenta, though (maybe it would have helped!).

I do plan on getting my placenta encapsulated. My naturopath and midwife highly suggested it since I have a history of anxiety. My best friend is one month ahead of me in her pregnancy and we plan on going to acupuncture together after we give birth to ward some of that off as well.

A month or more before you give birth, start making and freezing dinners and get as many easy, healthy meals as you can ready. Get people to help you, even if you have to beg (I would have had to beg, because every time I called my parents about what was going on, they just said my Mom did it by herself, and therefore so could I). Get your husband to take time off if he can, and don't let him work overtime unless it's absolutely necessary!

I am sorry your mom said that to you! What a hard thing to hear when you are asking for help. Luckily, everyone in my family is already being very helpful. I am already running into disputes with my mother though about what kinds of clothes she is buying for the baby. I gave her some guidelines of what I think it appropriate and she is deliberately going against it and I can already tell this is going to be an ongoing issue. But, as far as help, I don't think that will be a problem, but who knows. My husband plans on taking 4 weeks off after the birth so that will be very helpful.

Just a little nutrition note. When we lived in Alaska a friend of ours was pregnant and severely anemic. Her doctor told her she was going to need iron shots, which I hear are really painful. She asked if there was anything she could do to avoid it and he said, "Yes, if you eat moose a couple of times a week you'll be fine". I mention this because all meat isn't the same (Capt. Obvious strikes again). Moose are browsers and really like willows, which are incredibly mineral rich (They grow a huge rack of mostly calcium in a few months). Since deer are also browsers I would guess their meat would be similar (except here in Indiana with our corn fed deer population. We aren't what we eat, we are what we eat eats. Better soil = better vegies, better graze or browse = better meat.

At my last blood test, my iron was good so hopefully that won't be an issue. I am eating lots of beef so hopefully that's keeping my stores up. I have never actually tried venison and I don't think I can try it now for the first time, though I don't doubt that it would be beneficial to me.

Thank you everyone again for your support, kind words, and advice. I really do appreciate it! It always nice to hear this kind of stuff from experienced people
8 years ago

Mick Fisch wrote:Stephanie,

Each person is different, so what I suggest may not work for you. My wife dealt with this through 9 pregnancies. What we found worked for her was that she had to nibble on a little bit of cheese before she raised her head off the pillow in the morning headed it off. If she raised her head up first, it was too late and she was making offerings to the porcelain god. If cheese doesn't work for you, then try something else. You need something on your stomach before you get up.

My wife would kick me out of bed to get her whatever she felt like she needed to eat an hour or so before she had to get up. I found with practice I could hold onto the sleep mode enough to get her what she needed and drop right back to sleep. This served me well when I was the baby burper in the middle of the night later on.

We did both standard hospital deliveries and midwife. My wife quickly decided that midwife was the only way to go and after that we only used midwives. We opted for a midwife in the hospital.

Don't beat yourself up about your activity level, etc. Your body is busy just growing a baby.

Oh I might try the cheese thing, thanks! My hubby has been IN REDIBLE through this whole thing and is basically waiting on me hand and foot. He's awesome and I love him and I'm grateful we are on this journey together.

Going to buy some cheese
8 years ago

Steven Kovacs wrote:Stephanie,

Congratulations on your pregnancy! "Morning" (ha ha) sickness can be terrible, though there is apparently some evidence that it is one indicator of a healthy pregnancy. Don't beat yourself up for your diet - the hit to your energy, plus the weird effects you may be seeing in terms of what food you crave or are repulsed from, will screw up even the best intentions for a diet plan. My wife found that keeping bland starches (saltines, etc.) by the bedside table helped a lot with the nausea.

Congratulations too on finding a midwife and managing to reduce your hours at work. Don't expect to get much done in the first 3 months after the baby is born, though. Some people do, and certainly the baby in the "fourth trimester" is very portable and sleeps a lot, but it can be a particularly exhausting period for everyone in the family.

Thank you!

I have heard about the saltines thing, but they repulse me so I haven't tried them. I notice if I don't throw up in the morning, I have a much harder day. Like I'll be sick all day until I go to sleep. But if I do throw up in the morning, it seems to be an easier day. So that's been a weird thing. I do plan on spending the 3 months post-birth basically in hibernation, which is a perk of a December baby I suppose.

Im quite upset that I haven't been able to eat liver and minimal veggies. I chose not to take prenatal vitamins or folic acid before I got pregnant and even now. And I'm always a little nervous about that decision. I know the window for neural tube defects is very early on, like first month of pregnancy. I ate lots of healthy greens, beets, and liver in the time period. But at 6 weeks when the sickness hit, all that went away. I'm bad at remember pills so I didn't take the folate. so I'm feeling very paranoid about my choices. And people haven't been shy about telling me about how stupid my decision was.
8 years ago
Haven't visited this thread in awhile.

I am currently 13 weeks pregnant and having a really difficult time. First curveball of many I assume. Morning (all day) sickness has hit me HARD and my diet and activity level is terrible. I've been a couch potato the last 6 weeks, my garden has gone to crap, and I haven't been eating a terribly nutritious diet. I'm not sure if morning sickness was something that our ancestors faced or not but I can't imagine having to deal with gathering my food whilst vomitting all day long. I've heard magnesium plays a role in morning sickness but my body doesn't react well the magnesium supplements and my magnesium levels were decent last I had them checked. And I still got hit hard with it. So I don't know.

