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Monday, July 18, 2011

Big News to Share

Those of you who have been loyal, longtime readers of Penniless Parenting may have been plagued with various questions lately, among them:

Why has the posting frequency slowed down? It used to be that there were new posts daily, or at least 5 days a week, but now there are only 3 or 4 on a good week. What's happening, you may be wondering?

There used to be posts detailing grocery shopping trips and menu plans on a regular basis, but there haven't been any of those in a long time- why?

Why did the Penniless family start an extreme elimination diet to deal with Ike's eczema and then stop within a very short time, and then start back again on a gluten free diet?

To all those questions, there really is one big answer.
An answer I'll give via a story.


A good few months ago, when Ike's eczema was starting to get worse, I became really motivated to try to heal his body via cutting out foods that may be irritating his system and causing the skin issue. I made a whole menu plan utilizing only foods permitted on this diet, and set forth on a massive shopping trip to stock my pantry with the foods we can eat. I comparison shopped, made trips to different places to purchase things at the lowest possible price, and began cooking. I made so many experiments with gluten free flours, dairy and egg free and nightshade free recipes, etc, etc... I was really revved up.
One morning, a few days into my diet, I realized that my stomach was rather unsettled. The food that I made looked delicious and everyone enjoyed it, but the thought of eating it made me want to hurl. I didn't understand it? Was my body telling me that gluten free flours were bad for me? Could someone really get nauseous from gluten free? Wasn't gluten free supposed to be better for my stomach, not worse?
I looked for something else to eat. I had just done a huge shopping trip and my pantry and refrigerator were packed to the brim and absolutely nothing appealed to me.
Food, food, everywhere and not a drop to eat!
I didn't understand what was going on.
It didn't make sense.
And then all of a sudden, it did.

I had some tests stashed away in my house, and within a few minutes, I was able to verify my suspicions.


Mike and I are very happy to announce that we will be adding a new member to our household this coming winter.

That is why nothing appealed to me- it wasn't a sensitivity to gluten free (who ever heard of such a thing?)- it was just morning sickness, hitting me full force.

And that, dear readers, is why post frequency has gone down. Not because this blog is dying (far from it) or because I don't have ideas (I have a million more ideas to write about) or because I don't care about this blog anymore, but because I've been feeling absolutely rotten. I've never had morning noon and night sickness this bad in any pregnancy thus far.
At the peak of my nausea I was throwing up 5 or 6 times a day, and threatening to hurl the rest of the time. I'm out of my first trimester, and I'm still pretty nauseous a good chunk of the time, but now, instead of throwing up all the time, I can go days without throwing up, just feeling nauseous. (And then I have days like today when I puke 3 times...)

During my first trimester, I was feeling absolutely awful. The more I drank, the more nauseous I'd become and the more likely it would be that I'd throw up. The less I drank, the more dehydrated and dizzy I'd become. So I was constantly teetering between nearly passing out from dehydration and puking my guts out.
No fun.
Whatsoever.
Is it any wonder my posting frequency lessened?
I do want to say that I'm starting to feel a good deal better, and now that my pregnancy is no longer top secret, I can feel a little more free to write about what is going on here and frugality, so posting frequency hopefully will pick back up.

On top of everything else, during my first trimester, I was so picky about what I was able to stomach, and the only foods I wanted to eat were carbs, specifically wheat, and dairy. So that's what I ate. Gluten free and elimination diet went out the window 100%.
And then I had constant stomach aches and in addition to all that, I always was so tired no matter how much I slept. For someone who usually is a ball of energy, needing to constantly nap and nap and still feel tired was really difficult, so at my OB appointment, I asked my doctor if this fatigue was normal. I mean, I knew its common to be tired during pregnancy, but this was so extreme and I'd never experienced anything like it before. I asked my OB if having cut out gluten and then reintroducing it could have caused this extreme fatigue. His answer- absolutely! And that it doesn't matter what any blood test shows, I should just cut out gluten again and see if the issue was resolved.
Once I passed 10 or 11 weeks (not sure which) I gained a little bit of energy and was slightly less picky in the foods I could eat (meaning I was just as nauseous, but my nausea wasn't food triggered anymore for the most part), so I put the gluten free diet back in action and saw miracles. Yes, somewhat tired, but no extreme fatigue like I had during the previous weeks of my pregnancy... that is, unless I accidentally eat something with gluten in it (because then within half an hour, a wave of extreme fatigue overtakes me... just like “old times”).
So that’s why I started, stopped, and started a gluten free diet again.

As for why I didn’t post menu plans or shopping trips recently...
For that, you'll have to wait for the next post “How pregnancy affects frugality.”


How've you been doing lately? Anything new going on in your home this summer?

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