But I did find a great midwife and plan on a homebirth. I'm having a great time finding used wool baby clothes for my December baby and I've reduced my hours at work in preparation for being a stay at home mom. And hoping that next year, even with a baby, it will be a little easier to garden and forage.
8 years ago
Thanks. I suppose I feel a little better now. Soil does build from the top down, so thanks for pointing that out.

I think I'm just a little frustrated because the first year we had our garden beds, we had a crazy successful garden. I suppose brand new clean organic soil and compost had something to do with it. Every year since (this will be our 4th year) the weeds have gotten worse and our yield has also gotten worse. I planted a lot of beet seeds last year and only got about 10 grown beets. And the greens were all scabby. Our onions did terrible and the tomatoes didnt redden before the first frosts came. We also gardened in a community garden lot which was a total flop due to the pretty much dead soil. I'm now finding out that gardening takes actual work. This is our first year doing no till so I'm out of my comfort zone, though I am certain it's the right way to go.
8 years ago

Peter Ellis wrote:Stephanie, on the burlap bags, my first question is whether the bags you have are natural fiber burlap or some synthetic. One quick and easy way to check is a burn test. Snip a little piece and light it on fire. If it leaves a blob, not powdery ash, it is definitely synthetic and likely will not decompose. I ask because a natural burlap in contact with soil for a year should definitely be breaking down.

If you plant through natural burlap, I would leave it year after year, trusting that tells soil organisms will eat it like all the other organic matter. I also would not worry about roots getting through.

Ok I'll check it out. I'm pretty sure they are natural. They have some kind of coloring or dye on them because they were green coffee bags.

I guess I will try the burlap thing in a bed or two. That way of it doesn't work, I won't be out of a garden. My husband is not fond of the idea so maybe this will be a compromise.
8 years ago

Casie Becker wrote:Actually, I do most of my mulching with a combination of cardboard (for starting most new beds) and ramial wood chips. I was actually wondering if there was something that I was misunderstanding.

I was curious what made burlap such a different experience than chipped mulch. Particularly since you say they didn't do well in your community garden. I find I learn as much about how to care for my garden by what goes wrong as I do by getting it right the first time.

To be honest, everything you say you did this fall sounds exactly like how I (and my mother for 30+ years) garden. We just keep piling different layers of organic material on the soil. Worms and other soil creatures pull it down to the plants. We only dig enough to fit seeds or seedlings into the ground.

After the initial mulch buries the seed bank it is just a matter of keeping ahead of new seeds blowing in. Weeds are very easy to pull from out of organic mulches.

So I'm my mind, the difference between wood mulch (which I have on the beds right now) and burlap is root penetration. Roots can penetrate old layers on wood mulch, I'm worried about roots penetrating burlap, which is basically landscaping fabric. Once my seeds sprout, I have plenty of options for mulching. I have access to wood chips and straw. But right now I cannot do any of those and I'm worried about the top layer of compost dying.
8 years ago

Casie Becker wrote:

Stephanie Ladd wrote:Thanks! I began setting up the burlap mulching yesterday and as I thought about it, I don't think it's going to work. It's not going to break down in one year and I don't want to have to pull it up at the end of the season/early next season and disturb all the buggies.


I'm a little confused about why you would need pull up the burlap at all. My wood chips mulches don't completely degrade in the course of one year, but I just push it aside as needed to plant and add more mulch on top. Is there a reason why you wouldn't just cut new holes for planting through the old burlap next year? That's assuming that it won't biodegrade in a year. I think people who are used to chemical agriculture tend to underestimate how much a healthy soil can digest in a year. My wood mulches are applied up to six inches thick and yet, if I don't refresh it, they will be down to and inch or less by the end of the year. If I'm trying to kill grass I might go as high as twelve inches, and even that is down to four inches or less after a year. It's only that very top layer that is exposed to sun, wind and weather extremes that will be slow to break down.

Well, last year I did burlap mulching in a community garden and it didn't turn out well and certainly didn't decompose. But my beds are much healthier than the other garden. Cutting holes in the burlap is labor intensive, but that doesn't mean I won't do it. I'm just worried I'll have layers and layers of burlap that will just build up and the roots won't be able to through. Is that not correct? How would I cut holes in last years burlap if I am sowing rows of radish on the top in compost? Would it be broken down enough for the roots to penetrate without be going in and shredding the whole thing? How'd that be any different from tilling.

Maybe I am missing something.
8 years ago
Thanks! I began setting up the burlap mulching yesterday and as I thought about it, I don't think it's going to work. It's not going to break down in one year and I don't want to have to pull it up at the end of the season/early next season and disturb all the buggies.

So what i did was just put compost on top and I'll layer lightly with straw and maybe on sunny days I'll cover it up with the burlap lightly until I see my sprouts. Then I'll mulch heavier around them. We have a big stretch of cooler and cloudy days coming so I don't think the soil is going to get too damaged.

The problem is I totally screwed up last year. Next year, when I put the gardens to bed, I will just put a layer of compost on top, then mulch. Then in spring I can plant directly into that. I don't know what I was thinking last fall
8 years ago